It’s been an interesting few weeks, politically speaking, and there are numbers to prove it. About 38 million Americans watched Barak Obama’s acceptance speech and 39 million tuned in to John McCain’s. Those are remarkable numbers, and reflect a high level of interest on who our next president will be. This is a good thing, and it is encouraging that so many in our nation are engaged in what is going on in this very important election.
Of course, the big news here lately has been the selection of Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee for Vice President. This is the first time that a woman has been nominated for this position in this party, and you’d have to go back to Geraldine Ferraro to find the first female for that slot. She was Walter Mondale’s running mate, and while the campaign didn’t turn out well it was historic for that reason.
I have been curious about how Palin’s candidacy is playing among Baptists. I guess I’m more interested in how Southern Baptists are responding to a woman running for Vice President, especially since they are well known for their opposition to women pastors. I’m sure some would make the argument that there’s no contradiction or concern since Palin’s not being elected to church office. After all, she’s already the governor of a state.
I’m not advocating one candidate over the other, but wanted to point out that Palin’s notoriety at least raises the level of dialogue on the role of women in our churches. I am grateful to be part of a church that recognizes the equality of women and men in their service to the Lord without limiting what either can do based on their gender. Southern Baptists have been so emphatic about a woman not serving as a pastor that it would be consistant to at least hear about their objections to Palin and the bad example she is setting for all the women out there. SBC seminaries have been emphasizing that families are in crisis and are best served by women staying at home and concentrating on being wives and mothers. You would think there would be a real outcry about the possibility of a woman holding the second most powerful position in the world.
I will be staying tuned to hear and read some of these complaints but am not surprised at the silence of SBC leaders. It would gain them a little more credibility to be consistant in their application of Scripture by opposing Palin’s choice based on gender alone. My only conclusion is that the SBC is so lock step with the GOP that their politics takes priority over their biblical principles.