Brief Critique of the J. Daly editorial: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?

Brief Critique of the J. Daly ed: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?

In the midst of looking up Jim Daly’s contact information (so I could tweet him a link of my previous page), I found this linked to on his Twitter page (he wrote it):

(Link) Does Casual Sex Empower Women? by Daly

Here is the part that caught my attention:

    The cultural impact of casual sex

    Sadly, the cheapening of sex is having a long-term impact on marriage… which, in turn, negatively impacts parenting. It’s a tragic chain-reaction of events that work together to undermine the institution of family.

I know that Focus on the Family has a new family-centric film to promote ((Link): unfortunately), and I see the heading there says “cultural impact,” but Mr. Daly, the fact is, some women never marry and never have children, including Christian women.

The Bible does not say God promises all women a marriage partner not even the ones who pray for one and who want one.

If you see my previous post (link), you can see the stats on the number of singles in America.

Many women today are staying single these days, some against their wishes.

(That’s right, the typical conservative Christian canard that women are choosing to stay single because they hate marriage, hate men, or put career above marriage, or had tons of marriage proposals but turned them all down because they were too picky, are false).

There are plenty of Christian women such as myself (though I am half-agnostic now), who were raised in church and by Christian parents to expect, plan for, and count on marriage.

I had hoped for marriage. I still find myself single. I did not plan on being never-married into my 40s. I may never marry.

I am still a virgin. I have never had children.

The church does not support adult virginity – they ignore or shame adult celibate singles (a few links with examples of that can be found at the end of this post, and all over this blog if you search).

It makes no sense, and I see no biblical support, to suggest the only or main reason to argue against casual sex is on the basis of how it may “impact marriage and family.”

Continue reading “Brief Critique of the J. Daly editorial: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?”

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)”

P.T.S.D. is Not Biblical Says K. Copeland and Barton

P.T.S.D. is Not Biblical Says K. Copeland and D. Barton

I don’t intend to make this blog “cutting edge.” This story I am linking to here (farther below) came out two, three, or more days ago. You’ve probably heard about it already on other blogs or in the news.

I sometimes wait a few days (or a week or more) before I mention something on this blog that piques my interest or ire.

Other than the singles issue (that is, Christians in Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Neo-Calvinist/Reformed, and Baptist churches tend to treat the un-married and childless like losers, if they bother to acknowledge singles at all), a few other topics get me worked up, and another one is how a lot of Christians treat mental health problems.

This isn’t a topic I want to blog about too much here on a regular basis, but every so often, I will address it.

From my childhood until a few years ago, I had clinical depression as well as a few other mental health problems. I was professionally diagnosed by psychiatrists.

Those problems have mostly cleared up now. But years of reading the Bible, praying, and “standing on the promises of Scripture,” did nothing to ease the depression or lift it (or the other problems I had).

Serving other people, working in soup kitchens, and all the usual advice one gets from Christians that was supposed to lift the depression did not help me, either.

For years, I would see preachers on TV or in blogs blame Christians who have depression for the depression (or for any other mental health problems they may have).

Some preachers and Christian lay persons would say if you have depression, it is because God is punishing you, you are not praying hard enough, you lack faith, you have unconfessed sin in your life, and a million other reasons.

Some of the Christians I saw on television or on blogs and forums, from everyday folks to famous preachers, would tell you that using medication or seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist is sinful or shows a lack of faith, so they would discourage any of that.

Some Christian online ministries even go so far as to deny that Christians can develop mental health issues to start with.

Two administrators at one Christian site I contacted several years ago said if I had depression, I obviously was not “really” a Christian, because “real Christians do not have depression.”

Many Christians are extremely ignorant and prejudiced concerning depression and other mental health maladies, and against those who suffer from the mental health problems.

Here is another example.

Christian historian David Barton (who is controversial; he is not considered a fully competent historian by many other historians, both Christians and NonChristians), and Kenneth Copeland, who is a Word of Faith heretic, recently made some very controversial comments about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Essentially, both men said in a recent broadcast on Copeland’s television show that Christian military personnel who have PTSD should not rely on medicine or medical care for treatment, but only rely on the promises in the Bible.

