Sugary excerpt from the New York Times' portrait of Priscilla Shirer, a female woman evangelist in Baton Rouge:
Shirer and many conservative Christians believe that the Bible defines gender as a divinely ordained set of desires and duties inherent in each man and woman since the Garden of Eden. Gender is not an act or a choice, but a nonnegotiable gift. To these Christians, the story of Adam and Eve’s creation granted man authority over woman, and they understand the New Testament teachings of Paul and his comrades — in particular, that wives should submit to their husbands — not as cultural relics of the first century but as universal teachings that Christians apply today.
In an era when sexual liberation has saturated American culture, when women are climbing the corporate ladder and bearing fewer children, and mainline churches are ordaining women and homosexuals, conservative evangelicals are escalating their counteroffensive. Many call themselves complementarians, signaling their belief that God ordained complementary — not identical or flexible — roles for men and women.
Well, my reaction is only in America ! That isn't quite accurate only in America, Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. I know that many Americans don't like to believe their fundamentalists can be identical or as disturbing and dangerous to the ones of other countries as if they were more sophisticated and superior because they were Americans and America is after all a great nation (an opinion that I share), but that reluctance is solely based on foolish pride and snobbish chauvinism. In fact, one could make the argument that because America is as great as it is, its fundamentalists are worst, scarier than those of say a nation like Afghanistan (I'm not yet willing to go that far). What will happen to the US when/if its government and more importantly, its judiciary cannot ensure that there is an unconditional separation between church and state? The future doesn't look good.