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Did Palin Actually Say That Iraq is "a Task . . . from God"?

While searching for CNN's story on Troopergate, I came across a surprising statement of Palin's quoted by Anderson Cooper: that the war in Iraq was "a task that is from God":

[Palin] also talked to church members about "being saved" at the Assembly of God and suggested to them that the war in Iraq is a mission from God. Palin said, "our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Wow! CNN caught Palin saying on tape that Iraq was a task from God. Ouch!

But then I listended to the clip. Palin actually said:

"Pray for our military. He's [Palin's son Trask] going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do also what is right for this country -- that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true. Is praying for peace throughout the world the same as saying that there is peace throughout the world?

I'm an atheist, but I'm not so old or out of touch that I don't know that Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will. It's not strange for a Christian to hope that what you want to do or think is right is indeed God's will.

When I was growing up, I used to enjoy hearing our local Congressman, John B. Anderson (who ran for president in 1980), preach in the Protestant Church I went to as a child. He was certainly more interesting than our regular pastor. In Chicago, it's common to see news clips of politicians speaking in churches (often African American ones) on the eve of elections, and sometimes those politicians urge that someone vote for a particular candidate.

John (mail):
I appreciate your even handedness. Well said.
9.8.2008 7:51pm
DangerMouse:
I'm not so old or out of touch that I don't know that Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will.

The people who misinterpreted the remark were either parroting left-wing talking points, which were deliberately skewed, or are not good at reading comprehension (ie: really, really stupid). Or, as you say, they're old and out of touch. Pick your poison.

Oh, and pretty soon there'll be 200 comments or so trying to say that she really was saying that the Iraq war was a task from God. Because the THE ONE cannot be denied victory!
9.8.2008 7:52pm
Federal Dog:
Anderson Cooper understands basic English enough to know what she said. He engaged in misrepresentation. The only question is why he thinks that no one will check the actual quote and catch the misrepresentation.
9.8.2008 7:55pm
Sarcastro (www):
I myself love the elipsis. If interpreted as a dramatic pause, it is delightfully Shatneresque.
9.8.2008 7:55pm
Obvious (mail):
Actually, as a non-interventionalist myself, I find the fact Palin willing to concede that the correctness of one's position in war must be prayed for and not simply assumed correct, is refreshingly candid.
9.8.2008 7:57pm
therut:
Chris Matthews also did not insuinate the truth tonight but just the opposite. He said she believes in Creationism and not evolution. She has not stated this. He knows Creationism will be interpreted as young earth. He knows but he misleads.
9.8.2008 8:01pm
Calderon:
Come on, Jim! In the search to criticize Palin this is old news, and Cooper's statements were debunked last week. Her critics have now moved on to her next alleged gaffe, where she said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers," though of course they ignore the taxpayers' implicit and recently called in guarantee of the two GSEs along with the various other benefits they got.
9.8.2008 8:02pm
BillW:
Sarcastro: I myself love the elipsis. If interpreted as a dramatic pause, it is delightfully Shatneresque.

Coming from a Chicago guy, wouldn't '... Iraq is "a mission from God."' have been a better post title?
9.8.2008 8:10pm
Sarcastro (www):
BillW Good, but I think it's pronounced Gaad in the original Blue.
9.8.2008 8:13pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Debunking Sarah Palin rumors:

http://sarahpalinrumors.blogspot.com/

Number of rumors debunked to date: 71 (and growing)

Regarding the subject of your post - that would be rumor #23:

* * *

#23 No, she's doesn't believe that the Iraq War was directed by God. Yes, she did pray that proceeding with the war was God's will: "they should pray 'that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan.'" (Ever hear the phrase "Not my will, but Thine, be done"?) Yes, this apparently freaks some people right out.

* * *

http://sarahpalinrumors.blogspot.com/
9.8.2008 8:13pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
There's a famous Abraham Lincoln quote about the difference between thinking that God is on your side and hoping that you are on God's. I agree that on this particular one, Palin seems to be getting a bad rap. (I might add that I am not convinced, however, that she knows anything about Iraq policy beyond the empty slogans about "victory".)
9.8.2008 8:13pm
PLR:
I agree with Esper. It's clear if you put the leading verb "pray" in front of the clause "that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God."
9.8.2008 8:22pm
Cold Warrior:
I'm not so sure Cooper is wrong. If she had meant "pray that our leaders act in furtherance of God's will," why the clumsy construction? Could it be that it was just a poorly-written statement? I think the more sensible interpretation is that she was wishing our troops success in a mission in which it is God's will that we succeed. And no, I'm not bothered by that; I see it is fairly commonplace: "with the grace of God, we will prevail" would be a similar sentiment. Surely the politician who speaks such words is not expressing any doubt about the true nature of God's will.
9.8.2008 8:23pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper:

Yes - it's clear to all that you are much more knowledgable than the Governor of Alaska on all thing international. You're a legend in your own mind.

