Do women belong in the political arena? Should we encourage our daughters to emulate the lives of women like Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin? Some Christians believe examples of women like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible answers this question with a resounding “Yes!” This was the position taken by a young Christian woman named Justice Forte who recently wrote a comment on my post “How to Help Women Learn Their Place”.
But does the example of Deborah and other prophetesses and prominent women in the Bible show us that God wants women involved in the political arena?
Before we seek to answer this question let me share Justice’s story.
Justice Forte’s Story
While scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across your intriguing post. Though I usually do not take the time to read articles shared by my friends, as I am a pre-law college student with hundreds of pages of reading assigned to me each night, the striking words “How to Help Women Learn Their Place” piqued my interest. I visited your blog and read the biographical information you provided and several of your comment threads. As a Catholic, made in the image of God, I share many of your beliefs and I have read most of the passages that you listed in your article during my years attending Catholic institutions. I have been fortunate in that I have had numerous mentors that have guided me in my faith, including my father, mother, and several teachers. I have had the opportunity to analyze philosophical and theological works, including those of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas with the great educators I encountered in my time at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, New Jersey. I have studied these topics with fervor, and I have strengthened my faith through constant inquiry, as my religion is not something that I take for granted.
However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.
As an 18 year old woman, I have struggled throughout my lifetime to discover exactly what your article claims to offer an answer to. I have struggled to learn my place in this world with this life that I have been given. The wave of feminism that you readily criticize has afforded me the ability to explore the vast possibilities of who I could be. It has allowed me to receive an education, and to read the works of insightful minds who have contemplated and established their places in life.
Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34. A thoughtful and effective leader, Deborah lifted the spirits of the downtrodden Israelites as she prophesied the word of the Lord under her famous palm tree. A courageous warrior, she led her army of 10,000 against the 100,000 Canaanites and proved victorious. The mother of Israel, the wife of Lapidoth, and the prophetess of God, Deborah serves as the ultimate example of a woman using her specific gifts to lead and to change the world in which she lived.
My education has also allowed me to ascertain and to ruminate on various attitudes and viewpoints regarding sexuality and gender roles that exist in the present day and to solidify my position on these crucial topics. Before beginning my studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I had always referred to myself as a “traditionalist feminist.” I viewed myself as equal to my male classmates, as I had continually been able to interact and compete with them academically. However, I did not feel that I could properly call myself a feminist and all that this term has come to mean, as I agree with many of the roles set out for men and women. This internal conflict continued until I came across a page in my international relations textbook during my first semester at college which separated feminism into two distinct categories.
The definition of liberal feminism was familiar to me; it was an idea that I had heard recurrently, an idea that I could never bring myself to agree with. The theory of liberal feminism claims that there are no fundamental differences between men and women and that any perceived distinctions are merely the result of societal stereotyping.
To me, this theory seems entirely unrealistic, as I have experienced the inherent differences between the genders in countless situations, specifically during my time playing for the men’s ice hockey team at my high school. It is indisputable that I was not physically equal to the men on the ice, as I was mentally equal in the classroom. But, Authors Joshua Goldstein and Jon Pevehouse offer the definition of another strand of feminism, difference feminism, which focuses on “valorizing the feminine…valuing the unique contributions of women as women.” Difference feminism provides a way for a woman like me to both accept many gender roles and to work to compete academically and intellectually to shape their societies and to learn their places within them.
In your article, you stressed the need for parents, teachers, and pastors to teach young women how to behave as daughters of God and you argued that feminism has resulted in disrespectful behavior by women to their fathers and their husbands. Throughout my life, I have looked to my mother and father for guidance and they have been the measure against which I have evaluated myself. My mother is a devoted wife and homemaker, and she has worked tirelessly to instill in my brother and me values of compassion, kindness, and honesty. However, my mother has also served as my greatest advocate, and she has consistently demanded that I be afforded the same opportunities as my brother. She has taught me to be ambitious, and to embrace every task with passion and diligence.
My father, for whom I have immeasurable respect, has provided me with every possible chance to both better and challenge myself. He supported me throughout my eight year long career as a hockey player, understanding that this activity, though male-dominated, was important to me and would present many occasions for self-growth. It was my father who pushed me far beyond my own perceived limitations and encouraged me to apply to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a school 1,250 miles from my home, and it was him who all but forced me to accept my full tuition scholarship to attend this institution of higher education. While my mother and father have taught me what it means to be a daughter of God, bringing me to mass, showing me how to present myself in word, deed, and dress, and providing examples through their own lives, they have never allowed my gender to inhibit my desire to learn and participate in my society.
