More religious people support torture under Obama than they did under Bush. In this context, Rebecca Gordon's book is required reading.
Reinhold Niebuhr once broke with the editor of this magazine to argue that moral responsibility requires resisting evil with force. It’s a compelling argument, but it doesn’t justify torture.
Some people see violence as an absolute wrong. Others see it as a sometimes necessary evil, with considerable variation as to just how often these times come up. I’m at the dovish end of the latter group: I believe that there are times—not many, not remotely as many as American foreign policy consensus or law enforcement norms would have it, but some times—when a violent action might be the least-bad available option. But a necessary evil isn’t a virtue; “least bad” doesn’t mean “good.”
So, Sarah Palin said this thing the other day about waterboarding and baptism. I wouldn’t bother bringing it up just to say that I, like so many others, find this disgusting. What’s more interesting to me is the diversity of people who are similarly appalled.
A number of activist organizations are declaring March 15-17 "National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend." It's not clear if this is meant to replace The Brady Center's "God Not Guns Sabbath," which has been observed on the last weekend of September for a number of years. But the organizers seem eager to keep the event broadly ecumenical and interfaith.
The anxiety over Zero Dark Thirty reveals what happens when we cede the task of constructing our social narrative to the entertainment industry.
The Geneva Convention forbids excessive use of solitary confinement. Yet the U.S. persists in using it as punishment.