Sarah Palin's Faith

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin became a household name after the 2008 presidential election and a new book is examining the role that faith plays in her life and how it's shaping her political future.

Now the author explains that there are four things that have impacted Sarah Palin from an early age. Now the first is that Palin's family life had a profound effect on her. The second is that the state of Alaska has helped shape the way she sees the world. The third is that Palin's outlook on life has been impacted by the Eskimo culture, in particular how they view women. And finally, Palin was shaped by the belief that her life has a purpose.

Joining me now is the author of the brand-new book "The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin, What She Believes and What It Means for America," our good friend, Stephen Mannsfield is back.

Steve, how are you?


HANNITY: All right, you've had a number of best-selling books. The Faith of -- I don't remember -- George Bush, you looked at his faith. And Barack Obama's faith, et cetera. Why do you find that so interesting?

MANNSFIELD: Because, you know, if a leader is sincere about their faith, the faith is one of the most important things about them. It will shape their public policy. It will shape their conduct in office. And don't we wish we'd known more about some folks' faith before they got in office. You know they were kind of unclear and not certain --

HANNITY: Black liberation theology.

MANNSFIELD: Yes. Look at what's going on right now. I mean with the recent, 50 - almost 50 percent of Americans are not sure about what Barack Obama believes. Even though I wrote a book on it.


MANNSFIELD: So what I'm saying is that I think faith is important. We shouldn't be ashamed to be talking about it. First Amendment shouldn't keep us away from it. It's an important to discuss in connection with politics.

HANNITY: You know it's interesting because you based a lot of points in the book, and point number one that we were talking about, that Palin's life in Alaska and her family had a profound impact. She was stacking wood at a young age. She sat right in the seat where you are and told me a story she went hunting before school and her father handed her moose eyeballs.


HANNITY: I mean that would have had a profound impact on me in my life, I got to tell you.

MANNSFIELD: It sounds like we're trying to turn her into Abraham Lincoln, but the fact is, she was born in 1964, that's the year The Beatles showed up. And yet -- showed up in America -- and yet, you're right. She chopped wood in her youth to heat the family home. They went hunting for moose to feed the family because it was -- you know, they're just schoolteachers in Alaska trying to get by.

And so she really had as much of a frontier existence as you could have at that time and it profoundly shaped her.

HANNITY: And that's sort of the rugged individual spirit of Alaska.


HANNITY: I mean, you grow up, you fish, you hunt.


HANNITY: You don't depend on the government for much and you take care of your family and you got pretty rugged conditions to live in winter.

MANNSFIELD: Well, and it's also the culture of the home. When the TV finally did show up in the Heath home, that was her -- that was her maiden name -- when the TV finally did show up, the father put it in an unheated room so that they'd have to chop wood and heat it, you know, in that way in order to watch TV.

Books were the primary thing, radio, family reading to each other. I mean there are unusual things about that family. At night whoever washed the dishes listened to the rest of them sing to them while they washed the dishes. Now that sounds like something out of the "Little House on the Prairie," but that was going on in their home.

HANNITY: What's interesting, now you were able to write this book by interviewing everybody that knows her and that was around her, correct?

MANNSFIELD: Right. Yes, we had the privilege of sitting in her parents' living room drinking coffee with them, hearing the story. Talking to the political advisers, talking to the siblings, talking to the pastors. Those who have been there. It was a fascinating experience.

HANNITY: What about the Eskimo culture?

MANNSFIELD: You know, I'm partially Native American myself so this fascinates me. In Inuit or native -- or Yupik culture, Yupik Eskimo culture there's this tradition of the wise women, of women who are supernaturally gifted to provide wisdom for the tribe. And so this is part of the culture, part of that Eskimo culture that she would have absorbed. And of course she's married to a Yupik Eskimo.

So the idea of a woman being a leader, and the idea of a woman having wisdom for the tribe, this was part of her culture.

So women in leadership, women out on the forefront, women making decisions for the society, this was not part of the feminist -- she didn't get this from the feminist movement. She got from it her Alaskan culture.

HANNITY: Look, I love that we both like Rick Warren's book, "Purpose Driven Life."


HANNITY: But she discovered early on and her faith taught her that she has a purpose. I think -- look, I believe we are endowed by our creator, whether or not President Obama remembers the words or not -- just a side note. But -- and that every person, every human soul has special gifts. And your job in life -- or part of your role in life -- is to find out what they are and to bring them to fruition.

MANNSFIELD: You really can't understand Sarah Palin unless you understand this idea right here. When David Holland and I were doing the research on this book we encountered a man who really is one of the heroes of the Sarah Palin story.

His name is Theron Horn. He was her youth pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God. And he used to teach you have a destiny. Everybody is made for a purpose. And he said, somebody -- and this is when Sarah Palin was a teenager. Some of you will be called to political leadership.

And when he said that, something went off inside of her. And there's a fascinating little side story I'll tell quickly. When she finally had been chosen by McCain to be the VP candidate and was making the famous speech in Minneapolis, the day of, her mother called Ms. Theron Horn, the old youth pastor, and said look, whatever they say this is about, whatever they attribute this success to, we know where it came from. It came from your ministry in her life.

HANNITY: That's an interesting back story.


HANNITY: It really is.

MANNSFIELD: And that's -- we have to --


HANNITY: So much was made of the video that was released of people praying on her.


HANNITY: Now I was raised a Catholic. But then I spent a lot of years in the south. And then -- and I really -- it opened my eyes in terms of Baptist, the Assembly of God, Church of Christ, all these different denominations.

And I just had a profound respect for them even though I was raised very differently.

MANNSFIELD: Certainly.

HANNITY: So maybe for some people that have not seen that before, that became a controversy.

MANNSFIELD: It looks -- it looks odd. It looks (INAUDIBLE) but all it is, you know, they're laying hands on her and they're praying for her to be successful, they're praying for her to be protected from spiritual powers.

I should never have been put on the Internet. It was put on there by the pastor of a church that came later in her life. It was unwise and he later apologized for it. And of course it gave her opposition a lot to criticized.

HANNITY: All right. There was a lot made recently when the president went to church. There have been so many questions raised about, you know, the polls that showed that many Americans think he might be a Muslim.

We know that he was in Jeremiah Wright's church, you know, where they believe in black liberation theology.


HANNITY: I have a real problem with Barack Obama's ex-pastor. Big problem. You know, America's chickens have come home to roost. GD, America, all that. What is the differences? Governor Palin and Barack Obama?

MANNSFIELD: Barack Obama is not a Muslim but he is a very liberal, very theological liberal Christian of the kind that believes that other religions can be equal paths to God.

Sarah Palin is from a Pentecostal background now goes to an evangelical church. She believes that Jesus is the only way to God. She believes in the bible strictly interpreted.

Whereas Barack Obama, again, theologically liberal, broad --

HANNITY: And -- right.

MANNSFIELD: That's the difference. A massive difference by the way. And that what got a lot of people thinking that Barack Obama is a Muslim because he's so broad it's sometimes hard to distinguish.

HANNITY: Well, thank you very much as always, Stephen. Good to see you, buddy. Appreciate it. And good luck with the book.

MANNSFIELD: Thank you so much.

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