Biblical Parental Authority: Is Mom Equal with Dad on the Hierarchy Ladder or is Dad on the Highest Rung?

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What does the Bible say about parental authority? Is mom equal with dad?

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Steve Halbrook, patriarchy, male headship, parenting

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Disobedience to God can lead to judgment.

If fathers relinquish a degree of their authority in the home,

then their home could be at risk. Steve C. Halbrook

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So, tell me how it works in your home.  Does mom have equal clout as dad when it comes to parenting?  How do you present yourselves as a couple to the kids?  Is dad higher up on the authority ladder or are they both on the same rung? There’s a new article out on a Theonomy Resource blog discussing just this topic.  I wanted to share excerpts here for discussion.

A little background:  blogger, Steve C. Halbrook has an “M. A. in government from Regent University (2008), with a focus on biblical civil government. His theology is Reformed” (Source).

His bio says his theology is Reformed, but to be more specific, take a look at how Wikipedia describes Theonomy and then take a look at Christian Reconstructionism while you’re at it.

The blog’s title is, Does Scripture Teach 1) Consistent Male Headship, or 2) that Parents have Equal Authority in Raising Children?

Opening paragraph attempts to make the case that if one holds to male headship, then the same hierarchy should apply with parenting, meaning women do not have an equal position of authority when it comes to raising of children:

Should male headship be consistent, or restricted? While one would think that those in conservative Christian circles would advocate the former, there are some who advocate the following: “While wives must submit to their husbands in some respects, husbands and wives have equal authority in teaching and raising children.”

If one holds that fathers and mothers have equal parenting authority simply because Scripture stresses obedience to both, then, if consistent, one would also hold that fathers and mothers have equal authority to the great God Almighty. After all, Scripture requires children to obey God as well as fathers and mothers. But surely they would not advocate such a wicked position, but would instead assume hierarchical authority by holding that God has greater authority than parents.

The next subtitle is “The doctrine of male headship opposes equal parental authority,” and attempts to establish that male headship doctrine would prohibit any possibility of women holding an equal position in hierarchy in parenting (bolding was done by blog author):

Now that it has been shown that commands to submit to both parents do not rule out the possibility that fathers have more authority than mothers, we will now rule out the possibility that such commands could mean that fathers and mothers have equal authority in parenting. In giving instructions to the church, the Apostle Paul writes:

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

Halbrook then discusses Paul’s reference to the order of creation, Adam was created first, then Eve, to prove a hierarchical order.  He also mentions Paul’s reference to women being deceived to further convince his audience:

Now, how is it that one can say that women have equal authority in educating their children, if women are more prone to deception than men? If a woman’s deception is a reason that men should be in charge of teaching at church, wouldn’t it also be a reason that men should be in charge of teaching their children?

Mr. Halbrook makes note of the verse in scripture about women keeping silent in church and says:

As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:33b-35)

Here we see that at home, the husband is to be the teacher of his wife. With this being the case, how can husband and wife have equal authority in teaching their children?
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Mr. Halbrook believes he has a case for why there cannot be equal parenting in a male-headship home and outlines the dangers:

It opposes Christ’s total headship over the church 

It deprives wives of spiritual and physical protection

It damages the father’s role as spiritual leader

It opposes elder qualifications and endangers the church

It devalues women

It is destructive to society

It can provoke God’s wrath

Demeaning of Women?

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Ok, and here we go here we go with the dreaded f word – feminism:

Anyone who takes the doctrine of consistent male headship to mean that the mother cannot have a say in child rearing must ask himself whether he has been more influenced by feminism than by Scripture in this matter.

And now we read about the deadly influence of feminism.  Has someone died for espousing feminism? What is he talking about?  I don’t have a clue:

As for the position that says that fathers and mothers have equal parenting authority, I’m not sure how this differs from egalitarian feminism (at least in the sphere of parenting). At the very least, it reinforces the deadly influence that feminism already has in Christian circles.

photo credit: BrittneyBush via photopin cc

78 comments on “Biblical Parental Authority: Is Mom Equal with Dad on the Hierarchy Ladder or is Dad on the Highest Rung?

  1. “If a woman’s deception is a reason that men should be in charge of teaching at church, wouldn’t it also be a reason that men should be in charge of teaching their children?”

    I wish my husband would! Because I am tired of being stuck at home all the time!

    Hmmmm . . . Maybe I can use Halbrook’s spin to my advantage here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, women are so easy to deceive, need so much protection, are so low on the totem pole, & really serve no function other than babymaking & house keeping, that I have the perfect solution—make them all Avoxes!! In the Hunger Games, certain slaves had their tongues and vocal chords removed, & had to perform all the menial tasks in society. Since we have no voice anyway, why not make it official? /sarc

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  3. Once your child reaches the age of majority, YOUR AUTHORITY as a parent is over regardless of how you feel about it or your religious beliefs. Play your cards right and you will have influence (NOT CONTROL) the rest of their lives (best case scenario). Be an authoritarian their whole life and at age 18 they will have little to do with you. Your relationship will be a joke and you will have zero influence. Kids need their parents but they need parents, NOT ideological drill sergeants.

    Children obey your parents, as in plural. The idea of the father being the ‘covering’ or absolute ruler over the children is unbiblical. The idea that you are under your parents authority until you marry is beyond unbiblical and down right BIZARRE.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. His reasoning is as sloppy as his reliance on Scripture. All women are prone to deception because Eve was deceived? And why do all the patriarchists who capitalize on Eve’s deception fail to take the next step: while Adam stood right there and let the serpent lie to her!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The Scripture says that the woman was deceived but that Adam made a deliberate choice to disobey God. I don’t see how that made him higher up on the ladder of authority. I was reading Hebrews 11 yesterday and noticed that the list of faith heroes starts with Abel. no mention made of Adam.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t agree with complementarianism, but, if they’re going to argue from within that context:

    I’m sorry I cannot remember where it is, but someone on another blog mentioned that there is a Bible verse (which I think is in the New Testament) which says that the wife should be the leader in the home, not the husband.

    I’m sorry I cannot remember specifically what the verse said or how it was worded, but it was something to the effect that the woman is the “Head Cheese” in the home, not the husband, or any man.

    Someone at another blog brought that verse up, and many months later, I had to ask about it again, and the person repeated the verse. I wish I could remember it, or what book it was in of the NT

    I think it’s unhealthy and weird that these complementarians are so obsessed with authority and who has it. Being obsessed with holding power over otheres (which is how they define ‘authority,’ but some may mumble about “servant leadership” to paper things up) is an anti- biblical concept.

    That complementarians (especially the men in the movement, it appears) are so preoccupied with the authority issue belies their true intent, IMO, and it’s not driven by altruism, or concerns of biblical fidelity, love of God, concern for women, etc.

    And what are they (gender comps) going to do when more and more Christian women become unconvinced of complementarianism?

    I was raised on this stuff, was 100% Christian until like two years ago or so, but I had niggling doubts about comp during my full blown, 110% Christian years, from my teens to late 20s, had more serious doubts about comp by my early / late 30s, and totally saw through it as being false and unbiblical by my late 30s / early 40s.

    When more and more Christian women (and men) start dumping comp., (and perhaps embracing Christian gender egalitarianism), what are the comps going to do?

    Other than screaming the same old straw men at them as I’ve been seeing for years (such as, “You are being influenced by secular feminism” or name calling), there’s nothing they can do to force women to go along with it. Are they going to threaten to club women over the head with bats if they leave comp for egal or something?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim said,
    His reasoning is as sloppy as his reliance on Scripture. All women are prone to deception because Eve was deceived? And why do all the patriarchists who capitalize on Eve’s deception fail to take the next step: while Adam stood right there and let the serpent lie to her!

    I’ve never understood why so many guys who teach/believe this stuff think all women are prone to being deceived at all times on all points because Eve was.

    I guess they are making much too much of some NT Pauline comment, where Paul was talking about the creation order to make some kind of point?

    Another problem I have with this teaching as taught by gender comps: men are not immune from being deceived.

    Even in the NT, Paul said he had to correct Peter to his face for believing, practicing, and/or spreading false doctrine (Judaizing, requiring Gentiles to get circumcised).

    Men today are easily deceived. There are Christian men who follow teachers and preachers which I believe are obviously frauds, such as Benny Hinn, the tele-evangelist. I’m a woman, and I’m not deceived by Benny Hinn, but some men are. Being deceived is not a trait inherent to the female gender; both genders fall victim to it on occasion.

    And I too see a disconnect by gender comps or patriarchists who seem to feel that Eve’s sin (of eating the apple via being deceived) was more serious or worse than Adam’s (who knew but who ate the stupid fruit anyhow)….

    Am also mystified how patriarchists and gender comps fail to see that people who accept Jesus as Savior are no longer guilty of Adam and Eve’s sin – or to put it differently, they’ve been forgiven and redeemed.

    Why would you continue to hold the “Eve was deceived and at the fruit” spiel over women’s heads to this day, when women were forgiven by Christ, and Christ paid for all their sins?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. missdaisyflower,
    I think maybe you are referring to 1 Timothy 5:14:

    “Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.”

    The word for “manage their households” is “oikodespotein” which is a combination of “oikos” (meaning house, or household) and “despotes” (meaning master or absolute ruler, where we get our word “despot”).

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  9. “[1] What does the Bible say about parental authority? [2] Is mom equal with dad?”

    Oh God help me, Julie Anne, what mischievous, concise but imprecise, *tabloid* questions, you have posed in your provocative blog post title, two of them there questions of yours juxtaposed like that in a single blog post title, so that to answer one, treading carefully, one must think about the second question at the same time as answering the first, and vice versa.

    I have spent many years thinking about the issues your questions remind us of, but have so few years left that I feel disinclined to do any reading or research to find out what *you* think, let alone what the people you disapprove of said they thought.

    Please tolerate me. No, I haven’t read your entire post. I just want to say that your mere *questions*, just those in your blog post title, touched a nerve with me, and, as somebody whose most urgent family-related problem of today is better understood using a “parental alienation” model, enriched by “feminism is of the devil, and the patriarchy is something society ought to try to salvage, not smash” emotions, than in “spiritual abuse” terms, it was *different* nerve you touched than you might have touched in other readers of your blog.

    This said, male “headship” is most certainly biblical, as is the notion of the equal importance of man and women in God’s sight, and their equally fallen state, and their equality of the joy in heaven when a male or a female sinner repents. What that means in practice is a can of worms.

    The two main competing hypotheses (or mythologies) of human origin, biblical creation followed by the Edenic Curse, and godless, spontaneous biogenesis of purposeless matter, followed by millions of years of natural selection, both predict what we’re apparently lumbered with, unhappy children in an age of feminism and all.

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  10. Religious pharisees love to add more and more rules to their list. No wonder Jesus had little patience with them.

    “They will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” —Jesus

    I’m having dinner tonight with a friend who left Christianity due to Pharisaical nonsense. I wish I could undo that damage and help him see the love, but the hurt is too deep.

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  11. 2 Tim. 1:5-“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” Well, seems Timothy learned all about the faith through his mother and grandmother. No mention of father anywhere.

