Patricia Nell Warren

More on Palin's Scary Religious Affiliations

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | September 30, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: McCain/Palin, Palin's religion, Pentecostal, Sarah Palin, Third Wave

Oh, I get it. The reason that major news media are not asking Sarah Palin about Joel's Army is...they're shaking in their shoes. They're afraid Palin will start yelling that her faith is being persecuted. As one friend of mine put it today, "We're not supposed to ask about a candidate's personal religion." But let's delve into this alleged protectiveness of candidates' First Amendment rights. The fact is -- now and in the past, the mainstream media do ask nosy questions about candidates' religion.

To start with, Republicans had no problem raking Obama over the coals about his religion. Even Obama's family came in for raking. His Muslim father, his agnostic mother, the allegations that his Islamic connections make him a stool pigeon for foreign terrorists -- it was all launched into the headlines months ago, and is still being bruited around today. From Newsweek to Salon, the media have scrutinized Obama's statement that he is "rooted in Christian tradition" like it's one of those angels dancing on the head of a pin.

The media also didn't hesitate when it came to Mitt Romney and the Church of Latter Day Saints. Among others, Time Magazine did a serious line-by-line analysis of objections to Romney's beliefs -- starting with LDS discrimination against women. The biggest discussion point of all: many Catholics and Protestants get the willies because Mormons don't believe in the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus the way Protestants do. They don't consider Mormons to be "Christian" (even though the Mormons say they do believe in Christ). The implication is that we can't have a President who doesn't believe in the Trinity.

Gee, Unitarians don't believe in the Trinity either. But the U.S. had four Unitarian Presidents (Adams, Quincy Adams, Fillmore and Taft) ...and the sky didn't fall.

Nor should we forget the high profiling on Joe Lieberman's Jewish faith, when Al Gore tapped him as running mate in 2000. According to The Nation, Gore and Lieberman responded by doing "their best to outdo the Republicans at religiosity. Gore made a point of his born-again Christianity, rejected "hollow secularism" and declared his support for 'charitable choice,' a policy that would loosen the rules for allotting public funds to faith-based programs. Lieberman was even bolder: He responded to what he called the 'miracle' of his nomination with repeated public professions of faith in God, along with declarations that religion is the basis of morality and that the Constitution provides 'freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.'"

Last but not least, anybody old enough to remember will recall the epic uproar around John F. Kennedy's Catholicism. A 1962 Time piece is still posted online, for those who'd like to get the flavor of those times. Certain people were convinced that Kennedy would violate U.S. sovereignty by answering to a foreign sovereign power, namely the Pope. After JFK was elected, there was even a flap over whether he would be willing to take the oath of office with his hand on the Bible. Some Americans evidently never got the word that Catholics read the Bible too.

So there are plenty of precedents for airing the questions around Sarah Palin's extremist ultra-militant Third Wave associates, and the degree of her commitment to them. No way does such a discussion add up to a "religious test" that actually bars a candidate from office because of religion, or violate a candidate's privacy, or a candidate's religious-freedom rights. If you're going to run for office, you take what comes with the territory. Especially since these Joel's Army people are talking about "taking dominion" over the United States and setting up some sort of quasi-monarchy under "King Jesus." I'd kinda like to know more about that before the election, and it's my guess that other Americans would like to know as well.

So why are the major media walking on eggs with this one? Could it be that Palin is getting a pass because she's a Protestant? Is it possible that it's okay to put Mormons, Jews, etc. under the microscope, but not Protestants? Taking it one step further...do the right-wing Protestants have more juice with the corporate media? Do they get to be more sheltered from this kind of discussion than do Mormons, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, astrologers, Catholics et al?

As another friend of mine, a Catholic, remarked to me wryly once, "Now and then, just as I'm about to relax and forget, I'm forcibly reminded all over again that America is really a Protestant country."


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Could it be possible that blowhard Pastor Rick Warren was on the VP search committee with McCain?
To be fair, showman Rev. Wright called a press conference at the National Press Club, adding even more attention and press against Obama. Obama was forced to distance himself. Should Palin's Wasilla pastor and the African witchdoctor invited the press, the media would cover it. Regardless, we should know about her beliefs and Palin should be questioned by a committee of psycologists for mental stability. If the old President dies, she would have her finger on the nuclear button.

