Women, feminism, and Sarah Palin
“Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed; then Eve. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression. Yet she shall be saved through childbearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” – 1 Tim 2:11-15
“As for my people, their oppressors have stripped them, and women have ruled over them.” – Isaiah 3:12
In a discussion on Steve Skojec’s blog I mentioned that, in general, I am not in favor of women exercising authority over men. And because the exercise of authority extends to the ballot box in our country, I think the 19th amendment was a bad idea. Some expressed shock at the very thought, and one lady even stormed angrily out of the “room”.
I think Scripture and Christian tradition are clear on this point. God is a patriarchalist. He wants men to rule and to lead. This is not mere cultural conditioning, but is rooted in human nature, as St. Paul emphasizes when he says “For Adam was first formed; then Eve. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression.” Women are, by nature, more easily swayed by flattery and more readily led by their emotions. To be ruled by women is unnatural and humiliating to men. That is why God used it as a chastisement for the men of Israel. We may reasonably conclude that the men of our time are being similarly chastised. Feminism is a chastisement.
Having said that, there have always been exceptions, and there is no inviolable moral law against women exercising authority over men in any particular case. God raises up women from time-to-time to rule, and it isn’t always a chastisement. Deborah was a judge. Anna was a prophetess. All through Christian history we have the examples of Christian queens, empresses, and even a warrior like St. Joan of Arc (though she never drew blood) exercising authority in the secular realm. Hilda of Whitby was an abbess who ruled over monks.
So, while I don’t like the idea of a female VP, it is not intrinsically wrong and may, in fact, be an act of divine providence. Although feminists view something like this as an historic precedent that will usher in the Golden Age of Womyn-Power, Christians must take a different view.
I find much to admire about Sarah Palin, and her selection has me re-thinking my decision to sit out this election. At present I’m back on the fence. This campaign will certainly test her mettle. There will be tremendous pressure for her to appear “moderate”, especially on the social issues. Will she capitulate? Will she issue a “clarifying” statement on abortion that is more palatable to Hilary Clinton supporters? Time will tell. She’s shown great courage and conviction in the past, but now she will be tempted with national fame, the adulation of millions, and more power than any human being should be allowed to have. Come to think of it, Sarah Palin and her beautiful family probably need our prayers more than our votes.