Monday, April 28, 2014

Sarah Palin Beyond The Pale

     If this linked video could be shown to be some sort of Saturday-Night-Live parody, I would want to laugh at it for being completely over the top.  Then, as things developed, I'd want to put in a good word for the lady if she pointed out that they had defamed her character (though satire of a public figure is, properly, defensible as free speech, which I support).

     That is, IF it were a parody.  Apparently it is not.  Apparently she actually said these things, as reported here, here, and here.

     That makes it the very opposite of "funny."

     The woman is quoted as saying (in the context of throwing red meat to be eagerly devoured by an approving public audience, and anticipating wide reportage), "If I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

     I was going to say that this is a blasphemy against the Mind of Christ, but I will not:  the Lord of All Worlds can speak for Himself, and needs no impulsive help from me.   (Besides, He has assured us in the Gospels that even some blasphemies are forgiven).  But I will say, for myself, that these words are a direct and substantial affront to the Mind of Christ as I understand Him.

     What is beyond doubt is that she has insulted the best teachings and best practices of historical Christianity.  She has converted the sacrament of Baptism, which introduces the believer into Eternal Life, into a mocking taunt, justifying torturous death and punishment upon our supposed "enemies" which, if they are indeed enemies, Christ has most firmly commanded us to love.  She has given doubters, skeptics, unbelievers, and participants in other religious traditions plenty of mental ammunition and excuse to revile the Christian gospel.  They are justified in questioning the sincerity of Christian evangelists around the world, at least if their Christian witness is tied to anything American.  This is terribly consequential.

     After that, her insult and betrayal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is quite secondary in my mind, but that does not make it of no importance.  The Preamble declares that to "establish justice" is one of the primary intentions of the Constitution and the Framers; and Congress and the People added the first Ten Amendments with the purpose of elaborating the essentials of justice, as they conceived it, and secured this in writing (so far as writing can secure anything).  The Bill of Rights, both in spirit and in letter, absolutely precludes such an attitude as she exhibited, and such behavior as she recommended.  You know this already, and don't even need to look it up.

     I absolutely believe in free speech -- for myself, for you, and for Mrs. Palin.  But having exercised our free speech, we must expect to stand by our words; and may be called out for our words; and of course may, so far as is possible, retract our words and apologize for them.

     I hope that Christian people, leaders and otherwise, will call her out on this, and help her to apologize and make amends.

     I hope that people who are truly committed to the Constitution, or to the Natural Law, or to the Golden Rule, will do likewise.

     This was absolutely beyond the pale.


1 comment:

  1. Your comparison of Palin's comments to SNL parody is right on.

    Unfortunately, that's what the Evangelical Right has become -- a parody of itself.

    When you hold up a mirror to itself in another mirror, the image careens back and forth into infinity -- but each subsequent reflection becomes incrementally smaller that its immediate predecessor. And it's never the thing itself.

    Likewise, the Evangelical Right, channeled here by Palin, has in the process of seeking its own political prowess reflects a smaller and smaller fraction of the documents it claims to conserve -- namely, the Bible and the Constitution/ Bill of Rights.