When running on the 2008 GOP presidential ticket, Alaska’s Sarah Palin encountered widespread mockery and criticism for claiming that her foreign affairs experience was partially based on her ability to “see” Russia from her front porch.
Now Palin appears to be using the Bible’s book of Revelation to back up her world views.
“Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in an exclusive interview airing at 1 p.m. Tuesday on Newsmax.com, discusses her staunch opposition to President Barack Obama’s healthcare plans and socialistic policies, and reveals new details about a possible presidential run in 2012,” David A. Patten writes for NewsMax. “She also warns that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons may ‘lead to Armageddon’ — a scenario that could lead to the deaths of millions in a Third World War.”
During the interview, the GOP’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate addressed a wide range of issues, with her most serious comments focusing on national security, specifically the threat that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon.
“We have to realize that, at the end of the day,” Palin warns in the interview, “a nuclear weapon in that country’s hands is not just Israel’s problem or America’s problem — it is the world’s problem. It could lead to an Armageddon. It could lead to that World War III that could decimate so much of this planet.”
Palin’s reference to Armageddon, described in the Bible’s book of Revelation, refers to a final battle between the forces of good and evil over the existence of the state of Israel.
The New York Daily News adds, “Sarah Palin doesn’t see Iran having a nuclear weapon as a mere national security problem, she believes it could lead to an ultimate world battle between good and evil.”
Sean Alfano adds,
Palin’s strong language is a departure from her 2009 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, in which she appeared to confuse Iraq with Iran, when asked how the U.S. could prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons.
In February, she suggested President Obama could help his reelection effort by attacking Iran.
As RAW STORY reported in September of 2008, Palin “has attended a number of different churches over the years, but for most of her adult life, she belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God, which has attracted attention for its unorthodox beliefs and practices.”
CNN’s Jessica Yellin looked into the church’s beliefs and reports that it practices speaking in tongues and also “teaches that Alaska will be a shelter at the end of the world.”
A video produced by the church proclaims with apocalyptic imagery that “God has a destiny for the state of Alaska!” and in another clip someone from the church affirms, “I believe that Alaska’s one of the refuge states.”
Yellin acknowledged that “whether Palin shares these beliefs is unclear” but noted that “during her June visit, she described the Iraq War and a natural gas pipeline she is trying to build as part of God’s plan.”
Palin herself has not spoken publicly about her faith, but one Wasilla parishioner told Yellin that Palin’s years at the Assembly of God had shaped her beliefs, saying, “She has a better idea of what God is wanting her to do and guiding her and leading her.”
Last November, the AtlanticWire’s Max Fisher noted,
Sarah Palin remarked to Barbara Walters last week that she believes “more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.” Pundits are scratching their heads wondering what she meant. Could it have been a subtle “dogwhistle” allusion to a belief held by some evangelical Christians about the apocalypse? A faction of American Christian Zionists support the exodus of all Jews to Israel because they believe it would trigger the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. It may have simply been an awkwardly phrased sentence on Palin’s part, but it gave these bloggers an opportunity to dig into the implications of this belief.
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg “called the executive director of the Pre-Trib Research Center at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Dr. Thomas Ice,” to discuss Palin’s 2009 remark.
The Pre-Trib Center is one of the preeminent evangelical institutions in this country arguing for literal Bible prophecy, and especially for pre-millenial dispensationalism, a complicated belief system that concerns the conditions that must obtain on Earth before Jesus can return (“Pre-Trib” is short for “pre-tribulation.”) One of the more famous conditions, of course, is the ingathering of the Jewish people in Israel. There are hundreds of variations of Protestant prophetic belief, but the Jewish role is generally crucial; very dramatic things will happen to the Jews in these prophetic belief systems, including their conversion to Christianity and their mass death in the battle of Armageddon.
Ice told me he believes this sort of thinking is supported by the facts. “Over forty percent of the world’s Jews now live in Israel. What Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering,” when the Jews all migrate to Israel. “This is a condition for the second regathering, the regathering in belief, when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon, because remember, Satan wants to wipe out the Jews to prevent the Second Coming, but Jesus comes to rescue the beleaguered Jews. We believe that the Jews are going to be converted so that they can call on Jesus to rescue them from Satan.”
“Fifty to sixty million people probably hold these beliefs,” Ice told Goldberg last year.
In addition to Iran, some of the other “highlights of the extended Reagan-Palin interview being aired Tuesday,” according to Newsmax, include the following:
# When Americans elected Barack Obama as president, they expected the economy and jobs to be his top priority. Instead, Palin tells Newsmax, the administration decided, “despite the will of the people being against Obamacare, we’re going to shove this down your throat anyway.”
# Palin talks about being mocked for her warnings about what Obamacare would bring, including so-called “death panels.” She tells Newsmax: “I was about laughed out of town for bringing to light what I called death panels because there’s going to be faceless bureaucrats who will based on cost analysis and some subjective ideas — somebody’s productivity in life — somebody is going to call the shots to whether your loved one will be able to receive healthcare or not: to me, death panels. I call it like I saw it and people didn’t like it.”
# She predicts that President Obama will continue favoring big-government nostrums, and she describes him as “quite naïve” and “stubborn.” In one cryptic reference, she suggests that others may control Obama, stating that whoever “is pulling his strings” will not let the president adopt free-market solutions that would solve the nation’s economic problems.
Clips from the video of Palin interview can be seen at this link.