“Who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left?”

I found a really interesting opinion piece at Crisis by Austin Ruse, who runs C-FAM (an organization you should know and support).

I am going to drop you into this piece in medias res.  You should go back to read the first part on your own.  Plenty of fireworks there, too.

[…]

I first noticed this group of thunder-bolt tossing uber-Catholics at a blog called Vox Nova, [they seem to come unhinged pretty easily… HERE ] which for a good long while was exorcized over the question of water boarding. I engaged the debate and suggested this was a distraction from real issues and a way to convince faithful Catholics that they could not vote for the Republicans because of it. You would have thought I was the biggest heretic since Martin Luther.

People went to the board of directors of the group I run asking for my firing because a heretic like me certainly could not run a Catholic organization. [Pretty nasty, that.  But that’s how they work.] I was excoriated in columns and comment boxes. I was schooled on Elizabeth Anscombe’s essay about why numbers do not matter; that three water-boardings are as important as 50 million abortions, or something like that.

This started all up again when a few months ago the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 6,000-page report on “torture” wherein they did not interview anyone from the CIA, but spent most of their time with defense attorneys for terrorists jailed in Guantanamo Bay.

This group of writers hasn’t exactly downplayed the non-negotiables as to expand them into meaninglessness. Gun control is now a non-negotiable. So is the minimum wage. Universal government provided health care is a non-negotiable and now, with the impending papal encyclical on the environment, global warming is one, too.

I got into a debate a few weeks ago on the topic of water boarding. What I found is these juice-box theologians, that is, mostly young newly minted but largely unemployed PhDs, believe that water boarding is so important that one must cast their vote for president based on it and it alone.

Talk about single-issue voting.

This may be an important issue but not one that rises to the level of determining my vote nor should it. There are too many other important issues like—yes—abortion.

Has the GOP overturned Roe v. Wade just yet? No. Does the GOP desert this issue on a fairly regular basis? Sure. Are there anti-lifers all over the GOP elite? You bet. Even so, the GOP remains the only viable political vessel for stopping what Pope St. John Paul the Great called the most important human rights issue of our time. He did not say that about torture, or the minimum wage, or universal government-run health care.

[QUAERITUR…] As for Catholic Social Teaching, the cudgel this group likes to beat us with, who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left? The following fits right in with Catholic Social Teaching, if only Catholics were willing to put it this way:

Eliminate the corporate income tax. Eliminate the capital gains tax, and the death tax. Eliminate OSHA and the Department of Education. At the same time, run a national campaign out of the White House encouraging people to finish high school, get married, go to church, and have babies. Sit back and watch all boats rise.

While we’re at it, let’s get the Federal government out of the land business. The Feds own a third of all US land, up to half and more of many western states. Let’s have a modern day land-rush for all those Distributists out there who are just itching to fish, farm or make cheese—though one suspects they’ll stay exactly where they are, blogging and adjunct teaching. [heh heh]

Please share this post!
Share

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to “Who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left?”

  1. ckdexterhaven says:

    I think the water boarding thing drove some liberal Catholic RINO’s crazy. They always leaned left, but the Democrat love affair with abortion forced them to vote Republican. The water boarding issue let the mask slip, and they gloat about the Thing That Used To Be Conservatism. It’s all peace, love, no torture, but hating Darth Cheney is allowed.

    Well, it didn’t drive them crazy, maybe it made them happy they could hate Republicans again?

  2. Rich Leonardi says:

    FWIW, these broken-bottle tactics are used by all too many archdiocesan officials. When I served a public Catholic apostolate a few years ago, these officials would hound staffers and other board members to have me ousted and send calumny-filled letters to the Archbishop. Unfortunately, it you have a timid or sympathetic bishop, the tactics work.

