When one group of people displays inordinate animus and enmity toward an organization representing a majority of a nation’s population, it is either because of ideology or conditioning spanning centuries. In America, over two-hundred years of slavery has left an indelible streak of racial bigotry that persists today despite a civil rights movement and election of an African American President, and despite women’s suffrage and feminist movement in the last century, women are still regarded as second class citizens by a stubborn patriarchal element in government incited evangelical Christians. The evangelical element is so enraged over women gaining a semblance of equal rights and the right to choose their own reproductive health, they naturally extended their hatred of women to an organization that primarily serves women and their health issues. The assault on Planned Parenthood began in earnest the minute Republicans gained the majority in the House of Representatives, and although Republicans typically oppose women’s equality as a matter of course, their non-stop attacks on Planned Parenthood are based on their allegiance to evangelical Christians.
Late last week, President Obama spoke at a national conference organized by Planned Parenthood, and he described the Christian-inspired legislation in 42 states banning or severely limiting the right to choose termination as an “assault on women’s rights.” The President finally spoke bluntly and described the Republican assault on Planned Parenthood and women’s rights as turning Planned Parenthood “into a punching bag” with their persistent attempts to withdraw federal funding, and accused Republicans of wanting to “turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century,” asserting that “they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to rollback basic rights when it comes to women’s health.” The President was not telling women, or Planned Parenthood, anything they did not already know, and it is true Republicans pursue an agenda to take women back to the 1950s, but the reason and real objective has its basis in an era much earlier than 1950.
Last week, and evangelical maniac, Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, laid out in very simple terms why Republican men, primarily Republican Christian men, believe they have the right to dominate women and why they are astonished when women, who make up 51% of the population, are outraged they are assigned slave status. Anderson pontificated a long-held Christian tenet that women are created to be subservient to men, and that according to the Christian bible, they love and desire to be directed, dominated, and controlled by men even if they claim otherwise. Anderson specifically recited the words of a patriarchal bible writer, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the congregation in Corinth when he said, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14; 34-35).
According to Anderson, “When it comes to authority, there is no equality. A dictatorship is how every biblical home is run. It’s a monarchy. Women love that because they were born to fill that role and most happy doing what God created her to do, just like I’m going to be most happy doing what God created me to do! The women who are screaming the loudest they don’t want a man telling them what to do, are really screaming the loudest, please tell me what to do. Please put me in my place. I’m sure there are some reprobate lesbians that have a different view. But a normal woman wants to follow a man.” Now there are some Americans who may think Anderson is an anomaly, but his understanding of women’s role as slave to a man permeates American society and Republicans are on the front lines legislating women’s subservient position whether it is controlling their reproductive health, earning less than a man for the same job, or paying more for healthcare insurance than a male policy holder. Don’t believe it?
Last year when Congress was taking testimony on whether contraception coverage should be included in the Affordable Care Act, it is no coincidence that Republicans only invited male clergy to decide that no, women were not entitled to birth control coverage because god created men to tell them what to do. It is also why in the House of Representatives and Republican-controlled states, Republicans have decided women are not worthy of deciding when they give birth, even if they were victims of rape or incest. It is also why in states like Kansas, Republicans recently claimed their biblical imperative and used the legislative process to eliminate a woman’s 14th amendment rights and subjugate them to a single-celled organism. Last year in several states, Republican Christian males attempted to pass legislation forcing women to undergo rape by medical instrument and were stunned that women had the temerity to speak up and object to being physically violated. It is also why in Steubenville Ohio, young males felt they had the god-given right to carry around their rape victim like so much property and gain loyal support and protection from their male facilitators in positions of power.
President Obama certainly was correct in saying that “we shouldn’t have to remind people that when it comes to a woman’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you,” but what he fails to recognize is that for two-thousand years, it has been inculcated in men that they are commanded by biblical edict to decide what is best for women and dominate them ruthlessly as their mandate from god almighty. It is why Republican men lashed out at the then-law student Sandra Fluke for having the audacity to break biblical law and violate the commandment that it is a “shame for women to speak in the church” and broke the bible statute that “they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law,” and why there is a push to declare Christianity the nation’s official state religion. Women should be mortified if Republicans ever gain control of Congress and the White House because if they do, there will be Hell to pay for any woman who fails to comply with the Christian edict that “when it comes to authority, there is no equality. A dictatorship is how every biblical home is run,” because when America becomes a theocracy, and Dominionists are the law of the land, women will, by congressional legislation, “be screaming the loudest, please tell me what to do. Please put me in my place.”