The Extremism of Sarah Palin’s Pastors

Barack Obama has been repeatedly attacked for the extremist views of Reverend Wright despite the fact that Obama made it clear he did not share those views. Now that we are learning about the extremist views of Sarah Palin’s pastors, will she repudiate those views?

While Obama’s connection to Wright was based upon community service and not Wright’s political views, every indication so far has been that Sarah Palin really has been influenced by the extremist views of the pastors she listened to.

The revelation that Sarah Palin was a supporter of Patrick Buchanan already killed any hope the Republicans had for increasing their share of the Jewish vote. What will Sarah Palin say about the sermon by Mike Rose from July 8, 2007 which said that,“Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise.”

As Palin is on record for supporting the teaching of creationism in the public schools, presumably she agrees with Rose’s sermon of April 27, 2008 which said, “If you really want to know where you came from and happen to believe the word of God that you are not a descendant of a chimpanzee, this is what the word of God says. I believe this version.”

Not only does he support creationism, he does not even understand the fundamentals of evolution if he believes it says that humans are descendants of chimpanzees, as opposed to the two having evolved from common ancestors.

We’ve already had John McCain claim that this is a Christian nation. I assume Palin agrees with both McCain on this as well as David Pepper who said on November 25, 2007 that “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.”

Do we even have the right to question this. Does Palin agree with this attack on our civil liberties from Pepper’s 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?”

While James Dobson might be excited, this is not a ticket which will play well among much of suburbia or among most independents.

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45 Comments

  1. 1
    da Patriot says:

    There is a huge difference between saying “God, damn America” – Rev. Wright and “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation” – David Pepper.  Most people know that!  You are grasping at straws.

  2. 2
    Busta says:

    “Those that die without Christ die a horrible horrible death.”  That is what Christian’s believe. It is not to say that only Christian’s have Christ; that was a belief of the Catholic Church prior to the discovery of the New World.  (The Church was then forced to consider if people who had no chance of hearing about Jesus were damned for hell.)  I would not classify the statement as extreme, just fundamental doctrine.

  3. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    da Patriot,

    To us non-Christian Americans, both the statements of Rev. Wright and those of David Pepper are very offensive.

    The difference is that Obama has repudiated such statements from Wright. I’m waiting to see if Palin repudiates the extremist statements from her pastors.

  4. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Busta,

    Regardless of whether you consider this statement extreme, it is not one which should be held by a vice president of all people of the United States.

    Palin is certainly extreme in her political views.

  5. 6
    Former Heart of America resident says:

    “Welcome to Kansas…”
    That’s a big insult to Kansas.  Just compare their governor, Kathleen Sebellius to this vicious phony.

  6. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    True but Kansas also has had school boards in the recent past which have supported teaching creationism in the schools.

  7. 8
    Liberal Jew says:

    So when is main stream news going to pick this up?

  8. 9
    Liberal Jew says:

    Last time I checked the people that use G-d’s name as a war tactic are terrorists or republicans…

  9. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    “So when is main stream news going to pick this up?”

    They might never do so. The media is far more likely to repeat attacks on a candidate than to do their own research. The views of Rev. Wright made the media primarily because opponents of Obama were using this to attack him. Obama is not likely to get into this in attacks on Palin, making it unlikely the media will pay attention.

    The exception might be if there are more attacks on Obama based upon Wright’s views. This might lead to defending Obama by pointing out that Obama has repudiated Wright’s views while questioning whether Palin will repudiate these views.

    It is also likely that attention paid to Palin will drop considerably with the convention over. Unfortunately the media is far more interested in less relevant matters like her daughter’s pregnancy than in looking at the real problems in her background

  10. 11
    Russ Johnson says:

    America is not a Christian nation.  America is a nation that separates church and state.  Not all of the founding fathers were Christian and “one nation under God” is a reference to God and not to Christ.

    Calling America a Christian nation leaves out Jews, many orientals, people from India, Japan, Muslims…  There is already enough divisiveness here.

