How Religion Guides Sarah Palin

From today's Chicago Tribune:

Just as McCain's politics are largely shaped by his experience as a prisoner of war and Obama's by his embrace of his racial identity, Palin's approach has been shaped by her relationship with God. Palin sees her government work as paling in comparison to a greater mission.

Her pastor thinks her religion would shape her views on foreign policy: [more...]

Rev. Tim McGraw, Palin's pastor when she became mayor of Wasilla, said believers look to Israel for signs of the coming end times and where they are in God's plan. That would undoubtedly influence Palin's approach to foreign policy, McGraw said.

"I believe Sarah would not live in a fragmented world," he said. "The idea that Sarah would take this huge influence of the worldview that really only the Bible and the relationship with Jesus opens up ... and suddenly marginalize it and put it over on the shelf somewhere and live apart from it—that would be entirely inconsistent."

The New York Times linked to this video of Sarah Palin addressing her church. I call it Sarah Palin: Valley Girl. You have to watch this.

The McCain media handlers will revamp her speech and body language in the next few weeks. It's important to see the real Sarah Palin now.

Update: I'm reading the MSM media accounts of the Colorado Springs rally and they are over-trumping Palin. She was nowhere near the star of the rally. John McCain was. She did a 12 minute introduction of him and to my ear, did not receive greater applause than him. I didn't even hear "Sarah" chanting -- perhaps those in front of the stage were doing it but no one was chanting Sarah among the big crowds outside the hangar. When she spoke, it was almost all about him. It was a military crowd (The Air Force Academy, Peterson AFB and Fort Carson are all in the area -- in addition to the evangelical churches) and McCain and the politicians and right wing radio host that preceded him played the patriotism card to the hilt. The music included everything from G-d Bless America to Glory, Glory Hallelujah. More tomorrow afternoon in my Salon article, but keep in mind, it's not a partisan article.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The insertion of religion (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by themomcat on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:22:17 AM EST
    in American politics has always left me on edge. I remember when JFK was running for president in 1960 and the questions about his Catholicism arose. Where would his allegiance lie? With the Pope? Or with the US? JFK addressed those questions to most everyone's satisfaction. Religious extremists scare me regardless of their religion. I want a government and the people that are elected to those offices to put aside their religion and respect the Constitution of the United States. All of the candidates should be asked the same questions about their allegiance. Is it to your religious beliefs? Or is it to the Constitution of the United States and ALL of the people it represents?

    desertwind (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by desertwind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:49:39 AM EST
    Politics is her true religion.


    Yes, I agree (none / 0) (#37)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:27:39 AM EST
    I sense that also.  First, she was Roman Catholic; then Pentecostal and then changed again when she took public office.  Am I recalling it correctly?

    I have (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:12:45 AM EST
    to say that paragraph you quoted from the Chicago Tribune while not favorable to Palin certainly does Obama no favors. The only candidate who sounds reasonable is McCain the POW.

    They have all, including HRC and Obama... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:21:13 AM EST
    ...said that religion shapes their lives. As someone for whom religion plays almost no role in my decision-making, I really can't relate to any of it. I don't want to be in the position of deciding which candidates relationship to religion I am most comfortable with. I'd rather they kept it to themselves.

    Really? (none / 0) (#51)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:18:55 PM EST
    I think Palin may do Obama/Biden tremendous favors if she promotes a governing style, as she did in June, that is centered on "...the people's...heart [being] right with God."

    I don't (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    see how it helps Obama when he has a religion problem too and has used it as a cornerstone of his belief system or so he says. Obama's church is just as bad as Palin's.

    The Difference (none / 0) (#58)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:55:17 PM EST
    is when Palin inserts her religious beliefs in her actual governing rhetoric as mentioned above.

    In ALL the hoopla about Wright etc. I never saw a comparable quote from Obama--his always seemed of the fashion of most contemporary pols: My belief in God (JC) ia an important part of who I am...


    I have to disagree (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:29:56 AM EST
    with your assessment of the reception given to Palin by the RNC.
    I think she was greeted by much more genuine enthusiasm both before, during and after her acceptance speech than McCain received.

