“A truly loving husband won’t take advantage”

loving husband

A twitterer recently tweeted this at me: "In marriage it is her duty but if her husband truly loves her he will never make her have sex just because they are married." If I had a dollar for every time someone said something like this, I'd be rich. It goes like this (and Debi Pearl's books are really chock full of it): God requires women to submit to their husbands, but truly loving husbands won't take unfair advantage of that. Let's dissect this, shall we?Requirement: According to t … [Read more...]

From “Legal” Coverture to “Visionary” Coverture

law of coverture

You remember that piece I wrote a while ago about a World Magazine writer explaining why she changed her name when getting married? Well, her husband has commented on that piece arguing that I misunderstood what was said in the essay, so I made added a correction to the end of my post. But doing so made me think again about the whole name changing thing - and about why it was seen as completely natural, obvious, and mandatory in the conservative evangelical community in which I was raised. And … [Read more...]

“Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man”

Women's ROle

The Friendly Atheist recently posted an the results of a survey on women in the church, and was shocked to find that some churches don't allow women to teach men. Frankly, I was surprised that the number was so low - only 3%. Because, well, growing up that was just how things were.I remember that there was a woman who wanted to teach my high school AWANA group at a fundamentalist church across town. Thing is, there were, well, teenage boys in the class. The elders had to discuss whether it … [Read more...]

“Little Bundles of Sin”: Evangelical Child Rearing

little bundle of sin

I recently ran across a truly excellent article on the politics of the conservative family (seriously, go read the whole thing). I found the section on children and child rearing especially pertinent to my own experiences and a helpful overview of a lot of the particularities of evangelical and fundamentalist views toward children and child rearing. I'm going to quote from this section, pausing every couple of paragraphs for some commentary. ...Drawing in part on their belief in original sin … [Read more...]

If he’s Jesus and I’m the church, that’s not equal

Bride of Christ

"Husbands and wives are equal, they just have different roles." Do you have any idea how many times I've heard that? At one point I believed it, but somewhere along the line I realized it couldn't be true. Why? Because the husband's role always ends up being "being in charge" while the wife's role is "doing as told." I'm sorry, but that's not equal. That can't be equal.But I also remember hearing another constant meme - that marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Jesus and the … [Read more...]

Worshiping the Man: Christian Patriarchy as Idolatry

idolatry

I just realized something that should have been obvious a long time ago. Christian Patriarchy is idolatry.See, Sarah Over the Moon recently wrote a piece in which she argued that picturing God as male, in the shape of a man, and speaking of him as king or father is idolatrous because it makes God into a man, brings God down to an earthly level, instead of understanding God as "an analogy that aids human understanding and breaks earthly power structures." In other words, patriarchy lowers God … [Read more...]

Theology 101: Divine Revelation and Spiritual Headship

divine revelation

About a month ago a reader asked why, if evangelicalism was a religious tradition that emphasizes direct divine revelation, any evangelical would hold that God speaks to a woman through her husband or father rather than just speaking to her himself. How could those two ideas go together? This is a very good question, and it deserves an answer, so here we go!It is absolutely true that evangelicalism has long emphasized direct revelation from God. The idea was always that … [Read more...]


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