Sarah Palin, the new Christian woman from Suffragette City...

(Tim, w/thanks to Brian) If you, good reader, have never read G. K. Chesterton's essays on womanhood; if you've never allowed yourself to think thoughts contrary to our culture concerning woman's unique calling; if you've never noticed the patronizing attitude of evangelical feminists toward godly women of the church who cook, wash the feet of the saints, show hospitality, teach other women and children, and pray; if you've never taken particular notice of the transfer of charity from Christian women confessing their faith to well-paid female executives running nonprofits or working for government bureaucracies; if you've never had a wealthy female church member who serves as a county supervisor tell you not to worry about the poor in your community because "that's what we pay taxes for;" if you haven't noticed how the loss of constitutional government in these United States has produced bondage and bloodshed for her citizens; if you have never found yourself sickened over the naked pandering at the heart of every state of the union address and every campaign speech of our time; if you didn't hang out in the church parking lot yesterday, basking in the warm sunshine of an early Fall afternoon as you listened to a missionary couple's son explain...

that he's living in Bloomington because his family had to flee their mission work in Germany to avoid their children being removed from their home and they themselves being prosecuted by the state for the crime of educating their own children at home; if hearing such a heartrending story, it would not occur to you that here in these United States we, too, have lost our children to the state; if your life is committed to going along to get along and you'd respond to this young man's lament as the Christians of Germany responded to his parents' dilemma, that they should "submit to the civil authority" because not submitting would only make things worse; to sum up, if you are one of the women or men confessing Christ in these United States today who have made your peace with our Fourth Reich and it's wickedness, salving your conscience by talk of the Apostle Paul's apolitical witness within the Roman Empire orthe spirituality of the church, then read no further. (But of course, I already lost them, didn't I?)

If, on the other hand, with "righteous Lot" you gnash your teeth at the wickedness that surrounds us and you believe the gates of Hell not prevailing against the Church is no license for complacency, passivity, or cowardice, then this wonderfully perspicuous morsel should bring you Christian cheer on this bright Monday. It's an excerpt from a constitutional law book written by Columbia University law professor John W. Burgess, published by Columbia University Press in 1923.

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The nineteenth Amendment appears, at first view, to be only a political matter, a question of suffrage extension. But it is suffrage extension of a peculiar and extremely important kind. It is not extension to other individuals of the same class, nationality or sex, or to another class of the same nationality or sex, or to another nationality of the same sex, but to another sex of any class or nationality. Also, it must be remarked, that the extension of suffrage to the female sex has a bearing upon the subject of individual immunity against governmental power in these United States far more important than in any other country in the world.

It has been already explained that the necessary socialism for balancing individualism has been, in this Country, voluntary in a much larger degree than compulsory. In Europe it has, on the contrary, been in larger degree compulsory than voluntary. It has also been explained that the compulsory or state socialism of Europe results necessarily in more governmental control and less individual liberty there than where the greater part of the necessary socialistic aims of the state is accomplished by voluntary effort. And, finally, reference must be had to the fact that the great enterprises of voluntary socialism have been carried forward in this Country more by women than by men. It has been preëminently their sphere of communal action. They have been, in chief measure, the makers of the home, the builders of the church and the ministrants of charity, while politics and government have been left for the men. In this way, under these influences, and with this general division of function and activity, the wide realm of voluntary socialism has been administered and preserved, and benevolence and beneficence have made law and force unnecessary in many directions.

The very finest thing which the world's civilization has ever reached is this wonderful sphere in these United States of America of free social cooperation for the advancement of education, religion and morality, the care of the sick and needy, the spread of neighborly kindness and helpfulness, and for the upbuilding, thereby, of enlightened character, which dispenses with paternalism in government and makes democracy safe for our own Country. Without this we could never have attained and maintained that system of limited government and individual liberty which has made us a great and happy and relatively contented people. As we have seen, this great system has received shock after shock since we started out upon that path of conquest in 1898, which veered in the direction of imperialism. It would be a very moderate statement to say that it is now trembling in the balance. It would be nearer the mark to suggest, at least, that it is anxiously awaiting what may be its death blow. If the women of the country, in becoming members of the electorate, shall shift their interest from the home, the church, the school, the hospital, the associations of charity, etc., to the political club, the caucus, the convention, the legislature and office, and abandon their supreme work for civilization within the realm of voluntary socialism, making necessary, thus, the substitution of compulsory socialism, state socialism, governmental socialism, for voluntary socialism, then indeed will the American system of limited government and constitutional civil liberty have made its cycle and reached its end. The impulse will, I conceive, be very strong in that direction. It will call for the exercise on the part of women of great deliberation, intelligence and self-restraint for them to regard, and deal with, these newly won rights, privileges and glories as incidental to their far higher function of chief ministrants of that great domain of voluntary socialism, whose existence and sound development alone can protect us from governmental paternalism and uphold the constitutional immunities of the individual. It will, for instance, require prudence, patience and persistence, in full measure, to seek, through the slow and tedious methods of voluntary contributions the funds for maintaining the institutions of what I have called voluntary socialism, when the quicker and less laborious way of legislative appropriation may be more freely opened by the votes of women. Whether this latter course will be followed leading to compulsory, that is, governmental socialism, will depend most largely, if not entirely, upon the disposition of the newly enfranchised sex. It would not be fair to pre-judge them, but it is friendly and patriotic to call their attention to the great superiority in importance of their old function over their new one in our Country's civilization, and to warn them to maintain it in ever increasing volume and activity and to make their new political power and influence secondary and subservient to it.

Comments

Were Burgess alive today his latest would no doubt be titled I Told You So.

We've chucked the glory of Proverbs 31-like aspirations and merely substituted one form of patriarchalism for another in order to have the privilege of sitting at the city gates with our husbands (or, what is more likely in this marriageless age, men who are strangers) all the while women with "lesser" talents care for our homes, our children and our bellies. No wonder we're becoming a nation known for its obesity, among other things.

Rather a flat, ugly landscape, isn't it?

Rather a flat, ugly landscape, isn't it?

All in shades of gray no less.

A few years back, I made what I thought to be a wisecrack that granting the vote to women was a disaster. To my surprise, the two women (both "seasoned saints") heartily agreed with me.

Now I'm starting to understand why....

Whether this latter course will be followed leading to compulsory, that is, governmental socialism, will depend most largely, if not entirely, upon the disposition of the newly enfranchised sex.

The Democrats are always counting on women helping further socialism (by voting for them). The media often makes it sound like an election is to be decided by women.

The 19th and the 26th amendments have increased socialism, and brought down male headship in the home, not to mention elsewhere. The husband no longer represents his family before the larger society, because he can be over-ruled by his wife and children.

Where would the right to abortion be without women's and 18-year-olds' suffrage?

For those against women's suffrage (I'm sympathetic to it, but haven't really thought about it that much), do you ask your wives to vote as would you in order to help offset the other women?

My wife votes, but we always agree on how we will vote on each issue. I do the research on the local and state issues.

I do agree that woman's suffrage has increased socialism as well as many other undesired political outcomes.

I don't think that 18 year old voting has influenced politics that much as they hardly vote. In fact, the over 65 vote causes more socialism than this.

Brett,

Actually only Males who pay income tax as well as those who own property should be allowed to vote. Failing that, I think it would be worthy of considering that votes should be weighted according to the amount of income tax that one pays. The more income tax one pays in relation to one's income the more voting power you get.

In this way, the ones who are paying the bills are not forced to submit to having their pockets picked by those who desire to vote themselves advantage at the cost of another person's labor.

Bret

Hmmm,

Well, I'm not talking Utopian here. I'm talking about practical action in our current situation.

Brett, my wife and I do about the same as you suggest. Overall, I would give up my vote if I could be assured (HA HA HA HA) that the government would not be incrementally more likely to override basic human rights as a result.

It is true about women's suffrage. What women's suffrage actually accomplished was to cut the husband's vote in half, so now his wife has to vote in order for him to get his full vote (household vote, as Douglas Wilson says). Of course, if she votes against him, she cancels out his vote.

What I wonder about, in reading the above quote about all of the charitable things that women used to do that the state now does, is this. At one time, the Church took care of the poor and the sick. The Church founded the first hospitals, and the monasteries had ministries for the poor and the sick. After the Protestant Reformation, especially in England, those functions could no longer be performed by the Church, and the those responsibilities began to be transferred to the State. So I am wondering, are these charitable functions really the responsibility of women, or are they really the function of the Church, and do we find the beginnings of the problem as we go back further into history?

When my husband and I were dating and I told him I wanted very much to write a book in praise of the women who worked against suffrage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, he started to think that I might be the girl he wanted to be his wife!

These women understood the connection between woman's voting and socialism. In a letter to the New York Times on April 2, 1915, Mrs. Alice Hunt Bartlett warned that “among the most active and ardent advocates of suffrage are the feminists who ardently oppose the children in the home, and are continually speaking and writing for institutional children.”

She also commended her friends and sisters in the fight against suffrage, naming twenty women from New York who reluctantly came into the public light to fight what they felt was a great threat to home and nation, saying that “the greatest reforms along civic, philanthropic, humanitarian, and charitable lines have been accomplished by women who are now demanding that they be allowed to retain their non-political status.”

Give women the right to vote and they will cease being the bloodline of charitable work. They will leave the home and the sickrooms to enter into the workplace and the voting booths. There will be no gain to civilization, but only a hollow loss. They will lose their love for their own essence, and deplete their energies pursuing success in a man's world. They will trivialize what every anti-suffrage woman knew was the center of civilization: the home, and will see the work there as menial rather than crucial and irreplaceable.

Yes, Mr. Rader, I am happy to say I cast an anti-suffrage vote every election, voting exactly how my husband tells me, so that his vote will count twice. Very practical, too, because then I don't fritter away my time with politics when there are bruised fingers to tend to, friends to pray over, and chickens to put in the oven for dinner.

And the only reason I spent the time to write out this post in the public sphere is because he asked me to and it pleases him, and I love to please him, and I don't care one bit how that makes me look in the eyes of "the wise and understanding" of the world. (Matt. 11:25)

Barbara,

My dear sister - I love you!

Can't wait to meet your David.

Kamilla

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