Another popular lie of the Torture Defender is enunciated by a manly laptop bombardier in my comboxes:
War is dirty business. I guess there are people out there willing to do the dirty work so the rest of us can go about pursuing the American Dream. OK, libbys, bring on the tough love!
In contrast, Pope Francis declares that torture is a mortal sin. But the Greatest Catholics of All Time know he is a damn librul, so his teaching doesn’t matter, even though it is the teaching of Holy Church on a matter that spells the difference between salvation and the everlasting fires of hell. He lives in an ivory tower and knows nothing of the brutal realities (having only lived through the Dirty War in Argentina). Only Real Men who play Call of Duty in their mom’s basement and watch 24 understand Reality.
One of the marks of People of the Lie in their advocacy of mortal sin is that they tend to describe their love of mortal sin as an act of courage. Further evidence of their courage is their habit of sending other people’s children to live out their vengeance fantasies and bear the psychological consequences, and (in the case of “prolife” torture defenders) of using unborn children as human shields for their advocacy of anal rape, threats to murder children, and freezing innocent people to death as human sacrifices to their vengeful bloodlust.
In case any real men are interested, here is what a Real Man has to say about the choice between saving your cowardly skin and sinning mortally against God Almighty:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischief-maker; yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And
“If the righteous man is scarcely saved,
where will the impious and sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator. (1 Pe 4:12–19).
As we see from the first pope’s response to brutal persecution (a persecution in which he himself would be killed), one option the faith proposes to us that most Americans disregard with utter contempt is, well, martyrdom. And, (which is my point) he does so as his *first* option while we commonly express an eager willingness to commit the filthiest sins to avoid it.
“Oh sure, easy for you to say! But when these monsters take over the world in the coming Jihad you’ll be singing a different tune! We have to stop these bastards by any means necessary. The pope should have called a Crusade! This is the same sort of pantywaist stuff you spout when you mewl and puke about Hiroshima. Thank God that *real* men do what is necessary to win!”
To begin with, it’s not easy for me to say. I don’t want to die and I don’t want other people to die either. Indeed, I still hold to just war teaching and don’t have any particular objection to the use of force to stop enemies. But I’m also aware that Just War teaching is specifically designed to make it really hard to go to war due to the Church’s preferential option for life. But torture is not just war. It is a war crime.
Second: when you call for war crimes to save your skin, you demonstrate as clearly as can be the vast gulf that lies between you and Peter’s response.
Here’s the deal: While the Church’s developed teaching allows a place for just self-defense, it by no means allow a place to unjust self-defense. Peter is very clear: better death than mortal sin, better the first death than the second death.
Jesus says the same thing:
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28–29).
And so the guy who once thought it his mission to kill people to defend Christ seems to have, as the passage from 1 Peter indicates, decided it was better, not only for him, but for his flock, to die without sinning than to sin without dying. It was far more important to Peter that Christians not be murderers, or thieves, or wrongdoers, or mischief-makers, than that they not light Nero’s gardens as human torches, or be ripped apart in the arena for the delectation of the mob. Consequently, when he writes to a Church facing its first really vicious imperial persecution, he says not one single word about fighting back, about how any kind of real man would protect his family, about how the pagan bastards deserve to have their heads cut off. Instead, he counsels his flock to suffer well and specifically tells them not to so much as back talk on their way to gruesome deaths that would make any modern, including me, curl up in a fetal position and blubber like a child to avoid:
For what credit is it, if when you do wrong and are beaten for it you take it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. (1 Pe 2:20–24).
If he were saying that stuff today, he would shrieked at as a dhimmi wuss by the laptop bombardiers.