The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.
– Source: CNN
This is a small study so not much can be said based on the data, but it would be interesting if other studies looked into it further.
I wonder – based on my own prejudices – if not self-righteousness is related to support of torture. The more certain we are that we are right and others are wrong, or even worse, that we are good and others are bad/evil, the easier it is to dehumanize them in our own mind and justify torture. (And ignoring the obvious: Torture gets people to say what they think you want to hear, whatever it may be.)
The question with these things is always: How does this relate to me? How do I find it in myself and my own life?
When do I think I am right and others are wrong? What happens then? What am I afraid of would happen if I didn’t see myself as right and them as wrong?
Footnote: This study obviously says more about mainstream/conservative Christians in the US than religious folks in general. I suspect that a similar survey among regular attendants at my old Unitarian Society in Madison would give a very different result, as would a study among the faithful in Northern Europe where culture and religion generally is much more humanistic and liberal. Across religions, there will probably be much more agreement within respectively humanistic/human-centered groups and dogmatic/fundamentalist groups than within each religion.