Sarah Palin delivered a speech to the National Rifle Association on Saturday in which she said that America needs leaders who would put the “fear of God” into our enemies. Because America has leaders who are afraid of offending our enemies, America has become weakened. At the 7:16 mark in the video below, Palin says,
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.
Okay, yes that’s bad. It is impolitic—but worse—it is irreligious. But maybe she just got caught up in the moment and let her rhetoric get out in front of wisdom. Perhaps if given a second chance, she would do things differently. Maybe she would recognize the sacrilege of comparing Christian baptism to torture and walk back those comments.
It just so happens that NBC News caught up with Palin yesterday and gave her a chance to back away from what she said. They asked if she would have put it that way if she had it to do over. Her response?
Would I make it again? Why wouldn’t I, yeah, absolutely. Terrorists who want to annihilate Americans, innocent Americans, our children – whatever it takes to stop them. If I were in charge, I’d be stoppin’ em.
So apparently, as long as you’re trying to strengthen American power, it’s okay to throw Christian teaching under the bus? Even more disappointing is that given the chance to back away, she doubled-down. What does this mean? I agree with Mollie Hemmingway, who writes:
I’ve long defended Palin against the offensive treatment she’s received at the hands of a blatantly biased media, a media that collectively lost its mind the moment she entered the national stage. But that hardly means she must be defended at all times.
Indeed, there is no defending Palin’s statement. The fact that she doubled-down on the error makes it that much worse. It dishonors God’s word by speaking profanely about baptism. It dishonors God’s image-bearers by treating waterboarding with moral indifference. It’s a chest-thumping populism that is a discredit to her. These remarks are not serious. They are not becoming of a Christian, and I hope Palin will do an about face on this one. It is not exaggeration to say that this is not an occasion for doubling-down, but for repentance.