Tales from the Trail

Santorum staffer questions whether God wants women presidents

January 18, 2012

A staffer in Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign is under fire for an email suggesting a female commander-in-chief could be at odds with the Bible’s teachings.

The Des Moines Register last week reported that Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent an email over the summer asking, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?”

Michele Bachmann, a social conservative who campaigned heavily in Iowa, competed with Santorum over the conservative evangelical vote in the Iowa caucuses. She dropped out of the race after a dismal finish in the Iowa race.

This weekend Peter Waldron, Bachmann’s faith outreach coordinator, said the email was proof that Santorum had engaged in a “sexist strategy” to sabotage Bachmann. He demanded an apology from Santorum and called for Johnson’s firing.

The recent spat brings the issue of sexism in conservative politics to the fore again. When Bachmann ended her campaign, political observers wondered whether conservative perceptions of women and Bachmann’s own alignment with the Christian right and disavowal of feminism had been her undoing.

The Des Moines Register said that in the final weeks of her campaign Bachmann’s aides began to complain that sexism was a problem in Iowa’s religious conservative community, even as her aides deflected questions from reporters on the topic.

Despite the bad press, Santorum has not issued a response and Johnson is unapologetic. In an interview with NBC he said his ideas were based in “classical Christian doctrine.”

“They were reflections on over 25 years of formal, theological study,” Johnson said.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young (Bachmann arrives to speak in Des Moines, Iowa)
REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (Bachmann talks to students and supporters at a high school in Iowa)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Johnson must not have done a very thorough study of the scriptures in his “over 25 years of formal theological study”. Had he done so, he would have found examples of many women who were used by God to lead His people. One such women is Deborah (Judges 4 -5). God chose her to be a deliverer, or Savior, for His people. During the period of her of leadership the the Israelites experienced 40 years of peace.

Note to Johnson: don’t expound on something you choose to know little about!

Posted by meagain123 | Report as abusive
 

Lynne Chapman, editor of BellaOnline’s Christian Living, writes the following regarding Deborh of the Bible:

“Deborah was a national hero and leader of the Israelites. As a judge she was the nation’s leader. As a prophetess, she spoke for God. In one story, she called upon a general to inform him that God wanted him to go to war. Deborah was so respected that the general refused to go without her. Judges 4″

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art4 940.asp

Posted by meagain123 | Report as abusive
 

I was an investigative journalist in Boston in the 70′s during the White administration. So I come with a journalist’s perspective to this post.

What a stupid news story! So what if one of Santorum’s staffers has a private opinion about women leading the nation? How exactly does that tell us ANYTHING about the candidate? (No, I am not a Santorum supporter).

I can’t believe there’s not more news out there worth of Reuters. Can you find any NEWS stories. Can you explore the major issues and contrasts and feed us some NEW facts? Can you uncover something the public needs to know? I haven’t seen ONE good story come from the media uncovering ANYTHING Barak Obama is doing or has done in the dark. Somebody there look into his ties with Islam. There real news there if you get behind his relationship to CAIR. Financially follow the path to Soros. Let’s see some real news. OK?

Posted by davidcalves | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/