  11. 12
    memo says:

    Our Constitution states that a person’s religion must not be used as a qualifying or disqualifying factor when considering a person for the position of President of the United States.  When Barack Obama’s opponent (Hillary Clinton’s Campaign) held him responsible for Rev. Wrights comments — these were comments made against the United States of America — ie “GD America” and comparing America to the Nazi’s.  Nobody seemed to be judging Rev. Wright for his religious values — but for his extreme political statements.  It seems that Sarah Palin and her pastor(s) are being judged for their religious and spiritual convictions.   The belief that we were created and the belief that Jesus is the only way to the God of the Holy Bible aren’t extreme views — they are basic fundamental teachings of the Bible.  This is America – the Land of of the Free.  The First Amendment guarantees each of us freedom of religion.  Nobody expects a non-Christian to accept these beliefs or even change their lifestyle to adapt to beliefs that they don’t hold.  We do expect those who don’t share our faith in Jesus Christ to refrain from violating our Constitutional Right to exercise that faith. 

  12. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Barack Obama has made it clear that he did not agree with these comments from Rev. Wright and therefore they are irrelevant to the election. If Palin were to say the same about the views of her pastors then these views would also no longer matter.

    The difference is that Palin has so far refused to answer questions and therefore we must try to determine her views on these matters from previous statements. Her previous statements do suggest that she does share these views and that these views will influence her policies. Therefore they remain relevant.

    On a side topic some of the criticism of Palin has centered around guest speakers at her church. I have decided against using these as there is a greater question as to whether she agrees with guest speakers as opposed to the pastors of her churches. Hopefully her views on these issues which have been raised elsewhere will also be answered.

    Nobody is questioning your right to practice your religion. The concern is that Palin’s religious views will be imposed upon others. Separation of church and state is a view which originally was supported by many religious organizations as well as the founding fathers. Separation of church and state both guarantees your right to exercise your faith and protects everyone, including you, from having the views of others imposed upon them.

    This country is made up of people of other religions beside Christianity.  Many Christians do not hold the extreme views expressed by Palin’s pastors which are hostile to those of other religions. It is of interest whether Palin shares these views.

    As president and vice president are unique positions which represent the entire nation, not only one religion, I feel that someone who holds the extreme views expresssed by Palin’s pastors should not hold such office. You might not agree, but in a democracy it is my right, and the right of those who agree, to decide to vote against anyone who holds such extreme views which are hostile to those of us of other religions.

  13. 14
    MsJoanne says:

    It goes further to me than that, Ron.  If someone has extremist beliefs and uses them to govern, which Palin has already indicated that she will in how she has done things in AK, then I have a problem that.

    Religion has no place in political discourse.  I don’t care what you believe or who you believe in, keep it in church, not in government.

  14. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    MsJoanne,

    Plus another related problem, which I’m sure you will agree with, is how her religious beliefs appear to lead to denial of science.

    Evolution is the basis of modern biology and in this century there will be an increase in the number of political decisions which require a grasp of modern science. Someone who denies evolution (or denies the scientific consensus on climate change) is not capable of making rational decisions on public policy.

    We already know she has supported teaching creationism in the schools (but apparently has not pushed for this either). There are many questions she needs to be asked about this.

    There is one problem with saying religion has no place in political discourse–members of both parties are bringing it up. I would prefer that Obama not bring up religion as much as he does but I can overlook this as he has stressed the importance of separation of church and state. Obama also has political reasons to need to bring this up. He needs to mention his religious beliefs to counter the smears that he is Muslim, and he needs to  try to reduce the Republican lead among religious voters.

  15. 16
    memo says:

    So Ron — did you mean to say that calling someone a Muslim is a “smear?  I just read your response to Ms. Joanne and you wrote, “Obama needs to mention his religious beliefs to counter the smears that he is Muslim.”  So much for religious tolerance.  Religion isn’t a factor in determining a person’s qualifications for President.  That is forbidden by Article 6 of our Constitution.  Also, even if Sarah Palin – or any other candidate wanted to impose her religion on the rest of us — that also is forbidden by our Constitution.  Not all scientists believe in evolution or “human caused” global warming.  Creationism isn’t a science – and even though I am a Christian I agree with you it has no place in our Public Schools.  Evolution should be taught as a theory — it is wrong to teach it as a scientific fact because it is just a theory.  Do your research. 

    You have no Constitutional right to say that a person who holds a “religious view” of any extreme shouldn’t hold the Presidential Office.  You may decide not to vote for them – that is certainly your right.  You may attack their political views – or point out their lack of experience.  But just as Obama can’t be disqualified because of his religion — Christian or even if he were a Muslim, or Romney couldn’t have been disqualified for being a Mormon — Palin can’t be disqualified for being a Christian — it is simply unconstitutional to hold that kind of antichristian bias against her or any other politician.

