FAN Issues Press Release on Sarah Palin Comments

Franciscans join NRCAT’s Call for Sarah Palin, NRA to Apologize for Waterboarding Comment

Washington, D.C. — The Franciscan Action Network joins the National Religious Campaign Against Torture’s plea to the NRA and Sarah Palin asking them to apologize for her waterboarding comment that compared torture to baptism. As Baptism is a sacrament in the Catholic Church and a sign of witness and belief for all Christians, Sarah Palin’s comments are offensive and have no place in civil dialogue, just as torture has no place in a just and civil society.

Franciscans have long held traditions of peacemaking and inter-religious dialogue. St. Francis had a friendship with the Sultan of Egypt, even during the bloodshed of the Crusades. Palin stated that "Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we'd baptize terrorists." Not only is this comment offensive to Christians everywhere, her comparison is also offensive to our Muslim brothers and sisters, as each human being has inherent dignity given to them by God, which allows for neither forced conversions nor torture.

“St. Francis is attributed with asking God to make each of us ‘an instrument of His peace,’” remarked Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network. “Sarah Palin and the NRA need to take the prayer of St. Francis to heart, and instead of calling for inhumanity, use their platform to promote the common good and well-being of all human beings. They must apologize for her hurtful words.”

To read NRCAT’s letters to Sarah Palin and the NRA, please go to their website.


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. More info: