As far as torture and killing there will always be innocents that become victims. If you look at the old testament accounts of God's people going into battle for the sake of His future kingdom, and at His command there were thousands killed then. I'm not saying Bush was God and should have done those things but the precept being that the future in both cases justifies the means. So maybe that doesn't ring true with other conservatives but that's me.Again, Leighton's comment about religious justification comes to mind, but this one was more chilling than any of the others. Most of the evangelicals I have talked to about torture have hemmed and hawed about it, but ultimately agree that it is evil. The only one who has just denounced it as evil and wrong was Tony. Every other conservative evangelical has tried to find some way to explain it. This guy, however, just said openly that it was ultimately tolerable because we are on God's side. That depresses me deeply. As I noted back to him, if that is how evangelicals respond to torture, then there really is no such thing as a Christian ethic. After all, we are all pretty good at treating our friends relatively well. This is not an attack on Christianity (though my FB friend assumed as much--which says a lot about assumptions of Christianity equalling conservatism, and any criticism of conservative policy was ergo an attack on Christianity). I cling to my faith, though not easily. But it is an attack on the assumption that Christians can somehow magically understand moral issues absent some broader dialogue. I have no idea what God says to people, but it obviously not very clear to most conservative evangelicals that their "conservative" approach is not the same as their supposed "Christian" one. After all, if those conservatives can't figure out that torture is evil, I have little faith that they can make sense of less obvious moral questions. And that makes me sad.
November 3, 2011
My rant and the continuing conversation about torture
I have been pondering the responses to my fall funk, and have received several through email and phone. I appreciate that very much. I hope that those inside the "cult" understand that my post was not a criticism of them, but also understand that if I were one of those invited in, I would probably defend it. I am not sure how else I would respond. Leighton's comment about it being ok to not make it in my profession is a good one. I think the difficult thing is that all of the people close to me who have made it are very qualified, and probably smarter than me, the difficulty is that I have known people who made it despite being less than impressive. Perhaps we file that under the "life isn't fair" category, but it is a reality. Like I said, CIL, and Ubub have both made it into the inner circle, and their intelligence and work ethic is beyond reproach. But there have been others who make not making it all that much more difficult. On that note, btw, I have an appointment for next week with my therapist, and will see how that goes. Perhaps I can gain some clarity on this funk. On the other note, however, let me say that I have had a recent exchange with a FB friend about torture and evangelical ethics that made me blanche. This is a guy who served as somewhat of a mentor to me during my late high school and early college years. I framed the torture question to him, and he said this: