views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
Single, Virgin Women Do Not Have Another Standard by Which to Be Saved, Contra Complementarian Group CBMW
The Bible does teach that people should remain virgins until marriage, but oddly, some Christians do things like omit men from this teaching (as though virginity applies only to women).
In this case, they seem to be conflating being single, and a virgin, with receiving salvation, as though there’s some other standard by which others are saved. Christians also frequently make much too much out of the marriage analogy, in which they pretty much seem to suggest that a person has to be married (and having sex) to truly know God or be in relationship with God.
The Biblical Personhood blog reproduces this quote from a Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood resource:
[from complementarian, CBMW, material:]
48. How can a Christian single woman enter into the mystery of Christ and the Church if she never experiences marriage?
[Their answer promotes offering your virginity to God. Nothing about becoming a Christian.] – CBMW, “Fifty Crucial Questions, Question 48
… The mystery of Christ and the church, likewise, is not about marriage or celibacy. Jesus loved you – male or female, single or married or divorced or widowed – first. Know you are loved by God, love God back, experience God’s love, and see how it never ends, and how it changes you to live for Him.
Teen-Raping Texas Pastor Gets life in Prison After using the Bible to Justify Abusing Women – Equally Yoked is BUNK
Far below is a link to a page about a pastor who raped girls in and from a church. Notice in the article how other church-goers who went to church with this guy described him as being “very nice” or as being a “good Christian.”
My Christian parents brought me up to think if I wanted to marry, that the best place for me to meet potential spouses would be at a church. I suppose the assumption with that is that the type of men who attend church regularly are going to be “safer” or better moral choices than the type of dude you might meet at a bar.
However, in the last few years of running this blog, I have seen (Link): so many news storiesof church-going Christian men who get arrested for abuse or perversion, I now have my doubts about that.
Secondly, single women out-number single men in churches. I know that every church I’ve been to in person, I’ve been one of the few singles there. The only men in attendance and 80 years old, which would be fine if I were 80 too, but I’m not, and May December relationships (Link): make me want to barf. (I do not want to date or marry dudes who are over 5 or 10 years my age.)
I’ve done blog posts before about Pat Robertson, who has criticized women on his Christian TV show, for having married jerks, perverts, or abusers. Robertson seems to think women should be able to instantly spot if a man is a jerk, creep, loser, or abuser from the start. He’s wrong and an idiot about this.
The fact is, as this article below shows, even other adults who go to church with these kinds of deviant men are not aware of what a creep or pervert these guys are.
These are not people who are dating the guy – they are simply sitting next to him in church every week. If they cannot spot the perverts among them easily, why do Christian conservative men like Robertson think women who date men should be any better?
The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt
Some of the few complementarian Christians I follow on social media did not like this article at all. They seem to find any criticism of their position, or any suggestion of other options for women, to be a great affront to complementarianism itself, or to God or the Bible. Why do they feel their movement is so fragile?
Christian women who reject complementarianism – some of them may go by various labels, such as “Jesus feminists,” or “egalitarians,” or “mutualists,” don’t seek to limit women the way complementarians do. Non-complementarian men and women do not mind if a woman chooses to be a stay at home wife and mother.
However, complementarians do not truly afford all women, and especially not non-complementarian, women this same courtesy.
Much complementarian content will pay “lip service” to respect a woman’s right to choose to work outside the home and so on, but often times, from what I’ve seen, that very same site, or authors on some other complementarian site, will cry and clutch their pearls in sorrow or grief that more and more Christian women are choosing to stay single, not have children, and/or to work outside the home.
Notice that in this article, at one point, complementarian Owen Strachan, who is a spokes-head for complementarian group CBMW, comes right out and says egalitarianism, or any departure from complementarianism, is supposedly a sin.
Egalitarians are all about giving women more choices, telling them to go after their dreams, and doing whatever they feel God has led them to do.
Complementarians really chaff at that. Complementarians want women in boxes. I wrote a much older post saying that (Link): this is one reason of several I really have been struggling with holding on to the Christian faith. I was raised in a Christian family that bought into many of these complementarian ideas, and it’s not something that worked out well for me in my life.
An evangelical Christian and avowed feminist argues that God intends every woman to work.
The final episode of Leave it To Beaver aired in June of 1963, but many conservative Christians still promote a vision of womanhood reminiscent of June Cleaver. When Tobin Grant, political-science professor at Southern Illinois University, analyzed General Social Survey data from 2006, he found that nearly half of evangelical Christians agreed with this statement: “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.”
Forty-one percent agreed that “a preschool child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works.” For these evangelicals, a woman’s place in the world is to get married, bear children, and support her breadwinning husband.
Katelyn Beaty—the managing editor of Christianity Today,America’s largest evangelical Christian publication—has set out to change this notion of gender. Her new book, A Woman’s Place, claims to reveal “the surprising truth about why God intends every woman to work.”
