The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts

The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(Link): Pursuing Marriage

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

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

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

// end excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 

Before I present you with the links to the news reports about this story (which are much farther down the page), I wanted to make some introductory comments in general, and a few specific comments refuting a few points from a pro-Quivering page about celibacy.

In regards to the specific news story I am blogging about today, this Quivering group is completely overlooking Apostle Paul’s comments in (Link): 1 Corinthians 7 that it is better for people to remain single than it is to marry – and Paul does not say that this teaching is in regards only to “a few,” or only a “minority” of people.

The Bible nowhere states that marriage is “a norm,” or that God expects or wants all, or most, people to marry.

It just so happens that in other cultures thousands of years ago, most people did happen to marry – one should not deduce from this cultural situation that God supported it or wanted it to be so. It just was what it was.

If the Bible said that all or most ancient Jews painted their bodies green once a year and balanced weasels on their heads while jumping up and down on a watermelon one week out of a year, one should not assume from this that

  • 1. God created that cultural practice and/or that
  • 2. God wanted Americans in the year 2016 to practice these things as well.

The Quivering group’s position on marriage, celibacy, and singleness is unbiblical, not to mention disturbing.

According to this article (linked to much farther below), the Quivering group was going to call this event, (where they set up marriages for little girls to marry), “Get Them Married.”

Why not have an event called, per 1 Corinthians 7, “It Is Better To Stay Unmarried”?

Am I opposed to marriage? No.

Is the God of the Bible against marriage? No.

But the Bible does not say that being married is better or more holy for girls, women, or culture, than being single, but a lot of Christian groups, and these wacky Christian cults, insist otherwise.

Christians need to do a better job of recognizing adult singleness and celibacy as legitimate, godly, biblical lifestyles and choices for all persons (and not only meant for a small minority of people who were supposedly “gifted” with it), instead of promoting marriage and natalism as the only legitimate avenues or as ways of fixing culture, the nation, or as pleasing God.

Continue reading “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”

Old Testament Studies Blog on Various Topics From Early Marriage to Sexual Sin to Evangelical and Baptist Propensity to Make an Idol Out of Family Marriage and Parenthood Etc Etc

Old Testament Studies Blog on Various Topics From Early Marriage to Sexual Sin to Evangelical and Baptist Propensity to Make an Idol Out of Family Marriage and Parenthood Etc Etc

I’m not necessarily in agreement with all views of the guy behind this blog, the OTSB (Old Testament Studies Blog).

For one, he seems to be a Calvinist, and I disagree with Calvinism.

OTSB guy discusses some of the same issues at his blog that I discuss here on mine. It looks as though he has not made a new blog entry since October 2013.

Blog’s Main Page:
(Link): Old Testament Studies

(Link): The Dark Side of Evangelicalism-A Response to Accusations on the Boundless Blog
(Re: Christians denigrating singlehood and idolizing marriage)

Excerpts:

    The case in point is a recent radio podcast put out by the folks over at Boundless. Steve and Candice Watters were in Louisville, Kentucky for the Give me an Answer conference at Southern Seminary.

    While they were there, they interviewed Albert Mohler for their podcast.

    During the podcast, the following dicussion took place. I want you to read this carefully, and ask yourself if what Dr. Mohler says in the bold portion is consistent with scripture! It begins at 24:15:

    Candice- Are you encouraged by Mark Regnerus and others who are encouraging early marriage, and do you think that this movement will gain traction?

    Dr. Mohler- Well, I’ve been at that a long time, and I can tell you its extremely controversial whereas throughout most of human history that would be the mormal expectation.

    I am encouraged…It’s going to be a counter-revolution. We are literally going to have to stand against the kind of demographic tide that is coming at us, and say…you know, here is the question.

    I just want to ask you this honestly. I talk to young guys about this more than probably any other subject when they bring it up and say, you know, here is the issue: How are you going to be holy without marriage?

    And that’s a tough question to answer, unless, you know, if God has called you to missions, if God’s called you to special service and deployment in this area, then the word is going to compensate for that, but, for most guys, the big issue is just this now long wait.

(Link): Kristin and Ted Kluck Write of the Familiolatry in the Modern Church

(Link): Famliolatry on Display Again

(Link): Why Getting Married Early Will Not Stop Sexual Sin

(Link): Marital Gnosticism in Evangelicalism

Excerpts:

    I think we as a church have boughten into a form of gnosticism which I will call “marital gnosticism.” We seem to think that the way to the higher Christian life is through marriage, and, although single people are a part of the church, they simply are not as “enlightened” as those who are married.

    Hence, we need to encourage, and even shame single people into getting married, so that they will become “enlightened” like the rest of the married people. It is gross, ridiculous, gnostic thinking.

    Not only does it not work [marriage cannot change the heart; only Christ can], even worse, it alienates singles. Singles who see this kind of behavior know that they are not part of the “enlightened” gnostic group, and thus, they are pushed further and further away.

(Link): Another “Marriage is a Cure All” Message

(Link): Horrendus Eisegesis from Evangelicals in the Culture War

(Link): Challenging the Challenge to the “Unnecessary” Delay of Marriage

Continue reading “Old Testament Studies Blog on Various Topics From Early Marriage to Sexual Sin to Evangelical and Baptist Propensity to Make an Idol Out of Family Marriage and Parenthood Etc Etc”

Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

(Link): ‘SPINSTER’ PHOTOGRAPHER POSES WITH MANNEQUIN FAMILY TO DEPICT THE AMERICAN DREAM

    “My name is Suzanne Heintz and I’m a photographer … and a spinster.” —Suzanne Heintz

Denver-based photographer and art director Suzanne Heintz was fed up with people asking her when she was going to get married.

From her mother’s direct plea, “Just pick somebody!” to others’ woeful sighs of pity, Heintz lived half her life wondering where she had gone wrong.

After years of struggling to politely answer the question, she decided to procure the house, husband, and offspring everyone so desperately felt was the pathway to happiness.

Purchasing a pair of second-hand mannequins, Heintz set about playing house to achieve the American Dream.

From a Parisian holiday to Christmas cards of wildly escalating happiness, Life Once Removed is a sharp, witty critique on the archaic expectations of domestic bliss and fulfillment.

Describe the ‘perfect life’ that is expected of every woman.

“This is a weird time in women’s history. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased as punch that I was born when I was. I’ve got more choices and opportunities than any generation of women before me, but our roles have never been more complicated by deeply ingrained mixed messages from both previous and present generations.

