Male Christian Researcher Mark Regnerus Believes Single Christian Women Should Marry Male Christian Porn Addicts – another Christian betrayal of sexual ethics and more evidence of Christians who do make an idol out of marriage
Edit: here is a Part 2 to this post,
(Link): Regnerus’ Misplaced Blame – Blame the Wimmins! Common male refrain, even from Christian men
This post of mine may contain some very frank language of a sexual nature, and possibly some cuss words here or there. I’m trying not to get all X-rated with it, but it’s not going to be a squeaky clean type post.
My blog is not Disney Land, all sweetness and light. You’re reading commentary by someone who was a Christian for YEARS who is now very disillusioned with the faith and all the nonsense being taught to Christians by guys like Regnerus and others.
I apologize to any Christians reading this who do not approve of strong language, but this guy’s editorial ticked me off, so a few choice words pop up here and there.
This post by Mark Regnerus (linked to and critiqued farther below) has to be one of the most insulting, stupid, ill-informed works by a Christian I’ve ever read, and it’s chock-full of the usual Christian stereotypes I regularly critique here on my blog (concerning sex, dating, marriage, gender roles, etc).
I have agreed, at least partially, with this Regnerus guy in the past, with other articles he’s written, but I can’t fully stand behind this one.
This guy shows no respect for singleness, virginity, or celibacy in his essay – NONE. He tosses off a few passing comments claiming he respects singleness, but no, no, he does not. The rest of the essay belies that supposed respect for singleness.
What I will do is give you the links to each piece, followed by excerpts from each one, followed by my commentary below all that.
PART ONE. THE LINKS.
(Link): Porn and the Singles Panic by Gina Dalfonzo
That page is in turn referencing this one:
(Link): The Pornographic Double Bind by Mark Regnerus
PART TWO. EXCERPTS.
Here are excerpts from
The Pornographic Double-Bind by Mark Regnerus:
I recently observed an online dispute over the matter of men, marrying, and pornography. A crestfallen young woman discovered her boyfriend “struggled” with pornography.
I’m never quite sure what “struggling” actually means, since it can be code for anything from shame at taking pleasure in women’s naked beauty all the way up to addiction to hardcore pornography. (There’s a difference.)
This young woman elected to remain in her relationship, but she counseled other women to consider the path of least resistance—leaving. Departing, she suggested, is the best option.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve encountered this. Not long before that, I sat around a campfire with a couple dozen enthusiastic young adults, listening to the women recount their list of relationship deal-breakers—porn was of course one of them—while the men sat by sheepishly.
While I’m sympathetic to their concern, I can also promise you that widespread departures—given the dour numbers on porn use—will only accelerate the flight from marriage in the Church and is likely to backfire on women (as many things tend to do in the domain of relationships) who would leave for pastures that may well not be greener.
I would never dream of telling anyone—devoid as I am of information about particular situations—what they ought to do about their boyfriend’s roving eye.
However, I have no trouble or qualms in declaring that collectively a categorical call to leave spells doom.
Young adults are waiting longer and longer to marry, and fewer are doing so.
To counsel further flight is like asserting that our Christian ancestors should have headed to the hills, as wealthy Romans did, to avoid the plague.
You can’t flee far enough, and the Church grew by gutting it out, staying put, and caring for the sick.
On the matter of men and pornography, the data suggest you cannot flee far enough. Lots of “prudent” decisions to leave will still lead us to the same place—a widespread marriage avoidance. There’s nothing wrong with being unmarried, but we fool ourselves if we think this is the obvious solution.
Male sexual behavior, always a bit difficult to pin down in one place, is moving steadily now in a direction either free of partners or else devoid of long-term commitment to just one woman, aided at every turn by technology. Outside the Church, the revolution runs uncontested, as account after account continues to reveal. Inside the Church, we still seem to have trouble admitting that men are attracted to naked women.
…But the gritty reality remains—the Church will have to learn how to navigate this, and press forward with grace and truth. Men and women have to forge relationships—marriage—with each other recognizing human weakness and fostering each other’s sanctification.
While pornography is certainly a problem, we cannot collectively bail on marriage. It’s too important to the future of the Church. Without a marrying culture in the West, chastity will falter on a scale we have not yet seen.
— end excerpts —
(Link): Porn and the Singles Panic [a response to Mark Regnerus’ post] by Gina Dalfonzo:
…As an unmarried woman, I fall into the target audience for such an argument [the one put forward by Mark Regnerus].
….But having said all that, I find his advice highly problematic. He puts undue blame on women for the state of marriage and could easily be read as suggesting they stop turning away men who view porn.
…. Yet, he seems to recommend Christian women consider choosing as their life partners men who participate in a practice that exploits women, desensitizes users, and too often destroys sexual intimacy in marriage. If we take seriously Christ’s warning that to lust after a woman is to commit adultery in the heart (Matt. 5:28), that’s asking women to tolerate adultery.
…But unfortunately, there are plenty of the latter around, even among Christians. Having listed porn use as a “deal-breaker” in my own eHarmony profile, I’ve been scolded for my prudishness by a couple of those Christian men. Needless to say, I felt absolutely no desire to get to know them well enough for marriage.
At this point I have to ask: What happened to all those voices I heard in the church when I was growing up, the leaders telling us women to keep our standards high, and to choose only a truly godly man to be the spiritual leader in our home and the loving father of our children? Here’s what happened: They saw singleness increasing within the church and started to panic.
(Link): I’ve written before that today’s church puts marriage on such a high pedestal that singles are often made to feel second-rate. I can now add to this that we’ve put it on such a high pedestal that we’re hinting at Christians to compromise their standards just to achieve it. In other words, we’ve turned it into an idol. And that makes singles feel more isolated than ever.
No one cares. That’s exactly how it feels when, having been taught to seek God’s highest and best for your life, and take a stand for sexual purity no matter the cost, you see some Christian leaders start start to back away from that teaching. After all, nothing could be worse than a church full of single people—that particular cost is too high—so just lower your standards and get married already!
— end excerpts —
PART THREE. MY THOUGHTS.
Essentially, in this post by MR (Mark Regnerus), MR thinks Christian women should bend the rules, be flexible, and lower their standards, because Christian men cannot or will not control their sexual behavior.
He and those like him try to frame this lame-o, unbiblical view by couching it in terms of “nobody is perfect, after all,” and “we all sin and should extend grace to others” rhetoric.
Sorry, but the Bible does not teach – and certainly not in the name of “grace” – that Christian women are supposed to lower their standards, or expectations of, morality in themselves, in each other, or in relationships, or in dating, just because a chunk of Christian men are failing miserably at sexual ethics these days.
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