The revelations continue to spill out, even if slowly, about how the government of the Bush & Cheney administration in a fundamentally significant way changed for the worse the American culture with regard to our concepts of and interaction with the torture and abuse of prisoners.
Andrew Sullivan, a conservative (although certainly not a neo-conservative) has written a piece about all this. Here is the link. Sullivan strongly urges that those who are responsible for the policies that claimed that the U.S. could ignore the Geneva Convention and that somehow it is justified to allow for torture against our enemies should be brought to justice, no matter how far up the chain of command culpability might go.
One of the strongest criticisms of the administration's policies and allowances is the effect it has had on the American psyche and culture. This is a very important observation and the ramifications of the change will have even greater impact on our nation's future than the actual doing of torture. What has happened to the culture is a shift to accepting torture and justifying in our own minds our ability to engage in culture while at the same time we condemn it in others. Our moral strength of the high-road on the world state has collapsed. We can no longer with a straight face demanded on the world stage that those who torture Americans must be brought to justice, because we do not hold ourselves accountable. All of this, accepted and justified by those who claim they are the true and faithful champions of Jesus Christ.
I continue to be dismayed, and I mean dismayed, by what I constantly hear from the politicized American Religious Right as they unquestioningly (seemingly so) support the policies of the Bush administration concerning the execution of the war in Iraq and even presenting justifications for the techniques we used in prosecuting that war - including clandestine prisons and torture. Where are their minds and their hearts? Heavenward? It doesn't seem like it.
The Religious Right has lost it moorings to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They claim to represent American Evangelicals and Fundamentalists (or all religious people that support their positions - except Muslims, of course, because in their estimation Muslims are just evil, period). They claim to be the true expression of the Christian Faith in America as opposed to the mainline denominations or "Christians in name only" who support more liberal policies (like ones based on Jesus' command that we love even our enemies). These organizations have become so consumed with the attainment and retention of political power that they have lost sight of what it means to be Christian. Their end goal, even if summed up in religious sounding language, justifies any means needed to achieve the goal of power. They have called evil good, and good evil. They have overwhelmed the Republican Party and instituted a neo-conservative politique that claims God's complete support.
They changed the moral character of American Evangelicalism away from Jesus' two great commands and to the corrupting power of secular politics. They have build a golden calf to which they turn, and that calf is the idolization of a nation-state and putting their trust not in God but in the power of the state. Ironic, isn't it? They have abandoned the call of God to believe and behave according to a different standard than that of the corrupt world. They have ruined their witness to a confused world, because they themselves are profoundly confused about what it means to be a Christian, about what it means to be moral, and about what it means to be human.
I'm not a liberal and I am no secular-humanist, but I cannot and will not support the theory or tactics of the Religious Right. Their ideology is corrupting to the soul and counter to the call of God to redeem and restore the world. The historic and storied framework and beliefs of what was Evangelicalism in this country has been sacrificed on the alter of politics, and it is sad.