Executive Order — Ensuring Lawful Interrogations

In my sermon for Sanctity of Life Sunday last week I mentioned that we need to stand up against torture in all of it’s forms. President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture by all entities of the US Government.

The problem with torture is that is has been found to be unreliable and more often then not testimony obtained by torture is thrown out of court and cannot be used in the prosecution of the accused.

Here are some statements from various organizations on this ban:

Jim Wallis, founder and President of Sojourners:

• Today, we at Sojourners stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in celebration of the executive order issued by President Barack Obama putting an end to the use of torture. We affirm, with NRCAT, that President Obama has “… rejected the use of torture as an interrogation technique and allowed the United States to again find its moral bearing.” We will continue to walk with our other partners in assuring that this step forward is part of the continuing effort to lead the country back to an embrace of the moral high ground on issues relating to the treatment of prisoners and detainees.

Via Steve Waldman, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’
Committee on International Justice and Peace:

• “Based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church, our Conference of Bishops welcomes the executive order. Together with other religious leaders, we had pressed for this step to protect human dignity and help restore the moral and legal standing of the United States in the world. A ban on torture says much about us – who we are, what we believe about human life and dignity, and how we act as a nation.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:

• We understand that the process of closing Guantanamo may be lengthy. The profound problems with Guantanamo do not erase the fact that many detainees are dangerous and wish our nation and its people harm. Yet these same detainees have been stuck in a legal no-man’s-land without the ability to challenge their detention through a writ of habeas corpus and without the right to be charged or hear the evidence against them. Many have been subjected to tortuous treatment that defiles both the victim and the perpetrator. No matter the circumstances, every individual, including the most dangerous detainee in our prisons, is created b’tselem elohim, in the image of God, and must be treated with dignity and respect.

No Orthodox response, how shocking!
From: Faith in Public Life

1 Comment

  1. perhaps we need a change of culture as you speak of in your sunday post. a change to believe that anything that an orthodox bishop might say in this country might mean something to someone.

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