Letter to the Editor

Jesus' moral absolutism

Thursday, June 18, 2009

After you printed my Christian perspective on torturing human beings, I expected a response of some sort -- maybe an "Amen!" from a like-thinking Christian. What I got was a challenge posed by Bill Palmer of Bakersfield, Calif., in which he would murder my children unless I could get him to tell me where he'd hidden them by using only "acceptable" (his term) methods of interrogation.

I don't mind Mr. Palmer playing the devil's advocate, but there are two problems with his response. First the question for Christians is not "What would John Rice do?" but "What would Jesus do?" Second, any human skulduggery -- imagined or real -- must always answer to the moral absolutism of Jesus. I think Mr. Palmer's challenge doesn't have the heft to handle that.

I write my letter out of deep concern for this country I love. I do not wish us to mimic the evil we have beheld in our enemies. If we become like them, we'll risk losing our souls (Matthew 10:28). A better Christian than I'll ever be has written, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

JOHN RICE, Jackson