Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A good point

As an Evangelical pastor, the interview process was similar to a job interview.  Usually there would be a preliminary interview with a committee, possibly two interviews.  Then I would meet with a broader selection of people representing the church.  Eventually, if everything went well, I would be presented to the congregation, preach a sermon or two, meet and mingle, and wait for the vote. 

During the process, however, at least one of the interviews would involve the members of the committee meeting with, and talking to, my wife.  That was an important part of the process, as the pastor's wife was considered part of the package.  That was something difficult to explain to Catholics, BTW.  Not only did I lose everything relative to my vocation and career, but in many ways, so did my wife.  Actually it was a double loss for her, because she taught in a denominational school, and was dismissed when it was discovered we were going through RCIA.

I say this because it reminds me of how important it was for the churches to know and understand my wife. Having me be one place in life, and her be another, would have been seen as problematic.   And rightly so.  And I think it extends beyond the pastorate.  Politics, too.  Especially the presidency.  If we have tried to elect pro-life presidents in recent years, we seem to have been cut short by their wives.  Since Ronald Reagan, the pro-life presidents appeared to be invariably attached to some pretty pro-choice spouses.  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama don't count, since they themselves are pro-choice.  But the Bushes and Reagan, pro-life though they claimed to be, were attached to the hip to wives who demonstrated varying levels of support for abortion rights.

I've often wondered if that is what accounted for those presidents' lackluster pro-life advocacy.  Reagan, it is true, was more direct in his pro-life support.  Then again, Nancy was always fanatically devoted to Ron, and even if she believed otherwise, I can see her doing nothing but zealously backing Ron in anything he set out to do.

The Bushes, however, have come to exemplify that GOP 'promise everything to social conservatives and delivery as little as possible' that has plagued the Republicans in recent years.  It's no easy thing to hold a position where your values are key, but they run afoul of your spouse's values.  And I can't help but think that is behind at least some of the problems that the GOP has had in remaining loyal to the pro-life contingency.


  1. In light of this point, which is not one I'd ever considered, I thought you might be interested in this:

  2. Leave it to Zippy to bring that one out. Great point though.


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