An Explanation for Sarah Palin's Sheepishness on Faith and Faith-Based Issues

Do conservative Christian candidates like Sarah Palin feel they need to veil their faith?


By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

Earlier this week, I noted that the website for Sarah Palin's new PAC is silent on her faith and on faith-based issues--two of her greatest political assets--and wondered aloud about the explanation.

Spiritual Politic's Mark Silk has an answer:

. . . movement evangelicals like Huckabee and Palin don't need to advertise who they are to the movement. They do feel the need to veil it from everybody else. That's why no one could manage to lay hands on the sermons Huck gave when he was a Baptist minister. And why Palin was so exceptionally vague about her religious views and attachments during the campaign. Is anyone fooled? Nope.

I think this argument has a lot of merit. And it makes for a strange dynamic between Christian right candidates and the media: Office-seekers like Mike Huckabee and Palin benefit hugely from their faith-based connection with millions of like-minded believers, provoking the news media to ask probing questions about their religious beliefs. Faith-based candidates take offense, accusing the press of obsessing over their religion and their stances on issues like evolution, as opposed to their positions on traditional policy concerns.

But if candidates exploit their faith for political benefit, shouldn't they have to answer questions about the implications of that faith?