In concluding your article, you offered a list of Bible verses to be used by women to guide their behavior. While I disagree with the connotations of several of your brief summary headings, as I feel you have misinterpreted some of the text due to the gender biases that our society poses, I have tried to model my life based off of teachings and verses such as these. I work hard to be trustworthy, to show discretion when it is necessary, to speak with wisdom kindness, and love, to dress modestly, and to look to my parents and grandparents for guidance when I have needed it.
Though I have copious aspirations, including earning a college degree, attending and graduating from law school, and using all I will have learned to pursue a career in politics, I also hope one day to be a wife and mother.
Like your daughter, I look forward to fulfilling my role in God’s design and I intend to embark on that endeavor with the same ambition that I have put into my education, the same ambition that has been fostered for 18 years by my parents and teachers. I will treat my husband with respect and I will gladly support him in all that he does, and I will expect that he show me the love and kindness that God commands.
However, right now, I am an 18 year old woman, and I am subject and accountable to no one but my parents, educators, and myself. Right now I am a student and I intend to learn all that I can so that I may one day change my world, because my ambitions stretch far past the nuclear family unit and home. I urge you to contemplate my viewpoint, because I have combated attitudes similar to the one you expressed throughout my life. I have had boyfriends who claimed I showed them disrespect by simply having conversations with other males. I have had young men on opposing hockey teams cast disparaging remarks at me such as “make me a sandwich, bitch,” in an effort to help me learn what they think should be my place. I urge you to reflect on the possibility that there is more than one way for a young woman like myself, and like your daughter, to fulfill her role as a daughter of God and to learn their true place. I ask you to cogitate on my position because I feel it is imperative for today’s young women to understand that their faith does not have to stand in contrast with their aspirations, and you and I both have the power to spread this message. I respectfully ask you to take the time to read and respond to my post, as I would be interested to hear more about your perspective.”
My Response to Justice Forte
First and foremost Justice – I want to commend you for what I believe is a genuine faith in Jesus Christ and your belief in his Word. I also want to commend you for your respect and admiration for your parents as this is something highly lacking in many young people today. I also commend you for listening to wise teachers and being curious about and studying schools of theological and philosophical thought. Being a critical thinker is never a bad thing but unfortunately in most generations there have been few of us that are critical thinkers.
What I want to do next is to zoom in on a few statements that you made and respond to them from the perspective of Christians who believe in a patriarchal view of society and marriage as well as more “strict” Biblical gender roles.
Prominent women in the Bible
First let’s take a look at some female characters that are often used by feminist Christians to assert that God encourages women to take active leadership in political and church arenas and see if any of these women resemble a modern feminist.
Miriam – prophet. – It never specifically says she exercised authority over men.
Deborah – prophet; judge; led the army of Israel into battle with Barak, their commander. She was a spiritual and moral leader. She did not seek to lead with Barak, he begged her to. She shamed him by telling him God would hand their enemies into the hands of a “woman”. It is interesting the Bible says she sat under a tree, and not at the city Gates as leaders typically did.
Hulda – prophet during the reign of Josiah. She served at a time when Israel had forsaken God, one of their darkest hours. Josiah sought to restore worship and the Word of God and sent messengers to her to seek the will of God.
Anna – a widow who became a prophet and pronounced Jesus to be the redeemer of Israel
Lydia – business woman in the Philippian Church, but the Bible never refers to her as a leader or a Pastor.
Priscilla – helped Paul while he was establishing churches at Corinth and Ephesus; with her husband Aquila, corrected Apollo’s preaching and helped him to learn of the new way in Christ.
Junias – contrary to feminist teachings, she was not an Apostle, but she was honored by the Apostles for her work in the Lord.
Phoebe – a servant in the Church at Cenchrea, She was not a deacon as feminists assert.
There is absolutely no Biblical evidence that any of these women sought to raise the social status of women or to challenge the role of a woman in the home and in her relationship with her husband.
Is Deborah a feminist role model for women?
“Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34.”
I challenge you to present any Biblical evidence that Deborah was a “warrior”. She was nothing more than moral support and reluctant moral support at that. If you look at the passage from Judges 5 Deborah only went with Barak because he asked her to and he refused to go if she would not go with him. She was not the proud feminist that she is portrayed as. In fact she said God would hand their enemy into the hands of a “woman” and this was not said in a proud way, but to shame Barak for refusing to go without her. God did eventually give the honor of killing Sisera to a woman (Jael) to shame the men for their cowardly behavior.
The truth is this. We have no evidence that Deborah neglected her duties to her home in her role as prophetess. In fact we have no idea how old she was when God called her to this position. She may have been barren or raised her children and taken on this role much later in life after her children were grown and gone.
Women in leadership positions were the exception to God’s design not the norm
In no way does the Bible EVER paint women in leadership roles as a positive thing, but it is something God uses to shame the men into action.
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” -Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)
God is allowed to make exceptions to his own rules
God made these exceptions to his own design at limited and specific times:
God allowed a donkey to speak to a Balaam in Numbers chapter 22.
God tells the prophet Isaiah to go and prophesy naked for 3 years in Isaiah chapter 20.
God tells the prophet Hosea to go marry a prostitute (something clearly forbidden for priests) in Hosea chapter 1.
God took Enoch (in Genesis 5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2) directly to heaven without them first experiencing physical death.
In the same way that God made these exceptions to his rules God has sometimes allowed women to occupy positions of spiritual authority in an effort to shame the men of their society into action and obedience to God.
Are “sexist” beliefs always wrong?
“However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.”
Let me first address the term “sexist”. This term is often used synonymously with “misogynist” but the two words really mean two different things.
The truth is that while all misogynists (haters of women) are sexists not all sexist people are misogynists.
If by “sexist” you mean a person who believes that one gender may typically excel in certain tasks over the other gender than I and those others who believe that men and women excel over one another in different areas could be labeled as sexists. For example, men generally speaking are better at most physical sports than women and women generally are better at tasks that require nurturing and empathy than men.
This is why if you take the typical woman and throw her in a sports game with men she will get beat. It is also why if you put a man in a room with toddlers and infants he will not do as well caring for their needs as the typical woman. Are there exceptions to these norms? Of course there are. But exceptions do not negate norms.
But based on your belief in “Difference Feminism” I would guess that this is not something you are including in what you think are “sexist attitudes embedded in our society”. You accept these types of differences between genders. However, you do seem to believe though that it is “sexist” for a person to believe that a woman’s place is in the home. If that is what you mean by “sexist” then I plead guilty.
To be fair to your position – I recognize that you are not condemning women who choose to be homemakers as your mother was.
But you seem to feel that it is “sexist” for a person to believe God did not give women a choice but instead directly commanded that a woman should spend the majority of her time, talents and energy in direct service to her husband, her children and her home.
Coed Sports force men to violate their natural God given instincts toward women
You reference the fact that you played hockey – a sport you readily admit is dominated by men. The reason that hockey is dominated by men is because it is not only physically demanding but it also a very aggressive sport not unlike football although football is even more aggressive.
I have allowed and even encouraged my daughter to play basketball on a church league in our area – but it was not coed. They have a separate league for girls and a separate league for boys. I would not encourage my daughter to do what your father encouraged you to do and play hockey with men. There are two reasons I would not have done what your father did.
The first reason is that men will often instinctively hold back and do not play as aggressively when women are involved. The second reason is that coed sports can also bring out frustration in men as they realize at a conscious or unconscious level that God meant for men to protect women and not to physically compete with women. This is why I am firmly against any type of coed sports leagues because I believe anything that causes men and women to go against their God given gender specific design, nature or instincts is not something we should encourage.
This is also one of the reasons women do not belong in the military as men will instinctively afford more protection to female unit members which affects unit cohesion and effectiveness.
The Bible does not call a man’s wife his partner
You talked about a wife being her husband’s “companion and partner”. While the Bible does refer to man’s wife as his companion it never refers to her as his partner – despite the NIV Bible translation which tries to use “partner” in some verses with no textual support for doing so. I dive into these passages in great detail in these posts.
7 Questions for young women with political ambitions
How do you explain Biblical characters like Deborah as any more than an exception to God’s design and purpose for woman in light of the fact that God calls it a shame for women to rule over men (Isaiah 3:12), he calls it a shame for women to speak in the church (I Corinthians 14:34-35) and he says the head of the woman is the man (I Corinthians 11:3)?
How can a woman occupy a position of political authority which would most like make her an authority over her husband when God calls women to be in subjection to their husbands in “everything” as the Church is subject to Christ in everything? (Ephesians 5:23-24, I Peter 3:1-6)
How can a woman be the “keeper of her home”(Titus 2:5) and serve the needs of her husband, her children and her home while being gone 40 to 70 hours a week as most political jobs require?
Do you think God is ok with other people raising your children and experiencing all the special firsts those children will have(like walking and talking) while you are gone pursing you political career 40 to 70 hours a week?
If a woman pursues a career and her husband must dutifully stand behind her and support her in this career is this not a reversal of the creation order that woman was made for man, not man for woman (I Corinthians 11:9)?
Could you honestly say if you pursue this course of action that you would be dedicating the majority of your time, talents and energy to serving your husband, your children and your home if you pursue this course of action?
Are you willing to sacrifice seeing your child walk for the first time, talk for the first time and all those other special firsts as you most likely will if you are gone so much from your home?
I would invite you to read a recent post I did “Don’t fall for the feminist lie that women can “have it all”. In that post I show a comment I received from a woman who used to think as you do. She believed she could have it all and found out years later that she was sacrificing her family and her marriage as well as not fulfilling the role God gave her by following her selfish ambitions. I encourage you to read her story.
Justice – there is nothing wrong with you having a love for studying the Bible and also other great writers in history. You could use your love of reading and desire to impact the world by teaching other women in your local church as Paul exhorts women to do (Titus 2:3-5). You might even consider having a Christian woman’s blog.
Neither of these uses of your talents would contradict with the primary mission God has given you.
For a man PART of his mission from God in this life is to lead, protect and provide for his home. If he fails to model the love, leadership, provision, protection, teaching and discipline that God does for his people he will fail his mission. But for a man the other part of his mission is to do what you are presuming to do and make an impact his world through his career.
For you as a woman your husband, your children and your home are not just a part of your mission as they are for a man. Your future husband, your future children and your future home ARE your mission. Anything that takes away from your service to your husband, your children and you home must be put aside or you will fail your mission.
I encourage you to read my post “Young ladies – If you pursue a career you may fail the Christian race”.
Also see Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?
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18 thoughts on “Why women don’t belong in politics”
I agree that, in general, young mothers (such as what I will soon be) should not be politicians (and for women who are considering having a political career and then have a family, I would strongly encourage you to reverse that order d/t simple reproductive biology). But what about women who are no longer in that position (such as my mother though she has absolutely no political aspirations)? This would seem to remove questions 3-7 which honestly could probably be boiled down to one generic point.
The first question is rather tricky to both fully explain what the Bible means by it (as there are so many different interpretations) and rather tricky to avoid the problem entirely. An example might be when I have male patients. I absolutely tell them what to do. They see me as an authority both in the hospital in general, and of their physical needs in particular. They of course have the ability to refuse (although outside of sheer physical force, people of both genders always have the ability to refuse, so that would seem to be a moot point). What if I tell a man (not my husband) he is not allowed to hold my son? Or perhaps correct him (possibly including my husband) to ensure proper head support or something similar? In each of these instances, I am assuming a position of authority in some sense over a man and I don’t think anybody would say it is wrong. Also, God raised Deborah because there were no men to do the job instead (which you correctly pointed out was a source for shame). Could that not perhaps be the case in American politics today? Ik we disagree about Trump, but I’m sure we can both agree that he is far from your ideal candidate. If Trump is the best man we can produce at this point, perhaps it would be appropriate for a woman to offer skills in this area (and to be clear, I am by no means referring to Hillary Clinton, or really any woman in particular).
The second question refers to a woman’s submission to her husband in particular. This would seem to be easy enough to fulfill if the two have compatible political beliefs and he supports her political aspirations (not like he becomes her helpmeet, but that he supports her as a politician like my dad supports my mom as a piano teacher). If I were to be President and were to appoint a pro-life candidate to the Supreme Court, I would by no means not be submitting to my husband in that area. In fact, I’d be acting according to what I know are his desired wishes and what would probably become his expressed wishes should we ever be in that situation (which I can’t imagine…just an analogy). A woman who uses her political power to supersede her husband’s wishes is really just a cleverly disguised version of the woman who uses her sexuality, or the government, or the church, etc. to do the same. They are all wrong of course, but the sin doesn’t lie in her being a politician.
As a small note, I tend to agree with what you wrote about coed sports (for high school and beyond at least), although I could see myself making an exception for specific individuals where there was no other outlet available. Movies like She’s the Man are funny, but I don’t take them seriously.
“The first question is rather tricky to both fully explain what the Bible means by it (as there are so many different interpretations) and rather tricky to avoid the problem entirely. An example might be when I have male patients. I absolutely tell them what to do. They see me as an authority both in the hospital in general, and of their physical needs in particular. They of course have the ability to refuse (although outside of sheer physical force, people of both genders always have the ability to refuse, so that would seem to be a moot point).”
I think that you raise a great point here. Your nursing example seems to refer to “authority” as a form of expertise that allows you to tell people what they should do or have to do in that area. In your case, you’re an “authority” on matters of their health because of your nursing education and experience and because you’ve gotten certain orders from the doctors to convey to the patients. Because you have that authority (i.e. expertise), your patients, both male and female, listen to you (or at least hypothetically they do because I know that nurses encounter plenty of contentious patients). I also think that it’s important to note the men and women both almost always have to consent to treatment. In other words, they’re fully choosing to accept your authority/expertise as their nurse by choosing to get treatment, and they can generally ignore you and even check themselves out against medical advice.
“What if I tell a man (not my husband) he is not allowed to hold my son? Or perhaps correct him (possibly including my husband) to ensure proper head support or something similar? In each of these instances, I am assuming a position of authority in some sense over a man and I don’t think anybody would say it is wrong.”
Another great point. For the first example, I think that two things are at play. First of all, you have a duty and a right as mother to protect your child, so you can tell pretty much anyone, male or female, not to hold your child if you do not feel or do not know if it is safe. (Your husband being the exception, although I think that BGR would agree that you can and certainly should protect your child from harm, even from your husband if it ever came to that–which it doesn’t sound like it ever would for you.) Secondly, I think that this example shows that while we as women should generally be respectful and courteous to men, we’re not called to obey or submit all of them. After all, how could we obey our husbands or our fathers and also obey every other man out there? How could we possibly submit to and please all men everywhere? Until all men everywhere start agreeing on everything that they want us to and what pleases them and until there cease to be men who try to seduce married women or whoremonger, that’s just not feasible.
For the second example, I think that you’re again talking about doing your duty as a mother to protect your child. You’d also potentially be calling on your expertise as a mother and your role as a wife to give good advice to your husband. So, if you let your husband know that he’s not holding your child in the right way, you’re giving him advice on how to properly hold your son. (Also, did you find out that you’re having a boy? If so, congratulations.) Granted, if for some reason he decided to insist on ignoring your advice and hurting your son, then I think that your duty to protect your child from physical harm would come more directly into play.
“…so that I may one day change my world, because my ambitions stretch far past the nuclear family unit and home.”
Justice’s focus and goals are law school and big public activities (“change my world”) not on having lots of children and raising them in the faith. If Justice pursues her current goals the odds are very high that she has one, possibly two children at the most. Demographically (physically) Justice and her future, maybe/possible husband need to have three children just to replace themselves in the church. The average Islamic wife has six children. Christian wives need to up their game in order to grow the church and keep up with Muslim growth.
I urge Justice to study demographics as a church growth tactic.
Most Christian parents in the West raise their daughters to be men; play male sports, go to college and focus on a career, earn your own money, support yourself, get an apartment on your own, etc. My parents raised my sisters in this way. My parents emphasized that we should get married but they never emphasized and encouraged us to have children.
I do think that women can use things like education and playing sports in furtherance of being good mothers and wives though. A well-educated mother is a huge asset to her children. She can begin teaching them basic skills before they even go to school. Then, when it comes time for them to begin a formal education, she can either homeschool them or help them with their homework and with developing a good academic work ethic if they go to school outside of the home. A well-educated wife will also have many skills to help her husband. If she studies finance, she can do a lot to save and budget at home and help her husband by making good investments, similar to the Provers 31 woman. It’s also quite likely that her husband will find her more interesting and easier to talk to if she has a good education and can follow and contribute to conversations about his interests.
As for sports, they’re definitely a reliable form of a exercise. They’re also a good way for a mother to become better at playing with her children. But, from a husband’s perspective, a wife who exercises regularly in some way and stays in shape is a woman who keeps a healthy weight and a good figure, as well as a woman who (let’s be honest here) has more stamina for the bedroom.
I don’t think God is against young women playing sports or being educated. I agree that a young woman being involved in sports can help her to keep her figure and her being educated can help her to later prepare her children for school and yes she will be able to make better conversation with her husband.
On the sports issue though – I think that women should only play sports with women as a I let my daughter play on a girls basket ball league. I do not believe that God intended women to compete with men, but rather to complete them.
On the issue of education – again I don’t think God is against women being educated and I think it does offer many benefits to their children and their husbands. However a woman’ education should NEVER come at the expense of her prime mission to “marry, bear children, guide the house”(I Timothy 5:14). So if a woman is seeking education while looking for a husband that is fine. Once she marries she can continue her education online or in a way that has little to no impact on her primary mission of serving her husband, her children and her home.
I believe based on Justice’s description of her ambitions that her education and her career will be the primary focus of her life and being a wife and mother will only be a secondary concern for her. The truth is plain – there are only so many hours in day, so many days in a year that one only has to give. Either a woman will obey God’s prime directive for her life and dedicate the vast majority of her time, energy and talents to her husband, her children and her home or she will not.
I don’t agree that a nurse telling her male patient what to do is the same as woman becoming Mayor, a Governor, a legislator, a Judge or President. The nurse telling her male patient what to do is a very temporary situation and really if he chooses not follow her advice he could and just leave the hospital although we would agree that this would not be to his benefit.
Deborah and other female prophetesses in the Scripture were supernaturally raised to these positions by God. If a woman could prove to me that God had made an exception in her case by supernatural means(as Christ sent his Apostles doing miracles to prove their mission from God) then I would accept her as one of God’s exceptions. But aside from a supernatural intervention by God I do not believe women have the right to supersede God’s natural order ” that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Corinthians 11:3 KJV)
This is more than just a woman being under the authority of her husband – although that most clearly exposes the problem of women being politicians. Women being in authority over men as Mayors, Governors, legislators, judges and Presidents violates the nature order God has established that man is to be the head over woman. This is not limited to the home. Paul’s exhortations for women to remain silent in the church had no limitations to women who were married – it was for all women.
This is why even when a woman is older and her children are grown and gone I still do not think it is right for her to be in a political office where she exercises authority over men as this violates God’s natural order of creation.
I thought that those were your general views on education and sports/exercise for women. I was more addressing Bee’s comment and pointing out what I saw as the ways in which education and exercising can benefit women and help them be better wives and mothers. (I also think that young women can meet a good group of young men at college if they look on the right places and have opportunities to observe and get to know those men in groups without getting too emotionally and/or physically entangled too early, but that’s a separate discussion. Just mentioning that for every hard-partying boy who’s wasting his parents’, you can several hardworking, studious young men who are looking to better their opportunities.)
I also definitely agree that in general, it doesn’t make sense for boys and girls to compete against one another. On the other hand, most sports leagues seem to agree with that. You see competitors divided not just according to sex but according to age and size. Sure, you have exceptions like partnered figure-skating and ice-dancing, but it’s an exception for obvious reasons. Justice Forte’s experiences sounded exceptional.
@BGR, serving in a political role is also a temporary situation (in the vast majority of instances). Also, yes a patient always has the right to refuse what I advise and to leave even if he/she chooses, but as I pointed out earlier, that is the case across the board. Outside of sheer physical force (and perhaps extreme situations like Stockholm Syndrome), there is no way to ensure that another person will do what someone else tells them to do. So nursing is not unique here. A wife can always divorce her husband (she shouldn’t, just like the patient shouldn’t just leave, but she can), or even stay and just refuse to do as she is told.
You are missing the main point. The main point is that young, Christian women can advance the kingdom of God on earth the most by marrying young and having lots of babies. Then raising those children in the faith. The kingdom of God needs more babies, not more female lawyers. A good example is Susanna Wesley:
“I do think that women can use things like education and playing sports….”
I was careful with what I wrote, I wrote “male sports”. You switched to “sports”. Would you get in the boxing ring against a man your same age? Would you get in the MMA cage against a man your own age? Would you play ice hockey on a men’s team?
People who vote with their emotions shouldnt vote…. That would exclude 99% of women and 51% of men. No wonder they only allowed land ownera to vote as laws affectes them the most.
Where ya getting your numbers at Jeff?
This is far more than about the “temporaryness” of an authority role. It is also about the type of authority. There simply is no comparison between the medical authority that a doctor or nurse may exercise over their patient and that of a civil authority, church authority, or family authority. The Bible is clear that it is a shame when women rule over men:
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” – Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)
In those few instances in Scripture where God(not man and not feminist women’s movements) raised women as prophetesses like Deborah this was to shame the men into action. Sometimes God even allowed children to rule over his people to bring them back to him as was the case with Joash (who began reigning at age 7) and Josiah (who began reigning at age 8). Again as I said in the post – God does sometimes make exceptions to his rules and his design. Sometimes he allows donkeys to speak, sometimes he takes men straight to heaven without them having to experience physical death, sometimes he allowed children to rule over his people and yes sometimes he even allowed women to rule over his people.
But God is the only one who has the power to make exceptions to his rules – we do not have that power or right on our own. King Saul thought he could make an exception to God’s law regarding the offering of the sacrifice and not wait for the prophet Samuel(I Samuel 13:11-14). This cost him his Kingship.
Speaking of women and children ruling over men – I find it interesting that the Bible compares these two groups together(women and children). Most people would consider it unnatural and wrong for a child to made mayor, governor or President while not realizing from a Biblical perspective it is equally unnatural for a woman to be put in this type of position.
“I was careful with what I wrote, I wrote “male sports”. You switched to “sports”. Would you get in the boxing ring against a man your same age? Would you get in the MMA cage against a man your own age? Would you play ice hockey on a men’s team?”
I’m sorry. I missed that distinction. Of course I wouldn’t advocate for women and men competing against one another in the boxing ring or in the MMA cage. On the other, neither would and neither does any of the various boxing and MMA governing bodies out there. Yes, there are female boxers and MMA fighters, but they only fight against other female boxers and MMA fighters. I know that Justice Forte said that she was playing ice hockey with boys in high school, but I suspect that she meant that she was either at a school where the girls and boys practiced together or she was on a club-type team that didn’t really compete and just got together to learn and play the sport for fun. That would still give her the opportunity to see that growing teenaged boys generally have advantages over teenaged girls. I mean, I could say that I swam with boys on a swim team from the time I was seven until the time that I was fourteen, and that would be true. I was on a coed summer swim team for those seven years, and I also did two years of winter swimming from the age of eleven to the age of fourteen. But we only practiced together in the pool according to age groups. There wasn’t any contact because, well, swimming isn’t a contact sport, and if you are bumping into someone, you’re not doing proper circular swimming. I also didn’t race against any of the boys on my team when we did meets. Boys raced against other boys, and girls raced against other girls. So, I don’t really see a big movement to have girls competing against boys in sports.
Also, I just saw read your article on Susanna Wesley. She’s a good example of what I was talking about with mothers being able to use their education to be better mothers and guides for their children and to use her faith and education to spread her message to others. Yes, she also had nineteen children (although it’s less necessary to day to have that many children because modern medicine will ensure that all or most of those children will survive to adulthood, unlike Susanna Wesley who lost nine children in infancy and two more before she died), but that clearly wasn’t her only accomplishment. Furthermore, her children weren’t better able to become good Christian and advance the faith because there were so many of them; they became good Christians because they had good guidance and got a good education from their father and their mother.
@BGR, politics seems different than nursing because it’s much more publicized and it seems more of an ‘in charge’ role. Nursing is often advertised as a ‘serving’ position (although I think that politics, when done right, will closely mirror that as well). But in some sense, authority is authority. And there is a LOT of authority in nursing. Much more so than I had figured when in nursing school (or what you see portrayed on TV although medical shows in general bear little to no resemblance with reality). Also, how do we know that God was NOT raising up Sarah Palin? I don’t personally think He was, but the point is, how do we know when God is in fact making an exception? Because we say that God can but humans cannot, but we are not always privy to commands that God gives to other people. I doubt that all of Israel was privy to the conversation between Deborah and Barak (and honestly, I kinda hope they weren’t….it would seem very shallow and non-unitive for Deborah to go around spreading bad news about a fellow Israelite right before battle).
Please note that I’m not disagreeing with your main premise that in general, women should not be in politics. All else being equal, I have voted and will continue to vote for a man over a woman each time. And I’d be more likely to vote for an older woman (or at least a childless woman) over a young mother as well. However I did vote for McCain/Palin over Obama/Biden so I’m not going to say young women should never be in politics after voting for one.
This article is mainly about women becoming politicians, but what about the political activity that anyone can take part in – by which I mean voting? Is there any passage in the Bible that would be against female suffrage?
