Palin’s Church and Voluntarism

Palin’s Church and Voluntarism September 9, 2008

From what we can see and read, there is something deeply disturbing about Sarah Palin’s church and the utterances of some of her pastors. And I’m not talking about the obvious partisan rhetoric, such as the statement that people who vote for John Kerry, or ever dare to criticize the actions of George Bush, are bound for hell. No, I’m talking about the twinning of Pentecostal emotionalism with a dangerous end-times theology that is unique in the Christian world to American Protestantism. These are people who believe Alaska occupies a special position as a “refuge state in the last days”, that the Iraq was is part of a war that is “contending for your faith”, and that Jesus is operating from the “position of war mode”.

A former pastor of this Church defends the theology as follows: “Our basic belief is that God is God and he knows where history is going and he has a purposeful plan and within the middle of that plan we live in an environment in our world where certain events would take place. Sarah wasn’t taught to look for one particular sign — a cataclysmic sign. She knew as every Christian does … that God is sovereign and he is in control.”

Reading those words reminded me of another debate, the debate between those who believe in the God of reason, and the voluntarists. Catholics hold that God is reasonable, and even though the mind of God is vastly beyond our comprehension, the way we think is close enough to the way that God thinks to allow us to claim that God is an infinite and eternal intellect. God cannot act irrationally. And indeed, God’s own Word, or reason, became man so that man could become like God. Voluntarists, on the other hand, believe that God should be conceived as pure will, not pure reason and intellect, on the grounds that God transcends all human ways of thinking about him. Hence they define God in terms of his absolute power and sovereignty, and believe that humanity must submit to his will.

If this is all sounds familiar, it is because Pope Benedict’s famous Regensburg address two years ago happened to mention the voluntarist strain within Islam, a theological point that unleashed a firestorm. But the point the pope was making is quite correct: a God not subject to reason “might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness.” And if this is true with certain strains of Islam, it is also true with certain strains of American Protestantism, and what binds them together is a similar approach to revelation, where the Word of God is not a person who is also the wisdom and reason of God, but a book, a written text.

So, when we combine emotional frenzy with a belief that the end of the world in coming and that God will take sides in the coming war- are we talking about Ahmadinejad’s Shia Islam or this American Protestantism that Palin seems associated with? Either way, it’s frightening. And it’s time for Catholics in America to stop defending this nonsense simply because they view these people as part of a common political alliance.

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  • TeutonicTim

    Let’s see.

    Protestant church – check.

    Crazy “pastor” – check.

    Left said church – check.

    So far we could be talking about Obama or Palin. Difference being that Palin left her church 6 years ago of her own accord, and Obama threw his self described mentor under the bus only when the heat got to hot.

  • Primus

    You’re right on the money. And while everyone from Republicrats to (Catholic) Fr. Dwight Longenecker of “Standing on My Head” are jumping for joy, telling that NOW everything’s going to be all right because Sarah Palin is an evangelical and she’s pro-life, we’ve got yet another candidate who’s spent her life listening to some whacko preacher and whose “Christianity” is a dangerous variant (if you can even call it Christianity) on the message of Jesus Christ.

    I’m a traditional (NOT neocon) Catholic and we’re never acceptable to anyone. It makes me wonder.

  • jonathanjones02

    a belief that the end of the world in coming and that God will take sides in the coming war- are we talking about Ahmadinejad’s Shia Islam or this American Protestantism that Palin seems associated with?

    I think you recognize the very large difference here. No Christian group is seeking weaponry for a coming war, existentially threatens its neighbors, kills others associated with the same group, stones women, ect.

    One may correctly identify extremist Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but this does not mean that all “extremism” is even close to the same. I grew up in a dispensationalist household strongly supportive of Israel, and am very familiar with the sorts who attend Palin’s church. No wars will start because of these views, and no people will be killed because of them either. If you think the opposite, I would very much like to see your evidence.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    You paint too broadly whenever you say “unique to American Protestantism.’ My American Methodist friends, for example, would be appalled to be in any way associated with any of Palin’s “Third Wave” lunacy.

