Sex is Not the Primary or Only Basis of Marriage – Rape Victims / Asexuals / Bestiality ~ Zoophilia / Sexless Marriages / Park Bans Single Men -AND- Single Women – Rebuttal to Blogger John Morgan

Sex is Not the Primary or Only Basis of Marriage – Rape Victims / Asexuals / Bestiality ~ Zoophilia / Sexless Marriages / Park Bans Single Men -AND- Single Women – Rebuttal to Blogger John Morgan 

I actually already addressed this briefly in an older post from a few days ago, but I really feel this needs its own post.

That guy who used to post to this blog, who has his own blog about Christianity and celibacy (his name is John Morgan, and he blogs (Link): here), who I banned from my blog several months ago, keeps asserting in some of his recent blog posts that two people having sex (which he limits to a man having sex with a woman, if I am understanding his views correctly) constitutes marriage.

Here are some of the posts where he equates having sex to being married:

I disagree, for a few different reasons, but right off I want to say that this teaching can be damaging to sexual assault victims.

Do you really expect me to believe that a woman who is raped by a man makes the two married, and particularly in our day and age?

We are living in the year 2015 in the United States.

We are not living in the same setting and time in which the Old Testament was written, a patriarchal, Middle Eastern culture of 5,000 or 2,000 BC, when women had few rights and we’re looking to keep the family tree pure to be able to trace the Messiah.

Women today are simply not expected to marry their rapists, if they are raped.

One of my family members was raped prior to the age of ten by another family member of hers.

I had an online friend for a few years who is about the same age as me. She confided with me that she has never had consensual sex (she is waiting until marriage for sex), but she was raped by one of her uncles when she was a teen.

While I realize that rape is considered less about sex than it is about power and control on the part of the rapist, it still involves a man placing his penis in a woman’s vagina, or possibly other sex acts.

For John Morgan to run around insisting that sexual intercourse between two people is the basis for marriage is troubling and insensitive – because not everyone who engages in this is doing so of his or her own choice or volition.

In some parts of the world, little girls (and sometimes boys) are sold into the human sex trafficking business, where they are forced to have sex with adults all day. Don’t tell me these horribly abused little kids are “married” to their “clients,” that is deranged and sick.

There are some marriages – like with asexuals – where the marriage is not consummated. There are also marriages that become “sexless” after so many months or years because one or both partners have mental or physical health problems.

Paul in the New Testament tells Christians not to step too far out of bounds with whatever culture they are living in, because it could cause harm to the testimony of the faith.

That is, if you are needlessly refusing to go along with culture on some disputable matter or another – say, for example, riding a plaid ostrich to work, when all other Americans are riding horses to work, and the horse-riders think you a fool or odd-ball for riding an ostrich- you are making all Christians and the Gospel by association look like wacko, weirdo, fruit cakes, and Paul said to Knock That Off.

Paul was saying if something is not explicitly spelled out in the Bible, if God does not condemn it, such as what mode of transportation to take, he said, go ahead and ride a horse in your culture, if that is what all your neighbors are using. Don’t be an ass and go against the grain.

You can argue, well, there is a single verse in the Old Testament that says some guy rode an ostrich to his job. Okay, but unless that verse specifically said, “Thus saith the LORD, I hate humans riding horses and forbid all believers from riding horses for all time,” don’t assume that the ostrich thing is a prescriptive for Americans in the year 2015.

Ditto on the how to get married angle.

The Old Testament is chock full of kings having 300 or more concubines, or 20 wives. Abraham had sex with his handmaiden as well as with his wife Sarah, and rapists were commanded to marry their rape victims. Do you really want Americans in 2015 emulating those types of marriages?

Just because Adam and Eve in the Garden as mentioned in the book of Genesis did not have to go to a courthouse and sign papers to make things legal with a government in Year One B.C. does not mean that Christians in 2015 can or should disregard going through governmental channels and get a marriage license.

Adam and Eve were under the direct supervision with God prior to the fall. As an American today, I don’t have that face to face contact with God. So I cannot get God to validate a marriage of mine.

My parents were very old fashioned, traditional, Christian people.

My parents always said that when two people live together – when a man and woman live under the same roof, are having sex with one another, they do not go to the courthouse, don’t sign on the legal papers – they are not married, they are “shacking up.” This was regarded as a sin by them and many other Christians for the past few decades.

If an American couple in 2015 is living together and having sex without the government license that recognizes their union as being a marriage, they are NOT MARRIED.

(There is such a thing as common law marriage, but that is neither here nor there.)

The sex act alone is not sufficient to say a couple is “married.”  ~ Not in the USA in the year 2015.

For all the couples who are married but asexual (there is no sexual intercourse), they are still married. They would probably be pretty offended for John Morgan to insist their marriage is not really a marriage because of absence of sex.

What if a husband who is serving in the Marines gets deployed to serve in Afghanistan and hence is not having sex with his wife for a year or more? Does their marriage cease to be a marriage just because there’s no sex?

What if the husband gets into an auto accident, and remains a vegetable or very brain damaged, is like an infant, until he dies five years later (this actually happened to an aunt of mine)?

Are you going to tell me that because there is no longer any sex in that marriage it suddenly makes it a non-marriage? What bunk.

How does John Morgan define “sex,” anyway?

Many Christians cannot even agree on what constitutes sex.

Many evangelicals, who are brought up in “purity culture,” are taught that only penis-in-the-vagina action is “sex,” so, to get around this limitation, they engage in anal sex, oral sex, petting prior to marriage – the get involved in anything and everything short of P in V sex.

You have lesbians who get angry at Christians over discussing the importance of virginity (seriously, yes, see this old post), because, they recognize that many Christians define sex as being only or predominantly “penis-in-the-vagina action,” which lifelong lesbian women may never experience, yet, those lesbian women are performing oral sex on each other, or what have you.

From the lesbian perspective, from what I’ve read, they consider oral sex or scissoring, or whatever else, to be equally valid to P in V sex.

So, these lesbians are having sex with each other – but according to John Morgan, that means these women are “married” to each other. (Or is he going to define sex to mean only P in the V?)

Yet Morgan seems to feel that “homosexual marriage” is not “real,” and he also (and this is very strange) feels that celibacy is only for HETERO-sexuals (see this post for more on that). He definitely believes that (Link): Are Homosexual Thoughts Sinful [Yes, he says] .

Er… according to Morgan, homosexual thoughts are sinful, but homosexuals should not practice celibacy? His views are really mixed up.

In the Gospels, Jesus said to even “look at in lust” another person was seen as God as being as wrong as actually having sex with that person….

Does that mean every time a person fantasizes about “doing the nasty” with their favorite celebrity or their crush (that is, they just think about it, they don’t actually DO IT), they are “married” to that person? According to John Morgan logic, yes, but I don’t think so.

Are all the porn stars who have sex with each other for the sake of making a naughty movie, are they  “married” to each other, even in God’s eyes? I doubt it.

How about this pervert mentioned in an (Link): older blog post of mine: he sticks his penis into a horse’s vagina at least once a month and has sex with the horse, or sometimes performs oral sex on the horse.

Do you really expect me to believe God would think this sicko is “married” to that horse? And does the horse get a say in any of this?

If your only criteria as to what makes a marriage a marriage is Penis In the Vagina (or any other sex act), you really need to re-examine your views.

I don’t have the perfect all encompassing definition of marriage myself, but I know a true marriage when I see it, AND I think I know what IT IS NOT, and it’s not merely penis in the vagina activity. I think it takes more for one person to be married to another than sex.

As to this, in (Link): one of his posts,

Yeah, I blogged about that and tweeted about it weeks before he mentioned it there on his blog,

By the way, unless I overlooked it in the reporting, the stories said ALL single adults are banned, not just men. That would mean unaccompanied WOMEN singles are also barred.

Yep, the (Link): NY Daily News said,

  • A British theme park has banned unaccompanied adults from entry — in case they are pedophiles.Bosses at Puxton Park, in Somerset, forbid men and women from visiting the attraction on their own just in case they are child sex predators, reports the Western Daily Press. The rule came to light Thursday after a bird-watcher was barred from visiting a falconry display.

Why, one wonders, does Morgan keep laser focusing on MEN?

Morgan keeps painting this picture on his blog of celibate / single males having life ten times worse than celibate / single women. I don’t think so, bub. That article says unmarried men AND women are banned, NOT JUST MEN.

Do I think single men have life tough in some regards? Absolutely – especially in a Christian environment, where most Christians worship marriage.

However, I don’t think single men necessarily have life more difficult than single women. Women actually have it a bit worse because they are expected to reproduce and make babies. Men don’t get near as much pressure to reproduce.

Single men past the age of 40 are often called “confirmed bachelors,” while single women my age get more derogatory terms thrown their way, such as “spinster,” “crazy cat lady,” or “old maid.”

