Has Sarah Palin spoken in tongues?

Has Sarah Palin Spoken in Tongues?


Last night a CNN reporter asked that question of Palin’s former pastor.  Because of my work as religious liaison in past presidential campaigns, I have been inundated with calls from the media asking about Sarah Palin’s church, the Assemblies of God, their doctrine and what this will mean.  A national magazine has asked me to send them an 800 word assessment of how Pentecostal-Charismatic doctrine is “distinct.” 



The media is on the hunt and they smell a kill.  Didn’t Obama’s pastor seriously damage his cause?  Won’t Palin’s Pentecostalism hurt her?  So why does Barack Obama still seem to be in a stupor over John McCain’s pick for Vice President?  And what is the source of John McCain’s cocky smile?


Because Obama and McCain are politicians and not just your average politicians, they are among the best. The American people are getting their money’s worth in this contest.  And as politicians, they know the numbers, the numbers that the media in their supreme arrogance toward anything religious, always seem to disbelieve.


And here are the numbers.  Beware.  You may be a bit surprised by what I am about to tell you but the references are all at the end of the blog, so hang tight and follow the numbers and the logic.  John McCain did just that and it is why he is still in a race that the Democrats should have already won.  And it is why Obama is looking stunned.


Here they are.  According to Barna, 36% of the American public are charismatic or Pentecostal Christians.  We are talking about huge numbers, probably 80 million adults. 


Consider that 24% of the American public are Catholic. 13% are African American.


To give you an idea of the numbers, just remember that anyone who is baptized as an infant as a Catholic, is counted as a Catholic.  But to be counted in this 36% you had to say that you had been “filled with the Holy Spirit” and that you believe that “the charismatic gifts, gifts such as tongues and healing, are still valid and active today.”  So the 36% Penteocstal-Charismatics are hot.  They are adult and active.


Now, here’s where it gets even more ironic.  It turns out that 33% of all Catholics are charismatic, that is, they believe in these same gifts of healing and speaking in tongues.  Again, the same logic applies.  Cultural Catholics are less likely to have been involved in the “charismatic renewal” within their own Church.  Most of the 33% are adults, and active.


So here is what is happening.  Some in the media are falling all over themselves to show that Palin is out of step with the nation, that she is a fanatic or, at least, her church is fanatical.   They are rushing to do Obama’s work for him, attacking Palin’s faith.  And they justify it all by saying that they were just as aggressive in looking at Obama’s faith too.  The problem, which Obama and McCain understand well, is this.  What percentage of Americans would agree with “God Damn America” as opposed to “the charismatic gifts, gifts such as tongues and healing, are still valid and active today”?


It is even more ironic, better or worse, depending on your preference.  Obama was specifically attempting to peel off the Pentecostal-Charismatics from the rest of the evangelical herd.  Democrats had several meetings set up with Pentecostal leaders.  McCain had misstepped with endorsements from John Hagee and Rod Parsley, both Pentecostals.  Republican, Chuck Grassley, a Baptist, had awakened the Baptist – Pentecostal doctrinal rift by specifically targeting Pentecostal ministries in an “investigation” but exempting any Baptists.


If the Baptist-Pentecostal fracture had endured, it would have rent the last remaining base of the beleaguered presidency of George W. Bush and the melting iceberg from which the McCain team had to launch their campaign.


Now, with one decision, a VP pick, John McCain has turned it all on a dime.


The media rushes greedily on, thinking they have something of interest that will break McCain.  But Obama and McCain know the truth.  The more the media confidently ridicules and attacks the Pentecostal-Charismatics, the more they unite what had been a fractured Republican base and drive this massive constituency into the Republican fold.  In their ignorance, or innocence, the media will use a shotgun approach, (now here’s where their failure to do any homework on religion really hurts them) and they will end up hitting all evangelicals, not just Pentecostals.  When they attack the idea of healing for example, they make Mormons, Christian Scientists and even many New Agers nervous.  Oh, yeah, there is that 33% of Catholics who will wince when media pundits laugh at Palin’s doctrines.  And when they ridicule the born again experience they blow out Baptists and fundamentalist Lutherans.


Thus the media will do the work that a clumsy, liberal Democrat nominee usually did in the past.  In forty years, only two Democratic nominees have won, Carter and Clinton, and both hailed from the South and understood and appealed to evangelicals.   (42% of all Americans claim to be born again Christians, which includes the Pentecostals and Charismatics.)  Barack Obama had this all figured out.  He needed the Pentecostals to balance his liberal voting record in the Senate, to make him something more than a Dukakis or Kerry.  Indeed, the head of his religious outreach is a young Assemblies of God political operator.  (Maybe the media will ask him if he has ever spoken in tongues?)


So Obama will helplessly watch this unfold these next two days, as the media tide washes ashore and does its job, confidant that they are providing Obama some redress for his own pastor problems.  And unfairly, Obama will be tarred with the same brush.  He will suffer for the media’s attacks on Palin’s faith, as if he himself had orchestrated it. 