  • JohnH

    I’m glad nobody’s been parsing my pastor’s statements as if they were my own, or else people would think I’m for women’s ordination and civil unions.

    As for the peculiarities of Pentecostalism/Evangelical Protestantism in regards to end-times, a lot of the better critiques have been written by Catholics. See Carl Olson for one.

    So far as Palin’s actual statements I’ve read, she doesn’t seem to be stating that she knows the mind of God, as some of the more radical Protestant preachers do. She seems to be asking people to pray that her plans (and the plans of the US Government) conform to God’s plan. I don’t see a problem with that, per se. I pray for that myself.

  • S.B.

    And I’m not talking about the obvious partisan rhetoric, such as the statement that people who vote for John Kerry, or ever dare to criticize the actions of George Bush, are bound for hell.

    Well, that rhetoric occurred in 2004 in the church that Palin had quit back in 2002. So that’s a nice standard you’ve got there: Palin is responsible not only for everything that’s said in her current church, but for everything that’s said in churches that she quit! You’re not even trying to be fair here.

  • S.B.

    And just to be clear, the rhetoric that purportedly concerns you is also from the current pastor of the church Palin stopped attending in 2002:

    These are people who believe Alaska occupies a special position as a “refuge state in the last days”, that the Iraq was is part of a war that is “contending for your faith”, and that Jesus is operating from the “position of war mode”.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    However, we may now know wht Palin would be associated with the Alaska First Party. Her pastor, with whom she shared the Church stage whenever he ahs made such remarks, believes Alaska will be a special refuge for the chosen, during the Last Days.

  • jh

    That is correct S.B. this is her former Church.

    There was a very good UK article on this that explained all this. Her new Church is a tad new laid back and part of the reason people go there is because it is not “as etreme”

    I of course will not defend all Pentecostatal Theology or Assembly of God. I do find it stupid some democrats are going now this road because they are often loyal democrat voters. THe Clintons are very close t the Pentecostals

    But when Bobby Jindal of Louisiana was the focue of an anti Catholic ad campaign the PEntecostals in th my State stood by Bobby despite disagreeing with him on his religon. They went public and pretty much helped end that smear movement.

    So yeah I will defend some of these folks from overbroad smears. i have been in more Pentecostal Chruches than I can count and they are good folks

  • No wars will start because of these views, and no people will be killed because of them either. If you think the opposite, I would very much like to see your evidence.

    Um, Iraq?

  • jonathanjones02

    How is it exactly that the Iraq war came about because of an evangelical approach to revelation or a frenzied belief that the coming end of the world requires us to take God’s side? Easy and fun and cheap to say, significantly harder to prove – especially since a large proportion (much larger than their share of the population) of those calling for intervention after 9/11 and even since the first Gulf War were Jewish (although that’s about the only thing anti-semitic conspiracy theorists have right).

  • You’re something else jonathan.

  • jh

    ONe other thought on calling Pentecostal end time theology goofy. FIrst let me say PEntecostal is quite broad and not all Assembly of GOd Churches have this dynamic. IN fact there is tension between Assembly of God, and the UPC. Though in many areas they watch each others backs when one is felt to be persecuted.

    But as to goofy end time theology I might add this would seem goofy to outside ears. That is the whole Our Lady of Fatima thing in which I believe.

  • S.B.

    That’s a convincing argument, Michael. I guess all those neoconservatives really were Assemblies of God churchgoers after all.

  • jonathanjones02

    I suppose. But if at any point in the future you wish to engage on substance, please keep in mind that my month of September is going to be less busy than October and November.

  • love the girls

    Johnathan Jones writes : “How is it exactly that the Iraq war came about because of an evangelical approach . . ”

    Without their End Times blood lust for Armageddon, the US would not be nearly so involved in the Middle East. That involvement lead directly to the attack on 9/11.

  • blackadderiv

    The strong alliance between the U.S. and Israel is due predominantly to the actions of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. I doubt that either of them was a big believer in End Times theology.

