The World of The Handmaid’s Tale: Not Completely Bad

HandmaidsTale

Here is the surprising truth most Christians would not want to hear.  Not everything in the world of the Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale” is unbiblical.  In fact, some of it is VERY Biblical. But the haters of Bible believing Christianity are also wrong in saying that the world of the Handmaids Tale is exactly what America would look like if our laws and society were based on the Bible.

The truth as it is in many cases, is somewhere in the middle.

The World of the Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale” takes place in a future America where the United States Government has been overthrown by a radical Christian sect calling itself “The Sons of Jacob”.  This group bases most of its teachings and beliefs in the Old Testament of the Bible.

While Atwood never gives a definite reason for it, the Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a world where nations are dying from low fertility rates.  Infertility affects both men and women.  There are some theories given at the end of the book that low fertility rates may have been caused by widespread birth control and abortion but others say it was caused from pollution and pesticides.  Some thought it was a combination of both. The fact that they have reduced technology use and only grow organic crops definitely gives credence to the pollution and pesticides being thought to be a major factor in infertility. Whatever the cause is, it is clear in the book that the infertility crisis affects the entire world and not just America.

It is apparent that the Sons of Jacob saw women’s economic independence from men as well as control over their own sexuality as a major contributing cause of the infertility crisis even if it was not the only cause.

So, it is in this world that the overthrow of the United States government by the Sons of Jacob takes place.  They kill the President, all White House staff and cabinet members as well as all members of Congress and the Supreme Court.  They suspend the US Constitution and institute a totalitarian theocratic government which is referred to as The Republic of Gilead or The Divine Republic.

In this new society women have their property seized and given to their closest male relative (husband, father or brother).  They are forbidden from working outside the home as well as reading or writing.

The social classes among women in Gilead are Wives, Econowives, Marthas, Handmaids and Unwomen.  Wives are the highest class of women, married to the highest class of men known as Commanders.  Econowives are married to either  Guardians or Economen which are the lowest social class of men in Gilead. Econowives often serve as Marthas while not all Marthas are married.  Marthas serve the Wives of the Commanders by caring for their homes (cooking and cleaning).   Some Marthas are converted to Handmaids.

And finally, we have the Handmaid class which Margaret Atwood’s book centers on.  The Handmaid class is the second to lowest class of women in Gilead with only Unwomen being lower.   Most women who are Handmaids became so by either being in a second marriage or living in a sexual relationship with a man not their first husband when the Sons of Jacob seized power. Later on other women become Handmaids by breaking the laws of Gilead.  If they were found to be infertile they were declared “Unwoman” and then sent to the Colonies.  Not much is known of the Colonies except that it seems to be a nuclear wasteland or highly polluted area because most people ending up dying after working there for a few years.

Handmaids are managed by a social class known as “Aunts” which are typically older or infertile women but they are women who are true believers in the Divine Republic and its beliefs.  They are charged with indoctrinating and preparing the Handmaids for their duties.

The Handmaid’s Tale is told from the view of a Handmaid named “Offred”.  While the Hulu series reveals her real name, Atwood’s book never does.   She is named Offred because all Handmaids are given the name of the Commander they are assigned to and her commander’s name is Fred, therefore she is called “Offred”.

The Handmaids are assigned by the government of Gilead to various Commanders. They have three chances to get pregnant with three different Commanders.  If they fail to get pregnant by the third commander, they are declared “Unwoman” and sent to the Colonies.

Gilead is a pious society, although they do have “Jezebels” which operate in brothels which are unofficially sanctioned by the government.  These brothels serve foreign diplomats who visit Gilead as well as Commanders.  The women there are infertile attractive women who were feminists or other social activists and they were given a choice between being a Jezebel or being sent to the Colonies.

In this pious society, the purpose of sex is seen only for reproduction and not for pleasure.  The men when they have sex with their handmaids are required to have their wives in the room and it is a cold and passionless experience as required by the customs of Gilead.

Going beyond the social classes we also see in the story that Gilead routinely executes abortions doctors and leaves their bodies hanging for days in the streets as a warning to others.  They also hang men or women caught engaged in any type of homosexual relationship. Homosexuals are referred to as “gender traitors”.  Gilead also hangs priests and pastors if they speak against the government’s interpretation of the Bible.

And finally, there is a scene in the book, which was also portrayed in the Hulu series as well.  In the scene, a mass wedding ceremony is staged where several men of the Guardian social class are married off to young girls most looking between 12 and 14 years of age.  Some of the men may be in their 30s or 40s.  One of the men being married to a young girl is Guardian to the Offred’s Commander.  The Commander assigned the girl to him for marriage.

While this is certainly not a complete synopsis of the story of the Handmaid’s Tale, it paints enough of a picture to tell us what Margaret Atwood’s imagined future dystopian political system looks like which is what I will be focusing in on for this review.

What is un-biblical About the Practices of the Republic of Gilead?

