Esthers on Parade

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The exemplary David Gibson has a nice column up on Politics Daily about the attraction American evangelical women seem to have for Queen Esther as a role model. Along the way he makes that point that Esther’s story (the beautiful Jewish girl picked to be queen of Persia who saves her people) “allows conservatives to mediate-or accommodate-conflicting feelings about sex and purity, women and power.”

David notes that, at one point during last year’s campaign, Hillary Clinton agreed with a supporter who compared her to Esther and said it was one of her favorite Bible stories. To that I’d add that at the Compassion Forum held at Messiah College a year ago April, Campbell Brown asked Clinton to name her favorite Bible story and she did in fact name Esther:

But clearly, for me, the recent Purim holiday for Jews raised the
question of Esther. And I have been — ever since I was a little girl
— a great admirer of Esther. And I used to ask that that be read to me
over and over again, because there weren’t too many models of women who
had the opportunity to make a decision, to take a chance, a risk that,
you know, was very courageous.

And so that’s the one that’s
most recently on my mind, because I have some rabbi friends who send me
readings that go with the scripture of the week. And certainly, Esther
is someone who I wish I knew even more about than what we know from the

To me, it was one of the more revealing moments of the entire campaign.