Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sarah Palin Redefines Feminism -- it's Christian: Newsweek Magazine

“You hate to say it, but mainstream feminism has had an antireligious bias for a really long time.”

To white evangelical women, Sarah Palin is a modern-day prophet, preaching God, flag, and family—while remaking the religious right in her own image.

UPDATE 6/15/10: Article author Lisa Miller interview

-- From "Saint Sarah" by Lisa Miller, Newsweek 6/11/10

To millions of women, Palin’s authenticity makes her a sister in arms—“Sisters!” she called out in Washington, as if at a revival—a beautiful, fearless, principled fighter who shares their struggles. To a smaller number, she is a prophet, ordained by God for a special role in the cosmic battle against the forces of evil. A 2009 profile in the Christian magazine Charisma compared Palin to the Old Testament’s Queen Esther, who saved her people, in this case the Jews, from annihilation.

Palin has been antagonizing women on the left of late by describing herself as a “feminist,” a word she uses to mean the righteous, Mama Bear anger that wells up when one of her children is attacked in the press or her values are brought into question. But while leftist critics continue to shred Palin as a cynical, shallow, ill-informed opportunist, and new polls show her unpopularity rating to be at an all-time high—53 percent—Palin is now playing to her strengths. Even if she never again seeks elected office, her pro-woman rallying cry, articulated in the evangelical vernacular, together with the potent pro-life example of her own family, puts Palin in a position to reshape and reinvigorate the religious right, one of the most powerful forces in American politics. The Christian right is now poised to become a women’s movement—and Sarah Palin is its earthy Jerry Falwell.

With her new faith-based message, Palin gathers up the Christian women that traditional feminism has left behind. . . . Hers is a “mom of faith” movement, a “mom uprising.”

. . . The women who follow Palin will fight against Roe—and support adoption and prenatal health clinics—but they aren't generally focused on birth control, sex education, or gender discrimination. They shrug at the agonies of the overeducated moms who feel forced to choose between work and family (no one had to do that on the farm), and they refute the idea that to succeed in the world a woman must look and act like a man.

. . . These [female] Christians seek a power that allows them to formally acquiesce to male authority and conservative theology, even as they assume increasingly visible roles in their families, their churches, their communities, and the world.

. . . Christian women have long puzzled in their Bible study groups over how she does it, and in Palin they finally have an example—not just for themselves, but for their daughters.

. . . Public Christian prayer makes many Americans squeamish, but in evangelical circles it is the air they breathe. Christian women pray for each other, their families, and their leaders, not just in church but in casual groups, online, and in private all the time.

To read this entire account of a Christian woman, seemingly written by an outsider, CLICK HERE.