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“Grapevine” Shines Spotlight On Jeremiah Wright While Palin’s Pastors Are Invisible

Reported by Priscilla - September 3, 2008 -

Fox does love to mention Jeremiah Wright, on every possible occasion, as he is that “scary” black preacher who serves to remind the Fox audience of “scary” black Barack Obama whom Fox does not want moving into the White House. Well, it seems that Wright recently made a reference to other residents of the White House and their possible “guests.” (no, not Jeff Gannon – but could be similar!) The fact that Barack Obama has severed his ties to Wright doesn’t seem to matter to Fox. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has some religious ties that, for American non evangelicals, could be seen as very threatening – if not bizarre.

According to Monday night’s “Grapevine” (which sourced it from the Murdoch owned NY Post) during a recent sermon, Wright said this: “This ordinary boy — Obama — just might be the first president in the history of the United States to have a black woman sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania legally." Obviously Wright was referring to Michelle Obama; but what wasn’t “clear was whether he was also making a reference to prostitution, old miscegenation laws or interracial sex under slavery.” For those Fox viewers who don’t know who Jeremiah Wright is, this was added: “Wright's controversial sermons caused an uproar in March, when they emerged on video. He blamed the United States for the September 11 attacks and creating the virus that causes aids.”

Comment: The Bush administration blamed Iraq for the 9-11 attacks; but I digress. The Wright quote was harmless and something that could have been a joke on Stewart, Leno, or Letterman. It is a historical reality that white men of power used and abused women of color. So what’s the big deal? What should be a big deal is the information that is starting to emerge about Sarah Palin’s religious world view and her pastors’ comments. Unlike the tolerant United Church of Christ, the faith that Palin is associated with seeks to change the very fabric of our democracy in attempting to foist its agenda, regarding reproduction/stem cell research, education, and social issues, on others who do not believe as they do. Palin has had a long connection to evangelical Christianity. When she was in high school, she was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes which is connected to the dominionist group, Campus Crusade for Christ which, as a result of suits filed by the ACLU, has had to restrict its proselytizing in the military and at the Air Force Academy. Background on her affiliations can be found here.

But let’s fast forward to more recent times and take a look at a comment made by her former pastor, David Pepper, during a sermon in 2007: “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.” Here’s something said by her current pastor, Mike Rose, in a in a July 8, 2007 sermon: “Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise.” And this little gem from the same month: Do you believe we’re in the last days? After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days. These are incredible times to live in.” Words from her former pastor, David Pepper: From an November 25, 2007 sermon: “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.” And this: From an October 28, 2007 sermon: “God will not be mocked. I don’t care what the ACLU says. God will not be mocked. I don’t care what atheists say. God will not be mocked. I don’t care what’s going on in the nation today with so much horrific rebellion and sin and things that take place. God will not be mocked. Judgment Day is coming. Where do you stand?” It seems that Palin was in the pew, on August 17th, when the Director of Jews for Jesus, David Brickner spoke to the congregation. Brickner, who attributes terrorist attacks in Israel to those Jews who don’t accept Jesus, has drawn fire from the Jewish community and the ADL. But for more information on how Palin’s worldview was shaped by her religion, see Sam Stein’s informative article which references how Palin, in addressing her congregation, said that the war in Iraq is a “messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.” There’s lots more information including comments from Pastor Kalnins about how those who voted for John Kerry might not get to heaven.

Some serious questions need to be asked here about the impact of Palins’ religion on her political views. Both Romney and Obama have dispelled fears that their faith would not have interfered with their ability to govern a pluralistic country. Will Palin do the same? And will Fox endlessly play the loops of these pastors 24 and 7 as they did with Jeremiah Wright? On Fox, not all pastors are created equal.