MSNBC Mocks, Distorts Prayer Request by Palin

Monday night featured MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finding fault with Sarah Palin's religious beliefs and some of the teachings of her former church in Wasilla, Alaska, as the two harped on a speech the Alaska governor delivered at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June.

On the first episode of her new television program, the "Rachel Maddow Show," the eponymous host misinterpreted Palin's request that church members pray for American troops, as the Alaska governor expressed her hope that the Iraq war is part of "God's plan," with the MSNBC host claiming that Palin was "asserting" that the war factually is "God's plan."

Maddow claimed that Palin "said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D." On Countdown, Olbermann and Maddow took exception with Palin's account of a minister who prayed that she would be successful in her political life as they mocked the concept of praying in the hopes that prayers might be answered. Olbermann referred to Palin as "Elmer Gantry" and "Amy Semple McHockey Mom."

And in a move that makes Olbermann look wimpy for his refusal to feature conservative guests, Maddow allowed conservative political analyst Pat Buchanan to take her on during a segment at the end of her show, during which Buchanan accused Maddow and Olbermann of "trashing" Palin's religion. As Maddow claimed that "nobody's trashing anybody's religion," Buchanan responded: "Well, you go back over the two shows we've just had."

Before being cut off by Maddow, the conservative analyst went on to point out Maddow's double standard in softpedaling Obama's association with the blatantly controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright, while treating Palin's church life more seriously. Buchanan: "This is remarkable, okay. We have the other candidate, Barack Obama, who has been, for 15 years, belonged to a church which is run by a racist anti-white, anti-American pastor, and his wife had those kids baptized by him."

At the end of his "Countdown" show, Olbermann brought aboard Maddow and introduced the topic of Palin's religious beliefs, focusing on her former church's teaching that prayer can cure homosexuality, and the Alaska governor's quote from a June appearance in which she talked about the minister who prayed for her political success. Olbermann mocked prayer as he introduced a clip of Palin's words: "Perhaps the fate of the McCain/Palin campaign lies in the hands of a power much greater than America's constitutionally designated democracy. In fact, your votes may not matter at all. Your prayers, however, that's a whole different ball of wax. In our number one story on the Countdown, Sarah Palin, messenger and messiah."

Olbermann's show then played a clip of Palin's words that the "Countdown" host seemed to think were such a scandal. Palin: "He's praying, 'Lord, make a way, Lord, make a way.' And I'm thinking, this guy is really bold. He doesn't even know what I'm going to do. He doesn't know what my plans are. And he's praying not, 'Oh, Lord, if it be your will, may she become governor,' whatever. No, he just prayed for it. He said, 'Lord, make a way and let her do this next step.'"

Referring to an upcomign clip of Palin talking about praying for help in getting a new oil pipeline built, Olbermann sarcastically added: "Just like voters in the presidential election. This begs the question, of course, why bother? If you want to get something done, ask the Lord. He or she probably doesn't have much else to worry about besides oil pipelines."

While claiming that Palin's religious beliefs are not the issue, Maddow went on to express worry over Palin's potential religious beliefs. Maddow: "What Sarah Palin believes religiously isn't really any of our business. What she needs to be asked about, what we need to figure out whether it's worth worrying about is whether she thinks that God is directing her public policies, whether she believes in the separation of church and state, whether she believes that she has been elected to public office in order to do the will of her religion and if God is speaking through her. Then I think there's cause to worry."

Olbermann compared Palin to the notorious character Elmer Gantry from Sinclair Lewis's 1927 novel of the same name, and to a famous evangelical Christian leader from the early 20th century named Amy Semple McPherson, who was believed to have faked her own kidnapping in the 1920s. Olbermann: "Listening to her, and this doesn't just apply to the tape we just saw, but throughout the last, the 10 days of Sarah Palin, she's Elmer Gantry. She's Amy Semple McHockey Mom."

The Wikipedia entry on Elmer Gantry describes the character as "a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who, upon realizing the power, prestige, and easy money that being an evangelical preacher can bring, pursues his 'religious' ambitions with relish, contributing to the downfall, even death, of key people around him as the years pass. Gantry continues to womanize, is often exposed as a fraud, and frequently faces a complete downfall, yet he is never fully discredited and always manages to emerge triumphant and reaching ever greater heights of social standing."

