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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hey, Motte

Yes, Motte Brown. This is an open blog post to you. I dunno if Ted is going to alert you to this post. I'm certain he's watching the referral reports in Typepad to see who's linking back to the Boundless blog. So, if you are reading this, here it goes ...

What gives Motte? First it was "Responding Like Men, Not Boys." Then it was "Real Men Initiate." Then it was the "Headship" post where we were informed that men are responsible for everything that goes wrong with the little woman. Then another jab at the guys ("True. But woman is only the arbiter of life if first the man leads her down the path of fornication."). And now, one more. (Motte, pray tell, what does mutual aid from a friend have to do with "adultescence"? How did married people ever survive for centuries without the government entitlements, handouts, and other preferential "benefits" that you think are so sacrosanct and belong only to them? And that bit about "especially for guys" at the end? Well ...)

Motte, what's with the man bashing? It kinda' reminds me of the fellow who makes a few cracks about his friends when the ladies show up at the dinner table. A lot of blokes do it. But it's gotten old, my friend. The brotherhood is not amused anymore. Any other man in your shoes would have gotten a swirlie or a blanket party by now.

You and Steve Watters never let up. Steve posts a piece about "child-men" but where's the piece about "freemales"? Hmmm? Yeah, I didn't think so. It's too typical of where Boundless is at. So, what impression do you think you leave with the guys, Motte? Do you want to be known as the Dr. Phil of the Evangelical blogosphere? Do you and your cohorts want Boundless to be equated with Lifetime, WE, or Oxygen? Read this piece by Paul Coughlin, Motte and think about what I'm saying. The guys don't want to blackball you, Steve, or Ted from the fishing trip, but things are looking dicey right now.

Now on a more serious note: You may think the writers at Boundless are upholding the Word of God and what it has to say about manhood. But really, I am convinced that you guys need to rethink some of your assumptions. Ponder on these things.

57 comments:

singlextianman said...

Hey, Ted, this is Charles, singlextianman. You know how to find me if you need to, so do spare me any talk about anonymity.

I've just reset my 'blog password so I could tell you what it used to be -- from its creation it was "blessslater" - one word, no caps. I've also spent time in prayer for you, my younger brother. It's wasn't smarmy "God, straighten out his act" stuff; I actually prayed daily for you slightly over a month for your blessing and help from God in your work.

... Do ponder the biblical significance of why I would feel the need to use such a password, or do such things for you. Or why, as an ernest believing dad, I would have to advise my son to ignore some of the things that have been posted there at boundless.

And then expand your range of "hearing" to include what is being said. At least look past the sound of injury, if that is what you hear, and hear the "heart" of what is being said.

If you feel the need to reprove me for this response posted here, I'll receive reproof from you in these kinds of venues after you do something for me like what i did for you. Then you will have a little more standing.

I acknowledge all the good that you do. I do. God's blessing on your good works. From this day forward I will pray daily for you until the end of this year. And I do not say these things lightly, and I do follow through on them since I think God notices when we do not follow through on promises like this.

We here in Sardis are trying to replicate ourselves -- thinking, believing, praying, ernest single Christian men - as best we can. We could use help that is helpful. It's hard enough to swim upstream without the fellowship - of the virtual or physical presence type - being a burden because of bad ideas.

Amir Larijani said...

I agree with Anakin on this one.

When Boundless gets it right, they are in the x-ring. When they get it wrong, they completely missed the range.

Their "blame-the-man-for-every-evil" approach is the prime culprit here.

For the most part, Boundless folks are generally middle-of-the-road. We certainly don't expect Ted and Motte and Tom and Steve and Denise and Heather and Candice to wake up one day and sing the glories of Coughlin.

On the other hand, they could rethink their "feminism wouldn't exist if the men were godly enough" mindset.

Joseph was quite godly, but that didn't stop Potiphar's wife from attempting to get him in bed, and--when he refused--frame him for attempted rape.

Moreover, Solomon warns--throughout the book of Proverbs--about discerning the schemes of the adulteress, avoiding her at all costs.

Sounds like there is ample precedent for a woman who leads man into sin, just as there are men--Judah, David, Absalom, Solomon--whose own sex scandals are on display in Scripture.

All we want here is the same level of balance.

wombatty said...

-sarcasm ahead-

Amir Larijani wrote:

Joseph was quite godly, but that didn't stop Potiphar's wife from attempting to get him in bed, and--when he refused--frame him for attempted rape.


Perhaps Joseph was innocent here, but what of Potiphar himself? If he was being a proper husband, she would NEVER have propositioned Joseph. Don't you know that women are above such filthy sins?

Amir Larijani wrote:
Moreover, Solomon warns--throughout the book of Proverbs--about discerning the schemes of the adulteress, avoiding her at all costs.

Sounds like there is ample precedent for a woman who leads man into sin...


There you go again Amir. Do such women not have fathers, brothers and other male relatives and friends? Surely the blame is more properly affixed to their accounts, no?

In any case, we must always remember that women MUST be considered innocent in these matters. Remember, there is ALWAYS a man somwhere to blame for a woman's sins.

-sarcasm off-

Seriously though, sometimes I get the impression that the chief concern of some people is to find a personal scapegoat for every Christian woman out there.

Apparently, they don't believe women should have to excercise personal responsiblity; Lord knows it's much less emotionally satisfying to blame 'men in general' than to have your own personal scapegoat.

All in all, it doesn't make marriage sound very appealing. If I get married, I want to be my wife's husband NOT her father.

wombatty said...

Anakin wrote:
Motte, what's with the man bashing? ... You and Steve Watters never let up.


I think that some guys that do this might simply have an inferiority or guilt complex of some kind. That's the best sense I can make of it.

wombatty said...

Something else occurs to me; an issue of leadership. IMHO, one of the more unpleasant tasks that falls to those in leadership is holding those in their charge accountable. This is especially true when it comes to those one is close with. There is a reason parents often tell a child, before administering corporeal punishment,

This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you

It might be cliche by now, but it's not just some trite phrase.

My point is this: it takes a mental and emotional toughness to commit to holding those you love accountable. It is hard enough for parents to do this for their children, how much more so with husbands and wives? The husband must be humble, servant-minded, gentle and open to correction himself. The wife must understand her husbands God-given duty, respect and cherish his leadership, humbly accept correction and be willing to stand up for herself if she is in the right - all with humility and respect.

This is a tall order for fallen humans. Veering off to the extremes is much easier than exercising the discernment and humility it takes to maintain such a delicate balance. One extreme is to blame everything on the other party (e.g. Debbie Maken, et. al), the other extreme is to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong (e.g. Motte Brown). This is laziness at best, cowardice at worst.

How much easier to just say 'Sorry Hon, it's all my fault' than to confront her about her error or sin (if necessary, of course)! Just take the blame yourself and avoid the discomfort of confrontation! Sure, it's 'harder' to take the blame yourself, but holding her accountable will just drag out the uncomfortable situation.

I've had to confront someone close to me about something like this. He lets his wife behave irresponsibly in regard to her health and their money; he just doesn't have the stones to consistently confront her about it and hold her feet to the fire. I reminded him that, per Ephesians, he has the duty before God to do what is best for his wife; whether he (or she) likes it or not. In other words, God will hold him accountable for, among other things, holding HER accountable.

Now, he doesn't take the blame for her irresponsibility, but he lets her continue in it. The same would apply to him if he DID take the blame. Either way, by not holding her accountable, she continues in her destructive ways with his passive consent.

In short, a good leader holds those for whom he is responsible accountable for their behavior, a poor leader does not.

Note: The above could conceivably be construed to, again, be making the man the scapegoat. However, I am simply acknowledging the responsibility the man DOES have when his woman is in error or sin - and that is NOT to take the blame, but to hold HER accountable.

Amir Larijani said...

Wombatty: I'd say you're on the money there.

Motte Brown doesn't strike me as a male Debbie Maken--she's in a class all by herself--but he's punting on responsibility here. In this case, the responsibility is to acknowledge the fallenness of both parties in the sex act (if it's outside of marriage), and the abortion matter.

There are men who "lead women down the path to promiscuity" just as there are women who ensnare men with their seduction.

And with abortion, there are women who abort with--and without--the cooperation of the father.

Triton said...

By the way, how is "Motte" pronounced? Is it like "mote" or "maht"?

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Wombatty,

Interesting what you say about leadership. Your right, it IS the leadership's responsibility to hold those under their care accountable.

However, judging from how bad my boss gets it from his bosses, I'd say another part of leadership is taking responsibility for those under your charge.

That doesn't mean letting them get off scotch free, but it certainly means taking a certain amount of responsibility for the wrongs done on your own shoulders.

I think the covering that I loosely hint at on my blog is a covering from the WORLD. YOU, as the woman's head and her leader, are the sole arbiter of holding her responsible for wrongs she has done (on earth). Just like God gave charge of the animals of the earth to man and woman, he gave charge of woman to man. Man IS responsible for the care of the woman...whether you like it or not. Its part of leadership. Of course, its not ever THAT perfect, because we hardly live in a world that is conducive to such a system, anymore.

However, we definitly used to. The feminists kind of tore off the covering when they started cutting their hair and foresaking their responsibilities in submitting to their fathers and husbands.

I seem to recall a certain man was going to be killed for stealing from his father-in-law. Rather than rat out his 2 disobedient wives, he pulled them aside, recovered the goods, and returned them to the father. Those two lovely brides were hardly let off the hook. However, the man they were responsible to was no longer their father, but their husband.

Amir Larijani said...

In fact, the lovely bride who took the goods, Rachel, ended up dying during childbirth.

singlextianman said...

Wombatty, speaking as a former married man, I say that you have the wisdom to be great husband, especially if there is some compassion there under that wit, as I suppose there is.

The "child-men" link no longer works to boundless,

singlextianman said...

Ok, I'm in serious doctrinal error or something. The child-men post link works, but not the "responding like men, not boys" does not work. 30 lashes with a wet noodle for me.

wombatty said...

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves wrote:

However, judging from how bad my boss gets it from his bosses, I'd say another part of leadership is taking responsibility for those under your charge.

That doesn't mean letting them get off scotch free, but it certainly means taking a certain amount of responsibility for the wrongs done on your own shoulders.


True enough, but it’s not quite apples & apples. For instance, if I’m a department manager my boss[es] will hold me accountable for the performance of my department and, by extension, for the performance of those in my charge.

However, as a boss, I can fire an employee for habitual misbehavior. Absent infidelity or desertion on the wife’s part, a husband has no such option in marriage.

So, what are we to conclude when, despite Godly leadership on the Husband’s part, the wife continues in her error and sin? According to some, Doug Wilson (and Debbie Maken, no doubt) among them, this is all but impossible. Such people apparently regard women as some kind automatons: provided the proper input (biblical leadership), the woman cannot help but be a Godly wife. The husband is simply left to endure his wife’s rebellion – it’s not like he can – or should – put her in a cage. And as if that wasn’t enough, the likes of Wilson pile on and blame HIM for his wife’s sinful behavior.

This is fallacious. PuritanCalvinist, in a recent post responding to Candace Watters’ book writes:

That is why the next phrase is so important. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Most people have noticed a parallel to God’s warning to Cain in the next chapter in Genesis 4:7, “It’s [sin’s] desire is for you, but you must rule over it” [translation mine]. Some have tried to make a parallel to Songs of Songs 7:11 [Eng. 7:10], but the results have been less than convincing. Obviously, given this parallel to Genesis 4:7, we can see that the desire here is not something good. Apparently, what this text is saying is that the desire will be to conquer her husband. However, he will go on being the head of her just as creation intended. Some have suggested that the Hebrew term lv;m' indicates some kind of tyrannical rule. However, that is not likely. The term does not, in and of itself, have that connotation. For instance, it is the same term used in Genesis 1:16 where it says that God created the sun “to rule over the day.” Suffice it to say that, if this is, indeed, a tyrannical rule, one must argue for this contextually, and not lexically as the term has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
However we take the term lv;m' here, it is very clear that this text is telling us that, as punishment for sin, marriage will now have the problem of the woman’s desire to dominate the man, and there will be strife. However, what is interesting to note is that this also points us back to Genesis 2:18! The woman was created to be a “helper” for man. However, now, as a result of the fall, her desire is to usurp her husband’s authority, which is the exact opposite of being a “helper.” Hence, because of the corruption of sin, woman does not function as a helper, and thus, does not function as the solution to Adam’s situation that she once was. Hence, we can say that, not only was child bearing corrupted by sin, but also the marriage relationship itself was corrupted by sin. Now, again, we need to clarify. I am not saying that there is anything inherently corrupt with a marriage relationship, or about wives in and of themselves. Both of them, as God created them, are good. However, this text forces us to the harsh reality that the good marriage relationship has been corrupted by our sin.


I remember my pastor when I lived in Minnesota teaching this. Here we have an explicit statement from God himself that, as part of the judgment for her disobedience, Eve (and all women) would have an innate and sinful desire to usurp her husband’s authority. How, in the face of such evidence, someone can claim (ala Wilson) that when there is marital strife, the proper assumption is that it is the man’s fault is beyond me. Not only is such an assumption without biblical warrant, it is blatantly unbiblical.

Such people, in my opinion, simply don’t understand that women are just as fallen as men. I would also agree with Coughlin that such a person is unqualified to be a marriage counselor.

Interestingly, there are those in the Jewish community who agree with the likes of Wilson & Brown. In a recent interview with Dennis Prager, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach admitted that he similarly regards women as superior to men. Prager challenges him on it and Boteach punts on the response.

singlextianman:

Thanks for that compliment. And yes, there is plenty of compassion to go with my wit.

wombatty said...

singlextianman:

The problem with that link is that Anakin forgot to put 'html' on the end of it.

wombatty said...

a little link problem of my own. Here is the
interview

singlextianman said...

While a married man, I had read Wild at Heart and enjoyed it, and had on my own come up with most of the ideas in Paul Coughlin's No more Christian Nice Guy. (The term I used in trying to describe my idea was, in fact "Professional Nice Guy" - that is, not that it's one's profession, but that churches try to make men "nice" vs. to connect individually with God). It was not until my marriage fell apart that I realized the degree to which these things mattered. If you would have told me before that the Evangelical world (I no longer id myself as Evangelical, btw; only as Christian) was highly feminized, I would have agreed a bit; I suppose, but wouldn't see what the deal was. Having seen the inside of "Christian" marriage counseling, though I have a more clear view. Two different Evangelical counselors went for my jugular one way or the other while my ex was having an affair; a Catholic was more balanced. The last straw was the second Evangelical, a woman, with a cutesy little Holy Spirit dove on her business card. At a time when my ex had a year previously shown up with a U haul and her boyfriend, she - the "counselor" - could not bring herself to talk about the ongoing affair. She thought, though, that God might be telling her to look into "generational curses." That lady sits in a position of lay leadership at a church where I took my leave of; for among other reasons hearing from an assistant pastor there that "they didn't like to see men [who went to the cell groups] asking women out."

We need Reformation badly.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Wombatty,

While I blog about feminine submission regardless of what the man does or doesn't do, combatting the rampant belief that just because we have a natural inclination to something doesn't make it GOOD, because we are, after all, fallen creatures, some very nice, respectable, godly young man made a comment.

Essentially, he said that our responsibilities are independent of the other party. God gave ME a command to submit, regardless of whether men are loving protectors, caring for me as Christ cares for the church.

By the same token, it is YOUR responsibility to love and protect, regardless of whether the woman is submitting the way the church submits to Christ.

We are not doing this sibling blame game. Mommy is talking to YOU, not the other party. You are responsible for YOUR actions in this mess, as I am responsible for MY actions in this mess.

Unfortunately, you gentlemen aren't the only ones playing the blame game. Debbie Maken does it on a regular basis, saying that we do it wrong because you guys don't do it right.

Well, why don't we stop blaming the other parties and start educating our genders what it is to be biblical men and women without placing blame on the other party?

Yeah, we have ALL made mistakes - ALL...men and women. You can acknowledge that without playing the blame game. Teaching other men the biblical way to live can be done without blaming all of womankind for the evils they've perpetrated on men. Just like teaching women the biblical way to live can be done without blaming all mankind for all the evils they've perpetrated on women.

singlextianman said...

Blue Sky said:

Well, why don't we stop blaming the other parties and start educating our genders what it is to be biblical men and women without placing blame on the other party?

There's a reason, Blue Sky, why there is only one post at my 'blog, at the moment, and why it has to do with pursuing God.

Anakin: Send me a private shout, if it please you. Something to bounce off your noggin.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

I went and looked up my post, and apparently the "young man" I was paraphrasing was actually an "older" man...Amir made the comment.

Here's the post and comments

wombatty said...

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves wrote:
You are responsible for YOUR actions in this mess, as I am responsible for MY actions in this mess.

Unfortunately, you gentlemen aren't the only ones playing the blame game. Debbie Maken does it on a regular basis, saying that we do it wrong because you guys don't do it right.


I completely agree with you here. I AM NOT playing the blame game. I quoted PuritanCalvinist, NOT to exonerate men, but in order to demonstrate that women & wives are not the blameless little lambs the likes of which Wilson & Brown make them out to be. And I certainly do not believe that men are blameless either.

I’m not sure where you see that I am playing the blame-game; I simply made the same point you did – contra Wilson & Brown. Wilson & Brown seek to blame men for or the sins of their wives, I reject that view in favor of personal responsibility.

Amir Larijani said...

Who's playing the blame game here? As far as I know, the whole point on which there is universal agreement is that both sexes need to own their faults and that the "blame the man for everything" mindset is just as wrong as the "blame the woman for everything" mindset.

There is ample Biblical substantiation for the "man who leads a woman down the path to promiscuity" just as there is ample Biblical substantiation for the loose woman who leads a man to destruction via adultery/fornication.

As for abortion, again, both sexes have been--and are--culpable.

There are women who abort in spite of the wishes of their partner/husband.

There are women who abort because the partner/husband pressured them them to do so.

There are teenage gals who abort because their parents forced them to do so.

There are women who abort because it was a financial convenience.

Abortions happen for every reason under the sun. To suggest that every pregnancy ending in abortion is the result of a man "leading her down the path of promiscuity" is a statement of ignorance at best, if not rank stupidity.

shadeelane said...

BSAL was right to point out the blame game going on here. It's one thing to want a fair treatment of men's issues, and quite another to be reactive and defensive whenever men are challenged. And that's typically what happens here. As if women are ever let off the hook by Boundless! Here's a few examples of them challenging women on their issues:

One Daughter of Feminism Discovers Motherhood, by Heather Koerner, Do Women Lack Options or Just Decisiveness, by Suzanne Hadley, Jobs Will Wait, Babies Won't, by Candice Watters, Women: Marry Uglier and You May Be Happier, by Suzanne Hadley When to Settle, by Candice Watters, Weaker Partner by Heather Koerner, Why Guys Need Our Respect, by Denise Morris, Becoming a Godly Woman by Candice Watters, The Rise of Single Young Females, by Candice Watters, Christian Women Having Abortions, by Heather Koerner, Modesty Revisited, by Wendy Shalit, Modest Expectations, by Suzanne Hadley, Seven Myths Single Women Believe by Suzanne Hadley, Hulimity that Attracts and Encourages by Carolyn McCulley, Faith for the Man He'll Become by Carolyn McCulley

You guys have to admit that you really don't see the same defensive reaction from women in the blogosphere when being challenged on these issues that you guys have when men's issues are challenged.

wombatty said...

Shadaleene:

You seem to have missed the entire point. NOBODY, here or elsewhere, is trying to blame women for the the misbehavior of men.

This discussion IS NOT we men complaining about being held accountable for OUR shortcomings. We are objecting, and properly so, to the notion that men are to be saddled with the blame that belongs to women.

Please point to where, in this thread in particular, a man has sought to escape responsibility for his behavior and you might have a point.

On a related note, Glenn Reynolds & Dr. Helen interviewed Kathleen Parker about her new book Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care.

Among the many issues discussed is something I have seen going on in this discussion for a while, including a Boundless. That is, when a man raises a legitmate grevious, he is often (not always) accused of 'whining'. It seems no matter how factual and logical his argument, it simply seen as complaining or whining. As Glenn says, the expectation seems to be that the only 'manly' response is to 'bend over and take it like a man'.

It's an excellent interview and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Amir Larijani said...

Wombatty says:
"As Glenn says, the expectation seems to be that the only 'manly' response is to 'bend over and take it like a man'."

In Animal House terms, "Thank you sir, may I have another." ;)

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

I think that how quickly examples of how women are just as responsible here is what put me on the defensive.

Its one thing to defend yourself. Its another to shift the attention away from yourself to another guilty party.

I definitly agree that Motte was WAY off. WAY WAY WAY off in that statement.

Amir brings to mention all the women in scripture who are known for seducing upright men.

But your critique of women being seductresses and manipulators, etc, biblical or not, justified or not, is very difficult to listen to when we all know that men aren't spotless, either. But you see, my making that statement isn't helping my case, is it?

Is it possible, in the least, for you to defend your position without pointing out all the times women have screwed up? Or is Motte only unjustified in his unfair treatment of you guys because women do it too? Maybe he's unjustified because there are many men out there who DO strive to live godly, upright lives.

