Friday, May 01, 2009



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

The more I see things like this, the more I wonder who are these people, what Bible are they reading, and which Jesus exactly do they think they belong to? Or, more accurately perhaps, belongs to them? (I've got Jesus in my heart)

I remember when J was teaching an ethics class at Biola University. He actually had to fight the students to convince them that they were supposed to try to be like Jesus. See, they had somehow gotten the idea (from their churches? or, yikes, theology/bible classes?) that Jesus' only job was to die, not to teach us how to live, and besides, he was God and sinless, so we couldn't possibly be like him anyway.

The stuff in the epistles about becoming perfect (and the Sermon on the Mount, for that matter) notwithstanding, this had somehow been translated into a totally different standard for the followers of Jesus than, well, anything he taught. I'm not sure where this other standard came from, exactly, but I know it includes a healthy dose of human ego and a decent amount of self-righteousness.

Anyway, I don't get it one bit. Here's a link to the study itself. I guess I'm just a totally different kind of churchgoer. Actually, one blogger said that "pew-sitters" were more likely to support torture - so maybe the trick is sitting in chairs instead of pews!

It's not surprising that we mainliners were the religious group most likely to say torture is never justified. But I find it really interesting that a quarter of the "religiously unaffiliated" said it never is. That means that more of the "religiously unaffiliated" understand and follow Jesus' teachings than do the majority of Christians!

It brings up an interesting question about morality, too: as in, where do the "godless" get their moral superiority? Hmmmm. Actually, J taught a whole class on that, too. Maybe I'll see if I can get him to blog about it. :)


John said...

It is a tad strange that those who would claim to follow the One hideously tortured before his execution would fail to find the comparision.

Anonymous said...

i think they're surveying mostly Calvinists. Calvin liked to perforate people's tongues if they called him a hypocrite.