Some of our friends have a silly and rather crude game they play when they go out for Chinese food and read their “fortunes” on the little slips of paper in the cookies at the end of the meal. Whatever the paper reads, they add, “…in the bathroom.” “You will soon meet a mysterious stranger…in the bathroom.” “You will have great success in your career…in the bathroom.” You get the idea.
I thought of this game the other night when listening to shrill Hillary Clinton give her final concession speech—the one where she reluctantly pretended to be on Obama’s team—at the Democrats’ convention in Colorado. We don’t watch television so it was the only speech from the convention I heard as I was alone and on the way home from taking my dad to the airport; I turned on the radio and listened in maudlin fascination as the deluded woman promised the moon while ironically blaming the current administration for the massive national debt. Of course, she promised universal health care and took credit for dreaming up the idea which was her pet project as first lady, as well as promising clean energy, affordable college, ending discrimination, and other pie-in-the-sky campaign promises which prompted me to make up a variation of the fortune cookie game. Every time you hear a politician promise something they will do for you if you elect them to office, add these words to the end of the promise:
…at the point of a gun.
Where does the money come from for all these things? What if you decide you don’t want free health care, government grants for college, public school for your children, or social “security” in your old age? Can you tell the IRS to take a hike? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. We all know that jack-booted thugs, or a reasonable facsimile, will show up at your door if you should choose to be so uppity and refuse to participate in the government’s largesse. Did you think that Hillary was going to open her Gucci bag and generously throw about her own personal wealth?
We all nod sagely and sadly and bemoan the fact that the former Wicked Witch of the White House and her socialist cronies might get their clutches on the oval office once again. I don’t want it to happen, and most of those reading this don’t want that to happen, either. But lo, and behold: hard on the heels of Hillary gloating over her historic speech given on the anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote, and coming within shouting distance of that coveted place (oh, how she coveted it!), her thunder was stolen when McCain pulled a fast one on her and Obama.
He announced that his vice presidential candidate would be a woman.
Alaska governor Sarah Palin was a brilliant choice from a strategic viewpoint. Hillary and candidate Obama had just finished outlining their plan for a socialist utopia in the midst of a national economic crisis. Disaffected Democrat women didn’t get their feminist dream of a woman in the White House. Evangelical Christians have been dissatisfied with McCain as a Republican candidate and there had been some fingernail biting while waiting to see if he might go with a pro-abortion running mate or (gasp!) even Democrat centrist Joseph Lieberman as his VP choice. The poll numbers show yet another close race, and it had to be someone who could garner some of those nebulous swing votes.
Who better than a pro-life woman?
Oh, how it must have grated Hillary and Obama to praise the “historic” choice of a a female running mate for the Republican ticket. Both were quick to congratulate Governor Palin for receiving this honor. They had no choice because they understand that it is a huge step forward for feminism, and supporting that cause is life-and-death for anyone who wants to be a star in the Democrats’ universe. Governor Palin, a member of Feminists for Life, also understands the huge leap for womankind that her VP candidacy presages. In her first appearance with McCain, using a feminist catch-phrase, she paid homage to Hillary’s reference to putting “18 million cracks” in the nation’s glass ceiling by saying, “It turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling.”
Well, it is very true that politics makes strange bedfellows, and the euphoria over McCain’s announcement was overflowing in the Christian and pro-life community, folks who, for good reason, are quite concerned about the ill effects of Democrats controlling the executive branch of the country’s government. From Eagle Forum to Dr. Dobson, from the halls of Patrick Henry College to the shores of Biola in California, we hear hurrahs for the tough “soccer mom” who has wowed everyone with her conservative credentials and her support of the prolife cause, and especially impressive is her willingness to give birth to a precious fifth child which she knew would be born with Down’s syndrome, a diagnosis which is usually a death sentence for babies in utero.
There is a lot to like about the photogenic, telegenic, articulate, conservative, prolife, mother of five, wife of one man for 20 years, governor of Alaska. But I think that Christians who support her for this political office are destroying the prolife movement and harming the cause of families far more profoundly than any of the obvious enemies of those causes who recently met in Colorado.
