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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Re: Beware the Unbelievers

Posted by on March 23 at 8:47 AM

Perhaps researchers at the University of Minnesota should ask Americans who they would rather be held captive by—athiests or religious people?

When these study subjects pick loving, compassionate believers over Godless, heartless athiests, researchers should share the results of this study with them and then ask if they’re having any second thoughts. The study found that religious people were more likely to support torture than non-religious people. As Andrew Sullivan wrote on his blog yesterday…

Most disturbing to me are the high numbers of self-decribed 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 decribed 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.

Um… wasn’t Jesus Christ a torture victim? I seem to recall a recent Mel Gibson movie that touched on that. Or maybe it was Mel Brooks?


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Two names for ya: Mao and Stalin. Those aethiest killed, on the conservative side, 40 million between the two of them. I'd rather not be tortured, either by a religious kook or an aetheist kook. Thanks for asking, though.

Mel Brooks should totally do a version of Passion of the Christ. It could be a musical.

When people misspell "atheist" it tortures me. (Dan gets a pass because he was up and posting before 9am.)

I can't spell—it's my secret shame.

Yeah, Moa, Stalin—bad dudes. But the folks currently signing off on torutre? Our born-again President and his fundie/wacko base. Praise the Lord and pass the electrodes.

This is Christianity unhinged from its framework. Never a good thing.

I agree, Moa doesn't get the recognition he deserves in the Pantheon of Evil. Wait -- where you referring to the Mall of America, or the giant extinct bird of New Zealand?

I've heard the Israel torture chambers are a drag for the Palestinians, U.S. torture chambers are a drag for Muslims.

Aethiest might be the worst though.

This is the email age, no one spells anything rite.

Religious or atheist, I still would rather NOT be tortured by either. And, of course, religious people love to torture. Ever heard of The Inqusition?

Dan- that shame's not so secret. We love you anyway.

If torture gets the Islamo-Fascists to tell their secrets, we could use Christians, Jews or Atheists to do the torturing depending on the situation.


I believe in torturing Islamo-Fascists it might be best to use Jews since they have so much experience in torturing Muslims. But what matters is the results, which are independent of the religion of the pain giver.

Torture doesn't "get results". It doesn't work. Any professional interrogator will tell you that. When you apply the screws, everybody immediately confesses to everything, even if they have to make it up, and gives up everybody they've ever heard of, guilty or not.

Anyone who says otherwise has been watching too many Clint Eastwood movies. If you were tortured, you'd accuse your own children of acting against the regime; everybody does. Even if you don't have children.

The PRAGMATIC reason not to torture is that 99% of the information gained by torture is worthless and counterproductive. The MORAL reasons, well, I'll let you work that out for yourself.

The scenario that the Bush torturers always bring up -- "what if you KNEW that the guy could tell you where the nuke was in NYC that was going off in an hour?" -- is stupid and meaningless. It doesn't work that way. You interrogate to gain information about relationships, mostly.

The real reason to torture isn't information, though; it's to destroy their will. You create broken people who will never be able to disobey ever again. That's the whole point, and that's another reason why torture is wrong: breaking people's spirits is pure sadism, done for the pleasure of the torturer only.

Torture does work. Just look at the results the Israeli government has been getting for years.

Fortunately for the United States, Israel is willing to share information and techniques for extracting information from unwilling detaniees.


While a high percentage of Christians may support torture, the fact is an even higher percentage of Jews would especially in Israel.


The United States is lucky to have allies experienced in torture techiniques that make us all safer.

Well, maybe not the tortured...

Hmmm, safety or humanity, safety or humanity?

Tell me again about how safe I am...

Ah, fuck it, I choose humanity anyway.

You know, the problem with torture is that it makes it very difficult to choose sides: star-bellied terrorism or plain-bellied terrorism? The man or woman who tortures is surely as worthless as any terrorist.

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