“Torture — waterboarding being something reasonable people may consider to constitute it — is and should be a question of grave moral consequence for Christians, and is for any Catholic familiar with the Catechism. Palin wasn’t even just jokingly comparing a serious violation of human dignity into one of the most important transcendental recognitions of it – she was mounting an expansive defense of something near torture, on the grounds that our prisoners ”would obviously have information on plots,” and therefore ought to, apparently, be subjected to a horrible practice not as a morally necessary last resort but a habit of quotidian intimidation. There’s a word for that kind of practice: barbaric. The Greeks used to use it to describe the other guys,” – Patrick Brennan, in a post called “Sarah Palin’s Barbarism”, NRO.
A reader adds:
The more troubling (and revealing) aspect of her comment is this:
it summons an ugly chapter of medieval Christianity in which violence was used as an expression of religious belief. For the Crusader, the infidel had to be converted and the danger of engagement and the blood of battle was in itself a kind of sacrament. Her reference to the danger of Jihad, torture and baptism in the same ugly speech to me is an indication that she is drawing on a brutal theology from the past.
It’s a Coulter-Boykin-esque allusion to converting Muslim prisoners by coercion. Barbarism is the right word. Needlessly incendiary as well. To which one might ask: can John McCain stay silent on this, even as the creature he foist upon the world continues to trash every principle he says he has?