The Tide Turning On Torture?

At long last, a major, mainstream evangelical group has taken aim at the Bush administration's torture policy:

The National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed an anti-torture statement saying Tortureiswrong_1 the United States has crossed "boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible" in its treatment of detainees and war prisoners in the fight against terror.

Human rights violations committed in the name of preventing terrorist attacks have made the country look hypocritical to the Muslim world, the document states. Christians have an obligation rooted in Scripture to help Americans "regain our moral clarity." ...

The statement, "An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror," was drafted by 17 evangelical scholars, writers and activists who call themselves Evangelicals for Human Rights. The board of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group, announced late Sunday that it had endorsed the document...

Quoting a wide range of sources including the Bible, Pope John Paul II, Elie Wiesel and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the authors say the federal government has a moral obligation to follow international human rights treaties that the U.S. has endorsed.

"As American Christians, we are above all motivated by a desire that our nation's actions would be consistent with foundational Christian moral norms," the document says. "We believe that a scrupulous commitment to human rights, among which is the right not to be tortured, is one of these Christian moral convictions."

The NAE says it represents 45,000 evangelical churches. However, it does not include some of the best-known conservative Christian bodies, including the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family.

So that's the next obvious step; asking the SBC and James Dobson to take a similar stand. But this is good news. For more info on religious groups against torture, click here.