The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Torture: brought to you by white evangelicals

with 8 comments

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

—a Pew Forum study reported by CNN.com

Egad.

Aren’t the torturers the bad guys in the stories of Jesus?  And weren’t there religious patriots cheering them on, calling out, “We have no god but Caesar?”

Why have evangelicals traded the imitation of Christ for the ruthlessness of Rome?

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8 Responses

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  1. […] Torture: brought to you by white evangelicals (masbury.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Because they’re worshiping the calf, not the lamb.

    Steve Roth

    May 31, 2009 at 10:20 pm

  3. The things you make me think about!

    And I am a better person for it.

    Jessica

    May 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm

  4. I’ve been thinking about this too. I don’t KNOW the answer. But I had a discussion with my liberal friends last week (non-religious, and anti-bible) about this study. WHAT IF this group has a strong sense of justice? I mean think about it. I want to save folks from the bad guys first and foremost (mercy). But I also want these bad guys stopped! And their friends too. Now I am not making a case for torture. I’m just saying, if the bad guys are bad guys-if they are out to murder, kill and blow things up. Then they should be stopped.

    There are a couple of assumptions here. First is that terrorists are bad people. And second is that the means justifies the ends. Torturers are bad guys only if the people they are torturing are not bad.

    Derin Beechner

    May 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    • I’m just saying, if the bad guys are bad guys-if they are out to murder, kill and blow things up. Then they should be stopped.

      Which side are we talking about here?

      Monte

      May 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    • Good job, spotting the assumptions. If there is an “always” in war, it may be that each side has to become persuaded that the other side is made up of “bad” people before they will go to war. In our own history, Japanese became Japs; Germans, krauts or huns; Vietnamese, gooks; Arabs, ragheads. Once the public is persuaded that enemies are so fanatical that “you can’t reason with them,” consent for war is within reach; rarely before.
      I suspect this is one of the reasons for policies of non-negotiation: negotiation suggests the enemy might be reasonable, making the dehumanization campaign that must precede war much more difficult.

      Monte

      May 4, 2009 at 11:27 pm


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