American Christians Tolerate War for Lies, They’ll Tolerate Torture
David Neiwart has been pushing the idea that the current torture abomination about to become officially all of us can be stopped by Christians, for their faith should be repulsed by it.
Color me skeptical. American Christians have tolerated a war for lies in Iraq for years now, why should the prospect of torture change their outlook or behavior?
I have no idea why this is so—my knowledge of American Christian history and sociology isn’t close to providing a cogent answer as to why Christians tolerate a war for lies. It is true that American Christians have simply continued a long world history of Christian nations vigorously participating in bloody, often nightmarishly immoral wars of distinct butchery and sadism.
My own priest knew I had stopped going to church because I was disgusted with church passivity toward the Iraq war. The associate rector wrote me to me and said, we’re sorry and we miss you, here’s how to get in touch with our peace groups. The weekly congregation on the Sabbath was not a peace group, so sorry, we say one sentence in our general prayer about Iraq and move on.
Bush’s own church has a vociferous peace group that is against the war, but the congregation will still faithfully vote Republican this fall to stop the baby killers (h/t Juan Cole).
Simply relating my own tiny Episcopalian slice of American Christianity, it soon became obvious my priest would not fight against Bush or the war because she’d lose up to 40% of her membership and huge chunk of annual revenue. Rectors never, ever get their jobs or keep them by starting big fights. The responsibility of stopping the war belongs to the country’s political actors, the Democrats. The war is just another bullet point in what’s wrong with the world. End of story.
Thus will American official torture become another bullet point to meekly protest and then hurriedly shuttle off to some affiliated action group. The Democrats are supposed to stop it.
Teaching and attending Sunday school is very important to my family, so this Fall I have gone back, standing silently as the hymns waft over my wretchedness. The sweet notes and strong voices are utterly contained by the walls, the outside war world of screams, misery and vomiting machine noise totaly pervasive, as always.