Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I am a little bit puzzled by something. Yesterday evening I was driving home with my wife from a late afternoon shopping trip searching for something on the radio to keep me awake - my wife and I don't talk much. I had to change channels when Public Radio went from talk to classical bedtime music. I passed on a Christian station preaching soothing reassurance of salvation for the saved. What I landed on was a conservative talk radio program ranting on, among other things, the use of torture in America's prisoner of war prisons. The host's suggestion was that it is no big deal. Probably most Americans would approve of the use of torture against those who hate us such as Arab Islamic terrorists.
My problem is, though, that whenever I look at an issue like this, I try to walk a mile in the other guy's shoes.I used to think that was Christian, but I can't see that it is any part of modern American evangelical Christianity. But it used to fit under the canopy of the Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I tend to think that modern American imperialism, now fostered even by the Christian Right, has abolished this notion from our minds. But if you do make the effort to walk a mile in the other guy's shoes, you realize a few things.
First, you realize that the other guy might be one of the prisoners of war that American men and women are torturing. You might be the victim of man's inhumanity against man.
Second, you might be one of those American men and women who are ordered by their superiors to torture prisoners and you would go through the rest of your life with what you had done, with that torture, on your conscience.
Third, you might be a member of a culture or a nation that is hated by Americans. Your government might argue that if it is okay for Americans to use torture on those who hate Americans, it has to be okay for you to use torture on Americans who hate you.
Finally, you could be one of those American prisoners whose only defense against torture, the Geneva Conventions, has already been rendered useless, invalid, indefensible, by the Bush administration in America's zest for free trade and empire.
The Bush Administration policy on the use of torture against prisoners of war opens the flood gates wide open. Why would the American people want that? Like I said, it puzzles me.


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