Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin, Position, Piety, & Politics

What do all of these things have in common? The Religious/political Conservative agenda in this election.

This entry is not a critique on Gov. Sarah Palin, rather, a critique of the inconsistencies of many Christians (mainly those calling themselves "Conservative" or the "Religious Right") who have jumped on the Palin Bandwagon. It is interesting to me that these people who are now heralding in a female VP (and possible leader of this nation if something were to happen to McCain) are so hypocritical. These are people who won't let women lead their churches but will back a woman VP. This is the group that lauds Stay-at-home moms, yet heralds a mom with 5 kids (and a grandchild on the way) who is going for the second most ambitious political position in America.

Don't get me wrong, I personally have no problem with any of these things that Palin has done. I applaud ambitious women, and support their career oriented goals. But I also support ordained women pastors, and don't believe that every woman is supposed to be a stay-at-home mother. I applaud her response to her daughter's commitment to her pregnancy, but I also don't promote abstinence only education.

In a post today in Slate Magazine, there was a post in the section: xx factor xxtra: Women writing about politics, etc. Entitled: What Scarlet Letter?Why Christian conservatives have only admiration for Sarah Palin. By Hanna Rosin

This entry brings out some very good questions/thoughts on the
inconsitencies of those religious concervitives that are in the political
game. I suggest reading the whole article for context, but here is a

Some of this reaction can be explained just by listing the religious
right's priorities in order. In the pantheon of family values, avoiding abortion
sits at the top, above marriage or staying home to raise your children.
Conservatives have spent the last 30 years seeding the country with crisis
pregnancy centers dedicated to convincing young women not to abort their babies,
regardless of their personal situations. The fact that Britney Spears' younger
sister made the same decision to keep her pregnancy at 17 and that Juno was a
hit movie only adds an unexpected glamour to the choice.

But this explanation takes you only so far. What's missing from the
conservative reaction is still remarkable. Just 15 years ago, a different
Republican vice president was ripping into the creators of Murphy Brown for
flaunting a working woman who chose to become a single mother. This time around,
there's no stigma, no shame, no sin attached to what Dan Quayle would once have
mockingly called Bristol Palin's "lifestyle" choices. In fact, so cavalier are
conservatives about Sarah Palin's wreck of a home life that they make the rest
of us look stuffy and slow-witted by comparison. "I think a hard-working,
well-organized C.E.O. type can handle it very well," said Phyllis Schlafly, of
the Eagle Forum.

Suddenly it's the Obamas, with their oh-so-perfect
marriage and their Dick Van Dyke in the evenings and their two boringly innocent
young girls, who seem like the fuddy-duddies.
What happened? How did the
culture war get flipped on its head?

It amazes me that those people that abhor teen pregnancies, and teach abstinence only Sexual Education, NOW respond lovingly saying, "At least she didn't choose to abort the child." I agree that I am glad she is keeping the child, and that Palin didn't abort her DS child... But I also don't have a hierarchy of sins (at least I try very hard not to do so). I try to be consistent. But then again, I also believe to be "pro-life" means you can't be in favor of the death penalty either. So what do I know?

I am not a political expert... But I do love ANY situation (and it happens a lot in the political arena) where these people can change their colors to maintain their grasp around the throat of America. These people that are being interviewed saying the proper response to Palin's daughter is to respond with love and compassion.... I am so there with you! But these are the first people to kick a person out of a church for being gay, or responding to the homosexual community with "love and compassion".

This is the group of people that says a strong family has the woman at home with the kids, and the dad providing for the family. But here they are getting air-time saying how wonderful it is to have a woman with the "same values as me". And, as Rosin mentions in her article, the candidate's demonstrating the "core family systems" are now the ones at which we should be shaking our fingers.

I wish Palin luck in her career. She is going to be a fighter, and a charismatic contender on her ticket. I simply question a "faith" or "religion" that changes its "core values" in order to gain/maintain position and power...esp. a religion that spouts humility and sacrifice as the basis of its beliefs.

And they call postmoderns "wishy-washy" in their beliefs!

your thoughts?


  1. i bet Jesus would have thought twice about starting a new religion if He had known how many Christians He was gonna have to deal with...

    you're exactly right in all your comments. there's a sucker born again every minute...

  2. Thanks spud:)

    I sit and think how all of this was ingrained in me when I first "became a Christian"....

    funny I feel more of a disciple now than when I prescribed to these pre-fab. moral arguments. Hmmm... perhaps part of what Christ was trying to teach his disciples was to truly follow him, one needs to learn to think critically for one's self? Esp. about issues of morality, wisdom, and theology/belief... just a random thought though?!

  3. People just like to blow things out of proportion. Honestly if they lived in Alaska they too would be pregnant by 17. What is there to do in Alaska anyway? Eat, Sleep, Play Hockey, Hunt, and ....

