Skip to content

Thoughts on Sarah Palin for VP

Much hoopla, excitement, controversy and concern has emerged due to John McCain’s recent selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Of particular interest to us has been the discussion of whether it’s appropriate for this mother of five to run for office — or whether such ambitions run counter to Biblical admonitions to be a “keeper of the home” (Titus 2:5).  Add to the mix the breaking news that Palin’s 17yo unmarried daughter is pregnant, and certain Christian commentators have begun lamenting the enthusiasm of the evangelical Christian community as ignorant of the “anti-family” nature of supporting such a person for VP.  For example, pastor and author Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. (whom we deeply respect) writes:

In an effort to win the pro-family political argument, we are sacrificing the pro-family biblical argument.  In essence, the message being sent to women by conservative Christians backing McCain/Palin is, “It’s ok to sacrifice your family on the altar of your career; just don’t have an abortion.”  How pro-family is that?

I have some sympathies with Dr. Baucham.  I too have concerns (esp. with the revelations about Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter) whether she is truly managing to take care of her family with all the responsibilities of a governor (let alone vice president or on-the-campaign candidate).

All that said, I think Dr. Baucham is not asking the right question.  If I, as a conservative Christian, vote for McCain/Palin, am I truly supporting her personal views on feminism or motherhood?  I think not.  I am simply saying with my vote that that particular ticket represents the best option for the advancement of a particular political agenda.  And in this respect, we find ourselves in agreement with Palin’s positions on limited government, energy policy, abortion and conservationism.  Though some would argue that, if elected, she might advance some sort of unbiblical feminism, I’m not convinced that’s the case, nor is it even terribly important.

Lois and I have been having these past couple of days on the matter, and came upon a statement at Nancy Wilson’s Femina blog that summed up our thoughts quite nicely:

I don’t think Sarah Palin is a role model for Christian women. But neither do I think President Bush is a role model for Christian men. But no one brings that up.

Amen.  As I said in a comment to that post:

It would be one thing if we were considering Palin for church ministry / leadership, in which character, integrity, and Biblical womanhood are a clear criteria.

However, we’re not. We’re considering her as a candidate for the vice presidency of the United States, in which case, while certain character qualifications apply, a litmus test of “Biblical womanhood” does not (though it wouldn’t hurt). Far more important in this case are her political positions and her commitment to following through.

Again, I’m not blind to the potential downside of those who would see this as an opportunity to advance an unhealthy “feminist” agenda.  But inasmuch as I don’t place much hope in government to advance the gospel, neither does the Bible really tell us to worry too much about a government opposed to the gospel (let alone the implications of the gospel on family life).  It is His church which will long outlast all these institutions and candidates, and it is Christ’s church alone which has the responsibility to carry the torch for Biblical truth, the gospel and its ramifications for our lives.

UPDATE: I found Al Mohler’s perspective on this debate thoughtful.  He offers a good analysis, recognizing the difficulties of the circumstances without making the “perfect” become “the enemy of the good.”  In other words, this is not a “black and white,” “all or nothing” situation.  While expressing pastoral concern for Gov. Palin and her family, and in particular her ability to faithfully serve her family as wife & mother while pursuing public service, Mohler expressed these thoughts:

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

Is this kind of public role what most women want?  Clearly not, and for that I am honestly thankful.  The tasks assigned to women within the home are monumental.  The maternal role is crucial, and the vast majority of women find their greatest fulfillment in this role — and for good reason.  In the roles of wives and mothers women do what no one else can do so naturally and so well.

Regarding Gov. Palin’s choices with her infant son, as well as her daughter’s choice to have her baby, he continues:

Count me in on the thrill of seeing such a public display of pro-life commitment, and such a prominent pro-life candidate added to the ticket.  I still believe that Gov. Palin can — and I hope will — serve with distinction as Vice President of the United States.

Still, there is something to give us all pause in this picture, and those who care for the future of the family should take note and think hard.

Posted in General.