I have been reading an interesting book called “An Introduction to Political Philosophy” by Jonathan Wolff. Chapter Three touches on the UK and US campaigns for women to have the vote. It brings up an argument that really was used at the time to justify the current state of affairs: a married woman’s views were supposedly already represented by her husband’s vote, and an unmarried woman’s views by her father’s vote. Wolff objects to this line of reasoning. He says: “Whether or not women’s interests are the same as men’s, it is insulting and demeaning to give men a vote while denying it to women. Universal suffrage is a way of expressing the idea that we believe women, just as much as men, are owed respect as citizens.”
What is your opinion on Wolff’s objection? Men and women have equal worth before God and are equally saved by believing in Jesus; can this principle be extended into the political sphere to say they both have a right to make their political views known? I am a woman who has voted in elections – can I keep doing so and still be a Christian?
A big mistake a lot of modern Christians make is believing in the false religion of equality in American and the Western world. In fact their belief in equality trumps all other beliefs and anything in the Bible that violates their religion of equality is dismissed simply sinful activity being recorded in the Bible.
Some are bold enough to even call people the Apostles Paul and Peter misogynists for writing that women should submit to their husbands and obey them. The especially hate Paul saying that women should be silent in the church and that woman was made for man, not man for woman.
But the Bible teaches a very different concept of equality that what Americans and other Westerners believe. It teaches that all of us that men and women are join heirs of the grace of God. It teaches in Christ – from a spiritual perspective we are all equal before God.
But that is where equality between men and women ends and the inequality begins. God made men and women for very different roles in his creation.
“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
I Corinthians 11:3 & 7-8 (KJV)
Men and women are equal as human beings – but they are not equal in many other ways most importantly socially. The Bible puts women under the authority of men all three major spheres of society – family, church and civil.
Our society teaches that if any segment of human beings, whether they be men and women, or even religious or ethnic groups do not have the exact same rights then somehow those human beings with less rights are being treated as less than human and thus being treated in evil and sinful way.
If that is the case then God himself sinned when he gave Moses the laws of Israel. In the law God gave to Moses he allowed for both indentured servitude amongest the Israelites and he allowed them to buy slaves from other countries and give them as an inheritance to their children. He allowed Israelite father’s to sell their sons and daughters as indentured servants to other families. For the sons this period of indentured servitude had to end after six years when they would be released unless they chose to stay with their master for life of their own free will. However Israelite women did not have this same right to be freed after six years. Instead they belonged to master they were sold to for life. He could choose to take them as a wife or not take them as a concubine(wife) and just keep them as a servant. Even “free women” were under the authority of their fathers. The women with the most freedom were those who were widows or divorced.
Even free women did not have the same rights as men and this is even shown in the New Testament with Paul and Peter’s writings that women where under the authority of men and that wives were to be in subjection to their husbands.
My point in all this is that the American and Western idea that for someone to be treated as a human being they must have full and equal rights with all other human beings is not a Biblical concept. In fact, it directly conflicts with the Biblical commands regarding gender roles.
Now on the issue of women voting – do I think it is a sin for a woman to vote? No I do not. But do I think a woman should vote the way her husband tells her to? Absolutely. The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands in “everything”(Ephesians 5:24). As long as he does not tell her to sin – she must obey her husband in all things. It is not saying that a woman does not have a right to her own thoughts. She can have her own thoughts and feelings on a variety of issues of life. But thoughts and actions are two very different things. A wife can discuss things with her husband – but ultimately her actions – including who she votes for – comes under his authority.
As far as a woman who is not married. I believe if she seek out her father’s advice if he is a godly man and if not seek out a godly Christian man’s advice as she votes.
As far as you being a Christian – your salvation, your being a Christian is not based upon your sinless behavior or your correct understanding and implementation of all Biblical doctrines. You are saved by trust in Christ as your Savior, believing that he died for your sins and rose again.
Now while I don’t believe it is a sin for women to vote – I do believe it was wrong for the men of our country to grant women the right to vote. By that single act of granting women the right to vote we undermined the Biblical principle that “the head of the woman is the man”(I Corinthians 11:3).
But I do think since women can vote now – that conservative Christian women definitely should vote(what their husband tells them to of course) because if they do not then you will have all these liberal women voting for unchristian policies with no balance to them. In fact most studies on elections reveal that married women tend to vote more conservatively than unmarried women.