Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin and the complementarian

I have noticed that the nomination of Sarah Palin has not only livened up the presidential race, but it has also generated a lot of discussion on the roles of men and women in society. Many who are excited about Palin's nomination also hold to a complementarian view of the family in which the man is the head of the household as talked about in Ephesians 5. So I have a series of questions for people to consider:
Can someone support Sarah Palin in her bid to be the VP and be a complementarian?

Is there a difference between male and female roles in the home and in society at large?

Does supporting Palin mean that men and women's roles in the workplace should be exactly the same?

Is there any correlation between male and female roles in the home, in the church, and in society at large?


David Rudd said...

as a complementarian, i'm very excited about this possibility. as i understand it, palin will be cooking and cleaning in the white house while mccain runs the country... right?

kimorelock said...

Good questions Kevin. I don't have many answers for you, but I have some comments.

My first thought is that the VP slot is really just an insurance policy for the sitting president. Given that McCain is 72 (I think), it's not an inconceivable idea that she would become president. That said, the VP doesn't really do very much. The office of VP was rendered basically ineffectual during the times of the founding fathers.

I think she could effectively raiser her children and be VP. I think raising her children and being president is a different story. I would also think that her husband would have to step up and take a larger role in that instance. I have read some articles about how she has integrated her family life in with her work life as the AK governor. I think that would be much more difficult to do as president.

I am a complementarian, but I also believe that there are seasons in life when husbands have to pick up some of the slack in child care, just as wives have to pick up the slack at other times. However, I honestly don't know that I would support her if she were running for president, mostly because she has such young children (I don't think I'd have as much of a problem with it if her kids were grown), and has a child who has special needs. But I support her in running for VP.

As a side note, I love that attention is being brought on children with Down's syndrome. I think it's such a tragedy that the vast majority of these children are aborted and it's so great to see them being valued in the national spotlight!!!

KG said...

Sadly enough, that is exactly how some people would like to see it.

KG said...

Thank you for your thoughts. As a mother of young children yourself, I'm sure you can appreciate the unique challenges that it brings.
I appreciate your stating your position, but also your willingness to share how that works out in your thinking as it relates to Palin.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Does it make a difference to you that she is running for VP and not President?

David Rudd said...


of the four candidates (obama, mccain, palin, and whats-his-name) Palin would get my vote for president. if mccain gets my vote, it will be because i'm hoping she'll have some level of influence.

there are plenty of examples in the Bible of wives and mothers who "worked". i don't have any problem with a woman being president.

and i am complimentarian.

Jesse Curtis said...

i don't know what i think about men's and women's roles exactly. i think that all the talk about whether palin can handle the vp position and the kids is nothing less than sexist (and very hypocritical from many liberals). i don't know that the Bible gives us any reason to believe that responsibility for children should fall on the mother more than the father. so for me, her kids don't factor into the situation. men run for office all the time and we don't even think to ask how many kids they have. men and woman are different, but for any given couple, there's no reason it might not work better for the husband to be the primary caregiver for the children.

KG said...

Thanks for giving your more serious side. I was worried that those who don't know you would throw you under the bus.

KG said...

Thank you for chiming in. I always appreciate your imput.

So does anyone think that voting for Palin is a conflict of interest if you are a complimentarian as it relates to marriage?

David Rudd said...

in answer to your question, kevin, i don't think so.

i don't think any degree of spiritual leadership which is referred to in the bible should be applied to employment questions.

i think sometimes the "provider" idea has really been misapplied to marital roles.

that said, i do think a couple best images God when they embrace their individual uniqueness and function as a "unity with diversity". how each couple does that will be different i think.

it seems that palin and her husband have figured out how this works in their marriage... good for them.

KG said...

I am a complimentarian and I would agree with you Dave. I see no conflict with this view and Palin being McCain's running mate.

I have noticed others who are trying to say that these two positions don't make sense together. It is usually from people who do not have a clear biblical understanding of a complimentarian view of marraige.

Sarah said...


please direct me where I can read or understand more what complimentarian means.

These comments seriously refreshed my soul as I struggle with understanding women's places and roles biblically.

KG said...


I appreciate your question and desire to learn. We all have a lot to learn on the roles of men and women. I know that I am still learning in this area.

It is a hard issue to give you a short answer, but I am going to try to give you someplace to start to investigate. I would of course always begin with the Bible. And then I would say begin at the beginning. I think the whole of scriptures leads to this view, but here are a few places to start:

Genesis 1-3
Old Testament stories
Pauls writings to the churches
I Corinthians 11
I Corinthians 14 (reading the whole book or at least all of the surrounding chapters will help with context for specific verses)
Ephesains 5 (again reading all of 5 and 6 if not the whole book will help to make sense of the specific verses)

I Timothy 2
I Timothy 3
I Timothy 5
I Peter 3

This would be a good start. Again, it is the whole of scripture so not just these verses or chapters will tell the whole story, but they could help get you started.

A good book on the subject has been written by John Piper and Wayne Grudem called "Recovering Biblical manhood and womanhood". I think that is the title. It would be a fuller explanation.

I would say the best way to learn about a complimentarian view of roles is to ask questions of people who hold this position. Listen to them. Ask more questions. Many people who disagree are unwilling to actually hear them out. Instead the believe they are wrong based on poor choices of words or angry sound bites.

Again, I appreciate your desire to learn and grow. Keep it up. Peace.