Gitmo Closing

Well, I see that the AFA has issued its first alert about President Obama’s agenda. Whether or not they are overreacting, as their tendency sometimes seems to be, remains to be seen. It is no surprise that he is pursuing a liberal agenda. After all, that is what he ran on.

However, all is not doom and gloom. I see that Yahoo! News is reporting from Reuters that “Obama orders Guantanamo shut”. All I can say is, “It’s about time!”

Without a doubt, Gitmo has done more to erode the view of the US as a moral nation in the eyes of the world than anything else during the past 8 years. News reports of waterboarding being justified by the administration, hoods over captives’ heads, reports of captives being stripped naked, etc, has damaged our credibility to the point that it will take years, if not decades, for the effects to be repaired.

I’m afraid that this will be George W Bush’s legacy more than anything else. How a “Christian” President can buy into torture, flying people around the world illegally, and other dubious acts, is beyond me. What part of “do unto others” would he like done to him?

Contrast this with the Biblical account where justice was often meeted out swiftly and without delay. The guilty were usually stoned to death. During war, all the males were to be killed, not held and tortured (Dt 20:11-13). And, even if the punishment for an individual was a whipping, there was a limit of 40 lashes (Dt 25:1-3), not indiscriminate prolonged punishment. In fact, when it comes right down to it, one of the measurements of justice in the Bible seems to be the swiftness of the punishment.

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

~ Ecc 8:11

Christianity Today has an article on the “5 Reasons Torture Is Always Wrong“. I don’t agree that all of the reasons are necessarily Biblically based, but there are 2 I would like to highlight here:

1. We are all created in the image of God. Christianity Today points out the predictable verse in Ge 1, but I’d like to point out Jas 3:9-10, which states, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” Brethren, if James can say such strong things about the use of words, how much more will Christ say about our actions?

2. Torture erodes the character of the nation that tortures. Christianity Today states, “A nation is a collective moral entity with a character, an identity that carries across time. Causes come and go, threats come and go, but the enduring question for any social entity is who we are as a people. This is true of a family, a church, a school, a civic club, or a town. It is certainly true of a nation.” I’m not sure why they didn’t point this out, but Pr 13:34 states, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” This is why I state that we have lost moral credibility in the world. We based a war upon lies, then we continue in unrighteous acts even afterwards.

Finally, there is one more reason a “Christian” President should not want to torture. A Christian should be a man or woman of his/her word. A Christian should stand for truth and righteousness, which includes not lying. We signed the Geneva Convention. We must honor it if our “Christianity” means anything!

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