At a Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa on August 11, 2011, Byron York -- a reporter for the Washington Examiner -- asked GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann if she would be submissive to her husband in the White House.
The crowd at the GOP debate booed York for asking such a personal and inappropriate question. As a reporter, York should have realized that his question would "cross the line" from professional to unprofessional journalism -- and that he never should have asked it.
The inappropriate question was sparked by the fact that Bachmann -- several years ago -- had said that the biblical phrase, "Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord" had influenced her to be submissive to her husband.
This belief of Bachmann relates to her marital relationship with her husband, and not with her political decision-making, if she were to be elected president. Bachmann obviously has not applied this religious belief to her current political position of U.S. Representative from Minnesota.
A similar type of situation arose some 50 years ago when John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States. Many Americans feared that Kennedy -- the first Roman Catholic to be elected U.S. president -- would be required to abide by the rulings of the Pope. Of course, Kennedy did not do so, as he governed the U.S. totally independent of the Pope's preferences.
As was the case with Kennedy, Bachmann would make her own decisions -- independent of her husband's preferences -- if she were the executive head of the United States.
In fact, to be subject to preferences of her husband -- and to make her presidential decisions based on his ideas instead of her own -- would mean that Bachmann was relinquishing her mandate of the American voters, if she were president. In reality, she would be playing the role of a figurehead.
In the final analysis, Bachmann's religious belief in being submissive to her husband in their marital relationship is her own personal belief. It is not a belief that can be distorted or exploited by the press.
Indeed, the press does not have the right to exploit any religious belief of any presidential candidate.