  • jh

    Love the girls,

    I would not say the that the average evangelical that is a regular attender has a “blood lust” for armageddon. Though support of Israel is high.

    One cannot not examine our involvement in the Middle East without looking at the whole span of history of the last 60 years. Needless to say much of our involvement in the Middle East came not because of Evangelical support Israel or to bring on Armageddon but because of 40 years of a very “hot” cold war with the Soviets. Oh and the whole oil thing

    Lastly people need to recall that a Evangelical Priesthood of the Believer and their viewpoint of Individual Interpretation fo scripture comes in. All of which causes people to have various diverse opinions in the pews as to issues such as the Middle East, family, divorce, and a thousand other things especially various end time scenarios

  • Nobody is addressing the voluntarist tones, and how that can lead one to the idea of a capricious God (and yes, a God who supports the Americans in the Iraq war would be a capricious God).

  • S.B.

    And you’re not addressing my point, which is that your post is entirely based on a falsehood. I.e., you claim to be addressing Sarah Palin, but all the quotes in your post arose years after Palin quit attending that church. If this is the best you can do to smear Sarah Palin, she’s looking pretty good.

  • Tim F.

    Good point SB. Rather “Rovian” of MM wouldn’t you say?

  • Sure, just because the quotes I mentioned occurred after she had left this Church (what a Protestant way of thinking… Churches as consumer goods) means that the very essence and theological outlook of this Church has no bearing on her whatsoever. Yeah, right.

  • love the girls

    Morning Minion writes : “Nobody is addressing the voluntarist tones,”

    While the Protestant God is an irrational God insofar as their theology is irrational, why do you say that it is a God without reason as the Islamic God is?

  • S.B.

    And your evidence that these few quotes from 2004 are the “very essence” of Palin’s former church? Zero. You might as well say that Jeremiah Wright’s theory that the government caused AIDS as a conspiracy to kill black people is the “very essence” of Obama’s religion.
    No, it’s worse: It would as if Obama had quit going to that church years before Wright’s conspiracy theory was mentioned.

  • jh

    MM

    I would say that if i one s too look at “Volunatarism” among Evangelicals which of course is a mighly large group one must recognize that lets say their “Divine Command” theory is a tad different than Islam. For instance it is my experience most embrace something different.

    For instance good acts are good because they are rooted in God’s will, but that this isn’t bad or arbitrary because God’s nature is such that he would not command anything like the torturing of children for fun.

    This is a form of theological voluntarism. As to this view a moral duty just is something that is commanded or willed by God. When we use the word “right “we are referring to a thing that is commanded by a good God.

    Now this is all rarely explained in great detail. But I have to say the God of Reason is not foreign to Evanglicals as was seen when on the whole many embraced what Pope Benedict was talking about in his Speech.

  • Catholic beliefs are just as fantastic or realistic as that church’s. Once you believe something, you cannot really criticize others for believing something else. It’s all the opposite of knowledge, it requires belief – which is why the equally fantastic claims of other cultures or religions seem absurd to you who are Catholic and vice versa. It’s simply because you are used to them, because this civilization is steeped in it that it seems perfectly reasonable. You believe that your God had a baby with a mortal (50% of DNA comes from the mother – which was unknown in Biblical times, the seed was thought to be the whole thing) is not strange to you, but if other Gods are said to have done the same, or similar, you rightly see it as myth. You sit in glass churches, throwing stones at the church next door, deeming their beliefs silly, and they return the favor.

  • love the girls

    Blackadder writes : “The strong alliance between the U.S. and Israel is due predominantly to the actions of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. I doubt that either of them was a big believer in End Times theology.”

    I think I’ll stay away from Israel and leave the argument at what I have already written.

  • jh

    Also let me add since the discussion revolves around Palin’s Assembly of God Church it would be a mistake to see them as Calvanist.

    The Assemblies of God believes in the sovereignty and divine prerogative of God untainted by arbitrariness or caprice. It also believes in the free will and responsibility of man. The Assemblies of God leans toward Arminianism which of course leads into other things besides the issue of enternal salvation

  • phosphorious

    You sit in glass churches, throwing stones at the church next door, deeming their beliefs silly, and they return the favor.