    Her introduction to McCain may have received less of a response, but she was there at that moment to introduce McCain, after all.

    What keeps resonating to me when I see Palin, is that Obama did not have the guts to name Hillary Clinton as his V.P.

    The best thing that happened (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:08:38 AM EST
    for Hillary was NOT being asked to be his VP.
    The dread is beginning to really mount as this lady from Alaska, Mrs. Palin will prove to be the ingrediant in reaching critical mass to blow Barack Obama and the Presidency out the water. More and more investagative reporters (not from the majors, of course) are discovering that not only are the lunatic accusations against Mrs. Palin not true (none of them) but in their investigations they're discovering what a truly remarkable, and secular public servant she is. This whole business is going to blow Obama's face clean off, and with it, the election.
    Not only that, but they are so teed off at the collapse of even the pretense of civility and fairness in the Obama campaign, that they are compiling a truly ugly list of outrages in Obama's public backround. Outrages such as his blasting Mrs. Palin for accepting earmarks while he obtained earmarks of over $200,0000 each for Jesse jackson Jr's investment Co. and, get this the Rev, Pfleger.
    When the S..T hits the fan, its gonna be ugly.
    A lot of Left bloggers are digging graves for themselves, and its going to lead to a Mccain blowout and set back for the Progressive movement for years to come.
    I have to go to work now; a little Googling and my comments can be confirmed. I'll be back this evening with links if needed.

    Fortunately the left bloggers (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:55:25 AM EST
    don't have any influence on non-blog-reading voters.

    If you have links... (none / 0) (#45)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:11:09 AM EST
    I would like to see them.

    Here's one (none / 0) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:48:35 PM EST
    I have a couple more on the office computer; will provide tomorrow.


    I want to say again; I am a Democrat and will be voting for the Democrats this Nov. I don't think we do anyone any favors by rebroadcasting every unthinking accusation against this woman. As the charges, one by one are debunked, we run the risk of becoming caricatures of panicked Democrats and "the boy that cried wolf" syndrome will render us irrelevant by the public. The issue doesn't have to be Obama/Biden All Good....McCain/Palen All Bad. We would be much better off, and gain stature among real feminists, if we acknowledge this woman's real accomplishments and be satisfied with the position "but Obama/Biden are way better for the country than the other guys."


    It's interesting that (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:25:25 AM EST
    how people talk about faith so differently when it comes to Democrats and Republicans.  

    With Obama it's all solemn and reasoned, with Republicans it's fanatical, dangerous, unbalanced.

    I don't get it. Do the Republicans have a monopoly on God or is the Democratic God is just better.

    And yet when Obama talks about his coming to Jesus, quotes Bible, he sounds like a typical Huckabee evangelical.

    What am I missing or not understanding?

    Actually, McCain (none / 0) (#52)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:22:59 PM EST
    seems the most diffident (and, frankly unbelievable) in his personal embrace of religion. It's one of his few qualities I find endearing.

    Biden? he doesn't seem too explicitly religious either. Not that I've noticed anyway. Of course, as a Roman Catholic he probably needs to keep his head down, lest another bishop, or priest grabs a headline by saying he can't take communion somewhere.


    Speaking of religion, (3.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Radiowalla on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:38:06 AM EST
    I got an email today with this message:

    Passed on from a friend suggesting we make bumper stickers:

    Jesus was a community organizer.
    Pontias Pilate was a governor.

    So there's no doubt (none / 0) (#39)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:43:39 AM EST
    that the new community organizer will save us. The last one did.

    Of course, not everyone believes that. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:28:28 AM EST
    Credit where credit is due (none / 0) (#49)
    by Peter G on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:01:59 AM EST
    Can anyone come up with an earlier use of the community organizer/governor quip than this?  I first read it in a post by Michael O'Hare on Sept. 4 at 2:38 pm PDT at the Reality Based Community, attributing it to a comment by "Laura" posted on The Fix that morning.  The post to which he refers would seem to be this one (he doesn't actually provide a link), but I don't see any such comment there before Sept. 6, so perhaps Prof. O'Hare had a different source and was confused.  I doubt if he coined it himself he'd be seeking it attribute it to an anonymous comment on another blog.

