Back in March, the Associated Press’ Mark Thiessen speculated on a number of potential primary challengers for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2022. The biggest name on the list was perhaps the third most-famous living member of the Alaska GOP (after Murkowski and Rep. Don Young), former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Well, on Friday, People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch revealed that Palin is taking a very long and very hard look at the race—and is willing to run if God gives the okay and if Christians get behind her more than they did in 2008. More telling, though, is where she did it—a conference hosted by leading members of the overtly fascist religious right offshoot where Palin has spent a good chunk of her life. This same offshoot played a key role in what can only be described as a sustained campaign to bully this country into supporting Palin’s male counterpart—The Messiah, Lord Donald Trump, The Most Merciful.
Two Sundays ago, Palin was a featured guest at “Leading With Conviction: Truth That Stands,” a conference hosted by Ché Ahn of Harvest International Ministry. Ahn is one of the top leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation, an overtly fascist offshoot of the religious right that believes it can actually bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world. Ahn is counted as an “apostle” in this constituency; NAR believers are of the mind that if Christians under submission to “apostles” and “prophets” like Ahn take over the forces that influence society, it will pave the way for Jesus to come back—and they can hand him the world on a platter. You may also know this network as the same outfit that produced Becky Fischer of Jesus Camp fame.
During the afternoon session, Palin sat down for an onstage interview with Ahn. Watch it here:
This interview was vintage Palin—that is, red meat by the barrel full. She railed that this country was “dedicated to God”—indeed, “our charters of liberty were written to and about God.” She openly wondered when Americans would wake up and ask why our leaders want to “strip from our Creator what our founders had dedicated to him” and repurpose it for “for some kind of secular use, secular enjoyment.”
Later, Palin asked the audience, “Are we gonna let them fundamentally transform the nation that does belong to God? How dare we take from God what is his and say we’re going to do what we want to do with it?”
Ahn asked Palin if she would take a run at Murkowski’s seat. Palin said she was praying about it, saying that “if God wants me to do it, I will.” However, she said that if she did run, “you guys better be there for me this time.” She believed that she got pummeled in the press in 2008 because her brothers and sisters didn’t have her back. Later, she sounded the alarm about “potentially forced immunizations,” and urged Christians to not be afraid to “infiltrate and influence the culture.”
Palin was speaking in a code most of the audience at that conference recognized. Indeed, she was actually in her element. For those who don’t know, Palin is a devout charismatic Christian, though she herself eschews the label, preferring to call herself just a Christian (as do many charismatics).
During the 2008 campaign, our friends at Talk2Action revealed that Palin has moved in NAR circles for much of her politically active life. For instance, Bruce Wilson reported Mary Glazier, the leader of a NAR-aligned group of Alaska-based intercessors, revealed that Palin had been part of her group since the 1990s—and that around that time, “God began to speak to her about entering into politics.” When Palin joined John McCain’s ticket, a number of NAR leaders skipped and danced. For instance, a Norwegian pastor noted that she was a longstanding member of Glazier’s prayer group. Glazier, in turn, was under the covering of one of the NAR’s founders, Peter Wagner.
Russ Bellant revealed that the church Palin attended in Juneau during much of her tenure as governor was up to its eyeballs in the “Toronto Blessing,” which many of us know for scenes of people laughing, barking, and howling during church services. But that same movement also believes in turning the cities where they’re based into “citadels for the righteous.” One speaker brought the flock to its feet with a claim that they were in a movement that would “shake America like a tsunami.” According to Bellant, Palin almost certainly believes wholeheartedly in this line—otherwise, she wouldn’t have been “in good stead and be upheld” as she was in 2008.
This context is needed to understand how another NAR “apostle,” Cindy Jacobs—a woman who once claimed birds fell dead with the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and who called for Christians to “lay siege” to their cities—prayed over Palin at the end of the interview. Jacobs said that she’d gotten a message from God that “an army of intercessors” and “an army of pastors and leaders” would be all in for Palin if she ran for Senate, and it would be enough for her to go “all the way to the top” if she did run for Senate.
Palin’s path, however, could be muddied by recent changes to elections in Alaska. Back in November, voters scrapped partisan primaries, instead instituting a blanket primary in which the top four finishers would advance to the general election. That general election, in turn, would be conducted via Australian-style ranked-choice voting. Speculation has abounded that such a system could actually protect Murkowski, especially if she makes it to the general election.
Whatever the case, if the Democrats are serious about running in this seat in 2022, the prospect of Palin being on the ballot is even more reason for them to be about it.