Does Sarah Palin Speak in Tongues?

9-10-08: For a follow-up to this post, see “Does Sarah Palin Have a ‘Pipeline’ to God?”

We know she is an Alaskan reformer. We know she is pro-life. We know she was a beauty queen and a basketball star. We know she eats moose burgers. But does Sarah Palin speak in tongues?

According to some reports, Palin attends church at the Juneau Christian Center, a congregation affiliated with the Assembly of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. Pentecostals are evangelicals who believe in a doctrine called the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” an intense spiritual encounter with God that often results in unintelligible utterances commonly known as “speaking in tongues.”

They are also distinguished by their emphasis on faith healing, their belief in the rapture (the sudden return of Jesus Christ in the air to take all true believers to heaven), and their emotional, hand-waving style of Christian worship. Disgraced televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker are Pentecostals. Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis were raised in the denomination.

Palin was born a Catholic, but her parents abandoned their commitment to Rome when she was young and began attending evangelical churches. She appears to have spent most of her childhood at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church. Her youth pastor, Mike Boatsman, formerly served as the Alaskan Superintendent of the Assembly of God Church. Earlier this year, at a gathering of Alaskan members of the denomination, Boatsman and Mike Rose, the pastor of the Juneau Christian Center, laid hands on Palin (a Christian symbol of consecration) and prayed for her and the state of Alaska.

Palin is not the first Pentecostal politician to gain national attention. James Watt, the Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan, was a member of an Assembly of God Church. Like most Pentecostals, Watt shunned certain forms of popular entertainment as being too worldly. In 1983, he banned the Beach Boys from playing a Fourth of July concert on the National Mall because, as he said, they drew an “undesirable element”

John Ashcroft, George W. Bush’s Attorney General and the controversial enforcer of the Patriot Act, was the son of an Assembly of God minister and a Pentecostal clergyman himself. In addition to a distinguished career in politics, Ashcroft was a gospel song writer. He also used Crisco cooking oil to anoint himself before serving his two terms as Missouri governor.

The Beach Boys and Crisco aside, Pentecostal politicians usually shy away from talking about religious practices such as the “baptism of the holy spirit” or “speaking in tongues.” Ashcroft the politician seldom called attention to these important dimensions of his faith.

We can expect the same from Palin. She will be a crusader for pro-life causes and traditional marriage, but will avoid speaking about some of the religious practices of her upbringing that some mainstream Americans—even many mainstream evangelicals– may consider strange. (In this sense her approach will be similar to the way Mitt Romney refused to talk about the intricacies of his Mormon faith). In fact, in an interview with Time, Palin called herself a “Bible-believing Christian” who attends a “non-denominational Bible Church.” She has yet to call herself a “Pentecostal.”

Palin is a serious evangelical who will rally John McCain’s conservative base, but don’t expect a tongues-speaking Holy Ghost revival to break out next week in Minneapolis.

60 thoughts on “Does Sarah Palin Speak in Tongues?

  1. dear anonymous atheist/raised southern Baptist You urge us to shake ourselves and free us from a religious lie…a few years ago you might have bothered me with that,but 5 years ago i had the book of Acts experience,the Baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit…I was a back-slidden 44 yr old that had become a believer at 14 but was bothered by atheistic evolutioary teaching in school…i didnt have answers,then so I side stepped the issue and drifted away from God and into a promiscuous lifestyle…but God didnt forget me and drew me back too him in early 2003…later that year in my home,by myself he filled me with his Spirit…and answered all the questions I needed answers to by making me to know that he is cannot imagine how near he is at all times. When you are in your room praying and a great roaring surrounds you and you drift off and hear yourself speak uncontrollably in another language for 20 minutes or so,and lay there in awe afterward…NO ONE can tell you there is no God…this happened not once but 3 times in 7 months…I knew in an instant how deceived atheists and evolutionist are…I’ll describe it like this: Imagine you are in a theatre watching a movie and a freight train breaks through the screen…the movie is what we think and want to believe…the freight train is God…reality!


  2. Sorry anonymous, but you got have something to say something. I can quote facts and show proof. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. You may not want a Pentecostal as VP or Pres. but personal slander based on …… well nothing really, is more mindless than your accusation. For your understanding , that means , your just flailing at the wind cause your mad about something. Those of theology can very well look at your post and decern that since you seem to “believe” you can “do it all your self” is in and of itself arrogant. Which pretty much makes your post mere entertainment…


