“First Family” Pay for Pray

Tues. Oct. 14, 2008

It’s probably time to put Sarah Palin horror stories to rest, but we can’t resist one more.

On Sunday, the AP reported (see link below) that as governor, Palin “blurred” the line between church and state, using her elected office to promote religious causes at taxpayer expense. More specifically, she would, for example, speak to young missionaries at the Wasilla Assemby of God Pentecostal church “vowing to do her part to implement God’s will from the governor’s office.”

Well, OK, that’s not necessarily wrong. After all, who can really argue about God’s will — assuming we have any idea what It might be?

However, Gov. Palin billed the taxpayers $639.50 for her airfare and per diem for that expedition.

Further, according to AP, since 2006, the governor and her family have billed the Alaska citizens some $13,000 to attend religious events.

The rationale? The state paid for travel and meals “because she and her family were invited in their official capacity as Alaska’s first family.”

Perhaps someone should inform the Palins that in a republic the concept of “first family” is honorific — essentially a metaphor. In the U.S., we don’t really have an official first family.

If you’re on government business, so be it. The taxpayers expect to foot the bill. But we don’t pay our executives to travel around with their family to speak to constituents. Want to go to church and have a spiritual experience? Fine. Don’t call it a “an official first family” outing.

As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state


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