The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts

The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog

Warning: I discovered through further reading that the author of the blog is a complementarian. I disagree with complementarianism; more on that below.

Had I known from the start she is a complementarian, I may not have started composing this post. I am leery of pointing anyone to a complementarian resource, but here we are.


As of today, I see only a small number of posts on the The Rhetoric of Singleness blog, dating from April 2017, and this blog appears to be from a Christian perspective – but then, her blog does not display a list or pull down menu of all her posts.

Even though the blog looks to be on hiatus, I’ll link to it on the off chance the blogger resumes writing again.

The person behind this blog says she’s single, in her 30s, and has yet to marry but would like to.

(Link): The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – main page

Some of the only posts I am seeing on this blog include:

(Link): Pursuing Marriage

In that “Pursuing Marriage” post, she says she is a believer in gender complementarianism.

For example, here’s part of what she writes:

So, what options does that leave me, a woman with a complementary view of gender roles, of pursuing marriage? I know for some women who see no options left to them there is a strong temptation to bitterness, resentment, and to denigrate our single brothers who are called by God to the leadership role in the pursuit of marriage.

// end excerpt

Oh no. I (Link): used to be a complementarian myself but ditched it by my mid 30s.

I heard all the same stuff from conservative Christians growing up, as this other blogger likely did, such as, how (Link): men are supposed to be the heads in marriages, God supposedly created women pretty much to exist (Link): only to wait on menand so on.

(And I remained a conservative, even after I realized that complementarianism is false and actually quite sexist – it doesn’t just teach that men and women “complement” one another but that there should be a male hierarchy, of men ruling over women.

Contrary to what complementarians would have you believe, abandoning gender complementarianism will not turn you into a left wing, abortion-supporting, man-hating feminist. I am still right wing, even after leaving complementarianism.)

I am no longer a complementarian, but can pin point complementarianism, among a few other things, as being (Link): one reason as to why I am in my 40s and never got married.

Continue reading “The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts”

WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile”

WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile”

I’m taken aback by some of the cranky comments by people who disagree with this decision. Take for example this (source):

Josephine Quintavalle, from Comment on Reproductive Ethics added: “This absurd nonsense is not simply re-defining infertility but completely side-lining the biological process and significance of natural intercourse between a man and a woman.

Well, excuse the hell out of me, Ms. Quintavalle, but some of us find ourselves single by circumstance – we had hoped to be married in our 20s or 30s but just could not find the right guy. I cannot get pregnant now because I have no husband to have sex with to get pregnant, by, HELLO.

You’re saying women like me shouldn’t be able to get help we need or want in having a kid of our own, if that is what we want (I never cared if I had one myself or not, but some women really want one). There is just no sympathy from some people for the circumstances other people find themselves in in life. I didn’t plan on turning out single well into my 40s, lady.

I don’t think that adult singleness should be thought of in a derogatory fashion as a “disability” (God knows we get enough of that condescending attitude from churches as it is), but I don’t see anything wrong with it pertaining to allowing singles who want to have  kid.

I’m also seeing one or two commentators who assume that single adults are more “selfish” than married couples, which is untrue and is (Link): the reverse!

(Link):   People Who Can’t Find Sex Partners Should Be Classified as ‘Disabled,’ Says World Health Organization

(Link):  Being Single Is Now a Disability, According to the World Health Organization

By Rhett Jones

For the WHO’s Dr. David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, this move is about creating medical equality. He says, “(Link): The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men, gay women.”

Continue reading “WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile””

62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies

62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies

I first saw this story tweeted by Drudge, and lord-a-mercy, the folks leaving Tweets under it are judgmental little jerk-weeds.

Why do people care if women like this want to have a kid over the age of 50?

I find it hypocritical, too. Society puts all this pressure on women to have kids, and so, if a woman does have a kid, they pick apart when she has a kid, how many she has, does she use birth control or not to space them out, and on and on it goes.

Shut the hell up culture! Stop nit-picking apart women’s choices on when, if, how, or where they have a kid.

(Link): 62-year-old new mom encourages older women to have babies

Excerpts:

A 62-year-old woman from Spain has become a new mom.  Lina Alvarez of Lugo, in northwest Spain gave birth to a girl she named Lina.  She says “it’s impossible to be happier” at having her baby late in life.

Baby Lina was born on October 10th.  She was born a month early due to mom’s blood pressure problems and weighed 5 pounds and 2 ounces.  Lina is Alvarez’s third child.  Her oldest child is 27-years-old and she also has a 10-year-old.

Continue reading “62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies”

The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic and Other Posts

The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic

From the (Link): Not Mom Blog,
(Link): Childless by Chance

From their blog:

(Link): 15 DIMENSIONS OF CHILDLESS BY CHOICE OR BY CHANCE

    Remember that niches aren’t walled divisions, just different shades of a shared story. Here’s what you’ve told us so far about our many sub-communities. Don’t see yours? Let us know.

    By Choice and By Chance are like the East and West Sides of our ‘city’. Except, our map includes a Venn diagram where the two sides share land for women who describe themselves as Both. They once wanted kids, very much so in many cases, but at some point they realized the effort to conceive was too taxing, or that the idea of motherhood simply didn’t fit anymore.

    …The big umbrella of Infertility/Age includes women who’ve tried IVF, or experienced miscarriage, or simply waited too long before trying to conceive. A partner’s infertility counts, too. And Age can push a woman to declare herself without children By Chance and By Choice: Both.

    Health-Challenged NotMoms may well be fertile, but conditions such as cardiovascular disorders or kidney and liver disease, make the attempt life-threatening.

    Childless by Marriage is a term I credit to Sue Lick, who wrote a book and more about marrying an older man who was already a father and didn’t want more kids. When he died suddenly, her stepchildren vanished from her life, and her age made childbearing distinctly improbable. That was her ‘by marriage’ story, but there are many more.

    Continue reading “The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic and Other Posts”

Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

Don’t Let Someone Who Gave Up On Their Dreams Talk You Out Of Yours

In a couple of posts in the past (such as (Link): this one), I discussed the disheartening trend I see in Christian books, articles, interviews, or blogs by (1.) other never-married adult Christians who are over age of 35 or 40 (or, (2.) on occasion by married Christians who condescendingly lecture adult singles on these issues).

These (I am speaking of group 1 above) are adults who had hoped to marry, but they remain single into their late 30s or beyond.

(There is also another group, Christians who are over 40 years of age, who are thrilled and totally at peace at having never married and never really cared either way if they ever married or not. They are guilty of what I write about in this post, too.

Hell, I sometimes see single Christians below the age of 35 who are guilty of this, but their views stem more from being naive about life.)

The never-married Christians, who are past the age of 35 or 40, who have given up on ever getting married themselves then turn around in their interviews, articles, and books and shame other post-age-35 singles from pursuing marriage.

I kid you not. They will guilt trip you if you still hope to marry some day, and you are past 35 years old.

They have given up hope of ever getting married themselves, so they go about trying to convince other singles to give up, too. They will try to shame you out of pursuing your dream. They will tell you that at 40, you are too old to be on dating sites and still expecting marriage.

They believe you should only think of “eternity,” or, they will argue, you should be consumed in this life only with thoughts about Jesus or with how to serve Jesus in the here and now.

They will shame you by telling you that it’s selfish, immature, un-christian, or self-centered (or a combination of all those things) to go after an earthly pursuit such as marriage, even though Jesus did not preach a “pie in the sky” theology, but said he came so that you may have life more abundantly – that means NOW, not after you’re dead.

Many Christians believe in a theology of CODEPENDENCY and ASCETICISM, both of which are condemned in the Bible (see for example Colossians 2:16-22). It is okay to seek after your own personal happiness in the here and now. People who tell you otherwise are peddling false doctrine.

Don't Give Up On Your Dreams
Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

If you are over 35, have never been married, and would still like to be, don’t let anyone else dissuade you from pursuing marriage, especially the ones who once held the dream but have given up.
———————-
Related posts:

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

(Link): Christian Singles Never Marrieds – it’s okay to get your needs met

(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Link): Singleness is Not A Gift

(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

(Link): Gift of Singleness Gift of Celibacy Unbiblical – Those Terms and Teachings Contribute to Fornication / Editorial About Sex Surrogates

This applies to marriage, too:
(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids
———————————-

Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke – An Essay that Hits and Misses

Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke

I offer this link with a caveat or four.

Before I get to the link itself, here are a few of my problems with it (with additional critique below the link and excerpts from it).

This essay comes from a site sponsored by a bunch of people, “The Gospel Coalition,” a phrase which sounds so darn “biblical,” but I sharply disagree with them (not all their views are ‘biblical’).

The Gospel Coalition is comprised, for example, of Neo Calvinists (or they support Neo Cal preachers and doctrine; I am not sure if every last writer at their site is a Neo Cal).

Further, they are gender complementarian (also known as “biblical womanhood and biblical manhood.” As taught by these people, their views of gender roles are not biblical.

If you’d like to see a contrary conservative, biblical Christian view about gender and gender roles, please read the material at (Link): Christians For Biblical Equality.)

There are some aspects of this writing that seem to be an even-handed essay telling Christians to be careful about not making too much out of “family” and “marriage” to the point either or both become idols, but there are still one or two aspects of this that I still disagree with and will comment on that below the long excerpt.

(Link): Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke

Starke begins his editorial discussing how marriage today is in trouble, divorce is on the rise, and so on.

Excerpts:

    by J Starke

    …. But with every response [by Christians to issues in secular culture such as rising divorce rates], there’s always the danger of over-correction.

    It’s not that I think some evangelicals have become too conservative or too traditional. I worry that they’ve simply adopted traditional cultural and societal norms, instead of biblical norms.

    Zechariah

    … The two birth announcements in the Gospel of Luke to Zechariah and Mary reveal how a society’s “traditional” family values may not line up with God’s.

    Zechariah, the priest married to a barren woman, and Mary both heard miraculous announcements about impending childbirth.

    Yet while Zechariah responded with skepticism and doubt, Mary responded with faith and wonder.

    So why would Zechariah, a priest, doubt an angel of the Lord? He knew the story of Abraham and Sarah, so the idea of an older, barren woman giving birth wouldn’t be ridiculous to him.

    But consider Zechariah and Elizabeth’s situation. Some of you may know the pain of not being able to have children.

    It’s the feeling of 10, 20, even 30 years deeply desiring children with hopes unfulfilled.

    Zechariah and Elizabeth also suffered shame. Luke 1:24-25 reveals Elizabeth’s heart. She said, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

    By reproach she meant the shame that comes from known barrenness. Maybe some of you have experienced this reproach from more conservative societies, where family is held in such a high regard.

    If you’re nearing your 40s with no children and maybe not even married, you start to receive questions like, “When are you going to get yourself a husband?” “When are we going to start seeing some little ones around here?” You hear the whispers. Every baby shower brings guilt and shame.

    Zechariah and Elizabeth also dealt with questions about whether they did something wrong to deserve barrenness.

