Of Sarah Palin, Waterboarding and Baptism

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Sarah Palin and the torture debate?  Red Meat for bloggers for sure!  Sarah Palin at the NRA convention said about captured terrorists and interrogation:

“Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

The remark has received predictable criticism from the Left.  Mark Shea, who is not a Leftist whatever else he is,  chimes in with the usual quiet reason that has ever reflected his comments during the torture debate:

Well done also to Joe Carter for giving this vile filth no quarter.  There is nothing left to discuss or negotiate.  “Prolife” Christians who cheer for torture and, worse, cheer for sacrilegiously likening it to baptize have only one option: repent and seek forgiveness.  Those who make excuses for it or refuse to repent ought to be as radioactive as Catholics for a Free Choice.

Here is a link to the Joe Carter post mentioned by Mark.

Father Z believes that the remark requires an apology.

Ed Peters who Father Z quotes is very condemnatory:

Open contempt for faith and things of religion is broadly associated with the left in America. I well recall pro-aborts smirking under a placard that claimed “If men could become pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.” Now Palin has given sociology professors an incontestable example of contempt for religion on the American right.

May my readers join me in offering a short Pater in reparation for both.

In the face of all this, Sarah Palin is unrepentant:

Actions to stop terrorists who’d utterly annihilate America and delight in massacring our innocent children? Darn right I’d do whatever it takes to foil their murderous jihadist plots – including waterboarding. Whatever one thinks of my one…-liner at the NRA rally about treating evil terrorists the way they deserve to be treated to prevent the death of innocent people, it’s utterly absurd for MSNBC to suggest that I could put our beloved troops in harm’s way, but we’ve come to expect the absurd from that failing network. If you want to talk about what really harms our troops, let’s talk about politicians who gut our military’s budgets, or a president whose skewed budgetary priorities slash military benefits, or an administration that puts our vets on endless waiting lists for care that comes too late to help those who’ve paid the price for our freedom, or those who break bread with those who think it makes no difference how our military heroes died in Benghazi or anywhere else trying to protect America. Those actions are a heck of a lot more harmful than declaring an appropriate message our enemies should receive. If some overly sensitive wusses took offense, remember the First Amendment doesn’t give you a right not to be offended. Perhaps hypocritical folks who only want Freedom of Speech to apply to those who agree with their liberal agenda might want to consider that the evil terrorists who were the brunt of my one-liner would be the first to strip away ALL our rights if given the chance. That’s why we do whatever we can to prevent them from killing innocent people. And for that, we should NEVER apologize. Good Lord, critics… buck up or stay in the truck. And if you love freedom, thank our troops! Thank our vets! And thank those who have the brains to support them and the guts to defend what they have earned!
– Sarah Palin
My own thoughts?
1.  It is astonishing that Palin can raise such emotion six years after a failed campaign for Veep!   Most politicians are eminently forgettable characters, but Palin is quite the reverse.
2.  Since waterboarding is physical torture I am against it as a matter of policy.  I also would be eternally grateful to someone who did it and prevented Chicago, for example, going up in a nuclear blast.
3.  The association of baptism and waterboarding I find distasteful.  It was of course a throwaway red meat line to a receptive crowd and I doubt if Palin put much thought behind it.  Is it blasphemous?  I doubt if there was the necessary intent to blaspheme.  Besides, who am I to judge?  (I recall hearing that comment from someone recently, and the name is right on the tip of my tongue.)
Have at it in the comboxes!

35 Responses to Of Sarah Palin, Waterboarding and Baptism

  • Didn’t some prominent blogger actually pooh pooh the desecration of the Holy Mass by saying it doesn’t happen often. Actually, my understanding is that sacrilegious celebrations of the Mass have occurred far more frequently than waterboarding by Sarah Palin.

  • Mark Shea is a democratic ideologue. He showed his true apparatchik colors through his many comments to his bloggers in the 2012 election cycle. He would vote for hitler or stalin if they ran as democrats. His caustic and bombastic remarks to his followers are legend. Took him off my daily reading years ago.

  • “2. Since waterboarding is physical torture I am against it as a matter of policy. I also would be eternally grateful to someone who did it and prevented Chicago, for example, going up in a nuclear blast.”

