In the relative security of their campus chapel, a group of students at Boston University School of Theology (United Methodist) conducted a memorial service for the late Ho Chi Minh. In particular Ho was praised for having “lived and fought for the freedom of people all over the world.” We must ask, however, whether this included freedom for the North Vietnamese who disagreed with some of the policies of the Ho regime. In America there is considerable freedom to disagree publicly with our government’s policies regarding South Viet Nam. Is there comparable freedom in North Viet Nam?

The memorial service was also held to protest against the military and business leaders of our country for having “caused the death of thousands of brothers in America and Viet Nam.” Was there any protest against Ho for having caused the deaths of tens of thousands—probably hundreds of thousands—of his countrymen? (The United States came to the aid of South Viet Nam with the intention of preventing that kind of slaughter from happening there.) Would it not have been more fitting to hold a memorial service for the victims of Ho rather than for their murderer?

But then we have come to expect a perverse sense of ethics from many theological schools. It is not surprising that those who have seemingly abandoned any authority outside their own preferences and prejudices can fashion an imaginary world in which wrongs are to be righted, not by doing right but by doing wrong. And so these theological students can accuse American leaders of mass murder while memorializing a North Vietnamese leader who has practiced it. When those who accuse the U. S. government of immorality proceed to set forth Ho Chi Minh as the ...

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