I have been doing a good deal of thinking and reading about Gov. Palin's run for the Vice-Presidency. I am bothered by how conservative complementarians have reacted to it, and I am afraid that we run the danger of compromising for the sake of political expediency. The argument that has come forth is that, while the Bible is clear that a woman's priority is in the home, and that they are not to exercise authority over men in the context of the church, it is actually silent regarding the issue of a woman holding secular authority. You may find a couple of strong arguments in this regard by Dr. Al Mohler here, and another excellent article by David Kotter writing for The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Dr. Mohler, the CBMW, and David Kotter are complementarians who believe that Gov. Palin's run is not necessarily outside the God-ordained role of womanhood.
I know that my critique of the view of these folks may be prideful assumption, but I find their argument bothersome for two important reasons. And on the third reason, I think that it may fail altogether. Let me outline my concerns and let you have at it in the comment section if anyone so desires.
My first worry is this idea that God has ordained roles for men and women inside the home and church that is not consistently applied in the secular world. That is, if Paul forbids women to "teach or have authority over men" (1 Timothy 2:10), must we assume he only meant in the context of the local church? Further, Paul made his argument from creation, not the church per se. In creation, God gave the man dominion over the created world, not simply the church and family. I find their reasoning to be very compartmentalized. I have to wonder, if Gov. Palin's husband is the head of her household and the one to whom she submits, shouldn't we be voting for him instead of her?
That leads me to my second objection. Since Francis Schaeffer, evangelicals have labored to teach people to have a "Christian World View" and not to compartmentalize the sacred and the secular. The reasoning of Dr. Mohler and the CBMW seems to do precisely that. I fear that this position is undercutting, for the sake of political expediency, the arguments complementarians have been advancing for years.
Finally, I want to address the issue of family. Voddie Baucham wrote a post on his blog entitled Did McCain Make a Pro-Family Pick? that addresses this issue. Baucham emphatically answers his own question with a "No!". Gov. Palin may be pro-life, but she is not acting pro-family by running for VP with five children. In fairness to Gov. Palin, she only has three dependant children. Her oldest son is in the military and is heading for Iraq, surely he doesn't still need her at home. Her oldest daughter is about to be a married woman, and I am of the opinion that a seventeen year old married woman is a woman who doesn't need mom at home. So that leaves three children, one of whom is an infant with Down's Syndrome. My wife has two children and is a stay-at-home mom. My wife can hardly find time in the day to go to the grocery store and go to exercise without a job. I simply cannot see, even with three children, how Gov. Palin could manage to be Vice-President, or even President!, and still keep home the priority.
But alas, I confess that I will most likely vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in November. I can even see much good from Gov. Palin's candidacy. (I may write on that tomorrow.) And if it is true that politics are the art of choosing between the unpalatable and the disasterous, then my decision is simply status quo and a reflection of the nature of the beast.
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