Laurence Vance comments on the many problems with Christian — let alone American — support for torture. Large percentages of American Christians find torture justified under certain circumstances, and it is statistically likely that at least some of the government employees who have engaged in torture in recent years would call themselves Christians. Vance asks:
Can a Christian waterboard an A-rab for Jesus? For the Christian, there is no other way to do it. The Bible says: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). It also says that whatsoever we do, we should “do it heartily, as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). We should do everything “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Can a Christian smash someone against a wall in the name of the Lord Jesus? Can a Christian heartily lock someone in a dark box for hours at a time? Can a Christian deprive someone of sleep to the glory of God? Can a Christian give thanks to God while he hangs someone from the ceiling? Sure he can, but not without violating the whole tenor of the New Testament.
Vance argues that part of the evangelical community’s acceptance of torture is brought about by its devotion to the Republican Party as the “party of God,” as it were. He devotes less attention to the implied relativism or even hegelian historicism found in applying the phrase “advanced interrogation technique” to waterboarding when we do it and calling it torture when anyone else is responsible, but I would argue that this is just as significant a commentary on modern American Christianity, as well as those who simply consider themselves conservatives interested in truth and justice. Read the rest here.Published in