Sunday, November 20, 2005

Comment on torture Post

The following comment was posted on "Who Would Jesus Torture?"

I like your post and the article you referenced from Ethics Daily.

I have only one comment and that is this: We do not live in a Christian nation. We live in a pagan nation that is attempting at every turn to remove anything perceived as Christian from its midst. As a nation, is it wise to pretend that we still cling to the concepts the Bible offers (as sighted in your reference to IPeter 3:9)? If you are not a practicing Christian--and I suppose that no practicing Christian would allow themselves to be trained in any sort of torture techniques--then what good does it do to follow the precepts of the Bible? Why wouldn't this person engage in whatever means necessary to "fight the War on Terror", as the Commander in Cheif has directed?

The bottom line is that we need to decide if we are indeed a Christian nation before we make policy on such issues.

Here is my response:
I don't think we are a Christian nation, and many of the founding fathers would agree with me. In either case, it is irrelevant to my point. I believe the church is called to be prophetic on these issues, but many (if not a majority) of Christians will simply not criticize the republicans. Many do exactly what you appear to be doing, which is try to blame the "liberals" for taking "God" out of a country he was never in. (Which is a whole other discussion on its own.)
This response may be a little harsh, and if so, I apologize for that. This poster was probably not intentionally changing the subject or shifting the blame, but there are those who are very skilled at this and do it on a regular basis. I am completely willing to discuss whether or not the US is a Christian nation, but that argument is not the one I was making.


Julie Laney said...

I have to agreeably disagree.

Considering that the policy would be made at the national level, I think the questions as to whether the nation should or should not be bound by the moral constraints that the Bible puts forth is integral to the debate.

Love you!

Gil Gulick said...

How would you justify such a stance under the first amendment? If you are going to take a counter position, you have to make a counter argument!

Eric said...

I think many people think that the United States is a Christian nation because it was founded by Christians. Those are two different concepts. I haven't cataloged all the founding fathers to see what they believed or practiced, but I know that at least a few were Christians. However, many of them were also Freemasons. Does that make the United States a Masonic nation?

There are several things to be considered here:

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the Federal government from setting up an official religion. Think colonial England and the Anglican Church, or the Soviet Union and Athiesm. That is a very different thing than what gets thrown around today in U.S. politics as "separation of church and state."

However, there is nothing that prohibits the religions of our nation from being involved in government. In fact, it is as much the duty of religious people to be involved in government as it is for them to be involved in their faith.

Now, having said all that, the issue of whether the United States is a "Christian" nation assumes that the government could proclaim itself as such and would be willing to even if it could. In the former, it cannot, and in the latter it will not. Governments, except for those of monarchy or dictatorship, are composed of groups of individuals, and so are incapable of acting with the singularity of purpose that comes from having a well-thought-out and consistent set of beliefs and morals. Our government will never achieve consistency at any level unless we achieve a similar consistency as a people.

So our nation is not a Christian one. Is it obligated to act as one? Only if we will it and communicate that will to our representatives. That is why we must be engaged in government at every level.