I am a political junkie. There. I've said it. Even though I have strong political feelings, and believe that my personal faith and Biblical world view should permeate every aspect of my life, I make a concerted effort to never venture into partisan politics from the pulpit. That's tough duty for a pastor who has to minister to a congregation of Democrats AND Republicans, and whose job is not to preach partisanship, but Grace and Redemption to everyone. Evangelical pastors must walk a fine line, preaching Biblical values for everyday life, while never endorsing partisan political candidates from the pulpit. In the first place, it is unseemly and divisive, automatically bringing an unnecessary polarizing issue to the very audience the pastor is attempting to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Secondly, there are legal issues involved.
The forum that Rick Warren moderated at Saddleback Church was a delicate balancing act, with identical questions for both Presidential candidates. Although I was a little uncomfortable with the venue, I was not nearly as bothered as I am by seeing Monday morning news coverage of EITHER Presidential candidate in the pulpit of some house of worship on the previous Sunday. That's just wrong. While I do preach that the Christian's role of being Salt and Light in the present culture does extend into the public square as well as the voting booth, I have vowed not to endorse political candidates from the pulpit. I'll share my opinions about them with anyone who wants to talk about them privately, or in a social setting, but not during worship time.
Now, any one who has read my posts in the past knows, I do hold both "social and fiscal" conservative values. This year's Presidential race (which seems to have been going on forever) has really left me "underwhelmed". Senator Obama is obviously a highly intelligent and meteoric figure on the political scene, but he is scary. The obviously liberal (almost socialistic) views of the Democratic candidate are abhorrent to my conservative sensibilities. His economic policies which amount to the redistribution of wealth is dangerous to our capitalistic economy. I am more fearful of his potential choices for the federal bench and for possible vacancies on the Supreme Court. While claiming to be the agent of "change", his political campaign has been more of the same old, same old, and his VP nominee, Joe Biden is a classic Washington insider. That ticket looks like an empty suit and a political hack to me.
Senator McCain, on the other hand, is not a real exciting figure to this conservative either. On the plus side, he is pro life, and his military service to our country and the personal sacrifices he has made make him a genuine American hero. The Senator from Arizona, however, has some worrisome stands on immigration, global warming, and campaign financing (McCain-Feingold). I appreciate the fact that he supported (almost alone at first) the troop surge that seems to have turned the corner toward bringing our troops home from Iraq. He has also been a force against pork barrel spending in Congress, which I deeply appreciate. Unfortunately, McCain also leaves me somewhat cold.
Then he made his announcement of his choice for a running mate.
I was dumbfounded. So was the rest of the nation. We were all ready for Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but McCain knocked this one out of the park!
My prior knowledge of Sarah Palin was that I had read in the newspapers a few months ago that the Governor of Alaska had given birth to her fifth child. That's it. However, the more I have learned about this former Mayor of Wasilla and first term Governor has been enough to excite me and give me hope for a future of the Conservative cause. A professing Christian, (Assembly of God) she is firmly pro-life and staunchly conservative in her politics. I couldn't care less that she was a runner up for Miss Alaska, a moose hunter, hockey mom, or a high school basketball star. I am impressed, however, by her accomplishments in office as a reform minded Mayor and Governor, and her fiscal responsibility, Her support for the sanctity of human life, the second amendment, drilling for oil on Alaska's north slope, tax cuts, and pro business policies make her the most impressive candidate on either ticket.
The furor that her nomination created in the opposing camp was more than I would have imagined. Everyone from the typical politicos to a number of national news media figures have been downright sexist and brutal in their personal attacks on Governor Palin. First on the matter of her experience (or inexperience). Whereas Barack Obama's political career consists of a couple of nondescript terms in the Illinois legislature and 140 weeks on the floor of the U.S. Senate, this lady has actual executive experience. Furthermore, as Governor, she has also served as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, called her "shrill". Sally Quinn of the Washington Post wrote that Governor Palin has little time to serve as Vice President since she has five children, one of whom is a special needs child.
One expects attacks from James Carville, Paul Begalia, Donna Brazille, and other partisan "talking heads". However, when you find other media network personalities like Keith Obermann and some of the crew on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" unabashedly slurring her and her family - that's just unacceptable. This is where the double standard really begins to show. So many of the left leaning crowd has shown their true colors.
Where are the feminists who have preached for decades about women needing to leave their children in daycare and get involved in the workplace? Now they're saying Governor Palin should stay home and take care of her family. How about those who have ballyhooed the loosening sexual mores among our young people. Now they criticize Governor Palin's unmarried daughter for an unplanned pregnancy. That is an unfortunate situation indeed, but the young lady is going to carry the baby to term and is preparing to marry the father. Furthermore, some of the attackers of Bristol Palin are the very voices who have cried in the past that Chelsea Clinton and other members of political families are off limits. Which is it? Critics claim that Sarah Palin is unprepared for high political office. Yet she does bring reform executive experience to the table while Senator Obama has written two memoirs and no laws during his legislative career. The funny thing is that Democrat, Geraldine Ferraro (the first female VP candidate) has said publicly, "Of course Governor Palin is qualified to do the job!"
One of the most glaring hypocrites of all is none other than the queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah, long an advocate of women's rights and their rightful place in the workplace, is backing off in this case. Granted, Oprah is openly in the Obama camp, and that's OK. That is her privilege. Furthermore, it is her perogative to have whomever she wishes as a guest on her popular show. However, today Oprah has announced that she will not invite Governor Palin to be a guest. She claims that she will not have any of the candidates on her show until after the election. What does she fear by allowing Governor Palin to appear? Please take note of the accompanying photo. The double standard is here. I rest my case.