Evangelicals Support Torture — Isn’t That Weird?

supporting torture

Dick Cheney, Torture Apologist in Chief

Isn’t it weird that evangelicals support torture? Apparently the majority of people in the U.S. are fine with it, including the majority of evangelical Christians. I wanted to put the word “Christians” in quotes, like I just did, but I know some of these people and they are sincere, good people. That’s what deeply bothers me about this.

Is there any greater testament to the fact that Christianity has been taught horribly, catastrophically, unconscionably wrong in the U.S. than the fact that the majority of evangelicals, who serve the Lord of Peace that they will stand in candle-lit sanctuaries in a week and celebrate, have no problem with barbaric things being done to other people God loves? Isn’t it strange that if I claim Jesus was speaking metaphorically about hell, many evangelicals would question my theology, but the majority of evangelicals can outright ignore what Jesus plainly said about loving one’s enemies and not have a second thought?

This demonstrates how much faith has become about what a person claims to believe and not about whether they actually do what Jesus commanded. If you don’t “believe” the “correct” doctrine about hell, you’ll be called a heretic almost for sure, but ignore the clearest and most direct teachings of Jesus and you’ll be in good company with the majority of both believers and non-believers. Apparently being a heretic, believing something that may be wrong, is far worse than disobedience — blatantly ignoring what we are clearly told to do, and not even intending to do it.

I’m no Pollyanna. I realize the fact that God loves these people doesn’t make them safe. It doesn’t make them good. It certainly doesn’t not make them terrorists who want to kill us. But it does compel we who claim to follow Jesus to actually consider what it means to “love our enemies.”

If you can figure out a way to excuse yourself when it comes to this thing Jesus spoke most clearly about, why not just exempt yourself from the entire enterprise of being Christian? What in God’s name does it even mean, if you get to be just as barbaric, just as fearful, just as reactionary as everybody else?

If it’s going to be like this, I’m left to wonder, what did Jesus actually save you from?

 

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  • Kevin

    To love your enemies is to show how strong one truly is. To love someone that is persecuting you takes a lot of self control. That type of demonstration is what true strength is. However, I do firmly believe in self defense and so does Jesus. Extracting information fom the enemy is a must to protect the citizens.
    You utilized the word save in the past tense Dave. What did Jesus save us from Dave? Are you stating that all are already saved? If so. How? I suspect that you may lag in knowledge which pertains to salvation even though you are a pastor. Nonetheless, your wisdom should give you clarity on the subject matter. You have a lot of information about salvation that either you reject or you simply lack knowledge (clear and right understanding) of one being saved. You do have wisdom (Sound decision to use your knowledge to believe the truth to be true and ptactice the truth). There is only one way one can be saved. I kow this for the bible tells me so. Because God said it, that settle it. Those that reject Jesus as their Lord and savior and end up in hell will no doubt be able to desribe the meaning of what torture really is by experience.

    • Your last sentence there is why I reject a great of what you said in this post. There’s no way to spin that as love, no matter how hard you try. It puts the lie to a whole way of thinking about God.

      • Kevin

        How so Dave?

        • Kevin —

          Years ago I made a decision about my calling/role/purpose/mission on earth, which is to guide those who willingly come seeking guidance from me, based on my life, experiences, and best understanding of God. I don’t always live faithfully by that, but it’s my goal.

          I can tell that you are a good person, Kevin, but also that you have your own way of understanding God that is quite different from mine. This means that I’m best off to let your pastor guide you, and not to engage in foolish debates that will frustrate you and ultimately not do anything productive for either of us.

          So rather than answering your “how so” question in detail, I’ll just direct you back to the original comment you made. Look back through the spiritual/religious things you said, and identify things that someone who sees the world differently than you might perceive as dismissive, hurtful, judgmental, etc. If I need to point it out to you, you’re not going to understand/agree with it anyway. But if you can see it yourself, than your own heart can be your guide, and the counselor and pastor in me both know this is almost always better anyway.

          • Kevin

            You are a good person too Dave. I’m NOT seeking any type of debate with you whether it be a foolish debate or a productive one. It has been said to me many times in the past that I ask tough questions by professionals and my college professors. There was more than one question in my post Dave. However, the formulated two word question most likely is the toughest one for you to answer. I refuse to let my own heart be my guide because God said the heart is the greatest deceiver. My understanding is a spiritual understanding an not a carnal one.

            You obviously don’t like how our government extracts information from our enemies. You claim that their methods are not showing love. I’ve had family members serve in a war and suffered greatly by the enemy. Maybe you should spend some time with some war veterens to aid you in better understand a loss. Do you have the slightest understanding of what is like to be a victim of war? Do you even understand how tough it is to be a police officer and to protect and serve the public from enemies. I also have a family member that is a state cop. So, Dave, share with me and all those that may read your blog your resolution of how one must obtain information from the enemy while exhibiting love at the same time to protect our country.

            • I stand by my statement that torture is not loving, that we are indeed commanded to love our enemies and take that seriously, and I don’t plan to defend it. I believe it is self-evident.

  • CR

    I’ve always had the same concern about the death penalty. There was a time, not very long ago, when a very large percentage of Christians supported capital punishment. To me that’s incongruent with being Christian.