By the way, a lot of people who are not military personnel also have P.T.S.D., such as adult survivors of childhood abuse, and women who have been raped.

You can read more about Copeland’s and Barton’s nonsense here
(A word about the links below: bear in mind some of the sources I cite here are either left wing or hostile to Christians; I am quasi- Christian quasi- agnostic, critical of some aspects of Christianity, though I don’t hate all of the faith or all Christians, and I am right wing, not left wing):

(Link): David Barton and Kenneth Copeland: PTSD isn’t biblical, The State

(Link): David Barton & Kenneth Copeland: PTSD isn’t biblical, Houston Chronicle

    November 14, 2013

    (RNS) On a Veterans Day broadcast program, televangelist Kenneth Copeland and controversial historian David Barton told listeners that soldiers should never experience guilt or post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from military service.

    Reading from Numbers 32: 20-22, Copeland said, “So this is a promise — if you do this thing, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war … you shall return, you’re coming back, and be guiltless before the Lord and before the nation.”

    “Any of you suffering from PTSD right now, you listen to me,” Copeland said as Barton affirmed him. “You get rid of that right now. You don’t take drugs to get rid of it. It doesn’t take psychology. That promise right there will get rid of it.”

    Barton added that many biblical warriors “took so many people out in battle,” but did so in the name of God.

    “You’re on an elevated platform up here. You’re a hero, you’re put in the faith hall of fame,” Barton said. “… When you do it God’s way, not only are you guiltless for having done that, you’re esteemed.”

    … “It is obvious that they do not have knowledge of the condition,” said Warren Throckmorton, a Grove City College psychology professor who has written on Barton. “Copeland and Barton err theologically as well by taking specific Scriptures written in relationship to Israel and apply them to American armies.”

    Continue reading “P.T.S.D. is Not Biblical Says K. Copeland and Barton”

The Unchurched

The Unchurched

I am one of the unChurched. I’m also a little bit of the agnostic these days. But I don’t like most churches.

One reason is: most churches are too marriage and kid focused.

If you are in your early 40s and have never married or had a kid, such as me, churches do not feel welcoming. They feel alien, lonely, and strange.

I have other reasons I hate church now, but that is one of them.

Churches are completely irrelvant and even hostile to someone in my life stage, in my particular situation, with my needs. Some Christians, though, will go so far as to judge you and shame you and tell you it’s not okay to expect to have your needs meet at church – you’re supposed to attend church strictly out of obedience or something, to which I respond, “Up yours.”

I am a human being. I do have needs. That is never going to change. I cannot stuff my needs down and attend a weekly service out of mere obedience, or do all the giving while other members do all the taking.

While I don’t advocate that Christians all become as narcissistic as the Millennials, many of whom expect church to be 100% about them all the time, in every case, churches do nothing to help older never- married adults, even when they are confronted about it.

Here are a few links about the Unchurched.

This first page is interesting in that it points out that many of the unchurched are Christians, but its solution to those who have been hurt by churches is dismal, naive, and simplistic: it says for you to just forgive those church people that hurt you and return to church again. -Uh, no.

(Link): Millions of Unchurched Adults Are Christians Hurt by Churches But Can Be Healed of the Pain

I don’t know if I agree with this guy’s solution but his description of the problem is fairly spot on:
(Link): Why You’re Not Reaching the Unchurched

(Link): Myths About The Unchurched

I don’t know if I’m in complete agreement with all the points on this list – this guy seems more to want to blame the un-churched more than caring about how churches can change to draw them back in:

(Link): 10 Reasons We Have Not Reached the Unchurched

(Link): Number of Unchurched Adults Has Nearly Doubled Since 1991

Continue reading “The Unchurched”

Sex Regarded as Passage Into Adulthood

I found this comment in a review of an episode of the television show “Mad Men,” A Psychiatrist Analyzes Mad Men’s Traumatized Sally Draper.

First, some background (taken from the Vulture page):

MAD MEN TV SHOW EPISODE RECAP

    It’s every teenager’s nightmare: walking in on their parents having sex. Except in Sally Draper’s case, things get even worse. In the Mad Men episode “Favors” [spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen it], 14-year-old Sally stumbled into seeing her father, pants around his knees, making love to their neighbor Sylvia, who — just to compound the embarrassment — is the mother of Sally’s crush.
    Don later tells his mortified daughter that the situation is “complicated” — which, for him, it’s not, particularly, but it certainly is complicated for Sally.
    Even if she recovers from the humiliation, how will she trust her father again? Or anybody, for that matter? To find out if Sally will be scarred for life, or just become a giant hippie, we turned once again to UCLA-affiliated psychiatrist and Mad Men obsessive Dr. Paul Puri.

Here we have the question by the interviewer, who is interviewing a psychiatrist:

  • Now that I think about it, Sally’s friends on Mad Men have all seemed more sexually aware than she is. Might this have something to do with Don and Betty’s messed-up attitudes about sex?

Here is the shrink’s response:

    It could be from her parents, in that they both keep sex in the shadows; nothing is ever talked about with the daughter. When Sally was masturbating, her mother didn’t say, “We’ll have the-birds-and-the-bees talk.” She said, “You don’t do that alone, and you especially don’t do it in public.” So there’s been a denial there,

in trying to infantilize her 

    , even at this age.
  • The friend we saw in “Favors” is the only person right now who is encouraging Sally’s development into adulthood , so to speak. She’s encouraging her to grow, maybe too fast for her age, but I think that’s someone to whom Sally will gravitate now.
  • Pay attention to this comment in particular:

      So there’s been a denial there, in

    trying to infantilize her 

      , even at this age. The friend we saw in “Favors” is the only person right now who is

    encouraging Sally’s development into adulthood 

      , so to speak. She’s encouraging her to grow, maybe too fast for her age…
      ———————–//End Article Excerpts

    It would appear as though the psychiatrist, Dr. Puri, is assuming that a person does not reach true adulthood until he or she has sex. He seems to assume that those who do not have sex by their teen years or young adulthood remain “infantilized” in their adult years.

    Really, Dr. Puri? You’re actually going to equate having sex to being an adult?

    It’s not that I think people under the age of 18 should be having sex, but that you do not factor into your view that there are virgins such as me who are over 40 years old. I am not a child, nor am I “infantilized.”

    Continue reading “Sex Regarded as Passage Into Adulthood”

    Therapists and Whiners / Constant Complainers

    (Please click the “more” link to see the entire post)

    I have two views on this topic – should you tell a constant whiner to put a cork in it, or indulge them?

    On the one hand, it can get very annoying being around someone who whines (complains) constantly. I have a couple of internet friends who do this, two family members, and I’ve had a few coworkers guilty of regular whining.

    With one family member in particular, I had to shut her down. After two years of listening to her endless, vicious complaining (it wasn’t even normal complaining, but very mean, negative complaining) mostly about her job and boyfriend.

    To make matters worse this person chose to dump all her anger and issues on me in the same time frame I was in deep grieving for someone dear I had just lost that we were both related to.

    I tried being supportive and listening to her endless whining and her vicious rants, but it was having a negative impact on me. I am prone to depression anyway, and with the grieving as well, I could not possibly handle listening to her hate-filled phone calls anymore on top of everything else.

    So I told her I was not going to listen to her complain anymore about her job and other problems. I had to do it to save my sanity.

    On the other hand, I like to talk to someone when I am going through a terrible time.

    When I am depressed or angry, it makes me feel better to talk through my views and feelings. It helps me if someone just sits and listens as I discuss what I am feeling.

    The sad thing is, most people refuse to perform this service for me, even though I do it for them.

    Continue reading “Therapists and Whiners / Constant Complainers”