« SWAT Team is brought to fight in St. Paul | Main | Russian protest use pumpkins »

Gov. Palin not clear to public about religious views

The NY Times reported that in an interview this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to “clear up exactly what you believe in� about her religious faith, including her association with Pentecostalism.

Palin responded vaguely, but extensively, about how she counts on God for strength, guidance and wisdom. “My faith has always been pretty personal,� she said. She did not talk in depth about her church affiliation or her beliefs.

Palin’s faith has been in many media reports after two videos taken in her former church surfaced on YouTube and became immediately popular. The first showed a visiting preacher from Kenya praying fervently over Palin in a gravelly voice and asking God to favor her campaign for governor and protect her from “every form of witchcraft.�

The second video was of Palin at an event in June praising the African preacher’s prayer as “awesome� and “very, very powerful.� She is also shown nodding as her former pastor from Wasilla prays above her and says that Alaska is “one of the refuge states in the Last Days,� a piece of prophecy popular in some prayer groups that sees that as the “end times� approach, people will run to Alaska for its open space and natural resources.

Palin declined an interview with the NY Times, and the McCain campaign did not respond to specific questions about her faith. It is difficult to confirm Palin's beliefs as she has not specifically answered questions regarding them.

Palin has had long associations, however, with religious leaders who practice an especially assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as “spiritual warfare.�

Its followers believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and people, and that “spiritual warriors� must “battle� them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement’s obsession on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders’ claims to exalted spiritual authority have bothered some Pentecostal Christians.

Palin gave a graduation speech for a class of young spiritual warriors in June at the Wasilla Assembly of God, the church she grew up in.