When will the Bush Administration learn that it just needs to say "no" to torture, in any way, shape or form? It is simply unconscionable that President Bush is pushing for an exception to the blanket ban on torture contained in the McCain Amendment overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate. It is immoral under any circumstances for one child of God to torture another child of God. Torture dehumanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. Would you really want your son or daughter to be trained to torture other human beings by the C.I.A.?
Not only is torture immoral - it is simply bad policy. It increases the risk of captured U.S. servicemen and women being subjected to torture and its use generates bad information; a victim of torture will say anything to stop the pain, whether it is true or not. In practicing torture, the U.S. Government has become what it says it hates - a terrorist of the worst order.
I'm sure that Pilate thought torturing and executing Jesus was within the compass of Roman national security interests. Jesus' death and resurrection demonstrates that God has nothing to do with torture and the culture of violence upon which it is built. The Episcopal Diocese of California recently passed a resolution calling upon the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to condemn torture and call upon the U.S. Government to renounce the practice of torture, including the practice of extraordinary rendition (outsourcing torture to other countries), and to compensate victims and their families. It is time for the Church to speak out in solidarity with the victims of torture, whoever they are, and to end our complicity in the justification of torturers.