The new Republican hot potato: Sarah Palin and the exorcist

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A video of Sarah Palin being blessed by a preacher and exorcist appeared on the Internet yesterday.

The video was posted on YouTube on Thursday, but the blessing actually happened in May 2005, two days before Palin officially put herself forward as a candidate for Alaska governor. Pastor Thomas Muthee, originally from Kenya, is from the Pentecostal movement, evangelical protestants who interpret the Bible literally. Pentecostal followers believe, for example, that the laying on of hands can heal sick people when other medications have failed.

Sarah Palin's campaign team immediately denied that she was a Pentecostal. But in another video, filmed in June 2008 (see below), the possible vice president of America explains how Muthee's prayers helped her to win the Alaska election.

"Save her from Satan!"

"Pastor Muthee was praying over me"

Sarah Palin gives a speech to a group of missionaries in June 2008.

"Thirty to forty per cent of Americans share these beliefs"

Stuart Haugen is vice-chair of Republicans Abroad France.


I don't see anything shocking about this video, even if there are some things that I don't agree with. I'd say that 30% to 40% of Americans share these beliefs and wouldn't find it strange at all. Me, too. When I was a student, I belonged to a similar church. The pastor's talking about sorcery, but what he means is that there are both good and bad forces in the world. If you believe in God, you also believe in the opposite.

I'd like to make it clear that in the US, religion and politics are quite separate. The video shows Sarah Palin's personal convictions, that's all. And a vice president doesn't decide on the law.

If the intellectuals and the media want to have a crack at Palin, that's because she scares them. I think she's already secured two million more votes for McCain. And among them are several hundreds of thousands of people who will travel the country to get even more voters on their side. That's what they were missing, while Obama had more money and a broader base of volunteers. In the end, McCain is a centrist, he needed Palin to reassure the conservative and evangelical voters. Now he'll be able to criticise Bush more openly, because he knows that the right-wing side will still follow."

3/10/2008 - Update from Stuart:  "I want to make it very clear that I was not aware of the graphic that would accompany this story and I consider it biased and abusive.  I considered demanding that my posts be pulled down but feel that the net communication, AS LONG AS THIS DISCLAIMER IS FULLY DIGESTED AND UNDERSTOOD, is more important than any potential concerns on my part."



"Palin and McCain scare Wall Street"

Dana Blankenhorn is a former finance journalist from Atlanta. He supports the Democrats.

Sarah Palin is a nutjob! There's a relevant saying here: 'If people find you too racist in Idaho [a state known for being particularly racist in the olden days], they'll think you're great in Alaska...'

McCain chose her because she makes up a very involved minority; not because she represents what Americans think. I doubt more than 10% of Americans believe in sorcery. But in an election, there's a small block who aren't interesting in anything but tipping the election. The Republicans know it, and that's how they've won in the past. 

The Republican Party is supported by three groups: the Wall Street types, the neo-cons and the evangelists. But now, I think that their coalition is breaking up. Palin and McCain scare Wall Street. Especially since McCain ruined the plan to rescue the economy, while the White House and Obama both accepted it. The power always follows Wall Street. I don't think this video will change the election, but I do think the economic crisis will push a number of Republicans to vote Democrat." 


Can't sit this one out... your data is twisted

Your argument that the Republican Party and, by inference John McCain, is supported by Wall Street, is very misleading... hope it is not intentional.

Public records on presidential campaign donations for McCain and Obama indicate the following...

The four largest "Wall Street" contributors -- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Citigroup -

donated $891K to John McCain, BUT...

the same firms donated $1902K to Barack Obama (over twice as much)

So, I guess you would have to conclude that Obama is the candidate of Wall Street, right?

It seems to me folks are

It seems to me folks are much too eager to tear one another down on both sides of the isle. If you ask me, it is ridiculous! We are in America! People have a right to their beliefs here! If Obama is a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Wiccan, or an atheist all together; that is his right in this country. If Sarah Palin is any of those things, it is her right in this country. It is not the media's job to paint them (their beliefs) right or wrong. It is up to the voters to see if the beliefs and ideals of each candidate match up with their own, and vote accordingly. I also find it very interesting that the media is pitting Palin against Obama. I don't see them having debates; I thought McCain was the nominee for President....

Palin's Religion

All well and good but I don't think Palin would agree with you.

please correct: Bishop Thomas Muthee is a Kenyan preacher

Let's be clear, i am not for or against anything, i would just like to discuss.
1° Bishop Thomas Muthee is a Kenyan preacher, not from nigeria.
France 24 is a big media, so you should take care of such an information. I explain why!? The time your article is online, millions of readers worldwide are reading it, right? Those who don't like this kind of practice would be tempted to blame nigeria as well, because you said he is from nigeria!!! One reply is talking about voodoo, maybe thinking about nigeria. This is just an example, i'm not from nigeria. Even if you correct it now, a lot of people will not read it again, so you spread the mistake everywhere!
2° Have you ever seen a light without shadow??? So talking god without talking evil is impossible.
when you reach the unity or the absolute calm, then you never talk about -/+ or god/evil etc...
I, for example, like every human being, then I have no ennemy at all.
Nothing is bad or good as it is, it depends on what we do with it. A knife or an elecricity can help us but can kill as well etc...
I think the exorcism is a very old practice.
Some links for exorcism:
I come from madagascar(africa). My tradition is very simple but gives me a powerful way to stay calm, be happy and live well. thanks. jao

Not sure you are as balanced as you claim to be on this...

As Jao says (and as I said in our conversation), exorcism is a long-standing practice and is probably not as bizarre as you want us to believe. While I am not a Catholic, nor am I criticizing my wife's religion ;-), exorcism is practiced by some Catholic priests (maybe you should ask Joe Biden about his point of view on this) and, I think many other religions, not only evangelicals...

A point that did not come through from my original conversation with you (France24) is that I said that I interpreted "sorcery", as used in this example, as this priest's word for all that is "evil" and not specifically sorcery as it is often portrayed in films, etc.

(NB: Frankly, something that you carefully failed to include in my original comments was my observation that I am much happier with Sarah Palin being blessed to ward off evil to help her better exercise her governance than Obama being blessed by Jeremiah Wright who says, "God Damn America", "America created AIDS to kill black people", etc... Don't you agree?)

It is logical that a priest/pastor would bless and protect any parishioner, not just Sarah Palin, to help them resist evil. Maybe we all need a bit of that help, yes?

I just don't think this is a big issue.


Thanks a lot for your comment Jao. As you can see, we do not take sides in any of our pieces. We gave a Republican the opportunity to comment on this video. And, like you, he believes that what pastor Pastor Muthee does is in no way exceptional. It's then up to every reader to make up his mind. Thanks for alerting us to the nationality of Pastor Muthee. He's indeed Kenyan. We've corrected the mistake and we do apologize for it.

Sarah Palin

America ,a great country ,but also a sick country.It should first cure its illness before trying to cure the world.

Stuart Haugen : that's exactly where the problem is

Rational human beings don't believe in those things. They belong to folklore.
Because what we are dealing here with is not sound spirituality but obscurantism. It's the Middle-Ages.

the Founding Fathers of both our countries were against these beliefs and practices. They might have the right to express themselves in the name of freedom of expression and religion as long they don't harm others. But it's another thing when people that DO believe in Armageddon and a completely unbiblical story like "The Rapture" are attaining such positions that they could start a nuclear holocaust, just to prove they were right.

Besides, if Palin had been Wiccan or Atheist she'd never been offered the job. So don't tell us it's a "private" matter. Religion is private in France but not in the US where it is a MAJOR poltical factor. She was offered the job to appeal to certain groups. Obviously the Republicans are not aware of the ultimate consequences of their choice. Or are they ?

You're qualified to saywhat "rational human beings" believe?

First, I don't know where you are possibly coming from to presume to be the judge of what rational human beings believe? Come on now, that's way beyond arrogant... in fact, it is almost, dare I say it, "god like". Stop it...

I defy you to prove, on any issue, that Sarah Palin's personal religious views have negatively (on any realistic standard you can find) impacted her governance role or that she has ever attempted to impose her views on other people.

By the way, what is this garbage about starting a nuclear holocaust? If there is any candidate in this race who is prone to triggering holocaust, it just might be Barack Obama who wants to sit down with Ahmadinejad and "explain" the fallacy of his vision of "wiping Israel off the map" (paraphrased, probably, as I did not bother checking the exact quote). And, under an Obama presidency, he would likely have the weaponry to achieve that objective.

I find you incredibly self-righteous, almost "god like" in your tonality... Give it up, you are no more qualified to do that than I am...

Normal in Wassila

A human being growing up in the heartland of America (a polite word for nowhere and Kansas), suffering the destitution of American education, the violence of American socialization, the un-redemptive power of American culture is lucky if this version of voodoo pseudo-christianity is enough to keep the insane chaotic vortex of this bleak society functional on a purely personal and desperate level.

What else could you possibly expect?

But you should still be very afraid.
Sous les pavés, la plage !