Moral Contradictions

Friday, September 30, 2005

Torture

Bruce over at Mainstream Baptist links to a great column concerning how torture is a controversial topic.

Call me a liberal, but I grew up reading stories about Vietnam and World War II where the enemy tortured us... yet as I read those I kept my head up high because I knew as Americans, we were above that. The enemy appreciated us once we they were taken prisoner and realized that they were in better conditions than before. Maybe I filled my head with propaganda, but that's what I was led to believe.

I am perplexed that those who seek to turn this country into a Christian Nation aren't saying anything about the systematic tolerance and even encouragement of the use of torture. Just because they terrorists are trying to do something bad doesn't justify torture. Sure, I'll be the first to admit it, my gut reaction, if pressed enough, might even support torture. I still remember the feeling that overwhelmed me as my dad drove me to the airport in DC and we crested a hill on 395 where all of DC and the Pentagon can be seen - of seeing that gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon, a place where my dad, in his capacity working for the Navy, frequented. I seethed inside as the question played over and over in my mind of "how dare they?".

But what part of Christianity is based on our gut reaction?

I'm proud to be an American - I consider myself blessed to have been born here. However, I grew up thinking that we held ourselves to a higher standard - that no matter how depraved an action was taken against us, we would not stoop below that standard. Yet I was wrong.

Jesus calls us to a higher standard - to overcome our natural instinct of revenge and supplant that with grace. Grace doesn't come naturally, yet standing against torture should.

I certainly thought that the idea would repulse most Americans, especially Christians - yet I was wrong.

As I commented over at MB, God will not judge us on how good an American we were. He also judges sins for actions that we did not do - and I truly believe that implicitly supporting terrorism by not coming out against it is wrong.

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