Gov. Sarah Palin, Antichrist

The punch line rocketed around the World Wide Web, inspiring smiles in pews friendly to Sen. Barack Obama.

The Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners saw a campaign button based on this one liner and, on the “Interfaith Voices” public radio show, said it was a fine response to Gov. Sarah Palin’s jab at the work of “community organizers.”

Donna Brazile — who ran Al Gore’s 2000 White House campaign — saw the same gag and, on CNN, quickly linked it to the Bible’s message that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

But this cyberspace joke finally made the crucial jump to YouTube when U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen took to the House floor to remind conservatives “Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus. … Pontius Pilate was a governor.”

Cohen later emphasized that, “I didn’t and I wouldn’t compare anyone to Jesus. … What I pointed out was that Jesus was a force of change.” But the apology came too late to douse the fiery rhetoric raging on talk radio and weblogs.

In particular, the soundbite used by Cohen and others captured the rising tide of religious tensions in this White House race. This conflict has been heightened by the powerful role played by religious liberals in Obama’s groundbreaking outreach efforts in a wide variety of sanctuaries.

Obama is, after all, an articulate, proud member of the denomination — the United Church of Christ — that has in recent decades boldly pushed mainline Protestant to the doctrinal left on issues such as gay rights, abortion and the tolerance of other world religions. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, is an outspoken American Catholic whose progressive views have often placed him in dangerous territory between his political party and the Vatican.

Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, used to be an Episcopalian married to a beer-empire heiress, the very model of a mainline Protestant gentleman from the 1950s. Then he started visiting Southern Baptist pews while mending fences on the religious right. Finally, McCain shuffled the 2008 deck by naming Palin — an enthusiastic evangelical mother of five children — as his running mate.

This move rocked the pews on both sides of the sanctuary aisle, but Palin’s ascension has caused an unusual degree of shock, anger, dismay and distain on the secular and religious left.

The political weblog Instapundit summed up the mood on the cultural left with this headline: “She’s the freakin’ Antichrist, I tell you!”

For author Deepak Chopra, a superstar in the spirituality marketplace, Palin is, quite literally, the anti-Obama. She is a living symbol of all that is wrong with small-town, parochial, ignorant, reactionary Middle America, especially with her “family values” code language that opposes expanding doctrines of civil rights.

“She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses,” he argued, at The Huffington Post. “In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of ‘the other.’ ”

Obama, however, is “calling for us to reach for our higher selves,” said Chopra.

The ultimate irony is the GOP’s assumption that Palin will appeal to women just because “she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies,” argued religious historian Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago’s Divinity School

“Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman,” she wrote, in an “On Faith” essay for the Washington Post. “She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.”

But can anyone, in the current political atmosphere, top the Palin as Pontius Pilate smack down? University of Michigan historian Juan Cole, a specialist in Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs, offered Salon.com his best shot.

When it comes to faith and politics, he said, the values of McCain’s “handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts.

“What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.”

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Martin

    I hope I’m not the only one that one, disagrees with the underlying advocacy of the Obama’s view of Christianity, “Obama is, after all, an articulate, proud member of the denomination — the United Church of Christ — that has in recent decades boldly pushed mainline Protestant to the doctrinal left on issues such as gay rights, abortion and the tolerance of other world religions”, but more importantly disagrees with CE’s publishing of the article. It doesn’t belong here; I get enough of this through the Washington Post and New York Times!

  • elkabrikir

    The author presupposes that any faithful Catholic knows that no Christian could possibly be “proud” of supporting day rights, abortion, etc…..

    The author pointed out Obama’s position. Martin, you correctly evaluated Obama’a positions as inconsistent with Christianity. The author highlights Obama’s connection with “religious liberals” and connects him with Deepak Chopra.

    This article does not present a positive picture of a friend of Christ. Forget Pontius Pilate, indeed, the true Judas here is Obama who is selling His supposed beloved for millions of—other people’s— dollars and the presidency.

