According to Poll, Time for Evangelicals to Ask WWJD Re Torture

Pew has stunning news out from a recent poll, that the correlation between allowing torture and church attendance is pretty strong. And what kind of frequent churchgoer prefers torture most? Evangelicals. Hold it a moment, isn’t George Bush an Evangelical? Have they even heard of Jesus the torture victim in his church?

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

This is a stunning survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and analyzed by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Here’s the graphs, and here’s the survey. The upshot is reported by CNN:

The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.

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.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified – more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.

I would like to quote my wife on the subject.

Wow. Just wow. The people who would likely claim that they are most in tune with the teachings and doctrines of a man who was, well, tortured to death, are most likely to support torture and think it is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Unbelievable.

Man, this is disturbing. Sure, the survey is likely not merely measuring frequency of religious worship or the magnitude of one’s fundamentalism, but also how partisan one is a Republican. Yup, the correlation between one’s Republican partisanship and loving torture is probably even stronger than the one between religious practice and loving torture. What this tells me is that they’re teaching Republican values in these churches far more than they are teaching Jesus. How horrid such news is. How predictable, too.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

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