Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sarah Palin, Religiongate part 2

I would like to expand on the ideas explored in Religiongate. The purpose of this further look into the subject is to show a pattern that guided Sarah Palin as mayor of Wasilla and now guide her actvities as the governor of Alaska, a pattern that would be repeated nationwide in the unlikely event of her attaining the office of president in 2012.



2005

In the video above, Pastor Muthee is very clear about infiltrating many areas of society in the name of Jesus and mentions politics and government. He then proceeds to pray for Sarah Palin, asking God to advance her political career because they need the righteous in positions of power. Sarah Palin went along with it.

2006

Sarah Palin was elected governor of Alaska. The righteous achieved a high position in government. As governor, she was invited to many religious events, including the 2007 installation of Rabbi Michael Oblath at Congregation Beth Sholom in Anchorage, as her spokesperson Sharon Leighlow pointed out when the governor was challenged for her attendance at Wasilla Assembly of God on the state's dime, stating that it was the same thing.

The majority of religious events attended by Sarah Palin and her family and billed to the state are linked to Christian churches, mainly Evangelical, and in a few cases Pentecostal.

Considering the agenda of the Assemblies of God and other Evangelical movements of infiltrating all areas of society, including the government, Sarah Palin's attendance at these events - as governor - constitutes a conflict of interest.

2008

Sarah Palin attended the graduation ceremony of the Master's Commission as governor and billed the state for travel and per diem. Her address was deeply personal. She didn't speak as governor, as she probably did at the installation of Rabbi Michael Oblath in Anchorage. She attended the synagogue as governor and could only speak as governor. In Wasilla she spoke passionately as Sarah Palin, while charging the state as governor.

2009

Sarah Palin took the Evangelical circus to the Yukon Delta, visiting two villages where they distributed tons of food to people who didn't need it. The boxes of food had pamphlets promoting the Evangelical movement. She went there as governor and took the opportunity to spread the word of God in the shape of Franklin Graham and the Samaritan Purse.

2007/2008

Juneau Pentecostal church asked the Alaska state government for cash for a new youth center. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had recently started worshipping at the church, vetoed the legislative appropriation from the capital budget, explaining it was “not a state responsibility.”

But by the time this year’s budget negotiations rolled around, Palin had become very involved in the Juneau Christian Center, attending an increasing number of services there, touring the youth center with her family (she charged the state for Willow's travel to visit the center), citing the pastor as among her spiritual guides, and appearing with the pastor at a Martin Luther King Day celebration and a religious conference where he laid hands on her while praying.

During this year’s capital budget writing process, Palin penned a letter to lawmakers “in support of the Juneau Christian Center’s new state-of-the-art youth center,” and she approved $25,000 for the center in May, even as she sparked a backlash from officials around the state for slashing spending from projects they deemed crucial to their areas.

The Hub exists in other communities and their purpose is to offer young people alternatives, taking them off the streets, but with a view to shaping the future of the country. The Assemblies of God have a program called Kidcare America. From their literature: "Kidcare America, once a mind has been stretched it never snaps back into place. For that reason it is vital that we seek after training for the development of our lives for the ministry God has called us into."

Parents seem happy to send their children to these centers:

"My son is shown daily that he matters to the staff, to other kids, and most importantly to God! I thank God daily that North Shore Assembly of God has blessed so many lives to have an outreach such as Kids' Place."

"I am most pleased with my choice to send my daughter to Kids' Place. . . She truly loves the generosity, warmth and caring she receives from all of you. She is also very pleased about learning about the Lord on a daily basis."

As I pointed out in the previous Religiongate post, Juneau Christian Center announced The Hub with the words "Destiny has begun! The new youth center for children through high school youth is taking shape."

The aims of the Juneau Christian Center:

Our Purpose: To win souls and make disciples!
Our Passion: To Love God and Love People!
Our Path: Win, Connect, Disciple, and Send.

SEND:As each believer progresses through the School of Destiny, he/she will branch out into a ministry.

It appears that the idea behind The Hub is to provide services for young, vulnerable and impressionable people in order to shape their "Destiny".

