December 21, 2014 7:30 am -


One characteristic, above all else, defines the sociopath: an utter lack of guilt or remorse. One characteristic, above all else, defines Christianity: freedom from guilt and remorse. Christianity, as a rule, doesn’t explicitly endorse the worst possible things a person can do. But it does forgive them, and that insidious negation of conscience is a quietly…


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

40 responses to Shock Poll: The More Religious You Are, The More You Think Torture Is Justified

  1. baddog December 21st, 2014 at 9:39 am

    ‘Christians’ justified wiping an entire race from the planet to steal their land and they justified slavery. Lovely bunch.

    • edmeyer_able December 21st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I’ll take exception with the use of the term christians in describing the actions of the people you mentioned. There is no evidence to suggest their commitment to the religion of christianity.

      • fahvel December 21st, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        wrong – the eradication of the indiginous people of the americas and the depth of the slave culture in the usa was unequivocally as a result of christian white manifest destiny.

        • edmeyer_able December 21st, 2014 at 6:03 pm

          I still disagree, the faith of those involved in those acts may have been christian but the depth can’t be ascertained, their motives may well have just been economic as it was religious.
          However having said that the Aztecs were certainly done in by those wishing to “convert” them.

  2. red-diaper-baby 1942 December 21st, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Speaking as a lifelong secularist, this makes perfect sense. As a non-religious person I have to apply a strict ethical code to everything I do. “True believers” can fall back on the arrogant notion that their actions are justified by a deity who loves and rewards them merely because they believe in him, and hates and punishes others merely because they don’t. A more self-centered and solipsistic notion is hard to imagine. It justifies any cruelty and abuse of others, down to and including enslavement and genocide.
    The same is of course true of other self-contained ideologies, including non-religious ones: extreme forms of Fascism and Communism come to mind.

    • Dwendt44 December 21st, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      And, of course, should they step over the line or mis-understand what jesus wants, they are always forgiven in the end merely for the asking.

  3. The_C_a_t December 21st, 2014 at 11:07 am

    This isn’t the slightest bit surprising to me. As a follower of Christ, I abhor the use of all torture. It is always wrong.

    That said, do remember that it was the religious leaders of the day who had Jesus of Nazareth whipped and tortured to death, and thus you will always know them: by their fruit.

    Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    • congero December 31st, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Hi The C a t, just read your comment over at Media Matters to troll posting about PEW research and MSNBC. Can’t

      post there but check this out:

      Fact-Checking Site Finds Fox News Only Tells the Truth 18 Percent of the Time – See more at:

      Here is the actual study:

      Happy New Year!

      • The_C_a_t December 31st, 2014 at 8:30 pm

        Happy New Year! Apparently there was a general banning and you might’ve got caught up in it. Not the trolls, of course.

        Thanks for the links!

        • congero January 1st, 2015 at 3:27 pm

          Probably but how does that filthy do it? Really is a shame. Oh well, the best to you in 2015.

          • mea_mark January 1st, 2015 at 5:42 pm

            You should drop by FON at and drop those links about Fox. FON is back up and running and would love to see you drop by now and then. I am modding there also and we keep it pretty much troll free like we do here.

          • The_C_a_t January 1st, 2015 at 6:04 pm

            Congrats on the Mod tag. They chose well!

          • congero January 2nd, 2015 at 10:06 am

            Let me also congratulate you on your moderator job. I will check out your link. Thank you.

          • Miz Julia January 3rd, 2015 at 12:53 pm

            Yes, too bad we at MMFA have poor moderation. We all miss you so much, mi El Congero. 😉 Whew, after this holiday “We Need Some Money”, honey. Enjoy:


          • congero January 3rd, 2015 at 6:37 pm

            Hahaha..yea LD . Dig it!

          • Miz Julia January 4th, 2015 at 8:54 pm

            Mon ami, I can’t believe this last episode was Bill Moyers’ final episode! I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.

          • congero January 5th, 2015 at 12:00 am

            Yea LD. Sorry state of journalism today. He was/is a light in a room full of dim bulbs. I think he will keep his web site up so at least we will have that but you’re right this is a sad day.

          • RioBravoHombre January 6th, 2015 at 5:26 pm

            Hey, you! When are you gonna visit?

          • Miz Julia January 6th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

            Hey you! Always good to see you. But why is your comment total so low?

