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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cultural Conservatives and the Religious Establishment Do Not Care About Men

Though I have done a lot of writing on the intersection between religion and men's issues, I thought I take this opportunity to offer the following summation of my concerns: Cultural conservatives and the religious establishment do not care about men. Granted, I am willing to acknowledge that there are notable exceptions to my thesis, but in large, I think it stands as an axiomatic observation. I say this from the perspective of one who is a men's rights activist and a Christian man. I submit for your consideration some propositions which are subordinate to my thesis. I do not intend to get into a detailed discussion about them, but I offer them as talking points for an ongoing discourse that I have been having for some time on this blog and elsewhere.

Cultural conservatives and the religious establishment do not care about men as evidenced by the following ...

1. They expect men to silently bear pain, suffering, shame, and humiliation at the hands of others in the name of "manhood" and "virtue."

2. They are largely silent on issues that men's rights activists address, such as lopsided divorce laws, paternity fraud, male-bashing in media, etc.

3. They assert that men are primarily, if not solely, at fault for the problems that arise between the sexes (either in interpersonal relationships or in general).

4. They generally don't hold women accountable for their actions against men.

5. They address issues which affect men only to extent that such issues might be of concern to women and others.

6. They treats a man's masculinity and humanity as a privilege that can be granted or withdrawn by others (viz., all the talk about what "real men" do).

7. They define manhood in terms of a man's usefulness to women and others.

8. They push antiquated stereotypes about what men should be like (e.g., having an extroverted personality type, being stoic, etc.).

9. They push the notion of men being "protectors" and "providers" without any meaningful discussion about whether or not these roles are always necessary or appropriate for men.

10. They typically demand a type of arrangement between the sexes where options accrue to women and responsibilities to men. This is especially the case where men are expected to embrace traditional roles while women are given more leeway in how they define themselves.

11. They present marriage and fatherhood as hallmarks of masculinity, adulthood, and spiritual growth to such an extent that men who don't embrace marriage or fatherhood are put in a bad light.

12. They have high expectations of men but give no meaningful guidance or or assistance so that men can meet those expectations (viz., the expectation that young men should have the ability to support a family, even in unfavorable economic and social conditions).

13. They imply that male sexuality is, at best, of secondary importance to female sexuality. At worst, they regard male sexuality as being generally suspect or disordered.

14. Whatever outreach they offer to men, they imply that men are in need of remediation (e.g., the proliferation of "accountability groups" but no real support groups).

15. They have no compassion for socially marginalized men such as single men, divorced men, economically disadvantaged men, men who are socially awkward, men with emotional problems, men caught up in sexual sin, etc.

If you want an apt illustration of the disconnect between cultural conservatives and the welfare of men, consider the following on-air exchange between Bill O'Reilly and Mark Rudov ...



Bill O'Reilly's dismissive attitude is par for the course among cultural conservatives. Mark Rudov raises a valid issue about why women should be treated as "equals" if they need to be mollycoddled. O'Reilly never addresses that issue, and neither do a lot of other right-wing pundits who claim to be "against feminism."

Religious pundits are just as cavalier towards men's concerns. Why would they be otherwise? They cater to women and powerful men. Their paycheck does not depend on the men they excoriate, belittle, and demean. Or if it does, then these pundits escape accountability because the men they vilify are mentally arrested by fear, insecurity, a restrictive social upbringing, or just plain ignorance. All in all, from Phariseeism to Jim Crow to man-bashing, the religious establishment has dropped the ball on being merciful and just to those who are lower down on the social totem pole.

When you see a religious figure engaging in any of the behaviors I described, then you know what kind of specimen your dealing with. Jesus said you can know a tree by its fruit (Matthew 12:23). Some religious pundits just need to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17). True, Christian men have an obligation to be a part of a visible faith community whenever possible (Hebrews 10:25), but they have no obligation to hold up the hands of those who fail to be compassionate to men. The Bible speaks of "shepherds" who are no shepherds but are, in fact, oppressors (Ezekiel 34). When these "shepherds" fail the flock, it's time to look to the One, True Shepherd for the healing our souls--Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20). If need be, leave your faith community if it does not respect men.

When cultural conservatives and the religious establishment start talking about men, and when they claim to be "concerned" about men, take their claims with a grain of salt. It may be a ruse and a sham. Cultural conservatives and the religious establishment are "concerned" about men as a commodity. Men's right activists, on the other hand, are concerned about men as people. Think on these things.

66 comments:

Gary said...

The Church, to a large extent, is captive to the culture. I believe the responsibility for this lies at the feet of the men in The Church who have "caved in" to cultural pressures. And I believed they "caved in" (and continue to do so) because they love the esteem of men rather than the approval of GOD.

May GOD give us the grace to love, esteem and obey HIM.

Amir Larijani said...

I would not say that the religious establishment does not care about men, but rather that they have taken what Murrow calls a Titanic approach: women and children first.

Combined with the aftermath of the Victorian-era "gentle Jesus Meek and Mild" model--from which we are still recovering--it's an uphill struggle.

The Church has a tendency to address issues that are immediately in front of them. When the defecation hits the circulation in a divorce case, the men may be terribly affected, but are less likely to ask for help when they are in over their heads.

Pastors, on the other hand, will see several women per month in their office, going through this. They will hear the one-sided sob stories, some of which are true, most of which are just hyper-embellishments that cast the hubby as a monstrous asshole.

Combined with the seminary training--which is predisposed toward women--what is my perspective going to be if I am the pastor?

If I ask a seminary professor--who has been drenched in the Kool-Aid for 20+ years--what do you think his perspective is going to be?

Even the headshippers, as wrong as they are, care about the men; they have simply gotten their vectors out of whack. They have not thought through the implications of what they are teaching.

They are on-base in exhorting men to be better leaders in their homes and churches.

They are off-base when they (a) make universal declarations regarding degree of fault, or (b) assume that whenever a marriage goes wrong, that it was primarily the man's fault, or (c) assume that a bad response by the woman was due to an improper initiation by the man, or (d) assume that lack of wifely submission is due to poor husbandly leadership.

Promise Keepers, remember, was intended as a ministry to men. It enjoys much success, but for many years it was best-described as "women's ministry for men".

As for O'Reilly, he's more qualified to evaluate sex toys that he is to intelligently discuss manhood from a Christian perspective.

On legal matters, the problem is that during the 1960s and 1970s, it was almost impossible to address men's issues, as the implications and unintended consequences of all the easy divorce laws--and the trends in family courts and family law--had not come home to roost.

Now they have, and we are seeing the results. I'd say the Church is waking up, but it's slow-going. We ought not be surprised at this.

Just like the Church was slow to wake up on the abortion issue, it will take the Church some time to wake up to many men's issues.

Think about it: if the Church was slow-dragging on abortion--and it was VERY slow--it logically follows that it will take some time before the Church becomes more forceful in dealing with men's issues.

As I've often said, though: the proper response is not a backlash against women--that would move us closer to Talibanizing Christianity--but rather a return to Biblical balance.

What do I mean by that?

(1) Encouraging men to be active and passionate in their service to God and family. Quit squelching legitimate expressions of masculinity. Foster a culture that allows and encourages men to call a spade a spade.

(2) Calling both sexes--especially husbands and wives--to accountability with respect to their Biblical roles. That means confronting infidelities head-on. That means encouraging men to be the leaders in their homes. That means admonishing wives who attempt to usurp that leadership.

(3) Picking church leaders with respect to more than (a) how much they tithe, (b) how long they have been members, and (c) whether they are ass-kissers. Instead, pick them on account of the criteria listed in II Timothy and Titus.

(4) When there is scandal and one member "moves on" to another church, letting their new church know about the scandal and the person's role in the discord.

A lady on my blog suffered a divorce after 20 years of marriage. Her husband was screwing prostitutes a la Spitzer. He went onto another church where he is now active in the "Singles Ministry". He has the front of being a diligent student and teacher of Scripture, all while he neglects and mistreats his kids, and is up to his eyeballs in porn.

If I'm her pastor, I'd let the ex-husbands church know what damage their shining new member has caused.

Ditto for the woman who sleeps around on her husband and moves on. (I know of such cases as well.)

(5) The expectation that, as adults, we expect men and women to be grownups. We do not discourage displays of emotion; we do encourage and exhort appropriate exercises of them.

Anonymous said...

Very good posting.

I saw the O'Reilly - Rudov encounter when it aired a couple months ago, and was also really irritated by O'Reilly's dismissive, snarky attitude. He was goading Rudov and took the whole issue as a joke.

O'Reilly is a cultural conservative, and I no longer watch his show.

emarel

Hermes said...

Anakin, have you ever heard of F. Roger Devlin? He's an independent scholar who has written a few articles on women and relations between the sexes in the modern world. I think you'd really appreciate his writings and they would contribute well to your understanding of these issues. Three of the articles can be found here and his most recent is here.

I think a key insight, one that comes through in Devlin's writings, is that the problem is not traditional gender roles, but traditional gender roles inconsistently applied. Women are hard-wired to be attracted to manly men with a high degree of social proof and to want their men to be protectors and providers; it's in their genes and it's not going to change. The problem is that men are being told to be protectors and providers while women are told they are free to be liberated feminists. The solution is not to make it acceptable for men not to be providers, the solution is, frankly, to put women back in the kitchen.

