Among evangelical leaders, debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists has prompted introspection about faith, ethics, the Golden Rule, just wars, Jack Bauer and Jesus.Words fail me. This is the greatest moral failing imaginable, and Bauer says "it depends."
A number of evangelical leaders have made opposition to torture without exceptions a moral cause over the past three years, part of a broadening of the movement's agenda beyond traditional culture war issues. Others in the movement, including many Christian right leaders, have largely resisted or stayed silent.....
The poll data from a survey of 742 U.S. adults released April 29 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found 62 percent of white evangelical Protestants said torture of a suspected terrorist could be often or sometimes justified to obtain important information. By contrast, 51 percent of white non-Hispanic Catholics, 46 percent of white mainline Protestants and 40 percent of the religiously unaffiliated held that position.....
"There is a version of Christianity in America that I think is not adequately committed to the Bible's teachings about the sacredness of every human life, including the lives of our enemies," Gushee [ a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University in Atlanta and president of Evangelicals for Human Rights] said. "It's also insufficiently committed to the peacemaking teachings of Jesus and the example of Jesus as one who did not resort to violence or cruelty to accomplish any of his goals and instead suffered violence instead of inflicting it."[emphasis mine]
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?.... The more appropriate question is, 'What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?'"
Bauer said the answer is "it depends" .
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Torture a problem for Evangelicals
From the AP