Seven Reasons Why It’s Hard To Be Single In The Church by Sarah The Barge

Seven Reasons Why It’s Hard To Be Single In The Church by Sarah The Barge

She covers some of the same points I’ve been raising at this blog the last few years. I thought any of my regular readers (assuming I have any) might enjoy this.

I am not going to copy her whole post to my blog. Please use the link below to visit her blog.

(Link): Seven Reasons Why It’s Hard To Be Single In The Church by Sarah The Barge

  • 1) The mythical “gift” of singleness.
  • I’ve heard many, many times from church leaders that some people have “the gift of singleness,” which is divinely given and has nothing to do with that person’s free will.  Furthermore, if a person has the “gift of singleness,” they know from a young age that they’re meant to be single for the rest of their lives.
  • Therefore, if you don’t know that you’re supposed to be single forever, that means you’re supposed to get married.
  • This is nowhere in the Bible.  Nowhere.  Paul says in I Corinthians 7 that marriage is a concession, something you’re allowed to do as a last resort if you can’t resist sexual temptation.
  • I know lots of single people, even single people who have been single for decades and died single.  And I don’t know of a single person who knew they were going to be single forever.

Continue reading

Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids? / We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’

Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids? / We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’

I think at least one of these was written by Melanie Notkin – I first saw these articles mentioned on her Twitter feed. There are two different articles below.

(Link): Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids?

(Link): We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’

Excerpts below each link.

(Link): Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids?

  • There Is No ‘Normal’ American Family Anymore. But Heads Still Shake When It Comes to Women’s Reproductive Choices.
  • It used to be that the Cleavers—dad working an office job, mom raising two boys full-time—were the model American family. But the past several decades have seen dramatic changes—recent studies find that only about half of American adults are married today, compared to around 70 percent in 1960.
  • A Pew Research Center study from 2010 found that 20 percent of American women now end their childbearing years without having borne a child, compared to 10 percent in the 1970s. During that time, the public has become more accepting of these women, but 38 percent of Americans surveyed for that study felt this trend was bad for society.
  • …In advance of the Zócalo event “Why Have Kids?, we asked a panel of experts: If Americans have come to accept a range of non-traditional family structures, why does a woman’s choice not to have children still elicit skepticism and judgment?

(Link): We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’ (I believe the author for this is Melanie Notkin)

Excerpts:

  • We have “Mom-opia” in America—the myopic view of motherhood as womanhood. And yet, the latest U.S. Census Report on Fertility shows that 46 percent of women of childbearing years are childless.
  • This all-women-as-mother view generates “black and white” assumptions for why women make their choices, ignoring nuances and shades of gray. I worked closely with DeVries Global PR on a 2014 national demographic study entitled “Shades of Otherhood,” inspired by my book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness, to better understand this cohort of modern women.
  • Of the 19 million childless American women ages 20 to 44, over one-third (36 percent) are childless by choice. Some never felt motherhood was for them. Some don’t feel financially secure enough for parenthood. Some enjoy the freedom to live life to what they envision as its potential. And 18 percent of all childless women are on the fence, having not yet made a choice on motherhood either way.
  • And then nearly half (46 percent) are involuntarily childless, some by biology, and more often, among the cohort I explore more widely in Otherhood, by circumstance.
  • The women of the Otherhood are often single, often not by choice, and they choose to wait for love before motherhood.

High School Discriminates Against Single Woman Says Dance Is Couples Only

High School Discriminates Against Single Says Dance Is Couples Only

(Link):  Bountiful High School In Utah Wouldn’t Let a Single Student Into a Couples’ Dance, Because People Take School Dances Way Too Seriously

(Link):  Single High School Student Denied Entry to Couples-Only Dance

(Link):  High School Student Banned From Dance Because She Didn’t Have a Date

  • But Josee Stetich, a high school senior in Utah, was denied that right when she was denied entry to her school’s Valentine’s Day dance because it was “for couples only.”
  • Although Josee, 18, and her friends Mikayla Robertson and Shivani Lindmeir, didn’t have boys to bring to Bountiful High School’s Sweethearts Dance, they planned to go as a trio.
  • When they got to the party, the school administrators  granted Shivani and Mikyala access because they had previously bought a ticket together but told Josee that she couldn’t come in according to KUTV.
  • Josee told the school official that she’d gladly pay the $30 couple’s ticket price, but her plea didn’t work.

    KUTV reports that Bountiful’s assistant principal, Sue Baylis, said that the girls “knew it was couples only, but they were hoping for a pass.”

    “We got our hair done, put on nice gowns and Josee even bought new shoes,” Mikayla told ABC News. “We wanted to look our best and be dressed and ready as though we would have had a date.”

  • “I didn’t get asked to the dance, which is fine,” Josee said. “I love hanging out with my girls. It would’ve been fun.”

    Rather than leaving Josee behind, in the ultimate nod to chicks before weird patriarchal rules, the girls took a tour of a nearby chocolate factory together instead.

(Link):  School Refuses Single Student Entry to Weird-as-Hell Couples Dance

(Link):   Utah High School Student Denied Entry to Couples-Only Dance

  • A high school senior in Utah was turned away at her school’s Valentine’s Day “Sweethearts Dance” because it was for couples only, and she was the odd one out among a group of three friends who wanted to go together, one of the friends said.
  • The three Bountiful High School students, Josee Stetich, Mikayla Robertson and Shivani Lindmeir, spent this past Valentine’s Day together getting ready to go to the dance as friends after not getting asked out by anyone, Robertson told ABC News today.
  • “We got our hair done, put on nice gowns and Josee even bought new shoes,” Robertson said.
  • “They told us Josee needed a date, be it a guy or another friend,” Robertson said. “They said the ‘Sweethearts Dance’ was different from other school dances called stomps because it was couples-only.”

    Stetich was even willing to pay $30 at the door for a ticket that would have allowed two people in, Robertson said.

    “They refunded Shivani’s and my ticket, and they lost around $50 because they wouldn’t let us three in,” Robertson said. “I thought it was ridiculous. It’s silly that you can’t come by yourself if you’re not asked to a dance.”

    Bountiful High School apparently was not in session Monday and ABC News’ calls to the school’s offices were not immediately returned. Additional efforts to reach Principal Greg Wilkey, Assistant Principal Sue Baylis and the district’s superintendent outside their offices were unsuccessful.

    However, Wilkey told a local television station, KUTV, that Baylis told him the teens left “voluntarily” after receiving a refund.

    “We wanted to look our best and [be] dressed and ready as though we would have had a date.”

  • At the dance, though, school administrators told Lindmeir and Robertson, who bought a ticket together, that they could attend the dance as a couple, according to Robertson, but that Stetich could not get in solo.

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Related Posts:

(Link): Theme Park Bans Single Adults For Fear They Are All Pedophiles

(Link): Park Bans Single Men -AND- Single Women – Rebuttal to Blogger John Morgan

Man Beats Wife on Wedding Night After Failing to Get Her Dress Off

Man beats wife on wedding night after failing to get her dress off

(Link): Man beats wife on wedding night after failing to get her dress off

  • February 17, 2015 | 9:50am
  • It was a dream wedding, a romantic ceremony, with the bride looking resplendent in white.
  • Yet it turned into an abject nightmare for the beautiful bride, 22-year-old Amy Dawson.
  • After a delightful ceremony in St. Mary’s Church in the village of West Rainton in County Durham, England, the reception for Dawson and her new husband, her long-term partner and father of her child, Gavin Golightly, in nearby Beamish Hall was full of love and laughter.
  • Then, at 12:55 a.m. the following morning, the newlyweds decided to retire to bed and Dawson asked Golightly to help take off her wedding dress.
  • Instead, he attacked her and she thought she was going to die.
  • …. “The defendant then jumped up from his chair, approached Ms. Dawson and pushed her over.“He then sat on top of her and started punching her with clenched fists. He then got up and left the room. It appears that the defendant then came back to the room.”
  • …Dawson received a cut above her left eye and bruises to her face and chest.“When I first met Gavin, he was lovely, I couldn’t fault him,” Dawson told the Sunderland Echo.

    “He was caring and loving, and when we found we were having a baby, we were delighted.

  • ..Dawson, an accountancy student, has filed for divorce.
  • …“He means nothing to me now.”

