American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

(This post has been edited and updated, especially towards the bottom, to add more commentary or links)


For about the past year, I have thinking about blogging about this topic but put it off until now.

I have seen liberal Christians, ex-Christians, left wing Non-Christians, and moderately conservative Christians complain or mock American Christians who claim that American Christians are being persecuted in the United States due to being  Christian.

In the past, I’ve seen liberal Christian blogger RHE (Rachel Held Evans) comment on this subject on her blog, on her Twitter account, as well as the Liberal, quasi- Christian, Stephanie Drury bring this up on her (Link): “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group from time to time.

bakecake
Above: Accurate Visual Representation of How Some Pro-LGBT Groups Treat Christians. (Artist Unknown.)

I’ve also seen moderately conservative Christians I am acquainted with discuss this in Tweets or on their blogs.

To reiterate a point I’ve made before, I do sometimes agree with SCCL’s Drury on some issues, and I even periodically Tweet her links to news stories I think she may want to share on her Twitter account or on her SCCL Facebook group.

However, I totally part ways with Drury on some topics – like this one.

The view of liberal Christians, ex-Christians, liberal Non-Christians, and even some moderately conservative Christians, is that American Christians are not under persecution in the U.S.A. for being Christian, or for practicing Christian beliefs.

I am not sure if the liberal or moderate conservative disagreement on this issue pertains to semantics (the terminology involved), or if they are actually blind and oblivious to the harassment that Christians, especially conservative, or traditional valued, Christians, face in American culture.

It is my position that American Christians do in fact face harassment – especially from the left wing – in the United States for being Christian, for wanting to practice their faith and carry it out in public, and for defending it in public.

If you are a liberal who objects to the term “persecution,” how about, instead, the words or phrases, “harassment,” “bullying,” “picking on,” “hounding,” or other terms?

I do not see American Christians getting a free pass in the United States to hold certain views or to practice their beliefs.

The left (and I’d include severe anti-theist atheists here, on this point, regardless of their political standing) insist that Christians keep their Christian faith walled off, private, and separate from all other areas of their lives.

Continue reading “American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution”

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Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

I am right wing, somewhat Christian, and believe that many Christians and secular conservatives have made the nuclear family and marriage into idols, which is wrong.

I am not opposed out-right to the traditional family, marriage, or to motherhood, and so forth, in and of themselves, but I am in disagreement at how so many right wingers and Christians elevate all those things to the point that they end up marginalizing anyone who does not fit the mould of “married with children.”

Anyone who is infertile, child free, divorced, never married, widowed, and what have you, is excluded or treated shabbily by the majority of “family values” obsessed right wingers and Christians, which again, in my view, is terribly wrong and unfair.

Here is an article explaining how and why the religious right elevated “the family” in their rhetoric:

(Link): Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why Religious Liberty has Replaced It) by E C Miller

Excerpts:

  • From about 1970 until about 2000, American politics was largely driven by concern about the nuclear family. As established social hierarchies came under fire from the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and others, conservative advocacy groups and their political allies demanded a return to the idealized family of the past. “Family values” became the rallying cry of a countermovement bent on holding the traditional line.
  • Seth Dowland is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University. His book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, charts the influence of Christian “family values” advocacy across three decades and a variety of issues.
  • RD’s Eric C. Miller spoke with Dowland about the project, the politics, and the significance of family in the United States.
  • You introduce “family values” as the key term of the Christian Right in the late twentieth-century United States. Why was this term so influential for this group in this place and time? 
  • Many of the political reforms enacted from the 1930s through the 1960s—particularly the expansion of the welfare state and the passage of civil rights legislation—attempted to expand equal rights to all people.
  • Political liberals celebrated these developments, while conservatives looked around the nation at the beginning of the 1970s and saw economic stagnation, riots, sexual revolution, a decline in patriotism, and an increase in crime and drug use. Ministers and political conservatives argued that America was in decline. They believed that decline happened because of the demise of the “traditional family.”

