May 11, 2009

The US & Torture

The power of torture is not so much that it gathers info or intel for the CIA. Rather the true power is that it creates a viewpoint within the American nation. Torture is the power of imagining ourselves as so righteous that we must allow our leaders to do the dirty work of torture to uphold our rightness, democracy, and exceptionalism ( or "the last great hope of the world"-Obama). Torture also creates enemies. Of course these aren't your run of the mill bad guys either for torture allows us to imagine that the enemies are so vile they must deserve it, subhuman. This of course leaks down to the power of punishing innocents (which has been widely the practice and mostly the case in the "enhanced interogation methods" used in the War on Terror), so we believe that if they are being tortured or treated so inhumanly, they must be guilty.

Torture is disugsting in every form. The solution?
Absorb it through the Eucharist or in other words allow the sacrifice or torture of Christ to become the once for all declaration that we all sinful, that we are all loved, and in Christ we are all redeemed. Or as William Cavanaugh says,
If the Eucharist is a participation in the sacrifice of Christ, if we become the Body of Christ, then we too are called not just to minister to the victims of this world but to identify with them. The opposition of them and us, friend and enemy, even victim and helper, is overcome. Violence against the enemy is unthinkable, because we are the enemy. Raniero Cantalamessa says “the modern debate on violence and the sacred thus helps us to accept a new dimension of the Eucharist,” thanks to which “God’s absolute ‘no’ to violence, pronounced on the cross, is kept alive through the centuries. The Eucharist is the sacrament of non-violence!
Check out Cavanaugh's entire article at the Other Journal, the journal of Mars Hill Graduate School.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its funny...If you "really" belive in freedom, the freedom the US confesses itself to be bringing across the globe, you must be willing to take basic freedoms away from others. For instance, the freedom not to be tortured.

Implicit in the whole idea, is that the belief is not in freedom, but in security - MY security.