  3. Joe in Canada says:

    Why get into a debate at all about torture or water-boarding? Is it true that God blesses whatever Republicans want the US to do?
    Agreed, it’s not about numbers. But to allow just a little bit of abortion is to abandon principle for utility. Euthanasia and torture are both like that, in a way that (say) even the death penalty isn’t. A drop of sewage in a bottle of wine means it’s not wine anymore.

  4. Sword40 says:

    Back in the mid-’60’s, when I was in the Marines we were taught and experienced “water-boarding”. Yes, it’s scarey but I can think of a lots worse things like “hot” electrical wires to one’s private parts.

    Water-boarding was taught to us by a British Marine Major up at Escape and Evasion school, as it was called then.

    Water-boarding, properly used, is a valueable tool. If that upsets anyone; tough.

  5. Rob22 says:

    Fortunately more and more are calling the Pope out on his radical Alinsky/Soros like connections. The Federalist just ran a hard-hitting piece on this. I posted a link in another thread.

    Steve Moore of the WSJ and Forbes took the Pope to task a few weeks back in a piece criticizing him for aligning with anti-life forces in the radical green movement. Moore is an orthodox catholic and the writer of The Federalist piece is also Catholic.

  6. “Even so, the GOP remains the only viable political vessel for stopping what Pope St. John Paul the Great called the most important human rights issue of our time [abortion].”

    Right now, the GOP is not at all a viable vessel for stopping abortion. As I have said before, it will take a reclamation of the Democratic party by the pro-life cause (or the replacement of the Democratic party by a new second party– it has happened before in our history) before Republicans take pro-life voters seriously. As long as the Republicans know that they have no competition, all they will do is pay us lip service. This is why I strongly assert that candidates have to earn our votes instead of getting them by default. Every time we vote for the lesser evil, we simply move the boundaries of the discussion further to the left, where they never compromise.

  7. St. Rafael says:

    Sword40,
    Waterboarding is torture. That is why those in the military experienced it. They were taught how endure and survive torture. Torture is immoral. That is not the issue. The issue is how the hard left elevates it to the same level as a abortion. Not all sin and evil is the same. Some are worse than others.

  8. TawdryPenitent says:

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part III – Life in Christ, Article 6 – Moral Conscience,
    Reference 1789 – Some rules apply in every case. – One may never do evil so that good may result from it….
    This statement is not “nuanced”. It is unambiguous. It is unequivocal.
    It is not left or right. It is not liberal or conservative. It is not Democrat or Republican. It is not Novus Ordo or Traditional. It is a simple yet hard teaching of our Catholic faith.
    If this upsets anyone; tough.

  9. mburn16 says:

    Isn’t there something in church teaching that requires the implementation of something to be, you know, practical and sustainable? Its fine and well and good to talk about providing universal healthcare to everyone – until you realize the economics of such a policy simply can’t be sustained across generations in any productive way.

  10. ACatholicGuy says:

    I’ve never fully understood the liberal idea that to be a good Christian you have to support social programs. Christ’s message was for the individual to give to the poor. I don’t recall Him ever telling Caesar to give to the poor.

  11. Johnno says:

    Americans live under a 2-party tyranny. Democracy today is entirely artificial. A circus to keep us under the delusion that we are in control. No, we are only in control of what we’re allowed to be in control of. The Republicans will NEVER commit to the pro-life movement. They know who their masters are, and it’s not the voting American Public.

    If you want democracy, then remember how it was established. Through overthrow and/or resistance. Government is kept in check by the people. Either this is done through force of arms (Where are all your guns? Why do you think that 2nd Amendment exists?), or by an unprecedented peaceful by stubborn Mass resistance. In either case, people must be prepared to die.

    How will Americans take their country back? By playing the set-up democracy game? Or by being a real democracy and exercising yourselves through resistance? Progress will either be gained through violent revolt or by peaceful martyrdom and suffering. It won’t be by a ballot box in a corrupt controlled 2-party system. It’s time people woke up.

