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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin: Iraq War "A Task From God"

Just a few months before McCain tapped Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the Governor of Alaska addressed the "graduating class of commission students" at her former church, Wasilla Assembly of God. Check out what Palin had to say about the Iraq War:
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
Dr. Glenn Jonas who is the Chairman of the Department of Religion & Philosophy at Campbell University had this to say about the quote above over at his blog. Here's Jonas:
I have serious reservations about someone who has such a twisted theological understanding about the war in Iraq. To say the war was necessary (President Bush's argument) is one thing. To say it is a "task from God" is something that is really, really scary! Wonder if she has ever heard of Jesus' words: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God."
I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Jonas. This framing of the Iraq War as a sort of messianic mission is indeed troubling. However, it's quite clear that such rhetoric is common at the Wasilla Assembly of God - at least since 1999.

Sermon recordings from Wasilla Assembly of God reveal that their current pastor - Ed Kalnins - has a penchant for provocative statements when behind the pulpit.

During the Fall of 2004, the Wasilla pastor praised President Bush's debate performance and then proceeded to throw down the gauntlet with this declaration:
"I'm not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I'm sorry....If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time."
Read the entire article here.

I don't care particularly about the kooky comments that are made and the bad theology that is preached at Palin's old church. But in light of what appears to be a plethora of kooky comments, I hope Republicans will have the decency to lay off of the Jeremiah Wright angle during the last two months of this Presidential campaign.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


At OnTheIssues.com you can find position summaries for each candidate, based directly on the candidates' statements. Palin's listings are growing as the website assembles more of her position statements. There's nothing there yet on foreign policy, and I don't know if they'll land on the same quote BDW shares. You can find her positions at


It would be interesting to see the following bullet-point under "Foreign Policy," "believes Iraq war was sanctioned by God." I think most Americans would find that statement to be absurd. I know I do.

On the other hand, in March 2007, responding to a question about sending more troops to Iraq, Palin said, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place; I want assurances that we are doing all we can to keep our troops safe. Every life lost is such a tragedy. I am very, very proud of the troops we have in Alaska, those fighting overseas for our freedoms, and the families here who are making so many sacrifices." This suggests that in March 2007, she wanted us out of Iraq. Has she changed her mind since then?

See http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Sarah_Palin_War_+_Peace.htm#3.

Melissa Rogers outlines some additional statements made by Palin on religion, public policy, and church-state issues:


9:34 PM

Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

As time quickly goes by, we are finding Palin to be very kooky and very scary. As mayor she tried to fire the city librarian because she wouldn't remove certain books that Palin didn't want on the shelves. It has become quite obvious as to the type of books that were the issue. Fortunately, the citizens rallied around the librian and forced Palin to back down.

4:34 AM

Anonymous Lee said...

This looks like the recycled Anglo-Israelism of the early twentieth century, the idea that because British and then American people embraced Christianity, they have been given the mantle of the "chosen" from the Old Testament.

Palin may help McCain solidify the evangelical base, but his support among the independents, moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats, which was his base and his bread and butter, is rapidly eroding.

4:58 AM

Blogger Alexis said...

georgia mountain man- i would be very interested in the source of your story about the library/books so I can pass it along. Can you share?

8:57 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Alexis, I saw something on that library books story earlier today on Andrew Sullivan. If they really vetted her, well, wow.

7:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could this statement,
"Pray ... Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God."
"That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan," possibly be read as a plea to pray that we are doing the right thing?
IE: We are praying for God's leading and hope that it is the right thing so continue to pray for this. Perhaps, as in light of the March 2007 comment about and exit plan she doesn't believe that God is in this decision and is praying that His desires will become clear.
Either way you look at it, her theology is still skewed, but I'm just trying to read her statement from all angles.
Your thoughts are appreciated.

12:52 AM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...

If you were a Christian young man or woman considering serving this country by enlisting in our armed services, would your decision be based on sensing God's call on your life, or is that just for preachers, doctors, lawyers, community organizers, journalists, professional students, and senators?

If you, like Palin, had a Christian son or daughter serving, you would do well to be praying just as she articulated here--that the mission was in God's plan for him or her, and for our country.

Anonymous is the only one who's commented who makes any objective sense. The rest of you are mixing politics and theology trivially.

3:26 PM

Anonymous KGray said...

Was her son headed to Iraq?

9:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is clearly not saying that it IS God's will.

I had read a lot about this issue, but if this is the actual quote, then I have lost my concerns. On this issue.

8:21 AM

Anonymous Kgray said...

A friend today said she is incensed about Sarah Palin in a flag-bikini toting a gun by her family pool.

It was a photoshop.

Matt Damon is scared that Sarah Palin believes dinosaurs were only 4000 years ago.

That was a parody. Good grief.

Charlie Gibson saying he quoted Palin her "exact words?" No.

Faked her pregnancy? Belonged to a secessionist party? Banned books? No, no and no.

Christians ought to be truthseekers, IMO.

11:58 AM

Blogger D said...

Excellent post, and links, too. Although, I think the theology preached at Palin's church is particularly disturbing. If you look at what she and the church's leaders seem to mean by "God's will" and "God's plan," it's not that the war in Iraq was God's plan, but that they can make it God's plan through prayer, etc.

That's scarier stuff to me.

10:05 AM


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