Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Evangelicals slam torture in war on terrorism

From Reuters courtesy of AlterNet:

A major U.S. association of evangelical Christians has condemned torture by the U.S. military and reaffirmed its commitment to environmental activism, positions that highlight broader splits in a movement associated with conservative causes.

"United States law and military doctrine has banned the resort to torture or cruel and degrading treatment. Tragically, documented cases of torture and inhumane and cruel behavior have occurred at various sites in the war on terror," the National Association of Evangelicals said in a statement.

"Current law opens procedural loopholes for more to continue," said the statement endorsed by the association's board of directors at its annual meeting in Eden, Minnesota, over the weekend. It was the first big NAE meeting since its former president Ted Haggard stepped down in November over a gay-sex scandal.

Evangelical Christians have been among the staunchest supporters of the U.S. war in Iraq and the broader war on terror and many rankle at criticism of the American military which they see as unpatriotic and even un-Christian.

But divisions have emerged among the 60 million U.S. evangelicals as prominent figures publicly embrace causes such as global warming that are usually associated with the left of America's political divide.

Click here for the rest.

As the article observes, fundamentalists have been the most bloodthirsty of all Americans since 9/11, so this is quite a significant development. I mean, it's not surprising in some ways: after all, Jesus did say "love your neighbor as yourself," but then numerous prophets in the fundamentalists' beloved Old Testament also said to utterly destroy your enemies. Nonetheless, this is cool. It looks like the Ted Haggard meth and gay sex scandal has left these people in a daze, and they've started reading their Bibles again, this time focusing on Jesus.

'Bout time.