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Statement of Conscience


In January 2006, NRCAT introduced a statement of conscience titled "Torture is a Moral Issue." The text has appeared in advertisements, including on the op-ed page of The New York Times. We invite you to add your support by signing the statement today.

"Torture is a Moral Issue" Statement of Conscience

Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved -- policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation's most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.

Nothing less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul of our nation. What does it signify if torture is condemned in word but allowed in deed? Let America abolish torture now -- without exceptions.

What definition of torture do we use?

NRCAT's definition of torture is the same as that contained in the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

Why Should You, as a Person of Faith, Endorse NRCAT's Statement of Conscience - "Torture is a Moral Issue"

  • It is always important to take a public stand on clear issues of right and wrong. As Nobel Laureate, Eli Wiesel proclaimed, "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation."
  • It is important to support each other, to join hands with like-minded people of all faiths, in the effort to end U.S.-sponsored torture.
  • Numbers make impressions on policymakers and the media - NRCAT shares the number of endorsers with members of Congress, the press, and other religious organizations.
  • Our elected representatives are pledged to be responsible to their constituents. Your endorsement sends a message to your Congressperson, and once again, numbers speak loudly.
  • As the number of endorsers grows, NRCAT will continue to provide the opportunity to endorse the Statement of Conscience, therefore it is important to spread the word and urge others to add their endorsement.
  • We all want to effect positive change. Like the story of the butterfly that fluttered its wings on one side of the globe, inducing a tsunami on the other, your endorsement is one way to create the climate for change.
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