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  12. So much for women actually having a role… this is where patriarchy devours itself. It’s all “Man’s domain is the public sphere” and “Women’s domain is the home,” until it occurs to them that women have to make decisions and exercise authority in their homes also. Then their true colors come out, and they scramble to downgrade her so-called “domain” to a prison, where her only role is to stay there and carry out his orders while he’s out and about. Because to them, it’s not REALLY about the roles, it’s about the hierarchy.

    I live a complementarian (traditional gender roles) lifestyle – it works well for me and my husband (though my beliefs and his natural way of relating to me is more egalitarian). But this is what I have to say to patriarchalists like this man: If I, as a woman, am to be kept out of the domain of the workplace, then have the heart not to curb my right to freely exercise my maternal instincts, common sense, unique talents, and decision-making abilities within the domain you claim God has given me – the domain you claim I am naturally suited for – by requiring me to do it the way a man thinks best! I need the freedom to do it as a woman.

    In my opinion, hierarchy and gender roles are opposing ideas which, in the end, will always tangle each other up.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. @Daisy:

    I think it’s unhealthy and weird that these complementarians are so obsessed with authority and who has it. Being obsessed with holding power over otheres (which is how they define ‘authority,’ but some may mumble about “servant leadership” to paper things up) is an anti- biblical concept.

    “The only goal of Power is POWER. And POWER consists of inflicting maximum suffering among the Powerless.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

    “So shall I exalt MY Throne above that of the Most High!”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I just posted about this on the SSB Facebook page and it’s actually timely considering this post.

    Last week, on another Facebook page, I read a comment by Bob Edwards that blew me away – it was a comment from him and an excerpt from his book. This is so unlike me, but I immediately ordered it and read it. It’s a short book and quick read. The book is entitled: A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs

    Halbrook in the above blog article uses the same verses that other men use to prove their hierarchical position over women. There is a chapter in Edwards’ book dedicated to taking apart some of those verses looking at the original context/meanings.

    Greg Hahn reviewed it on Amazon:
    *****************
    “The book is a powerful exposé of the progression of ideas from the today’s current Neo-Calvinists- specifically John Piper and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood- and others. Central to the heart of this book is these ideas are not merely erroneous, but unattractive and harmful to the Gospel message
    Specifically addressed are predestination, “death to self”, and the subjugation of women, with a chapter devoted to each. The genesis of these ideas is shown to be from sources other than the Biblical text, and are demonstrated to be anti-Biblical at many points.

    The book is a fairly quick read, but seems thorough and well documented in the material it covers. I found it eye-opening.”
    *********************

    The book is on sale starting today for a week for $1.99 on Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/…/dp/B00NP91…/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Liked by 1 person

  15. @Marsha:

    It amazes me that men like the blogger ever find women who will marry them. They make my skin crawl.

    “He who was born in a cage
    Yearns for his cage;
    With horror I understand
    That I Love My Cage.”
    — Yevgevny Yevtushenko, Brezhnev-era Russian poet

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think that even a male headship believer can hold to the doctrine of equal parental authority, while believing the man has authority over the woman and God’s authority is higher.
    As an analogy: A member of the public should listen to a police constable or a police captain. There is actually no difference in how they should listen to them.
    Can God be higher, then? Yes. To (imperfectly) extend the analogy, if either the police constable or police captain tells you to do something illegal, the law has a higher authority.

    (That said, for those who don’t know me, I believe male “headship” is a misunderstanding of scripture.)

    Like

  17. Ok, this is a first at Spiritual Sounding Board.

    *******************
    FREEBIE ALERT
    *******************

    If you would like a copy of Bob Edward’s book on Kindle, I will send it to the first ten people who contact me by e-mail at spiritualsb@gmail.com

    Note: You will need to have an Amazon e-mail address for downloading Kindle books, so be sure to send that address in the e-mail. If you don’t have one, you can easily set up an account. There are free Kindle reader apps you can download at Amazon so you can read it on your PC, iPad, iPhone, etc. If you really want the book, just send me an e-mail first and then work out the Amazon account details.

    This is the book: http://www.amazon.com/God-Like-Meet-Separating-Traditional-ebook/dp/B00NP913IG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415995180&sr=8-1&keywords=A+God+I%27d+Like+to+Meet

    Here is the link for Kindle reading apps: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=sv_kstore_3

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  18. I see he uses Isaiah 3:12 to make his point too.

    As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    But the Old testament was originally written without vowels, and only a vowel is the difference between nashim (women) and noshim (usurers).
    The word translated children, similarly, is only vowels away from a word for “mock, abuse and defile.” What is more, the Septuagint, the oldest translation from Hebrew, translate it as:

    O my people, your exactors (praktores) glean you, and the ones exacting (apaitountes) lord over you; O my people, the ones declaring you blessed mislead you, and the roads of your feet they disturb.

    So the oldest textual evidence does not suggest that it refers to women and children.
    (After all, Isaiah also promises that a child shall lead. And this will not be a curse, it will be the most blessed time of all.)
    https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/isaiah-312/

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This is a good read: http://juniaproject.com/co-leadership-marriage-whos-authority/

    These men claiming to be in authority over others because they’re maile remind me of the disciples arguing who among them was the greatest. Bad attitude.

    But, I think a lot of these proponents of male-headship were taught this way and haven’t dug deeper to find out that there are mistranslations in the English-language Bible and that some passages were addressing cultural issues at the time and are not universal truths. Maybe if they did look into these matters with their mind not slammed shut, they might change.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Can I make a suggestion, Julie Anne? Usually when linking to people we disagree with, we improve their search engine rating. That mean more people reach that blog entry, not just us.

    There is a way to link to people like Halbrook without improving their search engine rating. Put the url into donotlink.com/, and get an url from them that you use in the blog entry.

