Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Rebranding 2014: Anti-Christian Republicanism? OR Some thoughts on the week the Republican Party decided to take a tire iron to Christianity

Last week Republican figurehead and professed upholder of Christianity, Sarah Palin, said the following throw away line while addressing the NRA Stand and Fight rally:
Just to be clear for those of you unfamiliar with Baptism, it is the initiation rite for most Christians. In my own tradition it is one of two sacraments, an action involving a command of Christ and a physical thing that brings about forgiveness. In the case of Baptism we die with Christ and are reborn with him too; we are adopted into God’s family and become part of his body active in the world in the sacrament of Baptism.
All that to get you thinking about how unholy it sounds to compare simulated drowning, a form of torture, to receiving God’s forgiveness, even as a punch-line…. especially as a punch-line! To be fair the comparison does kind of remind us of the death and life aspect of Baptism, but that wasn’t the intention behind Palin’s words.
And, after a whole bunch of Christians called on her to take back her comment, she responded with the following:

To review, those of us offended by her crass comparison of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism to a violent interrogation technique used on terrorists are hypocrites because terrorists kill innocent people... the logic of her umbrage is non-existent. Any concerns about what she said being religiously offensive are swept away… which is weird. I read her first book when it came out, because I wanted to figure out why people liked her. One of the things she constantly pointed out was ways liberals ignore and disrespect people of faith and go out of their way to offend us… that Democrats (I think she called them Demon-crats at one point) are Anti-Christian.
Yet, by her labeling people who were offended by her statement anti-free speech and pro-terrorists, she shows the same disrespect for the faithful that she made her career claiming to defend against.

And that’s not all, Republican Representative Mike Christian, in defending capital punishment even when it goes gruesomely wrong, and in defending his position that the Supreme Court Justices who halted the botched execution of Clayton Lockett should be impeached, called for death row inmates to be “thrown to the lions.”

Thrown to the lions… like the early Christians in the colosseum… what the Roman Catholic Church calls, “The Baptism of Blood.” Someone who is killed for their faith in Christ, martyred, before they can receive the sacrament of Baptism are seen as receiving Baptism based on their martyrdom.
So, in a one-week period two Republican politicians have referenced Christian Martyrdom and the Sacrament of Baptism as throwaway jokes as they justify torture and inhumane execution... of course you could argue justifying execution and torture are even more anti-Christian than making light of the saving acts of God.
Maybe this, insulting people of faith, is the Republican re-branding they talk about—how they’re trying to be a less faith-based party and focus more fully on non-culture war issues?