Over Palin; not "hypocrisy," you never knew us – UPDATED

As Gov Sarah Palin is getting an actual fair shake in a NY Times piece on how she handles governing and motherhood (she seems to do it with aplomb), the Democrats have to deal with quotes like this from Gov. Palin, one which illustrates how far from reality are the media-caricatures of longstanding:

She assured [her staff] she would not take much time off: she had returned to work the day after giving birth to Piper. “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time,” she said, “I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.”

I’d like to address an angry email I’ve received from a person flinging the word “hypocrite” around. This person – apparently responding to this, brought up a long-ago piece I’d written on the value of virginity (I wrote about it again – from a very different perspective – last Lent), and, opined that I could not value virginity and then applaud Bristol Palin’s teen pregnancy without being a “total hypocrite and phony,” like every other conservative in the world, etc, etc.

Listen: chastity is the ideal; of course it is the ideal, and it is an achievable one, but only if it is understood as valuable, to start with. If you believe – as I do – that a hymen is more than a meaningless membrane, but part of a plan, one that reflects the blood-covenant made between God and the Jews, and between Christ and the whole world, then you see value there, and you try to raise your children to understand it, and to strive for the ideal.

But an ideal is an ideal. It the “best” way; that doesn’t mean that anyone who fails the ideal is a bad person. It means they’re human and in need of mercy – like everyone else.

Mercy is the key, here. In Matthew 12, the Pharisees complained to Jesus that his apostles were picking off grains of wheat and eating them. Jesus said, “If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy above sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.”

People of faith know that nothing in scripture is meaningless, and so we take that lesson to heart, and – aware that we are all broken and imperfect – we strive to be mercy for each other. If you look at the Sisters of Life, or the Good Counsel program, or countless programs in countless churches, you see not shrieking judgment against single mothers; no one is calling anyone a name; you see the helping hand and encouragement.

You don’t hear about it, but this goes on all the time, in every diocese in every small town and big city; young women get pregnant, or women in abusive situations find themselves pregnant, and they seek help, and they are given as much help as may be found. The help is rendered for love of God, and for love of community and each other. It is not “sisterhood.” It is “personhood.” And it has nothing at all in common with the caricature of conservative women and men that has been promulgated in media for the past three decades, a caricature rendered from the most extreme and objectionable sorts of conservative movements, and not from the common and ordinary folk, who are less easy to hate.

“Tolerance” and “compassion” are good things, if they mean something. But “tolerance” really means “put up with” and “compassion” can sometimes be sullied by condescension or pity. “Mercy” is different. “Mercy” recognizes that we are all in this broken world, together, all in need of healing and help, somewhere.

I don’t applaud Miss Palin’s pregnancy; I do applaud her willingness to let the child live, and to take adult responsibility for engaging in adult actions. There is no fairytale before her. Raising kids is hard, and it’s tougher when you’re a very young couple. But it has been done, and easy abortions do not seem to have made for stronger, better marriages down the road. Marriage is hard work. Parenting is hard work. The kids seem to have a large support network; life will go on, and do what it does.

When you let a baby live, you bring new love into the world, love that has never existed before, and that’s worth taking a moment to appreciate.

The love between [mother and newborn] didn’t exist in the world before her birth. Now, the parents are awestruck with it, they’ve discovered something greater than themselves in this Love – it is a Love so complete, so unconditional and all-encompassing, that they would die for it.

If God is love, here is God, renewed constantly through this Love – Ever Ancient, Ever-new.

One looks at this in wonder and in deep humility.

Those of us who support Gov. Palin and her husband’s decision to welcome into the world and their family a child many would consider unlovable and expendable, understand that in saying “yes” to the child, they have said “yes” to love, and that gives God (and all of us) another opening, another chance to teach and touch and heal and be healed. Supporting the Governor’s teenage daughter in her pregnancy is more of the same. It is not hypocritical praise or applause. It is “kid, you’re in for a hard lesson. We honor you for being willing to learn it, and for being brave enough to love, instead of giving in to fear, and running from it.”

