Wives, submission, web traffic and Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure (Photo by Joe Seer/Shutterstock.com)

Candace Cameron Bure, darling of ’80s sitcom television, is all grown up.

In case you’re mired in Nick at Nite reruns of “Full House” and hadn’t heard, the younger sister of fellow actor Kirk Cameron has been married for 17 years, has three teenage children and is on her second book tour. She calls herself a devout evangelical Christian and, while on tour promoting said second book, has been peppered specifically about a chapter where she explains her take on the biblical concept of wives being submissive to their husbands.

The Huffington Post deals with it thusly:

She writes in her book, “I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.”

Bure elaborated on HuffPost Live, “The definition I’m using with the word ‘submissive’ is the biblical definition of that. So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength.”

Cameron has defended her view of marriage in the past. On Christian Women Online she quoted the biblical passage, “First Peter 3:1 says, ‘In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.’”

“It is very difficult to have two heads of authority,” she told HuffPost Live. “It doesn’t work in military, it doesn’t work — I mean, you have one president, you know what I’m saying?”

The Cameron family project (a nice title for a reality series, no?) seems to be focused on taking a conservative Christian message to the mainstream media, ready or not. Remember Kirk Cameron’s 2012 interview with Piers Morgan in which he came out swinging against homosexuality, declaring it “unnatural, detrimental and ultimately destructive to foundations of civilization.”

Fans aligned with his beliefs embraced the father of six and have supported his ministry and evangelistic film work. (As an aside, I coughed through “Fireproof” while my husband teared up, which was my indictment of the acting. Ahem.)

It seems his sister is going to tackle women’s roles in marriage and family according to her interpretation of Scripture. And while the live Q & A on Huff Post’s website went well overall, from the looks of the transcript, other sites that have picked up on the story are simply pulling one or two quotes about submission, sensationalizing headlines and hoping to light up their comment sections.

Some of the more predictable responses from readers to these efforts:

“So remind me again … what century are we living in?”EOnline

“Why would anyone choose to be submissive to another person? Marriage is 50/50 and the power needs to be equal. To say that you’re submissive according to the Bible is mind boggling. The Bible is one of the most misogynist books ever written.”CNN

“How sad that you feel that one of you has to be the leader over the other. We co-lead in our family and it has worked well for 36 years.”US Magazine

I’m no dummy: I know sustainability online is about traffic, hits and clicks. I also know journalism is about much more, and the subject of submission is one that could potentially drive even more traffic if outlets treated it as more than an attention-grabbing headline.

While HuffPo actually did a nice job of interviewing Bure and keeping the integrity of her quotes and the subject intact, I’m not impressed with any other outlets’ handling of the subject. When you don’t actually delve into a subject, talk to anyone on either side of an issue or try to create true dialogue by responsible reporting, no one wins. You get the same old, predictable, staid comments from individuals who aren’t challenged to examine facts and explore their own mindset.

Tell me: Could the media do better with this subject? Are you interested in the media creating a real dialogue here with responsible reporting on a sensitive subject?

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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.

  • http://jensmusings.com itsjenjen

    The media could do much better, yes, as cherry picking lines to stir up controversy isn’t responsible journalism. That said, as the media is not Christian-based, I doubt they could engage in much meaningful conversation on the subject.

    • Tamie Ross

      Granted, but I at least see some attempts at baptism and tithing, to name the first two Christian tenets of faith that come to mind. Submission seems to conjure an immediate and negative reaction that writers cannot overcome well enough to do their job.

      • John Pack Lambert

        I think the problem is that people have set up what they think submission looks like, and want to attack this. The other problem is submission plays into the whole “war on women” set of lies, so allowing people to think about it constructively would destroy the political power of many people.

  • Christine

    You got it, Tamie…other outlets are looking for sustainability with hits and clicks. I wish they were looking for truth. It would be so refreshing to see God portrayed in the media as He is, not through the veneer of half-truths turned lies. But that has never been the case (read the story of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, read the story of Adam and Eve with the serpent in Eden), so I don’t suppose we can expect it in 2014. But God triumphed then, and He shall now and forevermore as well.

    • Tamie Ross

      Thanks, Christine. Challenging the media to go deeper and “get religion” is why we’re here. When opportunities like this present themselves, I think it’s just plain lazy not to fairly put the concept of Biblical submission before the public in the same manner as other subjects brought up in celebrity/author interviews.

  • Jennifer

    I am so proud of Candace and of you, Tamie as I know reminding women that God requires submission to their husbands is the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a fire (more like a nuclear bomb with some). Submission is a hard thing to do and requires trusting in the One who is God over all things, including our husbands. Reading 1 Peter 1:3 used to be like hearing nails on a chalkboard to me, but God is showing me that submission to those in authority brings us peace and rest. The media usually chooses to stir things up in order to churn up notoriety and profit for its own greed and self-preservation. But take heart, Jesus has overcome the world and is bringing peace to his people, one person at a time.

    • Tamie Ross

      Gasoline on a fire is a great analogy. Thanks, Jennifer!

  • Jason Lore

    I am one of those that somewhat bristled at her use of the term “submission”. Being someone who is very individualistic and anti-authoritarian, the notion of someone who submits to the will of another is difficult for me to empathize with.

    But, on the other hand, being individualistic and pro-free will, on some level I have to recognize that if she submits out of her own free will, and not in response to duress, then it is her choice and others should respect that.

  • http://www.abicana.com/shop2.htm Knut Holt

    This kind of submissiveness is a role model for the feminist movement that demand the same kind of submissiveness the other way round and has actually won the authorities of society to be submissive to their movement.


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