            Anyway, aw hecky darn, I couldn’t make the sale to my husband. We ended up visiting Port Aransas the first week in November and had a really nice time. We got some Group On deal for a nice condo. I’ve been trying for years to get him to go to Big Bend, so I knew it wasn’t likely. But I sure would have liked to visit you.

            Did you end up not selling then? I ruv the pic of the kitty. One of my faves…;-)

          • RioBravoHombre January 6th, 2015 at 9:05 pm

            My place is still for sale, or lease. I’m eager to head back to Austin.

          • The_C_a_t January 1st, 2015 at 6:04 pm

            Put in a good word for you on the latest thread at MMfA. Hopefully they will at least give some thought to what was said. The best to you in 2015 as well, and, keep trying MMfA is all I can suggest. Though, to be honest, it’s become quite a bit less appealing this past three months or so, at least for me.

          • congero January 7th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

            Hi The C_a_t. It’s me again. I ‘ve noticed your exchange with John Crawford. He is a government employee and was outed by a poster a few weeks ago. His real name is Norman and I wonder if his superior officer or the agency he works for would like to know about his Islam-phobic postings. I will try and find the link with his info that the poster supplied . It chased him away for a few weeks but another threat might help ion the mean time.

          • Miz Julia January 9th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

            Do you mean to say that the guy posting as Norman 1066 is the same as John Crawford? Norman 1066 is someone I’ve reported to disqus for making threatening rape remarks. He left this information one day and I told him I’d be reporting him, but I guess someone beat me to it.

            0311 29 palms kilo company USMC

            3rd battalion 7th Marines, 1st Mar Div

          • congero January 9th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

            Yes I think they are. Some one else threatened to report JC for his remarks and referred to him as Norman . Wow! I wish I had saved the post. JC on the thread I was posting to TC was not only gushing with Islamaphobia but blaming the increase in rape charges in the military to Obama changing the definition of rape. Sound familiar? I distinctly remember the person who was being outed as Norman but posting as JC as signing off every post with Siemper(sp) Fi. Did your guy do that? I could be mistaken but after being threatened he disappeared for a week. Coincidence?

          • Miz Julia January 10th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

            So many trolls, so little time, eh? 😉 I was replying one day to some eejit who was bandying about the Obama changing definition of rape thing, but honestly, at this juncture I can’t even remember which troll it was. Oh well, they change socks so often, it’s hard to keep up! Whoever it was that I was trying to school didn’t understand why there was an uptick in reporting, that being because they were conflating reporting with actual sexual assaults. ::eye roll:: lol.

            John Crawford signs in via FB, so not sure he and Norman1066 are the same. I don’t think “Norman” signs with Semper Fi (or as I call it Semper Lie). ;-)) See, I caught JC using David Limbaugh’s words verbatim without attribution. And he STILL isn’t too ashamed to stay away? Wow, mon ami. (shaking head).

            I have been mostly MIA this year, posting little. I’m trying not to get into long volleys with trolls, so I just mostly post and run. I’m not even reading much. That may change soon, but right now I’m a little tired of the whole shebang, especially our troll enablers.

            I’m reading “The Souls of Black Folk” right now. I’ve had the book for 7-8 years and decided it was time to read it, ha! Of course I have a whole library I need to get to. After this I’m reading “Gulliver’s Travels, “Age of Reason” and “The Origin of Species”.
            You working on any good books?

            Aw derlin’, I miss your presence on the MMFA board. I see you got a post from Rio the other day. 😉 So many good people gone. Sad, lad. 😉 It’s so hard to reconcile not knowing why, huh? Hey, for us too since the result is that we lose great people like you. And make no mistake, you’re great. ;-)))

          • congero January 10th, 2015 at 3:07 pm

            Hi LD. Yea so true and sad about the trolls and just the general state of affairs. I think some have lost their minds. Full of hate and fear. Defending the most vile and absurd things. Reason gone to hell. I am not felling so good about the direction we are heading but i do find comfort knowing there are people like you. Your reading souls? Great . My back log is so long i am embarassed to admit. I am starting “The half has never been told-slavery and the making of american capitalism” by Edward Baptist. My computer is down and i am replying by cell phone so please excuse my errors. I know we are far beyond that point but…lol. Anyway i understand how you feel about posting. I really don’t understand disqus and mmfa. Bell bottoms revealed the tactics trolls use and it obviously works. I have read some of the filthiest post and i am not talking about filthy but from JC and others and they continue to post. Oh i had a big laugh when you exposed his plagiarism and his response. Good job but therein lies the frustration i know you feel .How do you debate people who have no standards and where the truth or facts don’t matter?
            We are headed in a dangerous direction. These nuts now think they have a mandate and manipulate every incident to push for a police state. Cops turning their backs on elected officials? WTF! Got to keep on pushin’ as Curtis would say. Take good care my dearest friend. Hugs!

          • Miz Julia January 12th, 2015 at 6:17 pm

            I thought of our fact-less, no standard, truth deprived trolls yesterday when I heard this song. I thought you might get a laugh out of it: “992 Arguments” by the O’Jays. lol. I could hear one or the other of us saying” 992, I’m sick of you!” to Jim Bean or one of the other troll wunderkinds! ;-))

            OMG, those popo are such WATBs, yes? Waaaaagh, the mayor said something true! So I’m gonna turn my back on him at a colleague’s funeral. Nothing like making it all about themselves. I thought that was very disrespectful, but the work “slowdown” might be a good thing. Go get some criminals instead of harassing people trying to live their lives without constant interference. I’m tired of these police funding the police and city coffers off the backs of the poor. And it looks like more of the same from the Republicans who wants to mess with people who receive SS disability.

            I checked out your book. I’m going to get it! But I want to finish “Souls” first. Or maybe another one of the others I just ordered. I have a kindle device but I like having the actual book to make notes and scribble in. It’d be nice to have both so I think I might do that. Jeff Bezos needs more grip, right? lol. Wow, you have really opened my awareness to the truth of what slavery has wrought and continues to wrought. And the way that racism is a money making enterprise. Thank you so much for the enlightenment, my proletariat
            intellectual. Hugs back to you mon ami. ;-))))

          • The_C_a_t January 10th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

            Wow. But then, why am I surprised? They’ve done a little moderating this weekend, apparently, which is okay, but it’s still a bit too troll friendly. Sounds like you and Miz Julia both remember him, too. Hopefully, with some of our more extreme trolls, either Disqus or perhaps local mental health officials will step in.

  4. eyelashviper December 21st, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Not a big surprise. When you give up rational thinking, facts, and rely upon a system of delusions for reality, anything is possible, including the horrific.

  5. Denise December 21st, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    All this poll tells me is that the majority of those presented with questions are white evangelical fake Christians. No true Christian would defend torture.

    • red-diaper-baby 1942 December 21st, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      You can’t get around it that easily. These people say they’re Christians. You can’t say they aren’t “real” ones; there’s no external, objective criterion for defining who is or who isn’t a Christian. It’s not something you get credentialed for.
      What you’re doing is similar to what in formal logic is called petitio principii, “begging the question”. It’s also known, somewhat inaccurately, as circular reasoning.
      Some people who call themselves “Christians” are quite nice, kindly people who probably wouldn’t condone torture; I even know one or two myself. The great majority are pretty unpleasant people, filled with their own self-righteousness at “knowing” they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

      • craig7120 December 22nd, 2014 at 7:12 pm

        Well said

  6. edmeyer_able December 21st, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Considering some of the groups who used torture in the past it’s very clear the more religious one is the the greater the propensity to use torture, the church in the middle ages, the puritans of New England during their witch hunts, the Japanese during WWII, and today daesh.

  7. Bunya December 21st, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    What? The same fun loving group that gave us the crusades, Al Qaeda and the inquisition are pro-torture? I’m shocked!

  8. Josh Maynard December 21st, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    This article was extremely interesting. But between the inability to read it from poor site formatting, and the incessant pop up asking me to pay just because I want to copy and paste the words into a different document SO I CAN READ THE ARTICLE, I’ve given up. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge of CSS and less need for copyright infringement management will write something similar so I can post it for someone to read.

    • rg9rts December 22nd, 2014 at 4:23 am

      Free download ABP no problems with them

    • Kajsa Williams December 22nd, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      hit the “prtScn” button and drop it into a graphics program as a bitmap. You have to do it during the brief time that the reading material isn’t obliterated by ads.

      • Josh Maynard December 23rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks for trying to help Kajsa. Unfortunately, I need to copy the text itself because I can’t see the end of it from the formatting of the site. It truncates the last 10 or so characters from each line. Taking a screen capture won’t show me the text that I already can’t see on my screen because of the website formatting. But that’s for trying to help! 🙂

  9. rg9rts December 22nd, 2014 at 4:23 am

    They want to share their wealth of torture for being pious

  10. Kajsa Williams December 22nd, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    It’s different when you torture for Jesus. Those stupid humanitarians don’t understand.