Those survey results have horrified some people of faith.
The respected Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted the survey. Asked whether torture can ever be justified, only 25 percent of those who attend a church service weekly said no. As in never.
Dew, the pastor of New Creation Presbyterian Church, was saddened by the results.
“The teachings of Jesus are clear that we are to love our enemies, so it’s particularly ironic to me when some folks claim to take the Bible literally … but justify torture,” Dew said. “It’s the tension between the nationalistic 'do whatever is necessary’ kind of approach and a putting of the teachings of Jesus first.”
Those who seldom or never attend services had virtually the same level of opposition — just 26 percent said torture is never justified.
The survey did not include people of other faiths, such as Muslims and Jews, but Rabbi Fred Guttman of Greensboro said it saddened him, too.
“I don’t know what to make of it, but if you think of the history of western civilization, what person is the most famous person to ever be brutally tortured?” Guttman said.
“The answer happens to be Jesus. I think it’s ironic the spiritual parent of a religion, who was brutally tortured himself — that that message is not getting to the people in the pew.”