Sarah Palin's Religion

Now that I've shared some basic info from Palin's memoir and explained what I like about her, I should pass on my negative observations.

Palin is very religious. Very. Like in a discomforting way.

I'm pretty neutral about religion. I was raised Presbyterian, but my children attend Catholic school b/c my husband is Catholic and b/c I can't deal with the public school system. I also have more in common with Catholics -- having attended a Catholic high school myself (not for religious reasons but so the nuns could straighten out my unruly ways) -- and more respect for Catholicism than any other religion. They are private about their faith, generally open (despite the "rules"), and from my experience, authentic.

What bothered me in reading Going Rogue was Palin's constant reference to God and Providence. When someone speaks of religion to that kind of degree, I tend to question the person's authenticity. It's almost as if she makes the choices she does b/c God calls her to do it -- not in a spiritual way, that I can appreciate -- but in a You've Been Chosen Over All The Rest kind of way. And that bothers me.

For example, I have trouble rectifying her prolife stance with her choice to be away from home so often and for so long. Politicians simply aren't home; that's the reality of it. So I struggle with the "I gave life to Trig while 90% of the population in the same situation choose not to" -- yet she leaves him in other people's care for weeks at a time.

In other words, her faith just doesn't seem genuine to me. It seems like she uses it instead of...relying on it.

Perhaps it's just me. Religion is personal, after all. Either way, I wouldn't vote or not vote for someone based on their religion. Some people have an issue with Mitt Romney's faith -- it's Mormon, I think -- but I like Romney a lot. These are merely my observations about Sarah Palin after reading her memoir.

TOMORROW: Sarah Palin and the Media

3 Responses to “Sarah Palin's Religion”:

  1. shevrae says:

    It's always interesting to hear things described from another point of view. As someone who was raised in the Assembly of God denomination (the same one as Palin's church) and has since gone to churches of several different Protestant denominations (though always Evangelical), her references to God feel very natural to me. I tend to think in the same way - that God has a plan for me and my job is to draw close to Him (through prayer and Bible study) and find it, as His plan will always be the best one.

    From my point of view, when someone claims to be a Christian, but sees little need for church attendance, Bible study, or prayer, I tend to wonder about their "authenticity." Not in a judgemental way (though people are quick to use that word) but it just bothers me in the same way that Sarah Palin's emphasis on God in her decision making bothers you.

    But what can you do? That's our diverse society at work.

  2. Laurie says:

    As a conservative Lutheran, Sarah Palin's comments feel very natural to me too and I see much that reflects a mature spiritual walk... in the way Sarah presents her faith and what follows because of it. To me it feels as though her reliance on God is so natural that it is unquestionable. It is this that I think makes some uncomfortable.

    "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5)

    I think that Sarah has lived out this scripture especially in light of Trig's birth. She clearly acknowledges God in all areas.

    "So I struggle with the 'I gave life to Trig while 90% of the population in the same situation choose not to' -- yet she leaves him in other people's care for weeks at a time."

    Whether Trig is left for weeks at a time, I don't know. Sarah has referenced frequently that she has been blessed with an extended family. I would be quite surprised if we were to find out that Trig was left in the care of strangers/non family or placed in a "day orphanage."

    Trig has already benefited in many ways, by his parents decisions, whether we agree with every detail of how they decide to raise their family is besides the point. It is beautifully obvious that he has been brought into a family who will love him.

  3. All true comments. No, Trig is not left in the care of strangers; I didn't mean that. He's being raised in a large extended family, which is entirely different, I agree. (I only know this b/c I've since finished the book and it's all in there.)

    I can't put my finger on it exactly. After reading her memoir, I like so much about her -- and I understand who she is. I also agree with her on almost everything. It's just hard for me b/c, though I believe in God, pray regularly, and attend Mass, I'm not religious ENOUGH to make constant references to God and Providence. It didn't bother me as much as I just didn't personally relate to it.

    For example, Palin doesn't make exceptions for abortion with rape and incest (not that this happens that often, let's face it) -- which is certainly a consistent position to take. I just can't relate to it personally.