Olbermann: 2012 Voters Better Understand Palin's Religious Beliefs

"For the record, our third story is neither ridiculing nor disputing [Sarah Palin's] religious beliefs. It is purely an attempt to discern exactly what those beliefs constitute, so that the voters of 2012 know exactly what they`re getting."

Such was amazingly uttered by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Tuesday night.

Bear in mind that we are almost three years away from Election Day 2012, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle don't believe former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is going to run for President then.

Regardless, the "Countdown" host actually spent over five minutes examining -- and, contrary to his assertion -- ridiculing her religious beliefs.

In fact, the disparagement began right from the get-go with how Olbermann described the object of his disaffection (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Unemployed Alaska blogger Sarah Palin likes to talk about her faith without talking about her faith.

Stop the tape! "Unemployed Alaska blogger?" Sarah Palin is a former governor and vice presidential candidate, and this is how this former sportscaster turned political shill refers to her? And he gets to anchor a weekly television program for an NBC affiliate?

Shocking. Please continue:

For the record, our third story is neither ridiculing nor disputing her religious beliefs. It is purely an attempt to discern exactly what those beliefs constitute, so that the voters of 2012 know exactly what they`re getting.

There`s nothing to suggest that Palin`s religious beliefs are anything but utterly mainstream, American mainstream, anyway. But in the last two weeks, she has revealed pieces of the puzzle of her religious doctrines, that suggest she shares the belief of her church, the Assemblies of God, that in the end times, the Rapture, Jesus lifts true believers up with him as non-believers suffer through the Apocalypse.

She`s also implying now that her interpretation of Biblical prophesy drives core elements of her policy, as the conservative "Washington Times" claimed last September, as the nation got its first inklings that Palin shared the Evangelical belief in the end times.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are some things about the natural resources, about the state. There are some things that god wants to tap into to be a refuge for the lower 48. I believe Alaska is one of the refuge states in the last days.


OLBERMANN: But the last days, according to Evangelical beliefs, cannot happen until Israel is fully restored, the temple on the Mount rebuilt and Jews return from around the world. Here`s what Palin`s church believes, quote, "when the modern nation of Israel was founded in 1948 and Jews began returning from all around the world, Bible scholars knew that god was at work and that we were very likely living in the last days. Ezekiel Chapter 37, Verse 71, thus sayeth the lord, God, behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen. Wither they be gone and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land."

But does Palin, herself, believe in this prophesy of Jews returning to Israel, followed by Armageddon, the destruction of Israel, and the death of Jews and other non-believers, that this will happen soon? There was no evidence of that, until last week. Keep in mind, when asked about her own ambitions, Palin said she cannot make predictions.


SARAH PALIN FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: I am not one to predict what will happen in a few years.


OLBERMANN: But when asked about Israel, where Reuters reported immigration is down to fewer than 20,000 Jews a year, Palin last week suddenly decided she can make predictions without identifying the source of her prediction.


PALIN: I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. (END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN: More and more people will flock to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead, just as Ezekiel prophesied. And explaining why Israel gets a special place in her foreign policy, telling Shimon Peres, falsely, that the only flag in her office was Israel`s. After Thomas Ice at the Pre-Tribulation Research Center at Jerry Falwell`s Liberty University told the "Atlantic," quote, "what Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first re-gathering, a condition for the second re- gathering, the re-gathering in belief when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon.

Who else believes that? Billy Graham, leading prophet of the Rapture, whose website, after President Obama`s election, declared 2009 a year to focus on the end times.


REV. BILLY GRAHAM, EVANGELICAL PREACHER: We who live, who survive, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air.


OLBERMANN: In 1970, Billy Graham`s Worldwide Pictures released a documentary explaining Israel`s essential role in Rapture prophesy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lord god says, my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise, again, and return to the land of Israel.


OLBERMANN: British pop star Cliff Richard even sings a song about it. (SINGING)

OLBERMANN: I prefer it when he opens with Congratulations. Sarah Palin met Billy Graham this Saturday, also spending time with son Franklin Graham, who has called Islam an evil religion. And if Sister Sarah had not yet made it clear that her views on Israel are shaped by Apocalyptic prophesy, Franklin gave reporters this tidbit about Palin`s meeting with Billy Graham; quoting the "Charlotte Observer," "she quizzed him on the president`s he`s known and wanted his take on what the Bible says about Israel, Iran and Iraq."

So if Mrs. Palin truly wants to discuss her faith, we invite her to clarify what her faith says about Israel, its role in the Rapture, and the ultimate fate of Israel and the Jews who choose to keep their faith.

In case you were wondering, this was done on November 24, 2009, so that voters in November 2012 understand her religious beliefs.

And this guy claims that what he does "is really journalism."

Any questions?

Religion Christianity Islam Atheism Judaism Anti-Religious Bias MSNBC Countdown Sarah Palin
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