Religion and U.S. Democracy, Palin-style

Last month at Religion Dispatches Rev. Welton Gaddy weighed in on Sarah Palin’s often stunning understanding and public presentation of religion in American history. This time, Palin speaks up about the recent Wisconsin federal court ruling that a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, and Rev. Gaddy ruminates on the possible consequences of her rhetoric.

4 thoughts on “Religion and U.S. Democracy, Palin-style

  1. wildbillyscircusstory

    Palin’s posturing is designed to further Sarah Palin, Inc. more than any true “ideology” and I believe her indignation is feigned. Her faux outrage angers me more than if she genuinely believed it. The linked article fails to enumerate the legal principles involved, but from the brief summary, the constitutional issue is so obvious it merits little comment: a “national” day of prayer is clearly out of bounds. Palin surely knows this. But affirming this decision would not help her sell books or tickets to her “lectures”. Whether she knows our Founders true feelings on religion…I’m not so sure. (See: Thos. Jefferson; Ben Franklin; Alexander Hamilton, et. al.) She should stick to the Second Amendment, where she has a greater understanding and surer Constitutional footing. Palin is in it for the money; this isn’t about politics or religion.

    I thank God for my parents who in spite of (or perhaps because of) their devout Catholicism, taught me that spirituality and prayer are the province of the individual, not the group. Of course, ritual and group involvement play an enormous role in the quest for spirtitual tranquility. A central theme of the Eucharist in Catholicism involves “the Church” communally participating in this event. But true redemption is achieved individually through introspection and prayer, with the assistance of the community. I think of a ballplayer…yes he needs teammates, but they cannot help you at “the plate”. The government has no role in helping me achieve whatever trancendence I seek, nor should it prod me toward seeking it at all. I’m a true believer in less government, and the starting point for this principle is STAY THE HELL OUT OF MY TRANCENDENCE.

    I don’t know Rev. Gaddy, but he employs a tactic I deplore in commentary. He professes a desire to comment on the passing of a Civil Rights legend, but felt compelled to comment on Palin instead. Sorry, that’s bullshit. (For Example: I wanted to write about the great season the Washington Nationals have had thus far, but those damn Yankees are making me write about them again). He felt “compelled” to comment on Palin because it would generate greater feedback than eulogizing some folks who aren’t known to this generation. I believe his objections to Palin are valid, but don’t give me the “I didn’t want to do this but…” routine. He suffers from the same BS motive Palin exhibits in her objections to the court’s ruling: attention/ratification. Rev. Gaddy’s conclusions on Palin are valid and worthy, but spare me the self-flagellation for writing about it.

  2. wildbillyscircusstory

    Footnote: God I wish Frank was alive. I can’t imagine what he’d do with Palin, Gore, et. al.

  3. peashoot Post author

    But it IS self-flagellating to write about Palin. It truly hurts. Yet it’s like picking a scab or ripping off a hangnail: it shouldn’t be done, but it somehow must be done, and when it’s over you suffer, wallow in shame, etc.

    But seriously, I agree 100% with your footnote. Curiously, I was daydreaming with G just the other day about how wonderful it’d be to have (or how badly we need) a little bong fury on the airwaves nowadays, stinkfoot commentary in the news, a yellow shark ripping through the bullshit of mass media and political posturing. I’ve an itch to print “FZ in 2012” tee shirts with a local print shop. Want one? It’s pointless practically speaking, I know. But it does carry a weighty social statement all the same, at least for those who know something about the man and his politics. Whom would Frank have chosen as a running mate?

  4. wildbillyscircusstory

    I’ll certainly take such a tee-shirt and wear it with pride.

    ZAPPA/BEEFHEART. With Ike Willis as Secretary of State and Terry Bozio as Secretary of kicking ass.


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