Palin's Religious Beliefs Remain Big Target In Political Campaign

on October 4, 2008

From lengthy articles to Saturday Night Live sketches on late-night television, vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is under fire—and her origins beliefs and religious faith remain the biggest targets.

In a prime example of the aforementioned lengthy article, the Los Angeles Times examines the “fundamentalist beliefs” of Gov. Palin, who is the Republican nominee for U.S. vice president in November’s elections.

“Palin has trod carefully between her evangelical faith and public policy.”

And as has been in the news for most of the past month, the flash point of anti-Palin criticism is her possible belief on origins, and specifically her view that dinosaurs and humans coexisted (or so her opponents repeatedly allege).

For example, the Times article starts off, “Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago[.]”

That’s according to a local music teacher, who says Palin cited “pictures of human footprints inside [dinosaur] tracks” as evidence in favor of dino–man coexistence.

The article reviews other examples that, together (the Times claims), show that “Palin has trod carefully between her evangelical faith and public policy” during her time as governor of Alaska.

Douglas Wead, a former aide to President George H. W. Bush, commented to the Times that the attacks on Palin are attempts to trivialize evangelical Christianity in American political life. “Are we saying they can’t participate in public life?” Wead asked.

Indeed, that’s exactly what actor–activist Matt Damon claimed last month: “I need to know if she really thinks that dinosaurs were really here 4,000 years ago. I want to know that. Because she’s going to have the nuclear codes.”

As for whether Palin is actually a creationist, and for what she’s said about the controversy in the classroom, see Is She Really a Creationist?

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