2008

The Evangelical movement is very powerful throughout the US... and very wealthy. During the Troopergate investigation, after it became political thanks to the RNC descending on Alaska to take control of the proceedings, state gift disclosures show it cost Liberty Legal Institute and the two law firms working with it $185,000 to represent six Alaska legislators in an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt their colleagues' "troopergate" investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin acted improperly in firing the state's public safety director.

The legislators listed a $25,000 gift of services from the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute. Liberty is the legal arm of the Free Market Foundation, which is associated with evangelical leader James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and lists its guiding principles as limited government and promotion of Judeo-Christian values. The lawmakers also disclosed a $120,000 gift of services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a national firm that appeared at hearings on behalf of Liberty Legal.

The extent of Evangelical and Pentecostal influence is illustrated in this example: D. James Kennedy, the evangelical pastor who blessed Bush before his run for president summed up the essence of the teachings behind the Assemblies of God, its missions and its associates in this quote:

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

Here we have come full circle. We started with pastor Muthee and ended with pastor D. James Kennedy saying the same thing.

Sarah Palin was careful to distance herself from any particular church during the vice presidential campaign, but there's a clear pattern in her actions dating back to her time as mayor of Wasilla. She ran her campaign as the first Christian mayor and allowed rumours to circulate that implied that her rival, John Stein, was Jewish. He's a Presbytarian.

During the time Sarah Palin was mayor, her church became involved in taking over the board of the local hospital, Mat-Su Providence. The more conservative, fundamentalist churches, over a period of three or four years, were able to elect and control the operating board of the hospital.

Sarah Palin's actions reflect a distinct blurring of the boundaries between church and state. Throughout her administration Sarah Palin has stated that there are missions from God: the war in Iraq and the gas pipeline, for example.

Many aspects of Sarah Palin's beliefs are puzzling to outsiders. The activities that go on in her favoured churches seem somewhat disturbing to non-believers. She is free to worship anywhere, however strange the rituals involved in the services.

But how legitimate is the bias the Governor shows towards certain Christian movements? The level of involvement of herself and her family in the activities of these groups at the state's expense and the funding by the state of an indoctrination program would surely point to a conflict of interests.

Whilst the Governor has the freedom to worship as she pleases, using her office to promote a church that admits to having a clear agenda of infiltrating every area of society, including the government, does not seem appropriate.

Links
Article from Politico.com
Sarah Palin's letter
Kidcare America, After school mentoring
Kid's Place, quotes from parents
Religiongate
Sarah Palin's church and Mat-Su Providence Hospital Board

Liberty Legal Institute
D James Kennedy's quote
.

11 comments:

mdlw56 said...

Excellent!

Dianne said...

Yes, another excellent and well researched post. Hoping, really hoping, all of your hard work will get the attention it needs to get to wake people up to this woman.

million$peach said...

awesome Regina! Way to collect so much data! Palin is deceptively and recklessly dangerous.

FW said...

These crazy fundies and religiongate disturb me more than all of the others combined. Sarah must be stopped. We had eight years of a disatrous Bush theocracy where decisions were made based on dominionist beliefs and wacked out "conservative" values.

Regina, do you have a link where you can email this article?

regina said...

FW,

What do you mean about e-mailing it? To whom? I would love to get it out there.

Reg

LisanTX said...

Good, clear explanation of a confusing and complicated subject. You're wonderful!

Best wishes.

FEDUP!!! said...

Regina: Great job!!!

Try to forward/post this on huffingtonpost and other sites!

regina said...

FEDUP!!!,

The link is in the HuffPo.

There are a lot of people coming to both Religiongate posts from there.

Reg

FW said...

Hi Regina, some blogs have little mail icons at the bottom of each post that you can click on to automatically email it. I am not sure if your blog host has that option, but I was going to send it on to the Washington Post.

regina said...

FW,

Yesss!!!! I've added the e-mail icon.

Thanks for the tip.

Reg

FEDUP!!! said...

A mention in the responses in huffpo is no good (it *is* good, but only for the few who actually *read through* all the responses...)
If possible, you should try to send it to someone at huffpo so they can write up a story (or post yours)!