- (Credit: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)
A coalition of religious groups have sent letters to the National Rifle Association and Sarah Palin in response to the former Alaska governor calling waterboarding the way she would "baptize terrorists."
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) sent letters to Palin and the NRA Wednesday calling Palin's words "unacceptable."
"Ms. Palin's words are an unacceptable conflation of church and state that represents the worst of what is possible when political conflicts are expressed in theological terms," reads the letter sent to the NRA.
"Further, the National Rifle Association has no business letting comments of speakers who condone torture go unchallenged. It is one thing to protect the 2nd Amendment. It is quite another to support torture. Waterboarding is torture."
The Reverend Ron Stief, executive director of NRCAT and author of the two letters, told The Christian Post that the ecumenical call was for an apology from both parties.
"We felt that both of them needed to give an apology to the faith community for having a statement made about equating baptism and torture," said Stief.
Stief also told CP that he thought "it was very important" for public figures like Palin to watch their words regarding the act of waterboarding, calling her comparison of waterboarding and baptism "sacrilegious."
"Most of the major faith groups are united to say that torture should not be done under any circumstances, it's immoral and cannot be practiced even if you think you're going to get good information," said Stief.
"For her to go out and equate waterboarding with a way to get good information from people is bad policy. It's not true; that's not how you get information out of people."
Last Saturday, Palin delivered remarks at a crowded NRA rally held in Indianapolis where she said that waterboarding would be practiced if she were president.
"If I was in charge," said Palin at the NRA Stand and Fight Rally, "they would know waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."
Palin's words have also garnered attention from the online activist group Faithful America, which posted a petition Wednesday declaring that "Sarah Palin doesn't speak for Christians."
"This is what we've come to in America: A former candidate for vice-president can equate torture and Holy Baptism, and one of the nation's most powerful political lobbies erupts into cheers and applause," stated Faithful America, whose petition has already garnered over 58,000 signatories.
"We're launching a statement to the media, denouncing her remarks and setting the record straight about baptism, torture, and violence."
The former vice presidential hopeful for the Republican Party is not without her supporters, as Fox News social commentator Sean Hannity came to her defense.
"You know every liberal, 'that's outrageous!' But what do you want to do? What do you want to do with terrorists?" said Hannity on his radio program and continued with a hypothetical situation.
"You want to baptize by waterboarding the guy that took your three children? I think I would. I think as a matter of fact it wouldn't really be as much of a question."