More than a week after the news broke on the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, Christianity Today’s Weblog set out to gauge the Christian reaction. Their findings? Pretty disappointing. Few high-visibility American Christians were speaking out against the abuses, and even these diverged along different paths. While Sojourners magazine demanded the resignation of Rumsfeld for allowing such war crimes to continue under his command, World magazine was quick to defend Rumsfeld, labeling these actions the “perverse acts of a few.” Other leaders, such as Chuck Colson and Gary Bauer called for the vindication of America’s military through the swift punishment of the “bad apples” involved.
Now it’s become clear that at least one of these infamous “bad apples” was apparently a Christian. Spec. John Darby, the soldier who reportedly confronted Spec. Charles A. Graner, the ringleader of Abu Ghraib, claims that Graner told him, “The Christian in me says it’s wrong, but the correction officer in me says, ‘I love to make a grown man piss himself.’ “Other accounts suggest that guards abused prisoners out of hostility toward Islam—one soldier reportedly asked a prisoner if he believed in anything, and when the man responded that he believed in Allah, the guard replied, “I believe in torture, and I will torture you.”
For anyone sensitive to Muslim-Christian relations, this is a catastrophe. Dr. Akbar Ahmed of the American University noted Osama bin Laden couldn’t have dreamed up a better recruiting advertisement than the photo of Lynndie England, Spec. Graner’s lover, dragging a prisoner around by a chain. Any Islamic militant wishing ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more