As Olbermann continued, he seemed to suggest that people who would have a favorable reaction to Palin are the kind of people whose eyes would "roll back in their heads," and who would speak in tongues: "Do we have any idea, those who will look at those tapes, whose eyes will then roll back in their heads and in tongues they will say I like this woman or this candidate, or Americans who will then shout a three-word question, beginning with 'What the-'?"

As Maddow contended that most Americans like political figures to have some religious belief as long as it is not "religious extremism," she went on to suggest Palin would not be acceptable to most Americans. Maddow: "But if you believe that God is directing troop movements in Fallujah, I think that Americans, by and large, will react with the 'what the' reaction rather than the neat-o reaction to that."

Regarding the belief that prayer can convert people away from homosexuality, Maddow claimed that such beliefs inspire "hate" toward homosexuals. Maddow: "When you say that you can pray away the gay, what that does is it terrorizes gay people. And it makes people who hate gay people feel better about hating gay people, because really all they're doing is hoping for the salvation, which could so easily be achieved by just the right titrated amount of prayer."

On the premiere episode of the Rachel Maddow show, host Maddow played a clip of Palin asking members of her former church to pray for American troops and, in her mind, discovered another religion scandal. Maddow introduced the clip: "This past June, Governor Palin, speaking at her longtime church in Wasilla, Alaska, said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq war is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D."

Palin: "Pray, for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Near the end of her show, Maddow brought aboard Buchanan to respond to her show's left-wing presentation, and the conservative political analyst accused Maddow and Olbermann of "trashing" Palin's religion, and disputed her interpretation of Palin's words:

BUCHANAN: Okay. She went to Assembly of God Church. She's a Pentecostal. I heard what she said. She said, "Let us pray that this war is part of God's plan." What is wrong with that for a woman whose 19-year-old boy is about to be sent off and may never return, that she asks for prayers? Just as Lincoln said-

MADDOW: She's not praying that the war be part of God's plan.

BUCHANAN: Oh, yes, she is.

MADDOW: She's asserting that the war is part of God's plan.

BUCHANAN: No, no. She did not say this war is God's plan. Look at it again-

MADDOW: She's asserting that God has a plan for the war just as God has a plan for the pipeline.

BUCHANAN: No, she didn't. It's just like Lincoln said, look, "Let us pray that we are on God's side." ...

BUCHANAN: Now, you go on national television and you go trashing that religion because of what they believe about the End Times-

MADDOW: Nobody's trashing anybody's religion, Pat.

BUCHANAN: Well, you go back over the two shows we've just had.

Before being cut off by Maddow, Buchanan also brought up the double standard in Maddow's lack of interest in the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

BUCHANAN: You know, this is remarkable. Okay. We have the other candidate, Barack Obama, who has been, for 15 years, belonged to a church which is run by a racist anti-white, anti-American pastor, and his wife had those kids baptized by him.

MADDOW: It's bad strategy to talk about trashing religion and then come on in and bring that stuff up.

BUCHANAN: I think we can trash Reverend Wright.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Countdown show and the Rachel Maddow Show from Monday, September 8, on MSNBC, with critical portions in bold:

#From the September 8 Countdown:

8:54 p.m.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Perhaps the fate of the McCain/Palin campaign lies in the hands of a power much greater than America's constitutionally designated democracy. In fact, your votes may not matter at all. Your prayers, however, that's a whole different ball of wax. In our number one story on the Countdown, Sarah Palin, messenger and messiah. The governor, in June of this year, addressing a graduating student, graduating class of students at her one-time church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Here she recalls how one pastor set the stage for her to win the gubernatorial election.

SARAH PALIN: He's praying, "Lord, make a way, Lord, make a way." And I'm thinking, this guy is really bold. He doesn't even know what I'm going to do. He doesn't know what my plans are. And he's praying not, "Oh, Lord, if it be your will, may she become governor," whatever. No, he just prayed for it. He said, "Lord, make a way and let her do this next step."

OLBERMANN: Just like voters in the presidential election. This begs the question, of course, why bother? If you want to get something done, ask the Lord. He or she probably doesn't have much else to worry about besides oil pipelines.

