The Sarah Palin School of Non-Partisan Politics

It is now well-known that Sarah Palin won her first bid for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska due in large part to her willingness to turn a non-partisan election into a battle over abortion, gun, and religion:

But in the first major race of her career — the 1996 campaign for mayor of her hometown, Wasilla — Palin was a far more conventional politician. In fact, according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors.

Now, via Ed Brayton we see that the practice is spreading and has been adopted Tim Tinglestad, who is running for the Minnesota Supreme Court:

I am committed to preserving the people’s constitutional right to choose their judges through meaningful, contested, non-partisan judicial elections.

Sounds good … until you read on:

I believe that justice is served when judges fear God and love the people, and as a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, I will be impartial to the parties, while partial to the original intent of the Constitution.

And it only gets worse from there: 

“Truth is the only solid foundation upon which to build a life, or a nation. God’s Word is the Foundational Truth upon which our constitutional form of government was built. The Truth of God’s Word is the foundation which holds families together. Yet in our pursuit of personal freedoms, we have lost the Foundational Truth upon which those freedoms were built. Where there is Truth, there is hope.”

“God’s Word is the Light of Truth. As God’s Word has been removed from our public lives, the resulting darkness has led to our present social disorder and political divisions. The correction of these problems will only begin when the Light of Truth is returned to our land’s highest hills, the Supreme Courts. Until our highest courts return to an acknowledgment of the existence of God and His Truth, the people will continue to walk in the confusion of darkness.”

“Our State and Nation are in need of the next Great Awakening! Just as we awaken to the light of each new morning, it will be the Light of Truth, from God’s Word, which will again awaken us to a new day in our communities, our State, and our Nation. In the Light of this new day we will return to the path, which God has destined us to travel. The alarm has sounded, and it is time to wake up!

And then it gets even worse than that:

Justice is served when Judges fear God, and love the people. This is the reason that I have chosen to seek to become a Supreme Court Justice, serving the people of Minnesota. To serve the court with impartial justice, judges must possess great knowledge and wisdom. Judges must be God fearing men and women, because God’s Word tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom…” (Psalm 111:10)

To fear God means to love Him with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your strength. This is the greatest commandment given to man. This fear requires an awesome, reverential acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God over the affairs of man. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as our selves. When we fear God, the necessary result is that we love the people. (Matthew 22:37-39)

If justice is to be served in our courts, then we must use the correct standard in choosing our judges. God’s Word gives us this standard in II Chronicles 19:5-7, which tells us, “Jehoshaphat appointed judges throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Be careful what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord, and He is with you in the matter of judgment. So now let the reverence and fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking of bribes.”

The hearts of our judges are critical because, “A good man brings forth good out of the good stored in his heart. An evil man brings forth evil out of the evil stored in his heart. For it is out of the overflow of the heart that the tongue speaks.” (Luke 6:45) If we want the decisions of our judges to be good, then we must pray that the hearts of our judges are turned toward God.

Tingelstad is challenging incumbent Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson and, judging by the primary returns, doesn’t seem to stand much of a chance considering that he only pulled in 22 percent of the statewide vote back in September.  So provided that John McCain doesn’t suddenly pick him as his next running mate, this will hopefully be the last time we ever write about him.