Generous Orthodoxy  




Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Andy Rooney on the subject of torture

I thought we had made some progress on the torture issue, but it seems not. Recent disclosures about the Justice Department and the CIA have reminded us just how serious the situation is. It is hard to keep going when there is such silence from the pulpits and from the electorate, but here's one more voice--

Andy Rooney of "60 Minutes" (who is a friend) has been subjected to an unusual amount of cyberharassment in the form of collected "sayings" attributed to him that circulate via email by the millions. My husband and I have received numbers of these emails. Anybody who knows Andy's work (especially his extensive written work) would instantly recognize these as fakes.

Here is something that he really wrote (it's in a book of his collected essays Out of My Mind, a clever title to be taken literally, not figuratively) :

There is no justification for torture. The information elicited can never be trusted. It has been well established by military people who have held military people that torture, besides being uncivilized, is not an effective way of eliciting information...

The day the world learned that American soldiers had tortured Iraqi prisoners should be put high on the list of our country's worst [days]. It's a black mark on our record that will be in the history books in a hundred languages for a hundred years. It altered the world's perception of us...

In this same book there are four essays written before the invasion of Iraq, strenously opposing it. We forget how much opposition to the war there was before it began.

Rooney is a principled atheist, a rare breed. It is embarrassing that so few Christians have the courage or insight to raise their voices on these issues. If any one reading this would like to be more involved, check this link: http://www.nrcat.org/