Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches — “Christians More Supportive of Torture Than Non-Religious Americans” — reports on the recent polling data demonstrating the perverse vapidity of “pro-life” white evangelical moralism:
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Americans, by a 59-31 percent margin, believe that CIA “treatment of suspected terrorists” in detention was justified.
A plurality deemed that “treatment” to be “torture,” by a 49-38 percent margin.
Remarkably, the gap between torture supporters and opponents widens between voters who are Christian and those who are not religious. Just 39 percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA’s treatment of detainees amounted to torture, with 53 percent of white non-evangelical Protestants and 45 percent of white Catholics agreeing with that statement. Among the non-religious, though, 72 percent said the treatment amounted to torture. (The poll did not break down non-Christian religions in the results.)
Sixty nine percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA treatment was justified, compared to just 20 percent who said it was not. (Those numbers, incidentally, roughly mirror the breakdown of Republican versus Democratic voters among white evangelicals.)
What is the one common trait uniting all of that 69 percent of white evangelicals applauding CIA torture? They’re “pro-life,” of course.
That means they have the moral high ground. It’s what makes them morally superior to everyone else.
Just ask them, they’ll tell you.
That 26-percent minority of white evangelicals who say torture is never/rarely justified? Those are the folks the other 74 percent like to refer to as “post-evangelicals.”
Here’s Brian Zahnd:
I don’t know of a greater indictment against American evangelicalism than the fact that a majority of its adherents actually admit they support the use of illegal torture on suspected terrorists. …
Evangelical support of torture is what we might call an “eruption of the real.” It’s a horrifying moment of unintended truth-telling where we discover that allegiance to national self-interest trumps allegiance to Jesus Christ. Now with the release of the Senate’s report of the C.I.A.’s use of torture I’m calling on American evangelicals to stop playing games and decide if they are going to be Christian or not. …
Apparently Christianity has become so incomprehensible in the security state of America that millions of evangelicals think they can be Christian and support torture. But they cannot.
These evangelicals have reached a crisis of decision. They can choose security. They can choose to endorse torture in the name of security. But to do so is to renounce the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Obviously, Zahnd is just an unwitting apologist for the Satanic baby-killers.