Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sarah Palin is not a joke

Sarah Palin is bloody dangerous.

Oh, I know we all laughed at the incoherent Katie Couric interview, so lethally lampooned by Saturday Night Live.

And yep, Palin is the gift that keeps on giving for satirists. It does indeed seem like a so-cheesey-bad-it's-good Sunday afternoon TV movie at times. Grab the popcorn...

But running under the hood of the satire is real anger. Not wussy castrated liberal fear of a lipsticked attack-dog, a perma-perky, super-snarky, moose-huntin', wolf-shootin', elbows-out charismatic right-winger, but genuine outrage at her beliefs.

I said 'beliefs', not her politics. For Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist belief-centred politician whose supporters think she is on a mission from God. And Palin is expected to put her beliefs into action if (actually *when*, according to the GOP evangibase) - she ascends to the highest office

Never mind all the snippy stuff that bloggers unearthed within moments of the VP announcement: Palin trying to quash the 'Troopergate' scandal which threatens to expose her petty, vindictive abuses of power for personal reasons; never mind the undue influence of her husband Todd, unelected but copied into State business emails as a matter of course. Never mind the repeated shameless lies about rejecting the multi-million dollar 'Bridge to Nowhere' project out of fiscal high-mindedness - when in fact she supported it until it turned into a Millenium-Dome-like moneypit - and then kept the money earmarked for it anyway. Never mind the fact that she left the town where she was mayor over $19 million in debt, having started debt-free. All that is just run-of-the-mill small town politics stuff, and whilst disappointing, hardly unexpected.

No, it's the hard-wired don't-blink religious extremism, and how it drives her political actions that's so scary. McCain is 72 and a survivor of a virulent form of cancer that recently returned for the fourth time. His face is still swollen and scarred from the operation to cut it out - hence the $5000 make-up artist he hired. He has a poor diet, high blood pressure, a fierce temper and, as his aides constantly remind us, he underwent years of torture and imprisonment as a POW. This has led many bloggers to wonder whether he is still experiencing PTSD symptoms, even decades on. His medical records, reluctantly-released to 3 journalists for 3 hours, are over 1300 pages long. His father and grandfather both died of heart attacks before reaching the age of 73.

So the 'heartbeat away' issue is pertinent and pressing.

What bloggers have dug up about Palin's religious background is the real kicker. Palin was baptised a Catholic when an infant, but re-baptised aged 12 with her whole family at the Wasilla Assembly of God, in the small town of Wasilla, Alaska,where she later became the town's youngest-ever mayor. That church is part of a breakaway movement of extreme neopentecostalists, a movement so out-there that most charismatic evangelicals and pentecostalists think of it as heretical.

Although Palin moved to a nondenominational, less controversial evangelical church in 2002 when she ran for public office, she retains strong links with the Wasilla Assembly of God. She was publicly blessed in a laying on of hands ceremony in front of a crowd of 6000 at a church prophesying rally as recently as June 2008.

It turns out that the Wasilla Assembly of God is deeply involved with the Third Wave movement and frankly, it's into some really weird stuff. Speaking in tongues, healing, yeah, whatever, no biggie. Lots of evangelical churches go in for all that.

But...a belief in demonic spirits possessing geographic territories - actual cities, towns? Yep. Chasing out those demons with strategic level spiritual warfare? Casting out witches? Breaking inter-generational curses? Indeed. Battling Satanic Mind Control? Hell, yeah! How about an Armageddon-ready military youth army with a divine mandate to assert dominion over unbelievers? It's all linked in and part of the package which Palin's church and pastor-adviser subscribes to. And for Palin it's all familiar since childhood.

Then you have the belief - which Palin apparently subscribes to - that life starts when sperm meets egg - which makes contraception - the pill, condoms with spermicide, anything that prevents implantation of the egg - 'abortifacient', apparently. Hence abstinence-only policies for the unmarried ( poor Bristol) and hence Palin's truly abhorrent and disgraceful policy as Wasilla Mayor of charging rape victims up to $1200 for rape kits ( swabs etc used in evidence gathering for prosecution). The rape kits contained emergency contraception pills as well as antibiotics.

Alaska has the highest rate of rape and violence against women in the USA by the way.

Palin is anti-abortion; she has famously said that she thinks even pregnant rape and incest victims should not have abortions. Okay. It's one thing to have that as your personal belief; it's another thing entirely to deliberately limit access to the morning-after pill for rape victims as Mayor because of your personal faith, isn't it? But that is what she did.

And that's the problem, the big, scary problem. Palin has been anointed by a powerful lobby who are actively working for a theocracy. They see her as a second Esther, someone who will do the Lord's work, and translate religious belief into of political action. A pray-er and a do-er. Battling Satan, with real guns and bombs and missiles. The Lord is behind the chosen people, how can they fail?

They think we are in the Last Days, these 19%. They want Armageddon to hurry up and arrive. They even see the global financial meltdown as part of God's plan. They are packed and armed and ready for Rapture, for violent struggle and for righteous all-out holy war. They are itchy twitchy with the hair-trigger. They don't listen to naysayers; if you're not with them, you're against them. You're an evildoer, letting Satan mind-control you away from executing God's plan. Stay wired. No blinking. Let's roll.

And the Republican party courted these votes, and is now well and truly infiltrated by these zealots. And Palin was the price these nutters demanded for their money, their votes, their support.

We see a lot of scary news most days about religious fundamentalists with home-made IEDS.
We could see the elevation of a religious fundamentalist with access to the nuclear codes, and the world's most expensive army, who thinks Jesus will return to earth in her lifetime and who is geared up for Babylon (which was sited in modern-day Iran) to attack the Holy Land - and to pile right in atcha. Ka-pow! Take that, Satan! Boom!

For God's sake.

That's not funny at all.

Further reading

New evidence Palin had direct role in charging rape victims for exams
A Palin Presidency may have literal apocalyptic consequences
Sarah Palin's links to the Christian Right
Troopergate, rapekitgate and Joel's armygate
Palin's churches and the Third Wave
Wasilla book-burning
The CNP Dominionists who vetted Sarah Palin
Theocratic sect prays for real Armageddon



Blogger Dave Hodgkinson said...

For bonus points, find the Scientology connection.

October 02, 2008 7:56 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Heh. There was so much stuff I had to chop out...

... I know most people know this stuff already. But for those who don't...and just writing it made me feel better.

We're not all doomed but it sometimes feels like it.

October 02, 2008 8:55 pm  
Blogger family affairs said...

Unbelievable. Wow, impressed with your UN trip - I would LOVE to meet Ingrid Betancourt Lx

October 03, 2008 5:10 pm  
Anonymous ellbell said...

she's terrifying.

p.s. found your blog through the amnesty website
it's amazing.

October 06, 2008 6:39 pm  

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