Posted: 07/10/07 16:32, Edited: 07/10/07 18:05
by Dave Mindeman
Take a fundamentalist Christian guy, add a wife who is sick of the "The Lord says you must be submissive" BS.....add in his job as a Representative in the Minnesota House... throw in the press and ...voila!.....you have the probable background of the case of Rep. Mark Olson.
I have known several fundamentalist Christians in my life.... and I have observed how they think. Here is usually how it goes.
When a fundamentalist guy gets married, he usually marries a woman who is basking in the glow of Christian understanding of how a marriage should be.... you know, the wife can suggest things but the final decision is always with the man. She dutifully takes care of what he allows her to take care of. If she works outside the home (in rare instances), it is only because he has decided it is best for the family. Sometimes this "marriage order" goes on for a long time.... sometimes the man finally "gets it" and realizes this is not a real marriage and forgets the, my way or the highway, idiocy.
Sometimes the guy doesn't get it.... and the wife eventually rebels. That puts the two spouses at loggerheads and something has to give.
In this fundamentalist world, the man uses some absurd rationalizations to defend his behavior... after all, he is merely putting into practice what God has ordained. He makes a decision that the wife disagrees with.... generally, he simply ignores her. Of course, that will probably infuriate a woman who is fed up with this idiocy and could lead to some interesting problems.
In Rep. Mark Olson's case, it looks like he became the victim of:
His lawyer relays some general encounter that sounds something like this: Mr. Olson is quietly reading his Bible.... (probably ignoring his wife as usual).. and she suddenly erupts. She grabs his Bible and throws it at him. GASP!
Now the severity of this ghastly act will be heavily dependent upon whether the Bible was a King James or Revised Standard Version. King James is always worse because it is closer to the original text.
Now the timeline of events is still to be determined. When the "Biblical" missle was fired or when Mark Olson "pushed" his wife is still up in the air. But in the mind of the fundamentalist, this kind of perverted act can justify a high degree of retaliation. After all, no one uses the Word of God as an assault weapon.
Maybe there was a time when Mark Olson had to physically restrain her.... maybe he had his own "reasons" for putting her firmly in the "proper place". We will find out the full background on all this during the trial.
But, a pretty good clue about Mark Olson's frame of mind comes from the defense attorney statement about his "confession":
"Clark (the defense attorney) said police misinterpreted as a confession, Olson's expression that --- because of his religious beliefs -- he was responsible for his family's behavior as head of the household."
It's OK, Mark, the rest of us are perfectly willing to hold you responsible for just your own behavior.