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Sarah Palin's religious background and what it could mean

Reporters are scanning church Web sites, listening to clips of sermons, and digging through policy decisions for more details on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's whether her faith affects her politics.

Her religious background and its influence on her public policy are still emerging, reporters for the Associated Press write.

Eric Gorski and Rachel Zoll write:

As Alaska governor, she signed a proclamation as Alaska's governor honoring Christian Heritage Week and said creationism shouldn't be barred from classroom discussions.

She used traditional evangelical language in praying that a natural gas pipeline be built in Alaska and that the U.S. mission in Iraq was a "task that is from God." Yet she's also said she would not force her views on others.

Suzanne Sataline writes at the Wall Street Journal that the McCain campaign isn't eager to talk about Palin's spiritual beliefs.

"I am not going to get into that. I think talking about where she worships today and how she characterizes herself speaks for itself about where she is today on this issue," says Maria Comella, a campaign spokeswoman told Sataline.

Sataline writes:

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country," Gov. Palin said, in a video of the talk posted on the church's Web site. Pray "that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure we're praying for: that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."

David Gushee, a Christian ethicist at Mercer University in Atlanta, says he is troubled that a public official might presume that government action could be God's intent. "I would never think it is appropriate to describe the actions of the United States military or the strategies of our commanders as a plan from God," Mr. Gushee says.

Mr. Gushee says Gov. Palin should explain her beliefs concerning the inevitability of a cataclysm and the end of time. "To me, it is highly relevant to someone who potentially has her hand on the nuclear button," he says. "If that is her worldview, I would want to know about that."

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:September 4, 2008 at 4:38PM
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Sarah Palin's religious background and what it could mean