One Thing, Real Quick: Sarah Palin’s irrational beliefs are absurd. In this article (another version here), she tells James Dobson from Focus on the Patriarchy that “the election rests in God’s hands.”
Dobson asked whether Palin was discouraged by polls showing the GOP ticket behind. “To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder,” Palin said. “And it also strengthens my faith, because I’m going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God’s hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. So I’m not discouraged at all.”
If her ticket loses, will she admit that she & McCain weren’t the right thing for America? Has every president elect been the right thing for America, seeing as how God always makes sure the “right” thing is done at the end of the day? And if God is going to wrap it all up for her anyway, why bother working hard or campaigning?
I don’t think for a minute that Palin actually believes what she is saying here. She can’t believe it, or she wouldn’t be campaigning. It’s like praying when you get sick but going to the doctor anyway. You know prayer won’t work, but you talk about it despite that fact. You go through the motions. You tell yourself it’s powerful when nothing is happening to actually support that belief.
Palin’s statements are the type of mindless spiritual platitudes that religious people pull out of their pockets every Sunday to “encourage each other in the faith.” Without a second thought, they’ll talk about “God’s will being done” and the necessity of working to eradicate some societal “evil” in the same conversation. Perhaps talking about an omnipotent superman makes them feel less helpless, giving the illusion that everything is under the control of a deity that conveniently shares all their individual beliefs, prejudices, and presuppositions (which vary widely even within Palin’s Christian community).
The problem comes when those mindless spiritual platitudes turn into mindless theocratic dogma. Think: California’s Proposition 8. Watch this video of Palin speaking about her support for a constitutional amendment to make gay marriage illegal. Here’s what I transcribe from this speech:
I have voted in Alaska to amend our Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish that on the federal level, that’s where we’d go. I don’t support gay marriage. I’m not going to be up there judging individuals, telling them what they can and cannot do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that would be best for traditional marriage, and that’s casting my vote….
Of course. And the KKK can express their own opinions and take actions based on those opinions as well. This doesn’t change the fact that the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which should be defended and upheld by those in public office, exist largely to protect the rights of the minority from the will of the majority. That’s why we’re not a direct democracy, where whatever 51% of the public wanted would become law.
No matter how many people (percentage-wise) want African Americans to become slaves again, the egalitarian laws of the land don’t allow the majority to discriminate–even though the Bible sanctions slavery. Your religious freedom means that you don’t have to associate with gay people if you don’t want to; it shouldn’t mean that you can pass legislation that denies them the same privileges you enjoy. We all have to live together, despite personal differences of opinion, hatred, religion, and preference, in a society that, as flawed as it might be, legally provides equality for all.
Want to impose your bigoted personal prejudices on others? I wish I could say, “Too bad, this is America,” but the presence of people like Sarah Palin in public office makes me realize how dangerously close we are to sacrificing the ideals of equality and liberty to theocratic morons who can’t see the difference between personal prejudice and national law because their heads are buried in hateful bronze-age rantings warmed over for mindless Sunday consumption.