Monday, November 14, 2005

Mark Shea ran one of my comments on the torture debate.

There was a post a while ago on Disputations that I can't find that pretty well captured where I think people's thinking on this issue goes wrong. People consider the Church's moral rule against torture like they would consider a rule in sports.

So, in football, there's a rule against pass interference. Defensive backs are taught not to commit pass interference if they can possibly help it. But if the pass is in the air, and the receiver has a step on him and would likely score, then the thing for the DB to do is to commit pass interference, take the penalty, and prevent the touchdown.

But that's not the way Christian morality works. The moral law is the guide for how God wants us to live our lives. If we trust in God, we would never want to do otherwise. Yes, there is penance and forgiveness of sins, but that doesn't mean we purposely sin and then look for forgiveness while still thinking we did the "right" thing. It means that God never stops inviting us to unite our wills with his.

Our response to that is not to do what we want to do, or what we think we have to do, take our penalty, and continue knowing that we would do the same thing again if similar circumstances presented themselves.
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