If you missed last night’s Republican Presidential debate in Iowa, you missed one of the all-time most inappropriate and bizarre questions we’ve ever heard. As CNN explains:
Thursday night in the Fox News GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, was asked by columnist Byron York whether she would be “submissive to her husband” if she were elected president.
Before the congresswoman had a chance to answer, a chorus of boos rang down from the audience…
…The question of wives being submissive to their husbands comes from a passage in the New Testament in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. The letter was originally written in Greek, and there are various translations of the Greek work Paul uses.
In the New International Version translation of the Bible, the version most preferred by evangelical Christians and non-denominational churches, a camp Bachmann has said she belongs to, Ephesians chapter 2 verses 22-24 are translated as:
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Bachmann answered the question gracefully, we must say, but we were as appalled as the live audience to even hear the way in which the question was asked. The question was related to comments Bachmann and family members made in a recent Washington Post article, a context that gets lost in all of this because of how little known that background is to the public. York later defended his question, as “The Fix” reports:
York himself responded on “Fox and Friends” Friday morning. “This is a serious and legitimate question about something she has said and believe me, if she progresses very far in the campaign process, she would have been asked this question,” he said. “And I personally thought she handled it very well. It was a very human moment for her.”
Human moment? Maybe…but this is the kind of question that needs to be asked much, much more gracefully, if at all, because it makes all of the Republican candidates look bad just by being in the same room. The problem with questions like this is that for an average voter watching last night, it made them think, Is this the kind of thing that Republican candidates are concerned about? It shames everyone on the stage to even be tangentially connected to this discussion.