CNN reports that more than 6 in 10 evangelicals believe torture is justified while only 3 in 10 mainline Christians hold similar views.
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. 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.
Blogger Steven Waldman, editor in chief of Beliefnet suggests, “The real question: why hasn’t Christianity led to the opposite result, a revulsion against torture?”
Blogger Andrew Sullivan in his blog post called “Jesus Wept” makes the astute comment, “And people wonder why atheism is gaining in this country.”