Does that make any sense?

Amir Larijani said...

Keep in mind, Christina, that in my response on the Boundless blog, I pointed out in specificity the men whose sex scandals were on display in Scripture. (Judah, David, Absalom, Solomon)

And even here, I mentioned that there is Biblical substantiation to both sides.

wombatty said...

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves wrote:

Amir brings to mention all the women in scripture who are known for seducing upright men.

But your critique of women being seductresses and manipulators, etc, biblical or not, justified or not, is very difficult to listen to when we all know that men aren't spotless, either. But you see, my making that statement isn't helping my case, is it?


It goes back to Motte's statements; he has the particular habit of exonerating women of their sins by blaming men for them.

For some reason, he insists on holding women innocent, as if they are incapable of such behavior.

How is one to rebutt such a claim except by pointing out that women ARE indeed capable of said behavior? Not only is there plenty of scriptural warrant for this belief, we see it happening with increasing frequency (at least it's being reported more - though Motte might still find men to blame).

Now how would it help my case (rebutting Motte's apparent belief in inherent female innocence) to point out the faults of men? It wouldn't; men's failings have no bearing whatever on whether or not women are faultless.

Speaking for myself, I have no problems admitting that I am a 'speckled and spotted lamb'.

shadeelane said...

Wombatty, I think it was you who missed my point. I wasn't trying to say that the guys here are blaming women for the the misbehavior of men. I was saying that whenever the male contribution to a social problem is pointed out, even slightly (by Boundless) the guys who post here get defensive in ways that you don't see among the female bloggers whenever their contribution is pointed out.

A lot has been made of Motte's abortion post, but when you look more closely at it, it's sympathetic to the men whose rights are fathers are taken away from them because of abortion laws, but those who find themselves in that predicament because of fornication. No one was arguing that the woman was less responsible, but could we say the guy in that situation was a good leader? If they put more heat on the guys it's because they're promoting the traditional way of "husbands lead, wives submit", which does mean that the men will be shouldering a larger portion of the responsibility, for better or for worse.

BSAL, you said "God gave ME a command to submit, regardless of whether men are loving protectors, caring for me". Submission is only to your husband, NOT to "men", and only as far as he is loving and protective. Leadership is not a given, it is earned by trust, which is why Jewish tradition had rites of passage for boys into manhood.

And as for "YOU, as the woman's head and her leader, are the sole arbiter of holding her responsible for wrongs she has done (on earth)" I don't know where you get that, certainly not from the Bible. I would think that when it comes to wrongdoings, both husband and wife are responsible to each other.

wombatty said...

shadeelane wrote:

Wombatty, I think it was you who missed my point. I wasn't trying to say that the guys here are blaming women for the the misbehavior of men. I was saying that whenever the male contribution to a social problem is pointed out, even slightly (by Boundless) the guys who post here get defensive in ways that you don't see among the female bloggers whenever their contribution is pointed out.


Except that Motte wasn't simply pointing out the male contribution. He was putting the whole of the blame for fornication on the man.

Quoth Motte:

True. But woman is only the arbiter of life if first the man leads her down the path of fornication.

As if the woman is some clueless puppy who didn't know where kissing and groping would lead to. Sorry - it takes two to tango - unless you want to describe consentual sex that is later regretted as rape.

I'll rephrase my challenge: Show me anywhere on this thread where one of us men have claimed innocence (as Motte insists on doing for women) in a situation such as Motte descibes.

The point of contention is not whether or not men have a share of the blame, but rather whether they deserve ALL OF IT.

Amir Larijani said...

Actually, Shadeelane, Motte's comment was the following: "But woman is only the arbiter of life if first the man leads her down the path of fornication."

With all due respect, that is hogwash. For one thing, all women seeking abortions are not pregnant as a result of fornication. Many are in fact married, and--as a former crisis pregnancy center counselor--I can tell you that married women indeed seek abortion in spite of the desires of their husbands.

For another thing, even the single women who are pregnant are not necessarily so because "a man led her down the path of fornication". Many indeed seduced a man into it.

Everything I have said on this blog--and mine--regarding Motte's post has been balanced.

The point here is that both sexes need to own their responsibilities in matters of illicit sex and abortion.

Even the posts you point out--that you suggest are "woman bashing" are in many cases put out there against a backdrop that assumes the men are the prime culprits in the issue at hand (Do Women Lack Options or Just Decisiveness.

Others are not hard on women, only feminists. Others are promoting the SAHM model.

As for the Christian Women Having Abortions post, like I said, I was a CPC counselor for 3 years. That one was necessary. Is it slamming women? No. Is it bringing attention to a dirty secret that the churches have been sweeping under the rug? Youbetcha.

In my experiences, we had a substantial number of clients from the local Christian college, many of whom aspired to the ministry, and who sought abortions so they "could go on with their lives."

shadeelane said...

"Motte wasn't simply pointing out the male contribution. He was putting the whole of the blame for fornication on the man."

No he wasn't. The whole post was written in sympathy for the male situation in the case of an abortion, with less reserved for those who are in that predicament because they instigated fornication. We don't know how much sympathy Motte would grant to men "seduced" by women (probably not much). He was under no obligation to tell us. The article wasn't about who's responsible for fornication, it's about who holds the cards when it comes to abortion - in this case, women, which he disagrees with. The innocence of women is neither claimed nor implied, it's not relevant and it's not addressed. What more do you want?