Novaseeker said...

A very fine post, Anakin.

I also recommend the Devlin pieces if you have not yet read them. He astutely points out why conservatives are often as unhelpful as liberals about these issues, due to being trapped in chivalry.

From my perspective, the reason why we see this is because feminism is now the air we breathe as a culture. All of our institutions have been infected with it and its perspectives, including religious institutions.

Nothing will change about this until marriage is changed. As long as we have easy no-fault divorce and high child support payments, marriage will remain very unstable, and fatherhood, which requires marriage to function properly, will remain weak. Women will find less and less men whom they wish to marry (and who wish to marry at all) precisely because the prospect of becoming a father in an age when one's actions as a father are 100% dependent on whether the mother wants you to be there is not very attractive to many men.

Unless marriage is fixed, nothing with change much, and we will only continue down the path of more bastardy, coupled with the social ills that come from that -- and of course churches and cultural conservatives will blame men for this, when in fact the reason why men are not being fathers is because fatherhood has been almost fatally weakened by the family law system. No-one has the courage to take on women about the current family law, because women, almost as a bloc, support it -- because they know that it is advantageous for them, fathers and men be damned.

Gerv said...

I'm not in a position to comment on the cultural environment in America. You may be right about some of these things. And I'm encouraged by Amir's set of positive steps. This blog post raises, for me, the following questions for Anakin:

1. How does this question relate to Jesus, who is commended for "silently bear[ing] pain, suffering, shame, and humiliation at the hands of others"? Surely we are all called to do this as needs be? If women are not, surely that's the problem, rather than the fact that men are?

3. There is a difference between asserting that someone is at fault and that someone is responsible. If I were married and my wife and I had an argument, I may or may not be at fault. However, as head of the household, I would be responsible for restoring the relationship. Are you sure you are not missing this distinction in their position?

6/7/8. What do you think the Bible says, if anything, about what masculinity is and how men should behave?

9. Assuming they mean "men with dependents", in what circumstances do you think it would be inappropriate for such a man to be responsible for protecting and providing?

11. Do you think that all reasons for rejecting marriage and fatherhood are, by definition, good ones? Or are there some reasons for which a man might be rightly censured?

14. What is the difference between an accountability group and a support group?

And if "Cultural conservatives and the religious establishment are 'concerned' about men as a commodity", does that include male cultural conservatives? If so, why do you think they have such a self-destructive attitude? Do you think they don't realise that it's such?

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Novaseeker said...

And if "Cultural conservatives and the religious establishment are 'concerned' about men as a commodity", does that include male cultural conservatives? If so, why do you think they have such a self-destructive attitude? Do you think they don't realise that it's such?Mostly it's because they are stuck in a mindset of chivalry, whereby men are simply encouraged to "man up", and the problem will be solved, because women will somehow naturally drop their feminist bossiness and general level of difficulty in the face of a real man, or a spiritually right man or something like that. The laws don't matter. Women will automatically change in the face of the rebirth of a true man.

No-one explains, of course, just what good "manning-up" does in a world of unilateral no-fault divorce, where 70%+ of the divorces are initiated by women. Contrary to popular myth, husbands are not ditching out on their wives, but wives are simply leaving their husbands ... in droves. Yet social conservatives only rarely take on the issue of marriage, because they know that it is a lost cause politically currently (women, who make up more than 50% of the electorate, will not support a more restrictive family law), and they would prefer to spend their political capital on other issues.

That, and many of them are divorced themselves, and do not have the stomach to call for reform to the system -- if they do so, their views would be dismissed as coming from a "bitter, divorced person".

These are the reasons why we see social conservatives dropping the ball on these issues. You pretty much don't see anyone in the culture -- liberal, conservative, secular or religious -- attacking the marriage/divorce law as being the source of most of the problems we see in this vein. They don't do that because that kind of analysis is taboo, and so they focus their efforts elsewhere.

Oh, and bash men for the fact that the law is stacked against them in the context of an electoral system where women have most of the political power.

Learner said...

Anakin (and/or anyone else),

I know you said you don't intend to get into a detailed discussion about your points, but could you give an example of the following?

5. They address issues which affect men only to extent that such issues might be of concern to women and others.

Amir Larijani said...

Learner asked for an example of the following: 5. They address issues which affect men only to extent that such issues might be of concern to women and others.
Not sure I agree with that item.

There may be times where an issue gets covered--divorce, abortion, premarital or extramarital sex, sexual abuse, pornography--in which a large degree of attention might be given to the impact on women, but I would not say that those issues are covered exclusively with respect to their impact on women.

I've seen examples of the aforementioned matters, as they were taught, in which most of the coverage was with respect to their impact on women.

Some of those matters--such as abortion--almost require that type of coverage.

In addition, it is fair to say that in the case of premarital sex, women have much more to lose than the men.

After all, a woman in such a situation has a greater risk of contracting a common STD such as gonnorhea, syphilis, chlamydia, or HPV. These carry larger risks for cervical cancer and infertility, risks that the men do not face.

Premarital sex also exposes the woman to a greater risk of HIV infection than the man. If she gets pregnant, she will bear the greater brunt of the damage if she has an abortion, and will bear the brunt of the responsibilities if the man punts on his responsibilities.

Still, there are other issues--such as divorce, sexual abuse, and pornography--that carry devastating impacts on men, more so than most ministers are willing to admit in their coverage of these subjects.

Almost every man born after 1960 has had some porn exposure. The damage from that can range from mild to severe. Sexual abuse is a hell of a lot more common than anyone is willing to admit, and boys suffer from it just as the girls do.

In a divorce, the boys can be torn from their fathers, and that wreaks havoc in their lives, just as it does the girls who suffer this. Go to any jail and look at the repeat offenders. What is one of the major common theads? No daddy in the home.

A minister would need to ensure that those issues are addressed, as those would shed light on both the effects of sin as well as the actions of today's generation of men and women with respect to marriage and family life.

Some of those actions are out of prudence and are recommended. Some are out of fear.

A church that can admonish and exhort and challenge Christians to the highest aspirations, can make a huge impact.

Curiepoint said...

Anakin (and/or anyone else),

I know you said you don't intend to get into a detailed discussion about your points, but could you give an example of the following?

5. They address issues which affect men only to extent that such issues might be of concern to women and others.
Learner, one example that comes to mind involves male health. Just about every ad I see that dares address issues such as prostate cancer screenings, or testicular cancer, are usually couched in terms of how it impacts women. Not long ago, Maxim magazine ran a two-page spread that showed a series of pictures of women, and the caption in the ad said

"I have prostate cancer"

The idea being that if a man dies of prostate cancer, then it's the women who suffer. Hello! the guy is the one who is dead, not you. You don't have prostate cancer, ladies...the men are the only ones who get it.

Another was a commercial I remember that showed a man walking around with his wife hanging around his neck. The idea here is that she is going to "get on his back" and stay there until he does something about getting tested.

I for one got really sick of male exclusive conditions only being given merit and attention when couched in terms of what it means to a woman. Yes, a man is stupid if he doesn't submit to testing, and he could die without remedial detection and treatment. But please...he owes it only to his own life to do so, not anyone else's.

catwoman said...

As cats often do, I've brought you a few dead mice:

1. Stoicism as a Christian virtue is hammered pretty much equally over the heads of both men and women. Who of the single among us has not heard the "contentment sermon" over and over again?

2. Lopsided divorce laws and paternity fraud are rapidly becoming issues of the past, thanks to advances in law and science. As I've said before, Anakin, you can't exactly take issue with male-bashing in the media while minimizing the impact of mysogynistic media on women.

3. Men/husbands may be a starting place for looking at problems that arise between the sexes at churches that preach "husband lead/wife submit", but rarely do churches treat men as "primarily", let alone "solely" responsible.

4. The idea that they generally don't hold women accountable for their actions against men is preposterous. Next!

5. Churches have always been in the business of deflecting our attention off our own troubles so we can be more attentive to those of others. For both sexes. What's new?

6. It's a curious biblical and cultural pot pourri that makes up the modern church's definition of "biblical manhood". The bible doesn't offer an exact chapter and verse definition, only examples, which don't seem to hold much weight with you.

7. A man's usefulness to others should be included in any definition of manhood (likewise for women and womanhood, or adulthood in general). You'd be hard pressed to find a complementarian definition of biblical manhood that frames "usefulness to women" outside of the intended purpose of leading them.

8. The problem stripping down "stereotypes" is that you end up with a bland, non-descript version of a man or woman that no one can relate to. Sure, there needs to be tolerance for individual differences, but past a certain point you're just getting into the same old lefty harping about the "marginalized".

9. "They push the notion of men being "protectors" and "providers" without any meaningful discussion about whether or not these roles are always necessary or appropriate for men." Yes, no more gratuitous heroics, but I don't here anyone telling men they must "enable" or "pamper" women either.

10. Options = responsibilities, whether you're male or female. As for men in non-traditional roles, again, you end up with the same minority/marginalization issues that never completely get resolved (as if women in non-traditional roles are always regarded with you-go-girl approval).

11. Men who don't embrace marriage or fatherhood aren't necessarily put in a bad light, they just don't receive the esteemed status that comes with marriage and parenthood (same for women).

12. Certainly, church leaders should not be oblivious to unfavorable economic and social conditions that youth are up against today. Nor should they set arbitrary standards (ie must have house before marriage).

13. Definitely, many churches still have a long way to go, as far has how they handle human sexuality. But it's a gross exaggeration and backward claim that "they imply that male sexuality is, at best, of secondary importance to female sexuality."

14. As for "accountability groups" but no real support groups, wouldn't the laws of supply and demand apply here?

15. "They have no compassion for socially marginalized men such as single men, divorced men, economically disadvantaged men, men who are socially awkward, men with emotional problems, men caught up in sexual sin, etc."

Again, how far can you take on the problems of the marginalized, whether they are male or female? "Compassion" only goes so far, since you're still left with practical problems requiring solutions that may or may not be within the scope of what a church can provide. You can invite the socially awkward man to the singles group, but if his behavior is repellant, he'll still feel marginalized if he can't anyone to go out with him.


I do sympathize with much of what you've identified here and agree that there's definitely room for improvement, articulated well by churchformen.com. But I doubt that you're polemic will have much impact though, since ultimately you've got a laundry list that's not unlike any lefty rant for the marginalized, a strategy that's past its time, for masculinists and feminists alike. The problem isn't that the church marginalizes or "doesn't care" about men, it's that there are some men, despite the loving but firm messages of the church, will still come away with their needs unmet.

Learner said...

Thanks for the examples Amir and Curiepoint

Novaseeker said...

The problem isn't that the church marginalizes or "doesn't care" about men, it's that there are some men, despite the loving but firm messages of the church, will still come away with their needs unmet.Church has never been about having one's needs met.

A more feminist perspective on church would be hard to come up with.

Your entire post is just a textbook example of why men and women are not finding Christian happiness. We are arrayed against each other, point for point, tit for tat. And before you blame us for that, remember that it was women who rebelled against the entire social order 40 years ago, and the churches who have adapted themselves to that rebellion.

Many men do not wish to adapt. That is our prerogative. And it has an impact on women. Fine. If women want that to change then the laws need to change, because the laws (used by Christian women as well as secular) are the main reason men are offstandish about women and feel marginalized in church.

I can honestly say that the church says almost nothing to me. Almost everything about men is negative. But even if that were to change, without the law changing, there would be no difference. The law freezes men into a nouveau slavery to women -- it is very unappealing to men.

If the churches are serious about marriage (instead of getting women married and then supporting them in divorce) then they need to get serious about advocating legal reform of the divorce law.

Amir Larijani said...

Novaseeker says: No-one explains, of course, just what good "manning-up" does in a world of unilateral no-fault divorce, where 70%+ of the divorces are initiated by women. Contrary to popular myth, husbands are not ditching out on their wives, but wives are simply leaving their husbands ... in droves. Yet social conservatives only rarely take on the issue of marriage, because they know that it is a lost cause politically currently (women, who make up more than 50% of the electorate, will not support a more restrictive family law), and they would prefer to spend their political capital on other issues.

The good news, however, is that among regular attenders of church, the divorce rate is much lower. It's not zero, and we all know one divorce is one too many, and we all know cases where the crap hit the fan with a married couple in church and whose divorce was nasty.

We can't let the exceptions make the rule, though.

In the Church, the outlook for families is better. It has serious issues, and those issues will take a long time to really sort out. And yes, there are no small number of ministers--evangelical ones--who will need their feet held to the fire even after they yell, "Uncle!"

But stiill, all is hardly doom-and-gloom for the Christian who considers marriage and family life.

Amir Larijani said...

Catwoman says: The problem isn't that the church marginalizes or "doesn't care" about men, it's that there are some men, despite the loving but firm messages of the church, will still come away with their needs unmet.There will always be people in any demographic group--men, women, young men, young women, young couples, seniors, youth--who will say, "my needs are not being met here." Sometimes those have veracity--especially in a church where the pastors market/minister to specific groups in "church growth" initiatives and neglect others; other times, it's just people wanting to suck on the ecclesiastical tit.

Still, that is hardly the problem surrounding the treatment of men's issues.

As I said, churches "care", but they are often slow--institutionally--to wake up to emerging issues.

Like I said, in the 1960s and 1970s, almost no one bothered to consider the ramifications of all the social engineering activities--including feminist initiatives--that were at the forefront. Some couldn't think that far ahead, some didn't want to.

There was little consideration as to what would happen with the expansion of the Welfare State, no-fault divorce, "diversity" initiatives, and "innovations" in family law. Some couldn't give that consideration; others simply didn't want reality to get in the way of something that provoked a "see: I care!" feeling that only a politician or social engineer or bureaucrat could love.

Given that pastors aren't always thinking three steps ahead, and given that the Seminary communities at the time were overwhelmingly in favor of such social engineering, one can see why the Church was slow to respond.

It is not the first time that the Church has been slow off the blocks. This has been the case in a variety of matters in recent times, most principally abortion.

At the time of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, where was the Church?

Other than the Catholics, there were very few Protestant denominations making any noise. The United Methodists were/are supportive of abortion rights; at the time, the Southern Baptist Convention was ambivalent about it. Most of their professors in their seminaries--until the mid-1990s--were pro-choice on the issue.

Had it not been for guys like Jerry Falwell--as much as I loathe much of what he did--the Protestant world might have taken an extra ten years to wake up on the abortion issue.

I mention issues like abortion in order to illustrate that if the Church is slow to respond on an exigent matter like that, then one can easily see why the Church is slow in "getting it" with men's issues.

Yes, laws will need to change. We need big-time legal and social reforms.

But more importantly, the men can take the lead in the Church, and demand sound doctrine.

This is more than the preaching that comes from the pulpit or what gets taught at Bible colleges and seminaries; this is about what happens in children's classes, youth "ministries", adult Sunday School, and adult and youth Bible studies.

On the positive side, churches are waking up on this matter. Granted, it ought to happen faster, but we can say that about any number of issues.

(I could give you an earful, for example, about children and youth ministry, and the sorry state of both. Churches often select youth and children's ministers not for their teaching abilities but rather for their abilities to plan "events"--campouts, parties, and concerts. And the curricula for the lower age brackets, with few exceptions, is downright awful.)

Still, the recovery is going to be slow. There are a number of pastors who need serious de-programming. That won't happen overnight. Rome was neither built--nor destroyed--in a day.

TMink said...

I think we miss the mark when we look for changes in the law to provide for changes in our culture. Oh, they do, but there is a better place for our culture to pivot.

Take the civil rights movement, I argue that this was a spiritual revival at its center, it was God calling His children to repentence. The changes in the law followed rather than preceeded the spiritual awakening.

In a similar way, the Church sinned in shaming and practically excommunicating unwed mothers prior to the abortion problem. It was not the Supreme Court that gave us legal murder of the unborn, it was the nasty, hateful, and judgmetal attitude of the Church.

So I think that we are most accurate when we consider a revival of obedience to and holy consideration of God's values as the start of positive movement in our culture toward men rather than changes in the law.

What do yall think?

Trey

Amir Larijani said...

TMink says: In a similar way, the Church sinned in shaming and practically excommunicating unwed mothers prior to the abortion problem. It was not the Supreme Court that gave us legal murder of the unborn, it was the nasty, hateful, and judgmetal attitude of the Church.Wrong. The Church did not "give us the legal murder of the unborn", any more than the Church of the First Century "gave us the legal murder of Christians".

Irrespective of how the Church treated unwed mothers, the abortion dynamic was going to happen. The secular world was going to see to it.

That was in motion before Roe, and was being marketed in terms of the "hard cases" (i.e. rape, incest, life emergencies, even though abortion for the latter had always been legal).

(When then-Governor Reagan (R-CA) signed the legislation legalizing abortion, he thought it was only for the hard cases. It would be the only law he ever signed that he would later regret signing. As President, he did the best he could--given the constraints he had--to undo that damage, to no avail.)

The promotion of abortion was a feminist initiative that had little connection to the Church. to the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s--as well as today--abortion was/is a litmus test of whether one supports "women's rights".

The Church did NOT give us the legal murder of the unborn, although some denominations actually supported it while most were simply ambivalent if not sleeping at the switch.

slwerner said...

Catwoman, while wondering through the pasture, found some "stuff" the bull left behind; and, mistaking it for dead mice, lays it out here for us -

"2. Lopsided divorce laws and paternity fraud are rapidly becoming issues of the past, thanks to advances in law and science."What she fails to provide is that coordinates to the magic portal to that alternate universe where she finds this happening.

While DNA tests can now identify paternity fraud, both radical gender feminists and conservative (so-called) Christian women are lining up against using them. Some are actively working to get their use banned. Why? To protect "mommies little secret" and her revenue stream from duped dad. And, so we can all go on pretending that women are "honorable" and would never do such things. Ha!

And, we already see that the Feminists are fighting to keep the financial liabilities stuck with the man who's been cheated and defrauded. I have yet to see any professing Christian women take a stand against this truly evil "criminal" injustice" against cuckolded men - their silence say's it all.

Now, Catwoman, this is the first thing that I've ever read from you, but, based on what you spewed out; let me make an educated guess as to you views on paternity fraud:

1)You see it as no big deal really - a man should just happy that his wife is having children, even if she having them by another man.

2)You believe it doesn't really matter who acts as daddy to a child - and no man should ever bother to wonder if a child is really his.

3)When paternity fraud is revealed, you believe that the duped dad should "man up", beg his wifes forgiveness for driving her to infidelity, pledge his heart and soul to her and to her child, and keep his mouth shut about it to protect her "honor" with friends and family.

4)In the case of divorce, you side completely with the Feminist notion of child-alimony from duped dad to support the mother in the lifestyle she's become accustom to IS "in the best interest of the child" - but, the truth is NOT.

And,

5)Whomever a women wished to have declared the father is all that matters, and the man chosen should feel honored that she has chosen him, and gladly accept the financial burden for her and her child - after all, as the Feminists have often asked, "why does it matter which man pays, just so long as some man pays?"

So, Catwoman, did I get your views on the despicable evil of paternity fraud correct?

I guess you're also quite happy with the current trends in family law which are making it even more unfair for men. Your idea of "advances" in law, I take it?

slwerner said...

TMink - "In a similar way, the Church sinned in shaming and practically excommunicating unwed mothers prior to the abortion problem."Trey,

Are you suggesting that the historical mistreatment of women by the church justifies it's mistreatment of men today?

While I think most people agree that shaming unwed mothers away was neither scriptural nor appropriate, I also believe that shaming away divorced and dispossessed men and fathers is every bit as bad.

slwerner said...

TMink - "So I think that we are most accurate when we consider a revival of obedience to and holy consideration of God's values as the start of positive movement in our culture toward men rather than changes in the law.

What do yall think?"

Trey,

I neglected to point out novaseeker's very provocative essay on men changing their perspectives/lifestyles (http://novaseeker.blogspot.com/2009/04/for-men-political-is-personal.html)

anyway, he definitely tells you what he thinks - have a look.

TMink said...

Amir wrote: "The promotion of abortion was a feminist initiative that had little connection to the Church."

There we agree, abortion is the sacrament of secular humanism. But I disagree when you state that the church had nothing to do with the legalization of abortion in general.

Let me state my case. We are charged with being salt, not to rub in wounds, but to preserve society. I think we lost sight of that in the post war era in our approach to unwed mothers.

The unwed mothers would be shamed and ostracized by their local community and church and would go live with a distant relative to hide during the pregnancy. The child would be given up to adoption, which is a good thing, but the mother treated with shame and rejection.

Our Savior gave us such a different example. All through the gospels he chooses sinful, fallen and ostracized women (and men of course) to demonstrate God's love, grace, and forgiveness. The woman at the well is one of my favorite such stories. Under the law, Christ could have had her stoned. Under grace, he forgave her sins and transformed her life. Imagine how different the abortion "debate" would have been if the church had followed His example in dealing with unwed mothers.

I do accept that the feminists would have advanced the practice, but I cannot imagine it getting the traction it did without the wrong headed and ungodly pratices of our churches at that time.

Well, that is my take on it anyway! Thanks for your response Amir, I look forward to further discussions with you. God bless you sir.

Trey

TMink said...

Slwerner asked: "Are you suggesting that the historical mistreatment of women by the church justifies it's mistreatment of men today?"

Not at all. I see those as different sins. Sorry I was not clear on that. Nothing justifies the church's mistreatment of men. It is foolishness and is having sad but predictable consequences. I am agin it.

I am a little excited about this blog and the discussions, and I tend to get sloppy when I get excited.

So let me thank you Slwerner, for sending me this way. You have done me a favor brother, and I am in your debt!

Trey

catwoman said...

Way to jump to conclusions, Novaseeker and slwerner!

"Church has never been about having one's needs met." That's exactly what I was trying to say. How is that a "feminist perspective".

And as for slwerner's questions about my views on paternity fraud? Wrong on all counts.

Amir Larijani said...

TMink: I beg to differ.

The whole "churches and communities ostracized unwed mothers" argument is a nothing but a canard used after the fact. It was hardly a principal argument advanced by the abortophiles at the time.

In fact, abortion rights was marketed exclusively for the "hard cases": in particular rape and incest. That was the marketing strategy behind the states that legalized it before Roe (New York, California, even Kansas).

While the Church treatment of unwed mothers left much to be desired, that had little or nothing to do with the traction that the abortion rights movement gained in the 1960s.

The argument that "if the church did what it was supposed to do, we wouldn't have abortion" is complete revisionist fiction.

The abortion rights movement was a secular movement started by secular academics and secular policy wonks and secular lawyers--aided and abetted by a secular court system--with a larger social agenda in mind.

It was the latest in a string of matters in which secularists used the courts to force agendas that they could not advance nationally in democratic or legislative efforts, and Roe v. Wade (with Doe v. Bolton) was just the culmination of a perfect storm that had been brewing for decades.

To say that the Church is at fault in this, is complete and utter rubbish. Nothing short of an outright theocracy--which would have brought its own set of unintended consequences--could have prevented that from happening.

Moreover, you say, "We are charged with being salt, not to rub in wounds, but to preserve society."

What, exactly, are you referring to when you speak of "preserving society"?

I would suggest that, in every culture, there were/are many elements of "society" that were/are not worth preserving.

This is where Tim Keller nails it when he states that there is something in the Gospel that is offensive to every culture.

Learner said...

Lopsided divorce laws and paternity fraud are rapidly becoming issues of the past, thanks to advances in law and scienceI seem to recall you saying this before Catwoman. Upon what do you base the assertion that lopsided divorce laws and paternity fraud are rapidly becoming issues of the past? What advances in law and science are you referring to?

Triton said...

Take the civil rights movement, I argue that this was a spiritual revival at its center, it was God calling His children to repentence. The changes in the law followed rather than preceeded the spiritual awakening.I couldn't disagree more. It was definitely clothed in religious themes, but the result was a decrease in civil rights, not an increase. Property rights were infringed in a way that they hadn't been previously and freedom of association was almost completely destroyed.

Here are a few articles about the Civil Wrongs Movement:

LinkLinkLinkIn a similar way, the Church sinned in shaming and practically excommunicating unwed mothers prior to the abortion problem. It was not the Supreme Court that gave us legal murder of the unborn, it was the nasty, hateful, and judgmetal attitude of the Church.I notice you capitalize "Church", so I assume you're talking about the Roman Catholic Church. Whether the RCC is "sinning" or not depends on whatever doctrine it happens to hold to at the time. Not being an expert in the intricacies of Catholic doctrine, I'll leave that to others to decide.

I would hardly blame the RCC for abortion, though; that's just silly. There is nothing wrong with heaping scorn on one who sins; how else are we supposed to dissuade people from sinning?

The Biblical solution to pre-marital sex is for the couple to marry. If they agree to do so, then all is forgiven. If they refuse, then they should absolutely be outcast. If you want to be a member of a club, then you have to play by the club's rules, whether that club is a secular or religious organization.

Triton said...

Okay, what on earth is going on with Blogger? None of us are getting our paragraph breaks in where they are supposed to be.

Get it together, Google!

Novaseeker said...

So I think that we are most accurate when we consider a revival of obedience to and holy consideration of God's values as the start of positive movement in our culture toward men rather than changes in the law.

What do yall think?
I understand your perspective, and certainly in the context of the churches, this has to be done. Feminist ideas are harmful to the message and mission of the churches, and a return to sound doctrine and so on in these areas is of critical importance to the churches.

However, I do not expect that kind of activity to result in great cultural change in the world beyond the churches. More and more people are unchurched, and the culture has beecome un-moored from religion in general, Christian or otherwise. So while I do think that a kind of revival on this issue is needed in the churches, I don't expect that to have a significant effect on what is actually happening in the broader culture.

Laws are curious things in that generally most people will do what the law permits them to do. In the case of marriages, the law permits easy divorce. And, interestingly enough, the divorce law was changed in the 70s without much rancor or debate. It wasn't really the culture having this huge outcry, resulting in a legal change. It was rather the reverse: the laws were rather quietly changed in a radical manner, and massive cultural change followed those legal changes, rather than preceding them. I don't think we can adequately deal with those massive cultural changes in any realistic way other than destroying the source of those changes -- which was the radical re-writing of family law.

So by all means the churches need to clean up their act when it comes to men and feminism and related issues. But in order for the broader culture to be changed, the law needs to change, and that's pretty unlikely.

slwerner said...

Catwoman - "And as for slwerner's questions about my views on paternity fraud? Wrong on all counts."Oh, really?

Given that you give little more than a wave of your hand in proclaiming that science and the law are already well on their way to eliminating the "problems" would seem to suggest either great ignorance of reality or that you don't actually believe either to actually be a problem in the first place.

SO, maybe you'd care to detail just what your views are?

BTW, novaseeker has done one of the better treatments on paternity fraud that I've seen recently (http://novaseeker.blogspot.com/2009/04/dna-paternity-testing.html), and, of course, there are years and years of archives which provide insights into the disparity in divorce laws at Glenn Sacks blog.

Amir Larijani said...

Gerv says: 3. There is a difference between asserting that someone is at fault and that someone is responsible. If I were married and my wife and I had an argument, I may or may not be at fault. However, as head of the household, I would be responsible for restoring the relationship. Are you sure you are not missing this distinction in their position?

Clarification: the husband is responsible for making the effort to restore the relationship--initiation, if you will.

On the other hand, it takes two--not one--to restore that relationship, and he has no control over whether she does her part.

You cannot force a person to love you.

One of the great myths that gets promoted--implicitly--by the headshippers is that, whenever a relationship goes to crap, then it is obviously because the husband failed to take proper steps to restore it.

That assertion is utter rubbish: no matter how Godly you are, your perfect initiation hardly assures a perfect response on the part of the wife.

14. What is the difference between an accountability group and a support group?The latter does not necessarily involve people holding each other's feet to the fire.

An accountability group exists to spur one another to action, rather than just talk about problems.

TMink said...

Amir wrote: "What, exactly, are you referring to when you speak of "preserving society"?"

Specifically I was referring to the rights of the unborn, in general, the behavioral expectations when this was a more Christian America.

Our disagreement is deep. In the final analysis, I trust and depend on the power of God through his Spirit and people more than the power of principalities and powers of this world. For me, this is where the answers to our societal problems lie. And the causes of our problems as well.

Take care.

Trey

TMink said...

Triton wrote: "I notice you capitalize "Church", so I assume you're talking about the Roman Catholic Church."

A perfectly reasonable expectation, but it was more sloppy capitalization on my part, I was thinking of the body of believers.

"There is nothing wrong with heaping scorn on one who sins; how else are we supposed to dissuade people from sinning?"

I disagree. Our Savior saved his wrath for the corrupt clergy. He met sinners with love and forgiveness. I cannot think of a verse to support your position on heaping scorn on sinners, though it is certainly done, and sometimes with the best of intentions.

I am not sure it is my job to dissuade people from sinning, well other than myself and my family. It is my job to call sin what it is, but I have a long way to go before I can be convinced that heaping scorn on sinners is helpful or Biblical. But I am open to scriptual persuasion on the matter of course.

Trey

TMink said...

Amir wrote: "no matter how Godly you are, your perfect initiation hardly assures a perfect response on the part of the wife."

Amen. Just ask Hosea.

Trey

catwoman said...

Learner: Upon what do you base the assertion that lopsided divorce laws and paternity fraud are rapidly becoming issues of the past? What advances in law and science are you referring to?

slwerner: SO, maybe you'd care to detail just what your views are?
BTW, novaseeker has done one of the better treatments on paternity fraud that I've seen recently

I checked out your link, slwerner, and could not find any specific "radical gender feminists and conservative (so-called) Christian women are lining up against using them or actively working to get their use banned." I wouldn't be surprised if some were out there, but it doesn't sound like much of a movement to me.

As for divorce laws, the trend is moving toward automatic shared custody unless there's a good reason why one spouse or another should have sole custody. Which makes sense for the child, as well as the parents. It also reduces the proportion of wives filing for divorce.

As Amir points out, the church is slow to respond when it comes to gender issues, the wheels of justice are also slow to turn, but turn they do.

Amir Larijani said...

TMink says: Specifically I was referring to the rights of the unborn, in general, the behavioral expectations when this was a more Christian America.

Our disagreement is deep. In the final analysis, I trust and depend on the power of God through his Spirit and people more than the power of principalities and powers of this world. For me, this is where the answers to our societal problems lie. And the causes of our problems as well.
The problem is that the abortion disaster hit us in subtle fashion. The Church--with the exception of the Catholics--simply did not see it coming. Even had they seen it coming, the momentum was simply not in their favor.

Keep in mind that, as the abortion storm was percolating, there were many trends working against the Church: (a) the shootdown of prayer in public schools, (b) sex education in public schools, (c) the advent of the modern Welfare State, (d) the Griswold v. Connecticut decision which established the "right to privacy" with respect to contraceptive availability.

In fact, the latter was the legal loophole--referred to as the "emanating penumbra"--by which Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the Roe v. wade decision in 1973.

The dirty little secret: prior to 1973, the two states that account for the largesse of abortions--New York and California--had already legalized abortion. Kansas had followed suit, and was even specializing in late-term abortions. The Roe and Doe decisions, handed down on 22 January 1973, stripped away the laws on the books in the remaining states, such as Texas.

Even if the Church had done everything right, it is highly doubtful that they would have been able to stave off the abortion disaster. The momentum had materialized a decade prior to Roe, one could say more the two decades if you include the effects of Dewey on our education system and Kinsey on our legal and education systems.

Some ministers--however well-intentioned--have been known to suggest that if the Church had been on the ball, that we would not have abortion today. The evidence is not on their side.

This is because the judges who made the "landmark" decisions that built the Roe framework, were not accountable to anyone, and were operating in a mindset that went back to the turn of the century.

slwerner said...

catwoman - "I checked out your link, slwerner, and could not find any specific "radical gender feminists and conservative (so-called) Christian women are lining up against using them or actively working to get their use banned." I wouldn't be surprised if some were out there, but it doesn't sound like much of a movement to me."I provided no links to those in opposition to DNA paternity testing in my post, nor did novaseeker in his essay.

I doubt either of us has even tried to build a bibliography of those who have either worked towards getting paternity testing severely restricted (even banned) or have expressed their opposition to the procedure being utilized. Here’s one quick link http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/papers/truth/index.htm which can provide some detail.

The feminist line has often been that paternity testing is a means by which men are trying to avoid child support obligations - no explanation as to why a man who is NOT the father SHOULD be so obligated, but fairness towards men is hardly any concern of theirs.

And the few Christian women who I seen who have had anything to say about DNA paternity testing have been expressing their concerns about what such testing might do to families, assuming it would be better for a husband to never know than to have him become angry at his wife, not wish to bond to her lovers child, not want to provide 18+ years of financial support to the woman who has selfishly cuckolded him, or, God forbid, wish to break up their happy home via divorce.

To be sure, the vast majority of Christian women would rather not even discuss the issue, apparently preferring to pretend that it isn’t important, doesn’t exist, or perhaps that the law and science will “take care of it”.

Hum??? Wonder if this an example of No. 5 ” They address issues which affect men only to extent that such issues might be of concern to women and others.”.

Like false rape accusations, paternity fraud doesn’t typically have much of a negative impact on women, so why bother addressing them? Let’s just pretend that they are minor nuisances, affecting only a meaningless few man, who really ought to just “man up” and shut up about it so that women don’t have to even think about them. With some many other pressing issue, why waste time the gripes of men anyway, huh?

So, Catwoman, you never really did say anything about your opinions on the matter – just that little bit suggesting that it wasn’t really anything that anyone needed to worry about because science and the law had it covered.

Is it just no big deal to you? Is No. 5 dead-on WRT Christian women?


I provided no links to those in opposition to DNA paternity testing in my post, nor did novaseeker in his essay.

I doubt either of us has even tried to build a bibliography of those who have either worked towards getting paternity testing severely restricted (even banned) or have expressed their opposition to the procedure being utilized

Anonymous said...

catwoman got OWNED

God help us if you speak for Christian women

Triton said...

A perfectly reasonable expectation, but it was more sloppy capitalization on my part, I was thinking of the body of believers.Gotcha. No problem. I've just seen a lot of Catholics use "Church" when what they mean is the Roman Catholic Church, not all Christians of all stripes. As a result of the confusion, I try to be careful when using "Church" and "church".

Our Savior saved his wrath for the corrupt clergy. He met sinners with love and forgiveness.Those clergy were sinners. They were substituting their own traditions in place of the scriptures. They basically treated the Torah with about the same respect as our federal government treats the Constitution.

And I'm not aware of Jesus ever forgiving someone who was unrepentant, which would describe a couple who had premarital sex but refused to marry afterward.

I cannot think of a verse to support your position on heaping scorn on sinners, though it is certainly done, and sometimes with the best of intentions.Well, there is the whole knocking of the dust off of the sandals thing. Though I suppose that is more "ostracism" than scorn.

And Jesus was quite critical of a number of people, calling them "whitewashed tombs" and the like.

The people that Jesus was kinder to were more likely to be those who had run afoul of the local authorities or were outcasts in some other way; they were not necessarily sinners at all in the scriptural sense.

Triton said...

Man, this commenting system is really malfunctioning. Anakin, have you ever considered making the switch to Haloscan?

Amir Larijani said...

slwerner: I know where you are going with this, and agree with you on a large part of this "paternity testing" issue.

Our system has now established a precedent whereby a man can be identified in court as the father of a child, and--even if he provides DNA proof that this claim is erroneous--he still is forced to pay.

Gil Garcetti, for example, used "default judgments" to force "fathers" to pay child support, and refused to rescind those "default judgments" even when the DNA tests showed that the "default judgments" were erroneous.

Now Catwoman, I can see your response already. Gil Garcetti is just a "worst case scenario". Trouble is, when "worst case scenarios" start setting legal precedents, it becomes extremely difficult to reverse them.

And if you're one of those affected men, it's a double-whammy: a deadbeat record, deserved or not, hinders your employability. You can't get security clearances, you can't get jobs where serious background checks are done. Even with a professional background, you can find your earning power ripped to shreds.

Garcetti was the District Attorney for one of the largest cities in America. The legal precedents set by him in these matters are particularly troubling.

If my name is John Jones, and a woman I've never met identifies a person named "John Jones" as the father, and 5 years later, the state--trying to track down deadbeats--serves me with a child support notice, I'm, for lack of better words, screwed. Doesn't matter that there are any number of men with that name and I can prove that they have the wrong "John Jones".

This is because, even with a DNA test that proves I'm not the father, a fascist like Garcetti couldn't give two shits about the truth. And our court system refuses to throw such cases out due to "statute of limitations" issues.

So yes, Catwoman, Slwerner has a point here. And when feminists start opposing paternity testing, that shows what their real agenda is.

Now Slwerner, let's make sure we're not being one-sided. Yes, we have established the case that DNA proof doesn't get the men off the hook in many instances.

Still, we must keep in mind that there are no small number of legitimate deadbeats out there who had enough balls to get their rocks off with a gal, but not enough testicular fortitude to man-up, marry her, and be a daddy.

While some of the "cures"--such as the summary judgments of Garcetti--are worse than the disease because they recklessly disregard the truth, let's not forget that there is one hell of a "disease" out there, and the men in those cases are 50% of the problem.

slwerner said...

Amir Larijani - "Now Slwerner, let's make sure we're not being one-sided. Yes, we have established the case that DNA proof doesn't get the men off the hook in many instances."Not at all, I'm interested in justice - i.e., the biological father is the one who should be financially responsible for his children.

And, if DNA paternity tests show that a man has been cheating on his wife and has impregnated another man's wife, then I'm all for him having to suffer the consequences of his actions. I think most men readily agree with my line of thinking on such matters. And, That is where I see a huge divergence between men and women, yes, even Christian woman.

While men seldom seek to cover for another man’s misdeeds, nor excuse those inappropriate actions, I find that women DO cover for their “sisters” and try to shield them from the shame of having to face up to the consequences of their decisions.

Between my wife and I, we have seen personal examples of what I’m suggesting here. I would never stand by and let a male friend engage in adultery without challenging him about it. However, when my wife once tried to challenge a female friend about her infidelity, she was roundly rebuffed by the women and several of her friends – and made to feel that she would be acting as a traitor to all women if she would have chosen to “out” this woman’s sin.

What I see happening is that be it infidelity, paternity fraud, or the spoils of divorce, women seem to automatically line-up in support of the women – regardless of who actually had greater culpability – and to protect that woman’s “interests”, while virtually ignoring the fact that the man also has “interests”. Men, while perhaps showing a slight bias towards their male counter-parts demonstrate nowhere near the gender-based one-sidedness that women typically do.

Again, getting back to the authors 5th point about women only caring about men’s issues in so much as women are affected, the grievous issue of paternity fraud stands as a prime example. When they hear about the personal tragedy of a man learning that the child he’s been raising for years is not his, that his wife is divorcing him, he’s going to be all but shut out of the child’s life, and he’s still going to have to pay child-alimony for that child, has there ever been a upstanding Christian woman , who was not a blood relative of the man, who’ll do anything more than comment, “What a shame, I pray that God gives him peace” – with the expectation that he must somehow “man up” because that is his obligation to the child’s mother (disguised as his obligation to the child that is not even his own)?

Now, I’m quite certain that most of them will do as catwoman did earlier, and declare “No, that’s not true”. But, I suggest that their virtual silence on such matters tells a far clear story.

They are basically saying, “I don’t want to talk about, because I’m uncomfortable facing up to an issue in which woman are the primary bad actors.”

It’s always a bit frustrating on forums such as this when such weighty matter come up, and women simply “disappear” after some “You don’t know what you’re talking about” parting remark.

It is truly a manifestation of that previously mention 5th point – women don’t care to engage with issues that don’t primarily affect women or put women in a bad light.

I see where someone has posted, ”catwoman got OWNED”

If that was wrt my previous comment to her, I would wish to enter in to the record that I have no desire to “own”, belittle, nor silence catwoman . In fact, I would much prefer to engage her in the discussion in a way which would cause her to examine her opinions on the issue.

What we typically see is that for many “Men’s” issue – being falsely accused of rape, being screwed over in a divorce, or the indignity of being cuckolded, women only seem to truly care if it is a good friend or relative that is the victim. I don’t believe that women are truly that cold-hearted, but rather that they are just uncomfortable confronting such things until it is staring them in the face.

I’d like to think if we can get women to openly discuss these issues, it will serve to open their eyes, and perhaps change their chosen course of action so as to encourage other women to a better path.

So, catwoman, if you are still around, I’d very much like to hear back from you as to just exactly where it is that you do stand.

Learner said...

Slwerner,

"I’d like to think if we can get women to openly discuss these issues, it will serve to open their eyes, and perhaps change their chosen course of action so as to encourage other women to a better path."

(I'm giving up on the html business for now)

Thank you for wanting to do this, women need to understand the issues.

Learner said...

Triton,

"And I'm not aware of Jesus ever forgiving someone who was unrepentant, which would describe a couple who had premarital sex but refused to marry afterward."

How about the woman cought in adultery in John 8? Or the criminal crucified with Jesus in Luke 23? Perhaps the woman or the man in the scenario would be unwilling to marry? That would not make the one willing to marry be unrepentant.

Certainly believers should be held responsible for their sin, but I don't think that means tossing them out on their ear without attempting a restoration process.

patrick kelly said...

When I first read this post I was going to address each point, but others have already done so, probably much more exhaustively than I would have even attempted.

So at this point, I just want to offer my moral support and prayers to all who are living with the pain and struggles related to these issues. I know how "I feel your pain" can ring hollow, but it is in earnest and sincere in this case.

The Church, or churches do have groups of people who have dealt with these issues consistently throughout the centuries without major compromise with whatever cultural whims they encounter. They are not as numerous or visible as others, but I would suggest that seek earnestly and you will find is very applicable.

Triton said...

"How about the woman cought in adultery in John 8? Or the criminal crucified with Jesus in Luke 23? Perhaps the woman or the man in the scenario would be unwilling to marry? That would not make the one willing to marry be unrepentant."

I'm not convinced the woman in John 8 was actually an adultress. It takes two to tango, yet no man was presented as being the woman's illicit lover. It is just as likely that the gang that presented the woman to Jesus had gang-raped her and was trumping up the adultery charge in order to pre-empt her from making charges of her own. The fact that Jesus' responses were so ambiguous only supports that theory in my mind.

Either way, we'll never really know for certain.

As for the crucified criminal, he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. This is essentially what we all do to become Christians in the first place - "believeth in Him". Jesus did not, however, rescue the criminal from the cross. He still paid the temporal price for his crime, even though he was forgiven in the eternal sense.

For the example of the fornicating couple, I think if one party is willing to marry and the other is not, then the blame lies only with the unwilling party. In the Old Testament, I think the case of pre-marital sex and refusal by the man to marry would have been settled with some sort of payment to the woman's father. I could live with something like that.

My point in all of this is that there must be a good faith effort to make things right when one screws up. I think a lot of our problems today are the result of allowing too much evil without consequences. When children see people getting away with bad things, they grow up with a sense that those things not only ARE permissible but SHOULD be permissible.

For example, just look at today's kids' attitudes towards homosexuality. Even kids from Christian households are often ambivalent about it.

I think there's too often a confusion between eternal forgiveness and temporal forgiveness. Being forgiven for our sins doesn't give us a license to treat our fellow man in any way we please.

noseintheair said...

It takes two to tango,<<

True; two people who know what they are doing.

Unfortunately the beautiful dance of tango is smeared with the implication that the dance is about non legit physical relationships.

Learner said...

Triton,

"My point in all of this is that there must be a good faith effort to make things right when one screws up. I think a lot of our problems today are the result of allowing too much evil without consequences. When children see people getting away with bad things, they grow up with a sense that those things not only ARE permissible but SHOULD be permissible. "

I totally agree.

Returning to the original point, which was how the church excommunicated and shamed unwed mothers, I just think that if the goal is repentance and restoration, that tossing someone out of the church or shaming them should not be the first step, which it often was.

I also agree that forgiveness does not mean there are no consequences.

Novaseeker said...

We need to keep in mind a couple of things in this discussion.

The first is that there is no true conflict between evolution and revelation. Evolution explains how God executed His plan, whereas revelation discusses the meaning of that plan to us. Yes, evolution is based on "randomness" as is quantum physics, but is anything truly 'random' in the mind of God? Does our fear of randomness just cover a very human inability to grasp a divine intellect that is at peace with the reconciliation of total intellect with randomness at any given point in time?

