By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
On Oprah Winfrey's show yesterday, Sarah Palin said her daughter Bristol had one message for other young women about her experience as a teen mom:
Her only public mission right now is to remind her sisters and to remind other young women, her peers, that there are consequences to unprotected sex.
It's pretty surprising to see Palin promote that message because it implies that young women should practice safe sex, which is at odds with the message of conservative Christian groups that constitute Palin's strongest base of institutional support. Group like Focus on the Family teach that safe sex is an oxymoron and that Christians should delay sex until marriage.
"The promotion of 'safe sex' in our schools is driven by a radical philosophical dogma, not by medical or scientific reasons," Focus on the Family says on its website. Elsewhere on the site, Focus urges Christians to conform "your body and your sexual self to God's vision of human sexuality as laid out in Scripture and articulated by church tradition—for married people, fidelity, and for unmarried people, abstinence."
Palin, by contrast, said nothing about delaying sex until marriage (at least in the clips Oprah aired).
Will this cause heartburn among conservative Christian groups? I doubt it; they're so thrilled by Palin that they're likely to turn the other cheek, at least publicly.
But as she embarks on her Going Rogue media blitz, it will be interesting to see if she bucks the conservative Christian line on other issues—and if she tweaks her messaging on Bristol, sex, or marriage.