As I said it would happen, it already has begun. You don't need me to link to articles. Look anywhere. The sharks are circling. You might flatter me by thinking "Dan nailed it" every time you see a new attempted hit piece; but, as I said, it really wasn't rocket science.
The question remains, as posed in the meta: how do I think she should respond?
Well, certainly not like Mike Huckabee, for starters. The former pastor time and again seemed astonished and completely blindsided. Palin mustn't do that. This is, I hope, a given.
But Palin's smart and savvy, they've clearly got some smart people in the campaign. Hopefully someone is preparing for the inevitable.
First, let me just say three things: I don't know how Palin should answer, I don't know what would be the most effective answer, and I don't think there's one right way. I'm no political strategist, thank you very much. But I have read the Bible a few times, and observed our culture for awhile, and do have some thoughts.
So let's just lay out some theoretical options, and deal with them in order.
Option one: lie and dissemble. Not an option for a Christian, who seeks to emulate the God who cannot lie (Matthew 5:48; Titus 1:2).
There. That was easy.
Some make a strong case that lying may be an option when the whole truth would result in a breaking of the Sixth Commandment. Regardless, this isn't such a situation. Palin needs to tell the truth, period.
Option two: get in their faces and tell the whole truth, straight-up. I'd be tempted to do just that — which is one reason why I'll never win elective public office.
I'd be sorely tempted to say something like:
"Let's just lay out the point of disconnect between the Christian position and every other position. By God's grace alone, the Christian has come to see himself to be a sinner by nature and by choice. He also knows God to be perfectly righteous, the mighty Creator, Master, and Ruler over everything. He knows God to be the fountain of truth, which He has inerrantly and sufficiently revealed in the Bible. The Christian has been brought to know that his only hope of salvation is by the death of God the Son Incarnate, Jesus Christ, who took on our sin, absorbed the just wrath of God in the stead of His own, died under that wrath, and rose bodily three days later. The Christian knows that his only hope is faith in Jesus Christ, through which God in mercy clothes him with the perfect righteousness of Christ. So, with Christ as his Lord, the Christian begins the eternal process of unlearning his autonomous, you-shall-be-as-gods viewpoint, and learning to think God's thoughts after Him. So, from that perspective, what I think about marriage is...."So, I might say that... and then inevitably retire to write my memoirs. Or brush up my skills at smiling when I say, "You want fries with that?"
At least that's how I can see myself handling such situations theoretically, sitting here alone in my study, contemplating a position in which I'll never find myself.
Some of you will think, "Yeah! That's what she should do! It's the Christian way!"
To which I say no, it isn't the Christian way. We read that "The tongue of wise men makes knowledge look good" (Proverbs 15:2). The wise characteristically frames what he says deliberately, while it is the fool whose mouth blurts out everything on his mind, willy-nilly and often destructively (cf. Proverbs 10:14; 15:2, 28; 29:11).
And remember: these are the people who wanted Palin's baby's DNA to prove that he was really hers, and not her daughter's — but show no curiosity whatever about Barak Obama's continuing ties and admitted indebtedness to an unrepentant domestic terrorist (see also here). They will not be asking so that they might understand Christianity better. They will be looking for a way to shame and shun her, and anyone like her who dares to seek a role in the public life of America.
So no, there are not only two options: (1) say nothing truthful; or (2) tell these people, in these situations, all the truth that can be said. Not every setting is the setting to say everything.
Nor, for that matter, is a Christian obliged to answer every question ever posed to him. Jesus didn't (cf. Matthew 27:12, 14; Luke 23:9; John 19:9). We needn't.
Aside: what is a Christian obliged to say? Believers are under an absolute obligation to confess Christ (Mark 8:35-38). That, to my mind, is non-negotiable and universal. A Christian cannot deny Christ; put positively, a Christian must confess Christ.
At the same time, the Christian is also obliged by Christ's command not to throw what is precious and holy to those whose only intent is to mock what is holy and degrade what is precious and good (Matthew 7:6; cf. 10:14-15; Proverbs 9:7-8; 23:9). This is why Proverbs so often stresses the need for discernment, judgment, savvy.
How to put these guidelines together?
Stay tuned tomorrow. But please, feel free to offer your own thoughts in the meanwhile.