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The Nomination Of Sarah Palin: Religious Extremism Triumphant

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I figured one more wouldn't hurt. It's even op-ed.

Have at it!

The Nomination Of Sarah Palin: Religious Extremism Triumphant

Sarah Palin is a right-wing religious extremist, and John McCain chose her as his running mate precisely because he thought (correctly) that her views would appease and energize the Christian conservative base of the Republican Party. What is important about Palin's religious beliefs is not her application of them to her personal life but her desire to impose them on others through public law and policy. Palin, who wants to criminalize abortion, chose to carry a Down syndrome fetus to term after receiving a prenatal diagnosis through amniocentesis. That is her absolute right. But 90 percent of American women who receive the same diagnosis choose to terminate their pregnancies. Palin wants to force her values on women who do not agree with her, and that is the definition of religious extremism.

I am extremely concerned that the Republican attack machine (and Palin herself, who is clearly a very tough and clever woman) will intimidate many members of the national media into avoiding hard and appropriate questions about the relationship between the vice-presidential nominee's religious views and public policy. It is indeed inappropriate to ask Palin questions about her teenage daughter's pregnancy, but it is perfectly appropriate for journalists to press her on the issue of contraceptive education for teens. Palin, on religious grounds, has been a vigorous supporter of "abstinence only"

sex education, and journalists should ask her why she thinks that countries like Denmark, which have comprehensive contraceptive education programs in their schools, have a much lower rate of teenage pregnancy (and of abortion) than the United States.

Palin is also on record as supporting the teaching of religious alternatives to evolution in public school science classes. That is yet another issue at the intersection of public policy and private religious belief.

Palin's references to God as an overseer of oil pipelines and of U.S. war missions are equally disturbing. Her remarks bear a strong and troubling resemblance to those made some years ago by Lt. General William Boykin, who attributed his victory over a Muslim warlord in Somalia to the fact that his god was bigger than the warlord's god. The last thing this country needs is a continuation of foreign policy based on supposed instructions from a "Higher Power" (as President George W. Bush famously told the Washington Post's Bob Woodward after being asked whether he had consulted his earthly father, former President George H. W. Bush, before deciding to go to war in Iraq).

There are two reasons why Sarah Palin's religious views should be subject to close scrutiny. Obviously, with a running mate the age of McCain, she stands a better than average chance of ascending as vice-president to the nation's highest office as the result of a sitting president's death. Equally important, though, is what the choice of Palin says about McCain--that he has abandoned all of the "maverick" stands that made the Christian right distrust him in the past. McCain used to favor embryonic stem cell research, as well as exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest. Now he has signed on to a Republican platform that does not even allow for an abortion exception when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy. The same platform opposes not only gay marriage but gay civil unions--on purely religious grounds. Just yesterday came the news from Alaska that the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has worshipped frequently for the past six years, is promoting a conference, sponsored by the ultra-right organization Focus on the Family, to pray for the "conversion" of gays to hetereosexuality and fundamentalist Christianity.

I hope that journalists (and Democratic candidates) will not be deterred by those who will try to claim that Palin's religious beliefs are a "private" matter. Religious beliefs are never private when candidates wish to impose them on others. If I were interviewing Palin, I would ask her in the most direct terms why, when she is perfectly entitled to act on her moral beliefs and give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, she wishes to deny other women the right to act on their own convictions. I would ask her about the famous 1962 case of Sherri Finkbine, who had taken thalidomide early in her pregnancy without knowing that it caused severe, often lethal, birth defects. Denied an abortion in Arizona, Finkbine had to fly to Sweden for the procedure. The Swedish obstetrician who performed the abortion told Finkbine that the badly deformed fetus could not have survived. Would Palin like to place all American women, once again, in Finkbine's cruel situation? That is the logical extension of her position on abortion.

It is time for the media to stop being cowed by charges of elitism, leveled by people like Palin whenever anyone calls them to account for their contempt for the separation of church and state. The Palins of politics are true elitists in the original sense of the word: they believe in government by the few--in their case, a minority religious elite that does not reflect the views of the majority of Americans. And they get away with it because the media, and politicians, are terrified to ask questions that might seem critical of anyone else's religion. If I were running on a platform pledging to teach atheism to students in public schools, the media would be right to jump all over me about my lack of respect for the First Amendment. Everything Sarah Palin has said and done in public life (and by the way, the Anchorage Daily News has provided splendid coverage over the years detailing where she stands and what she has said about church-state issues) suggests that she wants to write her views into law and force them on others. She should be called to account, and her questioners should not be deterred by her "I'm just a poor little hockey mom being picked on by the big, bad, elite media" act. If Sarah Palin is just an ordinary small-town girl, then I'm a shrinking violet who is afraid to write what I really think.

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Finally, I hope that all of Hillary Clinton's ardent supporters will come to their senses and not only vote for but work hard for the Democratic ticket. John McCain has insulted all women by his assumption that they will vote for any woman. Palin stands against everything that Hillary Clinton has fought for throughout her public life, from the right to choose to government programs that will make it easier for parents to balance home and family. Palin's extreme right-wing religious beliefs are the biggest part of who she is. Let us think about what it means to have a woman with such beliefs a heartbeat away from the presidency. If McCain is right, and a significant number of independent and Democratic women will vote for this religious extremist simply because she is a woman, then we deserve what we will get--an administration dedicted, on faith-based grounds, to the proposition that women cannot be permitted to make their own choices about the most intimate aspects of their lives.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith..._for_now_4.html

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Equally important, though, is what the choice of Palin says about McCain--that he has abandoned all of the "maverick" stands that made the Christian right distrust him in the past. McCain used to favor embryonic stem cell research, as well as exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest. Now he has signed on to a Republican platform that does not even allow for an abortion exception when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy. The same platform opposes not only gay marriage but gay civil unions--on purely religious grounds.

Should I be losing any sleep over this? ;)


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"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Equally important, though, is what the choice of Palin says about McCain--that he has abandoned all of the "maverick" stands that made the Christian right distrust him in the past. McCain used to favor embryonic stem cell research, as well as exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest. Now he has signed on to a Republican platform that does not even allow for an abortion exception when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy. The same platform opposes not only gay marriage but gay civil unions--on purely religious grounds.

Should I be losing any sleep over this? ;)

If individual freedom and liberty means anything to you, you most certainly should.

People like Palin and now McSame are the ones that would seemingly be happy to turn the US into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.

Thanks but no, thanks.

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Now he has signed on to a Republican platform that does not even allow for an abortion exception when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy.

Not in the platform . Read it for yourself.

http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm

If individual freedom and liberty means anything to you, you most certainly should.

People like Palin and now McSame are the ones that would seemingly be happy to turn the US into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia doesn't even allow the importation of Bibles so you should enjoy it there. Not a cross to be seen.


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If individual freedom and liberty means anything to you, you most certainly should.

People like Palin and now McSame are the ones that would seemingly be happy to turn the US into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia doesn't even allow the importation of Bibles so you should enjoy it there. Not a cross to be seen.

Congratulations on entirely missing the point. :thumbs:

ETA: I actually am a Christian which is why I can't stand the intolerance of this religious right bunch. Fanatics they are. Christians they are not. :no:

Edited by Mr. Big Dog

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Now he has signed on to a Republican platform that does not even allow for an abortion exception when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy.

Not in the platform . Read it for yourself.

http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm

If individual freedom and liberty means anything to you, you most certainly should.

People like Palin and now McSame are the ones that would seemingly be happy to turn the US into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia doesn't even allow the importation of Bibles so you should enjoy it there. Not a cross to be seen.

Did you even read the link you posted?

We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

keTiiDCjGVo

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Did you even read the link you posted?

Yeah, I did so explain these:

We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.

If all abortions were illegal why single out public funding? Go out raise money for abortions so they don't need public funds.

Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Again, why encourage alternatives to abortions if all abortions will be illegal? Women can't "choose life" if the alternative, abortion, isn't around.


David & Lalai

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Did you even read the link you posted?

Yeah, I did so explain these:

We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.

If all abortions were illegal why single out public funding? Go out raise money for abortions so they don't need public funds.

Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Again, why encourage alternatives to abortions if all abortions will be illegal? Women can't "choose life" if the alternative, abortion, isn't around.

You know that this is not the main goal of the Republican platform. The main goal of the platform is to ban abortion. If they are unsuccessful in that regard, then they will resort to other language choosing life over abortion.


keTiiDCjGVo

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Did you even read the link you posted?

Yeah, I did so explain these:

We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.

If all abortions were illegal why single out public funding? Go out raise money for abortions so they don't need public funds.

Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Again, why encourage alternatives to abortions if all abortions will be illegal? Women can't "choose life" if the alternative, abortion, isn't around.

ALC - why do you always have to make sense and post intelligently ??

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Religious Extremism. LOL. You are soooo afraid of the religious right but have blinders on when it comes to Radical Islam. Even with several terrorist attacks a day.

:jest:


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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Religious Extremism. LOL. You are soooo afraid of the religious right but have blinders on when it comes to Radical Islam. Even with several terrorist attacks a day.

:jest:

I'd oppose radical Islam all the same if someone was about to force me to live under their belief system. If people of other countries are fine with living under religious doctrine, that's their issue. In this here country, it cannot happen. Religious dictate and individual freedom and liberty simply do not go together. Let's keep the US the land of the free. Anything else in unpatriotic.

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Palin wants to force her values on women who do not agree with her, and that is the definition of religious extremism.
Oh come on. The government forces other peoples' values on me every ###### day. There is nothing new, or necessarily religious about this. This is what government does best - control peoples' lives. Edited by akdiver

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Palin wants to force her values on women who do not agree with her, and that is the definition of religious extremism.
Oh come on. The government forces other peoples' values on me every ###### day. There is nothing new, or necessarily religious about this. This is what government does best - control peoples' lives.

What values specifically?

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Religious dictate and individual freedom and liberty simply do not go together.

Nothing could be further from the truth. America started out as land for religious dissenters and it's no coincidence the Founders put freedom of religion in the 1st Amendment. No one church could seize power or push its own doctrine because there were too many other sects who would get pissed off. Even individual states had different sects s they didn't want the federal government too powerful. If you protect religious freedom for indivduals you protect a right that can be impediment to tranny. Christians believe man is fallen and no mortal is without sin; therefore, placing a leader above God is a big no-no.

America has the highest individuality and religiousity in a Western developed country so the two traits aren't mutually exclusive here in America. In fact, you could argue that they reinforce one another.


David & Lalai

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