Sovereignty and the Election
Posted November 4, 2008
“The manipulation of the people by the media and by the political elite has become a necessity for rule and for ‘social order.’ The goal of diverse groups has become to capture the attention and the allegiance of the masses, to command the revolution which continues to spiral downward.
“For the Christian, however, neither kings nor commoners, elites or masses, revolutionary victories or triumphs at the polls, is important. The sovereignty of God must be our starting point, His regenerating power and irresistible grace, His law-word, and the Kingship of Jesus Christ. Only God’s power and grace are irresistible, and His justice and right shall triumph.”
- R.J. Rushdoony, Sovereignty
Q&A Regarding our Position on Sarah Palin
Posted October 19, 2008
Q: Isn’t it a good thing that feminism is becoming more conservative?
A: We actually see this new “conservative” face of feminism as a very dangerous development. We cannot redeem a movement that was conceived in rebellion against God and His design. Feminism certainly comes in several different flavors, but at its core, its message is this: Women have the right to decide for themselves what is right and wrong for them. Since the Garden of Eden, feministic women have valiantly fought for the right to get their own way, and each woman’s only standard is What She Wants –- what is “right in [her] own eyes” (Judges 21:25). This is why the feminist movement is so splintered, schizophrenic and inconsistent, even on the candidacy of Sarah Palin. This is also why “Christian” feminism is an oxymoron.
When feminism becomes more “conservative,” it becomes more insidious. Modern feminism at its roots is socialist and anti-family, and that can’t be changed by painting conservative values on top. We believe “conservative” feminism will seduce and destroy more women (and their families) than radical feminism. What we’re seeing is not feminism becoming more conservative — it’s conservatism becoming more feminist.
We should be warning girls away from feminism before it devastates their lives, rather than “baptizing” it to make it look family-friendly and righteous.
Q: Why do you target Sarah Palin, when there are other much more liberal woman leaders in the world, such as Hillary Clinton?
A: We believe Sarah Palin’s example poses a more serious threat to Christian womanhood than more liberal feminist icons such as Hillary Clinton. These are strong words, but hear us out. We can expect the enemies of God to act in flagrant opposition to Him, and we don’t see many conservative Christian girls seduced by their example. But when we see professing Christians act in flagrant opposition to Him (or His created order), and fellow Christians cheer them on and call them role models, we are more compelled to hold the line. We believe Sarah Palin’s feminism is more insidious, because it is so attractive to conservative Christians. Unlike the angry, man-hating, radical feminist vanguard of yesteryear, the new feminist Face is beautiful, feminine, and maternal – but it is also statist and egalitarian. Many Christians are too star-struck to notice Mrs. Palin’s record of feminist, socialist policies and compromises, or the fact that she is biblically unqualified to hold this office.
Sarah Palin’s “conservative” brand of feminism could do far more for the radical-left feminist cause than their own camp. The Left tells young women that it is acceptable to neglect children and family. Palin’s example tells young women that it can be conservative and “Christian” to neglect children and family. Her example also subverts gender roles. Despite Todd Palin’s traditional, manly-man image and Sarah’s traditional, womanly one, we believe they are undermining biblical marriage relationships and gender roles with their spotlight examples as Mrs. Civil Leader and Mr. Mom. The message of this possible First Family: men and women are interchangeable. And as Christ’s Bride, under His headship, this is something the Church must stand against.
Q: Do you believe God can never work through a woman civil leader?
A: God can “work through” any vessel he appoints for any specific purpose. He has used a variety of women rulers, from Jezebel to Margaret Thatcher, for His unique and different purposes.
We know God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11) — He raises up (Daniel 4:17) and puts down (Daniel 4:25-33) civil rulers of all kinds to accomplish His purpose for His people (Romans 8:28). God worked through Pharaoh. God worked through Nebuchadnezzar. Voting, however, for Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar for president would clearly violate the standards God gave us for choosing civil magistrates — which we believe is also the case for voting the McCain/Palin ticket. The question we should ask is not “What could God do?” but “What has God commanded us to do?” Deuteronomy 29:29 declares: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
We do not need to be afraid of the consequences of our obedience. We should be afraid, rather, of disobedience, especially the kind of disobedience that justifies pragmatism over principle. God does not need our votes to micro-manage the situation in our nation. He expects and deserves our obedience to principle in every area of life, through which He then manages our national affairs with peace and blessing.
