Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Evangelical Question

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

There was an op-ed piece in yesterday’s USA Today (page 15A) by an evangelical named David Gushee called The Palin predicament.

The upshot of the article was to set out how the evangelical churches view women. He pointed out that they cannot become pastors, as that is only for men, and that

“For nearly 40 years, conservative Protestants have displayed considerable hostility to the women’s movement. Their leaders have sought to preserve a pre-1960’s vision of the relationship between men and women and their respective roles. …

[C]onservative evangelical pastors and scholars have argued for a G-d-given hierarchy in the roles of men and women.”

He asks 5 questions of evangelicals which relate to whether supporting Sarah Palin changes their view of whether women should be able to be active leaders in the churches, whether as Vice President, she should still be under the ultimate authority of both John McCain AND her husband in the role of VP, and if they believe that women do NOT carry the primary responsibility of the care of children in the home, does this candidacy make them more open to more flexibility in childcare/household chores in the other evangelical homes?

I am not an evangelical, and cannot begin to consider the questions from that perspective. But it does raise some interesting questions. How do evangelicals integrate the idea of a woman leading their party, if they cannot make daily choices for themselves? Is it possible that there is so much evangelical women’s support for Sarah Palin BECAUSE she embodies their hopes for freedom in and outside the home? Have the thought through the implications of what it would mean if their Church doctrines applied to her?

In the Alaska Troopergate investigation, one of the points raised is that there are many emails that Sarah forwarded to Todd, or just included him on the distribution list. (It’s one of the reasons he was subpoenaed last week.) Is it possible that they DO have that sort of hierarchical relationship?

Perspiring minds want to know.