"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Millstone

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea." - Mark 9:42

Lord, let my heart not be a millstone around the necks of those who want to come to Christ.

Before reading the following story, cast your memory back to a time when you might have tried to speak with someone of another faith about Jesus and his healing power. Then imagine that person in the following situation, at the same time recalling the documented fact that most of those at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib were simply devout Muslims who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gitmo Soldier Details Sexual Tactics
- ABC News, Feb 12, 2005 (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=451856&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312)

"In another case, Saar describes a female military interrogator questioning an uncooperative 21-year-old Saudi detainee who allegedly had taken flying lessons in Arizona before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Suspected Sept. 11 hijacker Hani Hanjour received pilot instruction for three months in 1996 and in December 1997 at a flight school in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"His female interrogator decided that she needed to turn up the heat," Saar writes, saying she repeatedly asked the detainee who had sent him to Arizona, telling him he could "cooperate" or "have no hope whatsoever of ever leaving this place or talking to a lawyer.'"

The man closed his eyes and began to pray, Saar writes.

The female interrogator wanted to "break him," Saar adds, describing how she removed her uniform top to expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing them against the prisoner's back and commenting on his apparent erection.

The detainee looked up and spat in her face, the manuscript recounts.

The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.

Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical contact with women other than a man's wife or family, and with any menstruating women, who are considered unclean.

"The concept was to make the detainee feel that after talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength," says the draft, stamped "Secret."

The interrogator used ink from a red pen to fool the detainee, Saar writes.

"She then started to place her hands in her pants as she walked behind the detainee," he says. "As she circled around him he could see that she was taking her hand out of her pants. When it became visible the detainee saw what appeared to be red blood on her hand. She said, 'Who sent you to Arizona?' He then glared at her with a piercing look of hatred.

"She then wiped the red ink on his face. He shouted at the top of his lungs, spat at her and lunged forward" so fiercely that he broke loose from one ankle shackle.

"He began to cry like a baby," the draft says, noting the interrogator left saying, "Have a fun night in your cell without any water to clean yourself."

This was done to a man so that he could not receive strength from God to resist temptation. What is the name for those who do such things?

"I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." - Luke 18:14

"Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense." Catechism, 2284.

Be still my heart. Lord, love sometimes fades in me when I think of those willing to torture your children. How must it grieve your heart to see us when we seek to tear others away from your strength and the hope that burns within them? I pray that those who do such things will open their hearts to you and put away their instruments of torture. I also pray that those who lead your flock will have the courage to speak your word clearly so that your confused children may turn away from sin.


gratefulbear said...

This was a difficult post to read, but one which everyone needs to read. Thank you so much for framing this difficult story with reminders of the love of Christ we are all called to have -- even for those who commit such atrocities.

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