Amir, whether or not it's mostly married women who have abortions is a moot point, because Motte seemed to be sympathizing with men in that situation. Likewise, Boundless dealt with evangelical women and abortion ("Christian Women Having Abortions" by Heather Koerner) in one of the articles on my list, AND by the way, I don't think that (or anything here) is "woman bashing", so all these claims of "man bashing" sound a bit like (sorry to say it) old school feminism to me. Not that man bashing doesn't exist, I just don't think you guys have given very good examples of it.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Shadeelane,

Your right, that my submission is only to my husband, however I begin that submission from the beginning of a relationship. Just as I would expect the man to assume the leadership role upon initiating a relationship. With boundaries, of course. After all, prior to marriage, my ultimate earthly headship is found in my father.

The part about the covering Actually comes from 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. I'm not quite certain how I came up with the interpretation that I did, as I've never thoroughly studied it, had to look up the verses, and had to uncover some research simply to address this with you. But simply put, my interpretation is born out of my understanding of the relationship between husband and wife, Christ and church. Combined with these verses, my knowledge of what Christ did for the church by providing a covering for her sins, and the authority that is placed by God over women in the form of their husbands. All of which is found in various places through scripture, some things more than once. I'm a firm believer in the Bible being the complete and, I guess, infallible word of God, I believe that it has many many various functions, being a history book, law, theological lesson, poetry, and thematic literature. Themes are constantly repeated through scripture.

And taking those verses in 1 Corinthians 11 out of the context of scripture gives you a very strict, very harsh rule for worship. But when seen in context, I can at least clearly see that the covering of the woman's head is Christ and, by the authority given him through Christ, her husband.

And through that covering, as Christ provided a covering for the church, so does the man provide a covering for the wife.

Because I'm not nearly as gifted in exegesis as others (say Adam at PuritanCalvinist...) are, I am fairly intelligent and understand exegesis =p

Anyway, some research on it:
http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/corinthians_martin.pdf
http://www.bible-researcher.com/headcovering.html

Happy reading =p

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

I love how beautifully coherent I can be =p
Because I'm not nearly as gifted in exegesis as others (say Adam at PuritanCalvinist...) are, I am fairly intelligent and understand exegesis =p

Meaning, even though I'm not as good at exegesis, I am still fairly intelligent and able to reason well.

Sorry, the links aren't really links. My bad. For some reason, I thought the link tags were smart and would provide a link if I didn't do the href="" thingy and pasted that address between the open and close tags =p

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Omg...

I just realized. I know the odds aren't in his favor on this, but I am going to attempt to argue this.

I still think the comment woulda been better left unsaid, but...

How many feminists would respond to that post (minus the comment Motte made) and say "BUT, the only time we get PREGNANT is when the men MAKE us that way by seduction, rape, etc!"

What if he was being sarcastic? You guys get sarcasm. I don't know how I missed it. Maybe because the rest of the post is so incredibly serious that any attempt at sarcasm seems incongruous to the remainder of the post.

Amir Larijani said...

Christina: It is possible that he is being sarcastic, but usually, such sarcasm would not come at the end of an article that is otherwise serious.

It's kind of like your last sentence: it wouldn't be congruent with the rest of the post. It's also not congruent with other items of his that Anakin has pointed out on this matter.

If sarcasm is where he was going, then he zigged and the rest of the men zagged. He'll need to learn to set up his sarcasm a little better.

For good editorial sarcasm, Cal Thomas is the gold standard.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Amir, yeah.

I'm more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, however you are right.

Taking it the way you guys have taken it is, indeed, consistent with other things he has said. And sarcasm was definitly misplaced in that post.

I simply am not willing to chalk this one up to him without some kind of clarification from him when there's a possibility that it wasn't meant the way it was taken. Call me overly trusting.

Amir Larijani said...

But that's the thing: he's received enough static--between respondents on Boundless, myself, and Anakin--and still he refuses to issue so much as a clarification.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Amir,

Your right.

But this time, I'm admitting to stubborness. I'm not saying you should do the same thing, however, via the great American way, he is innocent until proven guilty on this one...as far as attitude behind saying it.

He still never should have said it.

Triton said...

The part about the covering Actually comes from 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.

That's part of it, but the issue originates in Numbers 30. You might want to check it out if you haven't already.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Oh wow...

If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt

Numbers 30:15.

How much you want to bet that was one of the main sources for Motte's headship post?

wombatty said...

shadeelane wrote:

"Motte wasn't simply pointing out the male contribution. He was putting the whole of the blame for fornication on the man."

No he wasn't. The whole post was written in sympathy for the male situation in the case of an abortion, with less reserved for those who are in that predicament because they instigated fornication.

[...]

The article wasn't about who's responsible for fornication, it's about who holds the cards when it comes to abortion - in this case, women, which he disagrees with.


The article as a whole might not have been addressed to who is responsible for fornication, but his closing comment was. And since the act of fornication was the whole reason the abortion question even comes to the fore, it was as if he was saying:

Yeah, she holds the cards with the abortion decision, but only because the man gave them to her (or forced them on her) by leading her into fornication.

Motte's 'sympathy' is ocassioned only by the man's guilt for leading her into fornication in the first. place.

shadeelane wrote:

The innocence of women is neither claimed nor implied, it's not relevant and it's not addressed. What more do you want?