  12. robtbrown says:

    I found it amusing that there were people who were OK with the US sending a team of SEALS into a sovereign nation and putting three bullets in Osama Bin Laden face. But they would have been against taking him captive and water boarding him.

  13. Charles E Flynn says:

    People who call for the elimination of OSHA tend to be people who have never once in their entire lives performed labor, whether for pay or for their own direct benefit, that put any part of their body (a temple of the Holy Spirit) at risk. They are part of the chattering classes, whose labor runs only the risk of causing repetitive strain injury from typing up too many unverifiable opinions.

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Killing an enemy, done in such a way that it’s not murder, is not a sin. It is part of the concept of just war, and of Christian chivalry.

    Summarily executing unlawful combatants who are not dressed in military legal uniforms is also not a sin. It’s standard military justice according to the international laws of war, and is supposed to encourage people to not commit war crimes or sneak around as spies in wartime.

    Actual torture is always a sin. It is not part of the concept of just war or Christian chivalry. There is no lawful exception for unlawful combatants; it applies automatically to all humans.

    In general, lawful interrogation conversation is not supposed to get all touchy-feely-handsy-watery. Once you start getting out the lead pipe and the drowning simulator, you are no longer just trying to get info.

    I still find it hard to believe that the US military is even dipping their toe into this waterboarding junk, much less having established procedures. Americans were supposed to be trained in resisting other people from, say, Soviet and Islamic countries doing it to us. We weren’t supposed to go copying off the scum of the earth and calling it a “tool.” It is shameful. And it is already coming back on us, as local police forces have started playing with new versions of lead pipe interrogations for criminals or people who drive into the wrong crooked small towns. Why did we open the stupid torture box and start rummaging around in it?

    Of course, it is amazingly shameful to use this as somehow a way to hit out at Republicans, when Obama has had eight years to outlaw this stuff had he chosen to do so. This is a bipartisan shame.

  15. BenFischer says:

    I agree with Andrew. The Republican party takes pro-lifers for granted and will never deliver at the national level until they feel the heat of serious competition. On a state-wide basis, many pro-life gains have been made, but the national party establishment is all about Power over Principals.

    I’m done with them. No more voting for R’s in Washington until they show they’re working for my vote. If it looks like a dem will win by one vote, then I’ll reconsider.

  16. Gail F says:

    Give me a break. Right now only ONE party does not actively embrace and celebrate death. That happens to be the Republicans. They aren’t perfect, and they don’t align with Catholic Social Teaching. NOBODY DOES. You vote based on what’s available, not some perfect thing that doesn’t exist, and if you think the Republicans stink too then PLEASE work to start another party and stop griping about them. I was a life-long Democrat because my parents taught me to be. It wasnt’ until I was in my 30s that I realized the Democrats did not, in fact, embody the “stand up for the little guy” philosophy that I was taught they did, that they did, in fact, enrich the wealthy as well as embrace abortion, sterlization, and euthanasia, and that the Democrats I had supported were dying off and not being replace. I’m not a Republican. I mostly vote Republican. But I don’t look at the Republicans as anywhere near perfect and I expect them to do bad things as well. EVERY party everywhere does some bad things. But the Republicans currently don’t embrace the celebration of death. The Democrats do. Waterboarding doesn’t come close.

  17. vandalia says:

    The GOP has less interest in repealing abortion than the Democrats do. It would take away one of their most important issues. The simply fact is that the abortion issue could be resolved by one simple piece of legislation that does not require a constitutional amendment or any thing else.

    The jurisdiction of the federal judiciary – including the Supreme Court – is defined by Congress. Congress could have passed a bill by simple majority at any time that essentially says “No federal court has the jurisdiction to review any legislation that deals with abortion. The US Congress has the sole right to determine when life begins.” (Translate to legalese.) From 2003-2007 the Republicans could very easily have passed that legislation and had it signed by a Republican President. They didn’t. Case closed.

    Anyone who believes the Republican party has the slightest interest in effectively restricting abortion probably also believes that Charles Ponzi had a great investment strategy…he just needed a little more time.

