What Would Christians Do?

One would think that Jesus’ mandate to love one’s neighbor would somehow figure in the torture debate especially among Christians. Interestingly however, “unaffiliated” Americans – those that do not profess any faith or attend any religious services – are more “Christian” than those who quote the Bible unquestioningly and bandy self righteousness indictments on those they consider sinful and beyond redemption.

An analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life of a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press illustrates differences in the views of four major religious traditions about whether torture of suspected terrorists can be justified.

Over 60 percent of White Evangelicals and half of White non-Hispanic Catholics believe that torture can be justified. Forty six percent of White mainline Protestants would condone torture. Only forty percent of unaffiliated Americans believe that the use of torture can be justified.

It appears that church attendance whets the appetite for tormenting God’s other children. Over 50 percent of those who attend weekly religious services think that “enhanced interrogation techniques” can be justified. After all, the exquisite pain, humiliation and fear are inflicted on suspected terrorists. On non-Christians that dare to attack God’s chosen nation.

Come to think of it, the Roman Empire considered Jesus of Nazareth a terrorist. Thus the flogging, crown of thorns, public humiliation and crucifixion. If these God-fearing folks were alive then, I suspect that they would be the loudest in shouting “Crucify him!”

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