Monday, September 15, 2008
You should have expected the Spanish Inquisition
Andrew Sullivan has noted, in Southern Evangelicals And Torture, that a poll commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Mercer University has found that nearly six in ten, or 57 percent of, white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified. They are the core supporters of Bush's torture regime and 65 percent of them support the now pro-torture candidate, John McCain. They think torture can sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists and only balk at torture when they are reminded that this could come back to hurt Americans or if reminded of the golden rule. Only thirty-eight percent said it was never or rarely justified. Most of them, 53 percent of white Southern evangelicals, know that George W. Bush is a liar on torture. They think the government uses torture in its anti-terrorism campaign, despite claims to the contrary. Only one-third, or 32 percent, said the government does not use torture as a matter of policy.
It is not that historically surprising for Christians to endorse torture, remember Spanish Inquisition? What else would you expect from a religion with a doctrine of Redemptive Suffering? The Cross is a symbol of excruciating death and it highlights the sadomasochistic glorification of pain at the core of Christianity. People who suffer are ennobled and find the need for Jesus and God (or at least a delusional escape from reality) and appreciate the suffering Jesus underwent when he sacrificed Himself for the Sins of Mankind on the Cross.
Of course, Andrew Sullivan isn't the kind of Christian who would see the connection between a doctrine of Redemptive Suffering and Bush's torture program, but he sure has been relentless these last two weeks, posting morning, noon and night, weeks and weekdays, exposing the lies of the McCain-Palin campaign. Yet, even while he highlights their unfitness for office in terms of competence, decency, intelligence, and experience, the Palin bounce seems to be holding and polling suggests that McCain is gaining ground.