Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More On Family Values And Senator Ensign

Steve Benen writes about Ensign's adultery and its consequences:

Ensign has also been a fierce opponent of marriage equality, and supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In 2004, the Nevada Republican lectured his colleagues, "Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded. For those who say that the Constitution is so sacred that we cannot or should not adopt the Federal Marriage Amendment, I would simply point out that marriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation."

And did I mention that Ensign is a longtime member of the Promise Keepers, a conservative evangelical group that promotes strong families and marriages?

Mmm. The point about discussing Ensign's private life is of course that he is a hypocrite by demanding in his political role others to act in ways which he himself cannot maintain. But I'm more interested in Steve's assumption that the Promise Keepers promote strong families and marriages.

In a way they do, but the written materials of the Promise Keepers tell us that this comes at a steep price: The willing subjection of women to male leadership, not just in religious matters (the man is the priest of the family) but in everything having to do with family life, including family finances. And women are not allowed to attend the Promise Keepers' meetings (or at least were not allowed when I followed the movement more closely). To me it looks like a system where men are promised something (you get to be the boss!) in exchange for otherwise better behavior as a husband and a father.