  16. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    Memo,

    Don’t try to twist what I said–next time you do it you will be banned from commenting here. I’m not going to waste my time on people who resort to that, or who tell me to “do your research” when you are totally off on the science (especially in an area where I have a degree and you obviously do not).

    I did not say that being a Muslim itself is a smear. There were smear campaigns being launched against Obama by calling him a Muslim, when he is not, for the purpose of  hurting him politically. That is a totally different thing.

    The human cause for climate change is the consensus scientific viewpoint.

    Evolution is both a theory and a fact, as is gravity. See a simple explanation here. You are confusing the scientific meaning of the word theory with how it is used scientifically.

    I did not say that anyone should be disqualified for being president based upon their religion. That is the total opposite of what I am saying. I was saying I, and others, have the right to decide what views are acceptable when we vote. I also made it clear this had nothing to do with Palin being a Christian but for having views (assuming she agrees with the views expressed by her pastors) which show intolerance of other religions.

    As I said above, any further comments from you which lie about what I have said will not be posted.

  17. 18
    memo says:

    Ron, I wasn’t intending to lie about what you wrote or twist your words.  I thought I was quoting what you wrote and then asking you to clarify what you meant – because I wanted to be sure that you weren’t equating being a Muslim with the word “smear”.  Thanks for the clarification.  No offense was intended — sorry it came across that way.   My statement about “evolution  being theory not fact” is something my Biology teacher said — but that was decades ago and maybe my memory confused what he said.  Very interesting site you shared explaning the difference.  Thanks!!

  18. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    Evolution being theory not fact is a common, and false, clam made by creationists. Your biology teacher may or may not have made this untrue statement as memory of what anyone said decades ago is questionable. Unfortunately there are biology teachers around who do teach creationism so it is possible that your teacher mislead you, or possibly true memories got mixed with creationist propaganda.

  19. 20
    memo says:

    I don’t think he was (is???  surely he is retired by now) a creationist.  In fact he is the one who influenced me to believe that creation has no place in a science class.  As I remember it he said something about not being able to verify it with scientific steps – so it shouldn’t be “studied” in a science class.  Maybe in a Social Studies class where World Religions are being studied — then creation could be discussed — but definitely not science.  

    I would like to discuss the “Christian Extremist” statements.  So far there seem to 3 topics.
    1.  Creation   2.  Jesus being the only way to God or Heaven   3.  Palin saying that  she makes decisions based on what she perceives to be God’s will.  This is the most frightening of all.   Many awful things have been done by people claiming to be obeying the “voice of God” — and I am not just referring to the Christian God. 

    1.  A person can believe in a creator – and not impose those beliefs on others.  As I said before creation is a religious doctrine and has no place in public schools — especially if it is part of the Science Curriculum.

    2. Anybody who has studied the teachings of Jesus Christ would have learned that He Himself claimed to be the “Way, Truth and Life – no one comes to the Father except through me”.  Those are the words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John.  Each of us need to decide for ourselves if we believe His claim or not — but we can’t deny that He made the claim.  That is one of the reasons the Jewish leaders were so “bothered” by him.  To say that not all Christians hold this view — “Jesus is the only way to the father” — is not accurate.  How can we claim to be a follower of Christ (Christian) and not believe the claim that he made about himself.  This isn’t rejecting other religions — or more precisely the people of other religions.  Jesus teaches (taught??) us to love all people.  We can disagree with one another’s ideas and opinions without rejecting each other.  I can study and respect other religions and have friendships with people who practice other religions and not compromise my own beliefs. 

    3. Much violence and spiritual abuse is justified by people who claim “The Lord told me to…..”.  I have attended many churches and have encountered many people who have tried to manipulate me with statements that begin with, “The Lord has told me that He wants you to….”  I am not accusing Palin of this — but I am concerned when people claim that America (or any other Nation) is on a “Mission From God”.  While it is my spritiual conviction that God may speak to His children at times …. I also am aware that many people claim (either to decieve or they are self-deluded) to have heard from God when He has not spoken.

