The Real Question: What Have Sarah Palin’s Pastors Said?

I swear, this blog will not become all-Sarah-Palin, all-the-time.

But for now…

Ken Silverstein and Sebastian Jones of Harper’s Magazine have been going through the speeches of Sarah Palin’s pastors.

What they found includes the following (from two different pastors):

From an April 27, 2008 sermon: “If you really want to know where you came from and happen to believe the word of God that you are not a descendant of a chimpanzee, this is what the word of God says. I believe this version.”

From a July 8, 2007 sermon: “Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise.”

From an November 25, 2007 sermon: “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.”

From an October 28, 2007 sermon: “God will not be mocked. I don’t care what the ACLU says. God will not be mocked. I don’t care what atheists say. God will not be mocked. I don’t care what’s going on in the nation today with so much horrific rebellion and sin and things that take place. God will not be mocked. Judgment Day is coming. Where do you stand?”

While words of the pastor don’t necessarily reflect beliefs of the listener (case in point: Barack Obama), Palin’s conservative profile seems to say she accepts all these ideas.

(via The Daily Dish)

  • http://www.BlueNine.info Blue Nine

    Of course god will not be mocked. Just not for the reason he thinks.

  • joel

    Ignorance abounds.

    We’re not descendants of chimps, rather we evolved from a common ancestor.

    We’re a Christian nation? Has this dominionist asshole even read the first amendment?

    God will not be mocked? And why should god care, being omnipotent, omniscient, etc.? If I were in god’s place (presuming that there was a god) I would just laugh and those foolish enough to mock me. That being said, if he doesn’t want people to mock him, why doesn’t he come down and give us a stunning, obvious diplay of his powers. That would convince me. Oh wait, “Thou shalt not put the Lord thy God to the test”. How convenient.

  • Karen

    “God will not be mocked” is a common threat from these fundy pastors when they get going on the eeeeevvviilllls of “this world” and the coming of the apocalypse.

    I heard it all the time as a fundy, and especially in End Times churches. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Palin’s a “Left Behind” type who believes Jesus is coming back to earth in the next 15 minutes or so.

  • Daniel Hoffman

    “God will not be mocked” is a common threat from these fundy pastors when they get going on the eeeeevvviilllls of “this world” and the coming of the apocalypse…

    It’s from Galatians 6:7, “fundy pastors” didn’t make it up.

    And it’s not “mock” in the sense of “make fun of” but in the sense of getting away with sin. It goes with the principle of reaping what you sow.

    To the person who said his reaction to mockery if he was omniscient and omnipotent would be laughter: Psa 2:4 “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.”

    That being said, if he doesn’t want people to mock him, why doesn’t he come down and give us a stunning, obvious diplay of his powers. That would convince me.

    When he did that in Moses’ day and in Jesus’ day, people still mocked. Lack of signs isn’t your or anyone else’s problem.

  • joel

    Daniel,

    Why doesn’t god give us an unmistakeable sign in modern times? Bible stories don’t count, as they’re of dubious origin and don’t prove a thing. And even if god did show his powers in ancient times, why stop? Why are ancient people more deserving of having actual proof of god than we. Why do we need faith, when they can have proof? It strikes me as unfair, but that’s par for the course for yahweh.

  • http://thesciencepundit.blogspot.com The Science Pundit

    Joel,

    I think you’re completely missing to point of Daniel’s comment. It’s not about whether or not the events of the bible are historical, but that according to Xian doctrine, Big G has displayed his powers and he was still mocked by the unbelievers. Therefore your claim that “if he doesn’t want people to mock him, why doesn’t he come down and give us a stunning, obvious diplay of his powers. That would convince me.”, while seeming reasonable to you, would be summarily dismissed by bible believing Christians. After all, their own book tells them that that wouldn’t be enough to convince you. And who are they going to believe, you or God?

  • Daniel Hoffman

    Why doesn’t god give us an unmistakeable sign in modern times? Bible stories don’t count, as they’re of dubious origin and don’t prove a thing.

    They count for me. I find them totally compelling, and their origins more than adequately attested by external and internal and circumstantial evidence.

    And even if god did show his powers in ancient times, why stop?

    It’s His prerogative. But anyway He is showing His power right now. He is doing a bigger and greater work than feeding the 5,000 with five loaves – He is sustaining enormous wheat fields and the water cycle and sunlight that feed them and giving breath to the people who farm them and bring the bread to our tables.

    Why are ancient people more deserving of having actual proof of god than we.

    They weren’t more deserving. God works according to His sovereign will.

    Why do we need faith, when they can have proof?

    They needed faith every bit as much as we. Not my previous post. Read Hebrews 3-4 – despite miracles in the wilderness the Israelites were destroyed for lack of faith.

  • TheDeadEye

    He is showing His power right now. He is doing a bigger and greater work than feeding the 5,000 with five loaves – He is sustaining enormous wheat fields and the water cycle and sunlight that feed them and giving breath to the people who farm them and bring the bread to our tables.

    So Africans are starving because God forgot to water?

    Another thing: God gets credit for sunlight, but not for all those nasty diseases and viruses; he “sustains” the wheat fields, but hurricanes, tidal waves and volcanoes aren’t his fault. Right

  • Daniel Hoffman

    So Africans are starving because God forgot to water?

    Another thing: God gets credit for sunlight, but not for all those nasty diseases and viruses; he “sustains” the wheat fields, but hurricanes, tidal waves and volcanoes aren’t his fault. Right…

    No. He sent the flood – and the plagues on Egypt, and every earthquake, fire, hurricane, and plague since the world began.

  • justin jm

    Fundie pastor…

    “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God

    I thought the whole purpose was to avoid stuff like

    a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism

    (sorry about the wrong verb tense)

    or something to that effect. No God talk there.

    I said before that Ms. Palin might not view us as full citizens due to her support for “Under God” in the pledge. If she thinks the USA’s purpose is to glorify God, then I see no place for us there.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/j9dz2sf Daniel R

    The Lord will not be mocked: http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=dskEn4j4Zmk

  • Daniel Hoffman

    I’m not sure if she or her pastor is making a distinction between “Intended purpose” and “actual purpose”. But there’s a distinction to be made. Whether it was the purpose of the founders or not, all things are ordained by God for His glory. America’s founding, and lifespan, and eventual fall. There is one eternal kingdom and America isn’t it.

  • Richard Wade

    When a preacher spouts “God will not be mocked” you can assume that in his heart he really means “I will not be mocked.” The preacher is pissed off because someone is not taking him seriously, despite his vicious threats of suffering in this world and the next. It used to keep everyone in line in the Dark Ages, but religion through intimidation just doesn’t have the universal grip that it used to.

    I’ll say it for the umpteenth time, a person’s characterization of God is a candid look into their inner character rather than a glimpse of the divine.

    That preacher repeats “I don’t care what (they) say…” That’s also very revealing. Yes, exactly, he doesn’t care. Like an addict he wants his fix of absolute righteousness, of absolute moral superiority, of absolute certainty. Otherwise he’d just be one more of the rabble that he despises.

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  • http://www.BlueNine.info Blue Nine

    On September 1st, 2008 at 3:11 pm, Daniel Hoffman Says:

    All things are ordained by God for His glory.

    Says who? It’s just you saying that, not your god. And “I really really really really believe” is not sufficient reason for me to change my life. And “I really really really really believe” is the only reason you guys ever give.

  • http://bornagainblog.wordpress.com Justin

    While words of the pastor don’t necessarily reflect beliefs of the listener (case in point: Barack Obama), Palin’s conservative profile yada yada yada

    Not accurate. If one actually disagrees with what the pastor says, one finds a new church. I’m not saying that’s what Obama or Palin should have done. I’m describing the mechanics of church membership in the US today.

    What I mean is, when a churchgoer attends a church service, they either already agree with what’s preached or not. When they don’t, they leave. They find some other church which does teach “the truth.” (Truth=whatever the believer has chosen to believe.)

    The only time this doesn’t happen is if the issue they disagree with the pastor about is an issue of little consequence to them. They could take it or leave it.

    The rationale works like this:
    “I don’t agree with what Pastor Dawkins says about boiling the babies before smoking them over mesquite. Obviously one must dab in olive oil and grill with green peppers, but this isn’t a big deal, it’s a matter of personal opinion so I stick around.”

    Actually, in Palin (or Obama’s ) case the analogy would be more like this:
    “I don’t agree with what Pastor Dawkins says about boiling the babies before smoking them over mesquite. Obviously one should not eat babies at all as this is morally reprehensible, but this isn’t a big deal, it’s a matter of personal opinion so I stick around.”

    (Replace baby-eating with any destructive Palin- or Obama-pastor teaching, of course, and you have the dilemma defined.)

    Which is why they both bother me, though Obama slightly less than Palin.

