Friday, June 27, 2014


June 26 is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
I simply cannot fathom torturing another human being, and no the things I did to my kid brother decades ago don't really count. That's my take on it anyway!

Intentional inflicting psychological and physical pain on another is beyond my ken. Yet it happens every day, in countries all around the world, and we're told the incidences are on the rise.

Yesterday was the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. We know that torture takes place in Syria, where the regime tortures children as well as adults. We know that torture happens across Asia as a commonplace tool for police forces. We know that torture happens in the prisons of Egypt.

We also know that Canada allowed Maher Arar to be extradited to Syria on suspicion of terrorism where he was tortured for a year. We eventually apologized and paid him $10 million, but why did we allow this in the first place with near certainty about the outcome. The United States has tortured prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, calling it something else, and the abuses of Abu Ghraib inflamed hatred in the Middle East. We are democracies which claim a Judeo-Christian ethic, yet we condone torture for our ends. Many of us are followers of the Christ who was flogged, then died an intentionally slow death.

For all that I tend to sigh at the number of earnest days for various causes, it is important to be nudged out of my security and complacency. I hope I am never a torturer or the tortured, but I must look to the world around me.

A Prayer for Those Affected by Torture

God who is the source of all life, we pray for our sisters and brothers.
... for those affected by torture, whether physical or mental.
... for those who suffer brutal violence.
... for those who are mocked and humiliated and disempowered.
... for those who are shown no mercy.
... for those who are forced to exist in a state of perpetual terror, and who experience life-long trauma.
... for those whose precious humanity is taken away.
... for those who are not give the chance to live the gift of life, but instead fear for that life every moment.
Provide signs of your presence. Grant strength and courage and all that is needed for the living of these days. Guide the nations and peoples of the world to turn from policies and practices that violate one another. Move us to act in that cause. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

— Katie J. Anderson  Young Adult Intern
Racial Ethnic Young Women Together and National Network of Presbyterian College Women

Ketchup on my latest Groundling blog entry

1 comment:

Judy Mcknight said...

The fact that "civilized" western democracies do this is particularly disturbing - we are supposed to be founded ion Christian principles....