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Local church groups to consider issue of state-sponsored torture

Torture is a moral issue is the theme of the video, “Ending U.S.-Sponsored Torture Forever,” from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture or NRCAT.

With a goal of having 300 congregations in 30 states show the DVD, Pagosa Springs area churches will come together to view the DVD and offer an opportunity to discuss this important issue. The showing will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall.

Most faiths affirm that torture is a moral issue and that it is always wrong. This video is designed to increase understanding as to why torture is always wrong, without exception. Along with the DVD release, discussion study guides are available to facilitate faith-based conversation around the moral implications or torture.

Six different versions of the discussion guides have been prepared and will be available.

This viewing is open to all faiths with local clergy from the Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist congregations represented, including leadership from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The website for National Religious Campaign Against Torture is, and states, “since its founding in 2006, NRCAT has sought to increase the number of people who believe that torture is always wrong with no exceptions.”

The following is a Statement of Conscience of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

“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.”

As people of faith it is important to support each other. In the effort to end U.S.-sponsored torture, joining with like-minded people of all faiths is imperative in making a conscious decision on this moral issue. In the spirit of love and embracing the power of the holy, we come together on May 4 to watch, discuss and join together in understanding ourselves and one another. For more information you may contact De Anna Hoyle, director of religious education, Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship., at 731-7900.