What follows are several things that are unbiblical about the Republic of Gilead:

  1. Only God can establish a theocracy. God established the nation of Israel through Moses and then he spoke his commands as King over Israel through his prophets until Israel finally rejected God as their direct king and asked for a human king (1 Samuel 8:5-7). Gilead was not a true theocracy established by God as Israel was.
  2. While God does not prescribe a particular form of government for all peoples in the Bible, he does tell us why he instituted civil government. Its purpose is to protect the God given rights of the people and punish those who “doeth evil” (Romans 13:4) by breaking God’s moral law which would include violating the God given rights of others.  The nation of Gilead usurped the God given authority of local church leaders (1 Peter 5:1-3) as well as the authority of men over their homes (Numbers 30, Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6).
  3. The Bible does not forbid women from being educated, reading, writing, teaching or prophesying (Acts 2:17, Titus 2:3-5).
  4. The arrangement of marriage by the Gilead government was an example of a violation of the God given freedom and authority of fathers to choose whom their daughters marry (Exodus 22:16-17, Numbers 30).
  5. The passing around of handmaids between various Commanders to have children for their wives was a violation of Biblical law as well. The Bible regarded handmaids who were given by wives to their husbands as wives in the same way concubines were seen as wives.  Take for example Abraham’s concubine – Keturah (1 Chronicles 1:32) who is also referred to as his wife (Genesis 25:1).  And the Scriptures tell us that a woman is bound to her husband as long he lives (Romans 7:2-3) therefore she cannot be given to a different man while her first husband lives. The difference between “free wives” and “bond wives” (or concubines as they were called) was that a man did not have to give any inheritance rights to the children of his bond wives.  He was however, obligated to give an inheritance to the children of his free wives.  But God never allowed women to be passed around to be impregnated by different men.  A man had to make the commitment of being a husband to a woman before he could have sex with her even if she was a slave or a prisoner of war.
  6. Obviously the unofficially sanctioned “Jezebels” of Gilead who worked in brothels servicing diplomats and Commanders is also forbidden by God’s law (Leviticus 19:29, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16).
  7. The official Gilead position of sex being only for procreation and not for pleasure is unbiblical as well. The Bible commands men to satisfy themselves at all times with their wives’ bodies (Proverbs 5:18-19) and the entire book of Song of Solomon is dedicated to the pleasurable aspects of sex between a husband and wife in marriage.  The Bible even warns couples to come together often to avoid the temptation of sex outside of marriage (I Corinthians 7:2-5).
  8. The Bible does allow for the execution of those who would lead people away from the God of the Bible (Deuteronomy 13:1-11) but it does NOT allow for the execution of those who follow the God of the Bible but have different interpretations and applications of the Bible. Therefore, the execution of those such as Catholics, Baptists and other Christian leaders that were killed in the Hand’s Maids Tale for not teaching and following state mandated interpretations of the Bible was a violation of the Scriptures.

Now we will move on to practices of the nation of Gilead which actually have Biblical support.

What is Biblical About the Practices of the Republic of Gilead?

What follows are several things that are in fact Biblical about the Republic of Gilead:

  1. The sphere of Civil government is allowed by God to execute men and women for adultery and betrothed women for having sex with men other than their husband and covering it up before marriage. So, Gilead in executing people for these violations of God’s moral law was within their rights as granted by God to the Civil government (Deuteronomy 22:20-22).
  2. The sphere of Civil government is allowed by God to execute men for having sex with other men (Leviticus 20:13), therefore Gilead’s execution of men caught in homosexual relationships was allowable before God. While no punishment is prescribed for women in Lesbian relationships, the practice of Lesbian relationships is condemned by God in Romans 1:26-27. So short of the death penalty, it would be Biblically allowable for women to be punished in other ways for engaging in Lesbian relationships.
  3. The sphere of Civil government is allowed by God to execute murderers which would also include abortion doctors (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:12).
  4. Gilead’s practice of considering women to be the property of men is a Biblical concept. The Bible list’s a man’s wife as one of his possessions in the 10th commandment (Exodus 20:17). In the Scriptures adultery and pre-marital sex were not just considered sexual sins, but also a property crime against either the father of the virgin woman or the husband of the betrothed woman or wife (Exodus 22:16-17, Deuteronomy 22:20-22).  The problem in Gilead though is that they treated unmarried women as the property of the state which is a violation of the God given right of ownership of the father over his daughter.
  5. Gilead’s practice of disallowing women to own property and transferring their assets to their nearest male relative is a Biblical concept. In Numbers 27:1-11 we find that only men could inherit property with one exception. If there were no sons to pass their property on to then the daughters could inherit the property but only as temporary stewards of that property. They were required to seek out marriage and then in marriage the property came under the ownership of their husbands (Numbers 36:10-12).
  6. While Gilead’s practice of executing Pastors and Priests for having different interpretations and applications of the Scriptures than those of the Civil government is not allowable by God, God does allow for the general protection of the faith in punishing those who try and lead others away from the God of the Bible (Deuteronomy 13:1-11). In other words, the Civil government can protect Christianity as the faith of the nation from outside religions and moral systems such as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam as well as Atheism but it has no authority within the Christian churches to enforce a state sanctioned set of interpretations and applications of the Scriptures.

What About the Infamous Wedding Scene?

Earlier I spoke about a scene from Margaret Atwood’s book that was also portrayed in the Hulu series which shows a mass wedding ceremony of several couples.  Many of the girls are very young, perhaps 12, 13 or 14 years of age and they were being married to men much older them, perhaps 10 or 20 years older or more.

The Hollywood Reporter  had the following to say about the episode as depicted in the Hulu series:

“In season two’s fifth episode, “Seeds,” which sees Elisabeth Moss’ June almost entirely buried beneath her handmaid alias Offred, Nick and other guardians are at the center of an elaborate mass wedding ceremony. Their brides, all of whom they are meeting for the first time, are children; no more than 15 years of age. According to Miller, the scene comes straight out of Margaret Atwood’s original novel, not to mention true stories about similarly disturbing arranged marriages conducted across the world.

“In the book, there’s a scene where a bunch of children are married to young guardians who they have never met before,” Miller tells THR. “It was such an intriguing part of the book. This is something that’s been discussed as happening in America and happening all over the world. It’s such a pervasive horror for these girls who are married off well before they have any agency and any way to consent. They’re walked off into this life, and it doesn’t matter who they end up with, even if it’s someone you would say is a good guy; it’s just a horrible dynamic

It was triumphant for Fred, but for me, personally, seeing these young actors come out — and some of these young women looked about 12 or 14 — and seeing them standing opposite their future husbands in this arranged marriage… men twice their age, some of them 40 or 50 years old… it was genuinely abhorrent to see,” says the actor. “It was very, very real. It’s another form of ritual and ceremony which is almost seemingly beautiful and orchestrated in this vaguely theatrical way, which belies the horror of it. When we did the first rehearsal, all of us were very affected by how unnerving and unsettling it was.”

I have already addressed the fact that the nation of Gilead was wrong in usurping the authority of father’s over their daughters.  But what if fathers willingly gave their young daughters, even those in their early teens as portrayed in arranged marriages to older men – is this a violation of Biblical morality?

The answer is a resounding NO. It is not immoral or “abhorrent” or “horrific” in the eyes of God.  The Scriptures tell us in two passages when God says a young woman is ready for marriage.

In the book of Ezekiel God portrays his marriage to Israel as an older man taking a young woman who has shown the signs of puberty as his wife:

“7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:7-8 (KJV)

And in the New Testament the Apostle Paul gives us another qualification for when a girl becomes a woman and is ready to be married:

“36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.”

I Corinthians 7:36 (KJV)

The phrase “if she pass the flower of her age” refers to if she has had a period.

So, God’s allowable age for marriage to a woman is when she shows the signs of puberty, development of her breasts, growth of pubic hair and she has had a period.  At that point it is perfectly moral for her to be married.

And her “consent” is not required by God.  And God does not grant her the “agency” that we believe women have today. It is her father’s decision (Exodus 22:16-17).  And there is absolutely nothing unbiblical about arranged marriages (Jeremiah 29:6).  Also, it is not immoral for men much older to marry younger women.

And just for a little historical context on marriage which is sorely lacking in today’s world listen to what Rev. Dr. Eugene Weitzel stated about the Jewish view of early marriage:

 “As we noted above, the Jews clearly understood that the first command that God gave to Adam and Eve was “increase and multiply” (Gen 1:28). In fact one rabbi firmly believed that “A bachelor is not truly a man at all.” Furthermore, celibacy was looked upon as an anomaly, almost a disgrace.  Now keep in mind that Jesus Christ, a devout, practicing Jew who dearly loved his Jewish faith, grew up with this view of celibacy.  He also knew that his people believed in early marriage.  Many rabbis, even during Jesus’s time, taught that eighteen was the ideal age for marriage for a man but certainly not later than twenty-four. He knew too that girls were ready for marriage as soon as they were physically ready to conceive and bear children, which according to the law was twelve and one-half years. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably no more than fourteen years old when she gave birth to the Son of God.”

Weitzel, Eugene. J. (2010). I Want to Be a Husband and Father for Life and a Catholic Priest Forever. U.S.: Xilbris Corporation. p. 113

What America Can Learn from the Handmaid’s Tale

Many have come away from the Handmaid’s Tale thinking religion was the cause of the fall the United States in that story.  And it is very common today for secular humanists to claim if we just got rid of organized religion the world would be a better place.  They will point to the millions that have been killed in religious wars throughout the centuries.   But they conveniently forget to mention the millions killed by secularists like Stalin and other Communists around the world.

The actual cause of the fall of the United States in the Handmaid’s Tale is a subject that most Secular Humanists avoid like the plague.  And if you are thinking low fertility is the answer as mentioned in the Handmaid’s Tale you would only be describing a symptom of the real problem they want to avoid discussing.

The real problem that caused the collapse of the United States in the Handmaid’s Tale is the same problem that might actually cause the collapse of the United States in the not so distant future.  And that problem is the widescale abandonment of traditional gender roles which I would argue are Biblically based.

How America Abandoned Biblical Gender Roles

Before the mid-19th century the United States was in some ways like the world of Handmaid’s Tale except for the Totalitarian government and mass government executions.   America had laws against fornication, adultery and homosexuality.  Grant it, no one was executed for fornication, adultery and homosexuality but they were imprisoned for such acts.  Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder and homosexuals were put away in mental asylums.

Divorce in America was very difficult to get and thus very rare. Women had little to no rights in divorce.  When divorce did occur, the men kept the children and the property and the woman walked away with only the clothes on her back.

First wave feminism, which sprung from the abolitionist movement, aimed to give women more rights.  So, they began by fighting for child custody and property rights for women in divorce.  But their ultimate goal was woman’s suffrage which finally passed in 1919 and was ratified by the states in 1920.

James Madison had warned his wife Abigail Adams when she petitioned him to allow women to vote in the New Republic that if men gave women such rights it would bring men under the “Despotism of the Peticoat”. In other words, if men surrendered their rulership over women, eventually women would come to rule over men.

James Madison’s warning is actually foretold in the account of the fall of Adam and Eve when God told them the following:

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

God spoke of sin’s desire to rule over Cain in the same way he spoke a woman’s desire to rule over her husband:

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Genesis 4:7 (KJV)

When we think of the Sexual Revolution, we often think of the 1960s.  But really an earlier version of the sexual revolution began in America in the late 19th-century with the new practice of “dating”.  Women threw off the ownership of the fathers and began “dating” men going out alone with men for fun.  This of course led to a spike in extra-marital sex and out of wedlock pregnancies. These numbers only continued to climb until they reached the peak of 40 percent and that was only capped because of modern birth control.

Second Wave Feminism which coincided with the Sexual Revolution aimed to destroy gender roles in America.  It was during this time that the words “sexism” and “sexist” were coined to denigrate Bible believing Christians and other Americans who believed in traditional gender roles that men and women had had since the beginning of mankind.

Over several decades the feminists and secularists exploited the US Constitution’s tolerance for non-Christian values, eventually using the force of court rulings and new laws in an attempt to obliterate the Biblically based gender roles America once had.

Feminism and their drum beat of “sexism” eventually lead to the decimation of the family unit with over 60 million divorces and over 60 million abortions.

The Sad State of Marriage and Fertility Rates in Today’s America

As a direct result of the feminist and humanist assaults on gender roles and Christian morality in America, marriage and fertility rates are at a crisis level for Millennials. Many Millennials now are very afraid of marriage or see no value in marriage.  Consider the following sobering facts.

In 1968, about 40 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 were married and living on their own. As of 2018 that number has plummeted for this group to around 7 percent. A third of young people in the US, 24 million of those aged 18 to 34, still live with their parents.  About 9 percent of this 18 to 24 age group that does not still live with their parents cohabitates rather than marrying.

And all of these societal changes over the last century and especially the last several decades have caused America’s fertility rate to plummet.

CNN recently published an article entitled “America just had its lowest number of births in 32 years, report finds”  written by Jacqueline Howard and it states the following dark statistics about America’s falling fertility rates:

The number of births for the United States last year dropped to its lowest in about three decades, according to provisional data in a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Even though the number of births we’ve seen in 2018 is the lowest that we’ve seen in 32 years, the total fertility rate is at a record low,” said Brady Hamilton, a natality expert at the center and first author of the report…

The total fertility rate in 2018 was below what is considered the level needed for a population to replace itself: 2,100 births per 1,000 women, according to the report.

The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and consistently below replacement for the last decade,” the authors wrote in the new report.”

It is no coincidence that the national fertility rate began to drop from the 1970s on after the Second wave feminism of the 1960s took a sledge hammer to what was left of traditional gender roles in America.

The only thing that masks our falling population numbers is legal and illegal immigration.  And that is a dirty little secret no one wants to admit.  If we stopped all immigration into this country for a decade, we would see elementary schools all over the United States closing revealing the fact that our natural born citizen women are having less and less children each year.

America Broke God’s Design of Mutual Dependency Between Men and Women

So here is why we have arrived at continual falling fertility rates each decade since the 1970s with only a few years in between where the fertility rate rose.

America came to reject God’s design of men being leaders, providers and protectors and women being caretakers of their children and their homes.  Marriage was strongly encouraged by society and sex outside of marriage and divorce were greatly frowned upon.  These values came from the common Christian heritage that most Americans had.

God’s design provided for a mutual dependency between men and women. Women because they had less rights than men and could not own property, sought out men for protection and provision.  Men were drawn to women for sex, having children and having someone to care for the domestic affairs of their home as they went out and worked in the world.

But Feminism and the Sexual Revolution that flowed from it broke this mutual dependency between men and women that God designed.  Women no longer needed men for their provision and protection.  The government offered women protection apart from marriage and women could provide for themselves and own property as men could.  Men no longer needed marriage to get sex as women would casually give it to them while dating.

And since marriage became a much risker proposition for men in that they could be financially devasted by a woman in divorce while also having less custody of their children many men opted out of seeking marriage all together.

And this is where we are in 2019 America.

But as Thomas Fuller once said “It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn” and that is so true for us as Conservative Christians in America today.