    .
    Torture for the sake of inflicting pain and ultimate power over another human being is sick. Torture to extract information to save innocent human life may not be a sacrament, but it is close to it. Question: Can the word “baptism” be used outside the context of the Sacrament of Baptism?

  • Wait, THAT’S what she said? I was skimming around and didn’t see the quote but… really? It’s an action movie one-liner. The equivalent of “the one finger salute” (and nobody thinks the person saying that is denigrating saluting) or saying “baptismal by fire”. OMG! Setting people on fire is totally torture! And you’re equating it with baptism! They must be stopped who used that phrase!

    I dunno, maybe I’ve been too desensitized by things from the internet and public nowadays (seriously, going around town I’ve seen the graffiti “God is Gay”) this just doesn’t even register (and I’m of a Protestant branch that takes baptism VERY seriously – like, we don’t accept sprinkling seriously). Part of me wonders how long we can last when we as a nation can’t even “talk tough” any more. How long until even the act of fighting back for our survival is seen as “torturing” the other side and a big no no?

    Mark Shea, who is not a Leftist whatever else he is,

    How do you mean? If you mean “leftist” as “the particular species of idealogue who behaves in such and such way” I’ll agree that he’s only 78% leftist, not 100%. If you mean it by “one who resides on the left side of the spectrum” then I’ll quite disagree.

    And note: I’m using the spectrum of totalitarianism on the left, anarchy on the right. (none of that communist/fascist loop crap)

  • “How do you mean? If you mean “leftist” as “the particular species of idealogue who behaves in such and such way” I’ll agree that he’s only 78% leftist, not 100%.”

    Shea’s views on abortion and gays would make him permanent persona non grata on the Left. He used to be a paleocon and I think he has been trending Left on many issues, especially economic, but there are clear differences between him and the Left on major issues. He is also not a conservative, despite his occasional claims to be a true conservative.

  • It is astonishing that Palin can raise such emotion six years after a failed campaign for Veep! Most politicians are eminently forgettable characters,

    Less astonishing if you consider that political discussion has for many decayed into a self-aggrandizing exercise of ‘I’m better than you”; palaeoconservative and post-1998 liberals are alike in that these sentiments seem to dominant strain in what they have to say. It’s a reasonable wager that Gov. Palin is a fixation for people harboring a mess of free-floating aggression (Shea) or social anxiety (Dreher). Something about her. She’s very adept at revealing the asses in our midst (Prof. Charles Fried being the most prominent example).

  • It’s a repellent comment for which she should apologize. Beyond that, there’s no point in hyperventilating. I don’t–and can’t–go to maximum outrage for every affront to Christianity. It would be a soul-killing exercise.

    I already know things are bad enough for Christians with respect to the decay of the right, and the slow morphing of the business world into an anti-Christian force. The Chamber of Commerce and the business wing of the GOP do more damage to the faith than flip comments from Mrs. Palin.

  • “It’s a repellent comment for which she should apologize.” “terrorists” is what, or more correctly, “who” is repellent. “waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists”
    Didn’t Pope Urban II “baptize” that infidel drink arabic bean coffee?

  • Shea’s views on abortion and gays would make him permanent persona non grata on the Left.

    Yeah but that’s why I try to look at the total view of someone and not just 1 or 2 things. You may as well say someone like Ron Paul isn’t conservative because he believes in drug legalization or reducing overseas operations. On the whole weight of things… well it’s funny how much of this Shea ends up matching (as well as other measures of leftism).

    He used to be a paleocon and I think he has been trending Left on many issues, especially economic, but there are clear differences between him and the Left on major issues. He is also not a conservative, despite his occasional claims to be a true conservative.

    Well just to nitpick whenever you take a a large group of people united and come up with an average or mean statement of their views, I think every individual of said group is going to have clear differences between them and the group. (well if they’re honest)

    There’s a saying (or if it isn’t, maybe it should be): “Just because there’s someone more evil than you, doesn’t mean you’re not evil yourself.” To amend it: Just because you can point to someone yet further left, doesn’t mean that makes you (or any person in particular) center. knowwhatimean?

