Saturday, May 21, 2011

What Would Jesus Say About Abu Ghraib?

Among the leaders and the people of our nation, a debate has risen up regarding the treatment of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Some say it was torture and some say it was merely enhanced interrogation. Some say it was necessary and got us information needed to put a stop to terrorism. Others deny that it was effective and point out the damage done in terms of international good will. Many say there are circumstances when even torture is justified, saying that the protection of the many is contingent upon getting the information needed, no matter the cost. Many good men and women who follow Christ stand on both sides of the issue. Fortunately, we do not need to go further than Scripture to find clarity in the midst of these muddied waters.

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the lease of these my brethren, you did it to me"

Christ is in each and every captive held in the Abu Ghraib. This is true of the very worst among them. We know this because He has told us so. These men and women deserve to be clothed, fed, sheltered, given drink, and allowed visitors not because of what they have done but because of what Christ has done for us. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect not because of who they are but because of who He is. We as Christians have not just a right but a responsibility to stand up and speak out in their defense because when we do so we are defending Christ.

I understand the fear that drives our leaders to choose to employ such techniques: the fear of another attack on our nation, the fear of failing the people who have entrusted their lives to the leaders, the fear of death. I understand it, but I also understand that we cannot give in to this fear. We must choose, instead, to trust in God's power and His ability to save. We must accept that we may die defending our faith and our beliefs but that this death will not be meaningless. If we die because we refused to do evil, we are martyrs and heroes. If we give in to our fear and do evil, convincing ourselves that we are doing the evil in order to prevent worse evil, we may live but we have become no better than the enemy we seek to eliminate.

Popular Posts