Let me start by making an official statement. This Christian is leaving the political and religious right forever. I don’t want to become a full on liberal either so right now I am stuck in some sort of political limbo, but we will deal with that later. Let me start with what has me so upset: Guantanamo Bay.
As a country we should be better than this.
Let’s start by bringing you up to speed on where I am. I know that there are two sides of this issue. I know that there are people spinning this whole situation like crazy desperately trying to make people see things their way. I understand that we are in a difficult time and that calls for difficult measures. But we are America and to me that means that we stand for something. (To quote First Knight: "What we hold to be right, and good, and true IS right and good and true for all men. Otherwise we’re just another robber tribe.") We should be a beacon for freedom and the way things should be done, not a scared old man trying to hurt people before they can hurt us.
I have known about the prisons at Guantanomo Bay for a while of course. I pay attention to the news. But my position has been "They are terrorists! Who cares how they are treated!" But yesterday I got a chance to listen to This American Life‘s Peabody Award winning story on the issue. (You can listen here and read the transcript here) Now I know they are biased. I know they are very far left, but even taking all of their slant out of the story and just laying out the facts I am appalled at who we have become.
Of the more than 300 people there in prison less than 5% were actually captured while fighting against us. Most of the other ones were people who were turned in for ransom or from other governments. This is a system that is set up to be abused. It might be a good thing to do if you say that you don’t mind detaining 100 people in order to capture 1 terrorist. But even if you make that assumption you must set up a place where those people detained can see the evidence against them and plead their case. WE ARE AMERICA! That means we stand for something. At the very least we stand for the fact that all men have a right for Life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness and those rights can’t be taken away just at the whims of the government.
WE SHOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS!
There is no scenario possible in which we should be holding people without trials. There is no scenario possible where we should be denying people the right to some sort of law. I can’t believe that we have made up a name for people (Enemy Combatants) for the soul purpose of keeping them away from the protection of the Geneva Convention and of our own laws. I don’t care. We should be better than this.
And leading this charge of what is right should be the Christians. We should be standing in the streets demanding that they be treated as they deserve to be treated as human beings. But the political Christian scene has become so engrained into Republican politics that we refuse to take a stand against something that is obviously wrong just because "our" president is the one doing it.
So like I say I am out of the religious right forever. I don’t want to be associated with them anymore. But I don’t have a place to go. I need a political party that says "all life is sacred–whether it be unborn or foreign–all life is sacred." Find me that party. Find me people willing to preach that from the pulpits and I will be the first person in line to rally behind them.
Christians have been silent for too long. We should be better than this!