Does Sarah Palin believe in the Anti-Christ? Does she believe true Christians will be whisked up to heaven sometime in the near future? Does she expect Jesus to come back to earth in our lifetime and battle the armies of Satan? Which nations would participate in the Battle of Armageddon, and whose side would they be on? These questions seem far out, but they're not. They cut to the core of Palin's perspectives on who holds power in our world, on humanity's future, and on foreign affairs.
They are urgent questions that Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, and many others in the media have failed to ask. According to Chip Berlet, a leading expert on the Christian right, mainstream reporters tend to view apocalyptic fundamentalists as a "silly little side show" in American political life, when, in fact, one such participant in that show, Sarah Palin, may soon be a heartbeat away from the most powerful office in the world.
While producing the American News Project video Palin's Apocalypse, I've been astonished at how the media avoid these questions like kryptonite - presumably for fear of being branded anti-religious or becoming the target of a boycott by fundamentalists. But Berlet, who identifies himself as "Christian and a reporter," urges his colleagues to overcome their fears. The stakes now could not be higher. Someone -- ideally the moderator of Thursday night's vice-presidential debate -- must speak up.
Millions have now seen the video from this past June of Palin speaking at the Wasilla Assembly of God. But Palin's Apocalypse contains some important new clips. The most troubling come from Pastor Thomas Trask, who was, until last year, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, the very conservative Pentecostal denomination that Palin has been affiliated with for most of her life. (Although she claims not to be Pentecostal anymore, she still attends an Assemblies of God church in Juneau.) Trask says that the second coming of Christ could happen at any moment because "we are living in that very moment in God's time clock today." He also speaks of the prophetic role of Israel, and he literally applauds the coming of the Apocalypse.
Another clip that will be new to many shows Pastor Ed Kalnins of the Wasilla Assembly of God expanding on the idea that during the so called "last days" leading up to the apocalypse, Alaska will be a "refuge state," along with "Wisconsin" and "one other in the lower 48."
We ask our political candidates all kinds of questions - from when human life begins to what kind of underwear they wear. But we rarely probe their religious paradigms. It's possible that Palin does not believe in the Anti-Christ, the Rapture, or an impending battle at Armageddon, but the American people deserve to hear what she does believe . . . and why she has, for her entire adult life, followed pastors who preach that human history as we know it is drawing to a close.
Watch the video below: