Torturous Times

By Paulsell, Stephanie | The Christian Century, June 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Torturous Times


Paulsell, Stephanie, The Christian Century


THE WEEKS AFTER EASTER are full of miracles, especially if you are following the postresurrection story in the book of Acts. Acts positively spills over with signs and wonders. Take chapter five, for example: Ananias and Sapphira fall dead after being scolded by Peter. The sick are carried into the streets in the hopes that Peter's healing shadow will fall on them. The apostles heal people tormented by unclean spirits. When the apostles are arrested and imprisoned, an angel comes to them, opens the prison doors and instructs them to "stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life."

The police quickly lock the apostles up again, but Peter and the others persist in preaching their gospel of Jesus, "Leader and Savior." By this point, the members of the council have had it with the apostles. This time they want to kill them.

The apostles' lives are saved by Rabbi Gamaliel, who talks his angry colleagues down with a reasoned proposal. Look at the other revolutionary leaders who have risen up in the past, he says. They attract some followers, but nothing comes of it. They claim to be somebody, but eventually their followers disperse and their movements fail. If this movement is not of God, he argues, history teaches us that it will fail without our having to kill anybody. But if it is of God, nothing we do will be able to stop it.

Of all the signs and wonders in Acts 5, Rabbi Gamaliel's seems to me the most wondrous. There's no magic to it. The only angels who assist him are the better angels of his nature. But it is miraculous nonetheless, a sign and a wonder of the highest order--a reasoned, intellectual intervention into anger bent on killing.

On April 22, the New York Times reported that the decision of the United States to employ brutal methods of interrogation after 9/11 was approved "without a single dissent from Cabinet members and lawmakers" who were briefed on these methods by the CIA. Never in the course of these discussions did a single Rabbi Gamaliel raise his or her voice. The Times concluded that this "extraordinary consensus" was possible because no one involved in these conversations knew the history of these methods of interrogation. What they knew was that the American military subjected their soldiers to these techniques in specialized training. This, apparently, was reassuring to our lawmakers. Surely techniques we used on our own soldiers were legal.

What they did not know is that our military learned these methods from torturers who used these "alternative" forms of interrogation to extract false confessions from American prisoners of war. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Torturous Times
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.