Friday, January 04, 2008

If your husband told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

Salto sobrius: Jim Benton on Fundies vs. Gay Marriage

A very interesting article on why gay marriage upsets the fundie applecart. Turns out said apple cart is hauling horseapples anyhow - the rationale for opposing gay marriage hinges on the despicable abomination of a man submitting to another man.

a heterosexual marriage that deviates from "God's plan" can be condemned as such, and there is always hope that through "good Christian example" teaching, preaching, and prayer, these "misguided sinners" can be shown the proper path. (And the true dominionists can hope they will have the power of the state at least to teach students properly, and even have laws that will correct the poor, deluded "equalitarians".)

But there is no way that a gay couple can choose to conform to these teachings. The roles, in the minds of the radical Christians are biologically and theologically based. The question of which gender should be submissive is not a matter of choice. It is rooted in the idea that "man was created first and woman sinned first" in Eden. Yes, a woman may (and should, according to voices like Stormy Omartian's) freely choose to submit to her husband and act according to God's plan. But that is because she is a woman. A man who should choose to submit to his wife, in the same way, would be an unnatural abomination.

And, obviously, same-sex marriages either do not have a woman to "willingly submit to whomever it is we need to be submitted to", or they lack a man to be submitted to. No amount of preaching can change this, no amount of Christian example will change this. Any gay marriage, by existing, challenges this idea of a proper, "traditional" marriage.
Well, you know MY methods, Watson. Not only should gay marriage of all sorts be recognized - to the extent that I admit that the state has any business recognizing any relationship at all - but more heterosexual couples should make a point of giving the horselaugh to this nonsense:

For a similar view let's look at the Southern Baptists. In an article on subjugation of women in that denomination, Dr. Bruce Prescott & Dr. Rick McClatchy (who have become "Mainstream Baptists", a group which split from the Southern Baptists as a protest against the emergence of extreme and rigid conservatism in the older group) write in Baptist Faith and Message, a Baptist "Confession of faith"):
"subjugation of women extended to the privacy of Baptist homes when a statement on the family was added to the BF&M. In line with the chain of command made explicit in the 1984 resolution, the 1998 family amendment advised wives that they must ‘graciously submit' to their husbands."

"The unconditional nature of the wife's subjugation became clear at the official press conference following the statement's adoption. Dorothy Patterson, wife of Paige Patterson and a member of the committee that drafted the family statement, said, ‘When it comes to submitting to my husband even when he is wrong, I just do it. He is accountable to God.'"
But these groups are relatively liberal. I could go on and on -- oh, you've noticed -- but I'll end this by requoting Tedd Tripp, from my article on baby beating.
"You must provide examples of submission for your children. Dads can do this through biblical authority over their wives, and Moms through biblical submission to their husbands." p. 142

"Don't waste time trying to sugarcoat submission to make it palatable. Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement. Submission necessarily means doing what you do not wish to do. It is never easy or painless." p. 145

"Your children [and by implication, your wife] must understand that when you speak for the first time, you have spoken for the last time." p. 151

Yep. Funnymentalism; the last refuge of the bull asshole - and those to weak and stupid to lead a household without violence. But nonetheless, I support the right of those who wish such relationships and are above the age of consent to enter into them.

However, raising children to behave this way is, I think, child abuse. Not to put too fine a point on it, I think that the widespread abuse of children by people who loudly adhere to such beliefs is all the force this argument against it being either Christian OR American needs.

3 comments:

Druff said...

I dunno... feminism is so 20th century. I think it's time for a fresher paradigm.

There are marriages wherein "hen-pecked" husbands submit tirelessly to their wives -- do you condemn this equally? Does this yield the same dangers?

Sucks for any child growing up in a fundamentalist household, but gender relations are just a small piece of the problem pie.

Divorce rates were much lower before women's lib caught on. So I dunno.

Bob King said...

Actually, I condemn neither paradigm - so long as it's a matter of free choice and that any children understand that it is because it's the best way for their parents, and MAY be good for them.

I have known many solid male sub households - and many solid male dom households, and many solid co-equal households. Indeed, I've known a few solid polyamorous households.

Some raised great kids - some not so great. That is yet another skill-set, and not one that should ever pretend that children are small, interchangable lumps of plasticine, ready to be molded in the image of mother and father.

Hell, some of us come pre-baked wierdly, like a GI Joe that says "Math is HARD!"

Divorce rates were much lower when women were considered chattel property and every social institution conspired against the liberty of women.

I see no benefit in returning to those dour and judgmental times, as we already have more than enough information to know that it did not work at all well for a substantial portion of the population, and no majority has the right to restrict the freedom of any minority - even just one person - merely for their own social comfort.

Druff said...

Then your quarrel is not with religion mandating inequal roles for husbands and wives, but with the indoctrination of youth with these, or any other, values? Whether you raise your kids with a fundamentalist value system or a progressive value system, they still don't have a choice either way. A liberal, non-absolutist value system is a value system nonetheless, and gives kids no more agency than a reactionary Christian value system, right? Do you think that a kid raised in an ideological vacuum becomes an adult with more agency than a kid raised in a fundamentalist environment? I wonder, myself.

You volunteer that raising kids is a different skill-set, anyway, regardless of the family power dynamic. So then shouldn't a fundamentalist family power dynamic be irrelevant, according to your view?

At any rate, my first comment was focused mostly on male/female relations without much regard to kids, because your post seemed to hint at a disagreement with non-feminists sentiments of any sort (your title suggests this), apart from the child perspective.

Because, for adults, don't forget that religion is after all a completely voluntary association. Adult women who are subjected to a Southern Baptitst ideology are subjecting themselves to that ideology. In this situation, no majority is restricting the rights of a minority.

You talk about returning to "more judgmental times," but is your post any less judgmental, albeit in the opposite direction? It's like unqualified, requisite Equality is the unassailable Right today, just as God-ordered inequality was the one and only Right yesterday.

Sorry for all this rambling. I'm sort of playing devil's advocate and trying to get a better grasp on these issues myself. Personally, I would never raise my kids according to a fundamentalist ideology, but maybe that's just a personal preference as opposed to a morally superior choice.

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