Arthur: It is nothing you have done or said; it is something that you are – you are too religious. Now I like a woman to be religious, and I think your piety one of your greatest charms; but then, like all other good things, it may be carried too far. To my thinking, a woman’s religion ought not to lessen her devotion to her earthly lord. She should have enough to purify and etherealise her soul, but not enough to refine away her heart, and raise her above all human sympathies.
(Helen): “And am I above all human sympathies?” said I.
Arthur: No, darling; but you are making more progress towards that saintly condition than I like; for all these two hours I have been thinking of you and wanting to catch your eye, and you were so absorbed in your devotions that you had not even a glance to spare for me – I declare it is enough to make one jealous of one’s Maker – which is very wrong, you know; so don’t excite such wicked passions again, for my soul’s sake. (Chapter XXIII)
“The Amish draw on the Bible for their understanding of appropriate gender rules. They recite the New Testament proclamations, ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.’ (Ephesians 5:22-33) […]
“Guided by these religious beliefs, the husband, with the help of his wife, takes the lead in providing for spiritual and material welfare of the home. An Amish man is the public face of his family, the spokesperson to the outside world, and he ostensibly makes the final decisions, while his wife remains in the background. Because the public face of Amish life is what the world sees, it is not surprising that the popular image of Amish life is one of ironclad patriarchy.” (p.200)