What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You by G. Dalfonzo

What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You by G. Dalfonzo

Good on her for writing this, but I can tell you that 99.9% of American churches will ignore this advice because they don’t care about singles: they prefer to worship The Nuclear Families.

(Link): What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You

Excerpts:

Singles are on the rise. Here’s what forward-looking churches need to know.

According to recent Pew data, the (Link): number of married Americans is at its lowest point since at least 1920. In 2015, only half of Americans ages 18 and over were married, (Link): compared with 72 percent in 1960.

Put another way: Singles are on the rise and beginning to outnumber marrieds. The church, however, doesn’t reflect those numbers.

According to a (Link): recent Barna study, while more than half of Americans (54%) between the ages of 18 and 49 are single, only 23 percent of active churchgoers are single. “Your church should be filling up at least half of your pews with single people,” (Link): writes Joyce Chiu for Barna Trends. “So what will get them there?”

…..So how can your local church create a welcoming space for singles?

Recognize that single people’s needs may look different from yours.
When a single person talks about feeling lonely, it’s common for a married person to counter that he or she often feels lonely, too. That’s not surprising. Studies show that up to half of us experience loneliness “at least some of the time.”

Continue reading “What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You by G. Dalfonzo”

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Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

A woman named San wrote to Christian program “The 700 Club” to say she’s in a marriage where her husband is ignoring her in favor of TV shows and his job and so forth. Pat Robertson’s son Gordon answered her letter.

Here is her letter to The 700 Club:

I have been very lonely in my marriage.

My husband’s priorities fall in this order: work, television, and then his phone. I have brought it to his attention so many times. I find myself only relying on God and Him being my true friend but I am still lonely.

Yes, I have God to turn to and I talk to God all day, every day, but it would be nice to have a husband in my life who I can truly share my life with. What should I do?

[signed] San

I didn’t completely agree with the host’s answer.

Continue reading “Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.”

My Parents Excluded Me When I Was Single — Now They’re Doing It to My Sister (Ask Amy Column)

My Parents Excluded Me When I Was Single — Now They’re Doing It to My Sister (Ask Amy Column)

(Link): My parents excluded me when I was single — now they’re doing it to my sister (Ask Amy column)

DEAR AMY: I am a 35-year-old woman. I live in the same town as my parents.

My sister lives nearby. She married young, while I traveled and enjoyed the single life.

My parents spent a lot of time with my sister and her husband. They shared dinners, vacations and holidays. I have generally not been invited or included, as these were “couple things,” though I fail to see how Christmas is a “couples-only” event.

Continue reading “My Parents Excluded Me When I Was Single — Now They’re Doing It to My Sister (Ask Amy Column)”

The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement

The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement

This may be the start of a series. I may do more posts like this as I come across more examples. I kind of already did a part one a couple of years ago (Part 1). This post was not the Part 2 I had in mind, not really.

The things this post covers pertains to one of my big pet peeves as related to men, dating, marriage, culture, church, and relationships.

First, here is the story, (and then below, I’ll analyze or comment why this bothers the hell out of me).

Over a year ago, I watched an episode of the TV show “Restaurant Impossible,” hosted by Chef Robert Irvine on Food Network.

This married couple owned a restaurant that was failing financially, so they had Chef Irvine come in to rescue their business.

I don’t remember all the details of the show, the couple, or their restaurant. I don’t remember their names or where they were located. I cannot recall if both the husband and wife wanted the business, or just the wife did, or what.

Regardless.

The wife was having a nervous breakdown from all the stress of being a restaurant owner. She was running all aspects of the restaurant by herself (with a small staff who helped cook), but the vast majority of the responsibility for the restaurant was on her shoulders.

Although the wife kept begging her spouse to help her, because she was at a breaking point, he would not help her. He would sort of promise or act like he agreed to coming in more often to help, but he would bail on her.

If I am not mistaken, the husband did not hold down a regular job at this time. I think he had quit his regular “9 to 5” job to be in the food business with the wife.

However, the idiot (the husband) spent all his free time chasing down his passions and hobbies, which included stuff like parachuting out of planes on weekends with other men as part of a World War 2 para-trooper re-enactment group, and I think the guy was also part of a barber shop singing quartet the rest of the time, or something.

Continue reading “The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement”

Household Liturgies (by Jonathan Storment) – Turning Marriage and the Nuclear Family Into Idols

Household Liturgies (by Jonathan Storment) – Turning Marriage and the Nuclear Family Into Idols

  • PREFACE: my blog stalker, John Morgan, is probably going to take this link I spotted today and share it on his own blog, reference it on his own blog, or visit this other blog to leave a comment there.
  • The guy apparently takes content from my blog without giving me credit, which is not only dishonest or unfair, but it’s hypocritical, because in the past he deemed me untrustworthy for not stating my real name on my blog or posts.
  • If you think I am untrustworthy for using a pen name, or for whatever reason, stop taking any links, content, and ideas from my blog to use on your own blog, or to run over to other sites I link to in order to leave comments there. You are being a huge hypocrite.
  • Please see (Link): this post for more on John Morgan or (Link): this post. Thank you.

