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

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

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

Excerpts:

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

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

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

Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family by E. Hines

Exploding the Myth of the Traditional Family

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

Excerpts

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

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

James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant

James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant

As this report notes (link is much farther down this blog page), more pressure is placed on WOMEN to marry and have children than is placed on MEN.

I know that culture and Christians can treat single / celibate / childless men like trash, but they are TEN TIMES worse on Christian WOMEN in these regards.

Women get far more pressured to marry and have kids than men do or ever will.

Women get more shamed and insulted by Christians (and at times, secular culture) for staying single, celibate, and childless than males ever are.

Just because most women are capable of carrying a baby inside them, society and churches think it’s their DUTY to have a baby (as though women serve no other purpose in life), and if they choose to opt out (or cannot have a kid), they are still marginalized or insulted for it.

Men don’t face nearly as much insult or pressure to have kids as women do.

I am right of center – but I agree with this left wing (liberal) guy that other right wingers such as Dobson’s real goal is to be against what he perceives as liberal threats to the church or culture. That is one very real motivator some right wingers have, in why they do things like harass women to have children.

I also want to say how utterly moronic I find this approach by Dobson.

Continue reading “James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant”

Ten Worst Sex and Romance Tips from the Christian Right

10 Worst Sex and Romance Tips from the Christian Right

I take it that this is a left wing site (I’m right wing). But some of their points are right on the money, at least on this page. Some of the points it touches on are the “equally yoked” belief among Christians, but I didn’t include the “equally yoked” parts of the list..

(Link): 10 Worst Sex and Romance Tips from the Christian Right by Katie Halper

Here are a few excerpts from the page, with a few comments be me far below all this:

  • 3. Understand That Men Have This Thing Called Sex Drive
  • Another gem from Focus on the Family is the Jill Slattery essay (Link):Sex Is a Physical Need,” which should really be called “Sex Is a Physical Need for Men.”
  • She explains to her female readers, “One of the biggest differences between you and your husband is the fact that he experiences sex as a legitimate physical need. Just as your body tells you when you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired, your husband’s body tells him when he needs a sexual release. Your husband’s sexual desire is impacted by what’s around him but is determined by biological factors, specifically the presence of testosterone in his body.”
  • So, imagine if your vagina were hungry. That’s what it would feel like.

Continue reading “Ten Worst Sex and Romance Tips from the Christian Right”

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

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

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

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

Excerpt:

    by Belinda Luscombe
    May 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————–
Related posts:

(Link): The Changing American Family (article)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just re-listened to the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited to add this link:

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

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

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

And from census.gov,

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

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

    Mefferd Guest Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      (Link):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But, the claim is TRUE.

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

      (Link):

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

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

      (Link):

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

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

      (Link):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Focus on the Family giving advice to singles – weirdness

    Focus on the Family giving advice to singles – weirdness

    Yes, on their Twitter account:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Link): Singles in the Church

    Excerpts:

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

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

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

    Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ——–
    Related posts, this blog:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ms. Hemingway must be out to lunch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Here is the section Hemingway quoted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hemingway writes,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And further, from Matthew 10, Jesus speaking:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Quoting Paul:

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

    Paul again,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hemingway states,

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

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

    I do not support abortion myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More Anti Singleness Bias From Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

    More Anti-Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

    I guess Al Mohler must know better than the Apostle Paul, who wrote,

      Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do (1 Corinthians)

    Here is another Mohler hit piece on singleness (hyping marriage to the detriment of singleness, which God never does in the Bible):

    (Link): Two Is Better Than One—Who Knew? – from October 4, 2013

    Brief excerpt from Mohler’s page:

      Nevertheless, married women also survive longer than unmarried women with the same disease. Even husbands really help. Single patients are far more vulnerable.

    • All this is testimony to the power of marriage, and to the fact that marriage is one of the greatest gifts God has given his human creatures.
    • –(end excerpt)–

    I believe Mohler has several other obnoxious articles against singleness at his blog, that is but one.

    Some of Mohler’s contentions about married people living longer and being happier have been refuted by Bella DePaulo; please see these sites:

    By the way, where the Bible says “two is better than one,” that is not exclusive to a martial relationship only. It can refer to a brother and sister, a grandmother to her grandchild, a neighbor to another, a co-worker to another co-worker at a job, or two platonic friends.

    Jesus Christ explicitly taught that placing marriage, “traditional family,” and pro-creating above the family of God is sin, and it is also misplaced, and it needlessly excludes singles (the never married adults, the divorced, the widows and widowers), and those without flesh and blood family-

    Jesus Christ said:

      “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10)

    • “For I have come to turn
      “‘a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
      a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
      a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10: 34-36)
    • “If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)
    • He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
    • (end quotes)

    I guess Mohler is totally unacquainted with the Bible.

    He, like many other conservative Christians, needs to repent of making an idol out of marriage, having children, the 1950s nuclear family ideal, and for his blatant shaming and degradation of singleness.

    He and other Southern Baptists also need to repent of the youth worship: the non-stop fixation on the teens and twenty-somethings.

    I used to be a Christian teen and twenty-something and find myself walking from the Christian faith in my 40s due in part to the youth worship that goes on in Southern Baptist churches (they do not care about middle aged or senior adults), and how singles (or singleness itself) are shamed, treated with scorn, or else ignored.

    Mohler also incorrectly assumes (based on other comments he’s made I’ve seen in the past) that a lot of singles are intentionally remaining single: this is false.

    Many of us had hoped to marry, but there were not enough single Christian men to marry, so we singles either stay single or marry Non-Christians.

    As I have explained on older posts (but will not belabor here), all this harping on “rah rah, marriage is great!” (as well as gender complementarian) rhetoric is actually perpetuating protracted singleness among Christians of all ages, even among the ones who desire marriage.

    Ironically, if churches supported singles and singlehood (and gender egalitarianism), more of us would be getting married.

    If the Mohlers of the Christian world truly gave a damn about marriage, they would be helping singles, not disparaging singles or singlehood.

    Helping singles and respecting singleness, as well as respecting celibacy in the unmarried who are past the age of 30, would help more singles get married, it would cut down on sexual sin (even among the married Christians), and it would also put a huge dent in the strides pro- homosexuality advocates have made in Christian culture, which troubles the hetero- marriage- worshippers so. These facts keep sailing right over their heads, however.

    Responses to Mohler (or like-minded) by Christians, including singles:

    (Link): Singleness a Sin? by Camerin Courtney

    (Link): In Response To … Al Mohler on Singleness and Childlessness

    (Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

    (Link): Have We [conservative Christians, Baptists, evangelicals] Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)

    Apparently Mohler believes job discrimination against the unmarried is ethical and “Christian” too; see this page:

    From Single and Sane Blog:
    (Link): The Single Pastor
    ————————–
    Related posts, this blog:

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

    (Link):  Women Who Stay Single or Get Divorced Are Healthiest by B DePaulo

    (Link): Conservative Christians Are Now Blaming Homosexual Marriage on Heterosexual Single Adults

    (Link):   Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal

    (Link):   Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women

    (Link):  Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy 

    (Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

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

    (Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments [by Christians]

    (Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

    (Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

    (Link): Yes, Some Women Use and Look at Pornography (including Christian ones)

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

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

    (Link): Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism

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

    (Link): Superman, Man Candy -and- Christian Women Are Visual And Enjoy Looking At Built, Hot, Sexy Men

    (Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity (Many Christians Actually -Disrespect- Virginity, Celibacy, Sexual Purity)

    (Link): Married (Christian) People Aren’t More Virtuous Than Christian Singles

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

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

    (Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

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

    (Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

    (Link): Are Most Churches Too Judgemental About Sexual Sin? (of the hetero variety)

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

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

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

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

    (Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

    (Link): Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Leader Al Mohler Makes Tacky, Crass Sex Joke on Twitter

    (Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

    (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): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

    (Link): Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

    (Link): Pastor Busted in Prostitution Sting – If Married Sex So Great Why Do So Many Married Christian Men Have Affairs

    (Link): New Study Released: Cheaters: More American Married Women Admit to Adultery (links)

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

    (Link): Grandma Smashes Infant Granddaughter to Death with SledgeHammer, Slits Infant’s Throat – Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Mature, Godly

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

    (Link): Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Godly or Mature – another example – (Mother Suffocates New Born and Shoves It In Toilet)

    (Link): Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes
    ——————–
    Articles / editorials on other sites:

    (Link): Excellent Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles / never married christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Some of these stories date from the year 2000.)

    Edit. April 2016. Preface and Clarification.

    • I am right wing myself and do not hate “the family,” nor am I opposed to traditional values or marriage.
    • Since I have started this blog, I have collected newer examples, ones that date up to March and April 2016, of other pro-family, Christian, or right wing persons or groups that have been caught in extra-marital affairs, or sexually abusing children – including, but not limited to, the Duggar family, whose son Josh was in the media for having sexually molested his sisters and a babysitter.
    • Here’s one example:
    • (Link): Pro Family Values Republican Hastert in Trouble Over Sexually Abusing Children (story date: April 2016) – I even criticize certain liberal views about sexuality in the midst of criticizing right wingers in that post.
    • You can look further examples up on my blog using the “search” box on the right hand side of the page to find newer examples; some of them might be linked to at the bottom of this post under “Related Posts”.
    • I was told in a Tweet by a reader that sharing “older” stories (some of the news items in this post date from the year 2,000) is not “helpful”.
    • I am absolutely dumbfounded by this. This is a person who usually seems to understand how the extreme focus on stereotypical, pro-family values that Christian gender complementarians champion are very alienating to women who never marry, who cannot have children, or who are divorced.
    • One reason of several I feature such stories on my blog – news stories of pro-family Christians who are caught having affairs and so on – is to show how hypocritical these groups are – the same group who marginalize anyone who is not married by the time they are 25 years old with three children.
    • These pro-family Christians make more out of the “nuclear family” than the God of the Bible ever did, which harms women who never marry, women who divorce, women who are infertile – women who do not or cannot meet the “gender complementarian” or “traditional family values” rules and roles some Christians heavily promote.
    • Understand I’ve had traditional values my entire life, and I am still pretty right wing on most subjects. But I’m not going to excuse the hypocrisy of other right wingers on any of this.
    • The age of these stories is irrelevant to a degree.
    • It doesn’t matter if some of the pro-family values men (or women) mentioned in this blog post were caught in adultery last week, ten years ago, or 50 years ago.
    • If anything, it shows that these pro-family types have been full of bunk consistently for a long time, all the more reason to question their views on some issues.
    • Christians who promote “Family” and “Family Values” often do so at the expense of women (and men) who cannot or do not meet such standards, and it’s been an on-going pattern for decades now, so it’s actually helpful to see older material that reveals this (see also (Link): Americans Are Nostalgic for a Family Life That Never Existed by S. Coontz) .
    • A lot of the organizations promoting “Family Values” revere the 1950s, American decade. They are stuck in the past. So there again, I don’t think the age of the articles below are entirely pertinent, or is a mark against what I’m trying to demonstrate: Christians usually make an idol out of marriage and family, which excludes single adults, the divorced, widows, and the infertile.

