Our political Quote of the Day comes from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who now says U.S. law should be Bible based.
Sarah Palin was on the O’Reilly Factor last night talking about the National Day of Prayer, but she went a bit further than her usual party line of calling America a Christian nation. “I think we should keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant,” she said. “They’re quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.”
Thank you Sarah Palin. You have just taught me something they never taught me when I went to Davis Street Elementary School in New Haven, CT, Amity, Jr Highs in Orange and Bethany, CT, Amity High School in Woodbridge, CT, Colgate University in Hamilton New York, and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill.
According to Palin, America is really a Christian nation. Too bad she wasn’t alive to tell that to my grandfather Abraham Ravinsky who used to tell me how wonderful the United States was since it had many religions and did not really “belong” to any one of them and was not defined as being under one religion.
Also, too bad you weren’t around when I was in Madrid, Spain and my conversations with some priests there who also talked about how the United States was a melting pot and really not considered under one religion. Or when my late Muslim friend, Dacca businessman Muni Zaman had the same discussion with me when I stayed with him and his family at his home in Bangaldesh. Or even with a co-blogger on this site who I met when I was a young journalist interning on the Hindustan Times in 1972 in New Delhi and he (a Hindu) was an up and coming Indian journalist– Swaraaj Chauhan.
The fact is more people in the United States are Christians. But the United States is not a Christian nation. And the founding fathers most assuredly did not define it as such.
But facts don’t matter when politicos — trying to rope in certain voters — try to actually redefine a concept that has been taught to literally generations of school kids.
These school kids had names such as Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan, and Joe Lieberman.
In any event, Congress better get cracking. It looks like they’ve messed things up because they need to make sure that laws reflect the Bible.
I mean, politicians in both parties can’t even follow the Ten Commandments.
So can we expect them to follow the Bible to make our laws?
And — this is NOT snark — wasn’t there a case of a country called Afghanistan where some members of a religion insisted that laws be based on a religion’s key political book?
What do Palin’s comments about this suggest in political terms and what does it say about her potential to be a leader?
It’s yet another manifestation of the fact that unlike many politicians she is truly is unable to move beyond her immediate constituency. There is no effort on her part to present herself as a more broadbrush candidate and expand her voter appeal. If anything, many of her comments seem to narrow the part of her constituency and she seems in a perpetual campaign to consolidate voters who already like her.
Perhaps if someone sent her a box of bagels and invited her to a bar mitzvah when she could dance the hora she might start thinking beyond One Nation Under Who My Religion Says Is God.
Or send her a history book.
But I bet that would go unread — like the other history books she held in her hands when she was in school.
OF RELATED INTEREST: Be sure to Marc Ambinder’s take on Palin endorsing Carly Fiorina in the contested Republican Senate primary in California rather than Tea Party conservative Chuck DeVore. He is more charitable in his take on Palin than Andrew Sullivan, or yours truly. And he makes SENSE in his analysis (as usual).
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.