Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Palin Debate

Stephen's recent comments (bolstered by a few others) indicate that he will not be supporting McCain/Palin because Sarah Palin is a woman, and, as such, should be at home. Beyond the jolting disregard for modern sensibilities, I find this argument theologically flawed and politically short-sighted.

Perhaps it is not ideal for the average woman to lead our nation (or the average man for that matter), but we certainly don't have to settle for just any woman. We will be selecting a specific woman, hopefully one in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher, et al. There are capable women, and Sarah Palin is one of them. On the other hand, many men are completely undeserving and incapable of effective leadership. Are we to choose a less-capable man over an experienced, battle-tested woman? It seems far more reasonable to select the best individual, regardless of gender, color, ethnicity, etc.

If we are waiting for a perfect government, why vote at all? We're only going to experience that in the Millenium, and we won't be voting then, either. Perhaps it was simpler to live in the age of kings, where citizens did not have the ability to elect their leaders. Yet, we find ourselves in a different situation; one quite unique in the span of history. Americans have the right to vote. What should guide our sacred decision? Since we will never have the opportunity to vote for a perfect candidate, we must settle on a candidate we prefer.

In this election, the choice is clear for those holding to pro-life conservative principles. The McCain/Palin ticket would protect the unborn and uphold other important conservative positions. Obama/Biden favor infanticide and other repugent positions. I place specific emphasis on the abortion debate because Stephen has planted his flag so firmly on that ground. His comments from December 18 on this blog:

There was a time when America was a just society. She's never been perfect, but she long strove to respect the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of all men.

Yet when our nation relinquished its respect for every human life, it ceased to be the society those great men envisioned and built. When America left this foundational principle, it lost the essential character of justice.

This is why abortion is the most important issue in an election. Reinstating respect for every human life is the only way America can again be a just society. Only then will it be worth fighting for freedom and safety.

I concede that there are many political obstacles, but what better way to undermine these obstacles than by electing a president who has deep pro-life convictions? If we ever hope to see America restored to her former glory, this is the only strategy to pursue.

Stephen, rightly, feels a strong commitment to fighting against the horrid practice of abortion in this country. How then can he justify not giving his support to such a clearly pro-life ticket in the face of a possible victory by the rabidly pro-abortion opposition? How can regarding Palin's gender outweigh the need to fight for unborn children? Christians have a duty to stand for what's right. God is sure to honor our stand against "our nation's greatest reproach" far more than He would be impressed by clever theology we have derived concerning the place of women in society. Let's protect their right to be born and then worry about their place in the home.


Anonymous said...

I see that after Karen commented on the last topic, other comments were disabled...interesting.
Very liberal like tactics....

That being said--I don't believe that either Stephen or I said that we would or would NOT be voting for McCain in the fall election.

The woman's place is in the Home. Not in the forefront of Government. The main reason behind McCain picking her is because it was best for his campaign, and gives him a MUCH larger chance at winning the election.

Next thing I guess you will have an article about how it is alright for a woman to be a preacher.


Anonymous said...


Since when did the term afflicted become a "name"?
Punk, twit, fat-so, etc, etc...are names. Afflicted shows the state of something or someone.

Her son has a problem and is afflicted (racked/tried/tortured/etc) by it each and every day.

No matter how much you would like, you can't change the meaning of words to suit your own agenda.


Philip said...

I agree that it's not ideal to have a woman in leadership (though I still don't consider it immoral). I just have a problem with pro-lifers not voting for an obviously pro-life ticket. I do believe allowing a woman to be a pastor would be clearly unbiblical. It seems we have very little to disagree about on this point.

However, I have to take issue with your comments about children with down syndrome being "afflicted." It may seem like mere semantics, but the language we use to describe people affects the way we think and feel about them (and the way we ultimately treat them).

People who have a disability are people, first and foremost. We should avoid language that seems to place them in a lower category, because people who get labeled "less than human" sooner or later end up losing their basic rights as humans. Spend even a few hours reading up on the eugenics efforts in the early 1900s (both here and in Hitler's Germany) and you will see the awful consequences that inevitably result from harmful labeling.

People who are blind, deaf, or have other disabilities are not "suffering" or "afflicted." They are fully and completely people who happen to be different. They do not want or need our pity. We on the pro-life side must stand firm in our protection of all people's right to life and work against those who would undermine a person's humanity in any way.

Not all people are aware of the offensive nature of comments like "afflicted," and I'm sure you and Stephen meant no ill will. Nevertheless, it behooves us to be careful about our language, especially in discussing such a sensitive topic as this.

Travis said...

"Next thing I guess you will have an article about how it is alright for a woman to be a preacher."

Spencer, is that a serious comment or an attempt at humor? If it's serious explain to me how holding public office in civil government is in any way comparable to being a pastor.

Stephen, to suggest that "Mrs. Palin belongs at home taking care of her family" is to imply that she doesn't care for her kids; i.e. "If Palin really cared for her kids she'd be a homemaker instead of a Governor." If I have surmised too much, please call me on it, but I think that was the gist of your comment.

The reason I like Palin as the VP is because it is a sound political move. I also appreciate her pro-life example. 90% of all pregnancies diagnosed as having a likelihood of Down syndrome end in abortion, yet Trig Paxson Van Palin was born on April 18, 2008. Her commitment to conservative principles is why I'll be voting for her and McCain.

Stephen said...

Travis: Based on the definition of "care for", I may or may not have implied that Mrs. Palin doesn't care for her children.

If by "care for" we mean simply to love, then no, I didn't mean to imply that Sarah Palin doesn't love her children. From what I've seen, it's obvious that she loves her children with just as much natural love as any mother has for her children. I have no reason to doubt she loves her children, and I certainly didn't mean to imply that she doesn't.

However, if by "care for" we mean to attend to, to provide for, to nurture, etc., then yes, I did intend to imply that Sarah Palin doesn't give her children the attention they deserve. Mr. Palin is able to provide the income necessary to fully support his household, and Mrs. Palin could stay home and attend to her children full-time, yet she does not.

Some circumstances require that women work outside the home to feed the family, but Mrs. Palin made a deliberate decision to leave her children at home and pursue a full-time career in politics. This is wrong. It completely defies God's revealed pattern for the institution of the family.

Sarah Palin loves her children, but her actions make it clear that she feels some things are more important than her children. Maybe it's the state of Alaska, maybe it's the United States of America ("Country First"), maybe it's her own self-fulfillment (remember, Mrs. Palin is a feminist). We can't say for certain, but her actions clearly reveal her true priorities. She is willing to sacrifice the time she should be spending nurturing her children in order to advance her political career.

Now, I don't mean to say that I can judge Sarah Palin, because I cannot. I've often been guilty of not being what I should be in the institution of the family. I cannot judge Mrs. Palin as an individual, but I do judge her actions along with the same actions of millions of women throughout the world. It is morally wrong for a woman to voluntarily elevate a career above the needs of her own husband and children.

Philip: Your argument is attractive. I admit I am sorely tempted to sacrifice principle and vote for McCain/Palin, in the hopes that just one unborn child might be saved. I wonder if you are right, if my objection is immaterial, the product of a personally contrived theology.

And yet the divine institution of the home is certainly not a contrived doctrine. It's clearly biblical. Indeed, God's design for the family represents one of His greatest and most important creations. He created it in that perfect world before the fall of man (Gen. 1-2). It symbolizes nothing less than Christ's love for His church (Eph. 5). It is the fundmental unit of human society.

America's descent into turpitude is directly related to the erosion of the institution of the home. Adultery, fornication, divorce, cohabitation, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality are all natural consequences of the destruction of the family. Our country reaps these abominations because we allowed the institution of the home to be undermined. Despising God's design for the family is at the root of virtually every social ill in America today.

I refuse to undermine the institution of the home. To vote for a woman is to support her neglect of her family and to legitimize such behavior in society at large. Whatever the consequences, I cannot vote for any woman. If your conviction on this issue differs from mine, so be it.

The Lord will do exactly what He intends to with our nation, and He doesn't need my vote or yours to do it. We are responsible only to vote our convictions, leaving the results to God.

Short Thoughts said...

I'm with Stephen here. The post mentions "theological problems" but only mentions pragmatic things. What are the theological problems?

Also, how is this now a pro-life ticket? Did McCain change his position or is he somehow a different person with this VP choice?

Philip said...

See the next post for more theological discussion.

My argument is that the Bible does not require women to "stay in the kitchen" so long as they are meeting the needs of their families and honoring their husbands.

McCain's pro-life record is both lengthy and untarnished, as is Palin's. All recent comments confirm this solid history.

Short Thoughts said...

John McCain has a "lengthy and untarnished" pro-life record? Here are a few highlights.

* Voted repeatedly against the Sanctity of Life Act that would have legally defined life as beginning at conception and removed abortion from the jurisdiction of the courts.

* Was a member of the "Gang of Fourteen" whose purpose was to oppose pro-life, strict constructionist judges.

* Voted for the pro-abortion judges Breyer and Ginsberg.

* Remember McCain-Feingold, which greatly restricts advertising by pro-life and Second Amendment organizations prior to an election.

* Voted repeatedly to fund abortionist agencies such as Planned Parenthood with Federal tax dollars.

With just a few rather significant items, I cannot see how that is "untarnished."

Philip said...

His record is not "pure and spotless" but it's still one of the best around. From National Right To Life:

"Senator John McCain has an exemplary voting record against abortion and has cast 31 pro-life votes since 1997. This includes voting for a bill that would prevent minor daughters from being taken across state lines for secret abortions without parental notice or consent, voting against taxpayer funding of abortion, and voting for a ban on the brutal partial-birth abortion procedure. He voted to confirm pro-life Justices Alito and Roberts. He has also voted against endorsing Roe v. Wade and believes it should be overturned."

• Talking about his pro-life voting record that goes back 25 years, McCain said in an interview last year with National Review, “I have many, many votes and it’s been consistent. And I’ve got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all of those years... my record is clear. ... I’ve opposed [Roe v. Wade] ... because I thought it was a bad decision.”
• At the last March for Life rally, pro-life Senator Sam Brownback read a statement from McCain: “If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”
• In mid-April McCain told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, “The rights of the unborn is one of my most important values.”

Compared with above-my-pay-grade Obama, who favors infanticide, McCain is the clear choice. Why am I even having to argue this point?