“Open your mouth for the word of God, and judge all men fairly; open your mouth and judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 30:8-9, The Orthodox Study Bible) Photo on the right: Khaled el-Masri, made in the image of God
I recently read Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror turned into a War on Americal Ideals.” It was horrifying. That in the name of security some of us would send detainees to other countries that are known to torture prisoners, would detain people rounded up by bounty hunters without evidence of their complicity in terrorism, using “enhanced” interrogation methods (simply a euphemism for torture) on them for years, taking a program designed for American POW’s to help them resist torture (SERE – Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) and using its principles on detainees to obtain “information” (which under the circumstances by which it was obtained- great duress- is known to be factually doubtful) – it leaves a stain on our soul. We reap what we sow.
Many of these detainees have been disabled mentally, emotionally, and physically by the sustained application of various combinations of these “techniques.”
My father- Nicholas Gall- served in the army in World War 2. Our nation at that time led the way in establishing the Geneva Conventions, which were meant to prevent this sort of thing. But now, the Geneva Conventions against abuse of prisoners have been deemed “quaint” by people in power who have put security above our basic principles. Frankly, I feel betrayed. As I wrote to my Senator, Senator Bob Casey Jr., “I want America back.”
A while back I submitted the post Jesus Wept (Roe vs. Wade) because the risk of being aborted for unborn children with disabilities is so great nowadays. Detainees also face circumstances that should not be. This must not be swept under the rug.
Some pro-life organizations have established principles by which they adhere to what they see as their one, single, overriding goal- to end abortion on demand. But doesn’t defending life demand more than this? In protest of this narrow way of defending life, I write this post. I do not mean to get into the political implications of it- I simply feel that being an Orthodox Christian and pro-life requires a person to stand up for the full meaning of “life.”
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (St. John 1:4-5, The Orthodox Study Bible)
The book: click on The Dark Side by Jane Mayer – Hardcover – Random House
Khaled el-Masri, a victim, is now “reportedly beset by emotional problems.” (The Dark Side, 334) click on Khalid El-Masri – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia