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Sarah Palin’s religion

I had a conversation with some friends about it yesterday evening, which led me to some snooping around the web.

Perhaps there’s more to it than this, this ,or this but I haven’t found anything yet that puts her outside the evangelical mainstream.

The Chicago Tribune article may seem to do so, but, by my lights, the reporter misinterprets her prayer--regarding her son’s deployment to Iraq--“that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.” This isn’t an affirmation that the deployment is God’s will, but rather that it be in accordance with God’s will. She’s looking for guidance, not presuming to know the mind and will of God. In other words, the prayer is humble.

I expect to see more attempts to paint her religion as unusual and wacky, but, from what I’ve seen thus far, it is much more ordinary than what Barack Obama was sitting through for twenty years.

Update: This WSJ piece doesn’t win awards for balance, quoting only a liberal Baptist on Palin.

Discussions - 21 Comments

We want the door opened for Pflegger, Wright, Farrakhan, et al.

Let the Dems try to portray mainstream Protestantism as outlandish and strange, let them try to brand prayer for life's ordinary activities as bizarre, ------------------- that will only drive voters away from them.

Dems may be sealing to themselves urban seculars, --------------- but they already had them, and if they STILL need to make sure that that particular voting bloc goes Democrat, then they are in much greater campaign difficulties than any of us presently imagine.

They're reaching for any stick at hand to thrash Sarah Palin, ----------- but it's increasingly clear that the public has grown fond of her, and isn't much inclined to subscribe to Democrat/MSM memes about her.

Yesterday Obama tried to brand the McCain campaign racist.

Yesterday and today, their auxilaries in the media are trying to tarnish Governor Palin for her prayer life.

Signs of growing panic.

Your worry is whether or not she is 'outside the evangelical mainstream', but of course the problem is that her evangelical brand, the rapture/tribulation brand, is already outside the mainstream. Your parsing of Palin's prayers seems unconvincing. If Bush's plan was in accordance with God's will, we need a new God as well as a new president. Overall, for some reason I am less concerned with what Obama was 'sitting through,' since raging against the economic machine is common in historically black churches. The congregations are letting off steam. It is very different with the 'left-behind' crowd. Their's is the sleeper-cell I worry about more in the White House.

Who are you calling "out of the evangelical mainstream," David P.? Maybe that is true where you live, but not where I live. Reporters are out looking at such churches as if they are alien to America, instead of everywhere and ordinary. I have attended such churches as the Palins' in cities, towns, and villages all over America from New York City to San Francisco and from Palm Beach to Yakima and from Coventry, VT to San Diego. I do not think you would know the American religious mainstream if someone threw you in it. Those who live in it hear Sarah Palin and do not misinterpret her. Those who report on her and do misinterpret need an education.

Joe's got that prayer right and you don't have a clue.

I'm not Protestant myself, but her assembly isn't outside the Protestant mainstream.

Nor am I "parsing" her prayers. She wants a plan that works, that's consistent with the will of the Almighty. Hardly different than some of the comments of Lincoln during the Civil War, who questioned how it was possible for the prayers of so many for the war to end remained unheard.

The idea that the black supremacism within black churches is just proper ventalation is strange indeed. Particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the growth of islam within black America.

Besides, how does Governor Palin's spirituality inform her policy decisions, or how do you envision her spirituality to inform her future decisions.

The whacked out views of Obama flow from the heretical formula he's been suckled on since the day he was born, a witch's brew of socialism, anti-colonialism, racism, anti-Americanism, anti-Westernism and anti-Capitalism. Heresy upon heresy upon heresy, to the nth degree.

It's clear as day that one candidate's "spirituality" should scare the hell out of every rational and reasonable observer. And it isn't that of Governor Palin.

Should have spell checked that, -------- but whatever.

If Bush's plan was in accordance with God's will, we need a new God as well as a new president.

That seems to be carrying liberal stupidity well past the breaking point, and be verging on insanity.

It's not like you even give a damn about the war anyway, other than as a stick to beat Republicans with.

No, Kate, I think David P.'s right (and I was raised in that 'ol "pre-millenialist" mainstream). There is no misinterpretation . . . just pure shock from people who don't reside there. It's creepy to hear about how the war is God's will (not to mention everything being God's will . . . or at least in his big "plan" - perhaps even the election of Obama?).

So, I mean, it's clear that the evangelical mainstream is all about Jesus's endorsement of all things American (after all, it was "His" people who killed all the heathens [either with weapons or disease] and live here to this day), and I don't see that changing anytime soon. My real fear, however, is that this is the kind of Christianity that goes and votes (and if there was ever one thing I learned from all those years of church, it was that Jesus expects us to go do our political duty and bolster American exceptionalism by voting for the God-fearing Republicans).

And John - what the hell are you talking about? "Liberal stupidity"? Please. That's the best you can do? And that line about the war is ever sillier - yeah . . . liberals want the troops out of Iraq (aka - they don't care about the war, right?). Come on. The Christian God is creepy and scary and, seemingly (to some anyway) an Asshole (ever heard of the "problem of evil"?). Don't belittle David's post because you're too afraid to actually confront its content.

Here's the difference, some Protestants have a different take on certain verses from scripture, such as the one on "the rapture" for instance. But those are individual denominations interpreting verses related to "the latter times," none of which alter fundamental teachings of Christ, such as the ongoing relevance of the Decalogue, or the Trinity.

Now compare that record of particular differences related to end-time prophecies to Black Liberation theology, which reduces THE ENTIRETY OF CHRISTIANITY through the microscopic prism of racial identity, perceived racial grievance and the "gospel" of Marx. Black Liberation theology, {ANY liberation theology for that matter} is nothing short of theological "audacity" itself, for it alters just about every single feature of the authentic gospels. In the case at instance, Black Liberation theology changes the answer from who is your "neighbor, {your fellow black, and no one else} to what constitutes "the Kingdom," {the establishment of Black supremacy through Black political agitation}. Even what constitutes "good works" is altered, for "good work" is that which advances Black political power. Black Liberation theology is a subset of that 3d world political phenemenon, which sought to piggyback Marxism upon the Gospel of Christ. It is characterized by a rabid anti-colonialism and anti-Capitalism.

This also happens to be that "audacity" to which Barrack Hussein Obama has sworn fealty, {See his multiple memoirs}. And it is this fevered political ideology/theology which has so often distorted the visage of his wife, into one of seething rancor, bitterness and entitlement.

There's NOTHING remotely comparable between the spirituality of those Churches Governor Palin has frequented, and the "spirituality" of the "Reverend" Wrights of this existence. Wright is in fact nothing short of another "false messiah," which the faithful have been warned to beware of.

Anyone who desires to learn more details about the heresy of Liberation Theology should have resort to the interview of Cardinal Ratzinger, published in The Ratzinger Report, for Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, before assuming the obligations of the Papacy, was the Prefect of The Faith, in charge of the Holy and Universal Inquisition, more commonly known as The Holy Office.

Can't wait to hear Palin's discourse on religious differences, church and state issues, and legal philosophies. I heard she was THE towering intellectual force of Matanuska-Susitna College! She will out do Bush and when asked who is the political philosopher who has most influenced her, she will smile and say 'God'.

Those who are skeptical about Governor, on whatever ground, or who favor the other side, should ignore her for now. Otherwise we just encourage the manipulation of symbols and identities, degrading our politics, and we play into the hands of Republican strategists. Let her reveal her relevant qualities in her own time.

In July, Obama wrote the following to conclude a prayer on a slip of paper he tucked into a crack in the Wailing Wall: And make me an instrument of your will.

AFAIK, not a Democrat and/or other Lefty on the face of the planet made any complaint about Obama being a monomaniacal theocrat.

Hypocrites all.

Unless they think it goes without saying that, no matter what kind of prayer Obama makes, he'll never, ever, never, ever do anything whatever that will contradict any tenet of secular collectivism. Or that he didn't really, really, really mean it.

Still hypocrites all.

As Joe Knippenberg might say, Obama expressed no confidence that he is an instrument of God's will, nor that he can know if it comes to pass.

I agree with Steve: a faithful Christian ought to pray to be an instrument of God's will, and to pray for guidance as to what that will is. That ought to be a humbling prayer, not one that fuels "merely human" arrogance.

Nice job, Dan, on all points. As a youth pastor in an evangelical church, I can assure those who care that we are not into a God who is "all things American." Nor do we foolishly believe all things are God's will. We know Him just well enough to believe we can trust Him. Nor do we feel the need for some sweaty palmed freak to have his hand on the "big red button" in order to usher in OR stop the Tribulation. These things will take care of themselves, and we know our assistance is not needed. Sarah Palin is a safe bet for America. Many presidents from both parties have shared her views, and we are still here. Obama's audacity may be more than the Oval office can bear.

Is Palin really inside the typical Evangelical mold? I think there's room for doubt on this as the WSJ's Riley wrote on Friday.

It seems to me that Palin is NOT like the Evangelical mainstream of old. For one, her rhetoric is different and less strident--she sounds not like Robertson, Falwell, Roberts, or a whole host of others from days past. She may be within the mainstream as we know it today, but contrary the shoddy reporting of one Hanna Rosin, the present Evangelical mainstream is not like the old.

Matt, I am sorry I had to withdraw from this little battle. My life fell into a fresh hell. Yet, I think Dan and Mickey and Erik cover roughly what my response would be. The Riley article is really good. Thanks.

I heard she was THE towering intellectual force of Matanuska-Susitna College!

I do appreciate you constantly reminding us of what complete and utter snobs liberals are. Eighteenth century French aristocrats had more respect for the common man than does the average Democrat. But you get to feel wonderful about yourself and I guess that's all that counts ....

Interesting thread...

I'm hesitant to set one candidate against the other because my interests lie in the "third way" regarding politics, but that's a different conversation.

So while I think they're both kooks, (Obama, Palin) some truth-telling is in order. First, Dan will need to come up with better evidence, if heresy is his accusation. Racism notwithstanding, if Obama has indeed violated any of the other -isms he put forth, the only orthodoxy he's violated would be that of western-style capitalism.

Defending Obama is very low on my list of priorities though. More interesting to me is the reality that premillenial, dispensational view points have been sneaking into the Washington establishment for years through advisers like Hal Lindsey and more recently Joel Rosenberg. Will that trickle become a flood when a "true believer" takes the VP desk?

Is she in fact a consistent adherent to a premil. disp. worldview? Where does she stand on these things theology-wise? I don't know, and I don't think I'm going to know before I have to decide, based on current bluster from the McCain camp.

You decide. How do you feel about the second in command of the US military believing that national, geographic Israel must be defended--not based on foreign policy--but because Israel must survive as a nation to make a pact with the Anti-Christ during a "Great Tribulation" that will make the Holocaust seem insignificant? That Russia invading the middle east is a sign of His return? That Iraq must rise to superpower status as a similar sign?

For me, as a reformed type, I have to be consistent. I can't consider them wackos while wearing my theology hat, and then decide they're wonderful when I'm talking politics. I'm waiting to be put straight by the McCain camp, but I fear that education isn't coming.

How do you feel about the second in command of the US military believing that national, geographic Israel must be defended--not based on foreign policy--but because Israel must survive as a nation to make a pact with the Anti-Christ during a "Great Tribulation" that will make the Holocaust seem insignificant?

You really think that McCain even believes in God, let alone that he believes the stuff you said? Even for a liberal, that seems pretty credulous.

The idea that Palin is a "true believer" of the sort you describe is likewise complete crap, unsupported by a single iota of evidence. Stop spending so much time in the fever swamps that are the left-wing blogs and step out into the sunlight and fresh air from time to time. The only lunatic imaginings I see are yours.

Racism notwithstanding, if Obama has indeed violated any of the other -isms he put forth, the only orthodoxy he's violated would be that of western-style capitalism.

So, you are willing to concede that he is a racist socialist, and you are fine with him on that? That's some "third way" you have there.

Lunacy indeed, and I'd like to know if she's signed off on it or not. The question stands. Where is she on this stuff? Either theology matters or it doesn't. I'm not interested in talking about Obama; he has neither my vote nor my interest, so my mistake for doing it in the first place.

I grew up with this nonsense. It appears that she did too. I've had to rethink those views. How about her? I've never voted Democrat, and its highly unlikely I ever will. How many lefties even know who Hal Lindsey is? Reagan...check, HW...check. I'm a registered Republican; a conservative Christian.

Again, theology matters. If you're not familiar with the "Left Behind" premil crowd, do the homework. In the meantime, I'd like to know more about her association with them, given her church affiliations over the years.

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