Political God Talk

You don't hear much political God talk these days. Guess that is why I found the following excerpt from this article on Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's June speech to ministry students at her former church very interesting:
Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."
Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
Are you comfortable with this kind of God language used by political leaders? I frankly am not. I think that this kind of religious rationalization is what caused us to invade Iraq.

I once heard it said that if someone says that God told them something then the conversation is over. That is the problem with this kind of God talk.. it shuts down the conversation and subtly demonizes the opposing point of view. Of course many religious people are comfortable with this simplistic black and white view of the issues.. it is why many are voting God's choice in this election.. like He is pro-McCain or pro-Obama.. LOL.


  1. I am absolutely not comfortable with this kind of G-d talk. People who claim to hear G-d plan this clearly scare me.

    I think there are things we can know about G-d's plan. Love each other. Care for each other. Treat each other as we would ourselves. But, killing in the name of G-d and building a pipeline because it's G-d's plan? Not so much.

  2. Weren't you supporting Jeremiah Wright a few months back saying we shouldn't rely on short clips? How is this different?

    Anyway, no, I'm not comfortable with statements like that. I hope those things were taken out of context.

  3. I agree that these things can be taken out of context Casey. I don't believe that is the case here but feel free to check it out.. I think that the whole speech is on youtube.

    And I don't think that Wright was running for office like Palin is.. seems that this kind of God talk is something that over-the-top preachers may do but I don't think that a governor should be doing it.

    I am curious why you feel a need to quickly come to Palin's defense about the God talk?

  4. No, I'm not comfortable with it. I think she's sincere, and I think she honestly believes those things she said. I even think she's well-intentioned. But I think her understanding of God is more cultural and national than biblical.

  5. I don't have a problem with politician's talking about God in a general sense but, like Brian, I feel uncomfortable and scared when politicians attribute their "particular policies" with the will of God. You can believe it and think it but don't assert it on the public who you are serving is the way I look at it. Personally, I think it is manipulative and self serving...

  6. Hey Bob, I'm not actually coming to her defense. As I said, I hope these things were taken out of context or that she misspoke. Those statements on their own make me quite uncomfortable, even though I'm on her side.

  7. These were her exact words:

    “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 them out on a task that is from God. That is what we have to make sure that we’re praying for. That there is a plan, and that that plan is God’s plan. So bless them with your prayers, your prayers of protection over our soldiers.”

    So, in all fairness, she didn't actually say the task was from God. She asked them to pray that our leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. I think she was trying to say is that we should pray for discernment of God's will. Having said that however, I just listened to a clip of her interview with Charlie Gibson and I was very disturbed by the answer she gave Gibson when asked about it. Gibson asked her about what she said and asked her if she believes we are fighting a holy war. This was her response:

    "The reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said -- first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words..."

    What? She just told them to pray for God's will and now she's saying she would never presume to know God's will. And, I'm not saying she's lying, but I find it hard to believe that at the time she made the comments that she had Abraham Lincoln on her mind.

    I have a lot of problems with Palin. I think she's just another typical politician who says one thing and then takes it back when it becomes politically unpopular.

  8. I'm not going to pretend to be unbiased. But, I got the feeling a lot of Sarah Palin's answers last night were her reciting the talking points she had been given. I find it extremely difficult to believe she was referencing Lincoln when she made those remarks and I think it's more likely the campaign staffers dug up that reference and tried to apply it after the fact. Of all the things she said in the interview, that really jumped out at me as a lie.


  9. Thanks for the clarification Gina.. and for stopping by. The AP article was in error.. I should have checked it out before I excerpted it.

    I haven't seen the Gibson interview yet but hope to catch it in the next day or so. Saying that she "would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words" sounds like a scripted response to the concerns that people have had about this issue.

  10. Disclaimer - not exactly a Palin fan, however...

    It seems to me what she said was totally acceptable. It seems she is saying:

    "God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

    A) It won't get done without God's help, so pray for God's help. I think she might be using the term "will" incorrectly here, but I accept the sentiment. I don't think she claimed to know God's will - just that she knows she needs it to accomplish the task. She may even mean that God is the only one who can unify that many people to get it done.

    B)In her suspiciously edited quote by the AP, just like Gina's opinion with the corrected quote, I think Palin is simply asking them to pray that the leaders will follow God's will, whatever that is.

    I think she is a relgious person. I suspect legalistically so, and therefore personally careful not to say things like what she was accused of. And that much of what she says in relation to that will be twisted by liberal media factions to sway the large evangelical vote. The right-wing media factions will do the same in a different way. I will be very careful to scrutinize the content from now on.

    I really hate the "cheerleader for McCain" role she has taken, though.

  11. After hearing the whole quote and her clarification, I'm satisfied that she was not calling the war in Iraq a "task from God."

  12. I don't agree with what Palin said either. I think it is rediculous for her to use religious lines in her polical views. It has nothing to do with God unless she is one of those that hears little voices in her head about what to do next. Perhaps, she'll say that going to Iran to start a war next, is also God's will...LOL. Accept what happens even if it is bad because it must be so according to God. It is like accepting that one of your loved ones was beheaded but need not to worry because it was in God's plan. I don't go by the book and what others think is right because I can see and think for myself, too eh. I go by the facts in front and around me. People like Palin can scare people... www.mydailytrails.com


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