A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So Sorry, But Not This Time, Amigo

Michael Weiss writes the following regarding websites such as "Eternal Bachelor" and "MGTOW" ...
Web bookmarks no doubt to be shortly followed by “BabyComeBack.com,” “BCWH” (Bros Coexisting With Hos), and “Yes, Dear.” Because who do we think we’re fooling, really? Not Kay Hymowitz, who concludes by acknowledging what most “studies” have found: all Angry Young Men eventually quit the struggle and settle for the safe institution of marriage over the fantasy of zero responsibility (even if it is only in baseball).
I'll tell you who you're fooling, Michael. Yourself. You and the rest of the MSM. True, the "studies" say a lot of men want to marry in theory. But pray tell, what about the actual rates, my friend? Are the number of marriages going up? How about men marrying while they are still young? If there wasn't any smoke, you guys wouldn't be clucking about men in the first place.

Things are different this time around, folks. Yes, in the past there were cranky Benedicks who always found their Beatrices in the end. But the current exodus of men from the commitment scene is no "much ado about nothing."

Let's face it: The norms of our society have eroded. People have become much more mercenary in their dealings with each other. The "Me" Generation never really went away. It just spawned younger, crasser iterations of itself. This has certainly affected how men and women relate to each other. In a culture that dictates that no one can be really trusted and that a person "must look out for #1," did you expect that men would still warm up to the idea of marriage? Why should they as long as society rewards women who engage in unethical behavior?

P.S. My prediction is that Michael Weiss will start a blog detailing his woes in family court before there is ever a movement called BCWH.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Google Search of "Husbands, Love Your Wives"

Over at Boundless, Suzanne Hadley has an article about marriage and singleness. In it, she quotes Ephesians 5:25, the passage about husbands having to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Suzanne doesn't mention Ephesians 5:22, where women are told to submit to their husbands. Perhaps this is because Suzanne is writing from a single woman's perspective. I don't know. Yet, I still have to wonder: Is it me or does it seem like Ephesians 5:25 has been pounded to death while Ephesians 5:22 goes largely ignored?

Well, I decided to do an experiment. I used certain search terms and then examined the kind of hits I retrieved. Here are some results I find to be noteworthy ...

1. The search term "husbands love your wives" yielded 8 hits at Boundless. The search term "wives submit" yielded 4 hits at Boundless.

2. The search term "husbands love your wives" yielded 65,800 hits on Google. The search term "wives submit" yielded 56,000 hits on Google.

Make of it what you will.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Demographic Arms Race?

Every so often, I come across an article by a cultural conservative about demographics, about who's having the most babies, about who's going taking over the world, etc. Albert Mohler is wont to peddle articles of this sort, as his most recent offering demonstrates. It makes me wonder. Evangelicals are having children, but they are still in a decline. If only the "kingdom work of changing diapers" (to quote Debbie Maken) could solve all our missiological ills.

I also wonder: What if we take away all the Nanny State incentives for getting pregnant? You know--like welfare, EIC, the ability to claim children as dependents for tax exemption purposes, government programs for children (like public education), etc? After all, Mohler doesn't tell you about the Orthodox Jews who are on the dole, or about the so-called "family values" of many of our immigrants.

Anyway, when it comes to the prospect of Christianity being bred out of existence, I am not all that concerned (Daniel 2:44; Mat. 16:18; Heb. 12:28). If some worry-worts were as concerned about evangelism as they were about who is and who is not having babies, I think we could be a lot less anxious about the Mormons or the Muslims moving into the old church building on the street corner.

P.S. Read this article (from a source hardly known for its liberalism) on whether or not we need to "grow".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

PC vs the Evangelical Media Establishment

About a month ago, I was listening to a radio broadcast by Albert Mohler which addressed the issue of young people not getting married. I found Mohler's comments, especially his mind-numbingly tendentious anti-male screeds (see 14:04 into the program), to be par for the course for him. But then a caller named "Adam" was put on the air at about 17:50 into the show. I thought the caller sounded familiar, and sure enough, the caller turned out to be none other than our own Puritan Calvinist!

I have to admire PC for his diligence in challenging Albert Mohler's mishandling of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, Mohler's show format evinces the familiar hallmarks of AM talk radio, especially the hazardous slide toward demogogic monologue. In such a format, the nuance and counterarguments of dissenting voices are not likely to be broached in an intellectually substantive manner. And so it was with PC's exchange with Mr. Mohler. PC's exegesis was summarily dismissed by Mohler as being something out of the mainstream (Mohler called it "a very eccentric reading").

PC would like to see some sort of exchange between marriage mandators, on one hand, and those who oppose the marriage mandate (such as himself and myself). Like PC, I also desire to see some sort of a fair, open debate be held with the likes of Steve and Candice Watters, Debbie Maken, Albert Mohler, and others. I don't think it's going to happen, though.

My fear is that the Evangelical Media Establishment (EME), as represented by publishing firms like Crossway and Moody, "family" bookstores, multi-million dollar "ministries" like Focus on the Family, and religious media celebrities like Albert Mohler, does not allow much Lebensraum for criticism. I think this is especially the case for any criticism leveled at the EME that might be both trenchant and biblically sound. We have already seen how the liberal media establishment views people of faith. When people have both an agenda and a microphone, don't expect much airtime for a balanced treatment of the issues at stake.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's On Amazon

Back in June, Triton said the following about Debbie Maken, her followers, and the Marriage Mandate Movement:
I think the luster is finally wearing off of this silly movement. The Captain hasn't posted since mid-April, and Maken seems to have given up on serious debate, preferring instead to simply insult contrary commenters and pimp her book. I can almost hear the clock ticking on this dying fad, counting down the seconds 'til it joins the ranks of Madballs and Garbage Pail Kids as Things Better Left Uninvented.
Oh, if it were only so, my friend. But alas, as I told you even then ...
I don't think we are out of the woods on this one yet, Triton. I fear that a certain school of thought put forth their feelers with Debbie Maken's book. They got slapped back, but the retreat is temporary. The shadow of the Necromancer has just gone back to the Dark Tower to plot something else. There are plenty of voices out there among religious conservatives that believe a man's duty is to be a Stoic, neo-chivalrous, beast of burden for a feminized, consumeristic culture. Albert Mohler, and others still roam at large, peddling their "Real men do xyz" garbage to a largely female audience of desperate singletons. Mohler sits on CBMW and I notice an old article extolling singleness suddenly goes missing while the Shame-the-Man articles get published on the blog there.

Religious men can't afford to sit out this one. They are being ostracized in our churches. I feel like the lone prophet on my blog, wondering where my fellow 7,000 compadres are at. We need to speak out--in cyberspace on blogs, forums, etc. and in real life. If men don't, then some really stupid anti-male nonsense will get mainstreamed in our "conservative" faith communities. Maken was a wake up call for religious men. Will they sleep on?
Do I exaggerate in saying what I do? Nah. Remember the movie Fireproof? I finally saw it a few weeks ago in the theatre. I admit that it was good for the most part. Amir rightfully complained about the latent headship theology in the plot. But, dear readers, headship theology is not only thing that is disturbing about the ever-so-popular Fireproof Franchise. Yoda says, "If to this link you go, only pain will you find."

The Marriage Mandate nonsense has been mainstreamed. It's only fitting that an answer to it has finally hit Amazon. It is my hope that the disciples of Maken who go there to find their precious tome will see the ensign of doom.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Open Response to Elizabeth Nolan Brown

It seems the article by Kay Hymowitz that I mentioned in my last post has been the subject of discussion on a blog at the Beta Culture 11 site. Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes:

The reason, Hymowitz submits, for “all this dating chaos” is that the dissolution of traditional methods of courtship and gender roles have left young men paralyzed by confusion. I submit that the reason for these particular men’s dating chaos is that they are misogynists.

They disparage “gold diggers,” and women who expect men to support them once married. Okay, one would think, so these men want strong egalitarian women, women who make their own money, have careers, etc. But then the same men also complain about how “modern women” suck and they just don’t make ‘em like the wives of yore (or like those Russian girls on the Interweb). So which is it?

