Archives

Cowardice Among ‘Christian’ Leaders: Why the Churches Are Largely Mum on Torture

Cowardice Among ‘Christian’ Leaders: Why the Churches Are Largely Mum on Torture

Anyone harboring doubts that the institutional Church is riding shotgun for the system, even regarding heinous sin like torture, should be chastened by the results of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Who but the cowardly crew leading the “Christian” churches can be held responsible for the fact that many of their flock believe torture of suspected terrorists is “justified?”

Those polled were white non-Hispanic Catholics, white Evangelicals, and white mainline Protestants. A majority (54 percent) of those who attend church regularly said torture could be “justified,” while a majority of those not attending church regularly responded that torture was rarely or never justified.

I am not a psychologist or sociologist. But I recall that one of the first things Hitler did on assuming power was to ensure there was a pastor in every Lutheran and Catholic parish in Germany. Why? Because he calculated, correctly, that here would be a force for stability for his regime.

Thus began another horrid chapter in the history of those professing to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth but had forgotten his repeated admonition, Do not be afraid.

A mere seven decades after the utter failure of church leaders in Germany, their current American counterparts have again yielded to fear, and have condoned evils like torture by their deafening silence.

What kinds of folks comprise this 54 percent? An informal “survey” of my friends suggests these are “my-country-first” people — like the fellow who recently gave me the finger when he saw my bumper sticker, which simply says “God bless the rest of the world too.”

They are people accustomed to hierarchy and comfortable being told what they should think and do to preserve “our way of life.”

They place a premium on nationalism, which they call patriotism, and on what the Germans call Ordnung. I suppose that this may be part of why they go to church on Sunday.

It’s a problem that has existed for almost 1,700 years, ever since 4th Century Christians jettisoned there heritage of non-violent resistance to war and threw in their lot with Constantine.

Read Article

You must be logged in to post a comment.