This declaration may surprise many of her magazine’s 80,000 print subscribers and 5 million monthly website visitors. And it may also rouse many of her fellow evangelicals who believe her ideas defy the Bible’s clear teaching, if not qualifying as outright heresy. While Beaty knows criticism may be coming her way, she is making a conservative Christian case for working women.
Woman raised in the Bible Belt by religious parents says she ended up in TWO abusive relationships – because being banned from dating made her ‘ignorant’ about men
(A link to a woman’s testimony about how Christian or religious dating advice as a kid hurt her as an adult is linked to farther below in this post.)
As I’ve written of before on my blog, much Christian teaching about dating, gender roles, and marriage – especially if espoused by Christians who believe in and teach something called “gender complementarianism” – can often leave marriage-minded singles single far longer than they wish, or perhaps permanently.
Christian teaching on dating, while intended to help singles date “safely” (i.e., to prevent pre-marital sex) ironically erects obstacles for singles who’d like to get married.
One problem of Christian teaching about dating and singleness is to teach singles, to teach men and women, to be afraid of each other; never spend time alone with an opposite-gender person, lest it lead to fornication.
Well, the only way to marry is to first spend time with an opposite-gender person (assuming you are hetero), via dating.
If you are a lady, in order to discover if you are compatible with a guy, you need to spend time alone with him on dates, especially if you are an adult. (Group dating is for teens, not people over the age of 21.)
This woman’s testimony I link to farther down this page is yet another example of this situation, of how damaging the usual Christian dating advice and gender complementarianism is to singles, especially women.
The things she was taught growing up by her religious parents – things about dating, modesty, gender roles, etc – caused her relationship problems later in life.
Christian Gender Complementarianism infantilizes women, causes them to be naive, and teaches them it is wrong, unladylike, or selfish to have boundaries and to be assertive.
As you can see in this article, this was certainly a problem for the woman author, Lorens.
When she was confronted with vulgar, strange male clients at her job in a store, she did not know how to assert herself and tell them to shove off – or even if she could do so in the first place.
The Good Wife: How the Cult of Domesticity Still Reigns in the 21st Century
The following mentions Christian gender complementarianism, which is a sexist position held by Christians – some well-meaning – who still harbor unbiblical ideas that make women second class citizens, though they love to argue up one side and down the other they only believe women are inferior in “role, not in worth.”
I have long observed that today’s brand of Christian sexism, called by its adherents “gender complementarianism,” pays no mind to certain classes and types of women, such as never-married, childless women. American Christian gender complementarians think in terms only of married mothers who are middle class or upper middle class. Bear that in mind when reading the content below.
Here are just a few excerpts (please click the link above to visit the page to read the whole thing):
by L. Turner
On the cost—and subtle persistence—of the cult of domesticity.
[The author explains how the Industrial Revolution took men from the homes to go look for work and earn money, which meant that often, the wife stayed at home all day. Previously, men stayed at home and did farm work and so forth. This change – men leaving the house to go to the city to go to work – gave rise to the Cult of Domesticity.
There were four aspects to this cult, one of which women should not receive much of an education, but should stay at home and do laundry and look after children. The other qualities were submission, piety, and purity]
…Women’s magazines and religious literature were two of the primary ways the cult of domesticity was promulgated;…
…The development of the cult of domesticity also leaned heavily on religious principles. It drew especially from a chapter of the Bible…
…Of course, different groups of women had different experiences with the cult of domesticity. Women of color, immigrants, and poor women were largely ignored by the movement. …
…The pressures of the Industrial Revolution and 1950s America have been recycled for our modern area. The notion of the home as the domain of the feminine persists to this day.
…We can also see this battle being waged in contemporary religious circles. Complementarianism—the notion that men and women occupy different but complementary roles in marriage and society—was a direct antecedent of 19th-century thinking about women.
That doctrine still has a foothold among conservative Christians, in local churches and organizations like the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is rooted in verses like Ephesians 5:23 (“For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church…”), and gained prominence with the rise of domesticity as a virtue.
Complementarianism often looks like a return to 1950s gender roles, and continues to insist in its most extreme forms that women remain at home to raise as many children as they can bear.
The cult of domesticity created a box that stifled women, and continues to do so.
Gender Complementarian Owen Strachan’s “Being Single To Bring God Glory” Essay
The following post contains one or two cuss words – the majority of the post is “clean,” however. Proceed at your own risk if you are a dainty Christian flower who gets the vapors upon seeing crude language.
Owen Strachan, who almost always gets 99% of commentary about gender roles and gender incorrect (he’s also written some (Link):very insulting, (Link): way more insulting, or (Link): weird things about gender roles – Strachan used to be head guy at CBMW, an organization that promotes the bogus gender complementarian view), wrote this page at Patheos about a year ago about adult singleness and giving God glory.
