Friday, May 01, 2009

Who would Jesus Torture?

So, basically, I'm just stealing urbanmenno's content at this point. This will make 2 in 2 days. I will offer her 100% of the money I make from this blog.

In my defense, my friend John emailed me this morning with the same story, begging me to post it on my blog so he can rant about it in public. And he's Catholic, only the 2nd most blood-thirsty group of Christians studied.

The chart says it all:

So, almost half of Americans justify torture. That's depressing. On the bright side, though, if you take out all the religious folks, only 40% justify torture.

I never thought I'd say this, but I think we need more "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets in the world. Unfortunately, it's the Christians that need them the most.


John O'Neill said...

What the hell is wrong with this country??

OK, maybe I should focus that a bit. This particular evil seems to be mostly arising from white, religious middle-class males. So let me restate that.

What the hell is wrong with people just like me??

This whole thing sickens me, and makes me question for the first time in a long time whether I want to be part of organized religion - and, just as importantly, makes me seriously question whether I want to bring my children up Catholic.

I want to raise my children to be good people. This is solid evidence that raising them Catholic is a step in the wrong direction.

- John

brownie said...

I noticed it was only "white" christians in that poll.


Dan S said...


brownie said...

Not obvious enough? Alas, this goes back to my old point about liberal auto-invisibility when it comes to their foibles.

The poll you cited was about white people. Why only white people? Are we afraid to condemn hispanics and blacks too, for fear of being label a racist? The difficult thing for me to understand is why race was included in the poll at all. If it hadn't, race would not be an issue at all; it would only have attacked christians, but this poll attacks only white christians. Therefore, it's my duty to shout RACISM!

Racism is racism no matter who it attacks. And to say that only white people are bad (I know this makes guilt-wracked liberals feel better about themselves for some freaky reason), is illogical and, some people might say, reverse racism. I disagree with the term. Reverse racism to me means the opposite of racism, which is racial harmony. No, when I see racism against whites, I call it for what it is. Just plain racism.

Be that as it may, I agree with the point of your article. That christians should condone torture is hypocritical and reprehensible. And I agree that peace is the best state to live in for all. Not just liberals, not just whites, not just blacks, not just christians, not just muslims, etc, etc, etc. ALL! And as long as folks like to pick on each other along racial lines, (when, I'm afraid, if blacks and hispanics had been included in the poll the statitstics would have been only slightly less grim, yet grim nonetheless)peace will never be more than a dream. We need it in reality.

Andy said...

With a sampling size that huge, these reults *must* be accurate and reflect the country as a whole.

Dan S said...

From pew report:

"Data from a Pew Research Center survey conducted April 14-21, 2009, among 742 American adults. Other religious groups are not reported due to small sample sizes."

By which it means there weren't enough blacks in the sample to extrapolate.

So, brownie, are you saying that sample size is racist?

Dan S said...

Andy, if you think this sample size is too small, then do your own quick calculation. How many white evangelicals do you know, and how many of them think torture can sometimes be justified?

50% seems about right to me.

Andy said...

Couldn't tell ya, Dan. I don't hang out with any evangelical types :-)

brownie said...


I don't think a 'sample size' can be racist. Only people.

If by pure accident, or by subtrefuge, the analysis skews the reader's INTERPRETATION of the data, inasmuch to suggest that only white christians view torturre as "okay" and no non-whites do. Obviously, this cannot be the case, yet that is how the data is presented. No, the data sample is not racist, but I question the authentic motives of those who put it together.

Anonymous said...

This discussion has been successfully turned to race. But I think the question is why, in the United States in the the 21st century, does anyone, white, black, christian, or otherwise, think torture is ok?

Robert Sievers said...

The reason is because the word "torture" has been redefined by Obama. Of course torture is unacceptable, but if you give me a survey, and define torture as waterboarding, I would say it was. An interrogation technique that causes no long term physical or psychological harm seems perfectly legitimate to me. But again, define torture the way the current administration does, and there are all kinds of acceptable techniques which now fall under the new definition. That's the problem with frivolous wordplay.

Dan S said...

Let me get this straight Bob. The Bush administration redefines waterboarding to not be torture, in violation of the Geneva convention and against the opinion of everyone else in the civilized world. It is torture because it *does* lead to long-term pyschological and physical harm. See here for a Scientific American article on it, assuming science still means anything to you.

Obama re-re-defines waterboarding back to the torture that it is, and suddenly, you are concerned with "frivolous wordplay."

So, you are not content to merely support torture methods. You must also blame the person stopping them (Obama) as the person causing Americans to support torture.

I truly fail to see how someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus can faithfully do such things.

Nate said...

I'm not very old so I don't if this true or not, but I will ask. Didn't the United States put to death many Japanese officers after WWII for water boarding American POW's? If that is the case, then this treatment was defined as torture by America at one point in time. Now whether or not that actually happened,I don't know for sure.

I just suppose it is easy for people who have never been put through water boarding to say it isn't torture.

Robert Sievers said...


Starting with the Carter administration, we have been waterboarding some of our own military officers in efforts to help them resist common interrogation techniques. So, if you believe waterboarding is torture, then our own government, including some democratic presidents, have been doing it.

Do don't blame this on Bush, like you do everything else. If waterboarding really does do permanent damage, we should not be doing it. Since Obama's moral values are so out of whack, it is hard for me to trust his decisions. But he could be right on this. Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

David Wright said...

The answer to your question? A fig tree.


Dan S said...

We also train our soldiers to withstand chemical attacks by exposing them to certain chemicals.

Are you saying that because we do this, it is morally acceptable to engage in chemical warfare?

Robert Sievers said...

No, I am saying that if you believe something is wrong, begin your crusade with the protection of our own countrymen, especially those in our military rather than just blaming Bush because it's convenient.

Fingtree said...

The original question of this post was; "who would Jesus torture"?
Jesus was black, so he would have tortured white people. His payback and subtle torture to this country and it's bad history of race relations, began with Obama becoming President. I believe Robert Sievers may be spared by the legally blind defense. Brownie, you are toast! Dan, Your love of Obama will not save you..

Dan S said...

Crap - I *knew* it.

The predictions were true!

brownie said...

To quote a favorite songwriter of mine:

It's Me! It's Me!
It's All about Me!
The whole world revolves around

Hansuli John Gerber said...

I'm late on this one - only saw it now and it reminds me of the results of research projects two European Universities (Geneva and Göttingen) conducted independently of each other, testing a new research tool in sociology. Both studies concluded that religious people were significantly more homophobic than secular people. Not that we didn't know it, but to have it confirmed in this way was sad. Having Obama equate religiosity with nonviolence, as he just did in Cairo, is all the more reason to rejoice.