    Like

  21. there is a Bible verse (which I think is in the New Testament) which says that the wife should be the leader in the home, not the husband. – Missdaisyflower

    perhaps this one?
    1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house (“guide the house” is “oikosdespoteo”; oikos=house; despoteo [also the source of the word “despot”]=rule) give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

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  22. I will change it now, Retha, but I really do want Halbrook to know that he is not the supreme authority on male headship (and thus, subjugation of women). I want him to know that his post is just tickling the ears of those men who want to hold on to self-made authoritarian positions based on the traditions of men. If they were busy loving their wives as Christ loves the church, there would not be the need for any articles like his. These men want to force women into their idea of submission. That idea of submission is not true submission. Christ doesn’t force us into submission. We submit to him because of our love and respect of him.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ok, scratch that. I just looked at my Word Press site and can see how many clicked on the link. Very few have clicked on the link, so maybe what I’ll do is switch it back to the direct link and keep an eye on my stats. If I see it climbing, then I will swap it out again.

    Like

  24. If the link is readily available, more people can comment in that blog, refuting what he says (and hopefully their comments won’t be deleted).

    Like

  25. Right – both links take you to the website, but the DoNotLink makes it so that he won’t see who is linking to his site, so he wouldn’t know that we’re discussing his article unless he does a specific Google search.

    I like being able to see links to my site – especially coming from those of opposing views. Can you tell I’m not afraid of conflict? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  26. In my home I, like most women, did just about all cooking, cleaning, child rearing, social calendar-keeping, carpooling, boo-boo-kissing, pet feeding, and almost all other domestic chores. That, by* definition*, made ME the “ruler of the household,” thankyouverymuch! (And my husband was just fine with that.)

    When we lived in San Diego, some of my friends were married to military officers who would come home from duty and expect to immediately be the master of their home. It was a difficult time for those families, who functioned beautifully when the father/husband was gone and not so well when he came home, demanding “power.” Wife and kids rolled their eyes and “submitted,” just waiting for him to leave again so balance and peace could be restored.

    I think it’s actually quite entertaining to watch men think they’re so powerful when we all know that, when it comes right down it, women clearly (and quietly) hold the power.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I really hate the way these guys present their case. It is manipulative and fraught with human reasoning. Rather than reveal truth, they try to argue their positions in such a way as to restrict avenues of thought so that you are forced to accept what they say as though it were true, unless you see what they are doing. It doesn’t work, not with me anyway. I am not impressed.

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  28. @ShannonH:

    But, I think a lot of these proponents of male-headship were taught this way and haven’t dug deeper to find out that there are mistranslations in the English-language Bible and that some passages were addressing cultural issues at the time and are not universal truths.

    You mean SCRIPTURE(TM) didn’t drop down out of Heaven all written by God Himself in Kynge Jaymes Englyshe?

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  29. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Then using Retha’s alternate homonyms in the original language (and classical Hebrew liked puns), you could alternatively paraphrase this bit from Isaiah as:

    As for my people, mocking abusers are their oppressors, and loansharks/crooked financiers rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. John,

    I cannot find head”ship” in scripture. If you want to discuss the 1st century usage and understanding of kephale, that is another matter.

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  31. I also came across mention of the book “A God I’d Like To Meet”. It looks to be excellent, well-written…and no name calling or ranting and raving. I’m tired of that. Just give me the facts, and that’s what this book does.

    Like

  32. The book really makes the case that Calvin was strongly influenced by Augustine when he wrote his Calvin Institutes which are so widely popular among Calvinists. I would say Calvin is like the Joseph Smith for Mormons in how much respect there is for him.

    Just do a simple internet search for Augustine and his quotes on women. It makes sense that Augustine’s disdain for women could show up in Calvins’s works.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. @ Nancy

    Oh Nancy!

    “in the end, he blamed feminists” [Nancy, referring to my first long comment]

    Yes and no, Nancy. I blame the Calvinazzi for what they get up to that I learn about (some of it here), and the Feminazi for what they get up to. (I have only one Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, but I am not naive enough to believe that is only *one* ideological deception of mere human philosophy that leads multitudes to hell, creating a metaphorical “hell on earth” in the interim. My enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend.)

    When, about thirty years ago, I first read for the first time ab book about TULIP Calvinism, back-slidden as I was at the time, with its sombre, deterministic soteriology which seemed to me to be topsy-turvy then and now. But at least this helped me to remember (for all the Calvinazzi’s selective use of scripture), that at least believed I believed that there was such a thing as being “saved”, as described in scripture, however salvation actually happened to a soul. I wanted thus to be saved myself, and to be sure that I was saved, more than anything else on earth.

    In contrast, all that has been wrought in my own family’s life, by the efforts of non-Christian people who seem to take deadly seriously this modern, so-called “feminism”, with its kneejerk misandry, its partisan belligerence, its dumbed-down mythology of “The Patriarchy”, and its quasi-Marxist gender-struggle, has been sheer havoc.

    Anybody who once hung out with professing born-again Christians, and wanted to be sure that he (or she) was born again himself (and there is no better neurosis to have than this), only to find himself spiritually abused by suited Calvinazzi control freaks and gender bigots who had wheedled their way into positions of church leadership, but who fled from that, embracing instead the even more diabolical deception that is feminism, has fled out of the frying pan and into the fire, in my *informed* opinion.

    I’ve recently observed the modus operandi of the people Julie Anne enjoys denouncing. (As a matter of fact, mine is presently the top comment on one You Tube page, debunking a diatribe of a certain John MacArthur.) There is typically a manipulative appeal to feeble “proof texts” taken out of context, coupled with a flattery addressed to the listener, that (because he is in the audience) he or she is one of the very few who actually know what the bible really says (even though he probably doesn’t), making him superior to those who merely *say* that they believe the bible, but never actually read it; merely because the said listener listens to speeches delivered a man in a suit who tells him that he is telling him what the bible really teaches, seldom quoting from it more than a few words at a time.

