Sarah Palin is a right-wing religious extremist, and John McCain chose her as his running mate precisely because he thought (correctly) that her views would appease and energize the Christian conservative base of the Republican Party. What is important about Palin's religious beliefs is not her application of them to her personal life but her desire to impose them on others through public law and policy. Palin, who wants to criminalize abortion, chose to carry a Down syndrome fetus to term after receiving a prenatal diagnosis through amniocentesis. That is her absolute right. But 90 percent of American women who receive the same diagnosis choose to terminate their pregnancies. Palin wants to force her values on women who do not agree with her, and that is the definition of religious extremism.