Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Complementarians, Worldview, and Gov. Palin for VP

I believe that the evangelical world, at least the complementarian evangelical world is smiling right now with Senator McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin. Except, I have the sinking feeling that it may be one of those pasted-on fake smiles that attempts to mask the turning of the mental wheels.

First of all, we evangelicals like Gov. Palin. She's pro-life. She has five children. She chose not to abort her Down's Syndrome son. She seems like a happy person. Plus, rumor has it that her husband has won the Iditarod four times, which means he's a manly man at least. She seems like a great lady.

So why is the smile turning to a look of concern? Because she has five children, one of them is a special needs child less than five months old. Evangelicals has spent the last forty years trying to convince moms that the home is the highest calling of her life. How does a woman be VP of the USA and still be mommy to five children? How is our whole-hearted support for her candidacy not akin to 'taking back' all of our ballyhoo about women being needed at home more than the office?

Now we find out that her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant and planning to marry. How will Gov. Palin find time to guide her daughter through this process and still maintain the rigorous schedule of the office of Vice-President?

As much as I like Gov. Palin, as much as I admire her down-to-earthness, her pro-life stance, and her general winsomeness, I am not happy about this choice for Vice-President. I think it goes against much of what I have been attempting to teach the men and women of our church, and it goes against much of the teaching that I have heard from some of the same folks who support this move. How am I supposed to convince the ladies of my church that it is nobler to relinquish career and income for the sake of educating and mothering her children while waving the banner for Gov. Palin? It smacks of political expediency, and I am afraid that it makes evangelicals look like the glassy-eyed Republican 'yes-men' that we are often accused of being.

I am troubled by this move, and I am more than a little dissappointed with the way it has been treated by most evangelical pundits. That is, we have praised her virtues as a mother...and yet we have been silent on why this run for VP is not the best thing she can do for her children. And if it is, why have we so consistently and adamantly insisted that the best place for a mother is in the home?


Drew said...


I appreciate your willingness to broach this topic. I am encouraged by Palin's pro-life stance and more importantly by the way in which she has demonstrated her consistency in being pro-life by bringing Trig (her Down Syndrome Son) to term. I have read recently that something like 90% of unborn babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

However, I do think that you are right in your assertion that her duties as VP would certainly keep her from devoting the time and energy it would take to mother 5 children, one of which is pregnant and another of which has Down Syndrome.

You don't have to be a glassy-eyed Republican-Yes-man, in fact by broaching this topic, you are refusing to be so.

My best advice, as your co-laborer in the gospel, is to teach the women of our church to put their children and families first--it is a calling more noble and more important than being VP of the U.S.! You don't have to wave the banner for Palin, in fact as a preacher of the gospel, I think you shouldn't. Wave the banner for the unborn and for families, you don't have to wave it for Palin, in fact you should continue to point out to our congregation when we see visible examples of living in opposition to their worldview.

archshrk said...

You bring up some good points about how well can she serve her family. What I haven't heard is much about her husband and how he's leading his family.

Gummby said...

Looks like Al Mohler blogged about this yesterday. It was also the topic of his radio program (that is the MP3 download link).

Ron said...

I am a father of four and desired the ideal family, I strongly insisted that my wife stayed home with the kids. This worked well until they started to school. Once the last one was in school my wife found herself alone most of the day. When I had to have the car she had no way to go anywhere.

This caused a good deal of loneliness and soon turned to depression. If I had continued to insist she stay at home we would have probably eventually had a failed marriage.

The homemaker no longer has as many chores as they once did so their is not as much to fill a day. The modern conveniences are a blessing, but they have and will continue to change our culture.

While I agree that a mother at home is ideal for the kids. It may not always be ideal for the family as a whole. People are wired differently and circumstances are different.

A Pastor can best serve his people by teaching the Word and equipping the families to make these decisions in away that is selfless and honors God, but allow the details to be worked in the family.

When Scripture speaks directly to a subject We must stand strong. But when Scripture does not speak it is wise to be timid.

As for as the election, I am looking at the abortion issue, the future supreme court appointees and National defense. All other issues are secondary and will not effect my decision as long as I am confident on these three.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ron!