Andrew Sullivan -- gay GOP collaborator who is slowly rediscovering his conscience -- crunches the numbers.
According to this Pew poll, Americans favor torturing detainees in some circumstances by a wide margin. There's a reason John Kerry didn't bring it up in the debates. And there's a reason Cheney and Rumsfeld know they can continue the practice: they have widespread public support. Most disturbing to me are the high numbers of self-described Christians favoring torture: only 26 percent of Catholics oppose it in all circumstances, while only 31 percent of white Protestants rule it out entirely. If you combine those Christians who think torture is either never or only rarely acceptable, you have 42 percent of Catholics and 49 percent of white Protestants. The comparable statistic of those who are described as "secular," which I presume means agnostic or atheist, is 57 percent opposition. In other words, if you are an American Christian, you are more likely to support torture than if you are an atheist or agnostic. Christians for torture: it's a new constituency. Another part of the Bush legacy.Isn't that weird? Isn't it weird that a prophet who spread a message of peace would have a group of followers who favor war and torture? Isn't it weird that these so-called Christians who blame the rise of violence in schools or alleged decaying morals on Hollywood and the "secular left" would advocate this sort of horrific brutality? Isn't it weird that those of us who don't believe in God, or perhaps in a benevolent pasta superbeing are the ones who have the moral compass that should be followed?
You know why that is? Because religion tells you what you must do, while we "secularists" have to figure it out on our own based on compassion, mutual respect for life, general human dignity and the fucking Golden Rule. So we're left with being just fine with two men being married because, hey – how the fuck does it matter to anyone else? We can have sex with whoever is willing because it's pretty darn fun and no one gets hurt (unless of course they ask you). And when we see the vicious pictures of our government torturing someone in the name of freedom we stand up and say – that just doesn't seem right to me. On the other hand, the religious folk are accustomed to being told what to do, so when some old book or their pastor or Maximillian -- any mommy figure will do -- tells them anything, like for example that torture is like so supercool, they nod and smile and don't give it a second thought.
It sure as hell beats thinking for yourself.