Even Some Christians Have a Problem with Sarah Palin

While it’s easy to think all Christians are fawning over Sarah Palin, not all of them are huge fans.

The progressive Christian group Matthew 25 Network put out a press release calling on Palin to be kinder, more honest, and — in so many words — “more Christian”:

The Matthew 25 Network is extremely disappointed in Sarah Palin’s address last night at the Republican National Convention. We call on her not as a political figure but as a prominent Christian, and representative of Christ to the world, to commit herself to campaigning in good faith, with love and respect for her political opponents and a strong commitment to truth-telling.

To be blunt, we saw very little of Christ’s love in Sarah Palin’s speech last night, as she heaped contempt on those who disagree with her politically, in particular Barack Obama. In questioning not only his policies but his motivations, and mocking his career, Palin went far beyond what could be considered acceptable disagreement and into what looked like open hatred for her political opponents. The name of Christ should never be associated with hate or contempt for one’s fellow human being, but last night, in Sarah Palin, we believe it was.

Moreover, as has been documented by major media sources including the Associated Press [2], Palin engaged in falsehoods not only about her own record, but about Barack Obama’s record as a State Senator and as a U.S. Senator. As Christians, we are called throughout Scripture to speak the whole truth, to put away falsehood, to bear true witness even when it hurts our own interests. The name of Christ should never be associated with falsehoods or deception, but last night, in Sarah Palin, we believe it was.

As a prominent face of Christianity, Sarah Palin is called to do more than represent her party — she is called to represent Christ to the world. We in the Matthew 25 Network call on Gov. Palin to repudiate her attitude of contempt towards her political opponents and tell the whole truth — if not for the sake of a more honorable politics, then for the sake of our Christian witness in the world.

You don’t have to agree with their Christian beliefs, but it’s nice to hear this group pointing out obvious concerns about Palin while their conservative counterparts ignore those problems entirely.

You can sign their petition, too, if you agree with them.

Mara Vanderslice, another Christian woman, wrote an article dismissing Palin as well.

Where are the other Christians who are not about to vote for John McCain?

(via Beliefnet)

  • Aj

    Hemant, I’m saying this as a friend. You’re addicted to Sarah Palin and you need to stop. This is not going to get better until you admit you have a problem.

  • http://www.purduenontheists.com Jennifurret

    Yeah, seriously. Less Sarah Palin, more…uh…Jesus on toast, I dunno.

  • Andrew

    Keep reporting on Palin, Hemant. It’s important no one falls for her “regular mom” act because if she and McCain get into office America will regress even further towards the dark ages. This nation will become a religious state.

    Personally, I don’t want to live in a country where if a young girl is raped by her step-father the government will insist she keep that child. I also don’t want Intelligent Design taught to school kids. Or wild animals hunted with helicopters. I could go on…

    So keep up the good work. The future of the free world is riding on this election.

  • ryot

    Christians with standards?! There is hope! It’s kind of nice that there is a Christian group not drinking her Kool-Aid.

    I can totally understand why Hemant keeps blogging about her. She’ll be the final blow to the separation of church and state in America. This isn’t your average Republican, she really wants to ruin the nation. Although, I’m sure she doesn’t think she’s doing a bit of harm.

  • Jen

    As much as I dislike SP, I have say, I don’t think most Christians are asking McCain to be kinder and gentler. That’s a little fucked up, from a feminist point-of-view.

  • alinvain

    During a conversation with one of my friends: “Look, I’m a Christian. I go to church every Sunday, and sometimes I go on Wednesdays too. But this Sarah Palin is a religious extremist. She is dangerous!”

    I can only hope more Christians are like my friend.

  • llewelly

    Congratulations to the Christians who are brave enough to speak up about the falsehoods of prominent political Christians.

  • Kate

    You can count Erik as a Christian for Obama.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Then you have gems like this one:

    “When I heard of McCains VP choice it brought a smile to my face;I looked upward and had a wink for God.Throughout her speech last night(that I missed wed. night service for, forgive me Lord)I had Holy Ghost chills running through my soul.I believe she had the Grace and anointence of The power of God during that convention and that He is raising her up to take the position of the Vice Presidency of the U.S. of America!
    God Bless America,McCain,& Palin.Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven ”
    (Posted by Youtube user “belovedgirltoHim” on video “W7S0VLUrjAE”)

    My sarcasm meter was wiggling, but then I saw the profile page…. hmm

  • Karen

    Good for them! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I hope more religious people feel the same way.

  • SarahH

    Hemant, I don’t think you’re obsessed. As long as newsworthy events involving religion/politics continue to happen, I think you should keep covering them and offering your perspective. The political scene is revolving around SP right now, and ignoring it isn’t helpful. I can only hope that more Christians focus on values like honesty and kindness while watching the election coverage.

    I do think that people would call for McCain (or for that matter Obama or Biden) to stop empty, vicious attacks like this – if they were dishing them out. Fred Thompson certainly acted atrociously during his convention speech as well, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

    The difference here is that he’s out of the race – Palin is not, and she’s behaving like the pit bull she compares herself to. It’s not helpful or respectable to deliver the kind of speech she gave – it’s simply fueling angry fires without really offering any comfort or plans to the American people.

  • David D.G.

    There are definitely many Christians who are NOT hypocrites, and it’s great to see a group of them being proactive in calling out prominent hypocritical Christians on their hypocrisy for a change, rather than just remaining silent. Good for them!

    ~David D.G.

  • Scott

    I’m sorry, but since when has christianity not been about lying when it was convenient for them.

    I do agree that it is good that not all christians are fawning over her but I call bullshit on their “christ should not be associated with lying” crap. Someone needs to get those people some history books.

  • http://www.thepietythatliesbetween.blogspot.com Eric R

    As a Christian (albeit in many ways atypical), I watched Palin’s speech as a confirmation of the worries I expressed several years ago in an essay published in the journal Logos. The essay, “Christianity and Partisan Politics,” argued that when Christianity becomes politicized it isn’t just politics that suffers, but also Christianity (I think the same is true for religion in general).

    I am puzzled by Scott’s comment. The Christian group quoted here was not talking about what those human beings and communities which have self-identified as Christian have historically done, but about what the teachings of Jesus demand. That historic Christianity has consistently failed to live up to these teachings should come as a surprise to no one, least of all Christians. No community organized around lofty ideals, at least no enduring community that I know of, has succeeded in consistently living up to its principles.

    More deeply, we may ask to what extent the grievances that many have against “religion” vaguely conceived are really grievances against pervasive human failings that manifest everywhere, especially on the collective level. We may ask to what extent the evils of contemporary fundamentalism are the product of the pervasive human urge to divide the world into in-groups and out-groups, an urge that partisan politics tends to magnify. If (as I believe) an essential message of the Christian love ethic is that such in-group/out-group divisions are both dangerous and at odds with the fundamental nature of the divine (hence the injunction to love enemies), it becomes even more evident that Christianity should view engagement with partisan politics with grave suspicion.

    Sarah Palin’s apparent delight in playing partisan politics indicates, I think, that the distinctive brand of Christianity to which she claims allegiance may be largely disconnected from the Christian love ethic, and hence from Christianity’s ethical core. To the extent that her brand of Christianity amounts to the “public face” of American Christianity today, we find ourselves confronting the disturbing conclusion that what most people think of as Christianity today is largely divorced from what any careful look at Christian moral theology will reveal to be its ethical essence.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    The whole SP thing does seem to be a bit of an obsession, both for Hemant and for Christian Fundamentalists.

    FYI, someone made a nice thong with SP’s face on it, available at CafePress. It’s not too late to start your collection! I mean, she is better looking than Hillary.

    Hemant, do you have a crush? It’s ok man. It happens.
    :-)

    ATL-Apostate

  • Polly

    At the risk of tempting Hemant into running another series of Palin posts, I’m posting this great comparison of SP with Islamic fundamentalists written by Juan Cole.

    What’s the difference between Palin and Muslim Fundies?


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