In addition to featuring a preacher who claims President Bush’s critics will head to hell, Palin’s church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, has close ties with Love Won Out, an ex-gay organization claim gays can be cured through Jesus Christ.
“We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska,” says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship.
At the 11:15 a.m. Sunday service, hundreds sit in folding chairs, listening to a 20-minute sermon about the Book of Malachi and singing along to alt-rock praise songs. The only sign of culture warring in the whole production is an insert in the day’s program advertising an upcoming Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality in Anchorage called Love Won Out. The group promises to teach attendees how to “respond to misinformation in our culture” and help them “overcome” homosexuality.
We’ve just put a call into the McCain campaign asking two questions: One, does Governor Palin believe homosexuality can be “overcome” through religion? And, two, does Palin believe homosexuality’s innate, as in you’re born gay, or a choice?
We’ll keep you posted if they actually get back to us. You know how moody McCain can be with the press!