Hope Is on The Horizon for Conservative Christians While Despair Awaits Secularists

As conservative Bible believing Christians our hope is not in the Republican party (which can often disappoint us) but rather in God.   However, God works through the obedience of his children as the Scriptures tell us:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

And the obedience I am speaking of is for us as conservative Christians to raise our sons and daughters to fully embrace the Biblical gender roles God has designed.  And to fully accept and embrace God’s Word regarding gender roles we must utterly reject the ideologies of feminism, egalitarianism and individualism which are diametrically opposed to a Biblical world view.  We must as a culture stop thinking of only what we want as individuals, and instead focus on what God wants for us and what is best for our families, our communities and our nation.

We need to arm our children with the truth of God’s Word and the facts that are seen all around us about divorce rates, cohabitation rates and falling fertility rates.  God’s design works for stronger marriages and families and frankly it produces more children and a stronger society.

The good news for us as Conservative Christians is that we already have higher fertility rates than secularists.   Here is some not so good news for the future of secularists in America from an article in the Washington Examiner by Paul Bedard entitled “Study: Conservative baby boom will shift nation further right” :

A baby boom among conservatives could push the nation’s politics further right in the coming decades, especially since liberals aren’t having as many children, according to a new study of online dating habits of conservatives and liberals.

The study featured in a Harvard University Shorenstein Center review of recent surveys released Tuesday on how political polarization of the nation is impacting Washington’s budget talks is the first to challenge left-leaning pundits who have claimed that as the white population shrinks, the GOP will become marginalized.

Instead, the study in the authoritative journal Political Behavior, conducted by scholars from Brown and Penn State University, suggested that liberals could be the endangered species in the coming decades as conservatives, typically white, have more children than liberals. And those children, this study and others show, commonly follow the politics of their parents.”

And just in case you were wondering, more than 80 percent of all conservatives in America are Christians. So, as you can see, the rumors of the demise of conservative Christians have been greatly exaggerated.

The fact is there is nothing secularists can do about their coming demise because their ideology leads to selfish individualistic living which results in low fertility rates while conservative Christianity leads to people who care about marriage, family and God and thus much higher fertility rates.

In years past Secularists in educational institutions were able to convert many children raised in conservative homes but now that trend has changed with the information age and with conservative children seeing the damage secularism has caused to our society.

Conclusion

The Scriptures tell us in 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”. The nation of Gilead in its Totalitarian form of government violated and usurped the authority and the freedoms of the family unit and the churches. It violated God’s commands allowing women to teach and prophesy by restricting women from reading, writing or teaching (except the Aunts).  It violated God’s laws by passing around women as handmaids to different Commanders thus violating the Biblical concept that a woman belongs to her first husband as long as he lives.  It violated God’s law in assigning econ-wives to men when authority over marriage belongs to the father of a woman, not the state.  And it imposed the death penalty on Christians for differences of interpretation and application of the Scriptures and this is something that is not allowed by God.

But some of the things Gilead did were not only Biblical, but they truly are an indictment of our American and Western systems of government.  While the Civil government cannot usurp the God given Christian spiritual authority and rights of Pastors, husbands or fathers it is not forbidden from protecting the Christian faith of the nation from other religions and systems of morality not founded in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Many of our founding fathers were good Christian men.  But in their efforts to prevent one Christian sect from dominating another they left the common Christian faith of the nation completely undefended and vulnerable to attacks from secularism.

America’s Constitution will need to be updated in the future to address this weakness if we are to survive as a nation.  We can protect what should be regarded as the basis for our morality as a nation, the Bible, while at the same time placing safeguards against the state intruding in the spheres of the church and the home.

The removal of the ability of women to own property and placing them back under the ownership of men is the only way we will restore the mutual dependency that God designed there to be between men and women.  Also, the removal of no-fault divorce laws and once again making divorce very difficult would help to re-secure the institution of marriage.  These changes along with the reinstating and enforcing of the fornication laws America once had would bring men back to the marriage table in droves. And America’s families and fertility rates could once again be restored.

And finally, on the subject of crime and immoral behavior. Our softness toward criminals and immoral behavior has led to the pollution of our society.  There is no fear of God or the consequences of our actions anymore in this culture.  We must restore a healthy fear of the consequences of doing evil according to God’s Law.

And where does our softness come from? It comes from the feminization of our society.  It is somewhat ironic how secular humanists claim to be all about logic and reason yet their social policies are completely based in feelings.  Secularism and all of its step children like feminism, socialism and communism are doomed to fail because they deny God’s design of human nature as well as sin’s corruption of the human.

I will leave my fellow Christian brethren with this hope from the Scriptures:

“7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

Psalm 37:7-9 (KJV)

19 thoughts on “The World of The Handmaid’s Tale: Not Completely Bad

  1. I’ve never bothered to watch even a single episode of this tv show and I had no idea what it was even about, so thanks for the input, since the reference by the liberal left had left me wondering what in the world they were talking about.

    I have no doubt that if this is shared to your Facebook page you are getting tons of hoots and hollers about what a horrible person you are, but this is a good, clear article that presents, perhaps, a world in which the gender equality pendulum has swung far in the opposite direction – a polar opposite of what is happening in today’s modern time where the pendulum is clearly on the side of women. Men have little to no rights when pitted against a woman because women have the support of the state behind them in everything from divorce to actual crimes like murder or manslaughter – even drunk driving!

