The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

Excerpts:

…Note the double-edged sword of motherhood here. Attracting the praise of being a “good mother” was always accompanied by the threat that you might fall from the perch at any moment and cause devastating harm to your child.

Hence the amplification of mechanisms of control, censure, and punishment that go hand in hand with the valorization and surveillance of parenting. Deep within the medical and psychological frameworks promoting motherhood in this period, there lurks male anxiety over female power and influence.

Continue reading “The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard”

No, Focus On the Family, I Do Not Want to Civilize a Barbarian – via Biblical Personhood Blog

No, Focus On the Family, I Do Not Want to Civilize a Barbarian – via Biblical Personhood Blog

There is certainly nothing wrong with marriage or the nuclear family, but often times, in attempting to defend the nuclear family or the institution of marriage, a lot of Christians and conservative groups (such as Focus On The Family) err too far in making an idol out of both and denigrating singleness (or childlessness) in the process.

I have taken Focus on the Family to task before on that issue and one or two others.

Another blogger, Biblical Personhood, caught wind of a Focus on the Family blog post by  Glenn T. Stanton – well, it’s on a blog called “First Things,” which the lady blogger of Biblical Personhood says is an off-shoot of Focus on The Family.

I have discussed Stanton on my blog before, such as in these posts:

(Link): Focus on Family spokesperson, Stanton, actually says reason people should marry is for ‘church growth’

(Link):  Mefferd Guest Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early

Based on what I remember about Stanton, he can veer a little bit too much into idolizing marriage.

At any rate, here is the link to the blog post by Biblical Personhood, with some additional comments by me below this excerpt:

(Link): No, Focus on the Family, I do not want to civilize a barbarian via Biblical Personhood blog

Here is an excerpt from the opening (please click the link above to visit the other blog if you’d like to read the entire page):

From Biblical Personhood Blog:

(Link): Focus on the Family recently suggested something that seems, at first glance, to flatter women. I did not feel flattered at all. They suggested women are the number one way to change men for the better:

/// start quote

… the most fundamental social problem every community must solve is the unattached male. If his sexual, physical, and emotional energies are not governed and directed in a pro-social, domesticated manner, he will become the village’s most malignant cancer. Wives and children, in that order, are the only successful remedy ever found. – Glenn T. Stanton

/// end quote

This is highly problematic, to say the least.

From the theological perspective :

Have Focus On The Family never heard of Jesus and being born again? Surely Jesus is better at changing humans – even the alleged “malignant cancer” called unattached males – from the inside than any woman is? How could a Christian™ organization say that women, not Jesus, is the only remedy for men’s bad tendencies?

(( read the rest here ))

If you are an unmarried man (and you either want to stay single for the remainder of your life, or are aware you may never marry, even though you may want a wife), I’m sure you must really appreciate guys like Stanton saying you are basically a raging animal, or an immature man-baby, unless you are married to a woman.

You, if you are a single (unmarried) man, are a nothing, an incompetent, immoral loser unless you have a wife, is how Stanton’s reasoning comes across. You must have a wife and possibly father a child by said wife to count or to be a “real man.” This is pretty insulting stuff, especially bearing in mind that the Bible that Stanton likely would say he reads and agrees with, says nothing of the sort.

I did read over the Biblical Personhood blog post a day or two ago, but I don’t remember exactly everything that blog author wrote.

I will here add my own thoughts about the Stanton penned blog post. Some of my observations may be similar to those by the Biblical Personhood blogger.

Stanton writes:

 Women create, shape, and maintain human culture. Manners exist because women exist. Worthy men adjust their behavior when a woman enters the room. They become better creatures. Civilization arises and endures because women have expectations of themselves and of those around them.

I disagree with just about everything he said there, on different levels, and for different reasons.

Most cultures are patriarchal, and this has been the way the world has been for thousands of years.

Women are not allowed to shape or maintain politics, marriage, or church – let alone culture, because men hold all the power. Women are taught by parents and culture from girlhood that this is normal, that men should be in charge, and females are conditioned from childhood to accept this and go along with it, especially Christian girls.

As much as I dislike blatant sexism, where men sound like cave-men and make loud, rude, condescending claims, such as women are not as logical or intelligent as men (this is used to justify limiting women in the workplace and so on)-
I also do not appreciate this (Link): benevolent sexist, noble-sounding, sappy and fouffy writing that tries to convince women that being subservient to men, allowing men to lead and protect them, and thus they can and should give up self-determination and their agency, is in their best interest, because dang it, women are so much more morally superior creatures to men.

This sort of writing is sugar-coated sexism. It’s asking women to give up their personhood,  identity, or their independence, in exchange for something else (in this case, the betterment of men or culture).

I’m really tired of how sexists keep demanding things of women, and nothing of men, of expecting women to fix men, or to fix society.

Continue reading “No, Focus On the Family, I Do Not Want to Civilize a Barbarian – via Biblical Personhood Blog”

Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids

Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids

Several Christian blogs have been covering this story lately.

A married Christian father named Peter Newman is reported to have sexually assaulted under-aged boys that he met at a Christian camp called Kamp Kanakuk in Missouri.

A guy named Joe White is the CEO of Kanakuk Ministries, which includes Kamp Kanakuk.

Newman, the reports say, invited some of these boys over to camp property in off-season, after hours, or to his home – sometimes under the pretense of having them over for Bible study.

According to online news, Newman told some of the boys if they allowed him to masturbate them (or vice versa), it would eliminate sexual temptation for them. These reports say Newman also went on to sodomize these boys or perform oral sex on them (or them on him).

If I am understanding the blog coverage and secular news reports correctly, even though the Christians who ran the camp knew (yes, they knew) that this Newman guy was allegedly fondling children, they did nothing about it.

Further (again, if I am understanding the coverage correctly) Newman was later hired to work at Fellowship Memphis Church, a church which (Link): also protected another known sexual deviant who preyed on girls and women within their church during church hours, despite the fact the folks there were aware of his deviant history.

Of course I find child sexual abuse to be horrible, evil, and deviant.

However, the focus of my blog is not child abuse per se.

I tend to focus on the topic of adult singleness and issues that may be of interest to singles – such as how Christians love to discriminate against, or otherwise ignore, singles, and how they promote this bogus notion that married parents are morally superior to single, childless adults. So, when I link to stories about child abuse, it tends to be in a way that relates to singleness.

When I was reading up on this story – mostly skimming articles, I’ve been a little busy lately to devote much time to writing posts for this blog – I noted how some of the promotional work for this Newman guy by Christians at the camp kept emphasizing what  a godly, stand-up guy he supposedly is.

These Christian groups were saying he’s a real great example of “Family Values.”

At one point, the Christians (either the Christian camp or the church, I don’t recall which) had Newman work as a (get this!) speaker about sexual purity for teens at some Christian conference.

Continue reading “Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids”

Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family by E. Hines

Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family

(Link): Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family by E. Hines

Excerpts

  • ….But today, most families hardly fit that [nuclear family] mold. Fifty percent of American adults are unmarried and 41 percent of children in America are born to unmarried parents.
  • That is an indication that the very concept of family is evolving, as more and more people realize that there are any number of ways to build good and functioning familial units.

Continue reading “Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family by E. Hines”

The Case Against ‘Saving’ Marriage – Married Nuclear Families Are the Gold Standard Against Which We Are All Judged. by N. Rodgers

The Case Against ‘Saving’ Marriage – Married Nuclear Families Are the Gold Standard Against Which We Are All Judged. by N. Rodgers

  • Disclaimer:
    I am not always in complete agreement with every last view in every editorial or article I link to.
  • I am right wing with traditional values but agree with liberals that right wingers, Republicans, and Christians need to stop idealizing the Nuclear Family, in so far as it marginalizes, punishes, or discriminates against those who do not fit that demographic or lifestyke.

The following editorial is from a progressive (left wing) site. I agree with much of what this editorial says, though not all of it.

(Link): The Case Against ‘Saving’ Marriage by N. Rodgers

  • Married Nuclear Families Are the Gold Standard Against Which We Are All Judged.
  • Marriage rates have been declining for more than half a century and single women now outnumber married ones. There are few guides better at navigating this new landscape than Rebecca Traister.
  • In a recent New York Magazine (Link): article, adapted from her soon-to-be-released book All the Single Ladies, she offers an insightful, nuanced analysis of the plight and power of unmarried women “taking up space in a world that was not designed for them.”
  • Traister argues that the current democratic policy platform may be more liberal than it has been in a generation in response to the growth of unmarried women. It’s about time. Public policy has lagged almost criminally behind in meeting the needs of single women, and especially single mothers, for decades.
  • But while a policy platform that stands to benefit unmarried women and mothers is necessary, it is not sufficient. There is no substitute for identity politics. Part of why the U.S. still has such inadequate public policies is the fear of publicly supporting families that conservatives have already convinced us are unequivocally bad, subpar alternatives to the married nuclear variety, especially “single mother” homes.

Continue reading “The Case Against ‘Saving’ Marriage – Married Nuclear Families Are the Gold Standard Against Which We Are All Judged. by N. Rodgers”

New Study (2014) Says Women More Stressed By Home Than Work

New Study (2014) Says Women More Stressed By Home Than Work

But so many Christians portray stay at home wife and motherhood as being bliss for women. Come to find out, women don’t always enjoy being SAHMs.

(Link): Why You’re More Stressed by Home Than Work

Excerpt:

    by Belinda Luscombe
    May 22, 2014

    A new study out from the Council on Contemporary Families suggests that contrary to most surveys, people are actually more stressed at home than at work.

    Three Penn State researchers measured people’s cortisol, which is a stress marker, while they were at work and while they were at home and found it higher at what is supposed to be a place of refuge.

    “Further contradicting conventional wisdom, we found that women as well as men have lower levels of stress at work than at home” writes one of the authors, Sarah Damaske, assistant professor of labor and employment relations, sociology and women’s studies at Penn State (the italics are hers).

    In fact women even say they feel better at work, she notes. “It is men, not women, who report being happier at home than at work.”

    Another surprise is that the findings hold true, says Damaske, for both those with children and without, but more so for nonparents. This is why, the authors conclude, people who work outside the home have better health.

    What the study doesn’t measure is whether people are still doing work when they’re at home, whether it’s household work or work brought home from the office. For many men, the end of the workday is a time to kick back. For women who stay home, they never get to leave the office.

    And for women who work outside the home, they often are playing catch up with household tasks.

    With the blurring of roles, and the fact that the home front lags well behind the workplace in making adjustments for working women, it’s not surprising that women are more stressed at home.

    But it’s not just a gender thing. At work, people pretty much know what they’re supposed to be doing: working, earning money, doing the tasks they have to do in order to draw an income.

    The bargain is very pure: employee puts in hours of physical or mental labor and employee draws out life-sustaining moola.

———————–
Related posts:

(Link): The Changing American Family (article)

(Link): The Jetson Fallacy – Much longer lifespans could explode the nuclear family (article)

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

(Link): 5 Scientifically Proven Reasons It’s Better To Be Single

(Link): More single dads than ever head US households

(Link): Remarriage rates plunge as divorced Americans have doubts – and about Christian culture and divorce and remarriage vs singleness

(Link): (Articles) Marriage Rate At All Time Low

(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) Family Is Not a Norman Rockwell Painting, Christians: Man kept dead mom in freezer for 3 years, cashed her Social Security checks: cops

Guest on Christian Radio Show, Focus on the Family’s Mr. Daly, Claims Churches and Culture Don’t Spend Enough Money and Attention on Marriage and Family – Should I Laugh or Cry?

Guest on Christian Radio Show, Focus on the Family’s. Mr. Daly, Claims Churches and Culture Don’t Spend Enough Money and Attention on Marriage and Family – Should I Laugh or Cry?

I was listening to the Janet Mefferd radio program a few days ago, and she interviewed a Christian man from some family values group, I think Focus on the Family.

Mr. Daly sounds like a nice gentleman, but he is living in an alternate reality.

I meant to blog on this earlier but pushed it aside. I think this was the show:
(Link): Janet Mefferd – Jim Daly as guest, “The Good Dad”

Daly – if I heard correctly and understood correctly said that marriage or married couples do not get enough support from churches and/or the culture.

Daly (if I recall correctly) said churches/society need to devote more time and more resources to marriage and married couples.

I just re-listened to the show.

Yes, starting at the 18:50 mark, Daly tells Ms. Mefferd (this is a paraphrase),

    Why should society cater to the one to two percent of the culture? 80 to 90% of us will marry and have children. We are the core of culture. What about us?

I’m not sure what he means by the “one or two percent.”

Does he mean never married adults? Does he mean childless married couples? Or widowers? The divorced? Homosexuals, especially the ones insisting on the legalization of homosexual marriage?

As to his 80 to 90 percent figure: I don’t think that is correct. I don’t know where he is getting that from.

Even if 80% of the American population gets married at some point, they are bound to be single again via our high divorce rates or via widowhood. But I don’t think the 80% number is correct.

Edited to add this link:

Here’s why I think his figures may be incorrect:

    According to census data released in 2005, only 23.7 percent of all Americans households are married couples with children.

  • “Faith and Family in America,” a 2005 analysis by University of Akron sociologist John C. Green, says only 18.5 percent of all families meet the traditional nuclear family ideal: married, never divorced, with children at home.
  • The largest demographic (25.6 percent) is childless couples.
  • Church leaders uphold the former model as the ideal Christian family, but the statistics indicate they are chasing the wind.
  • In some denominations, such as the Episcopal Church, fully half of the members are single. (p 93)
    ____________________________
    Source: Duin, Juila. Quitting Church.

And from census.gov,

  • Single Life
    103 million
  • Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2012.
  • This group made up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012
    (Link): Source
  • See also
    (Link): The Changing American Family (article)

    (Link): Single? You’re Not Alone (date of article: 2010)

    Excerpt:

      There are 96 million people in the United States who have no spouse.

    • That means 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Continue reading “Guest on Christian Radio Show, Focus on the Family’s Mr. Daly, Claims Churches and Culture Don’t Spend Enough Money and Attention on Marriage and Family – Should I Laugh or Cry?”

    Mefferd Guest Focus on the Family Spokesperson Stanton Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early

    Mefferd Guest Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early

    I will be tweeting a link to this to Janet Mefferd.

    Mrs. Mefferd (if she is reading this at all!), I realize this post is way long.

    However, I would appreciate it if you would read it and really take to heart and consider what it is saying, and maybe take the time to look over the links to other materials I’ve provided. The evangelical and Baptist and Reformed churches are alienating and hurting a lot of celibate, single adults.

    And for anyone else reading, today, I am blogging about this:
    (Link): (Janet Mefferd Show) Hour 2- Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family discusses divorce rates. AUDIO.

    Today, at least 44% of the American adult population is single [Sept 2016 update: as of 2014, according to various news sources, that figure is now 51% or higher]. This includes a big chunk of Christian women over 30, 40 who would like to marry, but marriage is not happening for them.

    Evangelicals, however, continue to ignore these singles to harp on (nuclear) family, marriage, and babies.

    And yes, Evangelicals are pushing for Early Marriage. They are not helping the over-30 singles, but ignoring them and advising 18 year olds to marry now.

    I sent Janet Mefferd (Christian radio show host) an e-mail several months ago alerting her to some of the un-biblical, strange, and insulting views of adult, celibate, Christian singles that are held and taught by married Christians – even by famous Christians, such as Southern Baptist Al Mohler – but I got no reply from her.

    I have no idea if Mrs. Mefferd read my e-mail or saw it. I used the “contact form” at her site to send her the message.

    I don’t always agree with Mrs. Mefferd on all issues, but I do like her on a personal level, I sometimes feel a bit grouchy with her if I feel she’s falling into the “family idolatry” trap that is so pervasive among evangelicals and other Christians…
    But I do appreciate that Mefferd thinks Christians should actually expect other self professing believers to walk the Christian walk.

    Because when it comes to virginity and sexual purity – though I myself am an ACTUAL virgin past my 40s (since I have not married) – I am now seeing a Christian culture that runs from ‘Laissez-faire’ on sexual ethics to bashing and attacking the concept of virginity and adult virgins themselves. Here are just a link or two (more links at end of this post):

      (Link):

    No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy

    (Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming

    One of several reasons I am drifting towards agnosticism after having been a devout Christian since youth has to do with this very topic: Christians being hypocrites, especially on these sexual issues.

    Here I stayed a virgin into adulthood, trying to stay true to the faith and the Bible’s teachings (that is, I am a LITERAL virgin, not one of those fornicators who calls herself a “born again” or “spiritual” or “secondary” virgin, puh-leaze).

    And instead of getting acknowledged for remaining sexually pure into middle age (notice that mothers in churches get carnations, they get recognized, on Mother’s Day, etc, what do virgin, adult women get? Nothing, that’s what, no sermons, no flowers, nothing), nor do I get support (emotional, practical, or financial support) from Christians during my celibate, adult singleness.

    I am getting blamed and bashed for being a virgin past 40, or totally ignored (links about this below).

    False teachings about celibacy, adult singleness, and sex abound in Christendom these days, even among conservative evangelicals, but not many Christians care or even notice.

    Even when I alert other Christians to this information, they do not seem to care.

    Evangelical, Reformed, Fundamentalist, and Baptist Christians do NOT esteem virginity or celibacy for anyone who is over 25 years of age but actually attack both concepts. (Keep reading, I explain more below, with links to proof.)

    In this audio (see link to audio below), where Janet Mefferd interviews Stanton of Focus on the Family, Stanton disputes some recent findings by some study about divorce rates being higher among Protestant Christians.

    (I blogged about that study a few days ago, (Link): here).

    In this interview with Mefferd, Stanton says the researchers concluded that one reason for higher divorce rates among Protestant Christians is that Preachers encourage young people to marry early (ie, very young).

    Stanton laughed this claim off and said, “I have never heard such a thing, ha ha ha.”

    (Link): (Janet Mefferd Show) Hour 2- Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family discusses divorce rates. AUDIO.

    But, the claim is TRUE.

    Just about a week ago, this young preacher named Deeter wrote a post encouraging people to marry young, and I wrote this rebuttal:

      (Link):

    Christian Early Marriage Position Advocates A Low View of Celibacy and Virginity and Adult Singleness – another example: Justin Deeter Blog about Early Marriage

    Yes, some preachers and branches of Christianity are most certainly advocating Early Marriage, to the point it has been editorialized about on “Christianity Today,” see:

      (Link):

    A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial from Christianity Today, excerpts on my blog)

    Other Christians, some of whom are authors, have commented on the phenomenon of preachers and churches advocating Early Marriage.
    Here are some examples (some of these pages are by me):

      (Link):

    A Response by (Christian author) Colon to (Christian) Regnerus Re: Misguided Early Marriage Propaganda

    (Link): Marrying Young – from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” by Stephanie Drury
    – Drury is, if I understand correctly, a former conservative evangelical, a “preacher’s kid,” who is now very liberal in her views of Christianity, but even she picked up on the “Early Marriage” trend among Christians

    (Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage
    (blog post by me, I think not too long after I began noticing the trend)

    Even right wing, Non Christians have jumped on the “kids should marry young” band wagon:
    (Link): Secular Media Also Pushing Early Marriage

    The reason some pastors are advocating Early Marriage is that they see high rates of fornication going on among self professing evangelical youth.

    Evangelicals, Reformed, Baptists, and other sorts of Christians, assume if they can get a teen Christian to marry at age 21, that pre marital sex will not be an issue, and that the rates or pre-marital sex among youth can be lowered.

    Continue reading “Mefferd Guest Focus on the Family Spokesperson Stanton Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early”

    Joshua Rogers of Boundless / Focus on the Family Attacks Biblical Teaching of Virginity Until Marriage

    Joshua Rogers of Boundless / Focus on the Family Attacks Biblical Teaching of Virginity Until Marriage

    As I’ve said on prior occasions, far from Christians idolizing virginity, as some liberal, emergent, and even some conservative Christian bloggers and magazine writers claim, the biblical standards of celibacy and virginity have been under unrelenting attack by Christians over the past few years.

    Most Christians these days no longer respect or value virginity but are seeking to diminish it if not do away with it altogether.

    You can tell Christian thinking on the topic has gone downhill when we go from the 1980s message that says virginity is important and to strive for it, to the 2010 and onwards attack – by Christians – that says virginity is no big deal, so don’t beat yourself up when you have pre-marital sex.

    Sometimes, Christians re-examining a view, teaching, or how they present it, can be a good thing, but I wonder about things when they start trying to downplay a standard that is taught in the Bible (ie, virginity and celibacy).

    Christian culture has disturbingly gone from “Hooray for virginity!,” when I was a teen, to “boo, hiss, virginity, and everyone fornicate if you feel like it, because you are justified by Jesus, not your sexual choices, don’t feel any shame!” now.

    It is now trendy in Christian culture to question virginity, and to shame adult Christians who are still virgins.

    It is now standard by some Christians to say that virgins are either being “prideful” about their virginity, or are “worshipping” it, or to remind them they are not perfect, or to condescendingly remind them that it is Jesus who saves, not one’s “external sexual behavior.”

    Case in point, this latest Virgin- and Celibate- Shaming editorial by Joshua Rogers at the Focus on the Family blog for 20 something singles, “Boundless” (yes, you will note that Focus on the Family ignores that there are many singles over the age of 30, 40, 50):

    (Link): Stop Worshiping Your Virginity by Joshua Rogers

    Excerpt 1:

      … The problem with female non-virgins going public with their sexual sins was that they ran the risk of being seen as damaged goods — I mean, if true love really did wait, then it was impossible for them to truly love the man who would be their husband.
      Apparently, they had already given away the truest expression of their love.
      So the best they could hope for was an understanding non-virgin or a “sexually pure” man who was very, very forgiving. For these women, the message was clear: God can forgive you, but you will be sexually disfigured for the rest of your life. Too bad. You shouldn’t have had sex with someone who wasn’t your husband.

      Now on the other hand, the male non-virgins didn’t seem to be quite as ashamed of themselves. They often talked quite frankly and openly about their sexual histories when giving their “testimonies” — especially if they were talking with other guys.
      In fact, if you didn’t know better, you might get the impression that they were even bragging about what they had done. But for some reason, these guys weren’t disqualified as marriage material — no way. It was actually endearing that these worldly men had made such a brave decision to walk away from the lusts of their flesh. You. Go. Boys.

      …If you’re a Christian virgin, you are no more righteous than anyone else (regardless of how long you’ve been wearing that promise ring). And if you’re not a virgin, you are no less righteous than anyone else — the only thing that makes you righteous is faith in the perfect blood of Jesus.
      Whatever you did (or didn’t do) in the past simply isn’t part of the Christian equation when it comes to your worth, so you can go ahead and stop obsessing over your virginity now.

      … People of Planet Evangelicalism, I have good news: This is not the Gospel.

      … Remember, Jesus “saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5, ESV).

    Call me kooky here, but I have never once heard any Christian imply that one is saved via being a virgin.

    There might be some fringe, barely Christian group somewhere that teaches this perspective, but it’s not a view I’ve seen in my many years of reading about Christian teachings on sex. So I call “straw man” argument on that.

    I’ve never once heard a Christian claim that one is made righteous and right before God by being a virgin, or that virginity was a component in the Gospel message.

    Continue reading “Joshua Rogers of Boundless / Focus on the Family Attacks Biblical Teaching of Virginity Until Marriage”

    Smalley (Focus on the Family Talking Head) Gives Interview about Talking to Children About Sex on Mefferd Show

    Smalley (Focus on the Family Talking Head) Gives Interview about Talking to Children About Sex on Mefferd Show

    The interview (given by G. Smalley from Christian group “Focus on the Family”) is rather dull, and Smalley gives rather vague, intellectual-sounding responses, none of which I perceive as being sufficient enough to convince most people to abstain from sex prior to marriage.

    One of the first falsehoods I spotted is that both Mefferd and her guest, Smalley, assume these teens they are talking about will get married one day. You know, I had hoped to be married. I assumed as young as age ten, eleven, that I’d be married by 30. I’m still not married and in my forties.

    Christian parents need to stop assuming that their kids will get married – because they might be 40, 45, 50, and still be single. So it’s not enough to think in terms of, “Oh golly, how do I convince Joe Jr. to wait until marriage for sex.” -What if Joe Jr. never meets the right woman, what if Joe Jr. grows up and never marries?

    Here’s the link to the interview:
    (Link): Greg Smalley from ‘Focus on the Family’ on How to Talk to Kids About Sex

    The part of the interview (around 12.49 – 13.00) where the guy says to the host (Mefferd) that he tells his kids about how hot his wife is (their mother) was strange.

    Smalley was saying he was using this method to model to his children how it’s important to wait ’til marriage to have sex. I’m not sure how emphasizing to your kids, if you are a married parent, how “hot” their mother is can convince them to remain celibate.

    I also believe that Smalley’s view on this matter is unwittingly upholding the Christian falsehood that marriage will always entail regular, hot, satisfying sex (see all the posts on this blog of numerous stories of people who were virgins until marriage, but the sex was either lousy or infrequent, or both lousy AND infrequent).

    Continue reading “Smalley (Focus on the Family Talking Head) Gives Interview about Talking to Children About Sex on Mefferd Show”

    Patriarchy Views and Even More Narrow Gender Role Views Creeping Into Already Family and Marriage Obsessed Christian Groups – Re: Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings

    Patriarchy Views and Even More Narrow Gender Role Views Creeping Into Already Family and Marriage Obsessed Christian Groups – Re: Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings

    A somewhat recent visitor to this blog (who has an excellent blog I have linked to before, (Link): Under Much Grace, a blog which discusses spiritual abuse, unbiblical gender role teachings among Christian groups, and other issues) encouraged me to look into or make a post about this topic.

    Her original post on this blog introducing the topic is located (Link): here. I will repeat her post here- this was in response to a post I did on “Focus on the Family.”

      by UnderMuchGrace

      I became so disappointed in Dobson that I stopped listening to FOTF in ’94.

      I was even more disappointed to find out a few years ago that the editor for one of their teen magazines recommended Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings, and since then, they started signing the laud of Voddie Baucham. He may even have a regular column in one of their publications now. I know that they’ve featured articles written by him when I last took a look a number of years ago.

      If you google Mouser’s name and the Five Aspects teachings, you’ll find two links to critical reviews on my blog, and the rest of the links will take you to the Bayly Blog, CBMW, Doug Wilson’s material and the like. Bill Mouser bought the message board, the CCC forum (having something to do with complementarianism) from CBMW many years ago — back around the time when CBMW became to[o] liberal for Bayly and Mouser. (This was shortly after CBMW central and the powers controling it moved from the Bayly mentality on to Louisville/SBTS.)

      I love this post, but I’d argue that FOTF is now promoting something much worse than the anachronistic 1950s lifestyle.

      I love the religious freedom that we have in America, and people can be free to make choices about how they want to live. It saddens me, though, that FOTF which I once found to be a very helpful resource has taken things in this direction.

    Here is a link to the critique by Under Much Grace:

    (Link): Critique of Bill Mouser’s “Five Aspects” Teaching
    From the Patriarchy Discussion Group on Yahoo

    Here are just a few excerpts from that page (please click the link above to visit the other blog and read the rest):

      …Information posted by “Light” regarding Bill Mouser’s Five Aspects Teachings:

      In this post, I’ll explain the pagan concepts that are so sneakily inserted into these so-called Biblical materials.
      Mouser asserts that God is masculine and Creation is feminine. I don’t want to spend much time on the masculinity of God, since that could be a book in and of itself. Suffice it to say that if God is masculine, and not feminine, then human males are more like God than women.

      … It’s most helpful to see the men’s study and the women’s study materials side by side.

      According to Mouser, men should pattern their lives after the following “righteous masculine archetypes: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Christ the God/Man and the last Adam, and Created Adam, the first man.” Women should pattern their lives after the following “righteous feminine archetypes: Wisdom the first feminine, Eve the first woman, Israel the wife of God, The Virgin Mary mother of Christ, The church the bride of Christ, and Jerusalem our mother above.” (page 300)

      This is quite interesting. All of the masculine archetypes are actual beings – including God. Of the six feminine archetypes, only two are real beings, and four are metaphorical constructions! None of them are God. By dividing the archetypes into two distinct groups, one that men should emulate, and one that women should emulate, this abnormal division leads us away from what the scripture actually teaches.

      The Bible calls all people, men and women, to a single standard of Christlikeness. In this study, by arranging it in this manner with a separate list of archetypes divided by gender, Christlikeness is articulated as the sole domain of the man. In comparison, women are encouraged to look to ametaphor as their model of holiness. Can’t we have the real thing as our model? Or do only men get access to that?

      Mouser believes that men are made more in God’s image than women are. It’s right there in black and white on page 334 in the Five Aspects bible study materials.
      “Man can picture God more fully in his roles than woman can. But he can also picture Satan more fully than woman can.”

    Please (Link): click here to visit the page and read the rest (Under Much Grace blog)
    —————————
    Related posts, this blog:

    (Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (hint: some Christian groups are teaching that an unmarried man is not as much in God’s image as is a married man – singles are only “one half” in God’s image, not fully human, etc)

    (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

    (Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice

    (Link): How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 3) – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical

    (Link): Christian Gender and Sex Stereotypes Act as Obstacles to Christian Singles Who Want to Get Married (Not All Men Are Obsessed with Sex)

    (Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

    How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both – [both = marriage, having kids] (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)

    How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)

    Excerpts from Pages 2- 5 of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines – read it for free on “Google Books.”

    (Below this long excerpt are a few observations by me):

      For a magazine [Playboy] to clearly state that it was not “a family magazine” in the 1950s was close to heresy.

      According to social historian Stephanie Coontz, it was during this period that there was an unprecendented rise in the marriage rate, the age for marriage and motherhood fell, fertility increased, and divorce rates declined.

      From family restaurants to the family car, “the family was everywhere hailed as the most basic institution in society.”

      The mass media played a pivotal role in legitimizing and celebrating this “pro-family” ideology by selling idealized images of family life in sitcoms and women’s magazines, while demonizing those who chose to stay single as either homosexual or pathological.

      The most celebrated sitcoms of the period were Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The ideal family was white and upper middle class, with a male breadwinner whose salary supported a wife and children as well as a large home in the suburbs.

      The primary roles for men and women were seen as spouses and as parents, and the result was a well-run household populated by smart, well-adjusted kids.

      The print media also got in on the act, carrying stories about the supposed awfulness of being single. Reader’s Digest ran a story entitled “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are to Be Marred,” which focused on the “harrowing situation of single life.”

      One writer went so far as to suggest that “except for the sick, the badly crippled, the deformed, the emotionally warped and the mentally defective, almost everyone has an opportunity to marry.”

      In the 1950s, “emotionally warped” was a coded way of saying homosexual, and indeed many single people were investigated as potential homosexuals and by extension Communists, since the two were often linked during the McCarthy years.

      This pressure on men to conform not only to the dictates of domestic life but also to the growing demands of corporate America had its critics in the popular media. Some writers pointed to the conformist male as a “mechanized, robotized caricature of humanity… a slave in mind and body.”

      According to Barbara Ehrenreich, magazines like Life, Look, and Reader’s Digest carried stories suggesting that “Gary Gray” (the conformist in the gray flannel suit) was robbing men of their masculinity, freedom, and sense of individuality.

      While pop psychologists criticized the corporate world for reducing American males to “little men,” it was women in their roles of wives and mothers who were essentially singled out as the cripplers of American masculinity. As Ehrenreich has argued, “the corporate captains were out of the bounds of legitimate criticism in Cold War America,” women were the more acceptable and accessible villains.

      Described as greedy, manipulative, and lazy, American women were accused of emasculating men by overdomesticating them.

      Continue reading “How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both – [both = marriage, having kids] (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)”

    Focus on the Family giving advice to singles – weirdness

    Focus on the Family giving advice to singles – weirdness

    Yes, on their Twitter account:

    (Link): View Tweet – Focus on the Family Regarding Dating

    They don’t think a woman should ever ask a man out. Wow. Well, I can tell you baased on the Christian guys I’ve seen online (especially the ones in their 20s), they expect, hope and dream that the woman will ask them out because a lot of them are petrified of rejection and approaching a woman.
    ———————–
    Related posts this blog:

    (Link): Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

    (Link): Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes

    Focus on the Family apparently believes that Salvation is By Marriage Alone; Jesus died for nothing:
    (Link): Focus on Family spokesperson, Stanton, actually says reason people should marry is for ‘church growth’

    (Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

    (Link): Good Grief! Five Million Dollar Family Idoltary on Display: Focus on the Family Launches $5 Million Project Targeting Family Breakdown, Social Ills – Please, when you say you support marriage, be honest about what you REALLY mean

    Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles

    Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles

    Recall my previous posts:

    (Link): Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions

      Oct 2013

      To many Christian evangelicals, their commitment to finding homes for the world’s orphans is something to celebrate — and they will, gathering at hundreds of churches across America to direct their thoughts and prayers to these children.

      But the fifth annual Orphan Sunday, this coming weekend, arrives at a challenging time, and not just because the number of international adoptions is dwindling. The adoption movement faces criticisms so forceful that some of its own leaders are paying heed.

      The gist: Some evangelicals are so enamored of international adoption as a mission of spiritual salvation — for the child and the adoptive parents — that they have closed their eyes to adoption-related fraud and trafficking, and have not fully embraced alternatives that would help orphans find loving families in their home countries.

      Some adoption advocates in evangelical circles have angrily rejected the criticisms. But the president of the coalition that organizes Orphan Sunday, Jedd Medefind of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, has urged his allies and supporters to take the critiques to heart even though he disputes some aspects of them. Alliance partners, he says, should be eager to support a broad range of orphan-care programs and to avoid the temptation of viewing adoptive parents as saviors.

      “When the dominant feature of our thinking becomes ‘us as rescuers,’ we’re in grave danger,” Medefind wrote on the alliance website. “What often follows is the pride, self-focus and I-know-better outlook that has been at the root of countless misguided efforts to help others.”

      One leading critic of the movement comes from within evangelical ranks — Professor David Smolin, director of the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics at the law school of Baptist-affiliated Samford University in Alabama. Smolin plunged into the debate after he and his wife adopted two daughters from India in 1998, then learned that the girls had been abducted from an orphanage where they’d been placed temporarily by their mother.

      The evangelical movement “uncritically participates in adoption systems riddled with child laundering, where children are illicitly obtained through fraud, kidnapping or purchase,” Smolin wrote in a law journal article. “The result is often tragically misdirected and cruel, as the movement participates in the needless separation of children from their families.”

      Many of Smolin’s concerns were reinforced with the recent publication of “The Child Catchers,” a book about the evangelical adoption movement by journalist Kathryn Joyce.
      It details cases where foreign children adopted by evangelicals were mistreated and looks at problematic Christian-led adoption initiatives in such countries as Ethiopia, Liberia and Haiti — where Idaho church group leader Laura Silsby briefly was jailed for arranging illegal travel of children after the 2010 earthquake.

      Continue reading “Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles”

    Singles in the Church by Dave Faulkner / Also: Isolated: single Christians feel unsupported by family-focused churches (article / survey)

    Singles in the Church by Dave Faulkner / Also: Isolated: single Christians feel unsupported by family-focused churches (article / survey)

    He (Faulkner) says on his blog page about singleness that he did not marry until he was 41 years old, so he definitely lived through and noticed the incredible bias that conservatives and Christians harbor against the unmarried.

    Note that “bias against the unmarried” I mention does not always fall under the rubric of Christians walking up to an unmarried and proclaiming, “You are a loser for being single at your age!,” but quite often in what Christians omit to do, such as neglecting to include the unmarried in leadership positions in churches, paying for full time adult singles preachers or ministries, etc, etc, etc.

    But most churches are utterly devoted to marriage and children. 🙄

    (Link): Singles in the Church

    Excerpts:

      A survey of single Christians in church does not surprise me at all. Single Christians often feel ‘isolated , alone and lonely’ in church. Single women feel they are seen as threats to married couples.

      Why does this not surprise me? Because I was 41 before I married, and I experienced some of this. I was told that marriage was ‘the norm’, which made me feel abnormal. There were questions raised behind my back about my sexuality.

    Here’s the survey he mentioned:
    (Link): Isolated: single Christians feel unsupported by family-focused churches

    Excerpts:

      Women not in steady relationship ‘treated as threats to couples’
      JONATHAN BROWN Author Biography WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2013

      Single Christians feel “isolated, alone and lonely” within their churches, according to new research. More than a third of worshippers who were not married or in a relationship said they did not feel treated the same as those that were part of conventional families.

      Nearly four out of ten single churchgoers said they often felt “inadequate or ignored” whilst 42.8 per cent said their church did not know what to do with them. A total of 37 per cent said they “did not feel treated as family members”

      The findings were based on the responses of 2,754 people who used the Christian dating site Christian Connection and suggest there is a significant minority of worshippers who feel alienated by the prevailing attitudes within protestant denominations in Britain including the Church of England.

      The survey found that older people were more keenly aware of their single status and that women not in a steady relationship were treated as “threats to couples”. Singles said they often felt more valued outside rather than inside their church.

      Independent researcher and writer David Pullinger who analysed the data, which included single parents, said churches needed to respond to changing times.

      … Among the comments made by respondents were that they felt the “pain” of being single in a predominantly family setting and that there were few activities aimed at those aged between 30 and 60 for those without a partner.

    ——–
    Related posts, this blog:

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

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

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

    (Link): Preachers and Christian Media Personalities: Re: Marriage – You’re missing the point stop trying to argue or shame singles into getting married

    (Link): Why Even Middle Aged Married with Children Christians Are Leaving Church – Not Just Unmarried Singles | 40 Somethings Gen X Quitting Leaving Church

    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”

    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

    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 the exceptions the few with the gift of Marriage

    Before I get to the main point of this post: About the chastity thing, or celibacy thing. Technically, all Christians are called to a chaste life, not just singles.

    If you are married, you are not supposed to be diddling anyone but your spouse, and per Jesus’ comments of (Link): Matthew 5:27-28, that means no dirty web site, movie, or magazine viewing for married people, either.

    First of all, the Bible does not teach the concepts of “Gift of Singleness” (GOS) or “Gift of Celibacy” (GOC).

    Nor does the Bible teach that God fore-ordained in eternity past who would remain single, or who would be married, which is the faulty method in which some Christians understand the term “gifted with singleness” or GOC.

    I will not address those points here, because I have discussed them in older posts here:

    (Link): The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy

    (Link): The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

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

    Does God Gift Only A Few With Singleness?

