I like Michelle Bachmann. I haven't seen her titanium spine but she has a penetrating gaze, a smooth and unflappable demeanor, and expresses her convictions well.
But I am intrigued by her foray into wifely submission. Here's the exchange from the GOP debate of the other evening:
Journalist Byron York: In 2006, when you were running for Congress, you described a moment in your life when your husband said you should study for a degree in tax law. You said you hated the idea. And then you explained, “But the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
As president, would you be submissive to your husband?
Bachmann’s response: Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I’m in love with him. I’m so proud of him. And both he and I — what submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect. I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife.
I don't think this is a credible answer, not because it fails to properly teach what many believe the relevant Biblical passages mean by submission of a wife to her husband but because, seems to me, it fails as an explanation of the incident in question.
Husband wants wife to study for a degree in tax law.
Wife hates the idea.
Wife subordinates her desire to her husband's wish.
Bachmann may have offered an expanded explanation of this incident on some previous occasion but this doesn't look like 'respect' to me. The short version that was presented at the debate looks like submission of her will to his, her desire to his, her ambitions to his.
There's no question that it is relevant to her seeking the presidency.
While I'm not all that familiar with her faith story, conservative Southern Baptists do quite a dance around the idea of a wife's submission to her husband. In the SBC we joke about it ("...I make all the major decisions in our marriage and my wife makes the minor ones...we've never had a major decision..."), try to moderate it by the "...as Christ loved the church..." passage, or fall back on mutual submission to the exclusion of wifely submission.
I'm guessing someone will press Bachmann on this one. I don't think her answer is fully credible.
It's only August, 2011. Anyone already have a surfeit of presidential politics?