The Pew forum posted an interesting follow-up today to their recent findings, (see: More white Evangelicals support torture)
- From The Pew Forum, Evangelicals seem unfazed by torture. Why?
Does conservative Christianity encourage torture?
That debate has been reignited by new numbers from the Pew Research Center that show white evangelicals are more supportive of “torture to gain important information from suspected terrorists” than any other religious or political group in the survey.
Less than half of the general public (49 percent) say government-sponsored torture can “often” or “sometimes” be justified, compared to almost two-thirds of white evangelicals (62 percent).
That view is almost identical to the view of Republicans (64 percent), giving fuel to the charge that evangelicals’ views on torture are rooted more in politics than their faith.
“Conservatives are living within their own moral universe,” said Joel Hunter, an evangelical megachurch pastor from suburban Orlando, Fla. “In the last few decades, we have kind of created our own moral terms — more neoconservative than walking in sacrificial love.”
The torture debate within evangelical circles is as complex and multi-layered as evangelicals themselves. First, do the Pew numbers matter, and how much? And second, if evangelicals are finding their way to an endorsement of torture, how are they getting there?
“The data in our survey points to many white evangelicals thinking first as partisans and second as people of faith,”…