A month ago the Democrats held the winning hand for history, that with the hopes of the first black president, Barack Obama. Now, with the appointment of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential running mate, history is on the Republican ticket, too. It has been assumed for too long that the first woman chief executive of the nation would be a liberal Democrat. Instead, we have a conservative Alaskan who has five children and hunts moose.
“Ah, but she’s a woman,” some say. While some may see power in Palin’s femininity (so-called “Palin Power”), I see the power of family. She has not been defined by what is thought to be the “perfect” politician’s family. You know the image. Husband, wife, two kids. Her family walking on the Republican Convention stage looked unique and different, but more truly American. Rough on the edges and most perfect in many ways. Consider:
- Todd, Palin’s husband. Tremendously confident in his masculinity. Hunter and snowmobile racing champion. He broke his arm in the last race he was in, but he refused to give up. Tough Alaskan, one who would say, “Yeah, I stay home and she goes to work. Got somethin’ with that?” I identify. Early in our marriage, Wendy worked while I finished up school. That’s family working together, not some imagined misalignment of biblical hierarchy. Todd is someone I hope to have the privilege someday to gut an elk out together in the mountains of Colorado…with our daughters.
- Track, first born son. He went to war for our country on 9/11/08. Nineteen years old and devoted to serving his country. He may pay the Ultimate Price, God only knows. He has been raised well within the strong values of this Christian family. These are the values I struggle to teach my children: love of God, love of country, life beyond self. If I were in battle, I’d like to have Track at my side. He seems to be the kind of guy who wouldn’t blink before jumping on a grenade to save those around him.
- Bristol, pregnant out of wedlock at 17. How should Christian parents respond? Exactly how the Palins responded, loving and forgiving, believing in her daughter despite her foolish choices. While the media foamed at the mouth at the hope that the conservative Christians would throw Palin under the bus, Christians warmly sighed at how the Palins handled the news. Peggy Noonan got it right: “Modern American evangelicals are among the last people who’d judge her harshly. It is the left that is about to go crazy with Puritan judgments; it is the right that is about to show what mellow looks like.” Their family will make it through, because families are powerful.
- Trig, Palin’s baby. She had Trig while in office, knowing full well that he would most likely be born with Down syndrome. She refused to compromise either her service as governor or her ministry as mother. Instead, she brought Trig to work—often excusing herself to nurse her son—making sure it all worked out. Families make things work. What a testimony for choosing life even when all worldly persuasion says otherwise.
The pundits are asking Sarah Palin if she can accomplish the executive duties while raising a family. Gee, do they really need to ask? Charlie Gibson from ABC stared down his nose like a cynical professor when he asked a leading question about sexism. Watch this…
I’m glad she didn’t agree with Charlie’s red herring, “Is it sexist to question your ability?” It was a loaded question, one that he would have pounced on if she answered yes. “See, she plays the victim and is not ready to be Vice President,” the pundits would have replied. Instead, Palin pretty much said, “Who cares?” Palin’s femininity is not defined by the media or her naysayers. Instead, it appears that Palin is defined by her strong values and conservative principles, those I would argue are founded in her Christian faith and upbringing.
Sounds like my kind of Vice President.
The Jeub family so identifies with the Palins. Her family embodies something that we believe is a refreshing calling for families: families are powerful. Other life choices don’t compare to the power of family. Not government, not money, not personal career ambitions, not feminism. Family. And family was not and is not being sacrificed by Palin, even when called to public service and high office.
Boy, what a contrast from the typical Washington politician! In every sense of the word, Palin is exceptional. She had been called to politics for all the reasons people should be called to politics: to shake up the “good old boys” and make a change for families. Also unlike Washington elitists, her promises didn’t fall to the wayside after election. She shook up her hometown as mayor and took on the special interests as Alaskan governor.
Some people believe that her being a woman is a violation of a scriptural mandate forbidding women from serving in public office. Two quick notes on that. First, if you’re being persuaded by someone who appears well versed in scripture that the Bible “clearly” invalidates a Palin vote, look up the verses. I have, and scripture does not invalidate a Palin vice presidency. Quite the contrary, God has called women into positions of influence, power and humble service throughout scripture (e.g. Miriam, Esther, Deborah, Mary, Phoebe, Priscilla). People with these archaic opinions have lengthy rebuttals that usually (and ironically) lead you away from scripture. When you read the few verses touted by your friend, ask yourself, “Is it really that clear that God forbids women to be public servants?”
Second, don’t forget who else is running for president. Folks who say, “Don’t vote for Palin because she’s a woman” usually refuse to be reminded how bad the opposing candidate is. Barack Obama promotes several complete opposite principles Sarah Palin is standing on. No matter how strongly anyone believes Sarah Palin shouldn’t be running the country, the bottom line is still this: a refusal to vote is a vote for her opponent. Some have gone so far as to say it would be unbiblical to vote for McCain/Palin. I sure hope they wise up before November 5.
This sounds like a campaign ad, I know, but you know what? Wendy and I have never been this excited over the Republican ticket. McCain has his shortcomings, and while I most likely would have voted for him, I wouldn’t put a bumper sticker on my car. I may just do that this year. I have my eye on this one: “I’m voting for the pit bull with lipstick.”