Media freak-out lands on “Hardball with Chris Matthews”

Kudos to Russell Moore for fighting the good fight in a tough venue. Moore completely outmatched the activist that he was paired to debate. Still, what strikes me about this conversation is that it is clear that Chris Matthews has no idea what the Indiana bill says. After 5 days of national debate, he still doesn’t have a basic working knowledge of this law. Not only that, he apparently is unaware of the bakers, florists, photographers, etc. who have been at the center of this debate for years now. How can he not know the basics by now?


  • David Shane

    Call me a crazy Christian, but one of my reactions to this whole kerfluffle has been to remember 2 Corinthians 4:4 – “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers”. There really does seem to be a supernatural blindness in the way sometimes. I’ve talked with intelligent people, people who are not as a rule dishonest people and tried to explain that the facts are simply not as they understand them (forget the moral argument!)… and it’s the strangest thing. Like Matthews here, for some reason on this topic they just don’t get it. It really is odd.

  • Christiane Smith

    Mattthews is a Catholic. His moral understanding corresponds to what the Catholic faith teaches. His perceptions are therefore influenced in that direction. George Stephanopolis is the son of a Greek Orthodox priest, and his moral understanding comes from the tradition of Eastern Christianity. Russell Moore is a Southern Baptist and reflects the moral values of the Southern Baptist faith tradition.

    Do these differences in the Christian formation of each of these gentlemen, as regards the development of their indivicual moral consciences, possibly account for the variance in focus as to HOW CLOSE the impact of the Indiana law will come to impacting all of the citizens of the state?

    This is a question that might be easier to answer if people KNEW the religious formation processes of each faith tradition. But I think it’s a good question, and it does deserve some consideration.
    REASON: Once we enter the arena of the ‘moral law of God’, our faith traditions do impact thought and decision greatly. So those traditions may account for the way we ‘see’ or ‘don’t see’ things under discussion.

  • Aaron Ginn

    The Mormon church used to teach that blacks were cursed with the Mark of Cain until it became politically expedient to change that teaching, but I’d venture there are still a number of ultra conservative Mormons that believe that teaching. If a Mormon storeowner was to refuse to serve blacks because of this teaching, would you support their right to do so? After all, that would be violating their religous liberty, wouldn’t it? How is this scenario different from the idea of refusing to serve homosexuals?

    • buddyglass

      A small suggestion w.r.t. your hypothetical: use religious discrimination instead of race. Why? Because race is immutable. Someone to whom you posed this question could answer, “No, they shouldn’t be able to discriminate on the basis of race because race is fundamentally different from a decision to be homosexually active. Race is immutable whereas someone who experiences same-sex attraction can refrain from acting on their predisposition.”

      If you instead pose the question, “Some Muslims regard non-Muslims as unclean and consider themselves to be made impure by doing business with non-Muslims. Should they be allowed to refuse to serve anyone who isn’t a Muslim?”

      This preemptively addresses the “immutability” argument since faith is mutable.

      • Aaron Ginn

        Denny seems to agree that sexuality is an inherent trait in at least some cases (note his post on Sam Allberry). In that case, my point still stands.

        Since no one has offered an answer, I’ll assume there is not a good response to my hypothetical. That’s what I expected.

        • buddyglass

          If I had to play devil’s advocate, here’s how I’d respond to your original question:

          No, it’s not okay to discriminate on the basis of race because race is an immutable trait and not a behavior. Bakers, photographers, etc. who want protection for refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings aren’t discriminating against practicing homosexuals per se since they happily provide services to the same customers outside the context of a same-sex wedding. Moreover, whereas same-sex attraction may be immutable, acting on that attraction is a behavior, which arguably puts it in a different category from race with respect to whether discriminatory practices should be allowed.

          • Ryan Davidson


            Race may be an immutable trait, but Jim Crow laws regulated conduct.

            To be honest with you, I suspect that granting protected status to people based on sexual orientation will make for its own obsolescence. Not until the late 1800s did the notion of “heterosexuality” emerge. If people ask, I tend to identify as non-heterosexual simply because I believe that it’s a fairly silly concept. Recent research in Europe and Australia shows that, once the stigma against same-sex intimacy subsides, people often begin to experience a greater degree of sexual fluidity. For example, most southern Italian men would admit to finding other men attractive; they simply consummate that attraction in friendship rather than in sex. Our Christian hang-ups about same-sex attraction belie the fact that we’re still fairly trapped by Freudian thinking–thinking that wrongly assumes that all attractions are simply veiled forms of genital-erotic desire. We’ve got to get beyond Freud.

