Speaking to a crowd of about 16,000 attending an evangelical Christian women’s conference in Louisville, she rejected the American standard of separation of church and state, advocating we “get back to our christian roots”.
Palin’s definition of conservatism certainly has taken a turn from the theology of the father of conservatism, Barry Goldwater, who staunchly believed in separation of church and state. “I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don’t hurt anyone else in the process.”
From CHURCH & STATE July/August 1998: Goldwater was not always such a staunch separationist. Early in his controversial political career he supported tax breaks for private school tuition and a school prayer amendment. But the rise of the intolerant Religious Right caused him to rethink his views, a change that sparked admiration from Americans who disagreed with him on many other things.
When Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns. Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that “every good Christian should be concerned.” Replied Goldwater, “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”
That same year Senator Goldwater complained at length that :
“”There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’ ” (1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona) Source: Congressional Record, September 16, 1981
Compared to the far right theocratic ramblings of Sarah Palin, Barry Goldwater seemed absolutely liberal.