Unless you haven't turned on a tv or opened the internet recently, you've heard someone talking about torture. Things that were done by citizens of our country, to citizens of a different country.
As a result of this being all over the news, I've read a lot of things, by a lot of people, defending and criticizing this use of "torture." I use the quotations not because I don't believe it was torture, I do. I use them because there are different opinions on what to call what those soldiers did to those prisoners, and I want to try and be respectful of differing opinions.
Watching Christians defending torture is unsettling to me. Seeing people I respect, informing their theology with their politics, is disappointing. Shouldn't our faith inform our politics? Not the other way around?
I'll just come out and say it. You cannot be a follower of Jesus and support torture. People will disagree with me, and I'm fine with that. I've thought about it, prayed about it, and wrestled with it.
I simply cannot see any justifiable way for a follower of Jesus to treat an image bearer of God the way we treated those prisoners. It's sin. Plain and simple. Yes, what they did, or allegedly did, was dark and evil and awful. Didn't Jesus say something about "eye for an eye?"
"But they had information. We needed to get information out of them. They were just following orders."
I must have missed the part of the bible where Jesus said, "Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you, unless your commanding officer orders you to torture them, then it's fine."
The crazy thing about Jesus and his kingdom is that it flies in the face of our culture. It is direct opposition to the militaristic empire we call the USA. It says that the weak will be made strong. It says that the last will be first. It says to turn the other cheek.
You can't love your enemies while you are torturing them.
As followers of Jesus, we have a choice to make. We can either take Jesus at his word and admit that, though it's difficult, we are called to love our enemies.
Or we can decide that what empire, security, and nationalism are more important that the words of Jesus and that we want to do whatever makes us feel the most justified and vindicated.
Which will you choose?