The most recent polling data expresses that Evangelical Christians are divided over the issue of torture, but that a) Evangelicals have a higher acceptance rate of torture than other expressions of Christianity, and b) there is a relationship between church attendance and torture: the more often you attend, the more likely you are to approve of torture!
Why is this? I'd suggest that it's because of the reality that church history is filled with justifications for war; it's reality, it's cost, it's justifiability. You can find it easily in CS Lewis. Even among those committed to non-violence, it's not hard to find convictions melting away in the heat and reality of the moment, as seen by Bonhoeffer.
I don't have conclusions as much as observations:
1. Since the primary calling of a Christ follower is to make Jesus visible, it's a slippery slope to ever justify violence. The justification itself presumes a position (usually) of moral high ground, presuming to both know enough and be righteous enough to resort to violence or torture for the greater good, and in God's name. Of course, the other side also claims the same moral high ground quite often... the more so these days as so much of war has religious overtones.
2. God DID say that the purpose of the state is to curb evil, so that it doesn't reign unchecked, coursing through cultures, conquering nations, furthering darkness. Further, God advocates that the state must bear the sword in order to do this. Since I've never met a Christian pacifist who advocates anarchy, I'm assuming that Christian pacifists advocate that all use of violence be outsourced to people without faith? How would we presume that such people will have the wisdom to know when to use their guns? Wouldn't it be better for Christ followers to be in a positions where they have adequate authority to choose, on the basis of their dual citizenship as those belonging to heaven and earth, when to use violence?
3. There are no easy options here, and we who write from the towers of theory must be careful to hold our positions with humility. Bonhoeffer advocated non-violence until Hitler showed up. Even then, while party to an assassination attempt, he declared that there were "no good options". I sometimes think that's the reality of it when living in a fallen world. We're here, in the midst of sin, as citizens of a new world, while still living in an old one. Working it out is tough.
Maybe people's thoughts would help clarify our convictions...??? I welcome your posts.