September 10, 2009

Care for all God's Children

As a Christian, I support health care reform because God calls me to care for my neighbor and to seek justice.

As a husband, I support health care reform because my 26-year-old wife was denied health insurance coverage because of childhood operations.

As a friend, I support health care reform because I have friends who have had to gamble with their lives and their livelihoods because they could not afford health insurance.

As an American, I support health care reform because I value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.

Will you join me in working to ensure that quality and affordable health care will be an option not just for some but for all of God's children?

(This was a Letter to the Editor I wrote for the Argus Leader. It appeared on September 9, 2009)

ACT: You can write a letter too. It's easy. Just go to this website to get started. You can find your local paper, see a list of talking points, and write your letter all in one spot.

September 2, 2009

Torture is Wrong

Over the weekend there were several conversations about investigating torture and the morality of torture. I was very disturbed to hear numerous people repeat the idea that if the torture was effective, then it is ok. During a discussion on ABC News, columnist George Will stated "[Whether] or not these techniques are immoral, or how immoral they are, surely depends on whether or not they worked." To Mr. Will and others I say, positive ends do not justify immoral means.

During a weekend discussion on Fox News, Juan Williams of NPR spoke up against this twisted logic.

But let me just if I could say quickly, two quick things. One is, in a democracy you don't torture people. It's against the law. We're having this discussion here like oh well, you know if it works, it's okay. No. It's not okay. You don't torture people.

I think NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard could benefit from talking with Juan Willams. Shepard refuses to describe what Americans have done as torture. But she will refer to what other countries do as torture. This affects all of NPR's reporting.

NPR will use the word "torture" to describe what other governments do because they do it merely to sadistically inflict pain on people while the U.S. did it for a noble reason: to obtain information about Terrorist attack (Salon)

In addition to being waterboarded, it has been revealed that many detainees suffered some of the following acts of torture and abuse:

(a) threatening to blow their brains out, torture them with drills, rape their mothers, and murder their children; (b) choking them until they pass out; (c) pouring water down their throats to drown them; (d) hanging them by their arms until their shoulders are dislocated; (e) blowing smoke in their face until they vomit; (f) putting them in diapers, dousing them with cold water, and leaving them on a concrete floor to induce hypothermia; and (g) beating them with the butt of a rifle (Glenn Greenwald)

In my opinion, it doesn't matter who the person is, because torturing human beings is wrong. God created EVERYONE is God's image, Jesus commanded us to LOVE our neighbor, and how we Treat Others is directly related to how we TREAT CHRIST. It's as simple as that.

Earlier last month there was a story about a 6 year old boy kidnapped by al Qaeda operatives in Iraq and tortured. His captors pulled out each of his tiny fingernails, broke both his arms, and beat him repeatedly on the side of the head with a shovel" (CNN). Torturing children is wrong. Torturing human beings is wrong. Torture is wrong.

For more on why torture is wrong, check out David Gushee's article in Christianity Today
(5 Reasons Torture is Always Wrong)

ACT: Endorse the Call for a Commission of Inquiry (NRCAT)