Queen Esther or just plain Jezebel?

Is Sarah Palin a woman chosen by God or is she just a clever, vindictive Jezebel, a small town pol who knows nothing and glories in it?

Eight years ago the hard, religious right supported a man chosen by God. What happened? He led the economy into deep recession, if not slump. He has presided over the collapse of the financial sector, driven by stubborn, free market ideology. He started two hugely expensive and incompetently run wars that seem to have no end and have failed to bring on the Rapture that so many of his supporters longed for. He has introduced torture to a country whose decent citizens abhor it and has spied on his own people.

George W. Bush may be lazy and may have a non-enquiring mind, but at least he is educated and, among some true duds, has chosen some bright and pragmatic underlings. It seems we cannot have that. That is elitist. We cannot have informed people in charge of the greatest country ever in the history of the world. And these religious fantasists want another bout with a woman who uses a mildly pornographic wink as she addresses the nation. She is alleged to be the new “Queen Esther” of the Old Testament, who has appeared, apparently, “for such a time as this” to save her people from destruction (caused by their very own political party). She it is who will lead her people against the Haman (or anti-Christ), once the head of the United Nations, now President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in yet another war we can not afford against a country we cannot possibly “defeat”.

This is a woman who denies the role of mankind in global climate change, who ridicules science unless it has been passed through the Republican Party vetting procedures, believes the world was created five (or is it six) thousand years ago in the face of every known piece of scientific evidence, and who rejects any form of family planning or sex education. Can we afford to have a Vice-President who is pregnant half the time during her term of office or taking time off to babysit for a burgeoning number of grand-children?

Apparently this woman, lauded by the high school drop-out set, is “the standard God has raised to stop the flood. She has the anointing. You can tell by how the dogs are viciously attacking her. But they will not be successful. She knows the one she serves and will not be intimidated. (Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network). We are asked to believe then that God favors snide racism, xenophobia and educational failure in His matriarchs. In addition, I am apparently a dog. Woof!

Palin supporters have created an interactive map, which shows that, as of October 10th, there were 3,719 people praying for Sarah in 2,529 zip codes. Visit www.prayforsarahpalin.com/ if you can bear it. The deranged fundamentalists ask you to pray “to hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil (presumably Obama, the noted black, Arabic terrorist). You are asked to pledge to pray for peace, protection and wisdom for Sarah Palin and her family.

First, I would not expect peace under Sarah Palin, so that is a waste of time. Sarah Palin is a warmonger, motivated by the crazy wing of born-again Christianity that improbably believes in the above-mentioned Rapture. These people will have yet another Middle East war if they can possibly engineer it. Palin is their best hope, Bush having failed them.

Secondly, expect no protection from Palin if you don’t agree with her irrational interpretation of Christianity. The rest of us normal people are doomed in her eyes to everlasting damnation.

Damnation is something invented by the religious and political establishment to keep the lower orders in order and as pliant as possible. Let others take it seriously.

Thirdly, I would not expect prayer to give Sarah Palin an ounce more wisdom than she appears to have. She is an ambitious, over self-confident, muddle-tongued, deeply ignorant ex-beauty queen who would hasten a decline and fall of the United States that President Bush has so ably set in frantic motion. Large swathes of the American population don’t, and maybe, won’t get it, so it is a waste of time telling them that they are party to an unnecessary American implosion and a diminution of American power. No amount of flag pins and nationalism can conceal the fact that Sarah Palin and her ilk have supported a regime that has done America serious harm. Maybe this harm is recoverable, but it cannot be if we have four more years of Bush-style policies.

You have to ask “Who are the patriots?” because the religious conservatives don’t appear to understand what constitutes a “great” country. A great country is powerful militarily, but cannot be so if its economy is in a mess. A great country potentially has huge influence over other countries, but cannot exercise it if it has poor judgment (Iraq), lacks leadership (global climate change), and preaches one thing and does another (domestic spying and torture). A great country can go round the world bullying and cajoling, but can only get away with it if it is respected. This is common sense. You don’t have to be an effete East Coast liberal to work it out. America is at a low point in international respect, everywhere. And yet these conservatives want more of the same.

Meanwhile, there is Sarah, posturing in arenas and failing, as a real Christian should, to slap down the clown who shouted “kill him”, referring to Senator Obama. That gives the lie to the “Chosen of God.”

I have an alternative prayer for Sarah, Track, Willow, Piper and Trig:

“Lord, I pray that Sarah Palin will return to Alaska and concentrate on the traditional family values of procreation, ice skating, shooting harmless moose and looking after her five children, whose lives and welfare are more important than politics, or should be".