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"
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."