When the preacher read:
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
— Ephesians 5:22-33
we started to giggle and point.
It was my niece’s wedding, and Shannon is not submitting to nobody, nowhere. She came out of the womb screaming like a banshee, and that screaming for shit didn’t stop until she learned how to talk.
More than 25 years later, the noise level has dropped, and the attention span and patience have improved, but the attitude is the same:
“Shannon gets what Shannon wants.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. She’s not an asshole about it. She’s just the kind of person who has a spreadsheet for each home improvement she wants to do over the next 10 years with a timeline, cost, and the number of hours it will take her husband to do it.
It’s also impossible to prove she is “submitting” to her husband’s will — no one knows his will. People have to speak or write, or sign (or make a fucking facial expression) to communicate their thoughts. This dude does none of that.
I often try to bait “husband” into speaking. We all count the words. One evening, I got 7 words out of him at a party with 10 people. That included all the hellos and goodbyes. It was actually fucking impressive.
“He talks when you are not around,” Shannon said. But I call bullshit. Even his family says he doesn’t talk.
Shannon was really hoping his family didn’t hear us talking at the wedding. They really believe the preacher’s bullshit, and our giggling was “getting out of hand”. At the reception, we were drinking and chanting: “Submit, Shannon, submit.”
Most of us thought it was funny just because we know the couple’s personality. My family thought it was funny because there’s no “submit” in any of the women in this group. I enjoyed pointing out the bullshit in their fake religion.
“Submit” — that’s the attitude the kidnapper takes to the kipnapped. “Put the lotion in the basket…”
No relationship between consenting adults should be described in any way with a word like “submit.” It’s a partnership. Effective partners work together. They cover up each other’s weaknesses; they build on each other’s strengths.
I just hate it when the religious say: “The bible is full of morals and good advice.”
No, no it’s not. There are a few gems, that most American Christians ignore: treat others like you want to be treated; feed the poor; don’t pray in public… in a sea of self-contradictory, schizophrenic word salad.
In places where it is clear (like this “submit” shit), it’s pushing an immoral agenda of dominance and submission. It’s all about control. Christ (meaning the leaders of the church) control the people, and men control their wives (and daughters).
It’s the same mindset that people can be property. The bible never says slavery is immoral, and actually tells many tales of slavery as “normal.”
There’s a reason when the Christians really had power, we call it the “Dark Ages.”
But I can’t say all this at a family gathering, which is half full of the religious, without starting a fight. Instead, I just look at Shannon and her husband and say: “Submit Shannon, submit.”
And we all laugh and laugh…