Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

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Previous post:
Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour Part 1

As I was saying in Part 1, there is an annoying habit of Christians to jump on one brand of human misery as their favorite “cause- come- lately,” in much the same way some teenagers jump on whatever is the latest fashion trend.

Secularists have also been guilty of this bizarre and tasteless phenomenon (recall Bob Geldof’s Live Aid and Farm Aid, and U2’s Bono and his AIDS and Africa charity relief or whatever).

What I find even more maddening and disgusting is how so many Christians ignore the hurting Christian people in the United States to go and help the (Non Christian) suffering in other nations.

Many American Christians are so preoccupied with helping Non-Christian / Non-Americans that I find this behavior sort of infuriating and a tad hypocritical.

I typically see American tele-evangelists, such as Joyce Meyers and the hosts of the Christian “Life Today” program, begging their viewers to send in money to get foreign children out of poverty or prostitution, usually ones in Africa.

What about American children of all skin colors who are living in poverty, or who are sexually abused? Are American kids, of whatever skin color, any less worthy than typically darker-skinned children in Africa or central or South American nations?

The Scriptures actually tell Christians that while they should try to help all people, that their PRIMARY duty is to help other hurting, suffering Christians in their own group first and foremost (see Galatians chapter 6, verse 10, also 1 Timothy 5: 8), not to place a priority on helping pagan, atheistic, starving, impoverished, suffering heathens outside of their own nation.

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Continue reading “Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour”

A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

Please click the “more” link (which is farther below) to read this entire post. Thank you

You can find this CNN editorial, “Why I’m Not Married, and No, It’s Not Because I’m an Angry Slut,” by Jessica Ravitz, here:

(Link): Why I’m not married (and it’s not because I’m an angry slut)

I found that same editorial linked to at the “askmen.com” forum, and most all the responses to it, by men, were very rude, insensitive, and clueless; they clearly do not understand women.

Out of all the men who left replies in the thread at the “askmen.com” forum, only one (a forum moderator) showed any maturity and sense.

The rest of the men in the thread sounded very bitter, immature, or insensitive. They sound as though they hate women. Maybe they’re angry at women because they cannot get or maintain a steady relationship with a woman.

You will find some quotes farther below from the editorial by Jessica Ravitz, but I first wanted to make a few comments about it.

Ravitz is not a Christian, but she makes many points I relate to.

One reason I have tagged this post with the terms such as “insensitive” and “annoyances” is that Ravitz is replying to insensitive comments by another author, Tracy McMillan.

McMillan wrote an editorial, “”Why You’re Not Married,” and from the way Ravitz describes the editorial, it sounds very insulting, because McMillan apparently blames singles for being single, even though people who remain single sometimes remain so for reasons that are not their fault.

Ravitz basically sums up the “never-married” situation some singles reluctantly find themselves in by saying life happens, and she explains that singles have a variety of reasons for why they were not able to get married, and some of those reasons are beyond their control.

Nobody can guarantee marriage, based on a variety of factors, so it’s insulting, rude, and demeaning for writers such as McMillian (or Christian writers like the ones at “Boundless.org”) to behave like there’s some magic formula that if we all just follow, we are guaranteed to get a spouse.

The link again:

(Link): Why I’m not married (and it’s not because I’m an angry slut)

Here is some of what Ravitz wrote:

  • ——————-
  • Tracy McMillan has gotten under my single-status skin.
  • I’m not sure how it took nearly a week for her Huffington Post column, “Why You’re Not Married,” to land in front of me, but it finally did. And now I’m fired up — not in an angry way but in the sort of way that made me skip to my desk, excited to type.
  • To hear it from the thrice-divorced McMillan, I’m 41 and not married because of one (or more?) of six reasons: I’m a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough.
  • Wow. Is that all? Maybe I smell, too.
  • I’ll be the first to admit I’ve got issues (c’mon, who doesn’t?), but I’m not owning these. Perhaps she was talking about why her own marriages failed or was simply setting out to get a rise, which she did brilliantly. And while I’ve been guilty of occasional transgressions that might fit in some of those unflattering boxes, McMillan doesn’t touch why I’m not married.
  • Based on the buzz surrounding her conversation-starting piece, I’m laying down and lining up behind reason number seven: Life happens.
  • Continue reading “A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article”

Study: Never Marrieds Have Better Health Than Divorced

Here’s an interesting study from 2009:

Study Says: Healthwise, It’s Better to Be Single Than Divorced

Want to remain healthy? According to a new study — either get married and stay married, or never get married at all.

