I'm have to admit that I'm speechless after reading's Garry Wills's post on torture and Jesus:
Our recent torture techniques seem directly linked to the treatment Jesus received. Our prisoners were stripped, subjected to head bangings and face slappings. This was not torture, according to torturologist John Yoo. It may have been painful but it did not inflict permanent damage—except to human dignity. And making prisoners wear women’s underwear on their faces, or smearing them with what they were told was menstrual blood, was breaking down their deepest ideas of worth in their own culture and their own pride. It was a derisive “crowning.”
I do not know what went through the minds of secular or non-Christian torturers. But Christian torturers might have reason to have tortured consciences themselves when or if they remember what Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew (25.31ff). Asked who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, he says those who comforted him in prison. Asked who will be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven, he says those who would not comfort him in prison. His listeners ask, “When were you in prison, that we came to you or did not?” He answers: “Whatever you did to any of my brothers, even the lowliest (elackistoi), you did to me.” Christians should face this sobering fact: in their treatment of the lowliest of men, they were torturing Jesus, renewing what the Roman soldiers did to him.
This is why I've always be bothered by the religiosity of American politics and about the fact that too many American politicians and policy makers seem to wonder "what would Jesus do" when facing important dilemmas. The trouble is that it is a stupid question to ask for Jesus, assuming that he existed, wasn't about governing and policy and more importantly it is a petty tentative to place the responsibility for their actions on a force/being in order not face their conscience and to answer tough questions about the consequences of their decisions.