For more than two decades, current Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a practicing Pentecostal.One heartbeat away, yes? You feel good about her now? Heck, this isn't even her current pastor...the current one is worse.
She belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. But though she attended the church from her teenage years through to 2002, she hasn't talked much about her religion since joining the Republican ticket.
Palin's former pastor, Tim McGraw, says that like many Pentecostal churches, some members speak in tongues, although he says he's never seen Palin do so. Church member Caroline Spangler told CNN, "When the spirit comes on you, you utter things that nobody else can understand ... only God can understand what is coming out of our mouths."
Some Pentecostals from Assembly of God also believe in "faith healing" and the "end times" -- a violent upheaval that they believe will deliver Jesus Christ's second coming.
"Our basic belief is that God is God and he knows where history is going and he has a purposeful plan and within the middle of that plan we live in an environment in our world where certain events would take place," says McGraw. "Sarah wasn't taught to look for one particular sign -- a cataclysmic sign. She knew as every Christian does ... that God is sovereign and he is in control."
Six years ago, Palin left Assembly of God to join the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church. But the Assembly of God says she still returns for special conferences and events, such as the graduation of ministry students in June. Video of a speech she gave at the church just two months before joining the Republican ticket is making the rounds on the Internet.Speaking of the troops in Iraq, Palin says on the video, ""Pray for our military men and women who are striving do to what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. 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."One heartbeat away from the US military being under control of a woman who believes the war in Iraq is "a task that is from God." But that's still not the worst of it.
Palin now attends the Wasilla Bible Church. She was there on August 17, just days before entering the national spotlight. David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God's "judgment" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. Brickner said, "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment -- you can't miss it."If Jeremiah Wright's public sermons define who Barack Obama is spiritually, then David Brickner's sermons define who Sarah Palin is spiritually, correct? But wait, they're totally different, that's not fair, that's not the way to define the candidate, yadda yadda yadda.
The McCain campaign says his comments do not reflect her religious views. Palin's spokeswoman says she is pro-Israel.
Double standards do rather suck. Why aren't the airwaves full of David Brickner shouting how "Jews deserve terrorist attacks because they aren't Christians!" being replayed on every cable news channel in America for a couple weeks and people asking if Sarah Palin is an anti-Semite on national television?
Oh, because IOKIYAR. Silly me. I'm a sexist pig for bringing this up, even.
Why, all I'm asking for is equal treatment from the press for Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. That's not sexist at all, quite the opposite.
But it'll never happen.