You see, all of you people howling at the Palins and at those of us in the same tribe, you only know a caricature, you know a template that is extremely outdated; you cannot believe that a conservative woman can be a true feminist; a woman-in-full, as completely at ease with the power of her womanhood, as with her distinctly feminine genius. You cannot believe that a young pregnant woman is not being denigrated, but lifted up. It does not fit a narrative you have bought into for years.

You have never really known us.
And that is partly our fault; we have not always been comprehensible or appealing communicators of our ideals and our mercies.

Mercy is not difficult. It is the great leveler, actually. When a heart is at least partially attuned to mercy, even slightly open to it, then the more generous impulses are allowed out. You can see it, occasionally, even in the hot-blooded political blogosphere, a desire to be just, to have mercy and write the fair, thoughtful line. Mercy and Justice sort of go hand-in-hand.

But of course, things move so fast; we don’t ponder any of this for long – we get a wisp, an insight, and we pause for a moment. Then someone says something stupid or unfair, and we’re all off to the races again.

We should be grateful to the Palin family. They are allowing us to ponder and to wonder at everything we all thought we always knew. That’s a good thing, right? Broadening. Enlightening.

UPDATE: What timing. At Newsweek Anna Quindlen is working furiously off the only template she knows (or probably ever wants to know). We’re so “hypocritical and expedient.” Sigh.

UPDATE II: Slate: Gives Joe Biden advice for beating Palin in debate, so let’s give some to Palin: Ms. Palin, be aware that Biden is taking credit for the surge in Iraq and be ready for his 13 minute answers!

Tammy Bruce: A feminist for Palin
WaPo: Looking at Palin’s Pipeline Savvy
Sissy Willis
LGF: Sarah Palin and Creationism
Byron York on on Palin positions
Gay Patriot: The Diversity of the Right
Palin and what she learned playing girls basketball in the 1970′s
Neo-neocon: It’s the class wars, stupid!
Alaskan Press: On Palin’s leadership
Protein Wisdom: The Press ain’t Free
Ace: Palin’s strange power over journalists (Language Warning)
Maxed Out Mama: the other side of kids getting into trouble.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Klaire

    Elizabeth I’m so glad you posted this well needed and elegent piece. I hope everyone reading will forward/flood Dr. Laura’s mailbox with it. While I’ve at times respected her courage to speak out, for various reasons, I never was a fan. To her credit however, she herself is stunned that Bristol is keeping the baby. (Google Palin and Dr. Laura for her latest column)

    The downside is she is on her soapbox about “working moms with babies”, and of course, berating Sarah Palin. I suspect never having been a Christian, she doesn’t much understand mercy, which is all the more reason why she needs to get informed. She also appears misguided on feminism, not “getting” that Palin is not a radical “women hear me roar” feminist out on a power trip motivated by the means to put another Lexus in the driveway. She fails to see Palin’s “servant heart.

    To put it bluntly, Dr. Larua has a big mouth and a lot of influence. She needs to understand the deeper side of this. In addition to God’s great mercy, God also gives the necessary grace for whatever and however He calls us to serve.
    My point is not to go off on Dr. Laura (99.9 percent of the time I just ignore her), but to hopefully get her to stop beating up on Sarah Palin, and misguiding thousands of “devoted listerners” who, to be perfectly honest, would be much better off reading the Anchoress.

    Just trying capture/take advantage, of a great teaching moment, once again thanks to your gifted Wisdom Elizabeth.

  • richferg

    Perhaps it might be worth pointing out to the commenter was accuses you of being a “hypocrite” regarding pregnancy out of wedlock, that this was the exact circumstance under which Barack Obama was born – except that his biological father bailed and never accepted the responsibility of the child. Is that not defined as “bastard”?

  • Patrick

    Every time they bring up the cry of “hypocrisy” I’m reminded of Inigo Montoya’s line:

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • software_engineer

    I find is both fascinating and profoundly sad that those crying hypocrite at you and at Sarah Palin have such an impoverished understanding of Christianity, and the mercy and charity that are at its core. Of course no Christian is a cheerleader for what Bristol did – her act contravened the Lord’s commandments. Having said this, however, our belief in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s grace means we have to help her and Levi reconcile with the Lord, and then help them at this very challenging time. The fact that they are welcoming the child God sent them is a visible sign of their desire for reconciliation, and any Christian should applaud and support this decision. We all sin and well all need the Lord’s forgiveness and grace; the key is to continue to on in faith and hope even as we fail.

  • http://davejustus.com Dave Justus

    I do think that there is a very human tendancy to judge people differently based on whether or not they are in out ‘tribe’.

    An example can be seen in the different ways in which many conservatives responded to Bristol Palin’s pregancy versus that of Jamie Spears. I think all of us can fall into this trap, I know I do.

    I expect that a lot of it has to due with the very real fact that most situations in life are pretty darn complex. There are reasons to understand and forgive behavior, and reasons to distain that same behavior and how we related to the person in question (or the ‘tribe’) of the person in question really effects how we emphasize those events, quite often in our own minds.

    I think this is a challenge that we should be aware of.

  • goodredwine

    Thank you for writing this!

  • Acer Palmatum

    What conservative cruises are really good for:

    Scouting new talent:

    The New Republic expresses sour graps about Fred Barnes’ first meeting with Governor Palin will traveling on the Weekly Standard cruise to Alaska. It is like being the baseball scout who first spotted Derek Jeter.

    Flash forward to now when the Barack Obama campaign is starting to look like the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    [edited to admit link- admin]

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  • Gina

    Re. “you never knew us”- I thought the same thing when I read Anna Quindlen’s rather snide piece, GOP Suddenly Finds Inner Feminist. We may not call it feminism (I prefer not to), but if Dems think that social conservatives don’t uphold strong women, they just haven’t been paying attention. Or perhaps they have been dismissing it in the postmodern mode of redefining what people actually say or do according to the “metanarrative” you assume they really believe. St. Mary, Fervent Defender of the Faith? Oh, well you’re just saying that because you claim she was ever-virgin, which means you hate female sexuality, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

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  • Acer Palmatum

    The Wreck of the Barack Obama
    (appologies to Gordon Lightfoot, who probably likes him)

    The legend lives on from the Gray Lady on down
    To the network they call “Fair and Balanced.”
    The MSNBC, it is said, never gives up her dead
    When the skies of September turn gloomy.

    With a load of delegates – 2,500 or more
    Than the Barack Obama weighed empty
    That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
    When the gales of November came early

    The ship was the pride of the Democrat side
    Rising out of the machine in Chicago
    As big ships go it beat out Team Hillary so
    With a campaign and the Veep well seasoned.

    Concluding some terms with a couple of special interest groups
    When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
    And later that night when the ships bell rang
    McCain announced Sarah Palin.

    The Kos and the Dish made a tattletale sound
    Claiming that McCain was insane
    First it was Trig, and then it was Bristol,
    This would finish the old man off early.

    Gustav came late and the GOP convention to wait
    And bets were being taken when she would drop out
    But when the Governor spoke to the assembled folk
    The Dems were in the face of a hurricane Palin

    When supper time came the old Veep came on deck
    Saying I hear that life starts at conception
    At 7AM when Intrade caved in
    Biden said fellas it’s been good to know ya.

    Then Captain hit a shoal called “New Pennsylvania”
    And the Dem ship and crew was in peril
    And later that night when Mac’s polls went out of sight
    Came the wreck of the Barack Obama.

  • dmd25

    Lovely column, Anchoress.

    Mercy is the key, here. Yes!

    I don’t applaud Miss Palin’s pregnancy; I do applaud her willingness to let the child live, and to take adult responsibility for engaging in adult actions. People don’t understand this! It needed your explanation–I wish this would get wide press.

    You have never really known us. And that is partly our fault; we have not always been comprehensible or appealing communicators of our ideals and our merciesThis is so, so true. Perhaps we can make some headway with this situation.

    Thank you for communicating in ways I can’t!

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  • http://opinionatedcatholic.blogspot.com lsusportsfan

    Sadly Anchoress it has gotten worse. I commented on it hthis morning but the one of the leading Catholic voices at the Washingotn Post basically is calling Governor Plain a slut.

    [Oh, that guy is a disaster - he does religion no favors when he writes "on faith" - and never worth responding to. Note he wonders about her flying while she was 36 months pregnant. Gee. I wonder about that, too. - Edited to admit link admin]

  • Gayle Miller

    I agree that my attitude toward Jamie Lynne Spears’ pregnancy is partially colored (okay – make that profoundly colored) by my attitude toward Lynne Sprears lack of parenting skills. I also understood in advance that Bristol and Levi had already committed to a life together BEFORE the expected baby came to be an expected baby – but again, I could be wrong.

    I don’t criticize either young woman however for the act of KEEPING another human being alive instead of indulging in the oh-so-easy solution of abortion.

    As to the so-called “leading Catholic voice” at the WaPo? There is a reason that we who live in the area call it Pravda on the Potomac!

    [I never paid any attention to the Spears thing and thought the kid was entitled to some privacy. It was the press that blew that story up, and made it part and parcel to her sister's mental crack-up, which - let's not forget - was partially the press' fault. They hounded that poor kid, and took pictures of her being hauled off in straps. Pretty shameful. - admin]

  • mrp

    An opinion piece so lame that when I read the extract below, I stopped reading it.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that two years ago she was the mayor of a town of 6,000, crusading against dirty books at the local library.

    Sarah Palin served two terms as mayor, with her second term ending in 2002. The author conveniently failed to mention that Palin chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004.

  • Acer Palmatum

    Why I hope for a McCain Palin victory:

    1) I am a patriot and they are the better pick for the USA; and,

    2) I will relish seeing their opponents do this after the election (the glimpse of the future courtesy of the ghost of election 2008 future):

    [Acer, I linked to the video days and days ago. Edited to admit link- admin]

  • Gina

    Oh. My. That WaPo “Catholic” (see my fingers making big quote marks) piece is a disgrace. The WaPo has Sally Quinn representing evangelicals, and this guy representing Catholics… I shudder to think who would speak for the Orthodox.

  • http://afallonspooka.blogspot.com/ z0mbeewolf

    Well, said. It’s too bad the left wing liberals are too busy making conservatives out to be religious nuts to ever understand what religious conservatives are all about. I am rather mortified at how the MSM is treating Bristol (the MTV Music awards taking the shameless lead in those smears)

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  • roylofquist

    The left has been demonizing religion for centuries. Then, in front of 40 million people, the Ogre stepped to the dais. God has a Satanic sense of humor.

    [Actually Satan has no sense of humor at all - admin]

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  • pbuchta

    Why is it so hard simply to tell the truth about Palin? Yes she is a successful and politically smart woman to be admired for that reason. But she is also a typical Republican values hypocrite preaching choice for women – except when it comes to pregnancy; preaching that family should be kept out of the political searchlight – except when it is useful to parade her own family on center stage; preaching against earmarks – except when it help her career to solicit them for Alaska; preaching about America first – except that she actually has made a career out of putting Palin first, Alaska second and America last (check out her Alaska secessionist husband).

    She is a successful and politically smart woman, but she is also a right wing extremist who tried to delete books she didn’t approve of from the town library where she was mayor and tried to fire the librarian when that didn’t work; who is a creationist and, like the current occupant of the White House, who has little use for science, whether it is the science of evolution or the science of global warming; who never had a passport until last year when she visited her National Guard troops in Kuwait. Otherwise a stranger to the world in which America must make its way.

    She is a successful and politically smart woman, but she is not merely pro-life, she is a no-exceptions-never-mind-rape-or-incest pro-lifer who thinks woman have no right to participate in decisions about what happens to their bodies if they become pregnant.

    [Sheesh. You didn't read a word I wrote, I think. Pure talking points with four comments on this one post? It's something to wonder at. If you're going to just troll, I'm going to just ignore. - admin]

  • pbuchta

    “left wing liberals are too busy making conservatives out to be religious nuts” Actually the statement was made by George Dub’ya, not the left wing liberals.

    [Right. Because the media and the left are NOT making us out to be religious nuts; we're just imagining that, because we're religious nuts. This post must have really gotten under your skin for you to leave three responses. Perhaps you should examine that. -admin]

  • pbuchta

    BTW Palin’s buddy, Cindy was wearing a $300,000 outfit at the RNC on Tuesday night. Hell-oooooo I guess Moose skins are good enough for the folks in Alaska. :)

    [I've never been a class warrior. I have no problem with the Clintons being worth 30million since leaving the WH. The will always be rich and middle class and poor. What's your point? Do you have one aside from snark? When you go do what Cindy McCain has done - traveling to Iraq to aid refugees after we abandoned them in the first gulf war, going to orphanages in third world countries and bringing them back here and adopting one yourself, then I guess you can identify with her enough to judge how much she should be allowed to spend on clothes. -admin]

  • pbuchta

    BTW it’s not about Palin. It’s about the issues.

    When I’m writing a check to my health insurance company that just raised my rates again, I wonder and say—Yea, the cost just went up again, but if I could only have a cold one with John McCain at this moment everything would be alright. Bush and I could share a few chuckles over that one too. Good times for sure.

    [Why, yes, pbuchta, that's exactly what we're saying over here, isn't it? The hell with the issues, we just want to have a beer with Bush. What an accurate characterization of what we're saying. How intellectually honest of you. The rest of us aren't seeing our premiums and costs go up at all, are we? - admin]

  • Joseph

    I had hoped that Bristol and her pregnancy would fade from the scene with the reasonable consensus that the Palins were handling it about as well as could be expected. I’m sure Bristol will have a nice wedding, and I hope that the relationship which produced the baby is more than a mere incident of adolescent hot blood between two people who are essentially incompatible. But I’m sure you realize as well as I that the odds on this are ambiguous, at best.

    Since it’s come up again, it is an opportunity to tell you about the life of a certain young unwed mother I know named Latisha. She lives down the street from me in a two bedroom apartment with baby Sean and Granmama, and, when I can work, we ride on the same bus line. Because she’s young and healthy and works full time, Latisha pays $1.50 a trip. I pay $.75. Baby Sean rides free, and only Granmama has a 15 year old Toyota. They’ll run for darn near forever if you treat them right.

    Latisha is very Christian but is far more likely to be found in a church eqivalent to Barack Obama’s than Sarah Palin’s, as you might guess from her lovely name.

    Now as you know Anchoress, I’m disabled for being mad as a hatter, with a fire in the brain that burns down to cold and horrid ashes before blazing up again, over and over. My professional title is Mental Health Consumer. I kid you not. I’m paid $60.00 a meeting to attend intermittent bureaucratic meetings and give “consumer input”.

    So I might also meet Latisha & Co. in the grimy Job and Family Services foyer while we wait to argue with bored and passive aggressive caseworkers. All of us have to go in twice a year to reapply for Medicaid and for Food Stamps. There really are no more “stamps”. You get a little swipey card with a PIIN just like a debit card, so you no longer have to advertise your status to the entire grocery store. The maximum stipend for Food Stamps is $162 a month. We each get 2/3s of this,

    So I might meet them again in our Zip Code’s food pantry. We’re lucky as sin. Not only do we deal with a wonderful social worker named Ruth, but also Our Lady of Mercy has a bread gathering operation that actually gets in some Panera day-old’s! This puts some variety and quality into the endless cans of sweet peas, jars of peanut butter, and smashed boxes of Wheat Thins.

