SCALIA ASKS, "HAS ANYBODY EVER REFERRED TO TORTURE AS PUNISHMENT?": YES

Antonin Scalia is a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice who asked a rhetorical question while Lesley Stahl was interviewing him: "...has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so."

It is upon that reasoning that he basis his position that torture is not punishment. He thinks punishment only comes after being found guilty in a "lawful" court. However, his reasoning is wrong.

When a police officer or FBI agent or CIA agent or anyone else tortures someone, the torturer is punishing the person usually under the guise of extracting information. The torturer is punishing the person to extract but also for not answering. "I will punish/torture you until you answer." They are interchangeable. It is that latter aspect that Scalia conveniently ignores or never considered (which is likely since he isn't as bright as he thinks he is). The torturer has already found the person guilty in the torturer's view. That's the best case scenario.

Another scenario is that while the officer is acting in his or her formal capacity as a duly authorized representative of the government, he or she may actually just be angry and transferring that anger onto someone else in the form of punishment by torture. Then when asked, the torturer simply pleads that he or she thought the "suspect" was a terrorist or had knowledge that could save lives.

Another scenario is that the officer is just mentally ill and sadistic and punishes others who are vulnerable.

Yet another scenario is that the officer just doesn't like the person and wants to punish the person.

In all of these situations, it is the government by reason of poor statutes or poor oversight or poor screening or poor court decisions, etc., that is doing the torture. How indirect that is, is a matter of viewpoint.

However, Antonin's view and John Yoo's and Alan Dershowitz's view all promote a lax atmosphere when it comes to preventing torture and cruel and unusual punishment long before a court conviction. Anyone who has been held by the police and tortured has been punished. To think otherwise is to torture the language in order to rationalize.

Think how stupid the following is. Did they punish you? No, they only tortured me.

Punishment and torture both mean to handle roughly and to hurt physically and/or psychologically. Actually, physically and psychologically always go together.

Punishment is not differentiated from torture by determining whether or not someone has been found guilty in some court envisioned by Scalia.

People are also tortured in prisons after having been found guilty. Is it only then punishment? How nonsensical is that?

Donate


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe


  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 – present, website developer and writer. 2015 – present, insurance broker.

    Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration.

    Volunteerism: 2007 – present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.