I always know that watching Bill Maher is a difficult task. Depending on the panel, it can be either good or horrible. This one was actually just disturbing (though illuminating). Sandy Rios was the conservative and she was amazing. By amazing, I mean unbelievable. She said that all of Al Qaeda's leadership had been killed (to be fair, perhaps this was before the NIE leak that suggested that terrorism has exploded because of the Iraq war) which is partially true, but not really the point. If they have 4 or 5 people joining terrorist organizations for everyone we kill, well, you do the math.
Worse, I think, was her stance on torture. Rios, as it turns out, was the president of Concerned Women for America, so came on the show as a Christian and Fox contributor. When pressed on torture, she agreed it was bad, but simply said that it was not torture! In other words, she reiterated the Bush administration's point that if they survive the encounter, then it can't be torture.
Unbelievable. At one point Maher, who is an atheist, actually rubbed his eyes in disbelief as he noted the problem of Christians supporting torture. She stood by it--insisting that we had to do it to save american lives and that it wasn't torture, it was "coercion." She told the story of a child molester in Germany that was tortured to find a kidnapped child, but the information came too late. Message, it is ok, as long as we get what we want.
It is one of my great concerns. Christians have so lost their moral compass voting for this President that they now justify torture and see no problem with it. (I asked my SBC critic if it was his stance that we didn't do things like waterboarding, or that he thought that waterboarding was not torture To date, I have not received an answer. I am afraid that Rios put the argument forward. As long as organ failure or death does not occur, the Conservative Christian leaders of America think "whatever works.")
Bradley Whitefield kept saying that Iraq had lost 130,000 civilians since we invaded. Maher noted that the UN thinks that torture is more rampant than when Saddam was in power. Rios thinks that we are on the right track. She even said that the 130,000 civilians were exactly who we were trying to save from Saddam's non-existent nuclear (sorry, nukular) weapons.
Wrap your mind around that one. We disrupt a country, cause (mostly indirectly) over 100,000 deaths, but say that we were justified because we were trying to save lives.