As you may have heard, the woman who was once potentially a myocardial infarction away from the Big Red Doomsday Button appeared at the NRA’s rootin tootin’ let’s go shootin’ national convention this past weekend in America’s ugliest city, Indianapolis. Griftin’ grandma Sarah Palin wowed the crowd with the kind of well-articulated theories of governance you might expect to hear in a VFW parking lot an hour after the bar closed.
But what really bonerfied the mainly elderly white hypertensive male crowd is when Sarah explained what she would do if she were president of these here United ‘Murica States if she got her normally money-grubbing hands on some of those filthy Mooslims like that one who 9/11’d her and John McCain back in ’08.
“They obviously have information on plots to carry out jihad,” Palin said. “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.”
Reportedly no one got hit by the bullets returning to Earth after the celebratory gunfire into the air died down and everyone returned to their seats huffing and puffing from the exertion of standing up and yee-hawing.
But not everyone was pleased with Palin cavalierly equating a form of torture where water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of a restrained person in an effort to simulate the sensation of drowning which might possibly result in permanent physical and psychological damage … with baptism.
And, by ‘everyone’ I don’t mean humorless liberals incapable of experiencing joy because somewhere somebody is being oppressed by the privileged heteropatriarchy bent upon using their cis hegemony to diminish the agency and voices of non-heteronormative society. Also, something about polar bears and plastic shopping bags.
No, I mean people of the conservative persuasion like God-bothering Defender of the Faith Molly Hemingway who rolled up her metaphorical missal and bopped la Sarah on the snout for her audacity in bringing the Baby Jesus into the waterboard debate since everyone knows that Jesus wasn’t waterboarded by the Romans because he would have just turned the water into wine and gotten hella drunk and smelling like a disheveled Peggy Noonan hailing a cab at six o’clock Sunday morning.
Did Hemingway take umbrage with Palin because she endorsed the very non-Christian waterboarding torture technique on one of God’s wayward children?
Eh, not really.
Is waterboarding how we baptize terrorists? However powerful waterboarding might be (and whether or not it is defensible, a good idea or achieves the goals of those who advocate its use)…..
We’ll pause right here to point out that Hemingway, just like Jesus, is having a moment of doubt, only her doubt is about the rightness of torture and not about being pranked by your Cosmic Dad. For a conservative, any sign of conscience or a reasonable approximation of deep thought should be considered progress, so good for Molly. Golf clap…
….it doesn’t hold a candle to the power of the Christian baptism, as historically understood. Does it deliver those who are subjected to it from the devil, as Christian baptism does? Does it give them eternal life, as Christian baptism does? Is it voluntary, as Christian baptism is? It is none of these things.
Joking about baptism in the context of this aggressive action suggests that we don’t think baptism is as life-giving or important as it is.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, Hemmingway is having a Holy Cow because Sarah Palin is blood-libeling an ancient bobbing-for-Jesus aquatic ritual where a supplicant is doused with Evian – while someone chants some mumbo-jumbo over them – in order to get a Get Out Of Hell Free card from God.
But when it comes to the actual government-treating-someone’s-corporeal-self like a doughnut to be dunked, Hemingway demurs, going “opinions may differ” on whether it is a righteous and Godly thing to do.
I’m beginning to think the Inquistion wasn’t a matter of overreach.
I think they were testing the waters in order to see just how deep they could go…