You have to wonder at Mark Shea's patience with these guys.
Catholics of any state who seek to excuse or justify torture performed in its name and for its worldly purposes must be asked whether they love that state more than their Triune God, The Blessed Virgin Mother, His Gospels, His Scriptures, His Angels, His Martyrs and His Saints. As stark and lacking in nuance as it might be, it's the only thing I can think of that might shake some of these people out of their waking sleep.
'Angels and Demons' is coming out soon, featuring Ewan McGregor, the most talented French Horn player I have ever seen, in the role of an Irish priest - with his imitation of Alec Guinness in mind, I'm looking forward to seeing if he plays it like Barry Fitzgerald. One of the great conceits of guys like Dan Brown is the need they feel to make their characters as elitist as possible, which is presumably why his symbologist protagonist Robert Langdon is a professor at Harvard and not the Hank Knickerbocker Professor of Humanities at Tuscaloosa Community College (if such an institution exists, no disrespect is intended).
Yet one wonders how conflicted the Catholic Torture Defenders of America would feel if Brown gave Langdon a scenario that involved symbology contained in the American flag? Would their outrage be as vocal, and their anger as deep, as it is when he writes nonsense on stilts about Copernicus and Mary Magdalene? If it would be, then one would have to diagnose a case of disordered priorities. And the same, of course, applies not just to Old Glory, but to any other flag.