Speaking to the NRA, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Saturday that if she were in charge of the country, our “enemies,” would “know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.” The line drew huge applause from the audience and is now also drawing condemnation from Christians on both sides of the political spectrum. Below are a few responses to the comments:
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…
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…For us Christians, baptism is the entry into new life. Palin invoked it to celebrate torture…What does it say about the character of a person that they could make that joking comparison, and that so many people would cheer for it. Nothing good — and nothing that does honor to the cause of Jesus Christ.
As a sacrament to many Christians, baptism signifies regeneration, the rebirth of the individual as “a new creature” in Christ. So understood, baptism is a work of grace; it is, as Gregory of Nazianzus says, “God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift.” To equate it with torture is, in this sense, not only unthinking, but borders on the sacrilegious.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org