    Anyone who has the slightest interest in Life issues would immediately withdraw support from both major parties and start a 3rd party which would then be the swing vote to determine control of Congress and most likely the Presidency. This leverage would make it certain that effective pro-life legislation would be passed. The fact that this has not happened proves that abortion and other life issues are a smokescreen for the 99% of the pro-life community who simply view this as a cover to support their own personal interests.

    If people REALLY cared about eliminating abortion, they wouldn’t be saying “just give them a little more time” FORTY YEARS later.

  18. cc70458 says:

    This particular Distributist and blogger would not hesitate to take advantage of a homesteading program should it be reinstated. Don’t underestimate the pull and the allure. Several of my friends have already done so and their families are deliriously happy with the lifestyle change. This whole concept of having a few acres and a mini-farm with a few animals to provide as much as possible for yourselves is much more attractive than people give it credit for.

    Colin
    http://catholichusband.wordpress.com/

  19. excalibur says:

    Petition to His Holiness on the Synod.

    http://filialappeal.org/dz

  20. Vandalia has raised an excellent point. Roe vs. Wade was an egregious example of judicial activism that should immediately have been answered by a law removing abortion from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The idea that the Court could create “rights” that our Founding Fathers would have found abhorrent is one of the glaring problems that has only grown worse over time. Legalization of same-sex “marriages” is being waged mainly (though not exclusively) through the court system and could possibly be the next “right” proclaimed by judicial fiat while our legislators sit by idly. 40 years is more than enough time to pass a law requiring a simple majority and a favorable President.

  21. Eric says:

    With regard to water boarding.

    Scaring someone is not evil or a sin.

  22. KAS says:

    As a pro-life Libertarian leaning Republican, I certainly dislike the GOP’s spinelessness and lack of moral character as seen in their failure to fight for the people who elected them. That said, I do not think there is any hope for the Democratic party. What used to be mainstream Democrat positions are now common in the RINO type of Republicans, so if the old style Democrat is where you are at, perhaps a new look at the voting records of the Republicans will help you find people to vote for who fit better your ideals than the far left anti-God party– how can any Catholic vote for anyone in the party that boo’d God publicly?

    I find the Libertarian ideal of non-aggression fits the pro-life position well. If you kidnap someone and drag them into your home, then shoot them, there is nothing to call it but murder. Yet that is what people do when they have sex and then want to kill the child THEY put in their womb. Which is one reason I find myself leaning toward Libertarianism. Our Social Encyclicals point out the essential nature of defending private property rights because the ability to acquire and KEEP property is one of the things that most helps the poor. Over-taxing property and the much abused eminent domain harm the poor more than anyone else– so I find myself with the Libertarians in wanting the government to lose power here and let the ordinary working citizen acquire and keep their property and pass it on to their children without penalty– this is how our immigrants have always worked their way out of poverty after coming here, and this needs to be protected.

    I could go on, but I will never vote Democrat because if they have any party loyalty they will never do what is right by way of my understanding of their party platform, voting record, and Catholic social teaching– if they lack party loyalty then I wonder if they can be trusted to be loyal to their constituents? I vote Republican as the lesser evil but I work hard at the primaries to vote in a candidate who is a good. That way there could be a good rather than a lesser evil for my vote. I will give my vote to a nutty Libertarian over anyone I see as pro-choice– for the simple fact that I do not wish to reward anyone with my vote who will not vote life– and while the Libertarian is unlikely to win, the more votes they get the more true to their platform the Republicans may be.

