Shocked and Persuaded

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Separating Fact From Fiction

Torture is Torture is Torture!

“Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight, being forced into cold or excessively hot baths and showers, hosed down with cold water before being beaten, beaten while hanging from hooks on the wall, being set upon by dogs, being restrained in order to be beaten, physical assaults by more than one person, and having objects thrown at them.”

This is not an accounting of happenings at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or Bagram or Laos. No this is from a report issued about the treatment of boys and girls in Irish Catholic church-run residential schools from the 1930s to 1990s (http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/). Release of the report was delayed by an apparent beacon of integrity the Christian Brothers, who objected to having the abusers’ names included. If you want to do this kind of thing to children you need to be prepared to face the backlash. Oh yeah and if you engage in such practices in the name of Homeland Security or the War on Terror you also need to face the consequences. What is even more amazing is that the Vatican has no response? No response, but yet this same Vatican has the time to reinstate Bishop Richard Williamson a noted Holocaust denier (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/world/europe/25pope.html?scp=1&sq=Bishop%20Richard%20Williamson&st=cse). This is the same institution that in releasing their bioethical assessment restated their belief that every human life is sacred even embryos (http://www.usccb.org/comm/Dignitaspersonae/Dignitas_Personae.pdf). Well what about chidren that were essentially conscripted because their parents couldn’t afford them, had committed adultery, or were birthed out of wedlock. Instead of focusing on the product the Vatican needs to focus on the process underyling the results. They could stand to spend less time insighting fire and more time putting it out! The Vatican could at this point separate themselves from other religions by getting out in front of such a controversy rather than sheepishly making excuses or belated apologies. My suggestion is that the Vatican could go a long way towards making right by these children by denouncing all forms of torture, whether it be of Irish schoolchildren or supposed terrorists at Guantanamo Bay prison. There has been far too much blood shed in the name of religions and it is about time all the worlds major religions shed their supine image as it really is not very becoming.

Category: Geopolitics

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