    Two am talk radio guys were (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:44:22 AM EST
    saying tonight:  did you hear people chanting USA at the DNC?  Guess we'd best get with the program.

    That had (none / 0) (#2)
    by JThomas on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:45:20 AM EST
    to be an interesting day surrounded by James Dobson followers. My nephew graduated from the Air Force Academy and he is not a evangelical or anything close. He is being deployed and I talked to him yesterday and he said he is leaning to Obama even tho he is a fighter pilot like McCain. Said there was a number of officers that think like him but no one wants to speak up cus out of respect for fighter pilot McCain.

    tell your son and his fellow (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpinva on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:40:13 AM EST
    fighter pilot friends they needn't worry,

    and he said he is leaning to Obama even tho he is a fighter pilot like McCain. Said there was a number of officers that think like him but no one wants to speak up cus out of respect for fighter pilot McCain.

    contrary to popular belief, sen. mccain wasn't a fighter pilot, he flew the A4 skyhawk, a low-level tactical bomber, during vietnam. that's how he got shot down, by a low altitude SAM. i believe his type of plane was commonly known as the "thud", for the sound it made when it crashed.

    it wasn't designed for the type of use it got in vietnam, it was originally designed as a cold war nuclear bomber. as a consequence, it had a terrible loss rate, even with fighter escorts.

    so, your son and his fellows can rest assured they won't be insulting a fellow fighter pilot, by not supporting mccain.


    Actually the F-105 (none / 0) (#21)
    by sabre86 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:07:08 AM EST
    The Air Force F-105 Thunderchief was actually known as the Thud. Although a fighter-bomber it was employed in much the same way as the Navy A-4. Just for accuracy's sake, since most Republicans think a Democrat knows nothing about things military.

    No, I didn't hear USA at the DNC but I sure heard (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:48:26 AM EST
    it today in Colorado Springs. Along with Viva McCain chants and a girls higschool cheerleading squad who warmed the crowd up with "Red, blue and white, Fight, McCain Fight."

    All the news reported hours of lines to get in. Doors opened at 9, I got there at 11:10 or so while they were doing the 2 minute call, found a parking space right away and went in with no line, and was the only one at security.

    It's interesting how you bring (none / 0) (#50)
    by fercryinoutloud on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:20:54 AM EST
    up Palin's religious foundations as as a negative when you yourself spell God as "G-d" which is saying that you too may have a religious foundation that guides your world view also.

    BTW, Palin: Valley Girl? It looked to me that like many Pols, and I have met and seen many in unscripted environments, she was just being a real person in front of real people and talking to them in terms that the particular venue they were in dictated. That's what Pols do. In this case she was speaking in a church that she grew up in so talking to people in the language that they talk in was natural for her.

    If you want to start attacking her religious beliefs I think you are going down the wrong path. Like family, religion should be left off the table because criticism of such cannot be a winning proposition ever. For every 1 who may agree with you there are 10 that don't. The math does not work in your favor. Besides Obama is trying to get the people who Palin was relating to to relate with him and has used religion as a hook himself. So if you bash her you bash him. Or is it OK for Obama to have religion but it is not OK for Palin to have religion?


    'Attacking' Religious Beliefs: Bad Idea (none / 0) (#53)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:27:52 PM EST
    Exposing the way a pol like Palin's religious beliefs inform their governing style and perspective: Completely appropriate, and, given some of the outside-the-secular-mainstream nature of some of her beliefs: vital.

    Chalkboard Voice (none / 0) (#4)
    by stephennnn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:58:35 AM EST
    I don't know if others have had the same reaction to Sarah Palin's voice, but after a few minutes I start to feel uncomfortable. Her voice starts to grate on my ears much like fingernails on a chalkboard

    Reminds me of Julia Sweeney from old SNL days (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:46:04 AM EST
    I don't really mind it that much, but then I grew up in the midwest and it is much like the voices I grew up with.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#33)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:21:15 AM EST
    my comment the night of her acceptance speech.  

    i feel the same about McCains voice (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jlvngstn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:23:25 AM EST
    Although I do not presently have (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:01:01 AM EST
    a "spiritual leader," even if I did, I wouldn't care for the idea of that person proclaiming what I think or will do.  I do hope Gov. Palin relies more on the New Testament than the Old.

