Sarah Palin's Theocratic End Times - UPDATED
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:36:48 PM EST
I have never believed that the evangelical views of George W. Bush ran deep -- at least as far as relating interpretations of the Book of Revelation to American foreign policy is concerned. And although those who do believe such things were and are a part of the domestic political coalition of the willing, there is no evidence that they were anywhere near running the show, let alone running it towards a cataclysmic outcome. Indeed, Bush's senior military and foreign policy team, whatever else one may think of them, never included anyone with such views.

But more evidence has emerged in one day about Sarah Palin's views in this regard than in the entire career of George W. Bush. That said, the idea that Palin might rise to the presidency not only fairly raises the question of the way that her understanding of the Book of Revelation informs her views on foreign policy, but what kinds of people she would choose to carry out her views as Commander in Chief and as the director of American foriegn policy.

Let's examine the revelations from stories in the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, as they will likely inform much of our converation about Palin the days and weeks to come.

Let's begin with Gene Johnson's Associated Press story -- which is based based on a video of Palin speaking at the Wasilla Assemblies of God church in June 2008 (it has been removed from the church's web site).  

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "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."

Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

And the Wall Street Journal reports

At the Pentecostal church where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin worshipped for more than two decades, congregants speak in tongues and are part of a faith that believes humanity is in its "end times" -- the days preceding a world-ending cataclysm bringing Christian redemption and the second coming of Jesus.

The Rev. Ed Kalnins, pastor of the Pentecostal church, Wasilla Assembly of God, says he has told church members that God put President George W. Bush in office and that America is locked in a "holy war" with terrorists.

This is the church she has attended since junior high school and where she and her family attended until 2002 (that is also the year her husband left the Alaksan Independence Party, state affiliate of the theocratic Constitution Party.)

The Journal's Suzanne Sataline asked the important question about the implications of Palin's apparent belief that we are living in biblically prophesized end times and her views that the president is acting out "God's plan" in Iraq and that the proposed gas pipeline is "God's will" and got an answer that should raise further questions:

David Gushee, a Christian ethicist at Mercer University in Atlanta, says he is troubled that a public official might presume that government action could be God's intent. "I would never think it is appropriate to describe the actions of the United States military or the strategies of our commanders as a plan from God," Mr. Gushee says.

Mr. Gushee says Gov. Palin should explain her beliefs concerning the inevitability of a cataclysm and the end of time. "To me, it is highly relevant to someone who potentially has her hand on the nuclear button," he says. "If that is her worldview, I would want to know about that."  

The Wasilla Assembly of God and its parent denomination -- the three-million member General Council of the Assemblies of God -- espouse core beliefs not widely ascribed to by major Christian factions. Many members pray in undecipherable sounds or "tongues." The denomination's Web site says some scholars believe that the "end times" foreshadowing the end of the world was confirmed in 1948, with the founding of the state of Israel, marking the Jews' return to the Holy Land, fulfilling a Biblical prophecy. The Assemblies of God is part of a Pentecostal movement that numbers 80 million people world-wide.

The Bible, Mr. Kalnins said in an interview, foretells world events. "I don't think it's God's will to have a war," he says. But in Iraq, America is fighting an enemy that has made it a war over beliefs, he said. "I really think it is a holy war. It's a war of gods. ... When someone fights in the name of God, that becomes a holy war."

Mr. Kalnins is an enthusiastic supporter of "Governor Sarah," as he calls her, and of President George W. Bush, who, he believes, was put in office by the hand of the divine. "I believe criticisms come from hell. God has placed this man in authority. ... You criticize the authority, you're literally bringing in hell with the criticism."

We add to this, the extreme views presented in the churches Palin currently attends -- the Wasilla Bible Church and when the legislature is in session, the Juneau Christian Center, as Bruce Wilson has documented in videos, and we get a more complete picture of Palin's choices in religious community and their worldview. (The AP has a further story running that begins to frame the discussion in terms of how the McCain campaign has tried to downplay, arguably cover up, Palin's Pentecostal background.) The context of Palin's views matters, and help us to understand what Palin's videotaped views mean.