Spotted on scotmcknight’s Twitter (and this is on his Jesus Creed blog):

(Link): Household Liturgies (by Jonathan Storment)

Some of what Storment and Smith discuss as seen in this post on Jesus Creed blog was referred to in secular studies such as mentioned here (Link): Greedy Marriages.

Storment quotes an author named Smith on this page, then inserts his own comments between Smiths’s words, so, depending on whom I am excerpting below, you’re either reading Storment or Smith (if you find this confusing, please click the link above to see the post on the Jesus Creed blog; the formatting there will make it more clear who the writer is):

Excerpts:

  • By Jonathan Storment
  • ….Smith’s [James K.A. Smith, author of “You Are What You Love”] great strength is being able to connect classic Christian wisdom with his keen insights as a cultural critic.
  • For example, Smith points out that it shouldn’t be surprising to us that family/marriages are falling apart in today’s world. Because we have made them cultural idols, and our practices have formed us into thinking of marriage and the nuclear family as an ultimate.

Continue reading “Household Liturgies (by Jonathan Storment) – Turning Marriage and the Nuclear Family Into Idols”

Americans Are Nostalgic for a Family Life That Never Existed by S. Coontz

Americans Are Nostalgic for a Family Life That Never Existed by S. Coontz

I have blogged about this book before, back in 2013. You can read the former post (Link): here.

Here is another review of the same book:

(Link): Americans Are Nostalgic for a Family Life That Never Existed

Excerpts:

  • March 2016
  • By Stephanie Coontz
  • There is a tendency for many Americans to view present-day family and gender relations through the foggy lens of nostalgia for a mostly mythical past.
  • …One example of how discussions of family life are still distorted by myths about the past is the question of how marriage has evolved historically.
  • Both sides in the Supreme Court decision extending marriage rights to same-sex couples demonstrated confusion on this issue. In his dissent from the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “For all . . . millennia, across all . . . civilizations, ‘marriage’ referred to only one relationship: the union of a man and a woman.”
  • Its primordial purpose, Roberts asserted, was to make sure that all children would be raised “in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship.”
  • These assertions are simply not true. The most culturally preferred form of marriage in the historical record—indeed, the type of marriage referred to most often in the first five books of the Old Testament—was actually of one man to several women.
  • Some societies also practiced polyandry, where one woman married several men, and some even sanctioned ghost marriages, where parents married off a son or daughter to the deceased child of another family with whom they wished to establish closer connections.
  • The most common purpose of marriage in history was not to ensure children had access to both their mother and father but to acquire advantageous in-laws and expand the family labor force.
  • …In Anglo-American common law, a child born out of wedlock was a filius nullius, a child of nobody, entitled to nothing. Until the early 1970s, several American states denied such children the right to inherit from their biological father even if he had publicly acknowledged them or they were living with him.

Continue reading “Americans Are Nostalgic for a Family Life That Never Existed by S. Coontz”

Francis Chan Challenges Christians: Stop Idolizing Family, Put Christ’s Mission First

Francis Chan Challenges Christians: Stop Idolizing Family, Put Christ’s Mission First

Yep. Christians idolize the family. I’ve been blogging about that for a few years now.

(Link): Francis Chan Challenges Christians: Stop Idolizing Family, Put Christ’s Mission First

Excerpts:

  • March 23, 2016|3:20 pm
    BY KEVIN PORTER , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
  • Many Christians have lost their edge — their radical, burning fire for Christ, says preacher and author Francis Chan, a firm believer that while family is important, the mission of the Kingdom of God should come first.In a video message recently shared by (Link): ChurchLeaders.com, Chan says that after many Christians get married they place Christ’s mission on the back burner, spending their days in the bubble of relationships, children and the comfort of security.
  • The preacher challenges married Christians to stoke the flames of their passion for Christ and his work, and to step out of their comfort zones to take more risks to further His Kingdom. Continue reading “Francis Chan Challenges Christians: Stop Idolizing Family, Put Christ’s Mission First”

Friends say couple can’t be busy if they don’t have kids (advice column)

Friends say couple can’t be busy if they don’t have kids

Yes, people who are parents tend to have all kinds of condescending assumptions about the childless or childfree.

Parents do tend to assume that those without children have buttloads of free time where all they do is sit around sipping margaritas or twiddling their thumbs, or, some of them assume that your life lacks true meaning or depth unless and until you have kids.

Here is another example (for those of you parents who do NOT make these snotty assumptions about your childless or childfree friends, thank you).

Friends say couple can’t be busy if they don’t have kids

  • Dear Carolyn: I am a childless woman. My husband and I work hard, and we like the way things are in our life.
  • So how do I respond when my friends say, “You can’t be that busy, you don’t have kids”? I am on call 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and my husband works mid-shifts so we are quite busy.
  • We also run a small business from our home, and have pets and other hobbies.
  • I am stunned when I hear this and always feel like I am being excluded on purpose.
  • Do I just let these friends go or what?

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Related Posts:

(Link):   Greedy, Entitled Mother Expects Her Childless Friend to Buy Daughter Computer, DVD Player, or Digital Tablet

(Link):  Childless Couple Who Donates to Childrens Charities Lambasted by Snotty Adult Sister for Not Showering Her Kids with Christmas Presents – Parents Who Discriminate Against the Childless

(Link):  Mothers Who Steal Handicapped Parking Spots from Disabled Woman and Act Rude When Confronted – Motherhood does not make women more loving, nurturing, godly, or mature

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

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

Link to the article is farther below.

