Pentecostal Questions Haunt Palin

McCain may be avoiding pastor attacks to avoid focus on Palin's beliefs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2008 6:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – John McCain has so far avoided attacking Barack Obama's controversial pastor in what may be a strategy to keep Sarah Palin's preachers out of the spotlight, Time reports. Palin officially left her Pentecostal church before campaigning for lieutenant governor but has made many return visits—including one in 2005 when a bishop prayed to protect her from witchcraft.

Palin's presence has energized evangelical Republicans, but they might cool quickly to the candidate if they find she retains Pentecostal beliefs, observers say. Evangelicals and Pentecostals share many beliefs—including those involving the apocalyptic "End Times" of the world—but tension exists on some theological issues. Pentecostals place great emphasis on the Holy Spirit, which they believe can manifest itself through healing and speaking in tongues.