In any case, the question of Palin's views about the end times, and ways and extent to which these inform her thoughts on America's role in the world and how she would conduct herself in office is more than fair game. They are necessary and urgent questions.

In light of Palin's having been vetted, as Max Blumenthal reported by the religious right leaders of the Council for National Policy; Palin's views regarding creationismm; her 100% prolife views (meaning no exceptions for rape and inccest and opposition to stem cell research) her efforts as governor to roll back advances in LGTB civil rights in Alaska; her efforts to censor public library books in Wasilla while she was mayor; as well as he claims that the war in Iraq is "God's plan" and that the proposed gas pipeline is "God's will" suggest that Sarah Palin is by far the most theocratic candidate ever to make it onto a major party ticket.

Update [2008-9-4 17:9:48 by Frederick Clarkson]: After writing this, I learned of Phil Munger of Progressive Alaska's personal annecdotes regarding Palin's beliefs:

In June 1997, both Palin and I had responsibilities at the graduation ceremony of a small group of Wasilla area home schoolers. I directed the Mat-Su College Community Band, which played music, and she gave the commencement address. It was held at her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.

Palin had recently become Wasilla mayor, beating her earliest mentor, John Stein, the then-incumbent mayor. A large part of her campaign had been to enlist fundamentalist Christian groups, and invoke evangelical buzzwords into her talks and literature.

As the ceremony concluded, I bumped into her in a hall away from other people. I congratulated her on her victory, and took her aside to ask about her faith. Among other things, she declared that she was a young earth creationist, accepting both that the world was about 6,000-plus years old, and that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time.

I asked how she felt about the second coming and the end times. She responded that she fully believed that the signs of Jesus returning soon "during MY lifetime," were obvious. "I can see that, maybe you can't - but it guides me every day."

Our next discussion about religion was after she had switched to the less strict Wasilla Bible Church. She was speaking at, I was performing bugle, at a Veterans ceremony between Wasilla and Palmer. At this time, people were beginning to encourage her to run for Governor.

Once again, we found ourselves being able to talk privately. I reminded her of the earlier conversation, asking her if her views had changed. She was no longer "necessarily" a young earth creationist, she told me. But she strongly reiterated her belief that "The Lord is coming soon." I was trying to get her to tell me what she felt the signs were, when she had to move on.




Display:
Appealing and effective, Sarah Palin is deadly. She stole Obama's thunder last Friday, replacing that day's post-speech news bump with the announcement of her candidacy. In contrast, her speech last night dominates much of today's news. Hidden more deeply from public view, however, are the religious beliefs that drive her. Her sarcasm with a smile is devastatingly effective. Not backing down, she goes in for the kill. It is the quality of an adroit cult member (clean, nice looking, wholesome appearance, smart, with an ambition focused by perceived marching orders from god) that scares me the most: smiling, Sarah could gut you with a knife while saying that you will be better off because you are going to go to heaven when she's done. Doing you a favor, she implements her belief in god's plan for man. From Palin's persepctive, as against God's Will, the gutee's position can only be meaningless, irrelevant. Even though Obama's pastor has been big game, the media is unlikely to give equal treatment to Palin by confronting her with her religious beliefs. To forego exploration of Palin's religious pedigree is inappropriate. It would deprive the public of vital information regarding her values and decision-making process. Without providing the accurate context for Sarah Palin's smilingly relentless aggression, it is easy to mistake her plucky demeanor and smooth presentation as that of a champion instead of the western jihadist she appears to be. Palin may be a soldier of god, but with the devil's agenda. If that's the case, as with all unbelievers, god's champion will make us chumps.

by fordgreene on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:26:06 PM EST
I hope that you're mistaken about the media questioning Ms. Palin's religious fanaticism. We've seen that many moderate Christian groups have already spoken out about this, and I doubt the talking heads would be able to just ignore this. We'll see.

by trog69 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:05:38 AM EST
Parent


