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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liberalism = envy

liberalism = reward the lazy and un-innovative

liberalism = judgmental, except when the light of truth shines on them

Ris4victory on April 30, 2009 at 10:49 PM

But while you are enjoying your orgy of anti-racist moral righteousness, could you tell me where in 1845, you would have found a less racist society? Could you point me to a country that treated Jews better? Could you point me to a country besides possibly the UK where people were treating each other better?

What “orgy”? You wrote it. I pointed it out? How is that an orgy? Don’t you find it contradictory that on the one hand you say we committed “genocide” and yet only the UK was less racist? You make no sense.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM

I think that polls would also show that conservative religious people who believe in the limited acceptability of torture also believe in the rightful use of the death penalty. Conservative religious people believe in evil, and that evil people can and should be punished, especially if it means that it will save the lives of innocent people.

mydh12 on April 30, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Oh, and still waiting on your alternative methods….. how many times do we have to ask you?
Interrogation without torture. How many times do i have to answer?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:40 PM

Wow, utterly mind blowing. thanks for being so specific.

I’m done. there is no talking to this moron. I’ve tried for far too long and wasted too much of my evening. Your DISHONEST method of “debate” is not worth my time.

goodnight

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Scrappy

‘Night.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:55 PM

Can these leftists ever answer a simple question????. What are your methods of extracting information if you don’t approve of waterboarding? With the Taliban getting close to Pakistan nukes it would not be far fetched that your city GrowFins could be blown up so don’t laught it off. We were surprized with 9/11 and lets not be surprized again. Again what methods would you use?

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Dear Turtler, Scrappy, Religious_Zealot, thuja, njcommuter and others:

Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful posts in this difficult thread. Turlter and Scrappy in particular for your many contributions. It’s so good to see people of different backgrounds working together for the greater common good.

And now, I must leave my computer for a while in order to break one of Joe Biden’s recommendations for surviving the flu pandemic. I must… ah… go in confined place.

Loxodonta on April 30, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Thanks, and likewise

Scrappy on April 30, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Those other methods work…. I just don’t know what they are

/sarc

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Grow Fins:

I am interested in your answers to two questions. I understand that there are many thoughts, statements, and questions thrown your way so maybe you didn’t see them in the confusion. Here they are:

1. How did you arrive at the conclusion that waterboarding is on the level of severe pain and suffering that constitutes torture?
2. Have you seen the several videos of reporters and many protestors who voluntarily get waterboarded?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

anuts on April 30, 2009 at 11:00 PM

What “orgy”? You wrote it. I pointed it out? How is that an orgy? Don’t you find it contradictory that on the one hand you say we committed “genocide” and yet only the UK was less racist? You make no sense.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM

I’m making perfect sense if you actually read history. The world has been a brutal place and much evil has occurred. You may want to read the Tanakh, which is called the Old Testament by Christians or Thucydides “History of the Peloponnesian War” or the Roman Historians like Livy or a history of Khmer Rouge Cambodia or Bartoleme de las Casas or a history of Islam or ad nasium to get an idea about where the human race has been.

I’m sorry that the world doesn’t live up to your personal fantasies of perfection as an member of the American middle class, but that doesn’t excuse you from trying to make the best of the world we actually live in.

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:00 PM

What “orgy”? You wrote it. I pointed it out? How is that an orgy?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Simple minded accusations of racism are no better than 17th century peasant yelling witch. It takes no more intellectual sophistication and it seems to bring the same pleasure.

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:03 PM

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

This is from the party that promotes the murder of unborn babies? Wipe the blood of the unborn from the obama’s fangs.

Kjeil on April 30, 2009 at 11:07 PM

What “orgy”? You wrote it. I pointed it out? How is that an orgy?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Fins you picked on this comment as a distraction

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Next the leftists would want to make post abortion legal but yet they have no qualms on seeing cities blown up so they can hold up to their ideal of not torturing folks who want our ruination. Still they can’t answer specifically.

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Ironically, I’m now watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which the good guys attempt torture to extract information. (The good guys use of torture is restrained as is appropriate.)

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:14 PM

1. How did you arrive at the conclusion that waterboarding is on the level of severe pain and suffering that constitutes torture?
2. Have you seen the several videos of reporters and many protestors who voluntarily get waterboarded?

Ok. Point 1. earlier, I posted the UN Convention on Torture, which was championed by Reagan, which says in part:

For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession . . .

Does waterboarding cause severe mental or physical pain? Severe mental or physical suffering? Andrew McCarthy of the National Review and director of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism doesn’t think so (no surprise there), but says the line is so fuzzy and gray that “waterboarding is close enough to torture that reasonable minds can differ on whether it is torture.” I guess where you fall is a matter of conviction and disposition. I suspect we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Point 2. Yes I have, but I think being waterboarded by a friend is qualitatively different thatn being waterboarded by an enemy. The folks who run the SERE program agree.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:15 PM

I am waiting for your specific methods Grow Fins?

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Fins….you have stated it essentially does not work. Where are the stats in which you base your opinion?

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:20 PM

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Fins doesn’t know them.

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:21 PM

You’re wrong…when it comes to Pew resist is exactly what you should do.

Pew=PU

Rocks on April 30, 2009 at 11:21 PM

Simple minded accusations of racism are no better than 17th century peasant yelling witch.

How is my pointing out that when you write:

I would argue America was great in 1845 for the opportunities it provided many people despite the fact it was committing genocide against the native Americans and enslaving people based on skin color.

you are drawing an arbitrary distinction between “people” and those who are being enslaved and exterminated? Reread what you wrote. Those are your own words. Did you mean something different?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Ack. Sorry, a sentence missing after “How is my pointing out that when you write:”, which should read “an accusation”

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:23 PM

By the time Fins figures it out how much of the United States will be standing? He probably faults the sailors at Pearl Harbor for shooting back at the Zeros during the Japanese attack. Still waiting fins.

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM

BHO is a documented proponent of infanticide.

So WTF is BHO’s issue with gagging a slob like KSM with a few generous gulps of water?

BTW, after his waterboard so-called “torture” sessions, KSM went back to his cell, had a shave and a hot shower, enjoyed dinner and dessert with his fellow psychopath jihadist inmates, and spent the rest of the evening watching re-runs on Al-Jezeera TV, finally retiring late after mumbling a few chants from his taxpayer provided koran.

No broken bones. No tissue damage. No bleeding or blood loss. No cuts. No bruises. No scars. No nothin’.

He deserves no sympathy.

StimulateTHIS on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM

stats

Stats? I know of no “stats” that measure effectiveness of torture vs ‘regular’ interrogation. All we have is the testimony of those who have been there.

For example: Retired Air Force Col. John Rothrock headed a combat interrogation team in Vietnam argues that there aren’t “any professional intelligence officers of my generation who would think this is a good idea.” And Army Col. Stuart Herrington, (military intelligence) interrogated prisoners in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq says torture is “not a good way to get information . . . They’ll just tell you anything to get you to stop.”

That’s just two. Need more?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:29 PM

FINS and there are people who have the opinion that it works

In other words you have nothing

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:30 PM

Fins is sensory deprivation ok?

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/07/sensory_deprivation/

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

He probably faults the sailors at Pearl Harbor for shooting back at the Zeros during the Japanese attack. Still waiting fins.

Nope, not me. Those Zeros asked for everything they got. But I’ve already answered your question. Interrogation doesn’t have to rely on torture to be successful. Ask any military intelligence officer or police detective.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

Jamson64

Who?

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:32 PM

No broken bones. No tissue damage. No bleeding or blood loss. No cuts. No bruises. No scars. No nothin’.

He deserves no sympathy.

StimulateTHIS on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM

While I totally agree that he deserves no sympathy, we need to be a little careful here, and not say “No nothin’”. It’s a little to close to the medieval idea if you don’t cause bleeding, it’s ok. We don’t torture the common criminal and I sure don’t want to start that.

That he deserves no sympathy is because he’s a savage who wants to commit genocide against us. It’s not because of what we are doing.

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:34 PM

It doesn’t surprise me at all. Humans crave moral absolutes.

Non-Christians take their moral cues from popular opinion, and often reject a lot of traditional moral absolutes, (particularly those about sex). The word “torture” has such negative connotations that it’s not surprising secularists latch onto it as an easy moral absolute, and tend to reject any nuance.

Christians however, accept God as the source of morality. Thus they approach torture as being evil because God has forbidden hurting people. But just as the clear commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has a self-defense and defense of the innocent exception, Christians apply a similar attitude towards “torture”. They have enough moral absolutes in their life that adding that nuance doesn’t disturb them.

Sackett on April 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM

But I’ve already answered your question. Interrogation doesn’t have to rely on torture to be successful. Ask any military intelligence officer or police detective.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

But you are obviously factually wrong here or else we wouldn’t have waterboarded.
Is it too much for you to think through obvious implications?

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Hmm CIA agent says waterboarding works:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=3978231&page=1

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Yo Grow Fins.
I was affiliated with the 525th MI in Vietnam in 1969-1970. Anyone familiar with the various interrogation techniques knows that you don’t rely soley upon the “confession” of a single detainee. You collaborate “testimony” of multiple detainees to arrive at a probable version of the “truth”. The intelligence we gathered for II Field Force Vietnam Combat Command was invaulable and saved many, many GIs. There’s no doubt in my mind, and in my hands-on experience, that it worked.

StimulateTHIS on April 30, 2009 at 11:39 PM

Fins you gave names of people with opinions. I just gave one based on a quick google that disagrees.

Again can we use sensory deprivation in our interrogation?

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:40 PM

What type of interrogation methods would you use? I hope you would use toughter questions then the press does on asking Obama questions. Would the type of questioning they use on Law and order be too tough on these terrorists? Just wondered specifically what type you would use?

garydt on April 30, 2009 at 11:41 PM

Is tickling allowed….just wondering? How about subjecting them to severe flatulence? Would that be ok.

Sorry it is late

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Fins so you have stood up to Obama and his past stance on infanticide right??

Jamson64 on April 30, 2009 at 11:44 PM

It doesn’t surprise me at all. Humans crave moral absolutes.

Non-Christians take their moral cues from popular opinion, and often reject a lot of traditional moral absolutes, (particularly those about sex). The word “torture” has such negative connotations that it’s not surprising secularists latch onto it as an easy moral absolute, and tend to reject any nuance.

Christians however, accept God as the source of morality. Thus they approach torture as being evil because God has forbidden hurting people. But just as the clear commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has a self-defense and defense of the innocent exception, Christians apply a similar attitude towards “torture”. They have enough moral absolutes in their life that adding that nuance doesn’t disturb them.