  23. SKAY says:

    Considering that over half of the Catholics in this country voted for Barack Obama the first time and almost the same amount the second time, a message was sent.
    Unfortunately this said a lot more about the Church’s commitment to stop abortion than we would like to think. If Catholics think it is OK to ignore the Church teachings–than they will –and vote
    that way. Whose fault is that? The Republicans?
    As a once pro choice and now pro life Catholic, I think we need to look in our own littered back yard first.
    Catholic Democrats like Joe Biden( now VP) and Ted Kennedy sat on the Judiciary committee and made sure that no one got through if they thought they might have a pro life bone in their body –or would vote that way. I watched those hearings and these men were vicious.
    Apparently Pelosi thinks she is a leader of the Church in America.

    The three jihadist terrorists are still alive–there is no comparison with the abortion holocaust.
    We are seeing true torture of every kind every day in the Middle East now by these groups . Beheadings, crucifixions,women being stoned and worse.

  24. ad Deum says:

    Hi, cc70458. i am with you! Hardships, but how natural of a thing to do and how to live. No wonder Chesterton and Belloc thought so.

  25. Gratias says:

    Marxists will use any vehicle to advance their agenda. The Catholic Church has long been infiltrated by Marxists. The Cmmies love a ready-made institution with a 2000 year history and world-wide diplomatic service. Saul Alinsky, Cesar Chavez and Barack H. Obama had long relationships with catholic charities and liberation theology groups. Much criticism for Republicans in this thread, but it was the exterme left wing Democratic Party that was behind abortion, euthanasia, Gay marriage, transsexual rights, welfare/Foodstamps/Obamaphones for the idle classes, and the war on men. If you doubt me check how justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breuer consistently vote. If you care about social issues vote Republican. I do every single time.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Suburbanbanshee says:

    Killing an enemy, done in such a way that it’s not murder, is not a sin. It is part of the concept of just war, and of Christian chivalry.

    Summarily executing unlawful combatants who are not dressed in military legal uniforms is also not a sin. It’s standard military justice according to the international laws of war, and is supposed to encourage people to not commit war crimes or sneak around as spies in wartime.

    Actual torture is always a sin. It is not part of the concept of just war or Christian chivalry. There is no lawful exception for unlawful combatants; it applies automatically to all humans.

    Are we speaking according to Moral Principles or what violates International Law?

    Re the killing of Bin Laden:

    1. He was no more a combatant than is the POTUS who orders miltary actions. And Intl Law prohibits assassination of heads of state.

    2. The US was not attacked by Pakistan, where the military incursion happened. .

    3. For some years Bin Laden was no longer a factor in Al Qaeda operations—although he was usually being informed AQ activities (as the US does with former Presidents). He was isolated and had no money. In fact, he might have been more valuable alive than dead because couriers could be tracked from BL’s house to to groups that actually wanted to carry out operations.

    4. Thus, the killing of BL had more to do with PR and morale than any concrete prevention of terrorism.

    5. From the beginning the strategy of the US was not to track and kill BL but rather his lieutenants. These operations were generally not visible to the public. They were carried out secretly and often were little else than slitting someone’s throat in the dark.

    6. Within a week or two after 9-11 I was told some of the tactics that were to be used to smoke out these lieutenants. There is little doubt in my mind that they are prohibited by both moral and international law.

    Re waterboarding/torture:

    1 I do not consider waterboarding to be torture. Addle headed politicians have muddled this issue pathetically.

    2. The military hasn’t changed its stance on waterboarding. The waterboarding—and for that matter, all the aggressive interrogation–in the past 15 years was done by the CIA or contractors.

    3. The criteria for just war, both ius ad bellum and ius in bello are not so easily applied in today’s techniques of warfare.

    One final point: The intelligence community wanted to delay the announcement of the death of Bin Laden because as soon as it was made public some of the actionable intelligence that was gathered at the site was made obsolete.

