Friday, May 22, 2015

Where Your Treasure Is

If your Twitter feed is anything like mine, it is lighting up with shocked responses to the news that Josh Duggar, TLC star, purity culture paragon, Family Research Council executive admits to sexually abusing underage girls, possibly including his sisters, when he was a teenager. And while I am naturally heartsick to hear this news, I confess that I am not surprised. Because you see, purity culture is based in the kind of power & control ideology that can easily lead to abuses like this. Purity culture teaches that women's bodies belong to men, and that offenses against women's bodies are not offenses against the women in them, but against the men who have headship over them. Purity culture teaches that women's bodies are naturally salacious, and that women's primary duty is to prevent men from lusting, thus making any man's transgression that woman's fault. Purity culture teaches that confessing the sin (in this case, confessing it to the authorities) is less important than maintaining an image of purity on the outside, so that no scandal can tarnish the family's reputation.

But the most heartbreaking part of all of this, for me, is where the Duggar family continues to put its value. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21). Democratic strategist Karl Frisch's tweet has gone viral, pointing out that the Duggar family statement uses the word 'God' six times, but never the word 'daughters'. It is clear that the Duggars' concern is for their son, for their name, and for their reputation, not their daughters - or, for that matter, any of Josh's victims. While this blog - like many journalism outlets - abides by the practice of not naming sexual assault victims until and unless they speak out for themselves, acknowledging the perspective of the victims is a key part of making amends to those victims. By speaking primarily from the perspective of Josh and his journey toward redemption, the Duggars and their spokespersons are disregarding the very real women he abused, whose lives ought to be our primary focus.

The Duggars are not alone in demonstrating their disregard for women. The #SayHerName campaign calls attention to the fact that protestors have been marching in response to the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others, but the deaths of black women at the hands of the police have largely been ignored, even by the #BlackLivesMatter leadership, and even moreso by the national media.

Where is our treasure? The Incarnation of Jesus Christ shows us that God's treasure is in us. We who claim that name as our salvation and our king must follow in his way in treasuring those whom he loves. Not as symbols of purity or keepers of reputation, but as people, made in the image of God and valuable in themselves and for themselves. Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. Miriam Carey. Michelle Cusseaux. Shelly Frey. Kayla Moore.

For where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bad Theology: Equal Rights for Satan

There are times when I see something related to God, religion, etc. that triggers within me a strong negative reaction by the sentiment the item expresses. My reaction is not simply a matter of "Oh, I disagree with that." More often than not, it is a reaction more along the lines of "Wow, the implicit theology is terrible/overstated/marred in political ideology/heretical."

So, the below church sign is the subject of this edition of "Bad Theology."

Let's start with the imprecision of the statement "Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights." It is unclear which "equal rights" we are talking about. While this moment in our national history can lead one to guess that the sign is referring to lgbt+ rights, the sign does not make that clear. The problem is then that the sign could refer to any equal rights movement. One could imagine this sign up to the 1920s being used against women's suffrage. One could imagine this sign up to the 1960s being used to defend Jim Crow. I would wonder how far back in history the congregation would argue against equal rights. However, with a statement this universalizing it does not matter. Any advocated-for "equal right" is tied to Satan's bid for equality with (or rather, supplanting of) God.

Now, to put my main objection in its simplest terms: equality with God and expecting equal treatment from other humans is *not* the same thing.

There is the problem of association and that will take some background to explain. Assuming some traditional Christian categories into which we slot humans, angels, and God into a hierarchy (in ascending majesty (cf. Ps 8:4-5)), there is the matter of 'vertical' and 'horizontal' relationship.  For instance, the story of Satan holds that Satan was an angel who sought to usurp God and ultimately rebelled(/rebels/will rebel). This is a break in 'vertical' relationship in which the divine hierarchy was threatened. Satan's sin being pride, Satan tried to put himself in the position he thought he deserved: God the Creator's place.

But humanity coexist in horizontal relationship with each other. The social witness of the prophets, the Gospel, and the imperfectly-realized love we are supposed to share and hold for all whom we meet bear this vision of humanity. The basis of human dignity and our equality is in our shared likeness, being made in the image of God. In the many disputes among humans, none can claim special privilege over others when it comes to the essence of human dignity. Our human propensity for placing ourselves in heirarchies must always be held in some suspicion since they always fall away in God's estimation of what is important. This is what it means to respect the rights of others.

