Poll: Religious More Likely to Support Torture

More than 60% of white evangelicals say it's justified
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 7:55 AM CDT
Crysty Skevingron, left, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., left, and Jack Ravenscroft of Boston, Mass., right, hold their placards as they join a protest against torture near the US Capitol, April 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Frequent churchgoers are more likely to support torture than their less devout brethren, a new Pew poll finds. Fifty-four percent of weekly churchgoers said torture of terror suspects is “often” or “sometimes” justified, compared to 42% of people who seldom or never attend services, reports CNN. White evangelical Protestants were especially likely to support the practice, with more than 60% behind it.

Among the religiously unaffiliated, only four in 10 supported torture, the least of any group. The survey asked whether torture against terror suspects is often, sometimes, rarely, or never justified. In total, 49% said it was often or sometimes justified, with 25% saying it was never justified. Mainline protestants—Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians—were most likely to say “never.”