Monday, September 08, 2008

The Truth About Sarah Palin: She's a Religious Extremist Who Would Impose Her Views on America

If I were religious, I'd say that God had been trying to send me a message this past week. Ironically, the message that I received was that I should warn the public about the extreme religious views of Sarah Palin and how they could change life in America for the worse should she become president.*

Here's what happened:

1. The Speech

I noticed that a lot of people were impressed by Palin's speech last week. So was I. She's a good speaker with a no-nonsense charm and she presents as a very ordinary -- yet intelligent -- person. I heard people who had not read much about who Palin is or what she believes say that her speech convinced them to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.


2. The Tribune Article

Then, yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran a news item about Palin's religious views. Even though I already knew that Palin was part of what has become known as the Religious Right, this article was an eye opener for me. I did not know that she has for most of her life belonged to the Assemblies of God, or Pentecostal church. I also did not know how the Pentacostal church is different from other Evangelical groups. More on that in a moment.

This quote from the Trib really alarmed me:

The churches she has attended also embrace dispensation, a theological
system that emphasizes man's dominion over the earth and the end times—theology
that could potentially shape a believer's environmental and foreign

"When she talks about using up our non-renewable resources, drilling on the
North Slope and building the pipeline, it's almost with glee because in a sense
it doesn't matter," said Nancy Hardesty, a professor of religion at Clemson
University in South Carolina. "All her brand of Christians may be gone before
those things run out. It tends to lessen a long-term view."

That's right. We may end up with someone running our country who thinks IT DOESN'T MATTER if we use up all our natural resources and if global warming makes the world uninhabitable -- because soon the end of time is coming and she and her churchmates will be flying off to heaven. (OK, we may already have someone running the country who believes that. And look where it has gotten us.)

And now is a good time for a little disclaimer: I'm sure some people who read this blog are Evangelical Christians. Heck, you might have even sat next to the Palin family in church for all I know. I have no problem with you and your right to exercise your religious beliefs.

I'm guessing that not ALL Evangelicals believe that the Rapture is going to happen in our lifetimes. But if you DO believe that the rapture is coming in the short term, let this be your notice that however much I may like you personally, I will not vote for you for president or vice-president. I'd be happy to buy shoes from you or be room mom with you or read your frugal living blog, but I DO NOT WANT YOU RUNNING MY COUNTRY. In my leaders I want someone with a long-term view. Because, hey -- if the Rapture is really coming in my lifetime, my family will be among the Left Behind and we might still need some of our natural resources while y'all are off in Heaven.

This also from the Tribune article: Palin has spent state resources creating a new Christian holiday:
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. Palin also argued that public school students
should engage in a "healthy debate" between evolution and creationism.
Yeah, you'd think that people in a relatively fringe religious group such as Palin would understand that the separation of church and state is there to protect people in minority religious groups. And, you know, everyone.

3. The Movie

The next thing that happened this weekend is that a new movie from our Netflix queue showed up. This movie is a documentary called "Jesus Camp" that I had heard was pretty good. I didn't really know what kind of Christian camp it was about or what the point of view was.

Turns out, "Jesus Camp" is a look at how some Pentacostals are training up their children to spread their own brand of Christianity. Particularly disturbing is a scene of a mother homeschooling her child and the child parroting some phrases that supposedly debunk global warming. What disturbed me is that it's presented as if it's a lesson in critical thinking, when there is no thinking going on at all, just a kid repeating back stock phrases to please his mother.

The film also showed how closely Pentacostal Evangelical churches are intertwined with politics. It said that 25 percent of Americans are now Evangelical -- although I am sure most are not involved in movements as extreme as the one portrayed in the film. No wonder McCain picked Palin, and I am no longer under the impression that Palin is not going to help McCain's chances.

"Jesus Camp" is a creepy, creepy movie, and I am not just saying that because I am not religious. I think you would understand best if you saw it for yourself.

So if any of you out there are undecided -- and if you know undecided voters -- I urge you to read the links below, and especially, especially, watch "Jesus Camp." You can actually watch the movie online RIGHT NOW through Netflix for free if you are a member or if you sign up for a free two-week trial.

