Most disturbing to me are the high numbers of self-decribed Christians favoring torture: only 26 percent of Catholics oppose it in all circumstances, while only 31 percent of white Protestants rule it out entirely. If you combine those Christians who think torture is either never or only rarely acceptable, you have 42 percent of Catholics and 49 percent of white Protestants. The comparable statistic of those who are decribed as "secular," which I presume means agnostic or atheist, is 57 percent opposition. In other words, if you are an American Christian, you are more likely to support torture than if you are an atheist or agnostic. Christians for torture: it's a new constituency.
New constituency, my ass. Sullivan seems to share the smug and apparently widespread antipathy towards atheists. The irony is that this shouldn't be surprising at all. It is generally the case that self-righteous zealotry (and a tendency to divide the world into proponents and opponents of one's own superstition) is the preserve of those who subscribe to one of the three monotheistic religions. Those who don't believe in God, or an afterlife, or those who profess to be skeptical, are under a greater obligation to treat others with consideration. When he sacked Béziers and massacred its inhabitants as part of the Albigensian crusade, Abbot Arnaud Amaury was quite happy to save himself the bother of distinguishing between catholics and the "heretical" cathars by ordering his crusaders to "Kill them all, God will know his own". No such consolation is available to the atheist.