Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era

Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era

(Link): Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era by T D Williams

Excerpts

January 2017

In a new study of President Obama’s legacy, the Pew Research Center found that religious affiliation and practice dropped off dramatically during his two terms in the White House.

“When it comes to the nation’s religious identity, the biggest trend during Obama’s presidency is the rise of those who claim no religion at all,” Pew notes in a report released this week titled “How America Changed During Barack Obama’s Presidency.”

When Barack Obama took office, those who identified as atheists or agnostics along with those who said their religion was “nothing in particular” totaled only 16 percent of the U.S. adult population. On leaving office 8 years later, the non-religious in America now make up nearly a quarter of the population.

On the contrary, the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, consider religion to be very important in their lives, pray daily and attend religious services at least monthly have all dropped during the Obama years, Pew found.

Continue reading “Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era”

Single Adults Among Largest Groups Leaving Mormon Church – Parallels to Evangelical Christianity

I regard Mormonism as being a cult, not a form of legitimate Christianity (Mormons don’t believe in the Jesus of the Gospels, for one thing), but I think there are some parallels between Mormons and Christians, such as the over-emphasis upon marriage.

When your church makes an idol out of marriage, as Mormons and Christians do, it drives people away. Because sometimes people stay single by choice, or due to factors beyond their control.

And if you’re single in a religion that over-values marriage, there is a tendency to be ignored, set aside. Churches care more about marriage than singlehood. Churches care more about meeting the needs of married couples than they do adult singles.

There is no incentive for a single adult to remain in a church or denomination that marginalizes them constantly, or that behaves as though singleness is a disease or a second-rate life station.

(Link):  Who is leaving the LDS Church? by Jana Riess

Excerpts

We know, or can infer, some things about them from prior research. There is a correlation between certain life situations and leaving. This does not mean that being any one of these things will cause a person to leave, only that there is a relationship.

  • Being single. There’s been some tantalizing research over the last two years about singles in the LDS Church.

Continue reading “Single Adults Among Largest Groups Leaving Mormon Church – Parallels to Evangelical Christianity”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington

Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church

The link to the page by Luke T. Harrington is farther down the page.

Churches sure do invest a lot of time investigating why men are supposedly fed up with church and churches then bend themselves into pretzels trying to cater to men to retain them.

If churches cared as much about women and appealing to them, perhaps more and more women would not be abandoning churches or the faith (I’ve seen studies come out the last few years saying more and more Christian women are either leaving churches, or leaving the faith itself, because they are not being welcomed due to their gender).

Churches need to be just as concerned they may be offending or excluding women as they are men, but they don’t. Most of them remain stubbornly fixated on soothing the egos of injured males, but don’t care how they are hurting or alienating women.

Hyping “masculinity” to appeal to men alienates a lot of women.

One way in which this occurs is that churches think the way to build up the masculine is to mock anything and everything feminine, so by extension, Christian women, who are taught to express so-called (stereotypical) feminine traits in the extreme (be nurturing, passive, quiet, sweet, etc) end up feeling even more like trash.

The very characteristics Christian women are told by pastors to possess (such as be passive, gentle, meek) are the very same ones that the churches denigrate week in and week out, and that they try to stamp out in churches, and at that, in order to attract men.

This is not a winning strategy for keeping women active and involved in a church.

It also turns off “normal” men, the ones who are maybe Non-Christian, secure in their manhood, who find the super “cave man,” manly man antics of some churches totally bizarre and irrelevant.

(Link): Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington

Excerpts:

  • …The dominant narrative at the moment is that, while church attendance is down across the board, men in particular are staying home on Sunday mornings ( (Link): some stats here). And while there has been much hand-wringing over this reality, there has, to my knowledge, been very little serious introspection over it.

Continue reading “Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.

I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.

I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.

At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.

I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.

So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):

(Link):  Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)

  • Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
  • He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.

EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:

—————————

Related Posts:

(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

(Link):  Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1) 

(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

I first saw this mentioned on Defend The Sheep’s Twitter account.

I’ve been thinking the last few months of writing a similar essay. The guy who wrote this arrived at some of the same conclusions I have.

(Link):  When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S Mattson

Here is how the introduction starts:

  • Beyond the realm of churches, religious blogs, and bible colleges, nobody really cares about theology. What does matter is the way you treat other people.

Continue reading “When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson”

Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life by J. Justice

Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life

Well, goodness knows that the ‘pray, wait, have faith, and attend a local church’ advice to get a spouse has not worked for myself or boatloads of Christian single women.

The article also addresses how singles should not put their lives on hold until they marry, and other things.

(Link):  Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life

Excerpts:

  • by J. Justice
  • Thirty-six year-old  (Link): Mandy Hale says she’s determined to live her best life now, even without the man the church always seems to think she needs.
  • Throw her age in with the fact that she works from home and in the church there are “like 98 percent amazing, single women and 2 percent single guys,” Hale is taking a stand for singles.
  • “I feel like singles—we fall through the cracks,” Hale says. “Once you get past a certain point, you have (ministries to) college age, singles, you know, young careers. But I’m 36 now, I don’t feel 36, it’s kind of like at certain age, stick out like a sore thumb.”

Continue reading “Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life by J. Justice”

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

Possibly one good thing about white Christians being in the minority is that perhaps they will re-evaluate how they treat marginalized groups, such as adult singles.

(Link): Pew: White Christians No Longer in Majority

  • by Nick Glasss, November 2015
  • White Christians now make up less than half of the U.S. population, largely receding from the majorities of most demographic groups, with one notable exception: the Republican Party.
  • According to the latest results from Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape survey published Monday by (Link): National Journal’s Next America project, just 46 percent of American adults are white Christians, down from 55 percent in 2007.

Continue reading “White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)”

Self-Serving Editorial at CT: Married With Kids Lady Says ‘Why Christians Need to Embrace a Changing Definition of Family’ – But What It Boils Down To: She Wants Free Baby Sitting From Adult Singles. Seriously.

Self-Serving Editorial at CT: Married With Kids Lady Says ‘Why Christians Need to Embrace a Changing Definition of Family’ – But She Wants Free Baby Sitting

I was about to log off of my blog for the day (really, I had no desire to make another blog post, I have some other stuff I need to do), but I stopped cold in my tracks when I saw this:

(Link): ‘Why Christians Need to Embrace a Changing Definition of Family’ by Laura Kenna

Look, maybe Mrs Kenna is a lovely person, but her editorial has me hopping angry right now.

Maybe she did not intend for her editorial to come across as it did.

I have been saying on this blog for the past few years that most Christians put far too much emphasis on the nuclear family, something the Bible does not do, and that this emphasis on the traditional family unit  further excludes and alienates anyone who has never married or had children, or any adult who is over a certain age and most of their relatives are dead. Not everyone has a nuclear family.

So, you see an editorial at Christianity Today with a headline like, “Why Christians Need To Embrace a Changing Definition of Family,” you get your hopes up and think, “Maybe Christians are finally starting to get it!!”

But then you start reading the actual editorial and are terrified and dismayed to see things like this:

(Link): ‘Why Christians Need to Embrace a Changing Definition of Family’ by Laura Kenna

…My husband and kids and distant relatives aren’t enough. I must depend the friends I make, the people around me, as our “practical family.”

When babies arrive, parents fly in for a visit, but they aren’t on hand to watch your older kid when you go into labor. That’s what practical family is for. When your apartment doesn’t have room for a blow-up mattress for your sister to come stay, you call someone from the congregation.

…In other settings, these responsibilities fall to family or lifelong friends, but my husband, my kids, and I don’t have that support network here. Instead, the people God put next to us become the family we need for getting through hard times, for celebrating everyday joys, and for learning to live out our faith….

…It runs counter to the American nuclear family, but in three of the four Gospels, Jesus affirms that the faithful are a truer family than our biological ones.

…Similarly, one way Christians can become “practical family” for each other is through naming godparents—especially ones who aren’t already your relatives.

Rather than being done out of tradition, ceremony, or even necessity (in some circles “godparent” is a designation for those who would take legal custody of your kids), appointing godparents celebrates these special Christian friendships.
—– //// —-

The reason this Kenna woman is asking Christians to re-evaluate how they view the term or concept of “family” – at least how it comes across to me – is not out of concern for the many men and women who have been ignored or hurt by a Christian culture that only values married couples who have kids, but out of a self-serving desire for adult singles around her to be free baby-sitters to her and her husband when her mother in law or her sister cannot visit her for a stay.

Unbelievable. Amazing.

As already noted in the comments on that editorial, the church has already been lecturing adult singles for decades now that they are only useful for things like being free babysitter services for married couples.

There are actually books by Christians (as reviewed in the book “Singled Out” by Field and Colon) which tell adult singles their only purpose in life or in the faith is to support people who are already married with kids. Which is a very condescending, rude thing to convey to singles.

Never do Christians or churches ask how the married with kids couples can serve the childless adult singles!

One of the only bright spots I take away from Mrs Kenna’s article is that she does not appear to share the same fear or paranoia of adult single women that other Christians do. At least I am assuming she is not or does not.

Recall that most Christians teach marrieds to stay away from single females, because supposedly, all single females are Jezebel sex pots who are just itching to hop into bed with a married man (see this post about the (Link): Billy Graham rule for a bit more on that).

The entire editorial by Mrs. Kenna just reads as yet another, “Hey, if you are single, your purpose is to help me, a married mother, clean my home, dress and feed my kids and run other errands for me” piece.

I don’t recall her mentioning in the editorial how she helps her single, childless friends.

When one of Mrs. Kenna’s single, childless friends comes down with the flu, does Ms. Kenna drive them over a bowl of hot, steaming, chicken soup and drive them to a doctor’s appointment? Does she mow their lawn for them, since they are too sick to get out of bed?

I did not see any mention of that in her editorial, nor did I see her telling other married couples to help the singles in their lives.

One reason of several I no longer attend church or have much interest in attending one is that they only want to take from me, they do not want to give.

Churches and other people I know are only interested in how I can help them get THEIR needs met, but they do not care to meet MY needs. I am no longer a codependent push-over who allows herself to be exploited by other people.

After having read Julia Duin’s “Quitting Church” book a few years ago, I’m not the only adult single who is tired of being used by married couples in churches as a work horse, to scrub  the church’s kitchen floors or to babysit married couple’s children for free – and we get nothing in return.

It’s brazenly shameful that an author on a Christian site would encourage other Christians to re-evaluate how they view “family” only to guilt or pressure non-marrieds to act as free maids and butlers to meet the needs of the married couples – not to help singles and the childless, but to once more hit them up to act as a free labor pool for the married parents.

Maybe the lady who wrote the editorial did not mean to convey these ideas, but that was how her page came across to me.

But really, Kenna’s editorial essentially reads like this:

  • “Hey, church, we need to stop defining “family” to mean blood relations, because when your birth family lives 2,000 miles away, it means I don’t have anyone to help me clean my family’s dirty laundry, or to babysit my kids for free when I want to get my hair done.
  • That is what adult Christian singles are for, not just birth family!
  • Why not take advantage of the adult singles around me to meet my needs – just tell them they are “family” too, and bingo presto, I can have someone at my house to sweep my kitchen when my sister in law can’t make it.”

I am tired of Christians only considering single, childless adults valuable and as family only in so far as they can help married parents get their needs met.


Related Posts:

(Link): Learning to See Your Single Neighbor by H. Stallcup

(Link): Another Christianity Today Magazine Editorial Expects Single Women To Meet the Needs of Married Women – Christians Never Ask the Reverse

(Link):  Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

(Link): Why Comic Characters and Super Heroes Can’t Marry – Marriage Makes People Selfish

(Link): Married Woman Rationalizes Her Extra-Martial Affairs – Selfishness, Thy Name is Married People

(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

Weird, Sexist PreOccupation with Female Physical Appearance, Including Christian Males – vis a vis Preacher Doug Wilson

Weird, Sexist PreOccupation with Female Physical Appearance, Including Christian Males – vis a vis  Preacher Doug Wilson

I have blogged on this subject before, or something very similar to it, the weird and worn preoccupation with Christian men with women’s looks and sexuality. Of course, Non Christian men can be just as bad about this and sometimes are.

One of the reasons I am writing this blog post is due to this recent post at Christianity Today:

-But more on that specific post farther below.

There was recently a story in the media about two or three weeks ago about a woman on a site, Linked In, which is a site for professionals to network. This woman received a response from a much-older man on that site who told her how attractive she was in her Linked In site photo.

When this woman wrote him back and told him how sexist and inappropriate his message was, and this story somehow made its way into the public eye, this woman started getting screamed at and criticized by other parties online.

Her story resulted in editorials such as this:

(Link): LinkedIn Is Not a Dating Site (from August or Sept 2015)

  • The case against your dad’s favorite social-media platform being used to “connect” with younger women

The reason I have a difficult time taking articles like the following seriously…

Is precisely because of stuff like this is still taking place:

(Link): LinkedIn Is Not a Dating Site

  • The case against your dad’s favorite social-media platform being used to “connect” with younger women

If we were REALLY living in a society where men were terrified of being accused of sexual harassment by women (especially in the workplace), would we still find men using professional work sites such as Linked In to tell women they don’t even know how gosh-durn sexy – purty they are? No, I think not.

Men are still acting in a sexist and inappropriate fashion towards women, even on professional job-based web sites. Ergo, men cannot be all that afraid of being smacked with sexual harassment labels or lawsuits as the other article is claiming.

That article once more:

Excerpt from that page:

  • Tellingly, Elsesse [female author] adds that companies themselves are contributing to this mess, as they are now so terrified of legal action they send staff on sexual harassment training courses, and are duty-bound to follow up on any allegation, however minor.Ludicrously, Elsesser cites examples of men who have been dragged in by their HR departments for simply opening a door for a female colleague or complimenting her on a new suit. “Stories like these spread around workplaces, instilling a fear that innocent remarks will be misinterpreted,” she says.

Why would a male co-worker find it necessary to tell a female co-worker that her suit is snazzy? Why not instead tell her what a killer job she did on Tuesday’s staff meeting presentation?

You know, praise the woman’s brains, skills, accomplishments or job performance – instead of her appearance?

I am not a left winger, nor am I a secular feminist. I am right wing.

Any time a woman complains about getting a comment about her physical appearance from a man, even if it is a positive comment, my fellow right wingers will howl in protest. They cannot fathom how or why any woman would find getting compliments on her looks to be derogatory, demeaning, unwanted, or annoying.

You are thought to be overly sensitive, or a woman’s studies major who never shaves her arm pits, or a bra-burning, man hating harpy, if you object to a man telling you in any way, shape or form, that you are pretty or sexy.

My fellow right wingers chalk up any female dissent on receiving compliments on looks from a man as being from a left wing, frothing at the mouth, man-hating feminist.

Reminder: I am a right winger who disagrees with secular left wing feminists over 90% (or more) of the time on 90-95% of topics, but on this one, they are totally correct: as a socially conservative, right wing woman, I find it insulting when men call attention to my looks – even in a personal capacity, let alone a professional one.

I don’t like guys on the internet telling me I am hot, sexy, or pretty (which they have done on sites where I have used photos of myself and my real name, and this is not even on dating sites), nor do I enjoy men I don’t know in stores or streets cat-calling me or making comments about my appearance.

Hell, I grew to resent my ex fiance’s continual ‘You are so beautiful’ comment to be tiresome. I asked him several times to stop commenting on my looks, and that if he wanted to praise me, to do so based on some other quality, like my achievements at my job, my sense of humor – anything but my looks.

But the moron would never do it. It made me feel as though he only valued me for my looks, not my personality or anything else I brought to the table (well, he did love my bank account).

In my particular case, I was an ugly duckling as a kid -by some people’s standards- when I was a pre-teen. I was picked on.

I eventually slimmed down, got contact lenses, started wearing mascara, and boom, the male gender suddenly changed their minds about me. I really don’t like being judged or valued primarily or solely upon my physical appearance, but this has happened repeatedly from my teen years into my adult years.

Men don’t get this, they do not comprehend it. They don’t seem to care to know what it feels like to be accepted or rejected based on their looks alone (or primarily), yet this happens to women from the time we are girls and only grows worse as we get to our pre-teen and teen years and older.

It’s very frustrating and dehumanizing to be evaluated only on your physical appearance. Not to have people notice your intellect, your wit, your talents, your skills, to be appreciated for YOU, for who you are, not for what you look like.

One of the things I find annoying about the usual right wing, anti-feminist come-back to women who object to receiving comments from men about their looks is that such women should chill out and learn to appreciate a compliment.

One of the objections I have to that position: it assumes I need or want male validation and at that, for my appearance, and in a job setting.

However, I do not need or want a man’s validation about my physical appearance, especially not in a work-related context.

Continue reading “Weird, Sexist PreOccupation with Female Physical Appearance, Including Christian Males – vis a vis Preacher Doug Wilson”

One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’

One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’

I regularly blog about topics pertaining to singleness, dating, and marriage and so on, but – as someone who has been undergoing a faith crisis the last few years, I am also interested in topics like this one:

(Link): One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’ by Carol Kuruvilla

Excerpts:

  • What do you do when the faith you grew up in just doesn’t make sense anymore?
  • This is the dilemma Reba Riley, a 33-year-old from Cincinnati, faced in her late 20s. She was brought up in an evangelical Christian household, but soon realized that the questions she had about her faith weren’t being answered by the theology preached by her family’s church.
  • The spiritual crisis prompted her to embark on a wild journey through 30 different religious traditions in just one year. Half of these were various strands of Christianity — from Mormonism to the practices of the Amish — and the other half included Hinduism, Paganism and others.
  • The purpose of the quest wasn’t necessarily to find a new faith, but to combat the bitterness that had grown in her heart when she thought about God.
  • Three years after her experiment concluded, Riley told The Huffington Post she now calls herself a Christian, but with many, many qualifiers. Her faith is now about practicing love and finding God in unexpected places.

Continue reading “One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’”