My Thoughts Regarding the Editorial: Sex & The Single Pastor by Rod Dreher
The following editorial by Rod Dreher is about a liberal Luthern preacher named Nadia Bolz Weber who recently had a bunch of women’s “sexual purity rings” melted down to have an artist form them into the shape of a vagina.
Bolz Weber also released a new book about sex called “Shameless.” It’s an anti-Purity Culture book.
The author of this essay, Dreher, refers readers of his piece to (Link): this page (“The Luthern Pastor Calling For a Sexual Revolution”) at the New Yorker about Bolz Weber.
I was a devout Christian for many years, and that is one reason among a few as to why I remain a virgin past the age of 45.
That’s right, I’ve never had sex – because I was waiting until I got married to have sex, but I never found the right guy to marry.
I have spent a few years blogging here pointing out how nobody but nobody respects adult virginity or celibacy.
Many conservatives and Christians mock and insult adult celibacy and virginity, not just “sex positive” feminists or liberals.
As a matter of fact, a lot of Christians (and secular conservatives) view marriage to be the norm, and as something that can “fix” society, so they shame or insult anyone who remains single past the page of 30, whether that singleness is due to choice or circumstance. (I have examples of this sort of thing in older posts on this blog.)
It is considered a sign of selfishness or immaturity by many Christians and secular conservatives to be age 30 or older and single and childless.
So again, it’s not just liberals and feminists who scorn sexual purity.
Therefore, I at times find reprimands of sexual libertines by conservatives to be a tad hypocritical.
Only when rebutting articles or books by the liberal anti-sexual purity brigade, comprised of liberals such as Bolz Weber, do guys like Dreher ever care to actually defend sexual purity.
The rest of the time, conservatives like these either ignore or shame actual adult celibates for being celibate (for not being married and having children), such as myself.
Only women who marry and have children get honored in churches or in the culture – not single, childless women. We single, childless women don’t get holidays. We get no recognition.
Conservatives do not honor adult singleness and the status of being childless. They have turned Marriage and Children / Parenthood into golden calves that they worship. They insult anyone who does not live up to the “Married with Kids” life script.
Anyone, such as myself, who is not married, who does not have babies, is automatically and mistakenly assumed, by Christians and conservatives, to be a liberal, feminist, man-hating, abortion- supporting Democrat.
So you see, it’s not just feminists and liberals who have problems and wrong ideas with the subjects of singleness, marriage, sex, and pro-creation. Conservatives are also pretty messed up about these topics as well.
I found portions of this piece by Dreher to be ageist and sexist, and I will discuss that below this link and the excerpts:
(Link): Sex & The Single Pastor
Excerpts (so I can comment on some of this):
February 22, 2019
…[Bolz Weber] recently discovered that the Christian church got sex completely wrong for 2,000 years (In [her new book] “Shameless,” she takes aim at everything from Augustine of Hippo, the fourth-century theologian, who taught that Christians should deny the urges of the flesh—“he basically took a dump and the Church encased it in amber,” she writes).
…Still, Scripture and 2,000 years of tradition are a more solid basis upon which to construct one’s Christian sexual morality than the juvenile enthusiasm of a potty-mouthed pulpit-pounder who is staring at menopause bearing down on her like a freight train.
…The thing that strikes me most about Bolz-Weber’s theology is how utterly trite it is, and how perfectly suited it is to our therapeutic culture.
Wow, the pro-abortion lady pastor who divorced her children’s father and started having robustly hydraulic sex with a man not her husband is telling Christians that chastity isn’t cool, and that God wants them to indulge in guilt-free getting-off.
That’s just about the least radical thing that a pastor could say to American culture in 2019, isn’t it? She’s the left-wing version of a prosperity gospel preacher, peddling the sanctifying power of lust as surely as her right-wing counterparts peddle the sanctifying power of greed.
UPDATE: One of you readers said that my bringing up menopause was too mean. I don’t agree, but I will explain this. Bolz-Weber is reaching that stage in life — in the lives of men and women both — in which one’s sexual drive is beginning to wane, because of natural hormonal changes.
It’s a cliche to observe that when it happens to men, they go through a mid-life crisis. The mid-life crisis is generally about a reappraisal of one’s life as the limitations that everyone faces become harder to deny, as old age approaches.
For men, that can take the form of panic over the fact that one’s sexual appetite is waning [this is why some husbands leave their wives]…
…I find men who do that to be appalling.
…Same deal with Nadia Bolz-Weber. Marriages, even long marriages, fall apart. Sexual incompatibility can be part of that.
—end excerpts from Dreher’s editorial–
I agreed with quite a bit of Dreher’s editorial, but not all of it.
As to Dreher’s editorial where he writes:
…than the juvenile enthusiasm of a potty-mouthed pulpit-pounder who is staring at menopause bearing down on her like a freight train.
UPDATE: One of you readers said that my bringing up menopause was too mean.
–end quotes by Dreher–
I’m not buying Dreher’s mea culpa under the “update” section.
Dreher’s comment about Bolz Weber “staring at menopause” remains ageist and sexist, despite his attempted backpedaling.
The fact that he had to put in the mea culpa after the piece was published reveals it was a non sequitur, an irrelevancy, a red herring.
Society is and has always been much harsher on aging women and their looks and sexuality than it has been on men.
The reason older men cheat on their wives is not because they feel their libido is draining, but because they have
- male entitlement (which is bolstered by our sexist culture – and apparently in European culture as well),
- culture is generally more approving of men dumping an older women for a younger one (and tells them it is their due), and
- these older married men want to trade in their familiar wife with a younger model. Younger people are easier to manipulate and control.
A few examples of what I mean, elsewhere on my blog:
Had Bolz Weber committed adultery on her husband or left him for another man when they were both 30 years old would not have changed the morality of the situation. It’s no more acceptable to cheat, commit fornication, or ‘spouse dump’ over trivial sexual disagreements at age 25, or 30 or 40, than it is at age 50.
Dreher mentions this:
If you think there’s nothing wrong with what Nadia Bolz-Weber did to her husband here, then you’d best keep your mouth shut when a man runs off with a younger woman and brags that the old gal couldn’t satisfy him like the new girlfriend can.
—-end Dreher quotes—
This is quite an odd set of statements to make.
I’m surely not defending anyone of either biological sex who would break up with their same-age spouse to date a younger one, to fulfill their sexual appetites.
That’s not why you’re being chewed out for referring to Bolz Weber’s impending menopause, Dreher.
Dreher, if you’re going to fault older men for dumping their same-age wives, then use the same insulting, ageist vernacular as you did with Bolz Weber, and be sure to get other male writers to do likewise.
For example use phrases like so: “The married man, who is nearing (Link): male menopause, who is using Viagra and has an enlarged prostrate, is leaving his wife to get a young hottie…”
Usually, only age-related insults are lobbed at women in these sorts of discussions, which is exactly what you did, and there is no excuse for it.
I’ve yet to see the same thing done when writers discuss older men who cheat.
Dreher, again, I’m over age 45, and I am a female virgin. I’ve never been married.
So, I’ve never dumped an older husband for a younger or ‘better at sex’ hottie, so I’m not guilty of that, nor am I defending it, regardless of which biological sex may engage in that behavior.
I’m not out there running around having sex all over the place, not even as an unmarried woman. I’m a conservative.
And as a conservative, chaste, woman who disagrees with Bolz Weber’s book and much of her attitudes on sexual purity, I can say you are still wrong to drag any mention of “menopause” into this piece. It’s ageist and sexist, and it was pretty tacky, too.
Dreher mentions that sexual incompatibility can happen in marriages (and this can cause some marriages to fall apart). No kidding.
However, as I was growing up in a conservative Christian culture in the 1980s and beyond, most Christians were teaching the young that if one remains a virgin until marriage, that the married sex will be continually hot, steamy, and satisfying.
I have many examples on my blog, taken from magazine articles and letters to advice columnists, of Christian and Non-Christian couples talking about how their marriages are sexless, and they are unhappy to be in a sexless marriage.
I also have an example or two on my blog in other posts of Christian adults who said,
“I was a virgin when I married. But my sex life with my spouse was not as Christians had promised: the sex was not regular, hot and satisfying. Being a virgin when one marries does not guarantee great sex.”
Many who complain about being stuck in sexless marriages are WOMEN. Not men. Women.
That’s right, a lot of married woman, even Christian ones, have a libido and want to have sex with their spouse, but their spouse has no sex drive.
Why is this a big deal? Why am I mentioning this?
Because many Christian (Baptist and Protestant) churches and denominations in the United States teach and believe in a doctrine called (Link): Gender Complementarianism, which is built upon a bunch of flawed gendered stereotypes, one of which is that all men want sex, but women do not.
In this faulty Christian teaching, all Christian women supposedly are asexual beings, have no interest in sex, and prefer drinking tea or talking about their emotions to having sex.
Further, in their sermons, books on marriage, and in their blog posts, Christian preachers assume they must cajole, guilt trip, convince, and pressure Christian wives into “putting out” more for their horny, sex starved husbands, because the misunderstanding is that women don’t want sex, but men always do.
(Those male complementarian pastors have apparently not seen the same letters I have, from Christian women who have been miserably trapped in sexless marriages for years to decades because their husbands will not “put out.”)
At any rate, there is some good in Dreher’s editorial, but the comment related to Bolz Weber’s age was totally unnecessary.
The only time conservatives care about issues such as singleness or sexual purity is when liberals like Bolz Weber publish books against sexual purity or against marriage. The rest of the time, conservatives are more than happy to either ignore adult single celibates such as myself, or they like to insult us for being single and mock us for being celibate.
Related Posts on this Blog:
(Link): Emergent Christian Guy Tony Jones Says Christians Need to “Celebrate Pre Marital Sex” (Fornication)– note: he dumped his wife for his mistress, if I recall correctly, and came up with some bizarre theology to try to defend it
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): Follow Up Part 2 – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist, Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)