Saturday, May 2, 2009

WWJT? Who Would Jesus Torture?

A news story for you...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture rallied on Capitol Hill in March 2008.

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 to 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.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Leith Anderson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The survey asked: "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"


Roughly half of all respondents -- 49 percent -- said it is often or sometimes justified. A quarter said it never is.

The religious group most likely to say torture is never justified was Protestant denominations -- such as Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians -- categorized as "mainline" Protestants, in contrast to evangelicals. Just over three in 10 of them said torture is never justified. A quarter of the religiously unaffiliated said the same, compared with two in 10 white non-Hispanic Catholics and one in eight evangelicals.


There is no way I can pass this one up. This is the kind of thing that makes me disgusted at American Christians for those of you who want to know. You really want to know why I don't group myself in with the rest of the Christians, this is why. I'm not saying the sentiment resounds in my church, but it would be really unfortunate if only one in 8 of the people I know thought torture was never justified. I guess that one is me. There, now I'm different.

I mean is this really a discussion we need to have? I'm gonna have to go back to Jesus on this one, you got my hands tied behind my back. What was that whole thing about doing to others what you'd have them do to you? Yeah, I think that was the way it went. But now American Christians are adopting more of a "do to others what you think they'd do to you" sort of philosophy. I'd definitely say, that's not what Jesus had in mind.

And you know, the argument that it would save lives is completely null because that's what morals are about. You don't ruin lives to save lives. Ethics and morals are the things you do when no one else is looking, and now everybody is looking and Christians are saying "hey, just dip his head under the water for a while, make him think he's drowning, and he'll tell us where the bomb is." Well, if that's the way it's gonna be, you can officially count me out of the whole "Christian" thing because it's done. The movement is over. They tell us from the pulpit that we are supposed to be different and that people will want what we have, but I'll tell you right now, I don't want what we have. It is morally repugnant to me.

I want what Jesus left us with, the love your neighbor stuff, the stuff that American Christians now think only applies to Americans. One in eight. It's just sad. Do you want to know where I draw the line when I don't think people are really followers of Jesus? When 7 in 8 evangelical Christians think that torture is ok at least some of the time.

At what point do you go to your boss and say "I can't lie to our customers any more."? At what point do you say "This is wrong and against company policy and we shouldn't be doing it." These are ethical decisions. One thing I regret is that I never said these things to my boss when I worked at Total Document Solutions. I've let it go for this long, and now it's out. The same thing goes for the American Church. This is wrong. Torture is wrong. You've sold your soul to a political party, when it didn't belong to you to begin with.

Read your bible, hypocrites. And lets be perfectly clear what a hypocrite is. "Hypocrisy, Noun. The claim, pretense, or false representation of holding beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not actually posses." If you say you are a follower of Jesus and you think torture is even sometimes okay, you are a hypocrite. It's that simple. You are a liar, and you are doing a horrifically poor job of representing your Great God and Savior, Jesus the Messiah. This is not an issue like taxes where your beliefs on the subject don't really matter in the spiritual realm. If you think it is ok to harm a human being to get information, you are a bogus christian.

It is just sad that more atheists, humanists, secularists, and abortionists would say that torture is not ok than Evangelical Christians. That makes me sad. It really grieves my heart. So, that being said, I'm deciding to not be one anymore. I am only a follower of Jesus Christ, not a "Christian," the word was originally an insult anyway. I am a Jesus Freak. He is king, his word rules, and living and walking in his footsteps are the status symbol of choice for his followers.

I have found that the quickest way to win any argument with a "Christian" is to quote Jesus. And boy do I like being right.



Lisa said...

On many areas,I don't agree with you 100%, but in this area I do. Torture is just wrong. I don't even understand how some one could do things like water boarding, whipping, or beating some one up under any circumstances. How could you willingly inflict that kind of pain on some one?!?!? The argument of "It will get us information and save lives." does not work. An experienced interrogator should be able to get information WITHOUT using torture. Most terrorists will be tortured to death before giving correct information. The best way to gain information is to build a rapport with the person. Torture more often then not causes the person to give false information.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that Jesus wouldnt torture anyone. Being that I am not Jesus...I put myself in this hypothetical situation. Say someone kidnaps my child...and is a torturous, psycho pedophile. Now lets say that I KNOW a person who knows where my child is....and they wont tell me. I dont have time to build a rapport with them, I dont have time to wait it out... I am out of my mind, of course, and call me crazy if you like, or un-Christian (which I could become in such an instance) but I dont see it being a stretch for me to smash some fingers to get the location of my child (or yours.) This does not mean I endorse government torture, but in an extreme personal case I could see how it could happen.

WiredForStereo said...

Anonymous person, I can certainly understand your sentiment, but I'll give you two reason's why you're wrong.

Firstly, I like how Jon Stewart said it. If we break the rules every time something goes wrong, that's called a dictatorship. How would you like it if they tapped your phone after a terrorist attack? How would you like it if someone believed you kidnapped your child even though you didn't? What if they started smashing your fingers until you told them where their child was? I can put up with some imprisonment and interrogation for quite a while if I didn't do something, but torture scars the body and mind forever.

And secondly, it doesn't pass the Rule Number Two test. In other words, the Golden Rule. It doesn't matter who did what or why or what the situation is, situations can always be manipulated and justified. If you don't want it done to you, don't do it to anyone else. That's what Jesus said and what he said goes. There is a single situation in which Jesus would allow torture and he was the only one who received it. There will be no torture in heaven, therefore, it should be my goal that it ends here.