Wow! What a powerful story of mercy!

A moving story from the Second World War: The pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision. “My God, this is a nightmare,” the co-pilot said. “He’s going to destroy us,” the pilot agreed. The [Read More...]

Zero Dark Thirty Has Given a Boost to the “Torture Works!” Crowd

That’s not actually true, as real interrogators who are not actors keep pointing out. But moviemakers, in certain circumstances, love to say it does anyway when they want their heroes to look at gritty, badass, and willing to cut moral corners for the Greater Good. And the Thing that Used to be Conservatism *loves* torture. [Read More...]

Consequentialism is Always a Faustian Bargain

After all those years of Catholics arguing for the mortal sin of torture in my comboxes, twisting themselves in a vast catalog of logical pretzels to do it, it turns out that in addition to being gravely evil, torture (as we should have known all along) doesn’t work. Of course, the Republicans on the committee, [Read More...]

The Case for Voting for the Non-Intrinsic Evil Candidate

The Church’s argument for the Lesser of Two Evils candidates is simple and obvious: Better the corrupt guy who may accidently do some good or at least not be as passionate about doing evil than the guy bound and determined to do grave evil. Anybody can see the reasonableness of this. The problem comes in [Read More...]

Good Thing It’s not Torture

Delaware Pediatrician(!) Waterboards Daughter It’s been conclusively shown by the best Catholic ethics money can buy that this is not torture. Now we have confirmation from the medical community as well. And, of course, the most deeply conservative minds of our time love it and laugh about it. As I’ve pointed out for some time, [Read More...]

Why Dick Cheney Doesn’t Leave the Country Much

“My view is absolutely clear: torture is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed, and people who torture should be apprehended, with the full force of law applied,” says Britain’s most senior ranking general — A Soldier’s View of Torture, Just War Principles. One of my private hopes is that the Candidate of the Thing That Used to [Read More...]

This will all be relevant again soon

Those who remember the Bush years–when dutiful Catholic servants of the Administration labored for *years* to offer ever more tortured defenses of torture–will recall that one of the favorite rationalizations was “Hey!  We waterboard our own troops! So that makes it OK.” Ahem: According to the invaluable Zippy Catholic: “our own government’s memoranda on the [Read More...]

As I contemplate the spectacle of the comments…

to this thread, particularly the conversation between Zippy and Mr. Lutas here in which Mr. Lutas advocates the “Brutal Advocacy of Mortal Sin Posing as Realism” position and attempts to sneer Zippy out of the “Catholic Moral Teaching for Time Immemorial” position by calling him a “fake Catholic” and generally questioning his integrity and testicular [Read More...]

The Cafeteria is Wide Open

Compare and contrast: A trope repeated with disturbing frequency by an awful lot (though not, of course, all) of the representatives of the Faithful Conservative American Catholic[TM] subculture: “if one innocent American life was saved by “THE BOMB”, God blessed Einstein’s work.” Actual Church teaching: CCC 2314 “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate [Read More...]

Excellent News!

Zippy Catholic has put the archives of his (alas) late (but still great) blog up here. This is the guy who did (among other things) the most thorough dismantling and evisceration of the dreadful and shameful “arguments” and excuses for enhanced interrogation torture of anybody I know. All those arguments will come roaring back should [Read More...]