The article I am linking to below details how modern Americans put way too many expectations on marriage to meet their emotional needs, and when marriage inevitably fails at this, they often divorce.

Evangelicals, Baptists, and other types of Christians also put way too much emphasis on marriage to meet their needs. Not that I am against people getting their needs met, but it seems to me too many people expect marriage to be their end-all, be-all fount of happiness in life, which is setting them up for disappointment.

The emphasis on marriage by Christians is damaging not only for married people, but also to adult singles and the church at large.

Christians who are married with kids tend to focus all their time and energy on their nuclear family, and they sometimes use their family as an excuse to blow off tasks at church.  I have blogged about that before, like in this post: (Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article).

You cannot get all your emotional needs met in a marriage, but a lot of people act like marriage should be able to perform this function.

Married women will blow off and ignore their single lady friends once they are married (or even in the dating stage of a relationship – I have blogged about that before (Link): here). Not only is this terribly unfair to adult singles, but it can leave the married person very alone if or when their spouse comes down with dementia or dies from a heart attack, old age, or an auto accident.

I’ve seen letters from widowed men who write to advice columnists who say they are incredibly lonely since their wife died – they have no social network to lean on, and their married friends no longer invite them over to dinners.

Continue reading “A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)”

How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D. C. McAllister

How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D. C. McAllister

Before I get to the link of the article by D C McAllister:

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This is rather long, but well worth the read:

(Link): How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D C McAllister

Excerpts:

  • Our society needs a phileo resurgence so we can express ourselves with the nonsexual passion and love we really feel.
  • … I guess I am kind of weird. I confess: I’m very passionate about my friends. But am I the abnormal one, or is there something wrong with our society? My daughter isn’t unusual, and her response was pretty typical. Many people have that reaction to women who are passionate about their friends—and even more so for men!

    …I wish “bromance” would disappear from the American lexicon forever. That’s because it represents everything that’s wrong with our culture when it comes to friendship.

    Instead of friendship being noble, nonromantic, and normal, it has become the exception, romanticized to the point that we’re uncomfortable describing it and experiencing it for what it is. Even as we try to distinguish it from homosexuality, we are corrupting real friendship by placing it in the context of romance.

    How Romanticism and Puritanism Corrupts Friendship

    The problem with our modern culture is friendship has been corrupted. Lewis says it began with the age of sentimentality and romanticism.

    Continue reading “How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D. C. McAllister”

Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)

This was published in an advice Hax column, December 2015.

Advice from a single adult to married people (this was not written by me; it was written by a guest writer at the Hax column):

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On being single in a familial sea of marrieds:

I highly recommend that those who are married consider the following do’s and don’ts before they spend time with only one single person (or very few).

●Do not monopolize the conversation with discussions of your kids.

Being interested in keeping up with nieces, nephews and other relatives doesn’t mean wanting to hear a scene-by-scene description of little Sally’s role in the kindergarten play.

Besides being mind-numbingly boring, it can be disheartening to hear someone else go on about their joy in raising a child when you may never experience it for yourself.

●Do engage single people in conversations about their own lives such as job/career, hobbies or travel.

Continue reading “Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)”

Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a post from Sanity’s Cove Blog – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule

Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule

The following blog post is so excellent, I am hard pressed just to highlight one or two paragraphs.

I would encourage you to click the link below and visit their page to read the whole essay.

I believe the blog post author also has a book for sale on this topic, and that looks like a book worth purchasing and checking out.

(Link): Reclaiming Stolen Friendships

Excerpt:

  • Having close friendships with members of the opposite gender is healthy, biblical and important for spiritual growth. But in the name of integrity, the church sometimes raises walls that keep us from meaningful brother-sister friendships in Christ.
  • These divisions are neither biblical nor in line with church history at its best.
  • And contrary to their promise of safety, adhering to them actually puts us at greater risk of sexual immorality, not less.
  • Many churches employ the terms “brother” and “sister”—but in such as way as to empty them of any real meaning. Some now teach that men and women should never be close friends, believing that mixed friendships will lead into sexual sin or “emotional” affairs.
  • Others may admit that men and women can share friendship—but then they burden it with a thousand qualifications.
  • One well known church website boasts of how none of the church staff ever “has lunch with someone of the opposite sex” or “rides alone in the car with someone of the opposite sex.” Boundaries abound.
  • Sadly, though these rules have become commonplace over the last 20 years, adhering to them does not appear to have made us any purer.

Continue reading “Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a post from Sanity’s Cove Blog – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule”

Christians Should Stop Defending the BGR / How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Billy Graham Rule and Love Like Jesus by T. Grigg

Christians Overly Fond of the BGR / How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Billy Graham Rule and Love Like Jesus by T. Grigg

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Christians Should Stop Defending the Billy Graham Rule – Christians Are Overly Fond and Too Enamored of the Billy Graham Rule – by Christian Pundit

The link to the editorial by T. Grigg is much farther below in this post. I wanted to write some introductory thoughts…

You would not believe how entrenched this insulting BGR (“Billly Graham Rule”) is on Christian sites I visit.