And Ronald Reagan was an agreeable ignoramus.

And George W. Bush is a moron.

They got elected to the Presidency due to: (1) the ignorance of the public, (2) family connections, (3) [what's the latest excuse?]

Honestly, don't you guys get tired of this line of attack? If you believe your own rhetoric, what does it say about your side if it continues to be beaten by morons?
9.8.2008 8:27pm
J. Aldridge:
Liberals also have a difficult time understand the difference between putting something on eBay with sold something on eBay.
9.8.2008 8:29pm
Steve:
Apparently so does John McCain, J. Aldridge, considering he said Palin "sold it on eBay, and made a profit."
9.8.2008 8:32pm
Cold Warrior:
umm, that most Americans are morons?

I'm not saying it's true, but I am weirdly fascinated by Jay Leno's "jaywalking" interviews and that "are you smarter than a 5th grader" thing, so don't dismiss it without argument....
9.8.2008 8:33pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
metro1:

You might try arguing with, or agreeing with, what I actually wrote and not your preconceived notions about what I might believe but did not express.
9.8.2008 8:34pm
wm13:
My prayer is that Dilan Esper should know as much about the Middle East as Fouad Ajami and Bernard Lewis. After that, I pray that Sarah Palin will know as much as Dilan Esper.
9.8.2008 8:41pm
The Ace (mail):
I might add that I am not convinced, however, that she knows anything about Iraq policy beyond the empty slogans about "victory"

I would add you have no clue about Iraq policy beyond assigning empty slogans to politicians you disagree with philosophically.
9.8.2008 8:43pm
Sarcastro (www):
I'm glad people are finally getting to the important question of how Dilan Esper can't judge Sarah Palin's lack of Iraq opinions till he's an expert on the Middle East.

Why is the Liberal Media ignoring this story?
9.8.2008 8:44pm
Crunchy Frog:
Sarcastro: They say that you can tell how far South you are by counting the number of syllables in the word God.
9.8.2008 8:44pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Again, wm, where did I say I knew anything about the middle east?

I just said that I haven't heard anything from Sarah Palin that suggests that her knowledge of Iraq policy was particularly deep.

Perhaps she will demonstrate that knowledge in the future.

But either way, that point has nothing to do with whether I would be in my depth discussing the middle east with experts.
9.8.2008 8:44pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I would add you have no clue about Iraq policy beyond assigning empty slogans to politicians you disagree with philosophically.

The Ace, I didn't assign her the word "victory". She used it in her speeches.

Again, it helps to look at what I actually said. I have seen no indication that her thoughts on Iraq run any deeper than that sort of slogan. Perhaps they do and she will demonstrate it. She hasn't yet.
9.8.2008 8:45pm
Uncle Creamy:
Why should I care if Dilan Esper knows anything about Middle Eastern affairs? AFAIK, he's not campaigning to be the next Vice President.
9.8.2008 8:46pm
J. Aldridge:
OMG: Obama and Biden both voted TWICE for funding of Bridge to Nowhere while McCain voted against!
9.8.2008 8:49pm
The Ace (mail):
The Ace, I didn't assign her the word "victory". She used it in her speeches

When?
Where?
How about a link?
Is that all she said?

Don't worry, you can't answer.
9.8.2008 8:50pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Ace, I don't have to do your research for you. Google will quickly disclose the answer to your questions.
9.8.2008 8:51pm
The Ace (mail):
The Ace, I didn't assign her the word "victory"

And you said it was an empty slogan.
Without any sort of evidence of course.
9.8.2008 8:52pm
Nate in Alice:
Jim,

Palin needs your help. Rescue her from her statements about Freddie and Fannie Mae that revealed her stupendous ignorance about the financial services industry.

Please, PLEASE Jim. You're her only hope.
9.8.2008 8:52pm
Nate in Alice:
Jim,

Palin needs your help. Rescue her from her statements about Freddie and Fannie Mae that revealed her stupendous ignorance about the financial services industry.

Please, PLEASE Jim. You're her only hope.
9.8.2008 8:52pm
Sarcastro (www):
OMG: J. Aldridge knows where it's at! Senators voting for a massive apropriation bill can be liable for EVERY earmark therein!

That's a super fair (and on topic).
9.8.2008 8:53pm
The Ace (mail):
Ace, I don't have to do your research for you. Google will quickly disclose the answer to your questions.

Hilarious.

There is a reason you're saying this.
And the reason isn't terribly flattering to your silly assertions.
9.8.2008 8:53pm
The Ace (mail):
Google will quickly disclose the answer to your questions.

You leftists can no longer be parodied.
9.8.2008 8:54pm
J. Aldridge:
Sarcastro: There is MORE: "Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief."

Spin on....
9.8.2008 8:55pm
barney the liberal purple dinosaur:
"When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side."
9.8.2008 8:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
Word up, J. Aldridge! Why didn't they read all the earmarks in the apropriations bill to find the bad ones? Why do they hate them Katrina victims? My theory is that they don't care about black people.
9.8.2008 8:59pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Kerry is also big on this whole "God" thing:
"I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side."

I'd rather none of our politician talked this way. But given that they all do ...
9.8.2008 9:00pm
The Ace (mail):
Rescue her from her statements about Freddie and Fannie Mae that revealed her stupendous ignorance about the financial services industry.

I love this. A new meme!
9.8.2008 9:01pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I'd be more comfortable with a political leader who acted on some sort of rational assessment of the nation's interests, and not on instructions received, or perhaps only inferred, from imaginary deities.

If you shut the cute picture out and just listen to or read Palin, she sounds an awful lot like Lyndon LaRouche. Sounds sensible but doesn't stand much close examination.
9.8.2008 9:04pm
The Ace (mail):
I might add that I am not convinced, however, that she knows anything about Iraq policy beyond the empty slogans about "victory"

There was a guy named Patton who would disagree with you that "victory" was an "empty slogan"


To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I Wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory. May God's blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day. G.S. Patton, Jr, Lieutenant General, Commanding, Third United States Army


But what did he know!?
9.8.2008 9:04pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
In light of Harry's comment, I guess I will mount a more spirited defense of Palin's statement. (Again, I don't think much of her qualifications to be President, but I think she's getting a bum rap on this specific issue.)

I am agnostic. So, on a certain level, religious rhetoric by politicians leaves me cold. That said, prayers that we be on the side of God seem to me to be just about the most harmless possible rhetoric. I would think every American would hope that our policies be on the side of good, and for a religious believer, one way to express that is to express the hope that we are on God's side.

There's nothing more to Palin's statement than that, and nothing wrong with it.
9.8.2008 9:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
1. Victory is a strategy, cause Patton once used it in a sentance.

2. Dilan Esper posted a long time ago and used the word Victory. This was the secret ingredient that turns The Ace into a perpetual posting machine. Energy crisis solved!
9.8.2008 9:07pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
There was a guy named Patton who would disagree with you that "victory" was an "empty slogan"

Well, that happened to be a different war with more easily definable objectives.

The issue is the use of the term "victory" in a counterinsurgency conflict where we are fighting on the side of the established government against guerillas and irregulars with no recognizable central command. That situation makes victory rather more difficult to define than it was in World War II.
9.8.2008 9:08pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper:

I actually agree with you that "victory" can be hard to define in counter-insurgency efforts. But this can largely be because we set our goals relatively high (which is a good thing).

Coalition troops (mainly the U.S., of course) achieved victory over the regime of Saddam Hussein about 2 weeks after the war in Iraq began - in the conventional WWII model you discuss. Saddam's army folded, we won.

The same type of post-victory creation of a democracy was needed in Germany and Japan after WWII, of course. But for some reason (perhaps due to the Party of the Administration in power), the press has tended to raise the bar to what will be considered "victory" in Iraq.

Nonetheless, measuring the "benchmarks" put in place previously by Bremer is useful. And we have met most of those.

Iraq has an elected Prime Minister. Iraq has a functioning government. Iraq has held elections. Much of the territory of Iraq has been handed over to the Iraqis. The insurgent attacks are down. A large number of the insurgents are dead.

So - even if you raise the bar for what will be deemed "victory" in Iraq - we have largely achieved it. Can things be better? Sure. But, then, that's always true.

Lastly, it's worth noting that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush helped liberate hundreds of millions of people who previously lived under communist dictatorships in the USSR and Eastern Europe.

Now George W. Bush has liberated about 50 million people from the dictatorships that existed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, I know there is this recent tendency (related to the Party of the Administration in power, perhaps) to define "victory" using an ever higher bar. But, surely, Reagan, GHW Bush, and GW Bush deserve some credit for the above.
9.8.2008 9:24pm
Sarcastro (www):
metro1 it is a voctory if and only if the condition of liberation can be mantained after we are gone.

THAT is what I continue to worry about, though I have become more optimistic lately.
9.8.2008 9:27pm
Gonzo:
Makes you wonder, how many debunking would have to made if she was properly vetted.
9.8.2008 9:29pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Sarcastro:

There is some truth to what you say.

But one can wait for proof that "the condition of liberation can be maintained after we are gone" ... until the end of time.

At some point one has to give some credit where credit is due.
9.8.2008 9:31pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
metro1:

While I don't agree with it, that's a perfectly intelligent analysis of the Iraq War.

What I'd like to see is Sarah Palin speaking LIKE that. In other words, whether I agree with her or not, engaging in some intelligent analysis of the outcome of the Iraq War.

My problem is not with arguments that we have either achieved "victory" or which define "victory" in some reasonably coherent fashion and then tell me how we are going to get there. My problem is with using "victory" as a buzzword without any explanation as to what it means in this context.

Really, the key question for me with Sarah Palin is whether she is qualified to be President. I don't like anything Dick Cheney stands for, but I have no doubt that if something happened to Bush, he has sufficient knowledge of the federal government and the issues facing this country to take over competently. I also believe Gore had that knowledge, and H.W. Bush, and Mondale. Clearly Ford and LBJ did. The question, as yet unanswered in my mind, is whether Palin meets that standard.
9.8.2008 9:32pm
Sarcastro (www):
metro1:

No credit till we pull out and it's okay. Any President can barge into a country and depose a leader.

I'm not planning on waiting till the end of time to see if the country is still a country, unless we don't pull out till the end of time.
9.8.2008 9:36pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Gonzo:

"...if she was properly vetted"??

Did you just wake up from a coma?

McCain met Palin in February 2008 in DC during the National Governor's Association meeting. He was impressed. His campaign vetted her in the traditional, meticulous method during the 7-month time-span thereafter.

Honestly, attacking Palin regarding her "vetting" and her "experience" has worked out so well for your side. Do you really want to go down that road again? It's fine with me. Maybe in a week, McCain-Palin will lead Obama-Biden by 20 points.

Wouldn't it be easier for you to say what you really think: women (including Governors) should be barefoot and in the kitchen ... unless they're a one-term Senator from New York ... in which case they're AWESOME!
9.8.2008 9:38pm
The Ace (mail):
that happened to be a different war with more easily definable objectives.

Laugh out loud funny.

Um, let me guess, because you say so, right?
9.8.2008 9:39pm
The Ace (mail):
My problem is with using "victory" as a buzzword without any explanation as to what it means in this context.

My problem is you saying politicians you disagree with philosophically are using "victory" as a buzzword without any explanation as to what it means.

You have no evidence for you claims.
There is a reason for that.
9.8.2008 9:41pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Give me six lines written by the most honourable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him. — Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)

In the twentieth century being "well-spoken" came to mean speaking in such as way that you can't easily be discredited by being quoted out of context. — Jon Roland, 1995
9.8.2008 9:42pm
The Ace (mail):
Victory is a strategy, cause Patton once used it in a sentance

How would you know?
9.8.2008 9:42pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
The Ace, you can look up Sarah Palin's use of the term "victory" in her speeches, and read the text of them, and see if she gives any analysis of what is going on in Iraq beyond a bare attack on the Democrats as opposing "victory".

This is all quite verifiable.
9.8.2008 9:42pm
The Ace (mail):
This is all quite verifiable

Except you won't take what you are saying is the pedestrian step of verifying this.

There is a reason for that.
9.8.2008 9:45pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
The Ace, google is your friend, and a pretty large swath of the electorate actually saw Palin make the statement I am referencing. Why not do your own research if you really think it is false?
9.8.2008 9:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"American are morons" is a popular meme used to explain the elections of George Bush, Ronald Reagan etc. Evidently they magically stopped being morons when Clinton and Carter were elected, but (alas) the transformation proved only temporary.

Are non-Americans any smarter? Lets look at a few national average IQs.

USA: 97
New Zealand: 99
Italy: 102
Britain: 100
Japan: 105
France: 98
China: 103
Germany: 98
Brazil: 86
Chile: 89
Columbia: 84
India: 82
Turkey: 90
Nigeria: 69
Swaziland 68
Philippines: 86
Russia: 97
South Korea: 109
Iran: 84
India: 82
Kuwait: 86

So the US is approximately the same as Europe, less than Asia, especially South Korea and greater than South America, Africa and the Middle East. So at least from this viewpoint the US is not particularly moronic.
9.8.2008 9:58pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Anchorage Daily News has some interesting new information, especially on troopergate.
9.8.2008 10:01pm
Fury:
Who cares about what Palin said? What's important here is that Uncle Creamy has be one of the most unique VC user names ever seen.
9.8.2008 10:07pm
Random Ed:
Be realistic. Palin's no dummy. She's asking people to pray that the mission is God's mission, because she wants people to want the mission to be God's mission. The words get twisted around inside people's heads while they ponder and pray, and they associate the mission with God regardless. Do you think many people in the audience said to themselves, 'no I'm not going to pray for that?' Because that's like praying against the troops and being anti-God at the same time. It's simple. It's basic manipulation, and persuasion, and communication 101. Talk about God being on your side but word things carefully so the mud doesn't stick.
9.8.2008 10:14pm
CB55 (mail):
It is the case that God and the blessings of God is was invoked in every speech at the RNC and DNC last month. It is the case that God is part of the national pledge, official oath, Praise the Power is in the national anthem, and God is invoked in the Declaration of Independence. God is part of our national rites, ritual and ceremonies, money and buildings. God is part of our sense of nationalism, patriotism, and for many Americans it defines us as a country. Outside of the Muslim world America is the most religious advance nation on earth
9.8.2008 10:14pm
Hoosier:
Fury:
Who cares about what Palin said? What's important here is that Uncle Creamy has be one of the most unique VC user names ever seen.


Almost . . . too unique.

Is that you, Mr. Putin?
9.8.2008 10:17pm
Allan (mail):
She is praying that the task the leaders are sending them out on is a "task from God?" I guess that is better than saying outright that the war in Iraq is a task from God (can you say "crusade"?), but not much.

I could give a rat's ass if the war is blessed by God. When I was in the military, if my leaders told me to go, I went. Similarly, I don't care whether God blessed or blesses the Iraq war. My leaders have ordered it, so whether it is blessed by God or not, I would go. If I don't like it, I change leaders. That's what elections are for.
9.8.2008 10:20pm
Dale (guest):
It's simple. It's basic manipulation, and persuasion, and communication 101. Talk about God being on your side but word things carefully so the mud doesn't stick.


That's bunk. I've been going to churches for 20 years and I can say that most Christians I know pray sincerely that God would direct them and that what they do is really what God wants and not the other way around. I've heard this phrased many times and many different ways (because extemporaneous prayer isn't meant to be an exact policy statement or theological treatise.) Only rarely have I heard someone selfishly pray that God do their will exclusively and their statements are typically shunned afterward. On the other hand in just about every popular representation of Christians in print, TV and film Christians are presented as selfish purveyors of God's will and blessings on the hapless heathens. I find this unfortunate because it leads to beliefs and statements like yours.
9.8.2008 10:36pm
Malvolio:
No credit till we pull out and it's okay.
By that standard, we haven't won a war since the Spanish-American War, back in 1991 when we pulled out of Subic Bay.

WWII and Korea, apparently, are still ongoing.
9.8.2008 10:39pm
SG:
By that standard, we haven't won a war since the Spanish-American War, back in 1991 when we pulled out of Subic Bay.

