Dick Cheney and Evangelical Christians Epitomize Dark Age Barbarism  

Most human beings likely believe their nation is at least somewhat honorable as a testament to the people in the population, but history shows that certainly is not the case. Although Americans think this country is exceptional, it has not been honorable throughout its history, but many people claim the past is not an accurate measure of the nation today. However, if one considers the deceit and mistreatment of Native Americans,  the country’s shameful history of slavery, and the revelations the nation is guilty of humanitarian abuses at home and abroad, it is impossible to dispute this is a nation of barbarians; particularly due to the overwhelming support from so-called religious people for torture.

After the Senate Intelligence Report revealing the extent of torture authorized and supported by the Bush administration was released, the last thing one expected was both support among the population and avid defense of the barbaric prisoner mistreatment by former government leaders. Instead of shame and humiliation that this government condoned and defended myriad human rights violations, one of the architects of torture, Dick Cheney and several Bush officials hit the airwaves defending torture with  overwhelming support from the religious right. This is particularly disgusting when one considers that Cheney actually approved of torturing detainees that were innocent and evangelicals still supported the human rights abuses.

When asked directly if he approved of torturing innocent captives, Cheney said “I have no problem as long as we achieved our objective (preparing for the Iraq War). Cheney was reminded of a detainee who was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, and froze to death while in C.I.A. custody. It turned out it was a case of mistaken identity, but in Cheney’s, and a majority of Christian’s minds, the torture and death of detainees that turned out to be innocent “do not present a problem as long as we achieve our objective.” Cheney said “We got authorization  from the president and authorization from the Justice Department to go forward with the program.

Cheney was reminded that America prosecuted Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding American prisoners, and without remorse he claimed that “it is a really cheap shot to even try to draw a parallel between the Japanese who were prosecuted for waterboarding after World War II and what we did with waterboarding individuals;” including the 25% of innocent Muslims who were abused in custody. Innocent Muslims, by the way, that Cheney claimed were not American citizens and thus unlawful combatants, terrorists, and people who committed unlawful acts of war against the American people. It is noteworthy that America invaded and occupied a sovereign nation, so how 25% of admitted innocents were “unlawful combatants” is beyond the pale; particularly when innocents were “egregiously tortured” to justify invading Iraq.

According to a recently released Department of Justice document, “There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get information (to justify invading Iraq) out of the detainees, and when people committing torture kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder.” This is in spite of “Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people being told repeatedly, by the CIA and many other private operatives (at black-op sites) that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties existed because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies.”

Still, Bush, Cheney, and senior Bush administration officials “blew that off and kept insisting that the interrogators weren’t pushing hard enough, that there had to be some way to get that information;” like pushing harder. Cheney also claimed that the some of the innocent persons who found themselves in the CIA’s torture programs were “put in places where we could proceed” with the devastating  interrogation program find out what they knew. The travesty, besides torturing human beings, is that an overwhelming percentage of Americans agree with Cheney and think torture is justified.

According to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, the despicable majority of Americans believe Bush and Cheney and do not classify the CIA’s techniques as torture;  59% of the barbaric population thought the inhumane treatment and illegal acts of torture were justified. If those statistics are not shameful enough, America’s Christians were more likely than the general public to support acts of torture. According to the polling, 69% of white evangelicals believe the CIA treatment was biblically justified, compared to just 20% who said it was not. It gets worse as fully three-quarters (75%) of white non-evangelical Protestants said CIA treatment was justified; white Catholics were just as barbaric and believe the treatment was justified by a 66-23% margin.”

The idea that millions of Christians in the United States believe in, and support, torture as a justifiable Christian activity belies their claim to be “followers of Christ.” It is true that there are historical examples of Christians embracing brutal interrogation techniques, but it is now, like it was then, in opposition to Christ’s teachings. In 1252, Pope Innocent IV formally sanctioned torture as a means of extracting “truth” from “suspects” during the Medieval Inquisition, and the Church perpetuated the practice during the Spanish Inquisition. In both cases, people the Church “suspected” were heretics (terrorists) and innocent were strapped to a rack and had their limbs ripped off.

Many of the religious right leaders who support torture justify the CIA and Bush administration  acts of inhumanity cited the Old Testament as a valid reason to torture Muslims regardless if 25% of them were innocent. Their contention is that in order to save lives, innocent Muslims had to “forfeit their right to life and dignity,” even though torturing “unlawful (innocent) enemy combatants” did not save lives. But that is apparently the privilege of being an American evangelical; free reign to abuse Muslims at will and with government-authorized immunity from prosecution. Hopefully the rest of the world’s governments take legal action against this exceptional nation’s former leaders; whether they claim bible immunity or not. One thing is now abundantly clear and beyond refute; there are very few followers of Christ in America and it is exactly as one might expect from a barbaric population.

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  • Ever since the beginning of "organized religion" was noted that IT was the unifing cause of the masses, and they could move mountains if necessary.

    The people manipulators choose what ancient passage from "the book" to use & spew at the masses to moved them in the desired direcction, taking care NOT to pick from the New Testament. The Non-Christian church goers deceive themselves and others, by totally missing the actual pacifist Jesus stand.

    They justify torture as they justify hate crimes against their "different" neighbors, or police violence against monorities. It is more fear and hatred than anything close to christianity.

  • Let us not forget that most "Christians" celebrate the execution of the focus of their religion. Walk into any church and see the symbol of their faith (Constantine notwithstanding), prominently displayed as the source of their devotion to the cause. Any "faith" that relies on the depiction of a painful way to die has no validity. That this persistent sore on the human psyche has endured so long is proof of the fundamental flaw in the adherents' claims to any spiritual honour.

    • Christianity is a European construct. It is based wholly on the interests images and cultural narratives of Western European males.