“The term ‘perfect’ is no longer used to describe what we’re all striving to be. Now it is called ‘fulfilled.’ But for women, the path to fulfillment is not through one thing, it’s all things—education, career, home, family, accomplishment, enlightenment. If any one of those things is left out, it’s often perceived that there’s something wrong with your life. We are somehow never enough just as we are. We are constantly set up by our expectations to feel as though we are missing something.

“In my case, it seems I was missing the family component, and was suspect for that gap in my resumé as a successful woman. I thought it was high time to call this nonsense out publicly, because this notion is not just about me, nor only about women in regards to marriage. It’s about anyone whose life doesn’t look the way it ‘should.’

“I’m simply trying to get people to open up their minds and quit clinging to antiquated notions of what a successful life looks like. I want people to lighten up on each other and themselves, and embrace their lives for who it has made them, with or without the Mrs., PhD. or Esq. attached.”

You have taken grand measures to actually enact these family rituals of home, holidays, and vacation. Why was the physicality of the work significant?

“This is why I’ve never used a model for the wife and mother role. It is a self portrait. I personally had to act it out to make the point. I had to physically demonstrate ‘going through the motions.’ If I had married because it was ‘time,’ I’d be living by rote, not choice. That’s exactly what I’m criticizing—acting out a life based on outdated expectations. I construct these artificial scenes of real life to ask, ‘What’s more important? That I’m happy, or that the open position of husband and father is filled in my life?’

“Now in regards to the physical difficulty of transporting and shooting uncooperative fiberglass quadriplegics—why would I put myself through this? It’s because the struggle is what tells you that the message is important. We are all overwhelmed by a flood of insignificant messaging. A message of any significance requires a great effort to be heard.

This monumental effort I’ve made is absurd, but it reflects my point. Going through life by rote or spending it feeling as though you did it wrong, are lacking, or not living up to expectations—that’s what is truly an absurd waste of time.”

(Link): Single Woman Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

    Posted by Pinar on February 12, 2014 at 10:00am

Life Once Removed is a whimsical yet thought-provoking portrait series by photographer and self-described spinster Suzanne Heintz that explores the societal expectancy of women to get married and start a family. The photographer places herself in front of the camera with a set of mannequins, posing as though they’re a nuclear, all-American family from a postcard or perhaps a 1950s sitcom.

Heintz originally embarked on this project because, she says, “I got really sick and tired of answering the question, ‘Why aren’t you married?’ over and over again. Like my life was behind schedule or there was something seriously wrong with me. Like I wasn’t living up to expectations.” Therefore, she intended to create her own husband and child. Throughout the series, Heintz wears her toothy smile as she goes sightseeing with her plastic family.

Continue reading “Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family”

Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

Well then. This post by Driscoll (see link much farther below) will certainly come as a surprise to the guy, Steve Dewitt, I blogged about who worked as an unmarried preacher until he got married for the first time around age 44.
(Link): Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(By the way, the Bible nowhere sets a mandatory or even recommended age for marriage; the “wife of your youth” bit that some marriage idolaters enjoy quoting is not prescriptive; it is not commanding that all people have to or should marry young. See also: (Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness )

The real reason it is, as Driscoll states in his blog post response to a reader question, so “improbable” for a single man to obtain work as a preacher, is not because of any of the reasons Driscoll outlines in his blog page, but because of the prejudice and suspicions Christians harbor against unmarried Christian adults.
(For example, (Link): More Anti Singleness Bias From Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry)

Many churches are biased against hiring singles because:

    1. they hold the nasty, unfair stereotype all single adult males are sexual predators, or would-be predators;
    2. if they hire a married man, the wife is viewed as a freebie, a “bonus,” she will work in the church pro bono, say, as the church piano player

I tire of how Christians allow their personal views or cultural views color how they interpret Scripture to disqualify folks, which is precisely what Driscoll does in his reply to the question:

    Pastor Mark,

    Do you think that God still calls men with the “gift of singleness” into pastoral ministry? If not, what role do you think single males can play in serving the church?

    –Carter

Source:
(Link): Single Pastors?

Basically, Driscoll falls back on the old saw and some misunderstandings – which are used to discriminate against Christian singles – that only a few are given the “gift of singleness”

, and to note that Jesus and Paul were single, but for some reason, they are grand exceptions.

(And see: (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?)

Yes, even though the founders of your religion were childless and unmarried, it’s not okay for others who follow their teachings to be single, childless, and in leadership positions. What a peculiar and unbiblical double standard.

That the Bible states in the New Testament that an overseer may be married with children, and that such a family should be orderly and under control (see (Link): 1 Timothy 3), does not need to be interpreted in such as way to mean, or does not necessarily mean, that ONLY married men with children may apply…

And what of married men with infertile wives, or married men who have only ONE child?

Being ‘overly’ literal or narrow with the “must be married with kids” verse unnecessarily disqualifies many people, so I think a fresh interpretation of, or study of, such passages is needed, since it is being used to discriminate against whole swaths of people.

I also note that Driscoll himself, despite being married, apparently fails several criteria of 1 Timothy 3, in that he is most certainly not “gentle,” is not “above reproach,” and has been, in the past, “quarrelsome.” Driscoll is, from my view, most likely guilty of being “a lover of money.”

To cite but a few examples (but I would encourage you to google the guy’s name and do more research):

    Driscoll’s odd obsession with sex and use of sexually explicit references in sermons (see Link);
    deeming heretics such as Trinity- denier T D Jakes as being a fellow Christian (and was this for the love of money, one wonders?) (see Link);
    bullying people out of his church and chuckling with glee at the thought of “throwing them under the bus,” (Link): Mark Driscoll – There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus
    his grossly explicit sexualization of ‘Song of Songs’ (see Link);
    and teaching that Esther from the book of the same name was a whore (see Link)

Continue reading “Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias”

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

More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage does not happen magically, folks.

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

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

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

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

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

In his introduction, Driscoll gets it wrong:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, FFS, which is it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instone-Brewer: Ancient Jews Expected All to Marry, Was Illegal to Remain Single in Ancient Rome

Instone-Brewer: Ancient Jews Expected All to Marry, Was Illegal to Remain Single in Ancient Rome

The Apostle Paul affirms singleness in the New Testament, but in ancient societies, as today in American secular and evangelical Christian society, singleness is frowned upon.

Instone-Brewer said the question of early Christians was, “Are we allowed to stay single?,” not “May we remarry.”

