Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin & Religion

By all accounts, for about 20 years, Sarah Palin was what we call in these parts a Holy Roller, or a Pentacostal.

Some will shout hurrah!

Others will shake their heads in dismay.

While still others will commence to speaking in tongues (bommala-bommala-bommala-shaaaaaaay!).

plezWorld sez, "big deal!"

CNN.com reports that Sarah Palin's pastor, Tim McGraw, of 20 years believes that the GOP is playing down Palin's Pentacostal roots. What follows are excerpts from the CNN.com report on Palin's faith:

For more than two decades, current Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a practicing Pentecostal.

She belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. But though she attended the church from her teenage years through to 2002, she hasn't talked much about her religion since joining the Republican ticket.

Palin's former pastor, Tim McGraw, says that like many Pentecostal churches, some members speak in tongues, although he says he's never seen Palin do so. Church member Caroline Spangler told CNN, "When the spirit comes on you, you utter things that nobody else can understand ... only God can understand what is coming out of our mouths."

Some Pentecostals from Assembly of God also believe in "faith healing" and the "end times" -- a violent upheaval that they believe will deliver Jesus Christ's second coming.

"Our basic belief is that God is God and he knows where history is going and he has a purposeful plan and within the middle of that plan we live in an environment in our world where certain events would take place," says McGraw. "Sarah wasn't taught to look for one particular sign -- a cataclysmic sign. She knew as every Christian does ... that God is sovereign and he is in control."

The McCain campaign says the Governor doesn't consider herself Pentecostal.

Palin's former pastor says he has no doubt her religious beliefs will influence her decision making when it comes to government policy. Regarding her desire to build an Alaskan pipeline and explore for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, McGraw told CNN, "Sarah knows that in Genesis, God creates the world and it's very good and that we're supposed to be caretakers in terms of not destroying the environment, so there's no way that Sarah is going to exploit or damage the Alaska tundra in the name of getting gas if she doesn't have to."

Six years ago, Palin left Assembly of God to join the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church. But the Assembly of God says she still returns for special conferences and events, such as the graduation of ministry students in June. Video of a speech she gave at the church just two months before joining the Republican ticket is making the rounds on the Internet.

Speaking of the troops in Iraq, Palin says on the video, "Pray for our military men and women who are striving do to what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for -- that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan."

Her campaign says she doesn't mix her faith with government business. But Palin did ask her audience to pray for $30 billion natural gas pipeline she is on a mission to build in Alaska. In the video Palin says, "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas pipeline built. So pray for that ... I can do my job there in developing my natural resources. But all of that doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart is not good with God."

McGraw, who was her pastor until 1998 and while she was mayor of Wasilla, says Palin attended discipleship classes to strengthen her Pentecostal faith and that he counseled her on how to become a better leader.

Read the CNN.com articles about Sarah Palin's church here and here.

Read what plez sez had to say about Obama and his faith here.

plez sez: i vaguely remember a two month conversation about Sen. Barack Obama's affiliation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Wright's colorful patriotism. i recall getting sick to my stomach with every replay of that "God damn America" clip of Wright. and who could forget his tomfoolery at the national press club, before Obama had to cut him loose.

i guess she knew 6 years ago that membership in that church would be a political liability, unfortunately, it appears those very ties to Trinity Church in Chicago helped Obama get elected to the Illinois State Senate and the US Senate.

sarah palin and the holy rollers recalls that dim period of the presidential primary campaign. the insertion of one's religion into the campaign is simply wrong. i don't agree with palin's politics and i certainly don't agree with her church, but i would prefer to limit the conversation to her fitness for the job (or lack thereof) rather than pontificate on her weird religious views.

to my way of thinking, what one does on sunday (or saturday) in their house of worship is no business of mine. we are a nation of laws and our constitution strictly prohibits the establishment of a state religion (separation of church and state)... and as long as one's faith-based views remain in their house of worship and within their family, i see no place for their religious affiliation in a political discussion.

so, YES, i am creeped out that sarah palin could've been speaking in tongues at her church, and i am a disturbed that Obama found his faith at the hem of the robe of jeremiah wright... but i give their faith very little weight as to how i will choose to exercise my right to vote. as long as the candidates are able to keep a strict line between their faith and their governance, i don't have a problem with it.

to be honest, it would be best if we didn't know the theology of our elected officials.


