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Chip Berlet and Esther Kaplan for In These Times detail Sarah Palin‘s application of religion to politics, and provide a run-down of Palin’s public statements that hint at the role God’s will has played in her rise to power. Berlet and Kaplan run down one well-known incident:

she has come close to attributing her election as governor to divine intervention, thanking a visiting pastor, Thomas Muthee of Kenya, for her win. “He just prayed for it,” she recalled earlier this year. “He said, ‘Lord make a way and let her do this next step.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”

… Before highlighting a more troubling one:

Palin also spoke about efforts to build a $30 billion gas pipeline, saying, “God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built. So pray for that.” None of this would matter, she added, “If the people of Alaska’s heart is not good with God.”

The piece is a worthwhile read, but it’s telling that Palin’s religious machinations aren’t entirely surprising. At the end of the piece, Barlet and Kaplan ask, “Does Palin support the most theocratic statements of pastors and visitors in the churches she’s attended? How will her lifetime of worship under the guidance of these pastors affect her approach to foreign policy, gay rights, reproductive rights, separation of church and state, science and public health?”

Palin’s justification of her policies as sent from the Heavens is troubling. But as far as the actual policies themselves are concerned, Palin’s religious fervor appears, to me, to be a non-issue. We already know her approach to foreign policy, gay rights, reproductive rights, separation of church and state, science and public health. What does it matter which religious or political school inform these approaches?