Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rev. Rich Lang Statement Against Torture; June 26, 2008

Statement Against Torture; June 26, 2008
at Press Conference of Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture

Rev. Rich Lang
Trinity United Methodist (Ballard) Seattle

We are gathered here because as a nation we have crossed a line of evil that we had pledged we would never cross. Led by President Bush and descending throughout the military and intelligence agencies of our government, our national leadership is guilty of war crimes in the torture and abuse of prisoners and innocents. Our media is guilty of covering up these crimes through the sin of omission. Our people our guilty of supporting a government, both Democrats and Republicans, that knowingly continue policies that are internationally unlawful, and domestically treasonous.

Torture is a crime against humanity. It destroys both those who are tortured, and those who inflict the torture. Torture, the willed infliction of severe pain on helpless, vulnerable captives, leads inevitably to further and further cruelty until the ones who do the torturing become the very ones they hate. It seeps out of the torture room into the body politic and changes the character of the nation. We move from a people of optimistic idealism into the sewer of a people wallowing in fear, filth, despair, and cynicism.

As a Christian Pastor I am here to say that followers of Jesus Christ are forbidden to engage in, or support practices of torture. I am here to say that such activity is Demonic, and is a further crucifixion of Jesus himself. I am here to say that Christians are summoned by the Holy Spirit to publicly oppose the use of torture. For Christian soldiers or intelligence agents this means that in the name of Christ you must stand down and disobey your orders when called upon to break faith with God. For those involved in rendering prisoners to other nations for torture, in the name of Christ you must stand down, and disobey those orders. For Christian citizens, in the name of Christ, we must support those who are disobedient to the State but faithful to God. We must do all in our power, including our own civil disobedience, to expose the evil being down in our name.

As Christians and American citizens I appeal, as a Christian Pastor, that we renounce this activity of fascism, expose it to the light of day, and cast out those who have betrayed this nation, who have broken covenant with humanity, and who have opened up the gates of Hell on earth.

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