Sarah Palin tells Christian women to follow Alabama's motto, 'Dare to defend our rights'
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 6:10 PM Updated: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 6:33 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told an enthusiastic gathering of Christian women today that they should follow Alabama's state motto and dare to defend their rights.
"I'm not just talking about our political rights, but the rights we are given as a daughter of God," the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate told women this afternoon at the Extraordinary Women's Conference in Birmingham.
"He trusts us with the responsibility to live big, to live bold, to live passionately and to live vibrantly so we can effect change to the world around us," she said.
Palin was the keynote speaker at the two-day gathering organized by the Virginia-based group, Extraordinary Women. Speakers discussed their own faith journeys, based on the theme "passionate faith."
Palin used examples from her political and personal life, as well as the lives of her children and grandchild, Tripp, to show why a strong faith in God is crucial to surviving life's challenges and setbacks.
She discussed how giving birth to her youngest child, Trig, who has Down syndrome, helped strengthen her faith.
"He is the most precious, amazing child," she said. "God has good plans for us. Trig shows us what really matters and how much God loves us. He only will give us the best."
Palin, an author and commentator paid homage to Alabama's prowess on the college football gridiron -- giving both "Roll Tide" and "War Eagle" shoutouts.
She praised recently drafted Crimson Tide star Trent Richardson as a role model for recently accompanying a cancer patient to her school prom and "giving this girl hope."
She said the nation has recognized Alabama as "a champion in the midst of storms, of restoration." As Alabama rebuilds from last year's deadly tornadoes, the country recognizes how its residents "are persevering with grace," she said.
Palin used the recently broken crystal BCS championship trophy as a metaphor for the state's travails, and the strength that comes from faith.
"It provides a providential lesson," she said. "Shattered dreams and things can be restored."
Palin veered into politics, touching on national Republican Party themes such as the size of the national debt, the country's dependence on foreign oil instead of drilling domestically and the need to support Israel.
She warned that the federal government now risks making the same mistakes as the captain of the ill-fated cruise ship Titanic, ignoring warnings of danger ahead until it is irreparably damaged and sinks.
Palin also took potshots at the "leftist, liberal reporters" and "granola crunchers" who oppose gun-owners' rights. She told the audience to stick to their beliefs and values.
"It's hurt people who hurt people," she said.
But Palin's message Saturday mainly centered on the message that hope and faith are inseparable and that believers should remain strong in their faith when it inevitably is tested.
"Don't be intimidated as they try to reduce you, to mock you, to stop you," she said. "Get off the sidelines. We were created to make a difference and help others put back together their shattered lives and dreams."