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January 11, 2008

Huckabee calls for wifely submission

Gov. Mike Huckabee reaffirmed that a wife should submit to her husband during last night's Republican debate in South Carolina.

Huckabee tried to soften the blow by saying that the Bible commands husbands and wives to give to each other 100%. He endorsed a far more radical position in 1998 when he endorsed the Southern Baptist Convention's amended statement on the family in a national advertising campaign.

The Southern Baptist Convention revised its core statement of belief in June of 1998 to include an explicit dictate for wives to submit to their husbands. Mike Huckabee and his wife Janet were among the 131 prominent Baptists signed a statement telling the SBC: "You Are Right" about the new family code.

Here's what Huckabee said the SBC was right about:

XVIII. The Family

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.

It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. [The Baptist Faith and Message]

Am I the only one disturbed from the segue from "the family" to "sexual expression" to "submission"?  If family the forum for Christian sexual expression, and wives are supposed to submit to men on "family" matters...

Marie Griffith and Paul Harvey wrote approvingly of the SBC family resolution in 1998. Their article in Christian Century Magazine notes that SBC's changes were even more radical than the views espoused by leading Christian conservative groups at the time:

The SBC's concern about gender roles is not unlike that displayed by such organizations as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the Promise Keepers. But the unequivocal proclamation on wifely submission moves the denomination well beyond the ambiguous and frequently conflicting statements on marital relationships made by these other groups.

Griffith and Harvey explain that "submission" in modern-day America doesn't mean that wives must unquestioningly obey orders from their husbands at all time. They reassure us that wives are still allowed to make suggestions and manipulate their husbands into giving them their way:

The meaning of "submission," of course, has changed significantly over time, despite the convention's claim that its resolution exalts the "unchanging Christ." Even among religious conservatives the word does not suggest blind obedience so much as pliant cooperation and acceptance of familial obligations. Research by sociologists, historians and ethnographers has dearly shown that the language of female submission in recent U.S. history has often been intertwined with the language of egalitarianism and, more important, that many women and men who claim to believe in female submission do not actually practice that belief with the literalness that outsiders might suppose.

In most everyday cases, the doctrine of submission entails consulting one's husband in areas that affect the family; it does not prevent attempts at persuasion, influence or even outright manipulation. Such techniques allow women who lack certain forms of social power or authority to get what they want without, it is hoped, seeming overly aggressive, unfeminine or "feminist." While such methods are not directly advocated by the doctrine's supporters, Southern Baptists and everyone else know that they go on all the time in real life.

Huckabee's dodge about mutual submission doesn't fit the SBC code that he endorsed.

If a wife's relationship to her husband is analogous to a man's relationship to God, it seems that "gracious submission" can't be mutual. After all, godfearing Baptist men aren't told to offer advice to God, nor manipulate the Almighty to get their own way. They're just supposed to accept that God knows best, even if His dictates seem ridiculous.

For example, Mike Huckabee's God tells him that he's not a primate, and Huck doesn't give the Good Lord any guff.

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Comments

The SBC is really loony. All religions are silly cults, but these folks are extreme in what they say. They are, of course, like all religions, total hypocrites WRT how they act, but these folks would like to force everyone else to follow their lunacy even if they themselves won't. Time to fight this battle for reason. No more passivity. These people need to go back to their churches to practice their cult and Americans who respect the constitution need to take control. The fact that people take a nut-job like Huckabee seriously really shows how far this country has fallen. That's true even if he doesn't have a chance in hell (ha!) of winning.

Between Mormons, Scientologist, Baptists and Cathloics...God help us (the real one if he's truly out there).

As someone perhaps a bit more familiar with the New Testament, every year at the Feast of the Holy Family we contemplate this passage:

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives,
and avoid any bitterness toward them.
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged.


or more directly from the source material:

Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
2
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
3
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4
When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
5
2 Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. 3
6
Because of these the wrath of God 4 is coming (upon the disobedient).
7
By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
8
But now you must put them all away: 5 anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.
9
Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices
10
6 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.
11
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, 7 slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.
12
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
13
bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
14
And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
15
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.
16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18
8 Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord.
19
Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them.
20
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.
21
Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.
22
Slaves, 9 obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others,
24
knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.
25
For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality.
---------------------

When you read the fuller passages, including the admonitions of the husbands to love and not be bitter to their wives, not to provoke (I've read it translated too as "nag, lest they lose heart") and to the children to obey their parents... it's really not so sexist as you might imagine from the outside. More a recipe for healthy longstanding family harmony. The Church does recognize a unique role for men and women, yet truthfully Catholic (and many Christian perhaps) men who faithfully follow this advice are some of the most loving men I know. There really is a sense of equality, not of roles necessarily, but of importance in the Christian faith that might be missing in others, from what I have read and seen.

