Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

I am right wing, somewhat Christian, and believe that many Christians and secular conservatives have made the nuclear family and marriage into idols, which is wrong.

I am not opposed out-right to the traditional family, marriage, or to motherhood, and so forth, in and of themselves, but I am in disagreement at how so many right wingers and Christians elevate all those things to the point that they end up marginalizing anyone who does not fit the mould of “married with children.”

Anyone who is infertile, child free, divorced, never married, widowed, and what have you, is excluded or treated shabbily by the majority of “family values” obsessed right wingers and Christians, which again, in my view, is terribly wrong and unfair.

Here is an article explaining how and why the religious right elevated “the family” in their rhetoric:

(Link): Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why Religious Liberty has Replaced It) by E C Miller

Excerpts:

  • From about 1970 until about 2000, American politics was largely driven by concern about the nuclear family. As established social hierarchies came under fire from the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and others, conservative advocacy groups and their political allies demanded a return to the idealized family of the past. “Family values” became the rallying cry of a countermovement bent on holding the traditional line.
  • Seth Dowland is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University. His book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, charts the influence of Christian “family values” advocacy across three decades and a variety of issues.
  • RD’s Eric C. Miller spoke with Dowland about the project, the politics, and the significance of family in the United States.
  • You introduce “family values” as the key term of the Christian Right in the late twentieth-century United States. Why was this term so influential for this group in this place and time? 
  • Many of the political reforms enacted from the 1930s through the 1960s—particularly the expansion of the welfare state and the passage of civil rights legislation—attempted to expand equal rights to all people.
  • Political liberals celebrated these developments, while conservatives looked around the nation at the beginning of the 1970s and saw economic stagnation, riots, sexual revolution, a decline in patriotism, and an increase in crime and drug use. Ministers and political conservatives argued that America was in decline. They believed that decline happened because of the demise of the “traditional family.”

Continue reading “Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller”

Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson

Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson

There is also a link below to “Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends”

(Link): Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing

Excerpts:

by Ryan Duncan

Life as a single adult (Link): can be difficult. Life as a single Christian, on the other hand, can be just plain exasperating. While never short on community, single Christians often find themselves bombarded with well-meaning, but unhelpful advice from their married peers.

In response, (Link): Krysti Wilkinson of Relevant Magazine decided it was time to compile a list of things you should never say to your single friends. Coupled with a few of my own favorite gems, here are five things your single friends are tired of hearing.

“Wow, You Must Have So Much Free Time!”

“This is usually an attempt to point out the silver lining. But this sometimes implies that your single friend’s schedule, and life, must be empty (and void of anything meaningful) when there isn’t a significant other in it. True, those of us who are single have just one person’s schedule to keep track of instead of two, but there are so many other important parts of our days that have nothing to do with our love lives.”

Continue reading “Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson”

GOP Consultant Rick Wilson to MSNBC: Trump Supporters ‘Childless Single Men Who Masturbate to Anime’

GOP Consultant Rick Wilson to MSNBC: Trump Supporters ‘Childless Single Men Who Masturbate to Anime’

I am right wing, and a Republican (though I am lately thinking about leaving the GOP, but not for the Democrats. Both the GOP and the Democrats are disappointing, but for different reasons).

I have said on this blog before that many Republicans (or at least a percentage) are stuck in the 1950s, and that they idolize the nuclear family. They ostracize or marginalize anyone who is not married with children (which is quite what conservative Christians do).

Some of the following links pertain to Donald Trump. I know a lot of people find Trump polarizing, but I don’t have strong opinions for or against the guy.

I don’t keep up with politics as much as I used to do, so I just happen to see the occasional blurb or Tweet about Trump. From what I’ve seen the last several months, Trump says offensive or over the top things. Every so often, he makes a point that I agree with a tiny bit.

It’s highly inappropriate for a Republican to trash un-married or childless men for any reason, but I’d also include doing so for the sake of taking Trump down a peg or two. Insulting people for being single or childless, or in the context of scoring political points, is totally uncalled for.

I suppose the GOP yea-hoo who made these disparaging remarks about single or childless people is unaware that most Americans today are single, and more and more are forgoing parenthood (Link about that and see this link).

(Link): GOP strategist slams ‘crazy’ Trump fans: ‘Childless single men who masturbate to anime’

Continue reading “GOP Consultant Rick Wilson to MSNBC: Trump Supporters ‘Childless Single Men Who Masturbate to Anime’”

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by W. Alsup

I am fairly certain that the woman who wrote this is a gender complementarian.

I myself am a former (note: FORMER) gender complementarian. I believe that Ms. Alsup might be a “soft” complementarian. If I am mistaken about that, I am sorry.

I’m only somewhat familiar with Ms. Alsup’s writings and views, and if I am remembering correctly, she is not terribly extreme in her gender role views and sometimes writes blog posts criticizing aspects of gender comp, such as the one that follows, though I believe she may support beliefs that women are not to be preachers in churches and so on.