    I want to Judge Palin and any candidate on the political issues — and not on their religion.  However, if we are talking about  “extreme Christian statements” let’s be sure that they are extreme — and not the foundational statement of the teaching of that religion.  If a person is going to try to justify every political decision with “God told me to…” that is just plain wrong.

  20. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    memo,

    1) There are scientists who reconcile creationism with evolution. That is not a problem. The problem is in supporting the teaching of evolution in science classes. Palin’s record isn’t entirely clear there. She has spoken out in favor of it but has not actively pushed this as governor. One concern is that teaching of creationism as science has been declared to be Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Will this change with the types of justices Palin would appoint?

    2)To say that not all Christians hold this view — “Jesus is the only way to the father” — is not accurate. It certainly is accurate as I have known Christians who do not hold this view. The church my wife has gone to has explicitly promoted the opposite view, showing toleration of other religions which is not seen in Palin’s church. The real question here comes down to what Palin herself thinks.

    3) That is the most worrisome aspect–that Palin would make political decisions based upon her religious views.

  21. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    A further comment on evolution. If Palin were to both believe in a creator and to accept evolution that would be one thing. If she believes in creationism as a valid alternative to evolution that would be a totally different matter. With evolution providing the entire foundation for modern biology, a person who rejects evolution would be in a poor position to make rational policy decisions on many scientific matters.

  22. 23
    MsJoanne says:

    Ron and memo,

    The McCain campaign is using Muslim not just as a smear, but as a scare tactic.  If you watched the RNC, the speakers consistently talked about terrorists and Iran, to do nothing more than pile on the fear that all Muslims are scary fundamentalist terrorists.  That is a tactic used to make a smear campaign.

    And when Palin’s religion enters into politics as part and parcel of how she has or will govern, then it is definitely something to be discussed.  People can have whatever religious beliefs they so choose, as long as they are not what is driving their decision making.

    JFK said:

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
    I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

    And that is how it should be.

  23. 24
    memo says:

    Ron,
    I would have to respectfully “agree to disagree” that a person can be a follower of the teachings of Christ and not accept the claim that He made about himself — “…no one comes to the Father except through me.”  I do agree that there are many churches with members who do wonderful things to help those in need — who may not teach this about Christ.  I can be tolerant of people who don’t agree with the claim that Christ made about himself — but I still say that a person who rejects the claim that Christ made about himself and claims to be his follower is confused.  I am not saying this person is evil or even a hypocrite – I am just pointing out that religions have certain foundational beliefs and this claim that Jesus made about himself is foundational to Christianity — with all due respect to your wife’s church.  (I am not being sarcastic here).  My only point is that while it is fine to reject the idea that Jesus is the “only way” — it is important to realize that this idea isn’t Christian Extremism — it is the core of Christ’s teachings about himself.   

    Now to the 2 political issues.  I agree with you when you say that we need to be concerned that Palin (or anybody else) would appoint Surpreme Court Judges who would make decisions imposing their religious views on the rest of us.  Unlike the Executive and Legislative branches of government when somebody is appointed to the Surpreme Court – we are stuck with them even after the President who appointed them is no longer in office.  So that is a very good point that we need to consider the judges she may appoint — if she were to become president — after all VP’s don’t appoint Surpreme Court Judges.  There are many people who believe in the “religion of creation” who still believe it has no place in a science class.  The very term “Public School” carries with it the implication that it is for the entire public — and therefore should cater to people of all belief systems.  Therefore religion of any kind should not be taught our public schools unless it is part of a World Religions or Comparative Relions class.  They are funded by tax dollars — and using tax dollars to fund the teaching of religion is a direct violation of the First Amendment — at least as I understand it.

    I am not just concerned about Palin’s religious views influencing her political decisions — I am concerned that she may think “God spoke to her” — if a person thinks they are obeying a divine command–then they will hold onto their decision (s) like that “pitbull” she compared hockey mom’s to.  I can’t wait for her to be interviewd and for the debates.  That will give us a far better idea of who she really is and what her opinions really are.  Her speech was great — but I think we have all heard it repeated enough times now (in every town at every rally) –  I would like to hear an unrehearsed response to questsions from her before I make a final judgement. 

  24. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    memo,

    The fact remains that there are Christians and Christian churches which do teach differently. As I’ve personally encountered them no amount of denial of this means anything.