Continue reading “Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller”

Does Helping Out Around The House Mean You’ll Have A Lousy Sex Life?

Does Helping Out Around The House Mean You’ll Have A Lousy Sex Life?

(Link): Does Helping Out Around The House Mean You’ll Have A Lousy Sex Life?

Excerpts:

  • Tue, Apr 29, 2014
  • by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett
  • Do wives whose husbands help out with “women’s” household jobs have lousy, or less frequent sex? Are women happier in bed when they are married to old fashioned men who don’t help around the house?That’s the suggestion made by Lori Gottlieb in a recent New York Times magazine cover piece entitled,  (Link): Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?”Gottlieb, an L.A.-based marriage and family therapist, looked at a (Link): study saying that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex.

    “Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car.”

    This idea resonated with Gottlieb.

    “As a psychotherapist who works with couples, I’ve noticed something similar to the findings. That is, it’s true that being stuck with all the chores rarely tends to make wives desire their husbands. Yet having their partner, say, load the dishwasher — a popular type of marital intervention suggested by self-help books, women’s magazines and therapists alike — doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on their libido, either.”

    Well, duh!   Does anyone really see the dishwasher as an aphrodisiac? And correlation is not causation, as she admits. Does it make sense that a woman will feel a cold chill of indifference when her husband stacks the dishes, but will go wild with lust when he takes out the trash? No. Are other factors at work here? Yes. This is classic junk science — a provocative headline perched on top of flimsy evidence.

    The study itself, by the American Sociological Review, has several problems. To begin with, it is concerned only with sexual frequency, not with the more interesting question of sexual satisfaction. Couples who have infrequent sex may, nevertheless, find their sexual relationship satisfying, while couples with high frequency may not.

    Also, the husbands in the sample, on average, were born somewhere around 1947. Are they too old to represent many of today’s married couples?

  • ….But Gottlieb goes beyond the narrow findings of this study to claim that egalitarian marriages — in which both spouses have jobs, do housework and have a relationship “built on equal power” — essentially zap partners’ libidos. It “may be having an unexpectedly negative impact” on the sex lives of such couples, she claims.True?
  • No, it’s not. There is substantial evidence to show this statement is absolutely wrong.A (Link): study by one of the authors of this article, Dr. Rosalind Barnett, looked at men’s marital happiness and found that, overall, as a woman earns more relative to her husband, his marital quality — including sexual satisfaction — goes up.In another study, Barnett found that among dual-earner couples, the more equal the amount of childcare he and she do, the better she rates the quality of the marriage. The hands-off macho man who stands back while his wife does the lion’s share of the childcare is apt to find himself standing alone. An unhappy wife is not likely to be wildly receptive to her husband’s romantic advances.
  • (click here to read the rest)

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Related posts (kind of related):

(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex / (also discussed): Gender and Sex Stereotypes (article)

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

(Link):   Southern Baptist Russell Moore Admits That Christians Have Sexless Marriages

(Link): Jason the Christian’s Sexless Marriage – Christians promise hot regular steamy married sex but it isn’t true

(Link): I’m Afraid to Have Sex with My Husband – from E. Street – Her Sexless Marriage & She Is Visually Oriented, Prefers Hot, Young Studs

(Link):  Married Woman Signing off as “Looking Ahead” Admits to Being in Sexless Marriage for TEN YEARS

(Link): Resident Christian Marriage Advice Writer at Christian Mag Admits Some Christian Marriages are Sexless

(Link):  When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped

(Link):  Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link): Problems Created by Conservative Christian Teachings About Virginity, Sex, and Marriage: Christian Couple Who Were Virgins At Marriage Are Experiencing Sexual Problems – Re: UnVeiled Wife (Marriage does not guarantee great sex)

(Link): AARP post: How to Handle a Sexless Married Life – But Christians Promise You Great Hot Regular Married Sex

(Link): More Married Couples Admit to Sexless Marriages (various articles) / Christians promise you great frequent sex if you wait until marriage, but the propaganda is not true

Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys

Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys

I don’t agree with homosexuality – I don’t regard it as moral or normal behavior – but, I find that many right wing Christians incorrectly equate the legalization of homosexual marriage, or homosexuality itself, to “an attack on family values” or “an attack on traditional families.”

The Bible, however, seems to define homosexuality, and other types of sexual sin, as being sins against God and one’s own body (ie, as in this verse directed at followers of Christ: (Link): 1 Corinthians 6:12-18) – and not as being against family or culture.

A night or two ago, the 2014 Grammys were televised. I did not watch it because awards shows are boring, but I did see a few articles about the show today. A mass hetero- and homo- sexual wedding ceremony was held on that program.

You can read more about it later, here:
(Link): Grammys 2014: Rush Limbaugh, conservative pundits angered by same-sex marriages during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance (off site link)

Remember, I wrote in a previous post how Christians misuse and misapply terms such as “family values”:
(Link): The Term “Family Values” And Its Use By Christians – Vis A Vis story: Grandma Gives Teen Granddaughter a Vibrator.

There is a conflation by evangelicals, Reformed, Baptists, and fundamentalists of the terms or concepts of “family values” and “biblical values.”

I posit that biblical values are not necessarily the same thing as family values.

Right wing, socially conservative Christians tend to measure lifestyle choices and behaviors not necessarily by what the Bible teaches, but what they assume it teaches, or by American cultural norms.

In other words, I find it suspect, troubling, and strange that while these sorts of Christians would no doubt consider themselves “sola scriptura,” that rather than appeal to Scripture to explain why they consider homosexuality or homosexual marriage wrong, they will usually appeal to language such as “family values” or “attacks on traditional families” or “attack on traditional marriage.”

Is homosexuality a sin against God, and does it go against what God has said of homosexuality in the Bible, and should Christians oppose it on those grounds, or should Christians really be running around on blogs and radio shows saying they object to homosexuality on the basis that it does not jibe with their view on what constitutes “family values” or “traditional families,” or that it makes for uncomfortable, prime-time television viewing?

Many right wing, socially conservative, evangelical, Baptist, fundamentalist, and Reformed Christians hold the American, 1950s nuclear family up as the criteria by which to judge changes in society – such as the gaining acceptance of homosexual marriage – rather than holding up the Bible (which purports to tell humanity what God thinks about various topics) as the point of reference.

I consider this tendency by Christians to use phrases such as “traditional family” and “family values” as another indication of how some Christians have turned family, parenting, pro-creating, and marriage into idols- and which the Bible forbids.

If you are going to protest homosexuality or homosexual marriage, and you are a Christian, I would hope you would use the Bible as your grounds for engagement, not “traditional families” rhetoric.

The Bible does not define “traditional family” as being one mom, one dad, and children.

The Bible does not define “traditional family” as being two married lesbians who are raising three kids, or as an uncle raising a nephew.

The Bible does not define a grandma and grandpa who have four grandchildren living with them as being a family, or what God considers the only acceptable expression of a family unit.

There are some cultures, such as in Latin America, where it is normal for three or more generations of flesh and blood relations to live under the same roof.

The Bible has nothing to say about the topic of what defines a family for all people of all cultures and time periods.

The patriarchs and other males in the Bible, the Abrahams, Noahs, Solomons, and King Davids, had three or more wives and ten or more children apiece. I don’t see many Christians, outside of Quiverfull or Reconstructionist- type kooks, who advocate that Christians today revert to having patriarchal family structures.

The Bible does seem to define or understand marriage – as God intended it to be – between one man and one woman, but that is the extent of it (see (Link): Matthew 19:1-9).

The Scriptures do not go on and limit the term or concept of “family” to mean only or even primarily, a man, woman, with children, it only says that a marriage is tantamount to one man married to one woman.

What the Bible does discuss is that God considers sex outside of marriage as being sinful, but it nowhere dictates what God considers an acceptable configuration of adults and children as being a “family.”

The Bible warns against believers placing family above God and above other Christians (see the words of Jesus in (Link): Matthew 10: 34 – 37 or (Link): Matthew 12:46-50).

If you are a Christian, your priority in life is not the “traditional family.”

Of course, if you are a Christian, you should provide for your family members (1 Timothy 5:8), but if one of your main motivators in life is defending what you consider “traditional families” from societal changes or homosexual lobbies or homosexual special interest groups, that may be an indication that you have turned the “traditional family” into an idol.

Jesus Christ did not die on the cross to defend “traditional families,” “family values” or “traditional marriage.”

The Apostle Paul did not instruct the new converts in pagan Greek cities he ministered to to rise up and challenge the ungodly climate of their host cities, but to go about their lives quietly, helping each other, and spreading the Gospel message.

Christians such as actor Kirk Cameron, who bloviate about “family” constantly, keep forgetting that there are Christians who are over the age of 30 and older, who have never married, who have no living relatives left to turn to, or they are widowed and childless; they don’t have a “traditional family” to provide them with emotional support or financial help.

Christians constantly complaining that “traditional families” are being attacked by liberals, feminists, or homosexuals keep maintaining this illusion, which is not biblical, that all Christians have a spouse and children to lean on, or that they should.

The Bible upholds being single or childless by choice – or circumstance – as being acceptable to God; God does not “look down his nose” at singles or the childless and deem them “less Christian” or less worthy of help, time, and financial support.

Why do I never see the Kirk Camerons, the evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Reformed Christians, discuss how, say, homosexual marriage may negatively be impacting “Singles Values,” the un-married Christian celibates?

I’ve seen only a very small number of Christian writers discuss how the cultural acceptance of homosexuality has influenced Christian, adult singles, such as:

      (Link):

Same Sex Marriage and the Single (hetero) Christian

      (hosted on “Christianity Today”), by Katelyn Beaty
    “How marriage-happy churches are unwittingly fueling same-sex coupling—and leaving (hetero) singles like me in the dust.”

And I’ve weighed in the topic in blog posts such as:

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

(Link): Virgin – and Celibate – Shaming : Christian Double Standards – Homosexuals Vs Hetero Singles – Concerning Thabiti Anyabwile and Gag Reflexes

Why do Cameron and his ilk only express concern over how homosexuality, and other phenomenon, may be impacting “families” and “marriages?” Does he and those like him not care how cultural trends shape or influence un-married Christians over the age of 30?

An atheist blogger wrote a post about former atheist now turned Christian, actor Kirk Cameron, and his comments about the 2014 Grammys:
(Link): Kirk Cameron: The Grammys Were An ‘Assault on the Traditional Family’… Now Buy My Movie!

Excerpt:

    January 27, 2014 By Hemant Mehta

  • Kirk Cameron, Protector of the Family, Defender of the Faith, and Speaker of the Bullshit, took to Facebook today to announce that the mass-wedding at last night’s Grammy Awards during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘ performance of the pro-LGBT song “Same Love” was an “all out assault on the traditional family.”

Most everyone – the atheists, homosexual marriage supporters, and the emergent, liberal, ex Christians, are hopping angry over Cameron’s disapproval of homosexual marriage, but what escapes the attention of all these critics is Cameron’s improper, unbiblical fixation on elevating marriage and family to a sphere that even the Bible does not do.

On (Link): that page, the blogger provides a screen capture of Cameron’s Facebook page comments.

What Cameron said in part was:

    How did you like the Grammy’s all out assault on the traditional family last night?

  • As a husband and a father, I am proud to announce the release of my new family movie, MERCY RULE. Last night, the lines were drawn thick and dark.
  • Now more than ever, we must work together to create the world we want for our children.
  • [omit rest of his comment]

While all the atheists and others are spazzing out over Cameron not being cool with homosexual marriage, I instead note his fixation on flesh and blood family.

