If You Disagree with Her Energy Policy, You Are Violating God’s Will

Washington, DC – The Interfaith Alliance criticized Republican vice-presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin for using religion as a divisive tool.  Her religious rhetoric is especially troublesome when combined with her past statements on teaching intelligent design in public schools and her approval of a Christian Heritage Week Proclamation.

The Huffington Post obtained a video of Gov. Palin speaking to the Wasilla Assembly of God, her one time church, on June 8, 2008.  During the speech Gov. Palin stated that it is God’s will to build a natural gas pipeline across Alaska.  She also stated American soldiers have been sent to Iraq “on a task that is from God.”  Finally, she said that she is working hard to build new roads and schools for her state, but that her work in government may be irrelevant without religion.  “I can do my job…but really all of that stuff doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s heart [sic] isn’t right with God,” she told the church audience.

“This is the same kind of divisive theocratic rhetoric that President Bush has employed for eight years,” said Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Welton Gaddy.  “Governor Palin is suggesting that people of faith must agree with her energy policy or they risk incurring God’s wrath.  Good and faithful people hold differing points of view in this the most religiously diverse nation in the world.”

The Huffington Post also chronicled controversial sermons that have been preached by the pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God, Rev. Ed Kalnins.  According to the story, critics of President Bush will be banished to hell, and supporters of Senator John Kerry may not be able to get into heaven.  Federal tax law prohibits religious leaders from making partisan endorsements from the pulpit.

“Politically-partisan sermons not only invite IRS investigations, they erode the vitality of our democracy and they confuse people regarding the nature and purpose of true religion,” said Rev. Gaddy. 

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.