Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blessed are the leg breakers

As Jim pointed out to me on Thursday, the Traditional Values Coalition (the largest non-denominational lobby group in the US - they represent 43,000 churches) have asked the US Senate to support the White House's call to redefine 'bodily injury' as outlined by the Geneva Convention. Essentially this will allow torture to be used to obtain information.

If I may quote from their website, where they define traditional values:

Love And Hate: The Bible teaches us that we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. We believe it is a loving response to oppose behaviors that destroy individuals and families. It is not loving to allow someone to kill themselves or other individuals.

Now, how exactly does that equate with calling for the use of torture?

If you read Matthew 4:12 through to the end of Matthew 7 you'll find that Jesus doesn't preach the politics of war, hate or torture.

As Jim asked them in an email last week, 'who would Jesus torture'?

The church's position in this world should be to preach the politics of peace, and the TVC position on torture is morally reprehensible.



Anonymous said...

There's no point just talking about it. The best way to change their minds is to connect their genitals to the mains. You know it makes sense!!

richard said...

I presume you are talking about the TVC?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but somehow there is a connection in my mind between sex trafficking and torture. Issues of power, gratification and exploitation. Carried out by foreigners on people who are just collateral damage.

At Sadaam's trial this week they have brought up the issue of Iraqi troops burying families alive. How does that relate to the coalition troops using bulldozers against Iraqi positions to bury soldiers alive?

Karma Chamelons indeed.

richard said...

I guess if you're paid to fight then you're also paid to be killed. Given the variety of weapons, and therefore the variety of ways to be killed, then there is an argument for the coalition arguing that at least the soldiers didn't get too close to the Lagonda flamethrower. It's all about expectation management. Mrs al-Hussani and her children, on the other hand, didn't expect to die when the 'dozers turned up. She just thought that the government had finally decided to connect the two motorways.

And you can bet she didn't receive compensation.

Anonymous said...

So it's OK to kill a soldier as long as they are paid? 'All you conscripts just stand aside for a moment, we have some special business with the pros'.

I have to admit that I'm not very close to the action, but I find the distinctions between methods and victims trend into arbitrariness. Bulldozing a soldier is OK because they were paid, shooting a conscript is not because they weren't, bulldozing a civilian is not because bulldozing is never right.

I saw an interesting comment on a camera attachment for sniper scopes earlier in the week. The advantage of the system is that the (US) sniper can aim their weapon from a safe position, and not risk being sniped themselves. The poster said, 'this is going to save a lot of lives'. Indeed.