  • I still like Sarah Palin. I applaud her public acceptance of baptism by pouring as well as by immersion. The more time passes, the closer to the Catholic heart of Christian truth the evangelicals come. The dear Governor Palin is even adopting the Pope’s habit of the faux pas (though she’s no way as frequent in its performance as he).

  • I have no problems with Sarah Palin’s comments. The Left can….well, I won’t say it here.

    Our pinhead of a president has shown himself to be a shrinking violet in the face of radical Islam and of Putin. Bumbling Barry sacked the missile program destined for Poland and the Czech Re[public. Bumbling Barry wants to destroy the Air Marshal program. Putin starts a land grab from Ukraine.

    Good for Palin to slap MSNBC upside the head. It is a failing network.

    I waste none of my precious time on Mark Shea. Shea wouldn’t know what a conservative is if one drove over him with a truck.

  • I wish I had been there.

    You and I sleep at night because rough men do rough things to allow us to sleep safely.

  • Shea is sometimes more offensive to me than Sarah Palin has ever been. As a matter of fact, I don’t think she has offended me yet.
    Her turn of phrase is tough, and in an oblique way it refers to the fact that this is about a religious war.
    We are Christians, people who are baptised and who evangelize and baptize, which brings people together in faith in the family of God.
    We are under attack by terrorists who see us as without faith.. They do not evangelize us, they sneak and surprise and terrorize and murder innocent people, not concerned about sharing faith or bringing us together, but just killing us. Waterboarding is not maim or murder, and waterboarding may save innocent lives.

    It is unlikely that a terrorist in fear of losing his life by waterboarding, will experience a ‘come to Jesus” moment. but he is not killed by the experience. Unlike the victims of the surprise attacks and random bombings, he will survive and still have the time re-consider his religion.

  • I love Sarah Palin. If I had heard her statement in person, I would have applauded because terrorists deserve to be treated as what they are and she being a Pentecostal had no intent to denigrate baptism. As for Mark Shea, I give him all the attention he deserves – none. I cannot be bothered hyperventilating over bombastic sanctimonious blogging.

  • I found her original comment to be offensive, but that follow-up Facebook comment enrages me. Does she really think that the only person who could be offended by her comment must also hate the troops and our freedoms? I get it, she was treated unfairly by the press. I remember. That doesn’t mean that every criticism she gets is unfair. Conservatives don’t get a free pass. When Reagan messed up, the movement called him on it. And Reagan did a lot more for the conservative movement than Palin has.

    If we want to declare that someone is hands-off just because of the enemies they’ve made, how are we better than the cult-of-personality left?

    I read something recently, that I haven’t had a chance to follow up on yet, about the Obama White House. It was a discussion of a strategy that they consciously use, that whichever advisor it was admitted to, that when they put an issue before the press, they deliberately overstate it, because they know that’ll get a rise out of the Republicans, and the whole back-and-forth rebuttal will keep the issue alive in the press even longer. There’s a lot to chew on there. For one thing, it’s a tacit recognition that the press and the Democrats’ supporters won’t make them pay for lies. But what I keep thinking about is: they’re trolls. They’re just common, run of the mill trolls. The concerns of governance mean nothing to these people, as long as they’re eliciting the responses from their opponents that keep them in the driver’s seat. When I look at statements like this from Palin, I’m telling you, I don’t see anything better.

    The shortage of adults is costing us a lot, and it’s only going to get more expensive from here.

  • “If we want to declare that someone is hands-off just because of the enemies they’ve made, how are we better than the cult-of-personality left?”

    Who said that Palin was above criticism?

    “When I look at statements like this from Palin, I’m telling you, I don’t see anything better.”

    Palin is not in government now. She was appealing to a partisan audience with a throw away line. The amusing thing to me is how someone who hasn’t been in government for almost half a decade can be still be such a lightning rod for controversy.

  • Torture for the purpose of degrading another person is obviously sinful. Whether it licit in the service of justice is an entirely different matter. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, it is licit for lawful authority to maim another in the service of justice. He then indicates that the infliction of pain to correct someone under one’s authority is also licit if done in the service of good. Therefore, it seems probable that waterboarding is not necessarily wrong if done to serve justice by extracting information to prevent an attack. If done to simply break someone’s will, which is done by dictators, then it is sinful. It is nothing more than the use of physical force to compel or restrain an action.

