As Americans, we’re used to hearing politicos of every stripe prattle on about their faith. Most of the time, I get this vague sense that they don’t really mean it, that they’re just going through the motions, that they’re too smart to be true believers. Then someone like Huckabee comes along and we’re presented with the contradiction of an intelligent, erudite man who seems to actually believe the earth is 4,000 years old and that Adam and Eve had a pet dinosaur.
Sarah Palin is another such example. We’ve all heard about how she opposes abortion and stem-cell research and is, herself, a church-goin’ Christian. Except she seems too smart for that, too clever. Her positions, I believed, were crafted for the political advantage they provided. But not so.
A video has surfaced of her speaking before the Wasilia Assembly of God church at what seems to be a commencement ceremony of some sort. No, she doesn’t go off about Jews or gays or Mexicans. No one speaks in tongues or channels the dead. It’s more banal than that. She gives a longish, rambling speech about Alaska and Jesus and growing up in the church. At the end, the pastor says Alaska is one of the “refuge states” to which people will flock during the “end times.” End times which are apparently expected soon because he admonishes the parishioners to prepare to minister to those of us who will soon be headed there.
Maybe it’s all very ordinary to churchgoing types, but reinforced in me a real discomfort that Sarah Palin is not just going through the motions when it comes to her fundamentalism.
(Apologies for my inability to embed the video directly in the site. Click here instead.)