Women my age or older who desire marriage are often automatically (Link): pegged as “being desperate,” by some people, including Christians, but I don’t see men my age (or older) who want marriage get tarred with the same terminology or assumptions.

(But, I would say that older single men get pegged with the (Link): “You Must Be A Pedophile” view  more often than the single ladies do. Thank Dog that is one less stereotype I have to deal with.)

I still wonder if Morgan visits my blog or Twitter feed and takes material or story ideas? If he does, the polite thing to do is cite his source – in the blogging community, it’s common to give hat tips to one’s sources.

I also find it funny because Morgan thinks I am untrustworthy because I don’t give my real name. I’m trustworthy enough to take news story ideas from, apparently.  If you think I am untrustworthy please stop visiting my blog and/or Twitter and taking news links or story ideas from me!

But Morgan really, really needs to realize how much his equation of “Sex = Marriage” harms some people (such as rape victims), and it’s a view that makes no sense, and opens the door for homosexuals (the ones having sex with others of their own gender) to argue they can consider themselves “married.”

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Related posts:

(Link):  Blogger Guy John Hugh Morgan Who Accused Me Of Being Untrustworthy Finds My Blog Trustworthy Enough to Use as Resource

(Link): True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues – and a rebuttal to John Morgan’s comment on the page

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

(Link): Sex, Love & Celibacy by Dan Navin [written by a homosexual celibate]

(Link):  Virgin – and Celibate – Shaming : Christian Double Standards – Homosexuals Vs Hetero Singles – Concerning Thabiti Anyabwile and Gag Reflexes

(Link):  Male Entitlement and Adult Virginity: Who has it worse, Male Vs. Female? John Morgan Says Men Are, I Say He’s Full of Crap on That

(Link):  Civil, Secular Authorities and Marriage and The Dippy Christian “Marriage Pledge” Preachers are Being Asked To Sign

(Link):  Why I Post Anonymously ( Part 2 – the John Hugh Morgan Fiasco )

(Link):  “Marriage is the closest you can come to being like Christ.” ~ says an obnoxious married Christian man to an unmarried woman

(Link):  Regnerus’ Misplaced Blame – Blame the Wimmins! Common male refrain, even from Christian men

(Link): Celibacy is Not Just for Homosexuals or Roman Catholic Priests / and a critique of a post at another blog

(Link): Sexual Equality, Sexual Decadence: The Emerging Menace of Female Predators – from The Other McCain – Also quotes feminists as saying Virginity Invalidates Lesbianism and is Hence a Terrible Concept

(Link):  The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith

Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith

I have a few other topics or news stories I wanted to blog about today and the other day, but I find myself getting sidetracked to discuss these other issues. Maybe I’ll blog about the rest tomorrow or next weekend.

This topic is (for me anyhow) rather complex. I don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining it, but it’s one I’ve seen crop up recently on other sites or in my personal life, and this will probably be another one of my long posts. Even though I have other things I wanted to do today, like bake a batch of cookies.

Whether Christians like it or not, some Christians, including lifelong Christians such as myself, are either considering leaving the faith, or have done so already, and all because the hypocrisy they see in self professing Christians.

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Regnerus’ Misplaced Blame – Blame the Wimmins! Common male refrain, even from Christian men

Regnerus’ Misplaced Blame – Blame the Wimmins! Common male refrain, even from Christian men

In light of this recent information, which says that male usage of porn may be what is leading to declining marriage rates, I’d like to say that Christian sociologist Mark Regnerus’ post from a month or two is flawed in yet another way.

Here is part 1 of my criticisms of Regnerus’ opinion, if you need or want some background on this current post:

Here is the recent study I posted about a few moments ago:

Regnerus surmises that part of the reason for faltering marriage rates is that lots and lots of un-married Christian women refuse to marry male Christian porn users or porn addicts.

That may be true in some cases. I know if I discovered a man I was dating was a porn user, I’d likely break up with him.

That is my prerogative. I’m an adult, I get to make choices I want for me and my life. And screw Christians who try to guilt trip or shame women like me out of those choices, all to “save” marriage by telling us we ought to marry porn users.

Regnerus’ blame is misplaced, if the recent study on men and porn habits is true.

Regnerus is apparently assuming that single, Christian women are getting approached by single, Christian men for dates or marriage proposals regularly, and that the women are turning these men down because these men are porn users.

The fact is, though, a lot of single, Christian women cannot even get to “first base.” Single, Christian women cannot even meet single men in their age bracket.

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Civil, Secular Authorities and Marriage and The Dippy Christian “Marriage Pledge” Preachers are Being Asked To Sign

Civil, Secular Authorities and Marriage

This is a critique of the following post, and related ideas:

(Link): The Euphemism Of Marriage by J. Morgan

The guy that wrote that post has a tendency to make his blog temporarily private once he sees I’ve linked to one of his posts, then he makes it public again after so many weeks. You can read more about that wacko situation (Link): here, here, and here.

Lately, on other sites, there has been discussion on whether or not Christian preachers should stop holding weddings altogether, or if Christian preachers should only perform weddings for Christians…

In other words, some Christians are so upset over the possibility of Christians being forced to perform same-sex marriage, some are thinking that maybe Christians should not have anything to do with the government or secular groups in regards to marriage.

Here are a few links about the situation:

(Link):  Separating Civil and Christian Marriage: Should We Sign the Pledge?

(Link):  Should Pastors Disengage Civil and Christian Marriage?

(Link):  Pastors Sign Pledge to Separate Christian, Civil Marriage – via CBN site

Excerpt, from CBN article::

  • A new LifeWay Research survey on marriage and an online pledge drive shows support for a movement to further separate church and state roles in marriage.
  • Six in 10 responding to the survey said the government should not define or regulate marriage. More than a third also said that clergy should get out of the civil marriage business. 

I am not necessarily in agreement with all views by this blogger or this particular page, but it’s a critique of the Marriage Pledge position by Protestant Christians:

(Link):  The Marriage Pledge: Why You Should Not Sign It

Excerpt:

  • Their heirs, especially the Puritans and later the neo-Reformers, knew that all of life must be Christian, and to be Christian, it must be biblical.
  • The Bible provides the guidelines on what all of life, including the state, should look like. If the state is anti-biblical, you need to work to make it biblical, just as you would do in the family and church. You don’t get to opt out of them.
  • …But this option of cultural withdrawal isn’t available to the neo-Reformers. Douglas Wilson has offered several excellent practical, pastoral objections to The Marriage Pledge.
  • I would add that The Marriage Pledge is flawed at its root.The state, no matter how perverse, has a vested interest in marriage (will the church enforce disposition of children and property in the case of divorce? Hardly. And if she did, who would enforce the enforcement?). Should the church “disentangle” itself from the family since the family, too, is being redefined?
  • To be sure: the state can and does act unjustly (“no-fault divorce,” etc.). But the alternative isn’t anarchy, which despite its best intentions, is what The MArriage Pledge is suggesting. The state, even an apostate one, has a legitimate vested interest in marriage and the welfare of children springing from it.

Some Christians have a weirdo, odd ball view point that Christians marrying HETERO couples in today’s climate somehow is associated with the marriage of HOMOsexual couples.

I have written of this topic before, like here:

Yes, there are some Christian kooks who are teaching other Christians that if you, a hetero Christian, gets married in a state that has legalized homosexual marriage, this somehow invalidates YOUR (hetero) marriage.

These Christian kooks are teaching if you are a HETERO, Christian VIRGIN, yet marry your spouse in a state where homosexual marriage is also legal, this means you are NOT EQUALLY YOKED to your spouse because your entire marriage is invalidated, and they seem to imply you are sexually impure by extension.

And doesn’t the God of the Bible say he does not hold the sins of the father against the sons, that each person is responsible only for his or her own sins?

So what gives with Christians who are teaching this heresy that a hetero, Christian marriage magically becomes improper or sinfully tainted if it was held in a state where homosexuals are permitted to marry? God does not hold the sins of homosexuals against hetero Christians.

Anyway, this John Morgan guy seems to argue along a similar line in his post,

(Link): The Euphemism Of Marriage by J. Morgan

My intent here is not to copy tons and tons of this guy’s post, but it’s so hard to find just one or two paragraphs that summarize his thoughts here, I’m not sure what parts to excerpt.

Excerpts.

  • …We hear euphemisms everyday: Correctional facility instead of prison, collateral damage instead of accidental deaths, enhanced interrogation techniques instead of torture, pregnancy termination instead of abortion, etc.
  • We can add one more – marriage. Turning to the Oxford Dictionary again, we see that marriage is: “The legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.” In short, it’s a legal sexual relationship recognized by the state you live in.

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Celibacy is Not Just for Homosexuals or Roman Catholic Priests / and a critique of a post at another blog

Celibacy is Not Just for Homosexuals or Roman Catholic Priests / and a critique of a post at another blog

I will start this post out in general terms and then proceed to offer a critique of a post by John Morgan, so excerpts from his post will be much farther below.

It appears to me that the Bible says that sex is reserved for married couples, with marriage being defined by Jesus Christ as being between one man and one woman.

When responding to a question about marriage by religious critics, Jesus referred back to Adam and Eve in the Garden, pointing out that it was God’s original intent for marriage to be comprised of one man, one woman.

However, it appears that many people associate the practice of, or the word, “Celibacy” with only homosexual singles these days, and for hundreds of years, with Roman Catholic priests.

I’ve seen several articles where some Roman Catholics are asking their church to repeal the celibacy requirement from priests.

Here are some examples of the recent discussion of celibacy in regards to homosexuality:

(Link):  Number of celibate gay Christians rises in traditional churches

(Link): Growing movement of gay Christians choosing celibacy

(Link):  Gay Christians choosing celibacy

(Link): Gay, Celibate, Christian?

(Link):  FDA Favors Year Of Celibacy Rule For Gay Male Donors

I follow the conservative blog “Hot Air” on Twitter. Hot Air moderators recently posted a blog page about celibate homosexuals. Here it is,

(Link): Gay Christians choosing celibacy emerge from the shadows – from Hot Air’s blog

I have more to say about this Hot Air article farther below.

At any rate. Since so many homosexuals claim they were born homosexual and cannot change their sexual orientation, I proposed over a year ago, before the “celibacy” topic became popular in various news outlets, that homosexual Christians practice celibacy.

I think it is a workable compromise: if you have homosexual leanings, feel attracted to the same gender, I don’t think that means you have to act upon sexual urges.

I have no idea why this idea would be considered controversial, but according to several news articles I have read, it is in fact considered a controversial idea among Christians, heterosexuals, and homosexuals.

I do not see why, as HETEROsexuals are also commanded by the Bible to remain celibate, unless they are married to an opposite gender person; people are permitted, by God, teaches the Bible, to have sex with their opposite gender partner, but in no other circumstances.

Lifelong celibacy is NOT impossible.

For example, see this post on this blog:

(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals” (ie, it’s supposedly an impossible feat for any human being to achieve)

Lifelong celibacy can be difficult at times, yes, but not impossible, yet many Christians keep depicting a life without sex as being a Herculean task only a tiny few are capable of, because, they wrongly assume, God sprinkles magic dust on celibate singles to remove sexual desire. This is false.

Celibates still experience sexual urges and desires and attraction, they simply choose not to act upon those feelings or attractions.

When married people are apart, they are expected, by the Bible, to abstain from sex.

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Marketing Companies Offering ‘Sexy Jesus’ Calendar, Selfies With Jesus

Marketing Companies Offering ‘Sexy Jesus’ Calendar, Selfies With Jesus

Do you know what I think is weird? People so obsessed with sex, they sexualize anything and everything. But these people – and a lot of others – would find me weird, because I’m still a virgin past the age of 40 – and yes, I had opportunities to have sex, including with a fiance’ but I said “no” to that. I find the refusal to be sexually self controlled weird, and things like this…

By the way, this web page has samples from the calendar, if you want to see what this company’s idea of a “sexy Jesus” looks like.

(Link): Marketing Companies Offering ‘Sexy Jesus’ Calendar, Selfies With Jesus

  • Two London ad agencies may just be crossing the line by using Jesus Christ as a marketing ploy.
  •  In what is sure to be a controversial move, Anomaly London is offering a “Sexy Jesus” (link):  calendar. The calendar features 13 images – one on the cover and one for each month – of a bare-chested, buff model with a beard and flowing hair.
  • Although most of the images show Jesus in various provocative poses and wearing in a robe or cloth slung low on his waist, there are also images of Christ dressed as a fireman and lifeguard. All of the pictures feature “cheeky” captions, such as the one below.
  • he Inquisitr recently reported the (Link): backlash from Christians to a Family Guy episode’s depiction of Jesus tying to lose his virginity, but some may find this calendar even more offensive. The calendar was just posted for sale on the web earlier this week, and so far there have been no negative reactions to it, but it remains to be seen what will happen when people find out it is available.
  •  According to the (Link): Independent, Mother flew Kevin Lee Light, a Jesus impersonator who walks the streets of L.A., to London as a “Christmas stunt.” The agency then sent out a video and (Link): press release announcing they had acquired Jesus Christ as a client.

    “MOTHER SIGNS CULT CHRISTMAS FIGURE, JESUS AS CLIENT”

    “Jesus has flown in this week from his home in Los Angeles, where he is a cult figure and celebrity. He has been a regular feature on TMZ for the last five years and a chance encounter with him inspired Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler to write the song Street Jesus. Snoop Dogg is also a massive fan.”

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Related posts:

(Link):  The Sexualization of God and Jesus

(Link):  Preacher: ‘They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hot SEX Lives’ – and once more, never-married celibate adults and their experiences, wisdom, and input are ignored

(Link):  Patriarchy tends to sexualize all male/female relationships

(Link):  Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships

(Link):  Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

(Link):  Pervy Preacher from Seattle who teaches men “to objectify women, by his over emphasis of sexualization of women and subservience” (Re Driscoll)

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Christians Who Sexualize Female Infants and Who Have Wacko, Weird, Unbiblical Gender Role Views They Actually Believe are Biblical / Re Botkins

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link):  Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles

(Link):  Prof Says There is Something Homo-Erotic About Christian Men Who Say They Love Jesus

(Link): Self Professing Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Fiance’ (or had her killed) – Also: Christian Group IHOP Sexualizes Jesus Christ and God

(Link): Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church – article about sexual abuse in Baptist churches -article mentions how Baptist preacher sexualized Jesus

(Link): Is Jesus Too Sexy? Too Sexy for His Hat, Too Sexy for His Shirt? And What About Salome in Movies? / Re: Actor Diogo Morgado and Depictions of Jesus in Movies – Including Son of God

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships

Divorce Rates Are Dropping. But Are We Saving Marriage? by S Jones (Also discusses how Christians have turned marriage and family into idols)

This post, “Divorce Rates Are Dropping. But Are We Saving Marriage?,” on Faith Street, is essentially a rehash about two blog posts I made earlier this week and the last, here is one of the two:

(Link): Some Guy Ticked off At Recent NY Times Article about Declining Divorce Rate Declares that Marriage Still Doing Crummy and the Fam-bly Still Endangered

I still think this is worth reading because the author throws in a few of her own thoughts

(Link): Divorce Rates Are Dropping. But Are We Saving Marriage? by S Jones

Excerpts.

  • As with all demographic shifts, a number of factors are in play. The Times notes that lower divorce rates still don’t correspond to a higher number of marriages. Fewer people are getting married, a fact that’s long been a source of ire for marriage-minded Christians.
  • But those that do are still finding themselves in more stable unions, and as the Times indicates, that’s because people are marrying later than ever before.
  • The idea that later marriage can contribute to the institution’s stability is rather at odds with conservative rhetoric on the subject.

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Kirk Cameron – Like Some Other Shallow Christians – Is Selling Christian Family Values To Make A Buck – Cameron’s Christmas Movie Ranked Worst Movie Ever on IMDB – Cameron Selling Jesus Coffee to Make A Buck

Kirk Cameron – Like Some Other Shallow Christians – Is Selling Christian Family Values To Make A Buck – Cameron’s Christmas Movie Ranked Worst Movie Ever on IMDB

Yes, actor Kirk Cameron released a movie a few weeks ago called “Saving Christmas.” He went on his Facebook page to implore his fans or followers to inflate the scores of the movie at the Rotten Tomatoes site. Here is an article about it:

(Link): Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Ranked Worst Movie Ever By IMDB

  • Congratulations, Kirk Cameron. You’ve officially made a terrible movie. The former Growing Pain star’s latest movie, Saving Christmas, is now ranked at the top (bottom?) of (Link): IMDB’s 100 worst movies.
  • IMDB users clearly didn’t like Kirk Cameron’s new movie and either did the people at Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is currently sitting at a solid 0% at the movie review site.

    Kirk Cameron is hoping to change some of those negative reviews. He took to Facebook this week to beg his fans for more positive reviews.

    (Link): Cameron writes: “All of you who love Saving Christmas – go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families see … If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!”

I disagree with Christians who have made marriage, the nuclear family, and natalism into idols. And they have indeed made those things into idols.

Even worse, in a way, are the self-professing believers who claim to be in support of mom, apple pie and the family, but who are apparently using this stuff to make a buck.

I suspect this is true of Kirk Cameron.

I’ve seen screen captures of his Facebook posts, and they read like marketing shill pieces, not heartfelt pleas to save the family (see one example above).

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Hungry ISIS Fighters (Muslim Extremists) Just Want Their Wives To Cook Pancakes – When Islam Sounds Like Christianity

Hungry ISIS Fighters (Muslim Extremists) Just Want Their Wives To Cook Pancakes – When Islam Sounds Like Christianity

(Link):  Hungry ISIS fighters just want their wives to cook pancakes (excerpts from this article much farther below) No, the heading of this blog post,

  •  Hungry ISIS Fighters (Muslim Extremists) Just Want Their Wives To Cook Pancakes – When Islam Sounds Like Christianity 

is not a strawman.

I can just imagine Christians wanting to tell me that Christianity is nothing like Islam.

But it is, in some regards.

Despite the fact that no conservative Christian group I am aware of would “honor kill” a woman for being a rape victim or decapitate a woman as some Muslims do, both groups never the less share some similar views about women, which happen to be restrictive towards women.

Understand that I was brought up in this culture. I was raised as a Christian gender complementarian, though I later rejected this teaching in adulthood. I realized that the Bible does not teach it.

Despite the fact that Gender Complementarians (Christians who believe that the Bible teaches strict gender roles for men and women, and they sometimes use the label ‘biblical manhood and womanhood’) will sometimes state in their literature that they do not believe that all women must or should marry, have children, and be “stay at home mothers” who bake cookies all day, they actually do quite strongly teach this, and it’s always implied.

Christian gender complementarians frequently publish articles to women in their blogs and books that tell women how to be good wives and mothers – which sometimes include tips on how to look pretty for one’s husband, recipes for casseroles, and so on.

See for example(Link): this post of mine for more on that.

ASIDE: FOLKS WHO MOCK SECULAR FEMINIST ARGUMENTS ABOUT TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES

By the way, there is one conservative guy I follow on Twitter who regularly mocks secular feminists for disputing traditional gender roles. (I also sometimes see one or two well known Christian or politically conservative women on Twitter who also quibble with secular feminists about this.)

While I happen to be right wing myself (I’m a conservative too, and do not always agree with feminists), I do think secular feminists are partially correct on some of these points involving gender roles.

I am conservative and heterosexual, but I for one do not neatly fit the “traditional gender role” views as put forth by evangelical Christians and social conservatives, which is one reason of several I am considering leaving the Christian faith, or keeping a very basic belief in Christ but jettisoning the rest of it.

Regarding this right wing guy I follow on Twitter who consistently mocks feminists who dispute gender roles:

It’s beyond me why a guy who has traditional values (concerning his religious views and spirituality, I’m not sure if he’s a Christian, atheist, or what) would mock folks who object to traditional gender roles, since stubbornly sticking to them is causing so many conservative women (and maybe some men) to leave the Republican Party and/or to leave social conservativism and/or the Christian faith.

Traditional gender roles force people into boxes that they do not fit in and do not want to live in, which can create problems for them.

I was feminine enough growing up and as an adult, but was not an “uber girly girl” that Christians told me that I ‘should’ be.

Never mind that the Bible does not explicitly spell out what “being a woman” is “supposed” to look like in American culture in the 20th or 21st centuries.

I was taught by my mother, by Christian (and secular) material I read or saw on TV, that because I was a girl, I was supposed to be maternal, I was supposed to want to have babies some day, that I should always want to wear frilly, pink, flowered covered clothing.

The fact is, I never cared for any of those things.

I’ve often found babies annoying and never really cared if I had one myself or not. If other people want to have children, good on them, but it’s something that was not terribly appealing to me personally.

Conversely, I was also taught by parents, culture, and church, that because I was a girl, I was NOT supposed to wear jeans, sneakers, nor was I supposed to want to do things like run, climb trees, watch Bat Man reruns on TV, be a Ghost Rider comic fan, nor was I supposed to enjoy any of those things.

But I was in fact, as a kid, a Bat Man and Ghost Rider fan, liked to watch Bat Man on tv, wear jeans and sneakers and climb trees. That’s who I was, and I got really tired of being shamed or criticized for it.

In adulthood, I see fellow conservatives shaming other adults for not playing out these traditional gender roles – or for merely questioning them to start with – and I do not comprehend this.

If you are a conservative, I would think you would be supportive of people’s freedom to choose.

If a man wants to dance in the ballet, or write sensitive poetry, rather than become a quarterback for the NFL, rather than mock him, why wouldn’t you just respect the fact that he’s an adult who wants to chose for himself what he wants to do with his life?

I sometimes see news stories of liberal, Democrat mayors who try to make laws that prevent adults from choosing to drink soda because they think soda is not healthy. Isn’t that a form of “nanny stating?”

How is a liberal wanting to prevent adults from drinking Coke or Pepsi any different than Republicans and social conservatives wanting to shame adults from pursuing non-gender-stereotypical hobbies?

Jesus Christ did not fit today’s American, evangelical, social conservative, Christian traditional gender roles, either. Continue reading

TBN Airing Special on Founder Paul Crouch Sr – Why?

TBN Airing Special on Founder Paul Crouch Sr – Why?

My online TV Guide says that TBN (Christian channel) is airing a 2 and a half or three hour special on founder Paul Crouch Sr. today, starting at 3:00 PM.

I cannot fathom why. Outside of his family, I cannot imagine many people who are that fascinated with Crouch Sr that they’d want to watch.

As I’ve noted before on the blog, in some very old posts, the folks who own TBN sometimes make the channel more about themselves than they do Jesus Christ, which I don’t understand.

I would assume this two or three hour program will be a snooze fest and will not be tuning in to watch. This being TBN, I can only assume they will either air this Paul Crouch special at least once a year, or as much as a few times a week over the next few months.

And on a commercial break promoting this special, TBN just showed a painting of Jesus hugging Paul Crouch.  It looked rather cheesy. Perhaps I can find a copy of it. Okay. This is a screen cap from the TBN site.

Weird painting of Paul Crouch being hugged by Jesus

Weird painting of Paul Crouch being hugged by Jesus

Weirdness. Total weirdness.

Pro-Life, Christian Sites that Flirt With Denigrating Singleness and Childlessness In Their Quest to Argue Against Abortion / Re Eric Metaxas etc

Pro-Life, Christian Sites that Flirt With Denigrating Singleness and Childlessness In Their Quest to Argue Against Abortion / Re Eric Metaxas etc

If you are new to this blog: I am pro-life. I do not support abortion.

I have traditional values, and was completely a Christian up until a couple years ago; I currently reside somewhere between being a Christian and being agnostic. I am not hostile towards traditional marriage or “the family.”

I do, however, object to the fact that many conservative Christians have turned marriage and family into deity, and they marginalize and shame anyone who has not married or had children.

One troubling aspect I see in Christian sites or blogs that champion traditional values, or ones that argue against abortion, is a propensity to equate adult singleness, celibacy, and remaining childless to being selfish, to being opposed to God, the Bible, or biblical values.

Many times, these sites that argue for the nuclear family and against abortion do not take into account that many adult singles are remaining single not by choice, but due to circumstance.

See, for example, this post on this blog:

(Link):  Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

I myself had wanted to marry, but my relationship with my fiance did not work out so I had to break up with him, and I have not met anyone suitable since.

I cannot put a gun to a man’s head and force him to marry me, nor do I want to order a male-order mail groom, nor do I have a magic wand where I can wave it about and make a man appear out of thin air.

I don’t think Christians who obsessively advocate for marriage, natalism, and the nuclear family, appreciate that getting married is not as simple or easy as they seem to think it is.

For more on that typical mindset among Christians, please see this post at this blog: (Link):  Typical Conservative Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough (or at all), Mr. Right will magically appear

I follow the site “Life News” on Twitter, and I tend to agree with many, though not all, of their views. I am not sure, but I think Life News is a Roman Catholic based organization, but many of their view points sound similar to Protestant or Baptist positions on marriage, abortion, and other topics.

Life News is a very pro-life site, which I am fine with. However, today, they tweeted a link to this page, and I do have some misgivings by how they have represented singleness and the state of being childless, via this editorial by Eric Metaxas:

(Link): “Choice,” Abortion Behind Worldwide Demographic Spiral by Eric Metaxas

I’m not sure, but I believe that Metaxas is Protestant. At any rate, here are some excerpts:

  • by Eric Metaxas
  • As you might suspect, this pro-choice “age of possibility” has room for almost anything—except children. Brooks notes: “The number of Americans who are living alone has shot up from 9 percent in 1950 to 28 percent today. In 1990, 65 percent of Americans said that children are very important to a successful marriage. Now, only 41 percent of Americans say they believe that.
  • And here’s the kicker: “There are now more American houses with dogs than with children.”

Continue reading

Christian Host Pat Robertson Blames, Shames Woman Who Was Laid Off from Her Job (Post Updated)

Pat Robertson Blames, Shames Woman Who Was Laid Off from Employment

! POST UPDATED BELOW !

On today’s episode of Pat Robertson’s 700 Club show, a woman wrote in saying she was laid off from one job, then a second one.

The woman said she feels that God sent her Job 2, but she doesn’t understand why God would send her something, only to yank it away. She asked Robertson why would God remove something he seemingly gave her to start with? (If I can find the video to this, I will add it to this post later.)

True to form, as Robertson’s standard operating procedure is to Blame the Victim, depending on the topic (see links bottom of this post for such examples), he told this woman she was laid off from her job due to her own lousy job performance and to stop blaming God for this. The thing is, the woman did not mention the particulars of her lay off (so far as I can remember. I don’t think it was mentioned.)

We have no idea WHY she was laid off, and neither does Robertson.

Robertson just ASSUMED negative things about this woman’s job performance. Sometimes companies lay off workers because the company is in a bind, below regular profits, or they decide to base operations in another nation, as that is cheaper.

There are any number of reasons why someone may be laid off from a job, and none of those reasons have anything to do with the person’s job performance.

Shame, shame on Pat Robertson for beating up on this woman who wrote in about this.

She is likely worried about making her mortgage payment or rent, or buying grocereries, and she’s wondering where God is, why has God let her down… here she is probably hurting, confused, afraid, and Robertson just bashed her and told her to brush up on her job skills. What a heartless jerk he was about this.

He is also missing the mark in that the woman was not looking for practical job tips, but she seems to be hurt that God doesn’t care about her. She wants to know why God has let her down – she’s in a spiritual funk, she isn’t needing resume’ advice at this time.

Time for CBN / 700 Club to kick the 80-something Robertson off the show and have his more tactful, sensitive son Gordon take over hosting duties.

I also find it very hypocritical that a man who makes his millions begging for money off gullible TV viewers is biting some woman viewer’s head off over her supposed job performance.

Also: (Link):  ‘Mission Congo’ Alleges Pat Robertson Exploited Post-Genocide Rwandans For Diamonds

  • The documentary ‘Mission Congo,’ which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, alleges that televangelist Pat Robertson’s charity in Zaire to help refugees that fled from post-genocide Rwanda, Operation Blessing, really served as an elaborate front for his diamond mining operation. Marlow Stern reports.

Anyway, I will edit this post to add a link to the video where Robertson shames and blames that lady who was laid off from her job, assuming I can find the video. These videos are usually either posted on You Tube or on the 700 Club’s site.

Robertson is such an insensitive jerk. I am not a fan of the “tip toe around people feelings” types, but I don’t like the Pat Robertson or Mark Driscoll extremes, either.

Edit. This might be the Bring It On segment where the woman wrote Robertson. Edit 2. Yes, this is the correct video.

NOV 20 2014 UPDATE

At some point after I uploaded the video below, the people at The 700 Club replaced the video!

That’s right. The original version had Robertson telling the woman she must be performing horribly at her job to be laid off twice.

Well, in the replaced video (which is below – they removed the original one), supposedly, the same woman wrote back to clarify her situation. She says she is 52 years old and was laid off by her employer because she reported to them that a male co-worker was harassing her on the job.

Armed with that information, to paraphrase him, Robertson says he is now sympathetic with this woman and thinks she should consider suing them because she was terminated unfairly.

At no time, though, did he reply to the woman’s original question: why did God send her this second job only for God to permit the job to be taken away? Robertson never did answer that.

The first time he attempted to reply to that inquiry, he rudely and insensitively assumed the woman was at fault for having been laid off.

I also find it telling that this Christian television program edits or removes original videos and replaces them without telling viewers – I only caught this substitution because I went back and re-watched the video.

I do not see a notice on the page that the original video was removed, edited, and/or replaced. In my opinion, it’s a bit dishonest, in a way, for a Christian show to fiddle with, edit, or remove an original video after the fact – and not inform people that this was done.

The letter from the laid off woman is the second or third letter in the video

(which has now been replaced with new video, supposedly from the same woman who wrote the original letter – the original, insensitive commentary by Robertson has been removed, because I can only assume the folks at 700 Club realized he looked rude.

I tweeted about this video a few days ago, I provided a link to this post on Twitter, several times on Twitter over 3 or 4 days, using the Pat Robertson and 700 Club hash tags. Perhaps someone from their show saw this post and decided to rework the video?):

(Link): You Tube Video / Pat Robertson responds to letter woman laid off from job – video has been altered – they removed original content and replaced it to make Robertson look like less of an insensitive jackass

———————-

Related:

(Link): Don’t Be Pat Robertson: Learn That, Yes, Abusive Jerks Masquerade As Nice Guys Until They Marry the Woman Then They Abuse Her – Pat Blames A Woman Again For Marrying A Jerk

(Link): Pat Robertson Says 44 Year old Never Married Woman Who Wants Marriage is “Desperate”

(Link): Christian Host Pat Robertson Tells Christian Woman Who Married Christian Man Who Turned Out to Be Totally Unethical That She has Discernment of a Slug – Single Women: toss Be Equally Yoked teaching in the trash can

(Link): Pat Robertson says ‘Virginity Has Nothing To Do With Marriage’ and Says (Paraphrasing) ‘Virginity Was Fine For Mary But Not Applicable For Any Other Christians’

(Link): Pat Robertson Expects Men to Commit Sexual Sin (and it’s not the first time)

(Link): Pat Robertson: (basically): Pre Marital Sex is Okay (or to be totally expected) Because People are “Sexual Beings”

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? excerpts from page by R Olson

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved?  excerpts from page by R Olson

This post by Olson resonated with me (link to it is below).

I keep seeing progressive Christians and some ex-Christians declare on the internet on various blogs and forums that most evangelicals are too legalistic and judgmental. They must be kidding.

I see the exact opposite problem: churches and denominations, both evangelical and others, who look too much like secular culture, too unwilling to condemn sin, and redefining some behaviors to the point those behaviors are no longer considered sinful, though the Bible does.

I agree with Olson that many Christians have abandoned the idea of using outward signs of holy living as a barometer to judge if a person is truly saved or not, so that, as a result, people proclaiming the name of Jesus are not expected by other Christians to live much differently from your average, hedonistic, moral relativistic, Non-Christian.

I do think that actual Christians can and are guilty of some pretty heinous things at times, but other Christians are reluctant to speak out against blatant, recurring sin when they see it in other self professing believers.

I would guess that in part 3  of Olson’s series (which he has not posted yet if I am not mistaken) that he may claim that people who appear to live in constant, unrepentant sin are not “real” Christians – I’m not so sure I would agree with that. Maybe I’ll be wrong and he’ll arrive at another conclusion.

I really have to scratch my head in befuddlement at people who take issue with Christians who do still take a stand against behavior the Bible condemns (though this is not happening as much as it used to). I’m the direct opposite.

The more and more I see a larger percentage of American Christians refusing to call out things like hetero fornication as sinful (and other immoral behaviors as sinful), the less respect I have for the entire Christian faith, for churches, and for Christians in general.

I see no point in being a follower of Christ if everything the man taught (and this includes the rest of the Bible, not merely the content of the Gospels) is considered irrelevant, or if Christians today are going to call good evil and evil good, or to shrug evil off as though it’s no big deal.

When not totally ignoring or arguing away the parts they do not like, Christians today treat the Bible as though it is silly putty, and they can bend and stretch it however they please.

I see little to no point at continuing in a faith whose adherents do not even bother to live up to the minimal rules its founder, and that his book set out (his book = the entire Bible – Jesus is not just in the Gospels: he is present from Genesis to the Pauline letters to Revelation).

(Link):  Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? by R Olson (part 2)

Excerpts:

  • …. Today, unfortunately, even many evangelicals have nearly totally abandoned such expectations of holiness, or even avoidance of scandalous behavior, and church discipline.
  • We have succumbed to American individualism and interpreted authentic Christianity and salvation itself as totally and exclusively a matter between the individual and God. I cannot tell how many times I have heard evangelicals (including Baptists who don’t call themselves that) say about a church member engaging in sinful conduct “That’s between them and God.”
  • ….But once a person “comes to Christ by faith” we often overlook their spiritual growth or lack of it—except to encourage spiritual growth.
  • … The result, so it seems to me, is that many even “mature Christians” live lives hardly different from non-Christians with little or no intervention from their own Christian community.
  • ….Both in the New Testament and in historical Christianity of most traditions, assurance of salvation is and was based at least in part on “signs of grace,” visible Christianity, dedication to the cause of Christ, even at least inward moral transformation over time into a godly personality. Today, I fear, perhaps out of fear of legalism and harshness, we have by and large abandoned that whole idea.
  • ((read the entire page))

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Related posts:

(Link): Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities – Theology of Hurt Feelings – Why Christians Are Reluctant To Call Out Sexual Sin

(Link): Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners

(Link): Pastors avoid ‘controversy’ to keep tithes up, author says – Confirms What I’ve Been Saying All Along, Re: Churches: Contrary to Progressive Christians, Churches / Christians Do Not Support or Idolize Sexual Purity, Virginity, or Celibacy – they attack these concepts when not ignoring them

(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

(Link): Christians Not Only Accept Pre Marital Sex Among Adults But Are Also Now Accepting “Shacking Up” as The New Norm

(Link): Stop Rewarding People For Their Failure – Christians Speaking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths About Sexual Sin – Choices and Actions and How You Teach This Stuff Has Consequences – Allowing Sinners To Re-Define Biblical Terms and Standards

“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

“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): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – from CBE site, by Carrie A. Miles

As I wrote in a much older posts, Christian single men need to strongly reconsider supporting gender complementarianism, if they do so already, because GC (gender complementarianism, as espoused by Christian groups such as “Council for Biblical Womanhood and Manhood” and by people such as preacher Mark Driscoll and many other male pastors, as well as entire denominations, such as Southern Bapists), discriminate against single, childless men.

