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Services today moved as suspicious fire wrecks Sarah Palin's church

Wasilla Bible Church, home house of worship for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, was virtually destroyed by a suspicious fire Saturday. Services have been moved to a nearby middle school

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband Todd and up to 1,000 fellow parishioners will worship in a local school this morning after a suspicious fire virtually destroyed the Wasilla Bible Church early Saturday.

The Rev. Larry Kroon said some parishioners were in the church on Nicola Avenue at the time the fire was noticed but no one was injured. Firefighters baAlaska Republican governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin whose church was burned Saturday by suspected arsonttled for about eight hours in minus-20 degree temperatures to completely extinguish the blaze that began at the front door.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate went to the church Saturday to apologize to pastors in case the estimated $1 million fire damages, suspected as arson, were "in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received" since the governor's involvement with John McCain's presidential campaign.

The 30-year-old congregation in Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage, had moved into its new church just 30 months ago. Church officials said they expect to hold services at the Wasilla Middle School for the foreseeable future during repairs.

— Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Al Grillo / Associated Press (top, church); Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images (bottom, Gov. Sarah Palin).

Comments () | Archives (83)

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If it is related to her candidacy, that's really pathetic that someone would do that. She doesn't deserve this and her church certainly doesn't either.

This woman and her family have been treated beyond bad from the very beginning she was selected by McCain. I can understand people being loyal to Obama, but this obsession to destroy Palin based on that loyalty is extremely disturbing!! To torch a house of prayer, because a candidate when against their candidate?!! Something is immorally wrong with this.

This woman and her family have been treated beyond bad from the very beginning she was selected by McCain. I can understand people being loyal to Obama, but this obsession to destroy Palin based on that loyalty is extremely disturbing!! To torch a house of prayer, because a candidate when against their candidate?!! Something is immorally wrong with this.

I'm quite sure this involves the "tolerance" of the libs. As has been said by one smarter than me, there is no intoleramce like liberal intolerance. I will be shocked if this isn't perpetrated by an angry lib.

Why are posters blaming "liberal intolerance" for this? How do you know? Isn't it likely that someone with a grudge of some kind did this? To blame Obama supporters, for example, is ludicrous.

Tyrone - It's not likely that a pro-Obama person wouldn't have done this - Palin helped us win the election by being such an obviously bad choice. Doesn't mean we'd want to hurt the woman. You could just as well blame some Republican for it.

I'm sure it was perpetrated by a lib, and this is coming from a lib, but that's hardly more of a point then that the war in Iraq which has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians iraq was caused by a neocon. "libs" have committed crimes and neocons have, i don't condone arson, but i care much more about war then isolated arson that killed nobody. as far as intolerance goes have we forgotten who it was leading the anti-civil rights movement just fifty years ago, not liberals, that was conservative southern democrats like Strom Thurmond. let's not talk about liberal intolerance without anything to support your argument.

Whoever did this is a Criminal, plain and simple, and quite possibly mentally ill in some way as well. Who they may have voted for is irrelevant. Crime is crime regardless of who it is directed against.

No right thinking Democrat or Republican would be anything but appalled by this type of act, and any attempt to score political points by blaming "Liberals" or "Obama supporters" for this is utter nonsense.

Whoever did this is a Criminal, plain and simple, and quite possibly mentally ill in some way as well. Who they may have voted for is irrelevant. Crime is crime regardless of who it is directed against.

No right thinking Democrat or Republican would be anything but appalled by this type of act, and any attempt to score political points by blaming "Liberals" or "Obama supporters" for this is utter nonsense.

It is quite human to suspect, as these comments do, that the fire was set by an Obama supporter or Sarah hater. Liberals have jumped to such conclusions in other cases. But after a lifetime of watching people do that, I would suggest withholding judgment. Quite often coincidence plays a bigger part in such things than malice. It really seems likely that if it was arson, only a madman would set fire to a building occupied by people who are awake and alert.

Interesting that you've already figured out who did this. It MUST have been an angry Obama supporter or angry liberal! I guess the police and fire dept. won't need to bother with an investigation now.

Even when the evidence comes back and it's probably her son or his friends or some juvenile, you retard republicans won't bother to retract your statements above. Just like Fox news you blame liberals and then when your wrong...mums the word!

Angry lib?? Umm... we "libs" as you call us WON, remember? We have no need to antagonize Sarah Palin. Granted, there are nut-jobs on both sides of the political spectrum, but COME ON, it's not like she's a threat. She COST McCain the election. I HOPE she runs again - no person with a brain can take her seriously!

The fact that you all are assuming that this attack was politically motivated just shows what brainwashed knee-jerk "cons" you are.

Oh, yes we did.

everyone is blaming liberals for this? Maybe you forgot that liberals won and Gov. Palin hasn't had airtime since election time early last month. They have no reason to hate her - she gave them the biggest victory they have had in several decades.

Besides, considering it was a church directly related to Palin, and Palin has a deal with Hugo Chavez to heat their state, perhaps faulty heating is to blame...It was twenty below, and I don't think anyone has ever equated Venezuelan products with safety or quality...

Burn the bastard that burnt the church who cares if he/she was a left wing or right wing nutjob or just a regular nutjob may he rot in the darkest deepest depths of hell. While i'm on the point of burning in hell may all right wing and left wing nutjobs burn in hell for screwing up our governmental system so badly to the point we can't accomplish anything simply because one side wont vote with the other. I swear our government looks more and more like a nursry scrhool every time i turn around somenoe is crying that someone else did something someone didn't like so we wont vote for their bill even if it's a good one. I've watched children work out problems better than our politicans. Anyway thats my rant for the day hope you enjoy!!

Looks like God noticed.

It was God giving her a message.

Most importantly, I'm glad that nobody was hurt. It's a little early to be assessing blame to anyone. This could very well have nothing at all to do with Palin. If someone wanted to hurt Palin, why would they start a fire in a building that she wasn't even in? It sounds more like someone with a vendetta against the church or one of the people who were in it at the time the fire was started.

Most likely it was an electrical fire and the underfunded municipality could not put it out in time.

I think the state trooper did it........after all he's the one with the grudge.

Who's been trying to drive people out of their jobs or out of business because they voted with the majority on Prop 8? Who plastered posters and stickers supporting their candidate on public property and on other people's private property? Now someone set fire to Palin's church, and I don't think it was an angry moose. There is within the left a large faction of mostly young, self-righteous activists who believe that because they are right, anything they do to promote their cause or to damage their political enemies is justifiable. Vandalism, violence, intimidation, slander... all are OK to them. They are an embarrassment to civilized democracy, which depends on mutual respect, civil conduct, and a firm determination to settle issues by the vote.

Let me first say that arson is a terrible crime, regardless of what kind of building is destroyed or who does it for whatever motive. The person that did this should go to jail. I assume that since this is so high profile, the arson will be caught fairly soon and they will end up behind bars in a cold Alaskan prison.
"Obsession to destroy Palin"????
"Liberals" could care less about Palin now. She's going to fade into obscurity. She has no political future.
As was stated in an earlier post, Palin was (and is especially now) a non-issue for"libs". After the breif initial spark of republican enthusiasm for her, it quickly faded for the truly intelligent republicans, because they realized what a liability she was for the party as soon as she started speaking without a prepared the Couric interview. That was truly frightening.
The fire was probably set by someone she pissed off in Wasilla well before her nomination by unjustly wielding her power on someone as she did in "TrooperGate". An interview with a radio DJ in the Wasilla area stated that she really is not that well-liked, despite what the people in the lower 48 think, based in part on the biased American media outlets run by republicans - such as Fox.
To automatically assume that this was done by a "liberal" is an utterly ridiculous theory purported by people of low intelligence, but it's an expected response from bible-thumping nut-jobs.
The Church Lady:
"Hmmmm....let's see...I wonder who could have set the fire.....hmmm.....could it be......SATAN?????"

It's too bad John McCain hadn't won the election.
Earlier, it was too bad Albert Gore hadn't won in 2000.
We didn't need to invade Iraq, let alone Afghanistan.
Are we trying to do the Middle East and even some of
the rest of Asia what Hilter had
tried to do back around 1940 to Europe, almost destroy
nations completely ?
Why did Colin Powell have to go along with George W.
Bush's idea to invade Iraq? It's not enough that the
President, and earlier, Colin Powell also, have since
regretted not being more critical of the alleged 'intelligence
reports', but helpful that they recognize that some sort of
mistake happened. Even though Colin Powell couldn't
stand up to the President when faced with the President's
ambitions, John McCain has been a proven hero, and
Colin Powell would someday always do the right thing, if
only he had been chosen for Vice-Presidential candidacy.
And then John McCain would likely have won, and
Sarah Palin's Church wouldn't have been firebombed.

For once it's not a black church in the South (that's the "Lower 48" in Palin-speak) that's the subject of religious intolerance via arson. Intolerant lib? Nah, more likely an angry Repub or NeoCon intrigue, I mean that would be something along the lines of Dick Nixon's "dirty tricks" and Karl Rove's (affectionally nicknamed "Turd Blossom" by Pres. GW Bush) mentor Donald Segretti (see for more details). Possibly the opening salvo in Palin's 2012 POS campaign? No such thing as bad publicity, unless you're O.J. Simpson or Rod Blagojovich.

Maybe the fire was set by a witch ... isn't that the church that combats witches?

So, for all the cretins who use Iraq as a crutch for everything, let me get this straight. The Iraq war justifies any and all criminal acts against
- Christians
- Republicans
- Americans
- Jews
Everyone criminal will try to justify their crimes, that doesn't make it justified.

I'm beginning to think that all a liberal would have to do would be to walk INTO a church and it would burst into flames.

We don't know who started this fire but, because of the preponderance of vile comments posted on a wide variety of sites, we DO know how gleeful the liberals are that it happened.

We also know how ignorant they are about language use, freedom of religion, fundamental morality, and how very badly they smell...I mean spell.

To: Tyrone | December 14, 2008 at 01:13 AM

I do not understand the people like you who automatically assumes that people who are loyal to Obama has done this. Have you ever thought that it just might be someone who is a follower of McCain did this blaming her for losing the campaign? Obama won the campaign. Why would anyone go after Palin when Obama won a big time anyway? The foul smell comes more from McCain followers than Obama followers. Or it may just be another accident by kids who were building bon fires.

Talk about jumping to conclusions. All the police have said is that the fire was "suspicious" and suddenly the liberal democrats as a group are responsible? Please. I know many liberals and I myself am one; none of us would burn a church.

Lib Libs, NeoCon liberal Suspicious immoral Prayer Worship Community Libs Hate Terrorist Jumping Conclusion to feed your Own Agenda

I think a disenfranchised , mentally unstable person committed this horrendous act. Leave the parties out of this and look at the real problem - a loose cannon walking the streets of Wassilla and stocking a public figure.

How can a religious congregation be allowed to perform their ritual sacrifices in a public tax-funded school building?

Even though there are no goats beheaded or sheep throats slit or chickens gutted or virgins sacrificed, it is still a ritual of sacrifice.

Although in some religious sacrifices today, congregants are encouraged to lobotomize their brains.

But please set up direct deposit of your tithe, just in case your hand can no longer remember where your wallet is.

Obama supporters are scum. It has been obvious for a while that Democrats are hostile toward Christians, but now it seems they moving past words to action. All across the country, you are seeing vandalism against churches and liberals actually disrupting church services. Plus, throw in the San Fran crowd who dress like nuns in drag, go to a Catholic Church, and take a communion host to desecrate. The media is totally silent as they support these actions.

This woman, her family, and now her church family have suffered undue critism and torment by the media, by the people, and frankly by idiots that do such a thing as this. She has achieved everything that today's society is telling us a woman should be, except for one thing...she has morals. God forbid she actually takes a stand for things that may make others feel a little uncomfortable at times. At least we know where she stands, and what she believes in.

