Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it. --George Bernard ShawGod save us! A survey of 742 American adults published by the Pew Research Center asserts that the more one goes to church, the more likely one is to support torturing suspected terrorists. The survey was an analysis of the opinions of white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated. Of the people surveyed, 60% of those who attend evangelical churches said the use of torture is "often" or "sometimes" justified.
Christians have a long history of breaking out the hot pokers and thumbscrews when they're trying to root out the devil. These United States owe their genesis to a particularly nasty group of such Christians; a sect that was so vile the Europeans pushed them off-continent. These people tortured and raped women accused of being witches. It was almost a form of public entertainment for them.
The Catholic Church, thankfully, has moved beyond such barbarity. But we need not delve very far into its history to recall the measures they took to extract confessions from Jews, Muslims and other "faithless" peoples in the late 1400s.
Today's evangelical torturers are, for the time being, held in check by the majority of the American public. But mark how nearly they came to achieving their medieval vision during the Junior Bush presidency. In 8 short years, the United States went from a nation that authored and complied with the Geneva Convention to a state that, until very recently, more or less openly advocated torture.
This latest survey makes clear that the demented fringe of Christianity is still with us, still waiting for the day. They'll always be there. And there will always be the danger of creatures like Junior whipping them into a blood-thirsty frenzy and then turning them loose.
These faux-Christian evangelicals are a miserable, frightened crowd. Their misery and fear turns them into beasts. And beasts are dangerous, if you ignore them. But in nature, the mangy hyena poses small danger so long as you keep an eye on it. So too with these relics of medieval thinking.
Watch them. Keep them confined to their mega-churches out on the desolate prairies and in their backwoods sh*tholes. When they occasionally drink too deeply from their Cup of Woe and feel the need to lash out, be aware. Be ready to thwart them. Above all, ignore their mindless bleating; do not be beguiled by their protestations of love. They hate; they fear. And that is all they do.
With the devastation of the Bush administration still fresh in our minds, it is easy to discern the danger. But in time, our memories will grow dim.
Just remember, the Inquisition is only one bad election away.
Note to readers: NWJR correctly pointed out that my original post had factual errors. I have since corrected these errors and updated the post. I'm sorry for the errors.