I don’t begrudge anyone a personal desire to marry and start a family based on “traditional” gender roles. I get a little peeved when they begin suggesting that everyone should do the same, but if a man wants to be the sole breadwinner and find a wife who desires to stay home and cook and clean and take care of the kids—great! Likewise, if a man thinks that is a totally raw deal and would never marry a woman who doesn’t work—great! Or if he wants a bachelor’s life forever—great, too! But listen, dudes in this article: you can’t proclaim you really want a girl, and it’s women’s fault for not living up to the maddeningly-stupid paradigm you’ve dreamed up; that you can’t find a woman who’s sufficiently traditional while still being thoroughly modern. That is not a tenable position, at least not one that anyone other than other MRAs will agree with. There is not something wrong with women as a whole; there is something wrong with you.

Well, Elizabeth, if you want the "dudes" to "listen", as you say, perhaps you should return the favor, eh? Your charge of misogyny is problematic on two counts ...

1. It assumes that you speak for all women. Just because you cannot understand or sympathize with the views of the men highlighted in the article does not mean that other women are unable to do so. In fact, there are intelligent women like Dr. Helen Smith, who "get it " as well as Angela Fiori.

2. You falsely assume that any concern these men might have about certain disturbing behaviors found among women somehow translates into antipathy for the women themselves.

Please drop the "M" word, Elizabeth. It's a shaming tactic and many of the "dudes" don't take it seriously as a counterargument anymore.

Anyway, the main problem with your discourse is that you oversimplify and misrepresent the grievances of the men in question. The reason some men have a problem with putatively "conservative women" is not that these women want to live off a single paycheck, per se, but that these women don't understand the challenges men face. Men are facing an uphill battle economically. The days are long gone when a man could go out and support his family with a high school education. It takes two income to make it in a lot of cases.

Also, lot of so-called "conservative" women want to have their cake and eat it, too. These women want all the perks and privileges of feminism: the careers, the empowerment, the pushing men out of the way in the race for the cup, etc. but they then want to fall back on traditional gender roles in their personal relationships with men. I ask this: How logical is it for a woman to demand to make more money than a man, except when that man is her husband?

Now, with regard to so many "non-traditional" modern women, the problem is not their having jobs, per se, but also wanting to have their cake and eat it, too--just like the "conservative women." Many of them are not truly for equality. Many of them are not truly "egalitarian." After all, if you compete with men, don't you think you ought pick up the tab like them, too? Where are all the liberated women to woo, wine, dine, and support men? Many of these women are also hypocritical regarding commitment (they'll complain about men and yet be the first to run to the divorce court when things are no longer fun).

All of this would be bad enough but then some of these women cry a jag when men refuse to "grow up" and "settle down." In other words, when there is a shortage of men who could possibly meet "the maddeningly-stupid paradigm" [to borrow a phase from you] of these women, these women want to point fingers at everyone else except themselves. I remind you that it was Hymowitz and others who fired the first shot across bow in the war against single men.

When it comes down to it, there is the illusion of choice here. "Non-traditional" woman vs. "traditional" women is, in many cases, a shell game. Women across the political and social spectrum show little or no interest in the problems that men face. Across the political and social spectrum, many of them are woman-centered (and thus self-centered) to a fault. Let's flip it around: When women complain about how men treat them, how much sense does it make to tell them that they can't make up their minds whether they want Bob Packwood or Bill Clinton for husbands? Or try this one on for size: Just how important are your social and political views to the man you treat like dirt, anyway?

In closing Elizabeth, I must ask you if you really want the "dudes" to listen to you. Or was your blog post for the benefit of those already disposed to agree with you? Because, as I have indicated, the old listening thing needs to go both ways.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Guyland Canard

Hat-tip to Elusive Wapiti for directing my attention to this article. It's more of the same. Pretty interesting that the MGTOW movement is starting to hit the MSM, though.

What can I say? The Establishment is turning up the mike on the Mighty Wurtlizer of Shaming and Blaming Single Men. It's all over the articles, books, seminars, conferences, online guides, podcasts, what have you. "The beatings will continue until morale improves!" You know what? It won't change a thing, ya'll. Folks are yappin' like little feist dogs, barking up the wrong tree. The male squirrels are content to drop acorn shells on the whole gang.

Here is the point: A lot of young men are admittedly gullible, but a good bit of them aren't that gullible. The latter group knows very well that the nobody cares for them. Oh sure, people care about what men can provide or produce--as taxpayers, workers, consumers, family income earners, parishioners, etc. but no one cares about them as human beings. If people cared about young men as human beings, these men wouldn't have been shunted aside in their childhood as latchkey kids to be doped up on electronics and Ritalin. They wouldn't have been treated like creeps and losers in their adolescence for expressing heterosexual interest in girls. They wouldn't have been shuffled around in social caste systems that benefit only a few. They wouldn't have been forced into a cookie-cutter mode of officially sanctioned "manhood." They wouldn't have been told they are the "problem." Their concerns wouldn't have been ignored or laughed at. They wouldn't have been treated as an expendable commodity or, even worse, treated like vermin by an androphobic culture.

There is an old saying that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. People don't care about men. So men are beginning to not care about what people have to say to them. Q. E. D.

P.S. Don't look for too many expats from Guyland.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marriage Guide for Men? Oh, Puh-lease.

You know, I think putting out a guide to help men get happily married is a great idea. That is, unless it comes from these folks (especially when it references these kind of articles).

The folks who put out the guide in question tell us: "Too many guys make their way into their 20s and 30s without the marriage modeling and insights that were once easy to find from dads, coaches, teachers, mentors and Christian leaders. When they do find advice about relationships, it's often spectacularly bad" (emphasis mine).

Yeah, the irony meter bumped into the red on that one. The folks responsible for this guide list all sorts of cheery statistics about men wanting to get married more than women (But wait, I thought men were the ones who had commitment problems!). I suppose all of this hoopla about guiding men to marriage merely serves to reinforce the preconceptions and value judgments certain pundits have about manhood. However, I am not certain their guide is going to gain much traction if developments like this become more prevalent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who Wears the Pants?!

A little while back, there was a piece in the Wall Street Journal about the power women wield in their marriage. The upshot of the article was this:
"Across all decision-making realms, it tilts to the woman," noted Rich Morin, the Pew study's lead author. "I was surprised by the percentage of men who made none of the decisions in any of the areas. A significant percentage were just bystanders." Not surprisingly, one reason men say they are willing to acquiesce in their spouses' wishes is that their wives usually have greater knowledge of the day-to-day activities and needs of the home than they do. They trust their wives' choices the way they would any specialist's. But what is rather unexpected is the deeper (and much sweeter) reason men have for giving in to their wives: They want them to be happy, or at least they don't want to be responsible for making them unhappy.

The general consensus of sociologists is that, whereas a woman's marital satisfaction is dependent on a combination of economic, emotional and psychological realities, a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is. When she is happy, he is. Working within this framework, most husbands are unwilling to dig in their heels on any issue unless they have a tremendous incentive to do so.
Oddly, this article was mentioned by at least three religious blogs: Alex Chediak's, Tim Challies', and Ligon Duncan's. What was their reaction? Any criticism? Nothing. Is it me, or is there something terribly wrong with this picture?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Women Who Diss Christian Men As Being Weak

MLV's most recent post is a must read. It's a stark commentary on what men of faith face from their religious sisters when it comes to mate selection. He writes ...
... Women adore authentic men, even if they are authentically awful. This means they want to be dominated and controlled by men. Their emotional attachment to bad men is far more fulfilling and satisfying than they can ever admit. If they step away and realize how badly they are being treated, it is a cause for shame and embarassment.
MLV goes on to note ...
What does this mean for ordinary decent Christian men? It means if you have been taught from an early age that being a "nice guy" and being hyper religious is a way to win a good wife, you are being fed a load of nonsense. Women have ZERO interest in good and gentle men. They have huge interest in powerful, successful and sometimes abusive men. I see very few exceptions to the rule.
Perhaps this isn't true for all religious women, but unfortunately, it's true for too many of them. Even when people recognize this as a problem, it all too typical for them to suggest that we need to "restore" masculinity in our churches (as if faithful, Christian men have somehow lost something valuable that worldly men retain).

