Palin-spastic: Not a witch

Max Blumenthal visits Palin’s church, and discusses her endorsement by a latter-day Cotton Mather:

Muthee gained fame within Pentecostal circles by claiming that he defeated a local witch, Mama Jane, in a great spiritual battle, thus liberating his town from sin and opening its people to the spirit of Jesus. Muthee?s mounting stardom took him to Wasilla Assembly of God in May, 2005, where he prayed over Palin and called upon Jesus to propel her into the governor?s mansion ? and beyond. Muthee also implored Jesus to protect Palin from ?the spirit of witchcraft.? The video archive of that startling sermon was scrubbed from Wasilla Assembly of God?s website, but now it has reappeared.

Blumenthal has the whole video, but especially disturbing are these lines:

The second area whereby God wants us, wants to penetrate in our society is in the economic area. The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. It’s high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations. That’s what we are waiting for. That’s part and parcel of transformation. If you look at the — you know — if you look at the Israelites, that’s how they work. And that’s how they are, even today.

Shortly after delivering those words to the congregation, Muthee calls up Sarah Palin and blesses her political prospects. Palin never raises any objection to the anti-Semitic smears, nor does she show any objection to Muthee’s plea that she be free from “every form of witchcraft.”

Official Catholic League gasbag Bill Donohue responded to the discussion of this blessing by writing:

Witchcraft is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades.

Really? Witchcraft is a reality? Anywhere at all?

As for those deaths, Muthee’s witchhunt may have been the greater danger:

[Mutthee’s crusaders] set up round-the-clock prayer intercession and eventually, says the pastor ?the demonic influence was broken?, and [alleged witch] Mama Jane fled the town.

According to accounts of the witch-hunt circulated on evangelical websites, after Mutheee spoke out against Mama Jane many villagers demanded she be stoned.

Police raided her home and shot a pet python which was believed to be a demon.

Muthee,who said he became a pastor after “God spoke” to him in 1989, has frequently referred to this witch-hunt in his sermons as an example of the power of ?spiritual warfare?.

Just what we need in the White House. Sarah Palin and John McCain can exorcise the troubles from our failed economy by demonizing the Jews.

This isn’t the first brush between McCain and his pastors, Palin and her church, and antisemitism. McCain invested great effort in getting the endorsement of a Holocaust-denying preacher named John Hagee. Only when Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements came in for attack did McCain reject Hagee’s long-sought endorsement.

Palin had a good time while Muthee spouted rhetoric that wouldn’t be out of place in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and endorsed Holocaust-denier Pat Buchanan’s presidential run some time back. As the Jewish Journal of Greater LA points out, “Buchanan is anathema to the Jews. He is someone who has blamed Israel and American Jews for directing American foreign policy against American interests. He has spoken kindly of Adolph Hitler — who is not popular with Jews — and, well, this is going to be interesting.”

Then, just weeks before being named as John McCain’s VP-nominee, Palin attended another intriguing sermon:

Palin?s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus.

Palin?s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church?s website.

?He?s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism,? Kroon said. ?

Brickner?s mission has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community, and the Anti-Defamation League accused them in a report of ?targeting Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception.?

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s “judgment of unbelief” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity.

“Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real. When [Brickner’s son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment ? you can’t miss it.”

Palin was in church that day, Kroon said?

And while her pastor warns against assuming she backed everything said, and she claims that “She and her family would not have been sitting in the pews of the church if those remarks were remotely typical,” it’s all a bit hard to swallow. How many antisemitic sermons does her church have to host before she takes action? Has she ever done anything in her own life to build ties to the Jewish community? Her spokesman insists that “she does not share the views [Brickner] expressed,” but what views does she hold?


  1. #1 B.B.
    September 25, 2008

    Oh, what poorly researched crap. Neither Hagee or Buchanan are holocaust deniers. Hagee believed the holocaust was the product of the divine wrath of God, which in itself is an idea propagated by a number of Orthodox Jewish theologians themselves (see mi-penei hataeinu). Buchanan has acknowledged the holocaust happened in numerous articles and books and never has given any indication that he didn’t think it happened.

