Sara Palin’s comments were wildly cheered at the meeting:
““They obviously have information on plots to carry out jihad…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.”
Of course, some condemned these remarks:
The Washington Post reported on Monday that other Christian leaders had also spoken out against the former Alaska governor.
“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,” Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition wrote. “Unfortunately, what Palin is proposing is a mixture of pagan ethics and civil deistic religion.”
Hmmm, some Christians feel free to slam paganism. LOL.
Yes, some are claiming that she “mocked baptism”. But as to the violence associated with waterboarding: to claim that is inconsistent with Christianity is downright hilarious.
First, we can turn to the text of Christianity: The Bible. There was never a problem with killing those who worshiped differently: (Deuteronomy, 13)
Don’t Worship Other Gods
13 Suppose a prophet appears among you. Or someone comes who uses dreams to tell what’s going to happen. He tells you that a miraculous sign or wonder is going to take place. 2 The sign or wonder he has spoken about might really take place. And he might say, “Let’s follow other gods. Let’s worship them.” But you haven’t known anything about those gods before. 3 So you must not listen to what that prophet or dreamer has said.
The Lord your God is putting you to the test. He wants to know whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You must follow him. You must have respect for him. Keep his commands. Obey him. Serve him. Remain true to him.
5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death. He told you not to obey the Lord your God. The Lord brought you out of Egypt. He set you free from the land where you were slaves. He commanded you to live the way he wants you to. But that prophet or dreamer has tried to make you turn away from it. Get rid of that evil person.
6 Suppose your very own brother or sister secretly tempts you to do something wrong. Or your child or the wife you love tempts you. Or your closest friend does it. Suppose one of them says, “Let’s go and worship other gods.” But you and your people long ago hadn’t known anything about those gods before. 7 They are the gods of the nations that are around you. Those nations might be near or far away. In fact, they might reach from one end of the land to the other. 8 Don’t give in to those who are tempting you. Don’t listen to them. Don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t spare them or save them.
9 You must certainly put them to death. You must be the first to throw stones at them. Then all of the people must do the same thing. 10 Put them to death by throwing stones at them. They tried to turn you away from the Lord your God. He brought you out of Egypt. That’s the land where you were slaves.
11 After you kill those who tempted you, all of the people of Israel will hear about it. And they will be too scared to do an evil thing like that again.
WAIT, you say…that is the OLD TESTAMENT. Well, that is still part of Christian “scripture”, no? So let’s turn to the New Testament…to the very (alleged) words of Jesus himself: Luke 19:27
But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
Yes, it was part of a parable which describes God’s wrath to those who deny Jesus. :-)
Now you might point out that I am an atheist. So, how did some very religious people interpret Christianity?
Do The Crusades ring a bell?
Maybe a witch burning?
They certainly didn’t see torture and killing as being inconsistent with Christianity.
True: there are Christians that object to torture, but this objection is really independent of their being Christian.
Note: I am NOT saying that Christianity is more evil than other religions, or even an evil religion. For example, I’d much prefer to live in a majority (or plurality) Christian country than in an Islamic Republic; some examples of the latter really are evil.
Workout notes Yoga and an easy 4 mile run (43 minutes); once again the blackbirds left me alone. Did I offend them? :)
Religion can kill
A cleric in Pakistan’s Punjab province has warned that a jihad would be launched against polio vaccination teams at a time when the World Health Organisation has expressed concern at the emergence of new cases of the disease across the country.
Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti of Muzaffargarh district declared the anti-polio campaign as “un-Islamic” and announced at the local mosque that jihad (holy war) should be carried out against the polio vaccination team.
Chisti made the remarks after finding out that a vaccination team had entered Khan Pur Bagga Sher area of Muzaffargarh and asked families to cooperate with the campaign.
The cleric went to the largest mosque in the area and declared that polio drops were “poison” and against Islam, The Express Tribune reported.
He warned that if the vaccination team forced anyone to participate in the campaign, then jihad was “the only option”.
As a result, the polio team returned to Muzaffargarh city without carrying out any immunisation and reported the matter to senior officials.
That is serious business. Superstition can be no laughing matter.
We sometimes see perhaps a more benign version here; I wonder how many girls were forced into a shotgun marriage because her parents didn’t believe in single motherhood and they didn’t want her to have an abortion (early term). No, I don’t have data; I haven’t looked it up. But still…I also wonder how many gay kids are rejected by their parents and family for the same reason?
Yes, you have the occasional kook who lets their kid die instead of giving them life saving medical treatment. The Muslim case is worse in that this denial is being enforced on a group by a cleric who is threatening the people who would be providing the care.
I am no fan of Sarah Palin, but this….well…this can be aimed at anyone that one doesn’t like. It says nothing about what is bad about the person’s ideas.
I am happy to ridicule her ideas or the idea that she finds intellectual shallowness to be a virtue rather than a liability. For example, I found the Tina Fey parody to be hilarious.
In the upcoming months, I’ll probably be paying attention to much of what Mitt Romney says. I’ll attack, but hopefully I’ll attack his bad ideas and his political weaknesses (and give respect to his good ideas) but hopefully I’ll refrain from stuff like what is in the above photo.
My take: the story was interesting; it gives a good synopsis of the problem and provides some of the details of the Camp David accord which lead to some Nobel Peace Prizes and peace between Egypt and Israel (who had fought several wars).
Also, Carter points out that the sides are not that far apart on the issues and gives a straight forward way forward…though this proposal is nothing new.
Alas, the irony here is that President Carter has “Holy Land” in his title and that is a big part of the problem. You have two populations of roughly the same size in one region…but unfortunately these people are hung up over the claim to the same set of ruins and rock piles…deemed to be “holy” by their texts of superstitions and myths.
I’ve never seen a better display of the toxicity of religion.
Joe McGinniss’s book on Sarah Palin
Ok, I picked this up at the used book store in the Lakeview Museum as I waited for the Venus transit.
Here is a good review.
What it is: basically, McGinniss interviewed a bunch of people about Sarah Palin and complied what they said. Sure, it was “fun” in a gossipy sort of way, but that is what it struck me as: gossip. Sure, there were some solid details on her service on the Alaska energy commission (it was a farce, but we already knew that), that she overreached in her trooper scandal (old news) and that she used her family as a prop (duh) and that she sunk her political career when she made the Gabriel Giffords assassination attempt about her.
But we knew all that. What is new: some say that she was a bad mother and uninterested in her kids, and he gave a long account about Trig’s birth…and wondered why the media didn’t examine that “story” more carefully.
I’ll let David Corn say what was on my mind:
McGinniss also does a fine job dissecting Palin’s associations with extreme Christian fundamentalism—territory other authors have previously excavated. Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla with one public issue: more bike paths. But McGinniss shows how her real agenda was to transform her town into an enclave of evangelism. When she campaigned for governor, McGinnis writes, “the hardest job her staff had was to keep her quiet about her religious beliefs.” He reports that after being elected governor she fired a group of minority state employees who had worked on her campaign. An aide (named) says, “Sarah just isn’t comfortable in the presence of dark-skinned people.” But what about Glen Rice?
Virtually anything negative one can say about a person who is not a murderer or genocidal war criminal is said about Palin in this book. Of course, that doesn’t make it untrue. Yet as I trekked along on McGinniss’ unrelenting death march to the bowels of Palin’s supposedly dark soul, at times I almost felt sorry for her. How many backstabbing “friends” can one person have? (One “friend” told McGinniss of a snowmobile trip that included both Todd and Sarah and allegedly involved a cocaine binge.) And how much wrath does any biographic subject deserve? At times, I wanted to reach for the hand sanitizer.
McGinniss is a journalist with a long, storied, and controversial career. Dialing back on the Palin-slamming might have yielded a better book—especially considering his run-in (or feud) with the Palin clan. The Rogue is must-cringe reading. It’s a book that puzzles as much as it enlightens. There’s a fine line between “wow!” and “really?”—and McGinniss is working both sides of that divide.
Too many times, McGinniss wrote out the conclusion for the reader instead of letting the reader make his/her own. The book sure read like a hatchet job and I am no more enlightened after reading the book than prior to reading it.
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