    Why? Don't Jews Read the Old Testament? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:13:11 AM EST
    Maybe they just take a different meaning from it? Isn't is supposed to be like a parable? (Or do I know nothing about this?)

    New Testament is where (none / 0) (#8)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:30:04 AM EST
    Jesus comes in.  He become the new "law."  He becomes the path to salvation.  Evangelical Christians believe that belief in Jesus and acceptance of him as Savior is the only path to heaven.

    The God of the Old Testament is a scary God.  Eye for an eye comes from the O.T.  Jesus replaces the old law with his sacrifice.

    By the way, Evangelical Christians believe that the entire Bible is the true word of God.  Of course, they differ in how things are interpreted, much like Supreme Court Justices argue over the meaning of the Constitution.  I hope this makes sense to you.


    The whole subject makes me again (none / 0) (#9)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:40:28 AM EST
    wonder how an Evangelical Christian can become President/Vice President.  They serve God first.  How can the leader of our country put God before country?  

    I've never understood why some enterprising reporter didn't grill Bush on aspects of his beliefs and how they could conflict with the oath he would take when he became President.  Now we have Sarah Palin.

    Keep in mind that belief in God and Jesus are not the same thing as being a Evangelical Christian - which is what Bush is, or claims to be.  Sarah Palin, too.

    Evangelical Christians believe that ONLY those who accept Jesus as their Savior will be with God in heaven.  That means unless Mother Teresa did that exact thing she is burning in hell.  I used to fantasize that someone would ask Bush specific questions about his beliefs and this would come out.  I figured he would lose the Catholic vote.

    Since Bush/Palin use their religion to get votes it should be fair game to examine their beliefs.  


    Hmmmm (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by JAB on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:18:14 AM EST
    This sounds strangely like the arguments people had against Kennedy becoming president - a Catholic who might take orders from Rome.

    No it doesn't. (none / 0) (#36)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:26:54 AM EST
    Kennedy made it very clear that he was running to be President of the United States - a secular post.  Bush ran on God and convinced people for various Christian sects that his beliefs were essentially the same as his - which is not the case.  Palin is even more extreme in her views and sees them as being integral to her governance; and therefore in my mind has even less in common with other Christians as a result - and that also excludes her from any comparisons with John F. Kennedy.

    Be very wary of these End Times people.  They believe two things that should make them extremely scary and dangerous to mankind:

    1. They believe that people who preach peace are doing the work of the devil - because peace delays the End Times and their deliverance to heaven.
    2. They believe that bringing the End Times is their purpose on earth - they are essentially suicidal.

    If I had to live under religious rule - these people would rank right up there on my top ten list of religious folks that I would do everything I could to avoid.

    She's welcome to her beleif system... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:04:04 AM EST
    it's when she starts hoisting it onto others that the problems begin.

    The rhetoric right now is "OMG...she's Pentecostal...and she's scary!!!" And that's pretty much as far as it's gone...as if the fear syllogism is going to be persuasive enough.

    Has anyone gone through her past acts as an executive to see what, if anything, she's actually done to hoist her "actions guided by faith" onto Alaskans? If so, what've they come up with?

    The Obama team worked to try and show that 20 years worth of Rev. Wright's sermons didn't influence Obama.


    Christian Heritage Week (none / 0) (#54)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:38:31 PM EST
    An example of 'hoisting her "actions guided by faith on Alaskans":

    "As chief executive of Alaska, she signed a proclamation marking Christian Heritage Week as an occasion to remind Alaskans of the role Christianity has played in the state's history."

    From what little I've read so far about the native peoples' cultures in Alaska, the incursion of Christianity had the same effect on their spiritual beliefs and practice (i.e. decimating them) as it has had on the cultures of native peoples everywhere.

    Now I might not quite mind this public celebration of a particular religion if Alaska also sponsored Aleut, Inupiat and other native Alaskan religion weeks. Haven't seen where they did...

