"Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved — policy makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation's most cherished values. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable. Nothing less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul of our nation. What does it signify if torture is condemned in word but allowed in deed?

Let America abolish torture now — without exceptions," - an editorial in Theology Today.

It will indeed be a test of the Democrats. They have a chance to revisit the military detainee bill, and amend it to show the world that there can no longer be any doubt that the U.S. does not torture anyone anywhere; and to declare that torture means what is has always meant, legally and morally: "the infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering" to get information. If the religious right wants to rehabilitate its tattered reputation, this would be a good place to start.

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