Letter: Christians bring honesty to Westminster

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The Independent Online
Sir: On 9 April, 51 years ago, young Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged in a Nazi concentration camp. For Bonhoeffer, Christian theologian conspiring to murder the head of the German state, the question of political involvement leading to "muddied hands and moral ambiguity" (leading article, 8 April) was deeply relevant.

The ultimate question for a responsible person to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live. It is only from this question, with its responsibility towards history, that fruitful solutions can come, even if for the time being they are very humiliating (After Ten Years, 1942).

The point is not that political murder is ever justified outside the most extreme boundary situation, but that what constitutes "a true Christian, one who actually live[s] a life of love and self-sacrifice" is more complicated than the theology of your leading article allows.

The Rev Douglas Dettmer

Exeter, Devon