  27. jflare says:

    robt,
    I had a real jaw-dropper when I read your comments RE bin Laden. I can assure you, I certainly consider bin Laden to have been a lawful combatant. Heck, I would say he was the combatant COMMANDER! Al-Queada didn’t get involved in doing much of anything unless bin Laden gave the go-ahead. Then too, both sides of the conflict recognize bin Laden’s status as a symbolic leader who would be expected to influence Al-Quaeda operations, even if he, himself, no longer held immediate command over their people. In consequence, whether Pakistan has been a genuine friend of ours is quite debatable, but that’s a side issue. Taking out bin Laden in Pakistan certainly qualifies as a legal act of war, whether Pakistan (or the world community) likes it..or not.

    By the way, I also consider the POTUS to be a legal combatant, in fact the legally recognized combatant commander for all US operations. He may not wear a uniform, nor be the immediate theater combatant commander, but we call him the Commander In Chief for a reason, because he is. No military effort happens without POTUS approval.

  28. jflare says:

    Regarding the Republicans and their..efforts:
    I have grown quite disgusted with them; they talk a good game, but accomplish little of merit when holding office. I have also grown quite disgusted with many bishops for their dread of “partisan politics”. Every elected official in the nation lives within the bounds of one diocese or another. That the bishops don’t exercise their staffs to require politicians–those who claim Catholic faith in particular–to be accountable to their alleged beliefs.
    If bishops would be even a little more strict about their responsibilities, I think we could see the “progressive” agenda curbed signifiantly.

  29. jflare says:

    “Waterboarding is torture.”

    St. Rafael, I think that’s a debatable view at best.

  30. Pingback: Pro-aborts use Catholic Social Teaching as an excuse - Jill Stanek

  31. robtbrown says:

    jflare,

    Of course, POTUS is the Commander in Chief. My point is that international law proscribes the assassination of Heads of State–Bin Laden and the POTUS occupy similar positions.

    It’s irrelevant whether or not Pakistan is friendly to the US. Pakistan was not engaged in hostile actions with the US, but the US military entered Pakistan anyway. Such incursions are proscribed by Int’l Law.

    And you seem uninformed about the Repubs/Dems and abortion. Nb:

    1. Since Roe v Wade no Dem appointed Justice of SCOTUS has ever voted overturn it.

    2. One of Obama’s first acts as POTUS was an Exec Order lifting the Bush restrictions on abortion.

  32. TEL says:

    jflare: RE: waterboarding as torture is debatable. I think that’s a fairly recent development. From what I understand, Japanese soldiers/commanders were prosecuted for war crimes/torture, including water-boarding. The US disciplined one of our soldiers in Vietnam for water boarding (after a photo of the incident appeared in a newspaper) and Reagan’s justice dept. prosecuted Texas law enforcement for water boarding.

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    While I agree with some of the author’s points, what is this dig at OSHA? OSHA sets a uniform standard for safety in the workplace, including laboratories. I can tell the author is not a scientist, because if he had to make up his own safety rules for his lab, he would probably be dead by now. We learn from accidents not to do them, again (if the outcome is bad), and OSHA is the public memory of those accidents.

    Also, what is that grinning swipe at adjunct faculty? I suspect that he has no clue about trends in higher education. Many colleges are considering getting rid of tenure, altogether (saves on benefits). For every open position at a college, there are 300 applicants and let me tell you, the best qualified, from a moral point of view, are not always selected.

    What is a juice-box theologian? Is it someone who hasn’t held a job in academia? There are plenty of liberal theologians who have been tenured for years. This sounds like name-calling.

    Many interesting points, but there is a lack of charity that seems to run through parts of the article presented.

    The Chicken

  34. Sam Schmitt says:

    The argument that waterboarding is not torture since our troops are subject to it doesn’t make a lot of sense. They are subject to a lot of things voluntarily (like being gassed, extreme sleep deprivation, etc.) which are in no way moral to be inflicted upon anyone involuntarily.

    If anything, the fact they are waterboarded means they are being trained to withstand inhumane treatment – i.e. torture.

  35. jflare says:

    robt,
    I think your effort to equate bin Laden with POTUS falls short when you realize that Al-Queada has never been a recognized nation-state. I’m not aware of anyone credible that has ever considered Al-Quaeda as anything besides a terror organization. I think it’s..foolish..to construe bin Laden as a Head of State. Taking him down in Pakistan certainly was justified.

