Death, Grief, Marriage, Single Again, Soul Sleep, Christianity, Obnoxious Male Fixation on Female Looks

Death, Grief, Marriage, Single Again, Soul Sleep, Christianity, Obnoxious Male Fixation on Female Looks

I have several topics I’d like to address here. I’m going to discuss death, grief, dating, how men are too fixated on women’s looks, etc, and so on, all in the same post.

I learned from watching the Christian program “It is Written” today (Feb 2017) that the wife of Christian TV host Mike Tucker, Gayle, died. I’m not sure when the episode was first filmed or first aired.

You can read a transcript of that episode, “From Grief To Hope” (Link, off site): here.

You might be able to watch that very episode or one like it here: (Link, off site): Coping with Grief.

I see from an online obit that Gayle Tucker passed away in April 2016.

I am sorry for his loss.

I lost my mother, and it hurt a lot.

(Link, off site):  Gayle Tucker, Beloved Marriage Counselor on Faith For Today TV, Dead at 60

April 2016 –  The prominent Adventist television personality dies after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer.

(Link, off site):   Beloved Christian TV Host, Couples’ Counselor Dead at 60

I learned a few years ago that the hosts and backers of “It Is Written” are SDAs (Seventh Day Adventists).

I also learned from a glance over google search results that Mike Tucker is a Seventh Day Adventist.

Part of SDA theology is something called “Soul Sleep,” a view that I totally disagree with and find discouraging and cruel.

Continue reading “Death, Grief, Marriage, Single Again, Soul Sleep, Christianity, Obnoxious Male Fixation on Female Looks”

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Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband

Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband

A couple of days ago, I saw this episode of The 700 Club.

A celibate Christian woman wrote Pat Robertson this question –

And her question is one all Christians avoid: they just scream at a 20 year old today to MARRY NOW NOW NOW!

They have no advice and no encouragement to give any adult over 35 who wants to be married but still finds him or herself single.

The usual Christian response is just to shame this lady for supposedly not having done enough to marry when younger, in spite of not knowing her background, or what she did to try to marry – Christians just arrogantly ASSUME if you are not married past a certain age, it is all your fault, and there were no mitigating circumstances.

So here’s her question to Pat, host of The 700 Club:

  • Dear Pat,
  • The Bible says that it’s better to marry than to burn with lust, but what about someone like me who can’t find someone to marry?

Continue reading “Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson

Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson

There is also a link below to “Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends”

(Link): Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing

Excerpts:

  • by Ryan Duncan
  • Life as a single adult (Link): can be difficult. Life as a single Christian, on the other hand, can be just plain exasperating. While never short on community, single Christians often find themselves bombarded with well-meaning, but unhelpful advice from their married peers.
  • In response, (Link): Krysti Wilkinson of Relevant Magazine decided it was time to compile a list of things you should never say to your single friends. Coupled with a few of my own favorite gems, here are five things your single friends are tired of hearing.
  • “Wow, You Must Have So Much Free Time!”
  • “This is usually an attempt to point out the silver lining. But this sometimes implies that your single friend’s schedule, and life, must be empty (and void of anything meaningful) when there isn’t a significant other in it. True, those of us who are single have just one person’s schedule to keep track of instead of two, but there are so many other important parts of our days that have nothing to do with our love lives.”

Continue reading “Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson”

What Not to Say to Single Women in the Church by L. Anderson

What Not to Say to Single Women in the Church by L. Anderson

There were maybe one or two points I don’t see eye to eye on in this, but I agree far more than I disagree with this page.

I really like pages like this page. The author so gets it. But then, it was composed by a 38 year old never married woman. Never married adults past 35 GET IT.

(Link): What Not to Say to Single Women in the Church by L. Anderson

Excerpts:

  • by L Anderson
  • 1. “Stop Thinking About Marriage, and When You Least Expect It, It’ll Happen.”

Continue reading “What Not to Say to Single Women in the Church by L. Anderson”

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression and Suicide

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression

Before I address Matt Walsh’s post about depression specifically:

For anyone who wants to read a compassionate, balanced view about mental health problems, including depression, by a Christian author, please read a copy of the book,

Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties – by Dwight L. Carlson.

Carlson is a Christian doctor who explains how much, if at all, personal sin, choice, or biology play in issues such as depression.

An excerpt from the book’s page on Amazon reads,

  • It’s no sin to hurt. Thousands of Christians suffer real emotional pain– such as depression, anxiety, obsessiveness.

Many other Christians, including prominent leaders, believe emotional problems are the result of sin or bad choices. These attitudes often only add to the suffering of those who hurt.

In this book Dwight Carlson marshals recent scientific evidence that demonstrates many emotional problems are just as physical or biological as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

While he never discounts personal responsibility, Carlson shows from both the Bible and up-to-date medicine why it really is no sin to hurt.

Understandably and compellingly, Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? brings profound help for those who hurt and those who counsel. For those who suffer, here is a powerful liberation from guilt. For those who care for the suffering, here is vivid proof that those in emotional pain deserve compassion, not condemnation.

MATT WALSH, ROBIN WILLIAMS, AND SUICIDE/DEPRESSION

In the day or two after it was announced that movie actor Robin Williams died by suicide, Christian blogger Matt Walsh wrote a blog post about it called “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice” (url: themattwalshblog.com). A copy of Walsh’s first post appears (Link): here on Barbwire (the link will open in a new window).

The very title of the post suggests, or assumes, that Williams was wholly in his right mind, capable of making rational decisions, and was therefore totally responsible for his own death, that he could have easily avoided his death (if only he had “chosen” joy and/or read a Bible more, etc), and, by extension, deserves no compassion.

Walsh would probably counter, “But I never specficially said he didn’t deserve compassion, or that he should just read his Bible more!”

Well, no, you didn’t say that exactly, but the wording of your blog post heading alone certainly implies it. The rambling in the post itself, which was intended to bolster the claims implied in the title, further suggests these views as well.

Walsh got so much negative feedback from that post, he wrote a follow-up post to it the other day.

I don’t know at this point if I intend on writing a full-scale rebuttal to Walsh’s post here – or, if I do, I may do it in the days or weeks ahead. I’m undecided.

I found Walsh’s commentary so revolting, I can’t bring myself to go back and re-read the piece again. Once was enough. I’ll try to re-visit the pages to grab some quotes, if I can.

I skimmed the Part 2 earlier today. Part 2 is entitled, “Depression isn’t a choice but suicide is: my detailed response to the critics”

The attitude of Walsh’s primary post was very victim-blaming, in spite of his protestations to the contrary.

Walsh evidently feels post # 1 was very loving and supportive of Robin Williams or anyone who deals with depression.

Perhaps Walsh is merely a very poor writer and failed to accurately convey his views in the first place, so that they came out as insensitive as they did, and now he’s upset so many people have taken his post the “wrong way.”

That has happened to me a time or two online – I fail to clearly explain my position on a sensitive issue, and folks take it the wrong way, and assume I’m a heartless jerk. (On the other hand, people are sometimes guilty of reading things into posts I’ve written that I never said or felt.)

If I am not mistaken, Walsh implied in part 1, and admitted in part 2 (again, I cannot bring myself at this time to re-read both to double check this) that he has had depression in the past, or some sort of problem.

Okay, I shall wade into the post again to find the exact quote. Here is what Walsh said in part 2 about his own experiences:

    I actually found myself getting emotional as I wrote it. I’m not suicidal but I have demons of my own, so I submitted that post to the public, praying others would find the same solace in the promise of hope and the power of free will.

From part 1, Walsh says,

    And before I’m accused of being someone who “doesn’t understand,” let me assure you that I have struggled with this my entire life.

I want to pause here to say I find that wording odd, from the quote from part 2. Walsh says he hopes people can find hope in “the power of free will.”

Christians usually feed depressed people the cliché’ that they can be freed of depression in “Jesus alone.”

