Gov. Palin's Scary "Spiritual Warfare"

Religion reporter Laurie Goodstein forwarded a story on Palin's religion that's been circulating on left-wing blogs and cites a website that ran an article calling the governor's beliefs "Christian Fascism."

On Saturday, Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein took on a story on Sarah Palin's religion that's beencirculating on hostile left-wing blogs for weeks, "Palin's Faith Is Linked to Form of Pentecostalism Known as Spiritual Warfare."

In an interview this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, was asked to "clear up exactly what you believe in" about her religious faith, including her involvement with Pentecostalism.

Ms. Palin responded by speaking generally, but extensively, about how she counts on God for strength, guidance and wisdom. "My faith has always been pretty personal," she said. But she did not talk more specifically about her church affiliation or her beliefs.

Ms. Palin's faith has come under scrutiny after two videos taken in her former church surfaced on YouTube and became immediate sensations. The first showed a visiting preacher from Kenya praying fervently over Ms. Palin in a gravelly voice and asking God to favor her campaign for governor and protect her from "every form of witchcraft."

...Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as "spiritual warfare."

Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that "spiritual warriors" must "battle" them to assert God's control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement's fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders' claims to exalted spiritual authority have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians.


Critics say the goal of the spiritual warfare movement is to create a theocracy. Bruce Wilson, a researcher for Talk2Action, a Web site that tracks religious groups, said: "One of the imperatives of the movement is to achieve worldly power, including political control. Then you can more effectively drive out the demons. The ultimate goal is to purify the earth."

Tim Graham at NewsBusters looked beyond Goodstein's benign formulation and found whatGoodstein left out about the mindset of Palin's Talk2Action critics:

Goodstein didn't tell readers much about the hard-left beliefs of Palin's critics, who were not even described as liberals....Talk to Action is a left-wing site which declares itself a watchdog of the religious right. Its views on Palin are quite clear: an article on her is simply titled "Christian Fascism."

One wonders where this scrutiny of YouTube clips was during Barack Obama's controversy over his minister, the anti-white conspiracist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was not just a visiting preacher like the one from Kenya, but was Obama's long-time preacher and spiritual mentor.