Author Topic: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?  (Read 11887 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2014, 03:33:54 PM »
I am not a pure pacifist, but I share Pastor Culler's discomfort with war and the justifications for war. 

As do we all. But that is quite different from suggesting that the US murdered Osama bin Laden.
Don Kirchner

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2014, 03:34:24 PM »
And while I rant I'll also say that I just can't bring myself to celebrate Usama bin Laden's murder.  Why didn't we just take him?  I might be wrong, but murder is murder, even if the victim is vile.

Murder? Osama bin Laden wasn't murdered.


Have you listened to the interview of Robert OíNeill? That would explain to you why we didn't "just take him."

BTW, do you feel the same way about drone killings? How about killing in combat? Are those situations murder?


Everything about war makes me uncomfortable. Killing in combat is not murder, but neither is it good, even if occasionally it might be necessary from a human perspective.  Sending men to kill other men does things to them which should not be done to anyone.  It feeds the beast in our hearts and drives out thoughts of turning the other cheek and going the extra mile.  I can't think our Lord is pleased with it.  No one can walk away from combat unchanged, and that change is never good.  If we have to fight wars, all long distance weapons should be banned and we should have to fight with short swords, our fists and our teeth.  Drones and other forms of distance attacks make death seem clean and unreal to those who aren't dying.
Aerial warfare was considered immoral by many people in WWI, as were chemical and biological warfare. Nuclear warfare hadn't been invented yet, of course, but eventually the world agreed that nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare were immoral but never agreed to say the same about aerial warfare. All of these forms of warfare are novelties from the first half of the 20th century, but today a typical nation has a proud air force but must abolish or hide any capability of using those other types of weapons.

 

J.L. Precup

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2014, 04:05:35 PM »
The CIA water-boarded some really bad people and made them listen to heavy metal music to keep them awake.  Muslim terrorists chop the heads of innocent people. 

As for drones, that is President Obama's weapon of choice.

I'm not understanding this very well:  "as for drones, that is President Obama's weapon of choice."  Can you elaborate on that a bit more, please?

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Charles Austin

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2014, 04:08:46 PM »
Peter, one of the purposes of civil law is to protect the innocent, not to make it easier to nab the guilty or to allow crimes in the pursuit of a conviction. If evidence or witnesses are obtained by illegal means, then they must not stand. "Mississippi Burning" was a movie. If a real life FBI agent did with that agent did, then he should've been made to pay the penalty.
Pastor Uttenreither, do you believe that because "their "acts would seem to be worse than ours, then that gives us permission to engage in despicable tactics? "They" kill, so we can torture?
And are we saying that some people are so "bad" that the plan should be to kill them on sight?
There may be a certain kind of retributive "justice", or revenge in that, but I do not believe it is justice in the grander sense. And we should not endorse it.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 04:39:55 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

pearson

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2014, 04:40:49 PM »

I am not responsible for what the other side does. I am responsible for what my country does.


I've never understood this, so I'm asking for help.  What does being "responsible" (in this sense) have to do with making a moral judgment?  Just because I'm not "responsible" for what the other side does, how does it follow that I can't make a moral judgment about what the other side does (but only about what "my country does")?  I'm not "responsible" for the political and sexual shenanigans committed by Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, but I can still judge them immoral, right?  I'm not "responsible" for the faked studies on stem cell research concocted by Korean scientist Hwan Woo-suk, but I can still tell my students that it is decidedly wrong to do so, can't I?  The implication seems to be that I can only make moral judgments about things that are, in some sense, under my immediate control.  That can't be right.

Tom Pearson

peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2014, 04:43:21 PM »
Peter, one of the purposes of civil law is to protect the innocent, not to make it easier to nab the guilty or to allow crimes in the pursuit of a conviction. If evidence or witnesses are obtained by illegal means, then they must not stand. "Mississippi Burning" was a movie. If a real life FBI agent did with that agent did, then he should've been made to pay the penalty.
Pastor Uttenreither, do you believe that because "their "acts would seem to be worse than ours, then that gives us permission to engage in despicable tactics? "They" kill, so we can torture?
And are we saying that some people are so "bad" that the plan should be to kill them on sight?
There may be a certain kind of retributive "justice", or revenge in that, but I do not believe it is justice in the grander sense. And we society should not endorse it.
But the law is filled with judgment calls in words like "unreasonable," so as standards change it is very easy for people who weren't criminals to suddenly become criminals without knowing it and without changing what they were doing. That's why it is so important for congress to make laws rather than relying on judicial precedent to act as the de facto law.

In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey engages in what would today be called (by some, at least) sexual assault when he manhandles Mary and then forcibly kisses her. The standard has changed. But if it has not changed formally in the text of the law and instead simply relies on judges to interpret old laws according to new standards, then the judiciary becomes the de facto legislative body and some people who are as innocent as George Bailey but who are not up to speed on the evolving, unwritten standards of conduct will become registered sex offenders in what amounts to an ex post facto conviction-- they were doing something that formerly wasn't illegal but now is illegal without the law ever changing or anyone in any official capacity informing them of the change.