Why is it that abortion is so prevalent and accepted in America today? What are the reasons that women “choose” to abort their babies rather than give birth to them and mother them? It wasn’t because one day a madness overtook the female sex and caused them to turn on their young. It was much more insidious and slow-moving than that. There are many moments we could point to in history, beginning with Eve’s emancipation by eating the forbidden fruit, for the genesis of the impulse to selfishly rid oneself of every encumbrance, including male headship and clinging children. But I think that the acceptance of abortion can trace its foundations more to Rosie the Riveter than to Roe v. Wade, which was only the culmination of independent roots that finally blossomed into wholesale slaughter of innocent children. Governor Palin leaving her home to become governor of Alaska, and “choosing” to run for second-in-command of the most powerful nation on earth, is not a coup for the prolife cause, despite her personal convictions, but it is the death knell of the the biblical family as an American institution, and will only bring grief to those who are trying to hold together the shreds of that family vision in the midst of a perverse society.
I know that my friends are now thinking that I’m such a party pooper, spouting such depressing nonsense in the midst of such a prolife victory, callooh, callay! Let’s slow down the galumphing for a minute, though, and examine this situation more carefully…
First of all, why would McCain pick Mrs. Palin, an untried figure on the national scene, as his VP running mate? I know that I’m not alone in my cynicism toward politicians, but during election cycles it does seem as if extraordinary madness and the delusion of crowds overtakes otherwise sensible people, particularly when demagoguery (manipulation through fear) is so skillfully used. “If you don’t vote Republican, then it’s a vote for Obama!” Though he voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Act, which prevents a few heinous murders of infants, Senator McCain is no friend to the prolife cause. He and his fellow Republican congressmen never supported Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act which was introduced every year but ignored every time. He did, however, vote year after year to fund Planned Parenthood with federal money. Think he would appoint prolife judges? He voted to approve pro-abortion justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. And he has been a proponent of stem cell research using the bodies of aborted babies. When the Republicans had control of Congress for six years during the “prolife” Bush administration, why didn’t we see significant gains in the prolife cause? I will tell you…because in order to get elected by gullible evangelicals, the Republicans have to talk the talk at election time and keep the prolife crowd in their hip pocket. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, then they lose that ace in the hole, and the dupes fall for it every election cycle. McCain may be in his 70s, but he is not planning on dying in office. Politicians and journalists both act like they are going to live forever (thus, the shock among the fourth estate when Tony Snow and Tim Russert recently passed on in their 50s, and the reverence accorded Chappaquiddick Ted who has been stricken with brain cancer). As vice president, Sarah Palin will be a figurehead on the cusp of greatness but with no real power, unless she is called upon to break a tie vote in the Senate, and ironically she’ll be the hostess with the mostess, entertaining heads of state at Blair House. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who is pro-abortion, by the way) ostensibly wields more power than Vice President Dick Cheney (who is pro-homosexual, by the way), though there is some conspiracy-nut speculation that is tempting to believe, that the current VP is the evil genius behind the Bush administration. In other words, Mrs. Palin is a well-calculated sop thrown to the saps who keep pulling the lever for the Republican ticket.
Second, if Christians support putting a woman on this ticket, and she should become president (as our friend Bret points out, McCain is pushing the limits of the average life span of an adult male in America), then we will have done what liberal feminists could only dream of: put a mother of young children—the youngest only four months old right now—into one of the most powerful positions in the world. While fighting the battle for the “traditional” family on the one hand, Christians would also be supporting Madame President whose husband (whom she already fondly refers to as the “First Dude”) and children would take a back seat to much more important matters of state. We will have to turn a blind eye to God’s explicit order for the family, of course, as outlined in places like Titus 2 where women are admonished to be keepers at home and obedient to their own husbands that the word of God not be blasphemed, because we have much greater things at stake, and in this battle it’s appropriate to put our trust in our horses, our chariots, and our swing votes. Once we’ve opened this Pandora’s box—or been complicit in smashing this glass ceiling—then good luck when the pro-abortion feminists use it as a stepping stone to grasp the reins of power. The pragmatic, short-term strategy might come back and bite us and we just might wish we had put our trust in God’s strategy for family order, established at creation, rather than the role-reversal which we find no biblical precedent for encouraging.
Third, I have heard so many parrot the Deborah argument that I am inclined to pick Deborah as my least favorite biblical personality, though I can’t quite bring myself to do that (I do, however, prefer Jael, who stayed at home and used her warm milk strategy to defeat the great General Sisera). I do agree that Deborah was a great woman of God, but she is in no way a role model for Christian women everywhere to claw their way to the top, though discontented Christian women in this feminist climate want to claim her as their patron saint. As a prophetess, she had direct communication with God, who divinely directed her path with special revelation. Such direct revelation is no longer available to Christians, as Hebrews 1:1-2 makes clear. The canon is closed, and we have all we need to direct us about how families should be structured, as well as how to select men to govern us in both the civil and church realms, written in the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God. Here is what John Calvin said about the Deborah argument, which he must have had to deal with in his day, as well (commenting on I Timothy 2:11-13, quote found at Bayly Blog):
A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
If any one bring forward, by way of objection, Deborah (Judges 4:4) and others of the same class, of whom we read that they were at one time appointed by the command of God to govern the people, the answer is easy. Extraordinary acts done by God do not overturn the ordinary rules of government, by which he intended that we should be bound. Accordingly, if women at one time held the office of prophets and teachers, and that too when they were supernaturally called to it by the Spirit of God, He who is above all law might do this; but, being a peculiar case, this is not opposed to the constant and ordinary system of government.
Though she is not apparently the member of any church, one of the churches Mrs. Palin occasionally worships at is pentecostal (with women in leadership positions, I might add), thus, she may not be averse to an interpretation of the Bible which says God still audibly speaks to people today, but close scrutiny of Scripture does not support such teaching. Deborah’s rule was a shame on the men of Israel, a judgement of God on an apostate nation, and not a model for us to embrace.
Speaking of models, my last argument against supporting this decision is that for the “conservative” crowd to promote the model of family life portrayed by Sarah Palin is hypocrisy of the worst kind, and removes all ability in the future to oppose the liberal agenda which aims to undermine the biblical family model. How clever of Senator McCain, who at one time attacked George Bush for pandering to the “agents of intolerance” in the “Religious Right,” to pander to the same crowd who put Bush in office. By using the one issue which carries the greatest weight with the evangelical voters, McCain may have succeeded in undermining the very group for which he has shown such contempt in the past while using them to achieve his aims.
Does God ordain the means as well as the end? If so, then we are not free to use our own strategies and devices to achieve even the very important goal of ending abortion in this nation. Yes, we are blessed to still be able to use the political process to work toward maintaining (or regaining) freedom for ourselves and our children, and we should vigilantly use those means, but not by being religious vigilantes. God will not bless the aims of feminism, neither the conservative nor the liberal varieties, as the “I did it my way” theology undergirding both leads to death, and can never be prolife. Jesus is still King, no matter who is elected president. Let’s not be like the foolish Israelites and demand another king. That king may make nice promises, but it doesn’t turn out well in the long run.
Essential reading on this issue!
Sarah “Serpico” Palin and the Christian’s Quandary: Part 1 by Pastor Bret McAtee
Sarah “Serpico” Palin and the Christian’s Quandary: Part 2 by Pastor Bret McAtee
Sarah “Serpico” Palin and dthe Christian’s Quandary: Part 3 by Pastor Bret McAtee
John McCain Picks Mother of Five and Member of ‘Feminists for Life’ as VP Candidate by Doug Phillips
A Comparison of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin’s Speeches on Feminist Political Objectives and Victories to the Men and Women of America by Doug Phillips
Did McCain Make a Pro-Family Pick? by Pastor Voddie Baucham
Woe to My People by Jennie Chancey