I lived for several years as a Pentecostal, called myself more a “full-gospel” believer. I have no difficulty with the idea that honesty and integrity should be in the white house, but that is not the thrust of any thing I ever learned there. I do have that particular bent of mind that wants to know truth. That is not what you are served in Pentecostal churches. You are served the “Truth” as seen through the eyes of pumped up ministers raising the roof each Sunday morning to “waken” the congregation to Gloooory. As a voice hearer, this path did not help me, as there is little here to ground one into this world. The people of this belief set often become so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.
That’s not what I needed. But, it doesn’t make the Pentecostals devils. They are as human as any other person on the planet. When they “sin” it just seems so much bigger because there is a call to holy living that is part of this path. Pentecostals believe very much in miracles, in the laying on of hands for healing, and in glossolalia, or “speaking in tongues of men and of angels” from 1Corinthians chapters 12 and 13. Pentecostalism is extreme Paulism, and I have already been quite frank about my feelings for that perspective.
My biggest argument with the entire charismatic movement is the idea that anyone who believes differently will burn, not with the flames of the Holy Spirit, but in everlasting damnation. Quite a word picture, that, eh? And a bit contradictory. If God loves us as much as put forth in this perspective, God will make a way back for all souls, not just a few.
But, there is something else you must understand, there is no knowing where Sarah Palin stands with her faith, for the entire concept of a woman running for high office is foreign to most fundamentalists who would not accept a woman as a preacher. Take her as she appears, that she believes God has a plan for all of us as individuals, that she believes God has a plan for this world, i.e. the social problems in the Middle East. That prayer will put that plan into action.
Now, I do not want Sarah Palin in high office. That is a personal preference and has to do with the fact that she is bound to be against any sort of abortion. She may believe in abstinence only as a form of birth control. That is not realistic, even among the children of the Pentecostals themselves, witness Sarah’s daughter. I do not want the fundamentalist perspective running our schools, in any way.
I have no wish for a person from a condemning faith to be in charge of disasters in any way, shape, or form, as most fundies believe that disasters happen for a reason, and someone in that cataclism was disobeying God, so God punished a whole slew of people to get to the one who was disobedient. I quit buying into that perspective a long time ago. God’s reputation is that Hashem would lift out a person of faith from a disaster about to happen rather than destroy good people just to punish one.
The perspective from which Sarah comes is not one that equips a person to lead a melting pot. She is fine as the mayor of a small town, she probably does well leading the people of Alaska, though I wouldn’t be sure of that without looking at her record. But, we must look at the entire nation. Is she adaptable enough to lead a Buddhist from San Fransisco? Or will she think of that person as coming from Gommorah, and therefore be dismissed? I can’t be comfortable with that.