British flight attendant fired for refusing to behave as a Muslim

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from the Maritime Sentry! A conservative blog without peer. I see they have posted a new Michele Bachmann video, but I can’t see it from work. Can someone watch it and leave a comment about it?

Wow, check out this Washington Times article I just found on OneRedThread. Apparently, female flight attendants on British Midland Airways have got to start acting as if they are Muslims, in order not to offend Muslims. Excuse me? THEY AREN’T MUSLIMS. Why should people be forced by the state to act as though they accept a religion (or no religion), when that’s not what they believe???

This is insanity:

…British Midland Airways is going to absurd and insulting lengths to patronize backward habits of the Middle East by forcing its female flight attendants to dress and behave in a stereotype of subservient Saudi women. When flight attendant Lisa Ashton stood up to the policy, she was fired.

…In addition to wearing the traditional abaya, the policy stated that, “it is expected that female crew members walk behind their male counterparts in public areas such as the airport, no matter what rank.”

Miss Ashton’s union representative told her the abaya was considered “an item of uniform” and that refusal to wear it should be treated as “a potential disciplinary matter.” Miss Ashton went to great lengths to avoid coming into conflict with the policy. … When her time finally came to fly to Saudi Arabia, she refused, and was suspended.

… She appealed her case but a labor tribunal accepted BMI’s argument that the airline introduced the requirements “entirely from the need to conform to local customs, practices and law in Saudi Arabia.”

I have an idea. How about everybody has free speech and freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, and the people who get offended by those rights can just grow up. Why is it that on any given day you have some atheist, and/or left-wing activist is complaining that other people have human rights and that the free exercise of these rights should be prevented by the state?

This is exactly the same as the recent case where the Christian nurse was suspended because an atheist complained when the nurse offered to pray for her. Newsflash! Let people act on what they believe! Don’t try to change them so that they believe what you believe, using the power of the state. That’s fascism – the state overriding the values of individuals.

Excerpt:

The incident which led to her suspension took place at the home of a woman patient in Winscombe, North Somerset.

“It was around lunchtime and I had spent about 20 to 25 minutes with her. I had applied dressings to her legs and shortly before I left I said to her: ‘Would you like me to pray for you?’.

“She said ‘No, thank you.’ And I said: ‘OK.’ I only offered to pray for her because I was concerned about her welfare and wanted her to get better.”

However, after the incident on December 15, she was contacted by the trust and asked to explain her actions.

Everyone: stop being offended victims!

55 thoughts on “British flight attendant fired for refusing to behave as a Muslim”

  1. While I agree that she should be given all the freedoms of men, but if she wants to work on the international routes that serve these muslim nations, she has to abide by the rules that her capitalistic company sets forth. Why didn’t she ask to be transferred to a different route or domestic flight?

    But overall, I agree with you – this stupid PC crap has to stop – when do we say enough is enough? Not to mention, I dont think it would hurt the middle east to get exposed to some customs that aren’t over an eon old. (sorry, I know, I’m all over the place – what can I say, I’m a complicated person:)

    1. I think multi-culturalism and political correctness are ideas pushed the left uses to marginalize Western Civilization, which was built on Judaism and Christianity. Who is sued by the Human Rights Commissions? Christian pastors, that’s who.

      And far be it from me to tell companies what to do – I hate regulation – but this is basic human rights. You can’t make someone act like a member of a religion they don’t believe in. She has freedom of religion, you can’t push religion or atheism on her. She is her own person, she should do as she pleases and other people should have to quit being cry-babies.

      1. Abayas are not indication of islamic faith. They are not mandated by the Koran, it is simply seen in some countries (Saudi Arabia, being one) as proper dress. If a flight attendant refused to wear the uniform required by the airline they work for, say they much preferred to wear a bikini, or to exaggerate less, if she wanted to wear a miniskirt and high heels instead, her employment could be expected to end, too.

        Is “stop being cry babies” the logical conclusion of your argument?

        1. I think Wintery was referring to the ‘act’ not the abaya.

          Wintery: “You can’t make someone act like a member of a religion they don’t believe in.”

  2. This is utterly ridiculous. Once again Western culture is supposed to bow to another culture. How about some respect for our own Western culture? This airline should be ashamed.

  3. It’s entirely possible that Saudi LAW requires flight attendants to dress in certain ways. If that’s not the case, the airline (in my opinion) would be best served to try to be considerate of local standards of “decency” while allowing their FA’s to wear practical, serviceable clothing. I can’t imagine trying to pass out dinner on a crowded airplane wearing an abaya if I weren’t raised wearing one. I don’t even want to THINK about having to use an airplane restroom wearing one!

    Maybe a long skirt-suit with a jacket, boots, and a cute scarf or turtleneck would do the job – and if not covering the head is considered indecent in Saudi, they can wear scarves, cowboy hats, whatever. I try to be considerate of people wherever I travel; I wear a tank top in the US, but I wouldn’t wear one in many parts of the world. It’s not a religious thing, just cultural.

    Now, I totally disagree with having to BEHAVE in a religiously prescribed way. The female FA’s should NOT have to walk behind the males or otherwise behave in a subservient manner. If the airline feels that it would be physically or legally dangerous for their female employees to (e.g.) walk beside the men in public, they shouldn’t be servicing that country.

    1. Do you know that in the UK’s health system, you can’t wear a cross but if you are a Muslim, you don’t have to wash your hands when treating patients? I am just pointing this out so you know that there is a HUGE double standard. One religion is being victimized, the other is being lionized.

  4. Yikes – you don’t have to wash your hands? That’s scary. And totally wrong. Handwashing is part of the job. There are jobs that I wouldn’t do because of my religion – I don’t expect all of those jobs to be modified to suit my sensibilities.

    Surely they must wash before surgery… Let’s hope.

    If you can’t wear a cross, can you wear other religious symbols? If it’s a general no-religious-symbols rule, I disagree with it, but I wouldn’t consider it discriminatory.

    As you point out, I have definitely seen a double standard in the UK and elsewhere. Here in the US, it seems so far to be an attempt at a double standard being consistently pushed in the public, legal, and political arenas. I don’t think the attempted double standard in the US is very well supported by law yet. Although it’s not completely legal, though, it is becoming effective because people are so concerned about lawsuits or bad PR that they do the discriminating voluntarily.

  5. So women acting subservient to placate Muslim culture is politically correct (therefore ridiculous) but women acting submissive to Christian husbands is just following scripture?

    Right.

    1. Well, 1) it depends what you mean by subservient, and 2) remember that wives take a vow in the wedding, but flight attendants don’t. They don’t get self-sacrificial love as a return vow from passengers.

      For any argument against submission to husbands that you can give, I can give a parallel argument showing that men don’t need to uphold their duty to protect and provide for the family. Funny how feminists expect men to fulfill their obligations, but dismiss the wife’s obligations to their husbands and children. It’s something I screen for during courtship.

  6. I was merely pointing out the irony of the the two types of female “submission.” They are not too different from each other in that they are both justified by religious texts (Koran vs. BIble) and criticized by scholars as a misinterpretation. I can’t argue that point because I haven’t studied them. However, I believe in consistency: it’s hard to object to one faith’s version of female submission when you advocate similar practice for your own. For the record, though, having to do this on the job is pure ridiculousness. As to doing it in the home, well, you can guess that I am not a fan of it.

  7. After looking at the links, I can see the hospital’s point with the crucifix. It could be a safety issue if it’s a dangly-grabby thing (says the mother of a 9-month-old). Later, they said that she could wear it in other ways, like on a lapel pin. I’m wondering why no one suggested that before the hullabaloo. If she can wear it, just not on a chain around her neck, then no harm, no foul.

    The hand washing thing is still ridiculous, though.

    1. Well, initially:

      “they suggested, she could wear it inside a pocket.”

      Only after the case was taken up by Christian Legal Centre, that they reached a compromise:

      “Managers suggested that she pin it to her uniform or wear it on her identity lanyard.”

  8. Wintery: “For any argument against submission to husbands that you can give, I can give a parallel argument showing that men don’t need to uphold their duty to protect and provide for the family. Funny how feminists expect men to fulfill their obligations, but dismiss the wife’s obligations to their husbands and children.”

    Funny how some men don’t want any part of a relationship unless they are the boss.
    Funny how they have a “my way or the highway” attitude and then accuse women of being selfish for wanting equality. Not lordship. Just equality in partnership.
    Who is the selfish one? The one who wants a partnership or the one who wants lordship?

    No man wants to live under this sort of tyranny. Yet these men think women are ‘designed by God’ to live under what no man would. A partnership in marriage is beneath these men. They only want lordship.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you gets completely cancelled out by an overemphasis on the submission of women doctrine.

    Funny how women end up having to figure out how to support their families no matter what men do.

    Funny how some men want to hold all the cards, control property and money (like the soviet government) to keep control of their women. They see the wrong in this in a government, but not in their own actions.

    They want to hold all the cards so they can threaten women to submit or they will withdraw support.
    They want control and ownership of the ball at all times so when things don’t go their way they can just take ‘their’ ball and leave.

    Nice.

    So glad Jesus Christ, who these men say they are supposed to be following as an example, doesn’t operate this way. So glad He gave full support, poured out His very lifeblood to give to His bride even though she had NOTHING to give in return.
    So glad when people didn’t respond and ‘submit’ properly to Him He didn’t threaten to abandon them and abort His mission.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mara. And now I’ll make a general point about Biblical manhood and womanhood, which is not related to you or anything you said.

      I think it’s very important for Christians to be careful about who they marry. Don’t just take the person’s word that they are a Bible-believing Christian, because they can just be wrapping religious wrapping paper around a bunch of fashionable -isms of the day, like Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, socialism and moral relativism.

      After all 77% of young unmarried women voted for the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States. I’m sure that many of them go to church, read the Bible and call themselves Christians. But Christianity is more than a check box – you have to dig deeper before you decide marry. Some people pick and choose verses they like based on intuitions and emotions, while really living no differently than atheists.

      An excellent place to start is to try to get the person to read and write about apologetics, because no fake Christian is going to give a rip about defending God’s reputation in public – since there is nothing in it for them. Fake Christians like to focus on things that make them feel good, not on truth. They don’t care about truth. It’s important to choose a spouse well because if you choose badly, it can result in a lot of blaming of the other person, and maybe blaming everyone of that person’s gender, and even the loss or distortion of your personal faith in order to cover up the bad decision of spouse.

      I’ve written before about my view that feminism is what a woman believes after she realizes that sex doesn’t make a man love her and commit to her, and that her father was right about setting boundaries with men. And I’ve written before about how spouses can pass themselves off as Christian but have no love for God at all, and how marriage to a non-Christian can completely derail the faithful spouse’s life plan.

      Ask questions – don’t just take a person’s word for it. I have been told many times by Christians that certain Bible verses don’t mean what they say, because the literal meaning clashes with their emotions and intuitions about compassion and subjective theories of truth. Another Christian told me that nothing in the Bible should ever be construed as imposing a duty on that person that would make that person feel unhappy. Christianity isn’t spiritualized self-interest. It is about self-sacrificial service to others. If people try to pass of selfishness as Biblical, don’t marry them.

      1 out of every 5 abortions is performed by a Bible-believing Christian. Think about that. Could it be that being a Christian means different things to different people? Could it be that some people can think they are a Christian, while believing that the Bible was written by men a long time ago, and therefore has no force on their decision-making, which is geared towards the selfish pursuit of happiness? I’ve met people who thought they had direct access to God’s real character through their emotions and intuitions – and guess what? He’s just like them! Never mind what the Bible says.

    2. I’m just curious on how you interpret the scriptures.

      Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

      Titus 2:4-5 “That they [older women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

      Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

      Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.”

      Corinthians 11:3 “but I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”

      Ephesians 5:24 “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

      Like in an organisation, the aim of leadership structure is for the good of the organisation.

      If an organisation has more than one leader, it’s just not going to work. But if the leader is selfish, it’s not going to work either.

    3. Mara,

      //
      No man wants to live under this sort of tyranny. Yet these men think women are ‘designed by God’ to live under what no man would. A partnership in marriage is beneath these men. They only want lordship.
      //

      If you don’t mind my asking, what has happened to you in the past? You seem to have some kind of chip on your shoulder against men.

      I would also be interested in your take on this verse in I Peter:

      I Peter (ESV)
      [3:1] Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives— [2] when they see your respectful and pure conduct. [3] Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing— [4] but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. [5] For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, [6] as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
      [7]  Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

      wgbutler

  9. (Smile)

    First of all Wintery, thank you for just talking about the need to be careful about who you link up to and not just spouting off a bunch of scriptures at me.

    I agree with the great care both genders need to take before the marriage.

    Where I disagree with you, though, is that you expect young women to have the wisdom of Solomon from age 18-25 or whenever they get married and then it appears that they lose all authority over themselves after that and can no longer use this huge wisdom they have aquire for anything but catering to the husband.

    If the man gets a knock to the head, it changes his personality, and he becomes verabally abusive and a bully, oh well, stinks to be her. She’s made her bed, now she has to lie in it.
    She is given little to no recourse if things begin to go south.

    (Still smiling)
    Anon, Wg. I’ll get to you in a minute.

  10. Anon, we’re going to take this slow.

    First off.

    Ephesians 5:22 correctly translated without translators adding words to it goes more along the lines of this.

    Wives unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.

    That’s right. There’s no verb. Wives need to do what to their own husbands as unto the Lord? It doesn’t say. At least not in Ephesians 5:22.

    Because you see, when you cut off Ephesians 5:21 from vs 22 you gut verse 22 of its verb. Because in the original Greek there is no verb there.
    I actually don’t have a problem with the way my Bible does it. It does insert submit into Ephesians 5:22 for the sake of clarity, but italicized it to indicate that it is actually not there but that the verse is referring back to verse 21.

    But here is what men do with their favorite verses. They airlift them out of context, bunch them up together as you have done here. Form a club. And start beating.

    (still smiling)

    Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for youself. Prove me wrong, it you can.

    Ephesians 5:21 says, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    Rule number one. All Christians are to be submitting to one another in the fear of God.
    This includes husbands and wives.
    How is this expressed in culture?
    Easy. wives submit to their husbands just like all Christians are to submit to one another.

    Paul had to say this because up to this point, women viewed themselves as their culture viewed them. Not even citizens, so not even second class citizens. And most often as property.
    Once a person sees through the lies they have been told by their culture, that God really doesn’t value them less, it can really cause confusion. Christ came to set these women free, just as He came to set the slaves free that are mentioned later in Ephesians 5. These slaves needed to be set free in their hearts first, and then hopefully physically and in action.

    But the wife is not to use this newfound freedom to sin against her husband, become all contentious and hateful. She is to remember that we are all called to submit to one another and this includes her submitting to her husband. After all, in her culture and most all cultures that have followed, he still is her head and she is dependant on him. She ought to show respect to the one who provides for her.

    Then it goes on to talk about the husband and what his submission is to look like. Sacrificing his right to rule that his culture gives him and laying down his life as Christ laid down His. And he can do this without fear as long as his wife knows this is not her opportunity to come in and take over but to obey Ephesians 5:21&22 and maintain a submissive attitude.

    (And you all thought I was anti-submission… I’m not. I just know it’s not limited to wives towards their husbands. Because I read the WHOLE counsel of scripture and don’t just leapfrog to the ones that best suit my personal agenda like men tend to do both historically and presently. I do obey Ephesians 5:21&22 even when my husband is not doing his part.)

    Then it goes on to talk about masters and slaves and what their submission is to look like.

    Not done, but going to stop here for now because of time and the length of my posts. I truely hate how long they get.
    But I can’t help it. You fellows ask such good questions.

    Wg-still going to get to your question. It doesn’t offend me. But it does point out something that I want to address.
    May have to wait a bit though.

    1. “Their children are rebellious and women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.” Isaiah 3:12

      “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom 12:2

      I believe that’s one of the reasons for women to submit to their husbands, to not conform to the worldly standard.

      Leadership is not lordship nor ruler-ship. A leader is someone who is authorized, respected, trusted, and followed. If you wrestle control from your husband, you’re not respecting him as a leader.

      The Bible does not tell husband to rule over the wife, instead it tells the wife to submit.

      1. “The Bible does not tell husband to rule over the wife, instead it tells the wife to submit.”

        Anon, are you practicing this in your home and how is it working? Among your married friends, any consensus here?

        1. Yes I am practicing this in my home. I do have final say in my household.

          Does not mean I always get what I wanted, because I believe that a decision is better made together even though only one person has the final say. I’d be stupid to make any decision based on ego or selfishness or emotion.

          I think this is just common sense in any team/group/organisation.

          I think there’s a cowboy saying:

          Half of the problem is when you want it your way, the other half is when you finally get your way.

          Probably one of the things I’m most grateful about, that my wife lets me be the head of our family.

          In a way, I feel sorry for those men whose wives not letting them to experience being heads of their families.

          And yes I do have few of church friends who I know practice this.

      2. Psalm 14:2&3 (also Psalm 52:2&3) The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the SONS of men to see if there are any who understand (act wisely), who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, no even one.

        Judges 3:12 And the SONS of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

        Jeremiah 5:1 Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, And look now, and take note. And seek in her open squares, if you can find a man, If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth (faithfulness), then I will pardon her.

        Proverbs 20:6 Many a MAN proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy MAN?

        Is this a fun game? Do you like it when someone turns around and does to you what you do to them?

        As far as the pattern of the world, news flash: The pattern of this world is patriarchy.
        The early feminists were Christian women who fought against the injustice done to women by those in power. Men.

        Romans 12:2 has nothing to do with gender and you are misapplying it here.

  11. Wg, I see absolutely no rulership of husbands expressed in these passages in Peter whatsoever.

    The problem I have with submission doctrine is not that wives are to submit. It’s there. I have no problem with it.
    The problem I have is with men spouting these scriptures along with their unfounded assumption that they have rulership. No where is this expressed. Men just assume it based on the desires of their own hearts.

    As mentioned in my post to Anon, I don’t have a problem with submission. I practice it, in my home, toward my husband, daily. It’s men who have the problem with it. They think it doesn’t apply to them when it comes to their wives. It does. Ephesians 5:21 is not cancelled out by any verse in Ephesians 5:22-33, Peter 3 or any other verses men want to use against women.

    And none of those verses cancel out what Jesus said when He very specifically told His disciples to not desire rulership.

    But more specifically the question I want to answer is this one:

    Wg-“If you don’t mind my asking, what has happened to you in the past? You seem to have some kind of chip on your shoulder against men.”

    I guess I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder. But it’s not towards all men. It’s toward men who threaten women with abandonment if the woman doesn’t straighten up and submit in the manner the man is demanding at the moment.
    I probably over reacted to Wintery’s words. But they sounded like a threat to me at the time.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’ll be working on it.

    As a side note.
    Let me bring this to your attention.

    Glenn brought up a very good point about men misapplying comp. doctrine.

    There are a lot of women out there who have a lot bigger chips on their shoulders than I do concerning the comp. doctrine.

    I can coexist with Glenn’s version. They cannot.

    Their numbers are growing. And it’s NOT the feminist agenda that is producing these large numbers. It’s men misapplying the comp. doctrine.

    Yes, my marriage did go through a very bad phase. It’s getting better now. Thank you for your concern. But it was hell on earth for about a year and a half.

    I hated it, but good came out of it.
    For me personally, I learned that when he threatened me with abandonment, it was a form of control and my best strategy was to tell him that if he wanted to leave, don’t let the door hit him on the way out. After a while, he stopped threatening. As long as I let his words bring me to my knees, he used them.

    The other thing it did was get my head out of the sand. It made me realize that though I had it bad, there are huge numbers of women who had it far worse than me for far longer. Some from the day they said “I do”. Some from childhood because of this misapplied doctrine.

    With so many men misapplying the comp. doctrine so badly, what value is this doctrine when it is producing more feminists among formerly Christian women than what Gloria Stienem could ever dream of?

    I understand that Wintery is trying to stop the tide of the liberal, democrat, feminist agenda. He’s trying to stop higher taxes, laxing abortion laws, and punishing families with fathers intact. This is good.

    But the religious conservative agenda shoots itself in the foot when it obsesses over roles and blames women for the breakdown of the family all the while ignoring what’s going on within its ranks against girls and women in the name of submission doctrine. Spiritual abuse is very real and very alive in the religious right. And sometimes the very doctrine slated to bring healing to broken marriages is what is being used to destroy people.

    Anon, I’m not done dealing with you list of favorite scriptures. But I’ll have to get to them at another time.

    Thank you, again, Wintery, for the opportunity to make myself clear even though we disagree.
    I still appreciate it.

  12. Mara,

    Thanks for your latest reply. Can you give me a good example of a man not submitting to his wife? What if the two spouses want to do two different things. For example, woman wants to go on an expensive vacation one year and the man wants to cancel the vacation or take a less expensive vacation in order to pay off the credit cards.

    According to your paradigm, who should get their way if they can’t come to an agreement?

    I’m sorry your husband threatened to leave you. If I may ask, what motivated him to make that threat? In what way was he unhappy with you as a wife? It had to be either something you were doing that he wished you wouldn’t do, or something that you weren’t doing that he wanted you to do.

    I realize that this is none of my business, and if you’d rather not discuss it, please feel free to tell me to jump in a lake.

    Finally, you never answered my question about the verse I quoted earlier. You just seemed to dismiss it as somehow not giving men any special authority in a marriage. What do you think Peter was trying to say in that verse?

    Also, what do you think about I Timothy 2:9-15?

    (ESV)

    [9] likewise also *that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, [10] *but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. [11] Let a woman learn quietly *with all submissiveness. [12] *I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. [13] *For Adam was formed first, *then Eve; [14] and Adam was not deceived, but *the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. [15] Yet she will be saved through *childbearing—if they continue in *faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    wgbutler

    1. Okay, lots of ground to cover here.
      Will probably have to break it up into several posts.

      WG: “I’m sorry your husband threatened to leave you. If I may ask, what motivated him to make that threat? In what way was he unhappy with you as a wife? It had to be either something you were doing that he wished you wouldn’t do, or something that you weren’t doing that he wanted you to do.
      I realize that this is none of my business, and if you’d rather not discuss it, please feel free to tell me to jump in a lake.”

      I would take offense at that first paragraph. But your second paragraph softens it. So I will answer.

      I tried very hard to please him. He was not pleasable. And what pleased him changed from day to day.

      I will give an example.

      I bought hangers for his pants with little pinchy things that didn’t work very well. So I quit using them.

      He yelled, and I do mean yelled, not calmly suggested, “Why aren’t you using those hangers on my pants?” among other things. Oh, and back then, I wasn’t allowed to ‘make excuses’. Any legitamate reason he didn’t like was “making an excuse”.

      So I started using them.

      Not a week went by before there was another confrontation over the hangers. He forgot, already, what he yelled at me before (which I will explain later) and yelled at me again (not discussed, yelled). “Why are you using these stupid hangers on my pants. They don’t work. etc…” And went on about what a horrible housewife I was.

      This didn’t make sense at the time because we didn’t know that my husband has adult ADHD. Now we do. He just plain didn’t remember from week to week what made him unhappy. And he got mad at me for not being able to read his mind.

      The point is. My husband threatened to leave me over the silliest things. Once it was over not getting his socks in his draw after my weekly sock round up. On laundry day I located socks from under beds, chairs, the couch, in the bathroom, outside, where ever he happened to drop them, then washed and dried them, mated them and placed them on his dresser for him to put away. He couldn’t get his socks into the clothes hamper, but he expected me to get them into his drawer. It was serious enough to him that it went from “zero” to “Get out of my house” in less than 60 seconds.

      His threats were a form of control. The book that helped me was Cloud and Townsend’s “Boundaries in Marriage”

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/031022151X/atafa-20

      This book was a life-saver. Because of my dear one’s undiagnosed ADHD he had difficulty separating me from himself. To him, I was sort of an appendage. Something submission teaching didn’t help him with. Submission teaching only made it worse.

      Also, another expression of his ADHD is in his inability to be satified. I could give example in areas that have nothing to do with me if you like. But for now, I’ll leave it and get onto my point.

      As a result of his ADHD, being the youngest child and being catered to and spoiled by parents and older brothers and sisters, my husband was a major boundary trampler as defined by Cloud and Townsend.

      Always he threatened abandonment. But it didn’t hit the fan until I started applying the Christian advice of these Christian counselors. (who btw are comps.)

      I had to lay down those boundaries. Having my boundaries trampled with reckless abandon for so many years was destroying me.

      So yes, I went through a period where I didn’t cater to his every whim. And this made him mad. Always before, he never meant to carry out his threats. But a few years back, he did. And I had to let him work through it.
      And he very well could have left me. And I would have had to deal with it if the time came.

      But bending over backwards, turning myself into a pretzel to do what was humanly impossible to ‘keep him happy’ was not the solution. It was part of the problem.

      He needed quit expecting the impossible from the weaker vessel. :)

      Here is a link to a woman’s story who had it far worse than me. Her husband’s disorder made him evil.

      My husband is not evil. Under that bad disorder of ADHD is a good man that I still love even though he’s still going through his angry, self-indulgent “I want to be a teenager again” stage.

      Here’s the link to the article “Theology of an Abusive Marriage”.

      http://dannimoss.wordpress.com/articles/abuse-in-the-christian-home/theology-of-an-abusive-marriage/

      I will get to the verses you bring up in peter and timothy, plus bring up a few of my own when I can, if I can. Things have become very busy at my house. Living with ADHD is in many ways like being a single mother. My husband is often not available to help with much. Plus I work full-time and am gearing up for teaching Sunday school for the month of May.

      You’d love it. (sarcasm -> keeping I Timothy 2:9-15 in mind.)
      I’m going to be teaching the adult Sunday school class. And yes, there are going to be men in it. And yes, they are interested in what I have to say. And no, they are not an egal church. So go figure, since my pastor specifically asked me to teach.

      Don’t worry… Take a deep breath… I’ll stir clear of gender issues.
      :)

  13. WGB, if I may, I’d like to ask you the same question you asked Mara, only in reverse.

    What if a wife wants to pay off credit cards and not take an expensive vacation, and her husband wants to take a trip with a high price tag? Who should get their way if they can’t come to a decision?

  14. Guys,

    Thanks for the question. I’ll answer it but I want to hear Mara’s answer first.

    WGB

    1. In our relationship, Wg, it actually is the way McS and Des. suggests. Money burns a hole in my husband’s pocket. I’m the saver. He’s the spender.

      I do think the pocket book should win out. I don’t think the husband OR the wife should get their way if there are no finances to cover it. It shouldn’t be a gender thing. It should be a wisdom thing.

      I’d never demand a vacation we couldn’t afford.
      My husband has done many things that we couldn’t afford. And we’ve suffered for it.

      1. This is really really unbiblical for a husband to do, Mara. What a jerk.

        I need to write a post setting out clear guidelines for testing men during courtship, and clear guidelines for male conduct within the marriage. Sorry I have not been writing any relationship stuff lately. It’s because of work and an actual relationship! I’m being sooooooo good to this woman that sometimes she cries from the love I give her.

        1. Used to think my husband was a jerk. Now we know it’s ADHD.

          In his defense, we have never owned a credit card because he knew he couldn’t handle it. It was his choice and it was a good one.

          Also, we own our own home. We don’t share with the bank.

          When I pay the bills they get paid on time. When he’s in charge of the bills… he forgets.

          He was in charge of bills because he demanded it with a threat during our bad year and a half, (if you don’t like it you can leave) so I handed it over.

          Now I have it back and am paying double water bill, double phone bill, etc to make up for him forgetting.

          Also, in his defense, he’s very generous, to his own hurt. He’d give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it.

          But being generous with money you don’t have isn’t always wise.

          As far as making guidelines, you might want to add sending potential spouses to get psychologicals. My daughters and I joke about that when it comes up. If there is one thing I’ve learn, I can spot ADHD a mile off. And if it can be avoided in a potential spouse along with bi-polar, boarderline peresonality disorder, or the dreaded narcissistic personality disorder, it should be.

          1. Also, let me use this opportunity to express…

            I’m sure many men reading and posting here believe like you do, Wintery.

            A little spoiling goes a long way especially for a woman who appreciates it.

            I know it sounds like I have it out for men. I really don’t. I know so many are doing right. They are loving, nourishing, and cherishing as they ought. And they are getting good results. And I’m glad.

  15. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t help thinking many of those complaining about the flight attendant’s firing would be among the first to say that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” and that we should reflect that much more strongly in schools, culture, government, etc.
    If so, would not then non-Christians visiting/working in our nation be subject to some of the same cultural pressures that the flight attendant chaffed against?
    I’m not a Muslim or Jewish myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some already feel they have to “conform” often to our Christian notions of dress and behavior.

    1. I will correct you there. Why do you think that a Christian country are more liberal than say a Muslim country? Perhaps because Christians are more tolerant? Unfortunately this characteristic has been abused by the secular to push their ideology.

