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 Even Christians who call themselves “egalitarians” have withdrawn their support due to my style of advocacy of directly challenging complementarianism (yet, never attacking complementarian people).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.
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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