Reducing the Deficit of Trust

Posted on September 10, 2011 by

An excerpt from the Declaration of Sentiments, authored primarily by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Stanton goes on to list examples of the injustice inflicted upon womankind at the hands of men:

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to law in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men, both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

You can (and should) read the entire declaration here. It’s a marvel, to say the least.

In the 163 years since this was penned and presented, most American women have heard its message. And all but a select few have bought into the “reality” of universal female oppression prior to the emergence of the the saviors of the feminist movement. Women “fought back”, and even those who didn’t fight enjoy the spoils of the battle nonetheless.The fallout from decades of gender wars, legal wrangling, and sexual upheaval has shattered countless families and set a once great nation on the path to societal ruin. This is not an earth-shattering revelation.

The unsettling realization, which was recently illuminated to me on this site, is that the distrust extends even between men and women on the same side of the issue. Who agree with each other on the basic principles of life and desire to see the tide turn in favor of solid families and faith-based values. The damage done by the sexual revolution, unjust family court system, and basic destruction of consensus on what is and is not acceptable has reached so far it has infected those who Believe.

I  am a firm believer that any real recovery of a just and sane society must start with those who possess the Truth. In other words, the church. In our attempt to include everyone we have led people to believe that God accepts any thing. In this we erred greatly and have reduced the church to nothing more than a religious subculture rather than the counter-cultural, transforming agent I believe it was created to be. The same mistrust, skepticism, family breakdown, bigotry and class and gender warfare that we find in the culture can often be found in the  Western church.

Men and women were designed by God to complement one another and work together as natural allies. Sin divides and fractures everything it touches and the relations between the sexes are no exception. But there should be a glaring exception among those of us who have acknowledged and confessed our sin and are working to defeat its power in our lives. We should be giving one another the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming the worst of intentions and motives.

If healing, forgiveness, giving the benefit of the doubt, and embracing the Biblical mandate for manhood and womanhood can’t be found among the ranks of the faithful, is there any hope at all? And what will it take to restore the trust between men and women of like faith and values? If the family is to be restored, it will happen no other way.

Posted in: Relationships