Contrary to media stereotypes, evangelicals have no problem with women in the workplace
When the news came out earlier this week that the family situation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a little more complicated than had originally been disclosed, pundits immediately began speculating whether social conservatives -- not least, evangelicals -- would stick with their woman. Surely a person who allowed her 17-year-old daughter to get pregnant while she was off running a state could not be the type of mother and female politician that conservatives go for....
There are certainly a few evangelicals who will think twice about Mrs. Palin's choices. But looking at the big picture, it seems that Ms. Quinn and her colleagues in the media are operating from an outdated picture of the evangelical community and its "values."
Most American evangelicals have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of women in the workplace. A Pew survey released this summer, for instance, asked whether "women should return to their traditional roles in society." Twenty-two percent of all Americans agreed, compared with 32% of white born-again Protestants. That's not exactly a big difference. And younger evangelicals are even more likely to agree that women should have the opportunity to work outside the home.
Even 20 years ago, evangelicals showed a surprising willingness to accept new roles for women, beyond the traditional domestic ones. In 1988, James Davison Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, published a study called "Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation." He asked evangelicals whether they agree "that women should take care of running the home and leave the running of the country up to men." The media stereotype, then as well as now, would lead one to expect a very high percentage of agreeing respondents. But only 57% of older evangelicals agreed, compared with 33% of younger ones (ages 18-35). Both numbers have declined steadily ever since. In 2001, according to a UCLA survey, less than one-fifth of the freshman women at non-Catholic religious colleges -- more than half of whom said they were "born again Christian" -- agreed with this statement: "The activities of married women are best confined to the home and family."
So have evangelicals accepted the sexual revolution? Yes and no. While they generally agree that women should have careers, evangelical women and men still have some traditional social views -- that sex should be reserved for marriage, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that the possibility of abortion on demand, far from being a key to women's happiness, is simply wrong. In other words, like most Americans, they have rejected the more radical elements of feminism. Another newsflash for the pundits, perhaps.
Hating Sarah Palin
In early 2005, we wrote a short piece for The Wall Street Journal in which we argued that Hillary Clinton had a very strong advantage in a prospective 2008 presidential campaign: Republicans loathed her. This, we suggested, would make her appealing to the Democratic Party's Angry Left base; and hatred would blind Republicans, causing them to make mistakes in a general election campaign.
It's fair to say that article was subsequently overtaken by events. In fact, until 10 days ago, it looked as if there wouldn't be much hatred at all in this year's campaign. Some people find John McCain irritating; others find Barack Obama scary or contemptible. But neither man has aroused much true hatred.
McCain's vice presidential nominee, however, is arousing a lot of it. Columnist Nick Cohen of London's left-wing Observer has noticed--and he makes essentially the same argument we did about Mrs. Clinton 3« years ago:
My colleagues in the American liberal press had little to fear at the start of the week. . . . But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska.
For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was "the other"--the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. . . .
Hatred is the most powerful emotion in politics. . . . Hate can sell better than hope. When a hate campaign goes wrong, however, disaster follows.
One liberal Democrat who sees things similarly is Willie Brown, the former California Assembly speaker and San Francisco mayor. "The Democrats are in trouble," Brown writes in a column for the San Francisco Chronicle. "Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign. . . . She didn't have to prove she was 'of the people.' She really is the people."
It was in Willie Brown's San Francisco that Obama made his infamous April remark about small-town voters: "It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion . . ." Obama's contempt is unattractive enough. His supporters' hatred for a bitter clinger with the effrontery to think she is qualified for federal office is downright ugly. We don't think Obama is a hater, but the campaign may suffer because of his supporters' emotions, which are beyond his control.
Is McCain Too Old for President?: "The Doge (leader) of the city-state of Venice (now Italy) from 1192 to 1205 a.d. was Enrico Dandolo, who assumed the position somewhere beyond 70 years of age and led a successful military conquest of Constantinople when he was in his 90's as part of what we now call "The Crusades." Dandolo was personally present at the sacking of Constantinople and directed the military action. And he was blind when he did it. The story of Enrico Dandolo tells us a lot about age and ability to rule. Read about Dandolo here
The New York Post has enthusiastically endorsed John McCain: Thus, at least two of New York's leading newspapers, the New York Post and the New York Sun, are supporting him (I haven't seen a Sun endorsement yet but I'll eat my all-weather tires if they don't). The Post writes: "The Post today enthusiastically urges the election of Sen. John S. McCain as the 44th president of the United States. "McCain's lifelong record of service to America, his battle-tested courage, unshakeable devotion to principle and clear grasp of the dangers and opportunities now facing the nation stand in dramatic contrast to the tissue-paper-thin r‚sum‚ of his Democratic opponent..." In an article today linked to the editorial, the Post notes that "Big Mac" has gotten a "big bounce"
Hypocrisies of the Left : "Ever since Roe V. Wade made abortion legal in all 50 states the left has been bleating about the right to choose. Well, we have now seen what happens when a woman chooses against them and decides to have five children, one of which has Downs Syndrome. The anti human philosophy of the left really shows itself. Governor Palin is called a hypocrite for giving birth to a special needs child. So much for a womans right to choose."
British officialdom still losing data: "Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has called for an urgent inquiry into the latest government loss of computer data, a disk containing the personal details of 5,000 prison staff. Although the prison service was informed of the loss in July, Straw, who is the minister responsible, was only made aware of it yesterday when he was contacted by a Sunday newspaper. The hard disk containing personal details of up to 5,000 staff, including probation workers, was mislaid by a computing firm working for the Ministry of Justice more than a year ago. According to a letter sent by the firm, EDS, on July 4, the 500GB portable hard disk contained names, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and prison service employee numbers of about 11% of the UK prison service's 45,000 workers. A copy of the letter, entitled Security Incident Interim Report, was obtained by the News of the World, which informed the justice secretary. "I am extremely concerned about this missing data," Straw said last night. "I was informed of its loss at lunchtime and have ordered an urgent inquiry into the circumstances and the implications of the data loss and the level of risk involved."
A British government bungle that would be funny if it were not so stupid: "Further flooding is feared across Britain this week as residents of the worst-hit town complained that a government-backed alternative for traditional sandbags had floated away... Some residents complained yesterday that flood defences simply floated away. They had been given packs of expanding pillows, designed like nappies, to soak up 20 litres of water. Simon Richell, 40 and wife, Gez, 38, saved their three sons, aged 11, 4 and 9 months, then tried to protect their riverside home. "We got handed these bags which expand to absorb water but they just floated off," said Mr Richell. "We ended up filling sandbags from the kids' sandpit." The "Floodsax" bags had been provided as part of a pilot scheme this year. It had been supported by John Healey, the Floods Recovery Minister, who visited Morpeth yesterday. The Environment Agency said that it was the first time that the bags had been used in the pilot zones." [How come the moronic bureaucrats did not test the things first?]
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)