The Reverend J. Ed Bacon, Rector of All Saints Church
The report on torture released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee confirms what human rights and religious communities have known to be true for years: that our government engaged in a systematic program of torture involving acts of horrific brutality.
This is a significant day in the moral history of our nation. Based on an examination of more than six million pages of documents, the report lays out in previously unknown detail the extent and utter brutality of the treatment of human beings in United States custody, as well as the duplicity of agents of our government.
A core Christian value is that the truth will set you free. And the truth told in this report is that the very arguments against releasing it are in themselves arguments against torture — implicitly acknowledging that torture threatens our national security and undermines its credibility.
Thankfully, we have a history in America of admitting where we were wrong through after-incident reviews and learning from our mistakes. People of faith and communities of conscience can only react with horror and great anguish to the facts on detainee treatment after 9/11 detailed in the report. At the same time, the fact that this report was undertaken — and a summary made public — is commendable.
We thank Senator Dianne Feinstein for her principled leadership for years in producing this report and now in making the findings public. And we applaud the moral leadership of Senator John McCain – who broke with members of his party in a speech from the Senate floor lauding the release of the report and decrying the use of torture.
While certainly a moral issue, for All Saints Church torture is also a religious issue. Our faith tradition requires that we recognize the sacred in every human being. It is for this reason that the Vestry of All Saints Church has passed a Resolution in Opposition to Torture and will continue to oppose torture in all forms, in all places.