    BTW – When I was a Xian I rationalized away the absence of miraculous evidence of God by exactly what is mentioned above: the idea that miracles didn’t convince Jesus’ or Moses’ critics so it wouldn’t do any good now. So, yeah, asking for such things won’t get one far if you’re dealing with a Xian like I was.

  • cipher

    They weren’t more deserving. God works according to His sovereign will.

    Oh, how fucking convenient.

    Really, Daniel, you used to behave yourself somewhat, but you’ve become just another insufferable pain in the ass. I come here to get away from people like you.

    That preacher repeats “I don’t care what (they) say…” That’s also very revealing. Yes, exactly, he doesn’t care. Like an addict he wants his fix of absolute righteousness, of absolute moral superiority, of absolute certainty. Otherwise he’d just be one more of the rabble that he despises.

    Richard, you’re absolutely correct. It is an addiction – and it’s one with which I’ve come to have no patience.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Daniel Hoffman:

    No. He sent the flood – and the plagues on Egypt, and every earthquake, fire, hurricane, and plague since the world began.

    Sounds like the sentiment in “All Things Dull and Ugly”.

    Richard Wade:

    When a preacher spouts “God will not be mocked” you can assume that in his heart he really means “I will not be mocked.”

    I’d be careful about assuming that preachers have some sinister subtext when they say things like “God will not be mocked.” Why assume their belief is insincere?

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    F. A. you don’t get it. You are trying to hold the Republicans and conservatives to the standards that they hold others to.

    That just isn’t fair! :-)

    ps: my deity (FSM) says that it is ok to mock Him.

  • Gullwatcher

    Of course god will be mocked. I do it all the time. I also mock Jar Jar Binks, and Eragon, who also don’t exist. Whole lot of mocking going on…. in every sense.

    Palin comes from a far-loonier-than-the-average-bear church, and appears to be the new conservative wet dream. Gah.

    Question for John Q. Public here – how many of you know about the Alaska dividend? Every year, every citizen of Alaska gets a payout from the state, for no reason except that they live there. It’s about $5000 for a family of four, I think, and it’s like a state holiday on the day it comes and everyone goes out to spend it. It’s just a huge welfare state. Do most people know about this?

    The money comes from the oil companies in Alaska, so it’s part of what you pay for at the pump, skimmed off at the source for Alaskans.

    Greed, it isn’t going anywhere.

  • joel

    @ DH

    So you find the bible compelling huh? I always thought the style it was a bit dry myself, but I digress. I just don’t understand why people adhere with such uncompromising vehemence to ancient documents for which no proof exists of their veracity. You do realize, that a fundamentalist (insert any other religion here) would say the exact same things as you, except their god would have a different name. Are you so arrogant as to believe that your cherished set of ancient documents is true while all others are false testimony? In truth, they probably all have elements of truth to them, but they are in no way a guidebook for how to live your life. They are just an imperfect chronicle from our ancient past. You might as well pick Moby Dick or Harry Potter as a guide book.

    As for these:

    “He is sustaining enormous wheat fields and the water cycle and sunlight that feed them and giving breath to the people who farm them and bring the bread to our tables.”

    Try reading a science book. The is powered by nuclear fusion, not Jesus power. Natural processes are not proof of god’s existence.

    “They weren’t more deserving. God works according to His sovereign will.”

    Oh well isn’t that convenient. God does what he wants, when he wants.

    Oh yes, and at the end of the post there’s this little gem:

    “They needed faith every bit as much as we. Not my previous post. Read Hebrews 3-4 – despite miracles in the wilderness the Israelites were destroyed for lack of faith.”

    Why does your god destroy people for not believing when he won’t supply convincing proof of his existence. He sounds like a jealous, narcissistic, egomaniacal jerk to me. I’d rather be in hell than spend five minutes with your asshole of a god. Good thing it’s all a crock of shit anyways.

  • Richard Wade

    J.J.,

    I’d be careful about assuming that preachers have some sinister subtext when they say things like “God will not be mocked.” Why assume their belief is insincere?

    I’m not saying there is a sinister subtext beneath the tripe that they shout but that they don’t sincerely believe in. Most I’m sure do believe in it. I’m saying they are attracted to whatever aspects of their god or their religion that matches their innermost personality. Preachers choose which way they will interpret scripture and how they will apply it to the situations around them according to the desires, frustrations, hopes and fears deep inside their often very restricted emotional lives. They portray a god that resembles themselves. They make him in their own image. This is why there are so many contrasting and contradictory characterizations of God from those who are supposed to have special insight into his nature. Some are very warm and loving, while others give you fair warning to stay away. As the man is bent, so grows the god.

  • http://www.BlueNine.info Blue Nine

    On September 1st, 2008 at 12:30 pm, Daniel Hoffman Says:

    When he did that in Moses’ day and in Jesus’ day, people still mocked. Lack of signs isn’t your or anyone else’s problem.

    So why not do it again now? I think some would mock, but some would believe. It’s not like it’s any extra effort on god’s part, right?

    Also, if a lack of signs is not my problem, then an atheist lacking faith is not your problem. So please tell all your co-religionists to start minding their own business and keep your religion out of my life.

  • Karen

    It’s from Galatians 6:7, “fundy pastors” didn’t make it up.

    Yes, I’m aware of the scripture reference. I didn’t say they “made it up”; I said they are ones who commonly use it.

    Most non-fundamentalist pastors don’t seem to find the need to threaten their flocks with god’s anger and embarrassment over being made fun of. What a big god he must be, huh?

  • Daniel Hoffman

    Says who? It’s just you saying that, not your god. And “I really really really really believe” is not sufficient reason for me to change my life. And “I really really really really believe” is the only reason you guys ever give.

    I didn’t say me believing was a good reason for you to believe. And “says who?” I have read the whole Bible several times and read it just about every day and I can tell you God acting on behalf of His glory is the theme that ties it together. Besides that being bluntly stated, it is given as the (or at least a) major reason of pretty much every redemptive act. I try to repeat scripture, not blow my own opinions.

    Really, Daniel, you used to behave yourself somewhat, but you’ve become just another insufferable pain in the ass. I come here to get away from people like you.

    Ok. I’m answering as best I can without a 10-page essay.

    So you find the bible compelling huh? I always thought the style it was a bit dry myself, but I digress. I just don’t understand why people adhere with such uncompromising vehemence to ancient documents for which no proof exists of their veracity. You do realize, that a fundamentalist (insert any other religion here) would say the exact same things as you, except their god would have a different name. Are you so arrogant as to believe that your cherished set of ancient documents is true while all others are false testimony? In truth, they probably all have elements of truth to them, but they are in no way a guidebook for how to live your life. They are just an imperfect chronicle from our ancient past. You might as well pick Moby Dick or Harry Potter as a guide book.

    That it has been the best-selling book for 2,000 years and subjected to far more intense scrutiny than any other book and has come out without a scratch suggests that trusting it isn’t baseless. I don’t believe it’s arrogant to think that the Bible is right and other holy books aren’t. There is probably some truth in them, indeed, but wrong is wrong and arrogance has nothing to do with it.

    “He is sustaining enormous wheat fields and the water cycle and sunlight that feed them and giving breath to the people who farm them and bring the bread to our tables.”

    Try reading a science book. The is powered by nuclear fusion, not Jesus power. Natural processes are not proof of god’s existence.

    I have read science books. They stop short.

    Oh well isn’t that convenient. God does what he wants, when he wants.

    That’s what it means to be God.

    Why does your god destroy people for not believing when he won’t supply convincing proof of his existence. He sounds like a jealous, narcissistic, egomaniacal jerk to me. I’d rather be in hell…

    If the sun and moon and stars and ocean and human love and lightning and Christ and the Resurrection won’t convince you, what “sign” would? A voice from heaven? Why couldn’t that simply be an alien boom box sent from another galaxy?

    Most non-fundamentalist pastors don’t seem to find the need to threaten their flocks with god’s anger and embarrassment over being made fun of. What a big god he must be, huh?

    Some pastors sincerely believe scripture and are not trying “threaten” but simply to relate what scripture says. I have no interest in threatening anyone, but I believe scripture and feel bound to warn where it warns, comfort where it comforts, exhort where it commands, etc…

  • http://www.BlueNine.info Blue Nine

    On September 1st, 2008 at 10:25 pm, Daniel Hoffman Says:

    If the sun and moon and stars and ocean and human love and lightning and Christ and the Resurrection won’t convince you, what “sign” would? A voice from heaven? Why couldn’t that simply be an alien boom box sent from another galaxy?

    What if the sun and moon and stars and ocean could be explained without reference to god? I think this line about “look at how wonderful/amazing/ordered/designed nature is” is a pretty weak argument. You are just projecting your religion onto the world. Why couldn’t that simply be a natural process without a theistic creator?

