WHO WOULD JESUS TORTURE?…. A variety of policy positions are generally associated with evangelical Christians. Abortion, for example, is a moral wrong. So is gay marriage. Pre-marital sex, pornography, and adultery are also all morally offensive, inconsistent with their spiritual values.

Torture, however, is fine.

According to a new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, those who attend church at least weekly are more prone to say that torture is justifiable. Suffice it to say that, in the eyes of those who support the use of torture, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Abu Zubaydah do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

A combined 54 percent of at-least-weekly church-goers say torture is either often or sometimes justifiable; for those who attend monthly or a few times a year, that figure is 51 percent; for those who do not attend, it is 42 percent.

Evangelicals, according to the survey, are more prone to saying torture is justifiable than members of the nation’s other two main Christian groups: so-called “mainline” Protestants and white, non-Hispanic Catholics. Unaffiliateds — a conglomerated group of atheists, agnostics, and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular — support torture the least: 40 percent say it’s justifiable often or sometimes.

I’m happy to let theologians speculate as to why this is, but Adam Serwer’s concerns were very much in line with my own: “[T]here is a large number of people committed to preventing consenting adults from having sex or getting married because of their sexual orientation who nevertheless think it’s okay to beat or waterboard people and shove them in tiny boxes.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.