By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
The Senate has defeated the “Blunt amendment,” the controversial bill named for Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would have that would allowed even non-religious employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagreed with on “moral grounds.”
This defeat is not an end to the GOP’s war on women, however. It is merely a skirmish in what looks to be a protracted struggle for women’s freedom and dignity in this country. This attack on women is, and I am grieved to say it, driven by a particular Christian theological perspective that denigrates women and holds them responsible for sin, particularly sexual sin.
GOP politics today is, in fact, all about Eve.
The GOP war on women will continue precisely because of the conservative Christian theology that drives wedge politics in a campaign season has a fundamental contempt for women and their equal dignity and worth. As the Southern Baptist Convention voted in 1984, “[M]an was first in creation and the woman was first in the Edenic fall.” In conservative Christian eyes, women are the evil temptresses, the sinner “Eves” who lead the gullible Adams astray, especially sexually. Therefore they are “first” in sin, i.e. it’s women’s fault that men get kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
There are “softer” forms of this view of women as sexual temptresses, as in John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on women, where Mary is the “new Eve.” Women’s “femininity” earns them love, but the implication is clearly only if they stay “Mary,” the good mother, and don’t wander over into the independence of “Eve.” Eve, of course, is the sexual face of women in these theological perspectives. The message is “good women” don’t do that. … Read More