Bil Browning

Best wishes for a beautiful bride

Filed By Bil Browning | July 11, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Alaska, Indiana Family Institute, marriage equality, role of women, Ryan McCann, Sarah Palin resignation, Tory Clark, weddings, women at work

The Indiana Family Institute's Director of Public Policy, Ryan McCann, got married at the end of June. His wife, Tory Clark, is a beautiful and gentle woman; I admire her patience, wit and kindness. Interestingly enough though, the IFI's blog post announcing the marriage neglects to even mention her name - it's as if she's unimportant to the post. ToryClarkRyanMcCannWedding.jpgFor all the talk IFI does about the perfect family, apparently the wife isn't nearly as important as the husband...

Various guest bloggers have been doing stints at the IFI's site; all of them start with best wishes for the new couple. A recent entry caught my eye and might explain exactly why the IFI posting neglected to mention the best part of that union. Guest blogger Sarah Ford ruminates on Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin's decision to step down from office:

[I] am not speculating on the Governor's decision, as there are a number of possibilities. But her resignation speech reminded me of questions I struggle with on a regular basis: What is the role of a Christian woman in regard to balancing career and family? Are women emotionally designed for high positions of power? What does the Bible say about all of this anyway?

She points to a video by Rev John Piper who pontificates that women shouldn't lead an army, but should stay home with their children. (Video after the jump.)

While Ford's first reaction is to be offended, she soon starts doubting herself.

Then, as most Christian women, I begin to question my motives. Maybe I'm the one with the problem. More specifically, have I fallen into the trap of what the world says I should base my value upon which (among other things) is a career and my ability to 'shatter the glass ceiling'? Maybe as a Christian woman I am no different than any other woman. I want to believe that nothing is more important than faith and family, but maybe I don't really believe it.

Ford finds solace in Proverbs 31 - a verse about a strong woman who is virtuous and hardworking. Sadly, the Biblical woman's best quality is that she's an outstanding mother and wife; she takes care of the kids and her man. Her worth is dependent on how happy her husband is.

Which leads me back to Ryan and Tory's wedding and Indiana Family Institute's disrespectful announcement of the nuptials. Pardon me while I speak directly to Tory for a second...


After interacting with both you and Ryan several times, there is one thing that's clear for all to see; Ryan got the best part of this deal. You are incredibly smart, remarkably pretty, genuinely friendly and - most of all - strong willed and thoughtful. You should never have to play second fiddle to anyone; you're a symphony in your own right.

While your new husband and his pals at the Indiana Family Institute don't think Jerame and I are capable of the same love you two have, we both know different. When you look at the lovely photos taken of your big day, stop and remember that IFI has done everything in its power to stop me and mine from ever having the same experience of pure love and dedication to another human being.

The capacity to love is one of the greatest gifts from God. I'm overjoyed that you and Ryan have found happiness together because love is something to be celebrated and never denigrated. There is no caste system to love - no classification as to who is more important to an equal partnership.

You should always be recognized as an integral part of your marriage; your love and worth is not diminished because you're a woman. My relationship is also built on love and respect and there's no second-tier inherent in it either.

Marriage = ♥ + ♥

Gender not required.

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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | July 11, 2009 12:33 PM

Something else I found somewhat ironic about VR's treatment of Ryan's wedding: The initial announcement urged best wishes, and although Ryan and I have hardly ever seen eye-to-eye on much of anything, especially concerning the so-called "Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment" which his organization is in the forefront of pushing, I was the first commentor to wish the new couple well. So far after almost two weeks the only other congratulatory comment came from Kurt Luidhardt, a fellow VR contributor. I posted another entry after that wondering aloud why so little support from readers who supposedly considered the "special status" of marriage to trump all else. I guess maybe there's a rice shortage.

Hey - I like the new picture, Bil!

That guy in that video cannot do math. 50/1000 is not 50%, it's 5%. If his math skills are that poor, I question his scientific and mathematical literacy and wonder if those figures he gives are anything near accurate, math mistakes aside.

Mrs. McCann | July 13, 2009 10:29 AM

Hey Bil,

Thank you so much for the kind words, though I doubt I deserve them. My guess as to why my name was omitted was because they had not asked me if I felt comfortable with my name being thrown out into the VR blog. As we all know, things can get pretty heated!

(Though I do not mind you doing so, especially when you are going to say such nice things ;))

Bil, I hope you are doing well and I see you soon!


Bil,(and Tory)
Thanks again for proving that people of goodwill can agree to disagree while showing respect and love for one another; How very refreshing in an era of overheated rhetoric.