Religion & Beliefs

Palin Around with Tina Fey

Rabbi Robert Levine, author of What God Can Do for You Now, will be blogging all week as one of Jewcy‘s Soap Box bloggers.  A rabbi on New York’s Upper West Side, Levine presents a new outlook on God and … Read More

By / October 20, 2008

Rabbi Robert Levine, author of What God Can Do for You Now, will be blogging all week as one of Jewcy‘s Soap Box bloggers.  A rabbi on New York’s Upper West Side, Levine presents a new outlook on God and spirituality that seeks to appeal to nonbelievers.

Governor Palin did a pretty good Tina Fey impersonation on Saturday Night Live this week. Additionally, she also proved that Alaskan female governors definitely have rhythm!

But, when she replaced Tina at the podium and swiftly announced that she was not going to answer anybody’s questions, she reinforced a painful societal message that women have been trying to overcome for centuries: look good but keep your mouth shut. The New York Times front page article featuring "Dudes for Sarah" makes the same point pretty strongly.

In contrast, one of the most important and enduring results of Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid was that she got a lot of people who were never predisposed to seeing women in positions of such authority and leadership – lots of Joe the Plumbers – to take another look and often to fervently support her candidacy. Both men and women were given the opportunity to reassess their culturally reinforced prejudices. Girls could dream differently and, just maybe, boys would be less reticent to stomp on them.

I would like to think that any woman candidate would provide this inspiration, but I have my doubts, partly because of some of the governor’s untenable stances. Responsible politicians can take what is dubbed a "pro-life" position on abortion, but believing that if a woman is the victim of rape or incest, with all the shock and shame that accompanies such a tragic crime, she must bear that child, shows no respect for the life of the mother – hardly pro-life.

Honestly, I can’t believe Governor Palin would force her own child to carry such a baby to term if, God forbid, she were the victim. But wanting to deny women who are too poor the same access to abortion as connected, financially able people, frankly, is immoral.

In the Torah, God commands us to choose life. A true pro-life position does not destroy the life and psychological health of a mother in order to birth an unwanted child. A true pro-life position doesn’t slash the budget on all programs that would give that unwanted child a chance in life.

Such retro views would be a major setback for women everywhere. So, can we go back to having Tina Fey in that role? Saturday Night Live proves that the sequel can be a whole lot better than the original!

 

 

About the author:

Rabbi Robert Levine, a leading American clergyman and Chairman of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue of the Archdiocese of New York, provides down-to-earth, common sense reasons for how faith and prayer can profoundly change the quality of our lives. What God Can Do For You Now confronts the new atheism of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins and provides a spiritual answer to finding God in the world.

Rabbi Robert Levine, author of What God Can Do for You Now, is guest-blogging on Jewcy, and he’ll be here all week.  Stay tuned.