For our issues, we need to realize that things like paternity testing are a means to an end, the end being men investing in their children, as God wishes. Certainly God does not wish men to invest in the children of other men, because the couplings that produce them are against divine law. So it is a no brainer for the church to vigorously support mandatory DNA paternity tests.

Yet the churches are silent.

Why?

Women.

That is why. It's pandering. And that needs to end.

catwoman said...

slwerner, you say: "I doubt either of us has even tried to build a bibliography of those who have either worked towards getting paternity testing severely restricted (even banned) or have expressed their opposition to the procedure being utilized."

Well, you might want to do that before declaring that radical gender feminists and conservative (so-called) Christian women are "lining up" against using to DNA tests in identifying paternity fraud."...As if "fairness towards men is hardly any concern of theirs" or any women for that matter, who you say "cover for their “sisters” and try to shield them from the shame of having to face up to the consequences of their decisions",... as compared to men who "seldom seek to cover for another man’s misdeeds, nor excuse those inappropriate actions"

Riiiiiggggghtttt.

If this is your attitude going into a discussion, then no wonder the vast majority of Christian women you talk to would "rather not even discuss the issue".

You ask me for my opinions here, but it seems like your mind is already made up about me, so should I even bother?

BTW, I was not suggesting that paternity fraud "wasn’t really anything that anyone needed to worry about" because "science and the law had it covered". I said that things are rapidly changing in those areas, hardly requiring the kind of sweeping judgement that "the church doesn't care about men". Is there a need for some updating on men's issues? Sure. But there's a limit to which you can expect the church to champion your particular cause.

Do the churches seem silent because they don't care, or are they overwhelmed by the multitude of human issues that beg their attention? Or torn between the demands created by social issues affecting men and women, without gettting dragged down by weight of preaching a social gospel?


The Gil Garcetti fiasco in the 90's is definitely an example of the worst that legal bureaucracy can offer, but where was the feminist support for this? Even Gloria Allred, that feminist rottweiler was appalled! Women were among the more outspoken critics of it. And I understand that legal precedents have since been set in the successful reversal in many of those cases in LA.

But again, I ask where are the masses of powerful feminists opposing paternity testing today?

Amir Larijani said...

Catwoman says: The Gil Garcetti fiasco in the 90's is definitely an example of the worst that legal bureaucracy can offer, but where was the feminist support for this? Even Gloria Allred, that feminist rottweiler was appalled! Women were among the more outspoken critics of it. And I understand that legal precedents have since been set in the successful reversal in many of those cases in LA.

I liken Allred's reaction to the reaction of Congress in response to the Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo case. Sure, they seemed outraged--a few of them really were--but did you see any impetus for effecting a real change that addressed the serious government overstepping? Nope.

Nor were Garcetti's oversteps the only ones in this arena.

We have instances where local agencies actually fought against DNA testing--that would have reversed court "findings"--and men were jailed multiple times, suffering job loss and the issues that come with that, before finally being exonerated. Even then, courts have determined that the wrongfully-jailed had no right to compensation.

One need not be an MRA advocate--and I'm not--or an MGTOW advocate--which I'm not--to appreciate the need for addressing this judicial assault on men, which is a knee-jerk reaction by "leaders" to appease the political gods so they can tell everyone how they are cracking down on deadbeats.

An equitable way to deal with this would be to allow for a man--once he faces a court hearing regarding paternity or child support--to contest paternity and order a DNA test. If he's the father, then he has to pay for the test, the court fees, and--of course--the child support.

Otherwise, the accuser must eat the cost of the test, court fees, and legal costs of the defendant.

As for married couples, that is a dicey issue. If I am married and my wife is pregnant, then my default position is that the baby is mine. After all, all things being equal--I'm assuming an otherwise normal sex life, etc.--I have no reason to assume otherwise.

If she gives birth to a black baby, however, she may have some pointed questions to answer...

Learner said...

Catwoman,

1. 'I said that things are rapidly changing in those areas, hardly requiring the kind of sweeping judgement that "the church doesn't care about men"'
Where is this rapid change of which you speak? Can you give any proof to back your assertion?

2. If you think that you have been misunderstood why don't you clearly outline your position and clarify? Saying 'people won't believe you so why bother' does not appear to be helpful in advancing the discussion. Why not give it a try?

Novaseeker said...

As for evidence of the feminist position on DNA testing, here's a recent CBC video from January 2009 featuring a debate about paternity testing between a fathers' rights advocate and a well-known feminist family law expert: http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/2009/01/011109_6.html

Anonymous said...

title of this post is unfortunately true, and has been for a half-century

_______


"The first is that there is no true conflict between evolution and revelation."

_____

no conflict whatsoever, it's a false dialectic

_____


"For our issues, we need to realize that things like paternity testing are a means to an end, the end being men investing in their children, as God wishes. Certainly God does not wish men to invest in the children of other men, because the couplings that produce them are against divine law."

________

god decides what's against his law, irrespective of biblical interpretations by human beings

god DOES wish (and expect) men to "invest" in the welfare of those kids, all of whom are "legitimate" in his eyes, not merely a Monetary Consideration

good site here, it's a start

TMink said...

Triton wrote: "Well, there is the whole knocking of the dust off of the sandals thing. Though I suppose that is more "ostracism" than scorn."

An excellent point! I will think about that one as it is not in line with my thinking and so I must adjust to include it. Thanks for the challenge, I bet it will help me grow.

"And Jesus was quite critical of a number of people, calling them "whitewashed tombs" and the like."

I think these always refer to the scribes and Pharisees, which would take us beack to Christ's condemnation of the corrupt clergy.

"The people that Jesus was kinder to were more likely to be those who had run afoul of the local authorities or were outcasts in some other way; they were not necessarily sinners at all in the scriptural sense."

I completely agree with you prior to the semicolon. Jesus love for Samaritans and women and children was scandalous for His day. I am not sure what you mean by sinners in the scriptural sense though. If I did not wait too long to respond, I would appreciate more info about that phrase.

And thanks for the conversation brother.

Trey

TMink said...

Nova wrote: "However, I do not expect that kind of activity to result in great cultural change in the world beyond the churches."

I hear you. I waver back and forth myself. In worldly terms, it is silly for me to think that the obedience of the church has any effect on the culture at large.

In more spiritual terms, when I think of the children of Israel, their lives completely depended upon their obedience. Sometimes I think it is the same for us.

Sometimes.

Trey

Triton said...

I am not sure what you mean by sinners in the scriptural sense though.Well, it's not a sin to be a Samaritan, yet the Samaritans were still looked down upon. Same thing with tax collectors. The Bible does not forbid this career choice.

By associating with people like this, Jesus was not endorsing any kind of sinful behaviour, he was simply committing a social faux pas.

TMink said...

Right, but I think He was making a point about racism.

Trey

Novaseeker said...

god DOES wish (and expect) men to "invest" in the welfare of those kids, all of whom are "legitimate" in his eyes, not merely a Monetary ConsiderationThe biological fathers should support them.

Surely not suggesting that it should be normative and/or spiritually required for men to raise and invest in the offspring of their adulterous wives?

catwoman said...

Amir said:

"We have instances where local agencies actually fought against DNA testing"

Again (and again) I ask: who are all these forces opposing DNA testing in child support cases?

I totally agree with your idea that those men who get fingered should have the opportunity to contest paternity and order a DNA test -- and that if he's the father, then he has to pay for the test, the court fees, and--of course--the child support. And if not, the accuser should have to front the cost of the test -- and all this should happen before going to court. A negative DNA test usually does avert the case proceeding to court (it's less costly to the system), but where things broke down in LA was with the unreasonable 30 day deadline to respond, among other things. As far as any impetus for effecting a real change that addressed the serious government overstepping, well not in LA, because let's face it, courts never admit they're wrong. But surely, lessons were learned by other jurisdictions from this bad social experiment from the 90's.

You're right that the situation for married couples is dicey, and diceyer still for those who live common-law with single mothers, the latter making a considerable portion of those fingered as deadbeats in LA. Anyone (male or female) who lives with children for an extended period of time will be, for all intents and purposes, a parent to those children -- and the end of the relationship does not change that, whether you were or were not aware that the children weren't biologically yours. And that has always been more of "children's rights" issue than a "women's rights" issue. When these cases do go to court, these situations are pretty much dealt with on a case-by-case basis as far as settling child support.

However, in cases where a guy has been duped, he should be able to sue for damages, and many are doing just that -- which was pretty hard to do before modern science made it possible to confirm or deny paternity for such purposes. An article from 2006 on Law.com (Parent Trap? Litigation Explodes Over Paternity Fraud) lists numerous states that have "made changes to paternity laws, most of them in the last five years, that allow for men to disestablish paternity. These states include Ohio, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama"...and counting. With more limited laws passed in Delaware, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

So it sounds to me that the trend is indeed moving in the direction of more rights for men who have been subjected to paternity fraud. With earlier common-law statutes that have been on the books for 500 years, you wouldn't think that they're going to change overnight, but it looks like they are!

