“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” – George Orwell
So let me say some very obvious things about torture:
The only reason to torture another human being, or to order or enable torturing, or to defend those who indulge in it, is evil in the heart. That’s the only reason.
- Is it to promote American values, or ‘freedom’? It does not do so, not in the least. “The Founders” wrote against it for very good reasons. (They were obviously morally superior to us in some important ways.)
- Is it for revenge? “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord,” and the Lord says that precisely in order to keep us from taking it into our own hands.
- Is it for hate? Sorry – that’s a Devil-reason.
- It is NOT for information. The information you get from your torture victim is what EVER that victim thinks you want to hear – to make the pain stop. It is utterly unreliable.
- Is it to intimidate? It incites greatly increased hatred, including especially among those who were not tortured but know it’s being used against their friends, relatives, fellow partisans, or fellow countrymen. Further, it is often used “without discrimination” so that you know you may become a victim of it regardless of your total innocence. So you may as well become guilty BEFORE they get you.
- Do people defend it because they so thoroughly trust their leaders? Well, having read the sentences above should have clarified some of the qualities of those “leaders”.
There are rationalizations for torture; there are degrees of torture; there are ways to try to avoid the issue. But these are real human beings we’re dealing with here – both the torturers and the victims. Torture is the way of evil. It is the way of those who hate the human race. It is the way of those who put Jesus on the cross. It is the way of Satan. It ought not to be the American way. If our nation’s moral immune system is working at all, we will speak against and reject those who practice and require and enable and defend torture.
“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” — and surely of those who claim to be Christian.
To answer your question, HBK, yes God’s people have become so complacent that they would tolerate the evil of torture. My neighbor is an Evangelical Christian who just yesterday told me (via Facebook) that he is pleased with President Bush’s 8 years in office because Bush has advanced causes that are very important to him – Support of Life Issues, Prosecution of illegal porn, for example – and Bush has presided by principles and not polls. I wonder where Bush’s principles were when he was allowing the torture of prisoners in Abu Grhaib and Gitmo??
I agree 100% with the comments above. The churches in America should be very vocal in their opposition to this, but they’re not. They seem to care more about abortion and homosexuality, which are important issues, but not the ONLY ones on the table. I often wonder if some churches approve of our government outsourcing torture because “they’re terrorists and they deserve it.” Nowhere in the bible did the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, or the apostle Paul ever condone torture. Have God’s people become so complacent that they would tolerate this kind of evil?