Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Torture and Religion

One thing that the whole torture "debate" that is going on right now in this country ought to finally set to rest, once and for all, is the myth that religion, in particular, Christian religion, has any claims to superior morality.

The party of the Christian right; the loudest religious faction in the nation; the faction that proudly says it only votes for Christian candidates; the faction that is soaked in religion, with members living every single day, with every single little decision, based on their Christian faith (seriously - just ask them or listen to them talk). This faction is the faction that is most loudly supporting the Bush torture regime. Not just them, but their fearless GOP leaders, who of course can count on the loyalty of the religious right to support the GOP no matter what evils they support (and torture is EVIL, period). This should put to rest any notion that Christians have any superior morality.

Yes, I know they aren't 100% of the Christians in the nation, but they are the most soaked in it. They are the biggest churchgoers, going to megachurches, and smaller churches. Someone who is nominally Christian but doesn't go around quoting the bible or otherwise paying much attention to religious things doesn't count as much as a Christian for purposes of determining the religion/morality connection (or rather, lack thereof). Because the Christians don't claim that simply calling yourself a Christian is what matters, but it is actually truly being part of the religion that matters. It wouldn't really make sense otherwise. I could call myself a Christian, but really would I be one if I never went to church, believed in no gods, and thought the bible was pure mythology? (The answer is, of course, no).

If loud, unqualified support for torture is what being a right-wing Christian means, then it is clear that not only does Christianity not represent superior morality, it can actually represent a rather reprehensible kind of evil. Which is no suprise, really, but it isn't often that it is so loudly and clearly displayed for public consumption.

As Badtux noted in comments, it is funny how the party that howls about "moral relativism" from "liberals" (as a dirty word) is really the party that practices the most pernicious kind of relativism - that of all evil is good when done by their party (and all good is evil when done by the other party). I think it is an example of how they accuse others of doing what they really do themselves. That is a whole post in itself.

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