  3. While interesting enough, the PhD is not impressive. You can claim to be neutral but it is also documented fact that the majority of college professors are liberals. Yes, Republicans are good about spending on the military. But at least when they are done spending on the military you can see where the money went. The Democrats spent a fortune on social programs, (which dont show as large deficits because of the higher taxes, a fact I’m sure your professors taught you to leave out of commentaries) which few in this country have anything to show for. It is common knowledge and occasionaly when reports are released proven fact that the majority of these social programs are dead end dreams of liberal poloticians that now are nothing but money pits with little if any true value to the country or its people.I find your “I have no agenda” line highly unlikely. I also would prefer the truth be told, which is why I must disagree with your political assesment. This don’t require a PhD, just simple economics 101. Give tax breaks to corporations, they take the extra money and expand their companies increasing jobs which increases tax revenues, puts money in workers pockets to spend into the economy which keeps the corporations growing. Example: I am in lower level management for CalArk trucking. We have experienced 22% to 26% growth in 2004, 2005, 206, 2007. All due to the Bush tax cuts. Our company has increased its fleet evey year by 150 to 200 trucks and over 500 trailers. We have opened 2 more terminals with full time service shops. Each one employing over 150 to 200 people. Not to mention the extra 250 per year in over all job increases. in the past 4 years I myself have recieved 3 promotions totaling a 32% increase in my own wages over those same years. This years plans? We are intentionally restricting our growth this year to just 8%. According to the powers that be it is because we are preparing for a possible Democratic government which will end the success of our business as well as its growth. So here I am a middle class white collar praying that we can keep cutting corporate taxes. You see Mr. Professor , what good does it do to increase corporate taxes while decreasing mine when the extra money I get from that now has to pay for the higher prices corps. have to put on their products to pay Obama’s new higher taxes? Ahhh, not so pretty when explain in terms the simple man understands. Your PhD looks good on paper and in the content of your big words and numbers but lacks in value.Anywho. While that debate is humorous and without much merit it is also irrelevant considering the subject of the original blog. On that note it is neccesary to point out a few things that are just a little off fact about Pentecost.1. Just as every denomination, Pentecost has had splinter groups break off and start off shoot denominations. AG is one such group. While AG believes in the baptism of the Holy Ghost, they do not deem the experience as neccesary and go even further to say that it is not for everyone. The original doctrine of Pentecost as taught at Azusa Street says that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is not only for everyone who would believe but is a neccesity to salvation. So while she may be a member of AG does not neccesarily mean she is a tongue talkin holy roller. 2. Unintelligable utterances or speaking in tongues as defined using scripture. Speaking in tongues is the evidence of recieving the infilling of the Holy Ghost. The bible states that the mouth(tongue) is sharper than a two edged sword. It speaks what is in the heart. There for when the heart is filled with the Holy Spirit of God the mouth will profess His Glory. The term Unknown tongue is referring to the person speaking. The language will be unknown to them. However the language they will be speaking in is a viable language. It has been known for missionaries to visit foriegn countries and hear locals speaking in tongues in a language the local person has no knowledge of yet the missionary understands perfectly.3. Time of conception by christian pro-lifers is derived from scripture. When the bible speaks of conception it always speaks of it in three phases, intercourse, conception and then birth. Thus they believe conception is prior to birth. The argument about rape and insest is written off as simply selfish. The bible says that “God allows rain on the just as well as the unjust.” So to think that the all “loving and wonderful” God would not want someone to go through something so terrible is ludicrous and not scriptural. See the book of Job. (I could write a book on that one)4. Where Peter speaks of tongues in interpretation or silence refers to open and loud tongues. One who is being used of God and given prophetic tongues will speak them loudly to be heard by the church and who ever may be the interpreter. However, it is very common for Pentecostals to speak in tongues in prayer, worship or praise services and this is not wrong. But these instances should be kept in silence in that one does not vocalize as in interpretations. In otherwise, just keep the volume down. To speak in tongues loudly without interpretations was considered back then to be “boasting”. So, to speak in tongues without interpretations is not wrong as has been suggested. After all, if tongues is of God and He is the source, how can it be wrong?And last but not least, I believe there are fewer atheist in the world than proclaim. Most people who say they do not believe in God do so simply because it is more convenient for them not to believe in God. Besides, our science can send an rc car to Mars that gets knocked off by a rock. But the best we can do for creation is a “theory” that the complexity that exist today was some how created by a cosmic belch takes more faith to believe in than the church will ever have.


  4. If the President tells us he speaks to God and asks Him for guidance, he is admired for it.If the President were to tell us he speaks to God on the telephone, we would deem him insane.Why is the telephone the aggravating factor? I talk on the phone all the time and nobody calls it crazy. Isn’t “talking to God” the crazy part?


  5. Anyone who truly believes in a supernatural deity (I don’t believe all our presidents have, let alone most Americans) is mentally unstable and unfit for duty.Anyone who speaks random babbling gibberish and thinks they’re communicating with that supernatural deity is certifiably insane and should not be allowed within a mile of the Big Red Button.


  6. As a Assembly of God person myself…Tongues is no ones business but the person doing it!It is a great gift that God gave every beliver!If people actually read the book of Acts they would know that to be true! Why don’t we pray for sarah instead of BASH here!


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