The media has scrambled to learn more are Sarah Palin’s faith. Among those publishing articles: Harpers and BeliefNet.
BeliefNet today posted a God-O-Meter Q&A with her biographer. Some extracts:
Sarah Palin was baptized as a Catholic but became active in the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church while still young. How did she go from one tradition to the other?
It was through her mother, Sally. Sarah was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church. And her mom discovered a more meaningful experience at an Assemblies of God Church in Wasilla, where Pastor Paul Riley had really formed a community. And Sally enrolled her kids in church camps and Bible school. This was when Sarah was about 12. She asked to be re-baptized. The whole family was baptized at the same time, at a lake right here in Wasilla called Beaver Lake. I don’t know that her father was baptized–it was a mom and the kids. It was a milestone that Sarah never really forgot. She knew she claimed a moral compass that would stay with her.
Was that pastor–Pastor Riley–a major influence in her life? Can you talk about him?
Pastor Riley and his wife became lifelong family friends to Sarah because she grew up in that church. Now he is retired and serves as a chaplain in jails. They are known for taking people in, including–sometimes–prisoners that Pastor Riley ministers to. He was at Wasilla Assemblies of God for 44 years.
Read it all.
Since becoming governor in 2006, Palin has attended the Juneau Christian Center, where Mike Rose serves as senior pastor. Her previous pastor was David Pepper of the Church on the Rock in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla — a church that “was kind of a foundation for her.”
Of the two, Rose is certainly the more politically active, both locally and in the broader evangelical community (with ties to Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, for example). Pepper, it should be noted, is outspoken on slavery, racism, and the massacres of Native Americans, all of which he terms “sins” that still cast a long shadow on minority communities.
Sebastian Jones found links to many sermons by Rose and by Pepper. The excerpts below come from his review.
Read it all.