Uh, no. The problem is not the Christian men. The problem is the women. When they chase bad bays and invest themselves in destructive relationships, they are only demonstrating that they are not marriage material. These women are guilty of the doing the following to their faithful brethren:
  1. Dismissing humility as insecurity.
  2. Dismissing gentleness as ineffectuality.
  3. Dismissing prudence as cowardice.
  4. Dismissing peaceableness as indecisiveness.
  5. Dismissing long-suffering as defenselessness.
  6. Dismissing kindness as obsequiousness.
  7. Dismissing tender-hardheartedness as effeminacy.
These qualities are commanded by God for men (Eph. 4:2, 32; Titus 3:2; Prov. 24:3). These qualities are not optional. To reject these qualities or to water them down in the name of a worldly, Fight Club style masculinity is to rebel against the Creator. It's all too easily for men to sell out to make themselves appealing to women or to be respected by other guys. My fellow men, don't sell out. Christianity will always appear to be weak and stupid to those headed for destruction (1 Cor. 1:18). There are many men who are not afraid of pain or death, but who are nonetheless afraid of shame. Don't be afraid of shame (Matt. 5:11). It is the Devil's tool to make us conform to the status quo. Show your strength by refusing to give in to the false visions of manhood put out by others. Let the sinners call you a sissy for following the Prince of Peace. Remember that there will be a correction to that nonsense (Rom. 12:9; Luke 18:7; 2 Thess. 1:8).

For those godly men who have been rejected by religious women, take heart. You dodged the bullet. The chaff was separated from the wheat. You were spared being unequally yoked with women who merely had the form of godliness (2 Tim. 3:5). Here's the point: These women failed to trust in God. If they had trusted God, they would have not sought false security in the arms of ungodly men. They would have not embraced false masculinity.

I believe the shallowness of these women is worse than the shallowness of men. Why is this? When a man seeks out physically attractive women, it only becomes a problem when he places a premium on external beauty to the extent that spiritual considerations are compromised. On the other hand, when a woman chases ungodly men with certain endemic traits, she is outright repudiating when the Lord expects men to be. Let's face it: A man can go to heaven without such a woman. He can go to heaven even if all women are like this.

In short, when it comes to the temptation to be like the men of the world, don't take the blue pill, guys.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Regrettable Ad

Some time ago, Motte Brown offered a sneak preview of the new print magazine from Boundless. One ad in the forthcoming issue of the magazine caught my eye:

So, according to Boundless and Focus on the Family, bozos look a certain way. They look like the man in the picture above. In its effort to reach "twentysomethings," Focus and Family has clearly decided to use the kind of marketing and advertising techniques that one finds in secular publications.

What kind of image is Boundless really conveying when it does this? After all, men have been lectured by this organization not to get caught up in worldly ideas of beauty. Yet it has no compunction about using images to reinforce cultural stereotypes about men, stereotypes which arguably cannot be reconciled with a biblical attitude. Would it be excusable to market a book under the heading of avoiding "bimbos" or "loser chicks"? What kind of pictures of socially undesirable woman would one use in an ad for such a book?

Let me also say that I've gotten tired of beautiful, white models with clear complexions and a high degree of facial symmetry being used to represent everyday believers. Do we really need stock photos to reinforce the looks-obsessed norms of our culture? I suspect if I raised these kind of criticisms in another venue, I would be dismissed as "whiner" and a "sissy". So sorry to be a stickler about this, but an outfit that has made a practice of adjuring others to do a little soul-searching could stand to do some itself.

[A draft of this post was written many months ago but never published. I wanted the Boundless staff to have the opportunity to correct their publication, especially since some readers cautioned them about the ads. I, too, brought it to the attention of the staff, though my comments were not posted. However, as of this month, there is an animated GIF banner at the bottom of the main Boundless page which recycles the "bozo" ad.]

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boundless Politicking

I try to shy away from writing about politics on this blog because I choose to focus primarily on men's issues. However, I couldn't hold my peace this evening. Boundless has been recently spewing out a slew of articles exhorting people to be "single-issue" voters. I believe that's code for "You must vote for John McCain." However, the idea that we can selectively pick which issues are important to God, or "vote for the lesser of two evils" is something not supported by the Scriptures (James 2:10; Rom. 3:8). I had an exchange with Alex Chediak about this matter, but he doesn't seem to appreciate where I am coming from. Let me tell you what my beef is with the Religious Right:

1. If a teenager got pregnant and had to face some difficult choices, they would tell her to trust God.

2. If a single man had difficulty with sexual temptation and yet could not find a godly woman that would want to date him, they would tell him to trust God.

3. If someone comes up to members of the Religious Right and tells them to stop picking the "lesser of two evils" and vote on principle, suddenly they get all pragmatic and run around like a bunch of Chicken Littles, clucking about how "that other guy will win if we don't do something!" Umm, what was that part about trusting, again?

As it is, some Evangelicals are really not "pro-life" because they supported this man who is a flaming liberal on social issues. Why did they support him? Because he supports the War.

I have one question to ask: Why is God beholden to the Religious Right to give them another Republican president? Because the president says he is "pro-life"? You know, I read my Bible, and I think the Israelites thought they were safe because they had the temple, etc. A few prophets told them they were not safe. God got to a point where he did not accept the worship of Israelites. God did not save the Israelites from the Chaldeans because the Chaldeans were "heathens" and the Israelites were "God's people." Chew on that.

I don't believe those of the Religious Right trust in God. They may trust their religious leaders with the multi-million dollar ministries. They may trust the halls of power and wealth. They may trust in the State and big Daddy government. They may trust in the Flag. They may trust in the military and American Empire. They may trust Neocons to tell the truth about Iraq, though the stories and excuses seem to change from one month to another. They may trust the Department of Homeland Security to only spy on the right people. They may trust the CIA to only torture Muslims they don't like. They may trust in Bailouts and reverse socialism for their pension plans. They may trust in worthless fiat money of the Republicrat economists and think Prov. 20:10 is not applicable to the situation. They may trust in a mercantile economy where the government and wealthy collude for self-serving purposes. They may trust in Red State Fascism. They may hate the Democrats more than they love liberty and justice. They may trust the Republican Party to make good on its promises to achieve victory for the "pro-life" cause .... one day. But trust in God? I'm not seeing it.

The idea that Republicans are the party of life is a ridiculous lie. If you don't believe me, click here and smell the coffee. The Republican Party has been become the party of greed, kleptocracy, lies, tyranny, and death. They are no different from the Democrats in that regard. I will only vote for a Republican when he doesn't act like the rest of them (e.g. Ron Paul). I am probably going to vote for a third-party candidate come Election Day. If there was no one decent on the roster, I would not vote at all.

I am tempted to believe that the Religious Right has it coming to them ... just like the Israelites. I hope God has mercy on them.

[Edit: I forgot to add something. Christians voting for either major party remind me of two groups of people. The people from one group sit immobilized in a polished car without several important pieces of machinery; they frantically move the steering wheel left and right in the hopes that will cause them to inch forward. The people in the other group strap car engines to their backs and stagger around shrieking, "We have the most important part of the car! We have the most important part of the car!" None of the people in these two groups realize the futility of their choices.]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christian Men vs. Anti-Sex Estrogelicalism

I interrupt my normal schedule of postings to bring you this special 2 cents worth. Today I saw a new article at Boundless entitled "When Pigs Fly." It addresses the problem culture has in seeing male sexuality as something coarse and barbaric (hence, the saying "Men are pigs."). The author, Mike Ensley, frames the issue this way:
Folks you'd label as "religious" aren't as glib about the issue, but we still have a hard time acknowledging anything redeemable about male sexuality. Browsing the "men's issues" section of the Christian bookstore, a guy's going to find plenty of input on how to not do all the horrible things that men are often compelled to do.
And what, pray tell, is the result of people freaking out about male sexuality? This ...
But after 10 years being involved with sexual ministry, I've met hundreds of men afflicted with shame over their sexuality, and just as many women living under a deep fear of it.
Yep. Other people have said as much. And the Evangelical Establishment still wonders why so many men these days are not asking Christian ladies out for dates.

Hang on, it gets worse. According to the article, when the author tried to convey a positive message about male sexuality in a class recently, one man expressed dismay. "This is terrible," the man said, "I have two teenage daughters, and I know what boys want to do to them — and I'm not going to let that happen!" When Ensley asked how a woman can give herself unreservedly to a man if she believes the man's desires are disturbing, the irate father responded, "That's exactly what I'm going to tell them [his daughters] men are like." I have to admit that my Disgusted-At-Human-Stupidity Meter went into the red when I saw that statement. It only goes to show that some of the worst enemies of men are other men, even so-called "Christian men."

The demented father described by Ensley represents an extreme instance of religious misandry, but it does make one wonder about the more subtle messages propagated by our religious communities about male sexuality. I have met a lot of women who have grown up in Christian homes that have struck me as being emotionally distant and not really able to show affection or friendliness to men. Indeed, I have had the misfortune of dating a couple of women that fit this bill. Now I think I know what the problem is. They're might be sick in the head. The people who raised them might be even sicker. I'll never know, but it does cause me alarm.

Anyway, I have to give credit to Mr. Ensley for trying to counter the negativity expressed in our churches against male sexuality. His article, however, falls short for me. For instance, he writes, "There are a lot of good reasons men are put together the way we are. I think the best and most important one is women." No. Sorry, pal. I am getting sick and tired of writers who justify the existence of men on the basis of their utility to women. Cut the feminized, hand-wringing appeals for sympathy from your female readers. If they can't deal with the celebration of male horniness in Prov. 5:18-19, then they need to find another religion.

Ensley continues: "Consider that the man is visually oriented, sexually driven and emotionally more simplistic than the female and that that is good for her." Emotionally more simplistic than the female? How about emotionally more stable? Let me suggest that much of the "complexity" one sees in the emotions of some women these days is nothing more than neuroses. The reason these women are such basket cases is because society tells them they can have it all, but reality keeps interfering with their delusions of grandeur.

I'm afraid that Ensley just plays into the old myth that men are inferior beings with simple desires and thoughts. Sorry, again, pal, but it may surprise some people that men are relational, too. Case in point, it has been recently reported in the news that men don't cheat just for the sex. I read this story from another source that additionally noted some people got mad at this revelation because it seemed to be an excuse for the men. How strange that being relationship-starved has traditionally been a perfect excuse for cheating women all these years. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, it's the all too typical shame-n-blame game for men.

Anyway, Ensley writes ...
So is it such a bad thing that a guy is visually stimulated? Seems to me that God had the visual very much in mind when He first sculpted the female form ...

I'd wager God wasn't just thinking about art when He made Eve's body, but when He made her soul, too. Advertising execs are obviously onto the truth that there's something in every woman that longs incessantly to feel beautiful. A woman's soul was made to be sought after and adored, not just her body. Not just her body — meaning it's still true for her body, even while it's more true for her heart.
A woman's body and soul were made to be sought after and adored? Isn't that a nice way of saying that a woman was made to be a self-absorbed, attention queen? Okay, maybe that was too harsh, so sit down and hold the sides of your chairs, folks, because I am going to say something truly novel and shocking: Women are not the center of the universe. Did it ever occur to Ensley and the other "relationship experts" that men like to be admired and appreciated, too? As it is, I have nothing against cherishing women, but I believe they were created to be helpmeets, not idols.

Here's another juicy one from Ensley ...

Guys just need help transcending the physical (not omitting it in an attempt to feel righteous). That's why women are wired so differently; we help each other.

Transcend the physical, eh? If a man transcends beyond what's in a woman's underwear, does she transcend beyond what's in his back pocket?

But wait, Ensley also says ...
I think we all get — to some degree — that a woman inspires a man to venture into deeper realms of relationship.
Did he say deeper realms? Considering what has often befallen men who have dared to open up about their feelings, it doesn't surprise me that some gents have been inspired to either stay in the shallow end of the pool or just stay out of the water altogether.

Bottom line: I'm not impressed. I don't need a simpering, half-hearted apology for my sexuality. Stop damning it with faint praise. I am especially not impressed when I consider that Boundless, who published Ensley's article, has been ground zero for a lot of material that strikes me as being unduly critical of male sexuality. I think it is time to throw the tray of spaghetti against the wall and tell the cooks to stop feeding us "that slop."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spaghetti Riots, Mandatory Fun, and Proles

When it comes to men and relationships, I thought it good to explore something I've observed about human nature. I am certain there is a technical term for it that has escaped my notice, but at any rate, the best way I can illustrate it is by giving a few examples.

Do you love spaghetti? I do. If I didn't, I wouldn't have ordered a plate full of it at the Olive Garden last Sunday after church. I like it the old fashioned way--with a thick sauce and meatballs, preferably with a Greek salad on the side. How could anyone have a revulsion at the sight of spaghetti? Well, a group of men had such a strong revulsion to it, they started a riot in Alcatraz back in the 1950s. What brought them to that point?

What about quail? I never ate it, but the Israelites complained about wanting meat so God gave a lot of quail to them. In Psalms 105:40, this provision is remembered: "They asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven" (NASB). What a blessing from God, right? However, this is what God promised the Israelites before he served up the quail:
"You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, 'Why did we ever leave Egypt?’” (Num. 11:19-20, NASB)
How could something inherently good from God become "loathsome"? Are you puzzled by this? Should you be?

I've heard that the military has something called "mandatory fun." What is it? I believe it consists of planned recreational activities or social outings. I'm certain there is, at the very least, an informal expectation that service members will participate--if they know what is good for their careers. Of course, "mandatory fun" may not always be fun.

Then there is the matter of booze and porn. My religious convictions dictate that I don't indulge in either. But a lot of men do. What if I told you there was an agency that was giving away free booze and porn. Do you think a lot of men would go for it? What if I told you that I described the government as it is portrayed in George Orwell's novel 1984? Yep, keep the proles pacified.

In every instance I described, something that might be ostensibly desirable to a lot of people becomes very undesirable or an insult to one's dignity in a different circumstance. What is the application that I wish to make? What about men and women? What about the complaint that "men won't commit"? The spin doctors keep clucking. Reasons are given, but perhaps there is something that is being overlooked.

Let me submit to you that religious men have their own version of "mandatory fun." It's called the Christian Marriage. As a man of faith, it may seem counterintuitive for me to say that--if not heretical. Marriage is ordained by God. It stands as a blessing, not a curse. Our religious leaders talk about "the joys of the one-flesh relationship." They wax eloquent about the beauty of sexual relations within the context of marriage. They insist that men have much to gain by seeking out a wife. They remind us of Prov. 18:22 and the maxim that "two are better than one." They quote the praises of matrimony penned by Tertullian, Luther, and others. No argument with the goodness of human love, but people are missing the point.

For some men, all the talk about the kind of love a godly woman can give them does not connect with their day-to-day reality. It does not inspire them. It only annoys and angers them. If women cannot understand this, then they need to reflect on their own experiences. What if a husband only showed affection and concern to his wife when he wanted sex? How would most women see his sexual advances after a while? Wasn't there a religious book that exclaimed that "sex begins in the kitchen"?

I think the problem is that society has forgotten that men are human beings. Like women, we have a complex psychological makeup. You can tell some men how great marriage is. Yes, you can even point to some personal examples of happy marriages. So what? In the end, you'd probably drive away the very people you are attempting to reach with such talk. Why? Because some men know deep down inside that they are really not free.

Men are dehumanized slaves in a societal structure that doesn't care about them. They have become the "disposable sex" in the Age of Postfeminism. In our churches, a man is treated like a boorish creature with base desires, or forced to sit castrated without any real dreams and hopes. In his workplace, he is treated like a machine with no human needs--always regarded as being replaceable by some upgrade. In his family, he is treated pretty much the same way. He is regarded by his spouse as a retirement plan, a necessary evil, a nuisance, "that guy" who is the father of her children, a household pet to be replaced if his company becomes too unbearable.