  16. wgbutler said:

    “I’m sorry your husband threatened to leave you. If I may ask, what motivated him to make that threat? In what way was he unhappy with you as a wife? It had to be either something you were doing that he wished you wouldn’t do, or something that you weren’t doing that he wanted you to do.”

    WG, many times in this type of relationship, all the wife has to do to make her husband unhappy is not say “how high?” when he says “jump!”

    As I read Mara’s post, it was quite clear to me that she was talking about her husband using “I’m leaving” as a threat to try to control her. The only thing she may have been doing “wrong” was not letting him control her.

    The verses in Ephesians 5 tell the husband to emulate Christ in a specific thing Christ did. What was it? Was it giving commands to the disciples? No. Was it making decisions for the group? No. It was in submitting even to the point of death, to the people who wanted to kill him! (many of whom must have been among the 3000 who became part of his church 40 days later).

    And yet when a wife like Mara talks about how her husband, instead acting Christlike in love, service and humility towards her, made her life a living hell, all she gets is asked what SHE was doing wrong?

    Something’s wrong with this picture.

    1. Nothing is wrong with the picture. The husband threatening Mara is wrong but I think it’s worth finding out the context. I don’t think wgbutler was trying to corner nor attack Mara at all.

      If someone told me he/she was hit by another person, I would want to know the full story, even though the act of hitting is plain wrong. Nothing wrong with that picture. I will side with the victim, but I would want to know the context and the whole story. Wouldn’t you?

      1. Anon, there are two things wrong with the picture, and the strongest one is that the question was not, “What happened?” but “What did YOU do wrong?”

        And secondly, McSpinster is right. What business is it of ours? If Mara wants to share a personal illustration to make a point, fine. But to ask her to bare her soul is inappropriate on a blogsite.

        The point I was trying to make is that there IS such a thing as a controlling, authoritarian, abusive spouse. Nothing pleases such a person but absolute subjegation– and even then, they will usually continue to find fault. This is clearly what Mara was describing– and the kind of questions that we might ask in a normal, healthy marriage, do not apply to this kind. In this kind of marriage, the Bible becomes a stick to beat the spouse with. And yes, a woman can be the abusive spouse, and a man can be the abused. But when God’s name is USED as a tool for personal power, that is claerly taking His name in vain.

        1. Mara brought up the topic of her personal/private life to the topic/debate/discussion, so it’s fair that someone inquired further.

          1. It’s not that anyone inquired further, Anon. It’s the assumption implicit in asking what she did wrong after she spent so much time articulating the pain of being controlled and threatened. And that assumption is that had she been doing everything perfectly that her husband would not have threatened her with leaving. It legitimizes the threat by making it her fault. And it overlooks a very real difficulty in marriages: what happens when you don’t get your way. WHether you’re in the right or the wrong, whether you’re the husband or the wife, how do you handle it? IF you’re the one “in charge” you do that one way. If you’re the one expected to capitulate, you handle it another.

            I’ll say this, expecting women to be submissive to husbands, even when they’re great husbands, is infantilizing to the woman. And it does nothing good for the man.

  17. KR, you’re right. And regardless of what the disagreements were over, there is no excuse for repeatedly using “I’m leaving you” in a fight with a spouse. If something is bad enough to justify leaving, fighting won’t help anyway. Using “I’m leaving you” in fights over the more normal disagreements of daily life is just vicious.

  18. I don’t think Mara needs to justify her point by sharing private details. That’s asking a lot of someone none of us know personally.

    Anyway, the point was decision making when a couple cannot agree. WG, I’d still like to hear your take on who gets to have it:
    1) when the wife’s wishes favor fiscal responsibility and the husband’s don’t and
    2) when the reverse is true

    The point I’d take from his initial question is that fiscal responsibility should take precedence over personal enjoyment. But neither of those options is gender-based. WG, can you comment?

    1. McSpinster,

      I’ll be happy to answer your questions after Mara has answered mine.

      wgbutler777

  19. KR Wordgazer,

    In response to your recent posts, here is my reply:

    //WG, many times in this type of relationship, all the wife has to do to make her husband unhappy is not say “how high?” when he says “jump!” //

    I’m going to take a shot in the dark here but I’m guessing that you have the same type of problem with men that Mara seems to have.

    //As I read Mara’s post, it was quite clear to me that she was talking about her husband using “I’m leaving” as a threat to try to control her. The only thing she may have been doing “wrong” was not letting him control her.//

    There are two sides to every story. Before I just take someone’s word that their spouse is an awful human being I like to hear both sides so I can draw my own conclusions.

    I agree that that threatening to leave your spouse is wrong and immature, but most people don’t just wake up and threaten to abandon their spouse unless they are seriously unhappy about something, and so I was trying to find out where Mara’s husband was coming from when he made those threats.

    And I’m not trying to dig into personal matters that are none of my business, but as Mara sees her marital history as relevant to the theological issue of wives submitting to their husbands (she has brought this up on more than one occassion), I was trying to get more of a background on the situation so I could see exactly where she was coming from.

    //And yet when a wife like Mara talks about how her husband, instead acting Christlike in love, service and humility towards her, made her life a living hell, all she gets is asked what SHE was doing wrong?//

    And so I’m just supposed to take her word that her husband is an awful human being without asking questions?

    Would you feel the same way if I here arguing that I didn’t need to love my wife or provide for my family because my wife is an awful human being and she did X, Y, and Z to me three years ago? Would you accept that at face value or would you have questions?

    //Anon, there are two things wrong with the picture, and the strongest one is that the question was not, “What happened?” but “What did YOU do wrong?” //

    See above comment. You have already assumed that Mara is the sainted spouse living with the tyrannical husband. I’m not saying that you are wrong here, but I am trying to get the complete picture and keep an open mind.

    //And secondly, McSpinster is right. What business is it of ours? If Mara wants to share a personal illustration to make a point, fine. But to ask her to bare her soul is inappropriate on a blogsite.//

    Well, this isn’t the first time Mara has talked about her husband on this blog. She sees her life experience as an argument in the debate over feminism and marital submission. Since she sees this as an argument, it is not unreasonable to ask for more details on the situation. I’m not trying to be nosy, but if I am expected to intelligently respond to Mara’s arguments I have to be able to respond.

    Many liberals (and I’m not in any way accusing Mara of deliberately doing this) use victims to advance their political points and no one is allowed to respond. Ann Coulter wrote a book about this tactic.

    //the Bible becomes a stick to beat the spouse with. And yes, a woman can be the abusive spouse//

    I agree that this can happen, but I also think that many (women in particular) complain of victimhood and publicly humiliate their spouses in order to control them and gain some type of power over the situation, so it works both ways.

    wgbutler777

  20. WG, you have no right to make “shots in the dark” about me or anyone else. Who appointed you as a judge over me?

    BTW, you missed by a mile. I’ve been a happily married Christian woman for 22 years. I don’t have a problem with men. I do have a problem with people of either sex who think they have a right to make “shots in the dark” at people they’ve never met and know nothing about.

    I never said Mara was a “sainted spouse.” But neither did I imply that the problem has to have been something she did or didn’t do. That isn’t always the case. Too many times women are given all the responsibility and none of the power, to make their marriages work.

    For the rest, I don’t choose to interact with someone who takes “shots in the dark” at me. I stepped in because I didn’t like the way the conversation was appearing to blame her. I’ve said my piece; I’ll be on my way now.

  21. Whoa, what did I just step into? It seems like a war! Which is really very sad.

    From my reading the comments, it seems there have been valid points made on both sides. Unfortunately, since this conversation has slid into heated debate, I think some people are missing that. A shame really.

    I have a wonderful friend April, who did me the favor of being interviewed on her views of marriage for my blog. You can check it out here: http://far-above-rubies-and-pearls.blogspot.com/2010/03/two-become-one-april-gary.html

    Her husband Gary wrote about what Christian women should know regarding their husbands AND what Christian men should know regarding their wives. The links are: http://far-above-rubies-and-pearls.blogspot.com/2009/04/10-things-every-woman-should-know-by.html and http://far-above-rubies-and-pearls.blogspot.com/2009/07/5-things-men-should-know-by-gary.html

    These links aren’t just (totally shameless) plugs for my blog, but really hold a lot of valuable information. You can’t separate “women submit/respect/honor” from “men love/sacrifice/treasure” in a marriage, or you’re going to have problems, period.

    And as for me, I’m happily married. In three days it’ll be a year and a half- still newlywed territory. But considering that in the past year I’ve become sick with a neuromuscular disorder that’s resulted in 3 same day surgeries, a battery of tests and trips to ten doctors, I’d say we’ve been through much in this short period. And I’m PROUD to submit to my Knight (Wintery, lol, it’s a popular moniker), since he has so valiantly stepped up and sacrificed for me. Cooking, cleaning, doing laundry when I could barely get off the couch. Every day has been a sacrifice. He exemplifies Christ, especially with his humble spirit. And you know what? When we had an argument, and he told me he didn’t feel respected, I made the decision to learn what I was doing to give him that feeling, even if I didn’t intend it.

    And I was just playing about the plug. Kind of.

    1. I read the April interview and thought there was some good wisdom in it. Your marriage is going very well, too, I know.

      It’s fun for men to do domestic things for their wives, especially if she is sick. Just don’t ORDER men to do it so that both spouses are “equal”. (Instead, women should marry a man who thinks that helping women is part of being a man). I think being feminine is a much more healthy way to get the good behavior. Being vulnerable works on me.

      I think what you said is basically right. If you know in advance you are going to have to submit to the man, then choose a good man. That’s what you did, and now you are getting the benefits of your choice. I always talk about the need for women to choose well up front, instead of trying to change a man’s character later. It’s no good to choose a bad man, then to complain about him. Choose a good one. Make him prove himself to you.

  22. Hmm, I don’t want to fan any flames here, but to me, the submission issue is tested, not when it is pleasant to do it (as in the situation that Alisha described above) but when there is strife or basic fundamental disagreement that has gone on for too long. We can all go along with someone else’s being in charge when we feel sick and they are taking care of us. But what about those times when it’s not a matter of anyone being right? Or when someone is wrong but needs to come to that decision without being forced? You can’t have one person’s view of how marriage should be enforced all the time without driving the other person away. And Wintery, you’re right that it’s important to choose well, but no one is perfect and people evolve–both for better and for worse.

    That’s when submission doctrine is perhaps an OK hammer for fixing a breakdown, but not very good glue.

    1. I think we should spend some time thinking about what activities people should do during courtship that can bring this concern to light and even PREPARE the candidates for the inevitable stresses and strains of marriage. For example, I’m at serious risk having been a bachelor all my life and never having lived with roommates, even. I’m used to getting my own way, and would need to do some training. But that’s why I practice disagreements during the courting, to see how the woman disagrees. All the women I’ve friended/courted so far have passed this with flying colors. They listen, they read, they write, they adjust their views if needed, based on reason and evidence.

  23. I promised to answer McSpinster’s question after I heard from Mara, and so I shall.

    The question she asked was what should happen if a husband wants to do something financially irresponsible and the wife wants to be financially responsible.

    I’m going to answer this from the perspective of what a CHRISTIAN woman should do. Obviously this answer has no meaning to a woman who does not see the Bible as a book to live by.

    Obviously what SHOULD happen is the financially responsible decision should take place. Thinking about it especially from the husband’s perspective, whose job it is to provide for the family, making financially responsible decisions and keeping the family out of debt should be extremely important. In my family situation we basically have a rule where major purchases do not occur unless both spouses agree to it, and we never go into debt.

    But what should a Christian wife do when she is married to an irresponsible or abusive husband? Then things become more complicated.

    In my opinion God has ordained that the man should be the leader of the family. And the Christian wife should never try to undermine that role.

    But I do think that a wife should protect herself and the children from a destructive man, if it becomes necessary. Really it depends on the situation.

    For example, if the wife is married to a man who is a Christian (which is something that should have been extremely important to her when she was dating the man), then appealing to a higher authority such as the pastor of their church to intervene and speak to the man would be completely appropriate, if she cannot work things out with the husband.

    If the wife is married to a non-Christian man, then I believe that she should still submit to his leadership and try to win him over with her loving and respectful conduct, as Peter instructs in I Peter 3.

    This is much more effective than getting into a power struggle with the man and tends to have a profound effect upon many men.

    For example, while an atheist Lee Stroebel was won over by the conduct of his wife who converted to Christianity, who treated him in a loving and respectful way, rather than get into a power struggle with him and insist that he also convert to Christianity and start going to church.

    I compare this situation with a couple in my Sunday school class. The wife is a Christian, yet she dated and knowingly married a non-Christian, thinking that she could eventually wear him down and get him to become a Christian as well. He reluctantly attends church with her but is not a believer. The woman constantly complains to everyone in our Sunday school class (when he is not around) about how unhappy she is with her husband and how victimized she feels. Her very conduct is driving away her husband from ever wanting to become a Christian and they are locked in a vicious power struggle. And she has set herself up for her misery by knowingly marrying a non-Christian man.

    Now compare this with yet another situation. Another woman that I go to church with became a Christian after marrying her non-Christian husband. Her husband was an abusive man, but because of her Christian beliefs she did everything she could to love and respect him. She prayed often to God to help her with her situation and to help her to honor Him (God) by her conduct. God ended up striking that evil man dead (the man died by his own hand while engaging in immoral behavior) and after that everything went very smoothly for the Christian lady. She eventually remarried to a fine Christian man and has never been happier. Rather than take matters into her own hands and get in a vicious power struggle, this woman honored God and her husband with her conduct and God intervened on her behalf.

    I do think that a woman does NOT have to be submissive if her husband is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is mentally incapacitated. I also think that women should protect themselves and their children from abusive and destructive men. And in those types of situations God will help them if they are earnestly trying to do the right thing.

    I don’t know if that really answers everything but that’s my 2 cents. Thanks to Mara for opening up. I hope that her situation improves with her husband. I used to be married to a woman with psychological problems and I can relate to many of the things she was saying.

    wgbutler777

  24. Wg: “Thanks to Mara for opening up. I hope that her situation improves with her husband. I used to be married to a woman with psychological problems and I can relate to many of the things she was saying.”

    So we are not only brother and sister in Christ but in another area as well. Walking through the flames of a certain adversity that others who haven’t been through will never understand.

    Haven’t forgotten Timothy and Peter among other things.

    Have to disagree with your view of what a ‘Christian’ woman would do. You should say a woman who holds to the teachings of Piper, Ware, Grudem, and the words of the Danver’s statement. Because those teachings rely heavily on favoring certain verses and ignoring others.

    One of my favorite verses is in Proverbs. It states that God hates a false balance and differing weights and measures. And this is what is done by those who hold to the Danvers statement. It’s slanted and one-sided and doesn’t take into consideration the whole counsel of Scripture.

    Will get to that with Timothy and Peter, time permitting.

  25. Okay, finally have a few minutes here.

    I Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all submission.

    Looked up silence in Strong’s. # 2271. It means stillness as in desistance from bustling or language, quietness or silence.

    Question. How do you learn? In noisiness and rebellion? When the preacher gets up Sunday morning to preach, do you bustle around the sanctuary loudly conversing with your buddies?
    Absolutely not. You also assume the position of learner in all quietness and submission. Unless you are the preacher. Then I dare say you already spent many hours in quietness and submission and are quite equipped to preach. Or at least we can hope.

    One good example of a woman bustling and being noisy rather than learning was Martha of the Mary and Martha team. Mary was breaking with culture and social structure to sit at the feet of Jesus and He told Martha that that would not be taken away from Mary.

    Paul here is encouraging one or more women, because it says in NAS ‘a’ woman and in KJV ‘the’ woman. Whatever that means. Could just mean one woman in particular. Scholars are not sure.

    Anyway, even if it applies to all women, which is not provable, it’s a good thing.
    Why?

    Because women were rarely encouraged to learn. Especially poor, gentile women. Rich women might aquire an education because of their wealth, but never were allowed to sit at the feet of a great teacher like Plato or Aristotle. Jesus changed that. And Paul is following His lead.

    Anyway, back to Timothy

    Vs 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. NAS
    KJV I do not suffer a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man…

    Several things here.
    First of all, Paul said “I” do not allow(suffer) “a” woman to teach.
    So, what is this? Paul’s command or God’s? Also is it one woman or all women?

    I ask because there is not a command anywhere else in the entire Bible that forbids a woman to teach men. No where. There’s no “presence of two or three witnesses” from the words of Jesus or the Law of Moses, or anywhere else.

    So this is either a presonal preference or a specific situation in Timothy’s church. Much speculation has been made. But it really can’t mean all women at all times must never teach men.
    To make it say that is to use this verse wrongly.

    Now afa “exercise” or “usurp” authority, this one CAN be backed up elsewhere. But not in the way you would like. Another translation uses the word dominate for exercise/usurp authority and this is something that none of the followers of Jesus should be doing to anybody. Jesus said so. He instructed His followers, His disciples, to learn to be servants of all, to not dominate each other or anyone else. This is good for men and it’s also good for women.

    For someone to assume that because Paul says a woman is not to dominate or exercise authority over a man, therefore a man IS to dominate and exercise authority over a woman is a breakdown in logic and reason. It is assuming something that is not there, which I keep trying to tell you. But men don’t want to see this. They like their ‘authority’ and use verses like this to say that they have it when the verses say no such thing.

    This had gotten long. Think I’ll deal with verses 13,14, and 15 in different comment.

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