Posts Tagged ‘Torture’

I read this morning that nearly half of the American people believe it is acceptable to use torture if it yields actionable information. I find this utterly abhorrent.

For you 50% I pray that you don't know the definition of torture.

Many or you who fall into this category call yourselves "Christian" and I ask you this: Would Jesus – "Mr. turn the other cheek" – ever condone imposing excruciating, unspeakably horrible, unending pain on another human being? Would Jesus ever say there is a proper time to connect a woman's labia to electric current or to deny sleep to a prisoner between sessions of waterboarding? If you answer "yes" then I suggest you find a way to unbaptize yourself because your view of Jesus is clearly different from Jesus' view of Jesus.

Some of you may not call yourself Christian – or even religious – and I want to speak to you also.

Can you not at least consider a moral code that respects the right to exist of every member of our species? Can you not acknowledge each human as worthy of being left without unspeakable pain? Can you not imagine yourself drowning, being slammed against walls repeatedly, having your genitals mutilated, being kept awake for days on end, being stoned to death, having your fingernails pulled out, and realize that such unspeakable acts inflict pain of which you cannot even conceive – and that a worldview that condones such acts in not even human?!?!

I hate terrorists as much as any American. I love America at least as much as most of you. I even waver in my support – and lack thereof – of the death penalty when I hear of the horrors that we humans can inflict in others. I want those who harm others to be punished. But there is a line beyond which nothing can pass – no moral system, no twisted ethics, no religion, no belief system – and that line is the purposeful infliction of excruciating pain – physical, mental, or emotional.

When half of our country is willing to cross that line then we are perhaps a state no better than the Islamic one called ISIL This can't possibly be the case. The greatest experiment in a society of liberty can't possibly have degraded to the level of one that accepts torture and denies the sacredness of the Geneva Conventions.

If you really believe that torture is acceptable then I beg you to reconsider. We have taken steps backward but surely not so far back as barbarism!!!

My good friend Donald Trump said that torture is terrible but when people are cutting off heads and drowning people in cages then waterboarding is fine with him and, if we have to go “way beyond waterboarding”, that’s OK.  He said he knows that some things are illegal but that in this case “maybe we need to change the law”.

The first part of Mr. Trump statement was right on: torture is terrible! The problem is that by immediately stating that he condoned it, his moral code is in conflict with his statement. This is something that comes from one of the worst artifacts of postmodernism, moral relativism.

If something is immoral it is immoral. A = A. Something cannot be “terrible” in one context and condoned in another.

Of course, perhaps Mr. Trump does not have a consistent moral compass. After all, he says that he is Christian; supposedly a follower of the teachings of Jesus. Then he says that he wants to punch a protester in the face. To be morally consistent with Jesus he should be “turning the other cheek” should he not. But, Mr. Trump is not a cheek turner.

He is absolutely right that we must stop ISIS as aggressively as possible. But what we consider to be “possible” must conform to the constraints of the Geneva conventions. ISIS may be a violent, immoral, horrific entity but the United States of America is not! Following ISIS in horrific, inhumane, unethical, tortuous violence just because such insane behavior is acceptable in their crazy theology will only make us as inhumane as they are.

Mr. Trump does not care. He simply wants to manipulate crowds. To condone illegal and immoral acts simply because he wants his fill of crowds and power, though, perfectly matches the fascist archetype.

All of us have moral failings of one sort or another. But, to condone the worst of all possible acts in one context and to say they are “terrible” in another is the worst one can display of a twisted moral compass.

The postmodern philosophers teach that morality and ethics are context dependent. But, ethics cannot depend on where you are or what you are doing. It must depend on being true to a consistent value system. When it comes to torture, any value system that does not respect individual human life is fatally flawed.

I hate ISIS. I hate Islamic Extremism. I have no problem killing people who behead, burn, and drown others in a theology of horror. We must do everything possible to eradicate them. But, as soon as we make torture one of the tools we use, we too take ownership for the twisted moral compass – this we must never let happen.

One more reason that Donald Trump is unqualified to be POTUS.