Sarah Palin’s Emails on Christian Faith Draw Media’s Fire

Sarah Palin’s emails, released late last week demonstrating how she found strength and guidance in her Christian faith, are the latest target of the mainstream media.

National Journal included Palin’s prayer for God’s guidance on the Alaska’s budget in what it featured as the top 10 “revelations” from her emails Sunday. “I have been praying for wisdom on this ... God will have to show me what to do on the people’s budget because I don’t yet know the right path ... He will show me though,” Palin was quoted as saying in an email.

This was one of the 13,000 emails from her first 21 months as the governor of Alaska released last Friday.

The Associated Press also found Palin’s prayer worth a special mention while portraying her in a negative light. “At least once, she prayed for strength,” the newswire exclaimed. “Other times, she fired off messages to her aides, most fierce when the subject was defending her record or her family.”

“They (the emails) also revealed that Palin, as the newly minted Republican vice-presidential nominee [in 2008], was dismayed by the sudden onslaught of questions from reporters, especially one about whether she believed dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time,” AP reported, alluding to her belief in creationism as a Christian.

In a story entitled “Sarah Palin asked God for guidance over Alaska state budget,” U.K.’s Guardian said Palin’s emails “reveal” pleas for “divine inspiration in aiding policies affecting allocation of funds in the state.” “Sarah Palin sought advice from an unusual source when she was deliberating over how to frame the Alaskan state budget in 2008 – she called on God for guidance, according to emails released under freedom of information,” the daily said.

Guardian admitted that there was nothing new about her faith in God. “The former Alaskan governor’s deep religious beliefs are well known.” She is an evangelical Christian who belongs to the Assembly of God in her home town of Wasilla, a church whose congregants have been known to speak in tongues, it added. So why was this featured as news?

“… Rarely has such a direct connection been drawn between her faith and her policymaking,” Guardian justified, comparing it with “the controversy that followed George Bush’s statement that God had advised him to attack Iraq shortly after the invasion.”

Africa’s Mail & Guardian Online suggested that the content of a letter Palin wrote to friends and family about the birth of her Down’s syndrome baby, Trig, showed “her God complex.” She signed from “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father,” it said, quoting her email as saying, “Every child is created special… Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome.”

First requested during the 2008 presidential race by citizens and media, Sarah Palin’s emails were released last Friday after government attorneys read every page to identify and edit sensitive information. The three-year delay is being linked to the volume of the material.

Palin, a possible candidate in the 2012 presidential election, has been vocal about her Christian faith. In August 2008, when Time’s Jay Newton Small interviewed then little-known Palin on phone, she identified her religion as Christianity saying she was a “Bible-believing Christian” and attended “a non-denominational Bible church.” “I was baptized Catholic as a newborn and then my family started going to non-denominational churches throughout our life,” she said.

In another interview, with CBS, on June 2, 2010, Palin said she did not intend to impose her faith on others. “I think it [evolution] should be taught as an accepted principle. And, as you know, I say that also as the daughter of a school teacher, a science teacher, who has really instilled in me a respect for science. It should be taught in our schools. And I won’t deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth. But that is not part of the state policy or a local curriculum in a school district.” She said this describing herself as “an open book.”

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