Torture by any name…

What do we make of our government (current administration) when “God fearing” and “God loving” leaders allow such things to happen? This is a betrayal of America, in the name of saving America.
From the New York Times: China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo

WASHINGTON — The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”
What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

This from Andrew Sullivan:

So Reagan’s alleged heir came to follow the moral strictures of Communist totalitarians. And note: the torture methods were designed to elicit false confessions. We have no assurance that the intelligence conjured up by this brutality is anything more than what Dick Cheney wanted it to be. (That’s how he likes his intelligence, of course. Whatever he wants reality to be.)
But one thing is at least clear. The people who committed this form of “enhanced interrogation” knew full well it was torture. And they used that word. It’s a good one. And it means what it says.

Peering Past Lambeth

A good essey written on Anglicans Online by The Rt Revd Pierre W. Whalon, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe on what is needed beyond Lambeth. The good bishop provides a good overview of some of the distinctive aspects of Anglicanism that are worthy of preservation, even if under great strain right now.
The essay: Peering Past Lambeth

Radicals, again

I was thinking more about the whole “being a radical” thing. I am obviously fairly conventional in many ways, yet simply being a Christian is a radical departure from American cultural norms from the beginning.
So much of the religion of Christianity has capitulated to the culture – and here the conservatives are as much if not more guilty of this than are the liberals (at least in the West and most notably in America) . Part of the difference between the two equally guilty parties is that the conservatives are often blind to the capitulation or which parts of the culture they have given themselves to – frankly, what often happens is they take a culture norm and sanctify it and call it God’s will, like free-market economics for example. Certainly nothing wrong with free-market economics, but it certain isn’t the dictate of God that this is His divine plan or will for humankind. From my experience, at least liberals don’t make any excuses for being like the surrounding culture. Speaking of excuses, what I like about many conservatives is their honesty about their sense of personal, cultural, ethnic, economic, or “systems” superiority – you know where you stand. My experience suggests that liberals have a hard time admitting to their own sense of superiority, like conservatives have a hard time admitting to their own capitulation to the culture.
Anyway, with even a cursory reading of the New Testament, one can’t come away without realizing that the way Jesus calls us to life and to live is very contrary to the prevailing cultural – religious and secular. Jesus calls us to a peculiar life, a radical departure from the norm. This is the way it is, unless we simply want to justify ourselves and our ways of living.
We are to be in the world, but not of it. We are to let our example be a light to help a lost world find its way, but if our lives simple blend into the context of everything else then there is no distinction, no difference, no different light to recognize and follow. This is why it is so tragic when the Church, Christians, and the religion become indistinguishable from the prevailing culture. We would rather trust the culture than the Way of Christ. Understandable, perhaps, due to fear and insecurity, but lamentable all the same.
Live a radical life, for the sake of the world and the people in it.