April 30, 2009
What Is It With Christians and Torture?

Rather than make some biting comment about Christianity and hypocrisy, I'll just report, and let you decide.

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 six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.


Posted by Chuck Dupree at April 30, 2009 06:44 PM
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The Roman church has a long history of torture. Early Christians were generally on the receiving end.

Posted by: Mahakal on May 1, 2009 1:48 AM

Well, they certainly claim they were. Non-Catholic historians like Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) dispute those claims.

Speaking of the persecution of Christians by Diocletian, prompted by his Caesar Galerius, and the resulting tales of martyrdom, Gibbon says, "But I cannot determine what I ought to transcribe, till I am satisfied how much I ought to believe."

Speaking of the so-called Donation of Constantine, a bogus document created by the Vatican in an attempt to prove that Constantine, who made Christianity the imperial religion, had willed the entire Western Empire to the popes, Gibbon comments:

Fraud is the resource of weakness and cunning; and the strong, though ignorant, barbarian was often entangled in the net of sacerdotal policy. The Vatican and Lateran were an arsenal and manufacture, which, according to the occasion, have produced or concealed a various collection of false or genuine, of corrupt or suspicious acts, as they tended to promote the interest of the Roman church. […] The popes themselves have indulged a smile at the credulity of the vulgar…

More simply, William Burroughs offers this pithy remark: "If a man tells you he's a Christian son of a bitch, make him pay cash."

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on May 1, 2009 2:00 AM

What is the highest symbol of Christianity? A man tortured to death.

Posted by: Peter on May 1, 2009 4:36 AM

Maybe it's because Jesus was tortured but didn't suffer any lasting ill effects???

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on May 1, 2009 12:55 PM

Well let's straighten this out. According to this link in the Washington Post, mainline Protestants are completely opposed to torture at 31%.

They scored highest in the group that said torture can NEVER be justified. No other group scored higher, including non believers. I attend a mainline with my significant other but am an agnostic. I'm in the 31% so maybe that makes going worthwhile. But we do have a deal that I don't go when the church gives communion because I consider it too pagan to tolerate. Fortunately most churches have gone to communion once a month. The church I grew up in figured we were pretty good souls and that we only needed it once every three months. So paganism has still done me some good. We don't go every week. Maybe that's what made the difference. Fortunately we now have a very liberal pastor who's a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. We go to the UCC church but switched to the only UCC church in our area that became "open and affirming" to gays. I don't mind going so much anymore since the last UCC was horribly conservative. Pick a good church and you might get something out of it. But I wonder why they didn't poll Buddhists? I'd be interested in how they'd score.

One never knows does one?


Posted by: Buck on May 3, 2009 3:54 PM
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