22 March 2006

Torture survey

I learn from Warren Ellis that the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted a poll (excerpted crisply here) asking Americans "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"

Guess how the poll came out before I tell you.

Don't know  5%

That's right. Two out of three Americans think that there are circumstances in which torturing someone is "justified." Note, too, that the way the question is phrased, the person in question may not even be a villain.

I would cry, if there weren't another point in the survey that makes me righteously angry. Check out this breakdown by religion of how many people say torture is "never justified."

White protestant  31%
White evangelical31%

I almost look forward to quoting this statistic the next time that someone tells me that religion is essential to cultivating morality.

(And check out the interesting comments on this at Body and Soul.)

1 comment:

Kate said...


My word verification was:


I kid you not........so close to l'chaim! Freaked me out.