Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sarah Palin

Please, please, please don't vote for Sarah Palin. Even if you are religious, if you value religious freedom, you don't want Sarah Palin in office. You may think that statements like "the Iraq war is part of God's plan" are innocent reflections of her faith. While she may not fully understand the import of this statement personally, it actually reflects the position of a subgroup of Christians, with whom she is well connected, who believe that war in the middle east is part of a prelude to the return of Christ and the Rapture. Now it is already scary enough that she would use religion to justify endless and pointless war, but it gets much, much worse.

It is clear from her connections that Sarah Palin either is, or would be, under the control of her handlers, a dominionist. Another part of God's plan, apparently, is that society should be ruled by his law, as expressed in the Bible. Dominionists actually want this to be literally true, in the U.S. The one thing in the bill of rights which drives these people crazy is the separation of church and state. Of course they have no hope of passing an amendment that removes this explicitly, so their strategy is to get a supreme court that will effectively interpret it out of existence.

Imagine what it would be like if the Bible was the law of the land. Most people are not very familiar with the parts of the old testament where God spells out his laws. It is not a pretty picture. The punishment is usually death. The worst offense, of course, is having the wrong religion. Apostasy is especially bad. Adultery? Death. And so on. Interestingly, Bible literalists who are familiar with the laws seem to have no problem with it. If you ask a knowledgeable fundamentalist whether it seems right to execute someone for adultery, he will be OK with that.

Of course this conversion is not going to happen overnight. It would be a gradual process in which intrusions would be introduced incrementally. Each change would seem small once the previous one became accepted. Right now the mania of the moment is overturning Roe v. Wade. Of course this alone should be reason enough to vote against McCain/Palin. But you shouldn't think that they'll be happy once that is done. That is just the beginning.

Now it does not appear that John McCain is a dominionist or is associated with them. Although he has tried to associate himself with some of the fundamentalist leaders, they all know that he is not really on board, which is why the religious right was never very happy with him. He would, however, appoint supreme court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. But his reasons for supporting the Iraq war appear to be more patriotic than religious. Wrong either way, of course, but understandable as a kind of stupidity, rather than a mission from God. In any case, one might hope that a McCain presidency would be less damaging than the Bush one has been. But McCain could die, and then there would be hell to pay.