If you look at some of the things that Thomas Muthee said in the sermons that he gave at the Wassillia church, then things kind of add up.

And I thought Huckabee was scary!

If her beliefs even come close to those of Muthee, then she would be incapable of fulfilling her oath to uphold and protect the constitution. In fact her beliefs would be diametrically opposed to the 1st amendment provisions about establishment of a State religion.

It is astonding that there has been no outcry from any quarter on this. the ACLU and other civil rights and constitutional watchdogs should be up in arms concerning the threat that her canidacy poses to some of the basic freedoms we as a nation take for granted.

Kind of makes Huckabee look like a moderate.

Not only is Palin a Protestant, she is an evangelical, which makes it even more scary and difficult for the media to push forward into this area.

You are exactly correct, Patricia, their first attempt at stopping such inquiry would be to cry, "Christianity is being persecuted!" ... which might not bring the scrutiny of Palin to an end entirely, but would almost certainly distract a large portion of the discussion onto the question we are now discussing, What is fair game regarding a candidate's religion, and what is off-limits?

But this alone is a national discussion worth having, because many Americans aren't up to speed on it.

It is kind of funny, in a scary sort of ha ha way, that members of the majority religion, christianity, can get away with screaming persecution.

Even if they are a smaller part of the whole, christianity is still the majority faith in this country. America has let this part of the christian faith control the dialog. It is kind of like what happens in muslim countries when it is the fundamentalist elements that come to establish and control the boundaries and topics of any debate about the role of religion in governing the society.

So when are we going to have the christian equivilant to Sharia law come up?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

The "Christian" equivalent of sharia is Biblical law. As in the Old Testament, and whatever they define as "law" in the New Testament. And they are busy trying to install it, plank by plank, as we speak.

Britain, with its large Muslim population, is trying to bend over backwards and allow them to have religious liberty by letting sharia courts operate in Britain, and giving them legal authority. Muslim countries that operate on sharia don't have a civil government. They are governed by families descended from Mohammed who appoint their own hierarchy of officials, and the courts are run by the conservative Muslim clergy. It would be like letting John Hagee be a Supreme Court justice.

Nice try on the toleration front, from a country that practiced official intolerance of other religions for so long. But I'll bet that letting sharia in the door in Britain is going to blow up in their faces bigtime. What are they going to do when a British sharia court fails to punish an honor killing of a girl or a gay man that is done right in London?

The United States is heading into the same kettle of boiling oil by allowing conservative "Christian" religion to influence the law.

Well, actually this country was founded using Christian concepts as the basis of the laws that local, state, and federal assemblies passed in the past.

we have actually gone through a period where many of those old laws have been repealed, as the legislatures sought to reflect the changes that have happened in our society. I remember living under the "Blue" laws, which restricted what businesses could be open and what items could be sold on Sundays. Also, many of the "morality" statutes that used to be on the books were repealed or revised, such as the cohabitation laws, or the infamous "dildo" law which was finally repealed last year or so here in Texas.
(You used to could only buy representations of male genitalia as "educational items". Vibrators and dildos were strictly regulated as to shape and function. It felt liberating to be able to go into the local shop and ask for a sex toy, rather than have to ask to see their "educational models".)

This trend though, is starting to come to an end, as the religio-facists start trying to flex their political muscle and "protect" us from all sorts of forms of "immorality". All in the name of some mythical set of "Family Values" that they purport to represent.

We still have blue laws in Indiana.

You can't sell booze, cars or livestock on Sundays. Seriously.

Cuz there's nothing more sacrilegious than going out and buying a new truck, a couple of hogs and a case of beer on the Lord's Day.

Wow, you mean Texas is more progressive in something than another state? I am shocked!

even though you can buy beer and wine on Sundays, you do have to wait until 11:00 or so.

I mean can't have anyone buying a brewski before church to try and make it it through the sermon with.