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imrs-phpby Jared Byas

Yesterday, Sarah Pulliam Bailey published a Washington Post piece on Jerry Falwell’s defense of Trump in spite of his recently revealed lewd comments. Of course, predictably, Falwell pulled the “we’re all sinners” card, which is conveniently pulled out when we need to get out of an ethical jam but promptly put away when asked about the death penalty.

But that wasn’t the most interesting thing he said. In his denouncement of Trump’s lewd comments, Falwell said something more revealing:

“I’ve got a wife and a daughter, and nobody wants to hear their women talked about in that manner.”

Now, I can think of a lot of ways that COULD have fallen out of Jerry’s mouth:

Option A: “I’ve got a wife and daughter and they’ve taught me how abusive comments like that can be.”
Option B: “Nobody should talk that way about another human being.”
Option C: “Women should never be talked about in that manner.”
Option D: “I know women aren’t allowed to hold positions of leadership in the church but at least they should be treated with respect.”

And the list can go on and on. But no.

“I’ve got a wife and a daughter, and nobody wants to hear their women talked about in that manner.”

I realize that sexism is dead and we’re all just politically-correct sheep and overly sensitive troublemakers but IF sexism were alive and well but perhaps a little more underground than it was in the past, I couldn’t imagine a better way for it to come to the surface than Jerry’s sentence.

What I heard from that comment:

1. Trump’s comments were inappropriate because they offend MEN, men who “don’t want to hear their women talked about in that manner.”

2. Women are owned by men, men who “don’t want to hear THEIR women talked about in that manner.”

Realize what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that evangelical beliefs are a gateway to sexism and sexual assault.

All I’m asking for is that we please take a second to acknowledge how ironically delicious it is that Falwell’s denouncement of explicit sexism was implicitly sexist. Is that too much to ask for?


Jared Byas, M.A.

As a former teaching pastor and professor of philosophy and biblical studies, he speaks regularly on the Bible, truth, creativity, wisdom, and the Christian faith. Tweets at @jbyas