    But I have concluded that that Calvinist manipulation is a mere *frying pan*, compared with the sheer *fire* that is modern, godless “feminism”.

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  34. There is nothing in the bible that says the father has more authority in parenting then the mother. I don’t understand anything Mr. Halbrook is talking about regarding equal authority demeaning women and denying them protection. Protection from what? It is interesting many of the comps believe that mothers should be the primary caregivers of the children, so I would think with that responsibility comes authority in parenting. By that argument, then women should have more authority not less in child-rearing. I personaly believe that husband and wives who become one in Christ, equals in God’s kingdom, therefore in marriage, in parenting as joint-heirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. ND48 said,

    If I, as a woman, am to be kept out of the domain of the workplace, then have the heart not to curb my right to freely exercise my maternal instincts, common sense, unique talents, and decision-making abilities within the domain you claim God has given me – the domain you claim I am naturally suited for – by requiring me to do it the way a man thinks best! I need the freedom to do it as a woman.

    You are really on to something there. Someone could look into this more in-depth and make a longer blog post just about that.

    One thing I’ve often pointed out is that a lot of this patriarchy or compelementarian stuff is based not on love of God, or true concern for women, or wanting to protect Scriptural fidelty, but is borne of hatred, suspicion of, or fear of, things such as secular feminism.

    A lot of the gender comp / patriarchy material I’ve seen often gets into hand-wringing and outrage about how feminists have supposedly taught people (especially women) that there are no differences at all between men and women (among other things).

    So the pats and comps (patriarchists and complementarians) try to argue that their spin on biblical commentary on the genders will clearly define what makes men men and what makes women, women.

    And they come up with these very strict roles – that women are supposed to be SAHMs (stay at home mothers), June Cleaver house wives types, who bake cookies and dust furniture all day, and so forth, while the husband holds a daily job and makes all the final decisions in the family.

    What ND48’s post has brought up is that pats/comps, when they insist that the male gets all the final say so, even within the house, and concerning domestic duties, has made the woman’s role moot.

    Pats/comps have, when they insist that the male gets all final say so, even within child rearing, etc, have made the man carry not only their view of what a man’s role is, but they also have the man taking over the woman’s role.

    They are thus saying something along the lines that woman are unimportant, man doesn’t really need a helper, and/or that there is no real difference(s) between men and women.

    If men can and should do stereotypical domestic duties that June Cleaver housewives perform, and if the men have final authority in what was once considered “woman’s work,” they’re in effect, it seems to me, saying they want men to take on man’s role AND woman’s role – there is therefore no difference between the genders with comps and pats, but that is one complaint they have against secular feminism.

    About the only “role” these sorts of comps/pats have left for women in this scenario- where even the man is the Head Boss inside the home in the domestic sphere – is “baby incubator.”

    I am guessing that if men were biologically capable of having children (conceiving, giving birth, etc), that these types of comps/pats would do away with women altogether and be homosexual(?)

    That seems to be what they’re aiming for.
    Unless they also find a wife useful for things they don’t feel like doing, such as “sammich making” and TV channel flipping on days they are too lazy to change the channel themselves or make a snack for themselves.

    They really have some messed up view points, and some of those views lead to these sort of outcomes which I do not think they have thought through or considered, as some of the logical out-workings / results contradict some of their self proclaimed, basic, fundamental interests and world views.

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  36. Julie Anne, that book looks interesting. I’ll consider getting a copy.

    I had some problems with your link to “A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs,” but I went to Amazon’s site and pasted that title in and found the book’s page okay.

    You don’t have to have a Kindle device to get the electronic (Kindle) book version, for that book or any other one.

    There is a free browser extension for Chrome, and I think Fire Fox, that you can get from Amazon, that lets you read Kindle book purchases in a desktop browser. (I’m not sure about IE.)

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  37. To everyone who said 1 Timothy 5:14 may be the verse I had in mind, that just may be it. Thank you for the research.

    I did go to Bible Gateway at the time I wrote my posts above and type in various phrases and key words in the NT to see if I could find it, but as I could not remember the exact wording, I could not find it and gave up after awhile.

    But thank you to everyone who provided that information. That may be the verse. It probably is. It was something about women being leaders or in charge within the home, not men or husbands.

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  38. Julie Anne said,

    If they were busy loving their wives as Christ loves the church, there would not be the need for any articles like his. These men want to force women into their idea of submission. That idea of submission is not true submission. Christ doesn’t force us into submission. We submit to him because of our love and respect of him.

    Yes, this. Not that I agree with gender comp/ pat understanding of “submission” to start with (they load that term with preconceptions of one-way authority), but even if I did, the Bible asks it voluntarily of people.

    I do not remember the Bible writers commanding women to “submit” and that if they do not, they are in sin and should be chained and tossed into prison.

    Nor do I recall the Bible writers telling men to brow-beat and nag women into submission, or to write numerous books, or blog pages shaming, arguing, and blaming women into it.

    The Bible makes submission out to be a choice a woman voluntarily makes.

    And I don’t remember that the Bible says if a woman refuses to submit to her spouse that it’s then okay for the church or her husband to beat her up, divorce her, put her in stocks, or tar and feather her.

    Like

  39. carolsnider, very interesting.

    I come from a military family, and in my younger days, my dad would be sent off for deployment a year or longer. While Dad was gone, my Mom was both the Mom and the Dad.

    My mother was a very traditional Christian type who believed that the husband is the head of the household. My dad didn’t try to have to put himself in that position or try to demand it when he would get back from deployment.

