Sunday, April 6, 2008

Condi For VP?

This story seems to suggest that Condi Rice is actively seeking the VP slot on the McCain ticket. This seems both good and bad.

The Good: Most obviously, Rice offers balance to the ticket in the areas of gender and race, for those Americans who care about such things (a large number, from what I have seen recently). This would effectively neutralize the "advantage" of either Clinton or Obama--or at least cause even more confusion and frustration on the Democrat side. As a side benefit, McCain would avoid running on an "all-old-white-men" ticket (an ominous notion indeed). Perhaps more importantly, she would strengthen McCain's claim that he represents experience. Rice is a brilliant stateswoman with large reserves of good sense and decency. She knows the danger posed by Islamic terrorists and rogue dictators.

The Bad: Pragmatically, Rice would represent, rightly so or not, a clear extension of the current Bush administration. This might actually count as a "good thing" to many Republicans, but we should not underestimate Bush-fatigue. People like new things whether they are better than the old things or not. There's a reason Obama can get away with talking about change solely for the sake of change. Of more concern, Rice is not really all that conservative. Yes, she is pro-war on terror, but she is also pro-abortion and pro- a number of other liberal items (I hope this won't be enough to derail Stephen's support for a McCain-Rice ticket). The real balance McCain should be seeking is to balance his obsession with liberal policy and politics. Why not just choose a conservative and win in a landslide?


Stephen said...

That Rice is a woman would be quite enough to derail my support for a McCain-Rice ticket.

Karen said...

Stephen, please, please, please tell me you're joking.

If not...there are no words. Well, there are words but I can't say them lest I regret it and after all, we are at least nominally related and required to see one another 1-2 times a year.

Stephen said...

The participation of women in democratic government is, historically speaking, a recent innovation.

As far as I can tell, the first female elected official was Susanna Madora Salter. She was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887. Her name was put on the ballot without her knowledge as part of a political ploy that ultimately backfired.

Over the course of the late 19th and 20th centuries, the feminist movement has successfully destroyed Western civilization's traditional concept of women. Specifically, they have perpetuated two ideas--that women should participate in government and that women should work outside the home. I think there's a good Biblical case to be made that both propositions are false.

My reaction to this social change is certainly not without precedent. Many men and women in the early 20th century and a few since that time have openly criticized the redefinition of the role of women in society. I agree with what President Grover Cleveland said in a 1905 article published in the Ladies Home Journal:

To those of us who ... cling to our faith in the saving grace of simple and unadulterated womanhood, any discontent on the part of woman with her ordained lot, or a restless desire on her part to be and to do something not within the sphere of her appointed ministrations, cannot appear otherwise than as perversions of a gift of God to the human race ... The restlessness and discontent to which I have referred is most strongly manifested in a movement which has for a long time been on foot for securing to women the right to vote and otherwise participate in public affairs ... It is a thousand pities that all the wives ... cannot sufficiently open their minds to see the complete fitness of the homely definition which describes a good wife as 'a woman who loves her husband and her country with no desire to run either;' and every woman, whether mother, wife, spinster or maid, who either violently demands or wildly desires for women a greater share in the direction of public affairs, could realize the everlasting truth that 'the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.'

Philip said...

While it is perhaps not ideal, many women throughout history (both recent and ancient) have ruled competently, even some in the Bible. There were also (as with male rulers) quite a few spectacular failures.

Deborah the judge and Margaret Thatcher are two names that readily come to mind. Both were excellent leaders, in their respective days, and better than many of their immediate successors.

Men and women are certainly different, and the case can be made that women are not really designed for leadership. That being said, a few individual women may end up doing a wonderful job, particularly when there is an absence of qualified or willing men.

To broadly proclaim that no woman has a place in secular leadership is a bit simplistic and ignores the political realities of our time.

Karen said...

There are plenty of real reasons not to vote for McCain no matter who he chooses as running mate. Ms. Rice would be a poor choice for some of those same reasons but her gender should not be a factor.

Women have served well and honorably in US politics as senators (NC has one such now!), representatives, governors, presidential cabinet officers, and judges (though not so much in the Supreme Court). Just because I don't particularly want Mrs. Clinton or Ms. Rice doesn't mean that no woman could ever serve such a role.

And depending on Grover Cleveland for your moral authority is dubious at best. His scandals are numerous and contemptible. Site the Bible or other great thinkers if you must but not President Cleveland.

Stephen said...

Competence isn't the issue. Clearly, certain women can and have become capable leaders.

The question is not whether women can participate in government. The question is whether they should.

Women, whether married or unmarried, are not to be in leadership positions. This is equally true in the home, in the church, and in society at large.

After Eve sinned, God cursed the woman:

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Thus, each individual woman is to be ruled over by her own husband. And yet the divine order of the sexes also extends more generally:

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

The context of 1 Corinthians 11 is not married individuals but rather each gender collectively. The phrase "every man", "every woman", "the man", and "the woman" demonstrate the general extent of this chapter. We see then that women in general are to be under the leadership of men in general.

Throughout human history, the leadership of women has been by far the exception to the rule. And yet, in the last 150 years, we have been asked to believe that women should be taking an equal role in government and industry, taking positions of authority over men. I reject this as only one more liberal innovation.

As a society, we've definitely reaped the consequences of the redefinition of the role of women. Our nation's families are in complete disarray. In an environment where gender no longer matters, homosexuality is eventually considered as valid as heterosexuality. The redefinition of the role of women is a driving force of the abortion holocaust.

Today, women who fulfill the role that God created them for are pitied in Western civilization. This is a tragedy. Women who are willing to sacrifice their own comfort and desires for the good of their families are invaluable and indispensible for any well-functioning society. This is what the feminists have taken from America.

I don't intend to vote for any woman. I don't intend to work for any woman. This is not misogyny. Rather, I am motivated by the highest regard and care for true womanhood.

As to simplicity and the ignorance of political reality, I admit both. Once again, we're back to idealism vs. pragmatism.

Karen said...

Of course I believe that women should be wives first, mothers second; caring for their own homes. That is my arena. I will not argue that point and it is insulting to imply that I don't believe and/or practice that conviction.

However, Ms. Rice has neither husband nor children. I see no compelling reason why she cannot serve her country when she has no other pressing moral obligation on her time or abilities.

And forgive me, but you are not my "head". Titus tells me to submit to "my own husband" not all husbands in general (and certainly not all men). Last time I checked I have one husband. I submit willingly and cheerfully to him but no other man has the right to expect such treatment from me, with the following exceptions:

I submit myself willingly to my pastor, to the leadership of my church, to my secular boss when I have one, to government authorities, to law enforcement (whether male or female).

Anonymous said...

I didn't think so:


Anonymous said...

Oops. The link didn't go through right.


Philip said...

Yeah, Rush thinks this rumor was started by Obama to scare Democrats into nominating him sooner, lest they miss the chance to be first to have an African-American on the presidential ticket.

Stephen said...

One quick point of clarification.

The doctrine of the divine order of the sexes is not that every individual man is the head of every individual woman. This is clearly false, for the reasons Karen mentioned.

Rather, the doctrine only states that women in general are to be under the leadership of men in general. As a corollary, no man should ever be under the authority of a woman.

Bro. Hammel did a good job of explaining this doctrine in this sermon.