PALIN: I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built. So pray for that.

OLBERMANN: ... For the last six years, Mrs. Palin praying at the Wasilla Bible Church, which is now promoting a seminar that will turn, it says, gay people into straight people. According to the brochure, "you'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and his desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality."

Oh, no, I'm not going to say it. For the record, the governor has not made any public statement about the "pray away the gay" movement, nor yet about the report tonight from the former pastor there and a fellow parishioner that worshipers not only believe in the rapture and that Governor Palin has spoken of Alaska as being a refuge for that supposed lifting up of those true believers, but also that they speak in tongues, in other words, in word or sounds neither they nor anybody else understand, kind of like Fox News.

I'm joined now by Rachel Maddow, or should I say I'm joining Rachel Maddow. We're here on the new set, all right, it's the set of your new show in anticipation of the debut of her conveniently titled news hour, the Rachel Maddow Show.

RACHEL MADDOW: Hi, Keith.

OLBERMANN: How are you?

MADDOW: Thank you for coming over here. It's nice to see you.

OLBERMANN: It's near my office. Should we be terrified?

MADDOW: You know, I think that a lot of people's religious beliefs seem terrifying or creepy or unknowable or whatever from outside the faith. That's why our Founding Fathers had this brilliant idea to say that government can't interfere in religion, because when you're looking at somebody else's religion outside, it often seems alarming. What Sarah Palin
believes religiously isn't really any of our business. What she needs to be asked about, what we need to figure out whether it's worth worrying about is whether she thinks that God is directing her public policies, whether she believes in the separation of church and state, whether she believes that she has been elected to public office in order to do the will of her religion and if God is speaking through her. Then I think there's cause to worry.

OLBERMANN: Well, we just had one of those presidents, and it hasn't worked so out. But this, listening to her, and this doesn't just apply to the tape we just saw, but throughout the last, the 10 days of Sarah Palin, she's Elmer Gantry. She's Amy Semple McHockey Mom. Which group is larger, do you think? Do we have any idea, those who will look at those tapes, whose eyes will then roll back in their heads and in tongues they will say I like this woman or this candidate, or Americans who will then shout a three-word question, beginning with "What the-"?

MADDOW: Well, we are one of the most religious countries in the world, in terms of the privately held religious beliefs of our citizens. But we're also not that psyched about extremism. Extremism of any kind, particularly religious extremism, particularly in this world. So I think having faith is seen as a nice thing to know about a person who's running for office. Of course, there's no religious test for office, but Americans think that says something nice about your character and what kind of person you are. But if you believe that God is directing troop movements in Fallujah, I think that Americans, by and large, will react with the "what the" reaction rather than the neat-o reaction to that.

OLBERMANN: Is it not safe to say -- and I mean absolutely no disrespect to the belief in God, in fact, it's quite to the contrary -- some of these things that are addressed to her deity, doesn't he, she or it have better things to do?

MADDOW: And if God really is working on this stuff, wouldn't God be better at it than God has apparently been? I mean, if God prefers Sarah Palin's specific Alaska pipeline idea, why hasn't construction started? You think that God could just, like, zip, zip, you know.

OLBERMANN: That's the theory, anyway. Now, here's an interesting thing from this church. What about this converting gay people into heterosexuals? Where does that actually stand on the list of good idea, bad idea in the public persona at this point, in this advanced stage of our civilization?

MADDOW: I think that being gay may be caused by any number of different things. I can pretty much assure you that not praying enough isn't one of the things that causes the gay. I'm just, I feel like, you know, nobody is a total authority on this subject, but I don't think that's what does it. When you say that you can pray away the gay, what that does is it terrorizes gay people. And it makes people who hate gay people feel better about hating gay people, because really all they're doing is hoping for the salvation, which could so easily be achieved by just the right titrated amount of prayer. I don't know if you try to pray away the gay and you pray too much, what becomes of you after that.

OLBERMANN: David Duchovny.

MADDOW: Sure.

OLBERMANN: Too much of that. He had too much of that pray.

MADDOW: They've got services for that as well.

