Pastor problem' may haunt Palin in race for White House

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Washington, Sept.10 : Pastors or, should we say former pastors, don't seem to gell with either the Republican camp or the rival Democratic campaign.

If Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama had a problem with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who claimed that the 9/11 attacks were a case of "America's chickens coming home to roost", Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin's former pastor at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, has generated fresh controversy by saying that he sees powerful signs that the end of the world is close.

Reverend Wright's comments led to Obama leaving the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, but Palin's former pastor Ed Kalnins citing the end of the world theory based on the conflict in the Middle East, America's dependence on foreign oil and the depletion of energy reserves, is likely to haunt the Republican as she joins John McCain in the race for the White House, claims the Washington Post.

Since Palin's nomination as McCain's Republican running-mate 11 days ago, her social and religious beliefs have become subjected to intense scrutiny.

As a supporter of the teaching of Creationism in schools, an opponent of abortion - even in cases of rape or incest - and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, she threatens to reopen the culture war that has scarred American politics for a quarter of a century.

Palin left the Wasilla Assembly of God Church in 2002 after 26 years' attendance, but she returned there in June to link religion to both energy and war.

She said that troops in Iraq were on "a task that is from God", and went on to urge the congregation to pray for the completion of a 30 billion dollar pipeline across the state.

Interviews with friends confirm that the foundation of her beliefs and constant source of guidance is the Bible.

This was the church into which Mrs Palin was baptised - or "saved", as she described it - at the age of 12, immersed in the waters of a lake during a family holiday. Before that she had been baptised a Catholic as an infant, but her mother began to take her and her siblings to the Wasilla Assembly of God and her faith began to change.

She gradually embraced practices of the Pentecostal faith, such as the laying on of hands and speaking in tongues.

ANI

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