Kerry Shook Marriage Mystery Sermon Series. Singles Ignored AGAIN.

Kerry Shook Marriage Mystery Sermon Series. Singles Ignored AGAIN.

Feb 15, 2015

Oh geeze. Kerry Shook is starting a new series tonight called “Marriage Mystery.”

I’d say the majority of this guy’s sermons are about marriage. Why? When over half of the American population is NOW single, why does he fixate on marriage?

I’ve tweeted Shook before – links to some of my blog posts here pointing out that he preaches on marriage far too much.

Shook offered the (Link):  Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line at the start of his sermon.

I am a never-married woman over the age of 40. I will probably never marry. So no, Shook, your endless sermons on marriage won’t or do not help me.

When are you going to present yearly sermon series addressing adult singleness and celibacy? Enough already with marriage, marriage, marriage.

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Related Posts:

(Link): Kerry Shook ‘Shark Weakness’ – yet another marriage sermon

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

(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States

(Link):  Stop Overlooking Singles in Church By Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

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

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

(Link): Shocker: Kerry Shook Show Last Night NOT About Marriage

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

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

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

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

(Link):  Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link):  Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

Three Female Ghosts That Haunt The Church from TGC blog by Jen Wilkin

I am usually reluctant to post anything from TGC site or blog, but this piece wasn’t too bad. It covers some ground I’ve discussed on my blog before. I am only copying part of it here. If you’d like to read the whole thing, please click the TGC link to read the rest.

(I originally found this via DefendTheSheep’s Twitter account)

(Link): Three Female Ghosts That Haunt The Church from TGC blog by Jen Wilkin

Excerpts

  • …If you’re a male staff member at a church, I ask you to consider a ghost story of sorts. I don’t think for a minute that you hate women. I know there are valid reasons to take a measured approach to how you interact with us in ministry settings. I absolutely want you to be wise, but I don’t want you to be haunted. Three female ghosts haunt most churches, and I want you to recognize them so you can banish them from yours.
  • ….These three ghosts glide into staff meetings where key decisions are made. They hover in classrooms where theology is taught.
  • …. The three female ghosts that haunt us are the Usurper, the Temptress, and the Child.
  • ….. 2. The Temptress
  • This ghost gains permission to haunt when a concern for avoiding temptation or being above reproach morphs into a fear of women as sexual predators. Sometimes this ghost takes up residence because of a public leader’s moral failure, either within the church or within the broader Christian subculture.
  • If this is your ghost, you may behave in the following ways when you interact with a woman, particularly an attractive one:
    • You go out of your way to ensure your behavior communicates nothing too emotionally approachable or empathetic for fear you’ll be misunderstood to be flirting.
    • You avoid prolonged eye contact.
    • You silently question whether her outfit was chosen to draw your attention to her figure.
    • You listen with heightened attention for innuendo in her words or gestures.
    • You bring your colleague or assistant to every meeting with her, even if the meeting setting leaves no room to be misconstrued.
    • You hesitate to offer physical contact of any kind, even (especially?) if she is in crisis.
    • You consciously limit the length of your interactions with her for fear she might think you overly familiar.
    • You feel compelled to include “safe” or formal phrasing in all your written and verbal interactions with her (“Tell your husband I said hello!” or “Many blessings on your ministry and family”).
    • You Cc a colleague (or her spouse) on all correspondence.
    • You silently question if her comfort in conversing with men may be a sign of sexual availability.
    • ….we must move from a paradigm of wariness to one of trust, trading the labels of usurper, temptress, child for those of ally, sister, co-laborer.

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Related Posts:

(Link):  Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)

(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)

(Link): Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles

(Link): Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

On Being Circumstantially Childless by A. Pearson

On Being Circumstantially Childless by A. Pearson

I never cared if I had children or not. What perturbs me about being childless (or childfree) is how women such as myself are treated as, or assumed to be, selfish, losers, failures, etc. This is also true of churches and Christians.

I’ve read of never married, childless women talk of walking into churches and treated rudely because they do not have children. I’ve had similar experiences in churches. Being childless isn’t bad… what’s bad is how people tend to treat you like a freak once they find out.

Men, by the way, very seldom get the same harassment over being childless as women do – not the same amount and not the same kind. Men seldom get hounded or pestered over if they have kids, or why do they not have them or don’t want any, etc.

(Link): On Being Circumstantially Childless by A. Pearson

Excerpts

  • They expected to have babies but found themselves at the end of their natural fertility without having done so. Perhaps it was due to prioritising work, study or travel. Maybe it was due to not having met someone they wanted to have children with.
  • Whatever the case, the impact of “unintended” or “circumstantial” childlessness on women’s lives needs to be more widely acknowledged, University of Canterbury researcher Dr Lois Tonkin says.

    “They are in the unusual position of being neither voluntarily childless nor involuntarily childless …  an unexpected consequence of other choices,” she says.

  • A GRIEF LIKE MOURNING

    Tonkin, who has a background in counselling, has written a thesis on the subject for a PhD in sociology, examining the experiences of 26 New Zealand women in their 30s and 40s who expected to have children but found themselves at the end of their natural fertility without having done so.

    “Circumstantially childless women very often grieve for the loss of the opportunity to become a mother and for some this grief is likened to the death of someone close,” she says.

    “My study participants often said they felt misunderstood, judged, unacknowledged, ignored and isolated by others around them. Many talked about feeling like a failure.”

Continue reading

Victim Blaming, Rape Apologia Piece by H. Ferguson on Christian Post site: “Rethinking Date Rape”

Victim Blaming, Rape Apologia Piece by H. Ferguson on Christian Post: “Rethinking Date Rape”

I am surprised I have not seen more Christians tweet or write in criticism of this page:

(Link): Rethinking Date Rape by Hope Ferguson – on The Christian Post

Here are some excerpts:

  • … Sulkowicz did not deny previously having taken part in consensual relations with the same young man. So was this a case of rape or of miscommunication?
  • According to the latest statistics, one in five women on American campuses has been subject to acquaintance rape. Although the circumstances vary, one common element is that alcohol has usually been consumed by both parties.
  • A young adult woman, lugging a mattress – the supposed scene of a crime – around with her to class, seemed to me to crystalize all that is wrong with the current focus on the “rape culture,” on college campuses and how it subsequently infantilizes adult women. I could only think of a child lugging around her security “blankie.”
  • ….If a woman decides that a consensual encounter is now not to her liking, and she tells the man to stop, but in a frenzy of testosterone and pleasure, he refuses, is that rape? Does her later no cancel out her earlier yes?If a young woman, such as one profiled in the New York Times recently, gets stinking drunk at a frat party with equally drunk young men, and finds herself “taken advantage of,” is that rape?
  • …While the young men, every bit as immature and drunk as the young women, are excoriated and raked across society’s collective coals, the young women are absolved from all liability and responsibility for their behavior.We are not talking about mature adults preying on kids. We are talking about peers and how they think about, negotiate, and act on their sexual desires.The Columbia student who was so outraged about being “raped” by her date, had already had consensual sex with the same young man previously. Rather than dismissing the incident as sexual communication gone wrong, instead, the young man, a student at Columbia as well, is labeled as a rapist on national TV, with no opportunity to defend himself without exposing his identity.
  • …Roiphe points out how smart young women who populate campuses are seemingly embracing the discarded stereotype of a woman who does not own her own actions, who is innocent, easily persuaded and manipulated; an image that women of her mother’s generation sought to dispel.
  • Are women really helpless victims?In the latest controversy over Jackie’s story in Rolling Stone, the writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, admittedly began her quest with an agenda to expose acquaintance rape on a prestigious college campus; to show how the charge is not taken seriously by college administrators (who frequently do not report the cases to police, either for fear of sullying their institution’s reputations, or in recognition of the murkiness of many of the charges) and to show how young women are therefore victimized all over again.Now I am not defending rape, acquaintance rape, date rape nor any other kind. I am saying, as Roiphe did in her piece, that cases of heterosexual miscommunication may end up as “rape,” if the woman later regrets what she did; doesn’t remember what she did; can’t recall consenting; or did something under the influence of alcohol that she wouldn’t normally do, with the attendant shame.

