When news broke yesterday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain had named little-known Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate, religion writers across the country and the curious in the blogosphere scrambled to figure out her denominational affiliation.
Palin was briefly touted as the first Pentecostal to run on a major party ticket. A spokesperson, however, told the Associated Press yesterday that although the 44-year-old mother of five grew up in the Assemblies of God, the largest organized Pentecostal denomination in the world with an estimated 57 million members, she does not consider herself a “Pentecostal.”
Her primary place of worship in Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is said to be the “Church on the Rock,” an independent congregation founded in January 2000. Palin’s spokesperson, however, said the governor also attends different churches.
The initial confusion surrounding Palin’s denominational identity, therefore, has a simple explanation: She doesn’t have one.