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"All around the world there are those who believe in the basic goodness of the American people, who agonize with you in your pain, but also long to see your human goodness translated into a different, more compassionate way of relating with the rest of this bleeding planet."
Finally, let me add something I have learned thanks to some thoughtful but candid comments from my atheist friends.
"Hey, Ray," one wrote, "Please, not so heavy on this Judeo-Christian heritage you keep citing. I don't buy any of it. Wake up: on torture it is not at all necessary to be a person 'of faith.' It is abundantly clear to this atheist, and to most of us, that it is simply impermissible for human beings to torture one another. Humans do not do that to other humans. Period."
I see the truth in that. At the same time, it does seem that we who claim to follow a courageous dissident activist, who was tortured to death for challenging an oppressive system, may have extra incentive to do all we can to prevent others from being subjected to "Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment."
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