Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin
Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin

When John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin yesterday to be his running mate, I was delighted. I had done some research into her credentials when her name first popped up as a possibility weeks ago, and I had hoped she would be chosen.

In the adult class that I teach at my church, I had outlined, prior to the Florida primary in January, my guidelines for choosing a candidate to support. I would like to share those.

First, is the candidate a genuine Christian?

Most claim to be Christians, but we have to look deeper. From all accounts, Palin is a convinced evangelical whose faith informs all aspects of her life.

Second, are the candidate’s policies consistent with Biblical principles?

From pro-life to limited government to property rights to the right of self-defense to energy independence, she is on target with what I believe are the policies that flow from a Biblical worldview. I may not agree with everything she promotes, but the essentials are solid.

Third, what type of experience does the candidate have and how much?

Already she has been criticized by the Obama campaign as not ready for the office. They need to be careful here. Such attacks invite comparisons with Obama himself. She has been in elected office longer than he has. She has executive experience as a mayor and governor; he has none. She is currently in charge of the Alaska National Guard; he has never had such a responsibility. The vice president is part of the executive branch; it is executive experience that she brings.

Fourth, does the candidate manifest Christian character?

Palin’s reputation is one of intense integrity. She has fought against the corruption in her own Alaskan Republican party and won. She ousted a sitting governor and has dismissed a number of officials who have betrayed their public trust. She says that people should never forget that a public servant is exactly that–a servant, not a lord or master. For her stance, she has alienated many in her own party, but she is doing what she considers morally right rather than politically expedient. Much also has been written about her new baby, born earlier this year. She knew ahead of time that her son would be a Down Syndrome child, but she considers it a privilege to be his mother; abortion was never an option for her. I am impressed by her character.

Fifth, can the candidate effectively communicate principles and policies?

We will find out as the campaign progresses, but if what I have already seen in video interviews and in her short introductory speech yesterday is any indication, she will be an excellent spokesman for the principles we need to believe in and the policies that should follow from those principles.

A final word: Sarah Palin will be attacked vigorously in the coming weeks. She needs the prayers of all those who want Biblical principles to be at the foundation of our society.