Sunday, September 07, 2008


By Their Friends Shall You Know Them

Governor Sarah Palin had the opportunity last winter to appoint a replacement to a Republican state legislator from Wasilla, the city where she was mayor, in place of the incumbent (who's is now serving three and a half years in prison for bribery, conspiracy and attempted extortion). Her choice is instructive:

His replacement is Wes Keller, one of 10 elders in the Wasilla Bible Church and one of three candidates on a short list that was submitted to Palin by state Republicans. Another of the three finalists, Keller said, was also a member of the church.

... He thinks his appointment to the House seat probably had more to do with his own community achievements than his membership in the church.

But his track record so far has pleased the religious right. In the recent legislative session, Keller sponsored a bill to make performing late-term "partial birth abortions" a felony. He also introduced legislation sought by the Alaska Family Council that requires all state-funded public libraries to install filters to protect kids from "inappropriate" material.

Eventually he hopes to see the state mandate that intelligent design be taught alongside evolution, Keller said Friday. He also favors providing public funds to parents seeking private education through some kind of voucher system.

Then there is the pastor of the Wasilla Assembly of God, Palin's former church, which she recently visited to give her now infamous speech where she asked the audience to pray for the construction of an oil pipeline and that "our national leaders ... are sending (U.S. soldiers) out on a task that is from God ... that there is a plan and it's God's plan." The senior pastor of the church, Ed Kalnins:

... has publicly inveighed against Democrats while offering thinly veiled support for President Bush. In a sermon recorded in 2004, Kalnins doubted the chances that John Kerry supporters would ever get into heaven.

"I'm not going to tell you who to vote for," he said. "But if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation -- I'm sorry."

And then there is David Pepper, the senior pastor at Church on the Rock, where the Palins occasionally worship in Wasilla:

"This nation is a Christian nation!" Pepper said last fall in a recorded sermon. "God will not be mocked! I don't care what atheists say! God will not be mocked! ... Judgment Day is coming. Where do you stand?"

Where Americans seem to stand is one step closer to a theocracy.

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