Just as believing in Jesus alone cannot free a person from depression, neither can celebrating “free will,” or a “pick yourself up by your bootstraps and solider on” mentality.

I’d say often, a lot of people with clinical depression operate under one or both those paradigms for years to start with anyway, along with psychiatric visits or medications, until they realize none of it is working, they get mentally exhausted and want to stop fighting to live.

It is exhausting to live another day when all you want to do is stay in bed all day long with the sheets over your head, or take your own life.

That is, people with depression already have tried to “choose joy” and so on; they don’t need a Matt Walsh telling them to give that a go.

Having severe depression is not an automatic death sentence. There can be a way out, but it might vary from one person to the next.

But the vast majority of people I’ve seen who have made it through depression and lived to tell about it usually do not credit their survival with pure choice (ie, choosing to be joyful), Bible reading, attending church, or Jesus alone.

As a matter of fact, many of these recovering folks will tell you that one thing that made their journey MORE difficult was receiving well intentioned, yet hurtful advice, such as the very things Walsh was writing about and which is common among Christians: believe more in Jesus, attend church, choose to be joyful, etc.

Continue reading “A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression and Suicide”

Gary Habermas joins Janet Mefferd to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer – other issues)

Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer)

Audio / podcast.

I have found that Janet Mefferd’s show does not work in Google Chrome (browser), sometimes does not work in FireFox, but DOES work in IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer browser). I loathe IE, but it’s the only browser that will play her show.

Habermas has recently written a book about faith and doubt or something, and he is interviewed by Janet Mefferd about it, as well as related questions, such as unanswered prayer, Christians who walk away from church because they have been hurt by other Christias, or they lost a loved one (to death), or they don’t feel Christianity is meeting their needs, etc.

You can listen to the interview here:
(I think this is hour 3 – there appears to be an hour 1 and hour 2):
(Fixed the link)

(Link): Podcast: Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life. (mentions unanswered prayer, other topics)

———————————
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

(Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

(Link):  How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

(Link):   When All We Hear from God is Silence by Diane Markins

(Link): On Prayer and Christ’s Comment to Grant You Anything You Ask in His Name

(Link): Church Is Not Important, 51 Percent of US Adults Say

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

(Link): Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

Parents who kill their children by intentionally leaving them locked in hot cars all day – Dad was sexting while his toddler son was dying in car

Parents who kill their children by intentionally leaving them locked in hot cars all day – Dad was sexting while his toddler son was dying in car
—————————————–
Notice from Christian Pundit blogger: There is coming a time when I will either not be blogging as frequently or not at all. Please read more about that here in this post (Link): Blog Break – May 2014 – and List of This Blog’s Best or Most Relevant Posts
—————————————-
There was a story in the news this past week of an idiot father, Harris, who killed his toddler son by intentionally leaving him locked in a hot car for several hours.

The police examined Harris’ home computer and say both he and his wife researched information online on ‘how long does it take for child to die in a hot car’ and so forth.

But wait, it gets even better. According to headlines I saw today, not only did Dirt Bag Dad leave his toddler son to die in a hot car, but he “sexted” women, including TEENAGERS, while his kid was dying, and in the weeks before. (See links to that below for more.)

I’m in my early 40s but am like a cranky old woman when it comes to babies and children. I have never married and never had children. I do not like children or babies or being around them. I try to avoid them if I can.

But you know what: I would never intentionally harm or murder a baby or a child. If I saw a kid in trouble, I would come to his or her assistance, or at least call the police.

I bring this all up because it is a common, nasty stereotype in Southern Baptist, Reformed, Fundamentalist, and evangelical Christianity that single adults and the childless (or childfree) are selfish, warped, weird, immature losers, but that parents and the married are instantly more godly, ethical, and more mature. I think news stories like the ones I’ve linked to below debunk these Christian stereotypes.

Understand that I am NOT opposed to people remaining virgins until marriage, but:
I also think this news story blows holes in the evangelical sex propaganda that if people just maintain virginity until marriage, that the sex will be mindblowing, great, frequent, and constant.

How “mindblowing” was this married father’s sex life if he was sexting women and teen girls with nude photos?

On a last note: some Christians will argue that you must become perfect and godly before God will reward you with a spouse. Is a man, like the one in this news story below, who murders his own two year old son and who sends pornographic photos to young teen women, perfect and godly?

If you’re a Christian who believes in the nonsense that an unmarried person must clean herself up, become godly and perfect, before God will reward her with a spouse, please explain what it was this dirt bag father did to merit a spouse from God? He is far from perfect, godly, and loving.

(Link): Detective: Dad who left child in hot SUV showed no emotion after boy died

    By KATE BRUMBACKASSOCIATED PRESS
    updated Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Harris was exchanging nude photos with several women, including teenagers, even on the day his son died when he was at work, Stoddard said. In the weeks before the boy’s death, the man also had looked at a website that advocated against having children and had done an Internet search for “how to survive in prison,” the detective said.

(Link): Detective: Dad had 2 life insurance policies for son

    MARIETTA, Ga. — A Georgia man charged with murder in his 22-month-old son’s death was sexting with several women on the day of his son’s death and that he had two life insurance policies on his son, a detective testified Thursday.

    During a probable cause hearing in Cobb County Magistrate Court for Justin Ross Harris, Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard said Harris, who is charged with murder and child cruelty in the June 18 death of his young son, Cooper, intentionally left his son in the car.

    Stoddard testified the two life insurance policies on Cooper were for $2,000 and $25,000.

    The detective also testified that Harris had accessed websites advocating “child free” and searched “how to survive prison” before Cooper died.

(Link): Georgia Dad in Hot-Car Death Case ‘Sexted’ Other Women: Cops

    The suburban Atlanta father accused of murdering his toddler by leaving him in a hot SUV for several hours was in an unhappy marriage and wanted a “child-free life,” a detective testified Thursday.

    Justin Ross Harris, 33, of Marietta, had even been sexting with other women in the two weeks before son Cooper was found dead in the back seat of the family SUV on June 18, said Cobb County Det. Phil Stoddard.

    Prosecutors during Harris’ probable cause hearing were building a case for why Harris allegedly left his son in a sweltering car on purpose while he was at work. “Evidence shows he has this whole second life … with alternate personas,” Stoddard said. It was also revealed that Harris and his wife, Leanna, had two life insurance policies on their 22-month-old son.

(Link): Watch live: Prosecutor says Justin Ross Harris sexted while toddler in car; witness describes him as sobbing father

(Link): Dad Charged With Toddler’s Hot Car Death Was Sexting While Boy Died: Cop

Four myths about sex and women that prop up the new misogyny

Four myths about sex and women that prop up the new misogyny

Some of the the myths the author describes in this are some of the same ones spread by conservative Christians.

(Link): Four myths about sex and women that prop up the new misogyny

    Sorry, would-be pickup artists. There is no such thing as a “friend zone”

    by AMANDA MARCOTTE, ALTERNET

    This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

    Trading in myths and misinformation is the bread and butter of any reactionary movement, as is amply demonstrated by the various myths that prop up everything from gun nuttery to the anti-choice movement.

    Unsurprisingly, then, there’s a great deal of misinformation upholding the troubling trend of new misogyny that festers in everything from “men’s rights” forums to “pick-up artist” communities to the various rape apologists and two-bit woman haters that litter the right wing media landscape

    [Note from this blogger: the left wing also has woman-haters among them. Some of them have done things like made “rape jokes” against conservative, right wing, female politicians, such as Sarah Palin. Funny how liberal writers usually fail to acknowledge the sexism inherent in the LEFT WING].

    The tragic shooting in Isla Vista, which was committed by a young but hardened misogynist named Elliot Rodger, has shown a spotlight on this weird but influential world where ugly myths about gender and sexuality flourish.

    Here are some of those myths, some of which influenced Rodger, and why they are so very, very wrong.