I think you can make a reasonable argument the Philippines is not OK, so I think that means we lost the Spanish-American war.
9.8.2008 10:46pm
elim:
nate in alice-hate to tell you this, but they are costing taxpayers a lot. if that's the misstatement, I guess the S&L crisis didn't cost us a dime either.
9.8.2008 10:52pm
David Warner:
Dilan Esper,

Your honorable stand taken here is humbly appreciated, as I've been unfair to you in the past. I have some confidence that, given the opportunity, Palin will demonstrate to capacity you seek. I also suspect that, given the chance, Palin will prove to be something of a Manchurian Candidate for causes non-left liberals hold dear, not the least of which is the political and economic liberation of women. Dobson is already feeling the heat.

She really is less beholden to the Republican machine than any candidate since Eisenhower, and the virulent attacks from the left secure the adoration of the Right, however liberal she in fact chooses to be. In that sense, she's potentially the mirror image of the young (Bill) Clinton.
9.8.2008 10:59pm
Big E:
Jim, we get it. You don't want Obama to win. Put this defense of Palin is embarrassing.
9.8.2008 11:30pm
TDPerkins (mail):

Put this defense of Palin is embarrassing.


So far, only embarrassing for her detractors.

But hey, that works.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.8.2008 11:41pm
Cripister (mail) (www):
"Sending them out on a task that is from God."

The task? The Iraq war.

Where did it come from? God.


Well, that seems pretty straightforward.

I guess she had to find a story that wasn't that Middle Eastern wars are for oil (something she hasn't repeated since first said).
9.8.2008 11:44pm
Melancton Smith:

By that standard, we haven't won a war since the Spanish-American War, back in 1991 when we pulled out of Subic Bay.

WWII and Korea, apparently, are still ongoing.


I guess the Revolutionary and Civil wars were a failure too as we still occupy that territory...
9.8.2008 11:49pm
Melancton Smith:
Big E wrote:

Jim, we get it. You don't want Obama to win. Put this defense of Palin is embarrassing.


Can you blame him? We from IL know the political machine that whelped Obama. I feel guilty for inflicting him upon the national stage...

Oh wait, King Daley says there is no Chicago Machine! LOL.
9.8.2008 11:53pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
What makes people think that this story will hurt Gov. Palin?

The US is a very religious country. When religious people see the clip of her talking, they will think it is no big deal. In fact, I think that the majority of them will agree with it.

I guess the Obama campaign is done with that religious outreach program now.
9.8.2008 11:53pm
alan (mail):
Go ahead, Obama fans, keep criticizing Palin for praying that God's will was being done. The bitter folks will just cling tighter to their religion.
9.9.2008 12:08am
Hoosier:
/Go ahead, Obama fans, keep criticizing Palin for praying that God's will was being done. The bitter folks will just cling tighter to their religion./

And their guns. Which really ought to factor into your decisions.
9.9.2008 12:17am
therut:
Every time I read blogs where Christianity is discussed with disdain and see it in the MSM I am astonised. It was during WW2 that the BBC broadcast "Mere Christianity" to their military. Today they would hang themselves before they would say the word God and not mean it as a awful word and idea.
9.9.2008 12:52am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Cripister:
"Sending them out on a task that is from God."

The task? The Iraq war.

Where did it come from? God.


Well, that seems pretty straightforward.


We're 70 posts in and you still haven't read the whole sentence? "Pray that our leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God." That's as opposed to "sending them out on a task that is not from God." Since the soldiers are going to Iraq either way, she plainly means that she hopes their task in Iraq is from God. This is further made clear by the second sentence, "Pray that there is a plan and that it is God's plan." I'm an atheist, but even I can parse a prayer like that.
9.9.2008 12:58am
Grover Gardner (mail):
I can't imagine this story will hurt Palin. OTOH, I really don't see any difference, Jim.

"Every time I read blogs where Christianity is discussed with disdain and see it in the MSM I am astonised."

I guess you don't read much American history. Skepticism is a rich and honorable part of our heritage.
9.9.2008 1:02am
Simon P:
So, Jim, do you think that any individual praying that the Iraq war actually is consistent with God's will, while also believing that the Iraq war is an appropriate foreign engagement, might not actually believe that the Iraq war is, in fact, consistent with God's will?

You're listening to what is said, but you're failing to hear. Christians do frequently pray that things are unfolding according to God's plan, I admit. But they just as frequently claim to be acting in accordance with God's plan, and the language they use to express these two subtly different sentiments is not precisely clear or clearly distinguishable. If you were more familiar with the language, rhetoric, and strategy of the American Evangelical movement, perhaps you'd recognize that.

