Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hope versus belief in holy war

I will agree there's been a slightly unfair attack on Sarah Palin regarding the "holy war" issue. The full quote:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

People from a non-religious background might miss that praying that the war is God's plan is different from announcing that it's God's plan. What the full-throated Palin defenders then miss, though, is that the gap between hoping something is God's plan and believing it to be God's plan is likely pretty small. A believer who thinks God's approval or disapproval is discernable and extends to virtually every action would presumably believe that the Iraq war has God's support, or the believer would oppose the war. So Palin might not be making the assertion as a matter of faith, but to the best of her judgment it is a holy war.

On the other hand, her Lincoln quote-mining appears to be one of the many fake Lincoln quotes.

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