This is the first of two parts, dealing with the reason there is a GOP War on Women. It does not come from the Republican Party. It is the result of Christian Reconstructionism, a patriarchal, anti-feminist movement that began in the 1970s. One of the first politicians to truly embrace the moment, via the John Birch Society was Ron Paul.
When I was still in college, my grandmother Reidhead and her older sister came to live with my parents. Aunt Mabel was a force of nature. Both she and Gram were among the very first women to vote in the city of Minneapolis. Both were active in the Suffrage Movement. They had strong opinions about the role of women, and the world. Along with their other sisters, and their mother, who, in 1863, survived a massacre by the Sioux, that left only she and her little brother alive, they lived and breathed rights for women.
What is happening in the GOP, today, is new. It wasn’t there 20 years ago. It really wasn’t there a decade ago. It has happened quietly, and terrifyingly. It comes out of the libertarians, believe it or not.
Ron Paul thinks that women should quit work, and home school their children. Ron Paul is part of the Christian Reconstructionist movement.
“…Since the woman was created as a helper to her husband, as the bearer of children, and as a “keeper at home,” the God-ordained and proper sphere of dominion for a wife is the household and that which is connected with the home, although her domestic calling, as a representative of and helper to her husband, may well involve activity in the marketplace and larger community…” Vision Forum Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy.
You see, according to fallen Doug Phillips:
“...A God-honoring society will likewise prefer male leadership in civil and other spheres as an application of and support for God’s order in the formative institutions of family and church..It is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.)…”
The other day I read an article about Russell Moore, who is the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. According to Moore, women’s equity is a false gospel. If this were Moore’s pathetic little world view, alone, we wouldn’t be dealing with a problem.
“...“Sometimes you have people who are preaching a false gospel to themselves in their homes by men who aren’t loving their wives as themselves and wives who aren’t submitting to their husbands,” Moore said. “That then plays itself out in other ways later on in that person’s walk with Christ.”…”
Unfortunately, we are dealing with thousands of men in the so-called ‘Christian’ world of the religious right, who think that women should sit down, shut up, have babies, and worship the men of their lives. Never mind that women may have regrets about being confined at home, for years. In their minds, women are basically sub-human.
“...You noted that “never allowing her to become a registered voter” is something you have learned the hard way. This is definitely one of the ways we express our “individuality” in our culture. Early in the republic’s history, only heads of households voted. Sadly, today even in very conservative households most of us have embraced the philosophic underpinnings of the women’s suffrage movement. Of course women should vote! Therefore even Christian couples occasionally “split” their vote, canceling one another’s vote. But since women are allowed to vote in our society, doesn’t this mean Christians must compromise with the cultural mores and have our wives vote, so we can double our impact?…”
Jonathan Lindvall, a major ‘authority’ in homeschooling and Quiverfull thinks that young women should be spared the trauma of jury duty.
“…Beauty and personal appearance is one area of a girl’s life that many fathers feel unqualified to speak into. However, in this mp3 message, our father Geoffrey Botkin explains a father’s biblical duty to be shepherding his daughter in this crucial area of her life – affecting the way she grows up to see herself, the culture around her, and her role as a woman. Listen to this message along with our mother’s on the same subject, and get a full-orbed picture of how a father and mother work together to prepare their daughters to be “corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.” (Psalm 144:12)…”
It just dawned on me the real reason these pathetic little men don’t want women in the military or anywhere else in life where they might have a voice is because they might be required to take orders from the little woman. According to them, God did not create women to be leaders, ergo they should not take orders from women. These men are so involved in their lives that have no relationship with the realities of the world that they are not capable of dealing with real life. That’s their problem.
According to Vaughn Ohlman, an outspoken ‘theonomist’ someone who thinks a woman should be a servant to a man. He once wrote that God intended women to be wives and mothers. That was why they were created. Because women are sub-human, we really don’t need to learn things that the big bad men know. Why fill our little brains with knowledge?
“…If we were robots then these would both need to function ‘according to design’. The woman designed for being a wife-mother-keeper at home would have to marry, bear children, and keep at home in order to live up to her design. A failure in any of these would, indeed, be a ‘design flaw’.
But theology in general has separated these two. The woman, in body and nature, may have been designed to be a marvelous wife-mother-keeper at home… yet can still choose not to do any of those things. Regardless of which theory on the human will you accept, theologically, (Calvinism or Arminianism or some theory in between) they all include the idea that there is such a thing as ‘disobedience’ or ‘rebellion’ which is not a design flaw, but a ‘feature’ ( to use computer language). God did not design us as robots, so we cannot hold our design to that.
Indeed the doctrine of sin teaches us that our perfect design has become corrupted by our rebellion so that even if we should wish, in our human nature, to be the perfect wife-mother-keeper at home (or husband-father-sitter in the gates) we will be unable to…”
One young woman, who grew up in a ‘Godly’ home where she was raised to be a help-meet, wrote the following.
“…Every member of a civilized society deserves the ability to fill out a job application without dread that the education chosen for them will come back to haunt them. They should be able to make an educated decision about whether they want to be cut off from society or not as adults. Exposing children to only one opinion robs them of the ability to learn how to make good decisions as adults. Trying to merge with society when you have been willfully ill prepared is fraught with difficulties. It also seems just plain wrong. When I did graduate, I took the paper my mother had printed to the local college. I tried to get a scholarship with my high marks. I was denied. They would not recognize my diploma as legitimate. I had taken no standardized tests, even the SATS. The years of scribbling feverishly in PACES meant nothing. It felt like god was laughing at me. I was again comforted by members of the church that as a woman, I didn’t need college anyway. Why, soon I would be bouncing a baby on either knee! Of course, no good christian boy my age would want me as I was damaged goods. An older man might be interested…. Of course, older men were always my problem….”
One of the great problems with Christian Reconstructionism, Dominionism, and the whole patriarchal movement is the fact that women are second class citizens. There are some groups, made up of young people, who don’t even think a woman should be allowed to talk to a man about Christ. That is not her role. Only men are to do that.
“…I was glad when it was finally over—I don’t think I could have handled much more of their disparaging depictions of feminism or their subtle blame-shifting. There’s so much here that tells me that they are aware of what feminists have been showing for the past few months especially. They know that we are out here, showing how patriarchy is a culture of domination and oppression; that the complementarian culture depends on threats, especially the threat of rape. But instead of opening their eyes and realizing the damage their teachings can cause, they are stuffing their fingers in their ears. They are digging their trenches even deeper. They accuse feminism and the advocacy for women’s rights of perpetuating rape and raunch cultures. They point the finger at feminism and say that it is “the way of death,” and they threaten any woman that might follow us with destroyed marriages, destroyed children, and despair….”
It is a very perverse culture where daughters and wives literally belong to husbands and fathers. What we need to understand is that this is going on in the United States of America in the year 2013. It is sanctioned by hundreds of churches, and some of the leading religious figures of the religious right. It is part of the far right, today, endemic within the fringes of the tea party movement. It is a hallmark of the white supremacist leanings of the far right. You see it in the GOP War on Women.
It’s quite sad. It is enough to make any woman furious. It is enough to make any thinking man furious.