For anyone to confess Christ as their savior and to compare one of the means of God's grace to an 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).
Gov. Palin was attempting to appeal to the basest political populism (nothing in her remarks could be construed as genuinely conservative) by claiming that current U.S. counterterrorism policy is overly-tolerant and empathetic toward our enemies. She contends that proper policies would "put the fear of God into our enemies."
Unfortunately, what Palin is proposing is a mixture of pagan ethics and civil deistic religion. She could have provided a more useful recommendation by supporting a Christian view, for on this issue in particular, Christian anthropology not only provides the correct view but the only one that can provide an adequate framework in which to form our conception of our "enemies."
As political scientist Glenn Tinder notes, the human being is both fallen and exalted, sacred and yet morally degraded. These two aspects of humanity cannot be separated. A fact, Tinder admits, that is "hard for common sense to grasp." Indeed, it is almost impossible to grasp when we try to apply this concept to our enemies. We often fall for one of two extremes.
The "liberal" position criticized by Palin (more accurately framed as the liberal cosmopolitan elite position), tends to be overly empathetic in an attempt to understand and "humanize" our foes. As Palin notes (albeit hyperbolically) they take the view that we cannot "offend them" or "make them feel uncomfortable."
But this is just one of the ways in which we can err. The "right-wing populist" position supported by Palin, seeks retribution and "dehumanizes" our opponents in order to distance them from ourselves, can be just as dangerous, particularly for those who must carry out the fight against terrorism.
Much more at the link.
I said my piece yesterday and received some serious pushback on Twitter. So be it. Sarah Palin is wrong here. Grievously wrong and I join with others in hoping someone can set her aside and show her why she's wrong. And I hope she'll prayerfully reconsider her remarks.
Late yesterday, in a Facebook post, she doubled down:
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.
I'm no overly sensitive wuss. I'm someone attempting to take my faith seriously. I fail too often. We all do. But I won't fail or falter on this particular point. It's too important.
Sarah, reconsider your words. Prayerfully and thoughtfully.
God help her and help us see the Truth.