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'Saint Sarah' of Newsweek

The magazine (owned by The Washington Post company) that so offended Sarah Palin with its 2009 cover of her in running gear goes a little softer in its new issue.


The article, by Lisa Miller, is so insightful and sympathetic to conservatives that I can picture Newsbusters bloggers banging their heads against a wall, unable to find bits to disagree with.

Behind the Christian-military rhetoric, though, is a theology that’s generic, Griffith and other scholars say. (Though the video clip that made the rounds during the campaign of Palin being prayed over by an African minister gave foes on the left the willies, most churchgoing conservative evangelicals were completely unfazed.) In her speeches, Palin never damns anyone to hell. She never talks about sin: Discussing her daughter Bristol, accidentally pregnant at 17, she talks about responsibility. When Palin writes about her born-again experience, she talks not about an encounter with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, as so many evangelicals do, but of a sudden awareness of the awesomeness of creation. “Looking around at the incredible creation that is Alaska — the majestic peaks and midnight sun, the wild waters and teeming wildlife — I could practically see and hear and feel God’s spirit reflected in everything in nature.” Palin refers often to Ronald Reagan in her speeches, and even critics concede there’s something Reaganesque about the way she approaches faith. It’s easy. It’s optimistic. It’s future-oriented. “She seems like an ordinary Christian woman who has done extraordinary things,” says Georgetown history professor Michael Kazin.

By David Weigel  |  June 11, 2010; 4:57 PM ET
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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