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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Sarah Palin: theocratic politics « Previous | |Next »
September 7, 2008

Sarah Palin stands for a theocratic politics. Palin has an apocalyptic End Times theological viewpoint. Youu know---Four horsemen. Fire from the skies. The raising of the dead. The return of Christ--- a few of the “signs” and “events” supposed to take place at the end of time.

As an evangelical Christian Palin is engaged in a battle against secular humanism. This holds that evangelicals need to become politically involved to fight the great evil, secular humanism, that is threatening to destroy America.For Palin politics is subject to religious guidance and that guidance is the truth of the Bible:

In the address at the Assembly of God Church here, Ms. Palin’s ease in talking about the intersection of faith and public life was clear. Among other things, she encouraged the group of young church leaders to pray that “God’s will” be done in bringing about the construction of a big pipeline in the state, and suggested her work as governor would be hampered “if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God.”

She also told the group that her eldest child, Track, would soon be deployed by the Army to Iraq, and that 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.”

Her politics is according to God's plan, and God's plan is revealed in the literal words of the Bible, Old and New Testament. She is part of the Dominionist tendency among Protestant Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists that encourages them to not only be active political participants in civic society, but also seek to dominate the political process as part of a mandate from God.

This politicized concept of dominionism is based on the Bible's text in Genesis 1:26:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (King James Version)."Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" (New International Version).

The vast majority of Christians read this text and conclude that God has appointed them stewards and caretakers of Earth. As Sara Diamond explains, however, some Christian read the text and believe, "that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns." That, in a nutshell, is the idea of "dominionism."

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:18 PM | | Comments (22)
Comments

Comments

Just thinking of the ol' Stevie Wonder hit, "Superstition".
Sounds more like shamanism or the folk religions of the seventeenth century verging on witchcraft: the sort of nonsense they've reverted to doing in some mid eastern countries for a bit.
Similar underlying reasons too, one suspects. People unable to come to terms with a changing world; perhaps left behind and exploited by local crypto-landlord classes or those representing offshore vested interests, either way, shoring uup their economic and power bases.
Sort of a reversion to (meta?)Feudalism, a little reminiscint of Rome in the fifth century AD?

Gary/Nan

I have just completed a quick survey and found the word both of you use the most is "conservative." I think it is reasonable to infer that you both think to be "conservative" is the very worst of things. Ergo, you think of yourselves as "radical."

Having read your blog for some time, pray tell what are your credentials for this presumption of "radical" chic? No offence, but y'all strike me as the most anodyne petit-bourgeois Dawkins types.

Quelle horreur sweeties!

Isn't Conservative used at public opinion in a political philosophy sense to distinguish it from a Liberal political philosophy? John Howard, for instance, was more of a conservative in this political sense than a liberal. He was a Burkean conservative on his own admission.

The problem with isms is the differences between theory and practice. Talking about conservatives, or feminists, or any other ists, is different to talking about their associated isms. Conservatism is one thing, too many people who call themselves conservatives are something else altogether. Same goes for other ists cherry picking from isms when it suits.

upon the uses of words such as "conservative", "liberal", or even "radical". it seems when used in a political context they are confused to mean their near opposite...
being a citzen of these united states. i find it difficult to understand the literal meaning put behind any of these statements.

let US keep it simple republicans represent "smaller govt" (also known as limit all the power to one person)democrats represent "larger govt" (also known as get the govt actively involved in every aspect of your(citizen)life.)
so it seems we are left with the choice of "one nation under an elected(?) god" or "the thought police will protect us from ourselves"

this is not a choice.
it is time for a real change...

Lyn,
sure there is a difference between theory and practice, but practices work within particular tradition and we can distinquish between different political traditions. Apples are not pears even though both are fruit.

Those on the Right in Australia--ie those around The Austrtalian are a mixture of political and social conservatism and economic liberalism.

bucky,
those that stand for small government and individual freedom are classical liberals or libertarians whether they are in the US or Australia.

Bringing in god or God as Palin does introduces a different tradition as it signifies an attack on secular humanism which is part of the liberal tradition.

Palin may be a big erotic turn-on among Republican voters, but that is reciprocated by the angst she arouses among others who are in opposition to her values.She divides the world into republicans and democrats. Palin represents the old politics under neath the glossy Hollywood packaging of an action hocky-mum who goes to Washington to sort the boys out. and make America virtuous and powerful again.

"and make America virtuous and powerful again"

I can't see that happening Nan, regardless of who wins. Some Americans may be able to convince themselves that that's the case, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned I think the US has done its dash.

The foreign policy/economic stuff is half of it, but I think the cultural half of it which Palin represents will not go away any time soon. If McCain wins the US will be a global laughing stock. If Obama wins nothing substantial will change.

I am a bit disappointed the Presbyterian wymyn have not gone for the “racist” shtick yet. They usually claim a monopoly on charging OTHERS with racism, never mind their own putrid dismissal of black people - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Noel Pearson, Warren Mundine, Marcia Langton, Sue Gordon, Lois O’Donohue, Galarrwuy Yungupingu - particularly women.

