The Question Catholics Must Ask Sarah Palin
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 07:28:36 PM EST
Bruce Wilson and Ruth have reported here at Talk to Action about Alaskan Governor and GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's ties to the Wasila Assemblies of God Church, a congregation involved with the Latter Rain (aka the New Apostolic Reformation) - an international network that views Catholicism as one of several "corrupt religious systems."
Ruth reports that Sarah Palin has been the subject of "impartations of anointing" on at least four publicly documented occasions by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) For three of these occasions there are pictures or video -- including one picture posted on the State of Alaska official website. Recently released video footage for example, revealed an October 2005 ceremony at the Wasilla Assembly of God (pastored by Ed Kalnins) -- in which then-gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin was anointed and blessed at the church by a top NAR leader, Bishop Thomas Muthee. Participants believe that these rituals feature the transference of spiritual powers.

On one of these occasions, the anointing was conducted by none other than Thomas Muthee, the internationally known star of the Transformation I video and numerous books and other materials on the methods of spiritual warfare - which generally refers to the expulsion of "territorial demons and generational curses." There are many published photos and videos of Palin that feature pastors and churches associated with the NAR. We can reasonably ask, whether Muthee's anointing involved the transference of anti-demonic powers, and whether those powers might be seen as necessary to combat Catholicism.

One of the goals of the kind of spiritual warfare in which Muthee engages -- is to de-Catholicize communities and nations (“Brazil is occupied by Catholics,” declared Muthee in a militant sermon he gave on March 14, 2004 at a United Kingdom church, “but people are being saved anyway!"). C. Peter Wagner, of Fuller Theological Seminary, the top figure in the movement, says that the Roman Catholic Church is under the sway of a great demon he calls the "Queen of Heaven." Top NAR leaders go on spiritual warfare expeditions to try to decrease the power of this demon. For example, following a 1997 expedition to the Himalayas Prophetess Ana Mendez said that she believed that their efforts might have cause the death of Mother Theresa. In another case, NAR took credit for an earthquake that damaged the Basilica at St Francis's hometown of Assisi, Italy.

Diane Buker is a member of Wagner's International Board of Apostles and a Member of the Apostolic Board, U.S. Strategic Prayer Network, as well as a Florida state prayer network leader. She is also the proprietress or the Battle Axe Brigade web site which condemns the Catholic Church as a "corrupt religion"- along with at least Mormonism, Scientology and Freemasonry.

Why does this matter? Well, as my colleague Bruce Wilson astutely observed:

"...not because people at Palin's churches speak in tongues or for any specific gestural or behavioral expression. These things are deeply felt and not properly mocked or stigmatized, Rather, Palin's churches matter because pastors in those churches espouse an aggressive form of Christian nationalism and also the doctrine that all forms of religious and philosophical beliefs other than their own are invalid and even under demonic influence.

Christians caught up in the Third Wave or New Apostolic Reformation tend to believe that all Christian sects and denominations are invalid and even under demonic influence because their theological substrate holds that when Adam and Eve sinned in The Garden, God withdrew his protective cover from the Earth and demons flooded in. Palin's churches are demon-haunted churches which tend to view the Catholic Church (especially) as well as all Protestant denominations as invalid and as manifestations of a "religious spirit" that's held to be demonic. Things devolve from there - the Third Wave stigmatizes much of Protestant and Catholic Christianity but it vilifies and literally demonizes Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and all non-Christian religions and belief systems as manifestations of "witchcraft", to be driven from the Earth by "spiritual warfare" and by a physical, end-time, purifying last-generation army.

What would it mean for America to have a vice president, let alone a president, who might feel (though she would of course deny it) that Catholics and most Christians, and all non-Christians, hold invalid religious or philosophical beliefs and are under demonic influence?

At this point in time it would be unfair to assume that Governor Palin shares these views. Yet, at the same time the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee openly accepts the blessing from and shares podiums with the likes of Thomas Muthee and his co-coreligionists who see mine as an occupying force in such predominately Catholic countries as Brazil.

All this raises a very troubling question: Does Governor Palin share this view of Catholicism?

While citizens and responsible reporters should be asking this question - with follow-ups - one thing we can be sure of:  silence or perhaps vigorous pooh-poohing over on the Catholic Right, some of whose leaders have described Palin as a natural choice We also saw the Catholic League's Bill Donohue gloss over and dismiss John Hagee's outrageous description of the Church as "the whore of Babylon." Clearly, Donohue applies a different (and quicker) standard of forgiveness kicks for anti-Catholic bigots of the Religious Right. But beyond that, their single-minded obsession with supporting candidates who wish to outlaw abortion at the expense of far more important social justice issues (universal healthcare, for example) prevents them from inquiring about what may be real examples of anti-Catholicism.

Suffice to say that since Donohue does not really represent American Catholics in any but a profoundly twisted fashion (and that is being generous), we are on our own on this. So let's make sure that this question gets asked: Does Sarah Palin agree with the New Apostolic Restoration movement that Catholicism is not a legitimate expression of Christianity and that it constitutes a "corrupt religion?"

If this does turn out to be a case of where there is smoke there is fire, then the greater issue is Senator John McCain's judgment, not Governor Palin's.

But before we reach any conclusions, 60 million American Catholics deserve an answer. The question is, who will ask?

by Frank Cocozzelli on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 07:30:34 PM EST

We have to do it, since the Catholic Right gives all the people they like passes to what they want, witness Bill Donohue's non-criticism of John Hagee. What really scares me about these people is their love of hate, and their marriage of religion and politics.

by khughes1963 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:30:46 PM EST

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