A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Friday, September 12, 2008

National Summit On Torture In The News

Don't forget, you can watch the proceedings of A National Summit on Torture here.

It's streaming live.

Here's a snippet from the summit's Press Release:

ATLANTA – Speakers on the first day of the inaugural National Summit on Torture at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus Thursday told the more than 200 participants that “this summit affirms our values as Americans.”

Organized by Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer, the summit is titled “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul.” The event is cosponsored by Evangelicals for Human Rights, Mercer and 13 other organizations represented by three major faith groups.

“This is an interfaith gathering,” said Gushee, who also serves as president of Evangelicals for Human Rights. “It began as a Baptist and evangelical event and I’m really happy to say it evolved. I think that’s profound. I think it’s terribly exciting. We do share this country. We need to learn each other’s name. I’m excited about the interfaith aspect of this gathering and I believe that only religious belief provides the grounding that we need to pull us out of our worst self.”

Here are a few stories about the Torture summit:

Evangelicals To Debate Use of Torture (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

On Torture, Evangelicals Not Looking to Bible, Doctrine (Associated Baptist Press)

ATLANTA (ABP) -- A new survey suggests the very Americans who claim to follow the Bible most assiduously don’t consult it when forming their views about torture and government policy.
The poll of 600 Southern white evangelicals was released Sept. 11 in Atlanta in connection with a national religious summit on torture. It shows not only are white evangelical Southerners more likely than the general populace to believe torture is sometimes or often justified, but also that they are far more likely—to tweak a phrase from Proverbs—to “lean on their own understanding” regarding the subject.

Experts: National Security Not Ensured by Torture (Associated Baptist Press)

ATLANTA (ABP) -- Retired high-ranking military officers and national security experts at a national summit on torture Sept. 11 agreed: A policy that permits torture does not make the United States or its troops safer.

Christians Who Don't Know What Christian Means (Dr. Jim West)

White Evangelical Southerners: Torture is OK!

Does it matter that Jesus taught that we are to turn the other cheek when struck? Does it matter that he taught we are to go that second mile when forced to walk just one? Does it matter that we supposed to love our enemies? Does it matter that we have been told to give our enemies water (not to be confused with waterboarding) when they thirst? Does it matter that if we love Jesus we are to obey what he has commanded us? When we disobey Jesus' commands, what does that say about the genuineness of our faith?

White Evangelicals: Torture is Ok.

New Evangelical Poll on Torture (Faith in Public Life)

Poll Reveals White Evangelical Christians' Attitudes About Torture (Macon Telegraph)

You can read and sign the "Evangelical Declaration Against Torture" here.

You can also read and sign here the statement of conscience titled "Torture is a Moral Issue" authored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.


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