Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hi, Jeremy

I'm sticking your letters here in lieu of any original content. 0wN3D!

Editor, Sun-Gazette:
Recently there have been a lot of letters written on the theme that it is okay to treat the detainees at Guantanamo poorly, because many of them are brutal enemies of America. The latest such letter read in part: "How terrible it is every time a senator or anyone else . . . speaks out about any discomfort to the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay . . . The prisoners are getting more than they deserve and are being treated too well."

What a very . . . un-Christian thing to say. Isn’t it apparent that if anything sets us apart from these people, it is our sense of compassion and sympathy? Just because they hate us and would act accordingly given the chance does not give us license to employ physical or psychological torture, or any other needless cruelty. Why did Jesus instruct us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44), if not to counter our instinctive tendencies toward revenge?

It’s easy to act with humanity and kindness toward people whom we honor and respect. We need to try to go further. I feel just as terrible as you do when I think about those doomed passengers aboard the planes on 9-11. But I also think that we should step back and reconsider some of our ethical judgments. Mistreating prisoners won’t bring back the dead, but it will definitely rally more terrorists against us, seeking revenge for these abuses. Wouldn’t the best course of action be to abstain from further prisoner mistreatment?
Jeremy Moses


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