The Return of Torture

The Return of Torture May 12, 2018

In 2009, Pew did a study of support for torture among Americans and found that the two most zealous supporters of this mortal sin are white conservative Catholics and Evangelicals. They *love* this thing the Church calls “gravely and intrinsically immoral”. Love it! And they fought tooth and nail to defend it and to make war on the Church’s teaching against it for ten years.

The proof of this is easy to find. Just look at the massive compendium of lies and fallacies catalogued in this series on torture. Virtually all of those lies were told, not by godless secularist atheist enemies of the Faith, but by self-described “faithful conservative prolife” Christianist enemies of the Faith.

Now the Christianist enemies of the Church’s teaching against torture have been quiet for the past eight years or so because the Obama Administration rejected (but, alas, did not prosecute those guilty of ordering) torture. But the same sect of “prolife” torture lovers has never never gone away and torture has always remained an applause line at GOP and CPAC gatherings.  Indeed, there has never been a word of contrition about the crimes committed with their passionate approval, crimes that went far beyond their favorite form of torture:

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Indeed, it made this cult of sadists orgasmic to hear the GOP field fight to see who could pledge the most medieval brutality at the 2016 debates:

They lost their minds applauding Trump when he called, not only for a return to that form of torture called waterboarding but “a helluva lot worse”. So the Greatest Christians of All Time still *love* torture and do so in greater percentages than the mainstream population of the US. They are not indifferent about it. They passionately support it. They don’t care that it is a mortal sin worthy of the everlasting fires of hell and that the ends do not justify the means. They don’t care that it is counter-productive.  They love the sadistic cruelty of it as they love the sadistic cruelty of threatening to deport innocent DACA kids.

Which brings us to the present. Gina Haspel is being rewarded by Cadet Chickenhawk McBonespurs for her leading role in committing war crimes during the Bush Years: war crimes the Christianist sadists at war with Holy Church love with an orgasmic love. You know, the ones who all announce themselves as “prolife”:

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She offers mealy-mouthed claims that she will not torture, but of course, she is a liar and she is being appointed by a liar who has made clear he thinks torture is awesome. If you believe these two, you are a fool.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the shills for the Administration are making clear that the reinstitution of torture is a matter of when, not if. Dick “Five Draft Deferments” Cheney, who says that the torture and murder of innocents committed under his authority was totally worth it, is taking to the airwaves to call for the renewal of torture.

He represents the normative position of the Christianist rank and file of the GOP, not some outlier. Meanwhile, one voice more than any other represents the opposition here: torture victim John McCain, who is dying of brain cancer and who has issued a statement calling on the Senate to reject Haspel’s nomination. This should, of course, be common sense to anybody who accepts the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death as all serious disciples of Jesus Christ do.

But Christianists are disciples of Machiavelli, not Jesus. So on Thursday, they were cheering when a liar on FOX said that torture works and that McCain broke under torture (a despicable lie told to support the Draft-Dodger in Chief’s ugly slam against McCain for being a POW.)

In addition, one of Trump’s toadies on the White House staff, Kelly Sadler, showed the customary respect Cadet McBonespurs has for brave men who suffered for their country by declaring that McCain is “dying anyway” and therefore irrelevant to the appointment of a major advocate and practitioner of torture to run the CIA.  These were the people butthurt because some comic made fun of the documentable fact that Sarah Sanders lies for a living.

To their credit, FOX says they will not have this particular brutal Machiavellian liar back on their “news”. They will just have all the other slightly more subtle ones. So, for instance, there is no bar on Sarah Palin, who once idiotically said that “Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists” thus blaspheming a sacrament of holy Church *and* making absolutely no sense at the same time. She’s still golden at FOX, as are all the other apologists for the use of torture. It’s a miracle Shep Smith is still allowed access to the network as the sole voice of sanity on this subject.

Meanwhile, Christianist “prolife” advocates march on in the renewed hope that Trump will Make Torture Great Again. They support Cheney’s call for a return to torture. They loved Raymond Arroyo’s interviews with torture enthusiasts Marc Thiessen and Fr. Sirico. And they are troubled not one iota that never once did Arroyo allow on his show people who endorse Pope Benedict’s declaration that “the prohibition against torture may never be contravened”. Not once.

Now simply imagine Arroyo giving warm, affirming softball interviews to Catholics for a Free Choice and you get what a gross betrayal of the Church’s teaching is at work here. Both abortion and torture are gravely and intrinsically evil. But since Christianists love torture, they simply ignore and defy the Church on this matter. And it remains the normative posture of the overwhelming majority of “faithful conservative prolife” Catholics as they love to call themselves. And indeed, countless are the times I have heard them argue that “the *real* torture is abortion, not what is done to some terrorist who deserves a lot more than a splash of water in the face.”

(Fun fact: we *hanged* Japanese for waterboarding.)

Getting “prolife” Catholics to cheer for murder–including murder of completely innocent people–is the signal accomplishment of the marriage between the “prolife” movement and the Right Wing Culture of Death. Getting them to use the unborn as human shields for their love of murder and torture of the Right Sort of Victim is positively diabolical, since it has created a whole generation of people who are blind to the truth that the unborn are related to,  not the opposite of, all the other forms of human life threatened by our Culture of Death. Fr. Frank Pavone’s choice to commit what his own bishop rebuked as an act of desecration in putting the corpse of a baby (who should have been given a decent burial years ago) on an altar so that he could give a 45 minute campaign speech for Trump is the perfect illustration of how this ideological sect now prizes political power and its ruthless exercise against the dignity of every human life that stands in its way over the teaching of Holy Church.

No wonder this sect hates the Holy Father and adores Trump.

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