All this talk about the rule of law and if we, as a people should color outside the lines even in time of crisis--like 9/11 reminds me of a story. Lloyd Douglas used to tell about a friend of his who was a violin teacher, but not very successful. But the old man had a great deal of wisdom. Douglas called on him one day and asked, "Well what's the good news for today?" The old teacher went over to his tuning fork which was suspended by a cord and struck it with a mallet. "That's the good news for today." He continued, "That, my friend is an 'A'. It was 'A' all day yesterday. It will be 'A' all day tomorrow, next week, and for a thousand years. The soprano upstairs warbles off-key, the tenor next door flats his high ones, and the piano across the hall is out of tune. Noise all around me, noise; but that (hitting the tuning fork again) is an 'A'." All this talk of changing the rules of torture forgets that there are some things that do not change. The way we treat human beings is one of these. Just ask John McCain.
I read a great article by the Church historian, Martin Marty. Speaking of wise--he is and usually always on target. Check out what he had to say in Sightings, May 4, 2009. Writing on torture he said that in googling information about torture he found some interesting statistics. He cites the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey which says (and I want to hang my head) the more church-going people are, the more they like torture. The never-go-to-church disapprove of torture most; mainline Protestants and non-Hispanic Catholics like it least, and evangelical weekly attenders clearly favor it. Wonder how many of Jesus' sayings got lost in the shuffle? Hmmm.
Want to sign up for a great twice-a-week newsletter that deals in matter of faith in a healthy way, I recommend: Sightings which comes out of the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Martin Marty Center. Try: firstname.lastname@example.org