Instone-Brewer says it was illegal to be single in ancient Roman society. Your neighbor could sue you if you divorced and did not remarry. Watch the video:


Related Posts:

(Link): The Rebel Virgins and Desert Mothers Who Have Been Written Out of Christianity’s Early History by A. Mar

(Link):   Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link):  No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity or Sexual Purity or Modesty

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

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

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

(Link): Why I, Christian Pundit, Post Anonymously (why I don’t post under my real name)

(Link): Stop Telling Adult Singles and Adult Virgins That Their Virginity and Singleness is “For God’s Glory” – just stop it already

(Link):  “Because I was single I felt second class.”-by Chandin, former Mars Hill member & single, on Mars Hill church

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Why Some People Become 30 Year Old Virgins (Article / Study)

(Link): On ‘Late’-In-Life Virginity Loss (from The Atlantic)

(Link): Living Myths About Virginity – article from The Atlantic

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

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Virgins and Celibates are Sexual – Not Asexual and Androgynous – You don’t have to have sex to possess sexuality

(Link):  The Obscure History of the ‘the Disease of Virgins’ that Could be Cured with Sex

(Link):  I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)

(Link):  Some Atheists Are Just As Ignorant About Adult Singleness and Celibacy as Progressive Christians, Secular Feminists, and Protestant Evangelical or Conservative Christians

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

Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All? (editorial)

Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All?

The link to the editorials are farther below. I wanted to take this moment to remind folks of something I think I’ve blogged about here before (well, it’s crossed my mind, though I don’t know if I’ve typed it up).

When Christians drop the ball on HETERO celibate adult singles, and they really, really have, much to their shame, it creates this dynamic for it to make the church wide open to the homosexual agenda.

If Christians stopped portraying hetero marriage as the one and only thing that makes a person a true adult, or godly person, and if they actually acted like singles are equal to married people, and that there is nothing shameful about being single…

If Christian preachers and culture stopped with the wrong assumption that sex is such a powerful urge that NOBODY can resist it past the age of 25 or 30, this would really make it easier to cut down on the amount of militant homosexual attacks made in Christianity today.

It would also, I suspect, serve as a means of encouragement for any Christian who is struggling to remain celibate despite having SSA or homosexual urges.

Instead of holding older (older being ‘past the age of 25 or 30,’ I do not mean to imply senior citizens) Christian virgins up as examples worthy to emulate, many times, Christian culture either ignores them, or mocks them and blames them for failing to marry and reproduce, never mind that getting married and/or having children are not commanded of believers in the New Testament.

Here are links to stories that discuss how discussions on legalization of homosexual marriage is causing some people to question marriage altogether (even homosexuals).

(Link): Gay Couples Choosing to Say “I Don’t”

(Link): Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All?

Excerpts from (Link): Gay Couples Choosing to Say “I Don’t”

    By CARA BUCKLEY
    Published: October 25, 2013

    … They are not unique. Now that same-sex couples in 14 states have all the rights and responsibilities of straight married couples, gay couples are rushing to the altar, right? Not exactly. Plenty of gay couples do not want to marry, and their reasons are as complex — and personal — as any decision to wed.

    For some, marriage is an outdated institution, one that forces same-sex couples into the mainstream. For others, marriage imposes financial burdens and legal entanglements. Still others see marriage not as a fairy tale but as a potentially painful chapter that ends in divorce. And then there are those for whom marriage goes against their beliefs, religious or otherwise.

    “It’s a very, very archaic model,” said Sean Fader, 34, an artist in New York who is single and asked to be identified as queer. “It’s this oppressive Christian model that says ‘Pick a person that’s going to be everything to you, they have to be perfect, then get a house, and have kids, and then you’ll be happy and whole.’ ”

    “There are many heterosexuals who feel the same way,” he added. After all, not all heterosexual couples choose to marry. But same-sex couples do seem more inclined to be marriage holdouts. According to a Pew Research poll released in June, 60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults are married or said they wanted to marry, compared with 76 percent of the general public.

    Continue reading “Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All? (editorial)”

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”

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

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

Many evangelical, neo Calvinist, and Baptist preachers, as well as secular right wing persons, think tanks and personalities are continuing to operate under the false illusion that the reason so many Christian adult singles are not getting married into their late 20s, their 30s, and 40s and beyond is because they hate marriage or are intentionally choosing not to marry.

So, we see a spate of articles, blog posts, or hear podcasts where the likes of Al Mohlers, Mark Driscolls, and others, try to shame or guilt singles into getting married (some of these Christian personalities are harsher on male singles than they are female singles, while some distribute the harshness pretty much equally between the genders).

Some of these famous Christians enjoy citing dubious research to scare us singles into getting married, that supposedly, married people live longer and healthier lives ((Link): debunked here), and so forth.

While there may certainly be some adult (Christian) singles who have deliberately chosen to not marry, there are many, many Christian adults singles over the age of 25, 30, 40 and 50, who still desire marriage, but despite praying and hoping for a spouse, they are still single.

And some adult singles find this situation, and the incredibly obnoxious, resultant “blame game” played against them by pro-marriage Christians and the Christian pro-traditional marriage culture, very, very painful and frustrating.

I am one of them. I was a Christian for many years, and I had fully expected to marry by age 35 at the latest but am early 40s now and still unmarried.

I was told from a young age by preachers, my Christian parents, and Christian culture (Christian books about dating, etc), that if I prayed, had faith, waited on God’s timing, and stayed a virgin, that God would bless me with a spouse.

I did all that: stayed a virgin, prayed, had faith, trusted God for a spouse, but the wonderful Christian husband I was told would be mine never did manifest. I am still single after all this time.

And yet, some Christian preachers will ignorantly and presumptuously lecture me, and singles like me, in their blogs, podcasts, books, or sermons that I am still single because I must obviously, according to them, be

      a career driven, feminist, man-hating shrew;
      I must despise marriage and am choosing to avoid it;
      I must love singledom freedom too much to give it up;
    or, I must have committed fornication, so God is withholding a spouse

– all manner of false assumptions are made.

These types of Christians have no clue why I am still single, but it sure does not bother them from making malicious, insulting, rude assumptions and unfounded speculations.

I do not hate marriage. I am over 40 and have never had sex. I did not place career first. I am not a man-hating, secular feminist.

Yet, Christians continue to assume if you are single past age 25 or so, it must be due to a reason such as that, or else, they feel, you are intentionally avoiding marriage.

None of these ignorant Christians want to notice, consider, or opine on, the contributing factors undergirding unwanted, protracted adult singleness that are beyond the control of singles, such as…

The job landscape has changed, which prevents a lot of young men from being able to marry (it takes a lot of money to support a wife and child, which happens to be the stereotypical preferred Christian family structure (Link): Male Employment Trends May Not Bode Well For Marriage).