There are a smattering of Christians who agree with me that the BGR is unfair and cruel to single women, but it seems a larger percentage think it’s a very sensible thing, and it’s there to protect men, especially married men, so it’s supposedly a good thing.

One woman participant on another site where this issue was under discussion was going on about the “reputations” of pastors and married men.

I asked her to consider the flip side: why was she so concerned about the reputations of male pastors and married men, but not how the BGR automatically smears the reputations of all single women? Why are the reputations of MEN deemed more important than those of women, or with how unmarried women are treated?

The BGR rule assumes that if an unmarried women meets with a married man, whether alone in his office, or at a restaurant for a meal, that an affair is guaranteed to occur. Or, gossipy tongues may be set a’ wagging.

Sometimes this assumption that an affair is guaranteed to occur is further based on the very unfair, demeaning idea that all, or most, unmarried women are over-sexed, unprincipled harlots who want to have an affair with a married man and will do anything to have sex with a married man.

Consequently, single women are viewed as temptresses by other Christians, rather than as “sisters in Christ,” and both married men and married women treat them with suspicion and do not extend hospitality to them.

Single women get demeaning treatment, such as pastors keeping their doors open during personal meetings, and so on. You, as a single woman, are automatically viewed as a threat, or as a lying harlot, who will either make a pass at the man, or lie and claim he tried to touch your cleavage.

Women don’t usually get subjected to this sort of insulting treatment in the secular world.

Continue reading “Christians Should Stop Defending the BGR / How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Billy Graham Rule and Love Like Jesus by T. Grigg”

Married 40-something Couple Keep Young Relatives Living in Filth So They Can Play Video Game All Day For Three Years

Married 40-something Couple Keep Young Relatives Living in Filth So They Can Play Video Game All Day

Ah yes, how marriage “matures” a person and makes them more godly, responsible, and loving. Why, we single, childfree/childless individuals are just do dang seflish! (rolleyes)

The couple mentioned in the story below are married, according to the latter half of the report.

(Link): ‘World Of Warcraft’ Gamers Kept Girls Locked Up In Filthy Mobile Home For Three Years

    An unemployed couple kept two young female relatives locked inside their filthy mobile home while they reportedly played World of Warcraft all day, according to California law enforcement authorities.

    The online video game playing duo pleaded guilty to a series of charges on Tuesday, the Orange County, California, District Attorney’s office announced.

    After a concerned neighbor contacted the cops on May 20, 2013, an Anaheim PD officer visited the home on a welfare check “and found the two victims with dirt crusted on their feet, matted hair, damaged teeth beyond repair, and malnourished.”

    The little girls were apparently locked in the unsanitary mobile home 24-7 and prevented from going outside or even attending school during the May 2010 to May 2013 time frame.

    The Orange County DA’s press release indicates that “Lester Louis Huffmire and his wife Petra Huffmire, both 41 from Anaheim, pleaded guilty… to two felony counts of child abuse, two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment, one misdemeanor count of contributing to delinquency of a minor, and sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury…

    The couple apparently prioritized video games over hygiene. “Between May 21, 2010, and May 20, 2013, the defendants kept the mobile park home unsanitary and uninhabitable, including kitchen appliances covered in mold and cobwebs, stacks of trash, debris, mold, and feces throughout the home, a pile of used condoms under a stuffed teddy bear, and inoperable toilets.”

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Related posts:

(Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

Father Charged with Death of Two Daughters, Home Also Covered in Crap (Literally)

Father Charged with Death of Two Daughters, Home Also Covered in Crap (Literally)

LOL, Sure, parenthood and marriage makes people more godly and mature! Sure it does!

I show more care and concern for my elderly pet cat than this doofwad did for his two daughters.

(Link): Father charged after dresser deaths of toddlers

    July 2014

    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) — The father of two toddlers who died after a dresser fell on them was charged with involuntary manslaughter because he heard a crash coming from another room and didn’t immediately check to see if his daughters were OK, a prosecutor said Thursday.

    David Beatty, 28, of Aliquippa, was charged with two counts, one for 2-year-old Brooklyn’s death and one for 3-year-old Ryeley’s. Brooklyn died shortly after the dresser fell on her on July 4, while Ryeley died two days later in a Pittsburgh hospital.

    Continue reading “Father Charged with Death of Two Daughters, Home Also Covered in Crap (Literally)”

Article: Wife who’s aborted two babies – because she’s too selfish to share her husband

Article: Wife who’s aborted two babies – because she’s too selfish to share her husband

Evangelical and conservative Christian propaganda: motherhood instantly transforms women into self-less, giving, loving, godly SAINTS who can do not wrong. Another example of how this is not so (below).

There are photos of them (the married couple discussed in the article) both on the page. They are both very physically unattractive people. I sometimes wonder how people who resemble trolls manage to get partners – in this case, they’re both about equal on the unattractive scale, so I guess that might explain things.

As for myself: I was open to the idea of having kids, had I married by the time I was 35, but I do find other people’s kids annoying.

I don’t think women who knew from a young age that they never wanted to have children are selfish or horrible.

However, in regards to this particular story – and as I am pro-life – this woman in some aspects does sound very selfish to me. It’s all about her and her husband.

