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Sunday, January 15, 2006
I'm arguing for basic American and Christian principles.

I RECEIVED A LOT OF NASTY HATE MAIL FROM REPUBLICANS. When I filter out the venomous obscenity and scatology, I find a theory not unlike that of the liberal left on separation of church and state. Stick with relgion, these irate folk tell me, and get out of politics. Clergy has no business expressing political opinions. I wonder what they think of the great political movements that have swept the country -- Abolition, Populism, Prohibition, Civil Rights, Reclaiming America -- all of which have had powerful and articulate clerical support. There was also, as best as I can remember, condiderable clerical agitation for the impeachment of President Clinton, a sinner as opposed to our present God fearing president.

Unfortunately for the theory of the separation of religion and politics, many political issues are fraught with religious and moral implications. It may be that the religiuos heritages of those who complain about my condemnation of the present administration have no teaching in their reliigon about issues like just wars, lying to the Americna people, kidnapping and torture. They have every right to complain when a clergy person from another heritage comes along and condemns and denounces an administration, that condones and even encourages it. I would appreciate it, however, if they's tell me the name of their denomination.

Those who believe, as do the people of the Catholic hierarchy, that tortures is a grave moral evil must be exposed for taking a public stand against a president and a vice president who claim the right of the commander in chief to authorize torture that does not lead to death (in Mr. Cheney's euphemistic phrase) and want to extend that priviledge from the CIA to the American military.

Published reports indicate that in the heady days after the World Trade Center attack the administration decided to assume that there were absolutely no limits to the power of the president -- constitutional, political or moral. Thus a confederacy of 13 CIA dunces kidnapped a Muslim imam from the streets in Milan, put him on a plane and sent him to Egypt, which would certainly tortue him. After month of abuse he was released with the explanation that he had been telling the truth all along.

There have been many more "redntions" (which means the outsourcing of torture) to torture centers. No one in Congress has bothered to find out how many. The Italian police now want, strangely enough, to indict the criminals who were working for the American government. Odd people , the Italians. Don't tey understand that the commander in chief is a God fearing man who can do anything he wants?

Torure has always been part of the human condition. The strong abuse the wask to seek information or to punish or for sheer pleasure. The Nazis, the communists, and the Japanese did it during the war. Presumably some Americans did it too, though not as an instrument of national policy. Qunatitatively our current addaults on human bodies as a matter of American right are much fewer than that of our former enemies. Qualitatively if even one man or woman is tortured by implicit or explicit cosent of the president of the United States, it is a grave sin and must be condemned.

Don't try to tell me that a president who approves of such behavior is a God fearing man. "Rendition" disgraces the president, his administration, the American people and out heritage as a free country. And don't tell me that I'm just arguing the politics of the Democrtic Party (which left it to Sen. John McCain to take on Mr. Cheney). I'm argying for basic American and Vhristian principles. As T.S. Elliott once wrote, when good does evil to fight evil it becomes indistinguishable from its enemy.

T. George Harris, the distinguised editior and publisher, fibbed to get into the Army at the age of 17 during World War II. From Niormandy to the Battle of the Bulge he flew as an observer in an artillery spotting plane for which he was awarded a medal and a battlefield commission in Bastongne. He wrote me recently that Mr. Bush's approval of torture spreads slime over the tradition of the American military.

I agree with Mr. Harris. Today we stand covered with the slime of George Bush and Dick Cheney for all the world to see.

(Source:CHICSUNTIMES/ Fr. Andrew Greeley/ e-mail: agreel@aol.com.)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:30 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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