“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.
Chapter 6 of So Much More is entitled “Fathers, Daughters, and Their Enemies.” I think the title was well-chosen. Why? Because in this chapter, A&E put their persecution complex in full throttle and go for broke.
If you desire to live godly in Christ Jesus you will be persecuted. And the more you embrace your calling to love and honor your father, the more your enemies will strike out at you in more fearful ways.
Translation: when you embrace stay-at-home daughterhood (SAHD), people will criticize you for doing so and object to your ideas. Those people are ungodly, and your spiritual enemies. They are also unwitting tools of Satan (or maybe even full-blown Satanists):
From the beginning of history [Satan] has been using people – starting with Eve – to strike at God. Some people are more useful to him than others, and some have been openly devoted to serving him.
…feminists (because clearly all non-feminists must agree with A&E) and therefore sinners:
I have found that the more I am delighting and meditating in [God’s] perfect Law (Psalm 1), the more I come to recognize and despise feminism for the sin that it is.
We must learn to recognize and reject the lies of feminism, including those that we ourselves unwittingly have adopted.
…syncretists and rebels who need to repent (emphasis theirs):
Feminism in any form is rebellion and must be eradicated through repentance, not encouraged through syncretism.
…impure, unholy and unsubmissive to God:
Purity, holiness, and submission to God and His order are disgusting to [feminists].
…selfish (just like poor Kelly who asked her father to explain his opinion):
Feminism is about “self” and cannot abide the principle of “God first, others second, ourselves last.”
…and maybe even stupid and blind, especially if they’re a washed-up, lonely, aging second-wave feminist.
Aside from the transparent rhetorical trick here – reframing all criticism of their ideas as Satanic attacks that need to be automatically written off without analysis – does it sound like they’re talking about a debatable point of Christian morality? I didn’t think so. This is the kind of language usually used in reference to either flagrant heresy, or some monstrously heinous sin. Which begs the question: do A&E in fact see patriocentricity as debatable, or as an essential of Christianity without which a person’s faith should be called into question?
The stupidity of feminism is so self-perpetuating and blinding that most women who bought feminism when it was new and fresh in the 1960’s – now depressed, guilt-driven, stressed-out, and heart-broken after years of being used and abandoned by men – are too loyal to wonder if they were cheated out of basic happiness by the feminism they swore by.
I am, obviously, not a patriocentrist. I think the patriocentrist view of gender roles is deeply in error, ignores and distorts a huge number of things about the Bible, history and relationships, and basically gives abusive men a free pass to do whatever they want without repercussions. However, in general, I don’t think a person’s view of gender roles necessarily violates any core creedal doctrines of Christianity (though there is the occasional very important exception). I know a patriarchal family personally, and they are, in fact, perfectly nice people, not raving heretics, and in general fun to be around. I think they are deeply misguided and wrong about this particular issue, but I have never and would never call their salvation into question.
In other words, no one’s Christianity should be on the line, solely because they adhere to strict gender roles in their home and believe men and women are extremely different by nature. There may be other reasons, depending on the situation, but gender roles by themselves are not enough. A&E, however, are perfectly fine with heaping what amounts to heresy talk on the heads of everyone who disagrees with them, and essentially, calling fellow Christians who are egalitarian and, yes, maybe even feminist, children of the devil.
I am not okay with this, and they shouldn’t be.
Why? Mostly for the reasons I just outlined about questioning Christians’ salvation. But also, as I alluded to earlier, because A&E seem to mistakenly assume that all non-feminists will be on their side, while no feminist could possibly agree with them about anything. The truth is much more complicated, of course. There are Christian feminists. There are pro-life feminists (in fact here is a pro-choice secular feminist defending the idea that it is not automatically a contradiction in terms to be feminist and pro-life – I suspect A&E didn’t know this could happen). There are Christian egalitarians who do not support everything in modern feminism. There are complementarians who are openly anti-feminist and share many of A&E’s basic ideas about gender, but would still not support SAHD and patriocentricity because they see them as carrying those ideas too far.
In the end, then, the world is a big, big place, with lots and lots of people in it who have lots and lots of different ideas. But this isn’t compatible with the kind of extreme black-and-white worldview A&E have adopted, in which all debates – or at least, all debates about gender roles – seem to boil down to the holy saints of God who are 100% right on one team, and the evil minions of Satan who are 100% wrong on the other. The real world is rarely this simplistic. And pieces that make it sound like it is this simplistic, are usually not thoughtful, reasonable critiques of an opposing position. They’re often much closer to propaganda.