Ken Connor

"You are the light of the world.... let your good deeds shine before men, that they may see your deeds and praise your father in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16 (NIV)

Sarah Palin's pick as John McCain's running mate has provoked predictable paroxysms from the Left about her religion.

Crack investigative reporters have leveled a slew of accusations that Governor Palin's faith is a dangerous influence on her politics. The Chicago Tribune breathlessly reports that she has "labeled the U.S. mission in Iraq a 'task that is from God,'" and that she (gasp!) "argued that public school students should engage in a 'healthy debate' between evolution and creationism."

Hyperventilating, The New York Times reports that she actually asked her pastor for biblical examples of great leaders, saw God's hand in the direction of her life, and encouraged church leaders to pray that God's will would be realized in an Alaskan pipeline construction process.

Topping it all off, Juan Cole complains in Salon magazine, "The values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers." Cole mockingly asks, "What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick."

Never mind that an overwhelming majority of Americans say they are Christians (76.5% according to a 2001 poll), or that most of the people alive during the American founding held strong Christian beliefs. And never mind the facts: Mrs. Palin merely asked that people pray that the Iraq mission would be a task that is from God—she did not claim that it was (Abraham Lincoln issued a similar plea during the Civil War). And never mind that millions of Americans believe that competing views of the origin of life should be thoroughly vetted in the classroom. Apparently, a politician whose faith actually influences her life is regarded as a danger to America's founding principles.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.