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September 10, 2008

Faith-Based False Rumors About Palin

FactCheck.org has posted this list of the false rumors targetting Sarah Palin. Notice how many have a religious tie-in:

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn't cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.

That sham accusation seeks to undermind Palin's commitment to special needs children as exemplified by her decision to carry her Down syndrome baby to term, largely for religious reasons, ie faith-based opposition to abortion.

She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.

This one portrays Palin as a narrow-minded Bible thumper.

She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She's been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

OK, that one has nothing to do with religion.

Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

This one paints Palin as an out-of-the mainstream culture warrior, though some conservatives took it as proof of her allegiance to the cause.

Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

That one needs no explanation.

This article is cross-posted from Beliefnet's God-o-Meter.


Gov. Palin and her family weren't strangers to the Alaskan Independence Party, however, far from it. She's addressed their convention and her husband was a member until his wife's GOP political career took off.

Advocating the nonviolent tossing out of the Constitution and the breaking up of the United States is protected free speech, but it's still sedition in my book and most definitely unpatriotic.

But, this isn't the only instance of Republican leaders being cozy with this sort of thing...look at all those, like John Ashcroft, who showed up at the "Southern Partisan's" door.

What is it about conservatives and sedition? I even saw Sen. McCain on Charley Rose, saying that the GOP was about states' rights...which is the core theory behind many secessionist movements. Poor Lincoln's bones must be revolving like a high speed turbine at what has become of his former party. Did his oath to protect the Constitution expire upon his retirement? I'm a vet as well, and I don't think so...but then, I wasn't a disgruntled officer passed up for promotion.

Not to mention that states' rights, the political theory of white privilege, male privilege, Protestant privilege, class privilege, has usually been the core theory behind US racisms as well. Confederates claimed that was what they fought for, at least after the Civil War, and Strom Thurmond didn't name his white supremacist third party, :The States' Rights Party" for nothing.

I am glad that organizations like Factcheck.org exist. However, I am not sure that these were religious based smears. In fact, I think most of them were honest mistakes not attempts at smears. For instance if you read the factcheck.org article, the reason that it was reported that Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party was because the head of the party said she was. The reason that it was reported that she was a supporter of Buchanan was because she was photographed wearing one of his buttons and because Buchanan said that he thought she was a Buchananite. The reason that people thought she fired the librarian over book banning was that she fired the librarian just a few weeks after publicly asking how to ban books. (This is the one that seems to have the most made up parts to it.) The special education one was about reporters mis-reading the "special schools budget line" as special education budget line.

End result is that I do not think that these can be construed as religious based smears or in most cased even smears. On the other hand a significant portion of the US and many CT readers still believe that Obama is a Muslim and was sworn in on a Koran.

Why would intelligent people tell lies that can easily be exposed to all as being lies? Does that not then lower them and their way of thinking to the bottom of the barrel? Puzzling!

While the idea of states rights has been abused by some people (as have lots of other ideas) it goes back to the writing of the constitution and simply says the states have certain rights and responsibilities. Much of the current states rights rhetoric among conservatives comes in response to activist judges who seek to rewrite the constitution. To equate states rights with treason is absurd.
While there are some troubling things said and done by conservatives the liberals are also eager "seditionists," to use your term.
As to tossing out the constitution -- it is liberals who want to take away first amendment rights from Christians and conservatives, redefining anything they don't like as "hate speech." It is liberals who refuse to act to protect American writers, who exercise free speech, from lawsuits brought by terrorist supporters in other countries. It is liberals whose rhetoric is picked up by terrorists to justify their belief that the US and Israel were behind the 9/11 tragedy. It is liberals who define partial birth abortion as a constitutional "right."
By the way, Strom Thurmond started out as a Democrat. And, since you want to go back to the 1800's, it was Democrats who were responsible for the growth of the KKK and Jim Crow laws. So, I suppose some of their ancestors' "bones are spinning like a high speed turbine" at the current state of affairs.
One of the biggest problems is too many people want to see everything as red state/blue state and ascribe to others evil intent at every turn. Issues and solutions are portrayed as all or nothing, one extreme or another. Consequently insults, innuendo, slander, and snide comments replace true debate of issues and concerted efforts to work together for a better future for America and the world. This has certainly happened to both Senator Obama and Senator McCain before Governor Palin. (Some of the attacks on Senator Obama were especially repulsive.) Politicians of both parties seem to forget that most Americans are moderates, across a broad continuum, while the extremists control the party hierarchy. Most of us everyday folk want leaders to bring us together, not further tear us apart. We will never agree on everything but we must agree to work together for a better world for our children and grandchildren. We need to commit ourselves to prayerfully seek the best leaders and exercise our right to vote. Then we must give them a chance -- and pray for them as long as they lead us.

It is interesting Sarah Palin supports "both sides" of the evolution question. Does this mean she would support bringing back the Fairness Doctrine?

Googling "Obama is a muslim" receives over 8 million results.
Googling "Sarah Palin banned books" receives 240,000 results.

As Adam S pointed out, the majority of those rumors mentioned are not faith-based. But calling Obama is a muslim is faith-based.

Rumors about "faith-based rumors" causes rumors. Would you please stop?

Proverbs 25:23 is relevant. (KJV, that is; NIV & NASB render this Hebrew differently -- truly a shame, as it so often came in so handy!) That is, "being translated," good for FactCheck.org; plus, if we'd all just quit passing this sort of unlikely and unsubstantiated "e-hogwash" around, irrespective of its target, its purveyors would eventually get bored & go away. (As in Proverbs 00:00, "Don't go away mad, just go away!")
Though personally pro-Palin and anti-Obama, I often feel I need to keep a corner of my inbox filled with kitty litter for ALL forwards such as these. If nothing else, they waste our scarce news-reading time.