The drawing of religious boundaries around an issue of morality may be good for PR value, but it’s alienating, restrictive of membership and even deceptive in its implicit claim that religious Americans are somehow more moral. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture does itself no service by excluding the secular from its anti-torture activism. Secular people are, after all, the bloc of Americans who most strongly oppose torture. 56% of American Catholics and 49% of American Protestants say the use of torture is justified, while only 35% of secular Americans say torture is justifiable. I’ve nearly had it with the holier-than-thou religious exclusivity in today’s American activist scene.
I do mean “nearly.” The thing is, while the NRCAT’s religious exclusivity may be tacky, bigoted and empirically untethered, there are things that matter more… like the fact that your American government has tortured people, even people who it has later released without charge, and continues to maintain a torture-friendly policy. I place that at a higher level of concern than the choice by NRCAT to exclude me and other stinkin’ secularists like me away from their events. So by all means, if the sort of religious person who the NRCAT deems is worthy of attendance, please go to the White House tomorrow with them and vigil against torture. I wish I could be there too.