    The real scary thing about this election to me is the inexperience by both sides. Especially on the McCain side. Palin is relatively inexperienced and is a Heartbeat away from being our President. Insane.

    P.S. Sorry this was totally off base. I just wanted to rant.


  4. thanks Neal,
    I think you have a point here. I think that the lack of XP on all sides, perhaps, should be the question we are asking. It seems each side is saying, "yeah but, I have more XP in ____ than my opponent."

    Thanks for your rant.

    I think it's amusing to hear James Dobson (focus on the Family) get on and say that McCain's Palin pick is "the most exciting turn in this election season". He is happy to have someone to get behind, (pro-life, pro-death penalty, etc... "conservitive evangelical values") because he didn't like McCain or anyone else.

    However, it is easy for him to overlook the daughter's pregnancy (which he has spoken out against teen pregnancy, and FOR abstinence-only education) and say "That is a private family matter" as long as she still meets his quota.

    I agree that this SHOULD be a private family matter, but that isn't the reality we live in. ESP. since Palin is NOT pro-choice, and then tries to talk about this being off-limits to the media because it is a private family CHOICE.

    I had another thought... these conservitive evangelicals who (mostly) believe in free will (the ability God gave us to make our own choices) wants to ideally legislate the choices we can make if they had their way. In their eyes, Americans, in the land of religious freedom, wouldn't even be able to choose what we believe about these issues. It's interesting, but taken to the extreme, the RR would legislate faith right out of the religious equation.

  5. Titus 2:4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

  6. Pat,
    I'm not sure where you want to go with that?

    My question would be, if you do believe that, do you support Palin because she stands for other "conservitive values"? Or are you not supporting her because you want to remain consistent in your beliefs?

    That's the essence of this post. I'm not knocking (at least not meaning to) a person's belief in say the roles of women in this post... I'm just asking for constancy with the people who hold these values. If you are being constant, then I applaud you as a person of faith in this election. however I question those that will subvert some of their beliefs in order to maintain control and power in the national/political/religious arena.

    So help me out with where you are going there. I don't want this to turn into a debate about who's right the roles of women, but focus on consistency! I will not belittle you if your belief of gender roles is different than mine.


  7. I think the last few elections have revealed the joke of politics in the United States. I'm sick of it.

    Justin, these statements about power should not surprise you! I'm surprised that you didn't see it already, you're a really sharp guy.

    Most of religion is about power! With all your familiarity with the Baptist church, you should know this!

  8. Jeff,
    See, I think that the "Christian culture" (which, btw, I don't think Jesus ever imagined such a phrase, and I don't think that's exactly what he had in mind with the Kingdom of God.) is mostly a joke...hence why I put up cartoons and posts joking about it. But I really don't want either the political system in America, OR Christianity to be a joke. Why? I just really care too much!!!

    I know (I think I might have had a post back, or at least meant to have one if not) that was all about power... I think you are right in pointing out that here. Since when should power be a Christian's/Christianity's main goal? No, I'm not suprised...just disapointed, and hoping that some people who haven't will see the irony/shame in things like this political move.

    Doug Pagitt wrote an article for PBS online about the woman's leadership role and how conservatives are diluting that in supporting Palin. As for the Power issue, Gomes' "Scandalous message of the gospel" has a whole chapter devoted to this topic and so does Peter Rollin's "Fidelity of Betrayal". (I highly recommend both books)!!! Also Samir Selmanovic has a great article in "Emergent Manifesto of Hope" that speaks about power in Christianity and religion. FANTASTIC!

    I'm still working on a post that this post and the newest one (on why I'm not a Christian questions and answers that JD's church did) that is set up by both of these posts.

    Yeah, so I know it seems naive in this post, but this has been my reality with churches. I guess what would truly surprise me is to have a bunch of churches/Christians within the institution of the religion of Christianity call/write to tell me that this is not a reality in their world! :/

    thanks Jeff as always!

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  10. I was telling someone the other day that I think this election is driving me insane. We have the socialist/stalinist that I believe is a complete sham artist, then we have the raving lunatic power hungry old man. Not to mention the 36 year Senator and the moose hunting hockey mom. Yikes! What a rap sheet.

    That combined with all the crazy ish going on with Wall Street and the fact that NO ONE understands why it happened, and I'm just about to blow my top.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go home and drink a PBR.

  11. pabst had a brewery in the town where i grew up; i worked there one summer in high school on the graveyard shift.

    what ironic foreshadowing to later events in my life...


  12. never tried a PBR. Am I missing out? Ha... perhaps that will be what I try when we eat @ Tyler's in Apex friday with some of Ali's friends.

    I mean only if it has the Jeff & Mike seal of approval:)