On Sunday Sarah Palin told the NRA that "if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists." She unleashed a predictable storm of criticism from her liberal opponents, but more startlingly, she has also been condemned by many conservatives and Christians:
1. The American Conservative Magazine:
Sarah Palin's hawkish bluster blasphemes a Christian sacrament: http://t.co/jnElcQ6Tcj- AmericanConservative (@amconmag) April 28, 2014
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.2. Conservative Mollie Hemmingway at the Federalist:
When my husband (who was baptized 10 years ago today, as it happens) told me about this, I had a hard time believing that she actually said it. Not just because baptism couldn't be taken more seriously in traditional Christianity but because the media routinely misquote or fail to provide context for quotes. But the video makes the statement seem even worse.
...Waterboarding is the opposite of traditional Christian baptism. It does not work forgiveness of sins. It does not give eternal life in Christ. It is not voluntary.
3. Libertarian Zenon Evans at Reason.com:
Remember when Jesus said "torture thy enemy"? Neither do I, but the walking, talking, life-sized self-parody Sarah Palin apparently does.
In saying this, she did a huge disservice not only to those trying to reform the image of the GOP, but to Christians and gun owners who believe in limited government.
4. Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition:
In our attempts to dehumanize our enemy we end up becoming less than human ourselves. It would be a Pyrrhic victory to save civilization and lose our humanity.
We must never hesitate to defend our culture, our future, and our lives against those who seek to destroy us. The liberal cosmopolitan elite appeal to tolerance and understanding in the face of such an enemy is suicidal. However, the right-wing populist position, which is willing to face up to and address the evil of terrorism, fails to understand the ramifications of becoming like the enemy by dehumanizing them.
5. Conservative libertarian Nick Egoroff, who has a big social media following:Andrew Sullivan:
If you want a classic example of political Christianism - and its active hostility to spiritual Christianity - it's hard to beat Sarah Palin's remarks yesterday. I offered a brief response last night, but this obscenity needs to be unpacked some more.
7. Mary Moerbe, a Lutheran writer quoted by Hemmingway:
Sarah Palin's brash words portray herself to be a great and powerful baptizer, not bringing faith or the forgiveness of Jesus - or even the sympathy implicit in secular uses of 'baptism by fire'but crossing the line into government aggression, specifically against those already subdued and captive.
8. Respected conservative analyst Robert Costa on Palin's waning influence (not her waterboarding comments specifically):
Four years after using her unique position to propel a number of conservatives - many previously unknown and not favored by party leaders - in the tea party wave of 2010, Palin is today a diminished figure in the Republican Party.
9. Non-conservatives were also predictably scathing. Here's the anonymous "Senior White House Official":
Sarah Palin is what you get when a YouTube comment gets political power. - Sr. WH Official (@SrWHOfficial) April 28, 2014