Monday, April 28, 2014

Baptism by torture

By now, you've heard that Sarah Palin likens waterboarding to baptism for accused terrorists.


A sacrament.

Compared to torture.

Rob Dreher speaks out:
OK, stop. Not only is this woman, putatively a Christian, praising torture, but she is comparing it to a holy sacrament of the Christian faith. It’s disgusting — but even more disgusting, those NRA members, many of whom are no doubt Christians, cheered wildly for her.... 
If I thought that kind of hateful declaration and abuse of the Christian religion was what conservatism stood for, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a conservative. Some conservatives do stand for that. They’re wrong, and they should be called out on it — not because some liberal somewhere is going to be offended, but first and foremost because we Christians who identify as conservatives are appalled by it. 
Joe Carter:
For anyone to confess Christ as their savior and to compare one of the means of God's grace to a reprehensible act of torture is reprehensible. I hope members of Gov. Palin's local church will explain to her why her remarks denigrate the Christian faith. Such remarks bring shame on the Body of Christ and to our witness in the world. Even more shameful, however, is the fact that so many Christians would cheer her support of torture (and yes, waterboarding is torture).....

.... The truly Christian position is to never forget that evil comes not just from the actions of "terrorists" or "enemies" but from the heart of a fallen, sacred yet degraded, human beings. If we are to preserve our own humanity we must not forget that our enemy differs from us in degree, not in kind. Like us, our enemies need to accept Jesus and to be baptized by water and the Spirit. That is the Christian way, not as Palin would have it, to have our enemies fear a pagan god and have their spirit broken by water.

Andrew Sullivan looks at what drives "Christian" outrage:
It seems to me, moreover, that torture is a far graver evil, even for orthodox theologians, than non-procreative or non-marital sex. And yet today’s Christianists are obsessed about the latter and not just indifferent to the former, but actually in favor of it. It’s this twisted set of priorities, this exquisitely misplaced set of fears, and this utter ignorance of even basic Christian teaching that reveals all that’s so terribly wrong with American Christianity. It has become its own nemesis.


Kevin K said...

Ok...just for the record. I'm a Christian, a Republican and a conservative. I'm appalled.

Kevin K

IT said...

Kevin K, I 'm no conservative, but I totally agree with your response.

JCF said...

I suspect that Palin thought she was just spearing the sacred cow of "waterboarding upsets Teh Libruls".

But, in bringing baptism into it, she speared something even her conservative Christian (esp. Roman Catholic) allies hold sacred. [NB: as a Pentecostal, baptism-by-water probably means very little to her]

8thday said...

It was not long ago on the Episcopal Cafe that someone quoted a priest as comparing the ordination process to rape. Comparing ordination to rape. As a rape survivor I was quite offended and was surprised that there was not a backlash. I guess comparing baptism to torture just offended more people.

JCF said...

I honestly have no recollection of this thread at EC, 8thday, but I (who had an unpleasant experience in the early stages of the ordination process myself) share your offense.

I once was at a lecture where a media critic said of advertising (para.) "it's demographic penetration---in other words, Rape". Whatever the critique, I couldn't believe he went THERE.