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who would Jesus torture?

Just about anyone, it seems. New data from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life suggests that regular church goers in the US are significantly more likely to support the torture of suspected terrorists than those who worship rarely or not at all. The result illustrates the remarkable pliability of religion. You’d think, after all, that a doctrine in which the central myth recounts in gruesome detail a narrative of torture and execution would provide the basis for empathy (Matthew 25:36: ‘I was in prison, and ye came unto me’, etc.) Instead, compare the huge religious mobilisation of the American churches against gay marriage to their utter silence about human rights abuses.

an elaborate account of torture and executions

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Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland. He is the co-author (with Jill Sparrow) of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, the editor (with Antony Loewenstein) of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left and the author of Communism: a love story, Killing: Misadventures in violence, and Money Shot: A Journey into Censorship and Porn.  On Twitter, he's @Jeff_Sparrow.

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