  • Cindi

    Palin is a VP candidate who has qualities and postions, which are supportive of the Catholic faith values. Mattingly is no Christian and no humorist when he compares Palin in terms of muslim fundamentalist. Obama is publically supported by muslim fundamentalist groups like Hamas, Qaddaffi, and Farrakahn supporters, and slipped saying ‘my muslim faith’ and has recited the muslim profession of faith in Arabic. What Christian principles has he exemplified when his failed projects to help the poor end-up with those he supported to win the projects indicated, when he campaigns inciting race-based hatred, when he doesn’t support medical intervention to save the youngest living human, when he says he should have tried to halt discussions on Teri Shiavo’s rights, when he deliberately misrepresents his opponents positions during the campaign – he is far from Christian in his attitudes! Palin has governed citizens in Alaska from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, and she has over 80% approval rating. McCain/Palin is a ticket that will bring the reforms we need to Washington.

  • mkochan

    Terry Mattingly is a journalist. He is reporting what others say and do; he is not giving his own opinion, although he is a conservative (Orthodox) Christian. The person who made the comments about Sarah Palin and Muslims was Juan Cole on Salon.com — that is who is being quoted.

    The article was not written to describe Sarah Palin; it was written to inform us of what those who oppose her are up to — how low they are sinking, if you will.

  • christymomof3

    Cindi, Mattingly’s punctuation is messed up, but he is not comparing Palin to muslim fundamentalists. He is quoting UMich historian Juan Cole. Mattingly’s purpose is to reveal the hysteria of the left, who think they can criticize Palin in religious verbiage and make it stick.

  • CherylDickow

    It cannot be a coincidence that this election year is also the significant anniversary years of Humanae Vitae and Mulieris Dignitatem. God’s timing is such that we are now given a second chance to see many new-agers in their real “light” and have a God-given chance to vote as Catholics. Yes, God’s providential timing of the anniversary of these documents corresponding to this election is blessed indeed!

  • Martin

    mkochan says:
    “Terry Mattingly is a journalist. He is reporting what others say and do; he is not giving his own opinion,”

    I’m afraid I must disagree with that conclusion. Please look at his choices of words when describing Obama:
    “Obama’s groundbreaking outreach…”
    “Obama is, after all, an articulate, proud member of the denomination…”
    “…boldly pushed…”

    Then look at his words choices with McCain, “Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, used to be an Episcopalian married to a beer-empire heiress…”

    Add to that his challenge to the readers to be even more negative toward Palin, “But can anyone, in the current political atmosphere, top the Palin as Pontius Pilate smack down?” But then he does that himself when he quotes Cole.

    This is an editorial, not journalism. There’s no counter-balance to the story for readers to draw their own conclusions. I have three children who will be voting in this election (for two, it’s a first) and it is all that I can do to provide “the rest of the story” to what they see and hear in the mainstream story. I am disappointed that this was published in CE.

    In my opinion, Mattingly is clearly expressing a view.

  • rakeys

    Mkochan
    It would have been nice for Mattingly to say, like you said, “The article was not written to describe Sarah Palin; it was written to inform us of what those who oppose her are up to — how low they are sinking, if you will.” To just end with the lipstick comment leaves us hanging.
    Most readers of Catholic Exchange will see that this is a totaly ridiculous comparison, but amazingly, most Democrats and liberals will just see it as just one more reason to vote for Obama.

  • gk

    The Anti-Christ!

    Wow. Imagine my mom being the Anti0Christ. She had 10 children and I am the 10th.

  • mkochan

    No, his puncuation is not messed up. See my inserted notes.

    But can anyone, in the current political atmosphere, top the Palin as Pontius Pilate smack down? University of Michigan historian Juan Cole, a specialist in Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs, offered Salon.com his best shot.

    When it comes to faith and politics, he [this pronoun refers back to Juan Cole] said, the values of McCain’s [now the direct quotation of Cole begins] “handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. [note that the quotation is not closed here, meaning that it continues in the following paragraph]

    [Since this is part of a previously begun quotation, this paragraph properly begins with a quotation mark, which, because there is no closing quote in the previous paragraph, should signal the reader that the quotation is here continuing] “What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.” [the quotation closes]

  • Bruce Roeder

    Folks, read what is on the screen, not what you want to react to on the screen.

    Terry Mattingly is a syndicated columnist, not someone who wrote this piece only for CE. He is showing the depth of the reaction of the left to Gov. Palin, not advocating the positions of the left. His frequent pieces on Scripps Howard, some of which have appeared on CE, make clear that he has an orthodox Christian worldview.

    The position of “community organizer” was coined, I believe, by a self-described Marxist named Saul Alinsky, in an article called “Rules for Radicals” and is far from being a local volunteer to actually get things done. It’s more of a pot-stirrer position to keep things unsettled.

    And, of course, Pontius Pilate was not a governor, he was the Roman Prefect for the province of Judea. No democratically held elections, no co-equal branches of government, no comparison to a US governor.

    And, of course again, Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world and our Hope for all mankind, not a community organizer. By the measures of political effectiveness of the time, His public ministry was more of a disorganizing influence to the community leaders.

  • http://www.gonzagawitness.com/ NovusOrdoSeclorum

    Does Martin think that Mattingly is anti-Palin? I never got that impression from the article. I am pretty sure that CE would never publish an article that favored the abortion-lovers.

  • SolaGratia

    The point I got from this article was that Gov. Palin is the current hate target of the left wing shock troops who hate authentic Christianity. What kills me is the suggestion that she does not represent women when she is more like the women I know than the testosterone-driven feminazis of the left. What they’re really saying is that the majority of women in this country are the aberration & they are the norm…

  • gk

    In summation:

    Barack = Jesus = Community Organizer.

    Sarah Palin = Hamas = Pontius Pilate = Muslim Fundamentalists = any Govener = Saudi Arabia = Antichrist = Women who have more than 3 babies = Women who choose to have a Down Syndrome baby = suspicion of ‘the other’.

    How can anyone not expect this from the media. I like Palin. I like her more than McCain.

  • Cindi

    I have to agree with Martin’s post. Mattingly expressly writes with a one-sided view and uses ‘negative subliminal stereotypes’ to describe McCain/Palin, while highlighting the DNC candidate in ‘positive’ terms. This is editorial, not journalism. It is unfortunate that a writer who identifes themselves as ‘christian’ would write such derogatory inflammatory remarks to proliferate and play on fears of the unknown. Either Mattingly is writing what he think will sell, and has abandoned his own christian values, or he is just another male who fears females in leadership positions. This article goes beyond mere journalism crossing the line into indecency and untruths.

  • elkabrikir

    A woman is a feminist to the extent that she lives out the “feminine genius”. A man is a feminist when he supports women in that role.

    Feminists for Life ( http://www.feministsforlife.org/) are feminists in the prototype of Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sarah Palin is true feminist because she celebrates the JPII coined “feminine genius”. The others are anti feminists and, indeed, anti male, for humanity cannot have male without female or female without male.

    God created us in His image “male and female He created them”.

    It is a horribly sad reality that so many people have become alienated from their very selves. Self described “homosexuals” and self sterilized (chemically or surgically) women and men, exemplify this.

    Theology of the Body speaks to the error of disembodied souls and its partner soul-less bodies.

    Satan was the angel who would not submit to God’s will with his “fiat” and was cast out of Heaven.

    Christ was fully human. The antichrist is the one who rejects his/her humanity and must live a bitter, angry existence which is full of vitriol and jealousy of the one who has it all because she IS—Woman.

  • Sue Scofield

    The last I knew, Terry Mattingly was an Episcopalian and what I would call a pseudointellectual. I’ve never understood why Catholic Exchange uses his stuff. Sometimes it’s o.k., but, like the current piece, sometimes it’s just downright dreadfull. I wish you would drop him. He’s an embarrassment and your using him gives him a credibility he doesn’t deserve.

  • http://www.gonzagawitness.com/ NovusOrdoSeclorum

    Cindi, you are confusing the views of the people who are quoted by Mattingly with Mattingly’s own views. Mattingly is not a traitor.

  • SolaGratia

    Okay, I just re-read the article trying very hard to see what people are accusing Mattingly of & I just don’t see it. It is very obvious that he is simply relating leftist extremist views of Gov. Palin to his readers – not his own views. I also disagree that he is a bad writer – I have enjoyed many of his articles here. I have to wonder if some of these new names in the comments are “snipers”…

  • Martin

    I’m a “new name” and long time reader of CE, I don’t typically comment but felt compelled with this article.

    Taken as a stand alone presentation, Mattingly’s message in this article, be they his views or not, is anti-Palin and pro-Obama. His choice of adjectives and quotations are quite clear and he does not overtly provide any alternative objective,introduction or summation. If Mr Mattingly was trying to convey any other message, for this reader, he failed — maybe it’s just me. With that said, the reason I was compelled to make my initial comment was CE’s use of the article in the first place. Here’s why –

    Unfortunately, a large portion of our voting population listens to the information given to them and does not investigate all that’s available to them. Mainstream media thrives on this and political campaigns exploit it. There is no doubt in my mind that more than one conversation will occur with an anti-McCain/Palin person stating, “Did you know people, Catholics, think Palin is the anti-Christ? Yea, look at this article in Catholic Exchange!”