If animal rights activists passed a law banning fur, at least it would be a law and one would know if one was breaking it. But if animal rights activists successfully got society in general to consider the trapping and skinning of animals to be cruel, they could simply accuse fur company workers of cruelty to animals, which is already illegal. And if they won the lawsuit, they would have successfully changed the law without changing the law, simply by replacing formal laws and legislators with judges and evolving standards. It might work, but it would be totally unfair to the fur industry workers.

     

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2014, 05:15:48 PM »
If animal rights activists passed a law banning fur, at least it would be a law and one would know if one was breaking it. But if animal rights activists successfully got society in general to consider the trapping and skinning of animals to be cruel, they could simply accuse fur company workers of cruelty to animals, which is already illegal. And if they won the lawsuit, they would have successfully changed the law without changing the law, simply by replacing formal laws and legislators with judges and evolving standards. It might work, but it would be totally unfair to the fur industry workers.


If the killing (and skinning) of animals is deemed cruel, are we all willing to stop eating meat and using leather in our furniture? I'm afraid too many people are like a woman who thought hunters should buy their meat at the grocery store like she does. That way no animals are killed.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2014, 05:22:53 PM »
how would any of you who support the Enhanced approach teach that in Confirmation Class or talk about it in a sermon that touched on the fifth commandment?  God says, but the way I see it, in this instance, these days, facing this particular type of national enemy... Christians can...  ???   Harvey Mozolak
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Charles Austin

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #53 on: December 11, 2014, 05:31:26 PM »
No, 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.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2014, 05:41:28 PM »
how would any of you who support the Enhanced approach teach that in Confirmation Class or talk about it in a sermon that touched on the fifth commandment?  God says, but the way I see it, in this instance, these days, facing this particular type of national enemy... Christians can...  ???   Harvey Mozolak


You might start by explaining the change that allowed Christians to serve in the military in the first place. Early Christians were not allowed to be soldiers; and those who were soldiers or magistrates, were not allowed to take another human life. At some point, the Christian church allowed its members to be soldiers and be involved in combat, and to take human lives in a "just war".
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2014, 05:49:08 PM »
And Brian what allowed the church to change.  The Holy Spirit?  The Scriptures?   Harvey
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2014, 05:56:57 PM »
They 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.
Don Kirchner

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Jim_Krauser

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2014, 06:18:31 PM »
No, this report is not indicative of a time for national repentance.  The report is an obvious final slam on the Bush (Boosh, Boosh, Boosh) Administration to take our eye off of all the imperial decrees of the current administration.   

Yes.  Why not repent for the drone assassinations carried out on American citizens by the Obama Administration?  Why not repent for Obama's failure to close Guantanamo?   Why not question the methods used to locate Osama bin Laden after Bush left office?  Why not repent for Obama's expansion of government spying on citizens?

Is there a moral difference between the "drone assassinations" and the way outlaws such as Bonnie & Clyde or John Dillenger were ambushed and gunned down? (I believe they were US citizens.)   
Shall we debate the use of shoot to kill orders for "public enemies," those sought for notorious crimes? 

The citizenship issue in the drone attack is of little importance to me; I see no reason that we should behave differently toward non-citizens than citizens, and vice-versa if they are acting outside of the law. 

Many of our "rules" such as Miranda, the posse comitatis act, and the like are as much about the restraint of government power as they are the rights of suspects.

I, for one, would argue that they are morally dubious and unnecessary if arrest and capture are possible.  But what if a criminal or terrorist is so protected or outside of our normal reach so as to make apprehension impossible, can technology such as drones be applied?




« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 06:28:05 PM by Jim_Krauser »
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2014, 06:30:42 PM »
The gang of Bonnie and Clyde had killed at least 9
policemen in their robbery of banks and stores.
Killing police will get you to the top of the public
enemy list.  As murderers this gang became wanted
dead or alive.

Jim_Krauser

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2014, 06:42:27 PM »

I am not responsible for what the other side does. I am responsible for what my country does.


I've never understood this, so I'm asking for help.  What does being "responsible" (in this sense) have to do with making a moral judgment?  Just because I'm not "responsible" for what the other side does, how does it follow that I can't make a moral judgment about what the other side does (but only about what "my country does")?  I'm not "responsible" for the political and sexual shenanigans committed by Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, but I can still judge them immoral, right?  I'm not "responsible" for the faked studies on stem cell research concocted by Korean scientist Hwan Woo-suk, but I can still tell my students that it is decidedly wrong to do so, can't I?  The implication seems to be that I can only make moral judgments about things that are, in some sense, under my immediate control.  That can't be right.

Tom Pearson

I don't think this statement is intended to say we cannot judge the actions of others; but rather that we cannot use the actions of others to excuse actions we might do. 

I have heard argued that any of these "interrogaction tactics" are permissiable because these our enemies want to destroy us and themselves engage in brutality and savagery as we have seen exemplified in 9/11 and by ISIS and the like.
Thus:  the distinction, quite simply, is that the heinous acts committed by another cannot be justification for acts I might otherwise regard as heinous, especially when I go out of my way to characterize those acts as heinous by others. 

This is textbook hypocrisy.

Perhpas a tweaking of the proposed axiom will help.

I am not accountable (before God) for what others (my enemies) do or permit.   That is to say, there sins are their own.
I am accountable (before God) for what I do/permit my country to do.                 That is to say, my sins are my own.   
Jim Krauser

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