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Sarah Palin – Flawed, Human

posted by Paul Raushenbush



In a post called Sarah Palin’s rogue Christianity, Sally Quinn asks some hard questions of Sarah Palin intended to point out the inconsistencies of her faith commitments. I haven’t read the book but reading these questions makes me think of the hard test that faith puts on all of our lives.  

Unsolved paradoxes lead us to poignant places where we are forced to exercise something a seminary student recently called intellectual humility.   We believe things happen for a reason, but then we don’t believe that God’s hand was in our own defeat (you hear very few Republicans saying that God favored Barack Obama just as very few Democrats would have said that George Bush was God’s favored son).  If Quinn’s post indicates anything it is that Sarah Palin is a very human, very flawed individual.  Just like the rest of us.    

Here are some of the questions that Sally Quinn asks Sarah Palin at On Faith at Washingtonpost.com:


In her new book Sarah Palin writes that one summer at Bible
Camp she “put my life in my creator’s hands and trust Him as I sought my
life’s path.” For Palin, this grand divine plan was “a natural
progression.” She writes. And later, “I don’t believe in
coincidences.”


Which leads me to ask:


What does she believe is God’s plan for her? Does she have
any free will or is everything preordained. Can she see something coming and
change her mind despite God’s plans for her?


Did God plan for her to become Governor of Alaska. If so,
did God plan for her to step down. Did God plan for her to run for Vice
President? If so why did she and McCain lose?


Did God plan for her to have a child with Down’s Syndrome?
If so why did she consider an abortion? Did God plan for her to have a huge
wardrobe? Then why did she apologize for it?


Did God plan for her to do the Katie Couric and Charlie
Gibson interviews and be humiliated by them. Did God plan for her to allow
herself to be forced, against her will to do those interviews? If so then why
complain?

Did God plan for her daughter Bristol to get pregnant while
she was a teenager? Why was she then not thrilled. Did God plan for Bristol to
get engaged and then break up, only to be left a single mother, dropping out of
school?


Did God plan for Levi Johnson to be the father of her
grandchild? Did God plan for Levi Johnson, who she now calls Ricky Hollywood,
to pose nude for Playgirl and go into “porn” as she told Oprah. If
so, why does she find it heartbreaking???I find it all very confusing. ??Certainly
Palin could say that God planned for her to publish a book that would be a
huge, bestseller, go on Oprah, and make an enormous amount of money. Why would
God choose her? Why would God look at the suffering around the world of so many
millions and say, Sarah, I’m going to give you all of this. ??Perhaps God
wants more out of Sarah Palin.

You would think that God would ask of her to live her life
as an example to others of a compassionate loving, caring person. One of the
most powerful examples of God’s love in the Bible is that of forgiveness.
Turning the other cheek. 


But Palin’s book is a screed against everyone who ever
done her wrong.

She is angry at the campaign staffer for “forcing her
to do things she didn’t want to do”, she is angry at the media for asking
her questions she couldn’t answer. She is angry at the father of her grandson
for being a foolish teenager. She has used this book and all of her Christian
charity to do nothing but settle scores. She names names and calls ‘em like she
see ‘em. And she doesn’t see ‘em the way God might. They are all of his
children.



More of Sarah Palin’s Rogue Christianity 




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Comments read comments(11)
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Pat

posted November 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm


Interesting article and I daresay these are the types of questions any of us invites when we live in a way that is perceived as being super-spiritual and somehow above the fray.



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Icarus

posted November 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm


Thanks for this excellent article. It’s Palin’s brand of hypocritical, self-serving Christianity that gives all Christians a bad name.



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Trozum76

posted November 18, 2009 at 11:22 pm


You exemplify what is wrong with liberal America. Mrs. Palin represents the vast number of us in America who believe that God has a plan for us but it is up to us to do the best we can with what we have been given. You dismiss her in some aristocratic way as if any self respecting American is listening to anything that oozes out of your pie hole. You are missing the proverbial boat, and you will soon be left standing on the dock wondering where the airplane is.



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trozum76

posted November 18, 2009 at 11:28 pm


By the way, the word is screet, not screed.



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Karol

posted November 19, 2009 at 12:38 am


Sounds as if Sally Quinn has a major case of jealousy.



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kingskidd

posted November 20, 2009 at 12:48 am


I just had to respond to the second paragraph in Raushenbushes’ article, concerning how the election of a president is God’s plan. Sometimes God’s plan is to let you have what you think you want. This president could be used as America’s judgement. With so many anti-biblical worldview people in this administration, sometimes I wonder. Remember Israel so badly wanted a king like the rest of the nations, and boy did they get one in King Saul. We may have a president like the rest of the nations, who for the most part are heavy handed, over-reaching dictators.



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Richard Clark

posted November 20, 2009 at 8:01 am


Sarah Palin and the rest of the Religious Righters, give Christianity a bad name and have turned off a whole generation of young people toward the Christian faith. Palin represents a type of right-wing populism that could easily morph into fascism.



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Jodi

posted November 20, 2009 at 11:56 am


I struggle with the whole God’s plan thing so can’t comment on that. However, I do agree with the apparent use of a book deal to settle scores so to speak. She’s very good at making others feel they are not good enough because they are not “average Joe” enough. We are not a country of averages, we are a nation of amazing, unique individuals who all deserve compassion. I don’t get a sense that Sarah Palin’s public image is trying to convey that. It’s disappointing really.



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Eddie

posted November 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm


What? Are we throwing stones at a sinner like Sara. I can see who threw the fist stone, and now all the others line up. Obama is the judgement the people put on themselves. God does not have to punish the people, we do that to ourselves with elections.



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Ed

posted November 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm


Stand up and be special, do it yourself. If you do it yourself you canb help now instead of waiting for the Government to do it. Jesus did not wait to do miracles until health care was passed, in fact he didn’t even need health care.



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DC

posted November 25, 2009 at 8:52 am


To Trozum76
The word is “screed.” It means a shrill and ranting piece of writing. It could be applied to your comment as well. I can never understand why those who purport to be people of faith and grace are so heedless of coming across as bitter, rigid, rude, and sour. That is not at all my idea of Christianity or of conservative values and I am sad to see them portrayed as such. With regard to your incorrect correction — that comes across as ignorant and bullying. Is that really what you want? Can’t you find a way to express your views without insulting anyone? Can’t you accept that we all share the same goals of a safe and loving community for our families and that our differences about how to get there are quite small by comparison? Don’t you worry about exemplifying what is wrong with conservative America? You certainly don’t make it seem welcoming or appealing.
It is legitimate to question Sarah Palin’s description of her views. She appears to me to care more about fame than ideas and more about helping herself than helping others. I am always skeptical of people who say they know what God wants for them. And I am always skeptical of people who say they are Christian but behave in ways that are inconsistent with the Bible’s teachings about humility and compassion.



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