September 8, 2008
Keeping faith on the DL
Reporters keep searching for hints of Sarah Palin's faith, but it looks like the campaign is keeping it on the down low.
Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, told the New York Times that Palin had been baptized Roman Catholic as an infant, but declined to comment further.
"We're not going to get into discussing her religion," she said.
Comella also declined to talk about her background to the Wall Street Journal. "I think talking about where she worships today and how she characterizes herself speaks for itself about where she is today on this issue," Comella said.
So since the campaign is quiet, reporters are digging up speeches and videos of her speaking or sermons her pastors have given.
Here's a clip that Chicago Tribune reporter Manya A. Brachear dug up.
"I can do my job there in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded," she said in June to ministry students at her former church. "But really, all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God."
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has changed the entry under Palin's religion from "Protestant" to "Attends several evangelical Christian churches in Alaska."
Sen. John McCain has always been quieter about his faith. He grew up in an Episcopal church but has been attending North Phoenix Baptist Church for more than 15 years. Although his wife has been baptized there, McCain has not, telling the Chicago Tribune, "Oh, it's just something I'll be able to work out with Pastor [Dan] Yeary."
Reporter Brachear recalled when a journalist covering the 2000 campaign asked McCain to name his favorite Bible verse.
When McCain came up with nothing, the reporter suggested John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"Is that the one about the end of the world?" McCain quipped.
McCain told the Tribune that he began attending North Phoenix Baptist because pastors there offered a message of spiritual redemption.
"The message was more in tune with what I was seeking in the way of spiritual assistance and guidance," McCain told the Tribune. "All of us are human. None of us is without sin or failings. The key to it is to try to move forward and be better and do better."