By Jonathan Barton
It has been more than a decade since the 9/11 attacks and a year since the death of Osama bin Laden, the impact of which has changed each of us. During this time, we have adjusted to new security procedures, become more vigilant about our surroundings and have allowed our fear to inure us to the use of torture — believing somehow that this is a necessary evil required to secure our safety.
We often rationalize that our use of violence to combat violence is somehow redemptive and justified as long as it is we who are doing it; after all, we are the good guys. We need to be careful lest we become the evil that we so righteously deplore. The law says that torture is illegal; the military says that it does not work; and our religious traditions tell us that it is wrong.
Torture is illegal without exception.
Barton is general minister of the Virginia Council of Churches.