Pew poll: Support for torture highest among most devoutly religious

posted at 7:20 pm on April 30, 2009 by Allahpundit

Feast your eyes. Wonders Rod Dreher, “What on earth are these Christians hearing at church?!” No doubt Hitch would snicker and mumble something sardonic about the Inquisition, but I think the results probably indicate political correlation more so than religious influence. Evangelicals are more likely to be conservative and conservatives are more likely to support coercive interrogation, ergo evangelicals are more likely to support coercive interrogation; atheists are more likely to be liberal and therefore less likely to support it. In other words, the more interesting question may be not whether the Bible’s driving Christians to torture but why Christians are ignoring the Bible when thinking politically about this issue.

Or are they? Here’s what the Church’s Catechism says about torture:

2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.

Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.[90]

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Strictly speaking, torturing someone to gain intelligence isn’t “extracting a confession.” It’s being done to stop an attack, which is about as pro-life as you can get. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that you’re turning the other cheek in such circumstances. Your exit question: Is torture “un-Christian”?

Update: Another un-Christian result: Catholics support Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama, 50/28.


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Religious people now you can’t fool around with evil.

terryannonline on April 30, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Correction for my last post:

Religious people know you can’t fool around with evil.

terryannonline on April 30, 2009 at 7:22 PM

believer != pacifist wuss.

innominatus on April 30, 2009 at 7:25 PM

maybe along with Jews they’re rather tired of the torture debate being one way; they get seven kinds of hell brought down upon them for anything they do but the enemy gets understanding and credibility given to him and his barbarity. You can only turn your cheek so many times before you shove your sword in their stomach

Defector01 on April 30, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Not to mention there’s also those old thing biblical things about eye for eye, reaping what you sow, good and evil…

Rogue on April 30, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Catholics support Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama, 50/28.

Thank God. I was afraid it was going to be much worse.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 7:28 PM

In other words, the more interesting question may be not whether the Bible’s driving Christians to torture but why Christians are ignoring the Bible when thinking politically about this issue.

Obviously Catholic teachings don’t apply to protestants. But beyond that, the Bible treats the actions of individuals and the actions of governments (or those acting on behalf of governments) differently. Your criticism ignores the details Allah.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 30, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Bring out the rack.

faraway on April 30, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I’m without religion and I’m still a fan of torturing anyone who would help put another few thousand people in a burning building.

MadisonConservative on April 30, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood.

Right, anything but shed blood. Stretch ‘em, squash ‘em … hey, waterboard ‘em.

laelaps on April 30, 2009 at 7:32 PM

The Talmud says, if someone comes to kill you, kill him first. I subscribe to this attitude, as it is just common sense. I am also a big believer in the “best friend/worst enemy” approach to national security.

progressoverpeace on April 30, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Always the possibility that they realize that techniques such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation are not the moral equivalent of true torture. I know I would much rather be waterboarded “183″ times than have a limb amputated or see a child put in a rape room.

coyoterex on April 30, 2009 at 7:33 PM

This is not so irresistible or incredible. Christians understand the wrath of God……which makes human torture look like childs play.

Rovin on April 30, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Your exit question: Is torture “un-Christian”?

Yes.

Say three Hail Maries.

And thanks for protecting our country.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Olbermann is torture

faraway on April 30, 2009 at 7:36 PM

What’s worse? Knowing that many people will be murdered by a terrorist or waterboarding a terrorist to prevent it? If I were a stinking lib who had no dog in the fight, I’d say waterboarding. But I am not a stinking lib and I consider myself a Christian who has a dog (fellow Americans) in the fight, so I say waterboard away.

bloggless on April 30, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Waterboarding does wonders for the soul

faraway on April 30, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood.

The “Church” conveniently ignoring its own history.

jdkchem on April 30, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Evangelicals are more likely to be conservative and conservatives are more likely to support coercive interrogation, ergo evangelicals are more likely to support coercive interrogation;

Evangelicals are protestant.

canditaylor68 on April 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM

The Church is reaping the harvest of decades of bad catechesis,renegade “Catholic” politicians and pederast priests that taken together have lead the sheep astray and marginalized the voices of the shepherds.

Mason on April 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM

why Christians are ignoring the Bible when thinking politically about this issue.

The result of the poll are freaky. This is an excellent question.

Strictly speaking, torturing someone to gain intelligence isn’t “extracting a confession.” It’s being done to stop an attack, which is about as pro-life as you can get.

The torture of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheik Muhammed was done (at least in part) for the purpose of extracting a confession. BushCo. pressed hard to find a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda to validate their justification for war.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/66622.html

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

Update: Another un-Christian result: Catholics support Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama, 50/28.

Not a surprise. Listening to Obama ramble on basically constitutes torture, so it lines up with the first poll.

amerpundit on April 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

constantine, what a lie.

faraway on April 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Sitting through church is torture, so they can commiserate.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

constantine, what a lie.

faraway on April 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Shh…don’t feed it.

Harpazo on April 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Hitch sucks.

Not letting the jihadists get away pain free rules.

The Wall on April 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Is torture un-Christian? Yes I would say so, but waterboarding and caterpillaring is not torture.

Daemonocracy on April 30, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Sitting through church is torture, so they can commiserate.

Heh. You haven’t been 2 my church then. It is not at all torture.

terryannonline on April 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Sitting through church is torture, so they can commiserate.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Try being an altar boy with two priests who turned out to be molesters.

blatantblue on April 30, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

The big lie theory. Repeat something often enough and it is perceived as truth. President Bush did not associate Iraq directly with Al Quaeda. Iraq was associated with terrorism, as demonstrated by the fact that Saddam was making cash payments to the families of suicide bombers.

coyoterex on April 30, 2009 at 7:46 PM

The result of the poll are freaky. This is an excellent question.

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

It’s a question that implies a shallow understanding of several complex doctrinal issues. But thanks for seizing on it and announcing your lack of credibility or willingness to discuss the issue honestly.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Allah found the antbed to kick for today. Congratulations.

The Bible also allows for the lesser of two evils. Extracting info from a few can save many. Are we perfect? Nope. Are we trying to be? Always, but we know we’ll never reach that goal. And we often stumble.

Sometimes we don’t even allow ourselves to embrace the leser of two evils. Given the choice, many Christians didn’t vote at all last November.

rihar on April 30, 2009 at 7:48 PM

so, sorry to go off topic, but is charles at lgf going the jon cole way?

this may sound odd coming from me, since i’m a well known “moby” “concern troll” here to sabotage conservatives and everything, but charles just banned me for asking about his bizarre take on the dhs memo and the poplawski shooting (his take is pretty damn much the thinkprogress take) and then proceeded to lie about my handle being “the third sockpuppet for this troll” in the comments.

to bring it in order with this post, isn’t it strange that charles is adopting every smear-meme the left has to offer, but maintains a staunch pro-waterboarding position?

eh on April 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Is torture un-Christian? Yes I would say so, but waterboarding and caterpillaring is not torture.

Daemonocracy on April 30, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Having to listen to Barney on repeat, however, is an agony straight from the pits of Hell.

Harpazo on April 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

It’s a question that implies a shallow understanding of several complex doctrinal issues. But thanks for seizing on it and announcing your lack of credibility or willingness to discuss the issue honestly.
TheUnrepentantGeek on April 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Well, no.

Find something in the New Testament that justifies torture.

Good luck.

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Could it be Evangelical Christians are more likely to recognize that we are in a holy war with radical Islam than are atheists who think terrorists are just disenfranchised poor acting out of frustration?

Disturb the Universe on April 30, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Constantine:

The torture of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheik Muhammed was done (at least in part) for the purpose of extracting a confession.

Surprise surprise. And we are supposed to believe tha we WOULDN’T want to get a low-down on everything a terrorist mastermind planned? I would have thought the benefits of such would be apparent from even a routine knowledge of criminal persecution and legal deals.

BushCo. pressed hard to find a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda to validate their justification for war.

