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New Adventist Religious Liberty Leader Stands Against Torture

Barry Bussey, who recently took over the leadership of the North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA), has a relatively conservative political background, including running for office in Canada as a anti-abortion candidate in the old Alliance Party.

In an April 27 blog post entitled “The Spirit of Liberty has Left the Republic” he reflects on Jay S. Bybee’s work in supporting torture and remorseful words. And Bussey writes:

Does the end justify the means? Clearly not.

The use of torture as a means of getting information is an age old tactic. History is full of examples. Just read Foxes’ Book of Martyrs to see how during the time of the Reformation torture was used for the religious purpose of trying to get people to recant.

. . .

Yet we are now in the 21st Century and still torture has been seen and used by the highest office in the land as means of getting information. One has to consider the long term implications of this – for we are changed as a result. It is indeed troubling. The prophetic implication is enormous – the quiet lamb has morphed.

As soon as I read it, I commented in support and asked if NARLA is walking the talk by joining the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Over the last few days, many more comments have been flying in fast, if not occasionally thick. . .headed.

Quite a few see it as a sign of the end. Others appreciate Mr. Bussey’s courage. There are a couple of conspiracy theory links: Amero coming! And at least one commenter has pledged to resign his support of NARLA, because “You are becoming a bit to polical” (sic). Uh. That’s kind of the point of being the Adventist lobby org.

Unfortunately, the comments on the NARLA blog seem to support these findings.

According to a new poll by the Pew Center on Religion and Public Life, “The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.”

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.

From the NARLA blog, here’s a cross-section of (I assume) mostly Adventist views on the issue of torture in general, and American identity.


-I believe that the sheep has spoken like a dragon since 9/11. I believe that we headed for a dictatorship-like government in the near future.

-i fail to see how the simulating of drowning for thirty seconds constitutes torture. or placing a caterpillar in the cell of a prisoner who is afraid of bugs. we are allowing the left to argue over placement of the deck chairs of the Titanic. they are setting the arguments as a “bob and weave” to keep us from realizing that they are attempting to nationalize the nation’s private businesses.

-I think the U.S. should never stoop to torture methods no matter what the crime. We are putting ourselves in the same position and action as our enemy.

-“It is indeed troubling”. This is obviously the time to “look up” because the judgement of the living is soon upon us when the confederated forces of governments and apostate churches will seek to do more than “waterboarding” to those who will not give up their faith in God and defend His truth.

–I dont beleave we should reward terrorist for killing people for not beleaving in thier way of life.Also I dont beleave water boarding is torture,After all it didnt kill them as they have us.We didn’t THEY LIVED through it and thats not beheaded,cutting fingers off,beating children.Why should we treat them like they are heros ,you know they would behead YOU or me in a second.Why should we allow them under OUR justice system.

-I am so glad to read The Sprit of Liberty Has Left The Republic” by Barry Bussey. I have been so ashamed of our government and mad at Bush for allowing the torture of our enemies thus putting us on the same level as them in their brutality.

–Drinking the liberal kool aid. We averted further damage from the confessions received.

-As an officer in the United States Army I consider the use of torture to place at risk the troops under my command. Since we have now set the standard for the conduct of those who take prisoners of war we have no legitimacy in expecting any nation from treating our soldiers in captivity any better than the way we have treated those in our custody. We have placed every American soldier at risk when we lower the standard of treatment of POWs. Although we face enemies who do not recognize nor practice the treatment of POWs under the Geneva Convention it is no excuse, nor is any other, for the compromise of our standards of conduct. As a republic we must safeguard liberty first and security second.

Read it all here.

Here the old SPECTRUM interview with Barry Bussey.

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