Thursday, March 26, 2009

Praying with Palin

Politico's Ben Smith picked up on a speech Gov. Palin delivered at a GOP dinner in Alaska. The part that I am interested in is how Palin couldn't find anyone in the McCain campaign to pray with. Saith Palin:
"So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra," she said. "And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray." As the crowd laughed, Palin grinned and said she meant no disrespect to the McCain campaign. She said she ultimately prayed with her daughter Piper.
I am not in Palin's mind here, but to me, there are two possibilities at work here: (1) There is a vulnerable element inherent within prayer, the opening up into relationship with a higher power. Palin might have been looking around for people she was comfortable with to share that sacred space. Personally, I would feel uncomfortable praying with a person I don't know well. (2) Palin was acting spiritually superior, and couldn't find any staff person worthy of participating in prayer with her. I would be happy to entertain other possibilities.

I want to give Palin the benefit of the doubt here, but all signs point to no. 2 as the unfortunate conclusion. Several elements of her speech here underscore this. She says "love 'em" to lift them up before tearing them down rhetorically (and spiritually). She didn't "want" to hold hands and pray with any of them, and after the comment, she quickly offered that she meant no disrespect, rhetorical cover after she said something disrespectful. Finally, several McCain staffers have replied angrily to this statement:
"It's about us people who were on the plane, who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face by her comments, whether she means it or not," the staffer said, adding that Palin's remarks "cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader."
This statement highlights the strained relationship between Palin and staffers, and this reaction coupled with the rhetoric in her speech point to a sense of spiritual superiority. I don't remember Jesus preaching this mentality, but quite the opposite. Although taking the opportunity to slam Republicans, Americablog takes the hand-off:
Considering Jesus reached out to even the harlots, that's quite a charge from Palin.


Chad Crawford said... sounds like there's some winking happening here, no pun intended, like this is an inside GOP joke?

Drew said...

You could be right. The evangelical conservatives were uncomfortable with McCain's soft stances on social issues. So, with his stances in mind, Palin could have been saying, "They were all heathens." But that still gets at #2.

Chad Crawford said...

Yeah I definitely agree with you on #2

Darren Staley said...

You are forgetting #3: that Palin is a compulsive liar. I don't say this as a liberal (I fully respect McCain) or as an elitist (I live in a trailer park for God's sake), just as a person familiar with the lies of Palin.

If you want to find details, just go to and search The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin. He has documented them all, and he is both a Christian and moderate conservative who voted for Bush in 2000.

Do I believe that Palin is a Christian? Yes. I do not question her faith in any way. But she is also a manipulative, narcissistic liar.

Both Republicans and faith groups should distance themseleves from her swiftly.