Some of My Best Friends Are Sarah Palin
Rev. Steve Schlissel - October 3, 2008
Responses to last week’s entry have made this one necessary. Many of you thought it was Sarah Palin in the cross hairs of my scope. It was not. Now that you mention it, of course, it is perfectly obvious why you drew that conclusion. I apologize. A qualifier was called for. Please understand, though, the reason I didn’t say she was not in view was that she was not in view. Y’know what I mean?
I haven’t the slightest worry about Sarah Palin’s hormonal fluctuations. The journal entry to which this serves as a footnote was meant to remind us, not of Sarah or any person in particular, but rather, of an abiding truth: gender roles are not perfectly interchangeable. Sarah Palin’s place in history, coming after Geraldine Fararro, might be thought to turn on whether she, unlike Geraldine, makes it into the #2 Office. But from where I sit, that is not the marker.
If I had been writing about Sarah, my approach would have been the same as that taken in my recent Lord’s Day sermons, all of which have included references to her. I point out that Sarah’s appearance as a veep candidate, and more particularly, the vitriolic response to her, serves as the most powerful vision enhancement the Christian community could hope for. Before Sarah, Christians had little excuse for needing a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing. Post-Sarah, they have no excuse at all.
Sarah Palin, you see, is us. Sadly, American Christians still don’t get it. Her significance is NOT as the second female VP candidate of a major party. It is altogether as a Christian that her name has been despised, battered, whipped and abused. Sarah Palin’s gender is wholly immaterial. The stir is against her faith. Check that. The stir is against her God. The media hate her to the exact extent that our God–His existence and attributes–is revealed through her. She therefore serves as the perfect barometer of public sentiment toward Christ and Christianity. And since that public sentiment is wholly hostile, you might say she is a pretty, very unfrozen, sacrificial lamb.
Didn’t you notice? As soon as news got out that she is “pro-life,” Sarah was stripped of her gender. If you wait for a clearer example of politics trumping ontology, you’ll be waiting till long after Celine Dion’s heart stops (she said it would go on forever). The only parallel I can think of was on a radio talk show in New York. It was several years ago. A caller was asking why certain Black people are not prominently recognized. The surprising answer was forthcoming.
When the host asked for an example from the caller, he said, “Well, like Thomas Sowell,” the brilliant economist and social thinker. The host replied, “Thomas Sowell is not Black.” Coulda fooled me. And the caller. But in what must have been one of radio’s most honest and revealing moments, the radio host made it abundantly clear that race is politically defined. Since Sowell believes in personal responsibility, since he looks with justified hostility at quotas favoring Blacks, correctly arguing that to the degree they are adopted, to that degree you have permanently disenfranchised all who have used them to “get in,” that is, used a political loophole instead of their talent and test scores. Quotas mean making inescapable the brutally racist sentiment that Blacks are incapable of competing intellectually with Whites.
Since Mr. Sowell is opposed to the outstretched hand begging for favors, he lost entitlement to his race. He was assigned to the no-man’s-land of colorless, raceless souls (Sowells?). And the same was done to Sarah in regard to her gender. As a Christian who honors the God Who ALONE gives life, and Who ALONE dictates the terms governing its taking, Sarah has ripped the phony mask off the hypocritical faces of all those feminists who pretend to want “choice.” When presented with a woman who “chose” life, as Sarah did after learning that her youngest child would be a Downs baby, she is vilified.
Salon.com was probably the news source with the most to be embarrassed about when it comes to Palin-reaction. There she was brutally attacked for seeking to “deny to others the very choice which she herself employed.” DUH?! Wha? Huh? Sarah is seeking to prevent women from carrying their babies to term? Hardly! What they meant, of course, was that she is opposed to murdering unborn people. The time during which choice can be exercised without murder is before there is a new human being present. I don’t recall hearing Sarah say anything that would suggest she was against such choice (though I could speak against it in certain cases, without trepidation). What upset them is her failure to make the choice that THEY embrace: the choice to murder anyone who gets in your way.
The unrelenting, irrational, blatant scapegoating that is being practiced now with Sarah Palin is the target of choice can honestly be said to lack example in modern times, unless we go back to 1932 Germany. What we are witnessing is the warm-up of the pitchers who will dominate the game as America goes down the tubes in judgment before the holy God she has forsaken. They will be throwing out invective against Christians as Hitler did against Jews. Christians of the nominal, politically correct sort will be used as proof that there is no grudge against Christianity per se. No, it is only these extremists, these fundamentalists, these Sarah Palin-types who must, like the European Jews of the 1930’s and 40’s, be gotten rid of. All the economic (and other) ills of post WWI Germany were said to be generated by the Jews. Our recent glimpse of God’s ever-present ability to humble or destroy markets, or anything else man makes, give us also a glimpse into the various woes which denizens of the not-so-distant future will use to carry public sentiment against Christians to whatever extremes are within reach.
Judging by the ceaseless hatred being spewed toward my sister, Sarah Palin, and its lack of shame for lying, twisting, distorting, perverting the facts, Sarah’s significance seems to me to be a marker in our rush toward wrath. This little “hockey mom” has God in back of her. As long as she remains willing to let the fools show their folly, she is safe. The first time she bends to accommodate their demands, she–and we with her–are sunk.
In a manner of speaking.