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Oct 07 2011

We demonstrate a noble submission to authority

Here’s a fun new thing to explore: True Woman.

It haz a manifesto.

We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God’s wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.

We realize that we live in a culture that does not recognize God’s right to rule, does not accept Scripture as the pattern for life, and is experiencing the consequences of abandoning God’s design for men and women.

Scripture is God’s authoritative means of instructing us in His ways and it reveals His holy pattern for our womanhood, our character, our priorities, and our various roles, responsibilities, and relationships.

We glorify God and experience His blessing when we accept and joyfully embrace His created design, function, and order for our lives.

Men and women are both created in the image of God and are equal in value and dignity, but they have distinct roles and functions in the home and in the church.

We are called as women to affirm and encourage men as they seek to express godly masculinity, and to honor and support God-ordained male leadership in the home and in the church.

When we respond humbly to male leadership in our homes and churches, we demonstrate a noble submission to authority that reflects Christ’s submission to God His Father.

That one’s a real humdinger, isn’t it – when we pretend that men are the bosses of us, we demonstrate a “noble submission” – how can submission be noble? Have it both ways why don’t you. Did slaves demonstrate a noble submission when they responded humbly to white leadership? Did colonized peoples demonstrate a noble submission when they responded humbly to European leadership?

It’s disgusting pernicious wicked crap, that’s what it is, pretending there’s some sort of virtue in arbitrary hierarchies and in one set of people “submitting” to another set of people.

And what’s the point of “reflecting” Christ’s submission to “God His Father” or the Roman cops? You could say the same thing about the Jews who went to Auschwitz. They “submitted” because they had no option; did that reflect Christ’s submission to God His Father? If it did, why is that a good thing?

They’re in love with “authority,” these people.

Selfish insistence on personal rights is contrary to the spirit of Christ who humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and laid down His life for us.

So nobody should have any rights; everyone should just grovel to everyone, because Christ humbled himself. Is that it? No, because men are supposed to do the opposite of that. No, it’s just inferiors who are supposed to humble themselves. Women are inferiors.

God’s plan for gender is wider than marriage; all women, whether married or single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit.

As befits inferiors.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    martha

    Kind of reminds me of April the robot girlfriend on Buffy.

  2. 2
    msm16

    I know this sidesteps the main issue of gender the article but its something that drives me nutty.

    We realize that we live in a culture that does not recognize God’s right to rule, does not accept Scripture as the pattern for life, and is experiencing the consequences of abandoning God’s design for men and women.

    Religious people always say things like this, and actually this is rather mild usually it is more apocalyptic. Do they have an grasp of history at all. I mean honestly today, we as human beings are better off today than at any point in human history. I know the economy isn’t too great right this instant but in the grand scheme of things this holds true; and i suspect in 50 years we will look back and say “god how brutish times were back in the the 10′s, they didn’t even have universal healthcare an child support!”. All in all measurable aspects of human happiness we are better off than at any time. Food is plentiful and cheap, we have easy access to clean water, significant leisure time, safety and security, massively declining rates of violence, freedom from disease.

    This list goes on and on. So what are the “consequences of abandoning gods design for men and women?” Empowerment of individuals to seek their potential and happiness, reduced unhappiness and repression because of gender norms? Maybe things god mis-labled and instead of reading “Gods laws to follow” it should read “gods laws not to follow.”

  3. 3
    Nice Ogress

    Stuff like this makes my skin crawl.

    my worst nightmare would be to get stuck in a town full of people who thought this way. Talk about a horror movie script.

  4. 4
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    *shudder* It’s Religious Stockholm Syndrome.

    Makes me feel physically ill.

  5. 5
    Worldtraveller

    I think she’s trying to tell you to stop writing, get back in the kitchen, and start popping out little babies fer jeebus(TM)…..

  6. 6
    Worldtraveller

    Oh, who wants to bet that was mostly written by a guy?

  7. 7
    Kiwi Sauce

    illuminata @4

    Great term, I’ll use it in future :)

    Does anyone know if using such anti-feminism themes actually turns more women off xtianity? I keep hoping that these messages are self-defeating, and would like to know whether this is the case.

  8. 8
    martha

    Just wanted to add that, while I recognize the evil impact of this rhetoric on women’s lives, it can be funny how individual women use it. Michelle Bachman is “submitting” by running for president. My sister once laid on me the line that “scripture says the man should be the head of the household.” Then she explained to me that by this phrase she meant that she was far too busy to have to make decisions; her husband should make the decisions and if he made the wrong ones, she should explain this to him so that he could go on and make the right ones. Her husband is a nice guy and I have never seen him actually even get close to telling her what to do.

  9. 9
    Hamilton Jacobi

    We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God’s wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.

    So this is sort of like when you go to the state fair and visit the funhouse with the tilted floors and crazy mirrors? In one mirror God is commanding and whipping and grinding peons underfoot, while simultaneously in the other mirror She is groveling in the dust and licking boots?

    These folks need to work on their metaphors.

  10. 10
    Marta

    “as they seek to express godly masculinity”

    You’ll have to excuse me. I’m feeling somewhat aroused by the bulging biceps of godly masculinity.

  11. 11
    quantheory

    I’m always confused by the declaration that men and women should have different roles because God made them that way, with distinct and complementary strengths/weaknesses/virtues/personalities/who-cares/rarely-well-explained. Even if that was the case, even in the counterfactual world where God made most women like this, what about individual women who are just not suited to such roles? What about individual women who are naturally assertive, naturally initiators, natural leaders, naturally stubborn…? The way I see it, there are three possibilities (or rather, only three within Christianity):

    1) God intentionally created some women who weren’t submissive because he wanted them to be that way, in which case the theology of submission is simply wrong and women shouldn’t strive for submission.

    2) God doesn’t really care about the way people really are, at least not enough to take different types of people into account when making plans. He placed men above women because he’s a dick and doesn’t care about the suffering this might cause. He expects women to act submissive regardless of their personality. (Maybe he even gets some sadistic pleasure from the “sacrifices” Christians have to make to follow his rules.) The theology of submission is still partially wrong, because in reality, the way men and women are doesn’t factor into God’s plan to any significant degree; he wants women to be submissive, but you can’t deduce that from the way he made people, and it has more to do with his personal whims than any inherent universal “complementarity” between random pairs of people selected from the two halves of the human race.

    3) God knowingly created non-submissive women (or allowed them to be created due to some corrupting influence like Satan or original sin or whatever). But something like Calvanism is correct, and all these women were destined for hell (or maybe they were mostly doomed to hell, excepting a few with the iron will necessary to act submissive through a lifetime of hellish repression of their own natures). The theology of submission is wrong in that it implies that submission is a virtue that can be cultivated beyond one’s natural, God-given tendencies.

    There is a simple way for apologists to get out of this trilemma, which is simply to deny that any significant number of women naturally want anything other than to be submissive. If 100% of the human race is born according to God’s plan for their gender, without exception, then there is no mismatch between people’s natural personalities and God’s assigned personality traits.

    So you can just say that women who aren’t comfortable with being slaves are actually just those who have been corrupted by feminism and modern secular society, not a natural human personality that doesn’t enjoy helpless servitude. The only disadvantage to this argument is that it is false. But advancing false beliefs is the entire business of religion, so they already have all the best tools for accomplishing that.

    A similar line of argument can be used on any type of non-sanctioned behavior in either gender. Women who don’t want to marry or have kids? They are deep-down natural wives and mothers, but have been corrupted by feminism and modern secular society operating on their own sinful natures. Men who aren’t into “manly” things? Cowardly sissies because they weren’t raised right due to feminism and modern secular society. LGBTs? Secretly natural heterosexuals with absent or bad fathers, who probably became bad fathers due to one of the usual scapegoats. Intersex? Simply ignore the existence of such people, or falsely imply that this is another word for transsexuals, dealt with above. Teenagers having sex (and associated pregnancies and STDs)? Adultery? Pedophilia? Divorce? Masturbation? Rape? All of these are too easy; it’s merely that our modern culture is not sufficiently afraid of God and of unGodly sex.

    This is how “traditional family values” really work. You round up all the sex- and gender-related problems made up, caused, or even inadequately addressed, by traditional religion. You note that these problems come from the difference between the “ideal” behavior that religions recommend, and what real human beings find valuable and motivating. Since you can’t admit that the religion side of things might be wrong, you rebrand everything in normal human nature, whether actually evil, an unavoidable flaw, or actually harmless, as a sin encouraged by your opponents. Then you let the perpetual motion machine go. The more problems are caused by religion, the more The Godly can claim that the “cure” is to promote God and fight back secularism, feminism, and gay rights.

    /rant off

  12. 12
    John Morales

    [meta]

    fastlane,

    Oh, who wants to bet that was mostly written by a guy?

    It would be nice to have so little cynicism.

    (But, alas, I would not take that bet)

  13. 13
    Grace

    @Kiwi Sauce

    Yes, definitely. I was a very devout Christian growing up. I remember the first wedding I attended, when the priest kept telling the bride (but not the groom) to “obey,” it completely blew my mind. I was 14 and I thought there is no way I’m agreeing to that when I grow up. At another wedding the priest said, “we don’t believe in Women’s Lib!” in a sneering tone and I just squirmed in my seat thinking I wanted to punch him.

    And then I found out that the author of my favorite prayer book as a child, St. John Chrysostom, said this: “For what is a woman but an enemy of friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a domestic danger, delectable mischief, a fault in nature, painted with beautiful colors?…The whole of her body is nothing less than phlegm, blood, bile, rheum and the fluid of digested food.”

    I wasn’t exposed to the idea that Eve was the one to blame for the fall of mankind until I was in my late teens, but it gave me one hell of an inferiority complex just the same. If I had been exposed to it younger, I’m not sure how I would have turned out. I even asked my priest if he could explain it to me. I said that Adam knew eating the fruit was wrong too, so why is it all Eve’s fault? He said, “Well, often out of love for his wife, a man will do what she says in order to please her.” So Eve was knowingly disobeying God but Adam was just a poor sap fooled by love. Arrgh! Finally it hit me that it’s very, VERY possible this is just stuff is just made up by man and God had nothing to do with it. But it still took me a long time to deprogram. If it weren’t for the threat of hell, I would have left the church much soooner. But the number one reason I started to doubt at all was the misogyny and idea that I had to submit to and obey men.

  14. 14
    Grace

    Sorry for the typos, I hope that made some sense. :)

  15. 15
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Grace, that was excellent and informative.

    (Thanks)

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    Great rant, quantheory. It made all the sense in the world, Grace.

  17. 17
    Iain Walker

    martha (#1):

    Kind of reminds me of April the robot girlfriend on Buffy.

    Only less funny. I don’t see the author(s) of this manifesto throwing Spike through a window.

  18. 18
    Aquaria

    I wasn’t exposed to the idea that Eve was the one to blame for the fall of mankind until I was in my late teens, but it gave me one hell of an inferiority complex just the same. If I had been exposed to it younger, I’m not sure how I would have turned out.

    I was exposed to it as a child. At first, I thought it made me cry. I didn’t want to be bad, or cause pain. I cried in church, and then the preacher chewed me out.

    And then I was angry. There wasn’t anything wrong with me.

    When he patted me on the head and told me that, one day, I’d understand my natural place in the world, become submissive to the man I married, and it would make me and Jesus happy, I bit him.

    I was only five, but I knew something about all this wasn’t right. Maybe because my scumbag father wasn’t around and my mother was doing just fine without a husband to make her life miserable.

  19. 19
    Grace

    You bit him?!

    Aquaria, you are my new hero.

  20. 20
    ohioobserver

    This is just another brick in the pyramid of power. Of PEOPLE. over PEOPLE. God has nothing to do with it and I’ll bet the farm that the author of this piece of dreck knows it. Everyone who claims authority interprets scripture in their own way, claiming ultimate authority. Since they can’t all be right,they sure as hell can all be wrong, and unless they’re phenomenally stupid, they know this. They know that if they can convince folks that they should submit, then in the end they will get everyone submitting to THEM. It’s the greatest con game in history, and anyone who claims that they speak with the Authority of god is in on it, lined up at the trough.

  21. 21
    Ys

    Every time I read one of these, I consider responding to the site/author with:

    “If God didn’t want women to think for themselves, he wouldn’t have given us the brains to recognize when men are being stupid or wrong.”

    But that would imply I believe in a god. Sigh.

  22. 22
    rae

    A man did write it – or at least most of it. Scum of the earth jerk John Piper. The same guy who stated in his speech at the unveiling of the manifesto that “gender roles are central to the Gospel.” So… without gender roles there is no salvation or christianity or any good news associated with the faith.

    Yup.

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