July 15, 2008 · Updated 2:18 PM
Editorial had inaccuracies
Permit me to correct a few misunderstandings in the Review editorial (“Question is: To Torture or Not to Torture,” July 9).
The editorial states that because “70 members of the Unitarian Church” recently participated in a group photograph against torture “after signing a Statement of Conscience, that leaves more than half of the 150-member church deciding against taking such a stand.” In fact, on June 29, 65 adults (out of a 134-member congregation) attended Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church, all of whom stayed to be photographed with the banner, “Torture is a moral issue.”
But to suggest that those who were unable to attend church that day did so as a deliberate decision against taking a stand opposing torture is, itself, a tortured disconnect. There are a number of reasons why someone might not attend church on a Sunday in late June after the end of the school year, for example, a family vacation. While there may be ambivalence in this country regarding the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” the atypically low attendance at Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church on June 29 should not be construed as a position on the use of such techniques, but more likely as a testament to the arrival of summer vacations and summer weather.
And, contrary to the editorial, no one signed any “Statement of Conscience” or any other document. The photograph, itself, which has been sent to the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, IS the statement of conscience.
Notwithstanding, the inaccuracies in the editorial, I appreciate the Review putting the moral issue of torture before our eyes, when it is so easy to avert our eyes to something that is occurring far away and out of (our) sight.
I also applaud the three churches in our community that prominently displayed banners stating: “Torture is a moral issue.” Human rights abuses committed in our name, as Americans, should not be tolerated because it threatens the safety of our troops and our individual safety when we travel or work abroad, and because it is morally wrong and inhumane.
President, Board of Trustees
Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church