Sure there's a long way to go, but it's happening quite quickly considering how slowly wheels of justice normally turn. Garcetti's bad example probably helped things by putting the issue on the map. The benefits (for men, women and children) of these laws being put into place will become apparent before long, and then nearly every state will have them.

So again, I ask: other than the expected egghead weighing of the pros and cons, where is the big left wing/right wing feminist conspiracy against all this? Nowhere, except for a few wingnuts that nobody listens to. But the more the MRAs cry "feminist!", the more they shoot themselves in the foot. Not only because they are just resorting to the same tactics they criticize, but because their exaggerations about feminist opposition detract from the integrity of their argument.

slwerner said...

Catwoman - "So again, I ask: other than the expected egghead weighing of the pros and cons, where is the big left wing/right wing feminist conspiracy against all this? Nowhere, except for a few wingnuts that nobody listens to. But the more the MRAs cry "feminist!", the more they shoot themselves in the foot."Given the detail provided in your most recent post, it seems that I have misjudged you - at least as far as your actually being interested in and being willing to discuss the issue.

However, I do believe you are far too quick to assume that feminists are not in staunch opposition to changes in the law wrt the betterment of the male position in regards to cases of paternity fraud.

Perhaps it is because you never see organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) - a self identified Feminist organization - make reference to their positions vis-a-vis paternity fraud.

Well, this is actually quite understandable, as they are not stupid. They know full well that to take on the issue head-on would be a PR looser for them. In fact, they never even use the term paternity fraud. The always cache their opposition in terms of "preserving womens rights", "preventing dead-beats from weaseling out of child support obligations", and, of course, their ace-in-the-hole - "looking out for the best interest of the child".

One very good example was when the "Paternity Justice Act" landed on then-governor Gray Davis' desk in California. Now did not go before the cameras of the media to voice their opposition, instead the fronted their "concerns" (like the ones I've proffered)directly to their membership in organizing a campaign letter writing/call-in campaign which was successful in pressuring the California governor into vetoing the legislation.

Again, last year, when mandatory at-birth testing legislation was being considered in Tennessee, the NOW opposition effort was based on letter writing and calls to legislators rather than public statements.

I suppose that I will not be able to convince you that feminists do oppose any changes to the status quo that might penalize women and provide relief to men. You've already made it quite clear that the belief that feminists have any interest at all is merely the isolated view of a "few wingnuts".

Thus, I might pose this to you: Just who comprises the opposition to pro-male changes?

Do understand that my point is not to simply vent at feminists, but rather to see real dialog regarding such issues. That the Gender Feminists oppose changes that benefit men is no surprise at all - I'd frankly expect no less form them.

I's proffer that the other problem is the silence of many who otherwise tend to be for equity between men and women. I continue to believe that there are issues, such as this one, which are simply "uncomfortable" for them to wish to discuss.

Yet, as Novaseeker has been recently engaged in discussing at his site, marriage, as we now know it, is in perilous decline. He has asked the question what will be the future of long-term familial relationships between the sexes.

As a long-term married man, I'd like to see the institution of marriage revived and continued. Yet, on clear problem, from the man's perspective is the inequity of the legal “contract” that the state imposes upon a marriage.

Perhaps the best way to address this problem would be to engage those who value marriage, yet have too long failed to consider the welfare of men (remember the original idea the host presented) in the reformation of the marriage contract – which would include clearly laying out the rights and exceptions upon each participant. Of course, this means needing to face those tough uncomfortable issues.

Does the church really care about men as individuals? Do Christian Women? Do either value marriage enough to be willing to make compromises to preserve it for future generations? If so. Now would be a good time to “step-up” and make their voices heard. Their current “silence” wrt “mens issues” will likely ensure that things continue on their present trajectory – including the trend away from marriages.

slwerner said...

catwoman - "An article from 2006 on Law.com (Parent Trap? Litigation Explodes Over Paternity Fraud) lists numerous states that have "made changes to paternity laws, most of them in the last five years, that allow for men to disestablish paternity."

Yes, I'm aware of this - yet...

The problem remains that the disestablishment of paternity DOES NOT equate to a man being released from financial liability for the child. In fact, disestablishing paternity can work against a man who has bonded with children who he was conned into believe were his, as that disestablish also means the termination of parental rights.

Some time back, Glenn Sacks featured the story of a man who, as is so often the case, found out that the children weren't his after his wife filed for divorce (If memory serves, his ex-wife, like so many other woman do to men they are divorcing, informed him of the fact as a way to hurt him).

He successfully established by DNA that the children weren't his, but he STILL has to pay his ex substantial child-alimony, despite the fact that she now lives with the children's biological father.

Not only did this guy suffer the indignity of having been cuckolded - he has to suffer the even greater offense of having to pay for that other man's children while they live with their biological father, and the duped dad has been entirely shut out of the lives of children who had loved.

Some men have managed to gain indemnity due to not being a child’s biological father, however, in the majority of cases, that fact that they willing acted as the “father” to a child is used against them under the legal theory of “best interest of the child” to require that they continue to serve in the role of “father” as defined by the (Anti-)family court – that being as financial resources. Of course, this too is in keeping with the gender feminists views that fathers are only valuable as ATM’s for the mothers.

As it works out, the right to disestablish paternity is a very hollow “victory” for men. The only real victory will come should men ever be given the absolute right to determine for themselves what role, if any, they will have with children who they come to find are not their own.

Puma said...

To give credit to Bill O'Reilly and Neil Kavuto, they have been calling Marc Rudov over and over to their shows. Using their shows as a platform, Marc says to the world what the hosts cannot directly say, otherwise they would lose their jobs/shows to the PC-Mafia.

The fact that they keep calling Rudov to stand up for man's rights on a regular basis on their show tells me that these hosts are sympathetic to the cause.

catwoman said...

"I do believe you are far too quick to assume that feminists are not in staunch opposition to changes in the law wrt the betterment of the male position in regards to cases of paternity fraud."

That could be true, but I've kept asking for examples and hadn't received any for how many posts? The Paternity Justice Act may not have gone through due to wording that may have created other problems for men, such as letting the mother off the hook, and going after an unwitting birth father, as detailed in an article written by pro-FRA ifeminist Kirsten Tynan (Paternity Justice Act of 2002 Had Little to Do with Justice).

But AB252 did pass, and despite its limitations and those similar to it in many other states, it's a formidable start. How much legislation gets passed right from the outset anyways? There's almost always a series of hoops for bills, ie passing the house, failing the senate, rewrites and vetoes and so forth. Whatever feminist opposition there may have been, look at how much progress has been made over the past decade despite them!

And this progress is quite impressive, considering the fact that we are dealing with unprecedented variables here. Mandatory DNA testing at birth will be a hard sell, not only to "gender feminists", but to the larger bulk of civil libertarians as well. On the other hand, the children's rights activitists seem to be in favor of it, but opposed to later testing and disestablishment of paternity. The implications of widespread DNA testing at birth aren't entirely known yet (although I personally can see huge advantages for it all the way around), as such, society at large may not be ready for it, until there's some degree of adjustment and assurance (ie. other aspects of privacy and who owns what records, etc.). I'm sure that the men's rights movement will end up having to cut their losses and make compromises, just as the women's movement has had to do.

"Thus, I might pose this to you: Just who comprises the opposition to pro-male changes?"

Well, I guess that depends on what kind of "pro-male" changes you're talking about. As I've said above, there are many camps that will need to reconcile the implications of things like DNA testing, and not all of them are "feminists". The children's advocacy people are certainly a force to be reckoned with, one that you cannot just write off as simply an extention of feminism or child support as a hidden alimony agenda. The credibility of the father's movement hinges almost entirely on its ability to reconcile men's rights with the needs of children, and that's where the issue of later revelation of paternity fraud gets dicey.

Certainly, these are problems with no easy answers, problems that have dogged men long before there was any such thing as a blood test. Likewise, women also become victims of a similar kind of fraud when the men they marry create children (known or unknown to him) before or after the wedding without her immediate knowledge. There are thousands of women whose husbands pay child support in those situations, defrauding their legitimate wives and their children of resources that would otherwise rightfully have been theirs, not to mention those women who essentially end up subsidizing their husband's child support. So how do we handle DNA and birth records in those situations?

You are right that these issues can be uncomfortable to discuss, and perhaps there needs to be more time for the dust to settle as the implications of all these unprecedented options come to light.

logmas said...

There is a growing body of evidence culturally and factually that suggests you are right about your assertion that "Cultural Conservatives and the Religious Establishment Do Not Care About Men". Part of this is evidenced by a book by Murrow on "Why Men Hate Going to Church", and another by a different author called "No More Christian Nice Guy". Those notwithstanding the atmosphere of today's civil interactions in my opinion indicate that men are getting fed up with the take, take and take attitude of the "church". A major inflection point is now the inordinate unemployment situation that seems to have particularly affected men most harshly with little active support for men by the established "church" . I believe that the era of patience is coming to an end and we are in the beginning throes of a cultural revolution.

logmas said...

By the way, catwoman's point #12 above (waaaaaaaaaaaaay above) is biblically incorrect. If memory serves rightly I believe the source is in Proverbs (or possibly Timothy). Men are to have a house before marriage.