Darrow Miller and Friends

What Does President Obama Mean by “Equality of Women”?

Golden Dome at Notre Dame University

In his controversial commencement appearance at the University of Notre Dame on May 17, 2009, President Obama tried to square his radical, pro-abortion, culture of death stance with the culture of life community as represented by the Roman Catholic church. His words sounded admirable.

Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.

First, the President said he wants “a sensible conscience clause.” This is good because it reflects a fundamental human right and the demands of Article 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second, he says that health-care policies are to be “grounded … in sound science.” The Law of Biogenesis states that living things produce after their own kind. Human beings conceive human beings, not lizards or elephants. Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Russell M. Nelson, MD, PhD, states:

In the biological sciences, it is known that life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell, bringing together twenty-three chromosomes from both the father and from the mother. … A continuum of growth results in a new human being. The onset of life is not a debatable issue, but a fact of science.

What a woman carries in her womb, from the moment of conception, a unique human and it is alive.

Third, President Obama says that the policies are to be “grounded … in clear ethics.” One of the primary moral principles of the universe is the sixth commandment:“Thou shall not kill.” This moral law becomes the foundation for capital crimes in criminal law. Taking the life of a human being is a violation of both moral principle and criminal law.

Kathleen Sebelius

So, President Obama wants to base his policy on human rights, sound science, and clear ethics. His last criterion is “respect for the equality of women.” If President Obama were using this term as understood in the Judeo-Christian worldview, we would be in agreement. More than that, he would be pursuing very different government policies. Not, for example, the policy reaffirmed January 20th by Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. This “final rule on preventive health services” requires all health-insurance plans, including those in faith-based institutions, to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, including abortifacients. The policy reveals what President Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius really believe. The reality of his policies directly contradicts the President’s own words to the audience at Notre Dame.

The real issue is not the policy; it is the principle and paradigm behind the policy. As mentioned in our recent blog Why So Much Heat Around Discussions of Social Justice? government policies and programs reflect the principles and paradigm on which they are founded. We are witnessing a clash between two fundamentally different worldviews. Thus the heat in the social-justice discussion, and the heat in the matter of government-funded and mandated abortion.

There are two Americas and this is revealed in what is meant by “equality of women.”

At creation God made women and men equal in that both are made in His image. This first principle is inculcated in the United States Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Men and women are equal in dignity, value, and worth. Based on this, they are to be equal before the law.

But this is not what President Obama and modern feminists mean by “equality of women.” Equality of women means that women are equal to men when they are the same as men.

Sexist culture values maleness over femaleness. So too does radical feminism. Women do not have intrinsic worth; their worth is defined by the marketplace. Abortion allows women to be in the marketplace. Women are equal to men when they are most like men. They are most like men when they are un-pregnant, when they can have sex without being pregnant.

Maternal feminist Lilian Calles Barger writing in Eve’s Revenge states:

For the average woman, the pill has provided a way to divorce sex from procreation, so she can make herself available to any sexual partner she chooses at the moment. A woman is now considered to be available 24/7/365.

Barger continues:

The widely practiced violence of abortion is not a sign of progress but a sign that women’s reproductive ability needs to be exterminated in order for society to go ‘forward.’ In an environment hostile to women’s bodies and through abortion, women participate in a war against their own bodies, objectifying them.

Men want women for sex and thus objectify women. Women want to be equal to men and thus deny their own uniqueness, objectifying their own bodies and becoming the playthings of men.

Most atheists are atheist for moral reasons, not metaphysical reasons. They want the universe to be free of moral restraint, so they have license to live however they want. It is quite simple, people are atheists because they want recreational sex, sex separated from a covenantal relationship between a man and a woman before God. They want sex as entertainment, separated from family and hearth. Convenience is a higher value than human life.

But God exists. Because He does, the universe is moral, and freedom lies in living within the framework of God’s ordinances.

Cartoon by Jack Higgins, Chicago Sun-Times 8/25/04

President Obama and (consistent) modern feminists want women to be “equal” to men by which they mean sexual license without pregnancy. This requires abortion on demand. It means babies who survive abortions must die. As an Illinois State Legislator in 2001, Senator Obama stood against legislation to protect the life of children that survive abortion. He argued:

Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.

This is chilling, for at least two reasons. First, he is essentially arguing that a baby born before nine months is not viable. Yet recent medical advances have proven otherwise. Research from 2003-2007 on premature babies shows the viability rates of six percent at 22 weeks and ninety-two percent at 28 weeks. Most infants 24 weeks or older survive. So State Senator Obama was being deceptive when he spoke of babies being “pre-viable” up to nine months.

Second, Senator Obama was saying that a baby is human if it is wanted and brought to term. If the baby is born alive after an abortion, the baby is not human. Given the intention of the mother and the doctor to kill the baby, the baby is not entitled to equal protection under the law. In this worldview, the human nature of a baby is defined not by the reality of biological science, or moral philosophy, or the Creator, but by the will of another person, the mother.

In 2001 and beyond, Barak Obama showed what he really believes: a woman’s right to choose is more important than the right to life. The paradigm that reduces a baby to “tissue” trumps the paradigm that acknowledges a baby as made in the image of the Creator God and thus her life is sacred.

Such policies and practices necessarily preclude the very principles President Obama professed at Notre Dame. They also require violating the freedom of conscience and religion of tax payers and faith-based organizations. Further, these policies violate sound science and clear ethics.

President Obama’s “honorable” words cannot cover up the atheistic-materialistic paradigm that establishes the principle of a “woman’s right to choose.” Despite his rhetoric to the contrary, the Judeo-Christian principle of “the right to life” is denied. We know what President Obama believes, not by what he says, but by the policies that he puts forward.

The public conversation over this issue is passionate because it touches on people’s identity and how they pursue their lives. And it reveals the heart of the sacred belief system/paradigm on which they have staked their very existence and meaning.

Or lack thereof.

Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. NotAScientist

    February 20, 2012 - 6:59 am

    “Most atheists are atheist for moral reasons, not metaphysical reasons.”

    No they aren’t.

    No atheist I know (and as an atheist, I imagine I may know more than you do) is an atheist because of the lack of evidence for religious claims. Morals have nothing to do with it.

    • disciplenations

      February 20, 2012 - 11:51 am

      Hello, NotAScientist

      Thank you for your comment. Here are a couple of examples of Atheists who acknowledge that their disbelief is not because of evidence for their atheistic position.

      First, Aldous Huxley writing in Confessions of a Professional Free-Thinker boldly proclaims: “I had reasons not to want the world to have meaning, and as a result I assumed the world had no meaning, and I was readily able to find satisfactory grounds for this assumption… for me, as it undoubtedly was for most of my generation, the philosophy of meaninglessness was an instrument of liberation from a certain moral system. We were opposed to morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.” [emphasis mine].

      D. M. S. Watson, the Jodrell Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at University College of London admitted publicly that: “Evolution . . . is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or . . . can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”

      – Darrow Miller

  2. Jon Davis Jr.

    February 21, 2012 - 8:52 am

    Thanks for the clear thoughts Mr. Miller.

    I posted this on my Facebook wall.