So back to the statement "remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights." This was the breaking of the created order and the upsetting of a vertical relationship. But--by association--for the sign's statement to have any meaning in the human/horizontal context then there have to be corresponding human actors for Satan and God. In other words, this sign has meaning by association if straight/white/cis/male are stand-ins for God and all others who challenge the social hierarchy with these men at the top do so as agents of evil. If this is not what the sign-maker means, it is certainly what the sign-maker is implying. And it is certainly how a majority of straight/white/cis/male Christians have acted--even within the last fifty years.  Gross.

So, there it is.  This sign fails even in theological terms that are quite traditional.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What’s wrong with the “Feminization of the Church”?

CW: sexism

I finally took the time to read an article that has been passed around in my circles on Facebook, in which a Roman Catholic cardinal claims that the Church is “too feminine.”  (And I suspect many pass the article around for the supposed irony of the image that accompanies it:  a bunch of dudes in frilly lace, one of whom is complaining about the Church being “too feminine.”  Get it?  It’s supposed to be funny—because they are men wearing lace.  Never mind that men can pay heed to aesthetics.)

Anyhow, Cardinal Burke is of the opinion that opening up altar service to women has been detrimental to young men choosing priestly vocations because:

“Young boys don’t want to do things with girls. It’s just natural… It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of [a] priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys.”

*Gag.*  Having trained altar servers of various identities, I would say “manliness” is not a prerequisite.  Attention to detail and reverence are not gendered categories.

He also believes that the upswing of “radical feminism” has, since the 1970s had grave impacts on the Church and have been scaring men away from marriage— “These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women.”

The focus on women’s issues, he said, plus “a complete collapse” of teaching the faith and “rampant liturgical experimentation,” led the Church to become “very feminized.” That turned off men who “respond to rigor and precision and excellence,” Burke said.
“Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women,” he said. “The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.”
Cardinal Burke represents a particularly shrill opinion about the Church that is not limited to the Catholic side of things.  The evangelical world is having this conversation, too.  As Kristen Rosser notes on her blog (and as is cross-posted to Patheos), there is a lot of talk about the fact that the Church seems to be 60/40 women to men.  And many men, typically in leadership, bemoan the gap.

Why do they think this is the case?  A few of the common responses are that women may be more spiritual than men and that the church’s music, messages and ministries now cater to women.
David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church (Thomas Nelson, 2004), put it this way:

“[W]omen believe the purpose of Christianity is to find “a happy relationship with a wonderful man”—Jesus—whereas men recognize God’s call to “save the world against impossible odds.” ... While the church was masculine, it fulfilled its purpose. But in the 19th century, women “began remaking the church in their image” (and they continue to do so), which moved the church off course.

I know a lot of women in the Church.  I know a lot of women in leadership in churches across denominational lines.  I cannot think of one who believes that the insipid “Jesus is my boyfriend” mentality is a sufficient statement of faith or motivation for the proclamation of a Kingdom that seeks to throw down the principalities and powers.  To reduce women’s expressions of Christianity to some sort of wish fulfillment of the perfect man is to go about telling lies about our people.  It is belittling. 

I've pointed to some rather blatantly sexist examples of this conversation about the gender gap, but it is happening in other parts of the American Church as well.  Christianity in America seems to go through a “crisis of masculinity” every twenty years or so.  Typically it coincides with social trends that resonate further than the religious tradition; but still, crises of masculinity tend to flare up in Christian circles around the same time the national conversation goes there.  Here we are again, perhaps.  I have no solution to this, but I offer the following food for thought—which guides me in wondering if there is a crisis worth panicking about.