Sackett on April 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM

I’m the exception to everything Sackett says, but there is quite a bit of truth to what Sackett says. I’m less morally absolute-ish than just about any human being–really on par with Nietzche or Richard Rorty about the contingency of morality. Yet, I see secularist and liberal Christians and Reformed Jews all around me embracing opposition to “torture” as a moral absolute.

Can’t we stop using moral absolutes as a way of avoiding serious discussion? Do we really think that after serious conversations about what we should do next, we’ll do worse than simple-minded following of rules?

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:50 PM

liberalism = envy

liberalism = reward the lazy and un-innovative

liberalism = judgmental, except when the light of truth shines on them

Ris4victory on April 30, 2009 at 10:49 PM

It’s a good thing you’re not judgmental like those darn liberals!

orange on April 30, 2009 at 11:58 PM

I haven’t read the article or the comments…

But could it be that if you go to church you don’t have such an ambiguous opinion of right and wrong. It is easier to see truth if you are used to looking at it.

petunia on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Find something in the New Testament that justifies torture.

Good luck.

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. – Rom 13:15

Now you find a verse that justifies “luck.”

TMK on May 1, 2009 at 12:22 AM

Most posters here do support torture. I don’t think that’s open for debate. Read the many threads on this topic over the past two weeks and I think you’ll agree, the overwhelming sentiment is, ‘good, I’m glad we did it’. A few brave souls (Turtler springs to mind) try and parse the circumstances to justify their support of waterboarding in ‘certain,’ ‘rare’, ‘not to be used lightly’ situations (quite what those are is never explained without recourse to the inane ‘24′-inspired fantasy of the ‘Ticking Bomb’), but most aren’t quite so, er, nuanced.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Again, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I don’t think that word (torture)means what you think it means. An unpleasant activity that military personnel in training, liberal activists, and journalists have all been willing to undergo, and not experience lasting adverse effects from, cannot rightly be called torture. Of course it is unpleasant, but so are many other things in life. After raising three daughters, I considered changing diapers torturous at times, but I will not submit their names to Spain for prosecution for making me go through something unpleasant. =)

Then again, many of the same people decrying it as torture also insist a baby is not a baby if it is inconvenient, adults that volunteer for military service are unthinking children, and that murderers have their life when they show no remorse about having deprived their victims of theirs.

coyoterex on May 1, 2009 at 12:34 AM

Your point is facile. The Bible is complex and layered. On this subject, I still refer to a point made by Alan Keyes when accosted by a lib. He pointed out that Jesus did not contest Pilate’s power to put him to death, he said that it came from God: “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” (Jn 19:11)

Because the goal of government is to provide for order and safety of communities, God has from its establishment, given those that guard the wellbeing of others, the power to punish and even put others to death. Personal devotion has no such requirements for stability. When you’re turning the other cheek, and “resist[ing] not evil” the goal is not to have any particular outcome but to share in Christ’s suffering and sacrafise–to become more like him, even to the point of death.

Government and sanctification have two different purposes. That’s one layer of complexity you’re missing, but the other is the tension between what God sets out as an ideal and what he requires. Turning the other cheek is nothing that is demanded of us, but it is something that each of us in our devotion can willing surrender to God. We won’t be on target as long as we cling to our wellbeing, but if you think that’s a problem, you’ve probably missed the part about forgiveness of sins and tolerance for our failings, as well as Jesus as our advocate before the Father.

Of course, you’re probably thinking that this does not relate to the “Jesus you know”, who had nothing to do with the historical founding of governments. Then it’s not the Bible we are disagreeing with it is the isolated nicey-nice (and he wasn’t) “Historical Jesus” that we are disagreeing with. Of course, you wouldn’t be taking in the largest source of what Jesus might have said. He did more than tell people to be nice to each other, but let people know that they were witness to momentous events that God had unfolded over time. This complex context of scripture informs Jesus words to Pilate.

Now in a republic, the power is with the people. So therefore the terrible power that was bound up for the authorities, is distributed among the people. As such, it rests on our shoulders to foster order and safety in caring for our fellow citizens. I can turn my cheek, but I can’t in good conscience turn yours for you.

Sorry that it isn’t quite as simple as your two-point gotcha’ scheme. The details of dealing with the full range of sin is messy, and probably more of the Bible is about that uneasy reality. Taming others is not as conceptually simple as taming ourselves.

Axeman on May 1, 2009 at 1:29 AM

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”?

Is war un-Christian?

Not to me. Kill to stop killing. Use of force begins when the intentions of the enemy to destroy you becomes clear.

I turn the other cheek when survival is not threatened.

Christ warned of the consequences of many actions. He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. Nothing is free. And the price of freedom may be the sword can never be sheathed once taken out. So be it. That is not the same as being thrown in a lake of fire on Judgment Day for being a pedophile

Christ singled out lawyers (Pharisees) and hypocrites for his wrath, the rich for their peril, and the sword wielder for the burden they assume

I find the level of extraction used to prevent further 9-11′s ok. Pulling off fingernails not ok. The rack,not ok. Putting a loaded gun to the head of an enemy combatant to get fast information ok. To play that game for 20 years on one human, not ok unless the rotation of the earth is threatened. Then it is ok. etc

A favorite minister, a former combat marine, remarked people do not always behave properly and may require convincing which sometimes requires the use of a two by four or an M-16. That is my Christianity

I would not fit well at Notre Dame, but I am not a Catholic so no problemo

entagor on May 1, 2009 at 2:49 AM

If torture is okay against suspected terrorists, why not other suspected criminals? Why not use it to get mafia types to give up their cronies without having to cut them a deal? Am I missing some big moral distinction between torturing a Jihadi suspect and torturing a Mafioso suspect?

