Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who is Sarah Palin?

I must say that while I'd heard of Sarah Palin and knew that she was governor of Alaska, about all I knew about her before yesterday is that she was on some people's short list and that she'd had a baby recently. Like all of you, I'm still getting a sense of who she is. Indeed, John McCain probably knows about as much as we do!

That said, what is interesting is her ideological pedigree. Yes, she has a brief record as a sort of crusading reformer, standing up to oil interests and her own party. Indeed, it appears that Democrats in Alaska have a better opinion of her than the leaders of her own party. That being said, it should be telling that the group that has greeted this news with the greatest enthusiasm are leaders of the Religious Right. They see in Palin a standard bearer for the Conservative Christian agenda. Before yesterday the Right has been tepid in its support of McCain, who seems to have wanted Joe Lieberman on his ticket. When the powers that be in the party insisted that he go with someone palatable to the Religious Right he could have chosen Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, but he didn't go that route. What he did was try to kill two birds with one stone -- attract disaffected Hillary supporters and satisfy the Religious Right. He seems to have done the latter, but may not do much with Hillary voters.

So, what do we know?

From the reports I've been reading, Sarah Palin is a member of an Assemblies of God church, and has been for much of her life. This would likely make her the first Pentecostal to make it on a major party ticket. She was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in High School. She is pro-life -- extremely so. It appears that she's not only against abortion, but against it even in cases of rape or incest. She is also strongly opposed to gay marriage and extending many rights to gays in general. First reports suggested that she signed a bill extended health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners, but it wasn't out of support for gays, but because she ran out of options. She instead supported a constitutional amendment that would deny such rights.

On other fronts, she appears to be a "Creationist," supports teaching both evolution and creationism (I'm assuming that this isn't for her ID, but young earth creationism -- but we need more info).

I'm hoping to hear more in the coming days about her. Of course, that won't change my vote, but it's important that we learn about her.

In one sense, it really doesn't matter that she's a Pentecostal, Pro-life, etc. But, it does matter if those views lead to the limitation of rights of Americans or undermines the work of America's scientists (remember that the Religious Right has been an opponent of scientific findings on climate change and stem-cell research). So, we wait to see.

1 comment:

Brad Hart said...

Good post, Pastor. Have you had a chance to see the following clips:

"What is it exactly that the V.P. does":

She doesn't even know!!!


Palin doesn't even know McCain's plan in Iraq.