    Actually, government has no business proclaiming celebrations of ANY religion. At least, I think that was something the founders thought...


    That's it? (none / 0) (#56)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:46:31 PM EST
    I read the proclamaition (none / 0) (#57)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:53:47 PM EST
    she cites Washington, Henry, Mason, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and the Alaska Constitution.



    ps... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:56:10 PM EST
    If it's the 9th anniversary of such a week...arguably some other governor instituted in 9 years ago.

    What's REALLY Going to Be Fascinating (none / 0) (#60)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:04:41 PM EST
    is if she ever gets asked the question about those citations: So do you think those men would agree with your insertion of religion in the public square and answers in the affirmative.

    The article about the proclamation you linked to itself linked to Rev. Barry Lynn's comment, he of the ferociously church/state separatism movement:

    "Jefferson and Madison are quoted completely out of context here--both would be appalled at this idea and, in fact, Jefferson routinely refused to sign "day of prayer" proclamations sent to him by Congress;

    *Patrick Henry may have been happy to comment on "sin"; but luckily for America his view of the role of religion in the nation was not that held by the majority of the Framers.  In this country the government tries to stop "crimes"; it leaves the correction of "sinning" to the conscience of the people;"


    And did you note... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    that it's the 9th annual version of this proclamation?

    Who created the 1st one? Why? What was the language of the 1st one? If it was altered, how was it changed? And why?

    She could easily point out that it's an Alaskan tradition started by X and her signature is an honorary one...


    She Can Simply Point Out (none / 0) (#62)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:58:37 PM EST
    any number of things about herself and so can the McCain campaign in its efforts to reshape and reform her image to the national stage.

    But what else do we have to judge our politicians by but their actual record and public statements.

    She didn't have to sign this proclamation. She is, after all, the state's (ahem) chief executive and can choose what she puts her official muscle behind.

    Her personal religious beliefs lead me to believe this is an act she strongly supported, a blend of public sphere and private religious belief that she subscribes to.


    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:29:10 PM EST
    Her personal religious beliefs lead me to believe this is an act she strongly supported, a blend of public sphere and private religious belief that she subscribes to.

    Speculative...at best.

    Now...give me something real and not a 10 year old proclamation signed into being by a DemocraticGovernor.


    Irrelevant (none / 0) (#64)
    by daring grace on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:48:17 PM EST
    At least as far as Palin's record is concerned.

    She's running as a powerful independent chief executive.

    Do you REALLY think that image jibes with some kind of statement like:

    "Oh, well, really, I only signed that proclamation because it was placed in front of me. And after all, the whole thing was started by a DEMOCRAT governor!"

    The snorts and guffaws would be deafening considering she has presented herself as the scourge of all those silly Democrats, a woman who gets things done her way. Signing that proclamation is in no way inconsistent with her public image or private record (as we know it.)

    Yet you seem to be looking for all these loopholes to rationalize that Governor Palin is a devout right wing Christian who believes in inserting religion into the public sphere, and you call my arguments speculative?


    I thought you'd say that... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:32:58 PM EST
    I'm looking for real evidence of real legislative/executive acts where she's actually forced her religious belief system onto Alaska's population...not "well she signed this 10 year old pro-forma proclamation (one that both Dems and Reps had signed for years before her) and that indicates that she's going to hoist her belief system onto the rest of the country!"

    Now if she'd actually been the person who put the proclamation into the hopper, you might have something. But she isn't...

    And Obama's made the argument re: bringing religion into the public sphere. (See the 2006 speech that many of us were up in arms about...)

    I don't agree with him...I don't want religion in the public sphere. I want a very clean line of demarcation between Church & State. But then...no one asked me for my advice on this.

    What I want is actual evidence that she crossed the line.

    And yeah...those pro forma proclamations always get a guffaw...

    Did you know that National Cancer Control Month has been around since 1938?


    WOW!! (none / 0) (#41)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:00:47 AM EST
    I did not know this. You are correct; this really scares me.  "Peace is the work of the devil?"  End Times is essentially suicidal ideation.  