Mark Jaquith on May 1, 2009 at 3:11 AM

Mark Jaquith on May 1, 2009 at 3:11 AM

If torture is okay

Who said torture was okay?

fronclynne on May 1, 2009 at 4:07 AM

If torture is okay against suspected terrorists, why not other suspected criminals? Why not use it to get mafia types to give up their cronies without having to cut them a deal? Am I missing some big moral distinction between torturing a Jihadi suspect and torturing a Mafioso suspect?

Mark Jaquith on May 1, 2009 at 3:11 AM

Nice strawman there.

I don’t seem to recall the mafia flying airliners into skyscrapers, truck-bombing our Marine barracks or foreign embassies, or trying to sink our warships, nor are they likely to use chemical or nuclear weapons provided they could get their hands on them.

There is quite a moral distinction, and you should know it. We better start fighting this enemy like we intend to win, or start getting fitted for turbans, like Obummer and all the leftards want us to.

GrayLoess on May 1, 2009 at 7:12 AM

Waterboarding and sleep deprivation are harsh but they are not torture. The tactic being employed is to call it torture often enough so that the word (torture) is permanently affixed to the act (waterboarding) and becomes commonly accepted. A cheap trick that works on weak minds. Unfortunately, the last election proved we have no shortage of those.

SKYFOX on May 1, 2009 at 8:30 AM

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”?

“Turning the other cheek” (Matt. 5:39) is not a direction to governments or their agents not to punish or prevent evil. It is directed at individuals in the context of how to behave in civil society, not war or life-and-death situations.

Speaking of context, the illegal combatants we have in captivity HAVE NO RIGHTS, and as their captors WE HAVE NO DUTIES toward them. They are on the same level as pirates and terrorists: enemies of humanity. As stated in the US Army Field Manuel c. 1944, they should be tortured for information then shot.

We can blow em to bits with a JDAM, but we can’t kick em in the balls?

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 9:05 AM

I am not terribly surprised, really.

People who acknowledge a definite, external definition of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ (which is where it truly comes from) are IMO much more likely to recognize that evil people doing evil deeds need to be stomped on like the cockroaches they are, not mollycoddled as if they were little more then rebellious children.

Dark-Star on May 1, 2009 at 9:29 AM

They are the most sadistic people you will ever meet, the religious, they need skygods to attempt to restrain their nasty thoughts and this imposition of will from without causes repression that leads to passive agressive actions such as zealous support for many things that “God” supposedly scoffs at, that is unless “he” is doing it. The death penalty is another good example, plenty of people have been found innocent due to DNA testing, which just shows the flaws in the system, but they won’t let that get in the way of their bloodthirst.

But I would like to qualify that waterboarding is waterboarding. Calling it torture is degrading to Nam POWs imho.

But could it be that if you go to church you don’t have such an ambiguous opinion of right and wrong. It is easier to see truth if you are used to looking at it.

petunia on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Don’t mistake “truth” for your large intestine.

LevStrauss on May 1, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Then again, many of the same people decrying it as torture also insist a baby is not a baby if it is inconvenient, adults that volunteer for military service are unthinking children, and that murderers have their life when they show no remorse about having deprived their victims of theirs.

coyoterex on May 1, 2009 at 12:34 AM

Actually, since Obama supports killing children that survive abortions via “exposure” I would love to see someone ask him if it would be ok to “torture” a terrorist by leaving him naked in a fullly exposed cage?

18-1 on May 1, 2009 at 10:40 AM

I would bet the church was thinking of something worse than collar-grabbing and dunking when it wrote that policy.

And even if playground behavior (dunking, shoving, playing with bugs) is torture, the Church accepts the need for nations to exercise power in defence of their citizens. We didn’t take KSM to a church for interrogation, the church doesn’t have to ‘allow’ it.

hawksruleva on May 1, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Speaking of context, the illegal combatants we have in captivity HAVE NO RIGHTS, and as their captors WE HAVE NO DUTIES toward them. They are on the same level as pirates and terrorists: enemies of humanity. As stated in the US Army Field Manuel c. 1944, they should be tortured for information then shot.

We can blow em to bits with a JDAM, but we can’t kick em in the balls?

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Actually, it is more then that.

By treating terrorists as POWs, or as we often do BETTER then POWs, we encourage Islamists – and any other enemies we face in the future – to use such tactics.

You face a good chance of dying if you face the US military either as a soldier or a guerrilla fighter. Going after civilians though your odds of surviving are much higher.

So, why wouldn’t you go after aid workers, election officials, etc? If captured, the worst the US will do to you now apparently is hold you for a couple months before letting you go.

If we *at a minimum* guaranteed execution to terrorists and their ilk it would provide a solid reason to get them to abide by the norms of war.

It is fundamentally immoral to not execute captured terrorists (and pirates for that matter).

18-1 on May 1, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Yup, we Christians are really bad people! We simply believe it wrong to stick a vacuum into a viable babies head and suck it’s brains out, then dismember it while calling it a “fetus” the whole time in a “planned parenthood clinic” while at the same time we think it’s probably OK to pour a little water on an evil prick who wants to kill as many Americans as possible. I see where the left has a problem with us…

sabbott on May 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM

/

sabbott on May 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM

So, in other words, Christians are all that stand between Americans and death at the hands of jihadis?

gwelf on May 1, 2009 at 11:10 AM

So, in other words, Christians are all that stand between Americans and death at the hands of jihadis?

gwelf on May 1, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Welcome to 674 AD. What was that quote about history again?

18-1 on May 1, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.

Torture
Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices [amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations] 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.

Americans do not torture captured terrorists with indiscriminate amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations. Christians do not condone that torture.

Waterboarding is another matter, not of itself classified therein as torture.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 11:41 AM

So, in other words, Christians are all that stand between Americans and death at the hands of jihadis?

gwelf on May 1, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Yesterday’s archived video on population demographics relates the information that Muslims are the fasting growing population globally, the fastest growing religion globally, overtaking Catholicism in number, and political influence.

Making concessions to radical Islam only speeds up the end result.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 11:46 AM

But I’ve already answered your question. Interrogation doesn’t have to rely on torture to be successful. Ask any military intelligence officer or police detective.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

…and I have, my nephew spent almost 2 years at Gitmo interrogating.
Some where “soft”, and they spilled their guts and we made huge leaps in understanding and developing plans to counter act what we found out. He never, himself, used the advanced techniques, his was more civil and almost all the detainees were treated with respect, and honor as long as they co-operated, and they almost all co-operated.
Most were more then happy to spend the balance of the “war” in safety.
Some others, who had more important information, were treated relative to what information they were holding back, and the importance of timing of this information.
You have a simplified view, you think they just walked in and begin the advanced techniques at a whim. This was after many hours of observation, and of regular interrogation.
Combined with others who stated, not under any duress, what these particular men knew, and how important that specific information was.
This was a long process, each one handled differently, and only a few of the many hundreds, ever reached these “advanced” techniques.
He can’t say what was found out, but he said the sad part is that it will be twenty years or so, and then we will realize how close we were to several more disasters, how much stronger they would have become, if the military did not enforce all the techniques they had at hand.
Indeed, it is now pretty well shown, because of the lack of effort of the administration to pursue this foolish line of “torture”, that the techniques worked, and the discomfort of a few, saved the lives of thousands.
A pretty good trade off…and not as “simple” as you think.

right2bright on May 1, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Well, no.

Find something in the New Testament that justifies torture.

Good luck.

Constantine on April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Ridiculous. Find something in the New Testament addressed to government interrogation of terrorists.

Good luck.

The scripture’s directives to governments and individuals are not the same, obviously, because they are different entities with different natures and different responsibilities.

This issue is complex and the reductionist nonsense on display here discredits you.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I’m the exception to everything Sackett says, but there is quite a bit of truth to what Sackett says. I’m less morally absolute-ish than just about any human being–really on par with Nietzche or Richard Rorty about the contingency of morality. Yet, I see secularist and liberal Christians and Reformed Jews all around me embracing opposition to “torture” as a moral absolute.

Can’t we stop using moral absolutes as a way of avoiding serious discussion? Do we really think that after serious conversations about what we should do next, we’ll do worse than simple-minded following of rules?

thuja on April 30, 2009 at 11:50 PM

No, because you’re evil for advocating for TORTURE!!!

It’s so very blessed easy to rest secure in your moral superiority on an issue. Way easier than the hard work of reasoned discussion. But people have competing needs – the need to be accepted by their peers and the need to feel good about themselves. Taking the easy position while parroting arguments they haven’t bothered to work through themselves is way less effort and it answers all of the needs.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Nope, not me. Those Zeros asked for everything they got. But I’ve already answered your question. Interrogation doesn’t have to rely on torture to be successful. Ask any military intelligence officer or police detective.

Grow Fins on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

Appeal to misleading authority.

While the authority is an expert, his opinion is unrepresentative of expert opinion on the subject. The fact is that if one looks hard enough, it is possible to find an expert who supports virtually any position that one wishes to take. “Such is human perversity”, to quote Lewis Carroll.

Expert opinion is insufficient for this issue. Empirical research or nothing.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 12:25 PM

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.

I don’t understand why we keep needing to explain ourselves on these issues. Maybe Michelle should write something on this since you seem to respect her.

As I’ve said repeatedly, there’s nothing at all moral about letting thousands of people die because you’re too arrogant to make someone uncomfortable. That’s not about revenge, it’s about helping someone else out.

“Turn the other cheek” is a commonly misunderstood verse. Back then it was used as an insult, akin today to me flipping someone the bird, or, more accurately, making them, make me flip them the bird. It was nonviolent, yes, but it wasn’t passive or submissive.

We’re not ignoring our Bibles. We’re actually reading them. There’s a huge difference.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM

A fine article on the subject.

From that article:

Did it work? The current evidence is fairly compelling. George Tenet said that the “enhanced interrogation” program alone yielded more information than everything gotten from “the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together.”

Michael Hayden, CIA director after waterboarding had been discontinued, writes (with former attorney general Michael Mukasey) that “as late as 2006 . . . fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al-Qaeda came from those interrogations.” Even Dennis Blair, Obama’s director of national intelligence, concurs that these interrogations yielded “high value information.” So much for the lazy, mindless assertion that torture never works.

Scrappy on May 1, 2009 at 1:12 PM

What our CIA and military were doing was NOT torture and that’s why Christians are in favor of it! So the premise of the title of this story is false!

CrusaderPatriot.com

CrusaderPatriot on May 1, 2009 at 1:14 PM

“Turn the other cheek” is a commonly misunderstood verse. Back then it was used as an insult, akin today to me flipping someone the bird, or, more accurately, making them, make me flip them the bird. It was nonviolent, yes, but it wasn’t passive or submissive.

We’re not ignoring our Bibles. We’re actually reading them. There’s a huge difference.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I’m quite interested in this topic. Could you refer me to where you learned this? Thanks!

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 1:18 PM

I’m quite interested in this topic. Could you refer me to where you learned this? Thanks!

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Ditto. I hadn’t heard that.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 1:22 PM

“Turn the other cheek” is a commonly misunderstood verse. Back then it was used as an insult, akin today to me flipping someone the bird,

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM

While I might agree with you that Judaism and Christianity are historically not a pacifistic religions I disagree with you on this point. From what context are you referring to in history. I’m unfamiliar with it.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. – Matthew 5:38-40
Are you saying that the proper interpretation of this verse is that Christ is telling his followers to not strike back but to insult?

Reading the bible in context cannot mean what you say it does.

By looking at the text it is quite clear that Christ is saying just the opposite. Before he suggests turning the cheek he explains the contrasting response he is rejecting which sounds more like your suggestion. And if someone were trying to steal my tunic, how could I possibly be insulting him by giving him my coat as well?

shick on May 1, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Without reading the rest of the comments:

The entire subject of “torture” is a false-front issue designed to allow social progressives to posture as moral giants without them having to lift a finger to acquire anything resembling genuine virtue.

The word itself begs the question, which should properly be “What tactics are allowed while interrogating high-profile terrorist prisoners who might possess information regarding imminent terrorist attacks?” Interrogation is clearly legal, although some tactics used during interrogation might be more violent than we’d like to approve. By using the word “torture” in the question, Pew Research ensures moral grandstanding by those who choose their moral criteria based on what will make them look best in the eyes of others.

Since people of genuine faith have a better grip on real moral precepts than those who lack any universal moral underpinnings, they are less susceptible to manipulation by morally-flexible exhibitionists using the topic to congratulate themselves. This would explain why deeply religious folks might have more thoughtful positions in the aggregate than those who have less-firmly-established beliefs, who are by that fact necessarily more prone to draw their moral cues by watching others.

philwynk on May 1, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I’m quite interested in this topic. Could you refer me to where you learned this? Thanks!

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 1:18 PM

In church actually. Many of us study the cultural context in order to better understand what the Bible actually says. I learned from several who even studied the Bible in its original languages.

Still, I can point you to some more information that further explains this.

http://dharmagates.com/other_cheek.htm

But in that world, people did not use the left hand to strike people. It was reserved for “unseemly” uses. Thus, being struck on the right cheek meant that one had been backhanded with the right hand. Given the social customs of the day, a backhand blow was the way a superior hit an inferior, whereas one fought social equals with fists.

This means the saying presupposes a setting in which a superior is beating a peasant. What should the peasant do? “Turn the other cheek.” What would be the effect? The only way the superior could continue the beating would be with an overhand blow with the fist–which would have meant treating the peasant as an equal.

My analogy is a bit off, but it did intend an insult to the person by turning that cheek. It wasn’t at all about just allowing yourself to be beaten further, and it’s a shame that it’s been reduced to that by people who haven’t looked into the complexity of it.

Continue reading at the link, as it addresses other issues, such as “giving your clock to one who sues for your coat” and “going the second mile.” Many of these have been misinterpreted for years. Christians aren’t just to be sheep for slaughter. We can resist.

You can also see wiki.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 1:32 PM

And if someone were trying to steal my tunic, how could I possibly be insulting him by giving him my coat as well?

shick on May 1, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Other way around actually. Someone is trying to steal your coat, the thing you only have one of because you are so poor, and you offer to give him your other garment as well, your cloak, stripping yourself naked, which insults the person looking at you, not yourself.

By turning the other cheek, you’re demanding to be treated as an equal, that’s the insult. It’s as much an insult as Rosa Parks sitting in the front, same concept.

It is a nonviolent form of confrontation, but it doesn’t mean the person is just to take the abuse without fighting back.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM

In church actually. Many of us study the cultural context in order to better understand what the Bible actually says. I learned from several who even studied the Bible in its original languages.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Off topic, but it’s my duty to sometimes be obnoxious to Esthier. All Jews are expected to study the Bible in the original language.

Anyway, Esthier I read the material you provided. If you happen to think of any other information about this, please send me email at vayikra at ymail.com. Perhaps your pastor could suggest an intellectually serious book which discusses the topic.

