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'Christians Cannot Condone Torture': Writer Argues Torture is Wrong and Jesus Would Not Approve


The writer of a scathing online commentary posted on the Public Catholic website argues that torture is wrong and Jesus himself would not approve.

Rebecca Hamilton writes, "a nation that has a policy of doing this to other people is morally bankrupt. Christian religious leaders and their followers who support torture are as morally bankrupt as the policy itself. Their flaccid claim to faith is bogus. And their "witness" for Christ is a repudiation of Him." 

"Torture is one of those sins that shatters the tortured person and destroys the torturer," she notes. 

Conservative religious support of torture, she explains, came after the events of 9/11 when the Bush administration decided torture was necessary to gathering intelligence from individuals associated with the Muslim network known as Al Qaeda.

"Torture shatters people to their core. It destroys their own understanding of themselves as fully human. No one who is tortured will ever be the same again," she explains.

It also has a profound effect on the torturer. 

"The torturer reduces another person to less than human, and by doing that, becomes less than human themselves. They, just like their victim, are trapped in the torture forever," Hamilton writes. 

In her online commentary, Hamilton points out that "Christian religious support for torture wasn't the beginning of the fall from grace for American Christianity. It was the culmination of a decades-long devolvement away from Christ."

She also notes that even though the Catholic Church teaches that torture is evil, it is ironic due to the fact that the church itself has its own dark history behind the practice. 

Hamilton argues that "Christians cannot condone torture and follow Christ at the same time. Torture, like abortion on demand, is a direct and absolute denial of the intrinsic value of human beings, because they are a human beings. It is an attack on the Image and Likeness of God which resides in each one of us."

According to Hamilton, torture, like deliberate murder, directly denies the sovereignty of God and is a sin against all that is human.

She also makes four points to drive home her argument that Jesus would not approve of torture in any situation.

"The Ten Commandments are not something just to put on a plaque and then ignore. They are meant to be obeyed. The Beatitudes are not just an ancient stand-up comedy routine by a first-century entertainer," she writes. "They are the words of God, speaking directly to us. The Beatitudes fulfill and complete the Ten Commandments. They, too, are meant to be obeyed."

"Read the Gospels. If Jesus is God, and He meant the things He said, then torture is wrong," she notes. "If every human being is made in the Image and Likeness of God, then torture is wrong."

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