I was just visiting a friend’s page over on multiply, and one of her commenters mentioned that Sarah Palin wanted to ban books from the Wasilla Public Library. Book banning?! Okay, that’s something I’m really not okay with, so I posted a question as to which books were banned or asked to be banned. But I couldn’t wait for an answer–book banning? Gah!! The horror–so I did a bit of googling. Only to learn that Palin was asking the question of the librarian for some reason (that part’s not clear, “rhetoric” or a “test,” whatever), but that she never asked that any specific titles be banned nor did she mention any at the time of the questioning. Sigh of relief on that count. But what a curious story indeed! Which books, wondered I, would anyone believe someone would want banned in this day and age? Sure enough, there’s a whole manufactured list of books that she supposedly wanted banned in 1996 (I mention the year because some of the books on this list hadn’t even been published yet; the Harry Potter series is on there, and the first of those wasn’t published until 1997).
In my rambles around the internet in search of some information about this book burning deal, I found some other extraordinary claims about Palin that I was uncomfortable with. One is that she wants creationism taught in public schools. Hearing that, I was a bit nonplussed because as I’ve stated in a previous blog, I think that both creationism and evolution should be taught, not just one, not just the other; give people information, let them make up their own minds, don’t force feed one set of principles down anyone’s throat (says I). Again, though, it turns out that the rumor mill is grinding over time because what Palin said was that creationism should be taught alongside evolution. That last little bit got cut off in some mysterious way. Creationism alongside evolution? Well, that’s okay. At least with me.
A related bit of “news” I heard on television last night was that Palin goes to a church where they talk in tongues and do some rapture thing. Not sure what that’s all about, but it doesn’t sound good; sounds kind of scary and fundamentalist, makes people antsy (myself included), but as it turns out (surprise, surprise), that’s not true, either. At least not anymore. She (unlike someone we’ve all heard of) had the good sense to leave that church several years ago and now identifies (as do I) as a non-denominational Christian. I’m not sure what that means to her, but I’m okay with her praying and asking God for help and guidance, and I’m okay with her leading with a “servant’s heart” (a phrase that strikes terror in the hearts of some, it would seem).
The last bit of ick I found (and yes, I’d heard about this one on the news and dismissed it as irrelevant) was the rumor that Palin’s youngest son is actually her eldest daughter’s son. Well, that did happen, of course, and may still, that one’s mother or aunt would raise a teen’s child as their own to spare the teen. However, if so, how can the daughter now be five months pregnant with yet another kid? Is that biologically possible? Besides, sadly, women over 40 are far more likely to have a child with Down syndrome than a teenager.
There’s a lot of gabble about how Palin is against birth control, but that must be rooted in the fact that she has five kids and didn’t abort her son when she found out he had Down syndrome because I couldn’t find anything to suggest that she is opposed to the use of birth control–although born as a Catholic, Palin left that church long long ago, and presumably its mandates against birth control. In fact, quite the opposite, The Anchorage Daily News reported in 2006 that she is “pro-contraception.” She is against abortion except in the case of endangering the mother’s life, and she is a member of Feminists For Life, some “pro-woman” and anti-abortion group who seeks to help (some say force) women and teens to have babies that are unplanned. I skipped around the site with my eagle eye peeled for a “Down with Roe v. Wade” or “Overturn the Baby Killing Bill” petition but came up empty handed, seems they want to (narrowly) educate women about pregnancy and give them diapers.
And all that blather about Palin being against sex education seems to be just as untrue; she wants abstinence taught alongside it (much like creationism alongside evolution), and abstinence is big these days. All the kids are doing it. Or not, I guess. And that’s not a bad thing (despite what insane Brits may screech on MTV about promise rings).
Finally, and for the record, Palin does not believe global warming is caused exclusively by human factors, nor is she convinced that humans can stop it. But she does not think that global warming is a “fantasy”; we all know it’s happening. At issue, for me, too, is how culpable we are and how much we can really do to stop it. But I’ve said this time and again, haven’t I? Sorry. I will repeat, though, because it’s fun, that I am all for saving the environment and finding alternative fuel sources. That just makes sense, whether the earth is in mortal peril or not.
It seems that people really love Sarah Palin or they really hate her, and that’s okay. But if you fall in the latter category, please, at the very least, hate her for the “right” (or left) reason/s.