On this Election Day, I am deeply concerned by the archaic and misinformed rhetoric coming across the airwaves surrounding women's issues and women's rights, such as the need to justify or define rape or explain to one's employer the need for a health remedy recommended by one's doctor. It seems that many who seek political office want to turn back the clock and erase many hard-fought victories and return us to a time when women were considered the "weaker sex" who required protection or, alternatively, were merely sources of sexual temptation and danger.

What is happening in the political realm is mirrored in the theological realm. A prominent preacher and dynamic leader recently addressed one of my favorite books in the Bible, Esther. But I found myself taken aback when I read his description of Esther's "sexual sin" and "godless behavior," and was almost hurt when the pastor described her as "painfully normal."

What does Esther have to do with the current political climate? A lot. In fact, I find Esther's story so compelling that it is the focus of my next book. Esther's story may be "painfully normal," but it is her normalcy that makes her so extraordinary and her story so compelling: a "normal" girl can save a nation.

We all know that Esther was forced by King Xerxes to enter the beauty contest, and was required to undergo a year of preparation before being brought before the King. We know her uncle instructed her to hide her Jewish heritage in order to be successful. But do we know Esther's back story?

Have you ever wondered why Esther was raised by her uncle? What happened to her parents? Where were her female family members, who were much more likely in that time to care for an orphaned child? I believe there must have ...

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