These groups not only promote sexism against women, and limit women, but they do so against MEN as well, especially un-married, childless men.

Under patriarchy beliefs, or even standard GC (gender complementarian) teachings, Christian men are told that they are demanded or expected to marry, marry young, and to have lots of children, and it’s argued that the Bible itself supports those propositions (though it does not).

If men do not marry, do not marry young, and do not have children, they are told, they are in disobedience to God, breaking biblical rules, defrauding women, and are displeasing God.

Depending on the particular GC preacher or organization, men will further be told that they are not “real” men if they don’t have a career with a paycheck that enables their wife to stay at home and raise children.

If you are a man who has a wife, and she must work to help pay bills, you are considered a “man fail” by these groups.

Also depending on the particular GC preacher or church, men who are artistic, creative, sensitive (I don’t mean homosexual, all I mean are men who are not as into “manly men” stereotypes as others), men who are not into MMA or NFL, men who do not fit stereotypical he-man American pursuits and interests, are derided for being wimps and “pussified” (their word) by male, GC preachers (see this link for some examples).

If you are a conservative, Christian man and want to read opposing views to GC by other conservative Christians who interpret the Bible literally, you need to start researching Christian gender egalitarianism books and sites.

One such site is CBE, Christians for Biblical Equality.

CBE is not a group of man-hating, liberal feminists who allegorize the Bible. They are conservative Christians, and sometimes have male authors write their articles and blog posts, in addition to female authors.

The following editorial supporting adult celibates and refuting the Christian obsession with family, marriage, and procreation is from CBE. Even if you are a gender complementarian, you shouldn’t see anything, or not too much, in this that you disagree with in this article on an egalitarian site.

(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”

Here are some excerpts.

  • by Carrie A. Miles
  • On issues of the family and scripture, Christians are in a bit of a pickle. It is not always clear how our convictions about “family values” mesh with what the Bible teaches, especially the Gospels.
  • Jesus, for example, did not assign the great spiritual and sentimental significance to family life that many Christians do today. How then do we reconcile the expectation that all good Christians should marry with his example of lifelong celibacy?
  • Or our championship of family with Jesus’ warning that following him will set sibling against sibling and parent against child?
  • Endorsing family values poses particularly interesting issues for biblical egalitarians, since many of our fellow Bible-believers hold that these values should include a hierarchical model of marriage.
  • In order to understand Jesus’ attitude toward the family, we must understand that family practices in the first century were not based on emotion as they are today, but rather on material, economic interests.
  • In my book, The Redemption of Love,1 I show that the family values prevalent in Jesus’ day were the economic consequences of the Fall. These family practices, now known as patriarchy, were corrupted by the human decision to have our own way and live outside of God’s abundance.
  • I join New Testament historian S. Scott Bartchy in arguing that rather than support patriarchy, Jesus and other New Testament writers (especially Paul) intended to over- throw it. Thus, Jesus’ teachings, which seem anti-family today, reflect his intent to dissolve the materialistic motives for family and replace them with relationships based on doing the will of God.2
  • Singleness
  • In this passage Jesus challenged another ancient family value—the expectation that every respectable person should marry. He noted several reasons why people might choose not to marry, including the decision to devote themselves entirely to the kingdom of heaven (v. 12). Between this teaching and his own example of celibacy, Jesus made it clear that it was acceptable for godly people to remain single.This was a radical claim, since singleness had rarely been an option before. Historically, most marriages were arranged by families to further their own interests, often with little consideration for the preferences of the bride and groom.

Continue reading

Southern Baptist Russell Moore Admits That Christians Have Sexless Marriages

Southern Baptist Russell Moore Admits That Christians Have Sexless Marriages

I first saw this at (Link): Spiritual Sounding Board blog. I find this funny. Christians often sell the notion of virginity to people by telling them if they wait until marriage to have sex that the sex will be “Mind Blowing” (their favorite phrase of choice to describe things).

You may also recall that Russell Moore places no value on a person waiting until marriage to have sex, please see (Link): this previous post.

I think this letter to Moore about this sexless marriage where the husband does not want to have sex also shows how false some Christian sexual views are about gender.

Many Christians like to repeat the falsehood that only men want and like sex, while (married) women supposedly hate sex, don’t want sex, and don’t need sex.

Here you have a marriage where the couple is not having sex because the male says he thinks that sex is “gross.” This does not fit the stereotype held and taught by Christians that all men are horn dogs who fantasize about sex constantly, can’t get enough sex, and that their wives don’t want sex and that women hate sex, ergo, the pastor must cajole and guilt trip the wives in sermons or in blogs and books into “putting out” more.

(Link): Questions & Ethics: We haven’t consummated our marriage.

  • Russell Moore counsels a woman who has been married 8 months, but has yet to consummate their marriage. Moore shares ways a pastor should approach this, as well as the importance of sex within marriage. Read the full transcript here.
  • [From the transcript – some guy asks Moore the following]:
  • There’s a couple, married, they’ve been married for eight months, and they have yet to consummate the marriage. At issue is the husband. The young man is unwilling to consummate the marriage. There is no medical problem. I have investigated asking him if maybe there is a sexual orientation issue. He says, no. He is not attracted to men at all. He loves his wife, but he finds sex to be “gross,” in his words
  • [Excerpts of Moore’s response – click here to see the entire reply]
  • Well, pastor, that is a difficult one, and it is something that—you know, I find myself getting this question more and more these days. It seems that I am finding more and more young couples having sexual difficulties.
  • And a lot of times what people tend to think about are older couples, whether medical problems, or they’ve been married a long time and kind of the romantic energy is lagging in the marriage. But I am finding this situation with young couples.
  • …Now, if this is simply just someone who says I don’t want to have sex with my wife. I refuse to carry out my responsibilities to love and to care for me wife including in the area of sexual intimacy, well, yeah, I think that would constitute an abandonment of her, and that would mean that the leaders of the church should come in and deal with it.

Continue reading

The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans

The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans

I think conservative writer Ann Coulter’s editorial about Christians who shuffle off to assist ebola patients in Africa – which got her all sorts of vitriol by both left and right wingers, Christians and Non Christians – has been proven right.

I first wrote about that in another post or two:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

(Link): Strawman Argument: “You’re Creating a False Dichotomy” – No, I’m Not (Re: Coulter editorial and U.S. Christians aiding foreigners)

After American, caucasian movie actor Robin Williams died from suicide a few days ago, on the one hand, there was, yes, a lot of sympathy and sadness expressed for him and his family online in the days that followed, as it should be.

But there were also some very insulting, unsympathetic views published, and at that, based on William’s skin color or his mental health problems, not only by guys like Bill McNorris and Christian Matt Walsh, but by atheist writer P Z Myers.

As far as I can tell, the Bible does not adhere to the concept of “privilege” as believed by liberals. The American progressives harping on “privilege” causes them to refuse to show care and concern for the groups they believe to be in power.

Jesus Christ taught that people’s sins comes from their hearts (from within), not from their environment, and he did not endorse the view that because you or your group has been systematically mistreated or oppressed at the hands of another group, that this excuses your sin, or makes it acceptable for you to hate your oppressor, or for you to refuse to show compassion to that group.

In Jesus’ day, ancient Israel was ruled first and foremost by the ancient Romans, and on a lesser level, by the religious ruling class (the priests and Pharisees).

A lot of American liberals will say it’s impossible for an American woman to be considered sexist, or for female dislike of men to be considered sexist, because men in American society hold all the power. They will say that because whites held all the power in the USA, that one cannot consider a black person’s prejudices against whites a form of racism.

Then we also get into the identity politics and hate crime laws, where liberals believe that someone should receive a harsher, or specific charge of hate, for, say, mugging someone in a certain group that they consider unprivileged.

