Sarah Palin’s god

When CNN did an online story on Time’s top 100 influential people (as voted online) posting Sarah Palin’s picture, I was again annoyed that she made it onto another list.  Number one is Mir-Hossein Mousavi (former Iranian prime minister-yes, I had to Google it, too) and number five is Lady Gaga.  All things considered, Palin’s number 42 ranking is unimpressive.  Mercifully, the president does rank higher at 21.

The most painful part about writing this is having to read about Palin – or worse, read what she (allegedly) writes, though there’s not much of it out there.  Aside from watching the vice presidential debate in entirety, I know her from sound-bites, in which she does excel, successfully appealing to the lowest common denominator of Americans.  In her latest publishing adventure, Going Rogue, there is no stated co-author.  Her dedication is to “patriots” with a special shout-out to “men and women in uniform” closing with “God bless the fight for freedom.”

Palin’s brand of religion links patriotism and theology in a way that dismisses the separation of church and state and takes folks down the road of the misguided who believe the United States is, or should be, a “Christian nation.”  The most crucial issue the Palins of the world don’t understand is that if there were to be a state religion – one day it might not be theirs.  Ooops.  The second problem is that religion is interpretive and Christianity is especially so.  Even though Christianity is the majority religion in this country, you would be hard-pressed to get those folks to agree on much, including who among them are the real Christians.

This morning (5/3/2010) on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Rev. Franklin Graham (son of THE Billy) reiterated a post-911 comment that, “Islam was wicked and evil.”  Graham was disinvited to a national prayer event at the Pentagon because of those comments and believes his religious rights are being violated.  Graham is free to participate in a national prayer day at his own church, just not at the Pentagon.  Camera face-time is not a constitutional guarantee.  And you are probably not surprised that Palin expressed her concern about him being disinvited  She is the one that asked her Wasilla Assembly of God congregation to pray for a natural gas pipeline from Alaska.

I will be writing again on separation of church and state because it keeps coming up, but the point I want to make here is more theological.  Imagining a God involved in such petty human stuff means you have a very small god.  Most of us perceive God in the image of ourselves, not the other way around.  For Palin, god is an ass-kicking, judgmental, militaristic type that likes the United States better than countries – except of course for the foreigners and minorities.   Hmmm.  That just doesn’t sound Christian to me.

What do you think?  -J.B.

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  • Beki Spurrier  On May 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Nicely done!

  • allthingsreligious  On May 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Bek-Thanks for reading! -JB

  • Kathleen Geist  On May 6, 2010 at 12:31 am

    You betcha! Well said – the “Christian Nation” folks all think “Christian” means the literary inerrant Bible version Christian (hmmm, did those folks ever notice there are 2, yes 2, different versions of Genesis in their inerrant Bible?). Old Testament, smiting, whack the heathens with the jawbones of an ass Christian – whoops, sorry folks, that happens to be PRE-Christian. Jesus came and changed all that.

    • allthingsreligious  On May 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks for weighing in Kathleen! Your description is the classic case of an Old Testament interpretation of New Testament theolgy. The other crazy thing that the Rev. Franklin Graham is running his mouth about is how Islam treats women. What? Christianity has a long and troubling history of patriarchy – not the least of which was perscecuting and killing women under the guise of witchcraft. -JB

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