There's a to-do among female Senators over President Bush's recently-confirmed judicial nominee J. Leon Holmes. More than anything, the controversy reveals that many people are quicker to condemn the Bible than to understand it.
Women senators are expressing outrage at a controversial judicial nominee who co-authored a 1997 article with his wife in which he suggested biblical passages about wives being subservient to their husbands should be taken literally.
J. Leon Holmes (search) — nominated by President Bush to serve on the federal district court in Arkansas — and his wife wrote the article for the Arkansas Catholic Review (search) that reads "the wife is to subordinate herself to the husband ... the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man."
Holmes said the words have been taken out of context, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (search), D-Calif., calls Holmes unacceptable.
"How can I or any other American believe that one who truly believes a woman is subordinate to her spouse [can] interpret the Constitution (search) fairly?" she asked during a debate Tuesday on the candidate.
Even Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas claim Holmes does not have a "fundamental commitment to the equality of women in our society."
There are a few passages on this topic in the New Testament, but the most relevant is probably:
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The majority of the controversy is based on the worldly assumption that the person in charge is in a better position than the person following. But is that really the case? Jesus says no.
24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves."
Throughout the Bible the virtues of humility are extolled, as are the dangers of pride.
Which is better then, to serve or to be served? Which is better, to strive for earthly mastery and displease God, or to submit in love to others and receive an eternal reward? After all, the command to submit isn't given only to wives -- humility is the path to greatness. Further, the verse directly before the passage about marriage above is this:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We are all to show humility and love towards each other, regardless of our positions.
Anyone who complains about submission reveals that he or she is more concerned with earthly praise and position than with pleasing God.
See also John 13.
Another thought. Most men don't strive to be worthy of submission, and most women don't strive to be worthy of dying for.