William said...

Here are our options w/ regard to the religious views of the candidates:

A PRESEDENTIAL pick that sat in a church with his family for 20 years and listened to a racist pastor spit venom and hate toward the Unites States of America and praise the attacks on 9/11. Oh yeah...Obama only left the church once the media finally exposed how radical and hateful his church really was.


A VICE presidential pick that was ONCE a Pentecostal which is a religion within Christianity that places special emphasis on the direct personal experience of God through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Palin left the Pentacostal church in 2002 and has since attented a nondenominational church with her family.

I love it...keep this type of stuff in the media and the McCain/Palin ticket will be a shoe in victory come November.

Ramblin' Rebel With a Clause said...

Please, WTF or GMAFB or BFD
Are you really thinking out this clearly as you post. What if the religiosity is that of a well spoken Tyrant.Tyranny, or Anti-what ever is in it for you, it's all about me, religion. Broad Brush painting and fear of getting out of this screwed up two party rut has us where we are.
Lazy America is true. All the elected and the appointed of the elected are impeachable offices. We collectively are lazy and fear real "change" due to our successive comfort levels. A holy political enema is the only cure for our two party constipation problems.

plez... said...

OR you can look at it as a PRESIDENTIAL candidate whose faith was so strong, that he could overlook the human frailty and vices of his pastor AND a VICE PRESIDENTIAL pick who wears the religion of political expediency! since she continues to attend and speak there, maybe ms. palin isn't Pentacostal because of her political aspirations, much the same way that Obama abandoned his church.

ramblin' rebel,
i stand by my contention that religion has NO PLACE in a political dialogue. maybe a religious enema is necessary to wash away the hypocrisy and wedge-issues that cloud the judgement of our elected officials in our two party state... rest assured, the two parties ain't going anywhere!

Jack said...

I agree that religion has no place in these discussions. Besides there is more than enough out there to damn Palin.

McCain made a huge mistake with her.

The Washington Post shared this:

ANCHORAGE, Sept. 8 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

Ramblin' Rebel With a Clause said...

Anti- theists; you really don't exist
Okay, you may be neglecting that your view IS one of religiosity, you have a form of belief, and a higher authority to comply with, even it one Feeeellls one has no one to answer to. You may be reformists in your own right, as you may change your take as you evolve though your own circumstances. You can't deny your own credo's, and views have a source you received then from. Look at the sports venue you like, it in itself is an aristocracy of sorts, we will call it the jock strap aristocracy. creeds, protocols and "god like" figures abound. To put together a good team the source and dispositions are critical knowledge for a team that gels well together.Right? Not talent only. Right?

Ramblin' Rebel With a Clause said...

Drats I didn't finish the thought. the Jock strap aristocracy powers;
Why I don want a sports-theologian in office. I don't think MY tax dollar should build their blasted venues! So if they bow at the alter of the NFL I fear them more than a Mormon, who out of much charity many times beat the red cross to tragic scenes with out confiscating my liberties though monetary bondage. I have major hang ups with Mormon Theologies, but can recognize their positive attributes. As far as hypocrites; knowing every one, is one, is the first step in recovery. That will happen at death for most of us.

David Sullivan said...

Check me out today:


Hathor said...

Some religious communities can not separate their religious life from government. It is a postulum to bring society in line with their beliefs. It should concern citizens, when a candidate has this belief. It is different from when religion shapes moral character than when religion shapes government.

I was probably one of the few who thought Barack Obama resigning from church was wrong. I didn't think black liberation theology required that one become saved, before one could be fed or clothed. It's pursuit of the spread of the gospel was through example and not coercion; so I didn't fear an impulse from Obama to make this government a Christian government. I do so from the likes of the fellowship of Sarah Palin.