And no, pushing people to marry at age 18 or 21, and instructing the church to fund and finance young married couples to make the whole thing easier, is not the answer, either.

In addition, this nauseating push by Christian leaders to marry “teeny boppers” off by the time they are 18 or 21 years old still does nothing for me, age 40ish and still single, and there are many, many singles such as me, who are never married past age 30 who desire marriage: what church, will you do to help me and those like me get a partner?

Telling me I, a 40-something woman, should marry at age 18 is an anachronism. I’m past age 18 now. So what now? How will you help me achieve my goal of having my own traditional marriage?

There are other single men and women my age who are asking the same thing on other blogs out there; I am far from alone.

Another factor ignored by the Christians who try to shame and blame adult singles into getting married:

Christian teachings on gender roles and dating/ sex/ and marriage have themselves contributed to prolonged, unwanted singleness among Christian singles, which I shall not get into here, because I have explained it before in other posts (such as (Link): here, (Link): here, (Link): here).

To the preachers and Christian media personalities out there:

Stop assuming all adult singles do NOT want marriage.

Start addressing those of us who DO WANT marriage, but it has, for whatever reason that is not our fault, been DENIED us.

Stop fretting that marriage is not happening among younger generations and using that as an excuse to blame and rail against the phantoms of liberalism and secular feminism.

Start addressing specific steps churches and Christian culture can take to help marry off over-age 30 singles who desire marriage.

Consider re-examining, re-tooling, or scrapping altogether your teachings on sex, gender roles, dating, and marriage, because those are some of the very things which have inhibited Christian singles from dating and getting married.

For instance:

There are entire blogs and sites dedicated to how the Christian dating book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” kept an entire generation of Christians single into their 30s and beyond, with its faulty, naive assumptions about sex, dating, and gender roles and so on.

And these still-single Christians (who have been damaged by books such as “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and similar Christian material) are people who were desiring marriage, not trying to avoid it! (Example: (Link): (Blog): I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness?)

Stop assuming all never-married adults past the age of 30 are single by choice, or that God has called them to be single. by the way, the phrase “Gift of Singleness” and “Gift of Celibacy” are NOT in the Bible. Here are a few instructive links about that:

      (Link):

The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy

    )

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

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

Many of us singles over the age of 30 desired marriage and do NOT understand why God never sent us a spouse, as preachers say God will do if we just pray and wait.

Stop preaching that singles are “less than.”

What I mean is that fringe kook groups, as well as more “mainstream” preachers and speakers, have been teaching the last several years, that it takes one man married to one women to reflect God, or to fully express God, etc., when the Bible not only does not teach this dreck, but the Bible already says that an unmarried woman alone fully reflects God, as does an unmarried man alone.

Seriously, some preachers, or some Christian fertility cultic groups, teach that singles are not as fully Christian, or as fully human, as married couples are, and some of these nasty assumptions also spill over to married couples who are infertile (ie, you are not fully Christian or human unless you are married AND producing children). I have several posts like this one on this blog:

      (Link):

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

Here’s another:

      (Link):

Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy – because some Christians are teachng that unmarried people are not fully human or not “whole” – preachers who teach that single people are not fully in God’s image unless they get married

Jesus Christ never married and never had children, does that mean Jesus was not fully human, not fully Christian, and not fully reflecting God?

Putting aside for a moment that many of us older singles WANT TO BE MARRIED and find it puzzling, infuriating, or frustrating that we are not married…

Also, for those singles who do decide to remain single and/or never have children, and who are happy remaining single and childfree: respect those choices.

The Bible does NOT condemn singlehood, the Bible does not mandate marriage or procreation (both are presented as being OPTIONAL in the New Testament), the Bible does not teach that marriage is better or more holy or godly than singlehood.

Nor does the Bible teach that God “calls” anyone to singleness, or that singleness is only for “a few.”

Up to 44% (or more) of America’s population is single now, including a huge chunk of conservative Christians, so obviously, if one believes in that nonsense about God “calling” any one to singlehood, God is calling many, many to singlehood these days in the United States not “just a few.”

The Bible presents lifelong celibacy and singleness as being completely fine, valid options for the adult believers, and there may be a number of Christians who are truly happy and fine being single, but many Christians – the ones who have turned traditional marriage and having children into idols – completely ignore the Bible’s teachings on singleness to present it as being the option or last resort of only “the few” or only “those who are gifted with it,” or to make marriage sound superior to singleness.

It is especially troubling when the pro traditional marriage types, such as Al Mohler, quote the “singles die sooner than married” type studies with such glee, not only because such studies are usually flawed, but because they are denying or disrespecting God’s very own teaching on singleness: that God is totally fine with people choosing to remain single, and that the Apostle Paul and Jesus Christ were themselves single.

At any rate, there is a boat load of adult Christian singles out there who very much would like to get married, and we are being neglected. Or, Christian spokespersons keep wrongly assuming we are deliberately choosing to avoid marriage for any number of reasons.

Christians need to help us older singles get married, if we desire marriage, and they need to respect us as singles for so long as we do remain unmarried, even if that remains a lifetime.

I’ve yet to see any preacher discuss the following: why is God (that is, assuming the God of the Bible exists, and that He cares about people and actually listens to or replies to prayer) permitting so many adult Christians to remain single for so long, despite the fact they do, contrary to much Christian spin one reads, desire marriage, and have been praying to God for a spouse for decades?

The majority of Christians do not want to touch this topic at all.

I wonder why that is? Are they happier sitting back complaining about society and griping about liberals and feminists than they are in actually taking constructive steps at rectifying the situation (ie, helping older singles who want marriage to get married)?

See also:

(Link): Conservative Christians Are Now Blaming Homosexual Marriage on Heterosexual Single Adults
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Related posts this blog:

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

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

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

(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault (say some Christians – book review of Debbie Maken marriage book)

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

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

(Link): Singleness is Not A Gift

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

(Link): Secular Media Also Pushing Early Marriage

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

(Link): Asexuality and Asexuals (people who are not interested in having sex, dating, or getting married)

(Link): Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

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

(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

(Link): Parenting (being a parent / procreating) Does Not Necessarily Make People More Godly or Mature: News headline: Tennessee couple rented daughters for pornographic videos: police

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

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

(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 (and why the Bible does NOT support this strategy)

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

(Link): Motherhood Does Not Necessarily Make Women More Mature, Selfless, Responsible, Or Spiritual

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

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

(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): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link): On Vulgar Language at This Blog

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
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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
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Articles / editorials on other sites:

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

Utah: Homosexuals Shouldn’t Be Able to Marry Because They “Cannot Procreate”

Utah: Homosexuals Shouldn’t Be Able to Marry Because They “Cannot Procreate”

I do not support homosexuality, so by extension, I do not support homosexual marriage, but, I do not believe I fully agree with the argument by Christians, social conservatives, Republicans and religious people (eg, Mormons and other groups) that such marriages should be disallowed because homosexuals do not procreate with one another.

