The secular oppose torture more than Christians do

Not surprisingly considering the content of the Bible, a Pew poll shows that 57% of those who are “secular” think that torture is never or only rarely acceptable, while only 42% of Catholics and 49% of white Protestants and white evangelicals feel that way. (I’m not sure why the poll only looked at white Protestants and evangelicals.)

The survey question was “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?” The poll was taken of 2,006 adults between October 12-24, 2005.

The possible answers were Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never, and Don’t know/refused to answer.

The results:

Total U.S. public:
Often: 15%
Sometimes: 31%
Rarely: 17%
Never: 32%
Don’t know/refused: 5%

Secular:
Often: 10%
Sometimes: 25%
Rarely: 16%
Never: 41%
Don’t know/refused: 4%

Total Catholic:
Often: 21%
Sometimes: 35%
Rarely: 16%
Never: 26%
Don’t know/refused: 4%

White Protestant:
Often: 15%
Sometimes: 34%
Rarely: 16%
Never: 31%
Don’t know/refused: 4%

White evangelical:
Often: 13%
Sometimes: 36%
Rarely: 16%
Never: 31%
Don’t know/refused: 4%

I score this one as a point against the thesis that religious people are more moral than non-religious people.

(Via Andrew Sullivan’s blog.)

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