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The Palin Predicament

Andreas Kostenberger at Biblical Foundations responds to  David Gushee’s post in USA Today on Palin as the potential VP, and potential President of the US.

Read both articles, beginning with the Gushee article, followed by Kostenberger.

Is there a contradiction for Christians who believe women should not exercise authority over a man in the church context exerting authority in the highest office in the land?

8 Responses

  1. Is it wrong for a woman to be the CEO of a company? Do Christian’s argue with the authority given to Condoleezza Rice? Running a country, I grant you, is the largest “company” that there is, but it still fits within the boundaries of a corporation, it is not spiritual. Palin would not be advising everyone in the country as to spiritual matters. There is a huge difference.

  2. The interesting problem this raises is crossover. Why if the church wouldn’t allow women those sorts of places within the structures of home and family would they do so in the state structure. It is a consistency argument that cuts both ways. I think the traditional conclusion would have been that there was crossover, that the state didn’t have to be the church in order for the principle to apply. This is such a “national” event that it does raise the issue for those hardliners with regard to women in ministry. You younger women didn’t experience the challenge your predecessors had in pursuing work and career outside the home. It wasn’t that long ago that the attitude was that when you worked outside the home you put yourself under submission to another male, ie. your boss and that would violate the principle of headship and submission.
    As with many other issues in the church, this one has simply and slowly taken a back burner. Most churches who felt this way in the past have only retained this attitude about women being pastors and have relaxed their stance on the workplace. This kind of forces the issue.

  3. I do see what you mean, Steve. However, there are plenty of women in this day and age that balance workplace duties with home duties in a way that would put most men to shame. The modern women of this day have the capacity to keep up with and exceed the abilities of many male counterparts in the workplace. Palin is running for Vice President, not the Commander in Cheif, and so she is still somewhat submissive to male authority and headship. But if, heaven forbid, something happened to McCain while he was in office, and she took over, she would be heading up the State, which as I believe you agree with me, is completely separate from the Church. Different rules apply to both. One needs not approve of a female pastorate to approve of female leadership in the State and/or workplace.

  4. There seem to be some dichotomies going on with Sarah Palin, like supporting abstention in teenagers while her 17yo daughter is having a child out of wedlock. Also, if she is really a caring Mother, why would she risk having a child at her advanced age, when it is common knowledge there is a greater risk of physically challenging conditions? …and now that she HAS the child, where is her priority – with that child, that really needs her undivided attention, or her political career?

    Other than that, her extreme Pentecostal attitudes really polarize with extremist Muslims… and to be a true diplomat in this country, it is only wise to honor all people, regardless of religious affiliation.

    Check out my websites:

    The homepage [ ] has some great links to all the latest news on this campaign…

  5. Rootsofdemocracy, I respectfully disagree with you. The fact that Palin had a child at her “advanced age” does not make her less of a “caring mother”. The baby was not planned by her husband and her, but God blessed them with a new life to add to their brood. A child physically / mentally handicapped isn’t a curse upon a family and should not be seen that way. The fact that she did not abort the child, knowing that it would have Downs Syndrome is honorable, not irresponsible (as you insinuate). Her daughter being pregnant at 17, though I’m sure a disappointment to someone who has most likely taught her children to do otherwise, in no way should affect the fact that Palin stands for abstinence. In fact, more than ever Palin can show that being abstinent is better for everyone…her daughter is going to have a difficult road ahead of her because of her decision to have a child so young.

    I disagree with your pluralism as well. Palin’s religious beliefs do not cause her to dishonor all peoples of our great country. Quite the opposite…she, as a Christian, is called to love her brothers and sisters. However, that does not mean that she has to agree with their life choices or doctrine.

    Rootsofdemocracy, you also seem to be missing the point of the post to begin with. We are not discussing whether or not Palin is the person for the job. We are discussing the role of the woman in the church versus the role of the woman in a leadership role outside of the church, and whether or not those relate to one another.

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