Torture

There’s been a lot of talk about torture lately, with some people
arguing that we should never torture based on our moral standards, and
others saying that it is a necessary evil and must be kept up if we are
to protect ourselves.

Ironically, it’s the right, known for containing a majority of Christians, who are arguing for torture.

So here’s my question: how can you claim to be both a Christian and a supporter of torture?

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  1. on the face of it this is very easy ,,a eye for a eye,a tooth for a tooth,if you remember the muslim fanatics were blowing up passenger planes all the time then for some reason one got blown up right outside suadia arabia,then the planes getting blown up came to a standstill in europe,every week in iraq some american was getting his head chopped off then the american mercenaries started operating in iraq and the beheadings stopped,it's too bad that some people have to have their nose shoved in it before they understand, that shit really is shit

  2. But isn't the Christian message the opposite of an eye for an eye?

  3. Christ seems to have said exactly that in that oh so famous passage.

  4. but i ran out of cheek's.but you are right and the need to find a peaceful answer is always first and foremost.but when you see your desire for peace is seen as a weakness over a period of years what is your reaction

  5. That my character is being challenged and I'd rather stay true to myself than to act out of fear. In trying to protect myself, I might lose myself.

  6. I'm not seeing how its very easy on the face of it unless you're completely discounting the New Testament, which would be a sin as the Bible clearly instructs neither to add nor take away one word. You know, in that fairly substantial and hard-to-miss document that came after the Old Testament Jesus Himself lays out a new and unequivocal Commandment "That you love one another as I have loved you". Later, in Romans (Ch.12 v.14 to the end of the chapter) there's even further clarification. "Bless those who persecute you. Bless and curse not". And "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord". Then we have that whole sticky Golden Rule thing to ignore as well as the warning to hypocrites about removing the log in their own eye first.I think, to answer the original question, you can't be a supporter of torture and be a Christian. Again, references in the bible clarify this, that there will be many false prophets and that the devil comes disguised as an angel of light. Neither can you be a Christian and support murder and killing, regardless of how much you hate those being killed and their offspring. I'm certain there's an Old Testament Commandment about "Thou shall not kill". I can't recall a caveat after it that says "Unless you really want to".Interference in the culture, religion and nation of others is not biblical; the bible is simply skewed by the devils disguised as angels of light. And so it goes that allowing personal and uninformed, unenlightened prejudice to effectively take the control out of the hands of God is also sin. There will be millions of fake Christians who meet each other in Hell after Judgment Day. The bible says so. Giving God His orders is not prayer; it is blasphemy. When you recklessly murder another human in the promotion of your national interests it is sin nonetheless. Supporting murder is equally as sinful because the bible says "God knows the hearts of men". You don't have to be the one pulling the trigger, dropping the bomb, or piercing the testicles of a bound and bloody captive to be guilty of the sin. It's a good question that should be asked more often of those who promote death, destruction and the creation of millions of orphans after slaughtering their 'collateral damage' parents. There are many different means of torturing someone. Ask an orphan who lost their parents to an invading army; they may wel feel tortured for the rest of their days.I liked your reply, lightandstorm.

  7. Confirming my suspicions that many Christians support the use of torture in these sorts of cases.http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/index.html

  8. We are not a Christian nation. Christianity is not our national religion, and we do not govern according to Christian dictates. Thank God for that! Because, whose version of Christianity would rule? If yours, then we would lay down our arms and quickly be overrun by those with disdain for our faith.

  9. Okay, out of curiosity then, how does your version of Christianity permit these sorts of acts?

  10. Fair question.I assume you mean acts like water boarding, sleep deprivation, insults, etc. Recently I viewed the movie Body Of Lies, which implied America regularly does such things as smash fingers, break limbs, and beat people to death. I'm not supportive of those kinds of tactics. It is clear that Jesus is not teaching an ethic for national defense or international relations. He is kingdom building. His people are not of this world. However, as our first allegiance is to God and not man, we are instructed to render unto Caesar. Besides, "turn the other cheek" I do not think means stand there and let someone beat you to death, and especially is not license to stand idly by and let someone else be beaten to death. The Bible is a bloody book. Many acts of warfare are attributed to the command of God. It is a complicated read, a difficult interpretation, little is cut-and-dried concerning a Christian philosophy of war.If psychological tactics and physical restraint will result in the saving of innocent lives, then it is a price worth paying. Let me ask you: If you could prevent a 9-1-1 catastrophe through waterboarding of a murderous enemy combatant who has been captured, would you? Surely you would not skirt around the matter and not give a direct answer!

  11. I do agree that Jesus's message was not about how to run our governments, nor that turn the other cheek means to stand there and let someone beat you to death.I think it was about the attitude or position represented in turning the other cheek. A willingness to face a difficult situation without fear, and instead to still be generous, outflowing. It does imply the lack of attachment to self-preservation (since that is a subtle manifestation of fear and separation)…and the whole purpose of government is self-preservation…so I grant that we are immediate tension with regards to how we should act as a nation.But I still think we should take that advice not to act out of fear seriously. Firstly, the terrorists succeed when we do. That's the whole point, to instill terror. And when we let that terror control our actions, we let them win. Secondly, reacting with aggression may worsen the situation. Those people who hated us, now have even more reason to hate us, as we've been torturing the people they care about. It makes us more deserving of an attack, since revenge is an easy emotion to follow. Essentially, we proved them right. And as our fear grows, so does our willingness to depart from ordinary morality…which is a scary path in itself. That said, there still may be conditions where this sort of thing is warranted. After all, as you point out, the government is in the business of protecting its citizens, and it may need to take certain measures to do so. But if and when we act in this sort of way, let us stop for a moment and make sure that we *are* taking the best step, and not just reacting.I guess for me the important thing is our position, the psychological place *we* are at when we make decisions. And part of the reason I don't agree with what Bush did is because it's evident that they acted out of fear. Rice has even come out and said so, and, from my perspective, Bush himself just exuded feelings of fear and insecurity.If we are going to do something drastic, we need to have a better reason that the fact that we are scared.

  12. Should a Christian support torture?Christians often live in conflict with the world around us. At this present time this conflict is clear when it comes to the question of torture. Some in authority around us would have us believe that torture is an acceptable means for gathering information, especially when someone labeled a terrorist holds that information. However as Christians we are bound not to accept that argument.In the following paper I will look at the reasons I believe that Christians should not support torture.Humans Made in God’s Image.In Genesis 1:27 we are told that human beings are made in God’s image. We are, according to the Genesis story, the special creation of a loving God, further in Genesis 9:6 this principle is extended (by implication) to all human beings. Christians have always considered that God has endowed us with certain inalienable rights and that God shows us the value of humanity, firstly, in creating us and, secondly, in becoming one of us in the Incarnation.Because a human being is of infinite worth to God we cannot disfigure, torment or harm another person also made in God’s image and also of infinite worth.Do not vex the Stranger in your midst.Time after time the Old Testament reminds us that God has a compassionate concern for the vulnerable in our midst, the widow, the orphan, the stranger all these are recipient’s of God’s special interest. God condemns any form of injustice that further marginalizes these already hurting folk who are at the mercy of the society around them.We are called to recall our own vulnerability and to remember that we too were once strangers in a strange land, lacking support and seeking justice rather than injustice and oppression. (Ex 22:21; Ex. 23:9; Lev. 19:33 & 34; Deut. 10:18-19.)All human life is God’s gift.We are reminded in Psalm 139:13; Psalm 22:10 and Jeremiah 1:5 that all human beings are formed in the loving concern of God. All those who live and move and have their being do so in the grace and compassion of God. When we deliberately damage them, as we do in torture, we mar and afflict the plan of God for these folk; we sin against them and against God who brought them forth from the womb alive.Further torture fails the test of the Great Commandment to love others as we love ourselves and is condemned in Matthew 25: 31 ff., where Jesus quite clearly says that when we hurt, afflict and torture someone we are doing it to him. Again, torture is a breach of 1 Corinthians 13 and a profound failure of morals.Moreover torture does not just warp the tortured but also the torturer, in ordering the torture of a human being we are responsible not just for damage done to the victim but also to the person who is our tool in carrying out the torture.We turn, by accepting torture, ordinary human beings into sadists and potential murderers for information that most often is given solely to stop the pain being inflicted. As well torture inevitably affects the moral standing of the society and nation which allows it. Once begun it is difficult to stop, one used on ‘terrorists’ from outside of a society, it is hard not to use it on dissenters within the society.In summary then, torture demeans and damages humans who were purposed by God, who are loved by God and for whom Christ lived and died. It is a breaking of both Old and New Testament commandments and a damage to the moral structure of both individual human beings and the society that uses and enables it. For these reasons I do not believe that a Christian can ever support torture.

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