In Catholicism, the role of Mary and of mothers is indeed revered. And again, it does recognize that as Joseph was the mild mannered earthly "father" who stood by his pregnant fiancee, he had a different yet no less important role to play in the family.

I know Huckabee is not Catholic, but it seem to me in his sincere efforts to state that both are equal, it is easy to misinterpret the word "submission."

Just as outsiders to the Jewish faith might initially be turned off by the wording that until they do the bath ritual after their period thing, women are considered "impure" or "unclean". When you delve deeper into the whole passage and the meaning behind the rules though, it truly makes more sense.

I suspect that for every American turned off by Huckabee's language and affirmation of Biblical teaching, another 10 will say, "Right on. Working together as a family and showing respect for all its' memebers is what we need MORE of in our society today."

Again, as much as some might scorn it, the role of women with faithful, observant Christian husbands are usually well respected, safe, and happy within their families in our societies. We should take care when criticizing (or seeking to better understand) and looking to expand women's choices not to overreact to what's written in Scripture, what is proven to work for a lifetime for many many men and women and families, and to perhaps throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Finally, Huckabee's qualification -- this is what I and my faith believes, but I would never push it on others who do not accept it -- makes me perfectly commfortable with this aspect of his candidacy, just as many healthy heterosexuals in their physical acts of love do indeed "submit" to each other.

I remember when I was younger though and initially encountering such language how it seemed confusing or perhaps sexist, but the truth is if you come in with no preconceived ideas and are open to the fuller passages and how it has been interpreted by Christians who practice it, really it's not negative at all toward women, I have concluded.

Interesting post, LB and welcome back!


Also, I know when you receive the Sacrament of Matrimony from the Catholic Church, you pledge to accept children. Hence the idea that intercourse is a blessed gift, that birth control which would prevent this love from growing into life is taboo, and the overall, consistent "pro-life" values.

Again, from outside, this sounds perhaps like a recipe for the denigration of women. And Christians are of course free to reject it. But it does indeed "work" in the sense of respecting sexual love, valuing your singular love spouse in a lifelong relationship, and bringing peace through respecting life.

I totally understand the confusion or hostility that many (like our friends at Pandagon) might bring to these teachings, but again if you live them, and are dedicated to your spouse and children, some would say there truly is no greater peace and security than that a happy and loving family full of life provides.

(Remember Galileo, and the rejection of the scientific laws by the Church. In time, my own prediction is the Church will come to accept that homosexuality is a genetic scientific fact. There too, the admonition of celibacy for those who would practice non-procreative love is not so harsh as many outsiders would have us believe. They don't hate gays, they just believe strongly in the biological respect for the life-making potention of men and women together, and truly believe that peace and security will lead followers to the most peaceful, secure and respected lives.

From outside, it looks ugly. Not so much though from within. Still no reason to deny non-practicing, non-believers their civil rights, but that is more a societal problem than an overall Church or evangelical Christian problem, I think.

Let those religious believe what they will; so long as the civil rights of all are respected. For this reason, I truly think that equality should come in America via enforcement of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution, rather than convincing legislatures that the majority is the one to vote on allowing these basic rights.

This way -- the evangelical Christians and Catholics are free to continue to practice as they believe, and non-believers are free to pursue their own social and legal relationships in equal measure, without having to convince the majority Christians to abandon their "truths" or set the two groups into conflict. (Though as a lawyer, I recognize I am in the minority as so many current law professors and academics argue from precedent that family law matters like marriage -- and very recently, sodomy -- should be left to the state legislatures to decide (thus giving voters, or the majority of the people, a say in what civil rights will be afforded to whom.) To me, this sets up what we see in society today: non-believers arguing passionately against Scripture because they see it as necessary in getting their legal due, instead of being treated equally in secular society, which I bet would leave them in a position not so much to care not to attack (as often happens) beliefs they do not share.

Sorry, Mary, you're conclusions are nothing but tortured rationalizations: from the outside, or the inside, it looks like bullpucky to me. Your rationalizations imply, but don't state, that secularists don't value sexual love, or their relationships as much as Xians do.

You can make all the excuses and interpretations you want for the ugliness, bigotry and rampant sexism that is ADVOCATED in the bible. But what in the world makes you think you're "a bit" more familiar with the New Testament than any of the rest of us? (And surely you're not pretending that the bible doesn't contain contradictions for the passages you've sited?)

Non-believers don't argue against scripture, because the word scripture merely means "writing." But its so nice of you to be willing to allow secularists to enjoy the same rights as Xians. Brother. Damn nice of you.

As for "letting" believers believe any damn crazy thing they want? Well, whose stopping them? No one. And whose stopping them from getting married, or exercising any other civil right? No one. It's crazy Xians who are stopping non-Xians from getting married under the guise of Xian family values. To say that marriage is a sacrament, when clearly it is a civil contract between two adults, is prejudicial right there. To leave it up to the states is nonsense.

Let me ask you this: as a social "state rights" person, what about the full faith and credit provision of the Constitution? And do you think states should recognize the same sex marriages of couples married in other countries that do allow same sex marriage?

You can't leave civil rights up to the states. That's hog wash. You obviously don't remember Jim Crow laws. And you're a lawyer!

In Ephesians 5: 22-24 a Wife is told that she must submit to her Husband on everything. This passage is absolutely clear that the Husband is head of the wife and a wife must submit.

Ephesians goes on however to place responsibility on the Husband. This responsibility is what the ancient Knights called "Feminine Divinity" or the purification of women. The passages say: 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

This is the virtuous Husband's role in marriage. He is the protector of his Wife's innocence and purity. Through his warrior like guardianship he facilitates the Angel-Like purity in his Wife to shine. It is his power to guide and her submission to his guidance that come together to create a "Pure Feminine Being".

He sets standards for his Wife and he enforces his standards without compromise and with love in his heart. He is without compromise in his steadfast guardianship over his Wife. As she grows in purity his role as guide and teacher falls away as she shines with the purest of light. All who meet her are instantly aware of her sweet goodness and her Husband is transfixed with love for her. A true Goddess has been created through a Husband's love and devotion and a Wife's sweet submission.

In your anger, you misread that last paragraph.

Clearly, my views are in contrast to those professors and academics who think that these family law issues are states rights.

My argument is that under the Due Process and Equal Protection laws, there should clearly be equal enforcement of these basic civil rights for all across the nation. No need to go state by state, legislature by legislature, convincing the majority of people to abandon their religious beliefs in order to "pass" the rights that others are born with and take for granted.

That just sets up the anger at the religious who truly believe -- and practice peacefully and contently -- what their beliefs teach.

Tell me: would you feel the need to denigrate "Xians" and what they truly believe in, what brings them peace, if their beliefs had no bearing on what you could or could not do in equal measure? I doubt it.

Probably you would care less if others find comfort, security or happiness in following those teachings if indeed you too were free to pursue your happiness with the same equal guarantee of your rights, equally protected under the law.

Please reread rationally, not with such anger, "mudkitty". Your argument really isn't with what I wrote and believe in that last paragraph.

But what in the world makes you think you're "a bit" more familiar with the New Testament than any of the rest of us?

Oh, something just tells me while your eyeballs may have perused the words, you really haven't lived them, nor do you know others who happily accept and would extend that same graciousness to others who via free will make other choices for themselves. ;-) (Tough day? Peace to you...)

Your rationalizations imply, but don't state, that secularists don't value sexual love, or their relationships as much as Xians do.

Let me try to simplify:
If I like eating healthy, I will also teach my child to try and eat healthy. But others whose bodies I don't care about, I might encourage to eat healthy, but in the end I recognize they are free to eat as they like, and who knows, in the end or even in the now, their ways might be better than mine.

I can totally see where others might hate me and mine for choosing to eat healthy though, when they are denied the opportunity to eat what they like. So just as we are all free to accept the Messiah into our lives, we are also free to reject Him.

If you suffer no earthly penalty for such rejection though, something tells me you really would not be so angry with those who choose to eat healthy, just as you probably could care less if living the Scripture and accepting the Messiah makes others happy, peaceful and content.

It's only where you set up the Us v. Them situation we're currently in -- unequal protection of the laws/basic rights -- that some feel the need to denigrate so vocally the beliefs of others, right?

I mean, you might still scoff and try to "enlighten" others to your own secular views, but so long as the religious beliefs of others weren't "costing" you anything, you probably wouldn't be so angry and concern yourself with what works for others -- Xians or not.

Just as, when abortion was not so seriously endangered by a shift in the Court as it is now, probably people were not at all concerned that the Catholics and others saw them as immorally taking life.

