Sunday, September 28, 2008

"I Can See Dinosaurs from My House!"

Salon's David Talbot scared me like Freddy (the world needs a Sugababes reference every now and then) two weeks ago with his article "The Pastor Who Clashed with Palin," which explained why even 80-year-old retired Baptist ministers think the Governor of Alaska is "Jerry Falwell with a pretty face."

The article detailed Palin's interest in book banning (gay books, natch), her work as an anti-choice crusader, and her wacky creationist belief that man and dinosaur walked the earth at the same time in what had to have been an Odd Couple-esque "Dinosaur = Oscar Madison, Humans = Felix Unger" arrangement. Then there was the issue of her reported response to Philip Munger, an Alaskan political acvitist, when asked if she believed in the End of Days. According to Munger, "She looked in my eyes and said, 'Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'" (What about Elvis and Tupac?)

Now comes an article in today's L.A. Times that determines Palin "treads carefully between fundamentalist beliefs and public policy." It quotes John Stein, who helped her early in her political career, as saying "She's got a fine-tuned sense of how far to push."

Allison Mendel, an attorney who sued the state of Alaska seeking mandated health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of state employees, says Palin "has been careful not to squander all her political capital on social conservative issues." All the Times has to say on the insurance matter was this:
Palin also did not challenge an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that mandated health insurance benefits for same-sex partners. Instead she signed a nonbinding referendum that asked voters their opinion on the issue.
While it's true she didn't challenge it, she had a few things to say about it, all pandering to bigoted voters.

The part of the Times article that really got to me, though it may seem trivial to some, goes back to Palin's comments about dinosaurs. Bill McAllister, her chief spokesman as governor, is asked about it:
McAllister said that he never heard Palin make such remarks about dinosaurs and that Palin preferred not to discuss her views on evolution publicly.

"I've never had a conversation like that with her or been apprised of anything like that," McAllister said. He added that "the only bigotry that's still safe is against Christians who believe in their faith."
If ever a statement deserved to be met with a chorus of boos and the throwing of rotten tomatoes, it's that crap about "the only bigotry that's still safe" being "against Christians who believe in their faith," but I wouldn't expect the anti-gay, anti-choice crowd to understand that.

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