Waterboarding: What Should We Think?

Waterboarding: What Should We Think?

With a Republican president in office, the issue of waterboarding comes up…again. At this time, while Trump has indicated that he supports the use of waterboarding, he has also deferred to those who would be more directly over the program. This means that (as far as we can tell) waterboarding is not being used by the U.S. government (apparently).

The subject of waterboarding is one of those touchy issues that can be quite divisive. On the one hand, many conservatives – including many Christians – feel confident that waterboarding is an acceptable way to elicit information from POWs. Many might argue that it is not torture. On the other hand, some people (like myself) see it is as a form of cruelty and an abandonment of moral principle. What should we think of it?

Rather than share my own thoughts, allow me to share a few links so that you can come to your own opinion. To begin, consider a quote from President Eisenhower:

Because, therefore, we are defending a way of life, we must be respectful of that way of life as we proceed to the solution of our problem. We must not violate its principles and its precepts, and we must not destroy from within what we are trying to defend from without.” (Speech before NATO Council, 11/26/51)

New Documents Show the US Called Waterboarding Torture During World War II – This article provides a historical backdrop for the debate by showing that waterboarding was used by Japanese forces against US soldiers; it also reveals how the United States responded.

Believe Me, It’s TortureThis is a first-hand account of a gentleman who volunteered to be waterboarded. His vivid description will help to explain what waterboarding is all about, and how his personal experience helped him determine what he thinks of the practice (WARNING: this article is not written by a Christian. Not recommended for youth. A small amount of language).

On Board with Waterboarding? This article provides a Christian viewpoint for the waterboarding question. It suggests that waterboarding is a violation of the implications of the sixth commandment, and betrays a moral barbarism in our society.