It's only when those beliefs truly threaten women's rights to their own bodies and personal medical decisions -- if we throw this back to a states rights, legislative majority rules thing -- that the feminists care what certain religions believe, right?

Otherwise, you could tolerate and could care less if me and mine eat healthy, or choose only one lifetime sexual partner, or reject birth control so long as your access would not be threatened, right?

It's dangerous for the counntry this Federalist Society kick of pushing these rights that I believe are guaranteed by the Constitution for all, because it sets religious beliefs against non believers.

The problem is, Catholics and other believers never should have been encouraged to think that the Constitutional rights to abortion could be overturned. Then they could have focused on fighting what they see as immorality not in the political system, but in encouraging and convincing more young people of the truth of the Scriptures and the beauty and eventual dignity and peace that comes with ... say eating healthy, accepting the Messiah, or living the words that have sustained so many for so many years.

You don't "force" people to accept by taking away their alternatives; you work tirelessly to help them choose, understanding that the Constitution as well as free will always gives them the option to reject what you believe will best provide such peace and security.

See your beef really isn't with me, but with the Federalist Society types like Scalia who would have us seize the Constitution and force others to "eat healthy" by taking away all their alternatives.

If you've read thus far, I really hope you understand my meaning. There's a big difference between force and willing submission, after all...

ADDED TO ABOVE:
"It's dangerous for the counntry this Federalist Society kick of pushing these rights that I believe are guaranteed by the Constitution for all, BACK TO THE STATES because it sets religious beliefs against non believers.

>This is the virtuous Husband's role in marriage. He is the protector of his Wife's innocence and purity. Through his warrior like guardianship he facilitates the Angel-Like purity in his Wife to shine. It is his power to guide and her submission to his guidance that come together to create a "Pure Feminine Being".

Oh, barf.

You'd think she never had to change diapers or something.

You know, bible verses have nothing to do with the fundie Huckie or what any of the cults push on their minions. Bible quotes are a strawman here. The cults push their doctrine regardless of what is written in the book of fantasy. Huckie wants wifely submission and spinning the meaning of "submission" and quoting the bible doesn't change it. Huckie is a misogynist. The bible is a horrid screed of vengeful retribution particularly toward women. You can sugar coat it as you wish, but you do so while losing your grip on reality.

Well, I think "Bible abuse" should become as much the coin of the realm as "child abuse." Many forms. Many negative consequences.

Bush is a fake Christian and Huckabee's a genuine evangelical nutcase. God help us all. (No pun intended.)

Huckabee is a dangerous man. He is a religious fundamentalist in every sense, yet tries to hide that behind his populist campaign slogans and ideas. I know many Republicans who are starting to buy into this guy and that is unnnerving. I try to educate them but they are becoming brainwashed. Once someone drinks the religion Kool-Aid and spouts those doctrines they are lost. Huckabee is starting to move on to these people and is starting to embrace the right-wing zealots that the Party wants to pander to. Scary stuff...

Mary, go fuck yourself. Take your religious poison and stick in your ear.

AKM...forget goddesses, how 'bout human beings?

Dock - don't think that cat is serious.


*****


Mary - No, it wasn't been a tough day at all. In fact it was a most pleasant day, for a lot of reasons which are private. Please don't speak to my emotional state - that is utterly presumptuous. I am not angry, I am passionate, informed, and rather amused. It's so typical of believers to smear non-believers with the "angry" label. I've seen it a thousand times.

For you to assume that I, (along with everyone else here - remember, you wrote the following BEFORE I responded to you) am not as familiar with the New Testament as you is so arrogant as to be worthy, however, of anyones anger. But don't worry, Mary, even though I'm not an Xian, I still forgive you. Xians don't have the lock on morality or forgiveness.

(Re: the X, surely you know, that X was the earliest Greek symbol for "the Christ" right? So you won't continue to bother to assume that it's a form of "denigration." Because it's not. It actually IS the earliest Greek symbol for "the Christ" - the earliest bibles in existence being written in Greek - I would venture to say that as an educated person, Mary, and as an Xian, you should know that.)

And just so you know, I'm straight and married, hence I was, and am, free to pursue happiness in the legal arena, unlike my gay brothers and sisters, which, admittedly, does make me angry, and righteously so.

Question - you, Mary, mentioned "the religious who truly believe." Is there a difference?

As for the last paragraph of your original comment: like I wrote before, how nice of you to grant us non-believers the ability to non-believe. However, I would state that that right is guaranteed in the Constitution.

