The efforts by the news media to alert readers/viewers to dangers incursions of faith into political life have reached a new high in this election cycle In other words, things have become ridiculous.
Last week the Associated Press ran a lengthy article on the “questionable” appearances of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin before “at least 10” religious events and organizations. In other words, because she is the governor of a very large state and gets invited to talk before lots of association meetings, she has talked in front of numerous crowds that were gatherings of (egad!!!) people of religious faith.
In four pages of quotes and analysis, the AP couldn’t find anything illegal about the appearances, which, like most things a governor does in her official capacity, goes on the state expense account. The AP did manage to find a couple whining anti-religious types to express their “concern.” One noted that the governor speaking at a religious gathering “would raise questions.”
Frankly, it would raise questions in my mind. Did they serve chicken or roast beef for dinner? Did she bring her family? Did she give an inspiring speech?
It would not raise questions in my mind of whether it was appropriate. You see, contrary to what the Associated Press may have found in decades of covering the news, governors give speeches to all sorts of groups all the time. They throw out first pitches at baseball games, march in parades, drop in at high-school football games and orate before the Elks, Jaycees, Kiwanis, Daughters of the American Revolution, League of Woman Voters, AFL-CIO, National Press Club and anyone else who will listen.
There isn’t any evidence that as part of any of her appearances the governor tried to make a case for a particular religion being declared the state religion of Alaska, as in, “from this day forward be it known that all residents of our great state are declared to be Presbyterians.” You see, that is what separation of church and state is intended to prevent.
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