Craig provided our response yesterday. I want to provided some other discussion points:
1096, Jews were massacred in the Rhineland,
As enthusiasm mounted for the First Crusade, the motivation to conquer the unbelievers in control of Jerusalem spilled over toward the unbelievers closer to home: the Jews. The mobs sweeping across Europe on their way to the Holy Land found their first victims among the Jews of the Rhineland (in modern-day Germany). Massacres and forced baptisms resulted. Rather than be murdered, large numbers of Jews committed suicide, with the fathers first killing their families and then themselves. The ancient prosperous Jewish communities of the Rhineland were destroyed. This was just the beginning of the indignities wrought upon the Jews by the Crusaders.1
This led to Pope Innocent III’s statement,
411 [DS 781] This is contrary to the Christian religion, that anyone always unwilling and interiorly objecting be compelled to receive and to observe Christianity. On this account some absurdly do not distinguish between unwilling and unwilling, and forced and forced, because he who is violently forced by terrors and punishments, and, lest he incur harm, receives the sacrament of baptism, such a one also as he who under pretense approaches baptism, receives the impressed sign of Christianity, and he himself, just as he willed conditionally although not absolutely, must be forced to the observance of Christian Faith.… But he who never consents, but inwardly contradicts, receives neither the matter nor the sign of the sacrament, because to contradict expressly is more than not to agree.… The sleeping, moreover, and the weak-minded, if before they incurred weak-mindedness, or before they went to sleep persisted in contradiction, because in these the idea of contradiction is understood to endure, although they have been so immersed, they do not receive the sign of the sacrament; not so, however, if they had first lived as catechumens and had the intention of being baptized; therefore, the Church has been accustomed to baptize such in a time of necessity. Thus, then the sacramental operation impresses the sign, when it does not meet the resisting obstacle of a contrary will.2
There is a certain gruesomeness in Sarah Palin’s speech. Not only does she misuse the sacrament, but she would wish to undo the history Christians have thus far attempted to escape — the time when we used torture and forced baptisms to conquer. When these things didn’t work, we offered murder wholesale. This is not necessarily a Catholic feature, as we Protestants have our fair share of this in Africa and the former American colonies. Yes, there is the abuse of the sacrament (and I view baptism pretty high), but there is also the abuse of history, of humanity, and of the image of God.
Her world view of Palin-Constantinism is frightening, not because of the view she necessarily holds, but because so many subscribe to it as well.
- The Pernicious Poison Of Palin (dish.andrewsullivan.com)