First Lady Laura Bush may have stolen the show with her surprise comedy routine at this weekend's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, but her jokes and one-liners have made her no new friends among conservative Christians. In an official statement, one 'pro-family' advocacy group warned that Mrs. Bush's jokes at the President's expense were in violation of the Biblical command that wives respect their husbands.
Some shocked by Mrs. Bush's reference to herself as a "desperate housewife"
WASHINGTON, DC—The First Lady may have stolen the show with her surprise comedy routine at the 91st White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, but not everyone appreciated her jokes and one-liners poking fun at President Bush. At least one organization of conservative Christians quickly lashed out at Mrs. Bush's performance, warning that her remarks at the President's expense were a public refutation of the Biblical command that wives should respect their husbands.
According to an official statement released over the weekend by the Coalition for Traditional Values, an organization that seeks a more flexible relationship between church and state, Mrs. Bush's jokes at her husband's expense amounted to a public emasculation of the President. Pastor Roy DeLong, the statement's author and chair of the group, warns that the First Lady's performance comes at a time when the Mr. Bush's "manliness is already under attack."
Laura: Meet Ephesians
"As a believer, President Bush is no doubt familiar with the passage from Ephesians that says 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord,'" says Mr. DeLong. "That means that just as Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the wife. That is not the
Mrs. Bush interrupted a speech being given by her husband at the annual dinner, remarking that "I have a few things I want to say for a change." She then proceeded to mock his performance, both public ("if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later") and private, noting that by nine o'clock, Mr. Bush, whom she referred to as "Mr. Excitement," is typically sound asleep.
"One of the Proverbs says that 'a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she that maketh him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones," notes Mr. DeLong. "I bet President Bush is feeling pretty rotten today."
Manliness in question
The rebuke to the First Lady's stand-up act comes on the heels of mounting concern about the President's image. Last week, Mr. Bush was seen holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Then the President raised eyebrows anew when he asked a crowd of supporters in Galveston, TX, if they celebrated Splash Day, an annual gay pride event in that state, best known for attracting tens of thousands of buff men, wearing little more than suntan oil.
Even some members of Mr. Bush's famously loyal party looked askance at his recommendation during a speech on the nation's energy needs last week, when he encouraged Americans to consider driving hybrid vehicles, widely believed to be 'gay' cars.
While the Coalition for Traditional Values was the first conservative advocacy group to jump on the First Lady's comments, more criticism is expected. In her remarks, Mrs. Bush likened herself to a desperate housewife, a reference to the hit show on ABC, noting that she watches the show with Lynne Cheney, wife of the Vice President.
"Desperate Housewives" has come under heavy fire from pro-family groups, including the American Decency Association, which has called for a boycott of ABC for airing the "degraded" show. Last fall, Mrs. Cheney asked the federal government to step in to protect the nation's children from the "Desperate Housewives."
Do you think the First Lady's comedy act was offensive to Judeo-Christian values? Contact Russell Darby at [email protected]