    1. Evoutionary psychology nonsense.
    While the more mainstream conservative movement embraces a religious form of misogyny, the new misogyny often prefers to pretend to have a “scientific” rationale for its negative attitudes towards women.

    Anti-feminist writer James Taranto, who is not a scientist, distilled this theory in the Wall Street Journal, positing that evolution made men and women’s sexual desires complete opposites, with men trying to get away with sex with as many women as possible and women being “hypergamous,” which is the new pseudo-scientific word for “gold digger.”

    His sole evidence for this theory was a long-discredited 1989 study that showed that men were more quick to say yes to sex with a stranger.

    None of them have stopped pushing the belief that women are disinterested in sex itself, (Link): but only use it as a commodity to trade with “high status” men, since pushing this belief allows self-appointed “pick-up artists” to sell dating books and classes to men who want to learn to fake being “high status” to get more sex.

    Nor do they stop pushing the idea that men are more promiscuous than women, a self-serving myth that allows them to demand chastity in female partners while excusing their own sexual dalliance.

    In reality, men and women have roughly the same number of sexual partners over a lifetime.

    Both sexes are interested in casual sex, but men more readily agree because they both feel less likely to be violently assaulted by a stranger and are more likely to expect the encounter to end in orgasm. Nor are women programmed to be gold diggers.

    As women’s ability to make their own money has increased, there has been a decline in women seeking richer husbands. Women aren’t preprogrammed to be gold diggers, because the second they’re freed from having to chase rich men, most are happy to date men more like themselves.

    Continue reading “Four myths about sex and women that prop up the new misogyny”

Warning: This Column Will Offend You – by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings in Written Material, Terms such as slut shaming, man-splain, etc)

Warning: This Column Will Offend You by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings Before Written Material, Terms such as “slut shaming,” “man-splain,” etc)

(Link): Warning: This Column Will Offend You by M. Moynihan

    Should students be warned that reading The Great Gatsby might “trigger” a past trauma? The campus censors think so. But they are only protecting your feelings.

    It’s with a twinge of nostalgia that I recall all those incredulous faces. Sometime in the 1990s, I suggested to a group of college friends that it wasn’t exactly right to brand Ian Fleming a hopeless sexist (his deeply held dislike of America, all agreed, was a more agreeable phobia).

    This note of dissidence was interrupted by the sound of jaws shattering as they hit the floor, a crescendo of denunciations, and a few dramatic walkouts.

    One of those who remained said, with a jabbing finger, that mine was the argument of someone “unaware of his gender privilege.”

    It was almost inevitable, regardless of one’s personal politics, to find oneself — with bowed head, like an undergraduate Rubashov—accused of trespassing some previously unknown frontier of offense.

    I would soon learn never to object to the charge of privilege: it’s a phantom, something one possesses and abuses without knowing it. And like denying your alcoholism, a denial doubles as an acknowledgement that you’re afflicted with the disease.

    Floating in the fog of privilege, all sorts of voguish developments in language control bypassed me.

    But through the daily horror of Twitter, where these concepts are released into the non-academic world, I’ve been exposed to all the latest phrases doubling as argument, like the various prefixes affixed to “shaming” and “‘splaining” (the latter so rendered, I assumed, in homage to Desi Arnaz, before realizing this was a vulgar indulgence of Cuban stereotypes).

    Shaming” and “‘splaining” are fluidly defined verbs, though it seems an admonition to people with my biography (boring white guys) that they engage in conversation about race or gender in particular ways, with particular conclusions—and only when speaking to particular people.

    Thus, there is the scourge of “slut shaming,” which one can be accused of, for instance, when questioning whether the so-called Duke porn star is indeed “liberated” when shooting videos for defaceherface.com.

    And there’s the promiscuous use of “mansplaining,” defined by a fusty man at The New York Times as a condescending chappie “compelled to explain or give an opinion about everything — especially to a woman.”

    This midwived the now ubiquitous “whitesplaining,” best demonstrated (Link): in this Atlantic.com polemic upbraiding a member of the indie band The Black Lips for having opinions about—whitesplaining — hip-hop music. Not in a racist way, mind you. It’s just none of his cultural business.

    These faddish portmanteaus suffer from overuse, but one can at least see the point: They are polemical words, more pointed and ideological than what we used to call know-it-all-ism and sexist condescension.

    Being so behind the times, I only just discovered the neutron bomb of censoriousness masquerading as concern: the “trigger warning.”

    This is, roughly, a label that would accompany an article, film, song, book, or piece of art warning potential viewers that the content might make them upset or uncomfortable (often the point of art) and thus trigger memories of a traumatic event.

    Continue reading “Warning: This Column Will Offend You – by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings in Written Material, Terms such as slut shaming, man-splain, etc)”

Get Over It says Dr Ed Young on Christian show The Winning Walk – And People Who Maybe Do Need to Get Over It

Get Over It says Dr Ed Young on Christian show The Winning Walk – And People Who Maybe Do Need to Get Over It

I watched a few minutes of “The Winning Walk” television program hosted by preacher Ed Young Sr. today. He’s a preacher based out of Houston, Texas. I believe he is Southern Baptist.

For about two or three minutes, he lectured his audience on how if something bad happened to them (or even something good, because sometimes people allow success to go to their heads), he said “don’t let that get you down.”

He yelled several times over two minutes, “Get over it! Get over it!”

If you’ve seen my previous posts, you know how much this annoys me. Please see this post:

I could only withstand watching about two minutes of Young’s “get over it” rant and had to turn the channel.

I will add a caveat, here.

I have known a few people over my life who are consistently negative about everything, or about the same two or three topics, or, they allow one or two major hurtful life events from the past define them and their attitude now – even if they were victimized many years ago.

I have listened to them complain or cry about the same problems for many years (and these people are often reluctant to listen to my problems and give me love and encouragement).

I have been very tempted to tell them on occasions where they are once more bringing up the same problem from years ago to “just get over it” but so far have bitten my lip.

I’d say most people I have known, though, do try to get out of the pain, anger, and hurt and not “camp out” in it.

I think for those people, the ‘just get over it’ message is terribly heartless, and I wish preachers would stop barking it at their audiences.

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

This will be a series of posts where my thoughts wander in and out and all over, and it rambles, but there is a point or two behind it.

Since I’ve been in a faith crisis the last couple of years, somewhere between being an agnostic and a Christian, I have noticed I don’t fit in anywhere. I reside in No Man’s Land.

(Even before then, when I was a total, committed Christian, and politically, I was, and am, right wing, I still didn’t fit in at most blogs and forums, including political ones, and including ones for right wingers!

I tend to be one of those personalities who annoys or angers everyone, even those on “my side” of an issue, except a small number of people, who are either on my side of a topic or not, who “get me” or who appreciate where I’m coming from – again, this is true for even the ones who disagree with me on whatever topic we are discussing.)

I am in this really weird place now, where I am critical of some aspects of conservative Christianity, and see where conservative Christians get some doctrines and other things wrong, but, too, I am not fully on board with militant atheism (I find the New Atheists to be arrogant, vile, hateful and rude), and I don’t even care for lukewarm atheism.

Nor am I in the camp of anything and all things liberal Christianity, except where I think they get the occasional point correct (such as their rejection of gender complementarianism).

Since drifting away from the Christian faith more the last few years, I more often began frequenting forums or blogs for and by atheists, ones by liberal Christians, ones by ex Christians, or by Christians who were abused by a former church who remain Christian but who dropped out of Church, or who now are on a crusade to expose abuse by preachers or the absurdity and harm of current evangelical gimmicks.

THE MILITANT ATHEISTS

A clarification: when I say I have been visiting atheist forums and blogs more often, I am very picky about which ones I regularly visit.

I do not like the frothing- at- the- mouth, extremely bitter, biased- against- Christians- type atheistic communities.

The bitter atheist groups sound like a bunch of irrational, hate-filled loons who reject Christianity for emotional reasons, but who lie to others and themselves and say, “Oh no, it’s purely intellectual.”

But their unrelenting, insane amount of hatred at any and all things God and Christian, is just a total turn-off to me, so I try to avoid such sites.

These angry, always-ranting atheists are really nothing more than Fundamentalist Atheists or Taliban Atheists. They are just as dogmatic about their atheism as Muslims are in their Wasabi Islam or Baptists are in their Neo Fundamentalism.

Really, those types of atheists are just as bad as the religious groups they claim they hate, but they don’t seem to spot that they are. It’s ironic – and it’s hard to stomach the day in, day out anger and hatred, so I try to avoid their sites.

HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS VS NON HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

Also, you have to be honest with yourself, which I do not find militant atheists to be, by and large: not every single Christian is a hypocrite, jerk, idiot, dullard, or complete jackhole.

I say this as someone who is very fed up with Christianity and Christian persons myself these days.

But your average militant atheist will never admit that some Christians are in fact okay and not being hypocrites.

I have known and met a few Christians who were sincerely trying to live the Christian faith out, such as my mother, who is now deceased, and her mother before her (my grandmother).

I’ve met a few honest, sincere Christians online who do help people and show compassion to the wounded.

So it’s not fair to completely dismiss the entirety of Christians and their faith or treat them all like jerks because some are liars, mean, or abusive.

Which is not easy for me personally, because at the same time, I do keep noticing that a lot of self-professing believers do NOT live out what the Bible says.

Many self professing Christians today, for example, do not protect victims, such as young church members who have been sexually molested by preachers.

Nor do many church goers today hold accountable preachers who bilk their church goers out of millions to buy big mansions and jets.

These idiots, these lemmings, actually defend their greedy pastors online, which I’ve written about here: (Link): Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why.

Then you have a conservative or evangelical culture, which claims to care deeply that people preserve sex until marriage, but if you actually find yourself 40 years of age and still single – and therefore still a virgin, such as myself – these same churches and Christians do not offer you any support.

You either go ignored, or preachers and talking heads of such groups “run down” and insult celibacy as well as older, celibate adults. Churches treat single (and especially celibate) adults as though they are flawed, lepers, weirdos, or losers.

Churches wrongly counsel abused wives to return to their spouses – this is particularly true, again, of churches or Christian groups who buy into “biblical womanhood” (aka “gender complementariansm”) or “patriarchy.”

Churches and average Christians also remain ignorant or callous about matters pertaining to mental health issues, from P.T.S.D. to depression and anxiety attacks.

Some Christians wrongly and insensitively teach that “real Christians” can never get depression or other mental health maladies.

Or, some Christians believe and teach that prayer, faith, service to the poor, or Bible reading alone can cure one of mental illness.

Still other Christians (or the same type) will shame and guilt suffering Christians for using anti-depressant medications, or for seeing secular or Christian psychiatrists and therapists (see this link for more, “Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness”).

Yet other Christians are incompetent at, or unwilling, to provide more ordinary, “every day,” run- of- the- mill comfort to other Christians who are hurting, such as a Christian who is stressed out over a job loss, someone who is in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc.

Christians are dropping the ball in numerous ways.

And this failure, this huge failure, causes life long Christians like me to look long and hard at the faith and wonder if it’s true at all.

It causes even someone such as myself to ask if the faith is true, because

  • it doesn’t appear to be working,
  • it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life who profess it,
  • most who claim to follow Christ don’t actually do what he taught,
  • and some Christians refuse to hold Christians caught in bald faced sin accountable but excuse them for the sin,

~ and it makes you wonder “what is the point, then.”

I find this discrepancy between confessed belief and actual practice shocking, because I myself sincerely tried living out the faith since childhood.

Also, my Christian mother was a role model for me, and she genuinely, consistently lived out and by biblical teachings, including getting up off her ass and actually HELPING people (giving them money if they were in a bind, cleaning their homes for them when they were sick, listening to them cry and rant about their problems for hours without judging them or interrupting them, etc).

I am not seeing most other Christians do any of this. They say they believe in those things but then they do not do them.

BLOGS AND FORUMS FOR SPIRITUALLY ABUSED OR THOSE HURT BY CHURCHES

Before I actually get into this topic (which I discuss more in Posts 2 and 3), here is some background leading up to it.

As far as the sites I have visited by liberal Christians, ex Christians, atheists, as well as sites by Christians for the spiritually abused:

By and large, these have been wonderful, supportive sites and groups to visit (the ones run by Christians for hurting Christians).

I have noticed, though, that there are problems even within these types of communities, and I don’t entirely fit in at them, either.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)”

Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

I was originally alerted to this article by Janet Mefferd on Twitter, so hat tip to her.

Overall a good editorial, though I do not agree with the writer that Heb. 10 is a “command” for people to attend church (see this post).

She raises many of the same points I have raised on this blog the last couple of years, references some of the same books and links I have before.

Edit. I just realized that Ms. Mefferd discussed the following article (linked to below) on her radio program, and you can listen to her discuss it in an archived version of her show here (the same show also discusses the problem of pornography):

(Link): Janet Mefferd Show-4/10/2014

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

A few excerpts:

In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.

There are the well-meaning ladies who ask you about your husband and children and, when you say you don’t have any, suddenly run out of things to say to you.

There are the women’s Bible studies scheduled on weekday mornings, because aren’t all church women (Link): married homemakers?

There are the (Link): sermons and activities directed exclusively at families.

There are the pastors who fault the single men for not getting married, even if they’ve tried, and who (Link): seem to think that singles are marked out for some terrible fate.

There are the Christians who tell you that (Link): life doesn’t start until you’re married. Or that you can’t really understand what love is because you’re single and childless. Never mind that this goes directly against the Christian faith, which teaches that God is the source of all love and that everyone — regardless of marital status! — can know that love.

    Churches are so committed to the idea of a family-centered church that they’re just not sure how to handle rising rates of singleness.

There are the people who talk about singles in the church as a problem. There are the people who say you’re (Link): “too picky” if you have any standards at all.

There are the people who hint that you couldn’t get a spouse because you’re not spiritual enough or because God is trying to punish you for something.

And then there are my favorites: the people who helpfully point out that there’ll be no one to look after you in your old age. (Thanks for reminding me once again of that topic that has so often kept me lying awake into the small hours!)

In a nutshell, there are a lot of nice, well-intentioned Christian married people who say cruel, insensitive, or misguided things to and about single people….

Please read the rest of her post here:
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by by Gina Dalfonzo
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Related posts this blog:

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

(Link):  Welcoming Singles Into Your Church by E. Metaxas via Gina Dalfonzo

(Link):  Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine

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

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

(Link): Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

(Link): Married Couple Almost Starve Adopted 8 Year Old To Death – you don’t have to achieve perfection or sinlessness before God will send you a spouse

(Link): The Problem with Platitudes – for Christian single over 35 years old never married

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1

(Link): Stop telling single women they’re fabulous! by S. Eckel

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

(Link): Isn’t It Time the Church Gave Singles a Break? (editorial from another blog)

(Link): Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian? by Duke Taber

(Link): “Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults

(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 Singles Challenge ( Single Christian over 35 years old never married )

(Link): So There Are More Single People, but It’s Still a Couples’ World (article)

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

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

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

(Link): How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)

(Link): Ministering to the Unmarried by Noel Cameron

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

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

(Link): Churches Ignoring The Olds: Increasing Population of Senior Citizens In America – Yet Churches Keep Obsessing About Kids and 20 Somethings

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

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

(Link): The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles – Christian Material For Singles is LAME

(Link): If Family Is Central, Christ Is Not

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

(Link): A Critique Of, More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)

(Link): More married women are not having children, U.S. study finds – this will throw a monkey wrench into conservative Christian plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Link): Gift of Singleness Gift of Celibacy Unbiblical – Those Terms and Teachings Contribute to Fornication / Editorial About Sex Surrogates

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

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

(Link): Single Christian Women Have No Protection according to some preachers – only married women have protection

(Link): 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

(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): Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles – Friendly Churches or Denominations ? / Singles Single Adult Childfree Childless Age 30 40 50 Christian

(Link): Some strands of patriarchy and Christian gender complementarianism teaching: adult singles are not full human beings, not fully in the image of God – you must marry and/or have children to fully reflect God until then you are sub human (Why Christians and singles should be concerned about the gender role debates)

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

(Link): Goodbye to romance: Are rom-coms worse than porn? (How Hollywood Feeds Into People’s Tendency to Idolize Marriage and Turn a Spouse Into a Deity)

(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

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming

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

(Link): The Bible Calls Christians to Make Individual Disciples, Not to “Change Culture” Nor to Save, Redeem Culture Nor to Save or Promote Marriage or Manufacture Christianized Entertainment

(Link): Why Stay-at-Home Moms Are More Depressed Than Working Moms (article) -Intersting- yet Christians hold up Motherhood (especially SAHM – Stay At Home Mommydom) as Being a Woman’s Only Godly, Worthwhile, or Legitimate Calling In Life

(Link): When Mormonism Sounds Like Gender Complementarian Christianity – Also: Man Shortage in Mormonism Just Like Christianity

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

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

(Link): Christian Gender Complementarian Group Teaching That There Will Be Marriage in Afterlife and That Women Must Submit To Males in Heaven (post at Spiritual Sounding Board)

Ways To Avoid Sounding Like a Sexist Jerk – Even If You’re a Woman (mentions marriage and parenthood)

Ways To Avoid Sounding Like a Sexist Jerk–Even If You’re a Woman

This list has eleven tips. I am only copying 2 or 3 of them.

(Link): 11 Ways To Avoid Sounding Like a Sexist Jerk–Even If You’re a Woman

    by Jessica Bennett

    Sheryl Sandberg wants to ban the word bossy, but that’s just the tip of the demeaning language iceberg

    Whatever your opinion of the campaign by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In foundation to ban the word bossy — which, for the record, I advised on — one thing is indisputable: the power of words is stark.

    Call a little girl “bossy” and she starts to avoid leadership roles because she’s afraid of being seen as unlikeable. People are already wary of assertive women at work, but call a woman “aggressive” out loud and they will probably like her less.

    Call a female politician a ballbuster enough times, and people may actually be less likely to vote for her.

    Words tell us something about the way our culture perceives women in power, and whether we believe they’re supposed to be there.

    So, in an attempt to save you — writers, speakers, humans, journalists — from falling into the gender bias trap unintentionally, we’ve put together this handy guide:

    On Husbands and Marital Status or Being a Mom.

    We’re talking about pointing out that a woman is “unmarried” or even that she’s a “mother of two.” As Allyson Jule, the author of “A Beginner’s Guide to Language and Gender,” puts it: “These representations of women trivialize their lives and place an extra level of personal judgment on them.”

    Please Stop Asking If Women Can ‘Have It All.’

    When in doubt, read this column, from the public editor of the New York Times, published last month amid outrage over a magazine cover titled, “Can Wendy Davis Have It All?” “Despite its well-intentioned efforts,” the Times ombudsman wrote, “this piece managed to trip over a double standard with its detailed examination of Ms. Davis’s biography, including her role in raising her two daughters.”

    And while we’re at it, let’s stop asking how women manage to “do it all.”

    Tina Fey declared this “the rudest question you can ask a woman.” Because the answer is simple. She’s doing it the same way a dude would, except that he doesn’t have to answer questions about it.

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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

(Link): Annoyances of Being a Christian Single

Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

(Link): How Power Point is Ruining Higher Ed

That page has one slide with screen shots of various tweets by various college students complaining about their professor’s over use of Power Point, including:

    -Being a college professor would be easy. Read off a Power Point you made 10 years ago and give online quizzes with questions you googled.

    -College basically consist[s] of you spending thousands of dollars for a professor to point at a Power Point and read the bullets.

    -I hate when a professor makes class mandatory and reads straight from the Power Point instead of actually teaching… I can do that at home

There are many reasons I no longer attend church and am not eager to ever go to another one ever again, and that is one of the reasons.

Church is boring. (And it’s not personal; churches tend to be impersonal.)

I feel that is a perfectly legitimate criticism of church: church is boring.

I am not saying that from a bratty, entitled, immature, 10 year old kid mentality.

Do not misunderstand. I am not arguing that the only thing a person should look for is entertainment at church.

There are already too many churches today that try to draw in crowds by entertaining them with rock bands, coffee shops in the church building, and gimmicks, primarily the moronic “seeker friendly” churches. That is not what I am advocating.

I’ve read criticisms of the present church model that argue church as we know it today is not how it was when Christianity first began. The first churches were groups of Christians sitting around in someone’s home discussing God, singing hymns, sharing each other’s problems … everyone was invited to participate in those meetings.

A “church service” back at the start of the Christian faith did not consist of one guy at a podium reading verbatim from the Bible, or, in the case of seeker friendly churches, one guy at a podium spouting off personal anecdotes and funny one-liners and pep talk advice while the congregation (the captive audience) sat there in silence.

By the way: the “worship” part of evangelical / Baptist church services don’t uplift me. They consist of people looking straight ahead at a big screen with text on it that is very repetitive. Some people (though this is rare at Baptist churches), put their hands up and wave them around.

I have never felt moved during these music segments at church, and I abhor them. I wish churches would drop the music segments – at least the ones where the entire congregation is expected to participate.

The music sections where some lady or guy stands at front and sings while I sit and listen don’t bother me as much. I don’t like the parts where myself and everyone else is commanded to get on their feet and sing along to words on a big screen.

I am not against music in and of itself, I am saying it feels out of place during a church service. I’ve never felt closer to God during the music part. I don’t see how me mumbling a few simplistic lines from a song honors God.

If anything, the music bits make me feel MORE hollow and empty, because there is this expectation by other Christians that you’re supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy and so, so close to God during the music, or you’re supposed to be basking in the greatness of God, or whatever.

I look around in some churches I’ve been to during the music bits (including one large, non denominational, charismatic church) and see some people with eyes closed, arms uplifted, swaying back and forth. Those types look like they are really getting something from the music.

I hate the music segments. I’m always waiting for them to end the moment they start.

At any rate, church is boring and impersonal.

I am not a supporter of shallow sermons and a rock band – the gee whiz environment that is prevalent in 90% of American churches today. I am not arguing that the antidote to “boring church” is to inject more excitement via rock bands and more coffee shops.

At the same time, though, I have been to one or more earnest churches where the preacher basically reads straight from the Bible – and that is boring. I can do that at home.

I can read the Bible myself and sometimes do, even in the midst of my agnosticism and trying to figure out if I want to remain a Christian at all anymore. (I should explain I don’t read the Bible nearly as much as I used to. I only read very small portions now, every so often.)

I am literate. I am college educated. I can sit at home and read the Bible, I don’t need some guy at a podium on a Sunday morning reading 90% of the Bible to me.

Even the churches that make entertainment a basis bore me. I’ve been to a few Baptist churches, large ones, that have gigantic video monitors and rock bands, with a preacher making jokes and pop culture references in his sermons, and I was still bored out of my mind.

One of the reasons I get bored at church is that there is no “back and forth.” There is no room for me to participate. I am not able to enteract with the pastor or other people. (This is the opposite of my issue with music segments: I prefer to sit out of music performances at church. I hate participating in music at church – but I do want to participate in lessons.)

For those of you who say that is what Sunday School is for – no, that has not been my experience.

In most Sunday School classes I have visited, there is already a pre-planned curricula, a published workbook from “Lifeway” that the class’s Sun. Sch. teacher reads from, or uses as a guide.

It’s not that I object to some pre-planning. I am not saying that use of a guide or workbook is necessarily wrong. If you are a Sun Sch teacher who wants to come up with a plan or topic for the class to discuss beforehand, I am fine with that to a point.

What I don’t like is an hour-long Sunday School class that is 95% a teacher reading from a Life Way workbook, and not much more.

Continue reading “Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)”

Beauty Redefined Site Discusses Modesty: Modest Is Hottest?

Beauty Redefined Site Discusses Modesty: Modest Is Hottest?

I do agree with much of what this blog post says (the following is from ‘Beauty Redefined’):

(Link): Modest Is Hottest? The Revealing Truth

    Women and girls are more than just bodies. But you wouldn’t know that if you looked to media, or even sometimes well-meaning religious* rhetoric, for the truth about females.

    And you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the way so many of us discuss the topic of appropriate dress, or “modesty,” today.

    We are growing up and growing older surrounded by profit-driven media’s fixation on bodies – from “Perfect Your Parts, Perfect Your Life!” billboards to always-Photoshopped magazines and TV obsessed with judging what women wear and how much cellulite they have.

    In an inescapable media world that pans up and down women’s bodies and focuses so much attention on their parts, no wonder girls learn to display their bodies as something to be looked at.

    No wonder girls learn to survey their bodies at all times, and in all things they are wearing, and in all places they are going.

    Today in many circles, issues of female “modesty” are very popular.

    From many religions’ focus on appropriate dress to schools having rules on how high above the knee girls’ shorts can and can’t be or how much bare shoulder is too much – modesty is a trending topic. (For LDS audiences, we now have a modesty lesson plan here).

    Fashion boutiques have crazy names like “Sexy Modest” and “Modest is Hottest!” is a popular phrase endorsing full-coverage clothing.

    While reasons for suggesting modesty vary greatly, we at Beauty Redefined can attest that far too much emphasis is being placed on arbitrary standards that are harming females from a very young age and keeping us fixated on females as bodies alone.

    If you’re pro-modesty (by whatever definition that means to you), then live it and teach it as a means for empowerment and benefit to yourself, not as a service or protection for men.

    …. Many discussions of modesty, from diverse cultural or religious perspectives, revolve around the idea of keeping sinful and unholy female bodies and body parts from the gaze of others — particularly men.

    This privileges the male gaze, in a backward sort of way, and puts females at a disadvantage for being the ones in control of what others think or feel when seeing their bodies.

    When we speak of modesty strictly in terms of covering our bodies from the sexual gaze of others, we are keeping the level of discourse at the shallow waters of women and girls as bodies alone.

    We have very little control of what other people think when they look at us.

    Even in cultures where women are required to or choose to cover up a great deal, there is still an incredibly high incidence of rape and sexual violence. Covering up has no bearing on men’s ability to control themselves.

    If we are teaching the girls in our lives that the primary objective of modesty is to keep themselves covered so boys and men don’t think sexual thoughts about them, then we are teaching girls they are responsible for other peoples’ thoughts and they are primarily sexual objects in need of covering.

    No girl or woman’s body is sinful, and no one should be taught that. Modesty, as an ideal, can be about so much more than shaming females into covering up.

    Modesty, as an ideal, can be about so much more than shaming females into covering up.

    …. We complicate it even further when we throw in phrases like, “modest is hottest,” which again teaches that girls should dress modestly for the benefit and approval of others, and not for themselves.

    Modesty can be a powerful concept when we believe we are more than bodies. And when you believe that you are capable of more than looking hot, then you might dress differently than someone who perceives her value comes from her appearance, or the amount of attention she gets from men.

    … If you believe your power comes from your words, your unique contributions, your mind, your service, then you don’t need to seek attention and power by emphasizing your [body] parts and minimizing yourself to your body.

    …. We see why suggestions regarding the length of hemlines and the depth of necklines are important, because we live in a sexual world where even the youngest of girls are sexualized to an extreme degree and they are told their “sexiness” will bring them popularity, love, and happiness.

    Studies show girls as young as 6 years old are sexualizing themselves because media messages show them being sexy yields rewards (a July 2012 study in Sex Roles reveals the latest). As we‘ve written about before, even girls’ TOYS and cartoon characters are sexualized to the extreme these days.

    But when we fixate on the inches showing we are missing the point.

    When we judge girls and women for the skin they are or are not showing, we are minimizing them to their bodies and repeating the same lies that females are only bodies in need of judgment and fixing.

    We are even perpetuating the shame-inducing belief that female bodies are sinful and impure, and must be covered to protect boys and men who can’t be held responsible for their thoughts or actions.

    ….. Modesty is defined differently by different cultures – even different families – and it’s time to stop shaming people into covering themselves and start teaching truths that need shouted from the rooftop: We are more than just bodies to be looked at.

((( click here to read the rest )))
——————————-
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Modesty: A Female-Only Virtue? – Christian Double Standards – Hypocrisy

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

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

(Link): Gender Complementarian Product for Females: Don’t Base Your Value on Your Looks, but Wait, Yes, You Should

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

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

(Link): Funny Satirical Piece: Woman Mocks Demands for Female Modesty By Shaming Males (and their judgy Mothers) For Being Immodest

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Maybe a certain someone saw my previous post, (Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee (sermon from 2010) – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles, because this doofus (M. Hagee) actually discusses singles in today’s televised sermon, which is 30 minutes long, and I don’t mean he discusses singles in an encouraging, loving way.

Normally when I critique a sermon, I listen to either all of it, or at least ten to twenty minutes of it. I don’t have the fortitude to do that today.

I just saw a 2 or 3 minute introduction to a sermon by Matthew Hagee (son of blowhard preacher John Hagee) called “Who Do You Love,” where a few high lights from the sermon were shown.

I would assume that eventually this sermon will be made available on this You Tube channel:
(Link): John Hagee Ministries video channel
Or, you might be able to find the sermon on (Link): iTBN.

edit. The sermon may be available from iTBN here:
(Link): Who Do You Love, a sermon by Matthew Hagee where he insults adult single Christians, aired Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) 2014

In the introduction I saw, Hagee did a disrespectful impression, a mocking tone, of what he imagines a single, Christian woman who is praying to God for a spouse might sound like:
“Oh Lord, when will you send me a perfect Mr. Right,” and he replied (doing an impression of God), “Why would I send him to YOU for you to mess up? You are going to ruin him.”

Hagee then did a reverse situation, where he did his impression of what he thinks an unmarried man might sound like in prayer to God for a spouse. Yes, it was also disrespectful.

Hagee also made the comments, “So you say you are single. Well, let me ask you something: How can God answer your prayer until you become someone’s answer to prayer?”

I’m not even going to bother listening to the rest of the sermon, because I doubt it’s any better than those first 2, 3 minutes of the intro.

Just those two minutes are filled not only with derision for singles who desire marriage, but also with some incorrect theology.

Some Christians assume if you are 25, 35, 45 years old, or older, and still single, it must be your fault.

The ladies who are over 25 and 30 who are still single get told often that they are “too picky.” This view, as I saw from the brief video clips, seems implicit in Hagees’ outlook about single women.

Let me just stop you right there.

Okay Matthew Hagee, assuming you have a daughter (pretend that you do if you do not).

If your daughter is still single at 35 years of age, and she desires marriage, would you honestly tell your OWN daughter to “settle,” to marry the 567 pound slobby, abusive, stupid, unemployed man?

No, you probably would not.

Would you seriously tell your own daughter to marry any guy who comes along, even if there is no attraction, or he mistreats her, or she doesn’t feel in love with him, or what have you?

You probably would not, no.

Yet you feel just fine implying these very things on a stage in a church full of people during a service that is being broadcast to millions in the United States and around the world.

Why do you believe that your hypothetical daughter is more worthy of respect than myself or other single women who are not your daughters?

Another mentality that some Christians have is that God is keeping you single until he can “clean you up” or fix you in some way. No where does the Bible teach that God has to take you through your paces, perfect you, or make you be good enough, before he will “reward” you with a spouse.

The Bible does not teach that a person has to “earn” a spouse.

The Bible contains examples of people who stole spouses (David and Bathsheba).

The Bible also has examples of complete idiots who got great spouses (Nabal was the idiot, Abigail his wife, you can read more about them (Link): here. An excerpt from that Bible passage reads: “His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”).

As a matter of fact, go to my thread at this blog, (Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread), to see numerous news stories of Christian married couples who are ungodly, immature, selfish, or abusive. Some married Christians have been thrown in jail for rape, theft, drug abuse, or murder.

If God required everyone to be totally holy and pure before sending people spouses, and forced everyone to get all their personal sins and characters flaws in check before permitting them to marry, how does one account for all the Christian husbands who are pornography addicts, child sex abusers, drug addicts, and wife beaters?

Stop holding out a husband or wife as a reward to good Christians who get their ducks lined up in a row.

I’m still a virgin in my forties, and God never did reward me with a husband for sexually abstaining this long, and I am not fat and ugly – I was engaged for several years.

Non Christian and Christian men have flirted with me, asked me out on dates, have seen my photo at friend’s homes and asked friends if they could be fixed up with me on dates, etc.

That this Hagee person (who is married himself with a kid or two) would choose to mock, ridicule, and bash single adults on a sermon that aired on Valentine’s Day of all days is reprehensible and shows a total lack of compassion and understanding for what it’s like to be a single past one’s late twenties.

It’s no wonder churches are losing members, they keep bashing (when not ignoring) 44% of the American population (i.e., adult singles).

And again, many resources I have seen point out that for every Christian adult man, there are three, adult, unmarried Christian women.

Meaning, not all Christian women who want a Christian spouse can even get one, leaving them to stay single, or marry outside the Christian faith. Do Hagee and jerks like him who bash singles from the pulpit ever mention these facts? Nope.

It’s just rudely assumed by these anti-singles preachers that single women over 30, 40 years of age are single because they are too picky, fat, flawed, are feminist man-haters, or are messed up in some way. That American demographics are not in favor of American single women who desire marriage are never mentioned.

By the way, marriage does not happen just because you want it enough, see this previous post:
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

I have several other posts on my blog that refute some of these views by Hagee, such as:

——————

Related Posts:

(Link):  A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

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

(Link): The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

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

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

(Link): Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1 (includes cliches and platitudes)

(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault (editorial by a woman who refutes the idea that singles are to blame for being single)

(Link): Topics Preachers Should or Shouldn’t Mention When Discussing Singlehood

(Link): Isn’t It Time the Church Gave Singles a Break? (editorial from another blog)

(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

You can dig around this blog to find many other posts like those, use the post tags, the search feature on the right hand side of the blog for that, or use the archive pull down menu and jump around at random.

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”

Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

(Link): Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

(The follow up post:
(Link): The 39 worst things folks said to people who are single during the holidays.)

Excerpts:

    … So instead of simply remixing an old post, I decided to create a holiday-focused scorecard. Think of it like a seasonal ale they put nutmeg in during January. It only comes around this time of year. Without further ado, I give you:

    Being single during Christmas at church:

    5. You good friends hold secret “couples holiday dinners” they don’t invite you to because they don’t want you to feel awkward. = + 3 points

    Wreath
    Wreath

    6. They wince when the world’s worst commercials, Jared’s jewelry, come on TV and some horrible actress gets engaged right in front of you. = +4 points

    8. They try desperately to find the silver lining and say things like, “It must be nice not to have to shop for anyone. My husband is so hard to get gifts for!” = +2 points

    10. They feel slightly guilty for watching romantic Christmas movies in your presence, like “Love Actually.” = +3 points

    11. Someone tells you, “Being single doesn’t have to mean being alone.” = +2 points

    12. Your friends have stopped saying “When you get married” because they’re not sure you’ve got it in you. = +1 point

    21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point

    22. You’re divorced and someone gives you the incredibly encouraging advice, “God will bring you someone who will overlook your past.” = + 2 points

    24. Someone makes a horrible joke about how this Christmas, you got the “gift of celibacy.” = +10 points

    25. Married friends feel compelled to over tell you how difficult marriage is so that you don’t feel like it’s a winter wonderland of constant awesomeness. = +3 points

    32. People try to romanticize the tremendous amounts of free time you must have during the holidays without a family to bother you. = +3 points

Some select reader comments:

    Sydney says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:46 PM

    As the oldest grandchild and neice on both sides of my family I have recently been given the guilt trip from my grandparents: “We might not have many more Cristmases left, we need some grandchildren!”

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:12 PM

    Yup, I started to hear similar comments in the last couple years (and I’m only 24!). Like from my grandfather “Do you have a boyfriend yet? You need to get married before I die.” As if boyfriends magically appear out of force of sheer will.

    Katie says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:48 PM

    “It’s so courageous of you to decorate your apartment for the holidays and send out Christmas cards, as if you had a family”.

    Yep. From a family member.

    I don’t know how many ‘points’ is equal to spending Christmas afternoon in my bedroom crying. Alone, of course. Maybe +20?

    Carly says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 10:17 AM

    So true! My grandfather gives all my (married) siblings/cousins money (triple digits) for Christmas. Being single, I get $0. Its not so much about the money, but not being considered as “equally deserving of a gift.”

    Sara says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 1:01 PM

    Me too, Carly! Me too! The exact same thing happens to me.

    Sandy says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 3:43 PM

    Same here!! I always think, I have bills too and nobody to help me pay them! Am I not worthy of a check at Christmas just because I didn’t provide a son-in-law and grandchildren??

    Claire says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:28 PM

    [In response to someone who says she hates #21 on the list, 21 reads,

    21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point]

    As if God is dangling a gift in front of you and will only give it to you when you stop reaching for it or wanting it! So screwy, but I can’t tell you how many people have thrown this at me in my 35 years of singleness.

    Kelsey says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:53 PM

    I cannot stand #21 or any spin-offs that deal with, “Well, when you focus fully on God, he’ll be right beside you!”

    It implies that all married people are somehow on a separate spiritual playing field than singles. Like they are the first-string players that know how to focus on Jesus better or something—AND FOR THAT, THEY GET A REWARD!

    But not you single people. Go read your ESV study bible and pray a little more. Better luck next season!

    jill says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:20 PM

    I’m sick of people saying I should get more involved in church and that I will meet him there. I already go to church and have been for a looong time. No dice. Sitting between my parents each Sunday doesn’t really help either, huh?

    Krista says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 12:15 AM

    I attend a church and live in a town that has very few single Christian men. My church has none. And I am one of two single ladies myself. Getting more involved will not do anything.

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:22 PM

    That is fantastic, haha! Yeah, it’s a very good point. A lot of people make comments that imply you’re single because you somehow aren’t putting God first in your life, no matter what you’re actually doing.

    DM says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:10 PM

    ST.WIPS: Stupid Things Well-Intentioned People Say.

    “It’ll happen when…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random statement like “when you’re least expecting it…” blah blah blah)
    “God is your husband!”
    “Maybe you should…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random advice that is usually a little bit mean. I usually want to respond, “Maybe you should kiss my grits.”
    “Have you prayed about it?” Oh! Now there’s a brilliant idea that I’ve never considered!

    Jon–How many points does one get for being single, alone, and OVERSEAS at Christmas? About 100?

    Monahmartha says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 9:51 PM

    Blechk! Im 35, and married now but wow, did i hate that “youre not putting urself in the right situations…” Its bs im sorry. I was told for many years my husband would come to my church one day. And the non-church people i knew were telling me i needed to go to club to find a man. Otherwise i was dooomed.

    Well every1 was wrong. I just kept living my life and future hubby came to my WORK PLACE. LOL so there!

    And i vowed when i got married i will not become “one of them”. And im didnt. Godmhelp me if i ever do…

    Holly says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:58 PM

    I tell the Church ladies that there is no one single my age at church, so I’m gonna start going to the bars to find a husband.

    That shuts them up quick.

    Amy says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 3:20 PM

    I once told a girl at my Bible study that I’d been keeping my hair long because a) I’ve been enjoying doing fun updos with it and b) I read that guys prefer longer hair (which is true) . . . but I’d also considered doing a cute pixie cut. I’m just afraid that if I did everyone would think I was a butch lesbian, so if I get to 35 and I’m still not married I might go ahead and give the pixie a shot, since by then I expect most people will think I’m a butch lesbian anyway . . . LOL. (It’s been thought before, even when I’ve had long hair . . . I’m sorry to say).

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:17 PM

    Yup, some of these are accurate already. Like the lady at church who always asks me if I have a boyfriend yet because she has to know as soon as it happens. I have a few friends who like to tell me how lucky I am to be single and how guys are so much more trouble than they’re worth. Yeah, so nice to be told that from the person who has been married or in a relationship for years to the girl who has never had a bf. They all mean well, but there comes a point when every single piece of “advice” or “encouragement” someone gives you about your love life becomes kind of insulting and aggravating. I despise those cliched comments from people.

    [In reply to a married about what marrieds can say to singles]
    Andrea says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:52 AM

    Everything else about my life? Because part of what makes it so frustrating/hurtful, is those questions are essentially implying, “it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done or accomplished. Your life isn’t truly valid until you’re in a relationship/married/have kids. Didn’t you know you are defined by your marital status?”

    I have a job I’ve worked hard for and really enjoy (and I work with some really fascinating stuff, which I might tell you about if you showed interest in knowing something beyond my 30-second job summary).
    I have a master’s degree.
    I’ve traveled all over the world.
    I have friends and family all over the country/world.
    I’ve been remodeling my house over the last 3 years.
    I’m in a book club and love to read.
    I enjoy working in my yard/garden.
    I love to bake and cook.
    I love going to the theater and trying new restaurants.
    And yes, I have two cats. And they entertain me to no end.

    But yet somehow, there are people who can’t think of anything to ask me about or comment on except my relationship status?!

    So, what would encourage me and make me feel appreciated? Showing interest in what my life IS (everything listed above), rather than what it might be lacking (a significant other). Celebrating/congratulating me on what I’ve accomplished (job, education, house reno, etc.), rather than focusing on what I haven’t (a husband). Recognizing that I and my life are legitimate and acceptable right now and as is – just as acceptable and legitimate as they would be with a spouse, not just as “it’s nice to see you’re using your time well until you meet someone.”.

    Hope that helps!

    Becky says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:28 PM

    Yes! I also stopped telling stories to my parents that involves and single guy within 20 years of me. They completely tone-out what I’m saying and become fixed on that guy. “So you just said Jake, who is Jake, how old is he? Are you interested, is he cute?” And they remember him and check-in on how “jake and I ” are doing for months.

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    Ooo, wait, can we add watching all the Christmas engagement posts starting to pop up on facebook with the nauseatingly sappy captions??? Seriously.

    Sharon says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    Being a widow, I get a lot of “at least…” statements, such as “at least you had the time together that you did. “.
    True, but it doesn’t make it any less lonely. These are often preceded by “Wow, the holidays much be so hard for you, being by yourself and all.”
    Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn’t noticed.
    Which is immediately followed by the suggestion that I sign up to volunteer at all 11 services over four days.
    Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.

    Kaitlyn says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    This cracked me up, especially after the question I got yesterday: “Have you tried Christian Mingle yet?”

    Rachel says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 6:40 PM

    Ah yes. My old friend. I saw an advert for said company online the other day (thanks, targeted FB advertising) with the terrible, theologically worrying and mildly threatening slogan “Worried about going to heaven alone? Maybe not.” As Charlie Brown says, good grief.

    Should definitely be added to the points system.

    Peggy says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:29 PM

    I’m divorced and in my thirties. At this point, I hear comments about how God will “restore the years the locusts have eaten.”

    Little do they know that I’m on a wild adventure and I see no locusts in my history.

    I was just starting to write a blog post about Christmas as a single woman! I will have to link to this post.

    Continue reading “Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)”

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

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

This guy, whose letter I am copying below, was married for twenty years, and his wife died. He wrote a letter to advice columnist “Ask Amy” describing how horribly he was treated after his wife died.

Note that he mentions that married couples viewed him in his new single-again status as “a threat.”

This seems to happen to single women more often, however, as though all unmarried women skulk about, waiting to attack married men and get them into bed.

A lot of Christian material on dating and marriage advises married men to stay away from un-married women (when married women frequently have affairs with married men, yet the church never issues warnings about a married woman being left alone with married men, and sometimes, it is the married man who is the instigator of affairs with both singles and marrieds).

Like the man who wrote this letter to Ask Amy, after my own family member died, I experienced a lack of concern and care from other people, even from other Christians, and even though I pointedly asked for help and support.

Rather than hold my hand as I wept, I was subjected to unsolicited advice, judgment, and criticism! Everyone else avoided me.

Nobody – not even self professing Christians who I knew attended church weekly, including some extended family of mine – wanted to take phone calls and let me discus my emotional pain over the loss.

The others tried to get me off the phone as fast as possible, or dish out critical comments, chiding me for feeling sad over the loss.

Christians should step up to the plate and comfort the one who is grieving, but they DO NOT.

Christians are lazy and selfish. They’d rather dole out quick platitudes than sit and do the actual hard work of helping someone who is in grief, which involves listening to the mourner weep about the loss for two, or more, hours a month.

I related to this guy’s letter on more than one front.

Letter from man who is now single after his wife of 20 years died:

Dear Amy:

    Over two years ago my wife of 20 years (and my companion of thirty) died of ALS, one of the worst ways to go. Death is not a Hollywood movie, and people are not at their best, but I was there for my wife all the way to the end. She died in my arms. But it was what came after that shocked me.

My immediate, misguided reaction was to ask to be left alone to grieve. That was a big mistake, which I corrected as I found an empty house, and world, overwhelming. What surprised me was who stepped up and who didn’t. Many of our friends just disappeared — some despite pleasant words at the memorial service or promises on sympathy cards.

Now, having connected with my veterans — those who have lost spouses — I think that I may know some of the reasons why. I hope you will share this with your readers.

It boils down to more than busy lives, because those who reached out to me were often the busiest.

A widower or widow represents to another couple the absolute certainty that they or their spouse will be in the same boat one day. You are an unwelcome reminder — a mortician at a birthday party. Also, couples are sometimes threatened by a person who is suddenly single. This is so insulting.

Some people just don’t know what to do. And for them, I have some advice: Life for the surviving spouse is a matter of getting through first the minutes, then the hours, then the days, then the weeks, the months and finally the years.

We don’t necessarily need deep talk. We need an empathetic offer of company, a meal, film, a walk. A diversion from grief is what we need, quite literally, to make it to another day. Just offer a respite, a diversion from pain, even for a little while. That’s all you need to do — and that’s plenty.

And if you really offer it and follow through, you will never be forgotten.

— Widowed in Bethesda

Yep. People are lazy, selfish jackholes.

I also experienced the situation of people making promises to help, only later to blow me off when I phoned them up for help/ comfort. I learned the hard way that you cannot count on people, not even at your lowest point. And I did not feel God during any of that. I got through it all ALONE.

Dec 30, 2013

DEAR AMY:

    I would like to thank “Widowed in Bethesda” for his honest and heartbreaking account of what it is really like when a spouse or partner dies. People who have been in your life for a very long time have a way of disappearing. In my experience, the busiest people were the ones who also made time for me.

Like Widowed, initially I wanted to be alone. I wasn’t able to tell people what I needed. The most comfort I received was from people who worked to maintain the friendship, even though my life had changed dramatically.

— Been There

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Related posts this blog

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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