For example, a crime that is motivated by hatred of skin color, where a white guy punches a black guy in the face, is supposed to be worse than, say, a white guy punching another white guy. A guy murdering someone who happens to be homosexual is supposed to be a hate crime, but the same act is not considered a hate crime if a homosexual or heterosexual murders a heterosexual guy.

I have never understood these positions, because, for one reason of a few, it doesn’t square with the Bible.

Jesus never once taught the Jews of his day that it’s okay for them to hate the Romans, nor did he excuse their dislike of the Romans, on the premise that the Romans held all the “privilege” or “power.”

Continue reading

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression and Suicide

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression

Before I address Matt Walsh’s post about depression specifically:

For anyone who wants to read a compassionate, balanced view about mental health problems, including depression, by a Christian author, please read a copy of the book,

Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties – by Dwight L. Carlson.

Carlson is a Christian doctor who explains how much, if at all, personal sin, choice, or biology play in issues such as depression.

An excerpt from the book’s page on Amazon reads,

  • It’s no sin to hurt. Thousands of Christians suffer real emotional pain– such as depression, anxiety, obsessiveness.

Many other Christians, including prominent leaders, believe emotional problems are the result of sin or bad choices. These attitudes often only add to the suffering of those who hurt.

In this book Dwight Carlson marshals recent scientific evidence that demonstrates many emotional problems are just as physical or biological as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

While he never discounts personal responsibility, Carlson shows from both the Bible and up-to-date medicine why it really is no sin to hurt.

Understandably and compellingly, Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? brings profound help for those who hurt and those who counsel. For those who suffer, here is a powerful liberation from guilt. For those who care for the suffering, here is vivid proof that those in emotional pain deserve compassion, not condemnation.

MATT WALSH, ROBIN WILLIAMS, AND SUICIDE/DEPRESSION

In the day or two after it was announced that movie actor Robin Williams died by suicide, Christian blogger Matt Walsh wrote a blog post about it called “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice” (url: themattwalshblog.com). A copy of Walsh’s first post appears (Link): here on Barbwire (the link will open in a new window).

The very title of the post suggests, or assumes, that Williams was wholly in his right mind, capable of making rational decisions, and was therefore totally responsible for his own death, that he could have easily avoided his death (if only he had “chosen” joy and/or read a Bible more, etc), and, by extension, deserves no compassion.

Walsh would probably counter, “But I never specficially said he didn’t deserve compassion, or that he should just read his Bible more!”

Well, no, you didn’t say that exactly, but the wording of your blog post heading alone certainly implies it. The rambling in the post itself, which was intended to bolster the claims implied in the title, further suggests these views as well.

Walsh got so much negative feedback from that post, he wrote a follow-up post to it the other day.

I don’t know at this point if I intend on writing a full-scale rebuttal to Walsh’s post here – or, if I do, I may do it in the days or weeks ahead. I’m undecided.

I found Walsh’s commentary so revolting, I can’t bring myself to go back and re-read the piece again. Once was enough. I’ll try to re-visit the pages to grab some quotes, if I can.

I skimmed the Part 2 earlier today. Part 2 is entitled, “Depression isn’t a choice but suicide is: my detailed response to the critics”

The attitude of Walsh’s primary post was very victim-blaming, in spite of his protestations to the contrary.

Walsh evidently feels post # 1 was very loving and supportive of Robin Williams or anyone who deals with depression.

Perhaps Walsh is merely a very poor writer and failed to accurately convey his views in the first place, so that they came out as insensitive as they did, and now he’s upset so many people have taken his post the “wrong way.”

That has happened to me a time or two online – I fail to clearly explain my position on a sensitive issue, and folks take it the wrong way, and assume I’m a heartless jerk. (On the other hand, people are sometimes guilty of reading things into posts I’ve written that I never said or felt.)

If I am not mistaken, Walsh implied in part 1, and admitted in part 2 (again, I cannot bring myself at this time to re-read both to double check this) that he has had depression in the past, or some sort of problem.

Okay, I shall wade into the post again to find the exact quote. Here is what Walsh said in part 2 about his own experiences:

    I actually found myself getting emotional as I wrote it. I’m not suicidal but I have demons of my own, so I submitted that post to the public, praying others would find the same solace in the promise of hope and the power of free will.

From part 1, Walsh says,

    And before I’m accused of being someone who “doesn’t understand,” let me assure you that I have struggled with this my entire life.

I want to pause here to say I find that wording odd, from the quote from part 2. Walsh says he hopes people can find hope in “the power of free will.”

Christians usually feed depressed people the cliché’ that they can be freed of depression in “Jesus alone.”

Just as believing in Jesus alone cannot free a person from depression, neither can celebrating “free will,” or a “pick yourself up by your bootstraps and solider on” mentality.

I’d say often, a lot of people with clinical depression operate under one or both those paradigms for years to start with anyway, along with psychiatric visits or medications, until they realize none of it is working, they get mentally exhausted and want to stop fighting to live.

It is exhausting to live another day when all you want to do is stay in bed all day long with the sheets over your head, or take your own life.

That is, people with depression already have tried to “choose joy” and so on; they don’t need a Matt Walsh telling them to give that a go.

Having severe depression is not an automatic death sentence. There can be a way out, but it might vary from one person to the next.

But the vast majority of people I’ve seen who have made it through depression and lived to tell about it usually do not credit their survival with pure choice (ie, choosing to be joyful), Bible reading, attending church, or Jesus alone.

As a matter of fact, many of these recovering folks will tell you that one thing that made their journey MORE difficult was receiving well intentioned, yet hurtful advice, such as the very things Walsh was writing about and which is common among Christians: believe more in Jesus, attend church, choose to be joyful, etc.

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Christian Ladies: Be Equally Yoked to Christian Men Who Like To Have Sex With Dogs! (Re: Jerald Hill news story)

Christian Ladies: Be Equally Yoked to Christian Men Who Like To Have Sex With Dogs! (Re: Jerald Hill news story)

Christians who lecture or shame Christian single women into marrying only other Christians are… full of, you know.

When you have CHRISTIAN men jailed for rape, murder, or initiating dog sex, you have nothing to lose by dating or marrying Non-Christian men.

Why settle for a Non-Christian pagan dude when you, fine Christian single woman, can get a gem like this: a Baptist guy who gets hot and bothered thinking of doing it with Fido. (gag)

I haven’t yet seen in these articles if this guy is married or is a father (see this link for why I mention that).

(Link): [Baptist] Church Leader Jerald Hill Suspected Of Attempted Dog Sex

    A church leader in Roach, Missouri, is out of a job after being arrested for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a dog.

    Jerald Hill, 56, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attempted unlawful sex with an animal and attempted animal abuse.

(Link): Missouri Baptist leader arrested for attempted bestiality

(Link): Missouri Baptist leader arrested for allegedly seeking sex with a dog

(Link): Missouri Baptist church leader arrested for seeking sex with dog

    by Joe Kemp
    August 2014

    Jerald Hill, 56 — the head of the Windermere Baptist Conference Center — was collared after he turned to Craigslist to arrange sex with a dog and the ad was answered by an undercover police officer.

    A Missouri church leader was arrested after he turned to Craigslist to arrange sex with a dog, authorities said.

    Jerald Hill, 56 — the head of the Windermere Baptist Conference Center — was collared after a police officer spotted the online ad and offered to unite the man with a pooch at a Columbia park, local media reported.

    The undercover cop, an officer with the Boone County Sheriff Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, charged Hill with soliciting sex with an animal.

    He was released after posting a $1,000 bond.

    The conference center will likely choose a new president and CEO after Hill’s arrest.

    “We are concerned for the well-being of Jerry…and we are also concerned with the well-being of Windermere,” Chairman Arthur Mallory said.

    “Windermere will continue to function in a good way…It is a significant piece of God’s kingdom’s work.”

h/t to SCCL Facebook Group, which is where I think I first saw this story
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Related posts (YES SAD TO SAY THERE ARE RELATED POSTS ABOUT THIS TOPIC)

(Link): Married Southern Baptist and Calvinist Preacher and Father of Boy Exposes His Naked Penis to Teen Girl in Store

(Link): Married Couple Charged With Making Dog Porn (wife had sex with dogs while husband filmed it)

(Link): Being Unequally Yoked – should Christians marry Non Christians or only marry Christians

(Link): Pastor charged in wife’s murder was headed to Europe to marry boyfriend, prosecutor says – Single Xtian Ladies: Kick that Be Equally Yoked Teaching to the Curb! Also: Marriage and Parenthood do not make people more godly or mature or loving or ethical

(Link): Being Equally Yoked: Christian Columnist Dan Delzell Striving to Keep Christian Singles Single Forever

(Link): Another Example of Why the Equally Yoked Teaching is A Joke for Single Christian Women : Baptist Preacher Arrested for Allegedly Fire Bombing Ex Girlfriend’s House While She Was In It

(Link): Lists of More Married Preachers Arrested for Being Rapists or Child Molesters

(Link): Males and Females Raped at Christian College, College Doesn’t Care – Equally Yoked is a Joke

(Link): Christian Single Women: Another Example of Why You Should Abandon the “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching: 21-Y-O Christianity Student, Children’s Minister Charged With Murdering Fiancée He Was to Wed in August; Made It Look Like Suicide

(Link): American Teen Missionary Raped Several Orphan Children in Africa, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke

(Link): Christian Host Pat Robertson Tells Christian Woman Who Married Christian Man Who Turned Out to Be Totally Unethical That She has Discernment of a Slug – Single Women: toss Be Equally Yoked teaching in the trash can

(Link): Wife of Preacher Shoots, Kills Him, Recounts Years of Physical and Sexual Abuse– So Much for the Equally Yoked Teaching and the Notion that Christian married sex is Mind Blowing

(Link): Preachers Arrested For, or Accused of, Promoting Prostitution, Rape, Spreading HIV, Child Molesting etc – And Christian Single Women Should Only Consider Marrying So Called Christian Men Why?

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

(There is an update at the bottom of this post).

This involves a lot of back story I don’t want to get into because this blog post would be ten pages long.

I am blogging this primarily for adult singles who have felt marginalized or hurt by Christian denominations or churches that treat adult singles as though they have cooties.

I have a somewhat different motivation for blogging about this than other blogs do. There were a few other blogs who addressed the child abuse aspect of the story, that we have an adult (Hall) badgering a teen kid (Braxton Caner) on the internet.

J D Hall is a Calvinist preacher with a blog called “Pulpit and Pen,” a Twitter account, and a group of fan boys who follow him around online who actually refer to themselves as “Pulpiteers.”

At one time, Hall’s groupies were using the #pulpiteer (or “pulpiteers”) hash to follow each other around Twitter. I’m not sure if they still use the “Pulpiteer” label or not. I will continue to refer to them as such.

This group, and a few other people, have a long standing hatred of another guy named Ergun Caner.

Continue reading

Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

Below you will find a link to, and excerpts from, an editorial by S. Harris I agree with.

One of the most annoying things about the backlash against the Coulter piece is how Christians arguing against it were tone-deaf or had tunnel vision. They totally mis-read her piece, or assumed things about it that she did not say.

Most of the criticisms I read were operating under the erroneous belief that Coulter said, “Americans should never, ever help foreigners.” -When she said no such thing.

Another variation on that were the idiots who thought Coulter was saying, “Americans should only help Americans, screw the world!” She also wasn’t saying that.

Look, if you are an American living in the USA and you have “Grandpa Joe” living under your roof, you’ve taken him in because he can no longer care for himself….

And good old Grandpa Joe has dementia and is in a wheelchair, and you’re not getting him proper medication, nursing visits, bathing him, -BUT- you are flying to Africa on a plane every four months to go build one room huts for Africans (and you pride yourself in taking these trips to help orphans in Africa), you are the selfish jerk with messed up priorities, not Ann Coulter for calling you out on that hypocrisy.

And sad to say, most Americans do indeed ignore Grandpa Joe, or guys and women like him, to go on humanitarian trips to places like Africa.

And they think this is so compassionate and loving. They cannot see the hypocrisy or insensitivity of it. If God wanted you to go help in Africa, he would have had you born there.

It makes no sense for the Africans to fly to the USA to help Americans, the French to fly to Brazil to help Brazilians, the Saudis to fly to France to help the French, the Russians to fly to Canada to help the Canadians, the Aussies to fly to Russia to help the Russians.

In an extreme situation, in a natural disaster type thing (which to me is different than an on-going disease outbreak that has a 90% fatality rate), I’m seeing a stronger rationale for action.

Where a nation gets blown off the map by a typhoon, or what not, by all means, let’s see the world come together and all nations mail food and fly in equipment and blankets, but the rest of the year, no, it’s a waste of time and resources for everyone everywhere to do these things.

According to several news reports I’ve read, the ebola disease is 60 – 90% fatal (depending on medical treatment), and the whole thing that kicked off the Coulter piece in the first place were these naive, American, evangelical do-gooder doctor and missionaries who flew down there to “lend a hand.”

Now these do-gooders have ebola and were flown back to the United States, and which potentionally exposes other Americans to this.

Someone on another site raised what I felt was a decent analogy – how people voluntarily go on mountain-hiking trips but then get stranded on the mountain, so that other emergency respondents have to risk their lives, and spend a buttload of money, to fly helicopters and what all to rescue them. It’s a similar scenario.

Here is the editorial I agree with:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally by S. Harris

Excerpts:

    Ann Coulter’s recent article “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic” really hit home — if you’ll excuse the pun.

    Coulter makes a good argument as she questions why American missionaries don’t stay home and help a country in the violent throes of spiritual decay. She accuses them of slinking off to Third World countries (and coming back with Ebola), while they abandon the most consequential nation on earth — their own.

    It’s a thought I’ve often had as I’ve watched church after church suck their congregations dry for overseas missionary work while the old lady in the house next-door struggles for food — physically and financially.

    These same missionaries are lauded as heroes for going to Africa when their hometowns are awash in drugs, pornography, murders, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and a thousand other byproducts of spiritual darkness.

    I would go even farther and liken the situation to child adoption in the U.S. Couples, often citing impossible U.S. adoption laws and red tape, have been going overseas to adopt children for years while nearly 400,000 American children remain in foster care.

    Roughly 102,000 of those are waiting to be adopted at any given time, and another 58,000 become available for adoption after their parents’ rights are terminated.

    I know a Christian couple who recently adopted five siblings from Bhutan. Another couple, misled about the health of a newborn, adopted a Russian baby who needed so many operations they nearly went bankrupt and ended up divorcing.

    All of this happens while a little boy or girl from Nebraska or Kentucky grows up in the uncertain love and insecurity of foster care. I’ve rarely met a couple who adopted an American-born child.

    The truth is, instead of staying and fighting, Americans developed a pattern of running to other countries — whether for missionary work, adoption, or cheaper labor and smaller overhead.

    …Ann Coulters article was harsh, but it needed to be said.

    … Still, Ann Coulter was right to raise such relevant questions: “…Why do we have to deal with this at all? Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”

I encourage you to visit the author’s editorial and read the whole thing, because in it, in a part I did not quote above here, she even has an example in there of a time she brought her India- born- and- raised friend to an American church with her as a guest.

Harris said she was a Christian wanting to find a home church. She said she invited her India-born friend to attend with her one day at a new church she was checking out, so he did.

Harris said that when the church people noticed her friend was from India and was a Hindu, that they swarmed around him to welcome him but they blew her off (she was, to them, an obvious American).

Harris said the next day, the church ladies visited the guy at his home – they had obtained his address the day before – and brought him baked cakes and other goodies, but they brought nothing to Harris.

And Harris was the Christian looking for a church – her Hindu friend did not give a rat’s ass about joining Christianity at all. He was delighted to get free cookies from the Christians but thought the church ladies naive (that was how I understood what she wrote).

I could be mistaken, but I would assume that Harris’ Hindu friend probably had brown skin, probably spoke with a heavy accent – so it was obvious to the church people he was foreign.

I have noticed that U.S. Christians are in fact inclined to do missionary work toward, or help, only certain groups of people – among them, dark skinned people, and especially ones who are pagan in religious beliefs (ie, Hindu, Muslim).

(Though evangelicals will at times make narrow exceptions in America to help suffering Americans, but usually only the most severe, “down and out” cases, such as homeless crack addicts and women who work as strippers in night clubs.)

There seems to be little to no concern by white Christians for white skinned, middle class, “average Joe” people in America.

It’s weird, revolting, and not at all biblical to play “pick and choose” in who you will show compassion to. Everyone is supposed to be your neighbor, not just orphan kids or ebola patients in Africa, or homeless crack addicts.

And no, I’m not a “white pride” person or “white nationalist” or whatever they call themselves. I don’t mind if whites help dark skinned people.

What I am saying is I am sort of turned off by how so many American white Christians view dark-skinned foreigners as exotic pets and/or as being more “worthy” to save or help than their white, native neighbors (and we also have dark skinned Americans in America who could use help). It’s kind of a form of reverse-racism, and Christians should have no part in it, but they do.

Years ago, during what seemed to be a trend of white Americans adopting black children from Africa (and greasing the wheels by throwing their money at charities in those nations), I saw editorials by dark skinned Africans* who wrote they found the white American do-gooder mentality towards Africans offensive and condescending – they say they don’t want or need a “white savior” to fly in and rescue them. You would think white Americans would get a clue.

*(some of the journalists either self-identified as being black people, and/or they had a staff photo of themselves accompanying their editorials.)
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Related posts:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive – But It’s Not; It’s Accurate

(Link): White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems

(Link): Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan