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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

AH - my apologies. What I meant to say was, thank god you're not in a relationship with me. Will you ever forgive me?

Then what did YOU mean by 10 to 1? It would almost sound like a threat

Talk about paranoia... NOT a threat.

I mean that for every one of you who misreads Huckabee's quote, there are 10 others who clearly understand what that biblical passage implies and understand that not only is there nothing "threatening" about it, but that it truly can be an excellent guideline for building healthier stable and long-lasting family lives.

Were you offended and threatened by what Bill Cosby wrote about the family and the need for more men to step up and take responsibility, as well?

Mary, the science of biology had not begun when Paul and Peter wrote their instructions.

People were performing biological functions way back then... The man impregnates, the female has a baby grow inside of her -- delivers and nurses.

You nutties honestly do want to throw away the collective wisdom of the past and think that before you, all were simplistic and stupid with no understanding of the different biological functions and roles, eh?

Shame... something tells me as you mature, you'll see things differently.

Dabodius, I agree that how the Promise Keepers and the Huckabees want to arrange their marriages is their own business, not mine. And I have no worries that Huckabee would manage to amend the Constitution to allow religious tests for public office, or explicit establishment of religion. But the President's personal beliefs can affect their policies in all sorts of ways, short of explicitly mandating those beliefs on the rest of the country.

A President who believes that women are inferior (and God-mandated submission of women to men is based on inferiority, silly desperate attempts to rationalize it away, nothwithstanding) is not going to make reasonable choices about how to intrpret title IX or the equal protection clause, how to enforce sexual discrimination and harassment laws, or appoint judges supportive of a woman's right to access contraceptives and/or abortion. So, yeah, President Huckabee would not get everything on the nightmarish Christian moral majority wishlist done, but he could still do a lot. Even with a Democratic-controlled Congress, he could do a lot by omission.

To look at it another way, if we had a presidential candidate who thought that slavery was good, I wouldn't expect him/her to be able to repeat the 13th Amendment, but I would expect them to be able to gut the civil rights division of the Justice Department. As, in fact, Bush has already done (not that I'm implying that Bush is pro-slavery).

MK - Apology, accepted!

I see nothing of value in the concept of grown adults "submitting" to each other, even with general admonitions not to misuse such power. Anyone who should be "submitting" should not be getting married.

How long to you reckon those relationships where each person is trying to "out-domme" or "out-top" each other last?

If neither party every "submits", where do babies come from?

It's not semantics or rocket science, folks... Put down your dictionaries and study healthy group or family relationships.

Submission is not a bad word, except as how y'all are seeking to redefine it here.

Luckily, I stand by that 10-1 ratio, suspecting it might actually be greater than that. Not here, of course, but this is hardly a representative sample.

your gratuitous reference to the passing of Dr. Beyerstein is completely irrelevant

I was suggesting that perhaps even for the highly educated, basic biological rules govern.

Or to put it in words some of you might better understand, "Reality sucks. If you disagree, Bite Me."

AH - my apologies. What I meant to say was, thank god you're not in a relationship with me. Will you ever forgive me?

MK-I just noticed that you intentionally failed to capitalize God. Again with the oppression! I retract my acceptance of your apology.

Mary, you actually prove my point. The dominance model doesn't work.

As far as "submitting" regarding procreation, what you seem to be referring to is rape. Now some children are conceived through rape and some Christians like Phyllis Schlafly have given approval to some forms of rape (i.e. stating that a husband has some right to force his wife to have sexual relations as the price of marriage), but I don't think that that is to be recommended. I admit a bias against rape: I do think it's bad and may be difficult to persuade otherwise.

Also, I don't know that even conservative Christians in fact generally teach or believe that a woman generally has a duty to submit to unwanted sexual contact, even if prominent Christians like Phyllis Schlafly hold that view.

What nursing or childbirth have to do with submitting to a husband is beyond me. Seems like an equitable sharing of the massive burden of child care, including the economic needs of the children among others, is what's needed, not submission.

Also, if the submission of wives to husbands were biologically self-evident, there would be no need for a commandment from Peter. Peter did not tell Christians to eat daily or to get a good balance of electrolytes; those are biological needs, ignoring which will kill you painfully. What Peter was offering was social, cultural and political content, not biological information.

It is true that no one has to be a Christian in the U.S or to fund the promulgation of Christianity. I suspect that Mike Huckabee will use as much of the apparatus of force - government - to promote Christianity as he can if elected, using tax money withheld from the paychecks of non-Christians like me to pay the people who will be doing that missionizing work under cover of government. This is the reason why we atheists should pay attention; what Christians do in the privacy of their own homes as adults is in practically every case none of our business, when they aren't looking to extract money from atheist taxpayers to fund their message management.

As far as "submitting" regarding procreation, what you seem to be referring to is rape

No. Actually, voluntary submission is the opposite of force, or rape, as I explained earlier above in the thread.

Now you're going to make this into "Christian men advocate rape" eh?

(Suggestion: maybe everyone could start listing their levels of education, and also their schools and degrees taken so that we can better understand if such spin is indeed deliberate, or you really don't have the faculties to understand what others are trying -- very patiently -- to explain to you.

First off Mary, the only one who wants to rewrite an "ancient text" is YOU! YOU and only YOU. The rest of us are taking it at face value.


Mary, Mary, Mary - you equate biological functions with the "wisdom of the past?" How 'bout equating them with the present? Even dogs have instincts.

And yeah, Mary, I, and I venture to say that some of us, feel the same way about the old testament, as the New Testament, after all, didn't Jesus himself say he came here to "fulfill the law, not to replace it? "

Take comfort your rewriting of the bible, Mary. Why not? The first amendment gives you the right to rewrite the bible all you like.


Bruce, are you saying Mary is pandering, like the Huckster?


Mary, do you honestly think you show respect for us, or, I should say, those of us who are non-believers? You have got to be kidding? It's not even possible that you could kid around, you're soooooserious! You've been nothing but patronizing, implying you know something we don't know? Somehow, Mary, I think when you mature, you'll see things differently.

And here's something else Mary - non of us have to seek family, because even orphans have families. All of us have families. Gay people come from, and have families. I'm not talking friends here, I'm talking families. My family is so big, I can't keep track of the third and fourth generations. So what do you mean by "those of you who are seeking families?" You may be a troll, but no one would ever pay you to be a troll with that clumsy statement. I take it you're in Law practice for yourself, and not working for a firm, am I right? It's just that your powers of logic are so...wanting.

Oh and Mary, with your 10 to 1 thingie...I suppose you've taken a scientific poll? Mathematical anomaly aside.

What nursing or childbirth have to do with submitting to a husband is beyond me

I'm not sure if you've found a woman who has voluntarily submitted to being impregnated by your sperm yet, but let me just say:

I suspect most women would prefer a husband who understands that his role differs significantly from hers.

That is, surely she'd much prefer a man who would protect and stand by her in her birthpangs and times of (I had to use the term -- weakness because of the negative associations y'all have with that one...) physical vulnerability, than she would you trying to push a baby out yourself and be a co-nurse alongside her.

Undeniable biological roles in producing and nurturing a family at the beginnings of life... (and yes, I know there are exceptions -- such as artificial insemination where no physical "submitting" is required, or those who would choose not to nurse, or a father who is forced to go it alone should his wife die in childbirth, etc.)

First off Mary, the only one who wants to rewrite an "ancient text" is YOU! YOU and only YOU. The rest of us are taking it at face value.

Don't just read the words; understand them in context.

"Submission" is not the nasty word your dictionaries are telling you.

While I've not conducted a poll, I think the overall success of those who identify as Christians and reject the negative meanings (submission=rape) that you are reading into their texts confirms the 10-1 theory.

Then there are always election results and the rise of men like Huckabee who refuse to allow outsiders to tell him what his faith believes and really means.

When my husband and I make love, we're both active participants. I don't have to submit. (I can perform a passive role, depending on what's going on, but it isn't imperative, depending on what's going on, if you crazy kids know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

Mary, listen and learn. Otherwise, lie there and think of England, and if not England, think of Jesus.


And Mary - as for asking for educational bone fides, you first. Lynchburg Virginia?


*****

AH - I will not submit to your capitalization of the terms "gods."

Oh please, Mary, the only time one has to submit is when one doesn't really want to.

Mary, why do you want to rewrite, or reinterpret such and ancient text? Is the bible not good enough for you as is? Why don't you just take it at face value?

Otherwise, publish your own "Mary's Modern Version Of The so-called 'Holy' Bible?"

But before you do any of that, Mary, you really need to develope (evolve) a sense of humor.

Mary, if you're for real, I'm beginning to think, based on everything you've written, that it was your husband who submitted during sex with you. You really do take the farm animal approach to lovemaking.

mudkitty - I am not trying to imply anything about Mary ad hominem.

Mary, thanks for the pep talk regarding my love life and parental role. I was the one of whom you spoke so condescendingly a few months ago regarding my children. Someone else told you here to go fuck yourself in an earlier comment but I was the one who offered you that suggestion back then.

Nothing about childbirth or sexual relations is related to this biblical command from Peter to submit. The fact that pregnancy is debilitating does not justify treating wives as subordinates, condescendingly or as inferiors. Peter may have said otherwise but Peter was wrong. It's kind of like saying that husbands should submit to their wives because their wives are likely to be the ones to care for them in men's advanced years, since men usually die younger.

>I don't think there's much to be done other than to get what fun there is to be had in the derailed thread.

Well, there is my alternative -- stop reading the endless windbagging (from several posters) and wonder if a more enlightening discussion was possible.

Caving in to trolls has pervasive, not just thread-specific, negative consequences. I'm convinced it slowly, inevitably, drives away more modulated and thoughtful voices. Who wants to linger at a party where the most obnoxious, conceited folks suck all the oxygen out of the room?

endless windbagging

I was just thinking Mary's a lawyer alright. No one else could pump out rivers of screed like that.

When my husband and I make love, we're both active participants. I don't have to submit.
...
Oh please, Mary, the only time one has to submit is when one doesn't really want to.

Of course, a woman doesn't have to submit to taking him in and receiving his sperm, but if you want to start a family, that's the natural biological role. Get it?

Mary, why do you want to rewrite, or reinterpret such and ancient text? Is the bible not good enough for you as is?

Lol. I'm merely objecting to the reintepretation or the negative spin some of you -- based on the ignorance of your backgrounds -- are putting on this basic scripture and how Christians -- women and men like Gov. Huckabee actually interpret the message.

It's not rape, it's not so negative as you all would have it in your ignorance of Christian teaching. Looks, create straw men if you like, I honestly though you would be open to understanding how the majority of Christians interpret that passage to put your minds at your minds at ease that it is nowhere as frightening and negative as you would spin it.

But really, remain unenlightened and think what you will. The whole cruxifixion thing is just S+M, and we eat live body tissue and all...

We really should discuss if there's a "fear" gene in some circles, and if the educated are really as wise in the basics of life as their degrees would have them think.

Nothing about childbirth or sexual relations is related to this biblical command from Peter to submit

It's all about families, and most family life begins with the basic biological roles. What exactly don't you understand about that?


It's kind of like saying that husbands should submit to their wives because their wives are likely to be the ones to care for them in men's advanced years, since men usually die younger.

Not in working-class, farming, and poorer circles. There, the man is likely to outlive his wife.

I disliked that assumption when my Trust and Estates professor made it -- that husbands are likely to die first and the well-kept wife will outlive him, and I dislike it now.

I suspect like with LB's father, richer and more educated men have more time and money to spend on habits that likely will shorten their lives. Otherwise, all things being equal, there's a good chance that childbearing women who also lead strenuous work lives will physically break down first. Hence, the command to care for her and protect her as best as possible.

You silly liberals. Can't see past the end of your noses, and then you'd impose your views and understandings on everyone else's lives and beliefs.

Luckily, 10 to 1 is still a strong enough advantage of those in the know, who understand you're talking about something that clearly you are ignorant about, and have no desire to know from the inside.

Nothing about childbirth or sexual relations is related to this biblical command from Peter to submit. The fact that pregnancy is debilitating does not justify treating wives as subordinates, condescendingly or as inferiors. Peter may have said otherwise but Peter was wrong.

Lol, the World according to ... Bruce!

Let us know when you build up a sizeable amount of followers who will follow your teachings for centuries after your death, eh Bruce?

You really do take the farm animal approach to lovemaking.

Breeding is breeding, and basics are basics, no matter the animal.

(YEs, I know there's artificial insemination, families without Daddies or Mommies, and a secular Europe that sees no need for children, obedient or not.)

Otherwise, publish your own "Mary's Modern Version Of The so-called 'Holy' Bible?"

No need. My version already squares with common understanding in Christian circles.

Ask around, see for yourself. LB is the one, along with many commenters, who is misreading her feminist fears into the text. Just because you're wrong but truly believe you think you know what it means to Christians, just doesn't make it so...

But feel free to rewrite all you like, and establish your own religions. You absolutely have that right, but not to redefine what Huckabee and other Christians are saying their faith is all about.

Mary: "That is, surely she'd much prefer a man who would protect and stand by her in her birthpangs and times of (I had to use the term -- weakness because of the negative associations y'all have with that one...) physical vulnerability, than she would you trying to push a baby out yourself and be a co-nurse alongside her"

That longing sigh you hear? That is the sound of thousands of current and former breastfeeding women thinking of what it would be like having a guy who could be a co-nurse.
I find it interesting that Mary's view of adult relationships demands that at least one partner must be trying to dominate. The concept of a marriage in which neither is the head of the other doesn't seem familiar to her.
Also, Mary? The fact that people don't agree with you doesn't mean they don't understand you. It isn't that we don't get what you're saying; it's that we're not interested in what you're selling.

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