Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular
but one must take it because it is right."
--- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Two years ago the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirmed a strong statement that called for investigation into the incidents of torture of detainees taken as part of the US war on terror. It also established this website, No 2 Torture, which is filled with resources on this issue. The people being tortured were in Abu Ghraib, and we all saw those pictures. These people were at Guantanamo-- a trial of an alleged 9/11 conspirator has recently been abandoned because the US prosecutors didn't want the mistreatment of the prisoner becoming an issue at trial. These people were also probably farmed out to countries that-- unlike the US-- don't have laws against these activities.
This is "Banners Across America" month. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture is encouraging religious bodies to speak on this issue, and would like to see churches, synagogues, temples and mosques hang banners that say "Torture is Wrong." Does the gospel call us to witness against this? I believe the answer is, it does. The answer to most all objections can be found in the MLK quote above. Is it right? Of course it isn't. It isn't right for those who profes to be our enemies to do it, and it isn't right for us to do it.
This week I will be writing a sermon on this topic to preach to the church that has only known me for 9 months. Your prayers are appreciated.