Researchers in Chicago found that among a pool of 8,652 people aged 51 to 61, those who married and divorced had 20 percent more chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes than those who didn’t marry. Remarrying only drops the figure to 12 percent.

Basically, “health stock” goes up or down depending on our marital experience. Only those who remain married can expect the same health benefits as people who never got married.

Divorce ‘health scars permanent’

Review of the Dreary Book, When People Are Big And God Is Small by E. Welch


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A book review of When People Are Big And God Is Small by Edward T. Welch

This is a very long book review because I have very strong opinions about the book. I have a 1997, paperback printing of this book, if that matters.

To summarize this guy’s revolting, depressing book as briefly as I can:

The author, Welch, believes that humans have biological and spiritual needs, but we do not have ‘psychological needs,’ nor do we have a biblical, God-given, legitimate need to be loved by God or by other people. If you think you have these needs and/or you try to get them met (even by Jesus Christ!!), you are sinning and committing idolatry (no, I’m not kidding, the author truly believes this stuff).

I wanted to like this book, I really did.

I think mine is the only negative review of this book on the web. Most all other reviews I’ve seen of it have been positive.

Unfortunately, Christians who like this book generally seem to be the ones who are

• predisposed to distrust in, and who malign, psychology, counseling and therapy (just like movie actor Tom Cruise);

• the ones who ignorantly deny that Christians can and do have mental health issues; or who

• see Satanic influence behind any and all forms of psychology, including anything related to it (such as treatments, which may include talking to a therapist or seeing a psychiatrist to receive medication)

Before I delve into the book review proper, here is a rant on an issue that is a little related to the book and to the positive reviews the book tends to receive:

Interestingly, the same judgmental Christian clowns who insult their fellow Christians who seek mental health treatment are the same ones – hypocritically – who will not hesitate to see a doctor for their own physical health problems and take medicine for physical afflictions.

Such backwards, hillbilly Christians enjoy attributing almost any and all forms of human suffering and problems to Original Sin, or to the supposed sins of the Christian who is suffering from mental health problems.

Curiously, such harsh, backwards Christians never ascribe sin to their own physical health issues, such as their asthma, diabetes, near-sightedness, obesity, colds, dentures, flus, broken legs, receding hair lines, paper cuts, or heart problems.

Yes, these are the same hypocrites who will insultingly say you’re not “really saved” or who suggest you lack enough faith if you suffer from clinical depression and take anti-depressant medication… but who take Viagra for their limp noodles (or “e.d.” = erectile dysfunction).

These are the kinds of hypocrites who, even if they themselves do not have “ed” would not hesitate to defend Christan men who do have it for taking Viagra of Cialis, or who see nothing wrong with Viagara pill popping-

But if you are a Christian who deals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts or depression, you are Satan’s spawn for taking lithium, Zoloft, Prozac, or whatever psychiatrists prescribe these days.

…Book Review Proper…

After reading through the preview material available for this book on some book sites, this book sounded like it would be helpful and even uplifting and encouraging.

However, I felt worse after reading it.

The author definitely displays a good understanding of what it’s like to go through life being fearful of people, and he’s able to describe it well.

Certainly, there is some value, as the author posits, in a Christian placing more fear in God (that is, a healthy fear based on respect of God and God’s character and power) more so than in people.

I can certainly see how holding such a belief can be one aspect of many that can help many anxiety-prone Christians to be freed from the anxiety.

There is also maybe a small amount of value, wisdom, or merit to the author’s idea that if you go through life feeling as though you “need” love that such a view will give other people a certain type of control or power over you.

Where I disagree with the author, where I remain unconvinced, is in his insistence that human beings do not ‘need’ love (in a psychological sense).
Continue reading “Review of the Dreary Book, When People Are Big And God Is Small by E. Welch”

One TBN guest who gets it right: Dr Billy Ingram of L.A.

