All around the world, eyes were on the United States as we observed the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of this great country. Love him, hate him, indifferent to him, it has happened and if you claim to be an American and live within the borders, he is your president. For us Christians who are saying that he isn’t, I would like to refer you to the passage in Romans that I reference in my post about gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment (Romans 13). Today, however, I am not going to be talking directly about our president, but instead about an event that happened this weekend in protest to his inauguration and the supposed rights that he is about to take away. I will be talking about the Women’s march that took place in many cities across the nation. I want to address a few of the points that I assume that they wanted to get across in this rather murky event, as well as respond with a few points that we as Christians should be able to discuss when talking about issues of the fairer sex.
To start, and I invite any correction by citing other sources, I would like to list what this march was intending to do. From what I have gathered, because of the past comments of Mr. Trump that surfaced during his campaign regarding how he could treat women given his status, he is viewed as an enemy to women and their rights. Among this and republican plans to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), women are concerned for their access to healthcare and what their insurance will and will not cover. I have also seen much support for abortion as a women’s right to choose what happens with her body. As a side note, I have also seen numerous reports that women who want to defend the right to life were turned away from these events. Seems a little contradictory to a right to choose, but I will come back to that. So that is a quick synopsis of what I have perceived to be the goals and messages of the marches this weekend. Again, if I am misinformed please comment or message me with more details as well as where I could possibly find a link for an article for the goals.
Now, on to my responses and thoughts, as well as some scriptural answers for these topics. Yes, Mr. Trump has made some deplorable comments about the view and treatment of women that men across the world tragically accept and act upon. Does this disqualify him as president of the United States or indicate that he is going to take us back decades in terms of the rights of citizens? No and no, Trump is a businessman and is now a politician, he and his kind will talk to give their audiences what they want to hear but will pursue their own agendas at the end of the day like everyone else. Yes, what he said is despicable and does not make me view him kindly as a person, but so what? From what I understood there was no context given to the discussion and it could have been serious or a joke, albeit a tragically nasty one that shouldn’t have been told. Who knows what Mr. Obama, Mr. Clinton, or Mr. Bush have said with regards to women during their younger years (I’m sure some lewd comments were made, I’m a guy and I have made my own comments as well, but I am not proud of them). Even if lewd comments have come from my mouth, it does not change the fact that I do my best to treat women like my equals and my cohabitants of this wonderful country and planet, and I do my best to make sure they are seen as such today. I apologize to all women for anything that I have said that has come across as “locker room talk”, I make no excuses and am striving to not do that anymore and to try and rebuke anyone else who speaks that way. Now, for the rights as women, aside from these comments, I do not recall any comment or platform from Mr. Trump in his campaign that has even hinted at him trying to take away rights from women as citizens of the United States.
As to the healthcare, Planned Parenthood, abortion, and a woman’s need for healthcare. I agree that women have health needs that men do not have to deal with. I am also aware of women’s health centers that provide the same services as Planned Parenthood, but do not offer abortions. Instead they offer help for pregnant women and to educate them as to all options that are available. If a doctor were on staff and the organization supports it, birth control is also available. I love that centers like this are out there, and I would love it if they got even half as much publicity as Planned Parenthood. I personally do not support Planned Parenthood because they do perform abortions, even in the light of all the good services they provide. I believe that the best form of birth control is keeping it in your pants, because as far as I’m aware there has been only one Immaculate Conception. Now before you jump all over me saying abstinence is unrealistic, my wife and I made it to the marriage bed without having sex out of wedlock (we are both in our late 20’s). We also are aware that sex creates children, and that it is a possibility even with birth control. We have discussed what we would do if we were to conceive while we are both working on our doctorates, and have decided to use birth control to minimize the chances of my wife getting pregnant, but abortion is not an option in our book. I believe that all children have a right to life, even if the child is conceived through rape. I realize this is a traumatic experience for the woman to be raped, and what that child signifies to her, but it isn’t the child’s fault that they were conceived and I don’t think it fair to end their life. That is not to defend the rapist at all, they are monsters and deserve punishment to the fullest extent of the law. I think men need to be educated that women are not objects, they are people.
So through all of this, I have expressed my opinion, but what does the Bible, a Christian’s source of truth, say on the matter of the treatment of women? In God’s punishment of Adam and Eve, he states that Adam would rule over Eve (husband rules over his wife) and that Eve’s desire would be for her husband. It does not say that he should rule harshly or even what exactly that “ruling over” meant. However, in the Old Testament, we have multiple stories showing women having great power and esteem within their communities (Ruth, Judges 4, Exodus 15, Esther). Unfortunately women’s roles had degraded by the time of the New Testament, such that the witness of women was inadmissible in Jewish court just because of who they were (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testimony_in_Jewish_law). In spite of this, God chose to elevate Mary and her cousin Elizabeth such that they would give birth to John the Baptist and the Messiah himself. Jesus’ ministry prominently featured women as they traveled with him, and multiple stories had him speaking one on one with women. In Jewish culture, women were typically relegated to domestic roles. Mary and Mary Magdalene were mentioned as being the first to report the empty tomb, which regarding my earlier comment about witnesses, seems like an esteemed position for the early church. The early church itself had multiple women as near-equals in the church in leadership roles. (Acts 1;9;16;18;21; Romans 16) In the book of Galatians Paul confirms that God views men and women as equals as His children. Paul does talk about the man being the head of the household and the wife being subject to her husband, but he also tells husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. And what did Christ do for the church? He laid down his life so his church may be saved and reconciled to God. He valued us that much, which means that I must love my wife to that extent! Throughout all of this as well, we are told to have our minds on things above, so Christians should have been following this example, not the example set forth by societies around the church (Colossians 3:2)
So with all of this said, I know that I have only barely scratched the surface of this iceberg of a topic, but please take some time and look into scripture for yourself. The church may not have done it, but God intends for man and woman to be working side by side to advance his kingdom, no other configuration. I haven’t even talked about how atrociously other religions, specifically Islam, treat their women, but that is not my point here. Americans love to point out how we are a Christian nation, and that is what I wanted to focus in on in this discussion. I hope that instead of hatred and vitriol, we would cool down just a bit and have a heart to heart with people across the aisle so we can make some actual progress instead of hitting the reset button every 4 or 8 years in America, and hoping that man can fix our problems. Only God can offer us a permanent solution to the mess that man has created on this earth, let’s keep that in mind as we work with each other and with Him for a better tomorrow. May God bless you and have a wonderful rest of your day.
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