Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who would Jesus Torture?

There was a great article on Ethics Daily last week about the anti-torture bill that is making its way through congress. The president has threatened a veto if the anti-torture language remains in the bill.

This is one of the issues the church should be prophetic about. So, I went from Ethics Daily (website of the Baptist Center for Ethics which is independent but a partner of the CBF) to the Southern Baptist Convention website, the Baptist Press website, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty commission's website (the latter two are SBC organizations) and found nothing about this issue. There was plenty to read about homosexual marriage, human cloning, and other issues the religious right is fond of, but nothing about this issue. This is an obvious example of what happens when Christians align themselves no closely with one party that they become unwilling or unable to find any fault in it.

You can read the Ethics Daily article by clicking here.

1 Peter 3:9

9Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.


Anonymous said...

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.

Gil Gulick said...

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 chruch 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 did, 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.)

Eric said...

Obviously, I'm a little behind in my blog reading.

This is an example of how many Christians are spiritually bipolar, especially when it comes to sanctity of life issues. If it's reprehensible to torture someone, then wouldn't it also follow that it is reprehensible to dishonor the inherent image of God in other ways? Capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion, pornography, cloning, terrorism, war, and even issues such as welfare, unemployment, immigration, trade, and foreign policy -- all of them have to be considered in light of our belief that God created humans in His image, so that life has immutable value.

The stereotypical, right-wing Christian gets politically motivated over abortion, pornography, and human cloning, but is willing to give a pass to war, lousy foreign policy, (sometimes) torture, and (especially) capital punishment.

The stereotypical left-wing Christian stands against war, torture, and capital punishment, but gives a pass to pornography, abortion, and euthanasia.

In reality, I think the church is woefully silent on all of these issues, especially in a substantive way that promotes debate instead of rhetoric. Budgets are moral issues. So are trade policy, foreign policy, and a host of other things. If we really want to be like Jesus, we need to get beyond the talking points and realize that it isn't about left and right, but right and wrong.