  • cipher

    Oh well isn’t that convenient. God does what he wants, when he wants.

    That’s what it means to be God.

    Daniel, as Richard said, it’s an addiction. You decide ahead of time what you want to believe, then search for the evidence to support your a priori conclusions. As is the case with all conservative Christians, you’re obsessed with the idea of his sovereignty.

    That it has been the best-selling book for 2,000 years and subjected to far more intense scrutiny than any other book and has come out without a scratch

    Yeah, here’s the thing, Daniel – no, it hasn’t. You tell yourself that there are no contradictions, that it all comes together seamlessly and makes perfect sense – but you’re simply whistling in the dark.

  • cipher

    You do realize, that a fundamentalist (insert any other religion here) would say the exact same things as you, except their god would have a different name.

    Joel, you’re absolutely correct. I have a nephew who became a Hasidic Jew. He speaks derogatorily of Christianity all the time, but, if I take his Orthodox Jewish apologetics and randomly throw in the word “Jesus” every few lines, there’s virtually no difference. I’ve told him this, and of course – he doesn’t get it.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Daniel Hoffman: “That it has been the best-selling book for 2,000 years and subjected to far more intense scrutiny than any other book and has come out without a scratch”

    Oh, it’s come out with quite a few scratches, actually.

  • Daniel Hoffman

    Daniel, as Richard said, it’s an addiction. You decide ahead of time what you want to believe, then search for the evidence to support your a priori conclusions.

    Is this only true of me, or of you also? And why do you believe your approach is “objective”? And when did you set up the cameras surveying my study habits and where did you hide them?

    As is the case with all conservative Christians, you’re obsessed with the idea of his sovereignty.

    I try to be as obsessive about it as scripture is.

    Yeah, here’s the thing, Daniel – no, it hasn’t. You tell yourself that there are no contradictions, that it all comes together seamlessly and makes perfect sense – but you’re simply whistling in the dark.

    I rather think you are telling yourself that there ARE contradictions and that you are not willing to give a hearing to the thousands of Christians who have spent their lives studying it and are not at all troubled by these “contradictions” because they all have been answered countless times centuries ago. It’s beating a dead horse. I’ve seen the lists, they smack of hyper-cynical bitterness, and don’t stand up to 3 seconds unbiased reflection.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    Laughing at Palin is a common theme at the moment. How does she compare with Obama’s running mate?

  • justin jm

    Daniel Hoffman…

    I rather think you are telling yourself that there ARE contradictions

    There are. For example, there is a disparity between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 as to exactly when Eve was created. Or, if you want, take Jesus’ statement that he would return before the apostles died (Luke 9:27).

    The contradictions are real. No amount of false certainty will make them go away. It doesn’t matter how many Christians believe there are no contradictions, because I can see that they are all wrong. I have listened to those who think the contradictions can be resolved and they have failed at such a task.

    If you want to debate with us, then you should respect our intelligence enough to know that we will not be fooled by poor theodicy or arguments.

  • Richard Wade

    It’s beating a dead horse.

    Daniel Hoffman used this phrase to characterize attempts to convince Christians that the Bible is full of contradictions or to doubt their beliefs, and he is very much correct.

    My friends, why do you squander your wordsmithing talents on such futility? Leave the theists to tell themselves their self-comforting and self-aggrandizing stories and concentrate your argumentation abilities where they are needed most, wherever theists try to intrude upon our civil rights and the integrity of science. It is pointless to try to change what goes on inside their heads. Defend real borders against real threats rather than attacking ghosts inside someone’s mind.

  • cipher

    The contradictions are real. No amount of false certainty will make them go away. It doesn’t matter how many Christians believe there are no contradictions, because I can see that they are all wrong. I have listened to those who think the contradictions can be resolved and they have failed at such a task.

    If you want to debate with us, then you should respect our intelligence enough to know that we will not be fooled by poor theodicy or arguments.

    Seconded, and I will add that I agree with Richard as well; there’s no point in arguing about this. Daniel will see what he wants to see, and will accuse us of the same.

    Daniel, I’ll say just one more thing – Orthodox Judaism and the Catholic Church have recognized for centuries that there are “issues” with the text as it is, and have developed traditions of commentary and other extra-canonical material to deal with it. They hold onto a belief in divine inspiration, but they refuse to take it literally.

    The cognitive dissonance required to read the text, see the contradictions yet convince oneself that they aren’t really there is another hallmark of addiction.


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