    I want to address one somewhat common falsehood and assumption I see crop up in televised Christian marriage seminars or sermons, or in Christian blogs and pod casts about dating, sex, and marriage, which is this:

    Often times, a preacher will pause to say during a presentation about marriage that “only a few are called to singleness.” But is this true?

    Preachers will sometimes use this “only a few are gifted or called to singleness” rhetoric to shame singles into getting married.

    I believe preachers and conservative Christian organizations feel this way and keep quoting “only a few are chosen for singlehood,” since they assume that the once-common American cultural situation of one marrying in one’s twenties and having children was typical, that it remains typical.

    Most troubling, such Christians seem to assume that the Bible commands, or expects, all Christians to marry and have children, and that not marrying, or not procreating, is sinful – but it does not. In the New Testament, singleness is regarded as being fully acceptable.

    Preachers, and even many Non Christians, continue to assume that marrying young and having children is the norm.

    However, census data of the past ten years reveal that getting married young, if at all, is no longer the norm.

    More and more people – including Christians – are either skipping marriage altogether, or getting married later in life, due to circumstances beyond their control, or, some are deliberately choosing to stay single for a lifetime, or at least until their 30s or later.

    Some figures I have seen have stated 44% of American adults over the age of 18 are single, while other figures cited have been as high as 50%.

    When close to half the American population of adults is single, and this applies to conservative Christians in Baptist and evangelical contexts as well, how can Christian preachers, Christian talking heads and speakers at Christian marriage seminars, keep making the BOGUS claim that only a few are called to singleness?

    When half of adult conservative Christians are single, is it not more accurate to say (if you believe in the “gifting” or “calling to” of singleness, which I do not), that God has called a heck of a lot of adults to singleness, and that God has only called a piddling few to marriage?

    The New Testament does not prescribe or describe marriage or having children as being normative.

    The New Testament does not depict being married, getting married, or having children as requirements, commands, mandates, or expectations for anyone, for most, or for all.

    Marriage and having children are presented as valid options for believers, but as being no more valid or worthy than being single and childless, whether by deliberate choice or by circumstance.

    I do not believe God calls or pre-ordains anyone to singlehood or marriage, but if one insists upon using such terminology, and wishes to be accurate about the state of culture today, it looks like God has called only a few to marriage and childbearing / procreation.

    Look at these American statistics:

    (Link): Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low

      New Marriages Down 5% from 2009 to 2010

    by D’Vera Cohn, Jeffrey S. Passel, Wendy Wang and Gretchen Livingston

    Barely half of all adults in the United States—a record low—are currently married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.

    In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements—including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood—have all grown more prevalent in recent decades.

    (Link): Facts for Features: Unmarried and Single Americans

    Single Life

    102 million

    Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2011. This group comprised 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.

    Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011
    Table A1.

    62%
    Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2011 who had never been married. Another 24 percent were divorced, and 14 percent were widowed.
    Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011
    Table A1

    55 million
    Number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2011. These households comprised 46 percent of households nationwide.
    Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011
    Table A2

    33 million
    Number of people who lived alone in 2011. They comprised 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.
    Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011
    Table H1 and HH-4

    (Link): Single Adults-A Population Group Too Large To Ignore 

    (but churches keep right on ignoring singles anyway)
    Excerpt

      Author and speaker Carolyn Koons said, “The church needs to expand its term ‘family,’ moving from a traditional family definition to one that includes singles, widows, single-parent families, extended families, expanded families, stepfamilies, and blended families. We must become the family we are—the family of God.”1 Statistics on single adults in America are growing rapidly and affecting lifestyles and family types.

    (Link): For Many Adults, Marriage Can Wait, Census Shows – WSJ.com

        By CONOR DOUGHERTY
      Updated Sept. 29, 2010 12:01 a.m. ET

    The long-term slide in marriage rates has pushed the proportion of married adults of all ages to 52% in 2009, according to the Census, the lowest share in history. In 1960, 72.2% of adults over 18 were married.

    The U.S. began tracking marriage statistics in 1880. The latest figures on marriage come from the Census’ annual American Community Survey, the government’s deepest and broadest look at economic, social and demographic trends.

    (Link): Why Are There So Many Single Americans? – New York Times

        By KATE ZERNIKE
        Published: January 21, 2007
      THE news that 51 percent of all women live without a spouse might be enough to make you invest in cat futures.

    But consider, too, the flip side: about half of all men find themselves in the same situation. As the number of people marrying has dropped off in the last 45 years, the marriage rate has declined equally for men and for women.

    (Link): Marriage Rate Declines To Historic Low, Study Finds

      Posted: 07/22/2013 2:28 pm EDT | Updated: 07/22/2013 3:07 pm EDT

    We’ve been hearing for years that fewer and fewer people are tying the knot, and a new study reveals just how much the marriage rate has declined in the last century.

    A new report released Thursday by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Marriage and Family Research found that the U.S. marriage rate is 31.1, or 31 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. That means for every 1,000 unmarried women in the U.S., 31 of those previously single women tied the knot in the last year. For comparison, in 1920, the national marriage rate was 92.3.

    Meanwhile, the average age at women’s first marriage is 27 years old, its highest point in over a century.

    In 2011, the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. However, rates of cohabiting couples are rising — according to private research company Demographic Intelligence, less than half a million couples were cohabiting in 1960, compared to 7.5 million in 2010.

    Earlier this year, Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum offered a reason for declining marriage rates: cultural “rules” now compel couples to wait to marry until they have reached upper-class status. Pew researcher D’Vera Cohn told HuffPost in 2011 that the decline could be due to more acceptable living arrangements, including unmarried cohabitation.

    (Link): Table for One Ministries – Singles Stats

    (Link): Facts About Single People Demographics – Unmarried America

      There are 106 million unmarried adults in the United States.

    Singles constitute more than 44% of the adult population in the nation.

    About 44% of the nation’s workforce are unmarried employees

    The Census Bureau estimates that about 10% of adults will never marry.

    Households:

    A majority of the nation’s households are headed by unmarried adults

    Married couples with minor children live in fewer than 25% of the nation’s households.

    Single adults living alone comprise about 27% of the nation’s households.

    Another 13 million single adults are living with unmarried relatives.

    Considering that 44% – 50% of all American adults are single, it can just as easily be argued or said that ‘God calls only a few to marriage and/or procreating.’

    Marriage has not been the norm in American culture for at least the last ten years now, maybe longer, depending on how one wishes to look at things. It is therefore dishonest and misleading for Christians to keep insisting that only a “few” “chosen” are called to lifelong singleness or celibacy or are “gifted” with it.
    ———————————-
    Related topics, this blog:

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

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

    (Link):  Newlyweds Forced to Be Celibate After Bride Diagnosed With Cervical Cancer Just Days After Honeymoon

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

    (Link): Remarriage rates plunge as divorced Americans have doubts – and about Christian culture and divorce and remarriage vs singleness

    (Link): Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored

    How The Changing Structure of the American Family is Changing Floor Plans in New Homes

    How The Changing Structure of the American Family is Changing Floor Plans in New Homes

    (Link): One Roof, Many Generations: Redefining The Single-Family Home

      New homes are back in a big way — literally. This summer, a typical new house in Phoenix was more than 20 percent larger than a resale home as builders across the country added more space to accommodate post-recession lifestyles.

      Take Jacque Ruggles’ family, for example. Four women from three generations live under one roof.

      “I’m the matriarch,” Ruggles says. “I’m grandma.”

      Ruggles makes the monthly $1,789 mortgage payment on the 2,900-square-foot home in Gilbert, Ariz., which she bought new about a year and a half ago. Her daughter, Marci Dusseault, lives here, too, along with her college-aged daughter, Jamie.

      “I’ll eventually move out, but right now it’s nice to not have to worry about a lot of bills and stuff, and I can focus on school,” says Jamie, a student at Mesa Community College.

      But the family affair did not stop there. Jamie’s older sister moved in last November. Chelsie, 22, had been living on her own for a while, but …

      Ida Christian, who suffers from dementia, gets help from her granddaughter, Yolanda Hunter (left), in blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. Yolanda quit her lucrative job to become Ida’s full-time caregiver.

      “Then life happens,” says Chelsie, who lost her job and racked up $6,000 in credit card debt. “So I had to move back in.”

      Their home was made for this type of living. It includes an attached 600-square-foot suite, complete with a kitchenette and living room.

      Continue reading “How The Changing Structure of the American Family is Changing Floor Plans in New Homes”

    Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (A.K.A. Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

    Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (AKA Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

    This is a very good editorial:
    (Link): Feminism vs Egalitarianism

    (Link): Friday Challenge: Guess The Year [‘How Feminine Am I’ sexist and out-dated check list used by Baptist churches] – Stuff Fundies Like blog

    Next link. Regarding the nutso Quiverfull-ish, Doug Phillips, Vision Forusm-ish sexist beliefs of treating women like unthinking chattel and keeping them at home with their fathers, even if they don’t marry into adulthood:

    (Link): Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 1: Blurring the Lines (TBB) – from Scarlet Letters blog

    Excerpts

      My main concern, however, with the vision of SAHD [Stay At Home Daughters] laid out in [Phillips’ version of] Sleeping Beauty is that it seems to progressively break down healthy boundaries in father-daughter relationships.

      … In Sleeping Beauty, however, it becomes clear that “helpmeet” is only one example of a more extensive terminology shift. Fathers are said to “court” and “woo” their daughters and ultimately “win their hearts.”

    (Link): Dan Kirby Kopp, 45, was found guilty of beating his wife with a spoon [for not addressing him as “sir” and other stupid crap]

      The video shows Kopp showing her [his wife] the spoon and giving her a ‘count of three to comply’ with his demand of addressing him with a ‘yes, sir’ in front of the couple’s children.

      He is also heard threatening to ‘cast the demons out of her’ next time she disobeyed him.

    (Link): “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” Genre Cheat Sheet Rachel Held Evans’ blog

    I don’t agree with what appears to be that blog’s rejection of biblical sexual ethics, or disregard for people who have remained virgins into adulthood, in favor of sugarcoating biblical sexual teachings so as to soothe the consciences of women who say they feel shamed or get hurt hearing that pre-marital sex is sinful according to the Bible, but I do agree with the blog’s disdain for biblical gender complementarianism.

    Guest comments at that page (and I agree with these comments):

      My favourite is their “committee” page [the writer may be referring to the gender complementarian group CBMW] where each women’s career is labelled “homemaker” and then proceeds to list all the conferences she will be attending for the next 12 months – I added up one of the women’s ‘away’ dates and figured the only way she could be a ‘homemaker’ was if she lived in a motor home.

    And:

      Christina Steve Dawson • 7 hours ago −

      I suspect this is true. Otherwise they would have noticed years ago the irony of women building careers in which they travel, write, and speak, all for the purpose of convincing other women not to have careers.

    And

      Rachel Held Evans Mod Christina • 7 hours ago −

      Oh my gosh! This DRIVES ME CRAZY! I went to this “biblical womanhood” conference a couple years ago where many of the attendees were professional women with careers. And the speaker – a professional woman herself – proceeded to dis on feminism as an anti-biblical worldview…starting with second wave feminism and using Mary Tyler Moore as an example of a first step away from biblical womanhood. It was so confusing

    ——————-
    Related posts this blog

    (Link): Christian Culture and Daddy Daughter Dates

    Californian Politician signs bill to allow children more than two legal parents

    Californian Politician signs bill to allow children more than two legal parents

    This is kind of funny. I wonder how Christian “Focus on the Family” type of groups will deal with culture re-defining family to no longer mean “man and women married with children.”

    This will probably devastate my fellow social conservatives and conservative Christians. Unlike them, though, I do not make an idol out of family.

    Jesus taught that the church is based on His message, not by married couples reproducing babies.

    So there is no real reason for Christians to panic about these types of news stories where a politician allows society to re-define parenting and marriage, but you can bet most Christians will panic, because they have turned the 1950s June Cleaver family into an idol. They view attacks on the 1950s structure of family as an attack on Jesus Himself, something Jesus never did.

    I am aware that some homosexual activists and communists believe breaking down the traditional family unit is a way to rot a culture, and hence a nation, from the inside, which is one of their goals in taking over society, but again, does the Bible say a culture is to be

    1. won and defended by propping up the nuclear family
    or by
    2a. Christians helping other Christians and
    2b. telling Non Christians about Jesus?

    I believe the Bible teaches points 2a and 2b, not point 1.

    As a matter of fact, if one invests more time in 2a and 2b, that could lead to more of point 1 as a natural result.

    Kind of like how helping Christian singles to meet and date other Christian singles would likely lead to more marriage (it certainly would not hurt), yet churches stupidly keep ignoring the Christian singles but keep bitching about the low rate of Christian marriages, and spend all their time bitching about divorce rates and homo marriage… none of which actually helps create more Christian marriages.

    (Link): New law says a child may have more than two parents

    (Link): Jerry Brown signs a California bill allowing a child to have more than two parents

    Continue reading “Californian Politician signs bill to allow children more than two legal parents”