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Dr. Billy Ingram, a guy I’ve never heard of before, was a guest on a TBN program this evening, and he went on an anti-prosperity rant (he’s against prosperity as taught by the con artists and greedy rats one typically sees on TBN).

If I understood correctly, Ingram is a pastor at a church in Los Angeles, but spends the rest of his time working as a photographer.

Ingram said that too many people in the church today who are preaching and listening to the prosperity message are too greedy, and he mentioned that one word frequently translated in our Bibles as “prosperity” is not always referring to financial prosperity.

Ingram made an excellent point when he said (paraphrasing),

“Why is it that in the churches where the pastors preach the prosperity gospel that the pastors and the other ‘top guys’ in the churches are the only ones driving the expensive cars? If the prosperity message they teach is true, shouldn’t more people in their churches also be driving the fancy cars?”

Continue reading “One TBN guest who gets it right: Dr Billy Ingram of L.A.”

Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

Am I the only Christian who finds it a little annoying when other Christians jump on a cause?

Even though I’ve meant to cut down on the amount of Christian television I watch (and I have to a small degree), I still watch enough of it to be appalled or irritated by what I see.

Starting some time last year, a lot of Christians on TBN began talking about human trafficking.

This practice usually involves criminals kidnapping and forcing underage girls (and sometimes adult women) into prostitution, and that usually in Asian nations, though it is on the rise in the United States.

Of course, human trafficking (sometimes referred to as the sex slave industry) is reprehensible and disgusting, and yes, it’s good that people, including Christians, are trying to halt it.

My issue is that some Christians seem to treat various types of tragedy, human suffering, and evil as though they are trendy, like Calvin Klein and Jordache jeans were in 1982, bell bottom jeans in 1976, or poodle skirts in 1958.
Continue reading “Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour”

Hysterical: Hagee Gives Sermon on Fasting

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On Christian network TBN right now, November 19, 2010, John Hagee’s son, Matthew, is giving a sermon about fasting on the father’s daily television show.

Matthew Hagee used to be quite over weight, and sometime in the past couple of years, he lost all the extra weight.

However, his father, pastor John Hagee, remains quite hefty (I’d say obese); he must be 80 or more pounds overweight.

I just find it funny, in a sad way, that a son of a tubby pastor would have the nerve to lecture his father’s congregation on abstaining from food, no matter how well meaning the motive.
Continue reading “Hysterical: Hagee Gives Sermon on Fasting”

Christians, Modest Dress, Sexism, and Public Humiliation

I do not wish to directly link to the blog posting to which I am referring, lest a “track back” to my blog post here should appear there, which I don’t really want.

Someone at the “Stuff Christians Like” blog did a post (located at stuffchristianslike.net/2008/02/52-andy-stanley/#idc-cover), where someone left a remark where she explained,

You would have loved [pastor] Andy’s [Stanley’s] comment several years ago from the stage [during a church service].

He said, “I am sorry for those of you sitting to my right, but there is a woman who is wearing a low-cut shirt, and to keep my mind pure, I have to look elsewhere this morning.” He spoke mainly to the left-side, and occasionally looked to the middle section. I know the woman had to be embarrassed to be called out like that.

I’m not sure I’d applaud a pastor who publicly humiliated a woman in that manner. I find his action to be a little unloving and disgraceful.

I will at least give Stanley some credit for partially taking responsibility for his own thought life by looking away from the woman.

Too often on Christian forums and blogs (and the occasional televised sermon), I see entreaties by other Christians imploring Christian females to dress modestly so as not to lead Christian males into sinful thinking.

I’ve always found this to be annoying and misplaced advice.
Continue reading “Christians, Modest Dress, Sexism, and Public Humiliation”

Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

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I have touched on this issue before in prior posts (see the section, “Pray For The Right Car, but Not the Right Spouse?” on (Link): this blog page), and it’s somewhat related to the idea of one having faith in God to provide one with a spouse.

While there are plenty of Christians, both pastors and lay persons, who will reaffirm the belief that one should pray and depend on God to provide her with a spouse, there seems to be an equally large and vocal group of people who insist, no, a Christian should use her own abilities and reasoning to obtain marriage.
Continue reading “Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?”