Women will talk about how they want a "real man." The problem is that they often don't allow men to be just that--real. I say "real" as opposed to some plastic ideal from a romance novel. Even with Christian women, a man may find that his religious sisters espouse some grandiose view of "biblical manhood" or "male leadership" that really has nothing do with what God expects of his children. The vision of manhood entertained by many women is nothing but a burdensome pile of expectations that denies a man the right to grow, to have personality quirks, to be uncertain, to make mistakes, to show weakness, to show vulnerability, to show brokenness--in short, to be human. Men already have to put on the mask Monday through Friday at their workplaces, Saturday when they go out to public gatherings, and on Sunday at the big, posh, lukewarm institutional churches. Why do we kid ourselves in thinking they want to wear the mask for anyone waiting at home?

Let me get to the point. If you are woman and if you are beautiful, intelligent, personable, affectionate, caring, spiritual, and "just the kind of person for so-and-so", it still may not matter. For an increasing number of men, you may not be taken as a promise of a better life for them, but as a reminder of their oppression. Yes, it's irrational, but then so is rejecting the sexual advances of your husband, per se. It's all a matter of the surrounding context when considering how an experience will be viewed by someone.

I haven't sworn off women, but I understand why some men are doing so. I don't write them off as crazy. I've never read the book Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, but I think I now know why I might agree with most of what the book says and yet a feel a subdued urge to hurl the book across the room. Like I said, it's all a matter of the surrounding context. If we want men to engage the traditional marks of a fulfilled life--marriage and family, then we need to deal with the surrounding issues that are causing them to turn their backs on these promises of blessing. Sermons about the joys of home and hearth may be factually correct, but they don't cut it anymore.

[Edit: The human trait I described in this piece may be a reflection of God's own nature (Isaiah 1:10-15; Amos 5:21-24). Perhaps some religious leaders need to take away the "noise" of their praises to marriage.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Marriage Essential for Whom, Vox?

By way of Vox Day, I found this article about the joys of being militantly single -- from a man's point of view. Indeed, a rare find, considering that the MSM is so slanted toward the perspective of women. I think it is telling that the conversation about men shunning marriage has moved beyond the chatter of blogs and forums run by anonymous, cranky, internet bachelors. It's an eye opening development and it makes me wonder how the Establishment will continue to respond to this emerging social trend.

Vox Day's response to the article is interesting. He maintains, like me, that if you are not a religious man, there is no point in getting married. But he goes on to say the following:
If, however, one possesses moral restrictions on one's behavior due to one's religious faith or philosophical principles, or believes in the importance of continuing human society, then marriage is essential ... Marital faithfulness is not equivalent to female dominance of the marital relationship; if that's the case, it's a diseased marriage of the very sort that the writer is rightly determined to avoid. A happy marriage is one that caters to the needs of both parties, which usually means adhering more or less to the traditional model.
A few observations about Vox's statement ...

1. Why is marriage essential because I have "moral restrictions" due to my "religious faith"? What are we talking about here? (1) Don't have sex until you're married, or (2) If you have a sex drive, you must get married. The Bible affirms the first statement, not the second. There is nothing in the Scriptures that says a Christian man has to get married, not even if he is a typical, red-blooded male (as this author considers himself to be).

2. What about continuing human society? Which society do we have in mind? I daresay any society that makes being happily married a goal that is largely unattainable for men or engages in other forms of misandry is a society that has decided that it doesn't want to be continued. It has committed suicide. Asking men to continue something that exploits them is like asking African Americans to continue using public transportation in a Southern city that practices segregation (think Montgomery Bus Boycott).

3. Vox talks about a happy marriage that is not about "female dominance" but "caters to the needs of both parties." So which kind of marriages does our society promote more often that not? I don't condone gambling, but I'll ask by way of analogy: Should a man play in a casino that has a bad reputation of being heavily titled in favor of the house? That's the million dollar question.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Book Announcement

This is an announcement that the book Rethinking "Getting Serious about Getting Married" : A Biblical Response to Debbie Maken's Book and to the Assault on Unmarried Men by Religious Leaders is now available at Lulu.com.

For those of you who don't know what the fuss is about, here is an excerpt from the preface of the book:
What you have before you is a critical review of Debbie Maken's book, Getting Serious about Getting Married. Why this review and why the big deal? Simple. Many changes that have taken place over the last several decades have impacted the way men relate to women and have impacted any prospects men have of being happily married. As a man, I am concerned about the fallout of these changes and what they mean for men of today and men of tomorrow. It is true that Mrs. Maken's book is primarily directed towards a female audience, but unfortunately most of her ire is aimed at men. I believe that she has become the poster girl for those voices in our churches who want to tar and feather men for the difficulty women now face in getting married. The circulation and popularity of her book merely reinforces my suspicion that the gynocentrism and misandry of the larger culture has found its way even among Evangelicals. I fear that if enough people buy into Mrs. Maken's message, the religious prejudice now directed at single men will only intensify. That is why I refuse to be silent.
The book is more than a critique of Mrs. Maken's work, however. It is also an answer to the anti-male treatment that religious men have been experiencing at the hands of religious pundits.

As some of you may recall, a critique of Debbie Maken's book was posted at the Scripturally Single blog in sixteen installments about two years ago. The original intent to make the critique available in book format has finally, if not belatedly, been realized. The book will retail at Lulu.com for about seven to eight dollars, but downloads are available for free. The price you pay for the book is essentially for some glossy thing that you can cuddle up to with your overpriced latte. The author is not making much, if anything. He will probably get less than a dollar a book when it hits Amazon.com and probably nothing if ordered from Lulu, or vice versa. The basic intent in making it available through the big distributors is to let a wider audience know how some people stand on the issues.

Take care.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Taking A Tiki Torch to the Culture War Facade

Hawaiian Libertarian takes a tiki torch to the whole political squabble about marriage, in which the Republicrats attempt to make more of a distinction amongst themselves than there really is. It's a must read, because it exposes the whole "marriage debate" as a distraction from focusing on the real problem--the government.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

PC Throws the Gauntlet Down on Al Mohler

If you haven't noticed already, Puritan Calvinist has penned an open letter to Albert Mohler. Yeah, yeah, it was published last month but I still love it. It's simply devastating to Mr. Mohler's cultural gospel of marriage and babies. The Marriage Mandate Movement is once again exposed for what it is. What I find especially telling is PC's observation that many conservative Bible scholars do not agree one whit with the exegesis of the Marriage Mandate crowd.

I'm probably going to add a link to PC's article in my Biblical Manhood Library page when I get a chance.

(It will be interesting to see whether or not Mohler responds to PC. I'm not holding my breath, though.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Be Fruitful and Multiply" (What It Really Means)

Puritan Calvinist has a timely, thought-provoking piece about how the "be fruitful and multiply" crowd abuse Gen. 1:28. A good read considering so many make an unscriptural idol out of childbearing and have Pharisaical attitudes towards married people who choose to not have children.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Stupid Book

Steve Watters at Boundless writes:

Have you seen the book Guyland by Michael Kimmel? I just picked up a copy and started reading it. Kimmel is a professor of sociology at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He's far afield from typical Boundless writers -- in fact Gloria Steinem is one of his book endorsers -- but it appears he has written a valuable book.

Well, Steve, when one is in the habit of bashing men, it does make for strange bedfellows, doesn't it? My take? A culture that steadfastly refuses to address the immaturity of women has no moral authority to address the immaturity of men. That is how I can say this book is stupid without even reading it.

Read more about the Stupid Book here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Problem with Sarah Palin

I take great interest in Albert Mohler's latest piece about Sarah Palin, the woman who was the former "Miss Wasilla" and now is our newest VP hopeful. There is no doubt that she has captured the hearts and minds of many religious conservatives. To be frank, I suppose this what many religious Republican men see when they look at Sarah Palin. The newest bombshell of the Religious Right does nothing for me, however.

Ostensibly religious, conservative women are not necessarily a boon for men, the church, our government, or society . Do we forget Debbie Maken and her marriage mandate sisters? Do we forget Palin's remarks about glass ceilings or the fact that she calls herself a "feminist"? My problems with Sarah Palin are essentially as follows:

1. Now that she has an infant to take care of, why is Sarah taking up a office that will most assuredly demand a lot of her time? Quite frankly, I think a lot of religious pundits are giving her a special pass that they wouldn't give to the rest us down lower on the social food chain. Consider Albert Mohler's statement:

Well, I would be even more concerned now. Do I believe that a woman can serve well in the office of Vice President of the United States? Yes. As a matter of fact, I believe that a woman could serve well as President -- and one day will. Portraits of significant men of history hang on the walls of my library --but so do portraits of Queen Elizabeth I of England and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The New Testament clearly speaks to the complementary roles of men and women in the home and in the church, but not in roles of public responsibility. I believe that women as CEOs in the business world and as officials in government are no affront to Scripture. Then again, that presupposes that women -- and men -- have first fulfilled their responsibilities within the little commonwealth of the family.

Isn't that just dandy? Al Mohler has no problem with women infiltrating spheres of responsibility traditionally reserved for men. I suppose he wouldn't be too upset if Sarah Palin made more money than her husband, either. But what about the rest of us? Quite frankly, I think this blog post says enough about the hypocritical Special Dispensation of grace bestowed by the pontiffs of the American Neocon Church when it comes to "family values."

2. My biggest beef: I believe Sarah Palin is a neocon. She is not the friend of libertarians, minarchists, or paleoconservatives. She can talk all she wants to about "small government" but if she really believed in it, she would not be supporting John McCain. I think Stephen Carson is correct in referring to her as a "stalking horse."

Bottom line: Palin serves to make sure the gullible are mollified and that nothing will change.

Update: Check out EW's post for more of why men should be concerned about Palin.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joe Biden (uggghhh ....)

Many of us already know the story on old Joe, but if you don't, read here. A man voting for Joe Biden is like a minority vote for David Duke.

Update: Here's another article worth looking at on the same problem.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My View of Women - A Disclaimer

In light of the kind of feedback I have received from readers over the past few years, I think it is apropos to offer my disclaimer on my views on women. It may come as a shock to my regular readers and foes alike that there are some views that I don't hold about women:

1. I don't believe in limiting myself to courting supermodels, exceptionally attractive women, and the such like.

2. I don't believe that if I am a lazy slob with a poor physique, poor hygiene, poor earning potential, and poor social skills that I should expect to win the affections of women with a higher social status than me.

3. I don't believe that women have to make me happy, always agree with me, or just tell me what I want to hear, not even as a condition for being my wife.

4. I don't believe that I am entitled to love and physical intimacy of any woman unless she freely gives it to me by the vow of marriage.

5. I don't believe husbands have the right to be inconsiderate and unresponsive to their wives' concerns.

6. I don't believe that any woman has to get married and/or have children in order to be complete.

7. I don't believe it's necessarily a sin for women to work outside the home or even to have a prestigious career.

8. I don't believe in paying someone less or turning them down for a secular job simply because they are female.

9. I don't believe in taking away a woman's right to vote or hold public office (unless we want to do the same for men as well).

10. I don't believe that women are necessarily less logical than men.

11. I don't believe that women are necessarily less intelligent or competent than men.

12. I don't believe that woman are necessarily less virtuous than men.

13. I don't believe that women are necessarily less spiritual than men.

14. I don't believe that women have less intrinsic worth than men.

15. I don't believe in treating the female body as a commodity for media (e.g., the advertising industry).

16. I don't believe in leering at women and/or making sexually suggestive comments about their bodies.

17. I don't believe in a work environment where women are expected to act out in a sexual manner in order to please clients, co-workers, or the boss.

18. I don't believe in making any sexual advances towards a woman unless I'm married to her.

19. I don't believe in supporting the sex industry.

20. I don't believe any woman deserves to get raped or sexually assaulted, not even by her husband.

21. I don't believe any kind of physical or psychological abuse against women is acceptable or even a trivial matter.

22. I don't believe government has an inherent right to tell women what to do with their reproductive organs.

23. I don't believe past generations necessarily hold the secret to resolving the problems that face men and women today.

Now the bad news:

I still believe the Bible delegates the oversight of the local church and the home to men. I still believe that only men are allowed to teach in the worship assemblies of churches. I still think churches have sold out to woman-firsterism. I still believe that anti-male sexism is serious problem in our society (including government's tyranny against men and the demonization of male heterosexuality by leftists and rightists alike). I still believe that marriage has become a liability for men. I still believe men don't need women to the degree that many people think. I still believe that many women are not marriage material and that many of them are single to due their demeaning attitudes towards men and their arrogant sense of entitlement. I still believe many women have succumbed to Nanny-Statism. I still believe that society panders to the worst in women. I still believe feminism is evil. I still believe that abortion is murder and should be outlawed. I still believe in speaking my views about these matters unapologetically. In essence, I ask you to think before you pigeonhole me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Marriage Makes Men Healthier ... Not.

Another myth about the so-called "benefits of marriage" for men bites the dust. Click here for the smoking gun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Raging, Indoctrinated Feminist

Well, that's what she calls herself, anyway. She has found my blog via this post. Of course, she couldn't let it go--she offered her own commentary on her LiveJournal space (which, like many feminist blogs, does not have a very open commenting policy). Let's look at some of the things she said. My original comments are posted, followed by her replies, and then by my rejoinders.

I said: If you are woman, and if you want both genders to be treated with equal dignity in our society, then stop calling yourself a "feminist".

The feminist: "Yeah, because obviously this guy is the sole and final authority on what feminism is and isn't."

My reply: Are feminists the sole and final authority on determining what equality is?
I said: Feminism is best defined as a political ideology that concerns itself with the advancement of women. Period. Nothing else.

The feminist: "Wait. Is there something wrong with the advancement of women? Did I miss something here?"

My reply: Yes, in fact, you did miss something (or rather, you left it out--conveniently). It's the next couple of sentences in the paragraph you quoted. I actually said: "Yet, even in defining the word, we must take into consideration how feminism is widely practiced. All too often, feminism promotes women at the expense of other human beings (men and children). Inasmuch as feminists have repeatedly failed to rectify this situation, they no longer deserve any modicum of respect."

Puts a different spin on my words, doesn't it? But, alas, I am not surprised to find myself misrepresented by a feminist.
I said: I put feminism on the same level as child pornography.

The feminist: "Hey, I always said that believing that women are people to is exactly the same thing as sexually abusing children!"

My reply: Actually, if you substitute the word "men" for "women" in your sentence, I think you might have an apt description of how feminists feel about men. Anyway, the feminist once again left off the context of my original statement, which reads: "I put feminism on the same level as child pornography. Are you taken aback at that statement? Ask yourself this: Is the murder of innocent children better than the sexual abuse of them? Feminism is most assuredly responsible for the death of millions of babies. Not only that, it is also responsible for creating a debased culture where men and boys are routinely and systematically dehumanized."

Of course, the feminist exclaims that she won't "dignify" my statement. I wonder if she dignifies this t-shirt (which, of course, dignifies this). Ah, yes, feminism. The radical notion that "women are people" ... unless they are still in their mothers' wombs. I guess the sex-selective abortions that occur in third-world countries must cause the feminists no small amount of grief. Because the babies are human? No. Because they are female. So, gender trumps the humanity of a person, right? But wait, I thought feminism was about remedying that!
I said: The moment you call yourself a feminist is the moment I have stopped taking you seriously. Why? Because you have never taken seriously the concerns of men.

The feminist: "I keep forgetting, it's the duty of feminists to put aside their trivial concerns about the welfare of women and see to men's needs. Silly me!"

My reply: I am not surprised at your response. The priceless logic of the quintessential feminist: "Why should I take the concerns of men seriously? They're the oppressors! Oh, by the way, women's issues are everyone's issues! Men can benefit from feminism! Why don't they take us more seriously?!"


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Estrogelical Glossary (Humor)

Dear Bible-Believing Man,

Whenever you visit the websites of religious "relationship experts" and other such pundits, do you feel a disconnect between what you affirm and what they affirm? Are you confused by what they say, given that they claim to speak for believers such as yourself? Never fear! Your days of frustration are over! I hereby present the Estrogelical Glossary, a handy guide to the lingo others use when talking about "biblical manhood."


accountability (n): (1) A church ministry designed to assist men in overcoming their sexuality. (2) A similar ministry designed to help people that might otherwise think for themselves.

beauty (n): (1) A quality that man are commanded by the church to see only internally in women. (2) A quality women see only externally with each other.

biblical (adj): Traditional.

call (v): To demand another believer do something (Note: Always used in the passive voice as an auxiliary verb - e.g., "Men are called to be providers" as opposed to "I call men to be providers.").

(n): (1) A plurality of small human beings that are an unqualified blessing between a minimum quantity of two and a maximum quantity of whatever number a religious pundit feels like siring himself. (2) A fashion accessory for Christian women.

Christian: (1) (adj) Culturally reactionary. (2) (n) One who agrees with the theology of the lecturers for T4G.

church (n): (1) A building with a beautiful, commodious auditorium. (2) A civic club that uses hymn books (not to be confused with a local fellowship of believers who have all things in common and bear one another's burdens).

conservative (adj): Fashionably authoritarian.

counter-cultural (adj): A quality ascribed to customs and traditions in order to present them as being biblical and trendy, when in fact, they are neither.

courtship (n): (euphemism) (see dating)

dating (n): Something between lust and fornication. (see also courtship)

defraud (v): The act of just wanting to be friends with a woman.

discernment (n): The degree of scrupulosity bound on others that one is willing to personally adopt himself.

DTR (n): Short for "defining the relationship" (also "dudes tolerating rejection").

family: (1) (n) A mother, father, and two or more children (contrast with a widow and two children, a couple with one child, etc.). (2) (n) The "basic unit of society," contrasted with single people who are not a part of society. (3) (adj) Religiously conservative ("family values," "family bookstore," or "family activities").

feel (v): The female alternative to knowing.

husbands (n): A male indentured servant.

initiate (v): Exercising the prerogative of doing something constructive or meaningful about a relationship (e.g., "Real men initiate and women don’t!").

intentional (n): Purposefully compliant.

leadership (n): (1) The act of making decisions that are a part of adulthood but are not particularly pleasant ("Men are called to leadership, not women!"). (2) A collectivity of religious individuals who "lead" primarily in ways other than by example ("Trust your leadership in your church!").

lust (n): Showing even the slightest bit of heterosexual interest in the opposite sex, chiefly when men are interested in women.

man (n): A recovering pervert.

manly (adj.) : Acting like a jock, but religious.

marriage (n): Church-approved relationship wherein women exchange sex for financial support, not to be confused with prostitution, a practice that is sinful and demeaning to women.

mature (adj): Thoroughly indoctrinated.

ministry (n): An enterprise which involves dispensing platitudes, dictums, and non-expertise for profit.

morality (n): Responsible and ethical behavior regarded solely in terms of sexuality.

pastor (n): (euphemism) (see preacher)

pornography (n): A type of media that presents an unrealistic and demeaning view of the opposite sex (not to be confused with romance novels and anything relationship experts write about men).

preacher (n): A person in the habit of complaining about other believers who nonetheless gets paid for it.

protector (n): A man who engages in stereotypically masculine acts of aggressiveness and stoicism, even though the woman in his company is most likely not in immediate danger of anything substantive.

provider (n): The one who makes the larger paycheck ("Women are not called to be providers for their families because they are not supposed to provide anything!").

purity (n): Restraint from all indications of being heterosexual prior to marriage.

real men (n): Men who comply with one's demands.

self: (n): One's welfare (always to be denied for the sake of others who have a low opinion of it).

sex (n): A reward dispensed to a male pet who obeys his owner.

sin (n) (1) Archaic: A transgression of God's law. (2) Doing whatever a religious writer doesn't like.

singleness (n): The status of being alone and lonely--a tragedy for women, but a sin for men.

submit (v): The graciousness of a woman shown in her acceptance of whatever preferential treatment a man gives her.

wife (n): A career woman with a retirement plan.

woman (n): A asexual, angelic being who likes children and money.

worldview (n): A coherent system of wrong-headed ideas ("We need to develop a worldview to counter that of our secular culture.").

worldly (adj) (synonym for secular): Akin to whatever non-religious people embrace, whether it makes perfect sense or not.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Elusive Wapiti on Men as Providers

Last week, I came across a wonderful post by Elusive Wapiti on his blog. The piece, "Providing His Way Into Oblivion" is a much needed corrective to the mind-numbing insistence that so many religious leaders have in presenting manhood primarily in terms of economic potential (i.e., men as walking ATMs). But there's another post on the same subject by Elusive Wapiti that I treasure just as much, if not more: "The Church's Own Teachings Create Broken Homes." It's one of those articles that I feel a burden on my heart to write but am glad when somebody does it for me. I am certainly adding it to the "Biblical Manhood Library." I'm also adding EW to my blogroll under the "Notable Kindred" category (religious, against male-bashing and against statism).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Al Mohler Says Husbands Must Earn Sex

Boundless is proceeding with their series of reprints of older articles at their website. The current one posted is entitled "The Seduction of Pornography" by Albert Mohler. I have just got done reviewing the previous article in Boundless' series of reprints ("Physical Intimacy and the Single Man" by Matt Schmucker). You might want to read it, if you have not already done so. Like Schmucker's article, Mohler's piece turned me off when I first came across it. So, now that Boundless has chosen to reprint it, I am taking the opportunity to say my piece about it.

Mohler does a fine job of restating the obvious about the spiritual ills of pornography, but he gets derailed when he presents a feminized, Estrogelical, pseudo-Christian view of male sexuality:
Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed. As the Apostle Paul states, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other. At the same time, Paul instructed men to love their wives even as Christ has loved the church. Even as wives are commanded to submit to the authority of their husbands, the husband is called to a far higher standard of Christ-like love and devotion toward the wife ...

Put most bluntly, I believe that God means for a man to be civilized, directed and stimulated toward marital faithfulness by the fact that his wife will freely give herself to him sexually only when he presents himself as worthy of her attention and desire.
Sorry, Mr. Mohler, but you are dead wrong. Yes, a man is called by God to love his wife and be emotionally attentive to her needs (not necessarily her wants, though). But that is because God expects such of men regardless of the situation (Col. 3:19). It is not because a man has to earn sex from his wife. There is no earning anything that God commands to be given freely. Consider two Scriptures that are relevant to this discussion:
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Cor. 7:4) (NASB)

For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake,
but woman for the man’s sake. (1 Cor. 11:8-9) (NASB)
Given that a husband has authority over the woman, who was made for his sake, all this talk about earning sexual access from the woman is nonsense. Just as the man is suppose to love his wife for better or for worse, so the women is to do the same for her husband. She is to be a good wife and be attentive to his sexuality, regardless of how he acts as a husband.

At any rate, I take special interest in Mohler's description of a stereotypical man involved in pornography:
"This man lives alone, or at least in a context other than holy marriage ..."

"This man need not be concerned with his physical appearance, his personal hygiene or his moral character in the eyes of a wife. Without this structure and accountability, he is free to take his sexual pleasure without regard for his unshaved face, his slothfulness, his halitosis, his body odor and his physical appearance. He faces no requirement of personal respect, and no eyes gaze upon him in order to evaluate the seriousness and worthiness of his sexual desire."
Dear readers, I want you to think about the subtext of what Mr. Mohler is saying. You see, it sounds a lot like what Debbie Maken said a while ago:
"I have no sympathy for those pushing churches to cater to the unregenerate man as a way of drawing him in. The fact that a beer guzzling, Nascar watching, porn-viewing, minimum-wage earning loser thinks that church is not for him; well, he is right."
Don't you love the stereotypes that these pundits like to push about men caught up in the sin of pornography? Porn users are supposedly just a bunch of single loser guys that watch NASCAR, have facial hair (gasp!), halitosis, and aren't physically attractive to women. Boy, you can just feel the compassion for sinners oozing from the pens of Maken and Mohler. Heaven forbid that a porn user just might be the clean-cut guy who makes a lot of money, who is a married pastor of a big church, or is appealing to women. Obviously, an oh-so-successful guy doesn't use porn. He justs commits fornication and adultery with his female admirers. That's all.

But seriously, given that facial hair, halitosis, being single, being physically unappealing to women, etc. could just as easily describe a man faithful to God as it could a lonely porn user, I think we need to look at the implicit male-bashing in the narratives of Mohler and his ilk. I think someone people need to get one thing straight: Sexual purity for men is not about pleasing women or "saving one's self for marriage" ... it's about pleasing God (Matthew 5:8).

