Congressman's New Book: Wife Should Submit, Husband Should Lead

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 08:04 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

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A Republican congressman may be setting his party back on gender issues by saying in his just-released memoir a wife is to "voluntarily submit" to her husband — just as the GOP is getting a critical makeover on how it talks to and about women, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

In New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce's book "Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!" the Vietnam War veteran says that both the military chain of command and the family unit need a structure in which everyone plays his or her role, and this meant that his wife Cynthia would submit to him and he would lead.

"The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice," he writes, citing the Bible.

"The husband's part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else."

Pearce, who is Baptist, insists that submission doesn't mean inferiority. "The wife's submission is not a matter of superior versus inferior; rather, it is self-imposed as a matter of obedience to the Lord and of love for her husband," he writes.

"The principle is among the most controversial of all directives coming from the Bible. Critics abound, both Christian and non-Christian," he writes, adding: "Many of my friends dealt with the directive by ignoring it...."

Democrats in recent years have repeatedly attacked Republicans for their indelicate views on and comments about women's issues. GOP leaders have sought to make their male colleagues more sensitive when talking about women's issues.

A Pearce spokesman accused the Post of "falsely and inaccurately" mischaracterizing Pearce's book.

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