The fact of the matter is that some hetero-sexual couples due not pro-create either, whether by choice (use of birth control or surgical sterilization) or due to medical problems (ie, infertility).

The New Testament, in a comment by Apostle Paul, says it is better for a person not to marry.

Marriage is taught in the New Testament to be a life choice, left up to each person; it is not a commandment of God.

By extension, because children come after marriage in Christian sexual ethics, having children is also a choice, not a commandment.

The comment from Genesis about being fruitful and multiplying therefore no longer is applicable under the New Covenant.

Christ’s kingdom is to be grown by teaching pagans about the Gospel, and not by Christians having babies.

Continue reading “Utah: Homosexuals Shouldn’t Be Able to Marry Because They “Cannot Procreate””

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

This is an excellent editorial about single women from a Christian source. Most Christian commentary on singleness sucks, but this was good.

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

    Blaming women for their own singleness is about as productive as a ‘Cosmo’ checklist.

    by Sharon Hodde Miller

    [snip comments about her meeting with middle aged Christian women friends who had never married]

    Several weeks later, I spoke with another friend across the country who also wondered at her singleness and ached to find a godly man.

    In each of these conversations, I struggled to find the right words.

    Part of me wanted to shout, “What’s wrong with men? These ladies are amazing! They should be fighting guys off with a bat.”

    But the situation is more complicated than that. For one, women in the American church outnumber men. In 2009, sociologist Mark Regnerus reported in CT that there are 3 single women for every 2 single men. Simply put, there aren’t enough Christian men to go around.

    Add to that the elements of romantic chemistry, life circumstances, and God’s providence—all factors that are simply out of one woman’s control. It’s not her fault, and there’s nothing wrong with her. Nevertheless, most longtime single women are tempted to pause and wonder, Is it me?

    Don’t get me wrong. There are certainly single women out there who have difficult personalities.

    But, there are married women with equally challenging personalities who still managed to find a mate.

    Having a strong personality or being independent or failing to look like a supermodel are not deterrents to finding a spouse.

    Dating is not simple. There is no tried and true formula.

    Which is why I become frustrated whenever I come across articles, blog posts and books purporting to tell women why they are still single, and how they should act to snag a man.

    Continue reading “How Not to Help All the Single Ladies (excellent article)”

The Way We Never Were (book – Family Idol)

The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz (Author)

Someone on the Jesus Creed blog mentioned the book “The Way We Never Were.”

(Link): BOOK REVIEW : Skewering Myths About the Family : THE WAY WE NEVER WERE: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz

Review is from 1992, by CONSTANCE CASEY. Excerpts:

    American families have changed in the last 20 years–nearly half of all families with children have both parents working–and our anxiety about change is no delusion.

    There has certainly been some decay in values recently. As Coontz tartly observes, “Twenty-five percent of the people polled in a recent national inquiry into American morality said that for $10 million they would abandon their entire family; a large number of people are evidently willing to do the same thing for free.”

    Coontz believes that what we’re experiencing now, however, is not so much the family’s dissolution as “an erosion of commitment to social obligations in general, and to children in particular.” Furthermore, things weren’t all that great before.

    Chapter by chapter, Coontz takes on the myths. Divorce may end many marriages now, but largely because of high mortality rates, the average length of marriage in Colonial times was less than 12 years.

    The “Life With Father” Victorian family–in which men were the breadwinners and women the domestic angels–owed its existence to the fact that other families were poor. Middle-class women had time to spend with their children because they employed laundresses and maids and cooks. Often these German or Welsh or Irish immigrant servant “girls” really were girls, as young as 11.

    While 20% of American children today are poor, she writes, “At the turn of the century the same proportion lived in orphanages, not because they actually lacked both parents, but because one or both parents simply could not afford their keep.”

    Coontz’s take on the Golden Age of the family–Ward and June, Ozzie and Harriet–is not brand new, but worth restating. “The apparently stable families of the 1950s were the result of an economic boom–the gross national product grew by nearly 250% and per capita income by 35%.” Most important, there was steady employment for the Ward Cleavers of America.

    Ozzie never came home with a pink slip and never applied for welfare. But the Nelsons and the Cleavers were generously underwritten by the federal government. Because of the extraordinary boom, the feds could afford to be generous with everything from education money to housing loans and highway construction.

    Part of the mythology of the Golden Age was that only morally deficient families required government help. As refutation, Coontz provides a wonderfully specific example–Phil Gramm, senator from Texas and staunch opponent of government handouts: “Born in Georgia in 1942, to a father who was living on a federal veterans disability pension, Gramm attended a publicly funded university on a grant paid for by the federal War Orphans Act. His graduate work was financed by a National Defense Education Act fellowship, and his first job was at Texas A & M University, a federal land-grant institution.”

    Coontz makes it hard for us to blame the usual suspects for family decay–those negligent working mothers and those immoral teen-age girls. She demonstrates that most of the family problems associated with working women rise from “the inadequate and incomplete integration of women into productive work.” And she charges that, “The image of teen-age girls having babies to receive welfare checks is an emotion-laden but fraudulent cliche.” If welfare benefits cause teen pregnancy, “why is it that other industrial countries, with far more generous support policies for women and children, have far lower rates of teen pregnancy?” (Incidentally, the highest rate of teen-age childbearing in 20th-Century America was in 1957.)

    “Children do best,” Coontz concludes, “in societies where child-rearing is considered too important to be left entirely to parents.” In order to be elected these days, candidates have to demonstrate that they care deeply about their own children. We should demand that they also care about other people’s children.

Info on the book:

    The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

And:

    Did you ever wonder about the historical accuracy of those “traditional family values” touted in the heated arguments that insist our cultural ills can be remedied by their return?

    Of course, myth is rooted in fact, and certain phenomena of the 1950s generated the Ozzie and Harriet icon. The decade proved profamily–the birthrate rose dramatically; social problems that nag–gangs, drugs, violence–weren’t even on the horizon.

