Who would Jesus torture?

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crownofthorns.jpgApparently the more Americans go to church, the more inclined they are to believe suspected terrorists should be tortured. I know there's more to Christianity than one man being nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, but even if I gloss over my disbelief in him, I struggle to see Kiefer Sutherland playing Jesus next time round.

To paraphrase Kingmissile, Jesus could have waterboarded anyone he wanted to. His dad, sure, wicked temper on him, but the Lamb? Not so much. More on the other end of it, so the stories go (see left). 

So are these flocks sitting in church ignoring the preachings and fulminating in their own heads about the evil terrists? Or are they listening to warped "kill 'em all and let God sort them out" theology? Either way, as Gandhi said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."


There are some Christians in America who believe in a vengeful god that would commit mass genocide through natural disasters (worst example here on swine flu but the comments more than make for it). So the fact that they'd be down with torture is no great surprise. Plus lets not pretend that there isn't a kinky element to it.

What is more disturbing is the average person you speak to in this country who condones torture (and I have spoken to many). It highlights a massive disconnect that people have between their perception and the reality of torture. Maybe this is because of programmes like 24, maybe its because of a couple of generations of peace in this country (Northern Ireland aside). But I am more worried that it is a deeply unhealthy and unquenchable desire for vengeance which seeps out in most public debates about prison policy, the death penalty and police brutality. This desire necessarily has to deny the humanity of the target. And that's how psychopaths work.

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