Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why Fear Palin - Part I

After talking to some students, it's clear some still feel unclear about their vote in November. One asked why there was such a strong response against Palin, so I promised to give a primer here.

This post will highlight (with links to references) core beliefs held by Palin. A post later this week will deal with her trustworthiness.

You can pray away the gay --
The link above is an AP article about her church's view on homosexuality. Her church is the Wasilla Bible Church. They are slated to host a Focus on the Family conference that deals with curing homosexuality.

The Alaska pipeline is part of God's plan --
Hear it from her own lips - it occurs at about the 2:47 mark on this video.

Witchcraft is a real concern from which we need protection --
This is a video clip where she is prayed over to protect her from witches.

Creationism should be debated in the classroom --
She points out evolution's "unresolved issues" and the "scientific weakness of evolutionary theory" and suggests both be taught. In a 2006 debate for Governor, she expressed the following about teaching evolution alternatives:

Oct. 25, 2006: Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.
That may sound "progressive", but it is scientifically equivalent to teaching about a Flat Earth. "Healthy debate" requires comparable issues. Creationism is not science, it does not adhere to any of the precepts of scientific inquiry, it is not falsifiable. It is theology...and bad theology at that (no concept of exegesis, ignoring the fact that there are 2 creation stories in Genesis that are not equivalent, etc.)

The Iraq war is a task from God --
Hear it from her own lips, it occurs at the 3:48 mark in this video:

"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,"... "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."
She got her passport last year --
She's a heartbeat away from the Presidency and has had a passport for a little more than a year?? Her lack of travel outside the bounds of the US may go a long way towards explaining her naive views.

Palin's views on contraception have been questioned --
She is a member of "Feminists for Life", a group against abortion, and with supposedly no official view on contraception. However, this is from the Winter 1997/98 newsletter of FFL:

“birth control counseling and abortion often indirectly contribute to the victim’s sense of shame, guilt, and blame for what is happening, since she is told to “take control” and “be responsible” for her “sexual activity,” implying that this situation is indeed within her power to control.”
And when questioned about why the FFL did not promote contraception by a reporter for The Nation, the president of the organization was evasive:

"I got similarly evasive answers when I asked why FFL didn't promote birth control, and when I asked if FFL considered the pill an "abortifacient." She did tell me that "birth control doesn't work" for swing-shift nurses because they lose track of their body clock--interesting, if true--or for teenagers, which I know to be false. "We just want to focus on meeting the everyday needs of women," she told me. But when I asked how the everyday needs of women with unwanted pregnancies would be served by encouraging them to bear children and place them for adoption, Foster didn't answer. Instead, she extolled the benefits of open adoption."
Dinosaurs and humans co-existed --
Apparently this is a much disputed point. A blog quote that brought this topic to national prominence was made up by the blogger - a point he freely admits, and which is corroborated by However, according to the LA Times, such a statement of belief has been spoken by Palin - tho' the source of said quote has purportedly questionable motives. The article says:

"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 -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.

When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska."

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