What bothers you the most about the responses you've seen?
If you put a bandana on Bob Bergdahl's head and put a duck in his hand, we'd put pictures of him on our walls in our Christian homes. We'd be defending him tooth and nail. Yet here we are saying, "Because he's got a beard, he's a Muslim.' And, "Look he said, Bism allah al-rahman al-raheem [In the name of Allah, the most graceful and merciful] at the White House. He claimed it for Muhammad! This was a secret infiltration thing."
To attack Bob because he has done and said things that are outside of our comfort zone as he's tried to do whatever he could to get his son back, we need to be more gracious. Which one of us is ready to cast that first stone? I don't know what I would have done if it was my son over there. I know Bob has, through the years, professed his faith in Christ and his reliance upon Christ. He's a brother in the Lord and we need to pray with him and love him.
There are accusations flying wildly right now. If, at the end of the day, Bowe collaborated with the enemy, by all means let the young man stand in front of a judge. But I don't know, and they don't know.
Did Bob and Jani express to you how they felt about their son being exchanged for five senior members of the Taliban?
They were expecting the uproar. Bob has been very active for years in saying that Bowe's release has to be connected to people leaving Guantanamo. Bob has been politically dogmatic saying that Guantanamo needs to be closed. Bob hasn't been quiet about it. Bob has said, "We've got to close Guantanamo in order to get Bowe home."
What is your hope in all of this?
What I'm trying to do is pour oil on troubled waters to call Christians back to focus on these brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to show mercy here.
Sheryl Blunt is a journalist based in Washington, D.C.