Monday, October 06, 2008

Calling Them the Way You See Them

Tony Woodlief provocatively argues that many Christian conservatives would have reacted to Sarah Palin differently had her name been Hillary Clinton. He writes:

There is the disastrous interview with Katie Couric, which by comparison makes Dan Quayle appear an eloquent master of policy detail. There is the fact that she is vigorously campaigning for a job that will largely remove her from her young children for the next four years. There is the fact that her teenage daughter is unmarried and pregnant.

On that last alone, it takes little imagination to conjure the sort of remarks that would have been directed Clinton’s way had her own daughter proven as careless. Because Palin is a Christian and a Republican, however, my friends view this positively, as proof of her family’s pro-life credentials. They are willing to forgive, for who among us has not made mistakes?

These are admirable inclinations, and I agree with them entirely. But I suspect that many Christian Republicans wouldn’t be as forgiving were this Hillary Clinton.

Of course, people all along the political spectrum are prone, often but not always unconsciously, to allow "tribal loyalty" to determine what we will forgive and what we will repudiate. However, this ought to be a cause for self-examination among Christians, who are called upon by their Savior to let their yea be yea and their nay be nay.

John the Baptist did not consult Herod's voting record before declaring that it was wrong for him to take his brother's wife.

Christian conservatives have been correct to be charitable toward Sarah Palin. It is unfortunate that many would have reacted differently if she had a different name.


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