After Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave her speech last night, MSNBC talking heads Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow gathered to discuss the VP candidate's remarks. Among the topics covered was Palin's religious background.
MATTHEWS: Is it true that she believes that God supports the war in Iraq? How does she know?
MADDOW: Was she sitting in the pew in her church in Wasilla two weeks ago when a speaker said that the Israelis deserve terrorist attacks, because Jews are unbelievers in Christ?
MADDOW: That was in the Politico today. Jews for Jesus founder speaking at her church while she was there two weeks ago making incredibly, incredibly out of line comments about Israel and Jewish people. These are tough questions she'll have to answer.
MATTHEWS: Pro or con?
MADDOW: Saying that's why Israel was subject to terrorist attacks. It was God's judgment for not believing in Christ.
MATTHEWS: What's the source?MADDOW: Politico.com
For a media that is scaring its audience about Palin's Christianity, it sure does understand the concept of an "eye for eye." The search for a right wing Jeremiah Wright is on. Maddow is referring to Ben Smith's Politico article.
According to the story, Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Jews for Jesus leader David Brickner on Aug. 17. While MSNBC's Maddow is quoting Brickner from the Politico, she fails to mention the article also says the following about Palin:
Palin was in church that day, Kroon said, though he cautioned against attributing Brickner’s views to her.
The article continues:
Republican Jewish Coalition e-mailed its members evidence of her support for Israel: a video in which a small Israeli flag can be seen poking out from behind a drape.
"I think it speaks volumes that she keeps an Israeli flag on the wall of her office," the group's executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico in an e-mail. "It clearly shows what's in her heart.”
The article continues:
...Tuesday, both sides scrambled to play on the changed turf of the Jewish vote. Palin, shepherded by Lieberman, introduced herself to leaders of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in St. Paul on Tuesday.
"We had a good productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel," AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said.
Regardless of Palin's views on Israel, her Christian beliefs will count as a strike against her among media pundits. The long standing relationship between Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama should be looked at more carefully than a speaker who simply visited Palin's church recently.
Unlike Obama's relationship to Rev.Wright, Palin did not write a book based on the sermons of this individual who spoke at her church and her children were not baptized by him either.
Maddow may believe she is putting Brickner's words into Palin's mouth, but the comparison is flimsy and Palin's past relationship with Alaska's Jewish community has proven otherwise.
**Updated 9/4/08 2:30pm**