Q: Isn’t a vote for anyone other than McCain/Palin a wasted vote?
A: No. We waste our vote when we vote in panic, in fear of something other than God. When we vote with the expectation that God sees the obedience in our decision, our vote is never wasted.
We must answer to God for every vote we cast. Our vote is not an idle pronouncement. It may be private, but God knows precisely what we have done and why we have done it. Our vote reveals the essence of our faith or our unbelief, and we will be held accountable for our vote. If we vote for McCain/Palin, we clearly violate biblical standards, endorse a clearly unqualified administration, and invite clearly-written Biblical sanctions on ourselves and on our country. Disobeying Scripture is never the way to attempt to fix our imperiled nation, even if it seems like a responsible emergency solution. Our chief concern should be Who is on the Throne, rather than who is in the White House. Our modus operandi should start with sincere and more consistent, biblical obedience in our own lives, homes, and churches. Our strategy for national reformation needs to begin with the understanding that America’s problems cannot be fixed in one election or one presidential term – we need to look at the present crisis in the context of the past and the future. It was the compromises of Christians decades ago that brought us where we are today; we must consider the consequences our voting compromises today may have long after this election is over, when our children will have to reap what we have sown.
God is stronger than the evils that can be caused by the unprincipled conduct of Obama or McCain. If we remember this, we won’t be afraid of voting on principle — we will be afraid of voting any other way.
In the spirit of the Deuteronomy verse we quoted before, we need not worry about the “secret things” which belong to the Lord, but instead the “things which are revealed.” The marvelous works which God has ordained in the future are hidden in His inscrutable counsel, but He has given to us and our children a sure Word which we are called to obey. We are to “do all the words of this law” — this same law which commands us to choose only qualified men to hold civil office.
The Miraculous Sanctification of the Republican Party: By Geoffrey Botkin
Posted September 26, 2008
The Sarah Palin “Miracle” poster is not typical campaign propaganda. For the swing voters needed by the McCain campaign, it is inspirational dynamite.
Until the Palin selection, McCain did not have the hearts of Evangelical voters. He probably had their votes, however, because he is a Republican. But the campaign wasn’t taking any chances that the “fright factor” would work in November as it has before.
Fear can go a long way to secure the loyalty of the demographic known in Washington as “the Stupid Demographic”: The other candidate is a Democrat. He is therefore scary. Be very afraid. Vote Republican.
This year McCain operatives found a new way to play on the superstitions of Evangelical men and women. The move was brilliant, and it will make political and cultural history.
Just a few months ago, the Republican Party was in danger of being seen for what it was — even by unobservant Evangelicals. A few Evangelical leaders were grumbling about McCain’s hard-left socialist record. A few others pointed out facts about Republican pragmatics, and the unconstitutional and anti-Christian policies they embrace. Instead of denying this to Evangelicals, the Republican Party found a way to portray its present policies and personnel as Christian, pro-family, and spiritual.
In the personality of Sarah Palin, the Party has contrived to occupy a new position. This is not the sentimental, God-and-Country “high ground” the Party has claimed to monopolize since 1980. The new position is a position of spiritual authority. Republican political consultants and operatives are presuming to define religion for Evangelical churches, families, and women.
Sarah Palin is key in maintaining this new authoritarianism. The Party claims to endorse the Christian example of a good Christian woman, a good Christian citizen, and a good Christian magistrate. The Party is exploiting an image for Mrs. Palin as a fellow Evangelical Christian who is, simultaneously, a good Christian wife, a political moderate, a principled conservative, a biblically-devoted mother, a pro-family egalitarian, and a biblically-sound, full-time civil magistrate. To do this, the Party must expound theology to Evangelicals. Very creative theology. Very unorthodox theology. The Party is writing a new definition of the good Christian woman as citizen leader.
The story of the year, however, is not the arrogance of the Republican strategists. It is not their dishonest theology. It is the blind credulity of Evangelical leaders and pastors. Evangelical Christians are willing to be “discipled” by a deceitful political party whose god is the state. Evangelicals have proven themselves to be willing to acknowledge the Republican Machine as a spiritual authority on matters of faith and conscience, as long as the teaching is sufficiently spiritual.
And so the Party and its followers are bringing on the spiritual. They are defining the spiritual. They are illustrating the spiritual using Sarah as their primary image. So far, this has been easy because modern Evangelicals prefer spiritual feeling to theological thinking. For the 2008 campaign, Republicans have discovered the perfect mix of religious lingo, mysticism, contemporary style, team spirit, Sunday platitude and, of course, Evangelical superstition. On this curious foundation they can now introduce any cultural concept that serves the Republican agenda.
The popular “Miracle” poster is a recent example. It is galvanizing blind loyalty to Sarah Palin. The Party will reap the benefits of this loyalty. Evangelicals love the poster at first glance. Why? Why is a woman’s head on the body of a warrior not grotesque but inspirational? Because it holds spiritual meaning. The spiritual imagery used to hype Mrs. Palin into a spiritual superstar is simply a professional merging of fantasy, celebrity, personality, with a dash of false theology.
Take a look at the creative synthesis of the five mainstays of Evangelical life or, as some observers might say, the five mainstays of Evangelical idolatry. In one simple image, Mrs. Palin is portrayed as movie celebrity, sports hero, political sophisticate, cute feminist favorite, and the very channel of the power of God.
Sarah as Movie Celebrity
American Christians were once wary of the coarse, anti-family bias of Hollywood. Today Evangelicals take in movie entertainment like it’s an entitlement. They build their evenings around Hollywood television and Hollywood movies, and many churches even build “worship” services around movie clips. Here is Sarah, not as star or co-star, but superstar, dominating a real movie poster, ready to entertain adoring fans with a story “coming soon” to Washington, D.C.
Sarah as Sports Hero
In recent years, Evangelicals have been proving their ability to winsomely associate with the man on the street by joining him in the stands, talking sports trivia at the water cooler, and sending their sons and daughters into organized combat on the football, soccer and hockey circuits. Christianity Today recently admitted the idolatrous hold of sports on the Christian life, but glamorized and justified this pop fetish as a channel of God’s grace to the Christian. The magazine glibly passed over the fact that football’s “rhythm of quick bursts and pregnant pauses, its gleaming sensuality of (safe!) violence and sex, its worship of the youthful body, its intense drive for the jolting climax — spits our way of life back at us in neat three-hour packages, Sunday after Sunday (and occasional Mondays and Thursdays).”
Now comes a poster that spits this way of life back at the Evangelical, casting a hockey mom as a hockey supermom. Here the slight Mrs. Palin takes her place in the limelight as champion, with a hint at the enthralling triumph of a certain patriotic hockey battle during which pure-hearted American underdogs once vanquished the Evil Empire.
Sarah as Political Sophisticate
The poster doesn’t go so far as to tell us Mrs. Palin is a champion of foreign policy, but she is clearly the red-white-and-blue muscle on the Pachyderm ticket. Her running mate is nowhere to be seen. For smitten Evangelicals, this political star deserves to dominate the Washington scene.
Sarah as Cute Feminist Favorite
Sarah Palin is a beautiful woman with great feminine warmth and maternal gentleness. She speaks convincingly with terminology familiar to Evangelical Christians. She also speaks proudly with terminology familiar to Marxist feminists. In this poster, Republicans merge these characteristics. Sarah smiles confidently and carries a big stick. She makes militant feminism look soft and admirable.
America’s cutest Republican has done something the enemies of the family have not been able to do for 150 years. Mrs. Palin has broken the Christian tradition and resolve that Karl Marx and his ugly, angry feminist followers could not break. In a few short days, Sarah Palin and her Republican handlers have made it conservatively fashionable to abandon home, children, husband and theological truth for the sake of careerism and the kind of glory Sarah finds in this poster, which shows her as strong, noble, and joyful as she lives the feminist dream.
Sarah as the Very Channel of the Power of God
Both John McCain and his superstar running mate are politicians. They have records of policy decisions and positions. The records hold an ugly secret: both McCain and Palin are leftist in ideology and weak of character. Governor Palin is especially weak. When pushed by lesser magistrates, Mrs. Palin has sacrificed stated convictions on the altar of political correctness. Evangelicals will never find this out as long as they are enthralled with the exalted, fantastical, superstar image of Sarah the celebrity.
