Support the Café

Search our Site

Episcopal reactions to Torture Report

Episcopal reactions to Torture Report

Round up of reactions to the release of the US Torture Report.

The Rev. Margaret Watson who serves as priest on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota writes:

Some say we won’t prosecute those involved in the torture because of the politics involved. I disagree in part. That is only some of it. I say we won’t prosecute because we are in denial… in much the same way that an alcoholic or drug addict says to themselves ‘–see, yeah I used, but I’m not dependent upon (name the substance). I’ve been without it for a whole five weeks and I’m just fine.’ It is not the ability to go without a substance for a time or a while… it is the whole set of factors and patterns of behavior that lead to the self-medication and addiction that need to be addressed.

And, until we, as a Nation, deal with our addiction to violence, we won’t get off the torture train, no matter how many Senate reports are written.  Our addiction to violence includes police tactics that lead to shooting deaths (as in Ferguson and all the others recently come to light), militarization of community police, our love of making war without declaring war by sending our armed forces around the globe, our insistence on the “right” to carry weapons –and, of course, the approval of “enhanced interrogation techniques” at the highest level of government.

Prosecuting and punishing those involved in the torture won’t solve the truly soul-wise problem we have. That is why I was glad to read this, a public health doctor who says that violence is truly a public health problem.

Read the rest here.

Tom Ehrich, who comments frequently on the intersection of church and national life writes:

The United States is losing its way. What else can we say when police forces routinely target people of color and are excused? When women face levels of sexual and domestic violence that should outrage normal men? When political benefits go to the highest bidder? When higher education becomes a party place selling door-opening credentials? When the best minds of a generation are creating trivial products that do nothing to improve the human condition?

The just-released report on the CIA’s use of torture is the latest example. Its harshest revelation: a decade-long campaign of lying, disinformation, accountability avoidance, and hounding truth-tellers.

A nation founded on openness, trust in the people, and values worthy of great religions saw its leaders turn to secrecy, disregard for humanity, and sordid standards worthy of history’s monsters. We have sought to be a leader of nations. Now we have nothing to say.

Read the rest on his Facebook page

Reading both of these articles, I (Ann Fontaine) conclude that we have not lost our way as a nation – we have lived into the natural consequences of building a country on genocide of native peoples and slavery. True repentance (metanoia-turning around- changing directions) seems the only option for true freedom.

Posted by Ann Fontaine


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rosalind Hughes : the National Religious Campaign Against Torture has a round-up of responses from a variety of faith leaders.

Emily Sexton

Thanks for sharing, gives great food for thought for those seeking to reflect on the acts of injustice in our nation, both recently and historically.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café