Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Palin doubles down on baptism-torture remark

I'd say Governor Palin has, in her follow up to her quip about waterboarding being "how we'd baptize terrorists," which she posted on Facebook:

Actions to stop terrorists who’d utterly annihilate America and delight in massacring our innocent children? Darn right I’d do whatever it takes to foil their murderous jihadist plots – including waterboarding.
Whatever one thinks of my one...-liner at the NRA rally about treating evil terrorists the way they deserve to be treated to prevent the death of innocent people, it’s utterly absurd for MSNBC to suggest that I could put our beloved troops in harm’s way, but we’ve come to expect the absurd from that failing network.
If you want to talk about what really harms our troops, let’s talk about politicians who gut our military’s budgets, or a president whose skewed budgetary priorities slash military benefits, or an administration that puts our vets on endless waiting lists for care that comes too late to help those who’ve paid the price for our freedom, or those who break bread with those who think it makes no difference how our military heroes died in Benghazi or anywhere else trying to protect America. Those actions are a heck of a lot more harmful than declaring an appropriate message our enemies should receive.
If some overly sensitive wusses took offense, remember the First Amendment doesn’t give you a right not to be offended. Perhaps hypocritical folks who only want Freedom of Speech to apply to those who agree with their liberal agenda might want to consider that the evil terrorists who were the brunt of my one-liner would be the first to strip away ALL our rights if given the chance. That’s why we do whatever we can to prevent them from killing innocent people. And for that, we should NEVER apologize.
Good Lord, critics... buck up or stay in the truck. And if you love freedom, thank our troops! Thank our vets! And thank those who have the brains to support them and the guts to defend what they have earned! (Emphasis added; and I broke this into paragraphs for ease of reading.)
So let's analyze Governor Palin's more extended defense of waterboarding.
She says she'd "do whatever it takes" and we should do "whatever we can." No limits, Governor? No boundaries?
Because you know what would really be effective? Don't torture the terrorists; they likely have received training and have been prepared for it. Why not torture their children? They'd be easier to capture, wouldn't they? Imagine how effective that would be: forcing the terrorists to watch while their own children were subjected to the cruelest things we can come up with. "Whatever we can...and NEVER apologize."
That's what we do if we "love freedom," right Governor? Because, as you say, the terrorists want to strip away "all our rights" -- so sacrificing only some is a good deal, right? And, after all, it's not our rights being violated, when we torture people, but the rights of evil terrorists (no quote marks; no disputing they are evil) -- and why should America, the Land of the Free, care about their rights.
Right, Governor?
At one time, I defended this woman. She obviously faced a hostile press and was treated very unfairly. I figured she was a better woman, with better judgment, than she's been depicted.
Could be I was wrong.


cavalier said...

fIn Palin's address, she could have meant baptism as a common noun, indicating an introduction, similar to the commonly used phrase, "a baptism of fire", not a sacrament of our Church.
Let's not be too quick to condemn a zealous patriot.

Shouting Thomas said...

Torturing enemy combatants isn't stripping away "our rights." They don't have any rights.

War doesn't have any rules, Fr. Fox.

I suspect we'll have to do what we have to do as time passes. We'll come to you for confession.

I don't make heroes or heroines out of any politician. Ms. Palin is speaking the truth about a horrible reality that I think is coming to us whether we want it or not.

This already is a very dirty war. It's going to get much worse.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Have you considered that when you train our soldiers how to do unspeakable, barbarous things to the "baddies" -- and your comments make clear that you won't rule out anything ("war doesn't have any rules")...

That at some point, you -- or I -- may be classified as "baddies"?

And the government -- at your behest -- has lots of people who are quite ready to do those unspeakable things...to you?

Why are we fighting this war, if -- in order to win -- we must become barbarians?

Please explain what it is we're fighting for in such a war?

edutcher said...

No, Padre, you were right. Then.

In war (and we're at war, don't kid yourself), you do what you have to.

At one time, we thought we'd never bomb cities, then WWII came along.

what she's doing is saying that, if it came to a showdown, she'd protect American lives.

Which is one Hell (pardon my French) of a lot more than the slugs currently in charge seem to want to do.

Shouting Thomas said...

We're fighting for survival against an enemy that has declared numerous times that it intends to destroy Judeo/Christian society.

Yes, I know precisely what those tactics do to people.

My father and my uncles fought through four years of the most hellish, no holds barred war in the history of the world during WWII.

My late wife, Myrna, grew up in the midst of an unspeakably savage war in the Philippines.

Some of us will be destroyed morally and psychologically by what we have to do. I know that quite well. One of my uncles lost his soul and, later, his mind, because of what he had to do in combat.

My father was not destroyed, and he was among the liberators of Dachau. My father, in fact, was transformed into a triumphantly spiritual man, hardened by the fire.

My wife suffered unimaginable torture and retaliated in kind. She became an incredibly brilliant and compassionate spirit as a result. Hers was the most morally piercing intellect I have ever encountered.

We're fighting for the survival of Western Christian society. I'm sorry that we will have to descend into the pit of Hell with the savages, but we will have no choice.

It looks like that battle is going to be fought out here on the soild of the U.S., and that many of our fellow countrymen will be Quislings.

May God have mercy on us.

Shouting Thomas said...

The devil has set the great conflict between good and evil in motion on this earth again, Fr. Fox.

Each individual will be called upon to prove himself or herself.

Some will find courage and peace. Others will collapse into cowardice and lose everything, including their humanity.

It is not society that must prove itself. It is each individual.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, Fr. Fox, it is your job to try to pull us back from the abyss of murder, torture and genocide...

