“Been talking to people about the Bristol Palin story. How will McCain's newly-enthusiastic evangelical supporters react to is? My feeling is that they are simply not going to be judgmental. The whole tone of contemporary evangelicism seems to involve a lot of non-judgmentalism, at least in matters like this. My guess is that the only people who will partake in fire-and-brimstone rhetoric will be the left-wing blogosphere.”
I think Byron York is probably right about this, and it merits a comment or two.
The church is (or ought to be) a place for judgmentalism. The modern evangelical church is too nonjudgmental, too permissive.
To take one example, I read a Lutheran pastor (a conservative, not a liberal) who says that everyone is forgiven. Believers and unbelievers alike. Penitent or impenitent. Alive and kicking or burning in hell. Automatic forgiveness for anyone and everyone.
But according to NT ethics, fornication (e.g. premarital sex) is a potentially damnable sin. And forgiveness isn’t automatic. It’s contingent on repentance.
That said, this story has no business making it’s way into a presidential campaign. This is a matter for Bristol’s family and her church to deal with.
Bristol Palin isn’t running for high office. Sarah Palin is.
The misconduct of a child only reflects on a parent if the parent is, in some way, complicit on the misconduct. If, say, Sarah Palin and her husband had liberal views of premarital sex, then they would be complicit in their daughter’s misconduct. To my knowledge, the opposite is the case.
This is a just a smear campaign. An attempt to attack the mother through the daughter. I suspect it will backfire, and deservedly so.
Parents don’t have total control over the behavior of a 17 year old. Indeed, liberals typically attack “fundamentalists” because “fundamentalists” are said to be too controlling.
Of course, for liberals, hypocrisy is the only sin. If you’re a hypocritical serial killer, then that’s a bad thing—but if you’re upfront about your homicidal hobby, then that’s okay.