I just had a conversation with an SBC person about torture. He quoted scripture to suggest that the state has the right to, as I think he put it, "wield the sword" and then characterized torture as making inmates listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's right, this whole debate about torture not only emboldens the enemies, it is so ridiculous that it is the same thing that happens to parents throughout America when their kids discover loud rock music.
This is all a joke to them. As Zalm's great post noted, the idea of "turning the other cheek" or "loving our enemies" is so completely other-worldly that those words only appear in the mouths of people like Falwell saying something like, "we will love our enemies as we blow them away in the name of the lord." [rough quote from memory] Not only do they not even ask about the command to "love their enemies" they genuinely don't care about these people--many of whom are innocent people in the wrong place--and think that their mistreatment is no big deal. They have so completely internalized the President's logic that they think that as long as the inmate is still alive, no problem. Except, of course, we have killed many in the process of torture. And the issues of torture are horrifying--as intellectually honest people have acknowledged. True people of moral character are actually very distraught by this and trying to figure out how to address it. Others don't even bother and make jokes about it.
I said in this conversation that this lack of moral discernment was very disappointing to me--that if evangelicals can't stand up against torture, then why should anyone take their moral voice seriously? It still seems like a good question to me. And the fact is, they know it. If they have to twist the argument so it is playing music too loud, then they know that waterboarding and fake burials are affronts to our morality, our faith, and our very conscience. They know it, because otherwise, they wouldn't employ the Rush Limbaugh school of argument.
How am I supposed to address this? I mean that as an honest question--not snark. How do we address this moral issue in this context?