12 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Violin Mom says

    Thanks for helping me to sort out my thoughts and feelings on this issue. At last, I am reading a truly intelligent Christian response to the choice of Sarah Palin for VP. By the way, I do enjoy reading your blog very much. I am a stay at home homeschooling mother of two children who were adopted from Asia, and I appreciate reading you and your wife’s perspectives on a variety of topics. Your family is beautiful, as well. Come by and pay a visit to my blog sometime. Blessings to you, Violin Mom in Florida

  2. Ann says

    Agreed – Thanks so much for working through some of the thoughts I’ve wrestled with over Sarah Palin. She is not necessarily an ideal model Biblical womanhood (then again, neither am I). But I am in support of the strengths that she brings the ticked politically and she confirms my vote for McCain.

  3. Ann says

    PS – I plan to link to this post as it is a view point I am excited to share with my friends. Thanks!

  4. Jess @ MakingHome says

    What an excellent commentary. I really appreciate Nancy Wilson’s view on things, too… thanks for sharing that.

    So many contrasting questions are raised by this candidacy, and it just highlights the scrambling of our nation’s priorities, morals, and values. Nonetheless, these are important questions. I appreciate hearing your “take” on it. I am in much the same place, Evers.
    ~Jess @ MakingHome

  5. Todd says

    We know very little about this lady.

  6. Evers says

    Todd: You may be right. But frankly, what little I know of her trumps what I know of Obama/Biden. And for better or worse, she’s on the ticket; and again, her positions and reputation based on her public service in AK, commend her to my senses.

  7. Stacy says

    Thanks for the great summary of much of what has been shared back and forth among my friends.

    What I came to feel, after my own wrestling with the idea of Gov. Palin as VP was as follows. I do not know of her personal convictions, nor how it was God led her to a life in the political arena. I am willing to accept however that God uses people differently in His plan and perhaps we will see Him use her “for such a time as this.”

    Just as I must answer to God for the choices I make, so does Gov. Palin. But God does use us each differently and unless I am afforded the great opportunity to speak to her personally or get to hear her convictions shared solidly, I am left to just trust that God can and will use this for good according to His purposes. Perhaps one day He will reveal that He called her to this place in time. Maybe not, too. But in either event, I like much of what she stands for and am excited to see many true Christian values being spoken of so boldly.

  8. Teri (from Iowa) says

    Loved this post and the blogs you linked. I have linked your blog to a post on my own. Hope that is OK. It’s a favorite of mine!

  9. Michelle says

    Hi Evers,

    From my brief reading about Sarah Palin, I came across something, in which her former pastor mentions the book of Esther. After my previous readings of Esther, I have pondered about God’s calling of women to positions of authority. I’m not sure if this is similar, but in my own life, I think about pursuing excellence in my career. Is there a glass ceiling? Are having a successful career by worldly standards and being an excellent, godly mother and wife mutually exclusive? Curious to hear your/Lois’s thoughts.

  10. Evers says

    Hi Michelle,

    Good questions. The key question is, “Are having a successful career by worldly standards and being an excellent, godly mother and wife mutually exclusive?”

    And I think the answer, is no, at least not definitively. The key is maintaining the right priority. I think Scripture is crystal clear that if you are a wife and mother, that should be your chief priority. If you can somehow manage to faithfully execute that role, and in addition have a successful career, then I don’t believe the Bible has any objections.

    Practically, however, I think it’s a lot harder than most imagine to actually do both. It takes a rare individual to pull it off. Palin may be that sort of individual — though it’s not in my power or rights to judge that. Though for her sake, and her family’s, I hope it to be so.

    In the above post, I quoted Mohler, who summarized this point well: “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.”

  11. Todd says

    So we know a little more about her now. What are your thoughts and Lois’s thoughts?

  12. Evers says

    Hi Todd,

    I’d say we both still support the McCain/Palin ticket over the Obama/Biden ticket. Neither is really what we could describe as an ideal ticket. But the positions espoused by the R ticket are far more representative of our political (and Biblical) leanings for governmental philosophy and in particular, the culture of life, then the D ticket.

    I don’t think Palin has particularly distinguished herself as an amazingly transcendent politician; but on the other hand, I think she’s been treated rather viciously by the punditry and media. So, in short, based on what we’ve seen thus far, we’d simply say that she’s as competent as we expected; no more, no less.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

two + 5 =