Michele Bachmann 'Submissive' Wife Idea a Matter of Interpretation

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It's open to different interpretations, but Land said he believes Bachmann would run the country as other women in authority have, using the example of Queen Elizabeth, who acts as the head of state in the United Kingdom, but reportedly lets her husband make family decisions.

And just as John F. Kennedy said he would not take direction from the Vatican in the White House, Bachmann would not run the nation under husband Marcus' authority, he said

Debra White Smith of Real Life Ministries in Jacksonville, Texas, who has written five books on Christian marriage and lectured and written extensively on the topic, said there are two camps on the submissive wife issue, and she only teaches one point of view. She says some evangelical Christians -- incorrectly, in her point of view -- believe in a "subordinate, insubordinate" relationship between the husband and wife.

"There is a strong camp within Christian evangelicals that have a dysfunctional view on submission where literally the husband is the head of the wife and is responsible for her as a father is responsible to a child," White said.

White and husband Daniel teach Christian married couples a different view of submission. "The word I teach is healthy submission," she said. "It is not about one person submitting to another or ruling over them. It's about mutuality, both submitting to the needs of each other and it's about mutual respect, and it is not a tool of dominance or control."

Bachmann seems to be either "double talking" on her two descriptions of submission or has evolved on the topic, she said.

"When she was talking about tax law, she was embracing the mentality that you submit and walk behind him spiritually, mentally, and emotionally following him," White said, referring to Bachmann's relationship with her husband. "That is the old-line male dominant view of men rule, women drool. It's not about power control or subordination, it's about mutual servanthood, and that's what she said last night. You need to understand is what she first said [in 2006] is one theological view and the second [Thursday night] is another theological view. [The second one] that's what's healthy."

But Land said there is really only one way of interpreting the concept.

"It's not shared leadership in the end," he said. "In the end, the husband submits himself to his wife by giving himself in sacrificial service to her and she puts herself under the authority of her own husband as unto the Lord. It has nothing to do with equality or inequality of the sexes.

"It has to do with gender roles in a divinely ordained institution called marriage in which God understood there had to be an ultimate authority and the ultimate authority is the husband. And he's going to hold him responsible if that home is not everything it should be."

As for the potential political fallout, David Brody, chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, said the controversy will help Bachmann.

"My guess is there will be more evangelical support for Michele Bachmann in Iowa because she will be looked upon as somewhat of a victim," Brody said. "I think this will actually be a boon for her. Not just in support in the polls, but probably an uptick in donations as well. ? It just feels like there is a lot of victimization here that the Bachmann campaign may actually get an uptick in money and polling."

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