I Won’t Graciously Submit To Mike Huckabee

How lovely! In addition to Huckabee’s other “charming” attributes, he’s a “wives should graciously submit to their husbands” aficionado.

In June 1998, the Southern Baptist convention amended its official statement of beliefs for the first time in 35 years to declare that “a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” And Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister then serving as governor of Arkansas, signed a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement (along with 129 other evangelical leaders).

Back in 1998 I parodied this brouhaha in a satirical piece, which Bridge News syndicated to a bunch of newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle. Oddly enough, it was initially bumped by Bridge, as too controversial.  Then, after some heated discussion, it was unbumped. Here it is:

Religious Fervor, Or Fever?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Hey, Madeleine,” my husband Mark recently said. “How would you like to convert?”

“What?” I said, immediately suspicious.

“We’ve been Jewish for a whole lotta years,” Mark said. “I thought it might be time for a change.”

“Did you have any particular religion in mind?”

“Well, they all have their good points. But I was leaning towards Baptist.”

Mark’s suggestion took me by surprise, After all, he’s a reasonably religious man, and I’m a devout member of a tiny Jewish sect known as “So Reform You Don’t Even Have To Show Up.”

I tried to stall by offering to take his conversion idea “under advisement.” I figure this approach works for judges; why shouldn’t it work for me? And it’s served me well throughout our marriage — I’ve had his suggestion that we go white water rafting under advisement for a dozen years.

But this time Mark refused to take “under advisement” for an answer. “If you were a good wife, you’d graciously submit and convert. And you’d do it right away.”

“Do you have a fever?” I asked, becoming seriously concerned. “Maybe we should get you to a doctor.”

“Oh forget it,” Mark said.

At least I think that’s what he said. He’s hard to understand with a thermometer in his mouth.

But he was a healthy 98.6, so I couldn’t blame his odd behavior on a fever.

Puzzled, and remembering that I’m supposed to be a journalist, I decided to investigate.

“Has your husband been acting strange lately?” I asked several friends.

“You mean more than usual?” three responded. The fourth demanded to know if I was wearing a wire.

These women were tough. But by using interrogation techniques I learned in Humor High, I finally pieced together the terrifying truth: My husband, my friends’ husbands, and countless others had succumbed to the influence of an evangelical group that preys on men who married feminists and who for years have been pretending not to mind.

I was stunned and bewildered. How could this happen? Could I have done something to prevent it? Was there some warning sign I missed?

Come to think of it, Mark had been acting strange lately. Out of the blue, he began opening doors for me and refused to let me carry anything that weighed more than a pound. And twice, in what I foolishly assumed was a playful imitation of Alexander Haig, he said “I’m in charge here.”

Worst of all, when I criticized President Clinton, he said, “Don’t bother your pretty little head about that. Foreign policy is my domain.”

Mark’s under treatment now, and I’m guardedly optimistic. He hasn’t mentioned converting in a week. And once, when he was carrying several clumsy packages, he even let me open the door.

But his recovery is slow with frequent relapses. Yesterday he ordered me to quit my job and stay home with the kids.

When he’s better, I’ll have to remind him — we don’t have any kids.

(Crooks and Liars has more.)

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10 Responses to “I Won’t Graciously Submit To Mike Huckabee”

  1. chukmaty says:

    This is dumb… If Mike and Janet Huckabee think it works for their family they have a right to structure their family that way. People comparing this to Muslim suppression of women should take a second look.

    Huckabee administration in Arkansas had more women than any previous Arkansas administration. Huckabee’s campaign has more women involved as employees than any other candidate relative to the size of the actual capaign staff.

    Huckabee has a right in this free market place of idea to encourage with his wife a specific family structure that is known to be the most successful in the history of the world.

  2. So SatireMe says:

    I’m confused as to where the satire is.. On the surface you’re (rightly) making fun of the archaic treatment of women by (male) baptists. Reading between the lines, I see you are mocking yourself as Jewish woman hypocritically taking the baptists to task when there are plenty of feminist issues a lot closer to home.

  3. Herb says:

    This guy is the real Theocratic deal. It is funny to watch all the GOP opinion makers scramble to stop this guy. They only want the votes of the religious right, don’t they don’t want one of them to get the nomination because that would hurt their big business interests should the country reject him. Feeding the war machine and doling out no bid contracts trumps supposed moral issues. Evidenced by Fox New drooling over Rudy.

  4. […] Madeleine Begun Kane presents I Won’t Graciously Submit To Mike Huckabee posted at Mad Kane’s Political Madness. […]

  5. Tracee Sioux says:

    It wasn’t until I moved to the South that I realized there is an entire world of Christians who fervently believe in the submission bit. They allow domestic violence to go unchecked, they allow all manner of abuse. The wives believe it as much as they do. It was shocking. I kept thinking I was hearing things.

  6. Huckabee is going to be a “few state wonder.” No need to worry about him. Romney will have wider appeal and McCain is doing better. Thompson is all but done. He put me to sleep on day one.

    It will all be very interesting. Right now I have Hillary as our next President. I just do not see who can beat her.

    Ames Tiedeman

  7. […] Madeleine Begun Kane believes there is an alien conspiracy in Arkansas, and she Won’t Graciously Submit To Mike Huckabee. […]

  8. […] Madeleine Begun Kane presents I Won’t Graciously Submit To Mike Huckabee posted at Mad Kane’s Political Madness. […]

  9. […] It is interesting that just when social psychologists had all but declared that sexism had evolved from being blatant and hostile in nature to being more subtle, we see this textbook example of blatant sexism. I am the first one to admit there are lots of disagreements among people about what sexism is. For example, (and I promise not to comment on this, at least not yet) was Mike Huckabee being sexist when he signed a declaration asking women “to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband“? Whatever you may think about the merits of Huckabee’s beliefs on the relationship between wife and husband, I think you have to accept that his statement is in a completely different category than the “iron my shirt” stupidity!  […]

  10. […] You’ll want to read “Mad Kane’s” explanation of why she won’t graciously submit to Mike Huckaby. […]