      Which is why Euro-Christianity happily cites Jewish and Christian texts indiscriminately. Both texts are subsumed in a European context to serve a system based on property rights and ownership of land.

      That construct can no longer be enforced and patrolled. Like oil pipelines and Inquisitions, it is decadent and inappropriate as an organizing principle.

      The beneficiaries always hate when that happens.

  • I think they epitomize the logical end game of "Free Market" capitalism, that is, any means justify the end, where that end is profit. And make no mistake, this was done purely for profit.
    I'm struggling to decide if Cheney, Rumsfeld et al should be included in the panoply of "Most Evil" people in history. Certainly they didn't kill as many as Hitler or Pol Pot, but the unmitigated hubris and callousness they show(ed) in the pursuit of personal gain seems unprecedented to me. Thoughts?

    • Seems reasonable that massacring at least 655,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, costing America upwards of $5-6 trillion, and wasting American soldiers lives to profit Bush-Cheney's oil cohorts IS sheer, unprecedented evil. But that is typically the American way, and as you surely know, according to the right, America is Christian and exceptional; so it can't be evil.

    • I think quality counts as well as quantity. Bush/Reagan, Cheney/Bush oversaw the destruction of the American government, through disenfranchisement of people in favor of corporate and religious profiteers.

      Negating the principles enshrined in the Constitution by the writers.

      • You haven't seen anything yet. The teahadist is about to destroy the one government body that will save us from their voodoo trickle down bovine excrement economics.
        Republicans Block Reappointment of CBO Chief Doug Elmendorf
        (Bloomberg) -- Incoming Republican leaders in Congress won’t reappoint Doug Elmendorf to another term as head of the Congressional Budget Office, according to a party aide briefed on the decision.

        The move comes after a campaign from conservative lawmakers who want to change the way the CBO calculates the costs of government, said the aide, who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel decision. The office provides nonpartisan budget analysis for members of Congress that includes estimates of the cost of legislation.
        Read More

        Elections have consequences

  • Of course uber religious dopes love them some torture. That was evident by the Mel Gibson movie grossing so much evangential cash. They even took tiny kids to see that slasher film and raved about it. Bunch of sick bastards if you ask me.

  • I find it ironic the the U.S. signed onto a resolution to bring the leaders of North Korea to trial by the ICC for "crimes against humanity", yet refuse to do the same for our own ex-leaders.

    They knew, they KNEW, they were breaking the law, both ours and international laws, regardless of the authorization from the DoJ memos, otherwise why would they say not to tell Powell because "he would blow his stack".
    Powell definitely WOULD have blown his stack and this would have come out much sooner. I cannot imagine him giving countenance to any kind of torture.

    I can only hope that, since our current government will do nothing to bring these people to justice, the member nations of the U.N. will sign a similar resolution condemning the Bush administration for "crimes against humanity" and bring THEM to the ICC. They deserve nothing less.

  • May I please ask that we cease calling these horrific people any kind of "Christian" because they are NOT. They are Dominionists and rightly compared to the Taliban who have no bearing on Islam.

    At the foundation these are not evangelicals but MAYBE come from the Pentecostal movement, but they have zero ties to any known form of Christianity - they make it up as they go along. They are not even CINO - Christian in Name Only because they are wedded to the Old Testament tribalism and disdain anything Christ taught.

    Dominionist is the only term that matters because yes, they insist they will take over the world. Jesus is just a PR label, nothing more.

    • Churchlady, I know you are probably having a very difficult time seeing that people who supposedly believe as you do are capable of these things, but it is evangelicals and Catholics and and Christians of all ilk who are behind this. I'm afraid you are a minority in your own religion. Although I do agree that they are not truly Christians, the do represent the majority of the "Christians in America".

      • That Terry is because many of the mainline religions today,are filled and controlled with Domionism. That is the main reason. Taking over any and all aspects of civilization is their concern. Church ,schools, PTA, local political posts, State the same, then on too national. There plan so far has been success. Even the arts are part of their plan. There is nothing these people do not want to control.
        Unless, the American public wakes up they will finally see their way to completion of the plan.

        • The term for the pre-meditated take over of mainline religion/churches by Dominionist is called "Steeple-Jacking".

          Rev Gaddy and company have been trying to bring light to this "theft-based" travesty @ Talk2Action.org for number of years!

          I would say, as a statement of fact that, Steeple-Jacking breaks the commandment, "Thou shall not Steal".

  • The CIA & NYPD: Perilous Insubordination In Our Democracy
    "He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."

    Here's something interesting about the Declaration of Independence, which we all revere because, you know, freedom. In the long bill of particulars on which the Continental Congress arraigned King George III -- and there are 27 counts on that indictment -- there's only one mention of taxes. Rather, every one of the charges, especially the one quoted above, has to do with the illegitimate use by the king, and by his agents in the American colonies, of existing political institutions against the people themselves, either directly (by quartering troops, for example), or by rigging those institutions so they functioned for his benefit and not for the benefit of the people of the colonies.
    Read More

    • The East India Trading Company held the charters to exploit the American colonies for profit. When King George and Parliament put their personal profits over the rights of British subjects, Americans reminded Britain that loyalty is a 2-way street.

      Something today's GOP might want to learn.

  • Ouch!!
    The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin

    They are God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch. They are joined by religious rationalizers—fundamentalists who, unable to find Scripture supporting their biases and beliefs, twist phrases and modify translations to prove they are honoring the Bible’s words.

    With politicians, social leaders and even some clergy invoking a book they seem to have never read and whose phrases they don’t understand, America is being besieged by Biblical illiteracy. Climate change is said to be impossible because of promises God made to Noah; Mosaic law from the Old Testament directs American government; creationism should be taught in schools; helping Syrians resist chemical weapons attacks is a sign of the end times—
    Read the whole article

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