Who knew torture could be good for you? That's what one torture victim was told, recently.
A young Uruguayan had been tortured when he was nineteen. Years later, he went to confession and while he was talking about his experience, the priest interjected, "But you should love the people who tortured you. They did it to save your immortal soul. If you died under torture, you should go directly to heaven. They were good Catholics, and only wanted to save you from the devil and from Marxism."
That's the church for you, still firm in its belief that pain builds character.
(In speaking of the church, one must distinguish between Christianity and Christianism. Christians follow the teachings of Jesus; Christianists are embarrassed by them and prefer a Bronze-Age tribal God who blesses America, or whatever demented cause they cling to. Christianists have so much blood on their hands they can't tell where the finger ends and the nail begins. Christians are an ignored minority.)
The priest's remarks should be a comfort to John Yoo, author of the infamous memo that defined torture so narrowly that America is able to torture without torturing. According to Yoo, it isn't torture as long as it doesn't:
· Cause death
· Or the loss of a bodily organ
· Or the impairment of a bodily function
With these criteria in mind, I would like President Bush to take the Yoo Test. First he must find a ball peen hammer. Then he places the first joint of his forefinger on his desk with the fingernail pointing towards the ceiling.
Next, he brings the hammer down on the fingernail with all the force he can muster. It hurts like hell, but it isn't torture because:
· It doesn't kill him
· A fingernail is not a bodily organ
· It doesn't impair any bodily functions except picking his nose.
He should keep the hammer in his desk drawer. The next time some bleeding heart comes in complaining about torture, the president should tell him to put the first joint of his forefinger in his desk with the fingernail pointing towards the ceiling...