Dissent on the Christian Pundit Blog
Before I specifically address a message I received from a self-identified liberal Christian woman who was ticked off about my one of my previous posts about sexuality and virginity, I wanted to mention my policy of handling dissent on this blog.
To anyone who visits this blog: I sometimes delete posts by visitors who disagree with me, or who are argumentative or rude.
This is not a blog for debate; that is not its purpose (though I have allowed 2 or 3 posts whose authors disagreed with me to be published in the past, and I replied to them). I use this blog to ‘think aloud’ about things. I am not here to argue with people on this blog.
I have several discussion forums and groups where I work as a moderator, where I regularly allow people who disagree with me to post. I have my hands full with several of those forums and a few other blogs, where I do permit dissent and respond to critics.
I am spread too thin by having to bicker and enforce rules on other blogs, social groups, and sites to want to have to spread myself even thinner by putting in that kind of effort here.
Honestly, when I created this blog about 2 years ago (or three?) I never felt I’d get any followers or many readers. I kind of view this blog as an online journal of mine – not a debate forum.
I want at least one or two blogs where I can post my views without having to debate back and forth and not have to engage with the rude idiots or malcontents one comes across on the internet.
The Message from the Irate, Self- Identified Liberal Christian Female Who Reads The Bible As A Great Big
Allegory And Who Thinks It’s Peachy and Fine For Single Women To Have Sex Outside of Marriage
A few days ago, I received an e-mail notification that I got a new reply to a post on this blog (I think it was a response to the post about how the Church Undervalues Celibacy and Virginity, or it was a reply to a similar post on my blog).
The post was by a self-identified liberal Christian woman, who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, based on her profile photo.
This liberal woman left a somewhat rude, or at least argumentative, post where she disagreed with my views, and based on her comments, I could tell she has no idea what I believe, because she assumed I hold opinions I do not. She attributed opinions to me that I do not hold.
She clearly had not read my other posts on this blog about my views pertaining to conservative Christianity, sex, marriage, dating, and singleness, and how the church treats people who are hurting and having problems.
I only skimmed her post in part and did not read it in detail, but based on what I remember, here were some of her points (please click the “more” link to read the rest of this post):
POINT 1. She said, “just because you have no desire to lay in a man’s arms does not mean other women do not…”
Her point, I suppose, is that she was trying to say it’s unfair, or mean, for me to expect other women to remain celibate merely because I have remained celibate.
And she further assumes this is so because she apparently believes I, like all older celibates, have zero sexual desire and find it so “easy-peasy” going without sex. Let me stop here to laugh uncontrollably on that score so I can compose myself, so that I can continue typing the rest of this post.
*HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA -is she kidding?- HA HA HA HA HA*
Okay, calming down….
I have no idea what she means by any of this, as no where on my blog have I said I desire to remain celibate or single for the duration of my life.
I have specifically said in several posts I always desired marriage. I never came across Mr. Right, though I was once engaged to Mr. Wrong but broke it off.
If this liberal woman had read my posts on these topics here closely, she would have seen that I have said repeatedly that I would like to get married – which the average reader would be intelligent enough to infer also means yes, I hope to have sex eventually. Der.
Contrary to what most Christians think about older Christian virgins, God did not strip us of sexual desires; we do not have a magical “gift of singleness” when we arrive to age 35, 40, or 45, or beyond, where we lose all sexual desire or desire for romantic companionship.
There are times I am fine with being single and celibate, as I have mentioned in yet other posts, but this does not mean I want to remain so for the rest of my life.
My original point in the other post that she was replying to was that if I can arrive to my early 40s still a virgin, there is no reason other females, who are in their teens, 20s, and 30s, cannot refrain from sex, either. My point was, stop making excuses for people who are fornicating (having sex outside of marriage).
If you are a Christian who is going to fornicate, at least admit you are sinning by doing so, especially if you are going to publicly opine about the topic, unlike another young “Christian” feminist blogger who actually argued in one post at her site that the Bible does not frown on fornication (she claimed she sees nothing in the Bible condemning fornication).
