Much has been made about the picture of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being removed from the Jewish newspaper in New York. She was edited out of the picture – one speculation is that it shows a woman having authority over men, and that just is not acceptable. You can see the story here.
I want to reprint the following post I wrote “Women- the reason we can’t win the war in Afghanistan.” This is still in play, and we see it more when we read of such absurdities as editing out a woman leader from a national picture that was already shown everywhere.
The following was posted on August 10, 2010.
The killing of the 10 medical men and women in Afghanistan is symptomatic of the whole country.
We may as well pull out of Afghanistan today because we cannot win this war. This war is being waged by a secular military force against people who are Muslim. Deep in their hearts they do not believe that the United States is right. In their souls they subscribe to the Taliban because they believe that they are obeying Allah (God).
Among other ways, the Taliban manifests its religious beliefs in the subjugation of women. Both women and men believe that women are destined by Allah to be subjugated and you can’t change that belief.
I am Southern Baptist, and that belief is as prevalent in churches in my home town as it is in Afghanistan.
You can’t change that attitude in the United States, and you can’t change it in Afghanistan. We may as well get out right now and save the lives of our soldiers.
Those same soldiers who are fighting against the Taliban and indirectly for Afghan women’s rights, will come home and be told in their churches that they have authority over their wives, that their wives must submit to them. The returning women soldiers will be told that they must submit to their husbands, similar to what the women in Afghanistan are told.
Baptists, Catholics, Churches of Christ, Mormons, and many Evangelicals all seek to hold women to a rigid Middle Eastern custom. We see this when Christian women are denied full equality based on their gender, because “the Bible says so.”
The Bible was used as an argument for slavery at one time. Just as owning another human being is now recognized as being evil, someday we will recognize that men claiming authority over women is not what the Bible teaches. Having authority over women puts husbands in the line of divinity, and we know man is not divine.
I sat in an Assembly of God congregation in Springfield, Missouri, where 2,500 people were told that we women knew that our husbands had authority over us. Recently I was told that that I had the “Spirit of Jezebel” which is the equivalent of calling me a witch because I am calling for women’s equality. It is awful when a Christian man in my home town in Texas calls a Christian woman a witch. Read about the Spirit of Jezebel and you will see that women who want to be treated as equals are being accused of witchcraft by many in our churches today.
A friend told me last week that her pastor didn’t preach that wives must submit to their husbands. I know her pastor, and I am sure he doesn’t. I also know that their church is affiliated with Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention and this is what many of them believe. Unless her pastor is standing up for women, he is allowing this preaching against women by his inaction. Some pastors are actually standing in the pulpit and preaching submission by women in their churches on Sunday. Most by-laws of Baptist churches specify men only as deacons. There is not a woman deacon in any Baptist church where I live.
Whether in Afghanistan or your city, women are the standard bearers of religion. Even if it is not visible by the wearing of headscarves or burqas, the very fact that they are told that men have leadership over them, and authority over them, keeps them in a subjugated position. The position is voluntary by women in Afghanistan and voluntary by many women across our nation.
To show you what some Baptists believe in our churches, I have copied a letter I received from a woman who is a member of a BGCT church. She uses words from the The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood which was written in 1987 by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood as a backlash against “feminism” in the church.
This is the attitude that many Christians have and it almost mirrors what a woman in Afghanistan believes.
God does value women! He puts men and women on the same plane, breaking down barriers. However, He has also made us different and clearly knows how we can complementeach other.
I have witnessed a breakdown in families and society stemming from individuals being basically self-centered and insisting on their rights. There is balance and harmony in the body of Christ and in the home when individuals accept their roles in an humble, submissive manner to the Lord.
I have observed God honoring marriages that are a picture of Christ and the Church. This harmony comes through submission, not demanding our rights.
My husband and I have two daughters that have been married for a number of years. We are very proud of them as wives and mothers because I can see them modeling the Ephesian passage. One of our daughters has always been very head strong. She has chosen to trust her husband in matters of leadership and management. He responds to her in love and a desire to provide for their family. Our other daughter is married to a very strong-willed man. Her marriage has sometimes been difficult, but I can see the fruit of her submission.
As you well know, the subject you have addressed is controversial and divisive. I want to see only men in leadership as deacons and pastors. I do not have a beef. However, if this issue is ever confronted in our local church, I will have a beef, and predict that it would be very divisive.
That is the reason we should pull out of Afghanistan right away. If we cannot change this attitude against women here in the United States, and in our churches, how on earth can we change the attitude of a tribal Muslim country?
Are you willing to work for a change in attitude so women in America can be free from subjection in their churches?