Torture: What Would Jesus Do?

a2a_linkname=”Torture: What Would Jesus Do?”;a2a_linkurl=”https://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/torturewwjd/”;
I simply can not believe the blindness of this statement on the philosophical implications of torture in terms of what Jesus would do.

Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate affiliated with several Christian right groups over the years, said the discussion should not come down to…

Would Jesus torture? There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn’t do because he’s the son of God. I can’t imagine Jesus being a Marine or a policeman or a bank president, for that matter. The more appropriate question is what is a follower of Jesus permitted to do? I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information– GARY BAUER

Seriously, this is unreal. Attack me if you wish, but I dare you to validate this statement with the teachings of Jesus Christ without perversion. Taking just a simple look at this statement would lead one to the assumption that Jesus would be against torture. Do I need to remind you of the act of crucifixion?

There were only 12 disciples, not 24. Jack Bauer wasn’t a disciple of Jesus, so why are you conforming to his gospel?

Allow me to make this easy enough for you to understand. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ wouldn’t you do what he does? Isn’t he the example?

Listen, God is no respecter of persons, this includes his son. The belief Jesus wouldn’t or couldn’t do something because he’s the Son of God would not be an acceptable excuse according to the Bible. That would mean that God is no respecter of persons that isn’t his son. (Romans 2:11)

Why should I engage in a public debate with Pharisees and Sadducees on the issue of torture when the answer to the question is simple and clear? How does the issue of torture align with what is know as the Greatest Commandment?

Torture contradicts the instructions, examples and teachings of love your neighbor as yourself. If you choose to become a follower of Jesus Christ, do what is written. Too often we as Christians act like the priest on that road from Jerusalem to Jericho and remain silent when we should speak. Many act as the Levite did when he saw the man who was robbed and left for dead and just pass to the other side of the road. I don’t want any trouble. I just go along to get along. I know some may not understand what I’m referencing, but I’m sure followers of Jesus Christ feel me. (Mark 12:28-31)

Even for my friends who may have historically viewed the story of the Good Samaritan as a religious heretic and/or an inferior race, I hope you have not continued to adopt discrimination in this or any circumstance today.

Who among us will act like the Samaritan when it comes to the issue of torture? This is the answer to what followers of Jesus are to do. Luke 10:25-37 is the information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed. It is morally suspect to use harsh tactics to get that information, when a better law has already been written and implemented.

You see this is the problem with Christian Extremism. Why adopt such a backwards thinking? And you’re surprised and/or upset by anyone who rejects Christianity? This sort of public example of the perverted beliefs placed upon Christianity, coupled with the systematic incorporation of theological bigotry and the denominational exclusionary practices in our segregated sanctuaries by those who proclaim to be followers of Jesus Christ is the problem and one of the real and factual arguments against Christianity.

Quit perverting Jesus to fit your own antiquated beliefs. Stop using Christ as your crutch of justification for your own illusions of morality and irrational conceptions.

References & Inspirations
Military.com – 05/13/09 “Evangelicals Wrestle with Torture Issue
The Washington Times – 05/14/09 “Torture Soul-Searching
Google/Associated Press – 05/13/09 “Torture Debate Prompts Evangelical Soul-Searching
The Holy Bible (New International Version)

*OK You Can Hate Me Now.

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10 thoughts on “Torture: What Would Jesus Do?

  1. Hmmm. Just to be sure… we are talking about the same Jesus who drove out money changers from the temple with a whip?

    Following your logic, we should have all policemen turn in their weapons. Otherwise, they may kill someone. Jesus wouldn’t do that and neither should we.

  2. Good post. If I could respond to David above, I think there is a difference between police trying to stop dangerous criminals and government workers trying to discover information. In an actual battle (or in an armed struggle with police), no matter how much one side doesn’t want to hurt anybody, they may assume that the other side is irrational and won’t stop except by use of force.

    During an interrogation, one side is completely at the mercy of the other. There are no grenades being thrown, no hostages being taken; though the detainee may be fanatical and wish harm to be done, they are dependent on their captor for survival, and must be treated humanely as such.

    On the broader issue: if we think of ourselves as Job, we must remember to always be faithful to what makes us great as a democracy, no matter how awful outside forces try to make our lives.

  3. msk08,

    I see your point and agree with it to an extent.

    But, what of the case when it is certain that a person has information that could foil a terrorist attack? The difference between shooting a terrorist with his finger on the trigger versus pouring water up the nose of the terrorist leader to get information needed to stop an attack seems academic to me.

    Let’s say that an attack did occur. Let’s say that we had the planner in custody at the time and knew that he had knowledge of the attack beforehand. Would you want to be the person who said “no” to harsh interrogation? How does allowing our citizens to be murdered rather than inflict discomfort on a prisoner make us “great as a democracy”?

