Following the December release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on interrogation tactics, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) reiterates its insistence that torture should not be used, even against terrorists. The NAE’s views are described in “An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror,” a document endorsed by the NAE Board of Directors in 2007.
NAE President Leith Anderson said, “As biblical Christians we are convinced of the God-given sanctity of all human life and seek to treat even our enemies with appropriate dignity and respect. We want to uphold the high standard of Jesus who called us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
The NAE commends the prohibition of torture and the guidelines for humane interrogation that are included in the Pentagon’s Army Field Manual, in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. The NAE believes that all U.S. government agencies and personnel should abide by these standards of the U.S. Army.
The declaration states, “From a Christian perspective, every human life is sacred. As evangelical Christians, recognition of this transcendent moral dignity is non-negotiable in every area of life, including our assessment of public policies. This commitment has been tested in the war on terror, as a public debate has occurred over the moral legitimacy of torture and of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees held by our nation in the current conflict. We write this declaration to affirm our support for detainee human rights and our opposition to any resort to torture.”