They’ve already given us many hours of belly-laughs with their misogyny, surely their total lack of self-awareness has to be not far behind with charges of “she’s a racist!”

Well Gary and Nan, I'm merely asking for YOUR definition of "conservative."

John,
Sarah Palin is an example of US conservatism--the evangelical Christian strand

While the women on this blog have not been too bad, there is no doubt that western bourgeois white feminists are going to have to take a good long hard look at themselves after November.

Sarah Palin has pierced the whole movement/mindset to the core. If y'all/they don't do some navel-gazing nobody will ever take you/them seriously as legitimate voices of women ever again.


Nan

Well see, once more all you have done is used the word as a form of name-calling for somebody you perceive as your 'Other' and in the process have projected more of your own anxious self-identity onto her than you have understood her, let alone explained what you mean by "conservative."

She strikes me as incredibly fiesty, snappy, and eager for action; quite the opposite of "conservative."

"Those on the Right in Australia--ie those around The Austrtalian are a mixture of political and social conservatism and economic liberalism."

I know it's being picky, but in relation to JG's question wouldn't it be more precise to say 'those who refer to themselves as conservatives', since they're only partial conservatives? Or put the word in inverted commas or something.

Lyn

Well if it is self-identified "conservatives" they mean that would clear things up - at least for me - no end! :)

Lyn,
it is picky. Ever since Edmund Burke--accepted by all as a conservative political philosopher---- the conservative tradition has married the capitalist market to cultural tradition and the authority of the state. it has to be capitalism because feudalism is hopeless as an economic system in generating wealth and they have no time for socialism.

You then have different strands or emphases within that marriage.

John,
Peter was right. Conservative is used here in a political philosophy sense, not as an adjective. And Nan is right--Palin is giving voice to the religious stand of American conservatism that advocates a theocratic politics.

Are you defending the claim that the invasion and war in Iraq was part of God's Plan and that secular humanism represents nihilism? Or are you content free just because Palin represents an object of your masculine desire .

John,
you write that "Sarah Palin has pierced the whole movement/mindset to the core."

Sarah, the new sexy Wonder Woman of the Right, is all about securing the Republican base and capturing the Hillary Clinton Democrats (the old Reagan Democrats). The Palin choice is really about the internal politics of the GOP. She has energized the Republican base.

Palin is a member of a dispensationalist sect, within the Pentecostalist tradition; a "born again" Christian who believes in the Rapture. This latter belief is a theological verity with the dispensationalists, who make up the rank-and-file of the GOP's electoral machine: after the Rapture, when the anointed are raised up to heaven and the rest of us are left on earth, the church will be represented by the Chosen People of God

The majority of Pentecostalists are of the political view that Armageddon must be accelerated, because they are first in line at the Rapture. So they are a de facto constituency of the neo-con War Party.

Peter

All of that might well be true, but it does not change the fact that the western bourgeois white feminist movement has kicked so many own-goals over Palin and have emerged looking very tawdry tatty and er, er, misogynist! They have revolted a lot of people across the world.

John,
what do you expect in the culture wars. Palin's job as a vice President attack dog ( a pitbull with lipstick in her words) is to fire arrows at the liberals. The Republicans have reversed themselves on teen pregnancy overnight (parents were to blame) and then covered up the reversal by saying that Palin was not responsible for the teen pregnancy in her family.

The fact that leaders of the religious right and their shock-jock cheerleaders would have excoriated Michelle Obama if one of the Obama daughters had been old enough to have conceived a child out of wedlock is neither here nor there for them. This is the one-eyed hypocrisy with which the right casually smears the personal lives of its opponents while demanding respect for the privacy and integrity of its own candidates.

And you are defending this hypocrisy. Shame.

the greatest point being that some of US have descovered that capitalism does not work...
growth for growths sake is the idealogy of cancer
this does not have anything to do with democracy as we like to call our govt. unfortunetly capitalism leads inexoribly to facism. as the corperate elite gain political strength, and find ways to twist the constitution to protect there corp. as though it were a person.
the only outcome is a govt. for the corperation by the corperation with liberty and justice for the elite...


gary

classical liberals? well yes

but republicans always represent themselves as being for small govt. and personal freedom then turn round and call themselves conservatives.
i am a libertarian and i believe we (US)have the right to freedom. that we should be free to choose any direction in our lives as long as it does not infringe upon the freedom of others. none of the parties (US) represent this ideal. (unfortunetly including the libertarians)
what about there in your part of the world?
what about anywhere?
something is wrong when we say that we are encoraging the spread of democracy by making sure you can go to a Mcdonalds,or Wal-mart.
can you say corperate imperialism???
is money all that is important in this world?
what about my children?
we humans are not an end, we are a bridge. we must always strive to better ourselves not wallow in some wretched theocracy waiting for an imaginery god to come and save us from ourselves.