Christians who support torture are loathsome. Does that make me want to stop going to church? No, it makes me want to vote Constitutionalist or Libertarian. Because Christians who support torture are slaves to Pharisaism and the worldly lust for power, I say get them out of power for their own sakes. Give me a bloodthirsty pagan emperor, if you have to, but stop maligning the name of Jesus Christ.
We live at a time where Americans, completely uninformed by an incurious media and enthralled by vengeance-based fantasy television shows like “24”, are actually cheering and encouraging such torture as justifiable revenge for the September 11 attacks. Having been a rescuer in one of those incidents and personally affected by both attacks, I am bewildered at how casually we have thrown off the mantle of world-leader in justice and honor. Who we have become? Because at this juncture, after Abu Ghraieb and other undignified exposed incidents of murder and torture, we appear to have become no better than our opponents.
Some of the commenters at Evangelical Outpost like to whine about how sanctimonious and self-righteous it is to denounce waterboarding when an online commenter is not in the position of victim, interrogator, or the friend or family member of a victim. That, however, is precisely the point. Perhaps, under duress, I would torture someone I didn’t care about to save someone I did–because in that situation, I might completely ignore any moral or ethical considerations.
Not being in that situation, however, we can consider the moral implications. And if, under ideal conditions, someone urges us to dehumanize another person on the grounds that God demands it in principle, even if it is contrary to our conscience . . . well, I just have to say that they have gone beyond the bounds of any religious loyalty for me. I have no problem saying that such a person has no integrity, no Christian witness, no credibility, and no respect from me. They aren’t just wrong, they are dishonest and corrupt.