Your "eat healthy" analogy is patronizing. It assumes that non-believers aren't "eating healthy" metaphorically speaking. Can you seriously not get that? As for literally eating healthy, no one in their right mind would would hate you, or bother to interfere with your right to eat as you please. And you're right, I don't care how many sex partners you have in your life, as long as you're cool with how many sex partners you have in your life.

As for "The Messiah" I would respond, what Messiah? And why do I need a lord, king, gods, or a messiah? Do you need to be saved from yourself, or from nature? From life and death? Trust me, if you're alive, you will die. All you want is the promise of an afterlife. Well, promises, promises.

I'm sorry to disappoint you for not suffering an "earthly penalty" for not believing in what you believe, Mary. Your only consolation is that I will suffer the agonies of hell for all eternity, as is the Xian Doctrine you subscribe to. You can pray all you want for my acquiecence to your idea of "free will" (believe in Christ is your "lord" or god, or go to hell, being your idea of free will) but it ain't going to happen. At any rate, you should know that helping hands are always better than praying lips.

As for rejecting any gods or messiahs, I don't do that, since one can't reject something one doesn't
believe in, in the first place. I'd have to believe in your gods to reject them, Mary.

Again, this assumption, that not believing is "costing" me is false...you probably think I'm gay, or if I'm straight, I'm seeking an abortion. Admit it.

Yes, I'm a feminist, and yes, the whole army-of-god-terrorism thing is offensive to me. But that's hardly the whole story.

Still, let's get back to your original point - that there is dignity in the concept of submission: bible submission, wifely submission, submission to gods, etc. False. There's a lot of indignity in the concept. Willing submission...? Come on. The whole concept of someone dying for your sins is S&M. If someone were to tell me they would die for my sins, so that I could have some vision of eternal life, I would say to him/her, "please don't."

Mary, you're whole approach is; if you knew what I knew, or live the life that I live, or believed as I believe, or experienced the grace I have, then you would know what I know: that whole, "I know something you don't know" mystery crap, and that if I knew what you claim to know, I would see that the ugliness, sexism, and bigotry advocated in the bible is actually a good thing. Not only is that illogical, it's arrogant, patronizing, condescending, and offensive; as is your right, under the first amendment. More power to ya! But it is my right to call you on it.

And the fact is, Mary, you don't know, that I used to be a believer, before the "scales fell from my eyes" to use a biblical phrase. If you even think I wasn't as fervent as you, you would be breaking a commandment - bearing false witness against someone.

I love watching Christians try to rationalize the morally indefensible.

If wives are to "submit graciously" to their husbands, one must reach one of two conclusions: either husbands are reliably wiser and more decent than wives (i.e. it's morally justified that the less wise and less decent submit to the wiser and more decent), or the Christian Bible cares more about sexist power structures than it does about wisdom and decency. The passage does not say that wives (let alone husbands) should submit to decency or wisdom alone, or even to the "will of God."

The only time that this passage comes into play is when a husband (and therefore this passage) is telling a wife to do something that she would not willing do; this is submission, as opposed "cooperation." Thus when the husband tells a wife to do something, she is told to do it, rather than the decent thing or the wise thing or the responsible thing. What she cannot do here is tell him, "what you suggest is unreasonable, unjust, sinful, vile, degrading, wasteful, damaging, imprudent" or to refuse to go along with such foolishness.

As I understand Roman Catholic and Orthodox teaching, this passage is not binding as a religious duty. While patriarchal garbage permeates both traditions, this passage is not considered a binding commandment. Only conservative Protestants have made a fetish, a shibboleth, of this commandment.

Other responses are also possible. One is that the authors of it and similar passages - Peter and Paul - were speaking for themselves and not pronouncing a moral doctrine but a discipline that they thought wise. Well, those men did disagree on other issues and maybe either or both is wrong here, or at least not speaking for an entire religious community or tradition.

It is possible also to argue, though not convincingly in my view, that if education was already biased against women both inside and outside Christian communities, having the likely more educated decision makers make decisions was not a deliberate extension of patriarchy but a sad reluctant result thereof.

The argument that I find most convincing is that the entire tradition is myth only, that serious-minded people should respect Christian civilizations for their cultural contributions generally (i.e. iconography, literature, polemic, architecture, music, etc.) but that the formal doctrines of orthodox Christianity, small-o, cannot be taken seriously by serious-minded people who have researched thoroughly the convoluted origins thereof, let along some disciplinary edict from the likes of Saul of Tarsus or of Peter.

Mary - No, it wasn't been a tough day at all. In fact it was a most pleasant day, for a lot of reasons which are private. Please don't speak to my emotional state - that is utterly presumptuous. I am not angry, I am passionate, informed, and rather amused. It's so typical of believers to smear non-believers with the "angry" label. I've seen it a thousand times.

OK then. You weren't angry when you wrote that -- you're just a poor reader, not very good in the thinking or analyzing department. Never try to reason with those who for whatever reason will have none of it, I suppose.

I'm sorry that if you indeed are comfortable in your beliefs (or non beliefs, as it may be) that you feel the need to force your viewpoints on all others, and to reject what obviously works for them. YOu should read up on America's belief in freedom of religious expression; it does distinguish us from a good deal of the rest of the world and no matter how you holler and scream, freedom of choice is still permitted in these matters.

Mary, go fuck yourself. Take your religious poison and stick in your ear.

Can we at least agree, that this is one angry person?

Re: the X, surely you know, that X was the earliest Greek symbol for "the Christ" right?

I also know that in this day and age, deliberately using that Xian phrase is a code-word many hide behind in their disgust and disrespect for Christians, just as "states' rights" as you accurately point out, has been co-opted by many of those who have ill intent.

If wives are to "submit graciously" to their husbands, one must reach one of two conclusions: either husbands are reliably wiser and more decent than wives (i.e. it's morally justified that the less wise and less decent submit to the wiser and more decent), or the Christian Bible cares more about sexist power structures than it does about wisdom and decency.

I would posit it has more to do with simple biological difference between the sexes.

I would posit it has more to do with simple biological difference between the sexes.

Mary, just a piece of advice... I can't remember the exact saying, but it goes something like this- When you're in a hole, don't keep digging.

AKM and Mary are right. The Bible commands that the wife is to submit to her husband, but it also admonishes the husband to use his position of authority righteously, making the prescribed husband-wife relationship both beautiful and fair, with equality before God, if not in roles. I urge all you nonbelievers to reflect on the beautiful passage, Ephesians 5:22-25, that AKM cited:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. . .And masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

Oh, whoops. That's not Ephesians 5:22-25 (NRSV) on the beautiful husband-wife relationship, but Ephesians 6:5-9 (NRSV) on the beautiful master-slave relationship. Here's Ephesians 5:22-25 (NRSV):

Wives, be subject to your husband as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their wives. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. . .

My bad. I'm always getting those two sections mixed up. They're so similar. But I can honestly say, without the slightest bit of irony, that they're both equally valuable instructions on how to structure modern relationships.

Just for fun, I proposed this to my wife as a model of how we should structure our marriage from now on.

Can anybody suggest a good hotel in LA?

"Never try to reason with those who will have none of it..." What's "it?" Reason? Pardon me, Mary, but you were speaking of faith, and not of reason.
You're "sorry" if I'm comfortable in my beliefs? How Xian of you, Mary. However, I wasn't speaking to my beliefs. I was speaking of my LACK OF BELIEFS. Big difference, as you, yourself, well noted.

But how in your heaven's name did I (or any other secularist) try to force ANYTHING on you, much less my lack of beliefs? (Logically, how can someone force the lack of belief on anyone?)

You, Mary, the Xian, have just broken the "bearing of false witness" commandment. I have never forced my beliefs, or lack there of, on you, or anyone. Typical Xian melodrama and paranoia.

Be my guest, Mary (as I wrote before) believe any crazy shit you want. But don't tell me that when I merely disagree with you, out loud, no less, that I am forcing my beliefs on you, because that is a false and filthy lie. If your beliefs are so shaky, that my expressing my opinion is the equivalent of FORCING my beliefs on you, well then, your not as strong in your faith as you claim (and that is in no way my fault.) To claim that anyone is disputing your freedom of choice is false, and bearing false witness against your neighbor is a sin (according to your religion.)

Believe away. My disagreeing with you does not take away your right to disagree with me. As a lawyer, you should know that.

As for the guy/gal who said FU, it wasn't very articulate, but don't blame that on me, or on secularists either. Anger does have it's place. Didn't your Jesus overturn the money-changer's tables?

I'm not using X as code. I'm using it as shorthand. Get it? Stop being paranoid. Just because you can't justify irrational beliefs, don't attribute nefarious motives to people who simply don't agree with you.

"Simple biological differences between the sexes?" You speak as if human beings of all stripes are as simple as farm animals, Mary.

AH - thank goodness I'm not in a relationship with you :).

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