Showing posts from December, 2014

The Bible and Torture: A follow up

I want to respond to some questions and comments on my previous post, “ The Bible and Torture .” One commenter asked, “Would you condone the torture the Catholic church inflicted on thousands? Simply because the Pope said so.” And again, “Would you condone the torture, by the army of England against those who fought for liberty here in the Revolutionary war? Would you condone torture by Abraham Lincoln against those men who fought in the south during the Civil War.” The answer to all three questions is contained in my original post, especially the part where I said, “ I want to stress that we are talking about the use of inflicting pain to extract information only in exceptional cases." Exceptional means, “forming an exception or rare instance; unusual ; extra ordinary.” (Italics added for emphasis.)  In my post I go on to give the only example I can think of. What qualifies as an exceptional case?  One in which there is an imminent threat of atta

The Bible and Torture

Introduction What is a Christian to think of torture? This question has forced itself upon us with the release last week of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” These EITs, as they are called, were used in the questioning of suspected terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. According to CNN, “The report found that CIA tactics were more brutal than previously known and accused the agency of keeping the Bush White House and Congress in the dark.” [1] Responses to the report have varied. Dick Cheney was unapologetic. He vigorously defended the CIA, calling the report “ a terrible piece of crap ,” while Kenneth Roth, executive director of the Human Rights Watch, called for the prosecution of senior Bush officials who authorized and oversaw the program. A number of people have raised concerns about the partisan nature of the report, its neglect of historical context , the hypocrisy of leading Democrats in con