    What hypocrites. And they continue to aid in the marginalization of adult singles and adult childfree, and they keep on worshipping parenthood and the nuclear family.

    By the way, if Christian groups spent more time doing what the Bible says they are to do – such as, policing their own rather than those outside the church ((Link): 1 Corinthians 5:12), AND spent their time pointing outsiders to Jesus (who was never, ever a hypocrite), instead of complaining and griping about homosexuality, abortion, and feminism, and other social issues, then when one of their own is caught in an extra-martial affair, or whatever other kind of sin, there would not be as much damage done to Christianity.

    You can also see in posts such as this, which contain numerous examples of married Christian men screwing teen girls or having affairs with grown women, that they run around claiming to support sexual purity but in practice actually do not.

    This also goes to show, once more, that being married, contrary to what most Christians believe, does not make a person more ethical, sexually pure, or responsible than being un-married.

    Christian fable: if you stay a virgin until you marry, the sex will be great. -If that is true, we would not see so many middle aged married Christian men screwing their 25 year old secretaries or visiting prostitutes, now would we?

    This link is from Democratic Underground, a site whose members I am usually not in agreement with (I am right wing):

    (Link): “Focus on the Family,” glass houses, a Philanderer and an “Ex-Gay” Gay – Democratic Underground

    • Focus on Family shows ‘repentance’
    • Trout, who has been married for 31 years, declined to discuss details of the extramarital relationship, but said that the woman was not a Focus on the Family employee and that the relationship was over.
    • The ministry has declined to discuss the factors behind Trout’s resignation, citing legal and privacy concerns.
    • Trout, 53, is best known as the on-air partner of the founder and leader of the ministry, James Dobson. Dobson is a key figure in the conservative Christian movement and earlier this year criticized George W. Bush, claiming the Republican presidential candidate was sacrificing conservative values to appeal to a broader base.
    • Mike Trout abruptly quit last week. In an interview Monday with The Gazette, he admitted to an “inappropriate relationship with a woman other than his wife and had no choice but to resign from a ministry that stresses the sanctity of marriage.”
    • COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A top official and radio announcer for Focus on the Family said he has resigned from the conservative Christian group because he had an extramarital affair.

    Focus on the Family official resigns, admits extramarital affair

      • October 17, 2000
        Web posted at: 4:05 PM EDT (2005 GMT)

    A Philanderer:

    • Associated Press
    • COLORADO SPRINGS — Focus on the Family’s 1,350 employees prayed, joined hands and circled the ministry’s offices to show “corporate repentance and confession” after recent embarrassing revelations about two of its leaders.
    • “Satan has thrown just about everything in his arsenal at us in the last several weeks as you know,” Focus on the Family President James Dobson told the staff in a recorded message Friday. “I am certain those who hate our cause are doing everything they can to undermine and to discredit it.”
    • The $116 million Colorado Springs Christian ministry is going through tough times. Mike Trout, a senior vice president and well-known radio show co-host, resigned Oct. 11 after admitting to an extramarital relationship.
    • A Focus division chief, John Paulk, was allowed to keep his job after visiting a gay bar in September and lying about it. Paulk, an avowed former homosexual, has been pulled from the speaker list of Saturday’s “Love Won Out” conference, which teaches that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that can be overcome through prayer and therapy.
    • As a result of the Trout and Paulk incidents, the ministry has become the target of jokes on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Politically Incorrect.

    [original story source]:
    http://www.rockypreps.com/news/1105focu5.shtml

    (Link): Here We Go Again

      Issue: “Here we go again,” Nov. 11, 2000

    • Posted Nov. 11, 2000, 12:00 a.m. by Lynn Vincent
    • The recent revelation of Focus on the Family radio host Mike Trout’s marital infidelity has pundits pelting conservatives-and Christianity-again. Have two decades of clay-footed “celebrity conservatives” shattered the credibility of the “family values” movement? And can tough-minded actions restore some of it?
    • Bill Maher, talk-television’s answer to Nero, recently fed another Christian to his panelist-lions.
    • On Oct. 24, an aging Boy George, minor starlet Karen Duffy, and others batted the Mike Trout story around the studio-coliseum on Mr. Maher’s late-night show Politically Incorrect. Mr. Trout, longtime co-host of Focus on the Family’s flagship radio broadcast, last month resigned from the Colorado Springs-based ministry.
    • A few days later he admitted to an “inappropriate relationship” with a woman not his wife.
    • “How come so many of these people who are supposedly the ‘family people’ get caught?” Mr. Maher carped as a knowing titter rippled through the studio audience. “I mean, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Henry Hyde, Strom Thurmond … they get caught. Why? Why?”
    • PromiseVision vice president Bill Horn, the panel’s token conservative that evening, gamely offered a defense: “Because people make mistakes and people are human … [Mike Trout] made a mistake and he was man enough to resign….”
    • Mr. Maher abruptly cut him off: “It’s because they’re ‘pervs’ to begin with and they try to cover it up by becoming Christians [and] Republicans. Those are 12-step programs for these people!”
    • Ugly, yes. But though he arrived at wrong conclusions, Mr. Maher was grappling in his own caustically comic way with a serious problem: the chain of hypocrisy among those who publicly preach family values, but privately poach in other people’s families.
    • The chain hamstrings innocent clergy, damages trusting laity, and, worst of all, tarnishes the image of Christ in the eyes of nonbelievers.
    • In a media-saturated culture that emphasizes sins among Christians and conservatives, incidents of saying one thing and doing another overwhelm for many Americans any good impressions that might be created.
    • …How big is the problem among church ministers? According to a national study of 4,000 active pastors over a 10-year period conducted by counselors at First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, Calif., and completed in 1998, one in five pastors admits to indulging in “sexually inappropriate” behavior with someone who was not his wife since the time he first became involved with some local ministry.
    • That period may span many decades and many definitions of “inappropriate,” but ministers such as Chuck Smith, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Calif., say they have seen an increase in moral failure among Christians in public ministry. Mr. Smith’s own ministry exploded during the late 1960s Jesus movement, eventually spinning off 800 affiliated churches, dozens of parachurch groups, and numerous radio outreaches.
    • …Charles Ballard, president and founder of the Initiative for Responsible Fatherhood, remembers leading an abstinence workshop with a group of inner-city fathers who were struggling to walk a straight moral path: “Questions were raised in the group, which was mostly teenagers. The questions were along the lines of ‘How about this guy Swaggart? He has a wife, he has a family and here he’s out here [having sex with other women].'” Mr. Ballard concludes, “It’s the believer who preaches one thing and lives another that most hurts the cause of Christ.”
    • San Diego youth pastor and Bethel Seminary graduate Rich West, 29, says he labors under the yoke of an increasing public cynicism toward Christianity. “I think the culture has been inoculated by us and our moral failures,” he said. “I believe that people now expect that pastors and clergy will fall morally … it’s just so common that it’s expected.”