    However, perhaps the young men also did something under the influence of alcohol that they would not normally do. Why are they held to a higher standard of accountability than the young women? Why isn’t there more education on college campuses about the dangers of binge drinking? Nearly 2,000 young people a year die on American campuses of alcohol-related circumstances.

  • …Why aren’t young women taught to protect themselves and to avoid being caught in avoidable situations that could end badly, like being drunk to the point of passing out in a frat house full of horny young men suffering from TMT (too much testosterone).

I personally do not find it victim-blaming to tell women of preventative measures they can take to lessen their chances of being raped; I wrote about it earlier, here:

(Link):  Suggesting Preventive Measures Is Not Necessarily Victim Blaming

So far on that score, I’m in partial agreement with Ferguson, but I am astounded at how much victim blaming is in this article.

Where Ferguson writes,

  • However, perhaps the young men also did something under the influence of alcohol that they would not normally do. Why are they held to a higher standard of accountability than the young women?

Because a woman getting drunk is not the same thing as a man attacking a woman.

It doesn’t matter if the man in question is inebriated or not when he attacks a woman. Rape remains rape, and a crime that one human does against another.

A woman who is getting drunk in a frat house is only doing harm to herself (she may get liver problems if she continues drinking).

And that is one reason of several why society should hold young men “more accountable” in a situation where he rapes a woman, whether he is drunk or sober at the time. This isn’t rocket science, and I’m shocked that Ferguson doesn’t understand any of this.

Men who kill people while drunk driving face legal penalties, why should they not also do so in cases of sexual assault, if they rape a woman while they are drunk?

Ferguson writes,

  • A young adult woman, lugging a mattress – the supposed scene of a crime – around with her to class, seemed to me to crystalize all that is wrong with the current focus on the “rape culture,” on college campuses and how it subsequently infantilizes adult women. I could only think of a child lugging around her security “blankie.”

For those of you not familiar with the story of the rape victim who carried her mattress around campus, here are a few articles about it (all off site links):

I find it very troubling that this author, Ferguson, shows no understanding or concern for the young woman carrying the mattress, but chooses to view this as the woman “infantilizing” herself.

The young woman’s mattress was symbolic of her attack, and of seeking justice.

To compare the mattress of this story to a child’s “security blankie” belies deep ignorance on the part of the author (and I’m betting this is willful ignorance) and a lack of compassion for sexual assault victims.

Ferguson writes,

  • Although the circumstances vary, one common element is that alcohol has usually been consumed by both parties.

While I have no problem educating and cautioning women from drinking too much around men, especially at frat houses and at bars, it is immoral to blame women for being raped because they were drunk at the time of the assault.

Would Ferguson say that children who follow a child molester into his van for a promise of candy are to blame for being raped by the molester in the van?

Would she, Ferguson, shame those child victims and say, “It was their own fault they were assaulted, because they should have known better than to believe a stranger’s promise about candy?”

Probably not, so why blame a grown woman for being raped?

Ferguson writes,

  • Sulkowicz did not deny previously having taken part in consensual relations with the same young man. So was this a case of rape or of miscommunication?

Any time a woman says no or protests, or does not give her consent to have sex (the woman may be drugged or knocked out and incapable of accepting or declining), the situation is rape.

It does not matter if the man who rapes the woman is a man she has had consensual sex with 100 times in the past, only one time, or ten times, or zero times.

Marital rape was legal in the United States even up into the last half of the 20th century or earlier, because cultural and legal views were such that people believed that a husband had a right to have sex any time with his wife, even if the wife said “no” and did not want to have sex.

It looks as though Ferguson subscribes to this view that women have no agency, that they are forever the property of other men, and that their decisions about their own bodies or lives do not matter.

I also find it very odd and sexist that Ferguson acts as though because a woman may have had consensual sex with a man at one point in time that the man is forever entitled to that woman and her body any time he pleases in the future.

To argue in that manner would be to argue also that because I let the plumber into my house once five years ago to un-clog my kitchen pipes, with my consent, now means that same  plumber can just waltz into my house any time he wants to now and touch my pipes.

Just because I consented to let the auto mechanic down the street change the oil in my car six months ago at the local garage does not give that guy the right to get into my car today, change the oil, or drive the car around.

A one time “yes” of two days ago or ten years ago, does not equate to a lifetime “yes.”

Perhaps the most hypocritical part of the essay was this:

  • …Roiphe points out how smart young women who populate campuses are seemingly embracing the discarded stereotype of a woman who does not own her own actions, who is innocent, easily persuaded and manipulated; an image that women of her mother’s generation sought to dispel.

If anything or anyone is guilty of infantilizing women, it’s conservative Christian teachings about gender roles, dating, and marriage.

Under the rubric of “biblical womanhood,” “traditional gender role” or “gender complementarian” teachings, Christians tell Christian women to behave and think like little girls – though advocates of these positions may deny it, this is what their teachings boil down to in practice.

Christian women, in particular from evangelical, Reformed, fundamentalist, and Baptist backgrounds, get the repeated message from parents, churches, Christian material (such as books, blogs, etc) that a woman’s only  acceptable or suitable role in life is to be a wife and mother.

As a wife, they are told, their husband has authority over them, and they are to “graciously submit” to that husband. Christian women in abusive marriages are counseled by preachers to stay with abusive husband and to continually submit to him.

For examples of that, see these off site links:

(Link): Preacher John Piper: Wives should “endure” abuse “for a season”

(Link): Paige Patterson has never retracted his words on wife beating

Those are common views among conservative Christians concerning women in abusive marriages. I said COMMON, those are not rare, those are not exceptions.

Christian women are taught from the time they are young that they are always to put the needs and feelings of other people before their own.

Christian women are taught and pressured from the time they are girls and as adults that they are always to say “yes” to other people’s requests, no matter what.

Christian women are taught by most other Christians and conservative Christian culture that conflict is bad or wrong and to be avoided.

Therefore, many Christian women raised in such families or environments never get any practice at developing assertive life skills, disagreeing with others, standing up to people, defending themselves.

Conservative Christians raise females with the expectation that a good, biblical female is one who is constantly quiet, sweet, un-assertive, doesn’t make choices for herself, doesn’t challenge or disagree with people, especially never men.

Christian women are, in other words, fed a steady diet of Codependency, and they taught that being Codependent is God’s will for every woman’s life.

Women who are raised like this are incapable of making decisions for themselves. They tend to cave in quickly when they are too afraid to stand up to a person who is demanding something of them. The word “no” gets caught in their throat.

This puts Christian women in a dangerous position, from the time she is a kid, teen, and into her adult years, unless and until she visits therapists and reads books by doctors who explain it’s not mean, uh-Christ-like, bitchy, or selfish for a woman to say “no” and to have boundaries.

Here’s an example that happens to a lot of women a lot as they grow up and even into their adulthoods (this happened to me a lot):

If a strange man approaches a woman on the street asking for help, the woman’s instinct or gut tells her this man is possibly a mugger or a rapist, but she don’t want to hurt his feelings, offend the man, or appear as a bitch.

After all, their mothers, Christian pastors, and books about men and dating, raised them that Christian girls are ALWAYS sweet, helpful, and nice, and should not put even their own safety ahead of a stranger in need – so instead of running away or making an otherwise quick exit, which they should do, they let the strange man approach them and talk to them.

And all the while, they have butterflies in their stomach, worried if this man is going to harm them or not.

By the way, a lot of rapists prey on women using this as a tactic and use this to exploit women.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, used to put a cast on his arm, and approach young women asking them for help, to carry things to his car. He knew they did not want to appear bitchy or mean, so they would help him out. Once they were by his car, he wound knock them out, toss their bodies in his car, drive away, and kill them.

Rapists, muggers, etc, count on women caring more about others than their own safety, they rely on women caring more about appearing nice, sweet, and “Christian” then they do about their own safety, and they exploit these traits to get female victims.

And Christians keep right on teaching women to be easy targets for rapists, con artists, abusive boyfriends, and muggers.

Yes indeed, it’s conservative Christian teaching itself which causes some Christian women to be raped, mugged, or killed.

It’s not always the fault of secular feminism, university campus parties, or alcohol drinking that is to blame for rape, but the cultural and Christian pressure on women from the time they are young, to always be compliant, lack boundaries, and afraid to say No to anyone.

The ideal biblical, Christian woman to most Christians is a passive, wimpy, sweet, subservient, woman who will never stand up for herself, never utter a negative comment.

And it’s precisely those kinds of women abusive men and rapists love to choose as their victims.

Christian gender role teachings set women up to be enticing, easy targets for con artists, rapists, abusive husbands, but then Christians – such as Ferguson – who write those awful articles, blame the women for being raped.

Christians who pressure girls and women to abide by gender complementarian teachings (which is nothing but codependency) set women up to be rape victims, conditions them to act and think like victims, but then they turn around and blame them if they are raped.

It’s demonic, evil, and very deplorable to set women up to be assaulted, and then blame them if or when they are assaulted. The Christian Post really should delete that article.

————————-

Related posts:

(Link):  How Feminists Are Making Women Easier Rape Targets

(Link):  Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): The “Feminization” of the Church by K R Wordgazer

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

Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)

Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)

As has been covered many times on this blog, and in a few books about adult singles by other Christian authors, most conservative churches (Baptists, Reformed / Calvinist and evangelicals are the worst), continue to marginalize, ignore, or insult anyone who does not fit their ideal of “Married parent.”

If you are never married, divorced, widowed, infertile, and don’t fit the dated June Cleaver stereotype of stay at home wife and mother, you will either be overlooked regularly, or insulted.

(Link): Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson

Excerpts

  • By Sandra Crawford Williamson on December 5, 2014
  • When we look in the pews on Sunday morning, what kinds of women do we see?Wives with their husbands? Mothers with their children? The single women sitting alone in the back rows?

    Yes, they are all of those things and so much more. How do we use these women to grow and serve the church?

    Camouflaged in Church

    In America, 47% of the workforce is made up of women, and the percentage has doubled in every age category since 1950, according to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. The Committee also reports that 83% of women raising children work outside of the home, compared to 47% in 1975. AND a whopping 75% of them work full-time!

    These women are out there. In fact, We may not realize that half of the women in the church are working women, because they are camouflaged.

    We’re not talking about green outfits. No, her camouflage looks different. Her camouflage is her Sunday-best, children calling her “Mommy,” and maybe a strong, spiritual husband beside her. She blends with others because there is no other group for her.

    And what about the single women who don’t get married until later in life? They don’t fit into the different affinity groups:  “moms”, “married”, “divorced.” And the “singles” are often college-aged/recent graduates that don’t relate to them either.

    Many of these women haven chosen to not marry yet and are in the workplace, but they often quietly slip in and out of church to avoid the sympathy, advice, and blind dates that are thrown their way. Sadly, they may end up seeing themselves as “not-mothers” and “not-wives” instead of someone who is pursuing her Ephesians 2:10 calling in the workplace.

    What the Church Isn’t Seeing

    In the church, there is no way for us to see that one of these women may wake up Monday morning and run a multi-billion dollar firm, argue a legal case, or manage a $500 million investment portfolio.

    There’s no way for us to see the constant spiritual warfare she faces in the workplace, her mission field. They are game-changers, bravely facing the corporate world and all the challenges that it holds.

  • These women are also in need of encouragement and support as they leave the church walls after the service and get thrown into the competitive, often harsh corporate world.Let’s change our view of them, see them for all they are, and help them.

    Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches?

    We need to figure out quickly how to recognize, encourage, and spiritually lead these women. Barna and others say as many as 27% of professional Christian women are starting to choose to unplug from church all together. Why is that?

    Evidence says four reasons are given as to why she chooses to stay home from church.

    1. The examples from the pulpit don’t pertain to me because they are often about men in business and women in the home.

    Psychology tells us that if a human doesn’t see themselves in a picture, they will put it down and be uninterested. The professional women in the pew need to see and hear themselves painted into the spiritual message picture on Sunday morning, and beyond, in a way that pertains to her life.

    Takeaway: Messages could include more examples of women doing things outside of the home.

  • 2. I am underutilized at church so I don’t feel my spiritual gifts are recognized or respected.
  • Even though these women have giftedness outside of traditional home skills, they are often only asked to make casseroles and work in the church nursery.
  • These women may not be asked to serve on church committees, even though the topics may be her Monday – Friday areas of expertise.
  • Add this example to the facts that she is already very busy and that only 20% of humans respond to a need when asked to volunteer, and you get a major untapped resource inside your church that may leave because she is not called upon to use her gifts.
  • Takeaway: Find her and her gifts and use her for God’s glory INSIDE the church.
  • 3. I feel isolated at church because there is no bucket into which I fit.
  • These women look around and see all of the buckets of people that are being served, such as “the young marrieds,” “the singles,” “the youth,” “the married with children,” “empty-nesters,” “divorced,” “retired,” etc., and do not find a label that fully encompasses all they are.
  • She is a woman AND a business leader. Her daily challenges are unique. Yet, there is no unique group that addresses all of the life parts with which she is faced.
  • Takeaway: Start an authentic Women in Business movement in your church by tapping into a few key women and give them the appropriate support.

Read the rest at: Why Are Working Women Unplugging From the Church

Regarding this part:

  • 1. The examples from the pulpit don’t pertain to me because they are often about men in business and women in the home.

I made the same point here, (Link):   Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored

You see, there are actually Christians who believe the solution to helping singles who desire marriage to get married is for preachers to talk about and sermonize about marriage even more than they already do. I pointed out what a big mistake that is.

You must meet people where they are, not lecture them to where you hope they will be one day.

That is, so long as I remain single, I want my singleness to be supported and discussed, which means, if preachers are going to sermonize about marriage (and they do so, quite often), they sometimes need to discuss adult singleness on occasion.

As a never married woman who is past the age of 40, I do not need to hear my one billionths marriage sermon. I have sat thru many, many marriage sermons. I don’t need to hear another one. It would not kill the married persons in the congregation to hear a sermon about adult singleness every so often.

See this post:

(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

Adult singles need to be met where they are- which means, they need to hear material that is applicable to them. Preachers who never shut their pie holes up about marriage are driving adult singles away from churches, they are not encouraging such singles to run out and get married.

———————————————————–

Related:

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

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

(Link):  More Women Are Leaving Behind Religious Identities For Something More Spiritual

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

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

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

(Link):  The Masculinity Myth: The Real Reason Men Don’t Go to Church by the Evangelical Pulpit

(Link):  Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians including MEN Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M. Notkin

I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M Notkin

About the page I’m linking to below by Melanie Notkin, I relate.

I was engaged at one point to a guy and broke things off. He wasn’t right for me. I was miserable in the relationship, and I was not about to marry someone who I couldn’t even stand being engaged to.

I do not understand why so many people assume that folks who have never dated, never married, or who have not dated in years, are suspect or lacking, they assume that there must be something wrong with the person.

Just because someone has never dated, never married, or has gone years without being in a serious relationship, does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the person.

It can be very difficult to meet a match as you go through life, and some of us are not willing to lower our standards to date just anyone (being single is a much better choice than being with the wrong person or with dating an abuser or a jerk).

I can hazard a guess as to why I’ve never married at my age, and I won’t list all the reasons here, and in the overall scheme, I’m not sure why I’ve never married.

I do have a few hunches about contributing factors, though.

First of all, I was raised in a Christian environment that taught me to be very passive about marriage. I was supposed to “wait on the Lord’s timing,” pray, have faith, and God would magically send me a spouse. But that never happened.

Secondly, though I had wanted to marry, I was not in desperation mode about it. I know it’s a mistake to marry someone who is wrong for you just for the sake of marrying.

Thirdly, I am a huge introvert. Meaning, I do fine alone and actually prefer alone time. I hate parties and social events.

I do fine with being alone for long stretches of time, so unlike women who are clingy, needy, and who base their self worth on if they have a man or not, and who absolutely have to have a man because they cannot stand being alone, I was and am okay with being alone. I also don’t base my value or worth in having a spouse.

I think some of my views are actually pretty healthy. I am not going to be rushed or pressured into marrying by anyone or anything.

You would think our culture would respect these sorts of wise choices, but more often than not, they do not. They choose to assume if you are still single at age whatever, or if it has been years since you dated, you must have some kind of flaw.

Here is the link. I have more comments below the excerpts:

(Link): I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M. Notkin published October 2014

Excerpts:

  • I’m at a bar, on my first date with Brian, a man I met online. I’m happy to be inside, sitting next to this man, warm and calm. At age 45, I’m no longer focused on the future; I’m no longer envisioning my life as one half of a young couple, thinking about our future children. I’m focused on the moment I’m in right now. This is life. This is my life.
  • And notwithstanding it not turning out the way I had expected, my life is beyond my expectations. I have chosen to live my life to its potential, and I’ve never felt better about myself or more comfortable in my own skin.
  • Brian is handsome, self-made and from his body language, I can tell he’s happy to be sitting at the bar next to me. He swivels to face me, smiling, and I smile back. The date is off to a great start.
  • But soon enough, his tone changes. Brian has decided it’s time to find out what’s wrong with me. And after all these years, seasons of men, loves and likes and not-quite-there feelings, I recognize the conversation that’s about to begin.

    First, my dates prove their ability to be in a relationship. They describe their marriage and how it concluded, or why their recent long-term relationship finally had to end, as Brian’s had earlier this year. “We argued so much it no longer felt good to be in the relationship,” he volunteers. And now, as these exchanges go, it’s my turn to share why I’m still single.

    “Have you ever been married?” Brian asks.

    “No,” I say.

    “Have you come close? Like engaged or lived with someone?”

    “Nope,” I add.

    Brian presses his lips together in judgment. “When was your last long-term relationship?” he asks, believing my answer is the answer to whether or not I want to be in a relationship. Or, perhaps more importantly, whether or not I am capable of being in one.

    “It’s been a while,” I softly respond, noticing my own disappointment, let alone his.

    “But you’re attractive and smart. I can’t believe you haven’t had a boyfriend in a while,” Brian says, but I know his flattery is a guise to learn the great mystery of why I’m still single.

  • … “So, what’s the issue?” he asks. “I can’t believe you would still be single. You must be picky.”We’re entering the “dating-deduction” phase. Brian will keep trying to deduce what’s wrong with me until he hits the jackpot.

    “Of course I’m picky,” I say with confidence. “I want to be in love with the man I’m with and he deserves to be loved. If being ‘picky’ means I won’t settle for a lesser love, then you are right: I’m picky.”

  • … “Some people choose to focus on their careers and some choose to have families,” my date says emphatically, making the assumption that because I haven’t had a family, I’ve made my choice.”I didn’t choose to have a career over falling in love, getting married and having children,” I reply, my voice again slightly raised.
  • (Link): Click Here To Read The Entire Page, (“I’m over 40, never married, childless, and no, there’s nothing “wrong” with me”)

Additional thoughts: I find guys like the “Brian” mentioned above to be very annoying. I probably would not have been anywhere near as patient and nice as Notkin was to the guy.

I would have told Brian that it’s rude and presumptuous of him to make negative assumptions about my singlehood, to pester me about my single status, and all further questions about it are off limits.

By the way – I wonder why people divorce.

I don’t think making it to the altar to start with is a great feat, if you lack standards. I think marriage is harder for people who are not willing to marry just to marry, but if you are willing to drop standards and marry due to societal expectations, you can marry quickly.

Anyway, the double standard drives me nuts.

Many in our culture assumes a never-married 35 or 40 year old is suspect, but I have the opposite bias.

I often suspect people who have been divorced are the ones who have issues.

If you were a great, or normal, or a stable person, your marriage should have worked out.

What’s wrong with you, Mr. Divorced Guy, that you could not stay married to the same woman, and here you are, hitting on me on a dating site?

See how that works? I bet divorced and married people don’t like being subjected to these sorts of prejudices, but they do this all the time to people who have never married, or who have not dated in months or years.

It’s possible this Brian guy is a literary device that Notkin came up with to summarize the many negative assumptions culture holds about never married singles, but I have seen similar attitudes in real life or on other websites about singles.

I sometimes see total losers who get married (I have a series of posts on this blog called “They’re married??” you should check out for examples, see also this post for examples of total losers and dregs who for some reason managed to snag a mate), and I sometimes like to ask these people, “How did an ugly / weird / child molesting weirdo loser like you get a spouse????” – but I’ve so far not asked anyone that question.

I mean, seriously, if culture is going to stigmatize people who never marry and assume there is something wrong with us, I say never married adults need to ask their unattractive, fat, or weird, loser married friends, “How did you get married? I don’t get it. You have no redeeming qualities I can see, yet someone married you – was it desperation on their part?”

—————————————–

Related posts on this blog:

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

(Link):  Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link):  Why is the childfree singleton a curiosity? by V Blackburn

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles

(Link): Another Obnoxious ‘Why You’re Not Married Yet‘ Article

(Link): A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)

(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

(Link): I’m Single, But I’m Still a Whole Person (article)

Married Guy Tells Advice Columnist His Wife Cheated on Him Numerous Times With Other MARRIED Men

Married Guy Tells Advice Columnist His Wife Cheated on Him Numerous Times With Other MARRIED Men

Society definitely has a bias that unmarried adults are dangerous to married people. Conservative Christians also have an insulting mindset that single adults are very apt to seek out married people for romps in the hay.

It’s also thought – by Non Christians and Christians – the married women have no interest in sex at all.

Stories like the one below are not terribly rare, though. Here is a married guy who says that his wife cheated on him many times in his marriage with OTHER MARRIED MEN.

Obviously, his wife could not have been all too dis-interested in sex if she was having sex with other men. This also demonstrates that married people need to stop viewing all adult singles as threats and realize that married people sometimes cheat with other married people.

(Link): Tell Me About It: No need to remain friends with spouse who cheated

  • Dear Carolyn:
  • My wife and I are divorcing after many years of marriage, and I am having a difficult time understanding her desire to remain friends.
  • The reason for the divorce is her cheating on me multiple times.
  • I finally realized that our marriage died many years ago.
  • All of her affairs were with married men, so her actions destroyed multiple families, and I don’t want to associate with a person who has so little respect for the feelings of other people.
  • I realize we will have to interact at family events, but I would like to keep our communication to a minimum — which is causing resentment on her part and confusion for our families. How do I stay true to my convictions without coming off as the bad guy?
  • — No-Win Situation
  • Dear No-Win: What’s so bad about coming off as the bad guy?
  • If she thinks you’re mean for declining her overtures of friendship, tough biscuits for her.
  • If your families are confused, mark a path for them toward understanding without stamping on your ex: “Please trust me; I have my reasons for keeping my distance.”

Pro-Life, Christian Sites that Flirt With Denigrating Singleness and Childlessness In Their Quest to Argue Against Abortion / Re Eric Metaxas etc

Pro-Life, Christian Sites that Flirt With Denigrating Singleness and Childlessness In Their Quest to Argue Against Abortion / Re Eric Metaxas etc

If you are new to this blog: I am pro-life. I do not support abortion.

I have traditional values, and was completely a Christian up until a couple years ago; I currently reside somewhere between being a Christian and being agnostic. I am not hostile towards traditional marriage or “the family.”

I do, however, object to the fact that many conservative Christians have turned marriage and family into deity, and they marginalize and shame anyone who has not married or had children.

One troubling aspect I see in Christian sites or blogs that champion traditional values, or ones that argue against abortion, is a propensity to equate adult singleness, celibacy, and remaining childless to being selfish, to being opposed to God, the Bible, or biblical values.

Many times, these sites that argue for the nuclear family and against abortion do not take into account that many adult singles are remaining single not by choice, but due to circumstance.

See, for example, this post on this blog:

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

I myself had wanted to marry, but my relationship with my fiance did not work out so I had to break up with him, and I have not met anyone suitable since.

I cannot put a gun to a man’s head and force him to marry me, nor do I want to order a male-order mail groom, nor do I have a magic wand where I can wave it about and make a man appear out of thin air.

I don’t think Christians who obsessively advocate for marriage, natalism, and the nuclear family, appreciate that getting married is not as simple or easy as they seem to think it is.

For more on that typical mindset among Christians, please see this post at this blog: (Link):  Typical Conservative Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough (or at all), Mr. Right will magically appear

I follow the site “Life News” on Twitter, and I tend to agree with many, though not all, of their views. I am not sure, but I think Life News is a Roman Catholic based organization, but many of their view points sound similar to Protestant or Baptist positions on marriage, abortion, and other topics.

Life News is a very pro-life site, which I am fine with. However, today, they tweeted a link to this page, and I do have some misgivings by how they have represented singleness and the state of being childless, via this editorial by Eric Metaxas:

(Link): “Choice,” Abortion Behind Worldwide Demographic Spiral by Eric Metaxas

I’m not sure, but I believe that Metaxas is Protestant. At any rate, here are some excerpts:

  • by Eric Metaxas
  • As you might suspect, this pro-choice “age of possibility” has room for almost anything—except children. Brooks notes: “The number of Americans who are living alone has shot up from 9 percent in 1950 to 28 percent today. In 1990, 65 percent of Americans said that children are very important to a successful marriage. Now, only 41 percent of Americans say they believe that.
  • And here’s the kicker: “There are now more American houses with dogs than with children.”

Continue reading

Mother Kills Six Year Old, Austistic Son By Throwing Him Off A Bridge – Mothers Admit in Comments on News Articles They Wish They Could Murder Their Own Kid, or Have Aborted Kid

Mother Kills Six Year Old Son By Throwing Him Off A Bridge – Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Godly, Loving, Mature

Common claim or assumption made by Baptists, conservative evangelicals, and Christian Fundamentalists:

  • Motherhood is a woman’s only, or most high, or most godly calling, and motherhood makes a woman more godly, loving, compassionate, moral, and giving.

Flip side of coin: these same groups assume women who do not marry and/or who never have children are losers, freaks, not fulfilling God’s plan for them or their gender, or are selfish (such women are often wrongly assumed to be deliberately avoiding marriage, clinging to secular left wing feminism, or are career obsessed harpies).

Here’s yet a billionth reason as to how being married and a mother does not automatically make or guarantee that a woman will be more “godly” or loving: a woman tossed her six year old kid off a bridge, which killed him.

According to other news articles, the woman who killed her son by tossing him over a bridge was tired of taking care of him and her sick husband (her husband had developed MS).

I would also like to point out that the comments below some of these stories have other mothers saying that they too are parents to SN kids (special needs), and they too are tempted at times to murder their child because the care-taking is so exhausting, and they get no help.

Now, please tell me, evangelical and other Christians, how you can honestly sit there and say mothers are more godly when they admit to harboring fantasies of murdering their own toddlers, or 5, 6, 7, 8 year old children?

Quite obviously, being a mommy is not all it’s propagandized to be. It’s not all rainbows and cherries, and no, it’s not “all worth it.” Nor does being a parent make a person immune from sinning (from murder, from abuse, etc.)

(Link):  Oregon Mother Accused of Throwing 6-Year-Old Son with Autism Off Bridge to His Death

(Link): Mom tells 911 she threw her son off bridge

(Link):  Oregon six-year-old dead; mother tells police she threw him off bridge

  • Authorities recovered the body of a six-year-old boy floating in an Oregon marina on Monday night just hours after his mother told police she threw him from a nearby bridge, police said.
  • Jillian McCabe, 34, called police around 6:25 p.m. local time saying she had tossed her son London from the Yaquina Bay Bridge in the coastal city of Newport, the city’s police department said in a statement.

Continue reading

Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

This is actually a pretty good editorial. I found maybe only one or two comments I didn’t fully agree with, but otherwise, and considering this was written by a married guy, it was pretty good. He’s one of the few married people who “gets it.”

And I didn’t find his editorial condescending. Often when trying to cheer singles up about being single, the married Christian author comes across as a patronizing jerk, but not this guy.

He basically repeats many of the same points I’ve been blogging about the last couple of years.

(Link): Really, It’s Okay To Be Single –  In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

Excerpts:

  • …. It seems to me that the evangelical church places marriage on something of a pedestal, describing it in elevated terms, and investing enormous amounts of time and resources into strengthening that institution.
  • …. And so it was only natural that the church would shift its attention to marriage, in order to prevent, or at least slow, the degradation of that institution. I think it’s important to keep this context and these good intentions in mind.
  • But there was an unintended side effect to this, that as the emphasis shifted towards the signifcance of marriage, the significance of singleness was minimized. Marriage became very very important, and very very good, so good and so important that it became the implicit goal for all Believers.
  • And in contrast, singleness was naturally overlooked, and even became something of a pariah status, a deficiency to be avoided at all costs. Singles’ ministries often focused not on living as a single person, but trying to escape singleness as quickly as possible, offering mixers and retreats where single people could meet, court, and get married, and so leave their wretched state behind. Whether consciously or not, marriage had become the goal for all Believers, an ideal state that was infinitely better than the alternative.
  • …. In my mind, this was an enormous failure on the church’s behalf. Of all institutions, church should have been the one place where single people could thrive and feel valued for who they were. After all, there is a deep respect for singleness both in the Bible and throughout church history, just as much as for marriage. Jesus himself was single, and so being single is hardly a sin.
  • [Describing a single woman friend the author knows who quit attending church]
  • …No one [at church or in Christian culture] ever spoke about singleness, nor assigned it any value except as a stepping stone to marriage. She received sideways glances whenever she expressed a lack of enthusiasm about getting married. Although no one ever consciously drove her away, she felt out of place, alienated, and unappreciated. And so she stopped coming to church.
  • ….She eventually did find people who accepted her as a single person, and never pressured her to get married: non-Christians. It was her non-Christian friends who provided her a community where she could be both single and fully valued – after all, to them, marriage was a dated and impotent institution, why push it on anyone?! And to this day, she has not set foot in a church, and feels little inclination to do so again.
  • ((click here to read the entire page))

——————————

Related posts:

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

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

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

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

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

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

(Link):  Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

The Never Ending Love Affair by The Barna Group With The Millennials

The Never Ending Love Affair by The Barna Group With The Millennials

Evangelicals and other conservative Christians have a nasty habit of ignoring certain groups of people – such as the elderly, widows, widowers, the divorced, and never married adults who are over the page of 30.

At the same time these groups get nary a mention – or tweet – other groups, such as The Millennials, are focused upon obsessively. (That, or married couples who have children. Married couples who have kids get lots of coverage in evangelicalism as well.)

I began following the Barna Group Twitter account about two or three months ago (or it feels that way; it may have been longer or shorter than that).

During that time, I have noticed that they tweet about the Millennials frequently, or on a consistent basis.

Every so often, the Barna Group will tweet about general topics that are not necessarily pertaining to Millennials, such as…

(Barna Group tweet: “Real data confirms how drastically the moral,social, and spiritual lives of Americans have changed and are changing. https://www.barna.org/churchless“)

Which is fine.

However, I have yet to see a Tweet, or a regular series of tweets, addressing studies or articles about Gen X, Gen Y, adult singles, the divorced, or widowers, and, in particular, why these slices of the demographic pie have stopped attending the church, or why they are feeling neglected, and how churches can win these groups back.

If you’ve read blogs and books by people in those demographics, or the work “Quitting Church” by Julia Duin, you will see that many other people, who are not millennials, are dropping out of church also.

But all the publicity and hand-wringing by Christians (including the Barna folks) concerns the Millennials.

Is this a money making thing? Do churches or Christian groups or polling groups get more money by focusing on the current crop of 20-somethings?

Because I’m at a loss to understand what the extreme concern is over whether or not a 21 year old frat boy decides to stop going to church – and little to no attention is being shown for, example, the 38 year old, never married, childless woman who has had it with church and has quit.

I find it ironic that Barna Group seems to be concerned over Millennialls quitting church, but one factor of several I have personally quit church (and possibly the entire Christian faith) has to do with evangelical Christianity’s fixation upon youth. Christians never shut up about  married couples, marriage, or “the millennials” and “how to reach children.”

Meanwhile, next to no effort is made by Christians to minister to anyone over the age of 29. If you are over 30, never have married, and never have had children, churches are not welcoming.

I have tweeted to The Barna Group several times in the last few months pointing this glaring omission out – that they rarely tweet about other groups.

A couple of times, one Barna Group lady, and some Barna Group guy told me they do sometimes do research on other groups. The guy who has tweeted me back two or three times seems annoyed by me.

I’m not purposefully trying to annoy him or anyone at his group, but I am merely pointing out the on-going tendency by their group, and Christians in general, to completely ignore non-Millennials, and I find this tendency, well, highly annoying.

Today, under yet another Millennial themed tweet by the Barna Group, I replied, “Another tweet about the Millennials,” and this exchange happened:

October 23, 2014 Barna Group Tweets

October 23, 2014 Barna Group Tweets

I don’t recall ever asking or demanding that the Barna group cease tweeting or writing about the Millennials (though I do think it an enormous waste of time and concern to expend this much effort on 20 somethings).

My point is, if you are going to yak about the Millennials, research them, tweet about them, coddle them, and try to reach out to them to win them back to church, you really ought to be spending an equal amount of time on other groups.

For every tweet, survey, or article about The Millennials, how about one about widows of any age, or divorced people or adult singles?

Over half the American adult population is now single – adult singles now out-number married couples in our nation. You’d think this would merit more attention (and in the form of Tweets and surveys) from Barna, but they seem overly preoccupied with the Millennials who are already a very self-absorbed bunch; they don’t need any more attention.

If you’re in a group that insists on tweeting about the Millennials five or more times a day, how about an equal amount of tweets about other demographics?

Here are some more tweets from the Barna Group about Millennials, observe the date and time stamps on each (farther below).

In-between these tweets, Barna Group does sometime tweet about issues that pertain to everyone, not just Millennials, such as this one, which mentions “adults,” and not millennials in particular.

(I tried to copy only different tweets from their Twitter page, but there may be one or more duplicates below that I pasted accidentally. Barna Group sometimes re-tweets the same material several times over, so some of what you see may appear to be a duplicate, but is not.)

But look at how often they focus on Millennials – and this is just from the month of October:

Another Millennial themed tweet by Barna Group:

This was a Millennial themed tweet that was Re-tweeted by Barna Group:

(And you see that “Continue Reading” link below (if you are viewing this on the blog’s main page?) Click that to continue the post and see more Millennials obsession by Barna Group, there are even more tweets)

Continue reading

A Critique of the Post: How Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect Friendships – from STR

A Critique of: How Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect Friendships – from STR (Stand To Reason apologetics)

I think this editorial from STR misses the mark, or it comes too late, or, it overlooks the damage typical Christian stereotypes about HETERO relationships and sexual proclivities has had upon friendship.

That is, paranoid Christian teaching that is intended to keep hetero singles from committing fornication ALSO sexualizes all relationships, even friendship.

However, this paper from STR, this post by a woman named Amy Hall, is claiming the normalization of homosexuality and acceptance of homosexual marriage is doing that, that it is sexualizing same gender friendships – which maybe it is, to a degree, but I am not going to let the Christian hypocrisy go on this one.

Christians do not believe it is possible for a man and woman to be friends.

Evangelicals, Baptists, and a lot of Reformed material I’ve seen, wrongly assume there is always sexual attraction between a man and a woman, or that any sexual attraction (if it does exist) will always end in sex, no exceptions, and it is further assumed that people lack sexual self control.

According to mainstream Christian thinking, you cannot expect a man and woman left alone NOT to end up getting naked and doing the sex. It’s a rather immature, junior highish, juvenile view of sex and genders, if you ask me. If you are an adult, you can damn well control yourself.

These Christian assumptions that men and women cannot be friends is so deeply ingrained, it’s to the point that even one of the women who posted this STR blog page – who is named Amy  (at least I think this is the same Amy as the one who posted the blog page, it may be a different Amy) – said this in a comment she left so a reader on the page:

  • Sam, I don’t think it’s so much about a fear that people will think you’re gay. I think it’s more that when the theoretical possibility of a sexual relationship is always culturally there, you keep a certain distance.
  • Think about friendships between men and women. I hold friendships with men at a certain distance, not wanting to signal that the friendship is heading towards a sexual relationship (doubly true for married men), so I have closer friendships with good women friends where emotional intimacy is safe.

The only reason you feel a need, or feel shamed to “hold friendships with men at a certain distance, especially married ones” is because Christians have sexualized all people and all relationships.

I see no reason why hetero Amy cannot have a close relationship with a married man. She has simply been conditioned by secular and Christian culture to think such is impossible, because her getting close to a married dude will either end in sex, or busy-bodies in her church will assume the two are boinking (even if they are not).

There is no biblical reason why a single woman cannot be friends with a married guy.

And the “don’t even fall for the appearance of evil” Bible verse is not applicable here, folks. Nope.

Verses and teachings like that get abused and stretched to a point by Christians they were never intended to, and they nullify other teachings of God in the Bible, like this:

  •  [Jesus Christ speaking],
  • “For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER'; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH'; 11 but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”… (source)

One factor I’ve raised on this blog time and again (with links to prove it, you can start here) is that often times, married men seek out affairs with married women (and vice versa). See also this link. And this link.

It’s not that single women are more prone to sleep with a married guy than a married woman is. Plenty of time, married people have affairs with other married people. Sometimes, married men hit on single women – the single women are not initiating (see this link for example).

There is nothing about marriage that makes a person immune from sexual sin, or that being married gives married persons stronger character – it’s not that single women prey on married men, or that they are more apt to stalk married guys, or that single women have weaker constitutions that make them more likely to engage in sexual sin.

I will also add here that the basis for these stereotypes – that men and women cannot be friends, etc – usually comes from a traditional gender role view, which is actually sexist in nature against women – Christian gender complementarians are often the ones guilty of pushing these views.

Gender complementarians are notorious for making all manner of unfounded, unbiblical assumptions about men and women, and erecting tight, small boxes for men and women, and in related matters, such as how to date. I have touched on those issues (Link): here and here. See also this post.

(Link): How Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect Friendships

Here are some excerpts:

  • In a review of Anthony Esolen’s new book, Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity, Matthew Franck explains the unintended effect same-sex marriage will have on friendships in our society:

The fallout from the destruction and redefinition of marriage spreads still more widely, even beyond the immediate territory of the family. Deep friendship between members of the same sex is now in grave danger.

To show us why, Esolen asks us to imagine a world in which the incest taboo is erased (and that is a world that may not be far off). In such a place, “You see a father hugging his teenage daughter as she leaves the car to go to school. The possibility flashes before your mind. The language has changed, and the individual can do nothing about it.”

So too, in the world that is rapidly embracing and recognizing homosexual relationships as normal and normative, the space for deep and meaningful male-male or female-female friendships among the young is rapidly shrinking to the vanishing point.

[// end quote]

…. I’ve already seen a change happening in interpretations of friendships, most recently in the discussion over Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s friendship with Eberhard Bethge, and it’s upsetting to me that people might shy away from close friendships for this reason. –

[//end blog excerpt by Amy Hall]

Here is a comment I left on their page (I see now it contains a few typing errors):

  • Actually, Christians have been doing this for ages now. I blog about it often.
  • I have a blog on Word Press called “Christian Pundit” (not to be confused with another Word Press blog of a very similar name, “THE Christian Pundit”) where I explain how mainstream evangelical and other conservative Christian teaching about the genders, dating, and sex carry the same exact attitudes you are discussing in your post.
  • In a lot of Christian material on the genders, marriage, sex, dating, etc, Christians make the same (incorrect) assumptions as secular society does about these topics, with the result that everything is sexualized.
  • A few examples of what I mean:

Continue reading

Praying for a Child – The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women.

Praying for a Child – The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women.

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

My thoughts on this editorial:

I am not Roman Catholic, and I disagree with much of their theology, but – there are similarities between what is expressed in this editorial and views I see from Baptists and Protestants in how they treat women who are childless, infertile, or childfree.

Too many religions place way too much emphasis on natalism and “the family.”

You will notice that Jesus Christ, and Paul the apostle, sought to move the Christian faith AWAY from such a strong emphasis on those issues, but American Christians (and many other world religions) keep putting “the family” and pro-creation at the forefront of their beliefs.

Both Christ and Paul taught that it is acceptable to God for a person to remain childless or single, regardless of most of the reasons.

Unfortunately, Christians today, whether going under the banner of Catholicism or Protestantism, have totally undermined what Christ taught and was trying to do, which was to teach that the spiritual bonds of people should out-weight blood relations, and the kingdom of God should grow by conversion, not by physical procreation.

Women should not be made to feel they are failures or “second class” if they never marry or never have children, but this is too often exactly what happens in many churches and denominations – and this is NOT what Christ intended.

Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for “the family,” he died for the sins of the world – for each individual and humanity as a whole, not for things like traditional marriage, natalism, and traditional values, and I say this as someone who is conservative and not “anti family.”

You will see many Christians insisting, wrongly, that motherhood (and/or marriage) is a woman’s highest calling in life, or only acceptable Godly role, yet, they will also chastize and shame women who are infertile who seek to have children via IVF, surrogate motherhood, or what have you. It’s a very insulting double standard.

(Christians also do this in regards to marriage: tell you that you are second class and incomplete without a spouse, but if you dare to get a mate via a dating site or what have you, you will then be scolded for supposedly “making marriage into an idol.” The double standards are beyond hypocritical.)

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

Excerpts:

“Marriage is the closest you can come to being like Christ.” ~ says an obnoxious married Christian man to an unmarried woman

“Marriage is the closest you can come to being like Christ.” ~ says an obnoxious married Christian man to an unmarried woman

This month, Christian site CBE has been publishing a series of articles about adult singleness. I’ve blogged about that before, with links to several of their pages. Here’s another one.

(Link): A Celebration of Singleness

Excerpts.

  • …. When I told him [her married friend who kept trying to fix her up on dates that] my relationship status was my business [she was single] and that I was happy where I was, he said something that irks me to this day: “Marriage is the closest you can come to being like Christ.”
  • His mentality reflects a skewed perspective that makes traditional marriage roles the Christian ideal, especially for women. It defines people through the lens of romantic relationships, not through the lens of Christ and community. To say that to be married is the closest we can come to being like Christ—a single man who died alone on a cross—is near heretical.

Continue reading

Ageism Vs. Age Preferences and Creepy Older Men (critique of post at another blog)

Ageism Vs. Age Preferences and Creepy Older Men

Here is a critique of a blog page by a self identifying, 50- something year old, celibate, Christian by the name of John Morgan (who I had to ban from my blog months before. See other, older posts on this blog for details about that).

Here’s his (J. Morgan’s) blog page about ageism, as it pertains to celibacy and singleness.

(I find it strange that while this guy doesn’t understand women, seems to harbor hostility against them, yet thinks he understands them, so he writes material such as this):

(Link):  Ageism’s Effect on Virtuous Women

Excerpt:

  • Isn’t it odd that virginity is not supposed to exist today after 30, especially for guys? The result is a lot of lonely girls looking for Mr. Right and the typical “I’m too good for you” man-hating language infiltrating the internet dating profiles. How does the virtuous guy interpret that?
  • Not too good. Here’s a sample from a 23 year old girl:
  • ““I’m a virgin and plan on staying that way till I get married. You shouldn’t message me if you’re older then 28. I’m not gonna date you. I’m really not even comfortable being your friend at that point. You better be ready for a conversation. None of this 20 question crap. It’s uncomfortable. I won’t play. You best be ready for a friendship first. That’s right, I only date from my friend zone pile. That’s how I know your character.
  • /end quote by 23 year old woman
  • I guess in her world those of us over 28 and waiting don’t exist. This is what happens when even the eyes of decent girls get fogged over with the ways of the world, when they spend so much time in front of TVs watching the rape and murder stories on the local news that they can’t discern reality.
  • Fornication becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you expect no better than that, you will see no better than that. If you expect all Mr. Wrongs, you will see only Mr. Wrongs.

Here he goes again, blaming women.

He seems to have some real issues with women, and blaming them.

Who runs churches and much of Christian culture? Men, that’s who – especially married men.

Most churches do not permit women to teach or lead or to make decisions about anything beyond what type of casserole to bring to the church potluck.

So I’d say married men in churches, or who are otherwise very influential figure heads in Christian culture (e.g., male Christian authors), are in large measure to blame for how Christian singles are dysfunctional in how they deal with each other and with dating, as they are the ones dictating to everyone else in society how Christian singles “should” be relating to each other. Stop laying that mess at the feet of unmarried Christian women.

(Some married Christian women are to blame for this situation as well, such as author Debbie Maken. However, the ladies are outnumbered by the men who preach, lecture, and crank out books by ten to one.)

At any rate, let’s examine the content of Morgan’s comments and the woman’s quote again.

Where Morgan writes,

  •  Isn’t it odd that virginity is not supposed to exist today after 30, especially for guys?

No, it’s not considered “especially” odd by some in our culture for men to be virgins past 30. It’s considered equally odd by our culture for women to be so past their mid 20s, see this post for an explanation:

(Link): Male Entitlement and Adult Virginity: Who has it worse, Male Vs. Female? (critique of post at other blog)

Quoting Morgan:

  • Fornication becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you expect no better than that, you will see no better than that. If you expect all Mr. Wrongs, you will see only Mr. Wrongs.

It’s not a question of women seeing Mr. Wrongs, as though Mr. Wrongs exist only in their imaginations. There are in fact a ton of Mr. Wrongs in existence, even among self professing Christian males. I have documented many examples, see this page.

See also these pages (some of these links are off site) for more examples of the sexist bullsh-t women have to deal with routinely on dating sites:

Getting back again to the commentary Morgan says he got from a 23 year old woman’s dating profile (question: he told me in the past he’s over 50. What in the hell is he doing looking at the profiles of 23 year olds? Or is he getting her information elsewhere?)

Anyway, she says she is 23 and has an age cap of 28 on men she is willing to date. If you are a man past 28, she says no gracias to you, get lost.

Do you know why she has an age cap of 28?

It’s not necessarily because she assumes all men over 30 are fornicators, but that she would feel more comfortable dating a man within five years of her age.

And that is a perfectly normal, reasonable preference.

Continue reading

The Church Needs Men And Women To Be Friends – from The Beginning of Wisdom Blog

The Church Needs Men And Women To Be Friends

Many Christians and Non Christians alike sexualize anything and everything, and frequently assert that men and women cannot be platonic friends.

This in turn leads to Christian authors and preachers advising men, both married and single, to stay away from women, especially single ones, because fornication will always be the result (so they claim).

This phenomenon is incredibly damaging to adult singles, especially women, who may have traditional values who want companionship but who are attempting to remain celibate, because they end up alone.

Parts of this page I link to below are pretty good, but there are a few aspects I don’t know if I completely agree with.

Now that over 50% of the American population is single (link), it’s even more ridiculous now for preachers and other Christians to continue to tell men to avoid unmarried women.

By the way, I find that the ex-Christian, or progressive Christian sites, Facebook groups, forums, blogs, and Twitter accounts, who tend to mock fundamentalists and evangelicals for being too strict about sex, or too “uptight” about it, have the same problem, only in reverse.

These groups – the liberals and ex Christians – sexualize anything and everything, even when it’s out of place or not appropriate, and they see nothing wrong with it, which I find just as bad as the religious groups who sexualize everything and yell about how immoral sex is.

(Link): The Church Needs Men And Women To Be Friends

Excerpts.

  • …. Sexual attraction is a valid red flag to raise when we consider male-female friendships, and it should never be dismissed lightly. But it does not justify declaring all such friendships impossible. All relationships involve risk of hurt, loss or sin, but we still enter into them because we believe what will be gained is greater than what we might risk.
  • …. Like labor and delivery stories, the lust and infidelity stories of men and women who crossed a friendship boundary play and replay in our consciousness.
  • But we seldom hear repeated the stories of male-female friendships that worked. I don’t think that’s because they don’t exist. In the church, even telling someone that you have a friend of the other gender can raise eyebrows.
  • We have grown positively phobic about friendship between men and women, and this is bad for the church. It implies that we can only see each other as potential sex partners rather than as people.
  • But the consequences of this phobic thinking are the most tragic part: When we fear each other we will avoid interacting with one another. Discussions that desperately need the perspectives of both men and women cease to occur. (Hint: most discussions desperately need the perspectives of both men and women, particularly in the church.)
  • Yet almost no one in the church is bold enough to say these friendships matter. We fear the age-old problem of “If I say X, will I unintentionally encourage Y?” So in the church we rarely tell divorced parents that they can still be good parents because we’re afraid we’ll encourage divorce.

(( click here to read the rest ))

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Related posts:

(Link):  Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)

(Link):  Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link):  Patriarchy (and Christian gender complementarian views) tends to sexualize all male/female relationships

(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles

(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link):  Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships

(Link):  Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity