Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Does Jesus Stand On the Use of Torture?

Of all the ridiculous pronouncements of misguided people claiming to speak for all real, Bible-believing Christians, none is more offensive to me than the statements of Christian leaders such as James Dobson in support of the use of torture in the interrogation of suspects in the war on terror. We ministers decry the loss of moral absolutes in our culture and condemn the amoral situational ethics that pervade our society. But when push comes to shove, we play the hypocrite. If torture works and gets us the information we need, than we're all for it. What kind of theological gymnastics allows any thinking person to confuse the ethics of Christ with such barbarism, whether sanctioned by the state or not? Gee, if waterboarding doesn't work anymore, maybe we could crucify a few. That would do it.

God, forgive us, your confused and worldly people.

5 comments:

Shane Vander Hart said...

Good thoughts.

I guess it begs the question though... what do we consider torture?

I'm against torture for moral and pragmatic reasons.

I am somewhat on the fence about waterboarding only because no actual physical harm is done, but I'm also not going to advocate for it either.

Is sleep deprivation torture? If so I was tortured during Basic Training. I think we need to be care as to what gets labeled torture.

Drew Hill said...

Interesting question, Shane. From what I have read, I think waterboarding certainly qualifies as torture. I'm not comfortable with splitting hairs over which forms of torture are morally acceptable and which are not. I know that governments do what governments have to do, including ours. What I can't accept is the effort of some to say that Christians should support such practices as consistent with our faith and understanding of scripture. I can't go there.

These are difficult verses to misinterpret or explain away, yet many try to do just that:

You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Annie said...

I don't understand why President Obama is even revealing the torturous methods used when Bush was President. What does he gain from it?
I believe torture is wrong, in any form. And the public should be informed but I tend to think revealing this info is not constructive at all. I think it just provokes more hatred. And just because the 'other guy' is doing it, does not make it right.

Drew Hill said...

Annie- I don't pretend to know the President's motive or strategy, but the truth is what needs to be told, so that our government can admit what other countries already know, and so that the policy can be changed.

Christy said...

I know that the enemy comes to steal kill and destroy but God says he came that we could life and life more abundantly. God is not into torturing anybody but the devil and he did do that when he went to the pit of hell and beat the devil up and took the keys from him. Get that, he don't even have the keys to his own kingdom anymore, Jesus took them from him. Ha Ha!!! Torture is of the enemy, no matter what. God brings love and the devil brings hate.