    Though I totally disagree with this comment, that appeared in the above article:

      Part of that wall is built by prayer: “Lead me not into temptation” should be on the lips of every leader with admiring followers. Part should consist of basic precautions: the Billy Graham rule for leaders-don’t be behind closed, windowless doors with a member of the opposite sex-needs faithful following.

    • Part should be accountability procedures, preferably within a local church, where men report to each other the early stages of restlessness and thus corral it in time.

    That excerpt above assumes that people are incapable of sexual self control, so married people avoid singles, and singles become isolated as a result. This is sometimes referred to as the Billy Graham Rule, which I have blogged about several times over on my blog, such as (Link): here and (Link): here – and many others (search for the term “Billy Graham Rule” on my blog to find more posts about it.)

    (Link): Mike Trout Says Emotional Affair Forced His Resignation from Focus on the Family

      Ted Olsen [ posted 10/1/2000 12:00AM ]
    • Mike Trout says he resigned from focus because of extramarital relationship
    • Mike Trout, co-host of “Focus on the Family” with Dr. James Dobson for the last 15 years, says the reason he abruptly resigned from the organization was because of an “emotional” relationship with another married woman. “I’m greatly saddened,” Trout told The (Colorado Springs)Gazette. “I didn’t work at Focus on the Family for 19 years because of the paycheck or the benefits or the positive environment. I worked at Focus on the Family because I believed in what we were doing. I know that might sound strange, because I violated it.” The relationship, he says, is over, was “not a long-term thing,” and was not with another Focus employee. Trout told Dobson, and is now telling others, about the relationship and resigned immediately, he says, because “If I hadn’t shared the truth, it would have eventually come out.”

    (Link): Subject: Tom Papania and Focus on the Family

    Excerpts

      5) FYI – Ryan Dobson information – Dr. Dobson obviously has his own reason for not wanted to talk about Ryan’s divorce.
    • It is a very sensitive subject for the whole family. Again, the staff on the phones do not have any information about this, probably most don’t even know that he has been previously married.
    • You can write to Focus if you have a question and they will pass it on to the Correspondence department. I will save you the time and give you the answer. Ryan Dobson was divorced from Cezanne in 2001. Ryan was totally opposed to the dissolution of the marriage and there were no biblical grounds to justify it (No adultery involved.) Ryan has just recently remarried.
    • By the way, just because I work at Focus on the Family doesn’t mean that I agree with everything that goes on here (probably no employee agrees 100%). Nevertheless, I have a very high regard for Dr. Dobson and this ministry.
    • God Bless You
    • Andy
    • Hope this clears a few things up for you.
    • [reply]
    • If Ryan Dobson wants to be a public leader at a FAMILY ministry why is he allowed to keep issues like his marriage, divorce, and re-marriage a secret? Clearly, he has learned much from his father (about secrecy).
    • There is much more I could write. But I think this covers the main points. Please write again.
    • Sincerely,
      Brian Karjala
    • [concluding thoughts]
    • As for Mike Trout, former co-host of Jim Dobson’s radio program… he gives the introduction and closing remarks on the Focus on the Family “From Mafia To Ministry” Tom Papania tape originally broadcasted over radio stations in Dec. of ’96. Some years later Trout resigned from his VP position at Focus after he was lured and swallowed up by an extra-marital affair which he publicly confessed to.
    • Expect more scandals to come…

    (Link): Testimony of Former Focus on the Family Employees and the Public

    • The Corruption of Focus on the Family
    • “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate!” (Cool Hand Luke)
    • Update: In response to webpages like this one Focus on the Family has been forced to address the Ryan Dobson divorce:
    • “You’ll be interested to know that the Dobsons have addressed this situation openly in response to any inquiries that are made. That said, it might be helpful to explain that Ryan and his former wife, Cezanne, divorced in the summer of 2001. Obviously, we must not invade the young people’s privacy except to say that Ryan was completely opposed to the dissolution of the marriage and that the biblical grounds that have permitted him to remarry are consistent with the scriptural understanding of abandonment.”
    • Many people coming to this website think the Dobson divorce is the big story. It does highlight the secrecy of the Dobsons and raises questions about Ryan’s behavior but it’s actually a minor issue compared with the Tom Papania story.
    • (Some have speculated that Cezanne may be a black woman and wonder why there was never a public photo posted of her. Ryan has posted photos of his second wife, Laura.)
    • The bigger story is that Focus on the Family’s most popular selling radio broadcast in its history is fraudulent along with the subsequent ongoing cover-up.
    • Papania continues to exploit people and harass those who expose his fraud.
    • And if Focus on the Family is responsible for recruiting the lawyer now representing Papania in an attempt to silence me then we are dealing with a callous evil that the public needs to know about. (In the past Papania has stated in his newsletters that the lawyer, a Dobson supporter, sought him out to freely represent him for the purpose of trying to eliminate websites like this one.)

    (Link): Focus on Family exec admits affair, resigns

    • This has a long list of sexual sins by Mike Trout, Jimmy Swaggert, and other conservative, hetero Christians who worship family, who were caught having affairs, using porn or prostitutes, etc, then mentions a long list of public Christian personalities who claimed to be against homosexuality but were themselves having homosexual affairs:

    (Link): Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (book excerpt on Google Books)

    Another book excerpt on Google Books mentioning the sexual sins and affairs of married Christian men who publicly bray about the importance of “family values” and marriage (though I assume this book was published ten or more years ago, because today’s social conservatives have LOST the culture war):

    (Link): The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War

    (Link): Focus on the Family Official Resigned Over Affair

      Mike Trout, an on-air personality for the evangelical radio ministry, has admitted to an ‘inappropriate relationship’
    • Mike Trout abruptly quit last week. In an interview Monday with The Gazette, he admitted to an “inappropriate relationship with a woman other than his wife and had no choice but to resign from a ministry that stresses the sanctity of marriage.”
    • Trout, 53, is best known as the on-air partner of the founder and leader of the ministry, James Dobson. Dobson is a key figure in the conservative Christian movement and earlier this year criticized George W. Bush, claiming the Republican presidential candidate was sacrificing conservative values to appeal to a broader base.

    —————–
    Related on this blog:

    (Link): Family Values Republican Politician Hastert in Trouble for Sexual Assault of Kids / On Liberals and Not Having Sexual Standards

    (Link):  Ashley Madison Site Hack Update / Family Values Activist Josh Duggar Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account

    (Link):  News sites: Josh Duggar Joked About Molesting His Sisters, Has No Remorse for Extra-Marital Affairs (September 2015)

    (Link):  Christian, Family Values Vlogger – Austin Null – Caught Sexting (story dates from January 2016)

    (Link):  Family Values Republican Politician Hastert in Trouble for Sexual Assault of Kids / On Liberals and Not Having Sexual Standards

    (Link): Another Christian Pro-Nuclear Family Marriage Idolator Married Father (Sam Rader) Caught By Ashley Madison Hack

    (Link): Why Not Focus On How Churches Can Help Adult Singles?

    (Link): Leader of Hyper Family Focused, Fertility Cult (Vision Forum Ministries) Steps Down After Admitting to Having an “Emotional Affair”

    (Link):  ‘Decent guy’ Married youth pastor charged with sexually abusing 5-year-old girl at his home (March 2016) 

    (Link): Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

    (Link): Focusing on the Family Causes Church Decline

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

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

    (Link): Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

    (Link): Focus on Family spokesperson, Stanton, actually says [contrary to what the Bible teaches about church growth] the reason people should marry is for ‘church growth’

    (Link): Focus on the Family having financial problems – aw, too bad (not!)

    (Link): Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women

    (Link): Janet Mefferd Concedes In One Radio Show that Christians “Lose Jesus” in all the “Family Values” Talk and Emphasis / Also FIC and Youth Worship

    (Link): Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (article)

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

    (Link): Family Research Center (Christian group) thinks people (including the Nuclear Family) should be cut off food stamps

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Excerpts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And:

      Christina Steve Dawson • 7 hours ago −

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

    And

      Rachel Held Evans Mod Christina • 7 hours ago −

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

    ——————-
    Related posts this blog

    (Link): Christian Culture and Daddy Daughter Dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Around the 17 or 18 minute mark of the Mefferd show (see link below), Stanton talks about how married people are more likely to attend church.

    That is because churches fixate on married couples and marriage itself, which excludes, hurts, angers, and offends plenty of single adults past the age of 30, so we stop attending church.

    Stanton seems to assume that going to church is what leads to an increase in marriage, or causes people to marry in the first place, but it has the reverse effect: church services make singles stop attending, who then have to resort to using e-Harmony to meet dates (when they should be able to meet mates at church).

    If churches want to increase their numbers, they need to attract and keep never-married, widowed, and divorced adults over age 30, which means, churches need to stop being so obsessed with marriage and need to offer more sermons and services geared towards single adults.

    Stanton then actually tells the host, Mefferd, that to increase church growth/ attendance, that Christians should encourage young people to marry and settle down as a “church growth strategy.”

    The Bible alludes to the purpose of marriage being to get one’s sexual needs met as well as for companionship, but I cannot recall any passages that talk about God wanting people to get married to increase the members of local churches.

    (The link to the show is below so you can hear it for yourself, his comment is around the 17 or 18 minute mark).

    Where does the Bible teach that church growth should come from telling young people to get married? It does not.

    The Bible actually says you are supposed to grow the church by telling Non Christians about the Gospel.

    ‘Church growth by marriage’ sounds like rank heresy to me, it’s at least NOT biblical teaching.

    (Link): Janet Mefferd Show-9/23/2013 / Janet talks with Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family

    —————————–
    Related posts this blog

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

    (Link): Religion Runs in the Family (article – kid obsession more evidence of Christian Family Idolatry)

    (Link): Focusing on the Family Causes Church Decline

    (Link): Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Link): Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what say some Christians

    (Link): Focus on the Family having financial problems – aw, too bad (not!)

    (Link): Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

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

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

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

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

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

    This was actually a decent editorial – usually Christian blogs and magazines publish naive or insulting dreck about singleness and women. This editorial points out many of the flaws in Christian teachings and attitudes on singleness, marriage, sexuality, etc.

    It also manages to weave into the discussion how Christian teachings about gender roles, women, sexuality, dating, marriage, adulthood, singleness, etc, contribute to societal issues such as fornication and so on.

    (Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood

      The dialogue we missed about Miley Cyrus and coming of age.

    by Tish Harrison Warren, guest writer

    In the overblown bluster about Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, we neglected a crucial discussion about growing up female in our culture.

    CNN highlighted the point Cyrus was trying to make, declaring that “she is, after all, no longer the teen Disney star she once was.”

    Her performance was a public pronouncement of her coming-of-age. We’ve seen this before: A young, seemingly innocent star throws off the yoke of childhood naiveté and announces her adult identity in a display of sex appeal and ebullient debauchery. It’s become a predictable script.

    That’s why this article is not about Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, or any ingénue du jour.

    I’m interested instead in what leads Miley Cyrus or the midriff-baring girl up the street to believe that in order to prove her adulthood, she must become an object of male sexual consumption. And I’m interested in how the church can offer her an alternative.

    The widespread agreement that Cyrus’s willingness to be objectified marks her attempt to assume the mantle of womanhood indicates a deep problem with the way we define female adulthood.

    Obviously and unavoidably, part of becoming an adult woman has to do with female embodiment and sexuality. We gain the ability to reproduce with all the excitement, responsibility, and monthly annoyance that entails. But biology is not enough to indicate adulthood in our culture. Miley Cyrus had a post-pubescent body long before the VMAs.

    In order to be seen as an empowered adult in our contemporary society, we can’t just be mature sexual beings; we must be sexually available. As females, we often demonstrate adulthood by using our sexuality in ways that invite, in fact that practically beg for, the male gaze.

    It is a sort of post-sexual revolution version of the debutante coming out.

    Some factions in feminism even point to this kind of overt rejection of sexual boundaries or morals as an act of empowerment. I am woman, watch me twerk.

    Unfortunately, defining adulthood through sex or sexual activity is not limited to secular culture but has also affected the church. We imbibe these broader messages about how girls come of age, but if our church culture does not provide an alternative way to come of age outside of marriage, young women who remain celibate and unmarried struggle to understand themselves and be understood as fully women and fully adult. Young women in our culture use overt sexual allure and sexuality to show that we aren’t kids anymore.

    The church instead must offer another way to attest to our adult womanhood.

    If we do not, when we encourage young women to remain chaste and value modesty, it will inadvertently be a message of juvenilization–to remain good “little girls.”

    In order for celibate adults to be acknowledged as adults in evangelical churches, our understanding of adulthood needs to be clarified and decoupled from sexual activity or marital status.

    Right after I graduated from college, a much-trusted older single woman said to me, “You keep referring to yourself as a girl. You need to refer to yourself, and anyone else your age, as a woman.” (I’m still amazed how often women in church, particularly women in their 20s, are referred to as “girls.”)

    Soon after that, another older friend approached me worried that a middle-aged man in our church was flirting with me. I was floored.

    It never occurred to me that this man might be romantically interested. He was clearly a grown-up, and I didn’t think of myself as one.

    I didn’t exactly think of myself as a youth anymore, but neither did I see myself as a proper, official “Adult Woman.”

    I told her as much, and she replied that I was in fact an adult and that it was high time I owned that identity.

    She was right. I was 22 and clearly an adult. But I had grown up in an evangelical culture that closely associates being an adult with being married.

    I was at that point an unmarried virgin, so through the eyes of both pop culture and evangelical culture, I saw myself as somehow less than a fully adult woman.

    Thankfully, I had these individual conversations that challenged me to inhabit an adult identity. But for those who don’t, we have no ecclesial, communal way to initiate single Christian young people into adulthood.

    Consequently, I know single women in their 30s who feel marginalized by the narratives of Christian womanhood. They don’t fit in with amped up, youth-group-like singles groups, but they feel alienated by their adulthood-as-marriage church culture.

    To some extent, in liturgical traditions like mine, the historic practice of confirmation might serve in part as a coming of age celebration, affirming that a child has grown into his or her own person of faith and commissioning the young into a life of mature discipleship.

    However, in order for confirmation to actually be significant as a rite of passage, we must recover a theological and communal vision for the practice.

    Perhaps we evangelicals need to consider making this tradition a bigger deal, a significant celebration and achievement.

    I have a priest friend who leads confirmation and often finds the ritual can be rote and meaningless for families, even a sort of “graduation” from church.

    Lower church traditions don’t have any practice wherein young adults publicly appropriate the Christian faith as their own (outside of baptism, which even in Baptist circles many do as young children).

    To truly initiate the young into adulthood in the church, we need a practice that’s rigorous and profound, that calls people to be mature, articulate, faithful believers in Christ, that challenges them to take on the responsibility and joy of being adult leaders and culture shapers, and that is a real communal celebration (with good food and champagne toasts.)

    Historically, confirmation provides space for people to own the faith for themselves and to more fully walk in the Holy Spirit as they commit themselves to serve the church.

    After our eldest daughter was baptized, we had a big party. Our friend who is an organic caterer and another friend who was a pastry chef pitched in to make it one of the happiest, most beautiful days of my life (with some of the best food). A friend in attendance said, “Man, this is better than a wedding.”

    Unlike baptism, confirmation is not a sacrament and does not have the theological import thereof. But if we want our young women to feel valued, welcomed into adulthood, and affirmed as strong, independent women without having to reject modesty and chastity or twerk with Robin Thicke, then we need meaningful, communal rites of passage.

    Maybe celebrating confirmation like we mean it is a step in that direction.

    When my daughters come of age, I want them to refer to themselves and to truly know themselves no longer as girls but as women, not because they’ve achieved the male gaze or even because they’re married, but because the people of God, as a community, have called them women. And not just women, but women of the church, sealed in the Holy Spirit, with gifts, strength, and worth as members of and contributors to the bride and body of Christ.

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

    (Link): On Miley Cyrus Being Sexual at 2013 VMAs – Hypocrisy of Secular Feminists

    (Link): How Christian Teaching on Gender Roles and Sex Can Mess People Up in Adulthood (from Wine and Marble blog, post by a former Christian guy)

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

    (Link):  An Example of Mocking Adult Virginity Via Twitter (Virginity Used As Insult)

    (Link): Atlantic: “The case for abandoning the myth that ‘women aren’t visual.’”

    (Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

    (Link): Ryan Gosling and Shirtless, Buff Cowboy Photos on Social Media – Yes, Christian Women Are Visually Stimulated and Visually Oriented (Part 2)

    (Link): How (Married) Christians and Christian Teachings About Dating/Marriage Are Keeping Single Christians Single Part 1

    (Link): Superman, Man Candy -and- Christian Women Are Visual And Enjoy Looking At Built, Hot, Sexy Men

    (Link): Online Dating: Women Want Younger Men (article)

    (Link): Women Are Visually Oriented Too – Reminder 1

    (Link): Women Are Visual And Like Hot Looking Men (Part 1) Joseph in Genesis Was A Stud Muffin

    (Link): The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

    (Link): Article: Scientists: Why penis size does matter [to women]

    (Link): Married Women Engage in Sexual Sin – and most men in denial particularly Christian conservatives

    (Link): More ‘Men Are Visual’ Baloney, Discussed at Another Blog

    (Link): Conservative Christian Sexist Immature Imbecilic Pressure on Women to Look Pretty and Skinny and to Put Out Sexually

    Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women

    Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women

    I left a comment on this page, but it’s in moderation, and I do not know if it will be slated for approval.

    This page doles out the negative stereotype to insecure married women that they should not allow their husbands to befriend unmarried women, because that’s “dangerous.”

    Because, you know, all of us single women who meet a rotund, balding, dowdy, middle aged married man for lunch at Chili’s during a work day are dying to get into his pants. 🙄

    Because we’re horny, unscrupulous harlots like that. 🙄

    Oh no, we single ladies who meet with married co workers for lunch don’t actually care about just being friends and chit chatting, or eating the fried mozarella sticks, we want to run our fingers through the few strands of wispy hair left on the married co worker guy’s head. 🙄 Only in the world of insecure married women and conservative Christians.

    Married, insecure women: you gotta be suspicious of any and all unmarried women, they all want to go to bed with your husband! Single women are sluts with no morals, and married men are all horn dogs who think with their penises, who cannot resist a sexual come on should they receive one.

    Send all unmarried women off to a walled village on a remote island to remove all temptation for married men! Who cares if single adult women are lonely and need friendship too? Treat them as though they are the problem and wall them off, by golly.

    By the way, it ain’t single ladies you gotta look out for, it’s the married ones who are screwing around with married and single men:
    (Link): New Study Released: Cheaters: More American Married Women Admit to Adultery (links)

    Here is the odious page that perpetuates the stereotype the single women are harlots who seek out married guys for affairs:

    (Link): FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: HUSBAND’S FRIENDSHIP WITH WOMAN COULD HARM MARRIAGE

    Here’s the summary of the letter: a married woman writes in to the Focus on the Family advice columnist, a Mr. Jim Daly, to say her husband has been meeting regularly, alone, with an unmarried female coworker for lunch. Should she be concerned – because she says she sure is.

    Daly replies (this is an excerpt, not the full reply):

      Your concerns are warranted. Your husband may genuinely feel sorry for his co-worker and have a desire to make her feel welcome at the office.

      But consistent one-on-one time with her is not a healthy idea. Most people who fall into extramarital affairs didn’t set out to do so. Rather, the illicit relationship began on innocent terms.

      There are always compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships outside of one’s spouse. Before you were married, you may have had lots of friends of the opposite sex, but things are different now. Once you say, “I do,” your bond with your spouse takes priority over every other relationship.

    Here is the comment I left on their page, but I have no idea if it will be printed or not (it contains some typeos):

      Regarding the first letter and its response: this is what is wrong with Christian teaching on marriage, the genders, and relationships, and it unfairly isolates unmarried women. Single women are often viewed as “threats” by married Christian men and women, but they are not. 

      Why is the letter writer afraid of her husband eating alone with a single (as in an unmarried) woman, alone as in, they are probably eating at the same table in a restaurant daily? Men and women, even married ones, can be platonic friends. Unmarried women should not be cut off from social support just because of Christian gender stereotypes, paranoia over sexual issues [e.g, possibility of adultery], and due to married women’s insecurities.

      Recent news stories point out that more married women are instigating affairs these days, and sometimes with married men – it’s married people who are cheating on each other with other married people, it is not unmarried women seeking out married men to have affairs.

      This comment from the reply is patently false and un-biblical:

        ‘Once you say, “I do,” your bond with your spouse takes priority over every other relationship.’

      That is wrong. Jesus says in the Bible that you are to be inclusive of every one, that if you put spouse, brother, mother, sister, son or daughter before Him and fellow believers in Him, even if you are not married to them or related by flesh and blood, Christ [says] that you are not worthy to be His follower. 

      Why? Because Jesus knew that some believers have a propensity to put “family” and “marriage” before helping *spiritual* brothers and sisters in Christ – leaving many childless widows, never married and divorced adults, with no social net, no community, and no support. Jesus was seeking to eliminate this problem, but ‘Focus on the Family,’ their mouth pieces, and other conservative Christian groups are seeking to maintain it.

      This means married men can and should befriend single women – teaching married couples that single women are “dangerous,” or some kind of temptation, is deeply insulting to single women, and it needlessly excludes them from much needed socialization, support, and community.

      Most churches are so fixated on marriage and parenting that they ignore never married, childless adults over the age of 30 (and we comprise almost half the American population). 

      Single women have no where to turn for help or support or friendship, and census data show that up to 45% of the adult population is single these days. Many of us do not have aunts, uncles, friends, spouses, brothers or sisters we can turn to.

      I am in my early 40s and still a virgin because I have never married. I have often encountered married men (and sometimes single men) who mistaken my platonic overtures at chit chat as flirting, and they sharply tell me they are married or seeing someone, as though I am a temptress who was trying to get them in the sack by a simple “hello, how are you” greeting. I would never break up a marriage. I would never sleep with a married man, so I find it very insulting that a lot of men just assume a simple “hello” means I want to have sex with them. 

      Also, a lot of these married men are egotistical: I am a very attractive female, but they, (these married men who mistake my polite chit chat as come ons), are typically repulsive looking, fat, ugly, etc. I would not sleep with them even if I were that kind of woman, and they were the last man on earth. 

      A lot of married women need to keep that in mind too: your husband ain’t all that hot looking, so stop assuming every unmarried women who strikes up a conversation with him, or who has lunch with him during the work day, wants to bed him. You can keep your beer gutted, toothless, balding, middle aged husband. We don’t want him, not like that, not in a sexual way.

      By the way, sexual self control is possible, but if Christians keep maintaining these rigid stereotypes, as they often do, that all single women are Jezebel harlots who want to sleep around, and that only men like and want sex, and that men think of nothing else, and they can’t help themselves around unmarried women, you are perpetuating some of the very issues Christians complain about (divorce, porn usage, fornication, etc).

      If you need more understanding of this topic, and how these sorts of stereotypes against single women (advice such as, “Oh no, married men should not eat lunch with unmarried women”) are damaging to singles and the Christian community at large, and how it is un-biblical, please read a copy of the book “Singled Out” by Christian authors Field and Colon.

      BTW, Focus on the Family does not truly care about marriage or family, their name is a misnomer. If Focus on the Family really cared about marriage, they would be taking steps to help the largest group of unmarried Christian adults get married: single Christian women over the ages of 30, 40, and older, and they would stop obsessing over the already-married, or over the 20- something singles. As it stands now, FOTF does nothing to help older singles, not to get married, and not with anything else.

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    Previous posts, this blog:

    (Link): Focus on the Family having financial problems – aw, too bad (not!)

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

    (Link): Married Youth Pastor Father of Four Caught Raping and Molesting Several Little Boys claims the molesting kept the boys sexually pure and cures them of homosexuality

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

    (Link): Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be (married man fantasized about murdering, eating women)

    (Link): Apparently Marriage and Parenting Turns Adults Into Incestuous Child Rapists

    (Link): Married Christian Preacher Men are Drug Addicts and Thieves

    (Link): Motherhood Makes Women Selfish and Thieves

    (Link): (Married) Pastor Busted in Prostitution Sting – If Married Sex So Great Why Do So Many Married Christian Men Have Affairs

    (Link): Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Godly or Mature (Mother Suffocates New Born and Shoves It In Toilet)

    (Link): Married Christians Defending Married Male Preacher Caught in Sexual Sin – Re TBN Paul Crouch / Jimmy Swaggart 1988 Broadcast

    (Link): Married Christians Who Were Arrested for Rape, Attempted Murder, or Other Crimes – more examples

    (Link): Married Church Pianist Found Guilty of Repeatedly Raping Little Girl Over Four Years

    (Link): Married Christian Expert on Child Spirituality Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Porn

    (Link): Married Preacher and Father of Five (Geronimo Aguilar) In Trouble Over Multiple Affairs and Sex with Kids

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

    (Link): Lousy 40 Year Marriage – Husband Cheats on Wife for Decades

    (Link): Married Woman Has Affair With Married Man While Her Own Husband Deals With Cancer Stricken Parents

    (Link): Porn Usage Stats Among Christians 2013 (article)