Christians and Torture

Agblood_1

Yesterday, I expressed puzzlement and depression at the polling news that American Christians are more likely than non-religious Americans to support the Bush policy of torturing and abusing military detainees. A reader objects:

"If you think about it, the results are not so surprising.
Consider:  forced conversions ("you can die of hunger or convert"), the Salem witch trials, the Inquisitions. And I would not be at all surprised to learn that Christians favor the death penalty more than non-Christians.
I think it not unfair to say that Christianity, unlike, say, Buddhism, contains or permits belief systems that support horrific means for just ends. Heresy is, thus, grounds for burning at the stake. An "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". Attacking the USA (satan vs. saint) is grounds for torture.
To be honest, I am more horrified by the support for torture from people such as Alan Dershowitz who really should know better."

All I can say is that faith founded genuinely on Jesus could not begin to endorse such a concept (which is why I find Bush's endorsement of it so troubling). But then Christianity's history shows, alas, that Jesus' followers have not exactly always been faithful to his teachings. Today's age of politicized and intolerant Christianism seems to me to be one of those moments when Christianity has estranged itself most thoroughly from the priorities and spirit of its founder. But this will pass. Christianity will survive Christianism. Some true followers of Jesus will recover their faith from Caesar's grip at some point.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In