Author Topic: Support for torture?  (Read 21541 times)

Jim_Krauser

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Re: Support for torture?
« Reply #225 on: May 26, 2009, 01:54:25 PM »
Let's just be honest, for those who offer such rationalizations.  You think to do these things to another human being can be justified.

Yeah, let's just be honest.
Everything this side of the eschaton falls short; nothing can be justified, except in Jesus Christ.  The problem with social justice zealots is that they get a bee in their bonnet that some particular 'injustice' needs to be obliterated.  The problem with that is, the only way to obliterate sin is to obliterate sinners. 

You are absolutely correct.  We cannot obliterate sin or injustice.  But we can and should call for the enforcement of laws designed to keep criminal acts and injustice in check.
Which, taking you at your word, takes us back to the legal definition of torture.  Not just some moral "I know it when I see it" standard.  Stating the obvious, criminal acts and injustice often are two different things.  As has been pointed out upstream, quoting a treaty on torture is insufficient, as that only identifies a signatory nations responsibility, not the specific criminal law.  And in criminal law, there is the concept of criminal intent, but I'll leave that to lawyers, which brings me to...

My previous paragraph highlights something that again has been blurred in this thread, our responsibilities and authority with respect to the Two Kingdoms.  It seems to me, you are mixing the two, trying to apply a "What would Jesus do?" black/white right/wrong, to a matter of secular Left Kingdom law which is murky.  Murky in large part because the case law on torture in the U.S. is exceedingly thin, so that these "up to the edge" issues have not been settled.  As a Left Kindgom matter, from a Right Kingdom perspective of justice, it is wrong for people like you to pronounce, without a clear understanding of the law (such as it is) or the particular circumstances of specific people, that people are guilty of torture under civil law and therefore deserve punishment.  That is what I am hearing advocated by you in this thread, Pr. Krauser, and I'll go out on a limb that this is why Prs. Speckhardt and Yakimow have been hen-pecking you about such details that may seem to trivialize or dismiss the topic, when in fact it is just the opposite.  When one uses the Church's moral authority as a prop to call for a specific criminal investigatory outcome, by what appears to be the Church's standards and not what the law is at the time of the infraction, that is a bridge too far.  People may be guilty of torture under U.S. law, but it is not the Church's place to prejudge that based on our own moral outrage.

When this thread turned this direction before last weekend, this really started to bother me.  I've been mulling this over trying to come up with an adequate response (and managed to leave out the parallel with late-term partial birth abortion, for now).

Sterling Spatz

I have feelings about the outcome, as almost any observer does when one hears a report of an arrest or indictment.  But I am not the judge nor jury.  Case law is thin, thankfully, because until now there have not been many instances of reported conduct that raises the question as to whether our laws or treaties have been violated in this area.  My call is not for the outcome, but for the process.  I want the lawfulness of this policy to be arbitrated by a neutral court to acertain the facts and the verdict of the law.  To date the legal definition of torture has been simply that of the previous administration to itself.  I believe it is fair to call for the legal system to rule as to whether the self-critiquing judgment of the previous administration was correct or in grave error.

As I said before, I don't believe I'm confusing the kingdoms.  I'm not asking the courts to measure our government's conduct by the standard of "what would Jesus do," but to judge the actions of our policy makers and its implementing agents against that of a good faith reading of the law and treaty obligations of our nation.  But as a Christian citizen, I may use that "what would Jesus [have us] do" standard in advocating what our policy should be.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 04:53:43 AM by Jim_Krauser »
Jim Krauser

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Michael Slusser

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Re: Support for torture?
« Reply #226 on: June 03, 2009, 02:07:55 PM »
Who would have thought to find waterboarding in the Bible (though no doctor was around to revive Benhadad by CPR or use of a defibrillator)? "But on the morrow he took the coverlet and dipped it in water and spread it over his face, till he died. And Haz'ael became king in his stead." (2 Kings 8.15).

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Richard Kidd, STS

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Re: Support for torture?
« Reply #227 on: June 03, 2009, 03:45:33 PM »
Who would have thought to find waterboarding in the Bible (though no doctor was around to revive Benhadad by CPR or use of a defibrillator)? "But on the morrow he took the coverlet and dipped it in water and spread it over his face, till he died. And Haz'ael became king in his stead." (2 Kings 8.15).

Peace,
Michael

Good one Michael. I wonder if that was one of the verses that Rumsfield put in the documents to George Bush to justify the War and torture?
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bible25-2009may25,0,163380.story ???