November 19, 2005

WE ALREADY KNOW THEY'RE GUILTY:

CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described: Sources Say Agency's Tactics Lead to Questionable Confessions, Sometimes to Death (BRIAN ROSS and RICHARD ESPOSITO, Nov. 18, 2005, ABC News)

Harsh interrogation techniques authorized by top officials of the CIA have led to questionable confessions and the death of a detainee since the techniques were first authorized in mid-March 2002, ABC News has been told by former and current intelligence officers and supervisors.

They say they are revealing specific details of the techniques, and their impact on confessions, because the public needs to know the direction their agency has chosen. All gave their accounts on the condition that their names and identities not be revealed. Portions of their accounts are corrobrated by public statements of former CIA officers and by reports recently published that cite a classified CIA Inspector General's report. [...]

The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.


Torture is useful because guys will tell you anything to get you to stop, but for that reason can not be used to establish guilt, only to extract intelligence. It should be easy enough to then check that intelligence out and determine whether the torture is actually effective for that purpose. If we aren't getting info we can use then stop torturing them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 19, 2005 9:35 AM
Comments

WWJT?

Posted by: Anon at November 19, 2005 10:35 AM

OK, water boarding is going to disturb some people (although it doesn't fall into the "permanent physical damage" category.) But if the media really launches a campaign against "The Attention Grab," they're insane. That's not torture.

Posted by: John Thacker at November 19, 2005 11:45 AM

John: I hope you're right. I'd hate to have them haul my wife off over it.

Posted by: John Resnick at November 19, 2005 12:47 PM

Mr. Resnick, we have one question. Did you talk?

Posted by: AllenS at November 19, 2005 1:06 PM

It's absolute nonsense that any of the first five is being defined as torture. Number 6 is debatable, but even then what happens to the prisoner is entirely psychological. I'm glad to hear that we used number 6 on that loathesome bastard KSM.

Personally, I would cut off his testicles and forced him to eat them. But then again I'm not Jesus, Duffy.

(Why does Duffy post as Anon now btw?)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 19, 2005 1:27 PM

FWIW, "water boarding" has been used on our own troops to train them to stand up to interrogations.

Posted by: Jim Miller at November 19, 2005 1:38 PM

7. Santiago Wedgy

whoo boy, you know you've been interogated when you get one of those. allende would cry like a school girl when we gave him one...good times, good times.

Posted by: gen. pinochet at November 19, 2005 2:47 PM

What a coincidence; harsh interrogation techniques authorized by top officials in the MSM have also led to questionable confessions and deaths. In fact, isn't this story based on "questionable confessions"?

The "public needs to know"!

Posted by: Noel at November 19, 2005 7:13 PM

It always surprises me that the MSM still thinks this kind of information is damaging. Overzealous prosecution of this war is not going to be seen as a drawback by any but the hard-core left.

Posted by: Pepys at November 19, 2005 7:30 PM

So, limited techniques used by a limited number of interrogators, on a limited number of terrorists.....uh the problem?

Posted by: RC at November 19, 2005 7:46 PM

Give Patrick Fitzgerald enough time, and he might try 1-5. Would Russert talk? Or Andrea Mitchell? Just think, they could write a book about it afterwards.

"The Lieutenant had tears in his eyes, but he smacked me again across my stomach, pleading with me to just say Rove".

Posted by: ratbert at November 19, 2005 10:04 PM

Cool dude, water boarding sounds gnarley! What's the big huff all about?

Posted by: Sean at November 20, 2005 1:25 AM

8. Extended periods of time fully restrained in a chair with headphones on, listening to theme songs from American sitcoms of the 1950's, 60's & 70's (and being subjected to low voltage electric shocks if prisoner falls asleep).

Posted by: Dave W. at November 20, 2005 1:38 AM

Well Jim IIRC you're a Catholic and therfore might be interested in what the Catechism has to say about torture:

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Unlike OJ, the Church has repented of the Inquisition.

But then again I'm not Jesus

Well I'm glad we got that cleared up...

