To those who knew Palin, she was no ordinary hockey mom, but rather an evangelical foot soldier who spearheaded the [conservative Christian] movement’s takeover of local government. Her power base was the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal mega-church where she was baptized and spent over 20 years as a member.
Most Pentecostal congregations are socially conservative, particularly those that are predominantly white, but Wasilla Assembly of God was in thrall to a radical Pentecostal trend once denounced by church authorities as heresy. Called the Third Wave, it was rooted in an explicitly anti-intellectual creation myth. According to the Third Wave’s founding father, William Branham, a rural Canadian preacher, Satan had sex with Eve and gave birth to Cain—the so-called “Serpent Seed.” “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian ﬂood—the intellectuals, bible colleges,” Branham wrote. “They know all their creeds but know nothing about God.”