    Was there some hidden sin? Worse, Zechariah was a religious leader, a priest!

    Can you imagine how this public shame undermined his position, his authority?

    So for Zechariah, pain and sorrow turned to shame and disgrace. He held on tightly to the cultural idol of family. This idol filled his heart so that there was no room for the truth of God’s promise, even if he heard it from an angel. The good news of a coming son did not inspire joy but unbelief. It’s too late. We’re too old.

    … But there’s another wrong view. A society can make the family the most important thing. It can become an idol, something that fundamentally defines us. We regard anyone who never marries or cannot have children as somehow subhuman. They must have done something wrong to upset God.

    …By contrast, the Bible actually teaches a radically subversive message about the family. God, we often discover, is the cause of barrenness in women.

    Stories of family dynamics rarely flatter. You’ll never find a Leave it to Beaver household in the Bible. Rather, we see constant distress, rivalry, and jealousy.

    Usually this dynamic doesn’t result from undervaluing children. No, we see it when children become the most important thing! Not only that, Jesus also has some deeply alarming things to say about the family, sounding almost cold and uncaring—see Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 14:26.

    And finally, it’s difficult to make family the most central thing for Christians when the two most prominent figures in the New Testament, Jesus and the apostle Paul, were both single. Actually, Christianity made singleness a legitimate way of life for the first time in any culture or religion.

    Christ and the Church

    Before you thumb your noses at traditional values on marriage and family, remember this: When God wanted to paint a picture of his great love for he church and cost of his death, he cited marriage between a husband and wife. God in Jesus Christ is the faithful and sacrificial husband for his bride, the church.

    ….While the family cannot be so important that it invades the space in our heart that only God should occupy, we see that even from Creation, God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society. Zechariah, however, warns us not to make family the ultimate thing. He turned it into a false god, leaving no room for the truth of the real God.

    … But their [Christians’] convictions should come from the Bible, not simply the norms of traditional societies.

I commend this author for pointing out that some Christians have turned marriage and family into idols, but I feel he gets a few things wrong and makes a few comments that are insensitive to certain types of people.

Here are some additional problems I have with this paper, as outlined below.

Starke starts out sounding sympathetic to barren or single adults who desire marriage and/or children. Starke writes,

    ..Zechariah and Elizabeth also dealt with questions about whether they did something wrong to deserve barrenness.

    Was there some hidden sin? Worse, Zechariah was a religious leader, a priest! Can you imagine how this public shame undermined his position, his authority?

I don’t recall the Bible explicitly saying that this couple was shamed and blamed for being without children, but Starke assumes this was so.

If we grant Starke that point:

When I first read this essay, I assumed Starke “felt” for Zack and Liz (Zechariah and Elizabeth) and how terrible it must have been for this couple to have supposedly been shamed or insulted over their childlessness.

Instead of rebuking the judgmental pro-family types for shaming “Zack and Liz” for being without children, which is what Starke should be doing, Starke instead shames and blames Zack and Liz themselves for supposedly having had made “the family” into an idol (though the biblical text does not say this).

I have more to say about this below this next excerpt.

Starke wrote:

    So for Zechariah, pain and sorrow turned to shame and disgrace. He held on tightly to the cultural idol of family. This idol filled his heart so that there was no room for the truth of God’s promise, even if he heard it from an angel.

There is nothing wrong with Zechariah, or with anyone, wanting to have a spouse or a child.

Simply wanting or desiring something that the Bible does not condemn does not mean one is idolizing it, yet Christians constantly make this leap.

I find this attitude by Stark fairly insensitive.

I have observed for many years now that among Christians who idolize marriage and family, it is made an idol by those who are already married, who are already parents, who tell the never-married and the infertile they are not as good, godly, mature, and worthy as marrieds and parents (hence my one stop threads on (Link): marriage and (Link): parenthood).

It’s the already married and those who are already parents who have turned marriage and parenthood into idols, not the childless and not the singles.

How cruel it is when the majority of Christian culture sets both things up -marriage and parenthood- as idols to be prized and then shames, rebukes, or blames an unmarried person for wanting a spouse, for seeking a spouse, or for an infertile couple to seek medical care to become pregnant.

Christian singles are told by Christians that they are not as mature, godly, or responsible as married couples are, but if they still desire marriage or attempt to get married – by using dating sites, for example – they are told they are “idolizing” marriage.

It’s a highly hypocritical move that Christians foist on other Christians, but they do it constantly.

I’ve written of it before in pages such as:

When Starke advises Christians not to turn marriage and family into idols, who exactly is he warning?

Because it sounds to me as though Starke is, in this essay, further shaming and blaming singles or infertiles who hanker after spouse and children, when he should be solely directing his criticisms at the overall Christian culture, which is maintained and controlled by people who are, 99% of the time, married with children.

Most churches will not even consider permitting un-married adults into positions of leadership, teaching, or preaching. Churches are heavily biased against singles and childless individuals or couples.

Singles should not be shamed for wanting or seeking marriage, and childless people should not be shamed for seeking to have children, especially not in a culture, Christian culture, that keeps cramming the idea down everyone’s throats that marriage and parenthood are more “godly” than singlehood or the state of childlessness, and how marriage and family is so important and fundamental for American society.

Wanting to be married is not “idolatry.” I have discussed that in a few posts before, such as in one by Mark Driscoll (I believe it was this post, (Link): More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”), or, it may have been in this post: (Link): Mark Driscoll on Single Christian Women Who Desire Marriage – the positives and negatives of his piece ), and this one:

It also seems to me that the author dances around the stereotype that singles who hate being single and long for marriage are “bitter” which in turn is a component of “singles shaming.”

I’d say most of us older singles are not “bitter” about it, but have either come to terms with it, or feel sad about it at times, or both.

You can largely come to accept your single status but occasionally feel sad about it.

You can also point out how wrong Christians are to idolize marriage and treat adult singles like trash, but that does not make one “bitter” – it’s offering a much needed critique of Christian culture.

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re SingleStarke writes,

    While the family cannot be so important that it invades the space in our heart that only God should occupy, we see that even from Creation, God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society”

“God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society?” He did? Really? Please provide book, chapter, and verse for that, because I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that declares this.

That belief that God intends “family” to be for the “maturing” of society, or to act as its backbone, is not even mentioned in the book of Genesis, which describes God creating the first married couple, Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve having their first son.

That God allegedly uses marriage for anything (beyond anything other than for continuation of the human species and as one illustration of Jesus’ relationship to the church) -as a building block of culture, to sanctify people, to mature people and such- are merely assumptions Christians make repeatedly, with no biblical basis.

I’ve written about this issue before, like in this post:

Starke says,

    Before you thumb your noses at traditional values on marriage and family, remember this: When God wanted to paint a picture of his great love for he church and cost of his death, he cited marriage between a husband and wife. God in Jesus Christ is the faithful and sacrificial husband for his bride, the church.

I also wonder who these comments are aimed at. Who does he think may be “thumbing her nose at” marriage?

I am over 40 years of age and still would like to be married. I am not “anti marriage.”

I am very disturbed and angered at how highly other Christians elevate marriage, to the point marriage, and the 1950s nuclear family unit, is turned into a “golden calf” they worship.

Continue reading “Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke – An Essay that Hits and Misses”

Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders says Professor (editorial from CP)

Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders (editorial from CP)

I find this bashing of “womb renting” (parental surrogacy) hypocritical on two levels. I have observations below this link and excerpt, where I explain why I find this hypocritical.

I myself don’t know if I support surrogacy or not; that isn’t my point. My point is that I find some of this Christian man’s objections to it hypocritical.

(Link): Renting a Womb (Part 2): Women Reduced to Baby Breeders

    BY ALEX MURASHKO, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
    February 11, 2014|12:39 pm

    Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a series on surrogacy, titled “Renting a Womb.”

    Although not specifically mentioned in the Bible, the act of surrogacy in order to produce a baby should be considered unethical, says Scott B. Rae, professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Biola University.

    Surrogacy, Rae argued, diminishes a woman’s role in procreation. The woman, he said, is reduced to a “baby breeder.”

    Rae, who serves as dean of the faculty at the university’s Talbot School of Theology and chair for the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics board, told The Christian Post that the Bible “looks pretty skeptically at any kind of third party contributor who comes outside the matrix of marriage.”

    CP: What is the current social thought on surrogacy?

    Rae: I think the feminists who object to surrogacy because it reinforces a stereotype, that has some merit. The other thing that troubles me is that it separates procreation and responsibility. Scripture is pretty solid on the connection between marriage, procreation, and parenting. This is what troubles me about sperm donation – that you are involved in procreation but overtly disavowing a responsibility for that. Surrogates do the same.

    “It seems to me that procreation is intended to be done by stable, permanent, monogamous, heterosexual married couples,” he said. “The norm is laid out in Genesis 1 and 2 where you have the creation of Adam and Eve, the institution of marriage, and then the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. It sets procreation within that context.”

One reason I find it hypocritical:

Here you have a community – conservative Christians – who set marriage and having children up as idols that all should obtain, and if you don’t obtain one or either, you’re treated as a failure or weirdo.

So if you take actual steps towards either one (marriage or having a baby), such as using IVF, infertility treatments, or hiring a surrogate, you get told you are in sin or in error for it.

Secondly, conservative Christianity already treats ALL women like “baby breeders,” even the ones who do not pay for a surrogate. Case in point:

Gender complementarian Christians, who are present in what seems large numbers in many Protestant and Baptist churches and other conservative churches and denominations, regularly teach that a woman’s greatest or only role or calling in life is to marry and make babies.

See these links:

Conservative Christians already worship motherhood (see Link), and continually tell women their greatest or only God given or God approved role in life is to be a wife and mother.

Christians say this to each and every woman listening to a church sermon, not just women who are surrogates. So this professor has a lot of nerve referring to only surrogates as “baby breeders” when all women in Christianity are viewed as nothing but “baby breeders” (and ‘help meets’ to their spouses, if they are married).

Women who are infertile, childless, or childfree are not made to feel welcomed or accepted in most evangelical, fundamentalist, Baptist, or Reformed denominations. They are made to feel like outsiders, losers, weirdos, or freaks.

Lastly, and as someone in the comments pointed out, Mary acted as a surrogate mother, to carry the baby Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary was not even married yet at the time. In light of the fact Mary acted as a surrogate, I’m not sure how a Christian university professor can object to other women doing so and not be holding a double standard.
————————————-
Related posts:

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Is The Church Failing Childless Women? by Diane Paddison

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

(Link): Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys

(Link): The Fruitful Callings of the Childless By Choice (editorial)

(Link): 23 Responses to 23 Awful Statements Made to Childfree People by TAURIQ MOOSA

(Link): How Not To Be A Dick To Your Childfree Friends (editorial)

(Link): My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin

(Link): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

(Link): In terms of childlessness, US ranks near the top worldwide

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link): Bearden: Staying childless right decision for many women

(Link): How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Maybe a certain someone saw my previous post, (Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee (sermon from 2010) – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles, because this doofus (M. Hagee) actually discusses singles in today’s televised sermon, which is 30 minutes long, and I don’t mean he discusses singles in an encouraging, loving way.

Normally when I critique a sermon, I listen to either all of it, or at least ten to twenty minutes of it. I don’t have the fortitude to do that today.

I just saw a 2 or 3 minute introduction to a sermon by Matthew Hagee (son of blowhard preacher John Hagee) called “Who Do You Love,” where a few high lights from the sermon were shown.

I would assume that eventually this sermon will be made available on this You Tube channel:
(Link): John Hagee Ministries video channel
Or, you might be able to find the sermon on (Link): iTBN.

edit. The sermon may be available from iTBN here:
(Link): Who Do You Love, a sermon by Matthew Hagee where he insults adult single Christians, aired Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) 2014

In the introduction I saw, Hagee did a disrespectful impression, a mocking tone, of what he imagines a single, Christian woman who is praying to God for a spouse might sound like:
“Oh Lord, when will you send me a perfect Mr. Right,” and he replied (doing an impression of God), “Why would I send him to YOU for you to mess up? You are going to ruin him.”

Hagee then did a reverse situation, where he did his impression of what he thinks an unmarried man might sound like in prayer to God for a spouse. Yes, it was also disrespectful.

Hagee also made the comments, “So you say you are single. Well, let me ask you something: How can God answer your prayer until you become someone’s answer to prayer?”

I’m not even going to bother listening to the rest of the sermon, because I doubt it’s any better than those first 2, 3 minutes of the intro.

Just those two minutes are filled not only with derision for singles who desire marriage, but also with some incorrect theology.

Some Christians assume if you are 25, 35, 45 years old, or older, and still single, it must be your fault.

The ladies who are over 25 and 30 who are still single get told often that they are “too picky.” This view, as I saw from the brief video clips, seems implicit in Hagees’ outlook about single women.

Let me just stop you right there.

Okay Matthew Hagee, assuming you have a daughter (pretend that you do if you do not).

If your daughter is still single at 35 years of age, and she desires marriage, would you honestly tell your OWN daughter to “settle,” to marry the 567 pound slobby, abusive, stupid, unemployed man?

No, you probably would not.

Would you seriously tell your own daughter to marry any guy who comes along, even if there is no attraction, or he mistreats her, or she doesn’t feel in love with him, or what have you?

You probably would not, no.

Yet you feel just fine implying these very things on a stage in a church full of people during a service that is being broadcast to millions in the United States and around the world.

Why do you believe that your hypothetical daughter is more worthy of respect than myself or other single women who are not your daughters?

Another mentality that some Christians have is that God is keeping you single until he can “clean you up” or fix you in some way. No where does the Bible teach that God has to take you through your paces, perfect you, or make you be good enough, before he will “reward” you with a spouse.

The Bible does not teach that a person has to “earn” a spouse.

The Bible contains examples of people who stole spouses (David and Bathsheba).

The Bible also has examples of complete idiots who got great spouses (Nabal was the idiot, Abigail his wife, you can read more about them (Link): here. An excerpt from that Bible passage reads: “His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”).

As a matter of fact, go to my thread at this blog, (Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread), to see numerous news stories of Christian married couples who are ungodly, immature, selfish, or abusive. Some married Christians have been thrown in jail for rape, theft, drug abuse, or murder.

If God required everyone to be totally holy and pure before sending people spouses, and forced everyone to get all their personal sins and characters flaws in check before permitting them to marry, how does one account for all the Christian husbands who are pornography addicts, child sex abusers, drug addicts, and wife beaters?

Stop holding out a husband or wife as a reward to good Christians who get their ducks lined up in a row.

I’m still a virgin in my forties, and God never did reward me with a husband for sexually abstaining this long, and I am not fat and ugly – I was engaged for several years.

Non Christian and Christian men have flirted with me, asked me out on dates, have seen my photo at friend’s homes and asked friends if they could be fixed up with me on dates, etc.

That this Hagee person (who is married himself with a kid or two) would choose to mock, ridicule, and bash single adults on a sermon that aired on Valentine’s Day of all days is reprehensible and shows a total lack of compassion and understanding for what it’s like to be a single past one’s late twenties.

It’s no wonder churches are losing members, they keep bashing (when not ignoring) 44% of the American population (i.e., adult singles).

And again, many resources I have seen point out that for every Christian adult man, there are three, adult, unmarried Christian women.

Meaning, not all Christian women who want a Christian spouse can even get one, leaving them to stay single, or marry outside the Christian faith. Do Hagee and jerks like him who bash singles from the pulpit ever mention these facts? Nope.

It’s just rudely assumed by these anti-singles preachers that single women over 30, 40 years of age are single because they are too picky, fat, flawed, are feminist man-haters, or are messed up in some way. That American demographics are not in favor of American single women who desire marriage are never mentioned.

By the way, marriage does not happen just because you want it enough, see this previous post:
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

I have several other posts on my blog that refute some of these views by Hagee, such as:

——————

Related Posts:

(Link):  A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): How Not to Help All the Single Ladies (excellent article)

(Link): Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1 (includes cliches and platitudes)

(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault (editorial by a woman who refutes the idea that singles are to blame for being single)

(Link): Topics Preachers Should or Shouldn’t Mention When Discussing Singlehood

(Link): Isn’t It Time the Church Gave Singles a Break? (editorial from another blog)

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

You can dig around this blog to find many other posts like those, use the post tags, the search feature on the right hand side of the blog for that, or use the archive pull down menu and jump around at random.

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – it’s benefits, drawbacks – also: 1 Timothy 4:3 and Christians cannot agree on biblical doctrine

I first began this post with only an intent on discussing 1 Corinthians 7 in mind, but as I began typing, it meandered a little into other (but related) topics, then I wandered back to the 1 Cor 7 discussion.

(Link): Read 1 Corinthians 7 Online, on Bible Gateway

My commentary is below this long excerpt.

Excerpts from 1 Cor 7,

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

…25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.

28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

…. 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.
33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—
34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

I have had a blog visitor who says she (or he? Though I think she is a she) loathes and hates 1 Cor 7.

I left her a reply under a previous thread which reads:

    • I actually rather

like

    • 1 Corinthians 7,

except

    when it’s used as a weapon or condescending slogan against singles who want marriage.

But, in other contexts, I like that 1 Cor 7 passage, because married Christians (who are the ones who idolize marriage) need to be reminded that marriage is not better than singleness… that is, churches / body of Christ need to stop showing favortism to married with children couples, as they often do.

If anything, I see some pastors (such as Mark Driscoll, whom I wrote about recently (Link): here ), twist and distort 1 Cor 7 and try to explain it away – because he (and other Christians) view singles as being abnormal, or they view the state of singleness as being abnormal, or not as good as, being married, which is an INSULT to adult singles.

I know it can hurt or be frustrating to want marriage when you are single BUT (at least for me), so long as you are single, until you marry one day (assuming you marry), don’t you want preachers and other married Christians to stop acting as though you are somehow lower or not as godly or mature, or not deserving of a church’s finances and time, just because you are single?

That is why I like to toss 1 Cor 7 in their faces (and other passages).

I’ve sort of written on this topic here:
(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

There are some never married Christian adults who actually LOVE the GOS (“Gift of Singleness” or “of celibacy,” “GOC”) talk, they have stopped by this blog before to say they like these phrases…

I can’t get these types of adult, Christian singles to see that not only is neither phrase in the Bible, but the phrases are mis-used and abused by married Christians and preachers to keep singles single – the ones who want marriage.

The GOS/GOC talk and terms are used to maintain discrimination against singles. (I’ve blogged about that before, just search the blog using the phrase “gift of singleness.”)

I also have many blog posts talking about the cliches that Christian singles who desire marriage get from married Christians, and it annoys me too. Here are a few posts about it:

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

(Link): Annoyance of Being A Christian Single (has list of cliches’ one hears from married Christians and friends at church, in sermons, etc)

… I have similar blog posts, those are just a few.

To sum up, 1 Cor 7 can be a helpful ally and tool in the arsenal of an adult Christian single who runs into Christians who idolize marriage – the ones who behave as though single adults are losers.

I was at a right wing, political blog where all the married people were responding to a news story about childless and single women.

Many of these right wing people on that blog were insulting singles and the state of being childless.

Even secular right wingers tend to make an idol out of marriage, parenting, and the nuclear family.

Many married right wingers, even the secular ones, assume women who are never-married and childless past their 30s are man-hating, atheistic feminists who vote Democrat and have posters of Obama all over their bedroom walls with lipstick-kiss marks on them.

These types of right wing morons never realize that women can be conservative Republican and/or Christians and be single and childless into adulthood, based on circumstances they had no control over, or, based on their choice (but choices which are NOT based on atheism, feminism, liberalism, or hatred of God, country, conservatives, or babies).

Singlehood and childless/child-free are not bastions or life stations of liberal feminists and Democrats only. There are plenty of right wing, Republican, Christian, pro life women who choose to stay single and childless, or who find themselves that way due to circumstance.

Every time these types of right wing jackholes bash liberal feminists for being single and childless, they are also inadvertently bashing Republican, Christian, childless/ childfree women too.

When I tried explaining to these people that I am right wing also, but I am single and childless myself, some of them mellowed out in their criticisms and slams against singles and the childless, but some actually ramped the vitriol up… UNTIL… I quoted this at them:

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

Once I quoted that from 1 Cor 7, that shut the married Marriage and Baby Idolaters up pronto.

Several replied, “You’re right; the Bible and God are okay with singleness, and women are not expected by God to have kids if they are single, and marriage is a choice, not a commandment. You are right.”

So, 1 Cor 7 can come in handy for an adult single who is getting damn tired of hearing she is a failure or weirdo for not being married past her 20s.

Oddly, the fact that Jesus Christ and Paul were single seem to usually not leave much of an impact on married Marriage and Family Idolaters, when that fact is thrown in their faces.

But, and stranger still, Jesus’ and Paul’s singlehood and childless status is none-the-less a tid bit that Married, Christian Condescending People like to remind Non-Content Adult Singles of.

Seems like 30% – 40% of articles I read for singles by married Christians likes to offer the chirpy reminder, “Remember, singles, Jesus and Paul were single and childless too!”

Okay, Enthusiastic Christian Married Guy, it’s good for you to respect singleness and being childless by recognizing that Jesus Christ and Paul was single and childless.

Married Christians should indeed keep that in mind, that Christ and Paul were single and childless, because God knows, Christians often go blank on that and assume Marriage and Kids are God’s default for EVERYONE.

However, while that is great for Jesus and Paul, I personally would like to marry so I can bang a man weekly (ie, get my sexual lusts fulfilled), have some constant companionship, to stave off bouts of loneliness. Maybe get chocolates in a heart shaped box on Valentine’s from a sweetie pie, instead of eating Campbell’s soup for one over the sink again. That sort of stuff.

On the one hand, 1 Cor 7 can be used as a weapon against married Christians by singles, against the types of married Christians who tend to elevate marriage at the expense of singles and singleness. That is to the single’s advantage.

On the other hand, some Christians, usually married idiots, misuse 1 Cor 7 as a battering ram against adult singles who want to get married.

And that is not right; the twisting or abuse of 1 Cor 7, borders on this:

1 Timothy 4:3

    3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

I’m an American in 2014. There is no “present” crisis going on with me personally in 2014 America, as there was when Paul wrote to people telling them it is better for them to remain as they were (single if single, or married if married), given their “present crisis.”

Whatever that crisis was – maybe Christians were being persecuted for being Christian?

Continue reading “Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics”

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

Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Wife (or had her killed)

Another splendid example of why Christian single women are just as well off dating and marrying Non Christians guys as they are Christian males.

    Disclaimer: I am not suggesting by posting such stories that ALL Christian males are closeted homosexuals, abusive, killers, perverts, crack pots, or weirdos, but enough of them are in the news stories I see to have convinced me by now that Non Christian males are no more a risk to date or marry.

Found via “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group:

(Link): Love and Death In the House of Prayer

    Tyler Deaton, a self-appointed apostle in one of the fastest-growing evangelical movements, loved Jesus, Harry Potter and, much to his dismay, other men. When his wife turned up dead, the secrets began to spill out

According to this article from Rolling Stone, Deaton became a member of something called IHOP (International House of Prayer) founded by another guy who sounds equally crack-potish, Bickle. The article described some of the group’s beliefs – many of which are nutty and have zero biblical support.

The following is from page two, referring to the girl (Bethany) who this Tyler person later married and, according to the article, either killed or had killed:

    She [Bethany] could also be lavishly, almost immoderately romantic. She imagined herself as a novelist and professor at a small university, living in a cottage in the woods. “The dream of her heart was to be married,” Herrington recalls. “We used to stay up late talking about it, night after night. She had been praying for her husband since she was a teenager. She had written him letters, before they even met.” She found herself “fiercely attracted” to Deaton and was convinced that God had ordained their union. She was aware of his struggles with homosexuality but believed that God would use her to heal his heart.

There you have it, Christian ladies: you can pray and rely on God to send you a spouse – as so many Christian leaders, dating books, and preachers advise – and end up marrying an apparently violent, psychotic, closeted homosexual, instead of the hetero, Christian White Knight on a Steed you were hoping for and expecting.

One wonders why God, if he exists, would allow a Christian young woman, who was trusting him in this area of her life, (and as Christian girls are heavily encouraged to do by leaders and parents), only for God to let her down in such a spectacular fashion?

The founder of the IHOP group to which Deaton belonged appears to have sexualized Jesus Christ, and the relationships Christians have with him, though he claims this is not so:

Preacher Whose 90% of Sermons are About How to Have a Great Marriage Warns Audience Not to Make Marriage an Idol – Kerry Shook Update and Irony Alert

Preacher Whose 90% of Sermons are About How to Have a Great Marriage Warns Audience Not to Make Marriage an Idol – Kerry Shook Update and Irony Alert

If the words “marriage” or “married” were removed from Pastor Shooks’ vocabulary, would he ever be able to give another sermon ever again? I have big doubts.

With about 44% of American adults now single in the USA, can preachers really afford to keep ignoring singles and singleness and keep giving these stupid marriage sermons?

(Sept. 2014: The adult, American population is now over 50% single. There are more singles than there are married people in the United States. See this link: Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States)

I always feel a wee bit mean criticizing Shook, because he seems like such a well-meaning, genuinely nice guy.

This almost qualifies as a comedy post. Usually I get hopping angry when a preacher is giving another marriage sermon, but coming from him, I tend to roll my eyes or laugh at the absurdity of it.

Most of Shooks sermons are about marriage. No, really. Here are a few examples.

      (Link):

Kerry Shook ‘Shark Weakness’ – yet another marriage sermon | Marriage centric sermons

(Link): Kerry Shook Devotes Yet *Another* Show / Sermon to Marriage

(Link): Kerry Shook on Marriage AGAIN. About not letting your flame die down.

(Link): Pastor Kerry Shook’s Marriage-centric Sermons

You see, Shook’s sermonizing on marriage is so frequent, when he finally does a sermon that does NOT discuss marriage, I am so in shock about it, I have to blog about it, like here:
(Link): Shocker: Kerry Shook Show Last Night NOT About Marriage

And, when I was looking for a clip of tonight’s Shook sermon for you, I came across this other Shook sermon, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before:

(Link): Surviving a Marriage Attack (on You Tube)

I have not been able to find a clip of tonight’s show on You Tube, but it is on his official site here:
(Link): The God Centered Life

Oh, it is on You Tube, okay, here it is:
(Link): The God Centered Life

    Idolatry is alive and well on earth. Learn how to avoid three of the most subtle, seductive and destructive traps. (#3175)

I sometimes have my television set on while I work on my computer. I had it on TBN as I was on my computer, and I heard parts of Shook’s sermon tonight (linked to above, embedded below). His sermons was about being “centered,” or something.

You have to remember (as I’ve blogged on before), this Shook guy preachers about marriage constantly.

Almost every other, or every third, sermon by him is about marriage. (Many, many other preacher are just as, or almost as, guilty as he is, though.)

Here’s where I discuss what I find ironic about Shook’s sermon tonight about being God centered. I only watched parts of it.

In the parts I did pay attention to, Shook drew a diagram of a wagon-wheel shape on a board and put labels on each spoke. One spoke got the “marriage” label.

Shook then told the audience that anything can take the place of God in a Christian’s life, even marriage. Shook told the audience to be careful not to turn their marriage (he added “if you’re married”) into an idol.

Oh goodness. How can a man who pontificates and lectures about marriage in almost every single sermon, who I’ve never once heard give a sermon about singleness, which implies, on his part, that marriage is more valuable than singleness, warn people about not making marriage an idol?

This reminds me of Christians who regularly treat adult singleness and celibacy like a second-class station in life, akin to biblical leprosy and treat singles like trash, who make marriage out to be better than singleness, and then turn around and SHAME adult singles who admit to wanting marriage themselves, or who actively pursue marriage (by joining dating sites, etc).

If you are going to constantly sermoninze and opine about marriage (and consistently ignore singleness and celibacy), you are creating the very idol you are warning people to be leery of. I cannot understand why evangelical (and other sorts of) preachers cannot see this.

If you preachers would stop painting marriage as normative for everyone, and as God’s highest, only or better plan for all humanity, and stop assuming everyone will get married who wants to (some of us want to get married but a spouse never entered our lives), there would be little to no need to warn married people against turning it into an idol.

By the way, let me mention what will not fix this for me:
1. Shook mentioning at the start of his next marriage centric sermon (this is typical of married preachers), “Remember, singles, this marriage sermon can be applicable to you too!”
2. Giving one token sermon on singleness in a year or ten year’s time (then cramming in the cliches about singleness being a “gift” etc, and assuming everyone who wants a spouse will get one, etc), and then reverting back to non-stop marriage sermons again.

Preachers need to preach REGULARLY about singleness if they are going to regularly cover marriage.

If you are a preacher and you sermonize ten times about marriage per year, you damn well better devote ten sermons to ONLY SINGLENESS per year, too.

If Shook has ever seen my blog posts, he may have to take his own advice from this sermon:
(Link): People who Ruffle Your Feathers (on You Tube) 😆

Here is the sermon video embedded where he warns married people not to make an idol out of marriage, which will replace God at the center of their lives:

—————————————
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): The World Does Not Need More Marriage Sermons – They Don’t Stop Divorce or Get People Married

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon!” line

(Link): Astonishing: Evangelical Baptist Marriage Idolater David E. Prince Wants to Know Why Evangelical Baptists Are Not Worshipping Marriage More (than they already are)

Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

You have to be a member and logged on to read the entire editorial. Or, you might be able to read the entire thing by clicking (Link): here.

Some women DO make a choice NOT to become mothers. They are called “child free,” and they should not be marginalized in or by churches, either, not just the women who wanted children but for whatever reason could not have any.

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless

Their editorial preview:

    Is there a place at church for those of us who don’t have kids?
    by Jean E. Jones

    Recently, a woman asked, “My husband and I are childless. How do you cope with the feelings of rejection and of being a minority in the church community?” Both she and I are unable to have children, and her question brought back memories: the hurt as friends with babies bundled in blankets pulled away, the struggle to fit in at church, and the hurdles of gracefully handling ignorant and hurtful comments.

    Childlessness is a growing church issue: The number of women who will never bear children has doubled in the last 30 years from 1 in 10 to almost 1 in 5 (Pew Research).

    In 1976, the number of childless women ages 40–44 (considered the end of childbearing years) was 580,000; by 2008, it had more than tripled to 1.9 million.

    What’s causing this rise in childlessness?

    First, Americans are delaying marriage until they’ve achieved educational goals and financial stability. The median age for women’s first marriage is now 27, and more than half of women age 25 to 29 have never married, says the 2013 report Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America.

    Delaying marriage leaves fewer childbearing years in which to find a suitable husband. It also decreases a woman’s chance of having a successful pregnancy.

    But the bigger reason is that more women are choosing not to have children: Among women ages 40–44, the number of voluntarily childless now equals the number who wanted children but couldn’t have them.

    In TIME Magazine’s recent cover article “None Is Enough,” Lauren Sandler cites many reasons for the surge in opting to be child-free. Some non-moms say they don’t want the “bone-tired” lifestyle their mothers had “doing it all,” or never felt they were “mother material.”

    The financial costs in raising a child are formidable, and leaving the career track for a mommy track can cost “$1 million in lost salary, lost promotions and so on.”

    Women who delay marriage may develop enjoyable lifestyles they’re reluctant to give up. Society’s portrayal of all it takes to be a great mom seems unrealistic.

    Whether being without offspring is voluntary or not, the biggest stress the childless face is isolation as “friends just peel off into their small domestic worlds,” Lauren says.

    The late 30s and early 40s are the loneliest because friends are parents, but not empty nesters.

    Another strain is being judged harshly. Others assume lack of progeny is by choice, and that that choice is selfish. In the 2008 movie The Women, Sylvie (Annette Bening) says to Mary (Meg Ryan): “Do you know that’s the last impermissible thing you can say at a dinner party? That you don’t want children?”

    The childless feel scolded in a culture that mandates motherhood, says TIME.

    Unintentionally illustrating the point, Fox & Friends host Tucker Carlson responded to TIME with, “But having children means less time for vacations and spin class, where the real meaning in life resides, right? I mean, have you ever seen anything more selfish, decadent and stupid?”

    Problems don’t stop at the church door. Lauren Sandler says that for some, the church community seems so “oppressively family-centric,” they abandon it.

    At church as elsewhere, moms naturally seek out other moms as they look for friends not just for themselves, but for their children. Church groups for couples, singles, and women in their 30s and 40s consist almost entirely of parents who gravitate to each other to chat about potty training, children’s soccer, and teenage angst. The childless feel sidelined.

    Criticisms take a spiritual edge with some arguing that procreation is God’s command, not just his blessing. Too many pronounce infertility a sign of divine disfavor, leaving women reticent to admit their situation. Controversies over the morality of fertility options make discussions seem like minefields. The result: Church feels unsafe.

    But all this can be changed. Here are ways those with children can help those without feel included in the church community instead of isolated, and accepted instead of criticized.

    Create opportunities for diverse friendships.

    Rather than getting together with just moms your age, reach out to the childless woman. Invite her to coffee and share about your lives. Plan get-togethers that women in different life stages can enjoy and that will naturally engender conversations about more than just children: For instance, tea in an antique district gives lots to talk about. Make sure the conversation includes everyone.

    Continue reading “Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)”

More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)

More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll

Hats off to Stephanie Drury who must have a stomach made of iron. I am guessing she visits the Mars Hill (Driscoll’s) blog daily? I don’t have the fortitude to do that.

Anyway, I found this link via Drury’s Facebook group, Stuff Christian Culture Likes (link)

Here is the link to Driscoll’s page, which I will dissect momentarily:
(Link): Two Mistakes Singles Make

Driscoll actually lists, under point 1,
MISTAKE #1: IDOLIZE MARRIAGE

Remember, Driscoll is directing this advice at the UN-married.

And I say: No, no, no (I sound like Amy Winehouse there, sorry).

It’s not singles who idolize marriage, it’s Christian culture, primarily the Christians who are already married, such as Driscoll himself.

Driscoll actually wrote an editorial idolizing parenthood a few weeks ago, called “Who’s Afraid of Pregnant Women.” You can read it here:
(Link): Who’s Afraid of Pregnant Women, by Driscoll.
Driscoll’s editorial was similar to the one I wrote about here, one by Hemingway:
(Link): Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical.

Both pieces, the one by Driscoll, and the one by Hemingway, idolize pro-creation and leave no room for the New Testament’s position that lifelong childless-ness and singlehood are fine with God.

It’s hypocritical for Driscoll to shame Christian singles who either desire marriage and parenting for themselves, or who choose to forgo one or both, when he is in fact upholding marriage and parenting in editorials, blogs, and sermons as being laudable goals all should aspire to, especially women.

Not only do married Christians idealize and idolize marriage and parenting, and hold both up as benchmarks a Christian needs to prove success in life, but if a childless or unmarried Christian actively pursues both or either, they will be guilted and shamed for it by these marriage- and parenting- idolizing married Christians, even as Driscoll did in (Link): his previous posts about singles.

If you, a single, admit to wanting marriage, or ask for prayer from another believer that God send you a spouse, or you admit to using a dating site to try to find a marital partner, these pro-marriage married Christians will accuse you of lacking faith, worshipping marriage, trying to fill Jesus’ place with a spouse ((Link): see Driscoll again), not being content in your singleness, and all manner of other negative accusations.

Marriage does not happen magically, folks.

If you were not fortunate enough to meet your sweetie while in college and find yourself still single at age 30 or older, you have no choice but to actively pursue a mate via bars, night clubs, dating sites, and so forth.

From the time I was a pre-teen up until my mid or late 30s, I sincerely believed the Christian propaganda that if only I prayed for a spouse, stayed sexually pure, put God first in my life, trusted God, etc, that God would send me a spouse.

And yet, I find myself still not-married at age 40+.

Obviously, being passive about getting a husband (ie, using prayer, faith, etc) does not work.

(I am not saying that being active is a guarantee, either: sadly, even though some people chase after a spouse and join many dating sites, they sill remain single.
But in my view, your chances of getting married are bound to increase if you do go out and look, and not simply sit about praying and waiting.)

In his introduction, Driscoll gets it wrong:

    For the first time in American history, the majority of adults are single rather than married. Nine out of ten people eventually marry. The average man is about 30 years old for his first marriage, and the average woman is in her late 20s for her first marriage. This is nearly a decade later than was the case 60 years ago, which has contributed to such things as fornication and cohabitation.

Later age of marriage does not necessarily increase, or contribute to, fornication. I’m in my 40s and still a virgin, hello.

It’s both a Christian and Non Christian myth that no human being can go without sex past one’s early or mid twenties, so to stave off fornication, it is assumed one must marry by age 18 or 21.

By the way: I may be a virgin at age 40+, but I have a normal libido.

It’s another false assumption by married Christians and married Non Christians that a 40 year old virgin must:
1. have a medical problem leading to low libido
2. be fat and ugly (not true, I was engaged and have been “hit on’ by both Christian and Non-Christian men)

One reason of several I am still a virgin in my 40s is due to SELF CONTROL and CHOICE.

God did not magically “gift” me or “call me to” virginity, celibacy, or singleness.

Truths:
1a. People CAN CONTROL THEIR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR.
1b. Just because you get horny does NOT mean you HAVE TO HAVE SEX.

These (points 1a and 1b) are points that continue to sail over the heads of the Mark Driscolls of the world, due in part to secular influences in their thinking and a misunderstanding of the Bible’s teachings on celibacy, singlehood, and sex.

Also, marriage does not preclude or prevent sexual sin:
I have many, many blog posts on my blog here where I have linked to many news stories of MARRIED CHRISTIANS, some of whom are preachers, who have been caught, or arrested for, among other things, rape, pornography, spousal abuse, drug abuse, running prostitution rings, or for raping children.

It is simply naive or false to depict singleness as being a position where in one is more apt to commit sexual sin, when there are so many married couples who are having affairs, using porn, visiting prostitutes, or molesting children.

I could be wrong, but since Driscoll cites the information about age of first marriage being late twenties for most people these days, as opposed to a few decades ago, when many people got married early/ mid 20s, that he seems to be an advocate for “early marriage.” I have links below refuting the “early marriage” view that so many Christians are currently advocating.

Driscoll’s point two is MISTAKE #2: DEMONIZE MARRIAGE, where Driscoll writes,

    Your greatest joy is being alone. You like your freedom and don’t want anyone else to encroach upon your life because you’d be forced to consider them, accommodate them, or serve them.

This view is not biblical, so I have no idea why he’s putting contentment with being alone down, as though it is a negative thing.

The Bible does not command all to marry but rather presents life time singleness as being perfectly acceptable to God.

The Bible does not condemn preferring solitude, introversion, or singleness to being married or wanting companionship.

I’d also have to point out to this guy that as my dream of marriage fades, I’ve had no choice but to learn to accept my singleness. I’ve grown to enjoy my time alone (it also doesn’t hurt that I am naturally an introvert and prefer being alone, yay me).

Would this Driscoll guy rather I cry into my pillow nightly over being single, or just enjoy living my life as-is?

Driscoll just said in his (Link): previous post about single women that single females should not put their lives on hold and mope about over not being married.

Now, however, Driscoll seems to be saying if you have mostly made peace with your alone-ness, that is wrong too.

Well, FFS, which is it?

Does Driscoll want singles mooning, moping away, and pining for marriage, or coming to terms with being mostly okay with singlehood?

That’s one thing I hate about these articles by Christians about singles: they are chock full of double standards and contradictions, and this is but one:
Married Christians want you to be happy being single but not TOO happy.

You, as an adult single, according to married Christians, are supposed to find just the right balance of hankering for marriage, but not be so okay with being single that you’re not spazzing out and worrying over being single.

Married Christians claim they want you to be “content” with your singleness, yet, if you truly are content with it (at least part of the time, or most of the time), they disapprove of your contentment.

It seems to piss off some married Christians that you, the single, feel fine with being single, if not all the time, at least most of the time. Some married Christians want you, the single, to pine and hanker for marriage, at least a little bit, and if you do not, they assume you are selfish or unChristian in some capacity.

Continue reading “More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)”

Asking Too Much of Marriage (Marrieds Just as Lonely as Singles)- Editorial at Christianity Today

Asking Too Much of Marriage (Marrieds Just as Lonely as Singles)- Editorial at Christianity Today

I have not read this whole thing, only a part of it.

It says that surveys show that married people are just as lonely as single people. It says that one should not expect a marital partner to meet all of one’s needs. To that, I say “Yeah, no kidding. Tell me something I don’t already know.”

(Link): Asking Too Much of Marriage from Christianity Today (excerpts below on this blog page)

I was in a long term, serious relationship, so I’m already aware of that a relationship can not bring full happiness and all that.

I could sit in a room with my ex sweetie pie and still feel alone, in part because the idiot was selfish and only cared about himself.

My needs went unmet. I tried meeting his, but he did not even try to meet mine. So yes, one can be in a romantic relationship and still feel all alone, which is, IMO, a worse feeling that being lonely from being alone / unmarried.

One thing I’d like to point out is it that some single adults ARE LONELY. I know that some unmarried people have an extensive network of buddies, pals, and friends, but some of us (like me) do not.

I sometimes see “Myths of singles” lists put together by well-meaning Christians who, while trying to abolish stereotypes about unmarried people never the less create one when they write, “Don’t assume all singles are lonely! Most have lots and lots of buddies.”

There may be some unmarried people who have tons of friends to turn to, but some unmarried adults do not.

I think it would be better worded on such lists to say, to make it clear, that while some singles are NOT lonely due to having a large volume of friends, that some singles are in fact lonely or isolated, or would at least crave more social activity, and so married couples in churches should make it a point to include them at holiday dinners and the like.

Or, at the very least, a church should provide social bonding activities for singles to meet with other adult singles. I wish the people who put together the “misconceptions about singles” lists would stop saying all adult singles have thriving social lives, because some singles do not.

The thing is, this Christianity Today article is a lone voice in the wilderness. Or a rare one, anyhow.

I watch a lot of Christian television programming and have done so for close to ten years now. I’ve also read books and blogs by Christians about dating, gender, marriage, etc.

During all that time, I will occasionally hear a preacher tell the audience that one should not look to a spouse to meet all one’s needs and so forth.

However, quite often, the usual habit is that most Christians -on the blogs, the online professional Christian magazines, sermons, books and radio programs- all imply that the marital state is to be vastly preferred to being unmarried.

They further imply that being married will be great, and of course, there’s the common idiotic refrain from evangelicals and Baptists of, “wait until you get married to have sex, the sex will be regular and mind blowing!” (no, (Link): no it won’t be. (Link): It really won’t.)

Christians often over-sell marriage and romanticize it.

    • (Please understand I am

not

    opposed to any unmarried person wanting to get married. I think wanting to get married and pursuing that as a goal is fine. I’m just talking about keeping marriage in proper perspective, not making it out more than what it is.

Christians generally shame or scold singles who say they want to get married and are looking for a spouse.

Wanting to get married is fine, but making marriage into an idol, not so much.)

That every once in a blue moon a Christian author has to publish an editorial in a Christian magazine or that a preacher has to occasionally to remind people that marriage is not the end-all, be-all solution in life for people and that it does not always bring lasting happiness, is an inadvertent clue that the rest of the time, other Christians are over-hyping marriage precisely as being a solution in life.

Here are excerpts. (Someone needs to share this with “Focus on the Family” and all the other traditional-family-unit worshipping groups and Christian talking heads out there.)

Because this following editorial, and/or some of the pages it links to, sort of scolds singles and feeds them the standard Christian “oh now, don’t be so upset being single, you should be content in your singleness,” chastisement, I have tagged this post with the phrase “making an idol out of marriage and then criticizing Christian singles for trying to obtain it for themselves.”

It drives me batty how Christians hype, hype, hype marriage (or parenting) but then scold singles for wanting marriage or trying to get married, or for scolding infertile people for getting fertility treatments.

(Link): Asking Too Much of Marriage from Christianity Today

    We can’t expect our spouses to solve all our problems.

by Sharon Hodde Miller and Laura Turner

We’re often quick to associate loneliness and unhappiness with singleness, particularly in Christian circles. We expect marriage to overcome those feelings.

We overlook not only the joy in that can be found in singleness, but also the sense of longing that persists in marriage.

Two of our Her.meneutics regulars came together to share stories of their marriages, to underscore the point that no one person, not even our spouse, can meet all our needs and solve all our problems.

Married People Get Lonely, Too
by Sharon Hodde Miller

“I’m sorry I can’t be a group of girls.” With those strange but sympathetic words, my husband tried to comfort me while I sat on the couch and sobbed.

We had moved to the Chicago area less than a year prior, and I missed my friends. Although I had relocated from North Carolina with him by my side—a wonderful partner and my very best friend—my heart ached for female companionship as well. Yes, I had a husband to keep me company. Yes, I was married. And yet my marital status had little to no bearing on my loneliness.

That was a couple years ago, and not much changed in the following years. I continually struggle to find a group of women with whom to share my life, and despite the health of my marriage, that hole in my social life became a deeply rooted ache in my heart.

Ironically, I am not alone in my loneliness. Research shows that loneliness is epidemic in our nation. In (Link): two recent surveys [off site, from Slate], 40 percent of adults reported feeling lonely, two times as many as in the ’80s. Among adults over 45, one in three report feeling chronically lonely.

(Link): Among the elderly [off site, Campaign to end loneliness], half (about 5 million) say the television is their main company.

Finally, loneliness afflicts singles and married alike, some couples reporting feelings of isolation from their very own spouses [off site, FamilyLife.com]

As these statistics show, loneliness takes many different forms and can affect us at any stage of life. For me, it was the absence of intimate, female friends following a family move. For some, it is singleness; for others, the isolation of raising small children or watching grown children grow distant. Still others feel alienated from their very own spouses, and some from their very own families.

I have discovered that marriage provides no sure protection. Many married people struggle with paralyzing loneliness, and not because their marriages are unhealthy or their spouses are absent. Like anyone else who struggles with loneliness, their souls are giving voice to a basic human thirst that marriage cannot always quench: the need for community.

Marriage Doesn’t Change Everything
by Laura Turner

There are enough blog posts about marriage that I’m reticent to write another.

But so much of the discussion around marriage gathers around the extremes: marriage is wonderful, a fairy-tale, the ultimate expression of romance that mirrors Christ and the church, or marriage is difficult, strained, full of conflict and compromise and tiptoeing around the other person.

There is a thread of truth in both camps, but more in what remains unsaid.

Singleness is the same way— there are joys and there are pitfalls, peaks and valleys, desires fulfilled and unmet.

… Ruthie Dean, author of Real Men Don’t Text with her husband Michael, recently wrote about the (Link): feared call of singleness, advising “if you are married, it’s never a good idea to tell someone single that they might never meet someone.”

[By the way, as I, Christian Pundit, have blogged about before, there is no such thing as God calling anyone to marriage, singleness, or celibacy.]

…In the post, Dean likens singleness to cancer and says that telling someone they may never marry is akin to telling an expectant mother her child may die before kindergarten.

While I understand what she is saying about the pain associated with unwanted singleness, I disagree with her premise, which implicitly sees marriage as the fulfillment of hope and a promise of happiness.

So often we forget that Paul had harsh words for those who married and a less-than-wholehearted endorsement (1 Cor. 7:9). Biblically speaking, marriage isn’t anything to strive for—if we take Paul at his word, it is actually something to avoid.

Singleness and marriage, especially in the Christian world, aren’t easy to talk about well. We get tempted to ignore one and concentrate on the other, to extol the virtues of marriage and family while not quite sure what to say about being single. But, they are not so different from one another, being married and being single.

If you were impatient and funny and pale before you got married, you’ll be impatient and funny and pale after you say, “I do.” You’ll just have someone else around most of the time to be the target of your impatience, to laugh at your jokes, to hug you, or hear you complain about the seven hundredth sunburn you’ve gotten. Marriage calls for new habits or routines, but actual inner change has always been work between a person and God.

Please (Link): click here to read the rest of the editorial.
——————————-
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): Dutch Apathetic About Marriage – and what Marriage Obsessed and Marriage Idolizing Americans Can Learn From Them (article)

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

(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

Why Nobody Wants To Go To Church Anymore (book)

Why Nobody Wants To Go To Church Anymore

I have not read this book myself but am interested in reading it.

Of course, one reason of many I do not go anymore is because churches are “family friendly,” meaning, they ignore or mistreat anyone who is NOT married and who does not have children.

One thing making this drop in attendance even worse? The Christian Neo Reformed guys online who treat church membership or attendance as though it is not voluntary: churches have been harassing people who have stopped attending, called up churches in the quitter’s new city to get them in trouble with any new churches in the area, etc.

Another reason: a lot of churches today are very, very greedy and shake members down for money. Churches today are more like corporations, less like what the Bible says the body of Christ is meant to be.

Other reasons: Christians suck ass at showing compassion for people who have mental health problems, they cover up child abuse that happens among their members, and they treat abused wives like trash (they actually counsel abused wives to return to their dirt bag husbands).

Also: the pushing of “biblical manhood and womanhood roles,” also known as “gender complmentarianism.” That keeps me away.

(Link): Why Nobody Wants To Go To Church Anymore

    In an effort to summarize his views, the author attempted to answer this curiosity by providing four potential problems and solutions based on interviews he and his wife, Joani, conducted with Americans across the country:

    1) Schultz argues that people feel judged, so he proposes “radical hospitality,” which essentially means embracing a church paradigm of full acceptance. “We don’t mean endorse, but we mean accept the person,” he said. “We feel that that’s a Christ-like approach to things.”

    2) As for the lack of two-way dialogue, Schultz encourages “fearless conversation” — which means incorporating numerous viewpoints rather than simply lecturing. ”By that title, it’s really emphasizing both of those words,” he told TheBlaze. “People want to be involved in the conversation.” So, he is encouraging people to speak boldly on principle, but to also share ideas.

    3) Schultz said that many believers and non-believers, alike, claim that “Christians are hypocrites” — and that this mindset is increasing. To stem the critique, the author is calling for “genuine humility.” This is the notion that life is a journey that everyone is on together. Being humble and truly addressing issues without giving the appearance of being above it all is essential under this proposed solution.

    4) With so many critics also arguing that God is distant and dead, Schultz believes that Christian churches need to re-tune their messaging and implement “divine anticipation.” “In many churches we have either forgotten to talk about God or the primary and almost only mention of God is from Bible times,” he said. “The Bible is a wonderful tool for us to use … but if we give the impression that God [only] acted thousands of years ago, we’ve given the impression that God only did good things back then — and that he either died or went away.”

    Schultz told TheBlaze that there’s clearly a problem in the church that many believers simply aren’t recognizing. While some argue that church attendance is cyclical, he says there’s no indication that an upswing is on the horizon — unless something changes profoundly within Christian circles.

    Without a doubt, the proportion of people going to church has decreased, though modestly, over the past few decades. While it may not be shocking or stark on the surface, an overall decline is causing people like Schultz to pause and critically examine what’s truly going on.

    The Pew Research Center recently noted that the proportion of Americans who “seldom” or “never” attend church has risen modestly over the past 10 years. In 2003, 25 percent Americans fell into this category, but in 2013, that proportion has increased to 29 percent. On the flip side, 37 percent say that they attend at least weekly; this has decreased only two percentage points when compared to 2003 data.

    Continue reading “Why Nobody Wants To Go To Church Anymore (book)”

Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical

A Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical

Ms. Hemingway must be out to lunch.

Other than the secular, hyper-militant Child Free persons (and yes, they do exist, I’ve encountered them on forums or blogs for Child Free, and they are usually self professing pagans or atheists, and they are almost always very liberal and hostile towards Christians, pro lifers, and Republicans), I don’t know of many people who are pushing for, or embracing, “low fertility rates.”

Nor do I know many people among the childless or CF (childfree) who are “afraid” or pregnant women or children.

Here is a link (well, it’s a tiny bit farther below) to the editorial by the woman, Hemingway, who has a misunderstanding about the childless and childfree. Not all childless or childfree are alike in personality, political or religious views, or in their reasons as to why they remain without children.

I’ll only be writing from my particular vantage as a childless woman, I will not be attempting to defend or explain the differing views of or for every single childless or childfree person.

I have additional commentary below these excerpts; there are points where I agree with this author, and points where I do not:

(Link): Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women, By Mollie Hemingway

The author, Hemingway, begins by quoting an article by a sportswriter about a football player who is about to have child number seven, and she seems to feel that the author is implying that it is “weird” for the footballer to have so many children.

Here is the section Hemingway quoted:

    And he’s [the football player] also about to have his seventh kid. There are going to be eight people with Rivers DNA running around this world.

If you visit the page in question, however, (Link): the page in question, you can see that the page’s writer is primarily riffing on this point:

    This is the only GIF necessary from this game [showing the footballer’s odd habit of making weird facial distortions and pumping his fists in the air on the sidelines during a game].

    Nick Novak hit a 50-yard field goal just inside the two-minute warning to give the Chargers a two-possession lead. This was Philip Rivers’s reaction. He’s like a sad movie character who pumps himself up in front of a mirror.

The primary point of the page is not fertility at all, but rather, the player’s strange body language and facial expressions he makes during games.

The part about him having six or seven kids is a minor thought that appears at the bottom of that page. It is not the focal point.

Hemingway then goes on to criticize several papers for not criticizing the choices of other football players who asked their girlfriends to get abortions.

Note that Hemingway quotes this by Philips, when asked how he handles being father to six children:

    It’s a two-year rotation: Once the diapers come off of one, we usually have a newborn. And we have another one on the way, due in October. I help when I can, but my wife, Tiffany, is the key.

This is actually one of several reasons I am somewhat opposed to the acceptance of, or pushing of, hyper fertility – the burden is always put primarily on the woman to look after the rug rats, while hubby gets the easier task of shuffling off to the 9 to 5 job daily.

Mom never gets a break; she stays with the children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

But women like Hemingway think this lop-sided and unfair burden of child care foisted on the woman only is a good thing, I would suppose.

Read about Andrea Yates and how she murdered several of her children after being expected to be a full time mommy with little to no help from anyone, not even her spouse ((Link): Yates information).

Hemingway responds to the perfectly natural, “how the hey do you manage with six children?!” question by asking incredulously,

    — but what kind of question is that? Seriously. Who asks a question like that?

Why, it’s the kind of perfectly normal, natural reaction of someone, of any sane, rational, and logical person, who thinks having more than two or three children is strange, expensive, and very time consuming – that is the sort of person who.

Even people who are currently parents to two or three children might wonder in awe at, or in bewilderment at, why anyone would want to have more than three children, or how they handle more than three, without going broke or being physically exhausted all the time.

It is not only the liberals, childless, or childfree who get puzzled by this sort of thing.

Hemingway writes,

    It may be impolitic to suggest that men and women are in any way different, science be damned, but many women have a particular specialty in cultivating relationships and family. To denigrate women who acknowledge and accept this as a good thing rather than fight against it is not exactly life-affirming.

Christian gender egalitarians note that there are some differences between men and women ((Link): visit CBE – Christians for Biblical Equality), but it does not follow that while women may be better at relationship, or more drawn to building them, that they therefore should all have at least one child, or up to ten of them.

Women can just as easily use their interest in, and talent at, relationships for volunteering to help lonely seniors at senior citizen retirement homes, or volunteering to feed homeless people at soup kitchens, or, helping take care of homeless puppies and cats at the ASPCA.

Hemingway’s argument shortly before that, which gets into how we are all interdependent, actually shoots down her other points which argue in favor of each person having ten children: you can go through life childless but depend on brothers, sisters, uncles, neighbors, friends, and if you are a church goer, fellow church members.

One does not have to have children in order to have someone to depend on, or to be “interdependent.”

Just because a larger percentage of people in contemporary society are choosing not to have children (and remember, some who want to are unable to – from lack of partner to infertility), does not mean all people will make this same choice.

As a matter of fact, the number of babies among unmarried women have been skyrocketing, which is angering, or worrying, a lot of Christians:

Nor does a decrease in people interested in pro-creating necessarily mean all of society will grind to a halt. There will always be someone, somewhere, who will keep getting pregnant and giving birth. (It’s just not going to be me specifically. And that is okay.)

Then there’s this information, which would appear to refute some of Ms. Hemingway’s views:

What Jesus Christ and Paul Taught About Family/ Having Children / Being Married

As a matter of fact, that is the pattern that Jesus Christ sought to establish, that people be freed from the ancient over-dependence on family, because Jesus recognized that such a society ignored those without one, such as orphans, spinsters, and widows:

    While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.

    Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
    [source: Matthew 12]

And further, from Matthew 10, Jesus speaking:

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    For I have come to turn
    “‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

No where in the Bible does Jesus teach that one must have children in order to have someone to “depend upon.”

Having children, in the New Testament, is not listed as a rule or commandment.

Your spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ (that is, other Christians) are to be your primary family; you are not to seek family out in husband, children, mother, or brother.

The Bible does not condemn marriage or having children, but it remains that singlehood, as stated by Paul the Apostle under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is stated as being preferable for believers – not marriage and procreating.

Quoting Paul:

    Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. [source]

Paul again,

    25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

    26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.
    27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.

    28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.

    But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

    32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.

    33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.

    An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

    35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
    [source: 1 Corinthians 7]

Culture Still Puts Pressure on Women to Have Children, Contrary to What Hemingway Says

Hemingway states,

    And keeping the womb empty at all costs during all, or nearly all, of one’s fertile years is the sine qua non of modern American womanhood. Woe to the woman who “chooses” otherwise.

I am a right winger, I am a social conservative, and yes, I realize that a lot of the media -which is tilted left- rabidly supports abortion.

I do not support abortion myself.

I am not opposed to women having babies, if that is their informed choice.

However. It remains a fact in American society that outside of left wing media, there is still a tremendous pressure, and expectation, placed upon people, especially women, to crank out babies.

The cultural landscape is the direct opposite of what Hemingway states in her editorial.

Outside of fringe, far left, kook, militant Child Free type groups or individuals, or rabidly militant, secular feminists, there is still a huge expectation from larger culture that women should have babies, and if they do not have children, for whatever reason, they are hounded for it, put down, and insulted, or scolded, or treated as though they are freaks.

Women are attacked for remaining childless not only by commentators such as Hemingway in newspapers and blogs, but also by their baby-obsessed mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, and female co-workers.

It is a very real perception and stereotype by the child-loving population, which is in the majority, that you are thought weird, baby-hating, evil, incredibly selfish, etc, if you cannot have children, or, if you deliberately choose not to have children.

I have never liked children myself, so I never cared if I had a baby or not.

But please note: I do not “hate” children, I do not fear them, I do not condone child abuse or abortion. I am simply not comfortable around babies and children: they are typically loud, messy, distracting. I prefer not being around them.

At one point in her editorial, Hemingway talks about walking around a city, an area very liberal in flavor. She mentions seeing signs hanging up around that part of town reading, “Thank you for not breeding.”

I suggest to her, I posit, that conservative and Christian culture does the same exact thing as that liberal section of the city she visited, only they are mirror opposites: rather than hanging up signs that say “thank you for not breeding!,” conservatives and Christians hang up signs screaming at women TO marry and TO “breed.”

Continue reading “Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical”

Why Churches Don’t Have Singles Ministries (article)

Why Churches Don’t Have Singles Ministries (article)

I see a lot of arguing about this online, mostly by the unmarried.

Some adult singles want singles ministries/classes, some do not.

I think it depends on how the church in question runs the ministry.

Unfortunately, too many churches spend no money on the adult singles class; they treat the singles ministry (SM) like a “ghetto.” They drop you off there then forget about you and get back to the business of catering to the marrieds.

I have a hunch if more churches actually integrated the SMs into the rest of the church, you would not see adult singles saying, “Oh no, I’d rather NOT have a SM and just attend classes with the married people.”

Excerpts from first part of the page (please click link to read rest):

(Link): Why My Church Doesn’t Have a Singles Ministry

    BY KRIS SWIATOCHOIN
    [Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries.]
    LEADERSHIP · MARRIAGE & FAMILY
    31 JUL, 2012

    I have been single my entire adult life. Because I am single, I have had a front row experience of how churches are reaching and growing singles adults.

    As a result, I have found that most churches simply did not know much about us nor how to reach us. After several years of serving on various single’s ministry leadership teams as well as starting my own, God called me to help others do the same.

    Specifically to help reach the church, the pastors and staff; to educate and provide resources so that ALL churches would know how to reach singles.

    While there are several large churches that have a singles pastor or director and are doing a great job in reaching and growing single adults, most churches do not. Most churches give various excuses such as:

    [Church Excuse 1] We don’t have any single adults.
    Well this is because you either are not defining singles correctly or simply have not looked at your membership demographics (or the demographics of your area).

    In most large cities in the US, single adults are out numbering the married’s. I know this might be a shock to you considering the churches numbers do not reflect this. This is because we are not doing what is needed to reach them.

    Single adults range from the 18 year old that still lives at home to the 29 year old single parent who has never been married to the divorced dad with grown kids to the 58 never married now taking care of their mom to the 68 widower who lives alone.

    It’s not that you don’t have single adults in your church or community; it’s how to reach them.

    So where do you start? How do you find them? 1) Look at your existing membership/attendance rolls and see who is not married. Categorize by age, past marital status, if they have kids that live at home or grown, etc. 2) Contact your town/city and find out the demographics of those living within a 5 mile radius. Once you find out this information, it will help you in the direction of how to reach them.

    You may find out you have a lot of single mom’s or widows. Depending on what you have the most of could determine whom you try and reach and how to minister to them.

    Please know I believe singles ministry is simply one way to bring singles into your church. The goal with all ministry is reach people for Christ, help grow them so they will in turn reach and grow others (single or married).

    [Church Excuse 2] If we start one, I hear it will end up being a meat market.
    I love to always answer this question and say, “Yes, it sure will, they can meet Jesus.” Churches have a huge fear that their singles ministry will end up being focused only on finding a mate.

    My first thought is… “and where would you like us to find a mate… in a bar?”

    My second thought is… “who is leading your singles ministry?”

    Church as a whole can easily be a place to only be fed and healed from a physical standpoint. But didn’t Jesus use these ways to minister so he could get to the person’s heart? He would feed and heal the body so that he could later feed and heal the soul?

    So if your singles ministry is thriving and growing and people come to meet the opposite sex, then who cares? It’s up to you as a church, as a pastor to get them connected to the whole body of Christ.

    Continue reading “Why Churches Don’t Have Singles Ministries (article)”

Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage / and Re Girl Talk Blog

Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage

Remember my post of a few days ago, this one:
(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

This post is the of the same sort, only you can substitute “singles who desire marriage” for the “infertile people who desire to have children” angle.

Most of conservative Christianity declares that a woman’s only or greatest calling in life is to be a wife and mother.

Many women naturally want to get married even without that propaganda.

So, what do Christians do when a Christian women has arrived at age 35 or 40 or older and still has no ring on her left finger?

Well, by golly, recite a few Bible verses about jealousy at her and tell her to stop “envying” women who do have marriage and children.

Because, you know, if you want marriage badly, they are saying, you are supposedly “making an idol” out of it.

These hypocritical messages from Christians who strongly push traditional marriage to begin with are so deceitful: they hammer Christian adults to desire, want, and strive for marriage, but if marriage does not happen, they then condescendingly lecture them to “stop envying those women who do have spouses.”

How cruel. Does Satan himself write their blog posts for them?

Does the church make marriage into an idol? Yep, it sure does. That does not mean it is idolatry for an unmarried person to still desire to get married herself, however.

Singles who desire marriage should not be guilted or shamed for wanting marriage, or be told they “want it too much” or are “making it into an idol.”

Here is the stupid post that got me riled up:
(Link): When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010 – on Crosswalk

The same post is also located here, on a different site:
(Link): (Part 1) When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

(Part 2) Battle Plan for Fighting Envy by Carolyn Mahaney, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

Mahaney, by the way, is a member of, or contributor to, the dreadful CBMW (gender complementarian group) and is apparently married to C J Mahaney, who stands accused by many families of his church system who say he knew of child sexual abuse committed by various church staff for years and did nothing to stop it. There are many articles online about that; just google the guy’s name if you want to read about the abuse cases and lawsuit.

Anyway. Here are excerpts from this crap-tastic editorial, shaming single Christian women for wanting to be married (a goal in life these same idiots say women should have to start with) – and there are more observations by me below these long excerpts:

“When Someone Else Gets What We Want” by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010

    Nicole: What do we do with a good, yet unfulfilled longing that won’t go away? First, we thank God that by His mercy we desire one of His good gifts.

    However, we must also regulate our desires. We must not love or long for one of God’s good gifts more than we love or long for God Himself. If we do, then we have essentially made an idol out of this good desire and we are worshipping it instead of God.

    As teacher David Powlison paraphrases the eminent John Calvin: “The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want but that we want it too much.”

    One sure indicator as to whether or not a good desire has morphed into an idol is how we respond when someone else gets the very thing that we want but don’t have. When a close friend—who was perfectly happy to be single—up and gets married, and we are, literally, left behind. Or when, as is the case for a friend of mine, we know five other girls who are pregnant and we are not.

    And what about the woman who gets married younger than us, whose job is more glamorous than ours, whose house is bigger than ours, whose marriage is better than ours, whose life is easier than ours, whose children are more well-behaved than ours, whose popularity is brighter than ours, whose intelligence is greater than ours? Need I go on?

    Envy is a sin common to women. But do we always see it for the rancid evil that it is? Several months ago, I found myself envying another woman’s happiness. My husband encouraged me to study the topic of envy, and gave me some material to read. In the course of my study, the following string of thoughts by Cornelius Plantinga hit me straight between the eyes. Buckle your seat belt, for these are hard, yet necessary words.

    …. How do we get there? Mom will share a biblical strategy for overcoming envy.

    A Battle Plan for Fighting Envy

    Carolyn: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good….Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul (1 Peter 2:1-3, 11; emphasis mine).

    …Here is a simple (not easy mind you) yet effective strategy for going on the offensive against envy:

    1. Pray daily for the person we are tempted to envy. Persistent envy can be overcome with persistent prayer. We will find it is very difficult to go on envying someone for whom we are regularly asking God to bless and prosper.

    [remove remainder of suggestions; you can click the link above if you wish to read the rest of the list]

    Originally posted May 15, 2007

    This article was adapted from “Girl Talk” – a blog kept by Carolyn and her three daughters for women in all seasons of life.
    Carolyn Mahaney is a wife, mother, homemaker, and the author of Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood and Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed (written with her daughters). During her more than 30 years as a pastor’s wife, Carolyn has spoken to women in many churches and conferences, including those of Sovereign Grace Ministries, which her husband, C.J., leads. C.J. and Carolyn have three married daughters and one sixteen-year-old son, Chad.

Er, no. You can’t create this intense longing for marriage among young Christian women, pressure them to think marriage is the only acceptable route for them and God’s only design for them, as these ‘gender complementarian’ women and other Christians do, but then give these condescending, simplistic little lectures peppered with little Bible verses in an editorial, telling them they are idolizing marriage: you guys are responsible in large measure for making marriage an idol to start with.

You can take your condescending, insensitive- to- single adults, polly-anna, cloying editorial and cram it where the sun don’t shine.

I love it. You have all these lonely, disappointed wounded Christian single women who had so hoped to marry out there, and rather than cheer them up, you scold them by assuming they are guilty of “envy” and of “idolizing marriage” and are now shaming them and scolding them.

Un. Freaking. Believe. Able.

Also, after having skimmed over several of their other blogs posts at the “Girl Talk” blog under the “singles” category, a lot of those other blog posts also made me want to vomit with their polly-anna, simplistic advice, and other reasons (which I shall not go into here and now).

You’ll notice too, that only in the realms of marriage and perhaps child bearing, do Christians trot out the “you want it too much” line.

I have never seen a Christian use this rhetoric to shame another Christian who wants a new job, new college degree, new car, new hair cut, new shirt… it’s often applied only to marriage and having a kid. If you say you want a husband, they will say, “You want a husband too much!”

If, however, I say, “I sure wish God would heal me of my allergies,” you will get an “Amen, I hope so too, let me pray for your healing!,” rather than an, “Oh gosh, you are wanting a healing too much. Stop making an idol out of sickness and healing!”

Christians do remain in a state of cognitive discord on marriage, and they keep maintaining a nice set of double standards or hypocritical ones about it.

These married Christians (and some the annoying super spiritual Christian singles, see (Link): this link) cannot make up their frigging minds:

    #1. Either marriage is great and all of us should aspire to it,

    ~ OR ~

    #2. We should all seek to stay single because wanting marriage is idolatry and means we are guilty of envy.

Make up your damn minds about this already, Christian community! Stop expecting Christian singles to adhere to both points #1 and #2.
———————————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

Christians are certainly masters at hypocrisy and punishing people for seeking what Christians deem important in the first place.

In many posts on this blog, for example, I have pointed out how the Christian culture makes much of marriage.

Married Christians are of the habit of going on and on about how great marriage is, but pity the poor single who

1. admits to wanting marriage or

2. is actively seeking it out, because the same married idiots (and occasionally (Link): annoying pious Christian singles) who extol the godliness and wonder of marriage will tell that single,

    “You are making an idol of marriage. Stop using dating sites this instant, you should be using all your free time to “serve the Lord”! You should be content in your singleness, and if God has a spouse for you, he will send the man to you.”

So, your average conservative Christian will tell you, who are single, that you should want to get married, and when you agree with them on that, they then scold you, saying you are idolizing marriage and you should only be busy “serving the Lord” and not seeking after a spouse.

We see a similar example at work with parenting / having children issue.

Conservative Christians lament that the birth rate is going down, according to some sources (others say it’s making a come back), so Christians write myriad editorials on Christian news sites saying they hope young people have babies. They are really pressuring people to marry and squirt out rug rats.

Well, if you are a married lady who cannot conceive, and you admit to wanting a kid, some of these same Christians will tell you that you are idolizing parenting (or babies), and if you mention you are using IVF, some of them are going into attack mode, as in this following editorial – the author of this editorial is apparently against Christians using IVF or surrogate mothers:

(Link): The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction, Christianity Today:

      Why don’t Christians see IVF and surrogacy as moral issues?
    by Jennifer Lahl, guest writer

Christians treat singles and childless people like second class citizens but are constantly building up marriage and parenting at the same time.

There is a mixed message at work here.

You cannot in all fairness go on about how great marriage and having babies are, but then get pissed off at Christians who try hard to get married, or who try to crank out a baby, even if it means using a surrogate mother or IVF.

It is very, very f-cking cruel and and incredibly hypocritical for Christians to give the message to adult Christians, (and they do indeed do this and they do it often and quite forcefully), that adults only have worth if they are married with a kid, but then criticize those adults for wanting marriage and a kid, and for seeking a way to get married and have a kid (by dating, using dating sites, using IVF, whatever).

Here are excerpts from the Christianity Today page, The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction:

    by Jennifer Lahl

  • … Since the time of the Old Testament, infertility has been part of the human experience. Many of us know someone who has struggled desperately to have a child or have experienced that difficulty ourselves.
  • In the 21st century, though, infertility is met with “options,” “solutions,” and countless technologies offering hope to those in our midst struggling with fertility issues. Rather than rushing to embrace any procedure that might bring us a child—IVF, sperm or egg donors, surrogacy—we should consider the appropriate use and limits of technology.
  • The fact that so many people fail to consider the moral implications of IVF suggests that in the age of fertility treatments, surrogates, and modern family-building via parenting partnerships, a woman’s womb has come to be seen as a somewhat arbitrary location. NBC’s The New Normal quips that women are “Easy-Bake Ovens” and children are “cupcakes.”
  • … In Scripture, God affirms that what happens in utero matters and cannot be casually or disrespectfully dismissed. The womb, where God first knits us together (Ps. 139:13-14), is not an arbitrary place for a child to grow and develop.
  • In fact, modern science has proven just how important those 9 months are—for both mother and child.
  • Renowned marriage and family therapist Nancy Verrier, in her book The Primal Wound, writes about how mothers are biologically, hormonally, and emotionally programmed to bond with their babies in utero as well as at birth.

Yes, dangle having a baby up as a woman’s only reason to live life or have value to husband, church, and God, but then fault her if she is infertile and undergoes IVF to get pregnant. Christians can be such insensitive assholes at times.

The mind boggles. Stop holding mother hood up as a woman’s primary goal in life, Christians, and maybe these women would feel a bit better about not being able to have a kid. Lay off the Mother’s Day oriented church services. Preachers should stop going on and on from the pulpit about how God’s greatest calling in life for any woman is to be a mommy.

I swear to goodness, Christians are so idiotic on some topics. They create many of the very problems in people that they are complaining about.

I also do not see the author’s anti- IVF point. She seems to say that because infertility goes back to Old Testament times and because it occurs naturally, that people should not avail themselves of modern medicine which can now get around this situation.

No way, lady.

If my head hurts, I will be taking an ibuprofen. If my tummy hurts, you damn skippy I will take Pepto Bismol or use a heating pad.

Back when I was near-sighted, I sure as Hell did wear glasses, then later went all LASIK. I was not going to fumble around in near sighted land to stay true to some kind of weirdo religious idea that it’s more noble or godly to suffer than it is to use modern science and medical assistance to get relief.

If you think I am for-going pain relief, or perfect eye sight, because they didn’t have L.A.S.I.K., Tylenol, or Icy Hot back when Jesus Christ was in Israel, you can bite me.

It’s stunning to me that the very people who set marriage and having kids up as IDOLS to be WORSHIPPED then turn around and fault and scold singles for… drum roll, please… seeking after marriage and parenting.

They tell us we should want to marry and crank out a kid, so if we actually try, if we join dating sites, try IVF, we get scolded for it and told we are being selfish, ungodly, unbiblical, or something.

It is amazing to me how some Christians can speak out of both sides of their mouth on the marriage and parenting subjects. The double standards and hypocrisy is truly something to behold.

Also, they can cram it. I will live my life any way I please.

==========================================
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Praying for a Child – The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women.

(Link): With Menopause Reversal, Women Could Be Forever Fertile

(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs

(Link): Hypocrisy: Conservative Christians / Catholics Pressure Women To Feel Their Only Worth is in Becoming Mothers, But If Women Try to Use Medical Technology to Get Pregnant, the Women Are Condemned by The Same Groups

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders says Professor (editorial from CP – more Hypocrisy from Christians)

(Link):  Pro-Life Groups Pit Abortion Against Animal Cruelty – How Much People Care Outrage

(Link): Conservatives and Christians Fretting About U.S. Population Decline – We Must “Out-breed” Opponents Christian Host Says

(Link): Misapplication of Biblical Verses About Fertility (also mentions early marriage) – a paper by J. McKeown

(Link): Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles? (editorial)

(Link): Fertility crisis myth? Rates unchanged, even though more waiting to have kids (articles)

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): The Decline in Male Fertility (article)

(Link): Infertility/ Kids/ The Male Biological Clock

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link): Are Fundamentalists Aiming to Out-Breed Secular America?

(Link): Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

(Link): Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

(Link): Un-Happy Father’s Day!

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage (and “family”) by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

(Link): Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols

(Link) Have we made an idol of families? by A. Stirrup (copy)

(Link): Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be

(Link): Get Married This Year! and other lies (from L. Turner’s blog)

(Link): Article: Smart Women Are Stupid for Choosing Not To Have Children

(Link): The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

(Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

(Link): Jesus’ Family Values by Deirdre Good challenges conservative Christan emphasis on “family” (copy)

(Link): Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

(Link): Childfree Christians / Childfree childless

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)