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Monday, September 01, 2008

SBC Pastor to McCain: Palin Not A Pro-Family Pick

As previously mentioned, Richard Land has found him a new crush in Sarah Palin.

Meanwhile, countless other Christian Right leaders have been gushing over John McCain's VP selection. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council declared that McCain had made an "outstanding pick." Wendy Wright of Disturbed Women for America announced that Palin's "admirable record of confronting corruption and living her pro-life convictions shows she is a doer, not just a talker." Matthew Staver of the highly influential Liberty Counsel described McCain's decision as "absolutely brilliant." Roberta Combs, the President of the Christian Coalition, praised McCain for making an "outstanding selection." This list would be incomplete without a good word the Dr. James Dobson who proclaimed McCain's selection of Palin to be "an outstanding choice that should be extremely reassuring to the conservative base of his party."

However, not every so-called Pro-Family leader has been giddy over the selection of Sarah Palin. Meet Voddie Baucham.

Voodie Baucham (bio) is an extremely popular Southern Baptist minister especially in Reformed circles. He's a 6'3, 300 pound, former All-American football player at Rice University who has done graduate work at Oxford University. He preaches. He publishes. He's a homeschooling advocate. And clearly he's a consistent complimentarian.

In his most recent blog post, Baucham asks: Did McCain Make a Pro-Family Pick?

And Baucham says NO!!!!!!!!!

Baucham writes:
Unfortunately, Christians appear to be headed toward a hairpin turn at breakneck speed without the slightest clue as to the danger ahead. I don’t see this as a pro-family pick at all! Moreover, I believe the conservative fervor over this pick shows how politicized Christians have become at the expense of maintaining a prophetic voice. I believe that Mr. McCain has proven with his VP pick that he is pro-victory, not pro-family. In fact, I believe this was the anti-family pick. I say that for at least two reasons.
First, Baucham reasons that the office of Vice-President is NOT A PRO FAMILY JOB!
First, if Mr. McCain was pro-family, he would want to see Mrs. Palin at home taking care of her five children, not headed to Washington to be consumed by the responsibilities of being second in command to the most powerful man in the world (or serving as the Governor of Alaska for that matter). Let me also say that I would have the same reservations about a man with five children at home seeking the VP office. It’s not exactly a pro-family job.
Baucham goes on to uncover what he calls a "disturbing trend" that "plagues far too many young women with families." What exactly is so disturbing? Baucham is disturbed that Palin commutes to and from work every day by herself. Not sure how Baucham expects the Governor to get to work. But clearly he'd rather have her back at home cookin and cleanin.

Second, Baucham explains that picking Palin as VP does NOT SEND A PRO FAMILY MESSAGE!

Here's Baucham:
Not only do I believe that a pro-family candidate would prefer to see Mrs. Palin at home taking care of her children, I believe a pro-family candidate would also avoid validating and advancing our culture’s desire to completely erase gender roles. Much of the discussion about Mrs. Palin’s candidacy centers around her opportunity to “break through the class ceiling” and be a “role model for young women.” The same was said of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy in the Democratic primary. But what does this mean?

Are we really saying that we want to completely erase the distinctions between men and women. Do we really believe that it is good for our country to promote the view that women are merely men who happen to be biologically capable of having children (when it does not interfere with career advancement, of course)? I don’t think so. What do we do with the Bible’s admonition in Titus chapter two? Are Christian conservatives saying that Paul’s instructions concerning women’s duty to be “keepers of their homes” has somehow been overturned in light of recent discoveries? Or are we saying that pro-family means one thing when we’re in church, but something else when we’re trying to beat the Democrats?
And Baucham concludes:
My point is simple. The job of a wife and mother is to be a wife and mother. Anything in addition to that must also be subservient to it. There is no higher calling. Moreover, I believe Paul’s admonition should lead us to reject any notion of a wife and mother taking on the level of responsibility that Mrs. Palin is seeking.... My heart breaks for her husband. Mrs. Palin is not even supposed to be the head of her own household (Eph. 5:22ff; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-7), let alone the State of Alaska, or the United States Senate (The VP oversees the Senate). He should be shepherding her, but instead she is ruling over him (Rom 13:1-7; 1Pet 2:13-17). How difficult it must be for him to walk the fine line of bowing to the culture that is stealing his bride while still trying to love his wife and lead his family.

