At last night’s GOP debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked if she would employ her belief that a woman should be submissive to her husband as president. The question elicited loud boos from the audience, and when Bachmann finally responded, she redefined the word “submit,” saying that she and her husband interpreted it to mean mutual “respect.” Watch it:
Leave aside that the egalitarianism of mutual respect is the complete opposite of one person submitting to another. By compromising her belief in submission, Bachmann not only provided another example of doublethink in the debate, she also directly violated the teachings of John Eidsmoe, her close college mentor. Bachmann served as Eidsmoe’s research assistant at Oral Roberts University and now describes him as “a great influence,” “a wonderful man,” and “absolutely brilliant.”
Brian Tashman at People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch has been reading Eidsmoe’s book God & Caesar, which is about how Christians should engage in politics and government. Eidsmoe affirms the belief that, according to the Bible, the man is the “head of the house” and the husband is the “head of the wife.” But Eidsmoe doesn’t stop there; he goes on to condemn the rise of feminism and women who have careers, particularly any who try to suggest being a housewife is not fulfilling enough:
Many had planned all their lives to become housewives and mothers, believing such a calling would bring meaning and fulfillment to their lives. Now they are told by the feminists that it is ‘demeaning’ and ‘unfulfilling’ to be a housewife, and they don’t know what to believe. They are frustrated as housewives and feel guilty for not being ‘more,’ but don’t feel any inclination for anything else. And the husband, who planned all this life to be a traditional husband and father and thought he was marrying a traditional wife, feels threatened, insecure, and resentful about these changes in his wife. If the wife goes to work, he may resent sharing housework; that wasn’t what he bargained for when he entered the marriage (p. 124).
Bachmann did not clarify whether her husband would be “head of the house” if the house is the White House. It seems that her actual beliefs are those which best cater to what she actually wants to do. That’s hardly submission.