Who Would Jesus Torture?

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Published in

The debate on what is and is not torture has been raging for awhile, and since they feel like they are the last bastion of moral decency, several evangelical Christians have decided to weigh in on the issue. To start off with, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission came right out and said the follow:

"I don't agree with the belief that we should use any means necessary to extract information," said Land. "I believe there are absolutes. There are things we must never do under any circumstances.

"For me the ultimate test is: Could I, in good conscience, do whatever I am authorizing or condoning others to do? If not, then I must oppose the action. If I could not waterboard someone--and I couldn't--then I must oppose its practice."

"I consider waterboarding torture," Land said. "One of the definitions of torture is that it causes permanent physical harm. I can't separate physical from psychological. And I can't imagine that being repeatedly subjected to the feeling of drowning would not, in some cases, cause lasting psychological trauma."

A very bold stance. On the other hand we have former Republican presidential candidate Jack Gary Bauer asking the always important question WWJT? Who Would Jesus Torture:
"There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn't do because he's the son of God," hesaid. "I can't imagine Jesus being a Marine or a policeman or a bank president,for that matter. The more appropriate question is, 'What is a follower of Jesuspermitted to do?'"

Bauer said the answer is "it depends" — but the moral equation changes when the suspect is not a soldier captured on a battlefield but a terrorist who may have knowledge of an impending attack. He said he does not consider water-boarding — a form of interrogation that simulates drowning — to be torture.

"I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information," Bauer said.
Call me crazy, but I don't think that the guy who (allegedly) died from one of the most cruel tortures ever conceived by mankind would be in favor of waterboarding. Maybe Mr. Bauer's Bible doesn't include that whole Beatitudes. I guess it's too un-American.

All of this back and forth must be confusing because recent polls show that the more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists:
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
I guess after sitting through an hour long sermon, waterboarding doesn't sound so bad.

(0) Comments

Leave a Response