Continued form last week…
Yes, haven’t the movements of the sixties brought us great harmony and understanding? I was just listening to the news. There were only 9 murders in the African American section of Chicago last week. Way down from last year. This is the victory of the civil rights movement in which I marched as a young man? And the feminist movement for which I leafleted and protested in college has certainly improved the lot of women, hasn’t it? Poverty and divorce, lung cancer and heart disease are rampant among women. What a great victory for feminism!
There has never been a feminist movement in America -- there has been a Masculinist movement. The pioneers of women’s liberation idealized what men did. A woman was powerless unless she did what men did. She should be a lawyer or doctor or truck driver or contractor. That’s where the power was! Women certainly can do all those things well and sometimes better than men. But there is one thing a woman can do that a man can’t do. She can create a home.
It is not universal, but I think it is none the less true, that if a woman is removed from a family by the tragedy of death or divorce, a man can run a perfectly good household, but he can rarely create a home. Home is where you are safe. Children in our times are made to feel unsafe. “Now Bobby, put on your helmet and your knee pads and kiss your other mommy good night and go to bed.” We watch children like hawks because we feel so unsafe, so homeless. One hears regularly about some child killed by a stray bullet on Chicago’s south side as she sleeps or quietly watches television. If it is true that home is where you are safe, we have created a homeless world in which we pretend that expensive houses are homes. Mom will be late. She has a stockholders’ meeting. Who knows where Dad is? We think he is in the Bahamas with his new family. The nanny will make dinner and I’ll be home to tuck you in. Maybe. Let’s hope the nanny doesn’t beat the little dears when you aren’t looking. Better install a security camera to keep an eye on her. Little rich children who are as homeless as the children on the south side, who feel so little hope that they will grow to maturity and who dread the bullet coming through the window to kill them in their sleep. It is inexpressibly sad to watch weeping Grandmothers cry tears that absent mothers and fathers are not there to cry. Please, Lord a day when the tears will be dried! The masculinist movement has removed the home from our experience if not our vocabulary.
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church." This line from St. Paul is particularly jarring to most Aquarians. As an ex-Aquarian myself I found that line disconcerting until I heard a comment by the great Francis Cardinal George, a sharp cookie if ever there was one. He completely befuddled an air headed member of the media when the “journalist” asked the Cardinal, “So as leader of the Archdiocese, what are you going to do about...” His Eminence looked at the reporter and said “I’m not the leader of the Archdiocese. I’m the head of the Archdiocese.” The reporter whose reading probably did not extend past a teleprompter and the back of the hair spray bottle, was absolutely flummoxed by the statement. In a moment of crystal clarity I understood what the Cardinal meant.
Leadership and headship are not the same thing. For instance, when I am hungry it is my stomach that is the leader of my body. When I stub my toe, it is my foot that is the leader of the body and so on. It is the job of the head to do what is best for the body and to get what the body needs, not necessarily what the body wants. Headship is a matter of service, not of arbitrary power. Christ is the head of the church, He is her servant. That is the nature of His Lordship. Remember that he said to His disciples as He washed their feet, “I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27) St Paul goes on to talk about the bath of water that the Lord prepares for His Bride, the Church. Gentlemen, when is the last time that you drew a bubble bath for your wife, or washed her tired feet?
This is what the Lord is saying. The husband is the servant of the wife. His job is to create an environment in which she can be who she is. Most men think of headship and submission as “Put another log on the fire, and cook me up some bacon and some beans...” Submission is letting the husband say, “Here, let me help you with that.” St. Paul is the one of history’s true romantics and his vision, or better, the Holy Spirit’s vision of marriage is something tender and beautiful. It is a mutual submission. But modern feminists miss that because they are to busy learning martial arts and attending consciousness-raising seminars. So take your pick. God’s vision of the family, or the mechanized, heartless world we have chosen where motherhood is denigrated and babies are murdered in the womb, where men are idolized and woman masculinized. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
the Rev. Know-it-all