    I definitely agree that what we need is a real interview, with follow up questions and where she cannot rely on prepared scripts, to elaborate what Palin’s actual views on these subjects are.

  25. 26
    memo says:

    OK Ron — now is the time to accept the fact that we won’t change each other’s minds on the issue of  “Jesus being the only way”.  The final thing I will say about this issue is this — just because some people don’t accept the teaching – and some churches don’t teach it — this doesn’t negate the fact that Jesus held this view about Himself.  I think the situation here is that we don’t have the same definition for the word “Christian”.  I am a literal person – the word “Christian” to me means follower of Jesus Christ and a believer in His teachings .  What does the word “Christian” mean to you?

    I was going to say that we shouldn’t discuss this issue any longer because our views aren’t really the issue here — and I will stop posting about it if you wish.  I am just curious what your definition of “Christian” is — that will help me understand your thoughts on “Christian Extremism”.  

  26. 27
    Ron Chusid says:

    memo,

    I wouldn’t dream of defining who is a Christian. I go by people’s self identification. I know both more moderate Christians and more extreme ones. Of course the more extreme ones (which have views closer to the views of Palin’s churches) have sometimes tried to claim that those holding more moderate views are not truly Christian.

  27. 28
    memo says:

    Ms. Joanne
    I almost missed your post – because I scrolled down to the bottom to read Ron’s responses I didn’t see yours at first.
    Thanks for the JFK quote – it pretty much sums it up.  Although there are those who believe they get their guidance directly from God and not any specific church authorities. 

    I think it is important to point out that several of our past presidents have had photos taken with Billy Graham — I think he was referred to as their “spiritual advisor”  ???  – even though I am a Christian and hold most of the same beliefs as  Billy Graham – I still felt uncomfortable seeing our president(s) so closely associated with a religious leader — even if said religious leader is from my own religion.  Simply put religion and politics don’t and shouldn’t mix.  Many of my Christian friends don’t share this view but they still love me.

  28. 29
    memo says:

    Ron,

    I wasn’t asking you to stand in judgement of somebody identifying themselves as a Christian — I simply wanted a definition of the word.  Please correct me if I am wrong — because I sincerely don’t want to twist your words — I am enjoying our discussions too much — Do you leave it up to each individual person and each church to indentify themselves as Christian or not?  That would explain why you disagree with my literal definition of the word.  I guess rather than using the words “extreme” we should use the word fundamental – and I like the word “moderate” you used for those who don’t hold fundamental doctrines.  I will admit that there are many churches in my area that teach from your perspective and the people who attend these churches are very “Christlike” in the way they treat others and the way they reach out to the less fortunate in our community.   It is between them and God — I am not judging them as a person.  I just wonder why they would want to identify with somebody like Jesus who made a claim about himself that they don’t agree with.  I know that I wouldn’t want to be indentified as a Christian if I thought Jesus either lied about himself or was deluded.  But then that’s just the way I’m “wired”.

  29. 30
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, if someone says they are Christian I accept their word for it and do not attempt to determine whether their beliefs fit any criteria.

    As for statements made by Jesus, there is also considerable disagreement as to how literally to take such claims. Some take the bible literally. Others see it as a set of stories written after the fact to teach certain lessons and establish certain beliefs but do not see the bible as being literally true.

  30. 31
    memo says:

    Ron,

    Now I have a clearer understanding of why our religious views are so different.  Can we switch (back) to science for awhile?

    Could you re-state or explain in more detail why you think it is important for a presidential candidate to have an accurate understanding of modern science?  I have never considered this before when deciding how to vote.  Would it be enough to have advisors who could explain the scientific concepts to the president or vp?  Do we know where McCain, Obama and/or Biden stand on the science issue?  (I shouldn’t have said “we” because I already know that I don’t).

  31. 32
    Ron Chusid says:

    memo,

    Having good advisers who could explain the scientific concepts could suffice under most circumstances–but only if the president or vice president is open to hearing real science. If the president or vp rejects modern science due to religious reasons, then they are not going to accept reliable scientific advice. It is even possible that they might hire “scientific” advisers who reject science.

    We know that Biden and Obama accept modern science.

  32. 33
    memo says:

    Ron,

    You said in an earlier post something about there being an increase in political decisions to be made that require a grasp on modern science.  Could you give examples of those kind of decisions?
    Also, are there articles I can read or sites I can visit that explain Biden’s and Obama’s stance on modern science? I have never heard Obama talk about science much — a lot of politics but not science.  I must admit I don’t know much at all about Biden — haven’t heard much about him lately.
    Thanks for your willingness to “chat” with me on all these issues and your patience during the religious discussion.  Many of my friends get frustrated with me at times – especially my husband.   grin!!

  33. 34
    Ron Chusid says:

    Some examples where biology will impact public policy include stem cell research, cloning, and genetic engineering. Going beyond biology, climate change is a major issue where Palin’s political bias is a concern.

    A while back I had some posts on attempts of scientists to have a science debate where the candidates would be asked questions on science and science policy. Not surprisingly, they could not get the candidates to go along. I don’t know of any sites off hand, but I have noted references to science from time to time in Obama’s interviews and writings. It is clear he accepts modern science and has some knowledge. I even read about how he managed to include a discussion of string theory in a paper at Harvard Law.

  34. 35
    memo says:

    Thanks!!  I’ll research those issues so that when I listen to the debates I will have a better understanding when they are discussed.

    What about how science (not necessarily Biology) relates to the energy problems we are having.  It would be nice if every American could afford to get to their jobs.  I live in a small town and can walk the 4 miles each way  to and from work if I had to.  But some people live in or around large cities and work over 30 miles from where they live.  They don’t have the option of walking to work.  Everytime the price of gas goes up — public transportation raises their prices.  In fact even groceries (at least where I live) get more expensive because it costs to get them to the stores.   I  heard  that OPEC is going to drop their production of Oil – and that will probably drive the prices up higher than they are.  What does science have to offer as a solution to this problem — and what candidate has the best solution?   As I said – I have the option of walking to work — and it would be great for my health — but not all Americans have this option.  During the winter months when the roads are icy this is not really an option for me either.  I guess I better invest in a good pair of snow shoes. ha ha    Some are suggesting drilling for more American Oil — but even the most optimistic supporters of this option say that it will take at least 5 years to make a difference on gas prices.  FIVE YEARS!!!!!!   I can’t wait that long for a solution.  Besides that whoever wins this election may not even be president by then unless he is re-elected. 

  35. 36
    Ron Chusid says:

    We hear all the time about how lucky we are because of gas prices being much lower in Europe but they have options we don’t have including better mass transportation systems.

    Not only are groceries more expensive. A tremendous number of companies  do business with have either increased their prices citing energy costs or are adding on gas surcharges.

    I have far more confidence in Obama’s plans. McCain is far more interested in playing politics. As you realize, all his talk of more drilling won’t help–with estimates I’ve read predicting ten years as opposed to five years before it will matter. Similarly we have had McCain’s proposal for a decrease in the gas tax which economists seem to agree will not help at all.

    I don’t think we can drill our way out of the problem as McCain argues. We need to concentrate more on alternative sources as Obama has been advocating. Realistically I fear that no solutions will solve the problem immediately.

  36. 37
    memo says:

    I’ve noticed that American public transportation seems to be better in larger cities than in smaller towns.  For example the town where I live has one (that’s right) one bus.  Do you think it is that way in Europe?  We visited friends in Berlin – they have great public transportation.  I am wondering how people who live in small towns or villages in Europe cope with their high gas prices.  Many of my friends are starting to ride bicycles or motorized scooters.  Right now the “people” who control the oil  essentially control the world — at least the world’s economy.  I agree – we need to find an alternative.   Too bad someone couldn’t figure out how to convert our garbage to fuel — that would solve two problems.  Or maybe we could figure out how to harness all the energy from hurricanes.   Not very realistic – I know – but something has to be done.  I have already decided that I am parking my car if gas reaches $5/gallon and walking everywhere.   I haven’t forgotten sitting in long lines at the gas stations on odd/even days back in the late 1970’s — haha  – we were complaining then because gas was over 50 cents per gallon.  That might be funny until you realize that the price of gas is almost 10 times the price since then — and minimum wage has barely doubled.  Some Americans don’t have to worry about minimum wage because they make well above — but what about all the Americans who make minimum wage or barely above minimum wage?   Are there any realistic solutions that will take less than 10 years  to make a differnce? 

  37. 38
    Ron Chusid says:

    Besides having better mass transit in Europe within cities they also have good mass transit between cities. Here we have some mass transit in more densely populated areas. It is possible to get around by train or bus reasonably in some areas on the east coast.

