Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has occasionally voted against her Republican Party, making her one of the more moderate members of what’s become a party full of right-wing extremists. She opposed Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court confirmation, voted to protect the Affordable Care Act at a precarious time, and voted to convict Donald Trump after his second impeachment.
It’s that last one that’s most upsetting to the MAGA cultists and as a result, Murkowski will have challengers in her primary when she runs for re-election next year. One of them is Kelly Tshibaka, an Alaska state official, who announced this week she was resigning from her job as the state’s Commissioner for the Department of Administration in order to focus on her upcoming race. She has already enlisted the help of a number of Donald Trump campaign operatives.
To be sure, with Alaska’s new ranked choice voting rules, a primary challenger isn’t as threatening as it used to be, especially when there’s no Democrat at the moment who could run neck and neck with her.
But here’s something to keep an eye on: Tshibaka isn’t just a conservative Christian. Before moving to Alaska for political reasons, she spent years running the Mount Vernon Foursquare Church in Alexandria, Virginia. The Pentecostal denomination may be best known for members who speak in tongues and believe in faith-healing.
In fact, Jeff Landfield of The Alaska Landmine just unearthed this clip of Tshibaka preaching to her D.C. congregation about speaking in tongues… and it’s as wacky as you’d expect. (The date of the original sermon is unclear.)
… that’s when I realized God loves it when I try to talk in my spirit language. He thinks it’s so cute that the only person in the world who can understand me is Him. And it gave me the freedom to just start — to just start sounding like an 18-month-old, because in my spirit, I probably was just 18 months old.
And then what happened is, over time, I’d start to notice sentences or phrases, or, if you listen to it now, if you were to record it, you could tell there’s a syntax and there’s grammar. And I can tell with my brain that it’s a real language. So the things that your spirit needs to know and be reassured of, that’s what’s happening…
… When I’m praying in tongues, my brain oftentimes is active. That’s just because I’ve got this high-powered brain that never stops and drives me crazy. And so what I’ll often do is I will send it on another assignment…
If anyone can interpret Christian gibberish — and there’s a lot of it in that sermon — please let me know what she’s saying. Because her explanation of how she’s speaking a secret language that only God understands, but which includes proper syntax and grammar, is batshit insane.
None of this disqualifies her from running for office. But it’s a reminder that people who live in their own reality like this are always running for higher office while people who are competent, evidence-based, and rational are often so quick to talk themselves out of it.
As far as running the country goes, the last thing we need is another conservative Christian who wants to create a makeshift theocracy. Tshibaka can have her church. We don’t need her poisoning everything else, too.