    I think most intelligent people would agree that neither one side nor the other is beneficial for men and women, who must live with a synergy for both to be happy and prosperous. Not an equality, for the bible doesn’t teach such equality, but what the bible does teach is an order and a structure, and, as with anything, following the correct order and structure is good for all.

  2. Snapper,

    I just posted it to Facebook. Looking forward to the responses there. And as you can see even from the title of my article the key phrase “Not Completely Bad” I am saying that there are in fact many wrong things with the world of the Handmaid’s Tale in that they have done as you have said and swung the pendulum to far to the other side.

    But Leftists see the pre-Gilead America as this wonderful progressive place moving closer and closer to an egalitarian Utopia before the fall and the rise of the Handmaid’s tale world. What they will not recognize is that our collapsing family structure and the lack of true Biblical morality and abandonment of gender roles led to that world they so despise in the Handmaid’s Tale. And the truth is as I point out in this article, some of the things done in the Handmaids Tale world, like removing the ability of women to own property and making women the property of men once again as they used to be in America and Western Civilization is not only right, but it is in fact Biblical.

  3. Yes, they don’t realize they are actually creating the world they so fear and think they are fighting against! When you push so hard in one direction its just a matter of time before the pendulum swings back, and with as much momentum as distance you had pushed! I’ve said for quite some time now that the day men finally push back will be a sad and scary day for women and those who support feminism, though we hope it would never come to that, but the heart of mankind is no different than it was one-thousand years ago, and one can only take so much before it becomes too much.

  4. “She is named Offred because all Handmaids are given the name of the Commander they assigned to and her commander’s name is Fred, therefore she is called “Offred”. An “are” belongs in this sentence in between “they” and “assigned.” “First wave feminism which sprung from the abolitionist movement aimed to give women more rights.” Commas belong in this sentence after “feminism” and “movement.” “But their ultimate goal was woman’s suffrage which the finally passed in 1919 and was ratified by the states in 1920.” The “the” doesn’t belong in this sentence. “James Madison’s warning is actually foretold in the creation account after the fall of Adam and Eve when God told them the following:” I think you mean’t “in the account of the fall of Adam and Eve,” as that was after the creation, not part of the account of how it came to be. “Over several decades the feminists and secularists exploited the US Constitution’s tolerance for non-Christian values eventually using the force of court rulings and new laws in an attempt to obliterate the Biblically based gender roles America once had.” Another comma belongs in this sentence, in between “values” and “eventually.” “As a direct result of the feminist and humanist assaults on gender roles and Christian morality in America marriage and fertility rates are at a crisis level for Millennials. Many Millennials now are very afraid of marriage or see no value in marriage. Consider the following sobering facts.” A comma also belongs in this sentence, in between “America” and “marriage.” “In years past Secularists in educational institutions were able to convert many children raised in conservative homes but now that trend had changed with the information age and with conservative children seeing the damage secularism has caused to our society.” The word “had” should be “has” in this sentence. Wonderful article, BGR! 🙂 Keep it up.

  5. Exodus 22 & Numbers 30 demonstrate that men have the ability to veto a daughter’s marriage, not force her into one in which she is unwilling.

    Please give me an example of a Bible passage in which God deems it acceptable for a woman to be forced into a marriage, despite her pleading otherwise (Exodus 22 doesn’t count because she willingly chose to have sex with the man).

    Yes the Bible mentions arranged marriages, but the Bible doesn’t say that it’s okay to force her into an arranged marriage if she’s unwilling. That’s just common logic. Plus, forcing someone into a marriage against their will completely defies the commandment to treat others as you want to be treated.

    “Gilead’s practice of disallowing women to own property and transferring their assets to their nearest male relative is a Biblical concept.”
    In Song of Solomon 8:21, the woman freely gives her earnings to her husband; they’re not just automatically his, even though he was a king. You can say that since SoS pictures an ideal marriage, this indicates women should give their earnings to their husbands, but by the same reasoning, Matt 5:42 means that men should give their wives everything they ask for.
    2 Kings 8:5-6 is another passage in which a woman owned property. & In Prov 31:16 a woman buys a field with her own earnings.

  6. Biblicalgenderroles,

    Your paragraph:

    “It is no coincidence that the national fertility rate began to drop from the 1970s on after the Second wave feminism of the 1960s took a sledge hammer to what was left of traditional gender roles in America.”

    The big fall in fertility in America was from 1957 to 1976 where the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the average number of births per woman over her lifetime, went from 3.754 children per woman in 1957 down to 1.738 children per woman in 1976. The TFR went from 3.754 in 1957 down to 1.738 in 1976 up to 2.081 in 1990 down to 1.971 in 1997 up to 2.120 in 2007 down to 1.728 in 2018. So 2018 did indeed see the lowest fertility rate in American history.