    I’m also not following what you’re concerned about RE abortion and what-not. I stated it slightly differently, but acknowledged that the Democrats have been the most insistent about promoting abortion rights. I am unable to vote for them as a result as a general rule.

    TEL, Sam,
    War at large consists of inhumane treatment of anyone involved. Declaring this or that war or this or that act OF war to be needlessly inhumane, especially according to Catholic doctrine, doesn’t help anything. People who’re making decisions about life and death, troops in the field in particular, don’t really care that much about Catholic doctrine or theology. We cannot expect our nation’s conduct of any war to reflect a complete intent toward moral virtue unless we convert the nation to Catholic faith.
    Thin ice to tread on? Yes, indeed.
    So is war in general.

  36. marcelus says:

    Marxists will use any vehicle to advance their agenda. The Catholic Church has long been infiltrated by Marxists. The Cmmies love a ready-made institution with a 2000 year history and world-wide diplomatic service. Saul Alinsky, Cesar Chavez and Barack H. Obama had long relationships with catholic charities and liberation theology groups.

    Cesar Chavez? Isn’t it HUGO CHAVEZ, fr Venezuelan big guy?

    Cesar Chavez is a mexican boxer, sort of a legend

  37. robtbrown says:

    Sam Schmitt says:

    The argument that waterboarding is not torture since our troops are subject to it doesn’t make a lot of sense. They are subject to a lot of things voluntarily (like being gassed, extreme sleep deprivation, etc.) which are in no way moral to be inflicted upon anyone involuntarily.

    Being gassed and sleep deprivation are temporary training procedures.

    If anything, the fact they are waterboarded means they are being trained to withstand inhumane treatment – i.e. torture.

    International law distinguishes between torture and inhumane treatment.

  38. everett says:

    Waterboarding functions as “simulated drowning”. How would making someone feel as if they’re going to die from drowning, never knowing if this is the time they don’t stop, not count as torture?

  39. Gerard Plourde says:

    Whenever we believe that the actions of our political leaders of either party are endorsed by God I think we must always remember His admonitions “Put no trust in princes, in mere mortals powerless to save.” (Ps. 146: 3) and “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Is. 55: 8). The way of the Catholic Christian is more often than not likely to be at odds with what the world considers to be prudent. Our call is to reach out and embrace the sinners like ourselves and bring them into God’s loving care, recognizing where they (like we) have fallen short and resolving to amend their lives to live more according to God’s Will for us.

  40. Ben Kenobi says:

    Father, thank you for the article.

  41. jflare says:

    everett,
    Seems to me that you highlight precisely why I don’t consider water-boarding to be torture exactly. ..You also demonstrate perhaps that you might not fully grasp the point of interrogation.
    If I felt that we intended using water-boarding merely as a means of intimidating someone, showing off our big shot power, satisfying our mercurial lust for blood, then I would object.But we haven’t inflicted water-boarding to satisfy whim. It’s much more accurate to understand water-boarding as a means of interrogation.
    Interrogation in general basically comes down to a contest of wills between two or more people. One “victim” is believed by at least one other to know something that a second person needs to know. Such a second person will use various means to persuade the first that the information the second seeks does not merit suffering the fear or pain that the first must endure to refrain from divulging it.
    Obviously we need to be quite careful about how we approach this, but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that we’ve genuinely stepped over the line. At least, we have not relative to the obvious concern that..we’re effectively at war with someone.

    If we want to win any war, we’ll need to see the other side agree to cease fighting. In most cases, that won’t happen without both inflicting a great deal of misery on the other side and suffering some degree of misery ourselves.
    I don’t think anyone likes the idea, but that’s pretty much how conflicts are resolved, especially when at least one side has already resorted to force of arms.

Comments are closed.