Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Arsonists Torch Sarah Palin's Wasilla Church

"The blaze was set at the main entrance of the Wasilla Bible Church on Friday evening while a small group, including two children, were inside."--Breitbart (12-15-08)

UPDATE: Fire Fighting News (12-16-08)

Arsonists torched Sarah Palin's Wasilla church on Friday, December 12, 2008, while a women's group was inside the church making crafts. The building was was less than three years old. The fire started at about 9:40, which is early for most arson-related fires. Accelerant was even poured around entrances to the building. [Watch videos here and here.]

There are some concerns that the arson might have been terrorism prompted by election coverage of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her church's "controversial" ministry to homosexuals. The church has supported Focus on the Family's "Love Won Out" conference.

WRAL (12-13-08) reports:

Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say whether the church had received any recent threats.

"There are so many variables," he said. "I don't want to comment in that direction."

Palin, who was not at the church at the time of the fire, stopped by Saturday. Her spokesman, Bill McAllister, said in a statement that Palin told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the "undeserved negative attention" the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29.

"Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good," McAllister said.

The 1,000-member evangelical church was the subject of intense scrutiny after Palin was named John McCain's running mate. Early in Palin's campaign, the church was criticized for promoting in a Sunday bulletin a Focus on the Family "Love Won Out Conference" in Anchorage. The conference promised to "help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome."

"Love Won Out" is sometimes accused of trying to "cure" people of their homosexual orientation, but the organization explains:

...The only time you’ll ever hear the word “cure” used in relation to our event is by those who oppose Love Won Out. They also like to claim we want to “fix” or “convert” gays and lesbians and that we believe people can “pray away the gay.” Such glib characterizations ignore the complex series of factors that can lead to same-sex attractions; they also mischaracterize our mission. We exist to help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome. It is not easy, but it is possible, as evidenced by the thousands of men and women who have walked this difficult road successfully.

...We aren’t here to “make” anybody do or become anything; we are here to offer a biblical and experiential perspective on the issue of homosexuality that is, sadly, underreported in the mainstream media. Our goals include aiding parents who want to learn how to better love their sons or daughters without compromising their faith; helping people who want to better understand the many factors that can lead to someone adopting a homosexual identity; and assisting those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions and want to discover how they might also start upon the path ― a difficult path, as noted above ― to overcoming those desires.

...We do not believe anyone chooses his or her same-sex attractions. We concur with the American Psychological Association’s position that homosexuality is likely developmental in nature and caused by a “complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors” (http://www.apa.org/). We would also agree with the American Psychiatric Association when it states “some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime.” If you ever hear us use the word “choice,” it is in relation to men and women who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions choosing to steward their impulses in a way that aligns with their faith convictions.

Breitbart (12-15-08) reports the facts about the arson that are known at this time:

Federal investigators in Alaska say an accelerant was poured around the exterior of Gov. Sarah Palin's home church before it was heavily damaged by a fire.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday that the accelerant was poured at several locations around the church, including entrances.

Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Nick Starcevic says laboratory tests will determine what the accelerant was.

The blaze was set at the main entrance of the Wasilla Bible Church on Friday evening while a small group, including two children, were inside. No one was injured.

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