Monday, July 28, 2008

Pro-life=anti-torture

Here is an article I read on the issue of torture... I liked it... tell me what you think:

Here is the original link if you want to read the comments and stuff...

http://adventuresinmercy.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/being-pro-life-means-im-anti-torture/

If you are like me, you’ve often voted Republican because, despite the areas where you may disagree with them, you are profoundly pro-life and will vote for just about anything if it will bring down the amount of human lives lost to abortion.
Here would be the place to say that I’m also profoundly pro-woman. I have nothing but deep pity for the woman caught in a pregnancy that she didn’t plan or want. I am not anti-woman, pro-baby. Rather, I am for the lives of both. I believe that abortion hurts women—-hurts the mother deeply, as well as ends a human life. It is my opinion that abortion is lose/lose.
Some of my friends have had abortions and privately share the deep grief that it’s caused them, a thing that doesn’t ever go away. I wish I could wipe that pain away from them. I wish I could give them that year back, a chance to make a different choice. And I also wish they were free to be open about the pain they have dealt with instead of having to hide it, because I wish that other women could know what abortion will cost them.
It really bothers me that information like that is kept from women. To me, a pro-woman position would include full disclosure of information, including an ultrasound. Women deserve the right to know. Before people go in for knee surgery, for crying out loud, they get light-years worth of a better explanation of what’s going to happen and why, then they get if they go in for an abortion. When we are with-holding information like that, we’re not treating women as full adults.
I am pro-woman—so I think women have the right to all the information about what’s going to happen when they have an abortion, as well as a full explanation of all the risks.
I am also for being a society that helps women facing an unwanted pregnancy, instead of turns a blind eye while they, alone, bear the consequences of a moment that took two adults to make happen.
So, yes, I’m unashamedly pro-life. And I’m pro-environment for the same reason. Being for a healthy environment is being pro-life. Thinking that we shouldn’t stop companies from polluting our water, for example, is an example of being anti-life. (For those who don’t agree, I would appreciate hearing how and why it’s “pro-life” that we live in a world where pregnant women can’t eat fish more than once a week, lest the pollutants found in the meat damage their unborn child).
Thanks to not protecting the environment, death and destruction increase on a number of fronts. Being pro-life isn’t just being anti-abortion. Being pro-life is being respectful of life in a circumspect way. Being for life is a broad big thing.
And torturing human beings is not consistant with a pro-life stance. Torture is an anti-life activity, and being ambivalent or accepting of torture is an anti-life stance. Torture violates the concept that all humans are made in the image of God. When we believe that all humans are made in God’s image, we believe that all humans should be treated with dignity. That means we treat the unborn with dignity. That means we also treat the Iraqi with dignity.
When we believe in obeying the God of the Bible, we believe in treating others as we would be treated. Jesus said that if you wanted to sum up the Law and the Prophets, it all came down to two commandments. Paul summed it up the same way: love God and love your fellow human. Love includes treating others with respect. Torture, however, is an extreme act of disrespect. Torture is inconsistant with obeying God’s law to love Him and to love those He’s made in His image.
Not to mention, from a pragmatic standpoint, torture guarantees nothing by way of results. It does not increase the amount of information one gets, because people will say anything and everything in order to reduce the amount of pain. So, sure, you get more information when you torture, but you have no way of telling how much of it is false and how much of it is true. In the end, you learn nothing more than you knew before. The only thing you’ve gained is the joy of humiliating your enemy.
And the only thing that does is solidify *their* view of you as the enemy. Let’s be frank. Our country was hated before we were known to be torturers. The fact that we tortured made a whole lot of Iraqi’s, not sure of which side to choose, choose the anti-American side. So choosing to call torture acceptable made us lose in every single way possible, excluding the fact that torturing our enemy gave us a sick and perverse sense of joy. Which lowered our own humanity more than it lowered the humanity of those we tortured. So in the end, calling torture acceptable made us lose in every way.
Which is another way to say that, unless a strong stand is made that torture is unacceptable and should be prosecuted as a war crime, you may want to reconsider calling the Republican party, ”pro-life.” As of right now, no, they aren’t. Let’s hope that changes.
And for those who derided Clinton for fudging the truth and claiming, among other things, that he didn’t have sex with “that woman”—-a claim that Republicans and Christians loudly decried later, when it became more than evident that he wasn’t being truthful—-I don’t understand the huge double-standards. Why are many of those same Republicans and Christians being so astoundingly silent about fellow Christian, John Ashcroft, when he testifies that waterboarding is not a form of torture?
My opinion on why Christians can’t seem to get up the nerve to say that torture isn’t acceptable? Because our president and our attorney general are professed Christians and they belong to the party that conservative Christians call their own. And so what we would never stomach if it came from the mouth of a Democrat president or his/her staff, we bend over and take because it’s “our” side doing it.
There is no good reason for torture. There is no justification for it, especially not for the follower of Christ. An avid reader and a daughter of parents who kept a well-stocked library on the wall right outside my bedroom, I fell asleep at night reading books like “Tortured for His Faith.” I cannot shake those images from my mind when I read about the torture being justified as “necessary” today. Go ask our fellow Believers in the underground church what they think of torture, like Richard Wurmbrand (whose story is highly worth reading: “In God’s Underground“).
Why do we unanimously frown on the Chinese government for torturing Christians, but don’t say much against our president when he approves torturing non-Christians? If we, as followers of Christ, only stand up for the dignity of life when it’s our own, we’ve missed the radical nature of the Gospel altogether.
Torture is what the bad guys do.
So what does that make us?

1 comment:

Kurt said...

pro life is so much bigger than our friends and family on the 'right' have made it. if we are going to give dignity to the 'unborn' what about the dignity of the 'born?' I might have more to say later, but for now this will have to suffice...