Appearing on Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher back in 1998 (well before she was the Republican nominee for Senate from Delaware) Christine O'Donnell made the now widely noted declaration that she would not lie under any circumstances (a lie being disrespectful to reality), even if she found herself in the position of hiding Jews from Nazis during World War II.
As transcribed by Think Progress:
O’DONNELL: A lie, whether it be a lie or an exaggeration, is disrespect to whoever you’re exaggerating or lying to, because it’s not respecting reality.
MAHER: Quite the opposite, it can be respect.
COMEDIAN EDDIE IZZARD: What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, ‘do you have any Jewish people in your house?’ and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler.
O’DONNELL: I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that!
MAHER: God is not there. Hitler’s there and you’re there.
O’DONNELL: You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out.
Put aside for a moment the burgeoning arrogance of presuming to know what God would or would not do. As a colleague of mine pointed out to me, this is a genuinely offensive remark for its implications about the people who really did lie to protect Jews during World War II. Were they bad Christians for lying? Or is the fact that God put them in a position of either lying or letting innocents be killed an indication that they were already bad Christians? Or does O'Donnell believe that she alone would get this special treatment from God?
And there are larger questions. If there are no circumstances under which you can bear false witness, are there circumstances under which killing is OK? If so what makes killing more permissible? And if not does that mean she opposes U.S. efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world?