I'm sure you've heard about this:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) says she wouldn't be afraid to torture terrorists if she were president.The idea that waterboarding is like baptism is not original to Palin, or even to her speechwriters. The only question is where Team Palin got the comparison.
"C'mon! Enemies who would utterly annihilate America, they would obviously have information on plots. They carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them. Can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen," Palin said on Saturday during a speech at the National Rifle Association's "Stand And Fight" rally. "Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."
I suppose it's conceivable that they know this history:
In his 2008 article "Torture and Religious Practice," William Schweiker traces the Christian roots of waterboarding, which was used, for example, during the Spanish Inquisition and in the persecution of Anabaptists during the Protestant Reformation. Schweiker argues that waterboarding is religious violence not only due to its pedigree, but because it carries a particularly religious meaning: that it functioned as a kind of baptism.Alternately, Palin or one of her writers might have stumbled across this last year:
Since the Anabapists rejected infant baptism in favor of adult baptism, to take one example, King Ferdinand declared drowning a "Third Baptism,” and an appropriate response to their heretical practices. Schweiker writes that waterboarding-as-baptism was presented as a way to "save" the person being tortured by delivering the accused from his or her sins. Torture became punishment for sins, and punishment became an act of mercy and salvation.
See also this Tumblr post, this Pinterest post, this post at MemeCollection.net, this post (from "American Pride Eagle") at MemeGenerator.net, et cetera. All of them include the same graphic; all are from sometime last year. (The Religion Dispatches post quoted above is from 2010.)
Hmmm ... which of these is more likely to be Palin's source?