    Job is a fine example from the OT. So is King David. Read up on how he treated prisoners. I’m not saying that we should follow David’s example but neither should we be hapless victims of a psychopathic group bent on our destruction.

    I leave you with this. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell. Thank God for rough men. Thank God you are not called to do their duty.

  4. Final Thought Regarding Torture:

    My comment is not directed at any one individual who has commented prior to this comment, but in general on the subject itself.

    I believe the bottom-line is how is torture ethical? One can express creative scenarios to support the use of torture, but regardless how creative the scenario, passionate the reason, I have not discovered how torture is ethical. The ‘they did it to us’ argument is not justification for torture. Our inhumanity, hatred and lack of understanding of each other is what’s ruining the world.

    Regardless how religious you are or not we all have value. There is no justifiable reason why Jesus or anyone else who ever lived or live today can honestly find ethically justifiable reason why you or I should torture any living thing. To continue attempting to validate why one should torture is a waste of time.

    To continue an argument with anyone who is persistent on proving that torture works in efforts to validate its use is morally suspicious. It doesn’t matter how much I dislike or distrust Dick Cheney or anyone who has joined his legacy redemention campaign it’s always the one who talks the loudest and often you have to consider their motives.

    This is my final thought, idea and suggestion regarding torture, Dick Cheney, his supporters and this ethical-religious-political debate. There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself or others, but at what cost are you willing to wage for a win or to lose?

    Some may be dissatisfied and continue to argue. I hear you and acknowledge your arguments for and against torture. I do not know or comprehend the motivation of the argument that is in support of torture, but who am I to question your motivations. The purpose of the blog itself is to express my thoughts, ideas and suggestion about a particular subject in hopes I may be able to influence someone to reconsider or reconcile their position if different than the one taken in the given post. Continue the conversation if you may, but I’ve given my response.

    Enjoy.

    tv

  5. “Hmmm. Just to be sure… we are talking about the same Jesus who drove out money changers from the temple with a whip?”

    Yep, that’s the one.
    And were he here today he would have done the same thing to Bush, who claimed “God wants me to be President”, which is blasphemy in it’s highest form….
    And especially Dick Cheney who murdered countless innocent children in Iraq with his lies.

    Actually, your statement is ridiculous but I couldn’t resist.

    There’s a distinct difference between Jesus kicking ass on those who profit from the name of the Lord, and greed laden, satanic men who inflict prolonged, intentional suffering on the innocent.
    Most of those tortured were completely innocent. Jesus never lifted a hand to the innocent.

    You obviously have no clue what Jesus would do. Or even what He stood for. The fact that you insinuate that Jesus would water board someone shows me you have a serious theological comprehension problem. Not to mention mental illness.

  6. David, the only problem with your scenario is that you can never — with very few exceptions — be certain of anything. If we started torturing everyone who we felt was certain to inflict harm on another, where would that leave us?

    If we were certain that a corporation was polluting a drinking water, would we torture its executives? Would we torture a teenager who we were certain was bullying other children? At what point do we become the bullies, then?

    That having been said, I totally understand those people who, upon experiencing the death or potential death of a loved one, would either want to execute or torture the perpetrator. And you can bet I’m glad I don’t have to make that kind of decision. But how can we be certain that that person will give us the information we want to know to stop acts of murder from occurring in the future? Are the people who have the information weak-willed, who would fold after a few waterboardings?

    Or do they welcome death at the hands of infidels in order to martyr themselves? And is it worth harming that type of person when we really have no idea whether the suspension of rule of law will yield any gains?

  7. Yes, Tim, that wasn’t an act of torture. My point is that Jesus is not the passive non-violent man that people make him out to be when they use the WWJD club on Christians who disagree with them. He is the Jesus who will return to the earth, fight the battle of Armageddon where the blood will rise to the bellies of horses, and afterward cast the majority of souls into hell for eternity. I somehow doubt that this Jesus would want us to allow innocents to die when it could have been prevented.

    On a more personal level, I would have little compassion if someone I cared about were in danger. Starting from that point I can understand how someone in authority might come to the decision to use harsh interrogation or even torture to save innocent lives.

    msk08,
    You are right – we cannot be sure. That is why I said, “I agree with you to an extent”.

    If you give people power they will abuse it. That is the problem with giving anyone power over others. Even if it is power granted for a good purpose, eventually someone will cross the line. That is why our government should not be allowed to torture. Even though the targets may initially be the psychopaths that we now face, eventually the weapon will be turned on us. Bureaucrats cannot be trusted with this power. Bureaucrats cannot be trusted with much power at all – they will always eventually abuse it.

    So, it boils down to this… I don’t think that Jesus commanded us to be passive, effeminate, and squeamish. I can understand how someone could legitimately come to the conclusion that we were living in times when the rules had changed – they should not be prosecuted for defending us in the way they thought was right. I think that our government should be prohibited from doing this in the future.

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