Marriage Mandaters – Mocking Faith


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At the blog The Gift of Singleness (located at thegiftofsingleness.blogspot.com), in an entry entitled “The Importance of Waiting on the Lord” (dated January 17, 2007), the blog’s author, someone calling herself (or himself?) “Captain Sensible,” compares having faith in God to provide one with a spouse to having faith in God to reveal to a student which college the student should chose.

The comparison at that blog is made to ridicule the notion of any Christian having faith in God for a spouse.

The idea that a Christian would rely on God for college membership choice, or God’s direction or leading in the matter, is viewed by “Captain Sensible” as being silly and unrealistic, so the analogy is that relying on God in the area of marriage is also ridiculous.

Look, I fully appreciate the frustration of Christians who are single well past the age of 35 who dearly want to get married and have no current prospects (I am in that group myself), but I was very disturbed by the cynical attitude of that blog.

After having skimmed over some of “Captain Sensible’s” other content, I find myself agreeing with some of it and enjoyed some of the humor (such as the January 13, 2007 post entitled “Beware! The 14th February approaches!”).

But as I was saying, I do find certain aspects of the marriage mandate crowd’s attitudes (including some of those expressed by Captain Sensible) upsetting.

To mock and ridicule a Christian for having faith in God for provision, whether we are talking about food, water, shelter, a job, a spouse, a baby, a healing, or what have you, seems very antithetical to Christianity.

Especially when one considers all the passages in the Bible where

(a) Believers are chastised for NOT having faith in God and

(b) Believers are strongly commended for having faith (see, for example, Hebrews chapter 11 in the New Testament)
Continue reading “Marriage Mandaters – Mocking Faith”

Singleness Is Not A Gift

Singleness Is Not A Gift

I really do not believe that singleness is a gift.

I think if God actually grants someone with that so-called “gift,” then that individual will not be bothered in the least not to be married. (Edit: I no longer even believe the Bible teaches the concept “gift of singleness.” See links below for more, under “Related posts this blog”)

However, I am in my late thirties, never married, and it bothers me very much. I always wanted to be married, and I would still like to be married, so I seriously doubt that I have the “gift of singleness.”

I am so tired of hearing cliches and oft-worn phrases directed at singles such as “singleness is a gift.”

I can most assuredly tell you that no, it is not a gift. It’s a curse. It’s lonely. It’s terrible. It’s embarrassing.

Prolonged singleness is especially difficult in a culture where most people do get married, and where people, especially Christians, assume everyone over age 35 is married (or has been at least at one time).

I did not “choose” to be single, by the way. I am not a man-hating feminist. I was never obsessed with my career.

While doing a web search for the phrase “singleness is not a gift” I did find a few blog pages or comments I could relate to, a few of which I will paste in below.
Continue reading “Singleness Is Not A Gift”

‘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

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So I’m watching a little of Christian network TBN today, and Matthew Hagee (son of pastor John Hagee of San Antonio, Texas) is giving a sermon about “God’s Purpose for Women.”

The main point of this sermon is that a woman’s purpose is to be a “biblical helper” to her husband.

Hagee introduced this sermon by going on and on about how great and wonderful wives are, and he’s proposing advice and giving tips to married women on how to be better women.

My question to Matthew Hagee: I’m woman in her late 30s, and I have never been married, so what is God’s purpose for me?
Continue reading “‘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”

Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain – on ‘Christian’ TV Shows

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I cringe every time I hear Christian hosts use the name Jesus as though it’s an exclamation, because it sounds dangerously close to taking His name in vain.

“Pastor” Rod Parsley, whose show airs on TBN, is perhaps most guilty of this.

If you’ve read my previous post on Parsley, you know I don’t even think that man is a Christian.

I do try to avoid his show, but every so often, while channel surfing, I pause to watch a moment or two. It’s kind of like the proverbial train wreck you can’t help but stare at as you go by.

About anytime I do watch, even for a moment, Parsley frequently interjects the name of Jesus. That is, Jesus with an exclamation point at the end.
Continue reading “Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain – on ‘Christian’ TV Shows”

Jesus Wasn’t A Democrat, Either

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I really detest the attitude of some Christian pastors, who lecture their congregations and television audiences, that “Jesus was not a Republican.” Well, you know, buddy, Jesus was not a liberal (or “progressive”) Democrat, either.
Continue reading “Jesus Wasn’t A Democrat, Either”

Greed at TBN

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Sometime within the past 4 or 5 days, I was watching an episode of “Behind the Scenes,” which is a daily TV show on network TBN.

The show was being hosted by father and son team Paul Crouch Junior and Senior.

That the people of TBN -the station owners as well as many of the “Word of Faith” pastors who have shows on TBN- are a little too interested in money is something already pretty well known.

The appeals for fund raising on TBN usually run along the idiotic, over-used line of telling people if they “sow a (monetary) seed” in TBN (or with one of its television ministries), that God will reward the giver with more money (Pat Robertson of the “700 Club” show uses the term “reciprocity,” which is just another way of saying “sowing a seed” – in other words, it’s another name for the same con job). Nothing new there.

I watched only part of this episode before feeling disgusted and having to change channels.

Here is where the appeal for funds took a change of tactic.

Continue reading “Greed at TBN”

“Come on! Come On Now!” – overused on TBN

I watch a lot of Christian network TBN, which is not to say I necessarily agree with all its content.

(At least for a period of a few years I watched a lot of TBN programming. Beginning a few months ago, I grew tired of it, so I do not watch as much Christian programming as I once did. Unfortunately, it seems as though about 90% of TBN’s programing, as well as that of other Christian networks, such as Day Star, consists of these WoF/Prosperity charlatans.)

I particularly abhor, distrust, and despise WoF (“Word Of Faith”) and “Prosperity Gospel” teachings. Anytime one of the WoF or Prosperity guys come on the television, I quickly change the channel.

Starting a few years ago, I noticed that the various hosts on TBN over-use certain catch phrases.

One can frequently hear the hosts encouraging or praising other guests or pastors by exclaiming, “Come on!,” or “Come on now!”

The occasional “come on” or “come on now” is fine, but these TBN folks use those phrases about 100 times every other minute. I do wish they’d come up with something else.

I guess standard, tried- and- true Christian catch phrases such as “amen” or “hallelujah” fell out of favor, or aren’t “hip” enough.

Ageism and Singlehood: Ask Amy Columnist

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The woman responsible for writing the “Ask Amy” advice column (let’s call her “Amy”) issued an apology today, after receiving a lot of critical letters, although I have to say it wasn’t much of an apology.

(I will reproduce the “Ask Amy” letters much farther below.)

Amy’s apology came across as rather half-hearted and “jokey.” It would’ve helped if she was more contrite, serious, and sincere.

Amy does not seem to realize or care that it is possible to be critical of the “cougar” trend without insulting or degrading women who are over the age of 40.

I am still in my late 30s, but I find the ageism against women (and men) over age 40 appalling.

Continue reading “Ageism and Singlehood: Ask Amy Columnist”

Ageism and Singlehood

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One thing that disturbs me as a never-married woman who is in her late 30s are the number of ageist comments I see on the internet and in advice columns telling women who are 35 or older that they’re “too old” to get married, that no man can possibly want them.

Continue reading “Ageism and Singlehood”

Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

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I spotted this on what appears to be a secular blog, flyguychronicles.com, but I think Christian females should be able to relate to it.

Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

by Julie D. Andrews

Every time she hung out with her single female friends, the same gripes surfaced. Enough already with the how-to-snag-a-guy advice streaming from anyone and everyone as soon as status single was announced, they said.

Suddenly, Karin Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Concordia University Chicago, found herself keeping track of what these single women were saying, replacing the strict academic research techniques she was used to with more informal polling.

What she found was a deluge of well-meaning advice being issued to singles that, while offered with the best of intentions, not only wasn’t working but was making singles’ skin crawl.

“The message to singles tends to be that they’re doing something wrong, ‘You’re too this’ or ‘You’re not enough that.’ Being single is treated as this problem that needs to be solved,” says Anderson. “That’s really bogus. We should be telling single women, ‘You’re fine. There’s nothing wrong. Enjoy your life.’”

Continue reading “Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear”