Andrew Klavan interviews a gentleman who sees the world as very black and white:
Take [Jesse Lee] Peterson’s vision of restoring the lost black family, which is unflinchingly religious and traditional. “There is a spiritual order to life that was ordained by God,” he tells me. “And that order is God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman, woman over children. And it’s not an ego trip, it’s just a spiritual order, that men are subject to Christ and women are subject to men.”
At this point on the interview tape, you can hear me start to stammer hilariously. I don’t agree with everything he says, but. . . . And yet, at the same time I’m stammering, several thoughts crowd in on me. First, Peterson’s traditionalism is only an echo of Paul’s advice to married couples in Ephesians, not to mention John Milton’s deathless description of Adam and Eve: “He for God only; she for God in him.” Second, his words are spoken in answer to a community where I’ve repeatedly heard black women describe black men as “weak” and black men describe black women as “mean.” Third (and I can’t wait to drop this comment at my wife’s next dinner party), the happiest middle-class white families I know are still fashioned on some version of Peterson’s principle—the husband as head of the household—as long as that leadership is understood, as Peterson understands it, to be subject to an overarching moral order of love, gentleness, and grace.
“What men don’t understand is that they represent God in the family, in the home, and . . . they’re supposed to love what’s right more than anything else,” Peterson tells me. “And when they love that, then God dwells in them and works through them to guide them in the right way so that they can guide their families.”