Sarah Palin, Sacrilege, and Catholic Support for Torture

In which Yr. Obdt. Svt has the unenviable task of pointing out that 2+2=4, evil is not good, black is not white, and that if it is stupid to do evil that good may come of it, it is far stupider still to do evil when evil documentably comes of it.

I become increasingly convinced that conservative Christian love of torture is a spiritual stronghold that will require prayer and fasting and the invocation of angelic powers through Jesus Christ before it is broken. There is a more-than-human evil and irrationality at work here, I reckon. Just as with abortion.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    I like the concluding quote. Peter should be heeded.

  • CrustyNatsFan

    Good article, Mark. Thank you. I find this whole issue all the more baffling considering it occurred so soon in the weeks following the commemoration of Christians everywhere of the torture and execution of our Lord. Still I can’t help but agree that prayer, especially meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, might not help change some hearts.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I’m confused by the comments. Where did people get the idea that rape neither inflicts pain nor damage?

  • Imrahil

    One slight annotation: “If I were in charge” was not a line that drew applause.

    If the video I saw was genuine, it was a line followed by a second of silence, with Sarah Palin waiting for her applause (which then, indeed, started, and loudly so).

  • everyman

    The subject of torture came up again when Mrs. Palin wrongly made a humorous connection to baptism. She never specified that it was of the sacramental nature
    so she gets a pass from me. Torture is very real as we continue to get to the bottom of how our men were tortured in Benghazi before being murdered. No need to go into countless similar cases that happen to Christians in the Islamic world.
    Many take up that discussion and the conclusion is all over the board. Mark in his own prodigious style continues to torture the subject. Bush is gone, Cheney is gone but in Mark’s mind they’re still imminent, they’re still torturing.

    • chezami

      Um, no. Now it’s Obama who is outsourcing torture. Lefties are very quiet about that. But devout Christians, who are supposed to witness against such evils, are cheering for it.

      • everyman

        You hear the cheers you want to hear, I don’t hear them and especially not from devout Christians

        • chezami

          No. I hear the cheers documented by Pew research and amply attested in the Catholic blogosphere comboxes.

          • everyman

            What you hear are Christians being in agreement with certain methods to get necessary information. You extrapolate that as torture while others do not. These are legitimate differences worthy of discussions. Reaching the conclusion that this opinion is “cheering” is false by any standards.

            • Jem

              “You extrapolate that as torture while others do not.”

              The Catholic Church extrapolates it as torture. If you’re Catholic, then that should be enough.

              • IRVCath

                I agree with Jem for once! What is the weather report for Hell? And have swine started to sprout wings?

                Anyway, just because other people do worse things doesn’t mean what some of our personnel are doing isn’t any less horrible. And it’s not even that effective, because chances are they’ll pretty much say any old thing to make the interrogator stop waterboarding them. Just ask the victims of the Cambodian Communists – one was waterboarded IIRC until he confessed to being the Pope, employed by the KGB, the CIA and Mao’s secret police, and a hermaphrodite to boot. It works as a means of terror, sure, but we’re supposed to be a civilized country, not a bunch of barbarians.

                • Jem

                  “What is the weather report for Hell?”

                  I believe it was Mark Twain who said he’d go to Heaven for the climate, but Hell for the company.

                  It’s come to something, hasn’t it, when ‘hey, we both agree torture is bad!’ is in some way remarkable. There did not used to be moral relativism around this issue. There is a *very* slightly higher support for torture among the religious than those who aren’t, but the majority of all categories of Americans see it as justifiable.

                  It’s ineffective, sure, but I think the main practical reason not to torture is simple: the people opposed to Western values (Sayyid Qutb, say) believe that if you scratch the surface, we’re the most vicious of all civilizations. If we use torture, we’re choosing to conform to their worldview.

              • everyman

                What you guys extrapolate as to what the Church extrapolates is for the most part academic and fodder for your canons. I have not been on the front lines where the Church marches in fours, martyrs to heaven, daily. I associate with people who know these circumstances intimately. Their “extrapolation” is nothing like ours.
                When life, family, community and Church is on the line, articles and opinions such as these are at best an annoyance. Just for the sake of argument, the Church’s definition of torture is enough for me as well.

                • HornOrSilk

                  The ends do not justify the means. The path to hell is paved with “me, my, and I” as means to justify any evil

        • I don’t hear [the cheers]

          Clearly, you’re not listening to every man. I hear them in the course of my ministry to “conservative” Catholics.

          • everyman

            Since you’re using the label “conservative” Catholics and you’ve already marked them as a problem group then perhaps I need to point out to you that you’re probably listening with “liberal” ears in order to reach the conclusion that they are cheering for torture. I talked to a Coptic Christian from Egypt, last year. Today I had breakfast with a Christian Assyrian whose parents came from Iran. On a weekly bases I converse with a cook, a Syrian Christian. These people could tell you something about torture and its worst perpetrators. I don’t even bring up the material that passes for informed opinion on these websites. They would scold me for wasting their time with nonsense, Western nonsense to be more precise.

        • I don’t hear [the cheers]

          Clearly, you’re not listening to every man. I hear them in the course of my ministry to “conservative” Catholics.