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 9:16 AM

Daniel:

Is it merciful for the criminal to rule? Do terrorists deserve clemency as a matter of policy?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 20, 2005 11:13 AM

Jim, Who said anything about letting criminals rule? And since when is not torturing someone extending clemency?

And why do you hate the Catholic Church so much?

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 12:31 PM

Daniel,

All snark aside, I simply don't recognize the top 5 techniques as "torture", nor do I think most Americans would. Nor do I think any of them necessarily conflict with the catechism, tho naturally that point is debatable. As for # 6, as I said, that's borderline.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 20, 2005 12:42 PM

Daniel:

I don't hate the church, but I do not like lily-livered priests and pastors trying to wrongly apply a verse or two in Scripture to situations that don't relate.

If you let the criminals make the rules, well - then they rule (ACLU, leftist ministers, Democratic Congresscritters, makes no difference).

You brought up clemency, not I. No suspected terrorist deserves clemency, and certainly not without being convicted and sentenced. Clemency without conviction is meaningless, no?

Think of the thief on the cross - he deserved (as far as we know) what he was getting from Rome. Christ forgave him, but he died on his cross later that day. The same for any terrorist. Or do you expect to go beyond God's mercy?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 20, 2005 2:40 PM

Anon:

Repented it? They just made the Inquisitor Pope.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2005 3:37 PM

dniel:

You deny Creation, Morality, Celibacy and nearly everything else about the Church, who are you to say others hate it?

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2005 3:39 PM

I'll ask again OJ (since you dodged the question on the last thread), when did I ever deny the Creation or Morality?

Celibacy BTW is not a doctrine, it's a discipline and can literally be changed tomorrow if the Pope wanted to. Ask your brother, he seems to know more about the RCC than you do.

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 6:32 PM

Jim Hamlen,

You have a similar contempt for our lily livered Savior no doubt. Were the writers of the Catrechism lily livered? Or leftists? Or criminals?

I did not bring up clemency, the Catechism did. You should read it more often.

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 6:43 PM

Jim in Chicago, I wouldn't classify what is or ist not torture until ihad experienced them myself. Neitehr should you.

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 6:45 PM

Repented it? They just made the Inquisitor Pope.

What part of "...In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. ...It is necessary to work for their abolition. " don't you understand?

By advocating torture, you commit a grave evil, on par with advocating abortion.

Posted by: Anon at November 20, 2005 6:53 PM

Anon:

Nonsense. You seem confused, as always, about guilt and innocence.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2005 7:46 PM

Anon:

You refer to the idicocy of Creation here:

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/2005/11/the_god_of_carl.html#comments

And pick any thread about gays and you eschew morality relentlessly. As I recall you also object to burning witches.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2005 7:51 PM

I saw one list of techniches that included playin loud rap non-music. Sounds like torture to me:-)

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 21, 2005 1:18 AM

I wouldn't classify what is or is not torture until i had experienced them myself. Neither should you.

Well, I'm glad that the unserious people of the world have a voice to advocate for their childish views.

Who HASN'T been:

Grabbed by the shirt, yelled at, or slapped across the stomach or face (in sports, by accident, etc.) ?

#s 4 & 5 are certainly uncomfortable, but anyone who's been in the military has likely done much the same, or worse.

Shall I post WW II or Korean War stories about the cold, or working/fighting for days on end, with no sleep or rest ?

Or just my own stories of days without sleep, (although not without sitting down once in a while), or of what the Korean cold is like while on guard duty at 3AM, in the field, during a Korean winter ?

If it's good enough for American GIs, it's good enough for terrorists.

Further, one has to be SPECTACULARLY ignorant of actual torture to believe that any of this playtime is "torture".

Read up on the activities of the Japanese or Germans in WW II, the Soviets, Pol Pot, the NVA, various African dictators, or Saddam himself, if anyone wants to know what REAL torture is.

Don't eat immediately beforehand.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 2:42 AM

You refer to the idicocy of Creation here

I referred to the idiocyof ID by quoting the Vatican's oficial stand on the subject. Does the Vatican deny Creation? You AGREED with me on that thread "Of course it is a crock.." Do you deny Creation? ID/Creationism is for morons (or as St. Augustine more charitably called them "people of limited understanding"). Darwinism is for nihilists.

Evolution is for the faithful.

And pick any thread about gays and you eschew morality relentlessly.

How exactly do I eschew morality. Specifics please.

As I recall you also object to burning witches.

Well, I'm still waiting for you to kill your children for arguing with you OJ. And when are you going to kill people who pick up sticks on Saturday? And when should we kill people who have laid with an animal, people like you?

FYI - the KJV is a mistranslation. It should read "Thou shall not suffer a poisoner to live".

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 9:05 AM

Anon:

You know, arguing that you deny even more moral prescriptions, think Creationism is idiocy, and condone homosexuality doesn't actually help your case.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 9:11 AM

Grabbed by the shirt, yelled at, or slapped across the stomach or face (in sports, by accident, etc.)

Repeatedly and contnuously? Day in and day out? What kind of childhood did you have?

#s 4 & 5 are certainly uncomfortable, but anyone who's been in the military has likely done much the same, or worse.

As a former USAF officer I don't recall ever being required to stand shackled for 40 hours straight without sleep nor did I ever have to remain naked and wet in a cold room. Where did you serve?

If it's good enough for American GIs, it's good enough for terrorists.

You seem to have trouble understanding the legal and moral differences between combat and torture. For one thing, the victim of torture is not allowed to fight back.

Read up on the activities of the Japanese or Germans in WW II, the Soviets, Pol Pot, the NVA, various African dictators, or Saddam himself, if anyone wants to know what REAL torture is.

Oh I'm familiar with their practices. I also beleive that America should be better than that. Don't you?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 9:13 AM

OJ, the Vatican thinks Creationism is idiocy. So do I.

How exactly do I condone homosexuality? C'mon, you can say it again for the record. You used to be very proud about what you wanted to do to gays. Why the reticence?

Posted by: ANon at November 21, 2005 9:17 AM

Anon:

Only you believe it better to allow innocents to be murdered rather than treat the guilty brusquely. You're arguing feelings, not morality.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 9:20 AM

Anon:

Exactly. You deny Creation and that homosexuality should be punished. Neither can be reconciled with Judeo-Christianity.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 9:23 AM

Only you believe it better to allow innocents to be murdered rather than treat the guilty brusquely. You're arguing feelings, not morality.

When did I ever say that innocents should be murdered and the guilty should not be punished? Specifics please.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 9:32 AM

You deny Creation

No I don't, I deny creationsim as does teh Vatican. Is the Vatican immoral?

and that homosexuality should be punished. Neither can be reconciled with Judeo-Christianity.

Now how exactly should homosexuals be punished? C'mon OJ, spell it out for the record. You know you want to say it. Show some cojones.


Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 9:34 AM

You say terrorists shouldn't be tortured and homosexuality and witchcraft and the like shouldn't be punished.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 9:35 AM

Anon:

If the Vatican were to deny Creation then it would be immoral.

Stoning would be best, though we don't do such things anymore. Now, we can at least help to cure them and not reward the behavior.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 9:38 AM

Do you believe that the Vatican denies Creation? Or just Creationism (i.e a literal interpretation of Genesis as a 6 day, 24 hour each, act of creation)?

So let's make it clear for the record, you wish that we as a society would give the death penalty to gays? Make homosexuality a capital crime?

Now why would you prefer stoning? I thought you preferred to burn people alive.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 10:19 AM

They properly deny that God's day is our day.

No, I'm satisfied with the society we had, in which it was so shameful that folks hiod it and could be punished for it.

Stoning imposes personal responsibility for the punishment.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 10:26 AM

How is NOT wanting people tortured immoral?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 10:30 AM

Because torture is not immoral in and of itself but in order to avoid some personal angst about doing it you're willing to risk innocent lives.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 10:34 AM

Ah, now it finally comes out. You really do believe in a literal 144 hour (that's 6 days OJ) act of creation. That makes you one of St. Augustine's people of "limited understanding". You have my pity. May I suggest that you look up his "Literal Meaning of Genesis", especially Chapter 19:

"...Christians should not talk nonsense to unbelievers. ...Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men."

(see http://www.holycross.edu/departments/religiousstudies/alaffey/Augustine-Genesis.htm)

The literal interpretation of Genesis does nothing but expose the faith to scorn. You and people like you hurt Christianity by doing so. As for God's day and our day, I'msure you rememebr that "a thousand years is but a day in the eyes of the Lord". IOW, God is outside time. Days and years are not meaningful to him.

As I recall, you would "happily" do the stoning yourself if only the law would let you?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 10:48 AM

Anon:

It's hardly the only thing Augustine was wrong about.

yes.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 10:52 AM

Because torture is not immoral in and of itself but in order to avoid some personal angst about doing it you're willing to risk innocent lives.

So the Vatican's official condemnation of torture is immoral?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 10:57 AM

Daniel:

Our 'lily-livered' Saviour told Joshua to kill every living thing in large parts of Canaan. Do you approve? Samuel hewed Agak to pieces, just when the poor guy thought he might live. Do you approve? Saul was stripped of his kingship for failing to kill enough. Do you approve? During the wandering in the desert, people were killed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, for insulting their parents, and for being in the wrong family when God was defending the integrity of Moses (and Joshua). Do you approve?

And don't forget the death of every living person outside the ark. Do you approve?

God takes a very different view of life and death than we do. Conservatives in the church (Catholic and Protestant) occasionally seem to remember that; liberals most certainly do not.

BTW, your retort to OJ about exposing the faith to scorn (i.e., a literal 7-day creation) is pretty lame - if the 'faith' has to tack into the secular wind in order to survive, then it isn't much of a faith, now is it?


Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 11:14 AM

So your God is a war criminal and a tyrant? Please read Galatians to see how these OT examples and laws no longer bind those of use who seek salvation in Christ.

And no, I don't approve. As a Christian, I don't have to.

And it wasn't my retort, it was a quote from St. Augustine. Do you also believe the greatest Church Father to be in error?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 11:43 AM

God takes a very different view of life and death than we do.

So your God is like a parent who says "Do as I say, not as I do?"

My God adhres to His own laws concerning goodness and morality.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 12:02 PM

Anon:

Of course the Vatican is immoral if it says that. Likewise it was immoral with regard to regime change in Iraq.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 12:40 PM

Daniel:

If God is truly God, then explain why you don't approve of the cleansing of Canaan.

If you say God adheres to his own 'laws', did they change between 1100 BC and 30 AD? And what about Ananias and Sapphira?

Is God capricious?

Is his view of life and death better than ours? Is it perhaps clearer?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 12:46 PM

If God is truly God, then explain why you don't approve of the cleansing of Canaan.

"God is love." A loving God does not commit Genocide.

I must admit that I have no ready answer to the issue of God ordering his followers to to do evil things (no matter what the justification, no matter how evil the the infant sacrificing Canaanites may have been, if Joshua was alive today he'd be sharing a jail cell with Slobidan Milosovic). Nor can I in any way justify when he does such things Himself (as in Noah's flood). Nor can can I account for his inconsistency (destroying Sodom and Gomorrah and letting Lot and his family escape, then later refraining from destroying a city for the sake of "of one good man"). A fundamentalist acceptance of such stories simply contradicts the basic premise that God is good. There is no way around that embarrassing fact.

Fortunately I'm not a Fundamentalist. I am in agreement with CS Lewis when he wrote the following:

"The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'so there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God is really like. Deceive yourself no longer.' Believing in a God whom we cannot but regard as evil, and then, in mere terrified flattery calling Him 'good' and worshipping Him, is still greater danger. The ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of Scriptures is to prevail when they conflict. I think the doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissible."

As a non-fundamentalist Catholic I don't have to believe that Genesis is literally true, that Exodus occurred exactly in the manner described, or that the historical books are more accurate than any other oral history written down at a later date (the book of Joshua may be no more "accurate" than the Iliad). So you can either beieve God is good or believe the scriptures are inerrant. You can't believe both.

If you say God adheres to his own 'laws', did they change between 1100 BC and 30 AD? And what about Ananias and Sapphira?

Yes they did change. They changed with the death on Golgotha and the Rising. We are no longer bound to OT law (unless you believe St. Paul to be in error as well as St. Augustine). Or to put it another way, the Law is simply love God and love your neighbor (as Jesus made clear "neighbors" include hated foreigners like Samaritans). Everything else, as the great Rabbi Gamaliel pointed out, is commentary.

Is God capricious?

No but our understanding of Him changes with time. If it didn't we'd still be bound to such things as Sabbath law and dietary laws. And we really would have to kill people for picking up sticks on Saturday. Slavery (we could sell our children into slavery if we so desired) and polygamy would be allowed. Do you consider a society that allows either to moral?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 1:03 PM

Anon:

You really do hate God, eh? Your idea that because you donm't want to kill those who transgress His Law then He wouldn't is just ego run amok.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 1:30 PM

Daniel:

The 'law' of God is a reflection of his character, a statement of his character, his goodness (or, more precisely, his holiness). The character of God cannot change. The law of God cannot change.

The difference between Joshua and Galatians addresses a change in the penalty, not in the law itself. Christ did not come to do away with the law, he came to fulfill it. In doing so, and in dying in our place, he removed the penalty. The gravity and force of the 'law' remain, because they are expressions of the character of God.

The written 'code' has been set aside, so we do not have dietary laws and Sabbath laws and the like. But the Ten Commandments remain. Do Christians have to obey them?

Lewis did not believe inerrancy. But he is in a terrible spot when he drops the 'dark' parts of Scripture because it conflicts with his view (NOTE: a limited, earthly, human view) of the goodness of God. It is a mistake to set aside Scripture that seems to mark God as evil or detached. It is a mistake to set aside any Scripture for any reason, because we are fallible and craven; the Word of God is not.

If you are prepared to discount Exodus and Joshua, why should you believe Luke and John? Or Galatians, for that matter?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 1:53 PM

We've been arguing penalties all along Jim. If you'll take to time to reread my posts you'll find that I never once said certain things were no longer immoral, only that people should not be killed for them. Are we in agreement on this point? In the meantime, we do have to follow God's moral precepts.

As for inerrency, let me repeat: I"M NOT A FUNDY. I'm a Catholic and like the Anglican CS Lewis I take the scripture seriously, not literally. Your position is that of a Fundy, not a Catholic. Was I wrong in assuming you were RCC?

As Paul made clear, I can discount Joshua, and the rest of the OT law for that matter, through the saving grace of Jesus' sacrifice.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 2:01 PM

Your idea that because you donm't want to kill those who transgress His Law then He wouldn't is just ego run amok.

Just me and CS Lewis. Speaking of ego run amok OJ, are you a better theologian than CS Lewis, St. Augustine or St. Paul? Why should your opinion have greater weight than theirs?


Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 2:04 PM

None of them even claimed to be theologians. Nor do I. But we can all read the Bible.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 2:13 PM

But we can all read the Bible.

Are you a saint, and apostle, a Doctor of the Chruch, or even a famous apologist for the Christian faith.

So why is your reading of the Bible superior to theirs? Why should I believe you and not them?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 2:29 PM

You shouldn't. You should read the plain language of the Bible. It's quite devoid of ambiguity.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 2:35 PM

If the bible is devoid of ambiguity, why do you disagree with CS Lewis, St. Augustine and St. Paul (who wrote more of it than any other person)? Lacking ambiguity, there should be no disagreements as to it meaning or differeing interpretations.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 2:52 PM

Thety had vested interests they wanted to vindicate.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 3:00 PM

Daniel:

Lewis, Augustine, and the rest can make mistakes, just like you and me. But when God speaks in the Scriptures, he cannot. It is that simple.

In Isaiah, he says that he causes calamity. In Luke, he says that it is best not to ask about the deaths (and the possible righteousness) of others, but only to repent ourselves, lest we perish. In Proverbs (16:4, to be exact), he says that he created even the damned, for the day of destruction. Quite a mind-bender, until you read what Paul says on the subject in Romans 9.

BTW, it is in Galatians where Paul tells the church that should ANYONE, even an angel, preach a different gospel, he should be eternally condemned. Do you find that arrogant? Narrow-minded? Exclusive? Fundamental?


Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 3:02 PM

Thety had vested interests they wanted to vindicate.

And you don't?

BTW which vested interests did St. Paul want to vindicate? And if it is true that that is all he was doing, doesn't that invalidate half the NT?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:05 PM

Can St. Paul (author of half the NT) make mistakes?

So I'll ask again Jim, are you a Fundy or a Catholic? As a Catholic, you don't have to take scripture literally.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:08 PM

BTW Jim, the admonition to kill gays, people who pick up sticks on saturday, children who argue with thier parents, etc. isn't in the GOSPELS. They are part of the OT that Jesus freed us from.

Now unless you are incredibly stupid you won't claim that not killing gays is the same as saying homosexuality is moral. As you said yourself, it's the penalty that has changed.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:10 PM

Anon:

The entire New Testament was invalidated when Christ cried out "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 3:13 PM

Of course the Vatican is immoral if it says that.

Closer to home OJ, as a devout Catholic and believer in Church doctrine is your brother PJ immoral as well?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:17 PM

To the best of my knowledge pj thought the Vatican was wrong about keeping Saddam in power.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 3:21 PM

The entire New Testament was invalidated when Christ cried out "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

If you believe that OJ, you aren't a Christian.

What are you exactly?

Now I am genuinely curious.


BTW OJ if you really have read the Bible you would know that Jesus was reciting Psalm 22 from the cross. It was His way of responding to those who mocked Him. Psalms weren't numbered in his day and they were refered to by their opening phrase. The writers of the Gospels meant it as such. It's a prophet psalm describing the crucification. You may read it here:

http://www.carm.org/kjv/Psalms/Psalm_22.htm

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:25 PM

An Old Testament Christian. God had to despair of Himself.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 3:32 PM

"Old Testament Christian" is an oxymoron. Anybody else like you or does the "Church of OJ" have only one member?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:36 PM

I wouldn't belong to a church that would have me as a member.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 3:43 PM

Daniel:

Paul was fallible, as a man and as a pastor; his writings in the Scripture are not (Peter commented on this point, as did Paul himself, when writing to Timothy). Jesus himself said that the Scripture cannot be broken, and Moses told the nation (in Deut. 32) that 'these words' are not just (idle) words, but they are your life.

One meaning of the term 'The Word of God' (the logos) is the character of God put into written word. The Scripture can no more be in error than God can lie.

People don't like the idea of inerrancy, but once it is tossed aside, what is left? Nothing. Or, anything (as Chesterton said). If God is Truth, as most Christians would affirm, then do we have the right (or the ability) to fuzz things up at the edges, when we get uncomfortable? I say no.

Pick your favorite verse (or two), and then look at the context in which it is placed.

Pick your least favorite verse (or two), and do the same. Once you get past the first sentence or two, you will see that the ideas (themes) in the Bible do not change. Authority, holiness, sin, judgment, mercy, sacrifice, salvation, service, are found in virtually every book, and in settings from great historical narrative to simple stories.

Love is found in every book, even in Lamentations, because love is the foundation, as it were. But God's love for us is not what we would choose, if we were in control. He is much too holy for that.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 3:50 PM

Jim, I'll ask one more time, are you a Fundy or a Catholic?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 3:54 PM

I wouldn't belong to a church that would have me as a member.

So you - all by yourself - have completely uprooting 2000 years of Christian doctrine, tradition and faith and are now the only possesser of the one and only TRVTH on the entire planet?

Must get lonely. You ever thought of taking out a personal?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 4:04 PM

Anon:

Why does it matter (Catholic or Protestant)? He seems to know what the book says.

OJ: the Groucho Marx of Christendom. That's a good one. But who is Harpo?

Posted by: ratbert at November 21, 2005 4:08 PM

Lonely? Personal? Where do you think you are?

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 4:08 PM

The Other Brother

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 4:10 PM

Why does it matter

If you have to ask that question you haven't been following the discussion.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 4:25 PM

Lonely? Personal? Where do you think you are?

So this blog IS your personal?

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2005 4:26 PM

No, it's the objective truth. Duh?

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 4:30 PM

An Old Testament Christian.

I had to do some research of obscure American religious sectsbefore I could respond further. So why didn't you say up front that you were a Dominonist/Reconstructionist? And all the time I thought you were some kind of Christian.

Well at least I'm no longer baffled by your bizarre beliefs.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 11:44 AM

I'm not a Reconstructionist.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 11:54 AM

OK, Dominionist then. Either way its like differentiating between Stalinists and Trotskyites.

Well, now that I know where you are coming from I can rest a little easier. You see, for a while there I thought you were some kind of anti-Christian troll trying to make Christianity look bad by promoting the image of a evil and genocidal God instead of a loving and forgiving God.

So you can imagine my relief to find out that you aren't a Christian after all.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 12:01 PM

Nor Dominionist.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 1:29 PM

If you say so OJ.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 1:39 PM

The central lesson of the Gospels is God despairing on the Cross. It's the moment at which He realizes for the first time what it is to be a mortal.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 1:47 PM

God (being omniscient) would have realized what it was like to be mortal before hand.

As I tried to educate you before, Jesus was reciting Psalm 22, the psalm predicting his crucification. If you actually read the Bible you would know that it ends in triumph, not despair.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 2:20 PM

Yes, that is the triumph--God is finally reconciled with His Creation. It's why He had to become a man. He knew He'd be crucified but didn't realize He'd despair too.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 2:24 PM

How could there be anything an omniscient God would not have realized from before the beginning of time?

Isn't your God omniscient?

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 2:48 PM

No. The God of the Bible isn't omniscient.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 5:36 PM

That's a pretty puny God you believe in. No wonder he's always pissed off.

But you see that's one of the many problems with a simplistic, literal reading of the Bible without reference to historical setting, texts taken out of context and without regard to original Hebraic usage and phrasing. You can come to silly conclusions like this.

Only a simpleton reads the Bible literally.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 5:47 PM

BTW is there anyone on the planet who shares these beliefs or is OJism(*) a religion of one?

(*Not to be confused with its physical equivalent, Onanism.)

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 5:55 PM

He is what He is. Were He omniscient He'd not be surprised so often nor frustrated by Man. I can accept the inane scenario that Judaism and the Church insist on where it's all an act though.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 5:59 PM

It's a fairly stock reading of the Crucifixion. "Forgive them Father they know not what they do" and "Why hast thou..." make no sense otherwise.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 6:02 PM

Stock reading by whom? What religion has this as their faith?

And no, its not an act (you grossly misrepresent orthodoxy with this claim).

Why do you insist on believing in a weak and evil God? You'd do better to believe in Zeus or Odin.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 6:06 PM

Yes, the kind of literalism that insists God had to speak the words of the Psalm is indeed characteristic of a simpleton. A God without free will...there's one for the books....

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 6:10 PM

There's nothing weak or evil about Him--no Man would do what He did for us.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 6:11 PM

Yes, the kind of literalism that insists God had to speak the words of the Psalm is indeed characteristic of a simpleton. A God without free will...there's one for the books....

So your brother is a simpleton? Or everyone else except you?

There's nothing weak or evil about Him--no Man would do what He did for us.

People die for other people all the time. Their called soldiers, firemen, cops, a parent who drowns saving their child, etc.

You still haven't said what religion or sect believes as you do.

Bottom line: my God can beat up your god.

Not that he would want to, it's your god that acts like a bully instead of a loving Father.

Speaking of which, what was your father like growing up? Perhaps a cold, severe disciplinarian who was impossible to please? Perhaps abusive? That would explain a lot.

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 6:51 PM

Anon:

Same God--you just need different things from Him.

The notion though that God is just pretending to be surprised by the Fall or by Cain killing Abel or by His own despair on the Cross seems deeply silly.

Men giving up their lives is comparatively unremarkable--we're born to die. That an immortal would experience mortality just to draw closer to His Creation is quite the most remarkable story in the world. (Note that Tolkien borrows it.)

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 8:03 PM

You obviously don't understand the concept of a rhetorical question. When God asked Cain "What have you done?" it was no different from whan I ask my kids the same thing when I know perfectly well what they've done.

Same God--you just need different things from Him.

So why do you (apparently alone amongst mankind since you can't name a single religon or sect that shares your views) need God to be mean, cruel, incompetent and weak? Given such a God, how do you know he'll emerge victorious in the last battle? (ever read "Black Easter"?). You might be on the losing side OJ.

What despair? He was reciting Psalm 22. What part of this don't you understand?

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 9:00 PM

I find the God of the Bible perfectly adequate and feel no need to make up excuses or just so stories about what He does. He's not mean or cruel, just stern, like a good father should be. Your hatred of Him seems odd to me, but if it gets you through the night more power to you.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 9:06 PM

A good father? This guy has more character flaws than you can shake a stick at. I'd also have to assume that somebody like that was a liar as well. I wouldn't trust him or his bible as far as I could throw him.

So who else believes this besides you?

Posted by: Anon at November 22, 2005 9:10 PM

Most Protestants. The kind of omniscience of which you speak -- knowing everything that ever will occur -- is only a matter of dogma for Jews and Catholics.

You really do hate the God of the Bible? Does explain why you object to Creation, Morality and all the rest though.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 9:17 PM

Which Protestants? Details please.

Yes, I'm calling your bluff.

Posted by: Anon at November 23, 2005 8:15 AM

I'm not aware of any Protestant sect that believes God to be omniscient in the sense you do--that's what comes of our making the Bible primary instead of clergy.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 8:23 AM

I think Father Neuhaus answers your objections, the need to make the Cross a trivial thing and to deny our sinfulness:

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/18/story_1851.html

Here's a good piece on Christ's despair:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/3505/GodForsakenByGod.html

You seem to want the Cross to be just a fulfillment of a magic formula, as if God was bound by prophecy.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 8:59 AM

God wasn't bound by anything except His own promise. Do you believe in a "god" that doesn't keep his word or fulfill his promises?


You dodged my questions OJ, so I'll repeat them:

Name one Protestant sect that explictly believe God to be non-omnisicent.

Besides, if your god of the bible is not omniscient how can his word be inerrant?

When did you decide to worship the Gnostic Demiurge?

Posted by: Anon at November 23, 2005 9:09 AM

God isn't inerrant, or the world wouldn't be Fallen.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 9:12 AM

So his word in the bible is also not inerrant. So why do you believe the error prone book literally?

Let me repeat the questions you've been doging in a cowardly fashion (as is your habit):

God wasn't bound by anything except His own promise. Do you believe in a "god" that doesn't keep his word or fulfill his promises?

Name one Protestant sect that explictly believe God to be non-omnisicent.

When did you decide to worship the Gnostic Demiurge?

Posted by: Anon at November 23, 2005 9:16 AM

The book isn't error filled--it describes His errors quite explicitly.

What promise has He not kept?

No Protestant sect, beginning with Lutheranism, believes God to be omniscient.

Gnosticism means secret knowledge, which is what your kabuki theater interpretation requires. Protestants read the book, which is there for everybody. God makes and admits mistakes and is surprised by events not infrequently. You believe Him to be playacting to entertain us--I accept the biblical account as true.

Just read the text:


1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20: And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 9:25 AM

Bottom line: when you read the Bible literally all you have is an evil god.

Posted by: Anon at November 23, 2005 9:46 AM

Anon:

Yes, that's exactly the bottom line, the point at which we differ and where we can leave it:

You believe the God of the Bible to be evil. Protestants believe Him good.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 9:50 AM
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