It is clearly implied in his closing statement where Motte puts the entire blame for the act of fornication squarely on the man. He says (actually assumes) that the man led the way, but where in his statement does he hold the woman responsible for following his lead (to say nothing of the possiblility that she led the way)?

Amir Larijani said...

Triton, Christina:

And it would be a travesty if that were the case, as the context of that passage has to do with husbands and wives with respect to vows and pledges made by the wife, and the extent to which he and she are responsible for fulfilling the vows.

Extrapolating from this to come up with a "man always leads woman down the path to fornication" conclusion is a misapplication here.

On the other hand, there is some basis for calling men to be better leaders, while stopping well short of the "men are responsible for everything that goes wrong in a marriage" mantra.

After all, the passage is about oaths and vows made by the wife and the extent to which the liabilities are applied to husband and wife, which are contingent upon the extent to "what did the husband know, and when did he know it", as well as what he did about it when he knew it.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Extrapolating from this to come up with a "man always leads woman down the path to fornication" conclusion is a misapplication here.

I don't think Numbers 30 was Motte's base for THAT comment, but the one on headship and marital problems always being the man's fault.

It may be misapplied, but in a twisted way, coming from a very prejudiced position, I can see how he can get that out of there.

Amir Larijani said...

I know that, and even that conclusion on his part would be a misapplication of Numbers 30.

It would also serve as a backdrop for a comment such as he made in his abortion post, as it would reveal much about his mindset.

It would be interesting to hear from him exactly what his basis is. That would clear the air.

Amir Larijani said...

Apparently, in the latest podcast, Motte backtracked substantially, suggesting that men are "more culpable" and accepting the premise that women are hardly faultless. That would mitigate some of his statement about the "arbiter of life" comment.

On the other hand, he is clearly ignoring the fact that many abortions are performed on MARRIED WOMEN, whose husbands--BY LAW (Planned Parenthood v. Akron Ohio)--have no say-so.

Ergo, "fornication" is hardly the exclusive cause of pregnancy that results in elective abortion.

Triton said...

Extrapolating from this to come up with a "man always leads woman down the path to fornication" conclusion is a misapplication here.

I'm not promoting that conclusion at all. I was simply pointing out some Old Testament stuff that related to the issue at hand and that folks might find interesting.

My personal belief is that a Biblical Christian marriage is essentially illegal in this country since a man has no legal authority over his wife. Like the computer said in Wargames: the only winning move is not to play. Hence the Marriage Strike.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Like the computer said in Wargames: the only winning move is not to play. Hence the Marriage Strike.

Is that necessarily the right way to go about it?

Amir Larijani said...

Triton: I was referring to Motte--not you--as the potential [mis]applicant of Scripture.

Amir Larijani said...

BSAL asks: "Is [the marriage strike] the right way to go about it?"

I would say no; if anything, we probably need Christian men bold enough to take that risk to vindicate that marriage covenant.

(I do not, however, support any mandate, or special command for men to marry. That ain't Biblical.)

On the other hand, those men who aspire to marry--such as myself--would be right to exercise prudence in pursuing a mate.

We might not agree on all the parameters that constitute prudence, but there is a very good Biblical case for it.

Triton said...

Triton: I was referring to Motte--not you--as the potential [mis]applicant of Scripture.

My mistake. The "Triton, Christina" part must have confused me.

Is that necessarily the right way to go about it?

I'm willing to consider alternatives. I just haven't heard any satisfactory ones yet.

I would say no; if anything, we probably need Christian men bold enough to take that risk to vindicate that marriage covenant.

I don't see how encouraging men to stay the course and continue to marry as usual is going to change anything for the better. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

(I do, however, appreciate your optimism, Amir. ;))

The only ones who can turn this trend around are women. They are the ones who need to lobby for changes in the law. When men have legal rights within marriage, then men will find the institution more palatable.

Amir Larijani said...

Triton says: I don't see how encouraging men to stay the course and continue to marry as usual is going to change anything for the better. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Actually, I'm not suggesting that men "stay the course" and "continue to marry as usual. In fact, I qualified myself with the paragraph that followed:

On the other hand, those men who aspire to marry--such as myself--would be right to exercise prudence in pursuing a mate.

Ergo, what I am suggesting is hardly the perpetuation of the status quo, but rather a call to establish a new paradigm, one that is aligned with Scripture.

In fact, Debbie Maken has, without realizing it, promoted a means to that end that Anakin has illustrated: American men--who are having trouble finding a suitable mate--can marry non-American women.

If all else fails, I am strongly considering that.

Seriously...the men have to do something about this war on masculinity.

Yes...the feminists have handed us a disaster, and many Christian women have unwittingly bought into the agenda, and yes they need to do something about that.

But that does not absolve men of all responsibilities here, as only the men can actively restore the masculinity that has been absent from the Church.

This isn't about marrying versus staying single--as I'd wager that none of us here are in the mandate camp--but to expect women to restore masculinity to the church is less than realistic.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

You know, your only adding to the problem.

There ARE women out there who would make good wives. And would remain faithful.

YES, the risks are higher. YES, its increasingly hard to find them.

But seriously, throwing your hands up in the air in frustration and saying "screw it, I'm done with this" isn't gonna help things either.

You can pretend it does, but it doesn't.

And besides, an insane nation isn't the same as an insane individual. You want to take the insanity plee then try marrying or dating the same type of woman over and over and over again and getting the same results and never changing how you approach it.

THEN you can plead with the insanity clause.

