Evangelical Woman Leader Lauds VP Palin

WASHINGTON – The leader of one of the world's largest Christian women's ministries gave high praises to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as she refuted claims that the Alaska governor is unqualified for the office.

"She's just as qualified as Obama is qualified," defended Jane Hansen Hoyt, president of the 200,000-member Aglow International ministry, to The Christian Post.

Hoyt, who was in town for the Aglow national conference this past weekend, added, "She's a smart woman, she's intelligent, she has on-the-job experience that is very powerful and she brings that experience to Washington."

Palin, the first woman to be on a Republican presidential ticket, has come under a barrage of criticism for what some consider her lack of experience, especially in foreign policy. She has been the governor of Alaska for two years and was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, before that.

However, her addition to the Republican ticket has injected excitement to the prior lackluster GOP base.

In particular, Christian right leaders such as Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family were quick to applaud Republican presidential John McCain's running mate selection.

Like many evangelical leaders, Palin is a social conservative who is adamantly against abortion, gay "marriage," and openly speaks about her Christian faith.

"I also love that she spoke to mothers, mothers of special needs children, saying you will have an advocate in Washington," Hoyt offered. "It is that kind of heart."

The Aglow president dismissed concerns that Palin won't be able to juggle both a high-demanding political position and be a mother of five, including an infant with Down syndrome.

"We can function outside of the confines of the home," Hoyt said. "People interestingly have questioned 'can Sarah raise a family? How can she serve in government and raise a family?' She said 'I'll do it the same way the men do it.'"

Aglow ministry held this past weekend, exactly 40 days before the presidential election, its "A Voice for the Times: Calling Women to Transform their Nation" conference to encourage women to participate in the election and to pray for a spiritual revival in the country.

More than 2,000 evangelical women from across the country took part in the conference held in Washington, D.C.

Hoyt noted that women can well be the swing factor in the election because they make up 52 to 54 percent of the voting power.

"[T]heir voice be heard," Hoyt declared, "that they're not only heard in the context of a traditional woman's role, but that the true feminism that God intended for the woman's role that that comes forth in strength."

Speakers at the Capitol Hill prayer rally on Saturday included Sam Brownback (R-Kan.); the Rev. Pierre Bynum, chaplain and national prayer director of the Family Research Council; Chaplain Alan Keiran, chief of staff at the Office of the U.S. Senate Chaplain; and Dr. Corinthia Boone, chairman of the Capital Region National Day of Prayer.