Monday, September 08, 2008

The Glass Houses of Wasila

I rarely write about national politics on this blog, but I just read an article that really struck a nerve. As you'll no doubt recall, not that long ago, detractors of Sen. Obama pilloried him ad nauseum for the comments made by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Well, CNN has a very interesting story which exposes the duplicity of those attacks when it comes to the religious beliefs of Gov. Sarah Palin.

The article leads of benignly enough:

For more than two decades, current Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a practicing Pentecostal. She belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. But though she attended the church from her teenage years through to 2002, she hasn't talked much about her religion since joining the Republican ticket...

But if, for some reason, you have some inherent concern about her faith, fear not:

Palin's former pastor, Tim McGraw, says that like many Pentecostal churches, some members speak in tongues, although he says he's never seen Palin do so...
And in an apparent attempt to bolster her far-right street cred, her pastor says that:
he has no doubt her religious beliefs will influence her decision making when it comes to government policy. (Emphasis added)
So just what are those beliefs you ask?

Palin now attends the Wasilla Bible Church. She was there on August 17, just days before entering the national spotlight. David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God's "judgment" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. Brickner said, "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment -- you can't miss it."

But have no fear...

The McCain campaign says his comments do not reflect her religious views. Palin's spokeswoman says she is pro-Israel. (Emphasis added)
So Barack gets raked over the coals for comments by Rev. Wright, but Palin shouldn't be held accountable for what's said or believed at her place of worship?

Hypocrisy, thy name is McCain/Palin.


At September 9, 2008 at 8:19 AM, Blogger Ebony said...

"hypocrisy thy name is McCain/Palin"....right you are!

At September 9, 2008 at 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Fritchey you are pathetic. That argument was very weak and you really should have put more thought into it. David Brickner was just a speaker at their church, not her minister and as you should well know, you cannot always guarantee what a speaker will say and it definitely does not mean that you or anyone else that is in attendance agrees with every statement a speaker makes. In the case of Rev. Wright he was Obama's minister, he married Obama and Obama had been a member in that church for many years. That is totally different because if he was a member there for as many years as he was, then he was in definite agreement with Rev. Wrights comments and also the extremely racial and offensive comments Wright made were by far worse than anything that was reported in Gov. Palins article. You liberals are grasping at straws, instead of focusing on the fact that Obama is black, try looking at his voting practices (or lack of), his experience (very little), and I am surprised you didn't say anything about Palin's lack of international experience but wait, Obama didn't have any experience either until he started running for president. Really, wake up and think, cast your vote responsibly. Don't vote along party lines, vote for whats best for America.

At September 9, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...

What I think is pathetic is an anonymous poster trying to dance on the head of a pin about the fact that the Republicans are trying to have it both ways when it comes to holding a candidate responsible for what is said at their place of worship.

You want to talk about Barack being a member of his church for "many years"? Palin attended the Wasila Assembly of God for over two decades, with people speaking in tongues, saying that terrorist attacks are God's will, and trying to 'pray away the gay' out of people.

By your own argument, if she stayed at that church for over 20 years, then she must be 'in definite agreement' with all of those concepts, right?

But if you do happen to believe in all of that, well, God bless you, seriously. But for you to throw race and charges of 'liberal' bias into your comment about my post is as misguided as it is baffling.

Nowhere in my post do I even attempt to get into the validity of, or my position on, her beliefs. My point was, and is, that if Barack has to answer for Rev. Wright, then Palin has to answer for the things said and believed in her church. And she doesn't get to do it in tongues.

Next time, read my post twice before you post once. It may save us both some time.

At September 9, 2008 at 9:53 AM, Anonymous WDRussell said...

The wingers should spend more time reading the Bible and less time thumping it.
The Bible does not say that we should treat the earth like a slum landlord would.

At September 9, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

Well, you can attack me for the anonymous thing too, but as I've told you John, I'm Jewish and have been accused of being quick to offend on the anti-semitism thing. I'm not quite seeing the comparison between years of unhinged anti-Israel venom by Reverend Wright and the comments of a one-time speaker at the church (though my big problem with Wright wasn't Israel or 9/11 but his "AIDS = genocide conspiracy by the government against blacks" belief). When it comes to anti-semitism I'm more troubled by the comments of Rep. Monique Davis and Sen. James Meeks -- can we talk about them when the election is done?

Also, precisely where is this "McCain/Palin, hypocricy is your name"? I did a quick google and found this:

And as far as I've read, Palin has not pushed a social conservative agenda in Alaska. (Indeed,, a pretty respected bipartisan cite, says that many of the rumours to that effect such as her alleged attempt to ban books from a local library are lies). However, I do recall Hillary Clinton made a comment that she would have resigned from her church had Wright been her pastor.)

And lets make no mistake -- you aren't just ranting against hypocricy here, you are mocking the Pentacosts for, among other thing, their belief in speaking in tongues. How that belief is any less ridiculous than the virgin birth, parting the red sea, rising from the dead, or any number of things in mainstream religions you would never dare mock to your constituents who literally believe by saying "rest assured, while some in my church may believe that stuff is true, *I* don't!" Or ask your pastor to say it for you.

Again, the faster the Dems get this campaign back on the issues and away from the culture wars, the better.

At September 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have a point, but your comparison is slightly off. Its more analogous to the grief Obama got when Father Pflager spoke as a guest. It was said at the time that he should have rebuked the words spoken against Hilary & his silence equated agreement with the racist diatribe.

At September 9, 2008 at 3:07 PM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...


Thank you for your, as usual, well-presented thoughts. You're right, my ending speaking in tongues comment was unnecessarily mocking, but at the same time, I still have a feeling that even the most ardent Republican supporters would have a lot of reservations about having somebody in the Executive branch who did profess to the practice, no?

At the end of the day, my point was simply that either both candidates have to answer for what goes on in their respective churches, or neither one does.

At September 10, 2008 at 3:04 PM, Anonymous Cheryl said...

Oh please John, it's perfectly okay for a Republican to belong to some fringe cult and have ties to Joel's Army and the Alaskan secessionist movement. Do you know that? They've created their own version of reality, after all.

At September 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Fritchey:

You are way off on your fabricated hypocrisy claim.

The McCain people did not raise the issue of Obama and Reverend Wright--- it came up during the Democratic primary, when concern about the issue was raised by Obama's Democratic opponents. Media conservatives who concentrated on the issue were not McCain campaign operatives--indeed, they were not shy about bashing McCain as not conservative enough.

Palin never brought her church, her pastor, or her religion to the table as part of her pitch to win support for her candidacy. On the other hand, Obama made Reverend Wright, the progenitor of Obama's book title and campaign theme "Audacity of Hope", a central figure in his biography as an agent for change. Remember, Obama invited Reverend Wright down to Springfield to give the benediction to the nationally televised kick off of his presidential campaign -- and then when he got a whiff of some media concern over Wright's extremism, asked Wright to demur from appearing for him "because I know you can get a little rough out there [i.e., from the pulpit].

Fritchey, you are clearly comparing apples to oranges.

But if you are an opponent of hypocrisy, when are you going to spend some of your time and money condemning the Cook County sales tax increase and help give us a middle class tax break?

At September 10, 2008 at 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think comparing Rev. Wright to Palin's religion issues are to different things. Obama went out of his way to, at first, say Wright was his advisor, Palin has said nothing. But all of this is why people can't stand politics now. Who care about this! Nobody except people involved in politics. Let talk issues and not hollow claims like CHANGE and REFORM. This makes me think of BLAGO. He was big on CHANGE and REFORM and look what we got!!


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