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Sarah Palin's Daughter--What Should We Think? (We=Evangelicals)
Crosswalk ^ | 9/6/2008 | Dr. Ray Pritchard

Posted on 09/06/2008 5:28:51 PM PDT by markomalley

A friend asked me why evangelicals think it’s okay that Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter got pregnant by her boyfriend. I think the exact wording was, “Why are we so excited about it?” Hmmmm. That’s not exactly the way I would put it.

I don’t know anyone who is “excited” about a teenage girl getting pregnant out of wedlock. This seems to be a point on which there is near-universal agreement. Getting pregnant outside of marriage is always problematic, but when you are a teenager, the difficulties are magnified. This isn’t a liberal or conservative observation—just a statement of reality. 

However, I think the question is meant to go to a different point. Why are evangelicals willing to overlook the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter? Well, it is a useful question, given that everyone I have talked to (an admittedly unscientific sample) seems to love Sarah Palin. Count me in that number. I thought she did a terrific job in her speech on Wednesday night at the Republican Convention. But what about her daughter getting pregnant outside of wedlock?

Here’s a simple answer. Sarah and Todd Palin are not the first parents to have a child make this sort of mistake. And it’s not just the getting pregnant part. It’s as much the part about being sexually active in the first place. Given that most of us knew nothing about the Palins ten days ago, we aren’t in a position to say anything about how they raised their children. But Bristol Palin is hardly the first child raised in an evangelical family to get pregnant out of wedlock. We might be surprised if we knew how often this happens. That isn’t meant to excuse anything. Sin is sin, wrong is wrong, but is helps to remember that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “there but for the grace of God." 

But doesn’t it reflect poorly on the parents when children make bad choices? The answer is yes and no. Certainly it has cast a shadow over the whole nomination of Sarah Palin, and it has given the media another opening to attack her. But her daughter’s pregnancy does not disqualify her for public office. By the same token, I would argue that a similar situation would not automatically disqualify a pastor from serving in a local church. Note the word “automatically.” Sometimes churches have demanded a level of perfection in pastoral child-rearing that James Dobson couldn’t possibly meet. 

It’s not what the children do that matters as much as how the parents respond. 1 Timothy 3:4 tell us that a spiritual leader must “manage his own household well.” How do you measure that? The real test of any manager is how he responds when trouble comes. Anyone can manage an organization when you have plenty of money in the bank, when your market share is growing, and when everyone is happy. Great managers rise to the top when the waters are rough, when money is tight, when the market is down, and when times are tough.

Do they cover up the truth or do they face reality?
Can they demonstrate wisdom in how they respond?
Do they keep their people united?
Do they have a plan and will others follow their plan?
Can they remain positive and calm when others are panicking?

These are the traits of good leadership—and you only see this when unexpected trouble comes. Leaders rise to the top in hard times. And that’s why I think pastors (and other spiritual leaders) ought not to be trashed or suddenly dismissed because of family issues. It’s how they respond that makes the difference.

Regarding Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter, so far so good. Her daughter did not abort the baby, which many people would have advised her to do. And she and her boyfriend plan to be married and keep the baby. Good for them. I can’t imagine that Todd and Sarah Palin are happy about their daughter’s pregnancy, but as far as anyone can tell, they have responded with grace and courage under an enormous media spotlight. They have done well, their family seems to be rallying to the cause, and they are setting a good example of how to handle a crisis when the whole world is watching.

Evangelicals of all people believe in sin and grace. We admit our sin and we cling to the grace of God. We face the consequences, we seek forgiveness, we love each other, and we go forward together.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: evangelicals; mccainpalin; palin; palinfamily; teenpregnancy
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To: hsmomx3

They think we are all hypocrites, as if they’re not. To me “I’m not a hypocrite” is like saying “I don’t make mistakes” or “I don’t sin”.


101 posted on 09/06/2008 9:35:52 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: Fundamentally Fair
What would Evangelicals have said if Chelsey Clinton ended up in this situation?

How do y'all not get this?

Chelsea grew up in a household where the old man was chasing tail like a beagle chasing rabbits and Mom was promoting abortion and decorating White House Christmas Trees with ornaments depicting sexual acts. If she had gotten pregnant and someone had said it was a shame that her parents' warped values had rubbed off on her, that would have been perfectly reasonable. Not classy, but reasonable and not hypocritical.

Bristol Palin's parents are, by all accounts, the real deal when it comes to Christianity and have provided a good example for their daughter. Yet the media immediately treated Saraah as some kind of hypocritical white trash neglectful parent.

There's no comparison here. See here for details on a similar "hypocrisy" by evangelicals and other conservatives.

102 posted on 09/06/2008 9:39:21 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (*******It's not conservative to accept an inept Commander-in-Chief in a time of war. Bac Mac.******)
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To: stuartcr; mplsconservative; Earthdweller

Well, based on so many other discussions with stuart, he should be willing to admit that whether there is hypocrisy on FR or not, it’s exactly as God wishes it to be.

So quit arguing with God, stu.


103 posted on 09/06/2008 9:45:23 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (*******It's not conservative to accept an inept Commander-in-Chief in a time of war. Bac Mac.******)
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To: markomalley
having a baby is not a tragedy....its a huge disappointment for her mom....for any mom....to have their teenage dtr become pregnant.....I would bet it was not a pleasant night in the Palin household when the pregnancy was revealed....

but good parents KEEP their children...they don't discard them like yesterdays trash...

I am so proud of the Palins' for standing behind their dtr..for Sarah pointing out her "good hearted" dtrs at the convention...

there is so much about Sarah Palin that makes me proud......supporting her dtr even though I am sure she is upset over the whole situation, and keeping her own little one, disabled as he is....

character folks....character...

104 posted on 09/07/2008 1:04:21 AM PDT by cherry (SP for VP !!!)
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To: jude24; P-Marlowe
the consequences of their actions

It was a society that made these young couples feel as if they'd ruined their lives that led to the abortion movement getting off the ground. There's a way to reality of consequences with support for the young ones and joy for the new life to come.

I think the situation of a 17 year girl and an 18 year old guy is perfectly understandable. It is, in fact, more the norm in human history than is this delayed onset of sexual activity and family into one's thirties. Now, that is what's unusual.

105 posted on 09/07/2008 2:34:44 AM PDT by xzins (ZerObama: zero executive, military, or international experience)
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To: gotribe; television is just wrong
Obama is now running against the VP position? weird.
I know. That just blows me away. McCain has got to be the craftiest politician in my lifetime (last 51 years).
McCain-Palin is an echo of the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket. McCain is treating GWB almost as an opposition president.

In fact, Stevenson was an intellectual. Obama has "constitutional law teacher" on his resume - but also "community organizer," which is very (very) different.

Bottom line, an even fight between POTUS candidate Obama and VP candidate Palin is advantageous to McCain-Palin.


106 posted on 09/07/2008 3:57:07 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (RIP ladyinred)
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To: markomalley

“nunya” comes to mind


107 posted on 09/07/2008 3:58:25 AM PDT by rrrod
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To: Mr. Silverback

We sure seemed interested in what Chelsea did.


108 posted on 09/07/2008 5:26:42 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Of course it’s as God wants it, but if I were arguing with Him, it certainly wouldn’t be via FR...obviously, as you say, I’m just doing what He has planned for me to do.


109 posted on 09/07/2008 5:31:25 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Secret Agent Man

>>definitely poor taste to start poking into such areas.<<

I wasn’t poking, I was asking.
A genuine question.

I’ll know better who to ask next time.


110 posted on 09/07/2008 6:02:44 AM PDT by netmilsmom (An Obama win? Move to AK, secede, drill, drill, drill!!!!!!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
How do y'all not get this?

You are assuming that I feel that Evangelicals would jump on the Clintons. I think not.

111 posted on 09/07/2008 9:00:49 AM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (If given a choice between a POW and a POS, I'll take the POW.)
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To: Fundamentally Fair

Excuse me, but...

what’s the heading of this topic?


112 posted on 09/07/2008 11:42:12 AM PDT by philsoc
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To: netmilsmom

I didn’t mean “you” poking into the area. I meant liberals. That would be the kind of thing they’d want to do. For me, I’m saying it really doesn’t matter because whether it was used or not, or if it was and failed, isn’t really the point.


113 posted on 09/07/2008 12:17:16 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: philsoc
what’s the heading of this topic?

Is that all that you read?

114 posted on 09/07/2008 12:17:48 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (If given a choice between a POW and a POS, I'll take the POW.)
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To: Crystal Cove
So do you think that if Chelsea Clinton had gotten pregnant as an unmarried teenager, Freepers would be defending her?

Still at it, I see.

115 posted on 09/08/2008 6:39:21 PM PDT by SittinYonder
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