Skip to comments.The Theocrat in Lipstick
Posted on 09/12/2008 3:56:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
WASHINGTON -- There are reasons to question the choice of the commander of the Alaska National Guard as a prospective commander in chief (though there were equally serious reasons to doubt the military qualifications of another backwoods candidate, Abraham Lincoln, who served for a few months as private and captain in the Black Hawk War).
But instead of engaging this issue, liberals have been drawn, helpless and mesmerized -- like beetles to the vivid, blue paradise of the bug zapper -- toward criticizing Sarah Palin's religion. Palin's former Pentecostal church is called a "shout-and-holler tabernacle." Reporters press Palin's former pastor to reveal if she has ever spoken in tongues, the way it was once asked if candidates had ever used drugs. Palin's beliefs are compared to Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- though it turns out that she was caught on tape requesting prayers for the success of her country instead of railing against it. In that sense, Palin sounds most like President Franklin Roosevelt, who prayed on D-Day that, "by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph."
And, of course, Palin is portrayed as a "theocrat" -- a Muslim fundamentalist in lipstick. She has a "right to her religious beliefs" in precisely the same sense that one has a right to believe the moon is made of Muenster, but she must not be allowed to "impose" such beliefs on others.
There are serious responses to such silliness. If religious beliefs about the dignity of human life were illegitimate as a basis for public policy, there would have been no abolition or civil rights movements. The idea of a divine image found in every human person is one of the main foundations for the American tradition of liberty, tolerance and pluralism. Religious duty motivates millions to love and serve their neighbors -- and thus to respect their neighbor's rights of conscience.
But it is the political effect of these attacks that must have team McCain shouting and hollering with the joy of a frontier camp meeting. In general, liberal political and media elites demonstrate a religious diversity that runs the spectrum from secularism to liberal Episcopalianism -- all the varied shades from violet to blue. Yet they assume their high church or Mencken-like disdain for religious enthusiasm is broadly shared. It was the sociologist Peter Berger who observed, "Puerto Ricans, Jews and Episcopalians each form around 2 percent of the American population. Guess which group does not think of itself as a minority."
The media treatment of Pentecostalism (Palin's main religious background) and Bible church evangelicalism (her current affiliation) has had the quality of a National Geographic special on a newly discovered Amazon tribe. You might not suspect that Pentecostalism -- grown from the admirable, racially integrated roots of the Los Angeles Azusa Street Revival of 1906 -- is one of the fastest-growing and most influential forms of mainstream Christianity. There are now between 250 million and 500 million Pentecostals in places from Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa to rural Alaska. It is often described as the faith of the dispossessed -- many adherents come from poorer backgrounds. But it is also the faith of the socially mobile -- promoting virtues of hard work, savings and self-denial that would make Max Weber proud.
And so Democrats and their liberal allies set out a self-destructive mixed message. Democratic politicians press their appeal to blue-collar workers and the working poor -- while liberal intellectuals and pundits express their distain for the religious values and motivations of the poor and middle class themselves. While most religious people in America don't speak in tongues, many pray for healing in times of sickness and trouble, and most are offended when sneering elites attack the religious practices of their friends and neighbors. And it is even more insulting when the argument is made that "pocketbook" issues will somehow override a man or woman's deepest beliefs.
All this can only work to Barack Obama's disadvantage, given his cool, aloof manner, and his patronizing comment on the bitter and religious. And it has brought an unintended benefit to the McCain-Palin ticket -- a populist, religious appeal that McCain alone did not possess.
Deriding Palin's religion has been a poor strategy -- and the mistake has been made before. During the first Pentecost -- the one recorded in Acts -- Christians spoke strange languages in public. Many observers dismissed them as drunk.
The critics of religion, as is often the case, did not get the last word.
Of course, no one questioned Bill Clinton's qualifications to be commander in chief, given his stellar military record.