As I’ve noted on my own blog time and again, Christians, especially gender complementarian ones, tend to sexualize any and all persons and relationships.

Of course, secular culture and left wing Christians can also be very bad about sexualizing anything and everything, though, hypocritically, the progressives profess to feeling “icked out” by Christian sponsored “Daddy Daughter” balls and date.

The progressives who find “Daddy Daughter” dates to be patriarchal and incestuous in undertone are often the same ones who sexualize hetero male-female relationships, or male-male relationships.

Progressive Christians or ex Christians tend to operate in the school of “it’s impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.” You can view an example of that here, in left leaning SCCL’s facebook thread about (link): Daddy Daughter dates.

To a degree, I share some of their (their =  SCCL or liberal) reservations or concerns about “Daddy Daughter” dates, but then, I’m also not running around acting as though men and women are incapable of being buddies.  I am not insisting that any and all male-female relationships are sexual, or have sexual undertones, or the potential to be sexual.

One very unfortunate result of conservative Christians, especially the gender complementarians, sexualizing everyone and anything, is that unmarried, adult women are treated like suspected harlots and are consequently shunned or excluded from social events, church functions, or friendships with married persons.

Married persons are coached in Christian sermons, marriage blogs, and TV programs, to steer clear of single women. This practice of shunning single women is sometimes referred to as the “Billy Graham Rule.” (Please see the bottom of this post, under the “Related Posts” section, for links to more information about that.)

(Link): Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Excerpts:

… What was God’s purpose in creating two genders to work together to image Him out into His kingdom? For a time, conservative evangelicals simplistically set up marriage as the ultimate purpose for the creation of two genders, particularly around Genesis 2:18.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

However, if you embrace Jesus as the key to understanding all of Scripture, then Jesus’ words on marriage in eternity give us necessary clarification on the purpose of the creation of two genders in Genesis 1 and 2.

God’s purposes for interactions between the two genders in this first sinless perfection in Eden is informed by glimpses of the second.

In Luke 20, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about whose wife in heaven a woman would be if she had multiple husbands on earth. In His answer, Jesus is clear that in heaven we do not marry. (Actually, we do marry, but Jesus is the groom.) Jesus teaches us that the ultimate goal in perfection for men and women is not human marriage to each other.

But then, what is left for perfect male/female relationships if not human marriage? Well, a TON is left. But we are warped as a society away from valuing the vast wealth of human male/female relationships that don’t involve sex. 

Continue reading “Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup”

Why Are Christian Guys Silent About Abstinence? by C. Hill

Why Are Christian Guys Silent About Abstinence? by C. Hill

The link to the editorial by C. Hill is much farther down the page. I wanted to spend several paragraphs discussing the editorial itself before linking to it.

I sometimes wonder if authors on sites such as Christianity Today or Christian Post read my blog or comments I’ve left on other blogs (under other names or sometimes under the “Christian Pundit” moniker), because some of the points this guy makes are ones that I have made before, that I have not seen other writers make.

One such point: we live in a culture that increasingly demands that we respect everyone else’s sexual behavior and choices, everything from having pre-marital sex, to having homosexual sex, to engaging in adultery.

I’ve even seen increased acceptance of Asexuality.

However, if one is a heterosexual with a normal sex drive and interest in sex who never the less chooses to refrain from sex (i.e., to stay a virgin or be celibate), and especially if one is past one’s mid or late 20s age-wise, one is judged, mocked, or condemned by that same culture.

That is, the same people demanding that I, a hetero celibate / virgin, respect or applaud homosexuality or adultery, are the very same people who would make fun of a person or criticize them for being a virgin over the age of 18 or 25, or being celibate, if having been sexually active before. It’s a very hypocritical position and one that is common, but it’s  seldom a point I’ve seen called out by others.

Continue reading “Why Are Christian Guys Silent About Abstinence? by C. Hill”

Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a post from Sanity’s Cove Blog – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule

Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule

The following blog post is so excellent, I am hard pressed just to highlight one or two paragraphs.

I would encourage you to click the link below and visit their page to read the whole essay.

I believe the blog post author also has a book for sale on this topic, and that looks like a book worth purchasing and checking out.

(Link): Reclaiming Stolen Friendships

Excerpt:

Having close friendships with members of the opposite gender is healthy, biblical and important for spiritual growth. But in the name of integrity, the church sometimes raises walls that keep us from meaningful brother-sister friendships in Christ.

These divisions are neither biblical nor in line with church history at its best.

And contrary to their promise of safety, adhering to them actually puts us at greater risk of sexual immorality, not less.

Many churches employ the terms “brother” and “sister”—but in such as way as to empty them of any real meaning. Some now teach that men and women should never be close friends, believing that mixed friendships will lead into sexual sin or “emotional” affairs.

Others may admit that men and women can share friendship—but then they burden it with a thousand qualifications.

One well known church website boasts of how none of the church staff ever “has lunch with someone of the opposite sex” or “rides alone in the car with someone of the opposite sex.” Boundaries abound.

Sadly, though these rules have become commonplace over the last 20 years, adhering to them does not appear to have made us any purer.

Continue reading “Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a post from Sanity’s Cove Blog – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule”

Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

These are just excerpts, so you’ll have to visit the link here to read the page in full:

(Link): Bible Scandals (Ineligible Bachelor) by David Instone-Brewer

Commenting on what it was like to be single in the time and culture of Jesus:

…. Girls were mostly married by the age of twelve, and if a man wasn’t married by the age of twenty the gossips started comparing notes and looking for a reason.

…. So why was Jesus still single at the age of thirty? It was clear to all who knew him. No-one would let his daughter marry someone of questionable parentage since, if there was any irregularity in their birth, it could cast doubt on the legitimacy of their children for ten generations. And Jesus’ birth, as everyone knew, was very irregular.

…. Jesus not only shared the stigma of being single – he also tried to do something to alleviate it for other single people. Jewish law excused eunuchs from the command to marry, because they couldn’t physically fulfil the duty to have children.

Continue reading “Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer”

Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

(Link): Woman killed herself after struggling to deal with being unmarried and childless by 30

My comments about this news story, before I get to the excerpts:

The way I first saw this story presented online, the woman’s suicide was due to her wanting to be married and a mother, but found herself still unmarried and childless at age 30.

She did, however, have a steady boyfriend at the time she took her life. The article also mentions that around 2011 her mother died.

I have no idea if this woman was a Christian or what her beliefs were.

I do wish that Christian church – conservatives, Reformed, evangelical, fundamentalist and Baptists – would do far more to minister to never married, childless adults in their churches and communities.

As it is, Christians in many nations have made getting married and being a parent the pinnacle of one’s life and regard marriage/parenthood as the only avenues to being a “grown up” and treat singles as though they are children – even 40 and 50 year old adults who have never married.

Women are constantly told by conservative Christians – who have an unhealthy obsession with and paranoid fear of secular feminism – that marriage and motherhood are their only choices in life, that they are the only God-ordained, God-approved roles for women (even though the Bible does not teach this).

Or, it is strongly implied by conservative Christians that marriage and motherhood are VASTLY SUPERIOR to singlehood and childlessness, and that God secretly prefers it if women marry and crank out children.

Yes, conservative Christians on occasion will pay “lip service” to respecting singleness, but they never-the-less usually strongly imply that singleness (and being childless) is “second best,” or in some way inferior, when compared to marriage and parenting, and that being single is not God’s preferred plan or intent for humanity.

For more on that flawed thinking, please see:

Never married, childless (and divorced, child free, widowed women) are either consistently ignored by most of Christian culture, or else, if they are spoken to or about, are treated like freaks, losers, and failures.

Continue reading “Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless”

Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

Please click the “more” link farther below to read the entire post.

I disagree with some of the positions of the “marriage mandate” crowd, including those of Debbie Maken, who wrote a book about the issue.

I intend on posting more content about the ‘marriage mandate’ perspective in the future but thought I’d start with excerpts from a good review of Maken’s book and view.

(Link): 30 and Single? It’s Your Own Fault [ by Camerin Courtney]

There are more unmarried people in our congregations than ever, and some say that’s just sinful.

From Ms. Courtney’s article:

By that October, they were engaged.

Following the path afforded by her ethnicity (she’s Indian), she [Debbie Maken] signed up with an Indian Christian Web agency to find a suitable suitor and, aided by her parents’ watchful care, started e-mailing a man in July 2001.

Now happily married and the mother of two young girls, Maken drew a map—in the form of her book, Getting Serious About Getting Married—to the Land of Marital Bliss. She hopes to prevent her daughters and countless single women across the country from having to experience any more “unnecessary protracted singleness.”

….In later chapters, she addresses the well-meaning advice handed to singles in Christian circles—such as “just wait on the Lord to bring a mate to you” or “Jesus is all you need”—and deftly explains some of the erroneous thinking and theology surrounding each.

At her best, in passages such as these, Maken gives platitude-battered single women needed permission to admit, “I’d like to get married, and that’s okay.”

Unfortunately, these bits of trend-spotting and balanced synthesis are drowning in a sea of shame and blame.

Maken seems to think a vast majority of singles view their solo status as a special gift from God (a stance I’ve seen in only a fraction of the thousands of e-mails I’ve received as a columnist for ChristianSinglesToday.com, a CT sister publication), a notion the very subtitle of the book urges them to reconsider.

Continue reading “Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault”