I am experiencing a conundrum, a moral/ethical/spiritual dilemma of understanding when it comes to GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s public statement regarding her submission to her husband. On the one hand, I find it commendable and praiseworthy that a public figure openly proclaims her commitment to such a godly and scriptural stance. But on the other hand, if she were to be the president of the United States, still the most powerful position in the world, how would that work? I’m really struggling with this.
What if her husband, to whom she is in submission, had a vehement and visceral opposition to some position or policy that she were required to act on in her capacity as POTUS. Does that mean she would relinquish her presidential authority and duty to act on or render a decision on that issue in favor of conjugal submission? One would have to take precedence since you cannot serve two masters. (Although I am not implying that her husband is her master, simply that taking a submissive posture would render her subordinate to him and his decision in the matter.) In that case, her husband would, by default, actually be put in a position as president himself. If this submission only applies to issues within their personal relationship, it is not really true submission at all. We can’t cut the baby in half!
Many people got very upset when Chris Wallace, during the GOP debate, posed the “submission” issue to Congresswoman Bachmann. He was accused by some of somehow attempting to undermine, minimize or ridicule her spiritual beliefs or something. But I believe it was a legitimate and important issue that deserved addressing and I do not believe she convincingly or adequately delivered an acceptable response to it.
Now, we really get to the heart of the matter as it concerns me. (So just go ahead and pick up the stones and get ready to stone me now!) Here goes: I am not sure whether I even believe that a woman should be president of the United States in the first place. There – I said it!
The issue of how much authority women should have is raging due to the feminist movement which has wreaked havoc on American society (and probably other societies also). Even broaching the subject of or questioning female authority is likely to incite great wrath and elicit accusations of sexism, misogyny, etc. The Apostle Paul’s admonition that women should not teach men or usurp authority over them is clear even though he is accused by feminists, and even Christian women, of being a woman-hating chauvinist. But does that apply only to an ecclesiastical setting or to any situation of female governance or power?
Feminism has so marginalized, feminized and emasculated the male population in American society that men are confused about and resentful of what role they actually play. Husbands and fathers are portrayed in media, entertainment, advertising, etc. as sort of bumbling, inept buffoons who need women to tell them what to do and when and how to do it. This has crept into and now permeates the organized church as well, most likely due to the fact that women inordinately outnumber men in most congregations.
I believe that God has made it crystal clear that He has ordained the order for mankind (excuse me if I use some old-fashioned, politically incorrect terms). After all, He designed and set forth the hierarchy, the organizational structure: Men are to be leaders, women are to be subordinate supporters and helpers. Both are loved and esteemed by God equally in every way, except positionally.
Whenever mankind attempts to upstage God or upend his order of things, nothing good ever results. The bible is replete with examples of women usurping the authority over men and taking it upon themselves to dominate. Eve tried it and how did that work out for us all? As a result of her disobedience, ultimate deception and Adam’s wimpishness, we are all doomed to spend eternity in hell unless we are redeemed by the blood of Yeshua unto salvation. Then there is Sarah who took it upon herself to override her husband’s authority and God’s timing. Jews and Arabs, to this very moment, are killing each other as a direct result of her act of insubordination against Abraham and ultimately against God. Then there was Jezebel who totally dominated her cowardly husband Ahab and things didn’t turn out too well for her either. There are doubtless other such examples in scripture. In defense of a woman in authority, some cite Deborah, a prophetess and judge, as an example of a godly woman in power and she was married. (Judges Chapters 4 and 5). Her authority appears not to have been usurped, however, since God set the judges over the people of that era who each “did what was right in their own eyes.” Sound familiar?
Oddly enough – and I know this may sound rather strange – if Congresswoman Bachmann were not a Christian woman, this whole issue would not bother me as much. For instance, if it were Hillary Clinton I wouldn’t be concerned since she has never expressed such a commitment or portrayed herself as a woman dedicated to submitting to her husband. We can’t expect unsaved people to act like saved ones even if they are out of order.
I believe that Joshua-like advice (Joshua 24:15) is in order for Congresswoman Bachmann: “Choose you this day whom you will serve …” – either the state as president or God by marital submission. I do not see how she can do both effectively and with integrity. Even if she calls upon the Spirit of God to lead her in her presidential decision making, it would still seem to be the epitome of double-mindedness. The epistle of James declares that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
How should we then, as Christians and as citizen voters, feel about this situation? Since the above is only my opinion, we each must decide. I’ve just about made up my mind, though.