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Religion and Politics: Why Sarah Palin Scares the Crap Out of Me September 21, 2008

Posted by sociallyacceptableinsanity in American society, Atheism, politics, religion, Sarah Palin.
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As an atheist, there is much to frustrate me about living in America, but nothing frustrates me more than the invidious stranglehold that religion has on politics in this country.

I’ve always thought it ridiculous that in a nation founded in part on religious freedom, no person running for higher office can possibly have a hope of winning unless they proudly proclaim their faith in god.  Our candidates dutifully join the flock while accompanied by a flock of their own, a flock armed with cameras and microphones.   Candidates such as Barack Obama, who has a “Muslim” name and refuses to wear an American flag lapel pin, draw virulent criticism and become the subjects of intense scrutiny.  “Is he a Christian?”, the good, right-wing people of America ask themselves in consternation.  “Is he the Anti-Christ?”, they fret.

Which brings me now to Sarah Palin, the governor of my fair state and the newly annointed darling/pin-up girl of the right-wing.  This woman is frightening!  As the weeks since her joining the Republican ticket have gone by, more and more details of her religious life and beliefs are coming to light, and it isn’t pretty.  To name a few: 

  • She attended a Pentacostal church (they of the speaking in tongues) for 25 years, only switching to a so-called “non-denominational” evangelical church six years ago. 
  • She has referred to the war in Iraq as a “task from god” and has exhorted the people of Alaska to pray for the natural gas line to be built.  
  • Her current church holds conferences on how to “pray the gay away” and promises to help homosexual men and women stop being attracted to members of their own sex. 
  • She promotes “abstinence only” sex education, which is amusing considering that her own daughter didn’t seem to absorb that message very well, and apparently neither did Sarah herself, since a study of the dates of her “elopement” with Todd and the birth of their oldest child would seem to indicate that that child was born a mere eight months after the wedding. 
  • Palin has also stated that she does not believe in women having the right to an abortion, even in the case of incest or rape.
Pastor Ed Kalnins blesses Sen. Murkowski, Lt. Gov. Parnell and Gov. Palin at One Lord Sunday

Pastor Ed Kalnins blesses Lt. Gov. Parnell, Gov. Palin and Sen. Murkowski at One Lord Sunday

Though Sarah protests that her private views on religion will not spill over in to her political life, I think it is obvious that it will.  I see the light of the zealot in her eyes, the utter conviction that her way is the right way, her god the only god.  If the McCain-Palin ticket succeeds in winning the presidential election, placing her in the position of being “one heartbeat away from the presidency,” do we really want someone like her in office?  Haven’t eight years of god-fearing, born-again Bush been enough?  What this country needs right now is a politician that cares more about rational, real solutions for our problems, not one who thinks that you can pray for things and they will happen if you ask god nicely enough.  Why do Americans insist that our politicians be “persons of faith?” Why do we confuse religious belief with love of country? 

Why can’t Americans just grow up?

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Comments»

1. jonolan - September 21, 2008

One significant point of clarification:

Gov. Palin said that “prayed that we were doing God’s work in Iraq.” She did not say that we were doing it.

2. Dahni - September 21, 2008

Dear Dadie,

At the conclusion of your post you asked questions. I am not sure if you were really asking or merely wanting your readers to ask and to be influenced to answer, according to the context of your post? But here are some answers.

You ask: “Why do Americans insist that our politicians be “persons of faith?” Answer: This country and our framework of government includes the belief in a God or a creator in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Apparently, a number of people still believe that. But it must also be noted that this same framework also, includes the right not to believe.

Dadie, here we all are. How did we get here? Most ask or ponder this question. 1. God – Where did he come from? Nobody can answer that, so it is accepted by faith. 2. Evolution – big bang, but where did out of nothing come from? Nobody can answer this either, so it is accepted by faith. In this, there is no difference between the two.

You ask: “Why do we confuse religious belief with love of country?” Answer: People that believe in a God expect others to believe the same, just as those that expect the same, to not believe from others. We all seek common ground. But it is wrong to assume that just because one believes in a God means that they do or will act accordingly, just as it would be wrong to assume that if one says they do not believe that they do not or will act accordingly. In the end it all comes down to NOT what one says, but what one does.

Finally you ask: “Why can’t Americans just grow up?” Answer: In the world, America and Americans are really a young country and people and has a young system of government. You are a mother. Americans are like children. Children need to be taught. Children not only need limits and boundaries to protect them and keep them safe, they want them. Many religious people like children, expect God to protect them, guide them, provide for them etc., just as children expect this of their parents. Many people expect the same thing from government. There is no difference. But, even as children, we are growing. Look from where we have come from.

Sincerely,

Dahni


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