A retired pastor could be Sarah Palin's undoing
I just spent the evening having dinner with Alaska's most influential bloggers, a former Anchorage radio talk show host, friends and a video team from the U.K.
Most importantly, I met a man I've revered for 14 years, retired Valley Baptist Pastor Howard Bess. Howard is the man who wrote the book, "Pastor, I Am Gay"...the book Sarah Palin specifically targeted to be removed from the Wasilla library.
(I respected him long before that. He was one of the only church leaders in 1993 to support the Ordinance in Anchorage to add "sexual orientation" to the protected classes in Municipal employment. It's what made him and his book a target in the first place.)
I happened to meet the U.K. film crew at the women's rally and they took an interest in me as a blogger When I was invited to this dinner I asked our host if they could come as well. He said yes.
I watched and participated tonight while this U.K. film crew got Howard's story on video. Since the journalist from Salon.com couldn't come and the reporter from "The Nation" had to leave (the folks who were the reason for the gathering) it would have been a missed opportunity to really get this story out had it not been my "chance" encounter with this quirky film crew.
There are no coincidences.
There was something really powerful about watching Howard speak in simple terms about the threats, intimidation and his eventual forced retirement and his church's excommunication from the American Baptists over his stances on LGBT issues and that book.
It's easy to forget how frightening truth in the form of the written word can be to those who are truth's enemies. It's also easy to forget that while our countrymen and women fought and died for over 200 years to protect our access to that truth, our friends in the U.K. did the same centuries before us.
Listening to the film crew, they are quite literally terrified by the thought of someone like Sarah Palin being in the White House only a heartbeat away from becoming the "Leader of the Free World." Sadly, the U.K. seems more terrified than most in the U.S.
I was glad that David Talbot of Salon.com (the other reporter who was supposed to come to the dinner) got his interview with Howard Bess and he did a great job. However, I think that the story will be much more powerful on film. This ordinary-looking plain-speaking man and his wonderful wife are heroes because they believe that God loves everyone equally and worshipping Him in ANY church is a right as children of God.
They show every Christian and any other religious person the true meaning of the words "Love Won Out."