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 2:06 PM

After looking through almost all the comments on this thread (whew!) I conclude that if the Grow Fins of this world had been in charge in 1776, there never would have been a Declaration of Independence or a Revolutionary War. After all, they were mainly Christians (contrary to the revisionist history touted in our propaganda schools these days). Why didn’t they just turn the other cheek and beg King George to tax them more? Or skipping ahead, why would Christians along with others believe so strongly against slavery, that they were willing to fight against it? Or skipping ahead, why were Christians willing to fight in World War I (suggest you study Sgt. York or easier, watch the movie), or skipping ahead, why were Christians willing to fight against Hitler in WWII? They could have just turned the other cheek and let Britain go down the tubes. And, as someone has said, why did we shoot back at the Japanese and declare war? What an unChristian thing to do!/
Isn’t it interesting that the more we force God out of our culture the more of this criticism of Christianity by the left. This waterboarding question would not even have been a question if it weren’t for the blame-America-first left. Before, the SCOTUS banned God from the public square, it wouldn’t even be questioned. But now the left loves to try to make all Christians out to be hypocrites. And they love to tell us what being a Christian means.

Christian Conservative on May 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

We have a Constitution for these reasons. First the articles, and then the amendments, are meant as strategies to achieve this group of goals.

Thus the proscription against “cruel and unusual punishments” is one of these strategies. Those practices most centrally conflict with “justice”, but by extension “perfect union”, and has some arguable effects on “domestic tranquility” and perhaps “general welfare”. But the last are tenuous because they are fallout of the conflict against “justice” (and perhaps as a threat to the general welfare) and how the delivery of justice affects those things.

More perfect is under emphasized by the ideologue. Letter perfection on the line items of the Constitution is not the goal. The goal is a better balance that does all the following better. Or it might be a simple statement that the separation of powers outlined in the document forms a more perfect union, better than Britain, better than the Confederation…. In either case, it’s more reflected in the 5 principles that follow it.

But even on it’s own, the phrase is not the idealists’ “perfect” but “more perfect”, which acknowledges neither a perfected understanding nor a perfect record of following every stricture, just tries to get close.

If you let somebody kill your country there is no more “union” regardless of perfection, no domestic tranquility, directly goes against the goal of a defense and doesn’t secure anything. How close to the letter you followed your strategy to what punishments are inflicted doesn’t even enter into it, you’re not even around to administer justice. That’s not our situation, though, but it is one of the reasons that Lincoln stated that the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

We have a situation where in order to avoid “torture” we might have to deal with cataclysmic deaths visited upon the people of our country. It’s not 1) more perfect, 2) there’s little domestic tranquility, 3) it’s not a defense, it’s not in the 4) general welfare and also doesn’t 5) “secure” many blessings for anybody.

It needs to be remembered that the Constitution actually reserves the right to counteract the rights it normally recognizes for the people in times of war. Thus, you are not required to house soldiers in times of peace, and the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended in cases of “rebellion and invasion” when the public safety may require it.

Of course, we have reasons for construing rebellion and invasion as narrowly as possible, but they both happen on our soil.

When you are dealing with an organization that can equal the largest enemy attack on American soil, the difference between Japan as a country and Al Qaeda as a network, fades to academic pallor. It is both the equal to war, and not yet a war that can be officially declared against anything. We can narrowly define “war” and we can update the concept to things just as deadly and just as threatening. In one sense, justice is not accomplished by clinging to a rigid academic definition that lets your neighbor take his life in his hands every time he goes to work.

You can only shame me with “torture” by my conscience recognition of the similarities. However, I’m a complete idiot if I don’t have the similar dictates of conscience to my fellow citizens. So Suzy Barker is incinerated OR gets to see herself plummeting 80 stories to avoid the pain of asphyxiation and incineration so that we didn’t put a caterpillar in somebody’s cell or didn’t dribble water down somebody’s nose to stop a similar attack. How big of an ideot do you want?

Axeman on May 1, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Off topic, but it’s my duty to sometimes be obnoxious to Esthier. All Jews are expected to study the Bible in the original language.

Anyway, Esthier I read the material you provided. If you happen to think of any other information about this, please send me email at vayikra at ymail.com. Perhaps your pastor could suggest an intellectually serious book which discusses the topic.

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Even New Testament stuff?

But anyway, if Esthier would mind linking books or discussion or anything please do. It’s an interesting topic.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Jabba does not do god but loves torturing mice and shooting communists. Does that put him beyond the pale?

Jabba The Cat on May 1, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Hey, thuja, again, thanks for having my back last night. It was unexpected, but greatly appreciated. It just blows my mind that Liberals would care more about the “rights” of a terrorist than the lives of their friends and families.

kingsjester on May 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Hey, thuja, again, thanks for having my back last night. It was unexpected, but greatly appreciated. It just blows my mind that Liberals would care more about the “rights” of a terrorist than the lives of their friends and families.

kingsjester on May 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM

The Left does not want to understand our current predicament. If they can just pretend that the only evil we face is just ourselves, everything is so much simpler.

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Off topic, but it’s my duty to sometimes be obnoxious to Esthier. All Jews are expected to study the Bible in the original language.

Of course, and within my father’s lifetime, at least at his church, Catholics were taught in Latin, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

But I realize that’s in response to my earlier comment, which was poorly phrased.

Perhaps your pastor could suggest an intellectually serious book which discusses the topic.

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Very likely. He’s a former pastor, as I moved out of town, but if I’m able to get in touch with him, I’ll share whatever he has. I’ve saved your email.

But anyway, if Esthier would mind linking books or discussion or anything please do. It’s an interesting topic.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 2:32 PM

I’ve thought so. I’m glad I’m not alone on the topic.

Esthier on May 1, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Other likely explanations:

a) those with religious faith are less likely to be swayed by arguments based on superficial moral equivalence;

b) those with religious faith are less likely to be swayed by moral fashion;

c) those with religious faith are less more to believe in evil and therefore to understand the importance of defeating it.

pussum207 on May 1, 2009 at 3:20 PM

The Left does not want to understand our current predicament. If they can just pretend that the only evil we face is just ourselves, everything is so much simpler.

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Well said. We do face evil in ourselves. But how would that manifest itself? We might hurt our neighbors. If we take it for granted that our neighbors are hurt by evil in ourselves as well as evil from without, the pristine conscience is not as valuable as not realizing the ends that are primarily what we worry about.

Obsession with a pristine conscience is a sort of narcissism and self righteousness. I’d wager that it’s a modern day Pharisaism. The Pharisees didn’t walk on grass on the Sabbath just to make sure they weren’t doing some equivalent of “work” (threshing and planting), but they burdened others with their fine interpretations. Jesus said “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders”. (NASB Mat 23:4)

Axeman on May 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Life frequently requires us to make choices not between black and white but, instead, between several fluctuating shades of dark gray.

I postulate that ‘deeply religious’ people have well-defined moral boundaries, with fairly fixed points of reference. Hence within that adopted framework it is easy to decide whether something is very good, good, marginally good, questionable, marginally bad, bad or very bad.

For less-religious people it is, perhaps, harder to decide where lie the lines between the shades of morality; the only thing certain about liberalism is the uncertainty of its shifting moral boundaries.

YiZhangZhe on May 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Let me echo what Esthier said about “turn the other cheek.”

Being slapped on the cheek was the way a person was insulted back then.

It was never meant to be interpreted as letting someone assault you.

Basically Jesus was saying “If someone insults you, not only should you take it without retaliation, but be ready to take more insults.”

The underlying and subtler point is that it is not for us to “balance the ledger” so to speak, it’s up to God.

Religious_Zealot on May 1, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Ridiculous. Find something in the New Testament addressed to government interrogation of terrorists.

Good luck.

The scripture’s directives to governments and individuals are not the same, obviously, because they are different entities with different natures and different responsibilities.

This issue is complex and the reductionist nonsense on display here discredits you.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I love my bible. I love God’s word. God never changed.

God says david is man after my own heart

47And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.

48And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

49And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

51Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

Now to the real point. The US did not take out Saddam the time he attacked Kuwait. Had GHW Bush done the deed, we would not have had this 9/11 mess. Iraq continued to be an incubator for terrorists and could have been stopped if we had not gone for the limitations of the U.N.

seven on May 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

I’m quite interested in this topic. Could you refer me to where you learned this? Thanks!

thuja on May 1, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Ditto. I hadn’t heard that.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 1:22 PM

You don’t slap somebody in the face if you really mean them serious physical harm. If you slap somebody in the face you are only insulting them. It is the act of somebody who cannot win an argument and who seeks to belittle the person who is slapped.

By turning the other cheek you are refusing to participate on the slappers terms … you are neither escalating the conflict, nor merely passively accepting the insult.

Offering the other cheek can be a sensible and dignified response to an insult. It is not a sensible response to somebody who earnestly wants to kill you.

YiZhangZhe on May 1, 2009 at 5:34 PM

here’s a fantastic Condi Rice repartee with students

thanks, diedre

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 6:17 PM

It just blows my mind that Liberals would care more about the “rights” of a terrorist than the lives of their friends and families.

kingsjester on May 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Watch how long that argument lasts when they and their families are terrorized, dismembered and murdered by enemies of America. Today their self righteous indulgences are repulsive; they are repulsive. By then, pathetic.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Watch how long that argument lasts when they and their families are terrorized, dismembered and murdered by enemies of America. Today their self righteous indulgences are repulsive; they are repulsive. By then, pathetic.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM

One of the things that most amazes me is the sheer suicidal stupidity of their unflinching support of these people. The cognitive dissonance of the whole thing is just insane. The left wing are the first people that would be put to death under sharia law.

coyoterex on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 PM

and the least religious are far more likely to kill their own unborn

Jamson64 on May 2, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Allah,
Don’t be a hater.

splash883 on May 2, 2009 at 6:41 AM

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”?

Jesus warned us against seeking vengeance. Any torture done from that motive would be wrong. That’s not the same thing as “torture” being done to protect innocent lives. The Old Testament prophets frequently rebuked authorities for failing to protect the helpless. I’m not saying that means all torture is ok. I’m just saying this is a very complex moral issue and I don’t think the “turning the other cheek” command necessarily applies in the context of harsh interrogation methods done to save lives.

frank63 on May 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Read 2 Samuel 4:8-12 to see how king David handled enemies of the state.

8And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.

9And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,

10When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:

11How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?

12And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

NeverLiberal on May 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Most devoutly liberal people have decided that the state is god hence Man is supreme in all his endeavors. When faced with the question “do you believe there is a power in the Universe greater than yourself?” a shallow thinker will simply respond NO! These are people to whom the question obviously has never been seriously pondered…

sabbott on May 2, 2009 at 3:20 PM

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