You mean OTHER than the violations of the ceasefire, the ethnic cleansing, Saddam’s CONFIRMED ties to AQ subsidaries, his financing of terrorism, his habit of shooting at Western Allied planes in the no-fly zone, his attempts to procure and create WMD and the components for it, his saber-rattling, and his continued violations of the UN?

If “BushCo” needed confessions from KSM and Zubaydah to add to those, they suffered from a worse case of self-doubt than anybody thought they did.

Turtler on April 30, 2009 at 7:53 PM

You mean OTHER than the violations of the ceasefire, the ethnic cleansing, Saddam’s CONFIRMED ties to AQ subsidaries, his financing of terrorism, his habit of shooting at Western Allied planes in the no-fly zone, his attempts to procure and create WMD and the components for it, his saber-rattling, and his continued violations of the UN?

Turtler on April 30, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Well, yeah, but besides those.

amerpundit on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

‘scuse me. i meant john cole, of balloon juice.

eh on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

charles just banned me

Welcome to the club.

to bring it in order with this post, isn’t it strange that charles is adopting every smear-meme the left has to offer, but maintains a staunch pro-waterboarding position?

eh on April 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Don’t try to fathom the mind of Charles Johnson.

Disturb the Universe on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Find something in the New Testament that justifies torture.
Good luck.
Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Find something in the New Testament that addresses torture at all. Even tangentially.

Good luck.

innominatus on April 30, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Not un-christian at all. I’m not a Catholic but non-denominational. I agree with your statement that saving lives is “as pro-life as it gets”.

youngO on April 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Wow, that’s an interesting way to frame it. Why don’t we commission a poll of what percentage of relgious vs. non religious people support the lowering of mandatory minimum sentences for crimes. And then we can release the breathless headline “Support for Allowing Hardened Criminals out on the Streets to Murder You and Molest Your Children Highest Among the Non-religious”. Sounds fair.

Kataklysmic on April 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

I love nonreligious people who think they know what is Christian and what is not. The Bible is VERY pro death penalty. And, while there are no specific examples of torture in the Bible – if it is your responsibility to protect the people under your governance – there certainly is no biblical command(s) or principle to forbid it.

What the “Church” believes is irrelevant. It has changed it’s mind so many times – anyone would be a fool to still believe that it speaks ‘Ex Cathedra’.

MYounger on April 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Is justifiable homicide Christian?

califdreamnred on April 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM

Find something in the New Testament that justifies torture.
Good luck.
Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

How about Jesus dying on the cross to save the world? That’s torture! That worked out pretty well don’t you think so? I do

youngO on April 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Is self-defense Christian?

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:01 PM

AP,

The devoutly religious also tend to be the fiercest defenders of America. Surely you can jump to more than one conclusion.

greggriffith on April 30, 2009 at 8:02 PM

1) “Turn the other cheek” is an instruction on interpersonal relationships, NOT about legal and military procedures.

2) I’m not entirely convinced water boarding is torture.

3) I do not believe that torture in order to extract a confession is Christian.

4) I DO believe that torture in order to extract information to prevent loss of life IS Christian (we’re pretty big on that whole “lay down your life to save others” type of thing).

Or, let me put it another way, if I was the person who had the choice to torture a suspect or not, I would rather answer God about the one person I hurt in order to save others than to answer God about the people I allowed to be killed.

Religious_Zealot on April 30, 2009 at 8:04 PM

I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes, — a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, — a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, — and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others. It was my unhappy lot not only to belong to a religious slaveholder, but to live in a community of such religionists.

-Frederick Douglass

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I am not at all religious and I vigorously support coercive interrogation and some things that lefties consider torture.

myrenovations on April 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

As my priest told me regarding warfare:

“We are called to be peaceful. It doesn’t mean we have to be nice.”

The sorrowful reality is sometimes it really is better to ask forgiveness than permission.

cadetwithchips2 on April 30, 2009 at 8:08 PM

There is evil in this world and we can either sit idly by and let it consume the world or we can fight it.

To be honest, it’s as simple as that.

Religious_Zealot on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

The poll that is coming is going to show youth demographic against torture.
Also, my cohort is grossed out by torture apologia.
That’s gonna leave a mark!
The GOP is now officially the Torture Party.
The Holy Steve Jobs himself couldn’t rebrand you troglodytes.

Jon Stewart: C’mon, Cliff. You’re trying to tell me waterboarding is not torture?

Clifford May: It can be — it certainly was when the Japanese did it.

strangelet on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Don’t try to fathom the mind of Charles Johnson.

Disturb the Universe on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

it seems to me that he bans so readily that one could get a good look at his mind by reading what’s allowed to stay up.

who are the commenters there? for instance, i’m an allahpundit fan, but there’s a difference between being a fan and being a toady. when charles kicks someone out, it looks like a scene from caligula: not only was the banning frighteningly arbitrary, but a chorus of toadies start crowing and hooting like they’re on the arsineo hall show.

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

O/T Mark Levine said that ABC has outed the psychologists that worked for the CIA about the enhanced interrogation tactics. Including names, pictures and where they work. I guess the left was determined to make more people pay for Ms. Plame.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Religious_Zealot on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

There is evil in this world and we can either sit idly by and let it consume the world or we can fight it.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.

The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.

And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

– Elie Wiesel

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:13 PM

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

It’s really quite sad, LGF was my first blog. I didn’t post there but I always read it.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Here it is:

The CIA’s $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations

This is despicable.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Abc news just outed the CIA interrogators. Pictures and all. Damn dirty traitors.

Zetterson on April 30, 2009 at 8:16 PM

The GOP is now officially the Torture Party.
The Holy Steve Jobs himself couldn’t rebrand you troglodytes.

strangelet on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

And yet I’d still rather be there than an appologist for and defender of terrorists.

You’ve got a twisted idea of who the good guys and bad guys are in the struggle this world is currently engages in.

Let me give you a hint: The good guys aren’t the ones who stone teenage girls for getting raped, or fly planes full of innocent civilians into buildings full of more innocent civilians.

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 8:16 PM

In other words, the more interesting question may be not whether the Bible’s driving Christians to torture but why Christians are ignoring the Bible when thinking politically about this issue.

This Christian doesn’t support torture, or preemptive war.

Is torture “un-Christian”?

Of course it is.

Rae on April 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Inerrigation psychologists who designed the process rather

Zetterson on April 30, 2009 at 8:18 PM

The “good guys” lose any claim to being good guys when they become torturers. What makes the good guys good is that they would never stoop to torture. If not, we’re left living in an Alice in Wonderland world where the host of a conservative blog can ask, apparently with a straight face, if torture is “un-Christian.”

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Why is this thread accepting the absurd premise that waterboarding is torture? It is that kind of logical acquiesence that allows for one to defend the indefensible.

Waterboarding is not torture.

anuts on April 30, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

So I guess the fact that Sadam and his sons terrorizing and murdering thousands of ethnic Kurds and all the attrocities that they committed on their own people doesn’t bother you? But, the left wants to cry and yell about Darfur and Tibet. Are the Iraqi people not deserving of liberation from a tyrannical and evil despot?

TXMomof3 on April 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Is self-defense Christian?

That is a question theologians have been turning over for centuries and arriving at different conclusions for just as long. And I’m not surprised Rod Dreher thinks he has the definitive conclusion. It’s why he finds liberalism so appealing.

Evangelical christianity leaves much to the conscience of the believer and trusts in an honest relationship with God to correct mistakes. And when mistakes are made you’ve got the whole forgiveness thing to back you up.

That said, I was once a pacifist evangelical. That ended sometime in late 2001. Don’t remember why exactly.

The Apologist on April 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM

it’s hard to argue that you’re turning the other cheek in such circumstances

I’m not a religious scholar, but even I know that the Jesus quote doesn’t apply to life and death situations. I’d expect that the “cheek turn” is supposed to say “here, I’ll let you slap my other cheek instead of bringing this to a death causing situation”. Anything above and beyond a cheek slap, you gotta f’em up like they don’t know what hit ‘em.

Buddahpundit on April 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:14 PM

so long as i’m in respectable company.

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM

That said, I was once a pacifist evangelical. That ended sometime in late 2001. Don’t remember why exactly.

Fear, probably. It makes people justify terrible things.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM

strangelet:

You again. Are you EVER going to defend your position or rebut me?

Anywhoo..

The poll that is coming is going to show youth demographic against torture.

And most of the “youth demographic” probably cannot find Kabul on a map or has ANY idea why WWI is so important to this current conflict (asides from perhaps some generic “the Brits unnaturally created artificial states, completely ignoring the larger picture of the Turkish Jihad and the role it played). If you are using THEM as an argument (which is a fallacy, by the way, popular approval does not mean something is correct), than you must be more desperate than I thought.

Also, my cohort is grossed out by torture apologia.

And that means WHAT, pray tell?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING save for the fact that you and your ilk don’t like something.

You’re going to actually have to use EVIDENCE here, pal. Got any?

That’s gonna leave a mark!

Not really. Nothing I wasn’t expecting.

The GOP is now officially the Torture Party.

Better the Torture Party than the Capitulation Party.

The Holy Steve Jobs himself couldn’t rebrand you troglodytes.

The facts that you

A. call Steve Jobs “Holy”

B. Talk about “rebranding” us (which means what, pray tell?)

and

C. Actually consider THAT a good argument

All show how absolutely little you have to back your tripe up.

Jon Stewart: C’mon, Cliff. You’re trying to tell me waterboarding is not torture?

Clifford May: It can be — it certainly was when the Japanese did it.

And here is where I differ from many of my fellow Neocons because I do believe that waterboarding is a form of torture- albeit one that is relatively mild when you measure everything up.

However, the claim that what we are doing and what the Imperial Japanese did are somehow equivalent shows how little you comprehend.

How many prisoners have we waterboarded? Let’s even assume that there are more that have not been disclosed.

Compare THAT to the hundreds of thousands of prisoners- both civilian and military- that the Japanese waterboarded.

And whats worse: they RARELY used it for actual interrogation. It was done for PLEASURE.

Along with the whippings, the forced labor, the beheadings, the shootings, the forced famine, the mutiliation, the deliberate crippling, the cannibalism on those still alive (I will not count those who were already dead, since that is not necessarily unduely cruel), and the widespread rape and “medical” experiments.

Yeah.

We’re JUST like the Imperial Junta’s men.

Turtler on April 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Eh. This seems like the same kind of liberal thing about the death penalty, and Thou Shalt Not Kill. You’re not spilling innocent blood.

Emily M. on April 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM

The “good guys” lose any claim to being good guys when they become torturers.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Care to start with the actual honest debate? You lose any claim to credibility when you start with a premise not even agreed upon by the participants.

I’ll start with this question: why do you believe waterboarding equates to torture?

anuts on April 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM

The “good guys” lose any claim to being good guys when they become torturers. What makes the good guys good is that they would never stoop to torture.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:19 PM

I always thought what made the good guys into bad guys was when they stopped standing up to the bad guys and just let them do their bad things to other good people unchecked.

You still haven’t changed my impression that you prefer terrorists (real bad guys) over conservatives (your imagined “bad guys”). But hey, if you gotta hate, I guess it’s easier to hate the people next door that wave to you on the weekends than to hate those people who do such horrible things so far away.

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM

It’s really quite sad, LGF was my first blog. I didn’t post there but I always read it.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:14 PM

One of my first also, but found that it seemed to lose relevance as time went on. Honestly cannot remember the last time I read there.

coyoterex on April 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Obviously that would be a personal call. I think what bothered/bothers me so much is that I considered Mr. Johnson brilliant. His ability to see lies and photo shop in the postings of MSM and of course his role in Rathergate was what drew me to the site originally. Now he would appear to be not unlike our current president, extremely thinned skinned.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Fill in the blank:

waterboarding:torture::crucifixion:__________

PaCadle on April 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

misunderstanding the Bible, Romans 13:4 gives the Civil Magistrate the ability to do such a thing as Waterboarding against evil doers.

The Bible also says:

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27).

“Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors [basanistais, torturers], till he should pay all that was due unto him” (Matt. 18:32-34).

“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain” (Rev. 16:10).

“Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13).

Put all this together, and what do we have? In the Bible, righteous men can dispense some pretty rough treatment. But it is never disconnected from the fixed limits of justice, and those fixed limits are defined by Scripture, and never by the sum of all fears.

“Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee” (Dt. 25:3).

but the assumptions of Christianity is this feminized Jesus that is not true christianity, at all.

jp on April 30, 2009 at 8:29 PM

The poll that is coming is going to show youth demographic against torture.

strangelet on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

thomasaur on April 30, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Why is this thread accepting the absurd premise that waterboarding is torture? It is that kind of logical acquiesence that allows for one to defend the indefensible.

Waterboarding is not torture.

anuts on April 30, 2009 at 8:21 PM

A good point. As it has been thoroughly argued sooo many other places I did not want to waste time rehashing the same stuff. For the record I agree that waterboarding is not torture.

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 8:31 PM

<blockquoteNo doubt Hitch would snicker and mumble something sardonic about the Inquisition

the Inquisition is not an example of biblical christianity, it is an example of evil.

jp on April 30, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Did you notice the wording “directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.” Sounds like the writer might think it’s torture also. I wonder if the media could go do a little investigating on where the heck our money is being spent.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:32 PM

I would buy the following arguments:

…that torture as an instrument of revenge is wrong and un-Christian.

…that torture as an instrument to procure a confession is wrong and un-Christian.

However, I do not buy the argument that torture as an instrument to extract information that will save lives is wrong and un-Christian.

Neither do I think that torture as an instrument to save lives is something that turns us into the “bad guys.”

That is an vastly overly-simplistic statement (“torture makes us the bad guys”) since it completely ignores the point that one person’s comfort is less important and valuable than another person’s life.

Religious_Zealot on April 30, 2009 at 8:33 PM

The poll that is coming is going to show youth demographic against torture.

strangelet on April 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

It’s a good thing that us old farts are are around to protect your sorry butts then.

thomasaur on April 30, 2009 at 8:33 PM

The Apologist on April 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Too few seem to use their conscience these days.

But, you consult yours. Bless you for remembering.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:33 PM

A good point. As it has been thoroughly argued sooo many other places I did not want to waste time rehashing the same stuff. For the record I agree that waterboarding is not torture.

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Having spent a good part of my youth in CA living near Newport Beach and body surfing everyday, I imagine I waterboarded myself dozens of times…lol.

coyoterex on April 30, 2009 at 8:33 PM

This is torture.

Greg Toombs on April 30, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Grow Fins:

Here we go again…

The “good guys” lose any claim to being good guys when they become torturers.

In that case, Churchill, FDR, Truman, and DeGaulle were not “Good Guys.”

What makes the good guys good is that they would never stoop to torture.

No. What makes the “Good Guys” the “Good Guys’ is that they are BETTER than the “Bad Guys” by a considerable margin. It is just that simple. Perfect? Absolutely not. Savory? No. But when you juxtapose the Western Allies with Hitler and tell me that there are no good guys, you have already fallen into the abyss of moral indifference that has spelled the doom of hundreds of millions of innocents throughout the past century and beyond..

If not, we’re left living in an Alice in Wonderland world where the host of a conservative blog can ask, apparently with a straight face, if torture is “un-Christian.”

So says the person who lives in the bright, candy-colored paradise where there is no gray and all is as it should be.

You never ask yourself if there may come a time when you must defend that little fantasy land, and if in doing so you must make some unpleasant (to euphemize the matter) choices.

And that is why you can not comprehend.

Fear, probably. It makes people justify terrible things.