    Fair enough... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Strick on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:39:23 AM EST
    But if you do check out her beliefs, remember Palin is a Pentecostal, but not necessarily an Evangelical.  Check it out,  there's a difference.  Not as big as the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, but a difference.  

    For instance, not all Evangelicals are be as focused on the End Times as Palin's church is and in an interesting twist, their church doctrine says all Jews will be saved in the end.  To quote a friend of mine, "They've got their deal with God, we've got ours."

    No word on Mother Teresa, but then, Mother Teresa would probably have thought Palin was a heretic going to hell, too, so...

    I realize it's all confusing.  Sort of like Palin's request that the graduates pray that her son and other troops be sent in God's will in the video above.  It's not an assertion they're on a mission from God like so many people ignorant of Christian practices believe; it's a form of prayer requesting that their leaders not do anything against God's will.

    Basically the equivalent of a prayer to give our leaders wisdom, though Palin's form would be more realistic to most folks here, since asking for certain leaders to achieve wisdom would be asking for a miracle.


    Jesus (none / 0) (#28)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:50:22 AM EST
    Jesus was reformer.
    He confronted the power structure.
    He did not belong any Christian denomination.

    His philosophy, as outlined in the Gospels, has absolutely nothing to with the way that many people identifying themselves as Christians behave.

    Talk about "scary": The Crusades, the inquisition, the Cold War...
    even the war in Iraq.

    Nobody in power pays any more attention to what Jesus had to say than they do Martin Luther King or Malcolm X. They create a cartoon version and go from there.


    Obviously, the "Old Testament" is ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:42:52 AM EST
    a Christian document.  It's a somewhat altered version of the Hebrew Bible (the "Tanakh").

    And it's a mistake to view them as analogs, either in content or use. Remember, Judaism is not a proselytizing religion.  It doesn't seek converts.


    New testament is less threatening and more hopeful (none / 0) (#31)
    by andrys on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:50:21 AM EST
    Raging father in the Old Testament and kindly but still-stern son in the New Testament.

      As for what effect Palin's religion might have on her actions in office, the latest TIME Magazine article has the following two paragraphs near the end:

    Nor has Palin made social issues the cornerstone of her governorship. When a parental consent law was struck down by Alaska's highest court in 2007, Palin called the decision "outrageous" but refused calls from conservatives to remedy the defeat by introducing antiabortion legislation in a session that was supposed to be about drilling rights.
    This was when she refused Lyda Green, Senate President, the permission to try to ram through two recently failed anti-abortion bills in the next session and told her maybe in a separate session if she could show "a path of success first" -- which was encouraging to me because it indicated one would need to show the majority of people wanted the bills.

    In the meantime ultra-conservative Green, whose moves were frustrated by Palin, has been the Alaska politico saying that Palin isn't even ready to be governor, much less vice-president.  

      2nd paragraph near the end:

    Wearing her faith quietly fits more with Palin's personality, says St. George. "In all the years I've known Sarah and her parents, we never talked about right-to-life or any of that," he says. "She doesn't let those issues get in the way of getting things done for the community."

     (But she used the abortion issue when it was a strong issue for the town in the earlier days.)


    The new testament can be (none / 0) (#7)
    by Faust on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:29:45 AM EST
    twisted plenty. Heck imo, any literal interpretation of the bible is going to take you to a bad place.

    Let us remember, (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:37:42 AM EST
    that is was a Priest, not a Rabbi, that blessed the Enola Gay as it took off to drop the Atomic bomb on the hapless citizens of Hiroshima.

    My experience of the last election (none / 0) (#10)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:58:40 AM EST
    was every "Christian" I knew voted for Bush. It was as though their choice was between Kerry and Jesus. Their churches endorsed Bush, and they went along. Issues didn't matter to them. They voted for Jesus.

    Those I talked to when they realized the war wasn't going as promised said they'd been fooled by Bush. They were angry. I hope they haven't forgotten, but I don't know. I fear the RNC is going to be able to pull off another vote for Jesus.

    Obama to the rescue (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:35:56 AM EST
    Obama has made it clear that he is on the Jesus train - and that Jesus died for his sins. So we'll have battling Jesuses.
    Should be exciting.