This clever poster suggests that it is not Republican media mavens who have exalted Sarah, but God Almighty Who chose Sarah for such a time as this and Who will miraculously solve all America’s problems because He is clearly on the side of the Republican Party, which is wise and good enough to let Sarah serve as the channel of His redemptive power over a needy nation.
This celebrity image created by Republican operatives is powerful. In the minds of the Evangelical demographic, Sarah Palin is a saint. Evangelicals will pull the lever in November because the iconography of Sarah Palin has sanctified an impious Party.
Republican voters are happy. Pollsters at Republican headquarters are happy. But this triumph of pragmatism comes at a cost: first, to the reality that the intact family is stronger than public policy and partisan politics. Second, there is a cost to womanhood; and, third, to manhood.
Fourth, there is a steep personal cost to the happiness of the real Sarah Palin. Simly put, Mrs. Palin’s political assets have been shrewdly exploited at the expense of her most valuable personal asset: her family. In exchange for a celebrity spot in the world of political power, Sarah Palin has sacrificed the position of influence that could have had a bearing on solving America’s deepest problems: her position as an attentive wife and mother.
Evangelicals like Sarah as a national leader. They are following the theology that defines her, and they are following her example. Evangelicals are betraying their principles and their theology. In exchange they get something, too: the confidence that a sanctified Republican Party will make an unholy nation sound again. This confidence is the cheap idolatry of escapist fantasy. Will Evangelicals ever realize the extent of this careless betrayal? Now, that would be a miracle.
1. Eric Miller, “Why We Love Football: Grace and idolatry run crossing patterns in the new American pastime,” Christianity Today, September 27, 2007.
2. Rather than using her power as Alaska’s chief executive to check the excess of the Alaska Supreme Court in their errant ruling in favor of homosexual rights, Governor Palin caved to pressure and vetoed a bill that affirmed the court’s aberrant decision and furthered the homosexual agenda in her state. Journalist Patrick Forgey noted the following in his December 31, 2006, article entitled “Juneau woman helped pioneer benefits law” which appeared in the Juneau Empire: “Gov. Sarah Palin, despite her opposition to equal benefits for gay and lesbian government employees, vetoed a bill passed in the special session designed to hinder the state’s ability to provide the benefits.”
How to Rule: For Women
Posted September 19, 2008
In light of the present controversy over Sarah Palin, woman’s lawful sphere of influence, and what is best for the nation, we would like to post these timeless words from America’s past:
“Woman’s work is foundation work for society, for the state, for the kingdom of Heaven. In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them goes forth American life. Who has the hand upon these springs of life? Woman. These children of American homes go out with the stamp of these homes upon them, and only as these homes are what they ought to be will these children be what they ought to be. …Woman may think her sphere and work are limited and contracted, but in this she was never found in a graver mistake. In the home she is imprinting herself upon the man; in him she builds up society, in him she builds up the state, in him she legislates, in him she executes, in him she rules. She makes man what he is, so far as human power can operate. Yes, if she never does anything else but “nurse babies,” she can do no grander work. May God impress upon our women the high, heavenly, holy duty of rearing the children of our country, and making our homes places of joy and comfort. Alas! for the state! if our women are to leave the work of our homes and run hither and thither in search of larger rights and larger powers.”
William H. Felix (1838-1912), from his essay “The Work and Sphere of True Womanhood”
Why Sarah Palin Inspires Us
Posted September 6, 2008
The nation is aglow over the manifold triumphs of women over the last century, reaching their climax during this years’ election. Women have never been so close to holding the “highest” position in the country, that of Chief Executive, and woman’s collective journey has been a major political theme this month. In Senator Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, she made an impressive statement, putting a face on how far our nation has come: “My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president.”
Powerful women on all sides are taking big strides — and will be bequeathing quite a future to their daughters. That means us. How should we see this future, and how should we respond to their example?
In the opinion of just two of these American daughters, this picture is troubling, and brings with it promises of more trouble. Part of the tragedy, as we see it, is that it’s not just secular feminists who are excited about this future. Christians across the nation are cheering the entrance of Mrs. Palin, forgetting that, according to the biblical qualifications for a civil magistrate, she as a woman is not qualified to hold this office (Ex. 18:21, Pro. 31:23, 1 Tim. 2:12). We believe that Mrs. Palin’s appointment as civil ruler, and indeed the feminist strides that made it possible, are a judgment from God (Isa. 3:12). We’re already suffering from one consequence of this judgment more severely than America realizes.
An exultant Ann Coulter scored a bulls eye in (unwittingly) identifying this judgment in the title of her first piece on Palin:
“The Best Man Turned Out To Be A Woman.”
To be honest, we’re impressed with Sarah Palin. She is a remarkably talented, well-spoken woman. She has many fine policies. And we like her practical, moose-hunting style of femininity. But it is not a day to rejoice when the best man in the room happens to be a woman — nor is it a cause for cheer when men can’t compete with women in doing their own job. During this year’s unprecedented election, the key players have been strong women and flaky men. This is a sign of judgment. The scenario is reminiscent of Gloria Steinem’s boast, “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” Men have been stepping into the background — women are trying to become the men they wish existed. We challenge any young woman to see this as a happy prospect. It’s hard to be inspired by the abdication of real men and the subsequent rise of pseudo-men.
(Interestingly, Gloria Steinem has little confidence that American women will go for Palin, who, in Steinem’s words, “opposes everything most other women want and need.” We believe she underestimates the inconsistency of Evangelical feminists. Ms. Steinem, on the other hand, remains one of the most consistent men in the room; she will not compromise her radical left-wing principles just to support another woman.)
American Christians may be turning their ears from the plain teachings of Scripture to harken to what they believe is “the crying need of the moment.” They may decide our desperate need for a conservative VP trumps the teachings of Scripture. But we know from Scripture that we are to fear God, and not men — not even liberals. It has been rightly noted that people usually get the government they deserve. If we continue to make pragmatic compromises based on fear of man, God may see fit to continue chastising us with the government we deserve. God is on the Throne, regardless of who is in the White House, and He declares: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Psa. 3:6)
The people are right that America has desperate, crying needs. However, Mrs. Palin’s nomination for the Vice Presidency is not answering the cry — it is making it louder. Looking back over the last year, what’s glaringly obvious is that what America needs is more qualified male leaders. The real cry of the moment is: Give us men!
Seeing women in leadership does not inspire men to be better leaders. We believe Sarah Palin’s example will not inspire men to be men — it will inspire them to make way for more Sarah Palins.
So how are strong women supposed to respond when men are not being men?
The example of the prophetess Deborah, though set in a time of more severe judgment than ours, gives interesting insights. She was living in a time when “the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 4:1), “Village life ceased” (Judges 5:7), and the leaders had not been leading (Judges 5:2). Despite the desperation of the time, Deborah clearly did not become a civil magistrate or “judge” in the modern sense of the word, nor did she run for any kind of office, nor did she sit in the gates (Judges 4:5). Even when pushed toward positions of leadership, Deborah never actually took the reins of authority, but rather extended them to Barak and stood supportively behind him (Judges 4:6, 4:14). Deborah succeeded in bringing a man into leadership, rather than take the leadership herself.
So why are we inspired by Sarah Palin? Because her example puts a stronger fire in us to answer the cry, the way we believe God intended. We are more inspired than ever to help our father, brothers, husbands and sons to fill the role we are not called to fill.
It has rightly been observed that women have already been elected to the highest position they can hold, and that any “promotion” in the civil sphere would be a step backward. Their womanly sphere is where this hurting nation needs them most.
So let us resolve to give the world what it really needs, in the way that only women can give it. We have our work cut out for us, building strength into our men; It will call out every gift and talent within us. In doing so, we’re not just answering the cry — we’re obeying God, Who holds our first allegiance.
Mrs. Palin, you have inspired us to take stronger action for our God and for our country.
As for us, we don’t aspire to become the presidents we wish we could vote for. We aspire to raise them.
1. Many excellent, timely articles have already been written on the qualifications for civil magistrate and the role of women — go here for a directory.
2. “Palin: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message,” by Gloria Steinem