Apparently being a biological mother (she was pregnant twice) and being married did not, contrary to common evangelical, Baptist, Reformed, and fundamentalist clap trap, did not make her more giving, loving, or godly.

(Link): Wife who’s aborted two babies – because she’s too selfish to share her husband

    The wife who’s aborted two babies – because she’s too selfish to share her husband: It’s a shocking confession. But Rowena is utterly unrepentant – and even insists more women should follow her example

    By ROWENA SHRIMPTON
    PUBLISHED: 16:48 EST, 23 July 2014 | UPDATED: 01:50 EST, 24 July 2014

    -Rowena met Roger when she was a teen and knew he was the man for her
    -They married when they were 21
    -Both agreed they never wanted to have children
    -So when she fell pregnant on two occasions, she had abortions
    -She says she would hate to share her husband’s affection
    -She also believes remaining childless is why their marriage has lasted
    -Believes mothers often have failed marriages as they put children first

    …For the second time in my life I was faced with the question of what I wanted more: a baby or my husband’s undivided love. And again, the decision was simple. Ever since I met Roger, I’d known I didn’t want to share him with anyone else, not even our child.

    Continue reading “Article: Wife who’s aborted two babies – because she’s too selfish to share her husband”

More Criticisms of the Pope’s Anti Childless Anti Childfree Comments

More Criticisms of the Pope’s Anti Childless Anti Childfree Comments

The Pope recently said that people who do not have children will end up “bitter” and “lonely,” among other anti-childless, anti-childfree comments. Here are some editorials criticizing his views.

(Link): Why Parents Can Still End Up Lonely

    Hey, Pope Francis: Being child-free doesn’t make you bitter, and having kids certainly isn’t proof against ending up alone. Amanda Marcotte (Link): has already done a fabulous job outlining why Pope Francis was wrong to dismiss those of us living the child-free life as shallow, future bitter types.

    But besides misjudging those who consciously choose not to have children when they are not financially or emotionally ready to be good parents as selfish, the pope’s argument has another flaw: the idea that having children is a surefire way to avoid loneliness later in life.

(Link): Hey, Pope Francis: Kids Aren’t a Retirement Plan

    ADULTS WHO HAVE KIDS CAN STILL BE PLENTY LONELY, WRITES KELI GOFF

    By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff
    Posted Jun 9, 2014 11:57 AM CDT

    (NEWSER) – Pope Francis recently exhorted his followers to have kids, saying that to do otherwise would lead to “old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.”

    Well Keli Goff at the Daily Beast has some news for the pontiff: “Children are not a surefire way to inoculate against loneliness.”

    Adult children constantly abandon their elders to nursing homes, for one. “One director of a local nursing home said 85% of his residents had no visitors,” the head of a volunteer organization called Visiting the Lonely Ones tells Goff.

    Loneliness can set in before nursing home age, too— “I know of divorced people who struggled during holiday seasons” as custody arrangements kept their kids away, Goff writes.

    Ultimately, your happiness is your own responsibility, and there are no guarantees. “I think it is selfish to have a child only to have a caregiver later in life,” one family therapist says. “I think that is quite narcissistic to do something like this.” Click for Goff’s full column.

(Link): Conservative and Childfree

    Does being a conservative mean I must have children?
    By A. J. Delgado

    Daily Beast columnist Amanda Marcotte is getting rough treatment from conservatives over her Friday piece “Pope Francis Is Wrong About My Child-Free Life,” which makes a persuasive case that it’s OK to not have kids.

    Full disclosure: I am in that child-free camp. (I call it “child-free” while some pro-parentage folks may prefer the term “child-less” — one’s choice of term likely gives away one’s view on the matter.)

    Like Marcotte, I’m a woman in my 30s (34 to be exact) with, at the present time and likely into the future, no interest in being a mother.

    Motherhood seems wonderful for others, and I respect and cherish the role, though I have sensibly decided it simply isn’t for me. I’ll pass on parenting.

    But I am also a conservative. Can those two be reconciled? Does being a conservative mean I must have children or, at the very least, like Pontifex, encourage others to do so?

    It’s a question that has been lingering for quite some time. After all, conservatism is family-friendly and socially traditional, stressing family as the core building block of society. But as more and more men and women nowadays rule out the idea of having children, are these individuals any less conservative than those who are parents?

    Continue reading “More Criticisms of the Pope’s Anti Childless Anti Childfree Comments”

Duggar Family Visits Fertility Specialist To Have Another Baby

Duggar Family Visits Fertility Specialist To Have Another Baby

The mind boggles. I do believe this is nuclear family and baby worship taken to an insane degree.

The Duggars, if I remember correctly, are part of the “Quiverfull” movement. They already have 19, or 20 kids.

(Link): Duggars visit fertility doctor to explore having 20th kid

(Link): ‘Am I ready to catch another baby?’ Mother-of-19 Michelle Duggar visits ‘high-risk’ fertility doctor in hopes of having MORE children aged 47

    Her chances of conceiving are less than five per cent and her odds of having a child with down syndrome are ‘one in four or five’

    This marks the longest time in 27 years that Mrs Duggar has not been pregnant

    The strictly Christian family does not believe in birth control
    By ANNABEL FENWICK ELLIOTT

    PUBLISHED: 10:34 EST, 20 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:07 EST, 20 May 2014

    Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, parents to 19 children already, have visited a fertility doctor in a bid to see whether they are ‘ready’ for another baby.

    ‘We would love more children if God saw fit to give us more, I just want to make sure that I am ready to catch a baby if that would happen’, explains Mrs Duggar, 47, star of 19 Kids and Counting, in a clip on Today.com from tonight’s episode of the TLC show.

    ‘My goal is to find out where I am in my life, hormonally speaking,’ she says of visiting Dr Paul Wendel, an OB-GYN specializing in high-risk pregnancies.

    Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, parents to 19 children already, have visited a fertility doctor in a bid to see whether they are ‘ready’ for another baby.

    ‘We would love more children if God saw fit to give us more, I just want to make sure that I am ready to catch a baby if that would happen’, explains Mrs Duggar, 47, star of 19 Kids and Counting, in a clip on Today.com from tonight’s episode of the TLC show.

    ‘My goal is to find out where I am in my life, hormonally speaking,’ she says of visiting Dr Paul Wendel, an OB-GYN specializing in high-risk pregnancies.

    Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, parents to 19 children already, have visited a fertility doctor in a bid to see whether they are ‘ready’ for another baby.

    ‘We would love more children if God saw fit to give us more, I just want to make sure that I am ready to catch a baby if that would happen’, explains Mrs Duggar, 47, star of 19 Kids and Counting, in a clip on Today.com from tonight’s episode of the TLC show.

    ‘My goal is to find out where I am in my life, hormonally speaking,’ she says of visiting Dr Paul Wendel, an OB-GYN specializing in high-risk pregnancies.

—————–
Related posts:

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

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

(Link): Parenthood Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

(Link): Loving the child-free people in your church by S. Burden

(Link): Study: Couples Without Children Have Happier Marriages / Study: Having Kids Ruins Your Life

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

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

(Link): Study: Couples Without Children Have Happier Marriages / Study: Having Kids Ruins Your Life

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

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

(Link): The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language (How churches exclude singles and the childless) by E A Dause

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

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

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

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

(Link): Married Preacher, Father of Eight Kids (and promoter of “Family Values” and Leader of wacko Quiverfull- and- Patriarchy type groups that promotes idolatry of “the family” and Marriage and of Having Lots of Children), Used Nanny as Sex Object – update on Phillips story

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

The Loneliness of American Society – from The American Spectator

The Loneliness of American Society

(Link): The Loneliness of American Society

Excerpts:

    A modern condition that isn’t improving. To the contrary.

    By Janice Shaw Crouse

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) reported in its General Social Survey (GSS) that unprecedented numbers of Americans are lonely.

    Published in the American Sociological Review (ASR) and authored by Miller McPhearson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew Brashears, sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona, the study featured 1,500 face-to-face interviews where more than a quarter of the respondents — one in four — said that they have no one with whom they can talk about their personal troubles or triumphs.

    If family members are not counted, the number doubles to more than half of Americans who have no one outside their immediate family with whom they can share confidences.

    Sadly, the researchers noted increases in “social isolation” and “a very significant decrease in social connection to close friends and family.”

    Rarely has news from an academic paper struck such a responsive nerve with the general public.

    These dramatic statistics from ASR parallel similar trends reported by the Beverly LaHaye Institute — that over the 40 years from 1960 to 2000 the Census Bureau had expanded its analysis of what had been a minor category.

    The Census Bureau categorizes the term “unrelated individuals” to designate someone who does not live in a “family group.” Sadly, we’ve seen the percentage of persons living as “unrelated individuals” almost triple, increasing from 6 to 16 percent of all people during the last 40 years.

    A huge majority of those classified as “unrelated individuals” (about 70 percent) lived alone.

    The compelling findings about loneliness and isolation and the ramifications for American society prompted numerous publications and talk shows to focus on the prevalence of loneliness in America.

    It is no accident that the social interaction trend declined sharply in the mid-1960s when “doing your own thing” became vogue and “sexual freedom” separated the physical act of sex from the embrace of an emotional attachment and/or a romantic relationship.

    …Rather than acknowledge family breakdown, some commentators blame the increase in social isolation on television.

    In his book Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam cited a dramatic increase in television watching — five percent of American households had televisions in 1950 compared with 95 percent in 1970.

    Now, many homes have a TV in every room. Putnam provides further reasons for the fragmentation of the family circle and disintegration of family life since the 1960s: Families have 60 percent fewer family picnics and 40 percent fewer family dinners.

    Other analysts see longer work days and longer commutes as sources of isolation.

    The Washington Post estimated that for every 10-minute increase in commuting time, there is a 10-percent decrease in time spent establishing and maintaining social ties.

    The number of people who indicated that they had a neighbor with whom they could confide has dropped more than half since 1985 — from around 19 percent to about eight percent.

    As both the work week and commutes have extended, those people who would ordinarily take the lead in developing and maintaining social structures — the well-educated and higher-earning people — are no longer available to mobilize efforts that build communities.

    In short, with the growth of two-career and single-parent families, people have lost connection with neighbors and have little time or energy for groups or volunteerism.

    With the growth in “bedroom communities,” there aren’t enough moms available for field trips and community service projects that depend upon volunteerism.

