Arch-conservative Catholic blogger, Mark Shea, takes on Thiessen:

[T]he thing I find most baffling about all this: the spectacle of pro-lifers going to the mat to defend torture, all while claiming that it is virtually impossible to even know what torture is.

The ridiculous and insulting tendency among so many who do this is to imply that if you oppose torture you do so because you are secretly supporting abortion or trying to derail the pro-life movement. The obvious reply to this is that it is precisely Catholic pro-life belief that rejects the ends-justifies-the-means thinking behind both abortion and torture advocacy.

If pro-lifers would simply stop defending the use of torture, there'd be no problem and I for one would never make another peep about it. But the fact is (as Raymond Arroyo, Marc ("Scott Brown Shows Waterboarding Wins") Thiessen, Austin Ruse and a depressing roster of other prolife Catholics demonstrate in percentages greater than the average population, we are now so required to be in bed with whatever consequentialism the GOP leadership demands that a principled prolife stand that rejects consequentialism in all its forms is spoken of as betrayal of the prolife movement.

The solution is simple: it's not that Catholics who repeat the plain and repeated teaching of the Church should be quiet about torture. It's that Catholics who claim to have no idea if the Bush Administration committed torture or not (since they are helpless to define torture) should stop defending what everybody (including the Reagan Administration and the Vatican, as well as Geneva, the UN, Britain and the Red Cross, as well as the rest of the civilized world) calls torture.

My take here.

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