    Have hope. Rove exploited those (none / 0) (#12)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:07:51 AM EST
    churches so much in the last election I don't know that there are more Christians to register.  Dems have been registering voters in key states and there should be additional AA turnout in many states.  Perhaps we can swamp them.

    Also, many younger Christians don't just focus on baby killing and gays -- two things that Jesus really didn't spend anytime discussing.  Many are more interested in helping those with AIDS, protecting the environment, which God instructed us to do (if you believe in that), famine-relief, etc.  

    Even with Palin on the ticket I don't think that McCain will get as much support from Christians as Bush did.  Right-wing Christians will support him, but there's a large group of Christians that are not right wingers and Obama may sway many of those.


    Nuts (none / 0) (#11)
    by withoutparty on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:05:34 AM EST
    Religious nuts like her do scare me a bit.  Especially as a lesbian.  However, I'm a bit leery about making attacks against her pastor for fear that the right will resurrect Rev. Wright.  That's the last thing I want plastered all over the doggone TV nowadays.

    Tubular! (none / 0) (#15)
    by jerry on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:35:16 AM EST

    Prophet of Yonwood.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by jerry on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:42:17 AM EST
    This would be a good, ontopic thread to plug book 3 of the City of Ember books by Jeanne Duprou.  These are simple books, meant for kids, and tell a post apocalypse story, where two 12 year olds have to figure out, at times, the roles of leaders, of questioning, of charisma.

    The third book is actually a prequel by about 250 years, and in that book, another girl (who will play a minor role in the first book), has to determine for herself the role of religion, and the zealous.

    Written in the past few years, these books are very much about George W. Bush and our current world.

    Bless Sarah Palin's heart, she's no Brenda Beeson, the prophet's "interpreter", but she looks as though she might become one.

    The question isn't: Does Palin's religion (none / 0) (#40)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:52:22 AM EST
    guide her?

    Whatever your belief system, in one way or another, it guides you.

    The questions are: How does Palin's belief system guide her? and Has Palin hoisted her belief system onto others via her past legislative/executive acts?

    Best line from a RC site (none / 0) (#42)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:02:34 AM EST
    in response to Palin's acceptance speech:

    "Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor."

    I WANT A T-SHIRT!!!!

    community organizer vs. governor (none / 0) (#46)
    by andjustice4all on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:45:39 AM EST
    I like that bumper sticker. I'd put it on my car. However, like maria and themomcat, I am very uncomfortable with religion becoming in any way relevant to ANY candidate's "qualifications". I live for the day that one of them answers that question (because suddenly, it's apparently OK to ask such a personal question and expect a detailed answer!) by saying it's a personal matter that is not for public consumption, but please feel free to observe my behavior and judge for yourself whether I have moral standards that you can live with.
    But today's voters seem to want it easy: tell me what you want me to believe "I'm a Christian and God wants me to be in office" and I'll ignore your actions: lying, cheating, stealing, killing people (not personally, through policy decisions)
    It makes me crazy.
    And I, too, am more concerned with their views on the Constitution than any religious ideology.

    John Kerry tried that. Didn't work. (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:58:07 AM EST
    I think John McCain has pretty much stayed true to you wish, but now he has Sarah Palin to passify those who want more overt discussion of religion.

    Steel Cage Life After Death Match (none / 0) (#65)
    by WakeLtd on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 03:02:18 PM EST
    I'm looking forward to the tag-team rassling' match between the 4 Messiahs of each of the respective candidates as they battle it out. There is the Quiet Jesus of John McCain: "doesn't say much but don't git him angry"; The Righteous Jesus from Obama's Southside who is gonna make make some changes whether you like it or not; Joe Biden's Traditional Jesus, the original "Comeback Kid"; and Sarah Palin's Post Apocalypse Jesus, He of the New Clear Light. It's gonna be an "In The House" slamboree. O, the humanity!

    Lies Being Exposed (none / 0) (#68)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:49:13 PM EST
    Don't count on it mattering--the big lie works.

    None of the lies matter much anyway, Obama lost when he didn't select Hillary.