Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sarah Palin's Bible v. Sarah Palin's Ambition

(Frank Schaeffer
co-authored with
Linda Trump)

Sarah Palin will never again run for political office if, that is, she really believes the born-again fundamentalist views about women that her church promotes.

Premise: Sarah Palin is a self-proclaimed, far-right conservative, Christian fundamentalist, which connotes a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Problem:
She cherry-picks to make her message more palatable to the public and ducks the subservient role of women her church believes in.

Too bad the media who interview Sarah Palin don't know their Bibles and the fundamentalist theology Palin says she lives by. If they did, Palin would have to answer the following questions based on the fact that according to her own church's beliefs, she shouldn't even be in politics.

So here is a freebie for you biblically-ignorant media types.

Armed with these questions you can give Palin a choice: be true to the Bible "as it's interpreted by many of your own right wing born-again base" or get out of politics.

Start out with easy, biographical fluff-questions. Ask her who has had the greatest influence in her life. If she says Jesus, or the Bible, great!

Ask Palin about her religion and long-standing faith. Ask her if she believes that the Bible is the sovereign authority in her life. She will answer that she follows "God's will" in her life.

Ask her if she is a "subject of God's Rule of Law" based on Scripture. Ask her she if she believes that God's Word is the only solid base upon which to build our lives. If she can't answer or gives you a blank stare, ask her to summarize her personal faith and wait for a response.

The Bible and Women

If she still can't do that, ask her if she believes what her church says on its website. She'll say yes, of course she does, because her husband, her family, her minister and the entire congregation will be watching. So far so good. If you want to quote her own statement of faith she signed on to joining her church here it is:

By God's grace everything in the life of this church will revolve around the reality of Jesus Christ - who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. In the words of the early Church "He is Lord" and will be recognized as such in this church with an absolute allegiance that lifts Him above all others in our hearts, in our homes, and in our congregation. It is His commands that we will obey, His warnings that we will heed, and His promises that we will hold. In every endeavor we will rely upon His power, cherish His presence, and honor His name. We will, in sum, love Him. (John 14:6)


Ask Palin about the Role of Women in her own church.

Then ask her what the Bible says (thus Jesus "says") about how women who believe in God's word are to shape their relationships with their husbands and other men through "God's divine model of womanhood."

Here it is, in case she doesn't remember: Biblical mandate of...

"The Law of Submission"

As it says in her Bible: "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. ...He is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. -- For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake."

and...

"Let a woman learn in quietness with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; but to be in quietness." 1 Timothy 2:11-14.

Ask her what the Bible says about women being "help-mates" to their "covenanted men." She might not know what covenanted means, so find a way to work in the definition: "Those who have a covenant with or who have made a direct promise of faithfulness to God and strict adherence to His word in all things."

Ask her if she believes those same principles apply more broadly in the civil realm. If she doesn't understand that, ask her if she believes that God's Law applies "to every aspect of life, including politics?"

What does the Bible say about women in politics?

If she can't answer or doesn't know, ask her what the Bible says about women holding political office? Ask her if she thinks a woman would be over-stepping the boundaries of His Word if she holds public office?

If she hedges on that, ask her how many women in her church vote. If they do, ask her if they vote differently from their husbands? What does the Bible say about women casting their vote in the church, Sarah? Answer: According to the Bible wives are to be silent and ask their husbands for guidance and instruction!

Ask her why women in her own political party, as believers, formally asked her to step down from the vice presidential nomination? Ask her to explain what reasons they gave.

Ask her if they felt she was going against God's law, the Law of Submission, by accepting the nomination? Ask her why she accepted it in the first place as a godly woman who must "submit" to men in all things?

Ask her if her husband is also a fundamentalist Christian.

Ask her then, if he is, if, by his active administrative role, she assumed a biblically-commanded "subservient position" as Governor of Alaska as well, thereby explaining his role behind the scenes?

Ask her if she was fulfilling her wifely, "God-ordained" role as a helper-leader during her short time as Governor of Alaska?

