Michele Bachmann: Submissive doesn’t mean subservient

Michele Bachmann at the Iowa Debate
Michele Bachmann at the Iowa Debate

Wes from Reason to Stand sent me this CBS News article about my favorite candidate for President, Michele Bachmann.


Appearing on “Face the Nation” Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann stood by her comment in Thursday’s Republican debatethat when she said that wives should be submissive to their husbands, she meant that married couples should have mutual respect.

In 2006, Bachmann said her husband had told her to get a post-doctorate degree in tax law. “Tax law? I hate taxes,” she continued. “Why should I go into something like that? But the lord says, be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.'”

Asked about the comment by CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell Sunday, Bachmann reaffirmed that to her, “submission means respect, mutual respect.”

“I respect my husband, he respects me,” she said. “We have been married 33 years, we have a great marriage…and respecting each other, listening to each other is what that means.”

O’Donnell asked Bachmann if she would use a different word in retrospect.

“You know, I guess it depends on what word people are used to, but respect is really what it means,” Bachmann replied.

“Do you think submissive means subservient?” O’Donnell asked.

“Not to us,” Bachmann said. “To us it means respect. We respect each other, we listen to each other, we love each other and that is what it means.”

Michele won the Ames straw poll in Iowa, narrowly beating out libertarian Ron Paul.

I was very upset by her harsh words for Tim Pawlenty in the Iowa debate, but she is still my top candidate. Now that Pawlenty is out, my second choice is Rick Perry. I have to tell you, I am really sorry to see Tim Pawlenty out of the running. Whoever wins should pick him to be Secretary of State, for his strong foreign policy comments on Syria and Iran.

You can find out more about Michele Bachmann in the links below, stuff the mainstream media will never tell you.

Campaign speeches, interviews and debates


Reactions from her recent debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

Michele Bachmann on television news

Let Americans spend their own money

Time to prioritize spending

Obama’s plan is to raise your taxes

Michele Bachmann in the legislature

Against socialism:

For economic growth:

Against ACORN funding:

30 thoughts on “Michele Bachmann: Submissive doesn’t mean subservient”

  1. Hi Mr. Knight!

    Well, honestly, the only people to whom “submission” means subservient are feminists so I wouldn’t expect a member of the MSM to understand the concept.

    Sadly, your candidate doesn’t understand submission, either. She plays the Complementarian card, but is a practical egalitarian. Respect is one aspect of submission, but only one aspect. Perhaps Mrs. Bachmann ought to go back and peek at the wedding vows she took nearly 34 years ago. Call me reckless, but I am betting she vowed to obey but Marcus did not.



  2. I agree with Kamilla. Bachmann doesn’t understand biblical submission. Respect is a whole different word and a whole different aspect of the relationship than submission. But submission in marriage is not subservient either. Notice the wife submits to the husband as the church submits to Christ. The church is not subservient to Christ, but looks to Christ as its head, its leadership.


  3. I would like to point something out – Michelle Bachman is 100% correct imo. The problem is the American church of Christ does not undertand biblical submission and hence the mess we are in.

    We will accept Jesus as Savior but not as Lord – see the distinction ?

    “The church is not subservient to Christ”. Think about what you are saying and do a topical search to see what the Word says.

    Here is are a couple of examples:

    Matt 20
    It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and lto give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Rom 6
    22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

    As Christ is a slave to the Father so are we to Him. It is a relationship of mutual respect, obedience, and benevolence.

    Btw, it is the marriage supper of “the Lamb” (Rev 19) and the elect is married to the Lamb (they follow Him wherever He goes Rev 14:4).

    Notice the marriage is to “the Lamb” – get it ? This is not a relationship of give and take or dictatorship but total giving and complete loss of privacy.

    I will gladly be a slave to Christ/ righteousness / holiness/ obedience any day.


      1. LOL – NICE TRY !!!!
        What does the bible say ?
        Here are a couple that come to mind – Eph 5 & Romans 12

        Romans 12
        I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship

        Eph 5
        submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
        Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
        For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
        Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
        Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

        If WK would permit…….

        Romans 6

        ….you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
        But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
        …For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

        In conclusion, you are not your own or a “free agent”.

        A person is slave to Satan/sin or Christ/righteousness. Take your pick (ie “choose ye this whom you will serve”)….


        1. We are individually slaves to Christ, but the church as a body is not a slave to Christ, rather the scripture says Christ is the head of the church, not its slave-master. A woman is NOT a slave to her husband – he is HER head. As the CHURCH (not individual Christians) submits to Christ as HER head, so a wife submits to her husband as HER head.


          1. It is pretty foolish to disobey God – really think about what you are saying. The head controls the body – specifically the mind. The New Covenant is the writing of Gods law in our mind and heart – so we are all on the same page – pretty simple. Jesus gave all as a example and so are we to follow in the same example ( Its a pretty good deal imo).

            Its all about obedience – Christ learned it and so are we do the the same (Heb 5:8, Heb 12).

            Another example is a pair of scissors – which blade is doing the cutting (CS Lewis) ? That is the “heart” of Eph 5 of husbands/wives/Church (the wive obeys/respects while the husband is a servent). It is beautifully balanced and a wonderful relationship.

            God is not a American nor Is His kingdom based on democracy but a absolute monarchy ( benevolent dictator). In America, we are adverse to to certain words – slave is one of them. With that being said- I suggest using a additional word – servent.

            Here are a couple of references:
            Sarah referred to Abraham as Lord
            The LORD said to my Lord (Matt 22)
            Can not have two masters (Matt 6:24)
            The servent of the Lord (Is 42)
            1 Corinthians 3:5, 2 Cor 11:23

            Do a word or lexicon search for slave / servent and take a quick look at the Lords prayer ” Let your will be done”.

            Gods will will be done in the earth through “His Body” – the quicker we lay down our lives, pick up our crosses and follow Jesus- the more Gods will is done in the earth – “get it” ? Personal autonomy doesn’t work in the army of the Lord (Joel 2:7-8)

            In review of what Bachmann did/said – she listened to her husbands advice to further her education (Post Doctorate). He is not trying to control her or hurt her – that should be pretty obvious. Higher education comes at a cost and requires joint effort to keep the family together. I admire her for obeying her husband / best friend (married 34 YEARS !!!!)

            In addition, I would strongly suggest thinking about what she said/doing – she has the results to “BACK IT UP”. If someone has a better track record – then I would like to hear their thoughts.


          2. I have been telling some people this week to insist on interviewing previous girlfriends/boyfriends to “back it up” and I am getting dumb looks. Somehow, people think that doing due diligence reduces the “spontaneity” of the emotional roller-coaster. What fun is a relationship if there is no emotional roller-coaster leading to disaster, right?


  4. I wouldn’t be too hard on Bachmann, as she is not a theologian. Her “regular guy” interpretation isn’t so off the mark. Despite any traditional wedding vows, each spouse submits to and serves the other according to their specific roles as husband or wife. This can loosely, at least, be translated as mutual respect.


    1. I agree. I am a complementarian, and I would certain love it if my wife could be President. And although I would insist on being able to lead her on moral and spiritual issues, but not on policy issues. That’s what I would have answered. I actually interpret submission to not mean blind obedience, but a tie-breaker vote on moral and spiritual leadership in the home. And this is assuming that my efforts to persuade her fail. I can be pretty persuasive with my arguments and evidence, and I would marry someone who as proven to be teachable and persuadable.


  5. Looks to me like Bachmann is just trying to play both sides. She’s been doing it rather successfully for awhile, playing to the more radical fringe with less publicity, but also straining to appear far more mainstream/middle ground when speaking at more highly publicized events. Looks like this time she just got caught. So she’s trying to whitewash her “submission” comment (which she knew would appeal to her targeted audience) to appear more mainstream. I predict we will see more and more of this as we moved forward.


    1. Francine, Michele Bachmann is the most authentic, genuine Christian in the race, and she has the record of activism on the issues that matter to Christians to prove it. She’s the only one who even mentions actually theologians and apologists, like Francis Schaeffer and Ravi Zacharias. Some people claim to be Christians but have no record in the areas that matter to Christians. Michele has the record.


  6. If I can shed some personal experience here. When a disagreement arise between 2 people here are the ” basic” conclusions:

    – both are wrong
    – one is wrong and the other right

    If both parties are listening to Jesus and putting Him and the the other person first – the answer will become evident in prayer since Jesus will never disagree with the Holy Spirit or Himself.

    The issue it not about being right or wrong but truth and putting God and the relationship with Him and other person first.


  7. This article more than any other has cemented my resolve not to vote for her should she win the GOP primary race as any vote for her would really be a vote for her husband whom I know little about. Go Ron Paul!!!


      1. Like I’ve told you plenty of times, Obama is no where near the top of my list of must-have presidents but to chose someone who has said that she did something she now publicly despises (taxes, etc) because she was told to be submissive to the person who commanded her to do it – how can you have any respect for that person as a leader? Now if it turns out her husband is a certifiable genius with great ideas, then maybe I will vote for her…but I’m not holding my breathe!


        1. You’ll just have to decide which is the lesser of two evils… by comparing things like unemployment and deficits and so forth. My view of submission is not that one spouses micromanages the other, and I don’t think hers is either. My view, the view I practice with women, is that they have to submit to my efforts to persuade them. I.e. – if there is a disagreement, then I get to talk to them about why I believe what I believe, and give them reading to do and debates to watch, and they have to submit to being persuaded. I do think that in matters of moral and spiritual leadership issues, I get the tie-breaking vote in the case of a stalemate. But I don’t think it applies to telling my wife how to do her job outside the home, because I don’t KNOW how to do her job outside the home. She knows.

          Naturally, I am careful to choose women who like to be persuaded. I would be a complete idiot to marry someone very stubborn and irrational and then demand that they submit to my evidence and arguments. Ha! That’s what courting is for. For each side to test out the other. She has just as much interest in seeing how I deal with stubbornness as I have in seeing how she deals with decision making.


          1. This is a great observation about christian families and why it would be dangerous, in my opinion, to elect an authentic, conservative christian or otherwise highly religious woman as I know from personal experience your view is not a solitary one (though I can’t say with certainty that it is a pervasive one even if I personally believe it is): “…they have to submit to being persuaded. I do think that in matters of moral and spiritual leadership issues, I get the tie-breaking vote in the case of a stalemate. But I don’t think it applies to telling my wife how to do her job outside the home…”

            What if he finds some of the national issues that she’s debating or considering legislating bad or in his view morally reprehensible – do you think he will stay out of his wife’s business or will he attempt to use his position as christian husband to persuade her to do what he believes best – a position in a truly christian/highly religious family that holds more sway. I fear, and maybe somewhat irrationally, I haven’t decided or spent enough introspective thought on it, that her husband will try and make up the “weaker” sex’s mind for her – it is his job as husband and leader of their family…just a fear


  8. The woman of Proverbs 31 would be a good model for a woman in the public sphere. Her husband has full confidence in her (31:11). She works to earn money to provide for her family and makes her own financial decisions (31:15-16). She is wise and a good instructor (31:26). Her actions earn praise for both her husband and herself at the city gates.

    I have heard from the Focus on the Family people that women submit to their husbands when their husbands are in submission to Christ. You aren’t supposed to obey your husband on something that violates God’s laws.

    This might be a stretch, but here is an idea I have. Please tell me if I am way too far off-base. If Mrs. B wins the presidency, then the American people voted for her and not her husband. It would be dishonest to put an unelected man (the obeyed Mr. B) in a leadership position over people who didn’t vote for him. If he was in submission to Christ, he wouldn’t do something dishonest. Of course, none of that precludes him giving Mrs. B his advice. It is a given that a married person is strongly influenced by their spouse. Maybe?


    1. My view is that her husband is only allowed to lead within the home on moral and spiritual leadership. What sense does it make to follow your wife to the hospital and micromanage how she does surgery, when your degree is in art history? A loving husband wants his wife to succeed, especially as President. He will lead at home, and let Michele make all the work decisions where she works.


  9. Mr. Knight,

    That makes as little sense of anything I’ve read on this issue.

    A husband is “allowed” to lead? And then only in the home on moral and spiritual matters? On the contrary, the husband is head of the wife, period. He is not the moral and spiritual guide of the home, he is the wife’s head. It is not something he is “allowed” to do, it is something he *is*. Whether or not he fulfills that well is another matter.

    Marcus does not cease to be Michele’s head because she steps to the microphone on the floor of the House chamber no more than a neurosurgeon’s husband ceases to be her head when she scrubs for surgery. If she does so at her husband’s leading, his leading has given over a measure of authority to her in her exercise of those skills and duties. If she is there against his leading, then he has already lost authority so there is little point in discussing the propriety of his directing her use of the bone saw to open the skull.



      1. Wintery,
        Just so you know where Kamilla stands concerning the Michele Bachmans, Sarah Palins, and Deborahs (in the Bible) and politics, I thought I’d let you see for yourself. She comments on this blog that I linked quite frequently.

        (if you do not feel comfortable posting this comment and this link, I’m fine with that.)


        1. Mara,

          I’m betting our Mr Knight is more well-informed on that than you give him credit for

          But it’s always nice to have the opportunity to thank folks for giving my good friends and dearest brothers a bit of free publicity. Thank you for doing that!


        2. I may be wrong, but it appears this linked blog considers the idea that women shouldn’t be in authority over men, or teach them, is a blanket command for every role. However, the context of the passage is in relation to the assembled saints, in regards to the church, and has nothing to do with whether a woman should be a CEO, a school teacher, etc.


  10. I have a couple comments on this.

    In regards to Paul statements about women teaching men. It was in regards to discipleship instruction which was the higher education learning of the day ( Paul studied under Gamile). In reference to being the head – it was in reference to the home structure.

    This woman / husband appears to be the “real” deal christian. I admire her stance on listening to her husband in regards to her post college education. They appear to be a godly couple.

    God sets up rulers and the nations to Him are no more than a drop in the bucket. With that being said – pray for them.

    Real Christianity, religion and secular politics dont mix (The Jews delivered Christ to the Romans and Pilot knowingly sent a innocent man to his death and released a criminal – that isn’t to far fetched from American politics).

    In addition, compromise is often the tool used to accomplish things and the possibility of corruption is very very real not to mention their family and the Christian testimony.

    Pray for them with me that Gods strength, will, and purpose be done.


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