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 American Religion and Violence as Sacrament


American Religion and Violence as Sacrament

Keegan Osinski

by Keegan Osinski

Someone once said in an interview, “Waterboarding is how [we’d] baptize terrorists.”

Almost immediately there was an outcry about the statement’s sacrilegious nature, the disregard for sacred liturgy, and the general blasphemy of equating the holy sacrament with torture.

But, like, isn’t that someone exactly right?

Isn’t initiation through violence into the American Religion of submission to capitalism and oppressive power structures exactly the colonial MO we expect of the United States?

The unwilling catechumens are forced into the waters of death only to be raised into a new life of state-sanctioned violence funded by greed and white supremacy and “Christian” triumphalism in which they may ultimately be exploited and discarded as examples, as collateral martyr-foils.

The horror of that someone’s metaphor serves to reveal the horror of the reality.

In the American Religion, violence is a sacrament.

And as long as we are worshiping Caesar, we are administering it.

Posted with permission. Original found here.