In the past few days I have seen quite a few people, all of whom claim to be Christians post the picture above on their Facebook pages or blogs. Bottom line up front: I think this both demeans the Christian Sacrament or Ordinance of Baptism and the rule of law. I find the above picture an attack on my Christian faith and on the rule of law. Torture never leads to freedom.
Of course the picture appeared not long after the capture of one of the two alleged Boston Marathon bombers, who happened to be Chechen Muslims. Since that time quite a few people, especially pundits, politicians and politically minded preachers, the Unholy Trinity have beating the drums of war, especially on the social media. In the name of “freedom” they advocate measures that in past times Americans have stood in judgement of at Nuremberg and which Senator John S McCain, who was a POW of the North Vietnamese called “torture.”
Funny how people, most of whom call themselves “Christian” are willing to debase and demean the faith that they supposedly profess by using the symbols of being reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Baptism and for those that do not hold that dear, the sacred honor of our nation as a nation of laws and justice.
I like social media. I read a lot of blogs from many perspectives. But try as I might I cannot fathom the shallowness of faith that equates torture with the Sacrament of new life in Christ.
The sad thing is that almost every person that I have seen post this on Facebook claims to be a Christian of some denomination, or be favorable to the Christian faith in opposition to Islam. Some of them I have known for years. I do understand wanting to prosecute terrorists and protect innocent people against terrorist schemes. I have taken and re-affirmed an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic many times in the course of a nearly 32 year military career. I have served in combat and been deployed and have for the past five years been involved in the direct care of the wounded ill and injured of war. I have no love for the actions of terrorists and their accomplices.
That being said, I also believe in the rule of law and the importance of faith. I believe that when “faith” is used as a weapon that it rapidly becomes evil. So many atrocities have been committed by Christians in the name of “faith” that it makes the crimes of Islamists terrorists pale in comparison.
To cut to the chase I don’t find it particularly funny, witty or brilliant for Christians of any denomination to compare something as important as the Sacrament of Baptism to an act of torture to be used against Moslems. In fact I find that use of this Sacrament to do so as a faithless, sacrilegious and self-defeating act, no better than the use of the Koran by Islamic extremists to justify their criminal acts.
I have held off saying anything for about a week on this. I thought that it might pass, but I see that it has taken on a new life of its own. I know that there are some that have posted this picture without thinking. There are others who will think that I am being too serious about this because they think that it is funny. But the funny thing of the nearly 1200 friends that I have on Facebook I haven’t seen one of my professed Atheist or Agnostic friends post this on their wall, nor have any of my Jewish friends. It seems that they only friends that post such an offense to the Christian faith are people who call themselves Christians.
That makes me wonder. Maybe it should make you wonder too.
If this means that some people write me off, that is fine. But I would rather err on the side of a God who loves and cares and does not hate humanity and a system of laws and government that reject the use of torture and other war crimes. If that makes me a “liberal” so be it.