Palin, Religion and Control

Sarah Palin never banned any books from her local library. But she did look into the matter- with the backing of her church- and fired a librarian that was shocked Palin would ask about such a thing (the librarian was rehired after a public outcry). There’s an implication that if there hadn’t been an outcry over the firing, some books might have slipped off the shelves and into a bonfire. 

Via Steve Benen

Yesterday, ABC News’ Brian Ross moved the ball forward a bit, with an interesting report.

Ross emphasized an angle I previously hadn’t heard much about. Palin was elected mayor thanks in large part to the strong backing of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, which, right around the time Palin took office, “began to focus on certain books available in local stores and in the town library, including one called ‘Go Ask Alice,’ and another one written by a local pastor, Howard Bess, called ‘Pastor, I am Gay.’”

Palin became mayor, her church was interested in censorship, and soon after, Palin asked a “rhetorical” question about how books might be excluded from the public library. When the librarian resisted, she was, at least initially, fired.

Sarah Palin suffers from a severe oral allergy to the truth. She’s also being used by the McCain campaign to try and refuel the internal Democratic Party fire between Obama and Clinton supporters. But the one thing that her brief political career and vice presidential nomination comes down to is religion. 

I mentioned last week that it is well known that John McCain wanted Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge as his running mate. But both of those men are pro-choice. The Christian conservatives of the Republican party were livid at that prospect. John McCain was essentially forced into choosing Sarah Palin at the last minute because she was pro-life and a fundie in her own right. That’s why the vetting was so poorly done. He’d never planned on choosing her. 

That is the Christian fundamentalist mindset in a nutshell. For them, it is fine for an unscrupulous, grossly underqualified politician to be next in line to the most powerful job in the country solely because she’s pro-life. If John McCain won the presidency and died, our nation would be run by someone who found out about the Iraq surge on television. By someone who has goverened a state smaller than many cities for a mere two years. By someone who would surely walk us to the brink of complete disaster if not push us over that precipice. Thousands of lives would be ruined. It could take the country years- decades- to recover. 

But that’s fine as long as she makes women keep their babies.

Being pro-life should come with a caveat that you must care about the life of that baby once it exits the womb. Far too many pro-life supporters fail this test.  If concern about that baby ends once it takes a breath in this world, then that concern was never really about the baby. It was about the mother. It was about control.

Although he has women in his family, there’s no reason John McCain should particularly concern himself with the Christian fundamentalist agenda towards reproductive rights. But their need for control should ring a familiar tone in the back of his mind. They have him right where they want him- boxed in and without a choice.

(Cross posted at Moue Magazine

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2 Responses to Palin, Religion and Control

  1. JIm McInvale says:

    Sarah’s American CrusadeNow that the Republican ticket features an attractive Christian fanatic advocating holy wars and an American theocracy, we should probably expect the creationist debate to flare up once again. She has, after all, publically supported teaching creationism in public schools. Maybe this time, with Sarah of ‘Arc advancing the cause, the thing can be put to bed once and for all.
    Those gosh darned Darwinists still insist on cramming their silly theory down out throats. As if that hair-brained Newton and his theory of gravity, or that lunatic Maxwell with his theory of electromagnetism weren’t bad enough. Don’t even talk to me about a theory of relativity – nothing more than the rantings of a deranged patent clerk. I say we round up all these crack-pots, walk them to the edge of this flat earth, and toss them overboard.
    Seriously, the evolution-creationism issue is not really a legitimate debate. The experts in the relevant fields certainly don’t engage in it. When paleontologists convene, it’s not on their agenda, zoologists don’t hold seminars to resolve the conflict, and serious biologists and geologists don’t seek grants and conduct research to settle the matter. They all accept that life appeared about three and a half billion years ago in a simple, single-celled form, and evolved into more complex forms later. No this is not a real debate, it is an argument for laymen and fundamentalists – and ex-beauty queens.
    The creationists are quick to charge that evolution is only a theory. Yes, that’s true, but it is also completely irrelevant. Anyone brandishing that point clearly does not understand the definition of a scientific theory. The aforementioned works of Maxwell and Newton, as well as Dalton’s atomic theory and Mendel’s theory of genetics are prime examples. They were both inspired and sound, but not the final word. Scientific theories are consistent, dynamic and progressive, and they are useful – they offer the power of prediction. It is true that scientific theories, by definition, must be “falsifiable” (in principle, capable of being disproved) and perhaps this confuses some. However, the term in no way implies unsupported speculation or weak logic. Creationism on the other hand, is not a scientific theory, it is a myth – a myth in the truest sense of the word. A debate on creationism versus evolution is an apple-to-oranges comparison.
    This issue often comes up in the context of primary education – what should be taught to young children, and how. Answering that question requires a choice. Do we educate our young in the sciences, or indoctrinate them into our mythology. I think that is possible to do both. Perhaps we should teach the theory of evolution in science classes, and present creationism in classes on religious mythology, or maybe just save it for Sunday school.

  2. This is really scary!!   She is defintely a religious fanatic.  If elected,  perhaps she could help institute a national book burning day for all of the books she finds that don’t support her brand of “family values”.Perhaps some don’t realize that her far right wing church promotes the “cure” of gays.  Once “cured” they will  be given a human status.  It’s cruel church teachings like this which have contributed to suicide being the leading cause of death among gay teenagers.  Way to go Sarah!!!   Buzz