And what is the point?  That Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice president because she was raised in such a church and exposed to such doctrines?  Maybe Pentecostals and Charismatics should not able allowed to operate heavy machinery or be doctors or lawyers.  Maybe 36% of the American public should be exempted from public life.


Obama can only pine as he watches all of his brilliant, nuanced work slip away.  It will take the most informed in the media a few days to figure this out and add a measure of balance to their reporting, to at least offer Pentecostals as much respect as they do Muslims fundamentalists but some won’t ever know what they have done.


Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “He who says that religion and politics don’t mix, understands neither one.”


This race is not over.  With a damaged Republican brand and a faltering economy it is still Barack Obama’s to lose. And this a moment in history, the election of an African American, that many want to see happen. But they will have to take out Sarah Palin first. I expect her to be laid bare in the next few days and weeks.


Here is that reference: 

Is America Turning Charismatic?



Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

28 thoughts on “Has Sarah Palin spoken in tongues?

  1. Great Interblog post! I don’t see how you haven’t won any interblog awards, but I’m sure they’ll be coming. I’ll be praying for it.

    It is not just the media who is at fault here in failing to see the Inevitable Tide of Christianity.

    None other than Google itself is deeply involved in persecuting and marginalizing Our Holy Christian tradition.

    For example, if you go to the Google Translators, you’ll see they’ll translate from American English into just about any other language out there, including Mexican….except for tongues. I’ve written to Google repeatedly, and they repeatedly ignore my request to have a google tongues translator, so that the Ungifted can understand Our Gift and welcome Him into their souls.

    Coincidence? Hardly


  2. you just might be brilliant!
    in this case, i’m glad brilliance is not understood by everyone.
    i’d love to see this “secret” kept in the bag for a bit longer.

  3. You make some good points Doug. I think that our corporately owned media is terrified of an Assemblies of God mother running the country.

    It is also interesting how attacking her faith really will “rally the troops” to her support. If the media wants an Obama victory, they should not attack her faith.

    I will be interested to see what Fox News does.. seeing how they are owned by a conservative.

  4. That kind of scares me… its as if this country isn’t past the internment camps of WW2.

    “…Maybe Pentecostals and Charismatics should not able allowed to operate heavy machinery or be doctors or lawyers. Maybe 36% of the American public should be exempted from public life.”

  5. You miss out another important demographic….what percent of Obama’s strongest supporters, the 90 to 95 percent of African-Americans that support his candidacy are Pentacostal or Charismatic and will they feel conflicted by an attack on ‘tongues’? If Obama’s 90 to 95 percent of African American drops to even 80 or 85 percent, or African Americans stay home, the Dems can give up all hope of such “take away” states as Virginia….

  6. I like Sarah Palin, but the whole idea of someone speaking in a form of non-sensical gibberish dubbed “tongues” as part of a religious rite smacks of ridiculousness.

    This is where religion crosses the line into nut job territory. Holding snakes is right up there as well. Faith healing is probably the champion.

    Surprise, surprise, this kind of lunacy originated in the southern states, where of course, the nation’s intelligentsia firmly resides. (sarcasm)

  7. >>That kind of scares me… its as if this country isn’t past the internment camps of WW2. “…Maybe Pentecostals and Charismatics should not able allowed to operate heavy machinery or be doctors or lawyers. Maybe 36% of the American public should be exempted from public life.”

    It’s the devil who is behind all of this fear mongering, and he is the one afraid of the Pentecostals ttoo

  8. David Black,

    It is an insult to think black christians are going to prefer a man 9Obama) who profess to know Jesus but “deny the power thereof”
    Read Roman’s chapter 1.

    As a black man with a solid “word of faith” background and there are many of us, we have moved beyond race. Obama has nothing to offer the black community anyway more than rhetoric.

    The irony of this whole situation is that your statement goes contrary to what Martin Luther King stood for “character over color” you figure.

  9. leonecomm:

    Based on that shortsighted and ill-conceived response about “wasteful” convention spending on the Grassley board on 9/6, I find it difficult to believe you are capable of independent thought.

    The moment you have to quote biblical scripture gives it away.

    I think I know black people better than you do. The city I live in is filled with them, with a majority that embody the dependent victimhood underclass that always votes Democrat.

  10. >>MLK was a poor example for black people to have to follow … a degenerate womanizer and Communist sympathizer.

    when some one nasically has to sling mud to try to win his point he rightfuly already lost my support and interest himself and shows to all rather what he himself is realy like, and you will even next likley treat all people badly now too..

  11. Please explain what is a “good” example of being Jewish?

    Sorry, we’re not all yarlmulke wearing guys with funny beards who say “Oy Vey!” and appear as if we belong in the road company of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

    That’s likely the stereotype you prefer.

