Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christians and torture

Glenn Greenwald at Salon points out that "It's almost impossible to find a nation with as many torture advocates as the U.S. has."
In Iran, for instance, only 36% believe that torture can be justified in some cases, while 43% believe all torture must be strictly prohibited. Similarly, 66% of Palestinians, 54% of Egyptians, and over 80% of Western Europeans believe torture is always wrong. The U.S. has a far lower percentage than all of those nations of individuals who believe that torture should always be prohibited.
Personally, I suspect that this has much to do with the resurgence of Christian fundamentalism as a force in US politics. Mr. Greenwald's article is based on a current Pew survey and neglects to mention a Pew survey this Spring that identified "White Evangelical Protestants", (not exactly the same as "fundamentalists" but close enough), as the leading demographic group in favor of torture and furthermore showed that approval of torture is positively correlated to frequency of religious services attendance.

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