    Granmama is an “associate” at Garage and Garden wearing Blaze Orange and occasionally driving the funny forklift with the yellow backup light. Latisha flips mattresses and pulls sheets, for a dollar or so above minimum wage, at a Motel 6. When these fine employers have to cut staff in the recession, they’ll get half wages for six months in unemployment compensation. But their food stamps will probably go up. I’m luckier. Committee meetings are forever.

    If this were Moose Hoof, Alaska, the Palins might be staying in the Motel 6 by default, but when they come to campaign in Columbus with Sarah speaking on the Statehouse steps, they’ll probably stay at the Hyatt Regency, since it’s so conveniently across the street. Unfortunately, Bristol and Latisha will never meet, not even the casual way that you pass by and say “good morning” to the maid and her cleaning cart in your accomodations.

    You see Latisha and Granmama are poor. So am I.

    Now there I go, just wash my mouth out with soap for saying the p-word. Even the professionals who deal with us [except for salty and forthright Ruth] don’t say the p-word. They say “low income” as in “low income housing”.

    Actually the three of us were also at the Metropolitan Housing Authority on the day, a couple of years back, when the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers was opened for the first time in five years. The crowd was three city blocks in all directions and the police had to send five emergency black-and-white units just to control it. It’s good that we’re still on the waiting list. The Somali and Bosnian Muslim refugees are first, disableds are next, and single mothers after that.

    Nobody says the p-word any more, and certainly not candidates for high public office. When those weighty discussions about the trials and tribulations of the Middle Class pick up steam, and they argue about whether their upper limit is $250,000 or $5 million net worth, all the candidates agree that these fine people are not “asking for a handout”–presumably like those lazy layabouts who used to clog up the grocery lines with their greasy Food Stamps.

    You see we longer exist. Nobody speaks for us. Nobody speaks to us. Nobody speaks of us. And that’s the only “hypocricy” I can see in the whole issue of Palin parenting.

    [You and I have had these conversations before, Joseph, about being poor, since I have also been there, when I would go to work with a dime and a subway token in my purse, and a bottle of clear nail polish needed to stop runs in the nylons to that I could hopefully get through the week with the same worn-out pair. I am still solidly middle class and the effects of our ignorant energy policies and more are also affecting us very negatively, to the point where the blog may have to end, or become something very different, as I find other work. Thank God for our son's scholarship, or he would not be in college, now. I know what it is to be working poor. I've volunteered at our local "kitchen" and I've helped people prepare for job interviews. Yes, it's hard. We're none of us privileged or elites, here. But the answer cannot be "more government." The government is bigger than it has ever been, and in the 25 years we've been in our parish, the soup kitchen has never been closed or even "slowed down". One of the things I agree with Obama about is what I also agree with Bush about: the faith-based community outreaches can do what government agencies cannot. I don't know if McCain is also on board with that thinking, but given his views, I can't imagine he would not be.

    I appreciate that you do not come in here flinging charges of rich unsympathetic elitism and abundant hypocrisy on the part of folks like me. The truth is, if the government would stop clinging to its own programs like Scrooge with a penny, and allow the faithbased communities who are more than willing to help but who have their own limitations and their own deficits and upkeeps, to help out without insisting on their becoming part of the socialist complex, we might have something balanced and effective. But that may be a pipe-dream - admin]

  • roylofquist

    Dear Admin,

    You are quite correct. I tried a triple backward somersault with a twist in the irony event and ended up with a belly flop.

    Fingers, don’t get so far ahead of the brain.


    p.s., with all the awkwardness, did you get my point?

    [of course -admin]

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  • http://tomandjerry.blogspot.com GeronimoRumplestiltskin

    Unbelievably Dumb Criticisms of Sarah Palin

    -> “She preaches abstinence. Too bad she didn’t teach her daughter…”

    Yes, because 17 year-olds always do everything their parents teach them, and never make mistakes, especially of the impulsive sexual kind.

    -> “What kind of woman names her kids Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig?”

    Yes, because Barack is such a mainstream name.

    The three girls names are pretty cool, and if you look at the Top 100 girls names from 2006, you’ll find Kayla, Kaylee, Riley and Brooklyn – not exactly traditional.

    popular girls names
    boys names

    The boys’ names are somewhat strange, and buck the trend of folks sticking to more traditional names for boys than girls. Trig sounds like it was picked out of a high school course catalogue, so it could have been worse: he could have been named “Calc” or “Hist”.

    But really, who cares? Unorthodox names are problem for the left now?

    -> “She’s a Pentacostal! I don’t want a Pentacostal picking supreme court judges!”

    I’ll take a Pentacostal over a Black Liberation Theology (embraced by Obama’s church for the last 20 years) adherent any day. As a Catholic, you can have an honest disagreement with a Pentacostal over interpretation of Scripture and doctrine. You really can’t with a [insert ethnic or gender identity group] Liberation Theology champion, because a) their whole approach to Jesus and Scripture is based on viewing through the lens of Marxism and ethnic/gender identity and b) as a white male, I am bound to be seen as an oppressor of [insert ethnic or gender identity group], so any attempt at defending authentic Christianity will be seen as championing oppression.

    -> “She should be home taking care of her special needs child!”

    As much of a struggle as the last 12 month have been for Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis, no one has suggested that his struggles are due to his special needs daughter, or that he should resign because he really should be home with her. Coaching football at Notre Dame is a pretty tough job, and Palin’s began September better than Charlie has in ND’s shaky start. Is it possible that liberals hate Palin more than USC, Michigan, and Boston College fans/alums hate Notre Dame?

    -> “She wants creationism taught in schools!”

    I’m not sweating the “creationism” thing. Even if she wanted it taught in public schools, it would never happen. [in fact, she wants no such thing. It's another lie - admin]

    These days, it’s hard to talk ‘origins’. If you make the slightest admission that you question whether Darwinian natural selection is a necessary or sufficient cause for the evolution of species, you are branded as a ‘creationist’. A rather renowned scientist a few years ago (I don’t have time at the moment to look up the details) wrote a paper proposing that perhaps neutral genetic drift among populations was a more likely engine of evolution than natural selection, and the science blogs went absolutely berserk, accusing him of being an ID supporter. Note that he did not claim any supernatural involvement in evolution, he just proposed a different mechanism to drive it.

    I sometimes find myself sympathetic to the IDers, not because I agree with them, but because they are a reaction to the “Darwinism-proves-atheism” drumbeat of the last 90 years or so. The problem is, they are an overreaction, and are championing a position that is both scientifically and theologically faulty.

    The “Darwinism-proves-atheism” crowd, however, I have little sympathy for, not because I have a problem with Darwinism – I, along with Stephen Barr, Kenneth Miller, and the entire Pontifical Academy of Science, do not – but because they – I’m looking at you, Misters Dawkins, Dennett, Stenger, and Weinberg – seem to believe that because they are terrific scientists, they can therefore dictate theological interpretations (”See, creation doesn’t happen and God doesn’t exist”) of their scientific findings without any coherent idea of what a mature Christian means by “God” or “creation”. Their books and articles present a real laugh/cry dilemma for anyone who has higher than your average college student’s understanding of these two concepts.

    In summary, though, I cannot imagine that whatever “creationist” leanings Mrs. Palin may have will play any role in her duties as VP. If such leanings, whatever they may be, compel a personal dislike of her, well, all I can say is that it is possible to be wrong without being evil – God will judge our hearts, not our positions on evolution.

    More stupid criticisms sure to come.

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