Huckabee’s Signature Tells Women to “Submit”


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a leading contender for the Republican party's presidential endorsement, signed a 1998 statement urging wives to "graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

The statement, which was published in USA Today by the Southern Baptist Convention, also affirmed that "the family was God's idea, not man's, and that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman for a lifetime."

Responding to the revelation, center-right blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote, "It seems to me that Huckabee should be asked if he still stands by that. And if he thinks it applies to Senator [Hillary] Clinton."

Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential endorsement.

Huckabee served as a minister in the Southern Baptist church for 12 years before entering politics, and served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991.

Huckabee has also come under fire for answers he gave during his 1992 campaign for U.S. Senate, when he called homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle." Huckabee called for quarantining AIDS patients, and suggested that instead of increased government funding for AIDS research, "multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."

Huckabee is one of a few front-runners for the Republican party's endorsement; recent polls have shown him leading Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa.

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  • invalid-0

    The statement: “graciously submit to their husband’s sacrificial leadership.” Is in context only applying to the Christian Family Home. It by no means applies to the context of outside the home or to non-Christians…geeze…another Christophobe Blogger.

  • invalid-0

    Huckabee never used the word quarantine. If we had found a compassionate way to keep those with AIDS from infecting others, 10,000 of Americans would be alive today.

    Huckabee’s point was that cancer, diabetes and other diseases kill far more people every year than AIDS and research grants should be equitably distributed by the government. Cancer research shouldn’t be defunded so that more money can go to AIDS research. If individuals have a passion for one area of research, they should give to that cause.

    Huckabee’s position has changed as the AIDS pandemic has spread across Africa and the third world.

  • scott-swenson

    Why is it that anyone who believes that women should be treated as equal parts of God becomes a “Christophobe” … as a Christian I believe I am called to honor all of God’s creations and not to ask any of them to submit to another. The amount of abuse that is carried out in the name of this misguided reading of scripture enforcing male dominance is rampant. More importantly for outside the church and in the public square, where many different faiths gather, his statements are relevant to what he believes and how he would govern our pluralistic democracy.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • scott-swenson

    Had Christian social conservatives not buried their heads in the sands of homophobia and stigmatized people with AIDS for the first 25 years of the pandemic … MILLIONS of people globally would be alive. The notion that the government has taken money away from other valuable research is laughable … government hasn’t funded ANY research at nearly the levels it should, largely because social conservatives insist on dividing the nation and pitting people against one another instead of letting scientific research and public health guide our policies.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    So you don’t believe in “submission” of any kind? What about people submitting to their governments? Students to their teachers? Employees to their employers? Children to their parents?

    It’s not about “male dominance” as much as it is about having a marriage that works in tandem. The husband is the servant-leader just as Christ was a servant-leader. Christ died for the church. That was the epitomy of servant-leadership. The wife is the helper (see Genesis). Helper comes from the Hebrew word “ezer” which actually means a divine help. It is the same word the Bible uses to describe God as the helper of Israel. That’s a pretty powerful helper.

    So the wife “submits” graciously entrusting that her husband is making decisions selflessly for her benefit. And the husband makes those decisions, knowing he exists to lead her by serving her.

    It’s the same way a mother (or father) “leads” her children by getting up 5 times a night to feed, change and soothe them. That sounds more like servanthood doesn’t it? Yet clearly the parent is the leader of the child.

    C.S. Lewis makes the brilliant point that you can have no majority rule in marriage. Therefore you must have a default if both partners can come to no agreement.

    That’s not to say I always submit to my husband when we are at an impasse. Usually I just use my powers of argumentation and persuasion to get him to come around to seeing things my way ;-)

  • amanda-marcotte

    Considering that notorious wife beater Ike Turner died last night, it's a good time for sexists (whatever their religious justification) ponder the ramifications of their baseless assumption that men's power over women is good and inevitable.

  • emily-douglas

    Great point, Amanda, and you humbly did not include your own very thought-provoking observations on Ike Turner's deaths and the ways in which we as a society refuse to acknowledge the systemic problem of domestic violence. I'll supply readers with the link!

    Katharine, if you are using your "argumentation and persuasion" to get your husband to see things your way, isn't that just the same thing as not being submissive, and couching it in the language that evokes feminine "wiles," which are thought to be less threatening to men's dominance than open disagreement? It seems more straightforward, and a whole lot better for women's equality, to consider oneself equal to one's husband and to expect him to consider one's opinion, no matter how it's presented.

  • invalid-0

    The idea that a wife should submit to her husband is creepy in every way possible. If one is a true Christian they would remember the words “in Christ there is no slave or free, Jew or Gentile, male or female” I take this to mean that all humans are equal. Until we as a society recognize that we need scared partnership between women and men we will never evolve–we are yin and yang and need eachother in balance. Men represent the god and women goddess–the great spirit is both.I am so blessed to have found my partner–after having been married to an abusive man who beleived the Christian crap about submitting. My present husband and I treat each other as equal but different–we each have our own strengths and weaknesses. I let hiim be incharge of some things and he lets me be in charge of others–depending on who has the most knowledge or experience. We have friends who the husband stays at home with their twins and the wife works to support them all financially –he is much better at cleaning and organizing, and has more patience with their very active kids–but is not in any way feminine! on the other hand I have a relative who would also be better in that way but he is misearabley working while his wife is at home miserable because she has to submit –so both are unhappy. They talk of divorce instead of changing theri roles!
    The bottom line is the idea of having a president with these ideas is so scary it make me think we may have to leave this country if he should be elected!

  • invalid-0

    whoops I meant sacred–not scared!!!

  • invalid-0

    C.S. Lewis makes the brilliant point that you can have no majority rule in marriage. Therefore you must have a default if both partners can come to no agreement.

    Whoa. So if they can’t compromise, one of them has to give in. And this defaults to gender. That’s completely irrational. Society will be better off once misguided ideas like this are put to rest.
    C.S. Lewis never says anything very wise or relevant, unfortunately.

  • invalid-0

    Kudos to Emily! Exactly! I agree with your comments for Katharine