Approved September 13, 2017 by the Governing Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches
As North Carolinians and as people of faith, we recognize the need to uncover and understand the full extent of the state’s and the nation’s participation in the use of torture, a program that was un-American, ineffective, and immoral.
The Governing Board last spoke to this issue in 2005, but the need for ongoing vigilance is, distressingly, still necessary, particularly as we reflect on North Carolina’s involvement through the use of extraordinary rendition from the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield.
We reaffirm that 2005 statement, which reads in part:
Torture, regardless ofcircumstance, humiliates and debases torturer and tortured alike. Torture turnsits face against the biblical truth that all humans are created in the image ofGod (Gen. 1:26, 27). It denies the preciousness of human life and the dignityof every human being by reducing its victims to the status of despised objects,no matter how noble the cause for which it is employed.
In addition, we endorse the work of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture, which is examining North Carolina’s role in rendition, secret detention and torture, confronting the truth, and crafting a model of transparency and accountability that can inspire similar efforts elsewhere.
We call upon our political leaders in the N.C. General Assembly as well as our state’s U.S. representatives and senators to:
- support the truth-telling efforts of this Commission,
- listen to the Commission’s findings about North Carolina’s role in our nation’s use of torture and cruelty, and
- follow its recommendations, to ensure our state and nation do not engage in these illegal and immoral practices again.