  • How do we define “masculinity” in a modern Christian context? 
  • What about butch persons? Do they tip the balance back toward "masculine"?
  •  How do we define “femininity?”
  • Is there a femininity meter somewhere that we can calibrate?  Or is femininity based on the number of women present?
  • Is this a theological issue or a demographic panic?
  • How are we defining who has power in these contexts?
  • In denominations that ordain women and LGBTQIA folk—can we go about reaffirming “masculinity” without reifying the sins of sexism and heterosexism?
  • If we cannot affirm men's ministry without belittling or tokenizing women's ministry and/or religious experience, might there be a deeper issue?
  • Masculinity as it is culturally conditioned rests on privilege and violence to uphold.  Does Christianity then offer a critique of masculinity?  Are we willing to make men angry if we challenge those forms of masculinity?
  • Does masculinity inherently deserve to exist, no matter what its content?
  • Could the Gospel actually be about calling us together across lines of gender?
  • Maybe femininity and masculinity are not actually necessarily equal. Is it possible that, by the current standards of the world—in which power, control, and domination hold sway— the gospel is feminine?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christians and Torture IV: Theological resources contra torture

TW:  Torture, torture apologism

This is part four of a four-part series. 
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

In this post I detail theological and moral resources that point to Christianity's absolute prohibition on the use of torture.  However, before I begin I feel the need to offer some disclaimers.  I have been following developments in the U.S. torture program since 2003 and after I left military school.  Truly, the revelation of the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the cracks through which one could see official approval for something beyond the Army's manual of interrogations spurred my decision to do graduate work in religious studies.  Over that time, particularly in 2004-2008, my interest in the subject made me the target of some truly innovative moral arguments and personal attacks.  With that in mind, I offer the following thoughts.
  • I have frequently been asked "Well, what about the abuse and torture that [Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Iraqi insurgents, ISIS, etc.] do to others, including American citizens?"  To which I rhetorically reply:  "Really?  Really!?" I believe the question stems from the rhetoric of "you are either with us or against us," which dominated much of the political discourse from 2001-2006.  But it is not the case that denouncing American uses of torture implies an approval of American being tortured.  My denunciation of clean torture should be sufficient to note that I do not approve of scarring torture.  The reason I write primarily about the torture program in the United States is because I am a U.S. citizen and a Christian living in a country where a sizable population carries pretensions of being a "Christian nation."  I can and have denounced other groups using torture, but this is the context in which I find myself living out my faith while co-religionists and my government claim to torture on my behalf and for my benefit.  I protest this state of affairs.
  • Relatedly, I have had people tell me that "at least our torture isn't so bad as [other group/country]."  To which I reply that the righteous and the courageous set the height of the moral bar. The moral monsters do not.  Saying we are 'not as bad' is not the same thing as saying we are good.  Our task as moral creatures is not to simply remain one notch above those we call enemies and acknowledge as resorting to evil.  
  • I have been asked "what would you do if torture was the only way to save [family member]?"  The answer is still that I do not know if I would resort to torture.  And even if I did, the only thing I can tell you is that I know that I am personally capable of significant evil acts.  Any hypothetical scenario that ends with my use of torture does not make the use of torture justified, and I am very skeptical of moral arguments that leave the moral agent blameless in every circumstance.  I am also wary of those who try to insert me in impossible scenarios as though doing so is some kind of rhetorical trump card.
With those preliminary disclaimers out of the way, I will give one more note about the bounds of this post.   I am going to be looking at specifically theological arguments against torture which typically reside in divine command ethics, deontology, and virtue.  I will not address the question about whether torture "works"--the utilitarian question.  There is a vast amount of evidence that torture does not produce good information, and the Senate report debunks many of the former administrations claims about the effectiveness of the program.  What I am arguing here is that Christianity--both the tradition and the living God and our Savior Jesus Christ--point us to the prior question of whether torture is in keeping with God's love revealed.  The answer is a resounding "no" before we even get to the next question of whether torture is useful. 

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is a basic ethical precept and certainly not limited to religious frameworks.  The Christian formulation of the Rule is generally active in that Christians are to treat others as one would wish to be treated; not merely refraining from treating others in a way one would not wish to be treated.[1]  It should be noted that the Bush Administration’s decisions regarding treatment of detainees does not match either formulation of the rule.  Reciprocity, as a restriction, which forms much of the basis of law in regards to use of force (specifically) and treatment of other human beings (generally), was inverted.[2]  The stance taken was instead a perversion formulated to be something like this:  as our enemies are unlawful, we may dispense with what inhibitions on our conduct we find too constricting.  This is still reciprocal, but it is immoral.  Instead of aspiring to a higher moral ideal, it is an argument to allow one to sink lower by affixing the moral standard to depraved terrorist actions.  In principle, as long as interrogations remained above that incredibly low bar they were acceptable.

