"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, November 05, 2005

What We Have Lost

The Bush administration is now seeking to openly justify the torture it has carried on semi-clandestinely for the past three years. This represents one of the few innovations that the current administration has managed to achieve. The wise inhibitions of our forefathers regarding torture are now being shed, and the fact that it is being done by those who wear their evangelical faith on their sleeve, if not their forehead, makes it all the more disheartening to those of us who struggle to follow the non-torturing Jesus. The silence of the mainstream churches in the face of this blatant violation of God's image is one more sad argument that they have indeed become mere "chaplains of capitalism" as a recent study Christianity Incorporated by Micheal Budde has argued.

" In an interview for National Public Radio he (Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff) charged that Vice President Cheney's office--and new chief aide David Addingtoon--was responsible for directives which led to U.S soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wilkerson said he had some hard evidence: a trail of memos and directives authorizing questionable detention practices up through Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's office directly to Cheney's staff. The directives, he said, contradicted a 2002 order by President Bush for the military to abide by the Geneva Convention rules against torture." - "More Fodder for Press: Wilkerson Charges Cheney Responsible for Prisoner Abuse", AP, Nov. 4 , 2005.

In direct support of his contentions, Cheney is currently making direct personal appeals to endorse "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" of detainees. "Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according o participants in a closed-door session." "Cheney Seeks CIA Exemption to Torture Ban", AP, Nov. 5, 2005. This Christian uses his power not to seek comfort for those souls who have fallen into his clutches, but open and unprecedented freedom to degrade and torture them without limit or oversight. Not even Pinochet's Chile demanded such an open right.

Yet still the silence of the churches continues. Let us pray that we might be forgiven our own silence and inaction while our brothers and sisters are tortured to keep us safe.


Chris Sullivan said...

I hope and pray that Christians will stand up and speak out against torture.

Some are already doing so.

Keep up the good work Boyd.

God Bless

Boyd Collins said...

Thanks a lot, Chris. It's knowing that there are readers like you out there that keep me going.