Anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, the mother of six and a darling of the American far right, spent decades opposing for working mothers “stranger care” (child care assistance).
But it turns out that, in raising her six children, she had more than a bit of help herself. Salon today quotes her niece, Suzanne Venker (who recently co-wrote a book with Schlafly), conceding in interview the following:
“I’m going to say this the best way I can. She had domestic help…. She wouldn’t have called them nannies, but she had people in her home. That’s what she chose. Did she mention that fact enough to get her point across to young people about how she managed to do it? No, she did not.”
In other words, Schlafly concealed the truth from others (that is, lied) to advance what she regarded as a higher cause (anti-feminism).
Isn’t that exactly what the misogynist author of 1 Timothy (the liar who pretended to be the apostle Paul telling women to stay silent in church) did as well?
Here’s the biblical scholar Bart Ehrman on the author of 1 Timothy:
Whoever wrote the book of 1 Timothy claimed to be Paul. But he was lying about that — he was someone else living after Paul had died. In his book, the author of 1 Timothy used Paul’s name and authority to address a problem that he saw in the church. Women were speaking out, exercising authority and teaching men. That had to stop. The author told women to be silent and submissive, and reminded his readers about what happened the first time a woman was allowed to exercise authority over a man, in that little incident in the garden of Eden. No, the author argued, if women wanted to be saved, they were to have babies (1 Tim. 2:11-15).
I find this striking. An anti-women’s equality author from the first century not only sounds similar to a contemporary one (Phyllis Schlafly), he also shares with her the same attitudes about concealment in the advance of a cause.