Why I Will Not Vote For Any Presidential Candidate That Is Not A Feminist

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On MLK day, I found myself pondering Martin Luther King’s life and advocacy. As most of us know, MLK was a God-fearing Christian. It was evident that he loved Jesus and people with all his heart. He spent his life fighting for racial justice and was severely persecuted for it, but he could not stop. His fiery bones shook for racial equality and in the end, he was murdered for what he fought for.

I have no doubt that MLK woke up every single morning with one thing on his mind: “What can I do today to further the cause that God has put in the depths of my soul?”

I would be willing to bet my life that MLK would not vote for a presidential candidate (Christian or not) that was not for the full equality of blacks and whites. I am certain he would not care if the candidate was a “good Christian,” who went to church every Sunday, who gave money to orphans, and who treated his wife and kids well; there is no way MLK would have voted for a candidate that did not stand up for what he believed was right, just, and godly.

It is important to note that many clergymen who were against MLK’s mission, used the Bible to justify their position. Some believed racial segregation was actually justified in the Holy Scriptures and others sought to silence MLK by saying that he was a “trouble maker” who was “causing division and not encouraging peace and unity among brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Specifically, They accused King of being an outsider, of using “extreme measures” that incite “hatred and violence”, that King’s demonstrations are “unwise and untimely”, and that the racial issues should instead be “properly pursued in the courts (Source).” Due to this, On April 12, 1963, while Martin Luther King was in the Birmingham jail because of his desegregation demonstrations, eight prominent Alabama clergymen published the following statement in the local newspapers urging blacks to withdraw their support from Martin Luther King and his demonstrations (Source).

As I have fought for gender equality in the Church, I have personally had similar accusations from Christians. Even Christians who call themselves “egalitarians” have withdrawn their support due to my style of advocacy of directly challenging complementarianism (yet, never attacking complementarian people).

In 2016, as I cast my vote, I refuse to vote for any republican or democrat that is seemingly against feminism. Now, I realize that the word “feminism” comes with a lot of emotion, so let’s talk about what this word means in its truest definition.

Feminism is simply the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

If a presidential candidate doesn’t seem to be in favor of women having equal political, social, and economic rights to men, they will not be getting my vote. Am I a one issue voter? No, but this one issue is a deal breaker for me, as it affects half of the human population. 

Should a Christian feminist vote for a woman? No, not necessarily. Should a Christian feminist vote for a feminist? Yes, absolutely, I believe so! If one claims to care about the equality of men and women, why would they vote for someone who doesn’t?

It now seems that complementarianism is trying to move into American politics and perhaps even the White House, which I find horrifying. In recent news, Marco Rubio has put together a 15-member religious liberty advisory board, which includes famous complementarian, Wayne Grudem (Source).

Wayne Grudem is staunchly against feminism and does not believe women should hold equal rights to men in the Christian Church, home, or society. Grudem believes women to be equally valuable in personhood, but not in leadership.

He preaches that women are to submit to male leadership in the home and church in all cases; therefore, women are not permitted to be elders, teaching pastors over adult men, or side-by-side leaders with their husbands. I would be willing to bet that Grudem would prefer the United States of America to never have a female president, even if she is a gifted leader and a committed Christian.

I am a registered republican because I believe abortion to be anti-feminism (despite popular cultural feminist opinion), but I have serious concerns about any candidate being advised by Wayne Grudem.

I don’t feel the need to stand with republicans or democrats; but rather, I stand with the Kingdom of God. I am not sold out to either side and I will vote for whoever’s policies best match Jesus’ policies, even if the candidate doesn’t know Jesus as their personal Savior.

I believe with all my heart that Jesus was a feminist – not a “man-hating,” “bra-burning,” “pro-choice American feminist;” but rather, a feminist that respected women as His equals in both human worth and human authority.

Jesus said,

Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you (Luke 10:19).

This was not a statement to men only. This was a statement to every human, male and female, who put their trust in Jesus Christ. The universal Christian Church continues to steal the spiritual authority of women globally, and this is an issue I believe to be a primary issue (not a primary issue to salvation, but a primary issue of Christian justice and doctrine, such as slavery and racism were and are).

I do not want a man or woman in the White House that perpetuates injustice towards women and girls. America has a tremendous amount of influence over the rest of the world, and complementarianism is for the “privileged Christian” that thinks very little about young women overseas getting acid thrown in their faces or being shot in the head for wanting to go to school.

Complementarianism is patriarchy, and patriarchy is not so “nice” in other parts of the world. As a Christian, I would rather vote for a non-Christian who advocates to end patriarchy than for a Christian who advocates to limit and oppress girls and women.

Many American evangelical Christian women have no problem with complementarianism because they are blessed with privileged lives. They are allowed to go to school and vote. They have men who take care of them and don’t abuse them. They often don’t have to work and enjoy being homemakers. They have husbands who love God and love them and their children.

Many complementarian women are blind, and I am righteously angry that these women who claim to care about girls and women continue to preach one-way submission to men. They don’t think about the implications of their teachings outside of their “first world Christian bubbles.”

I wish I could climb to the top of the White House and yell, “WAKE UP, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN!” Become advocates for your sisters and daughters. Get outside of your personal contexts and doctrines that are binding and oppressing girls and women globally. Free women are the answer to freeing women!

Christian women (and men) who stand against feminism, stand against God’s dream for His daughters. Christian feminism is not about “abortion” and “slut walks” and “lgbt issues” and “man hating” – it is about justice for girls and women all around the world. It is about freedom for half of the human race. It is about love, and God is love.

I vote for freedom.

I vote for justice.

I vote for love.

I vote for equality. 

I vote for women and girls.

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38 Comments

  • Yup, I too am a registered Republican but I consider myself to be a Christocrat. God is my Commander in Chief. However, I do believe God told me in 1993 that Donald Trump would be president someday and I think that someday is now. Just sayin… God bless you my sister in Christ. st ;p~

    • I truly, deeply, from the depths of my soul, hope this is not the case, my sister. Donald Trump’s views are racist, sexist, and classist. He’s got a big splash, but at the end of the day, his words, behavior, and treatment of others look nothing like Jesus Christ. Jesus welcomed the alien. He lifted up the unpopular. He cared not for his own security, for his own money, for his own home, even for his own family (in the traditional sense). He was not about the self, but about everyone else. He was not like the accuser. He is healer, the answer, and the balm on old and open wounds. I’m not pushing a political agenda here. But Donald Trump does not seem very studied in the way of love. Yes, it makes us feel better for him to say the mean things that fester in our hearts, but is it, at the end of the day, Christ-like to say what we want to people without care for who we hurt. Truth is all well and good, Jesus spoke it. But he spoke it in love. I do not think Donald Trump could be accused of speaking truth in love for others. We get angry at “political correctness,” but recall that just because we want to say it and and because we feel it in our hearts, does not make it holy. And that is what we are called to. Just my thoughts. Sorry to sidetrack from the convo on gender equality, but this is also a justice issue. Feel free to delete, Jory, if this is way too off topic! 🙂

      • Mr Trump is defiantly a work in progress. I would love to be the one to witness to the guy and set him straight on spiritual things, but as far as the country goes, he is our best option. We all have to work out our own salvation with fest n trembling.

        • Trump is like a loaded pistol with someones finger on the trigger. His stance is harsh, not at all in line with our Savior. Heaven help the disadvantaged in America.

          • Shea
            I understand Trump is harsh and as a previous reader said a work in progress at best.

            However, he would be the BEST for the disadvantage in this country in the following ways:
            1) more black young men would be employed
            2) the immigrants let in would have papers and would not have to hide in shadows…and he will have to give papers to enough immigrants to fill labor force. They will love him in the end.

            The media misportrays him…he says rule of law (which IS Biblical) and they say he’s anti some whole group that contains individuals breaking the law. He says no illegal immigrants welcome, and people read no immigrants welcome. He says stop groups to inspect for terrorists (we KNOW they are purposefully infiltrating) and media says he hates refugees.

            Let’s all take a deep breath and read him in his own words…which yes are sometimes taking things to extreme.

            But he may be the best we have ….
            Teresa

      • If one takes the time and effort to research Trump’s public profile way before he stepped up for office, I believe they will find that his beliefs hugely differ from what he claims now. He is a show man. He will say whatever it takes to get the applause and the money. I don’t think anyone but whoever his behind the scenes supporters are, knows what his true politics are.

    • I hear ya Stacey, but I cannot support Donald Trump and I don’t think he will win. His comments are racist and some are even borderline sexist.

  • Jory
    I hope you reach out to Grudem as I feel you have put words in his his mouth he did not say. He is not (so far as I can tell) against women in leadership roles outside family and church, or even against leadership roles inside family when the male is incapacitated or missing. He does not think us incapable, just unassigned in some circumstances to some jobs..

    I think we must do better than black and white here– there is so much common ground.

    I will not vote for a candidate that cannot respect life as continuous and sacred. I can tolerate a pro choice candidate only if there is also support for moms to enable the choice for life to be the 99.99% preferred choice due to widespread values — it must not be a sentence to dire straights like it can be right now. Designing babies or rejecting genetically possible deformities has to have disincentives that are large– not only because of scripture but because of science too– the gene pool is being made less diverse as we cull for characteristics.

    I acknowledge many of your larger points.

    The correlation between women’s full humanity supporters and abortion supporters leaves me without many to vote for!

    Teresa

    • Thank you, Teresa, but I don’t think I put any words in Grudem’s mouth that he has not promoted himself and I feel no obligation to reach out to him. He is an author and a public figure and I am free to criticize his doctrine and work, just as he is free to criticize mine.

      I am sure he is a kind Christian man, but that does not make his doctrines correct or respectable.

  • Excellent words, Jory. I fully support you in your goals.

    Teresa, I have all of Grudem’s books, and have read through them all. Grudem’s attitude toward women is far more critical and constrictive than it seems you are aware. It would be devastating to all of American women’s rights and activities if Grudem were to be able to influence any Presidency, or any branch of our government. Grudem and his inner circle of leaders would have women downgraded into a second class citizenship that would be hugely restricted. While so far Grudem hasn’t said too much about women being leaders in the secular realm, I can pretty much guarantee he doesn’t think it is Biblical or right. His stance of patriarchalism (even though he calls himself a complementation, a term coined by his group in the 80’s or early 90’s) is that all men are called to lead in all spheres of life. And all women are to be happy to be directed, controlled and led by men and should be happy supporters of men in all those roles.

    • I hear you. I have heard Albert Mihler (who would almost certainly self identify as complementarism ) say explicitly no issues with secular leadership in public.

      I can only say I am a leader in a non church position and when I met with Grudem he knew that and did not object. I was treated with respect. Our topics were various and time short and we did not discuss this issue directly — it never came up. Which is a testimony in itself.

      If he was the person you claim he sure didn’t act like it !!! Trust me he had opportunity!

      Teresa

      • Teresa,
        There is an however to that. Grudem and Piper go into great details in their book “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood “, about how to address a man so as to not offend his manhood. Women are supposed to be indirect and not commanding in how they address men anywhere. It is in the chapter where they discuss how to give a man directions so as not to offend his masculine manhood. So, usually the areas where they don’t mind women working in secular jobs, are going to be areas where men are in charge over them.

        • Jory
          I guess my question is, have they evolved? I hear Piper saying some go too far. I see Russell Moore saying Stop Submitting to Men generally–he wrote a GREAT article on this. I was probably not obeying any of those rules when I sought to understood a place I thought Grudem had erred badly (by the way he explained his position well and he did not err). I think these guys had long careers and the interpretation has improved perhaps over time? I can be wrong. I am especially uncomfortable re Piper in this respect, mostly because I adore NT Wright and he doesn’t seem to.

          By the way, you gotta catch this Marco Rubio video…

          http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430036/marco-rubio-responds-atheist-civility-and-truth

          I know its off topic here but he really does get on freedom of conscience!!!
          Teresa

          • To my knowledge, neither Grudem or Piper have ever recanted on any of their stances on women.

            Do you have a link for the article by Russel Moore?

          • https://www.russellmoore.com/2011/12/05/women-stop-submitting-to-men/

            I am not saying he has changed sides or anything, just that curbs the extremes.

            This is how far I got reading his and Grudem’s more recent work …
            https://medium.com/we-are-all-overcomers/the-women-and-the-men-376dc6d37a82#.s4nnwn6e8

            I think that I did not have Junia and captured as strongly as your thesis does and so maybe I didn’t get quite far enough…that would enable women household heads as elders surely…but I have not yet updated. I would like to see Grudem’s current position on Kephale…first … if possible.

          • yes, Moore did curb the extremes in that article. I agree. However, he still believes that submit means obedience and women should be obedient to their husbands as their authority figure. Can’t go with him there.

            As far as Grudem, think I have posted this here before, all (yes, all) of Grudem’s claims about the Greek word “kephale” have been refuted by several egalitarian scholars. Susanne McCarthy has deceased but her work is still online. You can research her name and the greek word. Also, the book “The Trinity and Subordinationism” by Giles is excellent, and The Eternal Generation of the Son.

          • Yes. Saw that– which makes it Grudem’s turn. Having seen him be right before, I want him to say ok or no there’s more here’s why…so far he just reacted to her insulting him for which she apologized. It is a loss that she is gone. Maybe he will be reachable while working for Rubio.

          • It has been years since Grudem was willing to discuss anything. I suspect that he likes his stance on men being the boss and in charge.

            I think Payne added some answers also in “One in Christ”. As well the big “egal” book had several authors contribute to the subject. Neither Grudem or Piper have changed their stances. After all they wrote the book on it. 🙂

          • Oh, I did not know that about Suzanne McCarthy! I used to keep up with her writings but had not done so as much of late. She was certainly gifted.

            It is Suzanne with a “z” though, rather than an “s”: People looking for solid scholarship on linguistics and the Bible will find altogether different writings if they search for her name with 2 “s”es, I found.

          • Teresa, as someone noted above, Grudem does not speak/write on the subject much anymore so I don’t know if he has evolved, but he has had plenty of opportunity to speak out (as many scholars have challenged him) and has chosen not to, so my guess is that he has not evolved. Grudem now has parkinson’s disease, which I am very sad about. I doubt he wants to be talk this subject at this time.

            As for Piper, he has evolved all right, but has gotten stricter and more legalistic towards women. Have you seen his advice to a comp. woman wanting to be a police officer? This was just this past year: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-women-be-police-officers

          • Well he admits he is a dinosaur. However he had confused his desire for male megalomania with truth. He must have missed the story of Lydia and Tamar in his Bibke. Lydia was a business leader and Tamar was approved exacting justice with respect to a man (closest to police role I can think of). Russell Moore has a much more scriptural position.

          • This quote has been his stance for-ever!

            ” And the other continuum is very directive — commands and forcefulness — directive influence to very non-directive influence. And here is my conviction. To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.”

            This leads into why in Piper’s view, a woman cannot teach, instruct, correct or lead a man in any ministry position OR in any secular job. That isn’t being a dinosaur. It is being self absorbed, arrogant and hugely destructive to the church, society and individual people’s lives.

          • Well, he welcome to think that– it is a free country and a society working like that has surely flourished before — there have been many of them historically. However, he cannot say the Bible claims that is the ONLY way, or a kingdom optimal way, or even advancing the kingdom, without more proof (note the lack of scripture in the posts for his off-Biblical comments). In the western world where technology abounds, it may not even be a respectful or just way in that the kingdom is already closer at hand and sons and daughters of Christ are already used to their full status as children of God, and that would be like going backwards. NT Wright, a more careful scholar, does not agree with him on yet another issue.

          • It’s sad that we have to spend time on this instead of following the lead of the Holy Spirit to do the work of progressing the kingdom through ALL being able to use the gifts we’ve been given.

  • Does anyone know of any books or discussions about the parallels and differences between gender, sexual orientation, and race. It seems that complementarians place gender and sexual orientation in a separate category than race, whereas everyone else sees all three as a civil rights issue.

  • Jory,

    Very passionate and powerful. I agree, I agree, I agree! Thank you for breaking strongholds over minds and hearts!

  • Not to throw a monkey wrench into your excellent post, but I also need to speak this for older women: no uterus, no vote on the abortion issue. Men voting against abortion is an oppression issue, they cannot know about the serious health risks about pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy, rape statistics, and other health issues need to be able to be treated by doctors, not voted out by a group of conservative men. I’m pro-life but that means that a woman’s life must also be valued.

    • I agree pro- choice and pro-life.

      However in an environment that never forgets about the second life. I have an unofficial granddaughter that was the outcome of rape. God takes what was meant for evil and turns it to great glory. She is precious.

      My heart goes out to anyone in such a situation but I would ask to let God work–even if it means putting baby for adoption!

    • Not to throw a monkey wrench into your monkey wrench but some men aren’t for oppressing women with a vote against abortion. Some do understand the possible serious health consequences.

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