    Affluence had become almost a right; the middle class was growing. “In fact,” writes Coontz, “the ‘traditional’ family of the 1950s was a qualitatively new phenomenon. At the end of the 1940s, all the trends characterizing the rest of the twentieth century suddenly reversed themselves.”

    This clear-eyed, bracing, and exhaustively researched study of American families and the nostalgia trap proves–beyond the shadow of a doubt–that Leave It to Beaver was not a documentary.

    Gender, too, is always on Coontz’s mind. In the third chapter (“My Mother Was a Saint”), she offers an analysis of the contradictions and chasms inherent in the “traditional” division of labor.

    She reveals, next, how rarely the family exhibited economic and emotional self-reliance, suggesting that the shift from community to nuclear family was not healthy.

    Coontz combines a clear prose style with bold assertions, backed up by an astonishing fleet of researched, myth-skewing facts.

    The 88 pages of endnotes dramatize both her commitment to and deep knowledge of the subject. Brilliant, beautifully organized, iconoclastic, and (relentlessly) informative The Way We Never Were breathes fresh air into a too often suffocatingly “hot” and agenda-sullied subject.

    In the penultimate chapter, for example, a crisp reframing of the myth of black-family collapse leads to a reinterpretation of the “family crisis” in general, putting it in the larger context of social, economic, and political ills.

    The book began in response to the urgent questions about the family crisis posed her by nonacademic audiences. Attempting neither to defend “tradition” in the era of family collapse, nor to liberate society from its constraints, Coontz instead cuts through the kind of sentimental, ahistorical thinking that has created unrealistic expectations of the ideal family.

    “I show how these myths distort the diverse experiences of other groups in America,” Coontz writes, “and argue that they don’t even describe most white, middle-class families accurately.” The bold truth of history after all is that “there is no one family form that has ever protected people from poverty or social disruption, and no traditional arrangement that provides a workable model for how we might organize family relations in the modern world.”

    Some of America’s most precious myths are not only precarious, but down right perverted, and we would be fools to ignore Stephanie Coontz’s clarion call. –Hollis Giammatteo

    From Publishers Weekly

    The golden age of the American family never existed, asserts Coontz ( The Social Origns of Private Life ) in a wonderfully perceptive, myth-debunking report. The “Leave It to Beaver” ideal of breadwinner father, full-time homemaker mother and dependent children was a fiction of the 1950s, she shows.

    Real families of that period were rife with conflict, repression and anxiety, frequently poor and much less idyllic than many assume; teen pregnancy rates in the ’50s were higher than today.

    Further, Coontz contends, the nuclear family was elevated to a central source of personal satisfaction only in the late 19th century, thereby weakening people’s community ties and sense of civic obligation.

    Coontz disputes the idea that children can be raised properly only in traditional families. Viewing modern domestic problems as symptoms of a much larger socioeconomic crisis, she demonstrates that no single type of household has ever protected Americans from social disruption or poverty.

    An important contribution to the current debate on family values.

The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents

The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents

The person who wrote this page doesn’t seem too keen on the idea that people are becoming parents later in life:

(Link): How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society The scary consequences of the grayest generation. by Judith Shulevitz

Two reasons I am linking to that page (which is very, very long), is…

1. It points out that older males produce deformed kids. Often, there is sexism involved, where people assume only older motherhood is dangerous, but older males produce defective sperm.

In that way, Shulevitz’s article is similar to this one:
(Link): The Ticking Male Biological Clock – WSJ.com

2. The mere fact the page is discussing the situation at all shows it’s becoming more and more common in American society.

Typical of Christians and conservatives (and I am a conservative myself, but one who disagrees with other conservatives in how they handle or behave about some cultural issues), but in this otherwise left-leaning publication, the author (who I would assume is liberal) chooses to bitch and gripe about the situation, rather than just acknowledge that things change in culture. She sounds like a typical conservative.

Here are excerpts from the very long article:

    by Shulevitz

    Over the past half century, parenthood has undergone a change so simple yet so profound we are only beginning to grasp the enormity of its implications. It is that we have our children much later than we used to.

    This has come to seem perfectly unremarkable; indeed, we take note of it only when celebrities push it to extremes— when Tony Randall has his first child at 77; Larry King, his fifth child by his seventh wife at 66; Elizabeth Edwards, her last child at 50.

    This new gerontological voyeurism— I think of it as doddering-parent porn— was at its maximally gratifying in 2008, when, in almost simultaneous and near-Biblical acts of belated fertility, two 70-year-old women in India gave birth, thanks to donor eggs and disturbingly enthusiastic doctors. One woman’s husband was 72; the other’s was 77.

    These, though, are the headlines. The real story is less titillating, but it tells us a great deal more about how we’ll be living in the coming years: what our families and our workforce will look like, how healthy we’ll be, and also—not to be too eugenicist about it—the future well-being of the human race.

    That women become mothers later than they used to will surprise no one. All you have to do is study the faces of the women pushing baby strollers, especially on the streets of coastal cities or their suburban counterparts.

    American first-time mothers have aged about four years since 1970—as of 2010, they were 25.4 as opposed to 21.5. That average, of course, obscures a lot of regional, ethnic, and educational variation.

    The average new mother from Massachusetts, for instance, was 28; the Mississippian was 22.9. The Asian American first-time mother was 29.1; the African American 23.1. A college-educated woman had a better than one-in-three chance of having her first child at 30 or older; the odds that a woman with less education would wait that long were no better than one in ten.

    It badly misstates the phenomenon to associate it only with women: Fathers have been getting older at the same rate as mothers. First-time fathers have been about three years older than first-time mothers for several decades, and they still are.

    The average American man is between 27 and 28 when he becomes a father. Meanwhile, as the U.S. birth rate slumps due to the recession, only men and women over 40 have kept having more babies than they did in the past.

    In short, the growth spurt in American parenthood is not among rich septuagenarians or famous political wives approaching or past menopause, but among roughly middle-aged couples with moderate age gaps between them, like my husband and me.

    OK, I’ll admit it. We’re on the outer edge of the demographic bulge. My husband was in his mid-forties and I was 37—two years past the age when doctors start scribbling AMA, Advanced Maternal Age, on the charts of mothers-to-be—before we called a fertility doctor.

    … Soon, I learned that medical researchers, sociologists, and demographers were more worried about the proliferation of older parents than my friends and I were.

    They talked to me at length about a vicious cycle of declining fertility, especially in the industrialized world, and also about the damage caused by assisted-reproductive technologies (ART) that are commonly used on people past their peak childbearing years.

    This past May, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 8.3 percent of children born with the help of ART had defects, whereas, of those born without it, only 5.8 percent had defects.

