Deep Thoughts asks "They claim that thinking about robbing a bank, is the same as robbing the bank. What does it matter what I think?" Actions matter more than thoughts but I don't think thoughts can be dismissed.
There must be a difference between being having a brief desire to "kill someone" while driving in traffic versus someone who sits down to plot how such a murder might take place and plays out the scenario repeatedly in the mind but never commits the act.
The latter while not doing the act probably would disturb us for a reason. Just like the person who downloads rape porn while never raping a person would equally disturb us. There comes a point where entertaining ideas ends up shaping the kind of person we are.
I don't think it's a call to be obsessive about thoughts but Paul's advice still holds "whatever is true, whatever is honorable..whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
My pastor keeps on refering to fundamentalists as orthodox and our church being liberal, as not as much. I think that cedes something that isn't evident and can obscure how much liberal Protestantism can (and does in her congregation) drink from the well of the tradition.
Bob Cornwall has an excellent essay on the moral price for accepting torture. A key line: "Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved" When we're silent we're also implicated.