    Now those regularly reading CE would immediately discard such a statement, but to the many who just take away sound-bites as the foundation for their education, the statement takes on credibility because CE published it. They will not read between the lines. I work is Washington DC and see this type of validation occur daily. It becomes CE’s article, not Mattingly’s and it will be taken in isolation.

  • bkeebler

    This is when we get to see the “real” liberal left in all it’s rank and hatred, in all their true colors. Election time always brings out their authentic mind of hostility and hypocrisy. I have watched this for many elections and it gets worse with each one. This time it has become obscene, violent, evil… the wolf has truly shed his sheep’s clothing and shown his ugly fangs. Can we remember this after the election, when he tries to slink back under the cover of sheepskin and cry baaaaa.

  • SolaGratia

    Actually, Martin, it is pretty clear from the context that Mattingly is saying, “Did you know, Christians, that lefties are out there saying that Palin is the anti-Christ?”

    I do have to agree, though, that Mattingly does fail to make clear the purpose of his article. Perhaps that’s why there is so much misunderstanding going on here?

  • BerenCamlost

    Please remember to look for sarcasm or irony when reading things in the future. None of the views that have been quoted are the actual opinion being espoused, but are supposed to be examples of how absurd the other sides views on this are.

  • vicsta5150

    I am profoundly disappointed with CE.
    I expect better.
    While I do want to know what is being spewed by the powers of darkness, I would appreciate being warned that that is what CE is offering. In the case of the Mattingly piece, not only wasn’t there a warning, it was presented as an offering from someone labeled a Christian who turned out to be a common ordinary political hack.

  • elkabrikir

    I would have liked to have had some discussion on the metaphor that is Sarah Palin.

    Why the vitriol? Why the passion? Why are we having this discussion?

    Let’s get past parsing this article on its style and further a conversation of substance eg Cheryl’s comment.

    Thanks.

  • jmtfh

    Very interesting title to this article since I had just said only days ago that the OTHER presidential candidate seems like an antichrist to me.

    This is how the Devil works, RIGHT?!! He is smooth, inviting and makes evil and sin sound so very attractive. He doesn’t say, “Hey, this baby is going to be a major glitch in your life style, so kill it.” Rather, he would say,”this mass of tissue is a nuisance. And abortion is such a compassionate choice–plus it’s safe, legal and rare.”

  • http://www.gonzagawitness.com/ NovusOrdoSeclorum

    Martin,

    You have a valid point where you say “There is no doubt in my mind that more than one conversation will occur with an anti-McCain/Palin person stating, ‘Did you know people, Catholics, think Palin is the anti-Christ? Yea, look at this article in Catholic Exchange!’” I failed to consider that possibility.

  • Cindi

    “A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs 18:7-8) http://www.gotquestions.org/gossip-Bible.html

    “Sharing Evil talk, even just hearing it, is the beginning of all hatred among people and wars among the nations. I want you to know, every time one person yells at another person, you bring war into the world. And each time a person says words of love to another human being, he brings peace into the world.”- S. Carlebach

  • BerenCamlost

    This article is NOT SAYING THAT PALIN IS THE ANTICHRIST!!!! IT IS MOCKING THAT IDEA!!!

  • BerenCamlost

    If this is not irony then it is the worst article I have ever seen on Catholic Exchange.

  • BerenCamlost

    I agree with Sologratia

  • Cooky642

    After reading the article AND all the comments, I’m still sitting here laughing my head off! Some of the posters, here, have obviously not read Stan Williams’ articles on logic and reason! I don’t always agree with Mr. Mattingly, but after years of reading his articles, I have no doubt of his genuine committment to Christ. BREATHE, folks! He is quoting the Leftist Loonies, here, and what makes it so funny is that EVERYTHING they are accusing Sarah Palin of is true about THEM! I’ve never seen a better example of pointing the finger at someone and having three fingers pointing back at you! And, the Leftist Loonies don’t even see it!

    I LOVED this article because, knowing what they think, I’m better prepared to “skewer them on their own petard” when I hear this stuff being said!

MENU