Friday, May 1, 2009

Overwhelming Support for Torturing Terrorists

Many sites have linked to the latest Pew Research survey, "The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate." The responses indicate that white evangelical Protestants are more likely to favor torturing terrorists. That's been the lead story with regard to this poll. But it misses the big picture. According to the survey, a full 71% of the U.S. population believe that torturing terrorists can sometimes be justified, even if only rarely. Only 25% believe that torture is never justifiable.

Answers to this sort of question vary wildly depending on how it is asked. But the next time some terrorist rights supporter pretends that he holds an obvious, unassailable position when he claims that torture is always wrong, it might be useful to remember that 71% of the population appears to disagree.

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