Christians should understand such an inversion of the moral universe pushes into the territory of the desire for revenge and retaliation, not necessarily justice.  To follow that path leads one to an embrace of blood thirst, and it is an attractive path when one thinks of what acts of terrorism can do, and has done.  Sin is slippery and seductive in that way.  We desire to inflict a modicum of the interior pain we feel when we experience catastrophic loss due to terrorism.  Yet we cannot allow the pain inflicted to justify torturous retaliation, and we certainly cannot allow the state the justification to follow that dark road for in the name of security.[3] 

Some good news:  In Part One of this series, I mentioned a poll by Mercer from 2008 which asked about whether one’s beliefs about the propriety of relying on torture were based on religious conviction or “common sense” or “life experience.” The poll indicated that the Golden Rule may be an effective vehicle for shifting opinions.  After being asked to consider the Golden Rule, there was a 14-point decrease in the respondents who would allow for torture “often” or “sometimes.”[4]  That is a striking example of how something so simple could call people back to their senses.

Imago Dei

Christians understand, as an element of the biblical story of Creation, that humankind was created in the image of God and all humans bear God’s image (Gen. 1:26-28).  Since such value is intrinsic, it cannot be taken or given away, although it can be obscured.  It is also the case that not all theologies agree upon how much emphasis should be placed on the concept of the imago Dei.  There are theological arguments that rather emphasize the utter creaturely nature and depravity of humankind, which strike me as theological arguments that do much work to dehumanize all of humankind in the first place.[5] In these theologies, humanity does not seem to have too far to “fall.”

It is vital to be mindful of these arguments, for it is easy to claim that one who performs murder or terrorist acts (the two are closely related) voluntarily gives up any claim to humanity and becomes hopelessly lost.  The imago Dei, however, should give the Christian pause before claiming anyone has become subhuman, or is without hope of recovery from the depths of murderous ideology.  Once we declare others subhuman, we deny the possibility of reconciliation. 

Finally, we owe obligations to those who bear the imago Dei, to respect the dignity and worth of that person regardless of his or her own actions.  An analogous view to the imago Dei is the concept of intrinsic human rights.  David Gushee, an evangelical who was on the forefront of addressing evangelical support for torture, notes Christian discomfort with excessive “rights-talk,” yet he believes that there is cause for belief in a biblical understanding of human dignity…particularly the right to bodily integrity.[6] 

Love of Neighbor

Jean Bethke Elshtain--writing with echoes of Paul Ramsey, Dietrich Bonheoffer, and Reinhold Niebuhr--considered regard for neighbor in her reflections of the ticking time bomb scenario.[7]  She wrote that she was uncomfortable with deontological rigidity and pure utilitarian consequentialism, and so she asks instead:  as to love of neighbor and neighbor regard, to whom is the most concrete responsibility owed?   To the victims or the guilty?  Elshtain concludes that the more pressing duty is to the innocent, and yet that duty would not make the act of torture morally right—it is the less terrible option for which the practitioner must submit herself or himself before God’s mercy.  As she would have it, no mere calculation negates the guilt of having tortured.

It may seem strange insert an example of someone contemplating an exception to the absolute prohibition.[8]  For our purposes, which are quite limited to establishing the relationship between Christians and all of humanity, the focus is on the nature of this neighbor-love which encompasses both the one who sets the bomb and the bomb’s potential victims.  The fact is that the Christian love of neighbor (the expected response to the imago Dei) does indeed cover those whom we consider to be our enemies.  The warrant for this view is the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus is asked to define “neighbor.”  Jesus does so by telling a story in which a robbed and beaten Jew is cared for not by countrymen, but by a despised Samaritan.  The two groups were mutually distrustful of each other, but the Samaritan responded to the common humanity and need of the robbed and beaten man.  Christians are to understand that they are to go and do likewise.[9]  It is not a straight line from the parable to not torturing as shown by Elshtain’s reasoning with regard for neighbor and finding cause to allow an exception to the absolute prohibition on torture.  But the parable does set forth a Christian stance that finds a clear distinction between “us” and the “other” problematic and unscriptural.  Once again, the imago Dei is glimpsed.  Regard for neighbor should outweigh the shortsightedness of the extreme nationalism and “othering” that characterizes the American antithesis (see part one).