Well—maybe you do. This kind of attack is typical of many conservative commentators, in that it seeks to avoid an implication anyone with any sense can see by picking at words and at technicalities. For example: McCain never said that Obama was the anti-Christ! (He just juxtaposed images and statements which apparently suggested that association for viewers already familiar with that particular fringe claim.) That's an effective strategy for unifying the pundit tut-tut class, but it's not intellectually honest. But, as I've stated before, I'm beyond thinking that "intellectual honesty" is the sort of thing you care about.

I know what was meant; Anderson Cooper, to the extent he was speaking from his own understanding, knows what was meant. Palin, no less than Bush, understands the mission in Iraq to be of God's will. That she dressed that belief in the terms of (false) Christian humility is unremarkable save for those who seek to weave a tale about media bias.
9.9.2008 1:06am
Kazinski:
What the press is doing is inoculating Palin against future attacks. They keep putting throwing this crap out there hoping it will stick, and after the 20th thing that didn't pan out, people will just stop paying attention. She has barely been on the campaign for a week, and as much as I like her I am sure at some point in time it will come out that she is not perfect. It seems once again Karl Roves mind control ray has the press shooting themselves in the foot.
9.9.2008 1:09am
good strategy (mail):

McCain met Palin in February 2008 in DC during the National Governor's Association meeting. He was impressed. His campaign vetted her in the traditional, meticulous method during the 7-month time-span thereafter.


He met her one time.

If there was meticulous vetting, why did the GOP send up lawyers after the announcement? Why did various AK politicians and media people state clearly that they had never been contacted and had never heard of anyone that had been contacted.

The preponderance of the evidence says that McCain went with his gut or otherwise made a hasty decision. Politically it might turn out to be a good decision, but it doesn't speak well of his actual decision making skills. I am prepared to see Palin shine and show some policy chops, but until she does, it sure does look like McCain put party and self first and the country 2nd. So far she has told quite too many lies to be likable.
9.9.2008 1:21am
AKD:
Obama to God, while in Jerusalem of all places: "Make me an instrument of your will."
9.9.2008 1:49am
Nate in Alice:
elim,

That's cute. Sarah Palin's reaction to the Freddie and Fannie Mae Bailout is that it is occuring because they are costing taxpayer's too much money.

Twist words how you will, but that's a ridiculous statement to make about two private organizations on the EVE of being taken over by the government.

Truly breathtaking spin, by the way, kudos.
9.9.2008 1:54am
David Warner:
Simon P.

"also believing that the Iraq war is an appropriate foreign engagement"

There is surprisingly little evidence that Palin actually thought this to be the case. I'd be happy to hear any you might be able to offer.

Nate:

"private organizations"

As if.

Good Strategy:

"The preponderance of the evidence says that McCain went with his gut or otherwise made a hasty decision."

Of the evidence of which you are/were aware. This is not coterminous with the evidence that did/does exist.

"He met her one time."

Amazing what technology can do these days.

"Why did various AK politicians and media people state clearly that they had never been contacted and had never heard of anyone that had been contacted?"

Because they were in the 20% that didn't approve of her performance? I'm sure the Biden vetters made sure to interview several prominent Delaware Republicans.
9.9.2008 3:03am
bluestocking (mail):
I am a liberal and an agnostic, but I think expressing the hope that some difficult and painful task is in fact God's will is a graceful prayer. It strikes me as the opposite of presumptuous. Interpreting beyond that requires a level of mind-reading I am uncomfortable with attempting.

I was also uncomfortable with trying to mind-read what Obama "meant" by mispronouncing the name of Palin's town.

Surely there's sufficient debate to be had over issues we know are issues, without applying our personal mental Rorschach to every breath each candidate takes.
9.9.2008 4:03am
James Lindgren (mail):
Nate,

I think it's you who doesn't understand the financial system.
9.9.2008 5:29am
Federal Dog:
"Makes you wonder, how many debunking would have to made if she was properly vetted."

No vetting can stop pathological liars.
9.9.2008 8:45am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
The song goes "God bless America [please]", not "God blessed America [assertion].
I read Palin's prayer in that light, since it's what she said. Which counts, afaik.
9.9.2008 8:53am
KWC (mail):
Really?

