Shocking! Baptist says wives should ‘submit’ to husbands

Courtesy of The Washington Post, let’s all prepare to hyperventilate.

This news will shock you (SHOCK YOU!):

A Republican member of Congress says in a recently released book that a wife is to “voluntarily submit” to her husband, but that it doesn’t make her inferior to him.

Rep. Steve Pearce’s (R-N.M.) memoir, “Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!” was released last month. Its publication — and his acknowledgment in the book of the controversial nature of the submission debate — come as the Republican Party reevaluates how it talks to and about women.

In the book, Pearce recounts his rise to owning an oil-field service company and winning election to Congress. In the book, the Vietnam War veteran says that both the military chain of command and the family unit need a structure in which everyone plays his or her role.

He said that, in his family’s experience, this meant that his wife, Cynthia, would submit to him and he would lead.

“The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice,” he writes, citing the Bible. “The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else.”

My sincere apologies to all you inside-the-Beltway readers who just spilled your cocktails.

Who is this maniac? Is he a Baptist or something? Heaven forbid.

But apparently, yes, that is the case. Pearce is a Baptist. Worse yet, even though the Post spares him the ignominy of being so specific — it appears that he is a Southern Baptist.

And even more horrifying that that, it seems readily apparent — based on the Post’s justifiably breathless reporting — that he is a Southern Baptist who believes in traditional Southern Baptist doctrine. You know, doctrine that subscribes to Bible passages such as Ephesians 5:22-23:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

I am so aghast right now that I’m finding it difficult to type. (Insert weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Post newsroom.)

Kudos to the Post for shining light on such a travesty and for not going through the motions of getting any conservative theological types to comment and attempt to put Pearce’s belief in “proper” context. (Good luck with that!)

And kudos, too, to the Post for having the courage to run this baseless demand for a correction from the Pearce camp:

Update 5:25 p.m.: A Pearce spokesman is out with a statement accusing the Post of “falsely and inaccurately” mischaracterizing Pearce’s book.

“This was a piece of either sloppy journalism or wilful intent to deceive,” the spokesman said. “The words clearly written show that Pearce believes the phrase ‘submission’ is widely misunderstood in society and criticizes those who distort the bible to justify male dominance.”

The statement does not make clear what Pearce’s office believes is inaccurate.

The spokesman also accuses the post of “refusing” to use a number of quotes that add context to the congressman’s words. One of the supposedly refused passages — “But a close study of the Bible shows that authoritarian control is not given to the husband” — is, in fact, quoted above.

Good grief. Some people just don’t get it. Thank goodness that the Post does.

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About Tamie Ross

Tamie Ross is a wife, mom, writer and all-around crazy-about-life girl now battling autoimmune disease. Her 20-year journalism career included stints as religion editor for The Oklahoman, online editor for The Christian Chronicle and freelancer for clients ranging from The Associated Press to United Methodist News Service. She has won state and national awards for her personal columns and editorials.

  • Dan Arnold

    The thing is, there is no theological context for the story. Why not a quote from Al Mohler or Russell Moore to provide some depth? And why are there no theological voices providing alternative views, say, Scot McKnight? Instead the article focuses on the republican attempts to appear more appealing to women and even here there are not multiple perspectives. So the real problem is a lack of context making for a shallow story.

  • FW Ken

    I don’t see much bias or heavy bearing in the article. It’s mostly the congressman’s point of view unless I missed something. They could have included more depth on the meaning of submission, like including the fact that Ephesians 5 opens with the admonition to “submit yourselves one to another.” I was expecting a lot of feminist quotes, though.


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