The anti-Sacrament

In an argument against torture that is specifically targeted to a Christian audience, theologian William Schweiker is particularly interested in the practice of waterboarding…a practice which bears religious significance.[10]  Schweiker notes that “torture by water as it arose in the Roman Catholic and Protestant Reformations drew some of its power and inspirations from theological convictions about repentance and salvation” and that those religious resonances are present in the current use of the technique.[11]  If this is indeed the case, then waterboarding is to be understood as an inversion of the sacrament of Baptism.  The contrast could not be starker.  On the one hand, Baptism is an affirming symbol of new life and an entrance to the baptized into the life of being an active agent of love in the world.  On the other hand, waterboarding is the anti-Baptism, meant to invoke the fear of drowning and death in order to completely destroy the tortured person’s will and agency.[12]  Christians should shudder at the inversion of the sacrament given by Christ as the means of life being used to deal death and terror.

The moral hazard of prolonged exposure to sin

Christians understand that prolonged exposure to evil (such as the use of torture) has spiritual consequences that touch not just the primary actors but the entire community.  It has already been remarked that torture is dehumanizing to the victim, but the same can be said for the torturer.  It is possible for virtuous people to lose their souls when they are about the business of destroying the souls of others.  Abu Ghraib serves as an example of such soul-destroying sadism run amok.  Yet, more controlled, “professional” interrogation invites the same results because of the temptation of sadism and the nature of the project of softening up (dehumanizing) detainees.[13]  Such dehumanizing tactics become easier over time with exposure and practice.  Indeed, it has been shown that the American populace—Christians included (especially?) are becoming more habituated to the practice.

Torture as a mechanism for idolatry

In the literature of torture, there are clear accounts of torturers explicitly trying to replace God in the mind of the tortured.  In fact, torturers will say that they are God.  There was a tactic that Nazi interrogators would use on Jewish detainees in World War II.  The interrogator would beat the detainee nearly to unconsciousness, and right before the detainee went unconscious, someone would fire a shot from a gun.  When the detainee awoke the interrogators would be there, and say something to the effect of “You died, and ask you can see there is no God to greet you.  Just us.”  They then resumed their torture.  I also point you to Sr. Dianna Ortiz’s statement at the beginning of Part Three of this blog series.  Finally, there was a scandal at the facility in Guantanamo Bay about the mistreatment of the Quran by U.S. military personnel in front of detainees, including throwing the book in the toilet.  I believe this was an intentional use of this tactic.

As mentioned in Part Three, torture is an attempt at total control of the tortured, which is an attempt of the torturer to take the place of God.  The attempt to take the place of God in the other person’s world (constricted under torture) can be accurately labeled as idolatry regardless of the motive of the torturer.  It is an attempt to sever one’s connection to the source of life and place oneself in that spot.  As such, allowing torture is not merely allowing idolatry, but the intentional cultivation of idolatry in which the torturer (and state) replaces God.  And this lesser god is a god of pain and torment and domination--not peace, or love. 

Our Tortured Savior

All of the accounts of Christ’s Crucixion are essentially stories of torture.  In short, Christians profess faith and follow a tortured savior.  It is our responsibility to remember that it was this world which deemed Christ’s death as necessary.  Our pointing to the cross must attest that it was not only Christ work that saved us, but it was and is our wickedness that put Christ and countless others through suffering for the sake of power and control.

As Jesus falls silent before Pilate’s questions about his identity, Pilate asks “Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”[14]  That is a terrible power—the power given him by the state—even as Jesus reminds Pilate that he has this power only through God.  But Jesus knows something else.  The threat to use this power is a sign of fear.  It is a grasp for control of the situation.  It is the way earthly power works.  Earthly power is borne out of the desire to control our own fear.  Torture and Crucifixion are examples of this worldly power.  The desire to control others.  To control circumstances. To bend the will of a person to our own use. Its use is borne out of fear.  This power is used when the lie of control we continually tell ourselves fails.

