Christians and Torture
There are signs of a shift. A reader emails:
"I am an evangelical Christian and, from the beginning, an opponent of many Bush administration policies (and no, I don’t think this is an oxymoron). I regularly read your blog because you have spoken with greater moral clarity on torture than many who purport to speak for all evangelicals (we're a complicated bunch, not a monolithic group).
Over the past week, I have seen some public signs of hope and conscience from within the evangelical movement. One was Charles Marsh's fine op-ed in last Friday's New York Times, in which he called on evangelicals to repent of their support of the Iraq war. Then yesterday I received my February edition of Christianity Today with the cover story: 'Why Torture is Always Wrong.' I recommend both pieces to you, and I am heartened that there are some evangelicals guided by faith and conscience rather than ideology, power and political expediency.
I teach at a university that identifies itself with the evangelical tradition, and this week students organized forums and protests on the issue of torture, and that offers some hope as well. But I realize that these recent examples do not make up for the fact that most evangelicals have allied themselves with a government and a Republican Party that sees itself above the law, considers secrecy and deceit as standard procedure, undermines its moral authority through the use of torture, and wallows in corruption and greed. The moral compromises here, facilitated by an unhealthy obsession with issues of the culture wars, corrode the soul of the evangelical movement and bring shame to the name of Christ."
Caesar and God: it's the same old dilemma. Even when the Caesar is called Bush.