What the Bible Tells Us About Sarah Palin’s Future


Since the Republican Party suffered widespread defeat on Election
Day, the GOP faithful have been debating whether the party should move
to the proverbial political center or embrace the conservatism of
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. What has gone unnoticed is that support for
Palin is a repudiation of the Bible.

Palin, while lauded as a draw for conservative evangelical voters,
actually fits uneasily into the theological worldview of the Christian
Right. To be sure, Palin’s politics are a close, if not exact match for
social conservatives. She is strongly against a woman’s right to choose
abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. She is against same-sex
marriage and for an expansive reading of the Second Amendment. She is a
perfect candidate — so long as evangelicals are able to look past her
gender.

But supporting Palin’s vice-presidential bid — and her possible
ambitions for 2012 — requires evangelical voters to overlook the
“complementarian” conception of the roles of men and women that holds
sway among Southern Baptists and other evangelicals. Based on their
reading of Scripture, they believe that men and women have distinctly
different roles assigned to them by God. Women, in this perspective,
are divinely mandated to serve as wives, mothers and keepers of the
home. They are not allowed to serve as pastors, and they are obliged to
submit to their husband in their own homes and in public.

The power of the belief that women are not eligible to lead came
crashing into religious living rooms in September when more than 100
Christian bookstores, run by the Southern Baptist Convention, refused to publicly display
an edition of Gospel Today magazine that featured five female pastors
on the cover. The magazine had to be withdrawn from public display,
said a spokesman, because the story “clearly advocates a position
contrary to our denomination’s statement of faith.” Christians could
only get the magazine by asking for it from behind the counter, a la
Penthouse or Playboy.

How could it be that a female in the White House was acceptable at the same time that females at the pulpit posed a problem?

Albert Mohler, president of the Baptist Convention, offered an
answer on his blog: Scripture is vague on the question of whether women
can have public responsibilities and besides, Palin has fulfilled her
wifely and motherly duties, he argued.

“The New Testament clearly speaks to the complementary
roles of men and women in the home and in the church,” he wrote, “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.”

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood argued that:

The Bible calls women to specific roles in the church
and home, but does not prohibit them from exercising leadership in
secular political fields. Rather, the Queen of Sheba is presented in 1 Kings 10:1-13
in a positive light in her interaction with King Solomon. Queen Esther
offers an even better example of a woman who appropriately exerted
influence for the good of her people without holding the highest
position of national authority (Esther 2:17). 
In this light, we cannot categorically say that it was sinful for Queen
Victoria to lead England as a single woman strictly because of her
gender, nor can we condemn Governor Palin or any other woman for
seeking the office of Vice President.

But, as any reader of the Bible knows, these are selective readings.
Mohler and the council ignore politically inconvenient passages from
the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy that make clear that men, not
women, should rule.

“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able
men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place
such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds,
rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” ~ Exodux 18:21

“Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.” ~Dueteronomy 1:13

In the the book of Timothy in the New Testament,  a woman’s path in life is outlined as follows:

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up
holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women
adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety;
not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

The charitable Christian will leave aside the implications of this
injunction for Palin’s notorious  $150,000 clothes shopping spree, and
ask how biblical fundamentalists can accept Timothy’s teachings and
still celebrate a female politician skilled in forthright rhetoric.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But
I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but
to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not
deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in
faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:8-15

The answer is: Not very easily.

For those who believe that there is an all-encompassing plan by God
as delivered in the Scripture, the complementarian view is fundamental.
The belief in specific gender roles with men being in leadership
positions over women cannot be separated from the order that the Bible
says God created:

“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.” ~ I Corinthians 11:3

Yet many evangelicals, excited by the worldview expressed by Palin,
twist the otherwise inflexible words of the Bible to justify their
political passion.

Not all have managed to make the leap.

“Those of us who seek a biblical reformation of the family and the
defeat of feminism’s vision for women look at the matter in a very
different light,” said Pennsylvania pastor William Einwechter, who
wrote of the “Feminization of the Family” in 2005.

“Sarah Palin identifies herself with the anti-Christian
philosophy of feminism. She uses feminist terminology, identifies with
feminist political objectives, publicly praises liberal icons of the
feminist movement, and has built her lifestyle around the feminist
ideal of motherhood and careerism. … She establishes the feminist
principle that if a woman can do something, and she wants to do it, she
ought to do it; there should be no constraints placed on her by her
family, her church, or her society. She validates the feminist notion
that it is fine for a mother to leave the care and training of her
children in the hands of others while she seeks her own version of
success in the world. Sarah Palin has brought to light the degree to
which feminist ideology has triumphed in American culture and in the
American church.”

Even on the religious right.

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  • invalid-0

    Growing up in a religious Christian environment, but no longer identifying as such, I knew right away that fundamentalists would have a hard time voting for a woman. I think there is a Palin effect – conservative religious men will not vote for women, although they may not admit to it in public. My guess is some of them stayed home or wrote in “Mike Huckabee” when they voted.

    Better for those of us in the Obama camp!

  • invalid-0

    Silly Sarah simpleton keeps putting herself out there…
    Booty shorts at the pool, Turkeygate Geeeeze Letterman’s writers can go on vacation while she’s in the news! Just copy and past one of her interviews verbatim and you will have material for weeks!!!!!….Even the demo’s feel sorry…

    ———————————————————-

    By The Democrats

    ATTENTION REPUBLICANS: RE: SARAH PALIN

    Obviously there has been a HUGE mistake…..

    Palin’s Dribble, Weasel Wording, Mush-Mush, Asssss-Backwards speak Cleary demonstrates who carries the Down Syndrome trait in her family, because of this we (the democrats) will allow you to send her back to Wacky-silla without prejudice and select another candidate.

    For this consideration the Republicans agree to sell Alaska to Russia (with Palin) and never mention the State of Alaska or her again.

    P.S. Why does Palin repeat herself in the same sentence and add extra words that don’t belong!! Reading a Quote from her makes me feel like I am in the advanced stages of dyslexia. Does Anyone else have a problem with this? Is there anyone out there from the North Slope who speaks Wacky-silla?

  • invalid-0

    Sadly, evangelical complemetarians prefer to ignore women like Deborah, a judge in the O.T. and Lydia, clearly a well-to-do businesswoman, in the N.T. You can’t jsut sweep these examples under the carpet. Evangelicals (and I am one) have this desperate need to find in Scripture a detailed blueprint for their lives, which absolves them of the need to deal wisely with the dilemmas life presents. We don’t want to have to make decisions and risk difficulty or failure. We want God to do it for us. So we look to pastors to weave together a sturdy cloth from the threads of Scripture. We find it unacceptable that God has, in fact, given us threads: of history (national and personal), letters, ancint lawbooks for His “peculiar people” , poetry, wisdom literature (collections of sayings) and prophetic writings. The Bible does not spell out in great detail, any sort of “blueprint.” Unhappy with that, we tend to try to construct one. Those with a conservative bent come to the Scirptures and find, not sprurisily, a conservative blueprint. (“Liberals” do the same, of course, and find a liberal blueprint. What a surprise.) I think we evangelicals make far more of those few passages of Scripture that speak to the issue of male/female roles than God intended. But let’s look , for a moment, at the actual situation we have, as if the complmemetaian “blueprint” wer, in fact, a trye reading of Scripture. I am unaware that Sarah Palin’s husband is in anyway unhappy about her role in government. I suppose if he had a strong objection to her activities, one might be able to make a complementarian case for her stepping out of politics. However, he seems to be onboard with it. The Ephesians 5 injunction, as I read it, calls for the wife to submit to her husband. So … in what way has Sarah Palin not been submissive to her husband? Do you have evidence of such unwillingness? I don’t think you do. (You’d have mentioned it, if you had.) So … if a woman’s husband says, as her “head”, I’d like to see my wife become governor of Alaska, exactly what is it about that that violates Ephesians 5? That passage also calls for the husband to love his wife “as Christ loved the church.” Sarah’s got a pretty great guy, I’d say. I suspect there are some complementarian wives who secretly wish they had found a Todd Palin.

  • invalid-0

    …. I guess I didn’t think this was a serious article. Everything was taken so obviously out of context that I thought she was being humorous. As a point of humor it is quite good, but as a serious piece it would be quite sloppy. Most Bible Christians believe that a woman’s highest calling is “service.” The Palin-Effect (another media concoction) is that she seemed to reinterpret that role of women for them: service not only to family but to community, state, and country. She somehow made it easier for them to accept women in the role of power because she came across as humble as opposed to entitled.

    To be dismissive of her would be the first step to a 2012 loss! No bible-christian reading this would actually read it and go “oh my God! I didn’t know I couldn’t vote for her!” All this serves to tell Dems to be dismissive of her “because of course ‘they’ wont vote for her.” The whole reason Obama didn’t have the kind of electoral landslide that Reagan did is because of Palin. Articles like this do for her what the foolishness of the Reps did for Obama: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Keep focusing on Palin and writing articles like this, and I bet in 2 1/2 years you will be wondering “how did she get so strong?” “What is the appeal?” “Why do people care so much about her?” Keep her in the news and at the forefront of articles like this, and you will create the monster, not them!

  • invalid-0

    “Most Bible Christians believe that a woman’s highest calling is “service.” “

    It’s rather a huge and deeply dishonest stretch to claim that most ‘Bible Christians’ are enthused about women and particularly women with small children, working in ‘service’ outside the home.

    “because she came across as humble as opposed to entitled.”

    She came across as arrogant, vain, painfully ignorant and unqualified to an insulting degree.

    “To be dismissive of her would be the first step to a 2012 loss!”

    Please try to convince as many ‘Bible Christians’ as possible that Mrs Palin is your political messiah.

  • invalid-0

    Anyone with a modicum of education can dissect the speech patterns of trailer trash talk and come out with the common denominator..Sarah Palin..SO what is the attraction? Seems to me that we are attracted to the folksy, someone we know down the street quality of her campaign style, but no concern to her ability to connect a thought through a well constructed sentence. A joke to be played on the voters.
    To Mike Musselman.
    “…Sarah’s got a pretty great guy, I’d say. I suspect there are some complementarian wives who secretly wish they had found a Todd Palin…”
    Did you forget the affair Sarah Had with Todd’s best friend?
    Well, you know what the bible says about casting the first stone..Crash….

  • invalid-0

    To those who said the evangelicals think it’s OK for a woman to be in politics as long as she has already fulfilled her maternal and family obligations :
    Sarah Palin has NOT fulfilled those obligations.
    She just gave birth to a child who will require not merely the normal 18 years of maternal care, but more likely will require maternal care for the rest of his life because of his Downs Syndrome handicap.
    Furthermore since she has encouraged (coerced?) her 17 year old daughter to give birth to an accidentally conceived child, she will have some grandmotherly obligations : at minimum she is obligated for a lot of baby sitting while daughter completes enough education to enable her to support her child, the high school dropout daddy being unlikely to be able to contribute much in the way of support.

    So let Cariboo Barbie go back to obeying the Biblical injuntion to be SILENT. Let her cease to attempt to teach, preach, or usurp authority.

    Leave authority to those fit to wield it, such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and (my very favortie Supreme) Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • invalid-0

    If Sarah Palin really wants to put her money where her mouth is, she’d say “thanks but no thanks” to the Juneau Road to Nowhere and the Knik Arm Bridge to Nowhere! Alaska received money for these projects in the same federal spending spree that gave them the other Bridge to Nowhere. The total cost of both of these projects is well over $1 billion, and the decision is Palin’s to cancel them or let them go forward. That will be the true test of what’s behind her fiscal conservative tough talk. Check out http://www.akbridgesandroadstonowhere.org for the details and this video about the crazy dangerous Juneau Road to Nowhere… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fai9UT8ZRrk

  • http://www.universityloveconnection.com invalid-0

    very nice to know and at the same sad that we sometimes consult with the bible regarding some or our future, but we tend to bypass the other teaching of the bible.

  • http://kuyakevin.blogspot.com invalid-0

    There are two views in the Church regarding the role of women: egalitarian and complementarian. There are Bible-believing Christians on both sides of this debate.

    Let’s also not forget this debate is primarily about the role of female pastors, not public officials.

  • colleen

    "There are Bible-believing Christians on both sides of this debate.

    Let’s also not forget this debate is primarily about the role of female pastors, not public officials."

     

    Tell that to the Southern Baptrist Convention or James Dobson  for that matter.

    The debate is about a good deal more than the role of female pastors and extends into and restricts and degrades alll aspects of a woman or girl’s life.   Likewise it has been going on for centuries unless, of course, you’re confining your definition of ‘Bible believing Christians to a smaller subset than most folks generally understand.