    … What science tells us about the aging parental body should alarm us more than it does. Age diminishes a woman’s fertility; every woman knows that, although several surveys have shown that women—and men—consistently underestimate how sharp the drop-off can be for women after age 35.

    The effects of maternal age on children aren’t as well-understood. As that age creeps upward, so do the chances that children will carry a chromosomal abnormality, such as a trisomy.

    In a trisomy, a third chromosome inserts itself into one of the 23 pairs that most of us carry, so that a child’s cells carry 47 instead of 46 chromosomes. The most notorious trisomy is Down syndrome.

    We have been conditioned to think of reproductive age as a female-only concern, but it isn’t. For decades, neonatologists have known about birth defects linked to older fathers: dwarfism, Apert syndrome (a bone disorder that may result in an elongated head), Marfan syndrome (a disorder of the connective tissue that results in weirdly tall, skinny bodies), and cleft palates.

    Continue reading “The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents”

A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)

A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)

Read it here:
(Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)

Excerpts:

    Eight years later, I’m still not married. I’d tell you it’s been awesome, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. Society, and particularly the church, seems so uncomfortable with singleness. By the time we hit quarter-life, friendly faces are ready to pair us off at any moment, as if being single necessarily means we’re incomplete. Some even come at us with warnings that we’ll become “leftovers” if we don’t find our mate soon. (Ask me if I’ve ever been called leftovers. I dare you.)

Then come the blog posts and articles, with stats and theories on why all our friends who ended up marrying their high school or college boyfriends got it right. The 2009 Christianity Today cover story, “The Case for Early Marriage,” was just the beginning. This wedding season brought another bump in pro-early-marriage arguments in Christian publications and mainstream magazines.

…This line of thinking remains risky, presenting marriage as such a positive move for 20somethings when so many of them aren’t ready. Surrounded by proponents of young love and young marriage, I felt a pressure beyond my years to make a commitment, and I am so glad I didn’t give in to those expectations, having grown up and grown closer to God in the years since.

…The statistics about the sex lives of single adults, including single Christians, are grim. According to a recent study in Relevant magazine, 80 percent of Christian singles in their 20s have had sex, and 64 percent had done so in the past year. By age 20, 25 percent of single women in the general public have cohabited, but by age 30, 74 percent of women have done so.

So yes, early-marriage champs, the longer we stayed unmarried, the greater our chances of sexual screwups. You win on that one.

But sex isn’t enough to hold up an argument for early marriage (though we hear it (Link): again and again).

Single Christians have the opportunity to throw the curve—to demonstrate that a life devoted to honoring Christ is in fact possible outside of the binds of marriage.

Exercising restraint and resolve to live a biblical singlehood speaks volumes to our fellow single men and women who treat sex as a casual thing. Living out Christian singlehood might also instill a bit of hope in the hearts of our nonbelieving friends; hope that there is more to life in your 20s and 30s than sex on the first date and late night booty calls. And trust me, folks, God is sovereign in our singlehood.

Marriage isn’t the solution to the immaturity of today’s 20-somethings. We don’t become grownups by putting a ring on it. My prayer for my generation is that we can grow into more mature followers of Christ, living as brothers and sisters in the faith as we walk through this journey.

…God doesn’t give us a timeline for when we need to marry; never do we reach cutoff point and become “leftovers.”…

Read the rest by clicking here.
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—–Related posts, this blog:—-

(Link): Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

(Link):  Let’s Kiss Dating Hello – Ring By Spring Culture at Christian Campuses, by N. Sheets

(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex – Husband is Sexless for Eight Years (article)

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

(Link): Rush to early marriage feeds Utah’s higher-than-average divorce rate (article)

(Link): Marrying Young – from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” by Stephanie Drury

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

(Link): Secular Media Also Pushing Early Marriage

(Link): Links: Delayed Marriage and How Straight People Paved the Way for Gay Marriage

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

There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or Being Called to Either One

The following reader response (by gortexgrrl) appeared on a blog by a guy named Jeremy, who read a blog post about singleness by another guy named Kostenberger and blogged about it.

Gortexgrrl references Debbie Maken in passing in one of her posts below. I do not agree with all of author Debbie Maken’s views.

Maken pushes for something called “marriage mandate,” and despite what goretexgrrl states below, Maken does go a little “blame the victim” on women who desire marriage, yet who still find themselves unmarried into their 30s and older.

Yes, Maken seems to most heavily blame men for women being single, but I’ve read comments by Maken on other blogs and excerpts of her books, and she does blame women a little bit – she assumes if you are a woman who is still single at 35 or 40, it’s because you didn’t do enough to get a spouse when you were 25, or there was something more you could have done.

The Makens of the world refuse to acknowledge that marriage is often beyond a person’s control: you can join every dating site on the planet and go to every singles church function known to mankind and still find yourself single at 40.

Here are the posts where “Gift of Singleness/ Celibacy” was discussed:

Regarding “Gift of Singleness / Celibacy” and 1 Corinthians 7:7

By gortexgrrl 

The confusion created by the three different meanings of the “gift of singleness” that you’ve aptly described in your first post would seem to be good enough reason for everyone to just abandon the term altogether.

The “gift of singleness” is a term that appears nowhere in the Bible. Nor does “the gift of celibacy”.

When I posted my concerns about the problems created by the “GOS” [Gift Of Singleness] on Kostenberger’s blog, they were removed (along with others, particularly those that questioned whether or not he had actually read Maken’s book, since he seemed to suggest that it was about blaming women, when the blame was really more heavily directed towards men).

Free speech. Academic freedom. Do any of those things have any meaning in the minds of theologians? Here’s one of my posts, you can critique my thoughts on “the gift of singleness” as well as the question of censorship while you’re at it:

Unfortunately, I must vehemently disagree with the glowing reviews in the posts above and object to this mischaracterization of Maken’s book. She does NOT say “women who are in their late 20s or in their 30s and still unmarried have got only themselves to blame for lack of effort”.

If anything, she lets the women off the hook and blames single men and faulty church teachings for the current epidemic of protracted singleness among Christians.

Maken’s critique of the man situation would have been better if she had not indulged in an imbalanced “man bashing” and if she had acknowledged the severe shortage of men in our churches (which is indeed the greatest cause of protracted singleness among the female faithful). However, her indictment of problematic church teachings was ABSOLUTELY GROUNDBREAKING, especially in “rethinking the ‘gift of singleness’”.

With all due respect, there’s no such thing as “The Gift of Singleness”. The original biblical texts use no such term.

“GOS” first appeared in the Living Bibles of the 70’s, and later in The Message, perhaps to mitigate or update the Catholic notion of “the gift of celibacy” (also not biblical). 1 Cor 7:7 in the NRSV reads

“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.”

Paul states his own preference regarding singleness/celibacy (scholars have debated for years which one) and makes a aside about the uniqueness (“IDIOS”) in how God gifts us (“CHARISMA”: grace gift, not ’spiritual gift’ per se) using a phrase common to Greek speakers to this day “HOS MEN HOUTO DE HOS HOUTO”, which has an INDEFINITE meaning: “like this and like this (and like this, etc.) It’s meaning is NOT either/or, as in “gift of marriage” or “GOS”, it’s less specific than that!

In light of “the present distress” (v.26) the option of singleness/celibacy is presented by Paul as a RECOMMENDATION, not a “gift”.

Continue reading “There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One”

The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

A lot of times, Christians like to toss the phrase “gift of singleness” at singles, though I have seen some intriguing arguments online that most Bible translations get the phrase wrong.

It’s also interesting to note that one seldom hears Christians refer to marriage as “the gift of marriage.” Christians apparently feel a need to sugarcoat singlehood, because some singles are not happy or comfortable being single.

The problem with the “Gift of Singleness” rhetoric is that there is a sizable percentage of Christians who wanted to be married, and who expected to be married, but who remain un-married into their late 30s, 40s, 50s, and older.

The majority of Christians who are in this position do not regard singleness as a gift, nor has God lifted their sexual desire, nor has he removed their desire for marriage. It is quite insulting and a slap across the face to such singles to tell them God has “gifted” them with singleness.

(This is a post for those Christians, the ones who wanted to be married, but it never happened. This is not a post for the ones who frequently pipe up when this discussion comes up: “Oh but golly, I’m fine with being single, and I do think it’s a marvelous gift!” If you are one of those singles, I beg of you, please don’t chirp in with how gifty you consider singleness, otherwise, you will be one of those Christian singles I’ve blogged about before: (Link): Types of Christian Singles Whom I Find Annoying)

I have seen various arguments put forward that Paul was not saying that singleness is a gift, not in the sense American Christians make it out to be.

Here are links to other sites, blog pages, or comments by everyday Joe’s who are commenting on the “Gift of Singleness” teaching:

From the blog, “Single, Unexpectedly”

Before I get to the links: I find it a tad amusing that the woman who writes it is already lamenting being single at 30 years of age: I’m in my early 40s! I’ve run into marriage minded Christian women who have never married and are in their 40s. If you think it’s bad at age 30, try being early 40s or older. Here are the links from “Single, Unexpectedly”:

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 1

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 2

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 3

(Link):Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 4

Excerpt from the above page:

    … the GoS [Gift of Singleness] doctrine is a relatively new doctrine, a Johnny-come-lately interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7:7. It is not how this text has traditionally been understood through the annals of Christian history but has come up only in the last forty years or so to try to explain the recent explosion in singleness among adults. // end of excerpt

Regarding the next link or two: they mention Debbie Maken. Please note that I do not agree wholly with Debbie Maken on each subject: from excerpts of her books I have read, she goes overboard on the topics of marriage and singleness, where she denigrates singlehood, and where she’s into blaming and shaming singles for being single.

Maken acts as though if you just go out a bit more often, or sign up for a few more dating sites, you will get a husband. She is wrong. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much effort a single woman puts into getting a spouse – she can try and try and go out all the time – and still remain single.

Where Maken gets things right is where she criticizes Christians and churches who over-sell, or over-spiritualize, singleness, and who discourage or shame singles who want to be married from trying to get married.

Here’s the Maken link (remember, Maken gets very much into a “blame the single for being single” perspective, so really think if you want to read this – it may be more offensive than uplifting if you are a single):

“Rethinking the ‘Gift’ of Singleness” by Debbie Maken

That page references this one:

(Link): Rethinking the Gift of Singleness

Continue reading “The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’”

Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): Source

Please note: I offer a link to this with a caveat: the author appears to be a ‘gender complementarian,’ and I completely disagree with the CBMW-ish type of view of “complementarianism.” I am a gender egalitarian. However, this author does get some points right, including the portion I have excerpted below.

Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

  • Lie #3: Women Can’t be Fulfilled or Spiritually Effective Without a Husband or Children.
  • The third lie is that women can’t be fulfilled or spiritually effective without a husband or children. Some churches teach that God’s perfect plan for every woman is to be a wife and mother. Period. Sometimes Christian women successful in business or some other professional field are made to feel unwelcome at a church, as if they are an unhealthy influence on “purer” women.
    Continue reading “Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)”

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me: The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness; The Condescending Single Who Brays “Jesus is all you need, your earthly happiness doesn’t matter”; or the Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness

I. The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness And Doesn’t Understand Why You Can’t Be Too

To clarify something: there are times when I feel relieved about being single, and there are other times it bothers me. I’m not wholly on one side of the fence or the other.

I was just saying (Link): in a post yesterday I get very pissed off and annoyed over these sunny attitude, Rose-colored- glasses- wearing unmarried women (sometimes men, but it’s normally a woman) who go on and on in their editorials for Christian singles about how they are golly gee whiz happy-happy to be single, they love living for just Jesus by golly!, and they say they cannot wrap their heads around singles who think that singlehood sometimes sucks. They think everyone should be as happy-happy with singleness as they are.

The fact is, some of us are not always happy with singleness 100% of the time, and your constant sunniness about it is unrealistic, irritating, doesn’t acknowledge the pain some of us go through at times, and by being so dang chipper about singleness, you’re sort of denying how most churches and denominations ignore or belittle singles.

II. The Super Spiritual Christian Single Who Likes to Say Over and Over: “Jesus and My Bible is All I Need and To Want Anything Else is Inappropriate, Especially In Church” (Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness)

These are usually the ones who pipe up in blog comments in articles for singles who say church is for worship of the Lord and Bible devotions only, that’s all THEY want when they go to a church, they say they are deeply offended when “Brother Hank” or “Sister Sally” tries to play match- maker for them.

And, they say, singles should not be using church to find a mate, because that’s turning church into a “meat market.” And remember, according to them, church is for worship and Bible reading and study only, nothing else.

If you are the kind of single who wants to view church as a Bible study only, fine for you, but don’t sit there and lecture myself and Christian singles that it’s wrong for another Christian person to use church to meet a mate.

There are other reasons for the creation of the church besides worship, Bible reading, the Great Commission, and helping African orphans.

Continue reading “The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me”