The Anderson Cooper quote says exactly what you are saying it doesn't say. You are the one misrepresenting it:

"That's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

That quote is in his story and in your post. Why are you ignoring it in order to say that he is misrepresenting this?

Also, while what you are saying is technically true, it's illogical. She's asking people to ask God (pray) that the war is a task from God. This makes no sense whatsoever! If she were really asking God, she would say: "Pray that God tell us whether or not this is His will." But no. The war is a done deal, in her mind, now she wants to urge God to decide that the war was His will. It's twisted Christianity at its finest.
9.9.2008 2:33pm
KWC (mail):
AKD:

"Make me an instrument of Your Will" is a prayer made famous by St. Augustine. It wasn't something that Obama invented. Don't be silly.
9.9.2008 2:35pm
KWC (mail):
Are people this dense? It's like buying a new Ferrari and then "praying" to God: "God, please make it Your will that I have this new Ferrari." It's straight up twisted.

People use "prayer" all the time to express their own opinions. I often hear prayers where people, in a group holding hands say things like, "Father, please give Theresa the strength and determination to do well on her Calculus final. Please help her focus and work hard and pass that exam." Not only is this perverse (are you really asking the Almighty to help on your daughter's trivial calculus exam?), it's also less of a message to God than a message to Theresa. Perverse, perverse, perverse. And not Christian.
9.9.2008 2:39pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
kwc.
Since the war was on when she prayed, it would hardly make sense to pray as if the decision was yet to be made.
The war could be against God's will, or in accord with it. Her prayer was clearly that the latter is the case.

Anyway, since atheists don't believe in such things, none of it matters.

And, who is in a position to say the war in Iraq isn't God's will?

Step right up.
9.9.2008 2:44pm
KWC (mail):
Richard:

That's the point. She could have prayed for God to decide whether or not it was God's will. She didn't. She wanted affirmation (that is was God's will) or nothing. In other words, she was "hoping" that this was God's will. If it's not, she offers no alternative. Thus, she believes that the war is God's will.
9.9.2008 5:24pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
KWC.
That's a stretch. She's hoping it's God's will. My guess is, that if it isn't, she isn't going to get the memo, nor will you.
So she's hoping, praying, and, possibly, confident in her faith, believing.
She could have ended the prayer with, "but if it's not His will, we pray he ends it." Problem is...what does that mean? We know that Obama and the NYT were okay with genocide if that was the likely outcome of a precipitate withdrawal. Would that be His will?
Or, given the war is ongoing, perhaps the Bush plan for stabilizing the country is the best bet when God works through imperfect human instruments.
There's a difference between ending the war and bringing all the troops home now. The latter would change the lineup, but not end "the war".
To conflate the two is dishonest, not that anybody didn't know that, and to imply that failing to pray for that is somehow flaky is dishonest as well.
9.9.2008 5:39pm
Tom Bri (mail):
John B Anderson also played trumpet at a local Christian coffee house, he was not bad at all.

He spoke at my HS graduation. All in all a good man and a great politician.
9.9.2008 6:20pm
Suzy (mail):
The part being discussed here is not the biggest concern to me. The truly disturbing part was this:


I can do my part in doing things like working really really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that's going to create a lot of jobs for Alaskans, and we'll have a lot of energy flowing through here. And pray about that also. I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that. But I can do my job there in developing natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns and making sure our public schools are funded, but really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God.


In short: 1) the people need to pray to get a pipeline built, and 2) the governor's work does no good if the hearts of the citizens are not right with God. Now, I'm a Christian and it makes sense to me that even in public life, one wants to accomplish good things that would be favorable to God. I also realize that it's Love Sarah Palin season on this blog, so it's anathema to raise even the tiniest question about her.

However, in the rush to praises, could someone at least explain how we are to know when the hearts of citizens are right with God? Will the evidence be that the pipeline goes through? If not, were the hearts not right? Who judges such matters, and which God does a citizen have to be right with? His or her own, or the God worshipped by the Assemblies of God church? Can atheists have good, pipeline-supporting hearts? I think these are reasonable questions, even though they doubtless call into question the authenticity of my libertarian leanings. It's like she's Angelina Jolie and I'm Team Aniston, and the VC is the sanctuary of the Brangaloonies.
9.9.2008 6:30pm