Pete Vere on the Utter Blasphemous Folly of Christian Torture Apologetics

Pete Vere on the Utter Blasphemous Folly of Christian Torture Apologetics February 7, 2015

He finds a piece by an atheist ex-Christian excoriating Christian torture apologetics which reads, in part:

“The first half of December 2014 was painful to many moderate American Christians who see their God as a God of love: A Senate inquiry revealed that the CIA tortured men, some innocent, to the point of unconsciousness and even death. As is common, evidence suggested that this torture extracted no lifesaving information. And yet, a majority of Americans responded by giving torture the thumbs up, with the strongest approval coming from Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. Faced with moral outrage, including from within their own ranks, Christian torture apologists took to the airwaves and internet, weaving righteous justifications for the practice of inflicting pain on incapacitated enemies.”

Then he notes:

Not surprisingly, the New Atheists are now calling out us Christians on our hypocrisy over torture. Sadly, the shame and embarrassment is deserved. What bothers me, though, is how many young people will turn away from the Gospel of Christ because Dick Cheney has been misrepresented as one of the four evangelists.

Here is my prediction: The online Christian apologetics community likely will miss the point in responding to pieces like the following. Fundamentalists will prooftext the Bible under the mistaken assumption that young people appalled by torture still consider it authoritative. Similarly, many online Catholic apologists will present hyper-rationalist based arguments while pooh-poohing the “emotionalism” of their opponents.

Yet my experience with young people today tells me they are much more holistic in their thinking. Which is why they reject the Borg pedagogy of pro-torture Christian apologists. Unfortunately, it also makes a convenient excuse for rejecting Christ.

He’s right of course.  The past decade of torture apologetics, not from marginal milk and water C and E Catholics, but from the people who have gone out of their way to self-identify as the Real Catholics, the Real Christians, the Truly True Believers, the Authentic Troops of the Pope (well, at least of JPII and Benedict, they often evince real contempt for Francis) has been the single most epic display of the fact that Sin Makes You Stupid in my experience in the Church.  And as the years roll on and the Torture Defenders continue to dig in to defend anal rape with hummus, drowning, beating, suffocating, standing on the broken legs of prisoners,  freezing innocent men to death, Russian Roulette, threatening to murder the children, cut the throats of wives, and rape the mothers of defenseless prisoners, all for fruitless intel–our children will recoil in horror from us.  Every time we reply with another stupid Ticking Time bomb fantasy, or try to parse just exactly how long you can drown somebody before it’s technically torture, or cite the speculations of one outre theologian who has rejected his own speculation while ignore the massive consensus of the Magisterium we will look more bizarre.  Every time we say, “Oh yeah!  Well abortion!” it will be more and more evident to sane people that using the unborn as human shields for our sadistic hero fantasies is just one more witness that “faithful conservative prolife Catholics” who ardently defend torture are sick puppies.

It’s why I’m grateful that there are people like Pete Vere and Phil Lawler and sundry other actual real prolife Catholics (many of them right here in my comboxes fighting the good fight) out there who really do uphold the *whole* of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life and who do not simply use the unborn as human shields for a far deeper commitment to the defense of sadism and a cowardly rejection of the *real* teaching of Holy Church: that torture is, just like abortion, gravely and intrinsically immoral.

God speed the day when those attempting to evangelize for the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Catholic Church do not have to contend with the embarrassing spectacle of Real Catholics loudly trumpeting their orthodoxy and fidelity while blasphemously dressing Jesus up as a cheerleader for mortal sin.

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  • Mark R

    It is mind-boggling, considering that Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world now and how many Christians throughout history were tortured, either prior to martyrdom or just short of it.