    Palin never endorsed Buchanan, she went to one of his campaign rallies when he was running for president on the Republican ticket as a courtesy and it is blatantly clear from every position that Palin has taken from her support for Israel, federal government spending and the war in Iraq that she is in complete opposition to pretty much everything Buchanan stands for.

  2. #2 Matt Sieger
    September 26, 2008

    I am a Jewish believer in Jesus. Most blogs and news services have quoted the same one paragraph of the six-page transcript of David Bricknerís message, giving the false impression that he is saying that a bulldozer attack by a deranged Palestinian is Godís judgment on the Jewish people. Before you start throwing around terms like ďanti-Semitic,Ē read or listen to the entire message for yourself at so that you can hear Bricknerís remarks in context. Please also take a look at Bricknerís comments concerning his message at Wasilla Bible Church, as well as an interview by Christianity Today with Brickner about this issue, at Among other things, Brickner says, “The comments attributed to me were taken out of context. The notion that the terrorist, bulldozer attack in Jerusalem this summer was Godís judgment on Israel for not believing in Jesus, is absolutely not what I believe. In retrospect, I can see how my rhetoric might be misunderstood and I truly regret that. Of course I never expected the kind of magnifying glass scrutiny on a message where I was speaking extemporaneously. Let me be clear. I donít believe that any one event whether a terrorist attack or a natural disaster is a specific fulfillment of or manifestation of a Biblical prediction of judgment. I donít believe that the newspaper should be used to interpret the Bible. The Bible interprets the Bible. I love my Jewish people and the land of Israel. I stand with and support her against all efforts to harm her or her people in any way.”

  3. #3 writzer
    September 26, 2008

    It seems clear that preacher association is only a vital campaign issue if you’re a Democratic candidate.

  4. #4 khefera
    September 26, 2008

    jewish journal of la, i grant you the understatement of the decade award. *doffs cap*
    “Buchanan is anathema to the Jews. He is someone who has blamed Israel and American Jews for directing American foreign policy against American interests. He has spoken kindly of Adolph Hitler — who is not popular with Jews — and, well, this is going to be interesting.”

  5. #5 Manuel Irving
    September 26, 2008

    One of the most powerful sermons you will ever watch. Minister James David Manning says Obama was born trash and is an emissary of Satan! (a must watch)

    In this video, Pastor Jeremiah Wright makes anti-American statements and Obama is lying when he says he never heard Wright make these statements while attending his sermons and church. (another must watch)

  6. #6 Oldfart
    September 26, 2008

    I don’t know much about Buchanan but I agree with this:
    “He is someone who has blamed Israel and American Jews for directing American foreign policy against American interests.” American foreign policy needs to be concerned with American interests solely and not the interests of Israel. I hope this is the last campaign where the idiot candidates feel they have to vet themselves before AIPAC. Lieberman is an example of a previously American Jew who needs to be stripped of his office and forced to register as an agent of a foreign power because he sure as hell isn’t American anymore.

  7. #7 Josh Rosenau
    September 30, 2008

    B.B.: Would you prefer “Holocaust trivializer”? I refer to anyone who tries to say that the Holocaust was the Jews’ fault as a Holocaust denier. That may be an idiosyncratic definition, but I stand by it. It’s a definition that sweeps in Hagee, as it would the rabbis who attended a Holocaust denial conference in Iran some years back.

    Granting that Hagee may plausibly be downgraded to “Holocaust trivialization,” no such finesse is possible for Buchanan. His writings have crossed well into the realm of Holocaust denial.

    As for Palin’s Buchanan fandom, I note that “Among those sporting Buchanan buttons [at a 1999 Buchanan rally in Fairbanks] were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin.” Wearing a Buchanan button to a Buchanan rally is hardly the best way to show that you disagrees with Buchanan.

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