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?