Ask her if the Bible says that women have "the right to modify and direct her husband's opinion," if he considered her worthy and competent to guide him.

Ask her what the one thing is that would disgrace all womanhood, according to her own church's fundamentalist take on the Bible? Arlen Specter kind of touched on that when he told Michelle Bachmann to "Act like a lady!" in the midst of a political discussion. He said that because she kept interrupting him. Interrupting him - a man!

ANSWER: Michelle didn't follow the program: "....with modesty, humility, and reverence she may so do; and he ought to hearken unto her, as the husband of the Shunammite did..." (2 Kings 4:23-24).

Ask Palin if the word "husband' in the Bible means only that, by definition, or does it equate to all "Men" in general, including brothers, husbands and sons when it comes to the authority of men over women

Ok, she won't get that either. Try again with, "Sarah, given Biblical mandates according to your own brand of fundamentalist theology about the role of women in the church and thereby in the national arena, would this country be better off if women had not fought for their rights to be equal to those given to men?"

Still a blank stare?

Ok......Sarah, according to the Bible, should we take the Constitution literally when it says, "All MEN are created equal?" or "One MAN, one vote?"

Ask her if the Bible says that women have the right to immerse themselves in the mire of political strife, whether or not her husband or far right conservative males deems her worthy? She won't understand that question and will stare, begin to smirk, shake her head, flip her hair, rub her knees and start to get ticked...

Linda Trump is a former educator in the Texas and Virginia public school systems and freelance writer at Open Salon.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism)

7 comments:

Ninure said...

I'd love to see that Interview....

I wonder if we could get FOX to do it? LOL

DomainDiva said...

You guys are a year late and a dollar short. She lost me in the VP debate when she winked and said "You betcha!" That being said, great post!

Maybe we could get Christianne Armanpour to do the interview. Now THAT would be an interview!

xigent said...

So, what's wrong with doing one thing and saying another? Isn't the legal definition of "Republican"?

destined to speak up said...

I am giggling in my chair...hell yes someone do that interview.

Matt | o2h2d2 said...

I find it interesting, because if you look into any branch of historical Christianity from the time of Christ 'til now, you will always find cherry picking seen and proclaimed as God's providence, exception and/or 'economia.' Obviously, one's Christian background has at times had little or no significance for certain women, or men, in times of civil leadership, be that theocracy, democracy, autocracy, or monarchy.

Juris Naturalist said...

So some churches interpret I Timothy in that way, others rightly contextualize the discussion. Let's rightly contextualize what you are about here, Frankie:
You have structured this post around the role of women in the church and how that might parallel to the role of women in politics. Now, for someone steeped in a theology that perceives the legitimate role of government to be an extension of family and church, I see how you might come to these conclusions.
But what if there is no such legitimization of government. What if government had been forever limited to the role of courts and judges, as it was pre-Saul (I Samuel)? Women were clearly understood to be legitimately active as judges. (Deborah, for instance.)
So, you are right to point out an inconsistency in Palin's position, re: her congregation. But you are going the wrong way with all this because you continue to maintain a Constantinian perspective.
Read a little Hauerwas and Yoder.

رضا رمضان said...

اعمال الفنين الذين يقومون باعمال التسريب تتم بدقة تامة حيث لدينا في
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام الاليات والاجهزة الحديثة التي تساعدهم في اكتشاف ذلك بدون اي تكسير او تدمير فاعمال كشف التسربات لدينا في
شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام تتم عندما باحترافية كاملة دون اللجوء الي اعمال تقليدية كل هذه الخدمات لا تلقها الا مع شركة ركن البيت التي لديها كل اهتمام بالاعمال التي تقدمها لدينا نفس الخدمات في مدينة الرياض بواسطة البحث عن شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض التي نقوم بها بجدية تامة للوصول الي رضاء العملاء فنحن في شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض نعطيك كافة الضمانات التي تعطيك الصلاحية في الحصول علي عمل سليم