18 September 2011

Submission vs. Religion

One of the things I've griped about to K on a regular basis is dealing with labels. The inconsistencies and misinformation about just what submission is was one of the reasons I decided to make this blog in the first place. I've spent plenty of time on here already writing about why submission doesn't automatically mean BDSM, but now I want to go another route: religion.

I've been doing research on submission for years. Even as a teenager, I realized this innate need to be submissive, which sparked hours upon hours of fruitless searching for others like me. The best place to research, of course, is the internet, but simply Googling "submission" or "submissive" is bound to give an absolutely massive list of things I'm not looking for. One of those, of course, is religion.

I'm a firm believer in Natural Order. While I am very spiritual, not all of my beliefs line up precisely with biblical teachings, and it's for that reason I shy away from any sites proclaiming submission due to God's will. It doesn't take rocket science for me to understand that it IS, in fact, God's will for a woman to defer to her husband. I just personally don't feel that I need the bible to tell me that, nor half a hundred fundamentalist Christian ladies to tell the same.

I've spent some time talking about Natural Order before. For those that can't be bothered to read, I'll give my interpretation of it. God created the universe, and with it came all those tricksy little rules we call scientific Laws. Try for a moment to go against the Law of Gravity, and see what happens. The Laws of Motion...no one can get out of those. The list, in fact, is simply staggering: our entire universe is governed by all these laws, and there's nothing anyone can do to change them. Unfortunately, there is one law that's never talked about, and that's in regard to household roles.

The reason for that, of course, is simple to find. Feminism has gone a long way toward ruining Natural Order by insisting that a woman is weak, lazy, or selfish if she desires of a Natural, traditional way of life in her relationship. The fact of the matter is simple: not EVERYONE can be a leader. For every leader, someone must follow. This is truth in every aspect of human relationships, from the workplace to the home. Why, then, are we told that it's wrong if we follow Natural Order and take a step back so our men-- generally considered natural-born leaders-- can head the household and do the leading for us?
All over the bible there are commandments or assertations that a man should be the head of the household. One quote goes like this:

Ephesians 5:22 -- Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. --KJV

The commandments here-- this scripture being the foremost quoted in favor of biblical submission-- are as plain as day. A woman is instructed to submit to her husband, and a husband is commanded to LOVE his wife as his own body. It doesn't command him to lord it over his wife, or make her feel inferior to him.

The rub lies in the translation of the word "submit". There are so many misunderstandings of the word that the actual term gets entirely lost in translation the moment it's said.

Dictionary.com defines the word submit this way:

[suh-b·mit] verb, -mit·ted, -mit·ting.
verb (used with object)

to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
to present for the approval, consideration, or decision of another or others: to submit a plan; to submit an application.
to state or urge with deference; suggest or propose (usually followed by a clause): I submit that full proof should be required.

So submission, in essence means to yield or defer authority to another. Nowhere in this definition is there an allusion that doing so makes one less superior or less intellectual to another. Nowhere does it say that the one doing the submitting loses everything of themselves, nor does it state that the person in authority has the ultimate, final say.

Now, I promised myself that I wouldn't get too heavily into the bible as the basis for this article. Not everyone follows the bible or the teachings of Christ, and it's my determination to keep out religion as much as I can throughout this blog. It was something I had to talk about at least once or twice, however, because of the staggering number of people that follow these Natural Laws due to religious convictions.

I went ahead and did a bit of research on men versus women in the role of natural-born leadership capabilities, and while there's plenty on the subject itself, I found a post by a lady on some random forum that sums it up perfectly. 

Are men really more intelligent than women? Why have men been made natural leaders? Why do we always rely on them to make vital decisions?

Well let’s start by analyzing the differences between the two sexes. Women and men aren’t the opposite of one another but on the contrary they complement each other: this means that one isn’t superior to the other when abilities are involved. If men are physically stronger, women are emotionally stronger; sometimes the strong will of women have made them able to go through tougher physical pains and struggles such as delivery and menstrual pain. What man could ever bear the pain of giving birth to a baby? Sounds strange but someone could say that all in all men aren’t as strong as they claim but that women, maternal instinct combined with the love for their loved ones, are better survival in tough times. But even at this point men are still made leaders in every department worldwide. The society has been patriarchal as long as we can remember and the justification has always been the hierarchy inspired by God to men in the Bible. However there are some societies where religions like Islam, Judaism and Christianity are unknown but yet the man is still the head of the home. Why?

The answer is more simple than it seems. Naturally men are instinctive: this means they are physical just like most of their needs. Like wild animals (no offense meant) their main preoccupations are to protect their lives and those of their loved ones and provide them with everything they need to be safe. That’s what we call “Survival Instinct”. Since their role is to protect lives, they have developed the ability to think faster (not necessarily deeper) than women, as it can take less than a second for a life to be broken. They might be insensitive to internal suffering but they sure perceive any type of threat to their safety. This said, we can understand why men are natural leaders but we still haven’t answered another important question: are they really more intelligent?

Being instinctive means thinking primarily of our needs, thus putting ourselves before any other thing. If we think just a moment of those people we repute to be intelligent we’d see they are those who somehow always do all they can to get what they want. Not just anything but the one which requires less time. Normally we say these individuals are smart because they know the easiest and fastest way to success, well men are just like that. Used to think fast when problems arise they give the impression of being smarter but they are simply instinctive because if we should consider every aspect of the decisions they make we’d see that only the antecedent has been considered and not the consequence. Whatever will be, will be. Women on the other hand, being more emotional, are likely to put themselves in other people’s shoes so they always reflect on what can happen if they should act this way rather than that way. This makes them quite slow in decisions making, but that doesn’t make them less capable: in fact they are accurate observers and analyzers.

Knowing this defect of ours of taking too much time to make a decision, we often let the men make those that are required immediately: finance; while we keep the others which concern a farther future to ourselves: getting married, creating a family; long term decisions to be precise.

After this brief but attentive breakdown of the differences between men and women, we can conclude by saying that both sexes are intelligent: men are fast thinkers, while women are attentive observers. However if the latter never think of possible reactions to their actions, the former also take too much time to act. All in all, they are on the same level. One can’t be without the other. The man would go on creating one disaster after the other, while the woman would get old thinking of what move she should make.

Ending: oh, yes! We sure complement each other!

As can be seen through the course of this segment, there's absolutely no need to point toward religion as the only reason for natural dominance or submission. It's a simple biological fact that men are hard-wired toward supporting, providing, and protecting, while women are wired for loving, caring, and nurturing. Going against that grain is simply going against Natural Order.

Now, I'm not saying that these traits are 100% true across the board. This isn't about absolutes where it concerns personalities. I've met many strong women, and many nurturing men. That doesn't mean, however, that a strong woman MUST be dominant in order to be fulfilled, nor does it mean that a nurturing, loving man must be submissive because that's just their nature. Their true nature is to follow what Natural Law dictates, because none of these traits are mutually exclusive. One doesn't have to ONLY be strong and dominant at the same time; one doesn't have to ONLY be nurturing and submissive at the same time.

The fact of the matter is simply this: religion did not CREATE Natural Laws. They are only reinforcing the Absolute Truth of the matter. Therefore, there's very little need to bring religion into it at all.

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