    One of the most frequent complaints of home-schooling moms is that they are the only adults in their neighborhoods during the daytime.

    In an era of instant communication via cell phone and e-mail, some would argue that it doesn’t make sense that people are lonely. Nevertheless, sharing — the antidote to loneliness — is not the same thing as talking.

    Chattering with another person can simply be a mask, a veil, a barrier, a poor substitute, and distraction from loneliness, similar to having the television on in the background to keep the house from seeming empty and barren, or to make it less obvious that the people inside are not interacting with each other.

    …Indeed, a spirit of independence can be a barrier that impedes sharing. Aloofness is the opposite of all of the favorable ingredients necessary for camaraderie.

    Likewise, pride — the desire to be viewed as a “winner,” the determination to be “in control” at all costs — is a quality that isolates us from each other and keeps us from interdependency with our family and friends.

———————
Related posts:

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

(Link): Study: People today living alone more than ever before

(Link): Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)

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

(Link): Never Married Adult Woman Says Married Friends Did Not Help Her When She Was Sick

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

(Link): Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

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

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

(Link): What Churches Should Do for Singles by T. Campolo

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

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare

(Link): The Changing American Family (article)

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems

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

(Link): How The Changing Structure of the American Family is Changing Floor Plans in New Homes

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

(Link): Unmarried America: How Single Adults Are Changing the Face of the U.S. and What It Means for the Church by R. Hurst

(Link): The Changing American Family (article)

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

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

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult Children to Murder or Sickness (links)

Disclaimer: I am not anti-motherhood, nor necessarily against people taking their mothers out to brunch on Mother’s Day, or buying dear old Mom some flowers to mark the occasion.

I am, however, against the excessive focus on motherhood, the failure to acknowledge and celebrate childless and childfree women, the onslaught of syrupy Mother’s Day hoopla, on and before the day, and the church services that honor mothers because:

  • Some people (women included) were abused by their mothers and so find the holiday awkward or painful,
  • some people had or have mothers who are/were cruel or overly-critical,
  • some people’s mothers are dead and they miss them terribly,
  • some women desire to be a mother but cannot because they are infertile, their spouse is infertile, or they are single and cannot find “Mr. Right” (and don’t believe in getting pregnant outside of marriage, or don’t feel they could support a baby alone)
  • some women choose to be child free, but feel excluded or shamed by church and secular staggering emphasis on motherhood on the holiday

Some Christians have turned motherhood (as well as fatherhood and marriage) into idols, which they should repent of.

That is one reason why churches are losing visitors and members: despite the fact that 44% of American adults are single (edit: as of 2014 studies, (Link): that figure is now 51% or greater) and a big chunk are childless, most churches either…

– IGNORE adult singles/ childless adults,
or,
-preachers and Christian talking heads insult adult singleness and adult virginity from their blogs, pod casts, books, organizations, and pulpits, by implying or forth rightly saying, that adult singleness (or being childless) makes a person stunted, or makes a person not as “godly” as being married with kids.

Now, why the hell does anyone suppose I, a never-married celibate woman, would want to attend a church where I am insulted before I ever step foot in it?

Most churches spend mountains of money on “family” ministries, family dinners, programs for youth and married couples.

Most churches and denominations do not budget time or money for adult singles anything – not classes, social functions, dinners. The big message from that is, “At our church, we don’t care about adult singles or those without children. You have to be married with a kid to count here.”

If you are a church that has a “Mother’s Day” celebration or ceremony of some sort, even if it’s very brief, you should also have one the following Sunday for all the childless, never-married women, the child free women, and infertile- but- married women too, or women who have not been able to carry a baby to term (ie, miscarry) – it’s only fair.

If you are unwilling to honor ALL women in ALL situations, ages, and life stages, at one time or another during the year in your church, nobody should get a holiday or party, none, nope, nuh-uh.

This post discusses being single and childless or childfree on Mother’s day, or other circumstances that make Mother’s Day painful for some women.

—–THE LINKS—–

(Link): For the childless this Mother’s Day (and those who love them) by S. Burden

(Link): When Mother’s Day isn’t so rosy: 6 recommended ways to cope

Excerpt

    Happy Not-A-Mother’s Day to every woman who might be reading this and does not have children. This coming Sunday, it will be Mother’s Day yet again.

  • More than likely the author of this article will attend church services with her husband and quite a few children will be passing out flowers for each of the mothers in attendance. When one of them reaches her and starts to place a beautiful blossom in her hand, she will gently refuse but thank him or her anyway.
  • The child may become confused but that will just have to be.
  • He or she does need to learn that not all the adult women that are in attendance for church are mothers.
  • The author is in her very early 40’s, an adult, and a wife but she is not anyone’s mother. For as long as the Earth has existed, the persistent ticking of most women’s biological clocks have equated their lives with one purpose only and that has been to have children.
  • However in today’s society, great numbers of married women have decided not to have them.
  • Happily the writer of this article was lucky enough to have been born at a time in history where such a choice was accepted with women, and also to luck out and find a husband who felt the same way she did about children.

(Link): ‘Childless’ or ‘Childfree’: The Difference Matters

Excerpts

    Here’s the problem: While “childless” means the condition of being without children, it implies that everyone who does not have children would like to have them. However, being “childfree,” like Mirren—and like me—means that one does not want to have children at all.
  • ….The taboo that surrounds women without children, childless or childfree, is potent.
  • We spend a lot of time explaining ourselves (or avoiding explaining ourselves) and looking for people who understand us, who don’t ask us to or expect us to explain. But at the same time, the difference between childless and childfree folks is important to take note of and apply correctly, because we are not, in fact, the same.
  • As a woman who’s childfree, I’m not experiencing reproductive challenges.
  • I’m not waiting for the right partner, or enough money, or the perfect geographic location.
  • I don’t feel like something is missing from my life because I don’t have children. I don’t want to have kids. There is no yet.
  • … That might be hard to swallow, for some—childfree folks constantly hear things like, “You’ll change your mind” and “You’ll regret it.”
  • Perhaps, because it’s still so unfathomable to the world that a woman wouldn’t want a baby, the term is deliberately misunderstood. If we keep confusing the language, the thinking may go, we can deny that childfree women exist.
  • The experience of not wanting children in a world where women are defined by their reproductive desire and potential—where women are expected to structure their lives around babies—is very different than being a woman who would like a baby or would like to be a parent some day. That difference has to do with desire.
  • If you’re a cisgender, heterosexual woman—especially a white woman—who doesn’t have a kid but wants one, you’re still in line with expectations about how a woman should behave.
  • You’re not threatening, you’re adhering.
  • A cisgender, straight woman who doesn’t want a baby is transgressive, subversive, pathological, a perpetual mystery to be solved.
  • Things may be different, of course, if you’re queer, trans, single, poor, or a person of color; as a society, we’re pretty clear on who we want to be having babies.

(Link): Mother’s Day After Abortion

    Mother’s Day is a wonderful celebration – a time when mothers are honored for their constant love and daily sacrifice, and when life itself is recognized and treasured as the gift that it is.
  • But for many women who have had abortions, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest triggers of painful memories, regrets, and remorse over what “might have been.”
  • My heart breaks for these women.
  • Even though they accepted and believed the messages our society esteems so highly – messages about a woman’s right to choose and the importance of “family planning” – these women have learned, through bitter experience, the truth that abortion is tragic for women.

(Link): Why You Should Watch What You Say on Mother’s Day

Excerpts:

      • by Lori Holden, May 2014
      • ——————–
      • An open letter to ministers, yoga teachers, rabbis, spin instructors, pastors, professors, priests, Zumba leaders, imams, motivational speakers, reverends and anyone addressing mothers and fathers in mid-May or mid-June.
      • ——————

Dear Person at the Front of the Room,

  • I know you worked really hard on that homily about Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. It’s a time of joy and appreciation and community for almost everyone you address. Thank you for your special sentiments to soothe those in your audience who don’t have their mothers or fathers accessible to them. It’s a nice touch to bring in that compassion.
  • You may not know this, but there are likely other outliers receiving your message. That 30-something lady who pulled tissues out of her purse and filled up three of them with tears and snot? That man who had to excuse himself awkwardly? That woman who tried to hide the fact that she was sobbing on her yoga mat?
  • These are people who desperately want to be a mother or father, to join the parenting club at long last. To have the cards and commercials and 30% off sales apply to them. To bring into their lives what others are able to effortlessly.
  • These are the outliers in your audience.
  • Let me tell you about some of them.
  • Could be a woman who found out this morning that her third IVF attempt didn’t work — no line on the pee stick. To make matters worse, she turns 35 next week and her medical chart will be marked AMA — advanced maternal age. Her prospects for success with future treatments looks unbearably bleak.
  • Could be a couple who has been waiting in an adoption pool for 28 months. Each period she has — each turn of the calendar page — marks another month their prayers have gone unanswered.
  • Could be a couple who thought they were finally going to be admitted to the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day club, but whose hopes ended in a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
  • Could be a couple whose planned surrogate is suddenly unavailable to them.
  • Could be a man who wore the title of Dad for a few months — until his baby died.
  • Could be a woman who experienced an unexpected pregnancy and took the course to place her baby in the arms of another mother.
  • Could be a couple who has exhausted their options and who has resigned themselves to living a child-free life. Not so much by choice as by circumstance.

Written by a Child Free, lesbian Woman (you do not have to be a lesbian or agree with or endorse lesbianism to relate to what this woman says):

(Link): On Not Being a Parent by Julie R. Enszer

    As the United States moves into the frenzied celebrations of female parenthood, I want to register an alternate voice and declare my autonomy from children. I am not a parent, and I am happy to not be a parent.
  • I am a child-free woman. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, about 17 percent of women between the age of 40 and 44 had not had a child. This is a significant number of women without children in the United States today.
  • Child-free women do not speak out enough. We are not necessarily women who wanted children but could not have them; we are not necessarily women who forgot to have children; we are not necessarily women who missed a crucial life milestone. Being child-free is not necessarily a source of shame or regret.
  • I want to say plainly: I am blessed to not have children. I have more time and energy to devote to creative pursuits and projects that fuel my passions in the world.

(Link): A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day can be such a bittersweet time. It is a special day to celebrate our mothers, but for those of us who have lost our mothers, did not have a caring mother or have not been able to experience the joys of motherhood despite trying, it can be a painful reminder.

Continue reading “Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)”