Tonight, SOF and I will attend the Nutcracker (and no, that isn't a Hillary fundraiser joke:) ) which should be fun. I am hearing that OU's is one of the best.
Over at Tony's blog, a few of us got into a discussion on masculine Christianity. Well, it started there and has moved in other directions. Tony and I have talked about our shared frustration with this "movement" over the last year or so. Flawed theology and a terrible approach to gender roles--if you ask me.
Well, Tony posted a nice critique of the latest iteration of this John Wayne Christianity and elicited a rather strident response from someone serving in the Armed Forces. You can read that exchange in the comments.
What interests me and is the topic of this particular post is this person's internalization of the conservative mindset on the war, liberals, and patriotism. And in that exchange, he stepped on a few of my pet peeves. First, he suggested that liberals as a whole, do not appreciate the military's contribution to this war--actually that they don't even appreciate the importance of the war--and are generally anti-American, and second that torture was subjective. On point one, I suggested otherwise, and he pointed to Dick Durbin's "nazi" comment and some vague reference to John Kerry as proof of the left's anti-american sentiment.
That sounds bad, but as it turns out, Durbin did not compare our service men and women to Nazis.
Specifically, Durbin, on the Senate floor, said, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”Yet, if you google Durbin on this, you will see right wing site after site saying that he called our soldiers Nazis. And Durbin actually apologized for this.
Why does this bother me so? I am so tired of this mantra from the right that liberals are unAmerican. I have heard it from relatives. I have heard it from friends. Why is it that conservatives can support policies that undermine our national security and no one asks them if they are unAmerican? Why is it that AG nominee Mukasey can suggest the same thing and the right sits silent?
The torture issue simply floors me. And this service person's response makes me worry about our military. I have met enough service people in my classes to know that they are not all right-wing authoritarians, but the sentiment is common enough that it scares me. He said
Now about the torture. Depends on what your definition of torture is. When I was in the Army I went to ranger school and while there I was given very little food and even less sleep for a 120 days. I have friends who have been to SERE school which has even worse stuff than that. So the question is really what constitutes torture. Give me a clear cut definition. I am not offended but regardless of the context that doesnt make our soldiers comparable to NAZI'S.Where are we when our service people parse the meaning of torture? Of course, they are only mimicking their civilian leadership. But it stinks.
What bothers me even more is how often the people parsing the meaning of torture are the same who are lecturing me about the country's moral decline and trumpeting the need for "Biblical values" and absolutes. But to me, they suggest that it is okay to torture terrorists because they are bad people.
Anyway. Perhaps I am just tired.