Book Banner, Bible Thumper, Baby Mama: What’s Up With Sarah Palin?

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.


13 thoughts on “Book Banner, Bible Thumper, Baby Mama: What’s Up With Sarah Palin?

  1. Really deep! For me it’s still somewhat safer to trust someone you know what he or she stands for rather than some one who refuses to define his or her stand on issues. Anyway, i’m not taking sides here just speaking on a general note. My prayer is that Americans would make the right choice.

  2. well, that is interesting. but i guess that’s what happens when someone is so new to the national/international scene. no one knows anything so this kind of stuff is more apt to run rampant. doesn’t change my mind, i don’t think. which isn’t to say that i’m all that happy with my other choice. i’m starting to like my one friend’s idea of voting scooby doo. 🙂

  3. Hi Mee!! So good to see you; is your 360 working better now? I had some glitches posting messages, too 😦 And yes, I agree, that it’s safer (and easier) to trust someone you know what he or she stands for, and that’s why Palin is more attractive to me than (oh say) Obama (who’s moving to the middle more each day); the only people in this election we know much about are the Republican presidential candidate and the Democratic vice presidential candidate; shame they can’t run together!

    Hi Kerry, and yes, you’d think this would happen anytime someone new came on the scene, but it didn’t with Obama; no one really looked at him at all. We all just sat in a hypnotized swaying motion while he gave his speeches about “change.” But anyway, I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, but I do think it’s nice to know the truth. And Scooby Doo? lmao; I was thinking about writing in Hillary Clinton (until the RNC, anyway).

  4. As a librarian, I will tell you that books are not often “banned.” People may want them banned, but it is against our profession to do so. All libraries have a collection development policy that guides us in our selection of books. If a book is on our shelf, it meets the criteria that we have set for our collection.

    Often books are challenged. When a citizen has an issue with a book, there is a procedure that is put in place that asks the citizen to document the exact nature of the book’s offense and then appear during an open meeting to discuss the book. This is the point where usually the person with the complaint backs off.

    The other thing we see happen is that people will steal or desecrate books that they find offensive. Never fear…we just buy replacement copies.

    As far as people investigating her background, I find it hard to believe that people are investigating Palin in a way that Obama escaped. McCain’s selection of her was just so out of left field. While I didn’t dislike McCain before his announcement of running mate, I do now. I feel that this was a cheap move that panders to women.

  5. Hey Marianne, and thanks for the information about libraries and book policy; I’m glad to hear that books aren’t (often?) banned. There’s just something so wrong on so many levels with banning books! Hehe, isn’t it funny how things go politically? I think that Obama’s selection of Joe Biden was a total sell-out and showed him (Obama) to be exactly what he claims not to be . . . a through and through politician. Biden’s old-school, long-term Washington, and he voted FOR the war in Iraq (just like Hillary Clinton did). Obama picked him to pander to those folks he calls bitter and who he says cling to their guns and religion, those blue collar workers in the swing states. Never heard Palin say a word against women, and she’s just what McCain is in terms of being a “maverick” and sticking to her own core values/beliefs. Did it factor in that she’s also a woman and he needed that vote? Sure, I can’t imagine that it didn’t, but McCain didn’t sell out in this choice (he may have on other points and issues, but that’s a whole other topic). Anyway, thanks for stopping by; it’s always nice to see you 🙂

  6. Hi Fuzz:

    As I have become older, I have tended to find my stances and along with those, the people that I want to support with my vote. I have a significant amount of respect for Sarah Palin, but she will never have my vote, mainly because we are polar opposites in our political thinking.

    Please, don’t waste my time as an educator and tell me that I have to teach creationism along with evolution. I have experienced too much with the earth and some of the arguments Creationists have touted in places I have worked are laughable.

    I am pro-choice, she is not. I respect that she followed through with a pregnancy despite knowing that it was going to be a Down’s baby. I would have probably done the same thing, but choices must be an option by intelligent people.

    Finally, call me a little shell-shocked by the current administration, but I don’t exactly see positive things for the environment with a McCain/Palin administration. Some of her rhetoric scares me in that regard.

    As I stated before, I partake in the time-honored tradition of “voting for the man, not the party”. I guess as I get older, my allegiances tend to veer towards the dems.

  7. Hehe, you’re no older than I, dear Gregg, but I do know what you are saying about age playing a role here; I won’t this year (as I may have in years past) vote on a single issue (such as abortion). But I respect, as always, anyone’s right to vote their ideology or political beliefs; this post was directed more at those who don’t know the facts about Palin’s stance on an array of topics because there is so much misinformation out there. Oddly, 9/11 changed my political leanings quite significantly (or not so oddly, I suppose, as that was quite an eye opener), and since then, I’ve leaned more conservative in terms of defense, etc. It’s all good, though, you’re left-thinking, she’s not; why on earth would you vote for her? 🙂 So fabulous to see you!

  8. My feelings are that any mixing of religious beliefs in the running of a democratic government is ridiculous. A democracy is made of individuals that elect a central government to keep the daily routine of life organized and equanimitous (is that a word?). When the love for power replaces the power of love and individual responsibilty for ones actions comes to everyday consciousness…then we will have a true democracy. I believe that is what this country was based upon. What the majority perceives as reality is a big act on the stage of the world…built on illlusions, ignorance and irresponsible thinking.

