Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Double Standards 101

I realize that a post about working wives/mothers may not be fully appreciated by all the readers of this blog. However, Michelle Malkin (working woman) has an excellent piece highlighting the horrendous double standard in play against Palin from the left.


Stephen said...

The left's double standard with respect to Palin is pretty blatant--certainly very inconsistent with their dedication to feminism.

For the sake of consistency, we can assert that Katie Couric, Soledad O'Brien, Campbell Brown, Meredith Viera, and Michelle Malkin should all be at home taking care of their families just as much as Sarah Palin should.

I don't really care about the left's double standards, however. It's nothing but business-as-usual for the libs.

I'm much more interested in the double standard that is getting a lot of play from Bible-believing conservatives. We believe and teach that a wife and mother's primary responsibility is to her husband and children. We admire women who are homemakers by choice, courageously controverting the enormous social pressures to pursue a full-time career outside the home. We thank God that our mothers put us first.

But all this goes out the window when it comes to Sarah Palin, simply because she holds many conservative views. Don't kid yourself--this is just as shameful a double standard as the liberals'.

That, or maybe we never really believed all that stuff to begin with.

Philip said...

And it continues . . .

As you might image, we are not the only people discussing this important issue. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has an excellent series up addressing this very question. I urge everyone to read it.

Philip said...

In case they don't have Part 4 linked: Here it is. Stay tuned for more.

Stephen said...

In Part 4, Mr. Kotter concludes of Mrs. Palin's decision to pursue a full-time career in politics:

"I am not arguing that this was a wise choice, only that it conceivably could be a godly decision and that it would not necessarily be wrong to vote for Governor Palin."

Unfortunately, his argument actually says nothing as to how "it conceivably could be a godly decision" for a woman with a husband and young children to leave the home in pursuit of a full-time career when it is in no way necessary to provide for the family.

His four part approach doesn't exactly exhaust the Scriptures. He makes oblique references to the Queen of Sheba, Esther, and Deborah. He doesn't even begin to address some verses very central to this issue:

Titus 2:3-5
The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

1 Timothy 5:14
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Isaiah 3:12
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Proverbs 31:10-31

When the Bible says clearly that women are to be "keepers at home" (Gk. oikouros), it becomes very difficult to defend the practice of women taking on full-time careers away from the home. These verses do not disappear just because we wave our hands around.

Since we're in linking mode, I'd point you to Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of Civil Magistrate by William Einwechter. This has the advantage of having been written in 2004, long before Sarah Palin even became governor of Alaska. Obviously, I don't agree with his ecclesiology, but it's a good comprehensive treatment of the issue.

Stephen said...

Bonus: I just found this article Mr. Einwechter wrote Monday refuting Mr. Kotter:

Sarah Palin and the Complementarian Compromise

Philip said...

Stephen, you've certainly linked to a very responsive article. I admit that it is somewhat persuasive. However, I think Einwechter misses the mark in a few places.

I do think the Old Testament is inspired scripture and has great relevance to modern Christians. That is not to say that we can apply all its teachings in a direct sense without first taking careful note of its many historical and cultural settings. Exodus 18 and the others referred to by Einwechten do indeed have men in view for positions of leadership. But we must recognize that Israel, even with a king, was first and foremost a theocracy. If we were living in a theocracy here in the USA, he might have a point. Instead, we live in a country lead by fully and completely secular leaders. While this fact may not conclude the debate between Mohler and Einwechten, it seems to be a key point.

The most pressing question, apart from the theological debate, is how Christians should vote in this election. I thought it was interesting that Einwechter mentions Proverbs 29:2 - "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." This pretty well sums up our choice in 2008: McCain-Palin will uphold the righteous, punish evildoers and protect the unborn; Obama-Biden will allow the wicked to prosper, oppress the righteous and promote an increase in abortion (including infanticide). Where does that leave us?

Choice 1: A Righteous Woman (and McCain)
Choice 2: A Wicked Man

The Bible (according to Einwechten) says we should vote for a man, but it also says we should vote for someone who is righteous. So which "commandment" trumps the other? I would say this is a perfect time to evoke the Deborah example. She was clearly a better choice than the wicked men that were no doubt plenteous.

I suppose this is when you will tell you plan to pick choice #3: vote for someone who doesn't stand a chance. We've discussed this many times before, and I still don't think that argument gets you off the moral hook. What if the choice was Hilter and his gas chambers (Obama is not this bad) or Margaret Thatcher (Sarah is not this good . . . well maybe)? The very act of not voting against the evil choice is itself evil. What do you tell the people in the death camps? "Well, at least I didn't vote for him.

I'm not saying Mohler has it all figured out either (and certainly I don't), but neither do you and Einwechten. We just need to try to do the best we can to please God in this current situation.

Stephen said...
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Stephen said...

The debate on the biblical role of women by no means hinges on the Old Testament. Indeed, we find the most direct statements in the New Testament.

I'd really love to hear a response to Titus 2:3-5. Doesn't "keepers at home" (Gr. oikourgos) very accurately denote "homemakers"?