I don’t even have to comment on this article from the LA Times about a new major in homemaking (for women only, of course) at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. So much in the article speaks for itself.
Painful excerpts below:
Seminary President Paige Patterson and his wife, Dorothy — who goes by Mrs. Paige Patterson — view the homemaking curriculum as a way to spread the Christian faith.
In their vision, graduates will create such gracious homes that strangers will take note. Their marriages will be so harmonious, other women will ask how they manage. By modeling traditional values, they will inspire friends and neighbors to read the Bible and then, perhaps, to follow the Lord.
…guest lecturer Ashley Smith, the wife of a theology professor, laid out the biblical basis for what she calls “the glorious inequalities of life.”
Smith, 30, confided that she sometimes resents her husband for advancing his career “while I’m changing diapers and getting poop all over me.”
“If we love the Scripture, we must do it,” said Smith, who gave up her dreams of a career when her husband said it was time to have children. “We must fit into this role. It’s so much more important than our own personal happiness.”
Another former career woman was counseled that problems in her marriage could be solved by following this sort of arrangement:
Cecrle credits Dorothy Patterson’s lectures on God’s vision of womanhood with helping her embrace her role as helper — and restrain her instincts to take charge. “I have to be able to shut my mouth,” she said.
However, even her own husband isn’t sure that women should do everything:
Andy Cecrle, 42, takes it one step further: He would like to see a homemaking class for men, or at least a survival boot camp. He happens to know his way around the house and is proud that he changes his children’s diapers. But he knows many guys don’t even have a clue how to start the washer.
“What if my wife is sick and my kids need clean clothes? It may not hurt to have some basic tips,” Cecrle said. Then he added cautiously: “A lot of people would take great exception to what I’m saying.”
A college sophomore, Emily Felts, disagrees with him:
The whole point of taking college-level homemaking, she said, is to ensure that her husband won’t ever feel that he has to darn a sock or do the laundry. Those are her jobs.
“I’m not one of those out to rebel, out-to-be-my-own-woman types,” she said.
“It really doesn’t matter what I think,” Felts said. “It matters what the Bible says.”
So you have here a lot of women who admittedly sometimes resent their husbands, feel they need to keep their mouths shut, surrender their own happiness, and it doesn’t even matter what they think about it, because they claim “the Bible says so.” And this, of course, is the formula for a marriage “so harmonious, other women will ask how they manage.” Yeah, I bet they’ll ask that, but not for the reason Mrs.-Paige-Patterson-I-have-no-identity-of-my-own-anymore thinks they will. I should also note that I think it’s great if a woman (or a man) chooses to stay at home with the kids while their partner works, but the way it’s done here–out of expectation, coercion, and fear–I have no respect whatsoever for.
Finally, in the interest of fairness, I’ll say that this certainly isn’t a universal Christian teaching, even for Southern Baptists. They quote in the article another Baptist pastor who disagrees with these throwback-to-the-50s roles, and emphasizes other passages that contradict the attitudes expressed at Southern Baptist seminary. Still, with books like “The Surrendered Wife” remaining popular, this isn’t just a fringe attitude.
Oh, and why is this relevant to a science discussion? Well, lookie at one reason they want women to stay at home:
“We’re equipping them to do home-schooling.”
And you can bet it won’t be to teach those kids evolution…