This is the horror of the cross and the necessity of remembering its purpose.  God chose to conquer the cross as the judgment on our capacity for cruelty.  The crosses we wear, and that we use to decorate our churches and homes ought to confront us with that judgment of God against us.  And that makes us witnesses not only to Christ’s salvation, but to the crucifixions, torture sessions, and deaths we now know about as the practitioners of worldly power try to justify them.

Christians inherit a story of an innocent man killed because the state demanded it.  At the very least, we ought to be suspicious when the state keeps claiming it needs to continue the practice.

The above theological resources are expandable, and are offered to inspire fruitful reflection on how Christianity can answer calls for the necessity of torture.  For the moment, this ends our coverage of the Senate Torture report, though the question that remains is what will happen next.  There is evidence of the wrongdoing, but will any perpetrators be brought to justice?  And what should the Church's response be?  What does prayer and action look like?
In terms of prayer:  remember the words of the writer of Hebrews, who exhorts Christian communities to remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured (Heb 13:3).”  The exhortation may be to speciifcally remember fellow CHristinas--and there is certainly nothing wrong with that given that religious persecution affecting all religious groups rose in the past two years--but the exhortation passes through the lenses of neighbor love and a recognition of the imago dei that expands to all whom God seeks a reconciled relationship.  We are called to remember all who suffer for the sake of conscience, for those in prison, and especially those who suffer needlessly while the powerful seek control and dominance.  We are also to confess; to repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.
In terms of action, consider joining the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and/or organize an event in June for Torture Awareness Month.  Continue to read about the practice of torture in the modern world.  Finally, say something.  Be willing to challenge the worldly narrative of torture's necessity.  Be willing to give voice to someone no one wants to hear.  Call people to recognize their will to power over others and their willingness to allow others that opportunity.  Strive to respect the dignity of every person.

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so  move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[1] This principle is also derived from the parable of the Good Samaritan, as well as Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.
[2] For an excellent discussion of these considerations, see Noah Feldman, “Ugly Americans,” in The Torture Debate in America, ed. Karen Greenberg (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 267-279.
[3] In a recent personal conversation, a woman responded to my statement that we should not torture suspected terrorists by saying “we shouldn’t coddle them.”  Note the duality in the statement:  It is either torture or coddling, and terrorists deserve to be tortured, even with the designation of only being suspected of terrorism. 
[4] "New Poll of White Evangelicals Shows Faith, Golden Rule Influence Attitudes on Torture," Faith in Public Life and Mercer University, (accessed September 11, 2008).  I do not have the specific wording of the question, but the gist of it was to ask if the U.S. government should use methods that the respondent would not want used on American soldiers. No other theological argument could boast the similar results (the pollsters tried three but do not detail which arguments were tried).  I attribute the lack of success of the other theological frameworks to the break mentioned earlier, that theological considerations do not enter into consideration of national security concerns for these Christians, and that overall congregational silence on the issue of torture means theological resources for denouncing torture are not propagated.  A question about a theological framework that may be unknown to the poll respondent is not likely to get an immediate affirmative response.
[5] John MacQuarrie, Principles of Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977), 229-31.
[6] Gushee, 356.
[7] Jean Bethke Elshtain, “Reflection on the Problem of “Dirty Hands,”” in Torture: A Collection,  new. ed., ed. Sanford Levinson (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2004), 77-89.
[8] Dr. Elshtain argued that “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not necessarily count as torture; or if they do, they certainly do not deserve to be categorized as equivalent to more horrific forms of torture.  I agree that there may indeed be differences in degree, but the differences do not necessarily mean the techniques should not still be understood as torture or as more permissible.  I consider many of the commonly called “enhanced interrogation techniques” to fall under the category of clean torture and worthy of prohibition. 
[9] Luke 10:25-37.
[10] William Schweiker, “Torture and Religious Practice,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 47, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 210.
[11] Ibid, 214. Darius Rajali in his book Torture and Democracy tentatively confirms the presence of waterboarding (which he refers to as a method pioneered by the Dutch) as practiced by American interrogators as a technique used against Italian heretics.  Rejali, 281, 285.
[12] Schweiker, 215.
[13] Gushee, 358-360.
[14] John 19.