Who would Jesus torture?

First of all, I’d like to give kudos to Congressman Cooper for voting AGAINST the Bush torture bill which sadly did pass in the House.

I’ve always wondered how a leadership group who claims to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus can so easily justify shedding the blood of others in torturous methods. I’m not talking about waging war or killing others in the course of being at war. I’m talking about THIS.

I’d like to know how any exegesis of the New Testament can possibly be strained or pureed to the point where these folks can stand up and say with the best of their Christian hearts – ‘Jesus understands when we waterboard

I understand that Bush and his folks have a duty to protect us from terrorists. That is supposedly why we attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sadly, we seem to be losing ground on that front, along with losing our moral standing when we continue to endorse torturous behaviour. That’s not just me talking – progressive that I am – those are the the words of Colin Powell, and many others who would not be described as liberals or progressives.

I wish that the magazine ‘Christianity Today’ would make it to the bedstand of Bush and his Christian crusaders for a little nighttime reading. There’s a great article by a professor at Union University (in Jackson, TN.) The professor, David Gushee, writes in bold letters: 5 Reasons Torture Is Always Wrong. He finishes his article with a call to evangelical Christians:

It is past time for evangelical Christians to remind our government and our society of perennial moral values, which also happen to be international and domestic laws. As Christians, we care about moral values, and we vote on the basis of such values. We care deeply about human-rights violations around the world. Now it is time to raise our voice and say an unequivocal no to torture, a practice that has no place in our society and violates our most cherished moral convictions.

I ask ya again, Who would Jesus torture?



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4 responses to “Who would Jesus torture?

  1. Lee

    The so-called torture, according to The Guardian.

    ~ Induced hypothermia
    ~ Forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods
    ~ Sleep deprivation
    ~ A technique called “the attention grab” where a suspect’s shirt is forcefully seized
    ~ The “attention slap” or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage;
    ~ The “belly slap”
    ~ Sound and light manipulation.

    I’ve seen Sipowicz do worse on NYPD Blue. Not one technique draws one drop of blood, or does permanent damage, and could possibly save lives.

  2. Lee – I agree that some of the methods you/The Guardian describes hardly rise to the level of torture. I might disagree on the ‘induced hypothermia’, but by and large, that list isn’t overly offensive.

    Why would the Bush administration send detainees to ‘secret’ camps for interrogation out of our jurisdiction? We could certainly treat prisoners as described by your list without a great deal of opposition.

    Actually, I’m not sure why the Guardian thinks this is prescribed list. The language in the bill states:

    The legislation also says the president can “interpret the meaning and application” of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts.

    The list didn’t include waterboarding, which is a technique certainly already used by our ‘side’: “The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.”

    Not exactly NYPD approved.

    Again, The proposed legislation does not say what interrogators can do. Instead, it states indirectly, in amendments to the 10-year-old War Crimes Act, that those who cause detainees “severe or serious physical or mental pain or suffering” can be charged with a felony. This includes, according to the bill’s definitions, anyone who causes serious physical abuse, a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, burns or serious physical disfigurement, or a loss or impairment of “the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.”

    The bill would also replace an existing ban on interrogation practices that cause “prolonged” mental pain or suffering with a more sweeping ban on those that inflict “serious and non-transitory mental harm (which need not be prolonged).” This provision would be applicable only to interrogations that occur after the date the legislation is passed — and thus it would effectively immunize from prosecution CIA interrogators who have inflicted short-term but serious mental harm on detainees.

    So, perhaps some of the more egregious methods may be taboo, but the bill certainly leaves the possiblities open. The methods were not listed, so anything listed, whether extemely onerous or ‘torture-lite’ are speculative in nature.

    My objection is based on recent history and the fact that I no longer trust this administration to wage war on terrorism, or have a clear moral code for what defines torture.

    If we were serious about fighting terrorism, we would not allow the Taliban to become re-embedded in Afghanistan, with their ‘cash-cow’ opium trade.

  3. The reason Christians and any other religious people feel free to horrific things is because their god is on their side. Dostoevsky got it backwards, it should be, “With god, all things are possible.”

    This is because any religion can be used to justify pretty much any action. And since god never takes time out his busy day to disassociate himself from even his craziest followers, nobody can say the fundies are wrong.

  4. Lee

    Did I say you could post my comments at NiT? Huh?

    J/K, I’m more than cool with it.

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