Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Will Palin's Pregnant Daughter Drive Off Christian Voters?

I think that this issue is a non-starter, and like the general rule for American politicians: if you keep your family out of the political arena, they will be left alone by the media and punditocracy.

But some commentators apparently disagree (roundup), and think that conservative Christian voters will shun the McCain/Palin campaign.

Steven Den Beste, an atheist, seems to understand that Christian teaching has a different understanding of sin:

The Christians are not going to be too concerned about the fact that Bristol got pregnant without being married. They're not really going to be happy about it, mind, but they're not going to be too put out about it, either. What's important to them is what happens after that, and everyone in the Palin family is doing what the Christians think they should.

Rabblerousing attempts by lefties to try to inspire a Scarlet Letter response will rally support to the Palins.

That's also why Christians are not particularly impressed with lefty attempts to talk about McCain's divorce. The man went to war and went through years of hell, and when he came back he wasn't the man he had been before. The love was gone; the relationship was over. It's a common fate for soldiers, and a sad one.

He divorced his first wife. He then married another woman and has been happily married to her for 30 years. That's the part that matters. He couldn't save the first marriage; it was dead. But when he got married again, he was by all accounts a loyal and loving husband, and remains so to this day.

Christians know that people make mistakes, and that people sin. From their point of view, the only man who never sinned was Jesus. They don't cast out sinners, because they believe that everyone is a sinner. What they look for is people trying to do right as well as they can, to live as good a life as they can, and to try to make up for their mistakes and sins. And from their point of view both McCain and the Palin family are doing so. And as long as they continue doing so, Christian voters won't turn away from them.

Speaking from inside the camp, I think that Den Beste may be a trifle naive in assuming that Christians will act according Christian principles, but I suspect that American Christian -- and especially evangelical culture -- will respond this way to the Palin family.

HT: Ace


Dan Trabue said...

I mostly agree. I DO think, though, that there might be some who, like me, think that this job is not a good match for a family undergoing so much stress.

Don't misunderstand, I wouldn't vote for her because I disagree with her politics. However, even if I did agree with her, having five children, one of whom is special needs and one who is pregnant would be a bit overwhelming under normal circumstances.

To have that going on while running for this office or actually BEING a Veep sounds like a horrible idea to me, for the family's sake.

Back when B Clinton got into his Lewinsky troubles, I advocated that he should step aside. I did so for multiple reasons and one of those reasons was because I felt he needed to spend time with his family to heal.

I wouldn't be surprised that others feel the same way about the Palins.

The Ironic Catholic said...

I don't know--I suspect being Veep is no more time consuming that a state governor. Governors are actually in charge of much more.

I heard this story (daughter pregnant) from my husband and said "so? this is news?" I don't see myself voting for either major party candidate, but I like Palin...she impresses me.

Anonymous said...

I think the media attention on Palin's daughter and son will endear her to voters. We Americans will put up with a lot of dirty politics, but when the children of a politician come under attack or what is perceived as one, most people will cry "Foul play!"

John said...

Technically speaking, all she has to do is open up daily sessions of the Senate. And if she wants, she can fob that off on the President Pro Tem.

Yeah, I think that trying to use this issue will backfire on Obama's supporters. Obama himself has had the good taste and sense to repudiate these attacks, but now I hear some of his supporters saying that Palin is an unfit mother, as her primary place should be in the home. That will not play well with feminists.

JD said...

Not only will these things not play well with the feminists, it will point to how hypocritical most criticizing her really are...though no one will notice because the media will cover it up.

doodlebugmom said...

I think there are much more relevent questions to be answered about Palin's integrity, time will tell.

RERC said...

Having or not having a pregnant daughter and a special needs child are not negatives to being VP. However, they are not positives either, which is how they are being portrayed by Palin supporters.

Palin's overall level of experience and the way she has handled the small political crises of a sparsely populated state are, to me, much more telling of whether she is qualified to be second in command of our country.

Were something to happen to McCain, would we trust Sarah Palin's judgment as president in complex international negotiations, the economy, war, national crisis? Or would we hope that she has really sound advisors to rely upon?

These family issues may make her a good right-to-life Christian, but is she ready and qualified for leading the country if necessary?

Michael said...

Polls suggests that evangelicals are considering the young lady's pregnancy a non-issue as it should be. Too many of us know young people, perhaps including ourselves, who allowed things to get out of hand. Christians won't be "forgiving", per se, first of all because there is nothing to forgive - we've not been wronged. Secondly, it is simply not an issue with which to be concerned. Period.

Anonymous said...

The daughter's pregnancy actually endears the Palins to a large segment of the general population who have been faced with a very similar situation. And the fact that she has elected to keep the baby has endeared them to the pro-life Christians, many of whom said they simply would not vote if McCain chose a pro-choice running mate. As for the Democrats, it is too hot to touch. Make it an issue and you'll get crucified for invading the family's privacy and attacking a pregnant 17-year-old. I believe the Dems have enough to work with here - they don't need to bring up the family issues.