Jesus Wept

Some terribly depressing news. Here's the poll result:

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

So Christian devotion correlates with approval for absolute evil in America. And people wonder why atheism is gaining in this country. Notice the poll does not even use a euphemism like "coercive interrogation" - forcing Allahpundit to substitute it. (Even HotAir, it seems, finds it difficult to write the sentence: "Evangelicals are more likely to be conservative and conservatives are more likely to support torture.") But it remains a fact that white evangelicals are the most pro-torture of any grouping. Mainline Protestant groups were the most opposed. A mere 20 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics believe that torture is never justified.

In a similar poll last September, Southern evangelicals got suddenly secular on this question:

The new poll found that 44 percent of white Southern evangelicals rely on life experiences and common sense to determine their views about torture. A lower percentage, 28 percent, said they relied on Christian teachings or beliefs.

One wonders how many times evangelical preachers have inveighed against the evil of someone like me getting a civil marriage license compared with acts of cruelty inflicted on defenseless human beings in American custody. But one also sees the impact of a Catholic hierarchy more exercized on these social issues than on a categorical evil defended proudly by a former vice-president. 

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

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