As for Christian men, I'm still skeptical as to how many of them proportionally are in the MGTOW/MRA camp. I'm not in that camp--although I can see the case for why one would want to be--and I don't personally know any who are.The question about how many religious men are in the MGTOW or MRA camp has been posed before. As a Christian man who has knowledge of the MGTOW movement, I thought I should shed some light on the issue. The question of who is "proportionally" in who's camp becomes tricky for the following reasons ...
I've seen a few of them in the blogosphere, but I've yet to see any stats on the MGTOW segment in the Church. I'd bet money that it is not a large one.
1. The definition of the word "Christian." Do we mean someone with a casual belief in the Trinity? A traditional-minded man who infrequently attends Church (think of Joe Six-Pack south of the Mason-Dixon line). A devout adherent of Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Evangelicalism, or some other branch of Christendom who deeply knows and practices the beliefs of his respective faith tradition? We might as well ask about the proportion of Christian men involved in the music industry or living on one's street corner.
2. I believe the MRA movement is small and I know the MGTOW movement is even smaller. The latter has only been around for about four years. Timewise, MGTOW is still in its diapers and it's hard to say what its future will be. With that in mind, we might as well ask about the proportion of any population of men in MGTOW. Also, there are men who espouse beliefs akin to the MGTOWers and yet don't label themselves as MGTOW. How do they fall into the equation?
So these are the problems of determining the proportionality of Christian men in the MGTOW/MRA movements. Let me note a few things about religious men:
1. Many of them, like their secular counterparts, are not aware of the MGTOW/MRA movements.
2. Some of them, like their secular counterparts, may have misunderstandings of what the MGTOW/MRA movements are about. This is especially the case with MGTOW. Some may falsely conclude that "Men Going Their Own Way" is inherently misogynistic or just a hedonistic, antinomian concept akin to what one finds in the Pick-Up Artist community. It's not true. MGTOW is a countermovement against feminism, statism, gynocentrism, and misandry.
3. Unfortunately, some religious men will reject MGTOW because they have a reactionary mindset and refuse to think critically about issues. Anti-intellectualism, authoritarianism, mindless conformity, and demagoguery continue to plague some people of faith.
4. I personally don't put too much stock in what the church crowd is doing, even in my own faith tradition. I endeavor to embrace what is true and what is right, regardless of what others believe. I answer to a higher authority than religious tradition (Mark 7:1-13; John 12:48; Acts 5:29). If a fellow Christian endeavors to challenge my beliefs, he will have to do it on the basis of God's Word, not because Pastor Billy Bob can't manage to rub two sticks of grey-matter together in his cranium. So, when many of my fellow Christians voted for McCain and his neocon platform, I voted for Chuck Baldwin. While many religious leaders push a trite, gynocentric, wage-slave understanding of "biblical manhood," I play a different tune. I subscribe to MGTOW because I believe MGTOW to be basically correct and morally justifiable, not because I want to be a part of the "winning team."
5. There is a story about a prophet who went about the city of Sodom, warning the citizens of their doom. In the story, a passerby exclaims to prophet, "Why are you wasting your time? You can't change these people." The prophet replied, "I prophecy not to change these people but to keep them from changing me." Or something like that. Anyway, I can't demand allegiance from any brother in Christ on my views on gender roles. I can only inform. If he wants to be a prisoner of his own device, that is his problem. At the very least, I write to encourage those men who already know something is wrong.
6. And, yes, there are religious men who know something is wrong. I've seen them on forums. They are receptive to thinking outside of the box. A groundswell at this point? Maybe not. But they are there. Consider this comment from a reader at MLV's blog:
Up here in Canada the megachurch pop christianity propaganda seems to be watered down somewhat but nevertheless these messages are insidious and increasingly pervasive. It's heartening to see that I am not the only male who is bewildered and more and more disgusted with the 'ideals' presented by the secular megachurch marriage propaganda. NOWHERE in the Bible does God lay down these rigid ideals for the genders.Will this guy go MGTOW? Who knows. At least he is questioning what's going on. At any rate, EW said:
Also, I consider myself a Christian MGTOWer. Although my definition of MGTOW is probably a lot less bombastic than some. And it includes marriage, something that possibly a lot of other fellows do not, as they see marriage as something akin to slavery. Ironically not unlike the Second Wave femmarxists of auld.Actually, MGTOW is not anti-marriage. I know of MGTOWers who are happily married even though a lot of other men have chosen bachelorhood. I recommend this link for anyone who wants to know what MGTOW is about. Let me also say this: There are descriptions of MGTOW but then there is the community of MGTOWers. I've interacted with these men long enough to know what the common beliefs are. They may have slightly different ideas about how to get from point A to point B, but the bottom line is that they are sick and tired of being doormats. What is my take on MGTOW? I believe MGTOW is premised on the radical notion that manhood is not a set of expectations, an outmoded concept, or a social problem--but the birthright of every male human being. There are good men. There are bad men. But all men are "real men," and no one has the right to strip away the components of their humanity.
As for marriage being slavery? Well, it has become that for a lot of men. I think the concerns that many men have about exploitation are legitimate. If a man finds a good wife, then I am happy for him. However, in the MGTOW vocabulary, there is no "must" or "ought" to question of getting married. Every man has the right to "go his own way" in that matter. If any religious leaders want to take issue with this, then they better have some good arguments to back their assertions beside the tiresome shaming tactics, traditionalism, sloppy exegesis, and logical fallacies that I have already dispensed with on this blog and elsewhere. Anyway, that my 2 cents worth on MGTOW, for now.