I think this movie can really help people understand what kind of background Sarah Palin comes from. Watch it, and remember that she has not hesitated to blend her religious beliefs with her work in government. And then ask yourself, no matter how charming she was in her speech, if this is someone you want a heartbeat away from the presidency.

The Links:

Chicago Tribune: How Religion Guides Palin
Tribune: As Mayor, Palin Asked Librarian to Ban Books
Wikipedia: Palin opposes abortion rights even for rape victims.
If you belong to Netflix, you can watch "Jesus Camp" IMMEDIATELY online. You can get a free two-week trial to Netflix here.

* Since I don't believe in God, I think I shall believe that the message was beamed to me over some new Obama networking tactic that bypasses cell phones and uses a combination of traditional media, new technology and ESP to mobilize the people.


Bert said...

Amen, girl! Or... well, whatever it is that we non-evangelicals say when we agree with one another.

Sara said...

I just heard on talk radio today about Sarah Palin's religious leanings, and I found it to be just as disturbing as you did. Please, people, wake up. If I keep hearing how she's this amazing celebrity who is speaking to women's hearts, I'm gonna flip my shizzy.

And, she has such an annoying voice to boot. If I hear that whole hockey mom/pit bull/lipstick thing again, I may stab myself in the eye.

Marketing Mommy said...

Just read on that McCain is pulling even in the polls thanks to a certain lipsticked bulldog.

And call me a snob, but I think the leader of the free world should probably have a graduate degree. Palin took 6 years to graduate from the University of Idaho. She majored in journalism but didn't work for the school paper or radio station.

Carrie said...

I resemble that remark, Alma. Took me 5 and a half years to get my journalism degree.

Honestly, I wouldn't make that one of my criteria for picking someone to govern -- although I certainly haven't appreciated having a president who barely managed to get his bachelor's degree at all, even if he did get an MBA later.

Kori said...

Do you really resemble that remark? You got your degree in 5.5 years from University of Wisconsin, a large school known for being difficult to graduate from in only four years. Maybe her experience at Idaho was similar---big school, hard to get classes---but did she spend a year abroad in Paris? Did she study Chinese, requiring her to take classes that eat up 3-4 hours of time for every 1 hour spent in traditional Western language courses? Did she work for one of the campus papers? Did she, upon graduation, move to Beijing to work at another newspaper, then travel the world on her way back to the US after several years of working abroad?

Seriously, Carrie, YOU HAVE MORE FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE THAN SHE DOES. You also look adorable in librarian glasses. If you believed in God, I'm sure McCain would have had you on his short list.

Carrie said...

Oh my, Kori, I think you're right. I DO have more foreign policy experience than Palin does. Heh. I'm touched that you can recite my credentials :-)

But as far as Palin's education goes, what I mean is that knowing how long it took someone to graduate does not tell us much about them. My case illustrates that.

And more important, I know that this criticism won't resonate with voters. They've shown before that they are not impressed with "book learning."

Anonymous said...

i just received an email which lists the books that palin attempted to have banned from the public library in wasilla (population just over 7,000 according to city officials - not 9,000 as if those 2,000 extra make her ceo credential more impressive!) when she was mayor:
(This information is taken from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library Board).

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse- Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster
Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Barth

-isabel a.

Carrie said...

Well, "Leaves of Grass" and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch" are certainly dangerous books. One helped take down the Soviet Union, and the other nearly took down the Clinton administration.

I'm kidding. Of course. You know that. Right?

Oh my, how much poorer my childhood would have been without some of those books.

Becky said...

Amen, sister. Preach it!

I am actually impressed that Sarah Palin was well-read enough to want to ban Fanny Hill, by John Cleland. It was written in 1748, and yes, some of it is rather saucy, or "sawcy" as early-modern English has it, but what a wonderful world it would be if 15 year-old boys in Wasilla were sneaking copies of this novel into their bookbags! A girl can dream. . .

Who am I kidding? I'm sure Sarah Palin has no idea what's in that book--probably James Dobson puts out a list. You know that guy loves smut.