    I hate to predict how long it will take to get out of this mess, or how much higher the price of gas will get. One problem we face long term is that China is just starting to turn into a society where cars are becoming common. We will be bidding against more and more Chinese for oil in the future.

  38. 39
    memo says:

    I am going to invest in several pairs of walking shoes.

    Back to the original issue — I was listening to the news on my car radio yesterday.  Aparently, Palin said that she was quoting President Lincoln when she said her “will of God” and “God’s Plan” statements.  She said she would never “presume to know the will of God” and that she was asking the people in the church to “pray that it was God’s will”. 

    I have given more thought to her “association” with various pastors.  I don’t agree with everything my pastor(s) might say — but I can still learn from them.  However, if a Pastor said something that I thought was outrageous I would look for another church.  I guess we will learn more about Palin in the days and weeks to come.

    The one question I have about Rev. Wright — how can he get away with making so many political statements from the pulpit without losing the “Tax Exempt” status of his church?  While I agree that our government shouldn’t endorse any one religion — I also think that churches shouldn’t endorse government or one political party. 

    I can understand how Obama might not be aware of the statements made by Wright — but can’t understand why he hasn’t found another church to attend now that he knows?  Or has he — I don’t know.  

    Another question I have about Obama — and I am not accusing him – I am just wondering.  I have listened to him discuss the different Islamic Factions — Sunni – Shiite (and I can’t remember the other one).  I am not sure – but he seems kind of evasive – and I am wondering if he favors one faction over the other.  I am not even sure if that would be wrong – he just seems to be struggling for words when discussing the issue — unlike other times when he seems more sure of himself.  You seem to know a lot more about him than I do — any insight?  I was discussing with a friend and she wondered what faction or sect of Islam Obama’s father belonged to.  I know his father isn’t running for office – but my friend had a point — if Obama favors one sect over another – would that influence his Foreign Policy decisions.  How should I respond to her? 

  39. 40
    Ron Chusid says:

    memo,

    Obama has repudiated the comments from Wright and has left the church.

    It is probably pretty hard for the IRS to really remove tax except status from churches as it wouldn’t go over very well if it looked like the government was scrutinizing what religious leaders were saying.  There is far more politics in the churches than might be technically legal. For example, during the 2004 campaign some of the more conservative churches around here were pushing very heavily for Bush and talking about how immoral they considered Kerry to be.

    I haven’t noticed Obama being evasive. He often talks like the university professor he is, considering far more detail than he can include in press interviews and considering all sides of an issue. Obama’s father was not religious and Obama had limited contact with him so that shouldn’t impact his foreign policy.

  40. 41
    memo says:

    The pastors and board members all the churches I have attended have always stressed how important it is to refrain from making political statements from the pulpit or campaigning in any way at church activities  because of the Constitutional restrictions.  Churches are granted Tax Exemption because of their non-profit status and because they are religious organizations.  Anybody who criticizes the IRS for penalizing a Church for violating these restrictions is not being reasonable.  I am a firm believer in keeping politics and religion separate. 

    I did some reading about Obama and his family.  It was his grandfather who was Islamic.  His father was raised in the Islamic religion but as an adult called himself an athiest.  Obama’s stepfather (his mother’s second husband) was Islamic.  After marrying Obama’s mother he moved the family to Indonesia where Obama attended an Islamic school — and also a Catholic school.  This may or may not have any meaning to his religious views now — or his campaign.  I just wanted to set the record straight since I wasn’t totally accurate in my previous post.

    I still wonder if he supports Sunni’s or Shiites or any other Islamic faction in the Middle East.  It does seem to me that he has a different tone of voice when mentioning the different names.  He has expressed that while he doesn’t think we belong in Iraq – he believes we need to spend more time in Afghanistan.  Does this mean that he thinks that the Taliban is more of a threat than Al Queada? 

  41. 42
    Ron Chusid says:

    Not all. He has spoken frequently of the need to have finished the job in Afghanistan in order to destroy al Qaeda.

  42. 43
    memo says:

    What are Obama’s views on Iran and North Korea and the threat that either or both Nations will develop nuclear weapons?

  43. 44
    Ron Chusid says:

    Information on his foreign policy views is available here

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