    Hahaha…or something like that. I still think Obama is the best hope for our country. I would just like to know what Caroline’s preference, in her position in the quest to find the best candidate for Obama’s VP, was based upon. Sometimes, it is labor intensive in searching out the facts in the melee of news and media.

    Cheers Fuzzy, so nice to hear from you.

  9. The book banning comment raised my eyebrows too! Completely against it and get completely bent out of shape by parents who want our librarian to pull books off the shelf for a little bit of vulgar language. I even had one threaten to take me to the school board for using the book “Maniac McGee” by Jerry Spinelli for a character saying on the next to the last page “damn white potato”. I stood my ground and said take me on! But I won’t get on that soap box . . .but I am glad you cleared that up for us!! Keep your eagle on on the mattter =)

  10. Hey Starlight, and thanks for comments; I could do a whole blog about religion and our govenment, a book, really . . . starting with our founding fathers, of course, who were a pretty religious group of men and who feared a state run church, not God. Well, I’m sure they feared God, too, but not in the context of their governing. Obama, too, is religious, heck, he sat in that church pew every Sunday for twenty years and speaks often of God. It’s not religion we need to fear but fundamentalism, and I understand that many see Palin as a fundamentalist, but I don’t believe that she is. I’m not really sure who Caroline Kennedy preferred, and much as I feel sorry for her and think she’s had a horrible time of it in terms of her family, her family ties are her only qualification for such a search, that was an odd move on Obama’s part, I thought. And it’s always nice to hear from you Starlight! 🙂

    Omg, Laurie, you can’t imagine how wigged out I was, that’s the sort of thing that would definitely make me rethink my support for Palin, but it wasn’t true, so . . . yay! There’s all this crap out there about her (and about Obama, like that he’s Muslim or a terrorist sympathizer because his middle name is Hussein, silly silly stuff) that’s just crap. Dunno where people come up with this stuff or why anyone would believe it without checking it out first. I really wish people would chill out on trying to control what people see and hear, especially in books; that’s not to say that I think it should be a four-letter free for all on television (though it kind of is these days, there are supposed to be people checking these before air) or that movies should be banned for too much violence (the rating system is just fine), I don’t, but book banning just pushes my buttons.

  11. Fuzzy: As for Obama making reference to God for blessings, I feel sometimes people need to make such references to please the public, but I feel he is intelligent enough to separate his ability to lead and protect our freedoms on behalf of the people’s needs, economic stability and fairness.

    As for Caroline Kennedy, upon more in-depth research as to her career and personal views and political bent, you may find an outstandingly effective and powerful individual.

    I don’t fear people’s personal beliefs that satifies personal search for truth, the Source. What I fear is that people are not willing to accept the personal responsibility for their actions and remand consequences to some ethereal abstract force.

    As for Palin, I am revulsed by the proliferation of showing images of a rifle shooting, pistol packing woman and vice presidential candidate. There are not even such images of male candidates, except for Cheney’s incompetent and dangerous bungling of a simple hunt for sport.

    I feel that reference to a higher Source can be a good thing, but perhaps in a way that encompasses compassionately everyone’s personal beliefs in the spirit of mutual and inextricable connection we have with each other, the earth, nature and the scientific knowledge that energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes in shape.

    Thanks again, Fuzzy, for your provoking blogs and open-mindedness to discussion. Ain’t the internet grand! It is such an education and extraordinary venue for connecting with others…has opened up a whole new world.

  12. Heyas Starlight, you can’t mean to imply that Obama is paying lipservice to the polls that suggest that the majority of Americans aren’t interested in a politics devoid of God?

    As to Caroline Kennedy, I’m sure she’s very accomplished, and should she ever run for public office (in terms that I would be expected to vote for her), I will surely research her, as I do all public figures before I head for the voting booth.

    I’m not entirely sure where you’re going with the personal beliefs . . . not accepting personal responsibility, but if you mean to say that you think Palin will screw up and blame God . . .well, no, that can’t possibly be what you mean.

    See? THIS is just the sort of thing that I’ve been dying for someone to say: you can’t stand that Palin hunts and there are pics of her with her guns, etc. THIS makes sense to me; I’m not loving that either, to be honest. But it’s the first “real” reason I’ve heard to dislike her, one that was actually true, anyway. I have to say, though, that simple hunts for sport are far more repulsive to ME than hunting for and then actually using the meat of the animal killed; I hear Palin’s mom has a great recipe for moose chili. Ick, but at least they eat what they kill–not that I know for a fact that Cheney doesn’t eat those creatures he intends to shoot, he may well do, am just going by what you’ve said, and I’m sure you’ve done your homework.

    I think that people should be left to believe in God (or a Source or whatever) in whatever way works for them. Unless they’re using radical fundamentalism as a means of destroying another, as say, al Queda has been known to do. Short of driving a jet into a building, I don’t much mind if someone believes in God (or a Source or whatever) with compassion and the spirit of mutual and inextricable . . . . Frankly, some people DON’T believe as I do or as you do, and I think that’s fine. If this is all still linked to Palin, I’m not sure she’s said much about her spirituality, do you know that she has no compassion or that she has no sense of being “inextricably connected” to everyone, the earth, nature, and scientific knowledge? Hell, I’m not sure I’m that fabulous!

    And you are very welcome, Starlight, I’m not sure I follow all your turns or make the right connections between your thoughts, but it’s fun to try! Keep it coming 🙂

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