Bauer: Good Christians Torture

200px-Cristo_crucificadotorture -abu ghraibThere has been a long controversy over the ability of the religious right to justify most any position of the GOP on the environment or civil liberties in terms of religious faith. However, the recent Republican effort to embrace and justify torture presented a bit of a problem for the faithful, particularly Christians who worship a man who was tortured to death on a cross. That presented no problem for Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate and leader of the religious right, who has announced that it would have been immoral for the Bush administration not to torture people.

Recently, a poll showed that religious people are more likely to support torture. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found 62 percent of white evangelical Protestants said torture of a suspected terrorist could be often or sometimes justified to obtain important information.

180px-BarybauerconcordGary Bauer rejected the question of “Would Jesus torture?” Instead, he explained “There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn’t do because he’s the son of God. I can’t imagine Jesus being a Marine or a policeman or a bank president, for that matter. The more appropriate question is, ‘What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?’ I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information.” In our steady moral decline, it is “morally suspect” not to torture. It turns out the the question of “what is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?” is not answered by Jesus’ image or teachings but people like Bauer who believe that torturing people is morally superior despite that fact that it violated international law and every intelligible moral precept.

Of course, the Bush administration tortured people just in case they knew about attacks. Dick Cheney reportedly called for the torture of detainees to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq to fend off critics of the Iraq war.

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28 thoughts on “Bauer: Good Christians Torture”

  1. E:

    Rod your kids for talking back? How about beating your neighbor for letting his dog urinate in your yard? Explain the difference to me then — in the context of these Biblical examples.

  2. I used to think it would be funny to create a bumper sticker that said WWJT? to parody those WWJD? ones that used to be popular. I thought it might make some Christians stop and think about where some of their leaders were moving. Now I think it might actually be a hit, proving H.L. Mencken’s comment about nobody ever going broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. I knew modern Christians had forgotten to “visit the imprisoned” but didn’t realize so many had come to condone torture. That it should come to this.

  3. Let ’em keep talking. The fundies are revealing themselves to be as irrelevant and crazy as the neo-cons and their organized Republican followers. Pardon me while I enjoy the self destruction; can I get ya’ another log to throw on that funeral pyre? 😉

  4. Ok, now we sing, Good Christian Men Rejoice, Good Christian Men Rejoice. About what I don’t know. But if they say Torture is good, then it must be.

    Oral Roberts (Two Gay Guys named Bob) saw a 70 foot Jesus and said Oral. This was as he was looking him straight in the eyes and said Oral, I want you to build me a University right here in Oklahoma. So it was done.

    Then I want you to make your son the successor so we can ask him to resign after the terror and we will pay him and his wife for 2 years after that ok. Oral and I want you to sit on the side of me, when you come up here ok. There will only be room for 144,000. That would be 12,000 from the 12 tribes.


  5. Sally:

    “God does not condone torture. I’d like to know exactly where in the Bible this man found that God gave the okay for torture.”


    Here’s a few off the top of my head:

    “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.” Proverbs 18:6

    “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” Proverbs 26:3

    “And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.” Deuteronomy 25:2

    “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23: 13-14

    And I ‘m just in the Old Testament.

  6. Be grateful to him, folks. The massive failures of the current manifestation of the Republican Party have alienated many former conservatives. Fools like Bauer who defend, in the name of Christ, the grotesque Constitutional and humanitarian abuses of the Bush administration will further alienate thinking Americans from the un-Holy alliance between evangelicals and the Republican Party. Evangelicals are rapidly being marginalized as it is– and this latest heresy will speed the process.

  7. God does not condone torture. I’d like to know exactly where in the Bible this man found that God gave the okay for torture.

    But he is an evangelical and those folks are way off base on many things, especially this.

  8. Which part of “Do unto others…” escapes Mr Bauer’s Christian ethic. I guess the Christians’ much publicized use of the What Would Jesus Do phrase is no longer operative. Bauer sure threw icy cold water on that tidbit of bumper-sticker proselytizing. He sounds like a parody from The Wizard of Oz”—-“Pay no attention to what Jesus would do. It’s not important. Who are you going to believe, me or the stuff you read in the Bible”?

  9. Bauer is correct. This was what occurred at the Council of Nicaea in 325CE to ensure that the dissenters re: Jesus’ divinity were silenced. It was done at the Council of Hippo circa 375CE, to ensure the Canon went the way the Church leaders wanted. It was done throughout the Crusades, even before the Crusaders left Europe and some Jews could be rounded up. It was a staple of the Inquisition and than also became a staple of determining heresy in Protestant locales as well, after Luther’s ascendancy. It was done in America as they hunted witches. That Christian’s torture is a fact of their history. Why should a fundamentalist hypocrite, who is in it for the money, like Mr. Bauer believe differently? How is he wrong when you view it historically?

  10. Rationalization by contortion – or maybe pretzel logic – that’s what Gary Bauer is exhibiting. Christian principles, not so much. I’ve never heard such convoluted reasoning in my life, and if Jesus really does return for a final judgment day, the followers of this kind of “Christianity” are going to be in a state of shock for their entire trip to hell.

  11. This is just unF***ing believable. What if you don’t pay your pew fees, do you still get to sit and listen to him. I think maybe he should be thrown from the Temple as a money changer.

  12. S/B Altemeyer taught me everything I know about Cook County Democats!

  13. I guess “What would Jesus do?” is supposed to be more of a rhetorical question. It sounds as if Mr. Bauer knows quite a bit about what God and Jesus think and want, perhaps he should be tortured in case he is holding any further information back from us??

  14. Didn’t get the kinder garden memo, ‘reap what you sow’, fearful, law shreding, evangelical, jingoistic, maroons.

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