Not Saussure

October 3, 2006

Marriage vows ‘could be used to justify wife beating’

Filed under: Religion, UK — notsaussure @ 11:29 am

You’ve got to love the C of E;

The traditional marriage vows in which the bride promises to “obey” her husband could be used by men to justify domestic violence, a Church of England report said yesterday.

The report, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accused the Church of failing at “many points” to prevent abuse.

It said that theological ideas such as male “headship” had been enshrined in the marriage service and could be misinterpreted as supporting the idea that the wife should submit to the husband.

They must know their parishioners best, I suppose, but can it really be the case that many abusive husbands think this justifies their behaviour or that may battered wives feel they have to put up with it because of their marriage vows?

I’d have thought that a much more cogent objection to that promise is that a church shouldn’t be encouraging people to make solemn vows before God and the congregation they have no serious intention of keeping and to which no sane person would expect them to hold.

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