Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin's Reverend Wright

Anyone remember a certain black reverend making things difficult for a certain black presidential candidate with his "anti-American" sermons and rantings? I do, so this comes as no surprise:

On July 20, 2008, the pastor of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s home church, Larry Kroon, delivered a sermon called “Sin Is Personal To God.” Kroon, the senior pastor of the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church in Wasilla, Alaska, used the book of Zephanaiah as his reference point for discussing “that great day of the Lord when God will finally bring closure to human history… a day of wrath.” According to Kroon, “all things and all people” are going to bear the brunt of God’s “intense anger.” “There’s anger with God,” he proclaimed. “He takes sin personal.”

Kroon placed Zephaniah in a modern context, warning that the sinful habits of Americans would invite the wrath of God. “And if Zephaniah were here today,” Kroon bellowed, “he’d be saying, ‘Listen, [God] is gonna deal with all the inhabitants of the earth. He is gonna strike out His hand against, yes, Wasilla; and Alaska; and the United States of America. There’s no exceptions here — there’s none. It’s all.’”

When I wrote of my first thoughts about the Palin pick I called it a blatant (and frankly insulting to women) move to woo disaffected Hillary voters but as I've learned more about the woman and her beliefs I've since changed that assessment to one of blatantly trying to woo the conservative, religious Christianist base of McCain's party who have never been fond of the man no matter what platitudes and tithes he has offered them to date. While Obama has used his Christian faith to appeal to the moderates of the American electorate (one of the things about him I dislike but understand), John McCain is using Palin to appeal to the hard core right of Republicanism. Sarah Palin is a charismatic young governor of a state filled with conservative yahoos who has spent much more time thinking about the biblical end times than she has foreign policy issues; does that sound like any abominable presidents we've elected lately?

[Update: In some recent email back and forth my brother-in-law disagreed with my assessment that Palin was chosen for her conservative religious bona fides to appease the disgruntled right; I think that this story helps back up my side of that argument:

Gov. Sarah Palin’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer. “You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has worshipped for about six years.

Palin’s conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain’s candidacy before he named her as his vice presidential choice. She is staunchly anti-abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples. Focus on the Family, a national Christian fundamentalist organization, is conducting the “Love Won Out” Conference in Anchorage, about 30 miles from Wasilla.

I'm sure I can't be the only person who smells George W. Bush when I sniff her, and the scent is just getting stronger the more we learn about her. She and McCain are running on their personalities and personal stories, not the issues that are important for this country. This is what the modern Republican party has become: inextricably entangled with the extremes of American Christianity while valuing political victories over good governance.

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