A reminder: I am not a fan of Boundless, one of several reasons is that Boundless laser focuses on 20 something singles ((Link): for example and (Link): for example) but ignores older singles, and some of their writers give horrible or insulting advice to and about singlehood.
After I began pointing out on my blog and under a few of their blog posts, that there are tons of over 30 singles out there, I notice the writers at Boundless began lumping 30 somethings in with 20 somethings, rather than focusing solely on 20 somethings as had been their previous habit.
However, the folks at Boundless don’t seem to notice or care that there is a significant crop of 40 and older (never married) singles in existence, too. It took them a long, long time to catch on to the fact that there are singles over the age of 29.
Returning to the topic of Strachan’s post about singleness. Not all of Strachan’s blog post about adult singles is terrible. I agreed with a few parts of it.
Strachan actually mentions a few of the same points I’ve been bringing up on my blog here in the last 3 or 4 or however many years.
I believe his blog post was written in 2014, but I did not see it until today (August 2015).
Before I paste in a few of the excerpts from his blog post (probably much farther below), the parts I agreed with, I wanted to comment on this “give glory to God” rhetoric that shows up in his post’s title.
Not only does Strachan use the “glory of God” phrase in his posts about singleness, but I saw Challies (another Christian blogger) use the same phrase in talking to a Christian woman in my same situation (over the age of 35, never married, a virgin).
Challies was saying to this lady, under his post (which essentially put down adult virginity), under her comments to him on his post page, that this woman remaining a virgin over her mid 30s and that she was still single was all to “God’s glory.”
Now, I don’t want to spend a long time dissecting this or commenting on it, but suffice it to say, it offends me, annoys me, and hacks me off when Christians trot out this “be single and be a virgin to God’s glory,” or that they insist that being a single virgin is for his glory.
Before I go further with that, I must also note that Strachan has a graphic on his Patheos page that says “Don’t Waste Your Singleness.” Ugh, no. I have written about that cliche here:
This “it’s for God’s glory” is a pat answer, a cliche’ response, and does not really address the heartbreak, frustration, or dashed hope of someone who is past 35 and marriage never happened for them, although they had expected and had hoped to marry (and to have sex).
Christian Gender Complementarians, Target Removing Gender Store Signs, Women and Motorcycles, Social Science Doesn’t Confirm that Men Are From Mars / Women From Venus
I discussed on an older post how, since girlhood, I have really liked motorcycles and still do. I was a tom boy when I was a kid.
I was not into most girly hobbies, but my mother, who was a traditional Christian, tried to pique my interest in girly things by buying me dolls when I was a little girl.
My mother later relented a bit and bought me Evel Knievel toys. I was a big fan of Evel Knievel back in the day, and I loved motorcycles.
I still maintain an interest in motorcycles but have never owned one. I was also into other people, things, or hobbies that were considered more boyish.
Should you wonder: I am a heterosexual woman who does not act or look “butch.” I can wear jeans with chucks and turn around and look damn stunning in short skirts and high heels the next. Men flirt with me and ask me out on dates.
Me being interested in motorcycles and things considered boyish since childhood did not result in me becoming terribly unfeminine or a lesbian.
I mention this because I think one reason some Christians assume if they can make little boys and girls adhere to narrow parameters of what they consider “manly” and “womanly” (which is almost always built on secular cultural stereotypes), that they can keep kids from becoming homosexual later in life.
I’ve written a little bit more about some of these subjects in an older post here:
I have discussed before how the conservative, gender Christian gender complementarian approach to gender has been a big turn-off to me, and how it’s one factor of many that makes it difficult to remain in the Christian faith.
I was raised as a gender complementarian – both my parents are Christians who are into traditional gender roles, and my mother encouraged me to be a typical girly girl. (My mother has since passed away.)
For years and years, I felt and believed that the Bible does endorse the Christian gender complementarian view, as is promoted by CBMW (Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood organization. They have a web site. I hesitate to link to their site from my blog. I really hate linking to their site).
As I grew older, I began suspecting that GC (gender complementarianism) is not true, based upon a closer look at the biblical text itself, which has examples in both Old and New Testaments of women, with God’s stamp of approval, leading and teaching men and killing men. I later totally abandoned the GC perspective.
I still remain a right wing, socially conservative, Republican-voting individual who is, by and large, on board with traditional values. Therefore, and contrary to what GCs fear and promote, jettisoning their position on gender is not a slippery slope; it does not always or necessarily turn a person into a liberal, a Democrat, pro-choicer, or a militant secular feminist.
Several days ago, some writer at CBMW, Grant Castleberry, wrote a paper about how Target stores are removing signage that says “Boys” and “Girls” from their toy sections. Here is a link to that page, hosted on CBMW:
Target’s move toward gender-neutral toy aisles has us celebrating. But some unhappy people are threatening to boycott the store.