My heart breaks for the so-called Christian right. All the usual subjects have been falling all over themselves to praise Mr. McCain and justify their blind allegiance to the Republican Party in an effort to secure more “pro-family” judges. They want to protect marriage from redefinition by the homosexual movement, and they are willing to redefine marriage (and motherhood) to do it....In an effort to win the pro-family political argument, we are sacrificing the pro-family biblical argument. In essence, the message being sent to women by conservative Christians backing McCain/Palin is, “It’s ok to sacrifice your family on the altar of your career; just don’t have an abortion.” How pro-family is that?
To Baucham, I say YUCK. He might be just plain wrong but at least Baucham is trying to be consistent and actually put into practice what he preaches.

So while Sarah Palin is the Christian Right's choice to be Vice President and but one heartbeat away from holding the title "Leader of the Free World" - she's still not fit to hold the office of Pastor (if "called" to do so) according to America's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. And don't look for Sarah Palin to adjunct at the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Seminary if this VP gig doesn't work out. Women teaching men is a no-no in today's patriarchal Southern Baptist Convention.

Ironically, Southern Baptists like Land and Mohler seem excited to humbly submit to the authority of a Vice-President Palin in the secular sphere but are dead opposed to Palin exerting authority over any Bible-Believing male in the sacred sphere.

At least Voddie Baucham isn't ashamed to take all this "Biblical Manhood" talk that so many Southern Baptists are engaged in to its logical conclusion....

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Blogger CharlieMac said...

I would agree that in a perfect pro-family world the woman would be home taking care of the children. The man would be out in the market place providing for his family.
Man would not have to go off to defend his country, or to Washington to make laws for the better good of his country, or any of a thousand other places and jobs to make the world a better place for all families, in a perfect world.
Attention Mr and Mrs America and (Southern Baptist)! News flash!
This is not a perfect world.
Some men and even some women have to step outside their God planned place because of the fallen world we live in. So the argument that Palin is not a pro-family choice falls flat, if one can see the big picture and think outside their own small household.
Charlie Mac

6:23 PM

Blogger Roger said...

BDW as you would guess, I obviously disagree with Bauchom's understanding of women's roles and his highly selective uses & misues of scripture. Would that someone with a Rice and Oxford education bring a more scholarly eye to the reading of scripture.

Nevertheless, I love his argument for it points out the hypocrisy of the Pro-Family movement. Let's hold our convictions when they are politically convenient...when they are not....well, they're not really convictions are they? Let's applaud Governor Palin for not aborting a Down Syndrome child, but let's turn a blind eye to the overwhelming needs of such a child for the care not only of his father but, as even the most liberal person would probably agree, his mother. There is simply no way that campaigning for Vice-President will allow her to give the care that any infant, much less a special needs infant will require.

No doubt she is a talented politician with a lot of moxie but the whole selection, including McCain's one-time-only visit reeks of sham politics.

I am a supporter of Obama and that skews my perspective I am sure. Nevertheless, a Joe Lieberman in charge of this country is a great deal more reassuring and McCain's judgment in this matter is highly suspect. What other major decisions will he make with these same criteria?

I have long admired John McCain, and his pastor and my colleague, Dan Yeary, has great respect for the Senator. But another "shoot from the hip" President is something we can ill afford.

7:00 PM

Anonymous KM said...

What a perfect example of a woman's place in the society we live in. On one hand, Palin is condemned by Rev. Baucham for seeking a career outside of her home, and on the other she is lauded by people like Richard Land who probably couldn't care less about her personally but see her as a trophy who may ultimately help promote the agenda of a patriarchy-approved ideology. Palin's degree of comfort or discomfort in this position is her business, of course, but it is sad to women who fight every day against sexism and exploitation.

Baucham's rigid views of gender roles notwithstanding--his assessment of the politicization of Christianity is fairly spot-on.

8:26 PM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...

I find no inconsistency in endorsing Sarah Palin as Veep, yet understanding that she's not a candidate to be a senior pastor of a church.

Those who do, such as you, BDW, should remember that church and state are two separate institutions. The church is to operate true to the instructions of the Bible. We Baptists have held that the government shouldn't be counted on or expected to do the same.

10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ironically, Southern Baptists like Land and Mohler seem excited to humbly submit to the authority of a Vice-President Palin in the secular sphere but are dead opposed to Palin exerting authority over any Bible-Believing male in the sacred sphere.

You are right Aaron, and I still don't get the reasoning behind it. It's inconsistant in my opinion. Mary Burleson had a terrific post on this in her blog Reality Check, in which she discusses the hard transition between being respected and listened to as women in the secular world, workplace,being capable of doing a variety of positions and having to adjust, deal with the opposite occurring in the church.

10:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those who do, such as you, BDW, should remember that church and state are two separate institutions. The church is to operate true to the instructions of the Bible. We Baptists have held that the government shouldn't be counted on or expected to do the same."

