Equal but different.Yowza. Does that sound a little retrograde to you? I'm only getting started...
You hear that a lot on the lush green campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
God values men and women equally, any student here will tell you. It's just that he's given them different responsibilities in life: Men make decisions. Women make dinner.
The [homemaking] academic program, open only to women, includes lectures on laundering stubborn stains and a lab in baking chocolate-chip cookies.Is this real? Or is it from The Onion? Who would sign up for this?
Philosophical courses such as "Biblical Model for the Home and Family" teach that God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands' leadership. A model house, to be completed by next fall, will allow women to get credit toward bachelor's degrees by learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.
It all sounds wonderful to sophomore Emily Felts, 19, who signed up as soon as she arrived on campus this fall.Damn. I have every respect for women who decide to stay home with their kids. One of our neighbors did that. My wife thought about it (she just loves every minute with our son). But to be a helper? I don't know how other people run their marriages, but my wife and I are equal partners. It makes decision-making a tad more difficult, but why would she want to subvert her desires for mine?
Several relatives have told Felts that she's selling herself short. They want her to become a lawyer, and she agrees she'd make a good one. But that's not what she wants to do with her life.
More to the point, it's not what she believes God wants of her.
"My created purpose as a woman is to be a helper," Felts said firmly. "This is a college education that I can use."
For the rest of the nearly three-hour class, guest lecturer Ashley Smith, the wife of a theology professor, laid out the biblical basis for what she calls "the glorious inequalities of life."I'll bet she resents him, and she should.
Smith, 30, confided that she sometimes resents her husband for advancing his career "while I'm changing diapers and getting poop all over me."
But then she quoted from Ephesians: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." And from Genesis: God created Eve to be a "suitable helper" for Adam.Well, if God says so...
"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."*gurgle* *gasp* *is speechless*
Well, ladies, what can this education do for you? It can turn this woman:
Donella Cecrle, 36, spent years in the corporate world, traveling the nation to sell computer software -- and far out-earning her husband, Andy. Subservience wasn't in her vocabulary.into this woman:
When Cecrle became pregnant, she left work for good and now stays home with their two preschool-age children... ...She started this semester with a homemaking course, which Dorothy Patterson, 63, teaches at her dining room table (artfully decorated with sprigs of autumnal berries and curls of pumpkin-hued ribbon).I have to be able to shut my mouth. I have to be able to shut my mouth. This is what Dembski's Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is teaching women. Read it one more time, would you? I have to be able to shut my mouth. And something to leave the taste of a fine education in your mouth?
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.
"It really doesn't matter what I think," [she] said. "It matters what the Bible says."