Thursday, April 23, 2009

Torture discussion on Kyle's blog: Journeys In Alterity

For a few days now, a discussion about the legitimacy of torture and how Christians should regard it as been going on at and his Kyle's blog: Journeys in Alterity.  

You can reach Kyle's  blog by clicking on the name, Journeys in Alterity, on the list of blogs I peruse found at the bottom of this page.  

Next you will find Kyle's original blog posting on the matter and one of my responses.  Please do go to Kyle's site and make some comments...I'm eager to explore this more myself.  

Kyle said: SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2009

Torturing Christ

I find it disturbing that we’re actually debating the concept of torturing people, but what I really don’t get is the defense of torture by Christians. I say this not because Christians are better than others, but because, from the Christian standpoint, what we do to one another, even to the least among us and to the worst of sinners, we do to Christ. We show our love and respect for God in how we treat one another. A Christian who defends torturing a human person defends, in a sense, torturing Him in whose image and likeness we are all made.

I said:S. Rich said...

I don't have a definitive answer. But let me mention a few thoughts.

-Christ was certainly willing to be tough at times. When the money changers desecrated the temple Christ personally smacked them with a whip-like instrument. Was such a torturous action? Christ smacked them and publicly humbled them. Christ embarrassed there fragile psyches and physically assaulted their bodies, their temples of the Holy Spirit. 

-Christ also buys into justice. Of Judas, it would be better for him if he had never been born. Of someone that would harm a child, may he have a millstone tied about his neck and be cast into the sea. 

I suppose the definition of torture is at issue here. Is waterboarding torture because it scares someone? Is putting a caterpillar in a closet with someone afraid of bugs torture? 

I am inclined to believe that if it is possible to have a just war, then it is possible to have a just extraction of information...but there is certainly a fine line that cannot morally be crossed. I don't have an exact demarcation of that line myself, though I would tend to be cautious so as not to risk crossing that line.

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