Torture and U.S. Christians

White Christian Evangelicals and white Catholics are among the Americans most likely (68%) to say that torture is “often justified” or “sometimes justified” in the latest poll.

I missed that verse in the bible when I was growing up and being taught what it meant to be a Christian.  But there it is in Republicans 3:16 from the latest translation.  Right after the edict to love your neighbor, Jesus says, “You have heard it said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, if there’s even a chance he might have any useful information, go ahead and waterboard the bastard.”  How could I have missed it?

Among that same group, consisting of people who generally claim that the Bible is the “divinely inspired” and/or “inerrant” word of God, only 11-12% say that torture is never justified.  I find this incredibly ironic and appalling.  Meanwhile, 32% of people who claim no religion say that it is never justified.

It used to be that tales of secret police quietly arresting people under the cover of night, imprisoning them indefinitely without a trial and torturing them only came from places like El Salvador, East Germany and the Soviet Union.  We now know it’s happened in the land of “liberty and justice for ALL” and most Americans, particularly religious people, don’t seem to mind.

What does the Christian church in the U.S. stand for today?  It doesn’t seem to include the most fundamental biblical imperatives to love our neighbors, act justly, love mercy and treat others as we would be treated.

God bless America?  I can’t imagine why he would.

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