One final matter. I find Mr. Mohler's rhetoric to be downright corny and counterproductive. For instance this paragraph is over the top:
Pornography is a slander against the goodness of God's creation and a corruption of this good gift God has given his creatures out of his own self-giving love. To abuse this gift is to weaken, not only the institution of marriage, but the fabric of civilization itself. To choose lust over love is to debase humanity and to worship the false god Priapus in the most brazen form of modern idolatry.
Hoo-boy! How many of you opened up another tab to look up Priapus in Wikipedia? I thought disbelief, bigotry, greed, materialism, violence, pride, hatred, lust for power, adultery, envy, lying, stealing, drunkenness, slander, and murder were real bad but "porn use" is the biggie of the all!! The fabric of civilization is unraveling because of Pamela Anderson! Give me a break. The grandstanding by so many religious conservatives about sexual sins only serves to make other sins look less destructive than they really are.

Moreoever, while Mohler and company wax eloquent about the scourge of pornography, the real 300-pound gorilla in the room goes undiscussed. I've touched on it before: Sexual sin in men is connected with the idolatry of the feminine in this society. If men want to be free from sexual sin, then they have to place intimacy with women in proper context. It's not the most important thing or even a necessary thing. But I doubt Mohler will ever say that. After all, he has sided with Maken in adopting Marriage Mandate theology. He believes most men cannot do without women and that they have a duty to marry (a position that contradicts plain teachings of the Bible such as 1 Cor. 7:17-38). So I have to wonder: Do religious pundits get mad because sexual sin represents an affront to God ... or because it just represents an affront to the sex cartel that society places over men?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Defrauding Women and Other Doozies

Boundless has recently reprinted some articles that, in the minds of the Editor(s), represent some of the best writing that the website has to offer. What is the basic theme of the recent crop of offerings? Sex. Not surprising to me. If there is anything that the prude and the lewd have in common, it is their obsession with sex. The current article featured at Boundless, "Physical Intimacy and the Single Man" (by Matt Schmucker), is no exception in this regard. I came across this article before on the Boundless website. I had a low opinion of it at the time that I first read it and have a low opinion of it now, but I am glad it has been reprinted if only to give me the opportunity to expose it for what it is.

I grant that the article contains some relevant Biblical truths about purity. Men should avoid sexual behavior with women outside the marriage bond. They need to also get away from any compromising situations and guard their minds against impure thoughts. However, I must ask a question: How much rat poison would you accept in a bag of corn meal? A half cup? A tablespoon? A teaspoon? A dash? I ask this, because what makes Mr. Schmucker's article so destructive is that it is Biblical teaching laced with Phariseeism and misandry.

For starters, the article opens with questions. Loaded questions, that is:
  • Do you think it would be acceptable or unacceptable for me, a married man, to have sex with a woman who is not my wife?
  • Do you think it would be acceptable or unacceptable for me to kiss, caress, and fondle a woman who is not my wife (something short of intercourse)?
  • Do you think it would be acceptable or unacceptable for me to have a meal with a woman not my wife and engage in extended conversation about each other's lives (likes/dislikes/struggles/pasts)?

If you answered "unacceptable" to three out of the three, or even two out of the three questions — "yes, it would be unacceptable for you as a married man to do those things" — I want to suggest that a double standard may exist in your mind. Many people who answer "unacceptable" with regard to me, as a married man, would not say "unacceptable" for the single man.

I have a few questions for Mr. Schmucker:

1) What if the woman you are having an extended conversation with happens to be a female relative? Why should we necessarily view all female-male relationships through the sexual lens?

2) If a single man has an extended conversation with a single woman, is he engaging in something dishonorable as you seem to suggest? If he cannot do this, is he supposed to be basically in the dark about any woman that comes into his life up until the time he marries?

3) Or if a single man can have a extended conversation with a woman that he has the intention of marrying, can he also have sex with her under these circumstances? If not, then why put extended conversations in the same boat as sexual behavior?

3) Would it be acceptable for you as a married man to pursue any kind of an amorous relationship with a woman not your wife? Could you, a married man, pursue courtship Josh Harris style or Candice Watters style with someone not your wife? If a single man's case is truly parallel to yours, isn't everything off limits?

In short, Mr. Schmucker's logic is downright asinine. Affirming that God's expectations for single men are different from those for married men is not a double-standard, friends. It's reality. Anyway, Mr. Schmucker continues:
Now to the male reader who says, "Lying with a prostitute is a black-and-white issue, and of course I would never do that," allow me to reply: You are missing the point. Being bought at a price by God should compel you to honor him with everything you have and with everything you are, including your body.
That's a good principle. But here's another principle:
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
That comes from Col. 2:20-23 (NASB). That applies just as much to the man-made casuistic theology of modern religious pundits as it did the Judaizers of Jesus' and Paul's time. Anyway, Mr. Schmucker goes on in his article to talk about men defrauding women. What is is his proof-text? 1 Thess. 4:3-6 ...
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.
Ok, what am I missing here? Because I don't see anything in that passage about women. I'm pretty certain it refers to sleeping with another man's wife! And what pray tell, is the point that Mr. Schmucker attempts to make? Well, he says:
What do I mean by defrauding in this context? Simply put, a man defrauds a woman when, by his words or actions, he promises the benefits of marriage to a woman he either has no intention of marrying or if he does, has no way of finally knowing that he will ...

What may be considered innocent — holding hands, putting an arm around her in the pew, some "light" kissing, long talks over Starbucks coffee — all send the message to a sister that reads, "You're mine." Single men must be careful here.
This presents me with an opportunity to torpedo yet another lousy idea being floated by self-canonized relationship experts in the Evangelical blogosphere. Somehow we are to believe that if a man gets too cozy with a woman, he is essentially promising marriage to her. Such is the idea behind the charge that men are "defrauding" women. Nice theory ... if it weren't so full of baloney.

Too many times in this culture, we have panderers that validate the feelings of women over the facts. The fact is that if a man has not promised something to a woman, her reading her own wishful thinking into his behavior does not change his "no" into a "yes". People, we would not tolerate this nonsense if the roles were reversed. If a man said, "She lead me on," we would shriek at him, "No means no! Jerk!" But somehow verbal communication doesn't mean anything when ladies get their precious little hearts broken. Give. Me. A. Break. If a woman is too stupid to have open communication with her male significant other about what behavior is appropriate and what that behavior implies, she doesn't deserve to get married. If she reads more into a man's behavior than what he has promised, then the only fraud that has been committed is that of her own self-deception. Heartbreaks are a fact of life for either sex, so let's stop automatically blaming men when relationships go sour.

Another concern comes to mind as I read Mr. Schmucker's remarks: Does anyone really expect me, as an educated Christian man, to believe that holding hands sends the same instrinsic message as heavy petting? I haven't seen too many married folks on Sunday morning engaging in heavy petting in pews, but I have seen them holding hands or throwing arms around the backs of each other. Maybe the elders at Mr. Schmucker's church should come out strong against married people showing such inordinate displays of public affection!

I will finish my review of Mr. Schmucker's with this quote of his:

We do not want a brother standing at the altar on his wedding day looking at his beautiful bride only to imagine behind her the boys and men who took advantage of her and robbed her of the trust and confidence that she now needs for her husband. We do not want a sister standing at the altar on her wedding day looking at her handsome groom only to imagine behind him a string of relationships with girls and women he failed to honor, and knowing that images in his head from pornography use and past flings may stick with him for a long time.

Ah yes, it's the man who commits the sexual sin in both cases, isn't it? Did you pick up on that? I did, and I'm getting tired of the insinuation that men are wolves and women are Little Red Riding Hoods. Okay, boys and girls, repeat after me ... slowly now ... It. Takes. Two. To. Tango. Tell our fine Christian ladies to stop chasing pretty boy thugs and keep their pants zipped if they don't want to get "defrauded" (boo-hoo).

P.S. Somebody should inform the person in charge of graphics at Boundless that having a picture of a well-muscled man with his shirt wide open in an article about purity is in extremely poor taste.