Torture

Excerpt from Relevant Magazine’s website:

Surprisingly there is no group more divided by the torture debate than the Church. The Pew Forum recently asked a select number of Americans of different religious backgrounds whether or not the use of torture can be justified. According to the survey, 44 percent of white evangelical Protestants said torture could sometimes be justified. Also, the survey shows that people who go to religious services weekly are more likely to support torture in certain cases, rather than those who hardly attend. If the Bible says, “Love your enemy,” why then would so many Christians support torture?

Missionary Aaron Taylor thinks it is closely related to the evangelical church’s overemphasis on man’s sinful nature. “Whether most evangelicals realize it or not,” he writes on Sojourners’ blog, “our underlying assumption is that those who are not born again are only capable of evil. Even if we notice good behavior in nonbelievers, our understanding of the Christian faith demands that we attribute it to selfish motives.” While Taylor does not deny that man is sinful by nature, he also believes that focusing too much on it does more harm than good. “When we take total depravity to mean that every nonbeliever at all times is only capable of sinning,” he writes, “we forget that even fallen human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore capable of reason.”

This makes a lot of sense as to why many Christians support some form of torture. But it also makes me so frustrated. How in the world is torture ever okay? What about Jesus’ life gives us permission to torture people by “walking as he walked.” And on top of that, most of those torturing others are probably non-christians themselves. So they see the Church supporting them in this de-humanization of others? This is absurdity.

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