# From the September 8 Rachel Maddow Show:

9:15 p.m.
MADDOW: Should Governor Sarah Palin face the same scrutiny of her faith and church and religious associations as Barack Obama did? If so, there are questions to ask about the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, where Governor Palin worshiped until a few years ago. She returned to the church this summer to address the parishioners there. Here's what her pastor said as he thanked her for coming.

REVEREND LARRY KROON: There are some things that God wants to tap into to be a refuge for the Lower 48. And I believe Alaska is one of the refuge states. Come on, you guys, in the Last Days, and hundreds and thousands of people are going to come to the state to seek refuge, and the church has to be ready to minister to them. Amen.

MADDOW: So Alaska is like an ark? At the End of Days, Alaska will be okay? Up next, we're going to speak with Bishop T.D. Jakes on religion and politics, church and state, and Sarah Palin.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

MADDOW: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's pastor offered a prayer for all of us in the media yesterday, saying the media should be, quote, "cherished and respected as essential pillars of democracy." Honestly appreciated, Reverend Kroon. We will take all of the prayers we can get. Believe me.

But even well-intended blessings will not keep the news media from our appointed rounds, specifically asking questions of a woman who, theoretically, 4 ½ months from now, could find herself President of the United States. And the more we learn about Sarah Palin's statements on religion and politics, the more urgently I feel that the governor should be asked if she believes in the separation of church and state.

This past June, Governor Palin, speaking at her longtime church in Wasilla, Alaska, said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D.

SARAH PALIN: Pray, for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan.

MADDOW: A task that is from God, God's plan for Iraq. Wow. Governor Palin also says she believes that God prefers one particular Alaska pipeline proposal -- hers.

PALIN: I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that pipeline built, so pray for that.

MADDOW: God's will is the pipeline? And, according to a Politico.com report quoting Governor Palin's pastor, a report that has not been denied by the campaign, Palin was also in church on August 17th, just three weeks ago, the day Jews for Jesus founder David Brickner gave a guest sermon in which he said the deaths of Israelis killed by a terrorist who commandeered a bulldozer were the result of, quote, "God's judgment of unbelief against Jews."

Governor Palin did not get up and walk out, even as her pastor says, she listened to the assertion that God uses terrorism to express his judgment against Jews for not believing in Christ. So, on the one hand, we've got some extreme inflammatory religious views. On the other hand, we've got assertions that God's will is being done through Governor Palin's chosen public policies. I'm worried.

Here to try to Talk Me Down is Bishop T.D. Jakes. Bishop Jakes heads up the Potter's House, a multiracial ... non-denominational church with 30,000 members in the great city of Dallas, Texas. He's also author of the forthcoming book, "Before You Do: Making Great Decisions You Won't Regret." Bishop Jakes, it is a real pleasure to have you on the show tonight. Thank you for joining us.

BISHOP T.D. JAKES, POTTER'S HOUSE CHURCH: Thank you for having me.

MADDOW: Do you believe it's inappropriate or worrying for an American politician to say that God is on one side or another in a war, or that God prefers one public policy over another?

JAKES: You know, we really get in dangerous territory when we really start speaking for God as it relates to some political issues, certainly as it relates to war and the amount of innocent people that get killed in the process of war. I think it promotes an image that is contrary to how I like to see God anyway. But certainly, I respect the fact that Governor Palin or any other Christians have the right to expresses their views on any subject and to believe what they want to believe. That's what really our nation is founded on, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But personally, I think we're treading on thin ice when we start speaking for God as it relates to war.

MADDOW: Senator Obama was raked over the coals for weeks, for months for what his pastor preached, even when Obama was not at church during some of those sermons that were most widely quoted. Is it appropriate to question Governor Palin about the views spoken from the pulpit of her church when she was there, the views of the Jews for Jesus founder. He did voice those views while Palin was in church in Wasilla three weeks ago. Should she be asked about them?

JAKES: Well, I think it was appropriate to ask her anything because we want to know how she thinks and how she feels and what her perspectives are. But I don't think it's appropriate to judge a parishioner based on a guest speaker who happened to be visiting their church that Sunday because they frankly don't have control over the opinions of the person who spoke at that church. And, I think, as long as we put it in proper context, I don't think that there is a real parallel there between Senator Obama's situation and hers. This wasn't her pastor. It was a guest speaker who was at her church. She may or may not agree with that, and she has the right to her opinion, but she doesn't control who gets to speak at her church as a parishioner.

MADDOW: Certainly. And nobody, I think, would try to put those words into her mouth. But there has been a push back from the McCain campaign against even asking the question, even asking some of these questions, and I think the association of her with this church, of the church with this guest speaker is at least worth, at least, I think, worth an answer to the American people.

JAKES: Well, you're very, very true. The overarching issue here is to understand how this woman thinks. She is new to many of us. It was a surprise, almost sprung on the American people, her role of assuming the possibility of being Vice President for the United States. And I think it's appropriate to ask her any and everything, but we must do it in a fair and unpartial way so that we can really get down into how she thinks because we are going to live and die based on the decisions that she or McCain or Senator Obama
makes in the future. And I think that we really do need to get down to the issues and get down to the point and focus on that rather than the superficial things that take up so much of our time as it relates to this presidency and election.

MADDOW: One last question for you, Bishop Jakes, and that is that a conservative group called the Alliance Defense Fund, they're now recruiting clergy to break the federal prohibition on clergy endorsing candidates and endorsing political parties from the pulpit. They say, "You ought to be able to preach to your congregation about how they should vote and still keep your tax exempt status." What's your position on politics at the pulpit and this effort to try to undo those longstanding rules?

JAKES: I have, for a long time, been nonpartisan. I've never endorsed a candidate since I've been pastoring a church. For me, personally, I'm a little bit uncomfortable with that. But I certainly want to use my influence to point to political issues that our church needs to be concerned about and to represent them as it relates to their issues and concerns. It's a thin line to walk. It's a tight line to walk. But I think it's a very important line to walk. I understand that all clergy are also citizens and they have a right to have their opinion but to use a pulpit to voice those opinions, I think, many times, it confuses people into thinking that God is for this candidate or that candidate, and then, two years later, three years later, we are horribly embarrassed to find out that the person has feet of clay.

MADDOW: Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter's House Church in Dallas, Texas, it's been a real pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

JAKES: Thank you.
...


8:50 p.m.
RACHEL MADDOW: It's been nine days since Senator John McCain plucked his vice presidential pick, Governor Sarah Palin, out of the relative obscurity of the Alaskan wilderness. And while assailing the news media's alleged bias and disrespect, the campaign has since kept Governor Palin in a another brand of wilderness conspicuously away from the fourth estate -- that would be us, in the media, if you're keeping score. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis gave this reason.

RICK DAVIS, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN MANAGER: She will do interviews, but she'll do them on the terms and conditions of which the campaign decides that it's ready to do it. And Chris, all due respect, I mean, you know, the information that the news media has been putting out on Sarah Palin is not what I would call objective journalism. So until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment.

MADDOW: "Respect and deference." To my mind, "deference" has about as much of an appropriate role in journalism as "vertigo" has in trapeze. The campaign has now consented to one national TV interview later this week with ABC's Charlie Gibson. Presumably, even with an appropriate respect and deference toward the candidate, Mr. Gibson will still be allowed and able to ask about Governor Palin's record. Here now is MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan. Hi, Pat. Nice to see you.

PAT BUCHANAN: How are you doing, Rachel? Congratulations on your new show.

MADDOW: Thank you very much. I feel lucky to have you here.

BUCHANAN: Well, thank you.

MADDOW: The respect and deference-

BUCHANAN: You may not say that afterwards.

[LAUGHTER]

MADDOW: Let's see. "Respect and deference," that struck me like a slap across the face when I heard Rick Davis say that. The idea that the media ought to be deferential to a candidate for Vice President to me just seems fundamentally wrong in terms of what the role of the media is in democracy.

BUCHANAN: Well, they ought to show this woman a lot more respect certainly than she was shown when the Financial Times, which is not a radical sheet, said today the press threw an apocalyptic fit on this thing, an apoplectic fit, if you will, when she was announced. And I think she was treated horribly. I think the New York Times putting her teenage daughter's pregnancy above the fold, the Washington Post doing the same thing. The letters to the editor in the Washington Post on Saturday when I got home, every single one of them denounced the Post, and my guess is the Post put them in there because they were ashamed of what they did.

MADDOW: But the campaign itself put out a statement about the daughter's pregnancy. The campaign, even in her acceptance speech, she was highlighting the things that she wanted the press to focus on about her kids, talking about her son shipping out to Iraq, for example. So I don't feel like, I mean, she was introduced as a mother of five before we even got her name when John McCain announced her as his VP. So I don't feel like questions about her family, questions about her kids ought to be off limits if they are campaigning on the basis of her kids.

BUCHANAN: Rachel, you know exactly why she had to put that statement out about her 17-year-old daughter being pregnant, because it was the scurvy lies and slanders on Daily Kos which were running through the press corps. And your smile tells me you know it as well as I do. They were forced to do this. Now, they didn't do this to John Edwards. You and I didn't talk about that. We heard those rumors. We knew the National Enquirer stuff. We stayed off it. And the way this woman is being treated-

MADDOW: But wait a second. Wait a second. They didn't have to do that because, listen, there was a lot of blog rumoring about John Edwards that didn't end up getting to the, didn't end up getting talked about until it was in the mainstream press. If there were rumors in the blog world that the campaign was concerned about, they didn't have to respond to them. They could have her do an interview with the mainstream press the way that John Edwards did about that. But instead they decided to proactively address the issue, thereby putting the pregnancy on the table for everybody to talk about. They put this stuff out there. How can it be unfair to discuss it?

BUCHANAN: Rachel, when you see an entire Republican convention standing up and speakers who, many of them moderate Republicans, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, you got Fred Thompson, others getting up there, Huckabee, who's a good, I mean, he's got friends in the media. They're up there going after the media, and that place is wildly cheering with enthusiasm. It's because they felt a lady, a woman that they had nominated who is a terrific candidate was being ripped apart. Now, let me just say tonight, I've seen, you're bringing out this religious stuff.

MADDOW: Sure. Yes.

BUCHANAN: Okay. She went to Assembly of God Church. She's a Pentecostal. I heard what she said. She said, "Let us pray that this war is part of God's plan." What is wrong with that for a woman whose 19-year-old boy is about to be sent off and may never return, that she asks for prayers? Just as Lincoln said-

MADDOW: She's not playing that the war be part of God's plan.

BUCHANAN: Oh, yes, she is.

MADDOW: She's asserting that the war is part of God's plan.

BUCHANAN: No, no. She did not say this war is God's plan. Look at it again-

MADDOW: She's asserting that God has a plan for the war just as God has a plan for the pipeline.

BUCHANAN: No, she didn't. It's just like Lincoln said, look, "Let us pray that we are on God's side." And the fact is, do you know how many Assembly of God folks there are out there? Do you know how many Pentecostals there are out there? Do you know who many pre-millennialists are out there? Tim LaHaye's book sold 40 million copies.

MADDOW: Sure.

BUCHANAN: Now, you go on national television and you go trashing that religion because of what they believe about the End Times-

MADDOW: Nobody's trashing anybody's religion, Pat.

BUCHANAN: Well, you go back over the two shows we've just had.

MADDOW: No, you look at this stuff because we do not know, because Sarah Palin is a total national unknown-

BUCHANAN: Right.

MADDOW: -and she hasn't been made available to reporters. We don't know if she believes in the separation of church and state.

BUCHANAN: All right, I think you ought to ask her-

MADDOW: We believe what we hear from her, which is that God is directing her public policies.

BUCHANAN: Name one thing that suggests that she wants to establish the Assembly of God or her Baptist church, or whatever she's in now as a national church. There is nothing-

MADDOW: I would love to ask her that. I would love to ask her that, but I fear that they wouldn't think I was appropriately deferential to get an interview.

BUCHANAN: You know, this is remarkable, okay. We have the other candidate, Barack Obama, who has been, for 15 years, belonged to a church which is run by a racist anti-white, anti-American pastor, and his wife had those kids baptized by him.

MADDOW: It's bad strategy to talk about trashing religion and then come on in and bring that stuff up.

BUCHANAN: I think we can trash Reverend Wright.

MADDOW: And you have at great length. Pat, it is a pleasure to have you hear. Thanks for coming in.

BUCHANAN: Good to be here.