    The CCC on the other hand, says that torture is wrong even by legitimate authority is wrong, stating “In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.”

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3065.htm

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

    Whether the use of the term ‘baptism’ to describe is sacrilegious, I would argue that it is only venially so.

  • What would you expect from an ex-Catholic.

  • “Who said that Palin was above criticism?”

    It seems like she set up a false dilemma between her freedom and liberal hypocrisy. I mean, I was aware that the Constitution doesn’t give me the right to not be offended.

    “The amusing thing to me is how someone who hasn’t been in government for almost half a decade can be still be such a lightning rod for controversy.”

    Agreed. Even so, I guess I’m burnt out on trolling, even when it’s surprisingly effective.

  • I agree with Pinky.

    I have been a big Sarah Palin fan since 2008. That said, her original comment I found to be repugnant and blasphemous. But I still liked her afterward. Her follow-up comment caused me to stop being a fan altogether.

  • I know that Shea has a tendency to overstate his case on many issues, but one of his latest posts raises a good point: how is comparing waterboarding to baptism any less offensive than a far left Catholic for Choice using an image of the Last Supper or the Eucharist and the phrase “This is MY BODY” to promote abortion on demand?

  • Because abortion and torture are two different issues. The Popes used torture in judicial proceedings until the dissolution of the papal states in 1871. The Church has opposed abortion since the Crucifixion. As far as Shea is concerned the Church prior to 1965 might as well not exist.

    In regard to Palin she simply did not have an intent to blaspheme, which to my mind is the important fact in this attempt by some to transform this molehill into a mountain.

  • “…how is comparing waterboarding to baptism any less offensive than a far left Catholic for Choice using an image of the Last Supper or the Eucharist and the phrase “This is MY BODY” to promote abortion on demand?”

    “And that 99.99999998536% of all Masses celebrated were not clown Masses. Call me a heretic but If Pope Benedict could manage to live with the knowledge that a “clown Mass” of some form has taken place somewhere in the world – without despairing of God or the Church, I can live with that…Yep”

    Distinction? I might say for Shea it is hypocrisy.

  • Tito, I’ll have to disagree with you on the “ex-Catholic” label. I read several biographies of Mrs. Palin during and after the ’08 campaign. Yes, she was baptized Catholic and yes, her parents (basically her mom — Mr. Heath just went along with Mrs. Heath’s wishes) sent her to CCD classes, and she probably made her First Communion while her parents were still (more or less) practicing Catholics. However, apparently Mrs. Heath’s faith was shaken by a Protestant Bible study or some such she’d been invited to by her friends, and the local priest (who doubtless had a large, far-flung flock to tend to up there in Alaska) wasn’t able to answer her concerns to her satisfaction — so she took herself, Mr. Heath, and the kids out of the Church, and they all became fundamentalist Protestants. Quite likely Mr. & Mrs. Heath were poorly-catechized, weak Catholics, whose faith wasn’t able to withstand the doubts raised by their Protestant neighbors. So Sarah Palin’s parents certainly qualify as ex-Catholics — but Sarah Palin herself should not be blamed for a change of religion made when she was a child and unable to easily defy her parents by choosing to remain Catholic.

  • Here we go Don… ;)

    Let’s see, today Mark posted…
    the US is an oligarchy
    AND
    get rid of the death penalty

    Ok… and who would be major ideological allies in rectifying these two burrs under Shea’s saddle?

    LIBERTARIANS! Those he… throws under the bus at least once a week. Hm. And what’s Shea’s proposed solutions? “Think differently” and “think like the church”. Huh, empty platitudes that tell us nothing about a real, workable solution. “Yes we can” anyone?

    As the saying goes: “The left designs government assuming they are in charge of it. The right designs government assuming their enemies are in charge of it.” That and other instances of rank hypocrisy (notice how he likes to bring up “those in need of insensitivity training” while being fast on the ban button himself? or being sensitive to things like… Sarah Palin’s words?) shove him pretty far left. That and given his cultish attitude towards the pope, as the latter drifts left, watch Shea keep going that way as well.

  • “watch Shea keep going that way as well.”

    Most assuredly. I have observed before that if a pope ordered that each Catholic paint their bottom yellow, Mark’s only question would be “What shade?”.

  • You’d go nuts if you heard some of the talk (now that’s blasphemy!) I heard.

    Shea got his bloomers in a bunch, again! He waxes hysterical over a sound-bite. Why the histrionics? Why do Imam Shayz gots out the fatwa on Sarah?

    He’s a liberal. Scratch a liberal and you find a fascist, every time.

    Liberals’ hatred is based on their abject fear of her mere existence. They over-react at every opportunity because she has the potential to do them in. The Left controls the mainstream media. The Left hates Sarah Palin. The mainstream media constructed a caricature in the minds of many ignorant, liberal (I repeat myself) people. They wanted her to go away. But she is still standing, still smiling, still speaking, unbowed and “undefeated.” Not only have they failed to destroy her, by attempting and failing to do so, they have raised her stock. She is my hero because by breathing she seriously annoys lib nitwits.

  • oh my gosh
    how is comparing waterboarding to baptism any less offensive than a far left Catholic for Choice using an image of the Last Supper or the Eucharist and the phrase “This is MY BODY” to promote abortion on demand?
    .
    oh wow that whole thing is so obtuse it makes my stomach hurt! NOT remotely apt!
    .
    Baptism is given to us to do, to administer in the Name of God.
    The sacrament of Jesus’ body is given to us to receive from Him — “given for you”.
    Christ gave his own real personal body in total generosity.
    .
    If the pregnant woman were to try to imitate Christ, she might say to her unborn child: ” This is my body and I give it to you for your good.”
    Instead the pro aborts say in effect: This is my body and I am NOT giving it to you.
    Christ’s phrase “This Is My Body” predicates a generous gift… the Choice people’s use of the phrase “This is My Body” indicates selfish denial of love to a most innocent dependent, taking life from one who is of the mother’s own flesh and blood

  • It is surprising to me that this evoked so much comment. I am also surprised the assumed acceptance of waterboarding as torture. I am certainly not qualified to define torture, but I think Alphatron made some good points. Also, waterboarding does not do physical harm or lasting damage, although it does induce temporary fear and anguish. But since we waterboard some soldiers for training, I can’t see how it is necessarily torture. Just as in killing intent and circumstance distinguish it from murder, so too, I think waterboarding. So in my limited understanding I do not accede to waterboarding as torture. In a real sense, the person who refuses to divulge something and endures even torture is making that choice, which may or may not be heroic. Tell me this or I am going to scare the heck out of you….not physically harm you or emotionally damage you forever, but scare you badly if you choose not to cooperate in saving lives… does not seem morally wrong to me. If it is, then we would have to let Chicago blow up as someone else mentioned.

  • Catherine,

    Almost Ex-Catholic just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

    ;)

  • SPOT ON Ray!!! Cudo’s – and thanks for the sanity check on this- it was a red meat throw away line with no thought re; blasphemy blah blah – i too am impressed that Sarah can evoke such reaction so many years later- she is a lighting rod cause the darkness hates the light …. mark shea is a pile ……… and just slightly off……

  • Kevin – Me too. As I remember it, there was a lot of debate over whether waterboarding was torture. This may be one of the finer points of the debate that’s gotten lost over time, but I don’t think the “science is settled”.

  • Anzlyne: “Christ’s phrase “This Is My Body” predicates a generous gift… the Choice people’s use of the phrase “This is My Body” indicates selfish denial of love to a most innocent dependent, taking life from one who is of the mother’s own flesh and blood”
    .
    And the father’s own flesh and blood. Science has learned that some of the unborn child’s cells enter the bloodstream of his mother making the mother one with the father. (Married) No link, sorry. Had to say.
    .
    I love Sarah Palin. It is the duty of the citizen to keep his /her mouth open. Sarah Palin fulfills the definition of Citizen.

  • I don’t know if anyone will notice a comment on this ol’ thread, but I just read this article at First Things and had to link to it.

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