…And after (Link): Breitbart falsely reported that Target would be “getting rid of the words ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ on clothing” in addition to toys, many on Facebook are under the impression that the company will be removing all gender-based signs from its stores. The original post made it clear that keeping gender-based signage for apparel sections “makes sense” due to “fit and sizing differences.” Target has since (Link): reiterated to several customers: “We are not making any changes to our Men’s, Women’s, Boys’, Girls’, or Baby sections.”
…“I have news for [Target] and for everyone else,” he wrote. “God created two different genders.”
Fox & Friends found (Link): a psychotherapist who said that the decision went “overboard” and implied that children might “question what their gender is” if they were taken into a Target store without gender-based signage. The caption on the segment: “‘Sign’ of the Times.” Nothing like some light Second Coming humor to kick off your morning.
(Link): Blaze contributor and self-declared “professional truth sayer” Mike Walsh blamed Target’s decision on “a few hypersensitive, hyperliberal parents” in a provocative post headlined, “Yes, Target, I Do Want My Daughter to Conform to Her Gender.”
Wrote Walsh: “I won’t attempt to defend every gender stereotype or ‘gender norm,’ but I do subscribe to the radical theory that boys and girls are different and distinct from one another in complex, concrete, and important ways, and many of the dreaded ‘norms’ are, well, normal and biological.”
Walsh conveniently lays bare the fundamental internal contradiction in the anti-Target outcry: If gender is a universal, biological, and God-ordained constant, then why do children need cultural reinforcement from a retail chain to figure it out? In the bizarro world of far-right logic, gender is at once the strongest force on the planet and the most fragile.
The God of Genesis may have created male and female but unless Target puts these words on signs for action figures and Barbie dolls, all of His hard work will be undone.
The protests seem to be motivated by the paradoxical fear that children will grow up genderless without Target’s help even though their biology should supposedly guide them into pink and blue aisles without any intervention.
But Target is not attacking gender itself, only the outdated idea that girls and boys should play with certain shapes and colors of molded plastic and not others.
Creepy Editorial from Christian Gender Complementarian CBMW Site Asks “How Many Children Should You Have”
Before I get to the editorial from CBMW, I have a preface.
If you are a man, especially one who considers himself a Christian, you need to understand that the sexist drivel that comes from complementarian Christians -such as CBMW (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)- impacts you too, and not always in your favor, because some complementarians equate “true manhood” to being “man who is married with children.”
Christian gender complementarians will tell you that you, a man, are a disgrace to God and to humanity and you are not carrying out your cultural duties, unless you marry and have children.
Not even that, but if you are not living out married life the WAY in which these people teach, they will deem you a “man fail.” (Yes, that really happened, a prominent gender complementarian referred to certain types of married men as being “man fails.” Several blogs and news sites discussed it, like this one.)
Yes, you read correctly. Married men who stay at home to raise the baby while mom holds the 9 to 5 job are deemed “man fails” by some Christian gender complementarians.
You cannot just be married with a child in gender comp land, but you have to also fulfill certain other criteria to be counted, to be deemed acceptable.
Not only do groups such as CBMW promote sexist ideas about women, but they harm men in the process.
I was looking through Twitter today, and came across this, hosted on Christian gender complementarian site CBMW:
Why is the woman who wrote this assuming that she should have children at all?
I want to know why is “having Zero children” not an option in her worldview, or that of CBMW and other complementarians?
Here are some excerpts from the page:
By Amanda Peacock
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
In the beginning God said, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth…” (Gen. 1: 28). The blessing of children was given in the context of Eden where God walked with Adam and Eve in uncorrupted communion.
… These words have recently given me pause for thought as my husband and I consider adopting. You see, the research and red tape that has delayed the process, and the departure of our two children to university, seems only to have increased my desire to adopt.I look around our church; I love what I see—large families, children being raised in the fear and instruction of the Lord.
Researchers quizzed pairs of twins over sexuality and number of lovers
Found that the genes that control masculinity also control promiscuity
Findings showed 30 per cent of woman’s sexuality determined by genes
Girls who are tomboys grow up to have more lovers whether they are straight or gay, a study has found.
For it seems the genes that make women more masculine may also make them more promiscuous, researchers say.
The finding helps explain why homosexuality doesn’t die out, even though lesbian couples are not able to naturally have children carrying the genes of each partner.
This is because straight tomboys have more lovers than others – and so the ‘tomboy DNA’ stays in circulation, according to the study carried out by a team from King’s College London.
Researchers questioned almost 500 pairs of twins about whether they were attracted to men or women, how many lovers they had had and about their levels of ‘childhood gender non-conformity’ – if they were a tomboy and whether they preferred to play with boys rather than other girls.
They compared the answers from identical twins, who share all their DNA, with those of non-identical twins, who share only half their DNA.
This showed how important genes are compared with other factors that shape behaviour such as friends and education.
The analysis showed that around 30 per cent of a woman’s sexual orientation is governed by her genes, the Journal of Sexual Medicine reports.
It is thought the other 70 per cent can be explained by everything from peer pressure to conditions in the womb.
50 Shades of Grey and Patriarchy: What Else Did We Expect? From CBE
I came across this the other day via Twitter.
I started a very long post about Christian reactions to the Fifty Shades of Grey (50 SOG) movie – I don’t know if I will get around to finishing it and post it – but one point in my editorial I brought out (or wanted to in a Part 2) is I cannot comprehend why so many conservative Christians are upset by 50SOG.
The 50 Shades of Grey movie and book series echo and support what conservative, Christian gender complementarians teach about women, men, dating, marriage, and sex. The following essay (from CBE, linked to below) explains those parallels a bit more.
A lot of assumptions about sex, dating, women, and marriage that undergird 50 Shades of Grey are also taught as being “biblical” by gender complementarian Christians, so it’s beyond me why so many of them are critical of 50SOG.
Christian gender complementarians teach things such as, women are more easily deceived than men, all women need a “male covering,” a woman is nothing without a man (unmarried and childless women do not matter in complementarian teachings), a man should “call all the shots” in a relationship, the woman should always defer to the man, etc.
Some conservative Christians (including preachers) even teach Christian women that they “owe” their husbands sex, no matter what, and even including performing debased sex acts they may not want to perform if the husband wants those sex acts.
So please, explain to me how Christian teaching on sex, women, control, men, and dating is really that much different from what one finds in 50SOG? As far as I can tell, most Christian teaching about women, sex, dating, etc, is almost identical to aspects of 50SOG.
It is fascinating to read the numerous articles circulating about the just-released film, 50 Shades of Grey, which is based on a wildly popular book trilogy.I am not sure there has ever been an event in which feminists, the BDSM community, and conservative Christian organizations like Focus on the Family have united their voices in mutual disgust.
The concerns of most are that:
The film is “soft porn” and should not be marketed for mainstream consumption
The story glamorizes what psychologists have asserted to be “consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official definition of intimate partner violence — and… perpetuates dangerous abuse patterns.”
There are many articles written by Christians trying to pick apart why it is that so many women, both in and out of the church, are flocking to see this film, after buying 70 million copies of the book (sales divided equally among professing Christians and the American adult population ).
Secular and religious experts are discussing the repercussions of rape culture, feminism, the innate need for love, and the search for the divine as explanations for the popularity of the books and movie.As I look across American culture in general, and American Christian culture in particular, I am left wondering, “What else did we expect?”50 Shades of Grey is simply a mirror to the experiences of women. Regardless of what side of the church walls they grew up on, women both in secular society and in Christian subculture are consuming the books and film because the underlying ideology of the story is what so many are familiar with, only it has been exaggerated and sexualized in form.
Both in and out of the church, women are regularly fed the message that we are not complete without a man by our side. From the time we start ingesting Disney films, we know that life revolves around finding our prince.
Tabloids and self-help books are filled with titles about how to get a man and how to manipulate him into staying.
The vast majority of secular material on sexuality written for women is about how to make a man want you and how to please him in bed.
Throw in the statistics about how frequently women experience assault (1 out of 5 American women have been sexually assaulted), the discrepancy in income earning (78 cents to the dollar), and the lack of women in leadership (10-20% in most fields) and you end up with a pretty clear case of misbalanced power between men and women. 
In conservative Christianity, the experience is hardly any better.Women living under complementarian Christianity are told regularly that God’s intention for humanity is that men should hold exclusive power in the home and in church. They are the decision makers and the ones responsible for the well-being of the women and children under them.
A Christian woman in the complementarian world is left hoping for a man like Jesus because that is exactly what it takes to guarantee gender hierarchy NOT be abusive.
Please do not understand me to be saying that all complementarians are abusive.
… The Christian complementarian viewpoint is, at its essence, an attempt to redeem the fallen-ness of male authority/female submission.
Complementarians would say, rightly, that 50 Shades of Grey is a satanic twisting of how God intends men and women to relate to one another. The difference is that they would continue to define God’s intended relationship between men and women in terms of authority and submission. As one complementarian writer explained, “Domination is, in essence, Satan’s counterfeit ofhealthy submission.” 
The problem is that the basic ideology itself is exactly the same. In the very worst of scenarios, a culture of male-dominated authority leads to horrors like what is depicted in 50 Shades of Grey (and worse). The most perfect possibility that complementarianism can offer is a safe, life-giving relationship resting in the capable and loving authority of a man who is at all times just like Jesus.
Except even the most godly man simply is not Jesus, and does not have the unwavering selfless love or the omniscience required to lead perfectly.
Morgan again states that “single MEN” have been banned from this park or another. Yet, I have corrected this information before. The news story says that both single men AND WOMEN have been banned from the park, not just men.
Morgan apparently lives in a world where single, celibate women have easy-breezy lives and face no problems, but poor, old, downtrodden single, celibate men have all the problems. I’ve written of that before, too,
(Knowing Morgan, he will probably take that story from my blog, post it to his own three months from now, not credit my blog, and spin the story so that the center figure (a female) will be re-cast as a poor, downtrodden MALE who was barred due to being single.)
In that same post, Morgan writes:
How many sermons have you heard on it (celibacy)? How many have you heard that addressed marriage, the role of husbands and wives, two becoming one flesh, the husband being the head of the household, etc.? I would estimate 99.95% of Protestant pastors have never mentioned celibacy from a pulpit.
Maybe I am misunderstanding him, but if not, what rock is Morgan living under? I assume he means that one will never, ever hear a Christian minister discuss topics such as “the husband being the head of the household,” etc
I am usually reluctant to post anything from TGC site or blog, but this piece wasn’t too bad. It covers some ground I’ve discussed on my blog before. I am only copying part of it here. If you’d like to read the whole thing, please click the TGC link to read the rest.
(I originally found this via DefendTheSheep’s Twitter account)
…If you’re a male staff member at a church, I ask you to consider a ghost story of sorts. I don’t think for a minute that you hate women. I know there are valid reasons to take a measured approach to how you interact with us in ministry settings. I absolutely want you to be wise, but I don’t want you to be haunted. Three female ghosts haunt most churches, and I want you to recognize them so you can banish them from yours.
….These three ghosts glide into staff meetings where key decisions are made. They hover in classrooms where theology is taught.
…. The three female ghosts that haunt us are the Usurper, the Temptress, and the Child.
….. 2. The Temptress
This ghost gains permission to haunt when a concern for avoiding temptation or being above reproach morphs into a fear of women as sexual predators. Sometimes this ghost takes up residence because of a public leader’s moral failure, either within the church or within the broader Christian subculture.
If this is your ghost, you may behave in the following ways when you interact with a woman, particularly an attractive one:
You go out of your way to ensure your behavior communicates nothing too emotionally approachable or empathetic for fear you’ll be misunderstood to be flirting.
You avoid prolonged eye contact.
You silently question whether her outfit was chosen to draw your attention to her figure.
You listen with heightened attention for innuendo in her words or gestures.
You bring your colleague or assistant to every meeting with her, even if the meeting setting leaves no room to be misconstrued.
You hesitate to offer physical contact of any kind, even (especially?) if she is in crisis.
You consciously limit the length of your interactions with her for fear she might think you overly familiar.
You feel compelled to include “safe” or formal phrasing in all your written and verbal interactions with her (“Tell your husband I said hello!” or “Many blessings on your ministry and family”).
You Cc a colleague (or her spouse) on all correspondence.
You silently question if her comfort in conversing with men may be a sign of sexual availability.
….we must move from a paradigm of wariness to one of trust, trading the labels of usurper, temptress, child for those of ally, sister, co-laborer.
I find this interesting, because a few days ago, I tweeted a link to a news story about the ISIS manifesto for women saying something like, “this sounds very similar to what Christian gender complementarians believe about women too.”
Let me see if I can find that Tweet. Yes, here it is, from February 7, 2015:
Excerpts from The Daily Mail article – note that some of the attitudes about women, gender, marriage, sexuality and purity are similar to what Christian gender complementarians teach:
ISIS report details life of extreme oppression faced by women joining ISIS
Women are forced into life of cooking, cleaning and childbearing for jihadis
All-female police force said it is fine for adult men to marry girls aged nine
Al-Khansa Brigade insists that all ‘pure’ females should be married by 16
Beauty salons and shops selling fashionable clothing are also condemned as satanic in the group’s ‘manifesto’ for women living under ISIS
Militants working for ISIS’ all-female police force in Syria have released a manifesto on the role of women – claiming children as young as nine should be encouraged to get married and condemning beauty parlours as the work of the devil.
The chilling document, titled ‘Women in the Islamic State’, demands women live a completely ‘sedentary’ lifestyle and that their role in life should be primarily to remain ‘hidden and veiled’ and at the service of men, who are described as their masters.
The manifesto urges ‘pure’ females to ensure they are married by 16, ‘while they are still young and active’, but insists that children as young as nine can ‘legitimately’ marry adult men.
It goes on to state that beauty parlours and shops selling fashionable clothes must not be tolerated as they are both instruments of the devil designed to encourage women to spend vast amounts of money to change God’s design.
The document is the first of its kind to be released by ISIS’ all-female Al-Khansa Brigade and while it claims not to have been written or approved by ISIS’ leadership, it provides a disturbing look at the way women living under the terror group’s barbaric regime can expect to be viewed and treated.
The document was originally released by the Al-Khansa Brigade last month but as it was written in Arabic, it failed to make an impact on Western ISIS jihadis or supporters. To avoid the crucial information being lost to English-language terror experts, the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam has now fully translated the manifesto and released its own analysis of its contents.
In stark contradiction to the way life under the rule of ISIS is portrayed on social media, the document explains that the primary duty of Western women who join the terror group is to marry a jihadi, then spend their life cooking, cleaning and raising a family.
It suggests that young Western women who spend their time online boasting of leading an exciting and fulfilling lifestyle under the rule of ISIS are lying, possibly under pressure from the group’s leadership who want to encourage a greater number of women to travel to Syria and marry fighters.
The document describes how women in the once relatively Westernised Syrian city of Raqqa are now ‘liberated’ by laws demanding they are fully covered in public, as it prevents their ‘humiliation’.
Today during worship, we were singing a song about God being our loving Father. As we sang, I realized it was the kind of song manly-men Christian pastors hate. It’s the sort of song they rail against while crusading for the resurgence of “real men” Christian masculinity.
As we sang tender words about a tender, loving, heavenly Father, I immediately realized why some men are so angry at spiritually wimpy men and bold Christian women. The thought just popped into my head: It’s Cain and Abel all over again.
Although it’s probably one of the most profitable growth areas in Christian publishing, I’m not a big fan of the “what’s wrong with the church” book genre. In the past four plus years as a Christian talk radio host, I’ve received a large steady flow of books attempting to address the “what’s wrong with the church” writing prompt.
Invariably, these books blame the lack of church growth on fatal flaws within church leadership, structure and theology.
They assume that healthy churches grow and unhealthy churches decline. Consequently, if the church is to be healthy again, it needs to find a way to reach the people who no longer call the church their home.
“Why don’t men go to church” is a subset of the blame the church publishing niche. These books seem particularly popular as they make great reads for frustrated wives tired of attending church without their husbands. They’re also great reads for bitter men determined to justify and fortify their reasons for abandoning the body of Christ. Let’s face it, as the church declines in size and membership, the demand for church criticizing material will continue to increase.
The church isn’t masculine enough?
Almost every book, post or tweet concerning the plight of Christian men eventually blames the church for not being masculine enough. The theory is men don’t go to church because church is geared to the needs of women.
There’s too much sharing of emotions, too much hugging, too much singing, with too many effeminate leaders giving the ladies what they want: a church with no testosterone. This theory suggests that men don’t go to church because churches don’t meet the masculine needs of men. Many widely respected preachers seem to adhere to this concept that the church has been weakened by an overabundance of femininity.
…. Calling the church too feminine is sexist
Most arguments that blame the church for the absence of men are rooted in sexist assumptions. If you believe men don’t go to church because the church doesn’t meet their needs, then you are implying that women go because more of their needs are being met. What if more women go to church because their faith has a greater integrity?
What if more women go to church because they have chosen to persevere and demonstrate a moral fortitude that contrasts the weaknesses of men?
What if women are more willing to work in community, more willing to repent, apologize and forgive?
Maybe men are so emotional they are unwilling to learn how to abide in complex community. Maybe instead of following the moral lead of women, men have isolated themselves from the church to keep from having to mature and grow up.
There is another twisted, sexist logic to blaming the church for the refusal of men to participate. Instead of correcting those in rebellion, we attack those who are sincerely trying to be faithful.
We tell the regular church attender that they are the problem, not the ones who abandoned the body of Christ. We tell the male leader who has remained, even in the face of tremendous cultural rejection, that He is the problem for the church’s inability to reach more men.
Blaming the actions of the most dishonorable on those who are most faithful is an affront to the integrity of those who are actively supporting the church. To blame faithful women for the unfaithfulness of men is once again blaming the victim for being abandoned.
Gender Complementarian book that upholds most every gender stereotype I rail against on this blog
—————————————— Reminder: there is coming a time I will not be blogging here at all, or not nearly as often. Please read more about that situation here: [Blog Break]
This other blog discusses Christian gender complementarianism and covers some of the same topics I discuss on this blog. Here is a review the blogger did about a gender comp book by Murrow:
In his book entitled, “What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You,” David Murrow makes a number generalizations about men. He seems to believe that his view of what it means to be a man is normative, healthy and Christian. He writes as if men are simply “wired this way” by God.
Here are some of his assertions, followed by my responses:
Murrow (makes a number of comments about sex):
… “Men actually get a cocaine-like shot of pleasure from looking at a beautiful woman. So here’s your assignment: Give your husband as many cocaine shots as possible. Satisfy his addiction by looking your best” (pp. 163-164).
“And why are looks so important to men?” “Men compare. Men compete. Men size each other up by their spouses” (p. 164). “Having a knockout wife raises your social standing at work, among your relatives, and even a bit at church” (p. 165).
Women are not responsible for their husbands’ behaviour.
… If he has married his wife because he believes her beauty enhances his social standing at church (or anywhere else), he should seek to understand his worth as a loved child of God and friend of Jesus Christ.
I would encourage you to visit that blog and read the ENTIRE post, click here.
This Murrow guy expends a lot of time and effort blaming women for why their husbands cheat. He puts all responsibility on the woman to stay physically attractive and hot-looking to keep their husbands from looking at porn or from having affairs. First of all, it’s not a woman’s responsibility to keep her man from straying – it’s his own duty.
Secondly, a woman being hot, attractive, sexy, and babelicious does not keep a man from straying, witness all the famous movie star men, sports stars, and male rock singers who get married to stunning model beauties but who have affairs on those wives anyway (see: golfer Tiger Woods).
If you find yourself married to a partner who has let him or herself go, and she/he refuses to get in shape or make an effort at his appearance after you’ve talked to them about it, consider divorce… don’t have an affair or wank off to porn all day.
If a man is that terribly hung up about what his wife looks like, that indicates he is very immature. This disproves the Christian notion, believed and taught by some Christians, that God only grants a spouse to people who are fully deserving of one (e.g., godly, humble, self-less, etc).
Other good posts at that other blog include:
From EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND MEN IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH Blog:
I like the title of this blog post, because it gets to the heart of the matter – Christians who are into gender complementarianism claim that women are equal to men, but their views and teachings on women totally belie that claim, because they spend their time rationalizing their sexist views (e.g., women cannot or should not lead or teach men, or husbands have authority over wives, etc):
(Link): Rationalizing Inequality
College Women, Don’t Listen to Marriage Concern Trolls
Hat tip to Shawna R B Atteberry ((Link):visit her blog here), which is where I think I may have first seen this. It does seem familiar. I may have read it before but don’t recall blogging about it here.
Susan Patton may be the only person in the history of the world to get a book deal by being a crank who writes nutty letters to the editor. Back in March, Patton wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Princetonian—both her sons went to Princeton—warning college women that they best find a husband before graduating college or, well, she didn’t exactly say they’d be dried-up old hags who would only have a handful of uneducated boors left to marry, but that was the general gist of it.
…. The letter went viral, feeding off widespread cultural anxieties that young, well-educated women are shirking their duty to put men and marriage before their own ambitions, and so now she’s back with a book and an editorial in the Wall Street Journal.
Susan Patton would be vastly disappointed with me. The mom of two Princeton sons, whose letter to Princeton and now an editorial in the Wall Street Journal telling women in college to marry while there before all of the good fish in the sea are gone, does not want to hear how I didn’t even meet my husband until I was 28, and then I didn’t bother to marry him for another eight years.
….There is also one other huge problem with Patton’s article. She’s wrong. Women with college educations are more likely to be married by 40 than woman without college degrees, whether these women married in college or not.
… I also have theological concerns about Patton’s views on women, men, and marriage. The biggest concern is one I have talked about over and over on this website, and it comes straight from Christian conservative circles as well: it’s the belief that a woman’s primary purpose in life is to marry and have children, and everything else in life should be subsumed under those two roles.
…You will never hear any of these conservatives say that a man’s primary responsibility in life is to be a husband and father to the exclusion of everything else because it is not good for a man to be alone. Just because human beings are created for companionship does not mean that one relationship and family unit should override everything else.
… I’m not saying marriage and parenthood are not vital roles in life or are not needed. I’m happily married. I have to say it’s one of my favorite sacraments. I’m just saying it’s not the be all and end all of life for women, and we need to stop talking about it that way.
A new study out from the Council on Contemporary Families suggests that contrary to most surveys, people are actually more stressed at home than at work.
Three Penn State researchers measured people’s cortisol, which is a stress marker, while they were at work and while they were at home and found it higher at what is supposed to be a place of refuge.
“Further contradicting conventional wisdom, we found that women as well as men have lower levels of stress at work than at home” writes one of the authors, Sarah Damaske, assistant professor of labor and employment relations, sociology and women’s studies at Penn State (the italics are hers).
In fact women even say they feel better at work, she notes. “It is men, not women, who report being happier at home than at work.”
Another surprise is that the findings hold true, says Damaske, for both those with children and without, but more so for nonparents. This is why, the authors conclude, people who work outside the home have better health.
What the study doesn’t measure is whether people are still doing work when they’re at home, whether it’s household work or work brought home from the office. For many men, the end of the workday is a time to kick back. For women who stay home, they never get to leave the office.
And for women who work outside the home, they often are playing catch up with household tasks.
With the blurring of roles, and the fact that the home front lags well behind the workplace in making adjustments for working women, it’s not surprising that women are more stressed at home.
But it’s not just a gender thing. At work, people pretty much know what they’re supposed to be doing: working, earning money, doing the tasks they have to do in order to draw an income.
The bargain is very pure: employee puts in hours of physical or mental labor and employee draws out life-sustaining moola.