    This is the standard atheistic line: all religions are the same, equally irrational, so there’s no point in making fine distinctions.

    A sound point. . . but I think MM wants to point out that many catholics, apparently, feel the same way: all brands of christianity are pretty much the same, so you should vote for ANY christian candidate over ANY liberal candidate.

    It should surprise no one that atheists think this way. It should surprise everyone that catholics do.

  • Once you believe something, you cannot really criticize others for believing something else.

    Do you really believe this? It’s less surprising that you took the turn that you did… Sadly, your house was built on sand rather than rock.

  • Franklin Jennings

    I’d probably leave foundation analysis to a certified inspector, as the penalty for taking on that particular task without qualification is unbelievably steep.

  • Jeremy

    I clicked, and I knew better. I saw it right there on the front page – a post by MM. I couldn’t help myself, I clicked, read the post, and then got to the comments. I feel like I just spent the last 20 minutes listening to the Howard Stern show. I wasn’t reading to become enlightened, or to learn anything new (and I wasn’t disappointing), I read to become outraged, embarrassed and because I couldn’t wait to see what was said next. I read for pure prurient interests. God help me.

  • jh

    For those interested here is the statement of belief from Palins Church

    In terms of mainstream Evangelical thought there is nothing radical about it

    http://www.wasillabible.org/statement%20of%20faith.htm

  • Rob

    -No wars will start because of these views, and no people will be killed because of them either. If you think the opposite, I would very much like to see your evidence.

    Um, Iraq?-

    That’s funny. I remember Hillary Clinton and all the other democrats voting for the war. I thought they caused it.

  • Rob

    -just because the quotes I mentioned occurred after she had left this Church (what a Protestant way of thinking… Churches as consumer goods) means that the very essence and theological outlook of this Church has no bearing on her whatsoever. Yeah, right.-

    That’s just childish. Please respond with substance.

  • Christopher

    Um, Iraq?-

    Strange. I thought it was the Jeeeeeeeewwwws (“neocons”) who were responsible for Iraq.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    “No Christian group is seeking weaponry for a coming war, existentially threatens its neighbors, kills others associated with the same group….”

    Really?

  • marianne

    Do the editors at Vox Nova have a problem with The Lord’s Prayer?
    Remember that one, offered by Jesus Himself when he was asked how we should pray? You know, that one that goes: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”?

    Just how is what Palin said at variance with that part of The Lord’s Prayer?

    Palin: “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

    By the way, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, sung by Union soldiers during the Civil War and by American soldiers to this day is right out of John’s Revelation.

    Rachel Maddow actually said on MSNBC that hoping that what you are about to undertake is God’s will undermines the separation of Church and State! Every Christian says The Lord’s Prayer so I guess we’re all dangerous.

  • Mike J.

    “Sure, just because the quotes I mentioned occurred after she had left this Church (what a Protestant way of thinking… Churches as consumer goods) means that the very essence and theological outlook of this Church has no bearing on her whatsoever. Yeah, right.”

    Well, Palin is a Protestant, which suggests that thinking like one (including the “consumer good” church view) might actually get at what is representative of Palin rather than taking the view from outside and attempting to critique it without showing a whole lot of understanding of that protestant position.

    The fact of the matter is that Protestants take their individual interpretation very seriously, whether they see that as a bad thing or not (their pope in their belly). So, the old adage about having 20 bible scholars in a room and getting 22 interpretations of the same passage is actually very true among Protestants and that’s the entire reason there are so many splinters and fragments after only 500 years of “Reforming”. Trying to pin these things on Palin, just like pinning things on Obama, is mostly folly, in my opinion, for that reason.

    Sure, many factors influenced Palin, including her pastors. Does that mean she’s drunk the AoG Kool-Aid? Hardly, and as a Protestant, almost definitely not. Obedience to doctrine is a far more Catholic ideal in these matters and it’s debatable whether imputing it on Protestants in such a broad fashion is worthy of the digital ink you’ve spilled.

