Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has turned her attention to an issue fusing together food, religion, travel and her home state.
Palin spoke out on Thursday against Alaska Airlines' decision to stop including prayer cards with its meal trays. The airline announced the move a day earlier, ending the tradition that lasted for 30 years.
"Some customers were comforted by the cards and some didn't feel religion was appropriate on the plane and preferred not to receive one," Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan told the Associated Press.
Palin was one of those comforted customers, voicing her frustration to millions of Facebook followers. In a note entitled "Alaska Airlines' Prayer Cards; It's hip to be offended?", the former Alaska governor expressed her distaste toward the move.
"It feels so odd that some may be offended by a little card with an encouraging non-denominational verse from the Psalms, but how often do we hear complaints about tawdry ads or billboard images flashing at us everywhere we turn?," Palin wrote. "People of faith and common decency just shrug and move on from the constant assault on their sensibilities; we don't call for censorship -- at least I don't."
Within an hour of posting the note on Facebook, Palin's comments had more than 300 likes. The note was capped by a copy of the letter she sent to Alaska Airlines executives -- Chairman & CEO William S. Ayer and President Bradley D. Tilden:
Dear Mr. Ayer and Mr. Tilden:
Thank you for your tremendous service to Alaskans and so many others over all these years! We love Alaska Airlines. As I tell everyone, it is my favorite.
In my book "Going Rogue" I gave a special shout-out to airline employees because of the extraordinary customer service and good attitudes I witness on flights that my family and I take around this great country. It's inspiring and impressive to see the sweet spirit of hard working airline employees shine, in spite of sometimes difficult people and circumstances dealt with everyday.
Also inspiring and impressive, and very encouraging, is the special touch Alaska Airlines has blessed fliers with for many years. Your small prayer cards that remind us of the beauty of thankfulness have never ceased to amaze me. In this tumultuous world, finding this little tangible reminder of such an important virtue is always uplifting! Thank you for providing the cards.
It's come to my attention that the cards may be discontinued due to a few who are offended. I really hope this is just a rumor. Please remain strong and courageous in the face of a cultural trend that wants to wage war on any positive thing that a few may construe as offensive. The Alaska Airlines tradition should be looked upon as an all-American, hopeful, encouraging gesture. Please don't discontinue the cards.
Thank you again for your service!
Sarah Palin and family
Within the political sphere, Palin's thoughts seem to still wield clout with voters. Days before the polls opened in South Carolina for the GOP primary there, she pushed some support toward Newt Gingrich's campaign, saying that she "would vote for Newt" to keep the primary process going if she were a South Carolinian.
Her message seemed to resonate with South Carolinians, who sent 40 percent of the vote to Gingrich.
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