Sunday, January 13, 2008

Huckabee Either Intentially Misleads or Is Ignorant of His Own Scriptures

In the recent Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, Mike Huckabee repeated claims about the position of a woman within the context of marriage. This was his statement, which you can find in the complete transcript of the debate:

"... the point, and it comes from a passage of scripture in the New Testament Book of Ephesians is that as wives submit themselves to the husbands, the husbands also submit themselves, and it's not a matter of one being somehow superior over the other. It's both mutually showing their affection and submission as unto the Lord."

Well, actually, here's the key passage in Ephesians that he's talking about:

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to
their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Now, it seems pretty clear what's going on here. The Bible is telling wives to submit to their husbands, just as they sumbit to god. So, you should act toward your husband as you would toward god, with all deference, fear, obedience, etc in absolutely everything. On the other side of things, husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ did not love the church as an equal, but as its savior (note the reference to Christ's sacrifice) and leader. This is obviously not a description of an equal relationship or of one of "mutual submission". It is the description of the relationship between a groveling and obedient woman (don't tell me you wouldn't grovel before god if he actually turned up) and her "savior" husband.

In making his statements, then, Huckabee either didn't know the scripture he was referring to, in which case he's rather ignorant of the religion that so apparently motivates his policy decisions, or he intentionally misconstrued it in order to avoid having to face negative backlash over the outmoded and misogynistic teachings that he adheres to. Ignorant believer or anti-feminist liar? I'll let you decide.

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