Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | May 11, 2009

Torturing the Truth

To the Editor:

Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released a survey on the views of religious Americans regarding torture. The survey found that white evangelical Protestants were the most supportive of torture–only 16% of evangelicals reject the use of torture. A whopping 62% of white evangelical Protestants think that torture is justified in most or many circumstances. Since the findings became public, numerous columnists, pundits, and bloggers have opined on why evangelicals support torture–including Leonard Pitt, Dominion-Post, Op-Ed page, May 11, 2009.

However, surveys can have a lot of errors depending on the sample population of the respondents. Pew only surveyed 742 “Christians.” This is a very small sample for the US population and thus this research has a very big “margin of error” in statistical terms. (Figures don’t lie. However, sometimes liars figure!)

What is torture? Having water poured on you or a caterpillar placed on your body pales before having one’s head cut off, being flown into a building or living in fear of a suicide bomber blowing up your school, bus or marketplace.

One wonders when Pew will survey the various Muslim sects and groups–mainline and otherwise–about Islam’s approval of jihad including the aforementioned forms of torture? (Our president wants to dialog with “moderate Jihadists!” What is a moderate jihadist? One who offers you two aspiriins before they cut your head off?)

Mr. Pitt’s reference to Christ’s “torturous” death on the cross as evidence that religious people failed to defend Christ from “the government that arrested imprisoned and tortured (Him)” is laughable–Pittiful!

Evangelicals believe that Jesus’ death on the cross–with all its brutality–saves them. Put bluntly, Pitt’s alleged act of political torture resulted in their “personal salvation” and assured entry into heaven. Jesus’ vicarious death “substitutes” for the death of Christian believers. In a very real sense, God allowed the Romans to kill Jesus in order that God might accomplish a holy end. (I Corinthians 2:8). Mr. Pitt is comparing chapels with deranges.

Besides that, didn’t Newsweek report recently that Christian America is dead? Why does Pitt, et al, worry about what Christian America thinks? He is torturing the truth.


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