If you’re a Christian who is going to fornicate, be woman (or man) enough to admit to yourself that is exactly what you’re doing and that the Bible condemns that behavior.
Don’t sit there and play coy or tell me, “Oh no, the Bible is all murky on this point, or it’s all allegorical, the Bible is fine with fornication!”
If you’re a Christian who is going to have sex outside of marriage, that is your choice, but please, knock off the, “The Bible doesn’t say it’s a sin, oh, those horrible conservatives and their dreadful, old fashioned, judgy, purity culture and their icky literal interpretations!” shtick.
This is not even a feminist issue per se, and I get a little tired of seeing women gripe about it. The Bible does not give either gender a pass on fornication.
I realize there is a double standard among some in American culture on the topic, but just because men get away with fornication a little bit easier (or did in the past) than women doesn’t suddenly make it okay for women to do this too.
Conservatives did not invent a rule about sexual purity, by the way – God came up with it in the Bible. Your conservatives are just reminding you that rule is in there. If you wish to break that biblical guideline about sex, that is your business, I guess, but please stop trying to convince everyone else that the Bible is absolutely hunky-dory with fornication.
POINT 2. She accused me of being a “biblical literalist.”
Guilty as charged. So what? I don’t take is as an insult.
Most of the Bible tells of incidents that are meant to be understood as having been actual historical events, not fairy tales about unicorns and which are obviously not meant to be taken as allegory, so I fail to see what is so horrid or shameful about being a “literalist.”
POINT 3. She mentioned something in her post about how I personally am to blame for the church’s disposition of alienating anyone who does not fit the 1950s nuclear family blue print, or she was saying I am guilty of this by default, merely because I am a conservative. This shows a total lack of understanding of my positions, and the situation overall.
There is nothing inherently more compassionate or correct about being a liberal Christian; liberals, especially of the political variety, can be some of the most intolerant, hateful people on the planet – towards Christians, conservatives, white people, and anyone who is not as liberal as they.
Liberals (political and theological) will, and sometimes do, exclude other people in a heartbeat, but based on different criteria from those of conservatives.
Having correct doctrine is important: and conservatives are usually more faithful on this score than liberals, who like to play “cafeteria Christian” and pick and choose what biblical teachings they want to live by and believe in (ceremonial and dietary laws are no longer in play for believers, after Christ fulfilled the Law, so please, don’t dredge up the old chestnuts about “but why do you wear coats made of mixed fabrics then, or are okay with eating shellfish”), or the theologically liberal chalk up the parts of the Bible they are not personally comfortable with as being “allegorical.”
Liberal Christians tend to be intellectually dishonest with the Christian faith and the Bible due to matters of cultural expediency or from having a super warm and fuzzy heart. (Some may have sincere struggles with the faith, or certain biblical passages, which, to a point, I am very understanding about, though.)
I may be conservative on most theological positions, but I am not responsible for the conservative Church’s extreme obsession with the nuclear family, to the detriment of unmarried people, divorced, and other groups. I grew up in this culture; I did not create it.
But here I am criticizing this very culture on this blog and pointing out its shortcomings.
You would think this liberal woman would be supporting me for doing this, but no, all I got was a hint of snark or ridicule from someone who more than likely thinks of herself as accepting, tolerant, and loving – you know, because she’s a liberal who takes the Bible as allegorical.
Oh those sainted, sainted, accepting liberal Christians, who don’t take the Bible literally, with their loving tolerance, and no standards at all about sexual purity, because having standards, or thinking there should be standards because the Bible talks about them, is soooooooo archaic and 1943. How it brings a tear to the eye.
POINT 4. The liberal woman who left me a message made some kind of comment about how the contemporary church (or conservative Christians) have “made an idol of virginity,” so she has no sympathy for me or my situation
(gee, thank you for all the understanding, you tolerant, loving, compassionate liberal Christian you! Do you get all that compassion from your allegorical interpretations of the Bible?)
