07 September 2008

Sarah Palin: A modern day Esther gone wild

Soon after becoming the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin asked her former pastor (Paul Riley of the Wasilla Assembly of God) to suggest a woman from the Bible that she should emulate. Pastor Riley suggested Esther, and the governor took his advice and hasn't looked back since.

Of course there aren't many good examples for women in the Bible. Women are seldom mentioned, and when they are they are seldom named, and when they're named they seldom do anything except have men come in unto them, after which they get pregnant and deliver baby boys, unless God has closed up their wombs for one reason or another.

But the good pastor chose Esther and it's spooky how much Palin resembles her.

(OK, the hair is a little different and Esther didn't wear glasses, but otherwise it's a match.)

And the similarity goes way beyond looks. Here's the story of the biblical Esther.

King Ahasuerus throws a party and encourages his guests to drink to excess. Then, when they are all drunk, he orders Queen Vashti to show her stuff before him and his guests. Esther 1:7-11

Vashti refuses to entertain the king's drunken guests by dancing before them. For this she is no longer to be queen, to be replaced by someone better (prettier). 1:12-19

Because of Vashti's disobedience, the king decrees that "all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both the great and the small" and "that every man should bear rule over his own house." 1:20-22

So "all the fair young virgins" throughout the kingdom are brought before the king, and the one that "pleaseth" the king the most will replace Vashti. 2:2-4

When it was Esther turn to "go in unto the king," she pleases him the most. So, having won the sex contest, she is made queen in Vashti's place. 2:8-17

Now I ask you, what does that story remind you of? Of course! The Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

John McCain was king and Sarah Palin was Esther. But who was Vashti, the real heroine of the story?

Rudy Giuliani, perhaps?

Nah, Rudy would have gladly danced naked if John McCain had just asked. (He was certainly willing to lie for him.)

For a more serious and thorough analysis of the Palin/Esther connection, see here.


Anon said...

This election cycle just gets stranger in terms of religion. You would think Palin would get insulted at being compared to Esther, given the story you posted, Steve. But if she reads a spinned version of Esther's story such as this one, she apparently would think it was about some fun Extreme Makeover, Biblical edition.

This article asks us, "Are you allowing God to give you beauty treatment?" and tells us that the 12-month beauty treatment Esther went under before she was allowed to have sex with the King "was a physical treatment carried out with oils. Oil in the old testament represented the Holy Spirit."

And of course, "A carnal Christian maybe able to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it takes a person who has dedicated herself willingly to the Lord to manifest the fruit of the spirit."

Most importantly, perhaps, your "background does not hinder your future with God". And your lack of political background does not hinder your future as vice president, apparently.

Here's some of the fun stuff Palin and/or her true religion (before she wimped out from officially being in the Assemblies of God) preach. I like the fact that she prayed for a pipeline and that her pastor thinks that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the last days". Did you know that "hundreds and thousands of people are gonna come to the state to seek refuge?". (YouTube pt 1, pt 2

Maybe the perfect ticket would have been Romney-Palin. The Garden of Eden in Jackson County, Missouri, and the end times in Alaska. God bless America!

Steve Wells said...

Thanks for that, Anon. I need to look into Palin's religious views a bit more.

Sarah Palin actually makes George Bush look like a fairly reasonable guy.

v_quixotic said...

It's a pity Palin isn't a Catholic, because if she was, her priest could have suggested a character from the Apocrypha: Judith -

[10:3] And [she] pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and braided the hair of her head, and put on a tire upon it, and put on her garments of gladness, wherewith she was clad during the life of Manasses her husband...

The story so far is that Holofernes and his Assyrian henchmen are running roughshod over the Hebrews who in this instance are a bunch of wooses.

[10:10-13] so, Judith went out, she, and her maid with her; and the men of the city looked after her, until she was gone down the mountain, and till she had passed the valley, and could see her no more. Thus they went straight forth in the valley: and the first watch of the Assyrians met her, and took her, and asked her, Of what people art thou? and whence comest thou? and whither goest thou? And she said, I am a woman of the Hebrews, and am fled from them: for they shall be given you to be consumed: And I am coming before Holofernes the chief captain of your army, to declare words of truth; and I will shew him a way, whereby he shall go, and win all the hill country, without losing the body or life of any one of his men.

Later, back at the fort...

[12:17-20] Then said Holofernes unto her, Drink now, and be merry with us. So Judith said, I will drink now, my lord, because my life is magnified in me this day more than all the days since I was born. Then she took and ate and drank before him what her maid had prepared. And Holofernes took great delight in her, and drank more wine than he had drunk at any time in one day since he was born...

Things seem to be progressing nicely...

[13:4-10] ...Then Judith, standing by his bed, said in her heart, O Lord God of all power, look at this present upon the works of mine hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem. For now is the time to help thine inheritance, and to execute thine enterprizes to the destruction of the enemies which are risen against us. Then she came to the pillar of the bed, which was at Holofernes' head, and took down his sword from thence, And approached to his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day. And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him . And tumbled his body down from the bed, and pulled down the canopy from the pillars; and anon after she went forth, and gave Holofernes his head to her maid; And she put it in her bag of meat...

Now that's vice presidential material!

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, Judith would be a great example for Sarah Palin to follow.

But maybe Jael would work as well. Her story is a lot like Judith's, except Jael drives a tent stake through a man's head while he was sleeping.

And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. ... Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. Judges 4:18-22

Now that sounds like something Sarah could get into! It's even got Barak in the same scene playing a somewhat subordinate role.

Another cool thing about this story is the little ditty they sing in the next chapter.

Blessed above women shall Jael ... be, blessed shall she be above women... She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. Judges 5:24-26

I think Pastor Reilly should talk to her about this.

Anon said...

Wow, v_quixotic and Steve. Just when I think the Bible can't surprise me anymore...Those are some pretty sick stories.

It is a funny coincidence (if the word "funny" can be applied to stories like this) that there's a Barak in Jael's story. I'm sure that can be twisted into a fulfilled prophesy somehow (any takers?).

It looks like there's still a lot to discover about Palin. Who knows what other skeletons (or decapitated heads) might be lurking in her closet...