Wow, such a lot of anger at "libs". You don't even know if "they" did this, yet you have already judged, sentenced and thrown away the key. You speak of tolerance, so why not try some yourselves? People like yourselves are the reason this country is divided, you don't even try to see the other's viewpoint or listen to them, let alone respect them. For all we know, someone is angry with the pastor, or feels wronged in some way by the church or is just mentally ill. But you just know it HAS to be a "lib".

Looking at the past I would say the odds are greater than 50% that the Church was burned because Palin attended there but is not a fact.

Like begets like. Preaching intolerance of others probably made someone mad. The really sad thing about this is why hasn't this creepy woman disappeared from the public eye completely.

Some of the accusatory comments here are beyond ludicrous. Despite the nature of the news report, NOBODY yet knows how this fire started, Even so, the political creatures amongst us are pointing nasty fingers at the opposition. This is what Sarah Palin did throughout the campaign, so I guess it only makes sense that the polarizing partisanship extend to this incident. This could have been a routine case of insurance fraud by church elders who wanted a new church, a deranged parishioner, or just a flaw in the building's heating system. It also could have been someone who wanted to martyr the church in order to draw more attention to Palin and make her look like she is the victim of another insidious left-wing plot against the righteous. Let's try not to get too stupid about this, folks. The election is over.

Is it mere coincidence that the September 2, 2008, liberal rag the Huffington Post ran a feature story titled "Palin's Church May Have Shaped Controversial World View"? In it, Huffington capitalized on the partisan vitriol against Palin by associating her political views with the Wasilla Assembly of God where she has attended since childhood.

Does Palin herself have an alibi?

This was no random act of Arson, just like Palin's personal email being hacked was no random act. The facts are going to come out and when they do then what?

This was no random act of Arson, just like Palin's personal email being hacked was no random act. The facts are going to come out and when they do then what?

so far, the only people known to be present when the fire started belonged to the church. most of the commenters here seem to be blaming Obama supporters or liberals which, in Alaska, are about as common as palm trees. if you look at who has the most to gain from an act like this, and SOP for the GOP is to commit crimes like these for political gain, my guess is that whoever started the fire (if it is indeed arson) will turn out to be someone from Palin's "real America".

I suppose it is a shame, but thank God no firefighters were hurt putting out the blaze at this hideous building. It looks more like a commercial warehouse than a church and I can not believe it was only 30 months old. To be blunt the church is about the ugliest building I have ever seen. I also see no cross or any other features that would make one think that the facade was that of a religious building.
Yet after seeing the very ugly strip mall Alaskans call Wasiila that Palin helped plan I can clearly understand the ghastly design of the building.
I would suspect one of the congregation might have torched it out of embarrassment.
Now let us all go to our beautiful churches this morning and thank the good Lord Palin has a job tearing down this monstrosity.

The so-called enlightened liberals, especially ugly middle aged women hated Sarah Palin. I mean hate. A lot of it was jealousy based. Anyone who thinks a Lefty couldn't have done this is living in a fairy tale.

How could this happen? I thought Sarah and her church were protected from witchcraft.

regardless of who torched the church - the perp does not represent any amorphous political group such as "the libs" just as some idiot who plants a burning cross on someone's lawn does not represent southerners or white people.

Such thinking is simple minded and inherently bigoted.

It is also divisive and insulting - but I guess that's the point.

Where is the outrage? Change the content of the story to read Jeremiah Wright's church and this story would be all over the news.

My prayers are with Sarah Palin and her congregation. I will also pray for her safety.

A "Lib?" What the hell's a "Lib?" The use of that word indicated the writer gets his/her political opinions from the bigot known as Rush Limbaugh. It also indicates the writer is incapable of thinking for him/herself.
The fire was started by an arsonist, someone just as sick as the person who used the term "Lib' to indicate a person of a liberal political philosophy.

Please look up the definition of Liberal before you display your ignorance by using the word "Lib" a shorthand word thrown around by a loudmouth blabbermouth like Limbaugh.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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