            The complementary of male and female is not merely a complementarity of sexual desire. In fact, sexual desire played a fairly minor role in Christians’ thinking about marriage until the early 1900s. Male and female complement each other in a whole host of ways, most of which have nothing to do with sex.

            I think we’d be better off if we just admitted that sexual orientation exists, that “heterosexuality” is an unbiblical Freudian concept that has no place in the church, and that sexual orientation is therefore unimportant. And while we’re at it, we can ditch this whole Freudian-romantic view of marriage, and move to something more sensible. The cognitive elite already have. Most of my law firm colleagues get married in their 30s, and generally have a small ceremony with family and close friends somewhere in the Caribbean. I have a colleague who’s getting married this summer at a Habsburg-era palace near Budapest.

            I fear that our improper focus on sexual desire and sexual orientation has led us away from considering the biblical merits of marriage, which, according to Paul, don’t have much to do with expressing sexual desire.

        • Brian Sanders

          Aaron: Sam Allberry made it clear that it is sin to act on same sex attraction and certainly Denny Burk agrees so I don’t think you can use them to make your argument.

    • Mike Dunger

      Aaron, I know of a Christian pastor out west that has to drive to the next county to buy groceries. He has to do this because the Mormon that owns the local grocery refuses to sell to him. Do I LIKE this action? Nope. Do I support the right of that Mormon business owner to control his freedom of association? Absolutely.

      Freedom and liberty aren’t available in neat, offense free environments. A true allegiance to freedom and liberty means that you support it, even when doing so hurts you.

      • Aaron Ginn

        Very well. I actually agree with you that people should have the right to associate with whomever they wish and refuse service to whomever they wish. I just want to see if those Christians who believe that they should be able to refuse to serve homosexuals understand that it is no different from refusing to serve based upon race, hair color or whatever. I appreciate your consistency at least.

        Anyway, we don’t live in that world.

    • Brian Sanders

      Aaron: The Mark of Cain being dark skin was actually once widely believed and was used to support slavery – but that belief is now widely rejected no matter if someone somewhere does still embrace the idea… you really need to stretch a bit further for a “real” analogy.

  • Ike Lentz

    I’ve heard the same line now from Moore, Mohler, and Denny too- that the bill is being misconstrued by the liberal media and has nothing to do with discrimination- but I haven’t heard an evangelical leader explain what the bill actually is.

    If the bill isn’t that big a deal, why do we even need it? If it doesn’t discriminate, why are so many people under the impression that it does?

    • James Stanton

      Ike, good questions. There is a rush to codify religious liberty protections for Christians (primarily) before same sex marriage is legalized in the US.

      The author of this piece provides some insight into these laws that I haven’t seen from most of the links posted here recently.

      One thing social conservatives cannot argue is that they have not been given opportunities to make their case in the national press. Some of the people you mentioned are essentially political figures. They know when to put on the full-court press and rally to defend a cause.

  • Ryan B

    Ike, it is a big deal, but it won’t lead to discrimination, as is constantly (and wrongly) asserted. It requires the government to pass a strict scrutiny test when burdening the religious convictions of a citizen, and was drafted in response to SCOTUS changing the way it rules on religious liberty cases in 1990 ( It is a big enough deal to be drafted and adopted with bipartisan support federally and in most states already. It has been working and tested for decades now; the manufactured outrage, however, is new.

  • Ryan B

    Ike, what leads you to believe that such a scenario would come to pass? If such things were happening, you can bet we’d have examples held up all over the place in opposition to the Indiana RFRA, but nothing of the sort is forthcoming. You can see examples of how the RFRA has been used here; it does have a clear history and plenty of precedent:

  • Ike Lentz

    Ryan, thanks for linking that article. All of the examples are of individuals who were being asked to go against their religious beliefs by government institutions, not businesses that were
    refusing services to people based on their beliefs. So why doesn’t Indiana make that part of the bill, and put in a provision that doesn’t allow businesses to discriminate? If the bill really has nothing to do with discrimination, why leave the possibility open?

  • Ryan B

    Ike, my question is: why is that even a concern? How is that possibility “open” right now? Does an amendment like that need to be put on every piece of legislation that is ever passed, going forward? If so, why has that not been raised in connection with any other bill or law?

    • Ike Lentz

      Ryan, I think a lot of this stems from the timing of the bill. Evangelicals have been using the example of the christian florist or the the christian wedding cake baker as a hypothetical religious liberty issue for over a year now. It’s hard for anyone to believe that a republican governor in a conservative state is introducing this specific bill right now in order to protect the rights of prisoners who want to grow ceremonial beards. So to answer your question, I think a lot of people are concerned because of the timing and context of the bill.

      Again, I would ask- if the intention isn’t to protect business that want to discriminate against gay people for religious reasons- if it’s so obvious that the bill would NEVER do that- why is there a resistance to clarify the bill in order to say so? You asked, “Does an amendment like that need to be put on every piece of legislation that is ever passed, going forward?” The answer is simply, no, only for bills that could possibly lead to such a thing.

      • Johnny Mason

        Ike, the same law that protects the muslim inmate, or the native american chief, or the peyote smoker, will also protect the christian cake baker who does not want to violate their conscience by participating in a gay wedding. Why is this only controversial in the latter case? Why is it good to protect the religious liberties of the former, but not the latter? Should the law only protect one and not the other? Should the law only protect conscience decisions that you find agreeable?

        This law will not give a license to discriminate. We have similar laws in 30 other states and a federal version of the law, and the parade of horribles has not materialized. In fact, business owners in Indiana today can refuse service to gays for any reason. Yet, the good people of Indiana haven’t discriminated against them. This law does not change that.

        What is a more civil society? One where a 70-year old grandmother loses her business and lively-hood because she believes in the notion that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and does not wish to violate her conscience. Or one where the couple just finds one of a hundred other florists who would gladly service their request?

        • Ryan Davidson


          There are RFRA laws in only 19 other states, not 30. The federal RFRA statute and the 19 state-level RFRA statutes are only applicable in disputes where a governmental entity is a party to the controversy. Neither the federal statute nor any of the 19 other state-level statutes applies to private-party civil disputes. By its very language, the Indiana statute does. Section 9 of Indiana’s RFRA statute recites:

          “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”

          The last clause is the source of the uproar. If the statute isn’t intended to be used as a defense in private civil litigation where the government is not a party to the controversy–as Governor Pence alleges–then the last clause of Section 9 should be amended to say the following, which is more in line with what the federal RFRA statute and the other 19 RFRA statutes say: “…but only if the state or another governmental entity is a necessary party to the lawsuit.”

          • Johnny Mason

            The 30 number includes states that have these protections via court decisions.

            “Since then, in addition to Indiana, 19 states have passed their own state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

            Another 11 states have RFRA-like protections provided by state court decisions.”


            • Ryan Davidson


              You said that 30 states have RFRA “laws” that are similar to the Indiana law. It seems that you’re now admitting that that was an incorrect statement.

              Only 19 states besides Indiana have RFRA laws, and none of those bear any similarity to the aspect of Indiana’s law that’s generating the public condemnation. The public uproar is over the last clause in Section 9. No other state RFRA has such a clause or anything similar to it.

              Further, the term “laws” is generally reserved for statutes or ordinances that are duly passed by a legislative body and signed by an executive. The term does not include court decisions. Further, would you mind pointing me to a few of these court decisions to which you’re referring? If you can’t do that, then you really ought not to be making assertions regarding the issue. After all, court decisions don’t come out of the air; they are based on underlying laws. So, it’s unclear to me how a court decision could provide RFRA-like protections if there’s no underlying law giving rise to the decision. That makes no sense.

              Also, if what you say about the law is true, would you agree to the amending language I’ve suggested? Based on what you’ve said, it seems to me that you ought to agree.

              • Johnny Mason

                I misspoke about the number of actual RFRA laws. I included the ones that came from RFRA-like interpretations of State Constitutions.

                “Since 1997 (and in some measure before), about a dozen states enacted similar state-level RFRAs as to state law, and about a dozen more interpreted their state constitutions to follow the Sherbert model rather than the Smith model.”


                You are right that there is a difference, but why pass an RFRA law when the State already has those protections in their Constitution?

                • Ryan Davidson


                  If a state court decision merely interpreted the state’s constitution in a manner consistent with Sherbet, then it’s still not relevant to what’s being objected to in the current controversy. Such provisions in a state constitution would merely serve as a limit on governmental conduct, and would not confer onto religious people a new religious-liberty defense that they can assert in private-party civil suits. So, by my count, there are exactly ZERO other states that have RFRA laws that contain something analogous to the last clause of Section 9 of Indiana’s law, which is the portion of the law that’s generating the public uproar.

                  • Johnny Mason

                    I have a reply to the section 9 issue, but it is currently being moderated. The gist of which is that section 9 provisions are not controversial and courts have interpreted RFRA laws to cover suits between private parties, although not all courts agree.

                  • Johnny Mason

                    For some reason my Section 9 post keeps getting moderated out of existence. Not sure why. But Google “Comparing the Federal RFRA and the Indiana RFRA” by Josh Blackmon.

                    He goes over the differences in the Indiana Law and the Federal RFRA and has a section on the Section 9 provision. Here is a relevant quote:

                    “In the Elane Photograph case, the New Mexico Supreme Court, interpreting its own RFRA, ruled that it could only be invoked when the government was a party, but not when private parties were sued by state law. The Indiana bill makes clear that the defense can be raised in any case, as have four courts of appeals covering nearly half the states in the Union.

                    Interestingly, as noted in this amicus brief by the Becket Fund in the Elane Photography case, DOJ has taken the position that RFRA can be raised as a defense in lawsuits brought by private parties”

                    • Ryan Davidson

                      Again, you’re flatly wrong. No federal appellate court has held that the federal RFRA generally applies to all private-party civil litigation. In fact this would go expressly against the test of the statute, which reads: “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.” 42 USC s. 2000bb-1(c). Moreover, section 1(a) expressly states, “Government shall not….”

                      Yes, there are limited instances in which certain appellate courts have permitted a private party to raise a RFRA defense in a civil dispute against another private party. But these exceptions are limited to instances where the private party against whom the the RFRA defense is being levied is functioning in a qui tam capacity of in a capacity the court deems to be the functional equivalent thereof. So, only in very narrow circumstances and in only four of the thirteen federal circuits have courts permitted someone to rely on RFRA as a defense in private-party civil litigation. And, in those cases, it’s because, in the court’s view, the government is a de facto but unnamed party to the suit.

                      Indiana’s RFRA would dispense with this altogether, and take a narrow exception and broaden it to cover any and all civil suits between private parties. No federal court has authorized such an application of the federal RFRA statute.

  • Suzanne McCarthy

    When are egalitarians, Christian or otherwise, going to express their view that sex within an authority – submission relationship, is not consensual in theory. It may be so in practice, no argument there, but not in theory. We should boycott those weddings and their arrangements.

    How does a Christian woman react when, after the wedding, her husband flashes her signed wedding vows in her face and says that she obeys or he is off to consult a lawyer? I would hope that no one would provide a cake for such a wedding. It really does not deserve a cake. While the woman may agree to submit, at the time of each sexual encounter, if she is into that, she should not be bound by a vow, a legal document, that she must submit.

    The vow to submit should not take place within the legal framework of marriage in our country. Why turn our country into submitters and masters on legal documents? It is time for us to protest civic vows of authority and submission within a sexual context. Is that the Christian view of sex? Is that why Christians can’t tolerate SSM? Because it is unclear who has authority and who submits?

    • Chris Madison

      Suzanne- as a conservative, evangelical pastor in the heart of the Bible Belt who has performed many weddings, I would not perform a wedding for a couple if the man in any way said he would flash signed wedding vows in the face of his wife anytime she would not do his bidding (Speaking of which- I don’t know of any man, Christian or otherwise, who requires his wife to sign their wedding vows; I have heard of men who require their wives to sign prenuptial agreements and both men and women have to sign their wedding license, but not their vows. You seem to be concerned about a non-existent situation).

      The scripture you seem to be referring to is Ephesians 5:22 which says- “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” People usually bring up this verse without including what comes closely after it in Ephesians 5:25 which says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, . . .” It goes on to say in verse 28- “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.” I have been the pastor of women in my church who have been lawyers, business owners, doctors, newspaper columnists, hotel and restaurant managers, who have no problem whatsoever submitting to the leadership of their husband when the husband is clearly trying as hard as possible to love them like Jesus loves us.

      As far as SSM goes, I don’t think Christians are the only ones in opposition to that. Liberal feminists were as outspoken as anyone in their opposition to things like “50 Shades of Grey.” Our opposition to it has little to do with authority or submissiveness. We would actually share some of the same criticism that liberal feminists do, that it is evil to depict women as sex objects to humiliate and torture for sexual pleasure.

      • David Howard Gleit

        A child submitting to the leadership of his or her loving parents makes total sense. But wives are not children. They are adults, and they are equal partners to their husbands. That notion was not accepted 2,000 years ago, but neither was the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. I truly believe the gender equality issue will be the greatest crisis that will face all traditional religions over the next decades. I have a son and and a daughter, and I profoundly, passionately believe they both have the same rights in every arena in society, including marriage. But I didn’t need to inculcate that idea into their minds – they knew it already. It was “self-evident” to them that all people are created equal.

      • Christiane Smith

        Hi CHRIS,
        I can’t speak for Suzanne, but I don’t see ‘submission’ as an honest response to ‘love’ . . . the reason is that it places a heavier burden on the one to whom another must ‘submit’, a burden of increased responsibility;
        the ‘alternative’ to love is to respond in kind, I believe . . . and this, done mutually in a marriage, reflects more fully the giving of self for the good of the other.

        I have a neighbor whose husband became ill in his fifties, and she became the one in the family to bear the heavy burdens of his care . . . she did this lovingly and selflessly, until he passed away. I suppose when roles are ‘reversed’ in a marriage and the ‘weaker sex’ must then assume the role of ‘stronger’ one; then we can best see the kind of response to love that I am referring to as something greater than ‘submission’ in the sense that some in the Church have defined ‘submission’.

        It is true that many today hear the word ‘submission’ and they may assume the worst from the popular culture’s definitions of sexual depravity;
        but when folks today hear ‘help to bear one another’s burdens’, then they have a better understanding of what a good Christian marriage is all about, even in response to the promise to bear with the other ‘for worse’. In many marriages, that time will come, with all of its pain and need.

        Love is not something to be parsed out in limited ways that are circumscribed by definitions of ‘how’ we are expected to behave in certain pre-defined situations;
        but ‘love’ is something so much MORE than that,
        and the evidence of this is shown more brightly when the time of testing in a marriage comes often bringing with it a change of ‘roles’ for a couple who love one another ‘in Christ’.

    • Nicki Ann

      Suzanne: It is not clear to me if you are serious or intentionally being nonsensical but I laughed out loud multiple times as I read your words.

      • Suzanne McCarthy

        Thanks, Nicki. It isn’t so funny to those who experience it. Perhaps you are of the view that laughing at cases of domestic violence will drive these women underground again and have a positive effect on statistics. If you are a Christian, which I see no evidence of, well …. I’m baffled.

  • Suzanne McCarthy

    You probably never asked that question and no man would volunteer it. Men don’t announce to the pastor that their wife must vote as he says, stop coughing when he says, not lock the bathroom door, not expect him to come to supper when he hears “supper’s ready” etc. etc. who ever predicts this stuff?

    Signing wedding vows is not non-existent. I signed a booklet put together by some Christian publisher, combining licence and vows, and used by my church – many years ago – which eventually ended up in the fireplace. However, a verbal vow should be considered just as significant and Jesus said, “Don’t do it.” No one should ever make this vow. What happens the first time your husband announces he will only come for supper when he feels like it. I didn’t know that I should have thrown supper in the garbage. No one had trained me in resistance strategies, that is, in non-submission.

    The husband has the physical strength to enforce obedience. However, many women marry civilized men who were raised in a socially egalitarian setting and judiciously call the wife’s agreement as “submission” and call their own agreement “loving like Jesus.”

    SSM is “same sex marriage” not something feminists protest. What I am saying is that authority and submission can become a very filthy thing, as it has the potential of turning a marriage into a 100 shades of black. Maybe not often but sometimes. ASM, that is, authority and submission marriages, should be either illegal or understood as belonging to a subculture we need to stay away from.

    I have attended 3 very large complementarian churches, in some cases with prominent published comp. pastors and prominent political leaders in the audience. In each one there was at least one case of a woman seeking shelter from someone outside the church for protection against domestic violence. I believe the women just eventually disappeared from the congregation and the incident did not contribute to change. What we really need is couselling in how to love each as Christ loved us. We should read all the “one another” passages and see how they relate to marriage. That would lay the grounds for a Christian marriage, not a marriage based on a rewrite and interpretation of Greek and Roman marriage customs.

    I have tried not to attend weddings with vows of submission, but I do want to admit that I went to one wedding where, minutes after the service including a vow of submission, the groom stepped on the brides train and in the moment of her vertical destabilization, she swore at him to get off her veil. This was a moment of revelation to me, some husbands do accept the odd correction or accidental rough language. How did I not know that? In any case, I never discuss non-existent situations here. A few of these things happened to me but many of them I have observed or been told about by one of the people involved, not third hand.

  • William Smith

    “Kudos to Russell Moore for fighting the good fight in a tough venue. Moore completely outmatched the activist that he was paired to debate. Still, what strikes me about this conversation is that it is clear that Chris Matthews has no idea what the Indiana bill says.”

    I know you and Dr. Moore are brilliant men Denny but I’m not sure how you didn’t notice that Matthews made Dr. Moore look like a fool. The activist didn’t keep his mouth shut because he was outclassed by Dr. Moore he kept his mouth shut because the discussion that he wanted and has nothing to do with what Dr. Moore was saying was gays will be kept from the lunch counter with this new law. We know that is absolute nonsense and untrue but unfortunately Dr. Moore didn’t realize or expect both Matthews and the activist would be telling the lie they did. Dr. Moore may have told the truth about the law but he did nothing to dispel the untruth of their lying narrative. It was hard to watch Dr. Moore. I kept on screaming under my breath .. say something! say something!

  • Chris Madison

    Suzanne- thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments. Sorry for misunderstanding the SSM you were referring to. LOL. Lately, most of the time when I see “SM” alongside submission/authority that’s usually what it is in reference to.

    We seem to have had completely different church experiences in relation to marriage and authority/submission problems in marriages. I don’t doubt that the experiences you mention above really happened, but I still say they are far from the majority. You mention that you have seen women seeking shelter from domestic violence in church’s with comp. pastors. However, I have heard of instances of women seeking shelter from domestic violence in every kind of church with pastors of all sorts of different beliefs about men’s and women’s roles in marriage. You can find women seeking shelter from domestic violence in atheist groups, liberal groups, conservative groups, and almost every other kind of group. Violence against women seems to be a universal problem everywhere. In fact, I recently read of a study that says women are much more at risk for physical abuse in cohabitation relationships than they are in marriages. I also know of instances where the unrepentant abusive man was physically barred from coming on the conservative church’s campus by the church leaders and that conservative church was one of the few safe places where the woman could go. She was supported and protected there.

    I am very much aware of domestic violence problems and abuse directed towards women from men. However, in the vast majority of the marriage counseling situations I have dealt with, what the woman is unhappy about is the man’s passivity. What she wants is her husband to show MORE leadership, MORE assertiveness and MORE engagement, not the opposite. I served in a church of over 1,500 in attendance for many years and this is what all of us on pastoral staff consistently heard. Yes, domestic violence and women seeking shelter did occur, but it was very rare in comparison.

    The last marriage I performed was one in which the woman was a sweet but confident chemical engineer making nearly twice the salary of her schoolteacher husband. We had a very thorough discussion in premarital counseling about biblical submission on the woman’s part and husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church on the man’s part. This highly intelligent, confident young woman had no trouble accepting this biblical mandate when placed in the context of what the husband is biblically mandated to do. We also had extended conversations about how to biblically and lovingly work through disagreements as I do with all engaged couples who ask me to perform their marriage. I think she hardly needed me to explain how to put her foot down with her husband when he was being unreasonable (she also had the great example of biblical submission and love in her own parent’s marriage) but we went over it all the same.

    This seems to be yet another example in today’s culture of misplaced antagonism. When Ray Rice knocked his wife out cold in that elevator I didn’t hear him appeal to biblical submission to justify his actions. Most violence against women these days is the result of our macho, sexist, consumeristic culture, not conservative Christian men misunderstanding biblical submission. I think this is largely true of the treatment of homosexuals as well. I once lived next door to an openly gay man. The Christians on our street loved and accepted him even though we didn’t agree with his lifestyle. On the other hand, the two macho, beer slurping guys across the street who had no use for Jesus, repeatedly verbally abused and insulted him. Yet, conservative Christians are the main enemy in most people’s eyes. All this when another major religion routinely makes women wear extensive covering, refuses to let girls go to school, advocates murdering women who are not submissive enough, and killing homosexuals. Talk about misplaced antagonism.

    The record on how well conservative Christian men treat their wives is far from perfect, but I still say that conservative Christian men flashing signed marriage vows in their wives face to get them to submit is so ridiculously rare as to not even be worth mentioning. As far as SSM goes, the reason why Christians have a problem with it is because it violates scripture, not because it causes up any predetermined categories of submission and authority.

  • Lynn B.

    Tammy Bruce, who calls herself a gay woman, a Fox News Contributor, states, “the gay community is turning into what they have been fighting against for generations… condemning people who are different (from them) and with whom they disagree (which) is the antithesis of what every civil rights movement was about… the gay liberals have turned into bullies… defending those under attack like Christians is exactly what our job should be… this is about the rights (of) everyone.”

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