Home -> Law Blog Directory -> Religion & Law Blogs -> Mirror of Justice
(866) 635-2689 for Personal Injury or (866) 635-9402 for Criminal Defense
Find a Local Lawyer
Divorce (866) 635-6190
Personal Injury (866) 635-2689
Criminal Defense (866) 635-9402
Religion & Law: Mirror of Justice
Waldron on Christian Silence on Torture
Revelations regarding the Bush administration's torture practices (e.g., waterboarding two subjects a total of 266 times) brought to mind a powerful and timely essay by Jeremy Waldron in the wonderful recent issue of Catholic University's Journal of Law, Philosophy and Culture. The essay, titled "The Injury Done by Christian Silence to Public Debate Over America's Use of Torture," is not readily available online, but here's an excerpt:
The belatedness, hesitancy, and muted nature of these statements [by Christians speaking out on torture] beg for an explanation. I have heard some people say that church leaders in numerous denominations were reluctant to speak out on torture, until they were sure that criticism on this issue would not diminish the political capital that the Bush administration might need in order to secure the confirmation of conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. I do not care to make any comment about this suggestion or about the view about pastoral responsibility that it implies. [Given that Alito and Roberts have been confirmed,] Christian moral beliefs might now begin to devote the same attention to torture, as they have in my view rightly devoted in recent years to other great current American public policy issues like abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and abuse of human life in various other forms.
And from the conclusion:
If we think that dignity matters, and matters especially in this context of the debate on government-sanctioned torture, if we think dignity matters because of its connection to the image of God in every human person, then it is necessary to say so and why. We do this not just as an opportunity to put our identity as Christians on display -- an opportunity we might reasonably decline if it seemed politically imprudent -- but because, in this matter of torture, we fear great wrong will be done, or great wrong or the nature of wrongdoing will be greatly misconceived, unless good people bear witness to the truth.
Search Blog Directory: