1.22.2009

Torture and Faith


Disclaimer: The following is one person's opinion and not necessarily yours or any organization's. It belongs to the author, alone.


Some people carry around the tag "American" like it is a woeful burden. Not me. I love my country. I always have. However, there are times when my country's government does things that are hard to accept, times that seem shameful.

I was hopeful that the previous administration would have ended the dreadful practice of torture and inhuman interrogation. However, I had to wait until our current administration to see such an injunction come to pass. I am glad that the president signed the injunction and hopeful that our country can leave such madness behind.

What does this have to do with faith?

Faith should remind our leaders of basic moral rights that God gave to every human being. Without faith, I worry how our moral compass will work. America has faith and should look to its faith(s) to inform it s policies.

No matter where you are at politically, I believe that the idea of torturing another human being should shock and nauseate. It is sad to me that America would allow things to be done to other humans that we have outlawed against animals.

The notion that national security is a legitimate reason for such acts is also an inadequate reason. For, every act of torture lessens us as human beings. No matter what an inmate has done, does he deserve to be treated as less than an animal - like a lab rat? Additionally, can we really expect good to come as a result of an evil deed?

Martin Luther King JR said,

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
This nation has unprecedented dangers and threats to respond to. It is our government's responsibility to keep its citizens safe. However, we must be careful not to violate our most intrinsic values in the process of securing our lives and our liberty. we cannot achieve morality through immoral means, and if we do, what have we really gained?

We have tried for years now to pursue a means of securing our nation that resembles the tactics of Jack Bauer more than the high ideals of our greatest spiritual leaders. As a person of faith, I am thankful for the wise and moral decision of our current leader, and I am not alone in this gratitude.

So, what do you think of torture and faith's role in the conversation?

2 comments:

adphish1 said...

How much do we have to sacrifice our integrity in order to maintain the hope we have in our freedom?

watchman said...

I am sure proponents of the practice believe that the end justifies the means. However, this is difficult for me to believe. It seems to me that we have sacrificed our own values and standards in such an act.

In order to protect America, we need to ruin America? I don't get it.

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