• Categories

  • Housekeeping

  • Advertisements

Church Attendence FAIL

When I broke my recent news fast, I came across a Pew Forum poll that asked the question:

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?

They found 1) People identifying themselves as Christian and 2) Reported attending church on a weekly basis were more likely to support torture. While I’m relieved that my fellow Catholic support torture less, 51% of my fellow American Catholics said that torture could often or sometimes be justified. This despite many statements from the Church hierarchy all the way up to the Pope that torture is an objective moral evil means which no end can justify.

The one bright spot in church affiliation, and it doesn’t glow brightly, is that mainline Protestants provided the largest percentage of people who said that torture is never justifiable — 31%. And they were the one group of American Christians not to support torture by a majority. But even 46% of them though torture was often or sometimes ok.

A majority of people who attend church weekly support torture (54%) often or sometimes.  Only 42% of non-churchgoers said the same thing. Similar numbers in both groups (25% churchgoers, 26% nonchurch goers) answered that torture was never ok.

These results break my heart. They also confirm what I’ve felt for a long time — that merely attending church on Sunday is worthless unless you’re willing to have Christ in your life the rest of the week. It also provides justification for Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

It was hard coming up with a title for this post. I thought about “Christians Against Christ”, “Imperial Christianity Strikes Again”, “Our Civil Religion: Example 705” and even “Religion of Peace: Torture A-OK.” But in the end, a headline that critiqued folks who bemoaned the lack of church attendance in this country seemed most appropriate.

Source: Pew Forum: The Religious Dimensions of the Torture
April 29, 2009
Updated May 7, 2009

%d bloggers like this: