Re: creationism. While we can speculate about her personal beliefs, the fact remains she never apparently pushed the issue at any level or capacity. This
remains the best news article that addresses the issue, contemporaneous with the 2006 gubernatorial election. She seems to be a proponent of some rather old-school conservatism that states, whatever her personal beliefs, she doesn't necessarily believe they will make a good public office crusade. I realize that doesn't completely square with modern politics, which is more govern-how-you-believe - it's a rather old-fashioned position lost on both sides of the aisle. The tone of that article I linked certainly presents the idea that the state is divided enough on the creationism issue that, had she pressed it and given her extreme popularity at times in Alaska, she could have likely had some influence on the curriculum. She probably just doesn't see her role as either scientist or pastor in chief, and I happen to agree with that.
And re: book banning. No one can actually produce a book title that she tried to have banned. See here
. She did apparently challenge the librarian on how the librarian would react if she asked if a book was to be banned (although the sole source for this, as far as I can tell, was a political opponent and thus is suspect - the librarian herself has never spoken on the issue). The librarian was briefly fired, but then re-hired a few weeks later and served until the end of Palin's first term 1999 without further incident. My own speculation says it was a personal conflict that ended up being resolved, not an ideological one (if she had really wanted to ban books, she wouldn't have rehired the same librarian that refused to engage in such a thing).I have heard nothing indicating that Obama's religion leads him to refute facts firmly agreed upon in the scientific community.
But he sat in a church that espoused AIDS conspiracy theories and spewed hateful and racial invective? The pastor that did so was his close friend and spiritual counselor? For 20 years? Married him to Michelle? Baptized his kids? This
really doesn't bother you?
That said, I actually do agree with you that that is not likely what Barack Obama believes. Based on his own statements (which boil down to: church is a vehicle for social change), I think his church was a means to climbing a political and social ladder in the Chicago area more than anything, and he just adopted the religion, lingo and the pastor as a means to an end. That's actually the least offensive version of events for me at least, because if he has a fervent belief on the kind of racial politics played out at that church, well, "eek." I'll take a dullard's creationism fantasies over race/class warfare crap like that any day.
But you know what? Even if he didn't really believe it, he stewed in that crap for year after year, just like he stewed in Chicago politics, going with the flow and not rocking the boat (until the church proved politically inconvenient, at least). As far as (not) displaying leadership traits, frankly, I don't think he's fit to be a governor, let along President. But the voters shall decide.