As a follow-up to the lively discussion on torture last week, I thought I would post this in hopes of hearing your thoughts on the topic.
In short, are Evangelicals more likely to support torture because they are Evangelicals or because they are Republicans?
Torture Poll: It’s About Politics, not Religion, a recent Washington Post blog entry, says that all the news coverage about white evangelical Protestants supporting torture is missing something. Evangelicals have those views on torture not because they are evangelicals, but because they are largely Republican:
In a basic statistical model estimating public support for a torture option, party is a clear predictor, whether one is Catholic, Protestant or unaffiliated is not.
Good news – or the central problem? As Emmanuel Katongole pointed out in The Pattern of This World in Sojourners earlier this year, it is a grave problem when political affiliations shape Christians’ views more than religious affiliations do:
Once this imagination and identity had fomented, Christianity made little difference … Christianity seemed little more than an add-on—an inconsequential relish that did not radically affect peoples’ so-called natural identities.
Katongole describes how this kingdom-of-this-world thinking led to the genocide in Rwanda, one of the most ostensibly “Christianized” countries in Africa. He also describes how he’s seen this thinking in the U.S. – and, if there was any doubt, the torture poll confirms it: He’s talking to you, United States. I suggest that we listen.
So what do you think? Have we confused God and Country? Or, is this article full of rubbish?