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“On what basis, however, are we normally assured that torture of detainees is an acceptable practice?” Gutenson asked. “Everyone agrees, as far as I can tell, that gratuitously creating pain in others is a heinous evil.”
Gutenson described the purported supporters of torture by the U.S. as justifying the evil by claiming lives will be saved by the extracted intelligence.
“One member of the Supreme Court recently responded to the torture question, not by appeal to hard fact, but rather by asking what jury would convict Jack Bauer,” Gutenson remembered, referring to Justice Antonin Scalia. “Thereby this Supreme Court justice conflated reality and drama in such a way as to create the illusion that a scenario from the hit TV series 24 was an accurate representation of the world in which torture is used.”
But Scalia has not been alone in his reference to 24. National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) lobbyist Richard Cizik, in touting NAE’s new statement against supposed U.S. policies of torture, reportedly said: “If you don’t think torture is a topic worthy of a statement, just watch 24.”
Unfortunately, much of the debate about “torture” by the U.S. revolves around vague assumptions, shaped more by fiction than by reality.
“Jesus not only commanded, but also modeled a way of life that refused to repay evil with evil,” Gutenson declared. “When His enemies came for him, He embodied the call to love our enemies. How, then, can we who seek to imitate this Jesus ever see torture as a legitimate toll wielded to serve our own purposes?”
With or without torture, Jesus would never have served as a prison interrogator, any more than He would have led a rally on Capitol Hill, with the ACLU, or anybody else. Simply asking What Would Jesus Do, no more than referencing plot lines from 24, contributes almost nothing to debates about U.S. detention policies.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?