She never mentioned colleague Michelle Goldberg by name, but it's hard to think that former Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers didn't have her in mind when she penned her August 15 Daily Beast column, "Stop Attacking Evangelicals!"
"Welcome to the last bastion of sanctioned bigotry: ignorant attacks against evangelicals," Powers opened her column, adding that "Since Rep. Michele Bachmann was asked in a debate whether she would be submissive to her husband as president, the punditry has morphed into a morass of armchair theologians pushing flawed interpretations of what submission means in a biblical context."
"Thankfully, nowhere have we seen this kind of behavior relating to Mormons (yet) or Muslims, but it’s open season on the evangelical faith," Powers added, going on to explain the evangelical understanding of the Bible's injunction to wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their lives in a sacrificial Christ-like manner:
Ironically, the complaint that is usually lobbed at conservative Christians is that they keep their women barefoot and pregnant. Now the anti-evangelical-Christian mob is up in arms because Marcus Bachmann told his wife she should be a tax attorney and run for Congress. Oh, the horror.
Ideally, spouses influence each other, and if Marcus saw a talent in his wife and encouraged her to pursue higher office, what is wrong with that? He didn’t say, “Run for Congress or I’ll beat you.”
Kathy Keller, the wife of pastor Tim Keller of the evangelical Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, speaks regularly on the Bible and gender issues. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she knows of what she speaks. She told me: “Women and men who understand the Bible’s actual teaching on headship and submission will see instantly that this issue is being defined by those on the extreme left and the extreme right, who both caricature what the Bible teaches.”
She said: “A man’s headship in a marriage consists of imitating the way Jesus has died for … the church. In no Christian marriages that I know of does a husband presume to tell his wife how to do her job, whether that is homemaking or heart surgeon or commander in chief. For a woman, being submissive in your marriage means bringing all your giftedness into the marriage in support of both your husband and your marriage. If this isn’t an issue for married men, who if they are professing Christians should be willing to die for their wives, then it shouldn’t be made into an issue for a woman.”