    Besides, if you really have issues with American Evangelicalism (in all its multitudinous strands and flavors), why don’t you take up a dialogue with one of the various groups online? It seems there might be a lot to learn on both sides of that conversation.

    Regards,
    Mike J.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    All of you current RepubliCatholics, look at yourselves straight on:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdJUCU1UH2w&eurl

  • David Nickol

    Palin: “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

    Marianne,

    It seems to me there is a difference in doing God’s will and carrying out God’s plan. Do you really believe God has a plan for an oil pipeline, or even a plan for the Iraq war? Does God have a plan for the United States? And is that plan revealed to the same people who believe in the Rapture?

  • marianne

    “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether…
    with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…”

    Sarah Palin? No, Abraham Lincoln, Second Inagural Address, 1865.

    “Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own. ”

    Sarah Palin? No, John F. Kennedy, Inagural Address, 1961.

  • love the girls

    marianne,

    Do you mean that same Abraham Lincoln who waged total war without just cause on the Confederacy?

  • marianne

    love the girl: You might re-read his address. He talks about the difficulty of knowing God’s will and that many on both sides claimed to be Christian. My point is that praying for guidance and sincerely hoping that what you are about to do is in compliance with God’s will – these things are not at variance at all with orthodox Christian practice or with good citizenship.

    David Nickol: Palin was speaking of the Iraq war when she said:

    “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 [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

    “That there is a plan”: that our leaders have a well thought-out plan;
    “That that plan is God’s plan”: that our leaders’ plan is not at variance with God’s will.

    I heard her on a video clip from 2006, I think, or maybe later, saying “I sure hope they have an exit plan” or something to that effect. She was saying: I hope our leaders have thought this through and considered all the possibilities.
    Personally, nearly everyone I know has said much the same thing.

  • David Nickol

    marianne,

    Palin was speaking of an oil pipeline when she said

    “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas pipeline built. So pray for that … I can do my job there in developing my natural resources. But all of that doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s heart is not good with God.”

    It is one thing for Lincoln to use lofty rhetoric in discussing the Civil War. It is another thing for Sarah Palin to see herself doing God’s will by building an oil pipeline. Do you honestly think God’s plan for mankind includes where roads and bridges must be built, what kind of oil pipelines there are in Alaska, and where the new hockey rink should go? Has God planned out not just everyone’s lives, but the entire infrastructure, and is it our job to pray that God may reveal the optimal location for a new shopping mall?

  • jh

    David I have been in Catholic Chruches where we have prayed for sundry things such as economic development and even rain. In fact many of us in Louisiana have been praying about hurricanes.

    People would pray for a successful harvest some pray for other things affecting the community. Oh by the way when did Palin pray for the Hockey rink? I must ahve missed that

    In essesne what is Palin doing that is outside the Catholic tradition. You might think it kooky and you might think it is kooky that many of us invoking Our Lady of Prompt Succor to advoid Hurricane Gustav. But in the end it is nothing radical in Christian thought

  • marianne

    jh: exactly.

    david nickol: I’d have to see her full remarks to understand that quote in context. I saw a bit of film in which she observed that someone else was praying for the pipeline without regard to God’s will and that she thought one must always add to a prayer “if it be Your will.”

    That’s the point: She’s concerned about God. She thinks about being His servant. That’s one of the thoughts she has when she thinks about things. We’re all supposed to do that, aren’t we?

  • David Nickol

    jh,

    I think when it comes to prayer, there is a fine line between kooky and non-kooky.

    It does not seem kooky (to me) to pray for a successful harvest, for rain, for protection from a storm, or, for that matter, to pray that you have the winning ticket in the lottery. Some or all of those may be theologically very dubious. (Is there a good book that answers questions about the “efficacy” of prayer, whether praying can persuade God to do something he would otherwise not have done, and so on? I would love to read it.)

    But praying about the oil pipeline does strike me as kooky. For a politician to pray that he or she is making the right decision does not strike me as kooky, but it does seem kooky (and presumptuous) for a governor to ask her church to pray for the success of her oil pipeline.

