I first met Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential aspirant Sarah Palin when she was on the City of Wasilla Planning Commission. I appeared at one of their meetings, along with my boss at that time, now-convicted ex-Allvest CEO, Bill Weimer. We were presenting a proposal Allvest was working on, in conjunction with a Wasilla-based mental health clinic, to open a community corrections project there, and needed a facility permit.
At that time, I remembered her, because she seemed to be the only person on the commission who had actually read our proposal. It was obvious from her questions.
Of the encounters I've since had with Sarah Palin, two that brought up her faith, have become important, in light of the possibility that she might someday soon be in charge of thousands of thermonuclear weapons.
In June 1997, both Palin and I had responsibilities at the graduation ceremony of a small group of Wasilla area home schoolers. I directed the Mat-Su College Community Band, which played music, and she gave the commencement address. It was held at her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.
Palin had recently become Wasilla mayor, beating her earliest mentor, John Stein, the then-incumbent mayor. A large part of her campaign had been to enlist fundamentalist Christian groups, and invoke evangelical buzzwords into her talks and literature.
As the ceremony concluded, I bumped into her in a hall away from other people. I congratulated her on her victory, and took her aside to ask about her faith. Among other things, she declared that she was a young earth creationist, accepting both that the world was about 6,000-plus years old, and that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time.
I asked how she felt about the second coming and the end times. She responded that she fully believed that the signs of Jesus returning soon "during MY lifetime," were obvious. "I can see that, maybe you can't - but it guides me every day."
Our next discussion about religion was after she had switched to the less strict Wasilla Bible Church. She was speaking at, I was performing bugle, at a Veterans ceremony between Wasilla and Palmer. At this time, people were beginning to encourage her to run for Governor.
Once again, we found ourselves being able to talk privately. I reminded her of the earlier conversation, asking her if her views had changed. She was no longer "necessarily" a young earth creationist, she told me. But she strongly reiterated her belief that "The Lord is coming soon." I was trying to get her to tell me what she felt the signs were, when she had to move on.
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