This is clearly a complete repudiation of the "Christian Nation" theory one hears about so much from conservative Christians. A government that cannot even be expected to operate true to the instructions of the Bible cannot reasonably be called "Christian" in any sense of the term. It's amazing that such an assertion would come from a fundamentalist Christian such as Cat's Dad, but also encouraging.

I'm sincerely glad both moderates and fundamentalists can agree on this point: our government is a purely secular entity. And Cat's Dad is absolutely correct: this has always been the Baptist position on church and state.

By the way, Palin's oldest daughter is five-months pregnant.

3:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dunningrb: Now tell us about your own family. No problems? Everyone has a situation. I somehow knew the fact that her daughter is pregnant would enter into the scene. So who are you now going to vote for dunningrb? Obama? Or are you not going to vote at all?

To say in this instance that church and state are separate, which I agree, is to give a double standard. Shouldn't Christianity affect all parts of our life? Even our political views? Separation of church and state wasn't to keep the church out of the government, but to keep government from dictating to the church. That was the purpose the forefathers had in mind. It seems we are good at doing one thing in church, and the other outside of church.

8:30 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Alaska's an awfully cold place to be barefoot and pregnant...

Anyway, BDW, as I'm sure you know, Richard Land's wife isn't a stay-at-home mom, so he can't exactly be out there advocating for that view of so-called "Biblical" womanhood. As you've consistently pointed out here, Land seems to have a habit of using that theology only when it's convenient for his politics.

9:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the condescension. It appears you misunderstood my post, including the parenthetical aside I added at the end. The girl's pregnancy is a non-issue politically, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it's in the news.

And you're wrong about the separation of church and state. The doctrine protects each institution from the other. The answer to the dilemma you're trying to resolve is that religiously-motivated political opinions does not constitute a "church," and hence need not be separated out from the other components of political discourse.

10:11 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I agree that Cat's Dad is correct. Church and State are indeed institutions that must remain separate. I do hope that Cat's Dad recognizes that in the context of church-state discussions, the "Church" is a term that is defined much broader than just the Christian Church. Also, I hope Cat's Dad will attempt to apply this same separationist line of logic in future discussions - for the sake of consistency!

As Debbie states, we should apply our faith, our Christianity, to all aspects of life. It's amazing - though amazing might not be the right word here - that the Southern Baptist leadership wants to appear so pro-equality, so egalitarian when it comes to politics and society yet be so anti-equality, so anti-egalitarian when it comes to teaching and preaching the Bible inside and outside of the church. How can one be an ardent advocate (with a straight face) of "women as homemakers" and then turn around and be an ardent supporter of Sarah Palin for Vice-President of the United States? Complimentarianism - as Voddie Baucham demonstrates - is much more complex than just keeping women out of the pulpit.

Land, Mohler and others point to the 1950s as a period that America needs to return to. They aren't helping their Biblical Manhood cause by ecstatically pushing a woman to be a heartbeat away from being POTUS.

Richard Land is laughable. Time and time again, Land points out to reporters that he does not endorse candidates for political office. And then in the same breath goes on to be that Republican's #1 cheerleader. First, it was Fred Thompson - God's best gift since Ronald Reagan. Then, he flirted with Mitt Romney. Now, he's jumping for joy over McCain's VP choice. I long for an Obama Administration that has the sense to shut out Richard Land and the ERLC.

7:23 PM

Blogger The Whited Sepulchre said...

I just finished reading the Wikipedia article on Complementarianism. The doctrine sounds like the logical interpretation of scripture on the issue.

8:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dunningburb: I usually don't say this, but I am absolutely correct. History was my minor. The original purpose was to keep government out of church, not church out of the government. It was the thing that our forefathers left England because of. Because we have given so much power to those who were originally to have little power, it has become what it is today.

BTW: I am only condescending to those who are condescending.

9:45 PM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...

I think I'd better elaborate to clarify, lest I disappoint Debbie and lend validity to the expectations of BDW and dunningrb, which I shall never live up to!

While the two institutions of church and state are separate, Debbie is right on target when she says the church should be salt and light, influencing politics to the fullest while not being influenced by politics.

My point was that supporting a woman for high office is not inconsistent with the biblical understanding that a woman is not to serve as the lead pastor in a church. Persons of my convictions believe the Bible speaks specifically to the issue of women pastors, but doesn't prohibit women from other avenues of leadership and service outside the home.

Because a secular government can't be expected to operate true to all the Bible's instruction, there isn't a basis for comparing the issue of Palin being veep vs. being a Senior Pastor. The argument's mute, and extreme church-state separationists like BDW should be the first to recognize it.

9:43 PM


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