We at least need to go there. That’s all. Please read on and see what I mean.
Sarah Palin, Republican nominee for VP. Woman. Mother of 5. And much more.
This is written primarily to anyone who believes the bible is the primary source of truth. Those of other beliefs may tend to misinterpret the context of what I am saying. But, as a conservative, you must give me credit for not being “married to the GOP.” Just so you know up front.
The best thing about faith in politics is that the bible is always there as a moral benchmark. Christians should never become so inordinately focused on politics that it becomes the solution to solve our moral dilemmas. Christians are called to be prophetic. And when it comes to politics, that role means speaking biblical truth to all situations and issues, including the focus of this post, the sensitive issue of the role of women. This doesn’t mean I am opposed to Christians being politically active or running for office. It simply means we should participate on the premise of truth, not a party affiliation.
I am a true conservative in every sense. Most already know how I’ll vote in the upcoming election. And I realize that discussing this issue before the elections runs the risk of alienating a segment of conservatives that may not apply the bible to this specific situation. This issue has never been brought up because we’ve never had a mother of young children nominated for the second highest office in the land. But as Christians, it’s important to promote the good in our candidates while we cling unswervingly to our biblical convictions on important issues.
Do I think Sarah Palin is unfit to serve because she is a mother of 5? No. Is it wrong for a mother to work? No. Were those on the left wrong to criticize Sarah Palin for running for VP while being a mother of young children? Yes, absolutely, there is a double standard there. Rarely, if ever, do we see this same standard of parenthood applied to mothers in the Democrat party. But conservatives, especially Christians, need to be careful not to create our own double standard.
What does that mean? It’s easy for Christians to defend Sarah Palin’s candidacy because she is running on the Republican ticket. But what if Sarah Palin, mother of 5, was a Democrat? Would she be receiving the same level of support? Doubtfully. Dr. Albert Mohler, one of only a handful of evangelical leaders to take the lead on this discussion, correctly points out the biblical context for this discussion:
The New Testament clearly speaks to the complementary roles of men and women in the home and in the church, but not in roles of public responsibility. I believe that women as CEOs in the business world and as officials in government are no affront to Scripture. Then again, that presupposes that women — and men — have first fulfilled their responsibilities within the little commonwealth of the family.
(another good commentary on the subject here).
Bottom line: consistency, not condemnation.
The whole country is talking about this. McCain/Palin received a huge convention-bounce and now lead in some polls. Palin’s speech garnered as many viewers as The One himself did in Denver. It would be easy for Christians to miss the boat and allow a double standard to apply to us here. But, since no one is perfect, we can disagree with a candidate on an issue and still accept their candidacy. In order for Christians to help America understand the biblical worldview in politics, we must apply the standards to everyone regardless of party affiliation.
I don’t doubt that Sarah Palin is an outstanding wife and mother, second only to my wife 🙂 I’ve heard she sleeps maybe four hours per night. It’s not up to us to judge her and criticize her candidacy because she has young children. I believe that she understands her biblical role of wife and mother comes first and her career comes second. She seems to have the blessing of God upon her life and career as evidenced in her life’s journey and convictions. But when those on the outside looking in see Christians fully supporting a mother of 5 who has a newborn with Down’s Syndrome and has a 17 year old daughter who is 5 months pregnant, that message can get cloudy, fast. As they say down south, “That dog won’t hunt!”
In speaking truth to this situation, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s up to each individual to come to their own conclusion on what God is speaking to them. But we do need to at least address this issue in our minds so we can help others work through it before we just accept it on a universal level. A balance can be found here. I am simply saying we need to look for it instead of assuming it automatically exists. If we compromise the view that we have held for a long time, then the manifestation is hypocrites who seek power more than truth. This could ultimately damage our witness and result in a worse position than when we started.