In a perfect world, I wouldn’t even have to write this post, because our government wouldn’t torture people and religion would have no influence on politics.
But in a world where Bush came to power thanks to “values voters” and proceeded to piss on the Geneva Conventions, it actually does matter to American politics what Christians think about torture.
“Who would Jesus torture?”
The Rev. Neal Jones thinks he knows the answer to the question posted on the bumpers of some passing cars: No one.
He and his parishioners at Columbia’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship say they are alarmed about the detention, treatment and trial of terrorist suspects and worry that the continuing debate will lower America’s stature in the world.
“To me, it’s our Christian duty to criticize our government when it is going astray,” Jones said. “That is our prophetic duty.”
Although a lot of conservative Christians would hedge at calling the Unitarians “Christian,” politically I’d much rather be lumped in with this guy… especially after what a representative of my own church had to say about the matter:
The Rev. Aris Metrakos, pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Sumter Street in Columbia, said he understands those tactics can be terrifying. “But that is how we extract information from bad people who are trying to destroy the world.”
The former Navy aviator said he believes Christians, who by faith are taught to treat all people with love and dignity, must balance their faith with the reality that America is in a battle with nihilists “who want to destroy civilization.”
“The Orthodox Church view is that the world is a paradoxical place,” Metrakos said. If people don’t believe that, “then they need to go back and listen to the 9/11 (emergency and rescue) tapes.”
This is a ridiculous oversimplification and hardly a dogmatic view of the church; I haven’t seen any church councils say so at least.
At any rate, I know I’m probably preaching to the choir about what Christians ought to be thinking regarding torture; any Libertarian Christians here most likely feel the same way. But nonetheless, more churches need to be addressing the issue, and if they’re not willing to GTFO of politics in the first place, at least need to stand with their actual Lord and Saviour in refusing to harm/torture people.