No American has been unaffected by the events of the past seven years, starting with the morning of September 11, 2001. The nation and the church are polarized and seemingly paralyzed by our government's actions since that time, especially with regard to the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the extraordinary treatment of suspected terrorists and "enemy combatants." For my part, I make no bones about my opposition to much of what has been done and, to the extent I am aware of things, how. To the best of my ability, I try to think about these things first as a Christian, but that impels me at the same time to leave room for the possibility that others with whom I most vigorously disagree might also be attempting to do the same. In any case, my interaction with Scripture has been deeply affected by my perceptions of attitudes of many Americans and even professed Christians toward torture and warfare, in the name of national and even cultural preservation. This is the backdrop for my reading of the Gospel of Matthew for this essay. I first present and discuss some recent polling data to establish a perspective and then turn to some observations about the framing of the Sermon on the Mount for a response.