Saturday, December 13, 2014

Concern about torture misplaced says Christian writer

Recently I read of a study which indicated that beliefs often override facts. Fantasy overrides reality.  I'll be writing more about that later, but in this essay I'm aiming specifically at one so-called Christian who doesn't let his faith get in the way of his belief torture is a legitimate exercise!

His name is Mark D. Tooley.  He's a member of the United Methodist Church which at first I found hard to understand as the UMC is one of the more liberal mainline denominations.  But I soon discovered the Tooley is on a mission to "save" the UMC from itself.  He's working from the inside out.

And no wonder!  He was with the CIA for eight years.  I'd guess in those eight years he learned a lot about being a spook!  He learned nothing about being a follower of Jesus, which he claims to be.

Yesterday, an article of his appeared in The Christian Post, titled "Opposition to Torture Often 'Misplaced' By Christian Activists."

Mr. Tooley is not happy with the recent release of the U. S. Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat's report on torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques"). He claims (wrongly, I think) the debate about the EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) involved is "primarily historical."

Critics of the report's release "argue that it over simplifies the moral issues, ignores the exigencies of the immediate threat after 9-11, and at this point only aids America's terrorist enemies with additional propaganda tools, possibly endangering American lives."

Tooley also mentions that "Several former CIA directors reacted to the ... report with a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending enhanced interrogation."  Why is that not surprising?

In contrast, he quotes a "Liberal Episcopalisn" who in a "liturgy of atonement for enhanced interrogation", spoke of our security being based "not on threats of harm or weapons of war, but on the hope of God's love toward all people."

Methodist Mr. Tooley did not like that, just like he doesn't like to use the word, "torture."  So he said, "We can be confident in God's love for all people.  But until God sets forth the new heavens and new earth, temporal security will indeed require threats of harm or weapons of war."

Hmmm.  Obviously, Tooley doesn't trust his god to do his job.  So, it's back to the usual killing, maiming and torturing.

But Tooley continues to claim that torture (or EIT) "was a desperate attempt, with bipartisan support, to prevent another 9-11."  That's pretty much a crock.  And torture continued way past 9-11!  But here's where he really goes off the rails and his religion is shown to be bullshit, pure and simple:

"Even if immoral in full or in part ... the 39 captives subjected to it, one of whom reportedly died, should be seen in the larger context of 3000 killed on 9-11, tens of thousands subsequently killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and several million killed in wars globally across the last 12 years..."

So, Tooley, says what the hell, a little torture is nothing compared to all the rest of the crap that's being going on ... which, he fails to mention, was instigated by the same people who have been doing the torturing!  These people started the wars, continued the wars, and tortured their enemies!

And finally, "The sustained zeal devoted by some religious groups against enhanced interrogation of 7-12 years ago seems at best misplaced energy better expended on today's global and more admirable victims of unalloyed torture.'

Once again, here's a Christian claimant insisting the ends justify the means.  It's OK if we torture a few people because the really bad guys are torturing people around the world.

Sorry, Mr. Tooley, I gave up on your Christian god a long time ago and people like you are one of the reasons.  It's the principle of the thing, you see, and you don't seem to have any principles.  Jesus said "Turn the other cheek," but you don't agree with that.  Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself," but you don't agree with that, either.  Jesus said, "Do not seek revenge, for revenge belongs to God," but you don't give a crap about what Jesus said.

You are first and foremost a political animal with certain political beliefs which trump not only your religion but reality.  We've seen how your religion is a scam and the reality is that EIT doesn't work and produced nothing worthwhile.

But that doesn't matter, anyway, because it is immoral and wrong and in spite of Justice Antonin Scalia's belief the Constitution doesn't have anything to say about torture (an unbelievably stupid statement in itself), it is against everything we stand for in this country!  It is not WHO we are, said President Obama!

Finally, I admit that there are times when we must defend ourselves against those who wish to destroy us.  That is different that making stuff up to justify the invasion and destruction of another country, killing hundreds of thousands in order to ensure that a neighboring country doesn't get the oil!

Self-defense is one thing and yes, it is necessary.  Torture is not self-defense and is indefensible on moral grounds.  It is mostly an act of revenge and seldom, if ever, produces the desired results.

Mr. Tooley, you need to turn in your Christian card.  You can't even use the word, "torture," but rather  your guilt forces you to a euphemism, "enhanced interrogation techniques"!


William Kendall said...

And he actually thinks he can "save" the Methodist church. Wow, on top of everything else, the man's supremely self absorbed.

Bob Poris said...

I wonder what Jesus would say. Many Christians ignore the teachings of Jesus regularly. They pick and choose and ignore a lot of the teachings, just as some priests that break all sorts of laws and ideas of morality.

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