    This is another example, though, where pat and gender complementarian teaching is exposed for its weaknesses.

    When dad would get back home after having been gone a year or more, it confused me a lot as a kid. I had no idea what his purpose was.

    I later found out from my mother that my confused nature as to who he was sort of hurt his feelings. Well, at that time, as a kid, I could kind of tell I was hurting his feelings, but it was not intentional. I had no idea how to interact with him.

    I understand what my mom was for – she did it all, she cooked the meals, dished out discipline if my siblings acted out, she drive me to dental appointments, she read me bed time stories, etc – she did everything, so I had no idea what a father was for.

    When my father would get back home and tell me to go pick my shoes up and take them back to my room, or whatever, I would go to my mother and say, “Dad just told me to do X. Is that okay with you?” – I viewed my mother as being The Boss in the family, not my dad. I did not know if it was okay for my father to take over roles my mother usually played.

    I had no idea if I followed his commands if that would be okay with Mom or not, so I’d ask for her permission to carry out his orders.

    Anyway, this doesn’t bode well for gender complementarianism. In military families where the father has to leave home for months or years at a time (assuming that the father is serving, and not the mother), the mother has no choice but to take over both the stereotypical male role, in addition to performing the woman’s roles.

    John Piper (I think it was Piper, or some other famous comp) was actually arguing a year or more ago in the story about a brain damaged, wheel chair bound military vet, that the husband (the wounded one, the vet) was still the “head” of the house even though when he returned home injured, the man’s wife had to take over all his duties and roles on top of keeping her old ones.

    The wife was being both the husband and wife, so to speak, but the gender complementarians were still wanting to hold her up as being a womanly women submissive thing example, even though she was leading her husband.

    Like

  40. @ John Allman.
    I’m very right wing and conservative politically and concerning my understanding of Christianity.

    For years, I disliked secular feminism, as many of them tend to be very left wing, Democrat, and tend to support abortion and pre-marital sex.

    Having said all that… I’ve started reading some of their blogs and sites with a more open mind in the last few years, and while I still believe they get many a thing wrong, some of their points sometimes do have merit.

    Some of their criticisms of the right or of conservative Christian/ Christianity are also valid.

    Lastly, I’m tired of Christians who have turned secular feminism into a boogey man or rallying point.

    Christians need to spend more time policing their own rather than always pointing outside their circle at the feminists to complain about the downfall of society and what not.

    Some Christians do things like cover up and excuse child sexual abuse in churches by church staff, or some, like preacher Piper, advise abused women to stay with their abusive spouses. There’s a lot of evil going on by self professing Christians within the church.

    Paul wrote in the New Testament to judge those within the church, not those outside. He said let Christians judge other Christians and let God judge the secular feminists, in other words.

    I still take issue with secular feminists on many subjects, but these days, I’m tired of people who say they are Christians yet who sin habitually and then try to justify it, or look the other way when other Christians are hurting or abusing other people.

    Like

  41. I was a single mother who raised children by myself, and they came out fantastic: loving, hard-working, intelligent, college educated, and devout Christians. I did it without a human “dad” in the home. God promises to be a parent in these cases, and no one could be a better dad than He is. No regrets here.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. @ missdaisyflower

    “A lot of the gender comp / patriarchy material I’ve seen often gets into hand-wringing and outrage about how feminists have supposedly taught people (especially women) that there are no differences at all between men and women (among other things).”

    That is such rubbish (i.e. what *they* say, not that *you* say that they say it). The really bad problem with feminism is not that it teaches that there are no differences between men and women (although occasionally it does teach that selectively, when it suits it to do so), but that it teaches that there is a major difference between men and women: that men are evil oppressors and women are their saintly victims. Feminism is a like second Marxism, in which male and female have replaced the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Feminism is essentially a secular *revolutionary* movement that is hostile to marriage, the traditional nuclear family, and to men and boys.

    Here are a few examples of feminism choosing either a “men and women are the same”, or a “men and women are different” stance, depending upon which stance best fuels misandry in the context.

    1) In the UK, it is much easier for a woman to be elected to Parliament than it is for a man, yet there are fewer women than men in Parliament. In that context, it suits feminism to play down the observable temperamental differences between men and women that influence their career choices, so that the fewness of female MPs can be portrayed as symptomatic of a problem, rather than a natural phenomenon caused by different choices that men and women make.

    2) In the USA the prevalence of non-consensual sex – of “rape” and of the equivalent “made to penetrate” offence – is roughly equal. Here feminists play down the *similarity* between men and women when it comes to sexual aggression, that both have sex with non-consenting partners, with equal prevalence of the two comparable offences.

    3) The prevalence of male-on-female and female-on-male intimate partner violence are roughly equal, except for *lethal* intimate partner violence (which is usually mutual and female-initiated) unless deaths from suicide of the victim of violence between attacks are included in the figures for fatalities. However, feminists nearly always discuss intimate partner violence as though it was always in the same direction, male perpetrator and female victim, and call it “gender violence” habitually. Here it is a similarity between men and women that feminists play down.

    4) Despite almost half a century of equal pay for equal work and anti-sex discrimination legislation, over her lifetime, the average woman only earns three quarters as much as the average man. This is because average women and average men tend to make radically different career decisions affecting their work life balances. (This is reflected in the workplace fatalities for men and women; more than thirty men die at work for every woman killed at work. It is reflected also in the different prevalence of male and female full-time home-makers.) But this *difference* between men and women is played down by feminists, who wish to portray the gender pay gap as a *problem*, wrongly attributing it to workplace gender discrimination, including a so-called “glass ceiling”.

    There is no need for Christians to engage in gender theory of their own, constructing a counter-ideology called “gender complementarianism”. The foolishness of God is greater than the false wisdom of this age.

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  43. @ MissDaisyFlower

    I have just read you post addressed directly to me. I think I probably agree with everything you said. Thank you.

    It won’t harm a mature Christian to spend a little time finding out what feminists say, and testing it. I do this myself. I read a very good guest post the other day by a lady who describes herself as an “equality feminist”, on a blog called “A Voice For Men”.

    It’s the *mood* of feminism, it’s rampant misandry, its sheer *hatred* of a demographic – men and boys – that is a destructive force in society. I have not felt that rage myself – the urge to *kill* a white South African guarding an embassy in my case – since I was a teenager, on an Anti-Apartheid demonstration in London, outside the South African embassy. It frightened me to discover self-righteous hatred like that in myself. I have never felt like that since that day. However, I have been on the receiving end of hatred like that, when I have queried assertions made on a couple of rather nasty feminist blogs that you probably wouldn’t like either.

    We are called to be *in* the world, but not *of* the world, it is said.

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  44. @John Allman–from Wikipedia: “The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) stated that 91% of United States people whose rape accusations resulted in convictions against the accused were female and 9% were male. It also stated that 99% of the people convicted of and imprisoned in response to rape accusations were male, with only 1% of those convicted being female.” AND “According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, female on male rape accounted for 0.2% of all known and convicted rapes in the United States.” That doesn’t sound “roughly equal” to me.

    Perhaps if you had ever been a female under the rule of patriarchal males, you would understand why feminism doesn’t seem so bad to some of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Feminism is one of those words that it’s really important to understand how the person is using it before assuming. I’m not sure what it means to John, but I fear it’s not the same meaning I use. To me, feminism means equal pay/rights for equal jobs/duties.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Agreed, Julie Anne. I simply don’t like seeing any idea unjustly vilified. Without the equal pay and rights that I enjoy, I would never have been able to leave a very toxic situation. Equality is an intrinsic right, whether for people or ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. JA, in my grandmother’s day, feminists were those rebellious evil women who wanted the vote. She married an older man who campaigned for their right to vote. He was accused of being a feminist, too. Funny that.

    So, the the word has a rich history. I realize it was meant as an insult but I find it a compliment when viewed historically.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. The definition of feminism is the advocacy of equality for women in all spheres of life. I am a feminist, so are my daughters. My mother was a feminist. My grandmother marched for the right to vote. The idea that we hate men because we support equality for everyone is just plain silly. To like men means I have to consider myself inferior to them or receive lower wages for the same job? – I don’t think so.

    My husband is a feminist because he respects women. He has a wife, sister, and daughters. I cannot understand why men aren’t feminists. Aren’t we supposed to treat others as we want to be treated?

    In my first full time job, I discovered that I was being paid 71% of what my male colleague was being paid. I asked my supervisor why and he said that I had a husband to take care of me and that my colleague had alimony and child support to pay. I pointed out that he frequently asked me to do complex work that was supposed to be assigned to my colleague because he didn’t think my colleague could do it properly and I could. He said that was irrelevant. Of course this a personal anecdote and might be irrelevant except for the fact that studies show this is still typical.

    Look, I love my husband. We consider ourselves soul mates. I adore my grandchildren, both wonderful little boys. Feminism has nothing to do with hating men. It has to do with valuing both men and women.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. carolsnider wrote:

    I think it’s actually quite entertaining to watch men think they’re so powerful when we all know that, when it comes right down it, women clearly (and quietly) hold the power.

    Indeed it is carol, and by way of extension, permit me to add amusing as well. When I was a young man and before I left fundamentalism, I was just as deluded as the rest of our present day ‘Biblical’ patriarchs with regard to ‘gender roles’. I grew out of it though and now recognize that women have a primal strength and power that can make men dance like marionettes on strings.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. @ Marsha

    “The definition of feminism is the advocacy of equality for women in all spheres of life. I am a feminist, so are my daughters.”

    With _slight_ reservations (which I’ll come to) about the “all spheres of life” clause, then, according to THAT (as you call it) “definition” of feminism, I pretty much a feminist myself.

    I won’t burden you with a _long_ list of “spheres of life”, in which I might be reluctant to advocate for “the equality of women” myself. I’ll just give one counter-example, to cast doubt on wisdom of the the generalisation in the “definition” to ALL spheres of life. Wrestling. Advocating the equality of women necessarily requires the advocating of the equality of men. At present, it is possible for women to wrestle other women, without being penalised for refusing a challenge from a male wrestler, for the women’s title. I would be reluctant to see legislation banning competitive sports, especially wrestling, from holding contests in which either only men, or only women, were allowed to compete.

    I have reservations, however, about the phrase “equality of women”. Equality with whom? With men? Then the phrase should be “equality of men and women”, because the equality operator is commutative. If A = B, then B = A.

    Why is feminism called feminism? Why isn’t it called masculism/feminism, if equality is ALL that it is about?

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you. In another comment on this same page, I have admitted admiring the guest post of an “equality feminist” on a certain MRA blog. I am not critiquing YOU at all. I am critiquing some of the ugly feminism that’s out there.

    In what “spheres of life”, if any, do you think that women are still not equal to men, in your country? Are there any spheres of life in which you have realised that men need to be elevated, in order merely to achieve equality with women? Are there perhaps areas of life in which women need to be taken down a peg or two, to reduce them to the level of equality with men that you desire? (I can think of a couple.)

    What are you going to do about *biological* inequalities? Here’s a big one: The sermon illustration of the difference between knowledge and faith, is that mum knows that the children are hers, but dad merely exercises faith, when he believes that the children are his? How are we ever going to equalise that inequality?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postfeminism

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  51. @ Julie Anne

    “I’m not sure what it means to John, but I fear it’s not the same meaning I use. To me, feminism means equal pay/rights for equal jobs/duties.”