  12. Brilliant post, Doug. I subscribe to the fact many people are filled with the Holy Ghost and power, even in these perilous times we live in. Thank you for doing some research into the matter; you don’t appear to be close-minded regarding this controversial subject.

    I am a Church of God, Cleveland, TN, pastor; you can also label me as a pentecostal. We believe the gifts of the Spirit are still active today, just as you reported. Thanks for what you wrote.

  13. Mr. Wead – Gov. Palin left the Assembly of God church several years ago in favor of a non-denominational community church. You keep calling her Pentecostal, but please reflect the change. Maybe just a church change, but there was a deliberate move from the church she grew up in to another.

    As you point out, God has relevance in most Americans’ lives and in those of past and current political leaders. It has only been 30 years or so that the idea has been presented as anathema – about the time the media began solidifying into a liberal mass. Thankfully, conservative media watchdogs are emerging, with strength, stomping down on these ignorant and blatant impositions of bias. Hey, the subtle ones don’t go unnoticed anymore either. And thank you for your contribution in this regard.

  14. David Black,

    Give it a REST! Your behavior displayed in your comments , is far more worse than a wolf in sheep clothing Politian who is more concerned about using the term “conservative” and Jesus as a dart to marginalize people, or implementing laws of injustice, more so than presenting a holistic ministry of Jesus in a misguided social society . I see no difference between your comments and any supremacist group, the only difference is you cover your bias up with political religion. I believe being a Christian will make you a conservative, but being conservative won’t bring Christian fruit. So get a grip and cease from the pre- school sand box fights, temper-tantrums, and name calling in your comments!

    I have found out that the Jewish community has such a respect for history, leadership, that goes beyond their community, etc. They are fueled by Excellence, knowing excellence is better than success. It entails pleasing God—fulfilling one’s destiny as His child—godliness. Many Jews if not all build their rich legacy and heritage knowing, Godliness does not lead them to strive for success, but to strive for excellence—to strive to accomplish God’s purposes, thus fulfilling their highest calling as His redeemed ones. With this said, seeing that you are Jewish or may have some connection, Many Jews who’ve read your comments thus far have been outraged at your level of ignorance, and behavior, and the misrepresentation of the Jewish community as well as The African American Community!

    Your unfair character assignation, and false judgment on MLK, not to mention your bias, narrow minded, and yet borderline racist generalization, that ALL blacks are motivated to vote based on race, rather than using our intelligence and knowledge to vote for building a bridge of hope for social and political change with a holy conviction or to insinuate that we can careless on solving social ills with biblical principals, is aloof.

    Most African Americans stand for values that are transcendent! Values that know not of time…. We are just as concerned on social issues, its causes, as well as rolling up our sleeves and getting involved in changing today’s culture from a Kingdom- biblical point of view.

    And you are suppose to be a leader to make difference in society? Do you consider your self a leader, who uplifts your community????? Your thinking and comments are living proof of the very social and chrsitian dilemmas that causes this society to be divided!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Speaking in tongues is a gift from God. To me it is a special prayer language when I don’t know how to pray. Why should it matter to anyone how a person prays. I commend Sarah Palin for standing up for what she believes. If an anthiest is allowed to speak out for what they believe, why shouldn’t a Christian? Isn’t that what freedom of speech means. Isn’t that what America is all about..freedom for everyone.

  16. Doug, I loved your blog. You are, as usual, right on the money. Washington and the media are terrified of people of faith, especially spirit filled believers, because they maintain their sense of power and control through fear and/or favors. If you cannot be “bought” with an entitlement program or incentive, they count on your being intimated by their threats or use of the courts to bleed you dry of any finances you may have. However, with people of faith, those tactics no longer work; as if some unseen force is assisting them to sidestep their well-laid traps. They worship power, self, and notariety because they fear annonymity, insignificance, and servitude. Spirit filled believers are a complete mystery to them. They can’t be bought, they can’t be intimidated, and now, they will not be quiet. They have awakened a giant and it’s going to stand up and say ENOUGH! THIS FAR AND NO FARTHER!
    I’m going to pop some popcorn and enjoy this election season.

  17. It is a mistake to assume that all Blacks or African Americans will vote for Obama. I will always be on the Lord’s side. I love the Lord and I will keep his commandments.
    Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
    Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes

  18. denise80: If you want me to stop then why don’t you and your pals stop pushing your agenda based on fairy tales and myths?

    “And you are suppose to be a leader to make difference in society? Do you consider your self a leader, who uplifts your community?????”

    Never. It’s not my responsibility.My responsibility is to my own flesh and blood only.

  19. “our unfair character assignation, and false judgment on MLK,”

    Everything I said about MLK is true. The FBI had files on his extramarital activities, for example.

    Wow, that’s some hero. Typical bleeding heart do-gooder … out trying to save the world and meanwhile, he couldn’t even be faithful to his own flesh and blood.

    What a sick creep he was. How fitting that this is the best example that the blacks could come up with as their hero.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: