Started by Norman Teigen, December 10, 2014, 03:40:50 PM
Quote from: Dave Likeness on December 11, 2014, 06:30:42 PMThe gang of Bonnie and Clyde had killed at least 9policemen in their robbery of banks and stores.Killing police will get you to the top of the publicenemy list. As murderers this gang became wanteddead or alive.
Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on December 11, 2014, 05:56:57 PMThey figured that as long as they could change the Levitical shellfish laws they could change Sinai's law from allowing justified killing in warfare to not allowing it.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2014, 07:00:30 PMMy hunch is that, like with a number of other things, Constantine converted the Church more than the Church converted the emperor. Being a good Christian meant being a good Roman which meant serving and supporting the expansion of Rome and Christianity through military means.
Quote from: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2014, 07:09:53 PMQuote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2014, 07:00:30 PMMy hunch is that, like with a number of other things, Constantine converted the Church more than the Church converted the emperor. Being a good Christian meant being a good Roman which meant serving and supporting the expansion of Rome and Christianity through military means.I pity poor Constantine, the nature of whose Christian commitment has probably been analyzed and interpreted by more people than most any other Christian in history. But at least Brian admits that he's only playing a hunch.
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 11, 2014, 05:31:26 PMNo, Peter, the law is not filled with "judgment calls." Laws may be subject to interpretation, but that is a different matter, and it is done by the courts interpreting the laws, not the police supposedly enforcing the law. I do not believe I understand what you are trying to do with this thread of argument, but what I do understand about it I don't like very much. As usual, I'm afraid I find your analogies as dense and dark as a Siberian forest at midnight on a moonless night.
Quote from: WJV on December 11, 2014, 10:15:22 PMI'm amazed that this discussion is happening in the US. The country of my youth was proud of being — whether it was true or not, whether it was accurate or not — the good guys, and (at least pretending to) act(ing) that way. We didn't (officially) torture. We didn't (officially) kill everyone attending a wedding party. People were rightly and truly outraged when government actors were shown to have played off-book, even if the final results were acceptable. Discussions of how much mistreatment is torture would have been met with opposition from many, but now? Not so much. It makes me wonder if anyone involved in the "interrogations" ever had a conversation like this (some possible language warnings): Are we the baddies?
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 12, 2014, 05:07:19 AMPeter writes:I don't see any easy acceptance of torture here. I see difficulties with simply writing people off as war criminals.I comment:Who said that here? Nobody! No one said "war criminals." But it does seem that some crimes may have been committed. Peter writes:If I were dictator, I would probably abolish "enhanced interrogation" altogether.I comment:No, you wouldn't.Peter writes:But in trying to think about the issue, the people who see clear black and white don't realize what they're saying about members of the CIA and the military, that they are not just maybe but obviously and unarguably war criminals guilty of crimes against humanity.I comment:No again. And now you have elevated "war criminals" to "crimes against humanity." No one has done that. Is it inconceivable to you that what some of us are concerned about - namely that our country has engaged in some despicable actions, that in our alleged "war on terror" we may have gone against our principles - might actually have happened? You are quicker to excuse and defend what may have happened than we are to criticize it!Peter writes:I'm not willing to buy into such knee jerk judgment, especially when it has an obvious partisan flavor. I comment:Big news, Peter. Just because something comes from "one side" (and BTW, this criticism of our country comes from several "sides") does not mean that it is wrong. WJV writes (wish I knew who this person really is):Let's work to call a thing what it is, and own up to what has been done: if what has been done (and continues to be done) is torture (and the descriptions of what has been done — which goes far beyond keeping the lights on and making conditions uncomfortable — sure sounds like it to my politically-right-trained ears), let's call it exactly that, get it out into the open, and decide if that is who we are as a people: are we a people that tortures, or are we a people that doesn't? There is more than a small difference between those two sorts of nation. When expedience wins, as it often does, suffering and death are mere statistics. Is the object lesson in this given to us by Stalin and Friends so easily forgotten?I comment:Rather smart words, I think.
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 11, 2014, 09:46:11 PMPeter writes:You seem to think it a no-brainier that the Hackman character in Mississippi Burning was guilty of torture. Yet I don't remember anyone saying that in the 1980's. His character was considered a hero, if a flawed hero.I comment:Not by me. Not by some of us.Peter writes:And surely if the nation were holding up an obvious torturer as a hero character, you would have been compelled as a pastor and journalist to write something about what a shame it was to praise a torturer. Did you write something? If not, did you just not care that society was praising a torturer? I comment:Well, I'm not sure there was all that "praise," but no matter. For heaven's sake, Peter, are we to take out after every mass media piece, whether television, film or book, that shows immoral actions? Really? What I am concerned about here - in this modest forum of people who claim to be Lutheran Christians - is what seems to be an easy acceptance of despicable acts. "They" are worse. "They" kill. So if we torture a little, it's OK. "They" are out to kill us. So anything we do, legal or not, moral or not, to keep them from doing that, is OK. Criminals and murderers are really bad guys. So if cops or the feds break a few laws or jaws in getting them convicted, that's OK. No. It is not OK. And you are, Peter, tying yourself up in knots about "societal standards" in an effort to justify your views. We are discussing law and related matters. Yes, what was illegal at one time, is legal now; lovely things like inter-racial marriage, and gay and lesbian marriage. "Societal standards" whatever the heck they might be, do not seem to be endorsing cops shooting people just for carrying a weapon while being black; or beating the pinfeathers out of suspects to get a confession or badgering witnesses into giving false testimony. Coach-Rev writes (re my comment on the reaction to the report):Fascinating. Just fascinating. So they can't be trusted though they were there and were participants in that. They must be lying to cover something up you imply.I comment:Well, Duh! Yes! Because - wait for it! - they have already covered something up. Several times. At several levels of government. Of course, of course, they are covering something up. That is exactly what the recent report is telling us. Coach-rev goes on:And a couple of years back you incessantly hammered that second hand reports didn't count for anything because they were NOT there and first hand witnesses, AND there obviously had to be more to the story.I comment:Yes, I do not trust second-hand reports, especially the ones you seemed to favor so dearly, especially when they came from one "side," a "side" that had a considerable ideological stake in the matter at hand. In some of those now dust-gathering dust-ups, no one from the "other" side was here to make their case. Coach-Rev:So its now clear that you will only accept testimony, first hand or other, that corresponds only to your point of view. In certain circles that's referred to as a self-reinforcing delusion.I comment:How do you know what my "point of view" is? I do not believe I have ever commented anywhere on the matter of our government involved in allegedly illegal kidnappings, torture and murder.