It is already clear that the mainstream media has not ignored Palin's fanaticism. What I would like to see is a direct treatment of the implications of the belief that a chosen one can "rapture out" out of any hell that the consequences driven by a rapturee's earthly actions might wreak. If a rapturee gets to opt out of an horrible earthly scene, her motivations to preserve that scene would seem much less than those of those of us who remain. My hunch is that were Palin to be directly and persistently confronted with her beliefs (there are very few mainstream media persons who are willing and able to persistently confront anyone about anything), her sparkley presentation might start to crack a bit. It would be good to see what lies beneath that.

by fordgreene on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 02:29:23 PM EST
she has not been allowed to talk to the press at all...

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 03:27:48 PM EST
Parent
a rather startled obscenity!  So they are keeping people from asking her questions?  You only get to see what THEY want you to see???

Well, that fits right in with my (our?) experience of the groups that I call dominionist (I do tend to lump them together for a number of very good reasons- not the least that they tend to be VERY abusive).  It's also typical of politicians and top-level bureaucrats.

Then, it's up to us- all of us who fight dominionism- to get the message out.  Maybe in the meantime something will happen that will expose her to the world, in such a way that people would see the truth (that's my prayer!)

by ArchaeoBob on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 02:59:49 PM EST
Parent




Not in questioning her viability as a VP or as a person but in her theocratic views and how they relate to whether she will support the Constitution/Bill of Rights she will be sworn in to protect. So far if you violate your oaths, nothing happens to you. Soon the Bill of Rights will be a banned and burned memory among those of us who even know of its contents. We are in a bad state as our republic does a slow fall to a dictatorship of the ecclesiastical & corporate. The fact that they can control the media they own (90%) means they control the message to most of the people. I am worried they will steal this election too and then where will we be? Impeachment? Not from the infiltrated Democrats. Just a few of them like Kucinich stand up to them but it isn't enough. I wonder what can be done in these dire times? Suggestions?

by Nightgaunt on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 05:11:12 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Bakke Plot To "Infiltrate" Secular Institutions
Back in 2012-2014 I did a lot of writing and research on The Gathering, the yearly meeting of elite evangelical right philanthropists who collectively......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Term "Alt-Right" is All Right
There is a misguided effort underway to not use the term "alt-right."  The effort, currently led by the Center for American Progress, claims that......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Getting the Low Down on Dominionism
A refresher on dominionism will probably come in handy over the next little while. -- FC I am pleased to report that the task......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
The New Kochs: Anthology of DeVos Support, Funding of School Privatization and Religious Right
This post from 2-14 will be a helpful resource in the days ahead. -- FC Mother Jones' January/February issue includes an article titled "Meet......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
This post about the long term strategy for privatizing the public schools takes on fresh importance in light of the nomination of Betsy DeVos......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (18 comments)
Did God Engineer Trump's Win?
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Some thoughts for a Sunday post-election reflection:
Emancipation, Reconstruction, Redemption, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow The struggles of the Civil Rights Movement took us two steps forward Now the "Second......
By Chip Berlet (0 comments)
On The Ridiculous Charge Of Clinton Anti-Catholicism
Julian Assange has been busy lately trying to sabotage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's run for the Presidency. As part of his vendetta, he has......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
From Russia Without Love
It was less than two years ago but it now seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote about how Russia appeared to be......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Northwest Arkansas, A Hotbed for Anti-Semitism
Three organizations in Northwest Arkansas are deeply interwoven into the most rabid Anti-Semitic teachings in the nation.  Gerald Smith, buried at the base of......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
Joseph Cella is Back - Taking the Opposite Tack from Pope Francis
Joseph J. Cella has had a change of heart since he joined with those conservative Catholic activists who signed a declaration during the Republican......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Radcliffe Sucker Punched by Right-Wing Propagandists
The prestigious Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard College will host a panel on Monday, Oct 17, titled "Righting the Record: Conservatism and......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
Celebrating Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week is the venerable annual celebration of the right to read and the highlighting of efforts by cultural vigilantes of various sorts......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)

"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (0 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (1 comment)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.