Larison chides me for allegedly not being willing to recognize her commitment and submission to her faith, trying to make it seem as if my argument was that she made a bad choice by deciding not to go to college. But that wasn’t my point at all: I wasn’t alarmed at Suzy Homemaker’s choice for herself; I was bothered that she seemed to take it as correct Christian doctrine that her decision was the best, most sound decision for the majority of Christian women. She was, to be blunt, making a fairly plain statement that, due to their faith, Christian women should generally avoid going to college. And, at the risk of being harsh, I would continue to characterize that as a backward, fundamentalist, lunatic notion. ~Peter Suderman
Now Mr. Suderman didn’t just object to her broader recommendation that Christian women not go to college, but declared essentially that her view had no validity. That seems pretty well pointed at declaring the decisions of this “misguided” young woman, Ms. Garrison, to be very bad indeed. But perhaps I did not state things properly last time. I tried to acknowledge that her general recommendation to other Christian women is that they ought not go to college because college does nothing for preparing for those duties that they believe they are called to do in the rest of their lives. She specifically does not argue that they should stop learning or stop studying, but that they avoid institutions of “higher” education. Her assessment of the value of going to a university (and a secular university at that) was that it was not worthwhile from the perspective of a Christian woman interested in becoming a wife and mother; she believed her time could have been better spent in other ways and recommended that others avoid making what she believed was a mistake. Throughout all of this she seems to be on fairly sound Biblical ground about the role of women in the family and the church. But perhaps someone can show me the passage in Ephesians that speaks of women being called to an MBA. Ms. Garrison extrapolates from these teachings to conclude that spending time on a college education that does not contribute to her fulfillment of these fundamental duties is a waste and a distraction. In other words, she puts her duties first.
That many modern Americans are prone to view traditional Christian attitudes towards relations between men and women or the role of women as “backwards” or even “lunatic” is a problem, sure enough–a problem that these modern Americans have. I called on Mr. Suderman to acknowledge that her position is a serious one based in Scripture and the traditional arrangements of Christian societies lo these many years. He opted to demean that position again in the most pejorative terms.