Your counsel is needed, but it may not always be possible to follow it completely.

edutcher said...

Second that, Shout.

Hoser said...

Ms. Palin's comments are truly heartfelt, in her mind. Unless a person has ever been in combat or had the taste of impending combat, you would not understand Palin's comments as being bravado, the same bravado that is taught to our service members while in training. There is a toughness in those words, a toughness that will ring in the heads of the Islamic fascists, because that is what they understand. Words are everything in the world, namby pamby dialogue that Obama difuses to our enemies does nothing to make them fearful of the USA. In context, waterboarding was used three times in the Guantanimo prison population, and was successful in obtaining pertinent information as to the whereabouts of OBL. There is much more to worry about in the USA than a Momma Grizzly, and it would be better to keep our minds on those things instead of Ms. Palin, she is not going to run for national office, she is nothing more than a cheerleader.

TerryC said...

ST and all,
While "you do what you have to do" in war might suffice for Ms. Palin or others who have rejected Church teaching Catholics are bound by the Just War Doctrine and Catholic morality in general.
Torture is never permissible. By the definition of torture given in the CCC there is not question at all that waterboarding is torture. To say that it is alright because it produces results is an end justifies the mean argument which is undefendable in light of Church teaching. As is the indiscriminate bombing of cities and the use of nuclear weapons to bomb cities. Just because the U.S. has done it doesn't make it a morally justifiable act.

Jennifer said...

If we care about our welfare in the next life, we can never just do what we think we need to do in this life.

That's a fact.

spambot3049.q5fjksr.t90.tja.ji0yj said...

Fr. Martin,

Thank you for upholding Catholic teaching on torture here and at Father Z's. I've been through this exercise with other Catholics in 2009 and am not able to join the fight this time around. First, know that I am praying for your success in change minds -- something I was never able to accomplish even once, and second please have confidence that good reference material for your efforts is freely available on the internet if you should need it.

Shouting Thomas said...

It is an illusion to think that conscience is what is going to rule the day here.

What I think doesn't really matter.

When pressed into a battle for survival, people do what they have to do.

Changing minds isn't going to change anything. We don't face the decision in its most stark terms at this moment.

The decision will be made in the moment when there is no choice, and conscience will have nothing to do with the decision. The decision to survive will prevail.

Lem said...

Father Martin is right. I like Palin but those comments were most unfortunate.

gramps said...

My husband has been to both Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times to fight in this so called "war" on terror. With each tour, the restrictions on our soldiers have grown to the point that they are simply being sent over there to be killed or injured. This so called commander in chief Obama has tied the hands of the military so completely that there is little hope the men and women carry into harms way of a safe return. He has turned it into a social experiment for his most absurd ideas. We are fighting a group of people who have no morals or values and no rules of any kind. And now, we have announced a timetable for leaving, and anyone who backs our troops up knows they will soon be left alone with the worst of the bunch to die horrible deaths of real torture. The so called torture of "water boarding" is nothing like that or other countries water boarding. We use massive restrictions which harms no one. Fear is created and it has proven effective. Now, we get little intelligence to help us save ourselves and so the country has been forced to a lot more intrusive intelligence gathering on everyone including our own citizens. The funny thing is we cannot water board a terrorist, but Obama on his own decision can send drone rockets to kill them. I note in your whining about this that you do not take up the drone issue or the massive intrusion on the constitution and freedom by the NSA. Of course Americans have a lot more to fear in terror from our own IRS and other agencies than the terrorist do of waterboarding. So while you are in your safe nest and out of harms way, how about getting yourself sent over to a terrorist state for a tour of duty as chaplin and hear what the troops have to say about the issue of waterboarding.

gramps said...

By the way, the letter above from gramps, myself, is one sent to me by my daughter, the wife of the 25 year veteran. She sent it to me when I forwarded your posts about Palin. Meant to add that to the post above, but forgot before I posted. She loves Palin as do most of our troops.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Gramps (daughter) said:

So while you are in your safe nest and out of harms way, how about getting yourself sent over to a terrorist state for a tour of duty as chaplin and hear what the troops have to say about the issue of waterboarding.

Anyone with a lick of sense and decency is deeply grateful to our military personnel and their families for incredible sacrifices -- that goes for your daughter and her husband.

But the notion that only those who have been in combat earn the right to talk about these subjects is wrong -- and deeply offensive.

For the record: In 1980, I volunteered to serve in the military (as part of ROTC) but was turned away, because I was taking medication at the time that disqualified me. So while it's true I've never served in the military, it's not for lack of willingness.

And of course, Gramps' daughter couldn't have known that, which makes her argument doubly unfortunate. There are many priests who have served in the military, many priests serving right now. That I am not one of them is irrelevant.

As to whether I have the right to address this subject...

Holy Mother Church has the right to speak to this subject. That right -- and solemn duty -- was conferred on her by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who said to the Apostles, he who hears you, hears me.

It is our Lord Jesus Christ who has given the Church, in the person of the Apostles, and their successors, the pope and bishops, the authority to teach in his name.

Now, if you're not a Catholic, you don't believe that. But this is what Catholics believe.

Of course, I'm not a bishop. But when the Archbishop of Cincinnati ordained me, one of the solemn promises I made was to teach the Faith -- in its entirety. And (before ordination) I swore an oath, on the Gospels, that I would uphold the teachings of the Church, in full.

So you ask what gives me the right to speak to this?

Jesus Christ does, through his Church. And the duty.

Is that good enough?

Jennifer said...

That is good enough, Father Fox. :)