And when it is your turn to stare down the barrel of the Kaiserriech, the Third Reich, the USSR, Maoist China, and Ho Chi Mihn’s ilk, perhaps you will find out why.

And as for your Frederick Douglass quote, are you saying there is no difference between those who cruelly exploit their fellow man for labor and those who torture to prevent an even darker, more perverse vision of that era from coming into being?

And I wonder who actually is in the wonderland.

I envy you, truth be told.

I would much rather to live in that paradise, that candy-colored heaven.

But one cannot when one recognizes the ugly truth of reality.

Turtler on April 30, 2009 at 8:37 PM

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

it could be that this is just his PEST syndrome, but the banning behavior was always there.

the thing about the “conservative hate radio made popwalski kill those cops” thing that disturbs me is that i know he covered incidents like the andrew mickel and matthew marren murders, but he never went so far as to endorse the idea that keith olbermann made them do it.

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Scrappy

I leave hatred to the experts.

I always thought what made the good guys into bad guys was when they stopped standing up to the bad guys and just let them do their bad things to other good people unchecked.

Pretty big assumption there. Torture (and yes, waterboarding fits most legal definitions of torture, hence Bybee’s legal highwire act trying to legitimize the illegitimate) hardly constitutes “standing up to the bad guys,” and of course you conveniently forget that confessions from torture rarely produce useful intelligence, that there are other more effective methods of interrogation, and that squandering our moral authority in the fight against terror produces greater negatives in the long run.

I’m sorry your impression is so skewed. Like I said, I don’t hate conservatives. I just find it incredible that conservatives actually defend torture. It’s really quite remarkable how far conservatism has fallen from its former associations with moral rectitude and traditional values.

But that’s what happens when you let the Limbaughs and Coulters take over your party, I guess.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Yeah, that borders on unhinged. I don’t go at all anymore.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Strictly speaking, torturing someone to gain intelligence isn’t “extracting a confession.” It’s being done to stop an attack, which is about as pro-life as you can get. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that you’re turning the other cheek in such circumstances. Your exit question: Is torture “un-Christian”?

Decontextualizer, thy name is AP.

Darth Executor on April 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Turtler on April 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Better the Torture Party than the Capitulation Party.

Thank you very much for that.

When we capitulate to terrorists who behead and crucify and torture those who do not submit, we guarantee that there will be more torture and terror.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:43 PM

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM

If the current POTUS changes the rules for his administration that is fine with me. I would never blame an attack on anyone but those who commit it because we have tireless professionals that truly do their best to keep us safe. That said, I do have a problem with Mr. Obama even hinting at prosecution of anyone for things that didn’t happen on his watch. It is a really really stupid precedent, especially just to pander to his crazier supporters.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:46 PM

On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that you’re turning the other cheek in such circumstances

You can’t apply teachings meant for individuals to the State.
BTW, liberals do that with things like forgiveness & generosity.

jgapinoy on April 30, 2009 at 8:47 PM

The Bible speaks strongly and specifically against both lying and stealing. During WWII a Dutch woman named Corrie Ten Boom and her family – devout Christians – hid Jewish people and were part of the resistance that transported many Jewish people to safety. In order to do this, they lied pretty much daily and stole from Government officials all the time. Both Corrie’s sister and father died in Nazi prison camps after they got caught. How many “Christians” would say that they “sinned” by doing these things that are clearly prohibited in the Scriptures. Certainly not this one.

LauraV on April 30, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Sorry, blood still boiling over that one.

It seems that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism for some, treason is.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

and they’re still lying about it.

this one says they know for a fact that that i was banned from no quarter. i don’t think i’ve ever commented there, and no quarter doesn’t even require registration to comment!

eh on April 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

So says the person who lives in the bright, candy-colored paradise where there is no gray and all is as it should be.

Thanks for your heartfelt and eloquent response. But you apparently see only two choices–torture or capitulation. Yes, there is a gray area between those two extremes. There are other alternatives to torture.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Sorry, blood still boiling over that one.

It seems that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism for some, treason is.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 8:49 PM

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