Religious Leaders Praise Obama Directives On Torture, Guantanamo

January 23, 2009

Author: Adelle M. Banks

Source: Religion News Service

Religious leaders from the U.S. Catholic bishops to evangelical human rights advocates have applauded President Obama's executive order that essentially ends torture of detainees held by the U.S. government.

On Thursday (Jan. 22), his second full day in office, the president signed an executive order on "ensuring lawful interrogations" to "promote the safe, lawful and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody."

From his Oval Office desk, Obama said: "We can abide by a rule that says we don't torture."

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which had requested that Obama act on banning torture in the first day of his administration, praised the new policy.

"He has rejected the use of torture as an interrogation technique and allowed the United States to again find its moral bearing," said Linda Gustitus, president of the organization.

David Gushee, president of Evangelicals for Human Rights, said the order demonstrates Obama's concerns about just foreign policy.