February 26, 2004, Washington, D.C. – The president today announced his backing of a federal Constitutional amendment to “protect the office of the presidency.” The amendment would add to the conditions set forth in the Constitution a requirement that candidates for United States President be male.
In a morning press conference at the White House, President Bush said, “The president of the United States is the most powerful man in the world, and it’s imperative that we protect this important position from the influence of women.”
Those who favor the amendment cite historical precedent. They state that a woman has never held the office of president in the United States. They also point to the history of the west, where men have long held all but a few positions of power. “This is the way it’s always been; this amendment would simply making a long held social understanding into law,” said Peter Principle, spokesperson for People for the Traditional Way.
The move is thought by some to be an attempt to solidify Bush’s approval rating among religious conservatives, many of whom believe the Bible prohibits women from holding positions of power. “First Timothy is very clear. It says, ‘I suffer not a woman to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence,'” said Richard Envy, president of The Society of Missionary Positions. He continued, “Women are now presidents of colleges and businesses, and it’s only a matter of time before one gets elected to the White House.”
Critics, including Senator Hillary Clinton from New York, say the amendment would make women second-class citizens, but the President responded angrily to questions along these lines. “This doesn’t take status away from women. We all love our mothers, wives, and daughter. However, the man is the head of the house, and a woman should not be president of the United States.” He continued, “After this amendment is ratified, women will still be able to vote for the man of their choice. I believe my wife and daughters should do whatever they want within the law, but they should not be allowed to lead the free world. The science is clear. Men are better equipped for leadership.”
To be ratified, the amendment needs to pass a two-thirds vote in the House and the Senate, and be approved by 38 states. 151 Congressmen have signed the House bill as co-sponsors. All congresswomen oppose it.
Fifth-generation clergy who grew up in Zambia as the child of Wesleyan missionaries, Rev. Tyler Connoley earned his M.A. in Religion and M.Div. from Earlham School of Religion and is co-author, with Rev. Jeff Miner, of The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-Sex Relationships. He currently serves as Conference Minister in the Central Pacific UCC Conference.