    You might be interested in my recent post:

    History of Family Breakdown in the United States
    https://secularpatriarchy.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/history-of-family-breakdown-in-the-united-states/

    This post gives detailed statistical information and line graphs regarding divorce, married women working, and out-of-wedlock births from 1867 to 2017 in the United States.

  7. Joshua 15:16-17 “And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb took it and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.”

    Caleb says whoever goes and conquers this place gets my daughter in marriage. Othniel conquers the designated place and he gets Calebs daughter as a wife. No mention of her consenting to said marriage. She just gets on her donkey and away she goes!

  8. BGR – You are bold brother. You did a superlative job of addressing the social mega-trends, illuminating how they are a sinful departure from God’s blueprint and pointing out the path back.

    Perhaps I am feeling weary and blue, but I do not share your optimism for the nation. Of course duties are ours and the future is the Lord’s. I may be be pessimistic because my vision has been occluded by my own history and circumstances, yet my cynicism is not devoid of extrinsic reason. The concern that more than others derails my optimism is – The church, which is called to be the ground and pillar of truth, has drank the cool aid of feminism. It has created a bulwark to defend its feminism against biblical patriarchy. I present the following church cultural exhibits in support:

    1- The delay of marriage as prudent piety. Reasons elicited include allowing a woman to establish a career (so she has something after she divorces), experience life (experience lots of dudes who are not her future husband) and for males to prove they do not need a help-meet nor a wife for sexual pleasure (they have successfully walked the monastic path, slated the business world, established mature competence and are finally ready to become husbands).

    2- The unassailable precept that women control sexual access absolutely. To point out that within marriage it is metaphysically impossible for rape to occur is anathema. To suggest that a wife is not entitled to withhold sex for any reason (I’m tire, I have a headache, the dog is barking, there are dishes in the sink) is anathema. To suggest that a father and NOT a daughter has oversight of her sexual purity and boundaries is anathema.

    3 – The vehemence against porn is a two-front assault and male sexuality that has done far more harm to marriage than porn itself. On the first front it is a cudgel to empower wives to control their husbands and force them to submit to her. The church defines porn such that what women read, look at and enjoy is not included; the porn cudgel is anti-male exclusively. Deceiving women that porn equals adultery and deceiving women that they may and should control their husband’s sexuality and deceiving women that any lack of her control is “biblical” grounds for divorce. The operating protocol is “no sex if there is porn use, no sex if there not porn use”. The second front against male sexuality is to insist that porn is evidence that men’s sexual desires are sin. Instead of allowing that men appreciate beauty, the need to be desired, they desire to have an enthusiastic lover and they long for oneness it is portrayed that men only think about one thing. (The one thing they are being defrauded from). Hence women are never told to repent of sexual sins, that is man’s work only.

    4 – Divorce is an accepted and supported state. Popular even.

    5 – Small households with 1.5 children. When a husband is divorced by his wife, she can only support so many children even with her ongoing career. And her soon to be ex-husband might not pay all the child support because after having his house taken from him, he must pay high rent for an apartment like a good dead-beat dad.

    6 – Not only are women rarely taught to repent of sin, they are encouraged to repent of righteousness. Women authors tell of “repenting against the sins” of: submitting too much, (see doormat theology), identification with her husband too much (individualism not oneness), not being all she can be, forget homemaker and mother think executive, pastor or politician. Women are taught to control their husbands, that they are more spiritual, that they work harder, that their husbands are lazy oppressors of the daughters of the king.

    7 – Resistance to the above is cause to be exiled from the church. The pastor has a good gig going, and the chicks dig his groove; don’t rock the boat.

    Summary: Raising daughters with a vision toward a Biblical vision will be thwarted by her mother, the church and society. Her mother, because the church and church inc. are invested in her rebellion in the home. It is nearly impossible to inoculate a woman from the toxicity of christo-feminism and the
    insidious culture. Again, I may be projecting some of my own failure, but I have watched hundreds of other men and their families too. Families that tried the “family integrated”, homeschooling and long dresses approach. And yet the fruit that I see in second and third generations is arrogance and gradual but steady cultural appropriation. We must continue to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, seeking to obey Him as Lord no matter the future. I think we are seeing the fall of America right before our eyes and the judgement against what the church has become. The shepherds are fat and satisfied, for now.

    “therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.”
    ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭34:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬

    The nation is languishing, but the Kingdom advances and Christ reigns making all His enemies His footstool.

  9. Jonadab,

    I see exactly where you are coming and it is very possible that God will completely allow us to reap all we have sown and it will all come crashing down and then he will come back and rule with a rod of iron. I have many Christian friends of mine who take this view that the world, not just America, will just get worse and worse and there is no chance for any country to turn around and see God change their land. And I respect that view, but I tend to be a “glass half full” kind of person.

    This is a passage that is near and dear to my heart:

    “8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
    2 Peter 3:8-9 (KJV)

    We must remember that Christians during the Apostles’s time saw the world as a very evil place much as we do and they thought Christ would come back within their lifetimes. And truly we should live every day of our life for Christ as if he could come back at any time. But we must also heed the Scripture passage above that he may not come back for another 1000 years because God loves to see repentance. I believe God would love to see the repentance of the people of the United States and other Western nations.

