Meanings: “Torture”

December 30, 2011

“Torture”, interestingly, comes from the Latin “torquere,” which means “to twist, turn, wind, wring, distort.”  Presumably, when people are tortured they twist and turn in agony.

This morning, Jim Higgenbotham provides a thoughtful opinion piece in The Indianapolis Star headlined “Let’s Respect Human Dignity, Repent of Torture of Past.”  Jim is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Earlham School of Religion.

He argues not only that “torture is wrong, without any exceptions,” but also that “we as a country cannot move forward unless we acknowledge, and until we fully know, what happened in the last decade.”  He asks, poignantly, “Given the preciousness of human life, isn’t it time to repent of this horrific saga and make sure that no one is ever tortured by our country again?”

Now there’s a New Year’s resolution.

About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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1 Response to Meanings: “Torture”

  1. Jim Higginbotham says:

    Thanks Doug. I wish I’d looked up the origin of the word; your insight would have been helpful.


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