    No, you’re right. I recognise the word “feminism” as an umbrella term, which embraces not a *single* idea, but a wide range of ideas, some good and some bad, and (more to the point) a wide range of *attitudes*.

    In the olden days, when feminism was merely “equal pay/rights for equal jobs/duties”, I would have called myself a “feminist” in that sense.

    If you search the internet for “is feminism a hate movement”, you’ll find plenty of what I don’t like.

    I must have been about 10 or 11, when I listened to a sermon I still remember now, against -isms. Calvinism is an -ism. Feminism is an -ism. Isms are generally speaking a menace, because they are isms.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+1%3A18-20&version=NKJV

    We are only five years away from the centenary of the first publication of the first post-feminist journal. Post-feminism is surely an idea whose time has come. Roll on post-feminism! Baby boomer gender warriors, kindly beat your swords into ploughshares, or our children and grandchildren will do it for you.

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  52. @ AC

    66

    “The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) stated that 91% of United States people whose rape accusations resulted in convictions against the accused were female and 9% were male. It also stated that 99% of the people convicted of and imprisoned in response to rape accusations were male, with only 1% of those convicted being female.” AND “According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, female on male rape accounted for 0.2% of all known and convicted rapes in the United States.” That doesn’t sound “roughly equal” to me.

    99

    When a women forces a man to penetrate her, a criminal offence is committed that is comparable with rape, but which is not included in the rape statistics you quoted.

    The appropriate comparison to make is between male-on-female rapes, and female-on-male made-to-penetrate offences (which aren’t called “rape”). It is THOSE two offences whose prevalence I was saying were “roughly equal”. The statistics you quoted conceal that state of affairs.

    A woman can only rape a man by (for example) sticking a candle up his anus, or being an accomplice when another person sticks something else up the male rape victim’s anus, or a penis into his mouth. If a woman forces a man’s penis into her vagina without his consent, she is not said to have “raped” him, in the USA.

    This case, in England, is one of the very rare rape convictions of a female defendant, for the rape of another female. Ordinarily, one would expect 0% of rapes to be female perpetrator, male victim, because of the *definition* of rape.

    http://ukcriminallawblog.com/2014/11/13/aliyah-and-lacquan-weekes-detained-for-revenge-rape/

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  53. Biological differences do not equate to inequality to me. I am sure you don’t feel inferior to women because you cannot carry a child or superior to another man who might be shorter, slighter, and have less physical strength than you.

    As for wrestling, there is no need to have women and men competing with each other any more than you would match a heavier man with a slighter man. Men and women have different centers of gravity apart from average weight differences. But if women want to compete in wrestling competitions with other women, I would support that.

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  54. John, I have read it carefully and I believe that the FBI definition of rape does not preclude the prosecution of women for for that crime. Terms and definitions of sex crimes vary from state to state. However, across the board, when a woman forces a man to have sex with her or someone else, she is guilty of felony sexual assault, a crime as serious and carrying the same penalties as when a man rapes a woman. There was a case in Chicago last year.

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  55. @John Allman–I just looked up specific statistics on “made to penetrate”, and I see the statistics you are talking about. The rape statistics tell a different story, but as is evident, their terminology does not include “made to penetrate”. Traditionally, to my understanding, male violence against women has been an easier crime to perpetrate, due to man’s superior size, weight and strength. This is perhaps why feminism was such a readily acceptable ideology when it introduced itself. “Feminism”, as a word, does cover a wide range of ideas, many of which have been destructive to our culture. In its militant form, it can be an exaggerated and unhealthy response to patriarchy. Having experienced patriarchy as an exaggerated and unhealthy response to feminism, I understand why others would lean to feminism, but I would prefer neither. However, I see in this discussion no mysogynist man-and-boy-hating angry bitter rapist feminists. I see only women who want to live as equals in what is admittedly a man’s world. This, I understand and support fully. I advocate living in whatever way makes one healthy and happy without hurting others.

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  56. The original post here concerns a highly demeaning form of male patriarchy. Steve Halbrook has set up feminism as a straw man that allows (gasp) women to rear their own children. He sets up women as too stupid and sinful to be worthy of any task beyond childbearing and dish-washing. It ends up that men who listen to this feel very good about their inflated superiority, and ride a power trip to the moon. I grew up under this kind of patriarchy, and it destroyed my family. If “feminism” means that I am allowed to discipline my daughter when my husband is hard at work most of the day (discipline being something that I do only for her safety and future emotional health), then so be it.

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  57. Read the link, and it strikes me that what is most offensive about theonomy is really what is not said. Now I’m one of those who believes in various forms of headship–I just can’t read passages like Ephesians 5&6 without coming to a conclusion that God does intend some to take a greater leadership than others. Doesn’t mean others are inferior, just a different role.

    But that said, there are a certain portion of those in leadership–whether that be that of husband, father, mother, pastor, elder, deacon, employer, whatever–who view their position as an opportunity to lord it over others, implement a high amount of “dues paying” as a precondition for respect, make arbitrary decisions and not explain them, and the like. And I would guess that at least a huge position of resentment at expressions of headship is not due to an objection to the principle, but rather the application.

    And in theonomy, what I’ve seen is a strong undercurrent of that dues-paying, lording over attitude that seems to ignore what God tells those in leadership; remember that you have a Head to whom you report. Kinda like those other threads about the Doug Phillips debacle/tragedy.

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  58. Pingback: So Much More, p. 33-51 – Part 2: The Virgin Bureaucracy « Scarlet Letters

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