There is no major issue of national importance or urgency that has anything to do with prehistoric monkey bones. Unless they want the Department of the Interior to launch a search for Bigfoot. So why the liberal hysteria about this? They make it sound like unless school children spend hours upon hours brooding over imaginary graphs and charts of homo erectus and homo habilis that the sky will fall in. Primitive monkey men from Land of the Lost have nothing to do with the important issues facing this country.
Mixed views in Pentacostalism, however the idea that the media of all people can somehow thrash a Brother or Sister in Christ merely for showing enough love for departing soldiers to pray for them publicly is some sort of shameful act is to me, truly offensive and ignorant.
The old saw proves true, what you hate, you become, in this case the media’s hatred of Christianity causes them to become what they despise, jaundiced eyed bigots who judge without even knowing any facts.
Agreed, and I say that as a believer in evolution. These ideas have nothing to do with running the country properly.
I'm not so sure... she was strangely MIA for the ceremonies at Ground Zero yesterday. Awfully macho-muslim... don't you think?
This line of attack tells me one thing: Obambi’s internals are bleeding and he has lost all hope of winning over ANY evangelical/religous right votes.
So now comes the attacks.
It also tells me that they are stuck on stupid. This clearly opens up the debate for Pentacostalism vs Black Liberationism.
Bring it on.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Umm, for most guys, Sarah Palin leads to hetero erectus.
She's the cure for Electile Dysfunction!
Then when the libs object, we can ask whether or not Barack believes in evolution...or whether he thinks he is objecting to his placement at the front of the line, when Sarah Palin and John McCain clearly belong there!
What is it that’s supposed to happen for them after they force everyone to obsess on the prehistoric hominid graphs?
I’ve never understood this strange preoccupation.
Here's Camille Paglia, blowing their cover:
But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship.
Ping to 16.
That’s what they want to believe. The hard-core Darwinists wanted to get rid of the Bible to relieve themselves of the anxiety and guilt over fornication and masturbation anxiety. The ones that get red-faced and really upset about it apparently still struggle with that issue. They can’t tolerate even mention of the word “God” or a theistic point of view.
This is why anyone with faith that tries to live a righteous life is seen as “imposing” their faith on others.
The “others” know that the example is the right one to follow, but they don’t want the discomfort of that example to even exist. Its mere existance is an “imposition” on their own wicked lives because it makes them uncomfortable.
This is what you’re seeing with the viscious attacks on Sarah Palin. She bothers their consciences, she makes them uncomfortable by example.
Look at the “wonder woman” (linda carter) story from yesterday. Carter obviously isn’t smart enough to rationally filter her response. She came right out and stated that Palin was trying to force her viewpoint on others, when she’s done nothing of the sort.
Good observations, both of you. Since our “breathing while disagreeing” is so excruciating to the Left, you can easily see why justification for mass murder is so important to them.
Historically, look what leftists have done to “counter-revolutionaries” throughout history.
“To the Wall”.
Heck, try to feed your family under a collectivist regime, or refuse to sell your goods and services at the below market price, and you’re lynched as a “hoarder”.
That “spaz attack” is called, biblically, “conviction”.
Exactly. I remember some of these from one of your posts earlier this week.
They’re so tolerant ...
If she had 4 pre-teen boys in her house, she’d know all about dinosaurs. My 6-year-old amuses himself by rewriting all the names in actual Greek.
Since most of the American public doesn’t hold the Darwinian faith in any dogmatic way (to the consternation of the Chattering Classes), this is another issue with potential to backfire for the Dems. Most voters aren’t afraid of a person who finds Darwinism less than fully persuasive, any more than they’re afraid of “Pentecostals.”
If barry was not such a wuss, I would agree with you.
If barry was not such a wuss, I would agree with you.
Kudos the Gerson for actually doing his homework on the beginnings of the modern pentacostism. I've never seen a national writer ever do more than take a sidewise swipe at Amie Simple MacPherson.
For later read.