The Baptism of Politics and Terrorists

"If I were in charge, they would know that water-boarding is how we baptize terrorists."

In case you didn't know, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said this very recently at an NRA convention.

In the most non-partisan way, this makes my skin crawl on so many levels. I hope it does yours too. Here are a few reasons why:

(1) Baptism is one of the most important sacraments of our sacred faith. It marks the beginning of our life following Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit as we publicly identify with his teachings by symbolically dying and rising with him.

(2) Jesus, our Lord, willfully laid down his life in self-giving love for the whole world against the tyranny of an empire hell-bent on power, wealth, comfort, and fame. Yet a major political leader connects that self-giving sacrifice of Jesus and the Church to the national policy of torturing perceived enemies.

(3) The grace of God is being used to legitimize violence against our enemies when Jesus clearly says, "I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven..."

Our religion, our faith, our God is being politicized to manipulate us and to perpetuate violence on our behalf - all in the name of Jesus. Worst yet, sometimes I think we're falling for it.

God have mercy on us.


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