But as I see it, none of you guys have done that. Some of you aren't even bothering. Others of you become pretty hard ass on what you will and will not accept because of previous experiences.

YOU aren't helping by boycotting marriage.

YOU might not change it, but imagine how one family with a strong marriage with 14 children is going to raise their kids to appreciate and desire a strong marriage? Imagine if all 14 of them end up in a good, healthy, biblical marriage and have a dozen kids of their own?

14x12...numbers get up there pretty fast. It won't happen overnight, that's for damn sure, but not doing anything about it surely isn't the right way either.

And I, for one, wouldn't mind raising a dozen kids to provide husbands and wives for those 14 =p

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

FYI, that's not an argument for mandating marriage.

That's an argument for not doing the exact opposite of mandating marriage and boycotting it.

Which is what I have the strange feeling you guys think is the only option here.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

This isn't about marrying versus staying single--as I'd wager that none of us here are in the mandate camp--but to expect women to restore masculinity to the church is less than realistic.

I'm not much into law, though my dad used to think I'd make a pretty decent lobbyist.

However, I do want to help change things. And I plan on doing it in the only ways I know how. In my church and in my family.

But I need a husband before I can help change the world through my family.

And maybe someday, through writing...

Triton said...

Ergo, what I am suggesting is hardly the perpetuation of the status quo, but rather a call to establish a new paradigm, one that is aligned with Scripture.

I got your point. I just don't see anything else men can do that they're not already doing. There are plenty of Christian men who do everything right vis-a-vis their wives, yet they still get their lives ruined in divorce court. They still get the full brunt of the law because the state doesn't care about how much Christian leadership they possessed, or how much they sacrificed for their wives, or anything else.

In fact, Debbie Maken has, without realizing it, promoted a means to that end that Anakin has illustrated: American men--who are having trouble finding a suitable mate--can marry non-American women.

This is a viable alternative, but not one that every man has the means to pursue. And, naturally, the powers-that-be are gradually trying to make this alternative illegal (e.g. the International Marriage Brokers Regulation Act).

The feminists are determined to create a totalitarian feudal system where all men are serfs and all women lords, and they aren't going to let American men get away with marrying undoctrinated foreign women in significant numbers.

but to expect women to restore masculinity to the church is less than realistic.

Don't worry, I have no such expectations.

But seriously, throwing your hands up in the air in frustration and saying "screw it, I'm done with this" isn't gonna help things either.

It will if the activity in question is futile. I don't play tac-tic-toe anymore, either, and for the same reason.

Triton said...

I should add, by the way, that it's entirely possible I might marry some day. Love is blind, after all, and often stupid, too. If the right (wrong?) girl came along, all my sense might fly out the window.

Amir Larijani said...

BSAL gets a little passive-aggressive: Others of you become pretty hard ass on what you will and will not accept because of previous experiences.

Please let the whole world know what standards you define as "hard ass".

Not marrying a woman I know is bipolar?

Not marrying a woman who has shown herself to be immature and unstable?

Not marrying a woman who does not take care of herself?

Not marrying a woman who has not demonstrated as basic level of personal responsibility?

As one who is seeking a wife, I'd hope that she is someone who will have/adopt children with me. She will teach them virtues. She will (hoepfully) teach them in lieu of public educators. She will (hopefully) be my "help meet".

Can she be in any position to accomplish any those things if she is immature, irresponsible, or unstable?

And don't get me wrong: we all have issues; I have them, you have them. Anakin and SXM have them.

I'm referring, however, to someone whose track record in her life has been one of decreasing stability, increasing irresponsibility, and rank immaturity.

I'd rather be single than be married to such a one.

As for you, if you're gonna call me a "hard ass", then at least be direct about it. You are impressing no one with your passive-aggressive tactics.

wombatty said...

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves srote:

You know, your only adding to the problem [by 'strking' marriage].

[...]

YES, the risks are higher. YES, its increasingly hard to find them.

But seriously, throwing your hands up in the air in frustration and saying "screw it, I'm done with this" isn't gonna help things either.

You can pretend it does, but it doesn't.

[...]

But as I see it, none of you guys have done that [tried]. Some of you aren't even bothering.

[...]

YOU aren't helping by boycotting marriage.


It boils down to simple economics: if you vastly increase the risk of an activity without commensurately increasing the benefits, participation in that activity will decrease.

To expect men to bahave otherwise is to expect them to behave irrationally.

Why should the men for whom marriage isn't a primary life-goal bother?

It's different for a guy who really wants to get married - he has a motivation to take the time and effort to find a decent woman.

For those who are content as bachelors, some just decide it isn't worth all the trouble.

Dr. Helen summed it up nicely:

Nowadays, for many men, the negatives of marriage for men often outweigh the positives. Therefore, they engage in it less often. Not because they are bad, not because they are perpetual adolescents, but because they have weighed the pros and cons of marriage in a rational manner and found the institution to be lacking for them. It’s a sensible choice for some and the video games, magazines, and humor websites that Hymowitz disses are a way to fill one’s time with fun activities that don’t tell you that you suck, are an “unfinished person,” emotionally detached or on your way to jail for fake domestic violence charges. People used to treat men better than this.

Now, Atlas is shrugging and everyone is coming out of the woodwork to explain why. But like reader Eric said, if you want to know why fewer men are getting married, go to the source, go ask some actual men and really listen to what they have to say. You may be surprised to find out how grown-up, adult and rational single young men really are.