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Malia Litman Headshot

Sarah Palin's Unalienable (sic) Rights Come From God

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Few of us think that we have an inside connection to God. Yet even those who lack a personal connection to the Almighty know about the Ten Commandments. Any child who has attended a religious school knows that one of the Ten Commandments prohibits the misuse of the Lord's name. To be exact, the Commandment is: "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name." On repeated occasions Palin has misused the Lord's name. It seems that any time Palin does something stupid, she calls upon her religion to explain and/or justify the incident.

For example, when giving a speech and interview at the Tea Party Convention, she wrote on her hand to remind herself of three simple words, and even then she made an error and had to cross out one of the original three. Palin then justified her foolishness by comparing herself to God, suggesting that if it was good enough for God, it was good enough for her. She has said in a religious service that the war in Iraq was "God's plan." At the time she accepted the nomination for the Vice Presidency she was totally ill-prepared, lacked sufficient education, and was totally ignorant of world affairs. It was not the right time for her family, considering her teenage daughter was unwed and pregnant and she had given birth to a special needs child just months before. Palin also knew that from a political standpoint, the timing was not ideal, as she was under investigation in the Troopergate matter. Yet she was totally comfortable with the nomination, failing to accept any responsibility for accepting the nomination by suggesting that it was part of "God's plan."

Most amazingly is Sarah's total lack of respect for the intellect of the American people. She told us in an interview, "I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words," yet in her own book, Going Rogue, she writes a letter to herself in God' voice, and reprinted the letter in her book. Thus, even though she "would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words," Sarah wrote a letter to herself as if she knew exactly God's words, and made the note available in her national best seller, Going Rogue (185-187). At least 16 times in this letter she uses the pronoun "I" making reference to God, indicating that she knew exactly what was God's will and suggesting by this letter that she not only knew God's words but was willing to record them for millions to see.

This letter, and Sarah's continuous invocation of God's name as an excuse, is an indication that Palin is unwilling or unable to take responsibility for her own actions. Many Americans, men and women, knowing of the risks of having a baby when over the age of 40, undertake to have a surgical procedure to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Even if people might be opposed to surgical intervention, they still take responsibility to use birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Not Sarah Palin.

In Missouri, Sarah Palin once again demonstrated her confusion between free will and God's plan. She stated in that speech, "the Constitution, our dear Constitution, did not give us our rights. Our rights came from God and they are inalienable rights. The Constitution created the government to protect our God-given and unalienable (sic) rights."

It is with utter disbelief that we contemplate what Sarah Palin said in Missouri. It is ludicrous for any celebrity or politician, or even a news reporter for Fox News, to suggest that our "rights" were not the result of the multitude of lives lost in the American Revolutionary War. Those soldiers did not wait for God to send down the Constitution from Heaven, but took responsibility for their future. When a tsunami is approaching your home, it is not acceptable to simply say that God's plan is to save you, and not evacuate. It may be God's plan when a tornado comes to your town in Oklahoma, but it is not God's plan that you sit on the front porch and watch it approach. When we went to war in Iraq, it was not the result of God's plan but due to the misguided plan of someone who occupied an office in the White House. When the catastrophe occurred in the Gulf it was not God's plan, but the result of something man did, or failed to do.

Each of us must take responsibility for our own actions. Sarah Palin is responsible for what she says and does. Sarah Palin has repeatedly failed to take responsibility for action or inaction. Sarah knew that the small town of Wasilla did not own the property where she wanted to build the hockey center. She failed to act responsibly, and failed to even attempt to secure title before she initiated construction. She asked the town to take a "leap of faith" (Benet 120). That blind leap didn't cause the Wasilla residents to be any closer to God, but rather plunged them further into debt. Constructing the hockey center on property the city did not own cost the tax payers of Wasilla an additional expense over and above the construction cost of the hockey center of more than $1 million (120-121). When Sarah "probably knew" that Levi and Bristol were having sex in the room they occupied together, in Sarah's house, Sarah failed to help Bristol obtain birth control. Her pregnancy was not "God's plan," but the result of no planning. When Sarah boarded a plane in Texas, bound for Alaska, knowing that the flight would last at least 10 hours, knowing that she was eight months pregnant with her fifth child, after her water had broken, and after she knew she was in labor, her act was not one of faith, but of stupidity. If Trig had been born on that plane, and if he had died, would she simply tell us that it was part of God's plan?

Sara Hickman reminded us in her video of the importance of women who have had the courage to rely upon their own actions or deeds, instead of attributing fate to God's will. Sara Hickman reminds us that Sarah Palin pales by comparison to brave women like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, Anne Frank, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Each of these women believed in God, but the God in whom they trusted demanded that they take responsibility for their actions, or inaction. Sarah Palin pales by comparison. Heroes and leaders may pray to God, but they don't fail to take action. Personal responsibility is mandatory for our leaders. So far as I can tell, the only act of personal responsibility that we can attribute to Sarah Palin is her resignation from her position as Governor of Alaska.

Benjamin Franklin observed that "lighthouses are more helpful than churches" (Dawkins 43). Sarah Palin is lost. It may be too late even is she sees the lighthouse. Perhaps she can hire a captain, a navigator, and an entire crew with her newfound wealth to help her through this treacherous path of ignorance.

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