Waterboarding and the Bush Administration’s Relative Morality

This column ran on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on February 11, 2008.

You may have missed it because you were paying attention to election returns on Super Tuesday, but on the same day that the GOP made a former POW its presumptive presidential nominee, the director of the CIA admitted to the United States Senate that members of the intelligence community had engaged in waterboarding while interrogating prisoners suspected of being linked to Al Qaida. Continue reading

In Memory of a Genocide

This column was the featured commentary on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on October 15, 2007.

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

When Pearl Aslanian was five, ethnically Turkish Ottoman soldiers entered her village. She watched as they killed her father, and, as the family escaped on foot to Amman, Jordan, she helped her mother bury a younger brother on the banks of the Tigris River.

In March of 2006 I officiated at the Pearl’s funeral and, at the risk of becoming persona non grata in Turkey, I consider it a great honor to have presided at the graveside of someone who was among the last humans able to remember the Turkish genocide of Armenians during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire.
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