Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ah, freedom of thought! And Godwin's Law - updated

Because y'all should know about it, if you don't already, here is what Wikipedia says about Godwin's Law:
Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states:

"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the reductio ad Hitlerum form.

The rule does not make any statement whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and wiki talk pages.

I preface this post with such information for the sake of self-awareness because I am using such an inflammatory illustration (so to speak).

From Time online:
Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

St. George, however, points out that Palin couldn't have seen everything through an evangelical lens. She had, he says, notably resisted calls to restrict operating hours for the bars in town. And even if faith did play an unusually large role in her decision-making as mayor, it may have only reflected the continued rise of evangelicism in the valley, a growth that continues to this day.

"We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska," says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship. [emphasis mine]

That first paragraph should make your blood run cold.

The final one gets to me as any mention of a Bible Church makes my blood run cold. I have history.

So, while I cannot say I have conclusive evidence by any means, there seems to be enough material floating about already to suggest that Sarah Palin is something of a theocrat. Which is why the fundagelicals like her and I find her simply terrifying.

The real issue, however, needs to be McCain's judgment and decision-making style. He is a gambler, someone who acts on impulse, and - given his famous temper - very short on self-control. America and the world really don't need someone like that heading up the United States.

Think some free thoughts today while you still can.

h/t to my friend Kathy who e-mailed me the paragraph about banning books and to Plutonium Page at Daily Kos who posted about this.

Prior to affiliating with the Bible Church, Palin attended the Wasilla Assembly of God where Ed Kalnins is the senior pastor.
The church runs a number of ministries providing help to poor neighborhoods, care for children in need, and general community services. But Pastor Kalnins has also preached that critics of President Bush will be banished to hell; questioned whether people who voted for Sen. John Kerry in 2004 would be accepted to heaven; charged that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and war in Iraq were part of a war "contending for your faith;" and said that Jesus "operated from that position of war mode."
[Emphasis mine]

Your blood running cold on that one yet?

That and more may be found in an article by Nico Pitney and Sam Stein at Huffington Post. H/t to John Aravosis at Americablog for that alert and link.
--the BB

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