So-called “maverick” Republican presidential candidate John McCain skewered religious-right leaders in 2000 as “agents of intolerance.” Yet he has spent the past year groveling for support from religious-right pooh-bahs like the Rev. Rod Parsley of Ohio and the Rev. John Hagee of San Antonio. Of course, McCain was finally forced to repudiate Parsley and Hagee because of their hateful diatribes against Muslims, Jews and Roman Catholics. But when McCain floated the possibility that he might choose a vice presidential nominee who supports abortion rights, religious-right leaders made it crystal clear that they would find such a decision unacceptable. So his surprise choice today of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the GOP vice presidential nomination looks like a total surrender to the religious right.
First, Palin is an opponent of gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, according to the Washington Post:
On her campaign Web site, she described herself as a “conservative Republican” who believes firmly in free market capitalism, as well as a “lifetime member of the NRA” with a strong commitment to gun rights. She also said she opposes abortion and believes that “marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”
And Palin believes public schools should teach creationism alongside evolution in science classrooms:
“Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”
Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, “I believe we have a creator.”
She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
“I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.
Read more about Palin’s views about evolution and creationism here.