    I don’t see that happening anytime in the immediate future, but if a major catastrophic event (natural or political) took place it is possible that repentance on a national scale would take place.

    And while I cannot predict natural disasters as only God can, from a history perspective we can look and see political catastrophe on it’s way for America. We are as a society exhibiting many of the same things that happened before the fall of the Roman Empire. Unless we repent, America will soon fall like Rome did. You don’t have to be a prophet to see that, just look at history and you will know.

  10. @BGR My eschatology is postmill. I have no doubt that what is happening and what will happen will glorify Christ and further reveal His rule. In the long term I am uber-optimistic, but in the short term and particularly concerning the nation, I see the times more like Jeremiah’s than like Josiah’s. The church while not the immediate cause, bears the responsibility in the same way the water-pump is responsible for an engine overheating; it didn’t cause the heat, but it was designed to protect the engine from the heat. Sometimes the old has to be torn down to make a solid foundation for the new. We may be the witnesses to the end of something, a painful but necessary step toward something greater, yet whatever the particulars, what we do now has consequences for generations.

    To quote that now despised dead old white man, William Bradford, “Last and not least they cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least making some ways toward it, for the propagation and advancement of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in performance of so great work.”

  11. Julia,
    The key word in Exodus 22:17 is the word “give”:

    “If her father utterly refuse to GIVE her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

    You cannot give what is not yours to give. Throughout the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments women are “given” and “taken” in marriage. Men are never given in marriage. Men give their daughters in marriage, and take other men’s daughters in marriage either through purchasing them(with the bride price) or in war women are taken as part of the spoils of war.

    Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”
    Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

    “But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”
    Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

    The burden is not on me to show you a woman sinning against her father by refusing to marry the man he was giving her to because she is his property to give. The burden is on you to show a woman refusing and her father allowing such a refusal.
    Also as far as the Golden rule goes you should read that passage more carefully:

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
    Matthew 7:12

    You should do unto others as God’s law says they should want done unto them. What we want and what God’s law says we should want may be two very different things. I am actually working on an article on this that I will be publishing soon.

  12. @BGR I consider historic premillennialism as well as the variant chialism to be Biblically and historically acceptable within the bounds of orthodoxy. Humility demands that I forego dogmatism on issues that are partially hidden in the future and not clearly revealed, issues that the early church allowed diversity of opinion.

  13. Jonadab,

    I agree 100% with you on not being dogmatic on prophecy as it is about the future, not how we are to live in the present. And that is why I never really argue prophecy systems with people as I find it far less practical to our daily lives. In contrast, Biblical gender roles are not as open to interpretation as prophecy is. I actually consider Biblical gender roles to be as straight forward and obvious as the Ten Commandments. Not too much wiggle room in their for interpretation.

  14. @BGR I completely agree. Keep fighting the good fight, and take heart, you are not alone. There still those of us who have not bent the knee to feminism. Some of us in the struggle identify with the apostle as he writes, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
    ‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭4:8-10‬ ‭

  15. I just had a woman email me and ask the following questions about my review:

    “I just finished reading your article about The Handmaid’s Tale. It was a really interesting article and now I want to give reading the novel a try.

    However, when I finished reading the article, I was a bit confused about one topic: the “unwomen” and how they were essentially sentenced to death. From what I understand, the unwomen were females who were infertile for various reasons and they were sent to perform deadly labor. They had no value in this new society; thus, they could be disposed of easily. Isn’t this unbiblical? After all, God condemns taking the lives of people just because they are not “valuable” to someone because of a condition that they can’t control. For example, it is unbiblical to kill female infants, as has been done throughout history, simply due to their gender. Or, for example, I have autism. If we lived in a society governed by the Bible, my father couldn’t legally and rightfully (according to the Bible) take my life due to my disability. Of course, I understand females are under the authority of males, and as a conservative Christian, I fully understand this. However, there are biblical limitations to reasons for why anyone, male or female, can be killed or sentenced to death. You seemed to exclude this point completely from the “biblical” and unbiblical” sections of the article. I was wondering as to why you did this.”

    Here was my response to her.

    I have not read the entire book, but rather I read a lot of cliff notes on line by various sources to understand the various classes of people within Gilead. I also watched the first half of the first season of the Hulu series based on the book. From what I got from all my sources online – unwomen are not just unfertile women. They are unfertile women that were undesirables by the state for breaking Gilead’s laws or standing against the government in some way.

    But in answer to your question, no I do not believe it is Biblical at all for women to be sentenced to death only because they are infertile. The Bible has no allowance for this.

    As I wrote in my recent article “Does the Bible Say It is Ok to Murder Women?” the value of all human life begins with the fact that we are all made in the image of God and this is the clear teaching of the Scriptures:

    “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
    Genesis 9:6 (KJV)

    However I explained in that article that woman does not bear the image of God to the same extent that men do, in the same way men do not bear the image of God to the same extent that Christ does.

    But any part of God’s creation, whether it be men or women, that bear any part of his image has special value to God. Therefore, no, women cannot be indiscriminately killed or killed simply for being infertile.

    I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.