[Photo of Ed Kalnins and wife]
I've argued before that one should not be judged by either the words or actions of one's pastor. Barack Obama has been skewered by the nogoodniks on the right and in the Republican party for his association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
It's payback time.
The senior pastor of the Wasilla Assembly of God, "Palin's longtime spiritual home," has a history of expressing provocative political rants and weird religious and theological beliefs.
[Note: Palin left the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2002 for another congregation. That does not, however, necessarily mean that she severed all relationships with the Wasilla Assembly of God.]
Thanks to the Huffington Post for the following:
The pastor's name is Ed Kalnins. In the midst of the 2004 election mania, "he praised President Bush's performance during a debate with Sen. John Kerry, then offered a not-so-subtle message about his personal candidate preferences. 'I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I'm sorry. If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time."
A few months later, Kalnins became angry by the criticism leveled at Bush for his handling of the Katrina disaster. "'I hate criticisms towards the President,'" he said, 'because it's like criticisms towards the pastor -- it's almost like, it's not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That's what it'll get you.'"
Kalnins believes that the Christian faith is engaged in a world war of which the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq are a part. This war against the Christians is one in which Jesus Christ wants his followers to be involved, and if necessary, sacrifice their lives.
"'We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. ... Jesus called us to die. You're worried about getting hurt? He's called us to die. Listen, you know we can't even follow him unless you are willing to give up your life...'"
One is led rather quickly to ask the question as to why Kalnins didn't head off to Iraq to serve in this Christian military action?
God is deeply involved in politics, too, according to Kalnins. "Kalnins has asserted that Palin's election as governor was the result of a 'prophetic call' by another pastor at the church who prayed for her victory. '[He made] a prophetic declaration and then unfolds the kingdom of God, you know.'"
Palin has expressed amazement and gratitude for this call. "'He was praying over me,' she said in June. 'He's praying, "Lord, make a way, Lord make a way..." and I'm thinking, this guy's really bold, he doesn't even know what I'm gonna do, he doesn't know what my plans are, and he's praying not, "Oh Lord, if it be your will may she become governor," or whatever. No, he just prayed for it. He said, "Lord, make a way, and let her do this next step." And that's exactly what happened. So, again, very very powerful coming from this church.'"
Kalnins also is a believes the "end times" are soon upon us. "During his appearance with Palin in June, he declared, 'I believe Alaska is one of the refuge states in the last days, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to the state to seek refuge and the church has to be ready to minister to them.'"
It gets weirder. Kalnins "claims to have received direct 'words of knowledge' from God, providing him information about past events in other people's lives."
Sarah Palin, however, is one of his own. "'Gov. Sarah Palin is the real deal,' he told his church this past summer. 'You know, some people put on a show...but she's the real deal.'"
It would appear that Kalnins has broken the law several times by becoming directly involved in politics and by endorsing a candidate. That doesn't matter to many of the right-wing crazies as they think they are living in obedience to God which supersedes any man-made laws.
It also appears that Palin endorses his views and agrees with the notion that she won the race for the governorship with the help of the hand of God.
There's the difference with Obama. Obama repudiated the Rev. Wright's most inflammatory views and statements. Palin, in at least one area, agrees with the Rev. Kalnins - God put her in the governor's office.
If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, nothing will! All we need is another goofball in the White House talking to God. Who knows what country God will tell her we must attack next?