I again wonder if this woman who wrote to me actually read my posts at this blog, because she totally overlooked the discussion I raised about this very point: or she read it, but missed the point. Here’s a recap:
I think the post this liberal woman was replying to mentioned how Southern Baptist president A. Mohler (or some other conservative Christian advice writer) chided a young Christian woman who values virginity until marriage.
The young Christian woman wrote in asking for advice because she was concerned that while she herself was a virgin, that her boyfriend was not one. The Christian who replied to her letter said she was “making an idol out of virginity.” The young woman was criticized by a conservative, Christian male leader for valuing virginity.
Far from “making an idol of virginity,” the American conservative Christian culture pays mere lip service to sexual purity.
What happens in practice is that conservative Christian leaders tell unmarried, never-married, or divorced Christians,
“We know and expect once you get past the age of 25, if you are still unmarried, you will have sex outside of marriage. But God forgives sexual sin, so don’t be concerned about it.”
Once a Christian gets over the age of 25 or 30 and has not yet married, most conservative Christians do not expect them to remain sexually pure.
The contemporary conservative Christian movements claim to support celibacy and virginity but in reality do not.
Most conservative (or liberal or moderate) Christian groups and churches offer no practical support or help to never-married Christians who are over 30 years old who are not having sex:
they do not invite us out regularly for meals or over for holidays (to stave off loneliness); they do not give us sermons from the pulpit congratulating us for remaining pure; they do not offer to play match-maker and get us spouses, so we can start having sex within marriage.
Most conservative Christians do not “make an idol out of virginity,” and this lack of respect for virginity and the common expectation that all unmarried people are having sex -because nobody can resist the urge, supposedly- has been precisely part of the struggle for unmarried Christians over the age of 30 who have not had sex, and which is, in part, responsible for making them feel like outcasts in most churches.
“Little Miss I- Am- Kind- Of- Snarky- and- Non-Compassionate- About- Your- Problems- But- Oh- So- Loving- and- Tolerant- Because- I’m- a- Liberal- and- Biblical- Allegorist Christian” must have poor reading comprehension, or she’s a lazy reader. She did not bother to read or try to understand what I posted.
…..Update, April 24, 2013…..
I was alerted when I logged in to this blog today that one of the posts got a new comment. Someone calling himself “Tim Dedeaux” left a post below this entry you’re reading at this very moment (“Liberal Christian Gal Throws Fit Over My Post About Celibacy / Dissent”).
I glanced over a part of his post (I think he mentioned being disappointed by my writing), then I hit the “trash” link below it to trash his comment.
I find it oh so telling that rather than leave a comment on any other topic in this blog, he chooses one from a month or more ago where I explain this is not a blog for me to bicker with dissenters, in response to a liberal who was rude to me in the comments of a previous post.
I have explained time and again that I am barely Christian anymore and have veered off more into being an Agnostic. (I even made one whole post about it a couple of weeks ago.)
Well, Tim, I’m disappointed that you would zero in on only one blog post on my whole blog, and that over some snot nosed, rude, hippie liberal Christian, and completely overlook what the rest of this blog is about.
And yes, you jackass, I’m fully aware this is a “public blog”.
If you don’t like my blog: stay off it, don’t read it, and don’t bother leaving comments.
In the meantime, to ward off any confusion about where I stand as far as theological beliefs go, (I used to be a Christian but am leaning more toward agnosticism these days, I’m only just barely a Christian), so I have tossed the word “Agnostic” into the blog’s heading [edit as of May 2013: I’ve since removed the term ‘Agnostic’ from the blog’s heading].
One thing I have noticed is that when I have in the past replied to dissenters on this blog, they never come back and respond to my rebuttals. It’s a waste of my time to reply to them. Arguing with people is not the reason why this blog exists any way, as I’ve mentioned above and on the ‘About’ and ‘Policy on Dissent’ pages.