Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Answer and Torture

I agree with one of my commenters, Mary, from the previous post, that if five Christians met up with five Muslims in a room Christian Muslimthat there would probably be peaceful conversation and sharing of ideas and no real problems at all. If five "Christian Extremists" came into that room, there might be heated discussion and most likely someone would be told they were "going to hell", but I do think there would be agreement on the main points of Christian doctrine.

Five "Muslim Extremists" would probably try to forceabley convert the committed Christians in that room, without success, and that would lead them to "kill the infidel". At the end of the day, there would be five "Muslim Extremists" left standing in that room.

This is why it is so important for Christians, non-Christians and Muslims who represent the "peaceful religion" that we hear about, to fight the "Muslim Extremists". We can't "make nice" with those who do not respect life, and in fact, show more respect for death than anything. The "Muslim Extremist" or any terrorist will kill you in anyway they can, and they don't care if it means they die too. It they don't die killing you, they will keep on killing others. They welcome death. I can not think of anyway to fight this kind of enemy than to eliminate it before it eliminates you, and admit that it is hard to reconcile that with my faith.

That brings me to the torture question. The USA is debating now if torture is ever appropriate. I weigh this question within the confines of my faith as well. It is a difficult question for those who value life, and believe we should have a certain quality of life. I hate to see anyone treated inhumanely. I believe the life of a human being is sacred. However, some humans have chosen a life that is destructive and causes harm to others. Some humans, terrorists, have no regard for life. They will kill innocent people without blinking an eye, if that human is determined to be "the infidel". Almost 3000 "infidels" died in our country five years ago in a planned attack.

Fear in the EyeRecently, some attacks have been thwarted, and not just in the USA, but in Great Britain as well. Some of the information gathered and used to thwart further attacks have come from terrorists that are in custody and through coercive interrogation, or torture. (To some it is a question of 'what constitutes torture?', but I'm not answering that question here.)

If there was a plan to bomb the city where I live and kill thousands, it seems to me that if we can gather information from a person who is aware of the plan...that we should get that information via any means outside of killing, in order to save many innocent lives. There is a technique called waterboarding that seems to be very effective in the gathering of vital information. I heard a man, who had experienced this technique when he was in the military, describe this form of coersion on a radio talk show. He was a caller and said "the key is it leaves no bruises, no cuts, no scars and it works!"

Shouldn't we coerce information, using effective techniques, for the sole purpose of saving the lives of innocents?

I've read a bunch of essays about torture and what the Christian response should be. (There are a few listed here, and a good one here, and an interesting perspective on "Christian Wimps" here.) All of these essays/articles have some intelligent points to make, and some troubling things as well. I can't help but wonder at times if Americans really understand the very real threat evil, as manifested through terrorism, is. (Not that evil in another form is any less evil!) Terrorists don't discriminate...they rid themselves of what they see as evil...that is the "infidel" and the "infidel" is anyone not like them.

What if a person had information that would save the life of your own kids and family, but wasn't going to give that information willingly? Would you just stand there and let your family be beheaded without trying any means necessary to get information out of the person who could possibly give enough information in order to stop a major tragedy from being carried out?

Would Jesus torture? No, Jesus would not torture, but this is something that drives me crazy, because I also can't see Jesus allowing the innocent to die at the hand of madmen.

And Jesus did allow torture. He was tortured and He was innocent. Jesus allowed Himself, an innocent man, to be tortured and He allowed it in order to save many.

Ugh, it's a fallen world! Sometimes I just don't have the answers! My "gut" says Christians should not torture or endorse torture, but when presented with PURE EVIL, it is difficult to not react with a fallen mentality.

All creation groans!

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