August 23, 2011

Understanding Michele Bachmann's Submission Theology

Bachmann crazy eyesI assume you heard about Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) 2006 statement that she is submissive to her corndog-eating husband, Marcus. If not, you can find video of the statement here. Not surprisingly, Bachmann's view that wives should be submissive to their husbands is rooted in her particular form of evangelical fundamentalist Christianity.

I encourage anyone with questions about Rep. Bachmann's "biblical worldview" and what it has to do with women being submissive to read Sarah Posner's article at Salon.com. Posner does an excellent job of explaining what Bachmann's 2006 statement about being submissive to her husband means in the context of her religious beliefs:
Submission theology is built around the notion that God has a "design" for men and for women; that they are unique from each other and have their designated, God-given roles. The husband is the spiritual head of the household, the wife his obedient "helpmeet," the vessel for their children, devoted mother, and warrior for the faith. By committing themselves to those gender roles, evangelicals believe they are obeying God's commands. They see the wife's obligation to obey her husband's authority as actually owed to God, not her husband.
As far as I'm concerned, the central issue with Bachmann is not that she might submit to her husband but that she's clinging to this "biblical worldview" in the first place. As Posner explains, Bachmann's positions on substantive policy issues come directly from this worldview. That, dear readers, is why Bachmann should not hold political office of any kind.

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