Prisoner Abuse Points to Danger of Using Religious Language

May 7, 2004

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On May 7, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some U.S. soldiers points to the danger of President Bush describing the occupation of Iraq and the war on terror as battles between forces of good and the 'evildoers" of the world, religious leaders say. Even before compromising photos of nude and hooded prisoners surfaced in the news media, some mainline Protestant and American Muslim leaders had criticized the president for a series of speeches that appeared to say that God was on the side of America. 'We question that kind of theology -- putting 'good' on us and 'evil' on the other,' said Antonios Kireopoulous, the associate general secretary for international affairs at the National Council of Churches, the major ecumenical agency in the United States. 'Seeing these photos of prisoner abuse puts the lie to that,'he said in an interview Thursday. 'It shows the crack in that kind of thinking.'' In his remarks Thursday marking the annual National Day of Prayer, President Bush showed new caution in his use of religious language. 'God is not on the side of any nation,' he said during the White House gathering."