    I thought her statements about Iraq were overinterpreted and the criticisms not really warranted. In fact, some of her statements about Iraq seemed basically to express a lack of confidence in the way the war was being prosecuted.

    I think marianna was off-base above about The Lord’s Prayer. I think Jesus was telling us to pray the very words “thy will be done.” I don’t think he was telling us to say, “I think it is God’s will for there to be a stop sign at the intersection, so let us pray that the authorities acceded to our demand for a stop sign. And I think it is God’s will that the bond issue passes and that Proposition 44 fails, so let us ask God to get out the vote for the bond issue and against the proposition.”

    Finally, I don’t know whether this is reassuring or critical (or both), but I have a very strong feeling that we don’t need to be worried that Sarah Palin listens to God, gets instructions on building an oil pipeline, and then carries out the plan God gave to her. I think she probably makes decisions about oil pipelines the way any other governor would and then talks about it in religious terms. So I find it kooky, but I do not find it frightening, as if somehow her next message from God might be to reinstitute the draft in preparation for an invasion from outer space. She appears basically to be a pragmatic politician who talks about God, not someone with fragile mental health who hears voices and obeys them.

    But I do find it kooky.

  • what a Protestant way of thinking… Churches as consumer goods

    I think it’s more an American way of thinking than anything… plenty of Catholics of various stripes parish shop.

    Re: voluntarism, I’m sympathetic to your point, but we have to be honest: the roots of voluntarism go back to Ockham, and before that, to Duns Scotus, the Subtle Doctor. So it’s not a problem unique to America or Protestantism or American Protestantism.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    MM, the fact that you quote the remarks that Palin’s former pastor made after she left that congregation proves that you are a bigot. Anyone who agrees with this methodology also is a bigot (Iafrate and Karlson, among others).

  • MM, the fact that you quote the remarks that Palin’s former pastor made after she left that congregation proves that you are a bigot. Anyone who agrees with this methodology also is a bigot (Iafrate and Karlson, among others).

    You’re so right, Joseph. We shouldn’t make judgments of people based on things they say. Like we should not judge you just because you publicly said that Cardinal Mahony’s mother should have aborted him. Who the hell are you to point fingers at MM for being a “bigot”?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well, Michael, now that’s an interesting tact — right out of the Mark Shea Graduate Correspondence School for Rhetoric and Debate: Bring up something in the past for which I publically apologized, btw, just to discredit my criticism.

    No, you don’t bother trying to defend the assertions as not bigoted. You merely attack the person making the assertion.

    As I said before, not even liberal Catholic pacifists are immune from Sinful Human Nature.

    No wonder you and yourn (ideologically speaking, of course) love the Democrats and love liberalism. They allow you to feel good about yourselves w/out putting your money where your mouth is!

    No wonder you and yourn (ideologically speaking, of course) hate Sarah Palin. Her mere existence exposes you for the screwed-up poseurs and cretins you really are.

    As far as Roger the Truth Dodger is concerned, he has worse in store for him. As that great saint, John Chrysostom, once said: “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” Now, does that make good ol’ Johnny a prophet, or what?

    BTW, how many box tops did you have to submit to get your correspondence degree? Whatever it was, it was too much. You got ripped off, dude…big time!

  • I have felt this for some time, and have increasingly come to feel its urgency over the last few years, but after what has unfolded across the pond in the last few weeks, I think that, now more than ever, the time has come.

    The Holy Father now SIMPLY HAS TO, in a very “pre-Vatican-II” way that leaves no doubt in the mind of all those that dwell on the face of the earth, issue, in person, and standing at the balcony of St. Peter’s, with all the world’s media in attendance. having been alerted in advance, an unambiguous statement of Catholic eschatology, especially it’s amillenial (or rather, liturgically amillenial) elements, in order to bear witness before the world that any carnage loosed upon the planet by ignorant Protestant fundamentalists has no rooting in Scripture and Tradition.

    If the Holy Father does this, then the seemingly inexorable wave of Voltairean wrath and rationalist bile that will without a doubt be unleashed like a tidal wave inexorable against all that dare to own the name of Christian will possibly bybass the barque of St. Peter, and merely wash away much of the sectarianism without, a deluge from which the remnant of the ekklesia will be able to emerge to palnt the vine of Christ anew.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Without their End Times blood lust for Armageddon, the US would not be nearly so involved in the Middle East. That involvement lead directly to the attack on 9/11.

    Uh, love the girls, you forget a couple of things:

    1. The United States’ involvement in the Middle East has to do with supporing the only nation in that region that shares American political values, Israel, against those nations that wish to destroy it.

    Let’s suppose that the Arab-Muslims destroy Israel. What makes you think they would stop there? After all, the imperialistic Germans and Japanese didn’t stop when they “accomplished” their geopolitical goals 70 years ago, did they?

    2. It also has to do with — shall I say the dirty word? — oil.

    3. If 9/11 is a direct result of American policy in the Middle East, then why did Islamic terrorists attack 1)transportation facilities in London 2)trains in Madrid 3)a schoolhouse full of children in Russia 4)their fellow co-religionists every day in Iraq?!?!? What do any of the latter four have to do with American foreign policy?

    While the Protestant God is an irrational God insofar as their theology is irrational, why do you say that it is a God without reason as the Islamic God is?

    Really? Well, the “Protestant” God is the same as the “Catholic” God, which is the same as the “Jewish” God. The fact that Protestants and Catholics have different theological understandings, as do Christians as a whole vis-a-vis Jews, doesn’t mean that the God they worship is different.

    But the Islamic understanding of Allah is fundamentally different from Christian and Jewish understandings of Yahweh. Please read the following:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=D4F6548C-4553-4C8A-8B35-77B66808AEDE

    More importantly, get a copy of the May 2004 edition of Commentary magazine for Alain Becancon’s article, “What Sort of Religion Is Islam?”

  • Observe the virulently anti-Catholic character of the latest wave of theologically ignorant fundamentalism to wash up on the shores of the GOP in the person of Sarah Palin and her Pentecostals:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20712.htm

    See how they pray fervently for the destruction of our devotion to the Mother of God, claiming it is merely “Artemis of the Ephesians” vaguely baptised!

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Stuart, what the Hell are you talking about? Do you seriously believe that the Church will not be caught up or persecuted because of any ostensibly millenial agitation? Anything or anyone that bears Christ’s image is subject to persecution — unless that image is tarnished by compromise with “the world,” which, I guess, one could argue that the Church (at least the papacy) has achieved.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Stuart, I read the link you posted. Outside of the fact that a controversial pastor “prayed over” Palin, the link you provide makes no mention of her theological views regarding the subjects discussed (like the nature of Mary).

    What you, MM and other like-minded folks are doing on this blog is smearing somebody just because of their previous associations. If this is Christianity, then I’m in the wrong religion.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    BTW, Stuart, do you realize that the link you posted is from a site that encourages visiting other anti-war and pro-liberal sites? Not exactly an unbiased source of information, is it?

  • joseph

    Look,

    McCain, Obama, and Palin are all Protestants from different denominations. Because of the nature of their religion, they do not agree on what Christianity is and what the teachings of Christianity are in total. Biden is an out of communion Catholic. So, none of these people represent Catholic belief. They, like us, are all sinners. If you are going to base your vote of what one of their pastors has said or what they may have believed at one time, you are a fool.

    However, McCain/Palin have made their stance on abortion crystal clear, and so has Obama/Biden.

    JohnH: I’m glad nobody’s been parsing my pastor’s statements as if they were my own, or else people would think I’m for women’s ordination and civil unions.

    Good point. Any Catholic on this blog who has a priest that wears rainbow colored stoles and prays that the Church will wake up to the priestly vocation crisis and allow women to receive Holy Orders is dealing with a similar wacko (even though that priest is clearly going against Church teaching and his vocation, whereas, in the Protestant religions, the reigning rule is subjectivity and there is no crystal clear doctrine that cannot be negotiated with).