“In the end, I must side with McCain, but not without further moral clarifications.” ~ Al Mohler
I told a friend that I think it is immoral of our country to codify and legalize torture, but that I would not necessarily be opposed to the notion of its use in war. I felt uncomfortable with that apparent contradiction, but I felt (and strongly feel) that legalizing/codifying torture is opening a pandora’s box of potential evil. Naturally, I am pleased to quote Mohler in my defense. Some people are aghast that I should have concurred with McCain and liberals on the matter of torture. Sometimes liberals are right. And Republicans are still, as Democrats, always sinners. Thus, I said in my last post on this subject that a code/law virtually empowers potentially very evil people.
Al Mohler essentially says the same thing. The way I put it in my last post was that the codifying of torture could possibly eventuate in a horrible experience for Christians who would then not even have the law, as Paul did at times, to defend them. Mohler is right: “institutionalizing torture under such a procedure would almost surely lead to a continual renegotiation of the rules and constant flexing of the definitions.” That’s my point exactly.
Mohler, of course, says it much better than I could ever dream of. He says, “hello,” with more effectiveness than I do. While I don’t agree with some nuances of Mohler’s argument. In the main, he is right (I think) to give McCain’s view on torture more time than many Bushies are prepared to do.
Some salient quotes from the article:
Instead, I would suggest that Senator McCain is correct in arguing that a categorical ban should be adopted as state policy for the U.S., its military, and its agents. At the same time, I would admit that such a policy, like others, has limitations that, under extreme circumstances, may be transcended by other moral claims. The key point is this� at all times and in all cases the use of torture is understood to be morally suspect in the extreme, and generally unjustified.
This appears to be neither practical nor prudent, for the circumstances in which such a use of coercion might be conceived would often not allow time for such a warrant to be issued. The War on Terror is not fought on convenient terms. Furthermore, institutionalizing torture under such a procedure would almost surely lead to a continual renegotiation of the rules and constant flexing of the definitions.(emphasis mine)
Yet, in fighting this war it is inevitable that we will look down and find dirty hands, even in doing what we would all agree is a lamentable necessity. What we must not do is compound the problem of dirty hands by adopting dirty rules.