Cameron did not simply say, “As a Christian, I am…”

No.

He prefaced one of his comments by saying, “As a husband and a father, I am….”

Why did Cameron find it relevant to mention that he is a “husband and father” when introducing his movie?

Why does he seemingly feel that one has to be a parent and spouse to support, believe in, or live by, biblical values?

Look at this other line by Cameron:

    Now more than ever, we must work together to create the world we want for our children.

I am over 40 years of age, have never married, and have never had any children. I am very put off that so many Christians make these assumptions that any and all other Christians are also married with children.

There seems to me to be something wrong with a Christian apologetic mindset that predicates and presupposes flesh- and- blood family so much and so often.

When the Apostle Paul – who never married or had children – talked to un-believers, he said that he preached “Christ and Him crucified,” and not, “My God, man, think of your children and mine! What about family values?”

When Paul and other New Testament writers talked about sexual sin, they did not appeal to “family values.”

The biblical writers instead got into other arguments, about God’s intention for creating sex, and how, who, and when, and if, people should have sex, and so forth.

No where did Paul or the other biblical writers say,
“Do not have pre-marital sex, commit adultery, or homosexual acts, because FAMILY VALUES!!!1111!!! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!111!!!!11!!”

Are there consequences for a society, for the 1950s nuclear family model, and to people’s emotional and physical health, in regards to sexual behavior and rampant sexual sin across culture and in popular entertainment?

Yes, there can be, and there has been, I suppose.

But the Bible does not use “family values,” “our children’s future,” or “traditional family” as supporting arguments to convince people to drop sexual sin.

I don’t know if I am totally against the use of phrases such as “family values” or “traditional families” (and similar ones) per se (you may find me slipping and using them myself from time to time so ingrained are they in my Baptist and evangelical upbringing), but I am concerned that idolization of marriage and family by evangelical Christianity runs so deep that these phrases, or the very things themselves, are being held up as the norm, the standard, or measuring rod for culture and morals, rather than the God and Bible they claim to believe in.

January 30, 2014 update:

Huffington Post (a left wing site) published this:
(Link): Kirk Cameron Thinks Grammys’ Gay Marriages Were An ‘Assault On The Traditional Family’

Excerpt:

    The post [by Cameron] was, undoubtedly, a means of self-promotion for the 43-year-old’s newest flick, “Mercy Rule,” which co-stars his wife and is apparently about “family, faith and baseball.” Self-promotion drenched in homophobia, that is.

Other media mentioned Cameron’s Facebook comments, such as:

(Link): Kirk Cameron blasts Grammy Awards’ mass wedding

(Link): Kirk Cameron slams gay marriage after Grammys

(Link): Kirk Cameron Calls Grammys Gay Weddings an “Assault on the Traditional Family”

(Link): Kirk Cameron Bashes Grammys’ Gay Marriages, Uses Homophobia To Promote New Film

Cameron’s problem is not ‘homophobia’ – it’s family idolatry.
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Related posts this blog:

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

(Link): ‘Family values’ Republican: Men should be allowed to grab breastfeeding women’s nipples in public

(Link): Fanatical, Violent Muslims ALSO Revere “Family Values”

IIRC, Kirk Cameron has rubbed shoulders with the kooks of the patriarchy movement; perhaps he is not aware of some of their unbiblical, extreme views about marriage, being childless, single, etc:
(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

44% of the U.S., adult population is now single [update, Nov 2014: this figure is now over 50%, see this post] – and many are childless (including some married couples) – and churches are not ministering to these groups (as they should be doing), but continue to bash them for being single and childless
(some Christian single women wanted to marry, but there were no Christian men their age for them to marry):
(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Ageism in the Church – The Insufferable, Obnoxious Fixation on the Under-25s Demographic

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy

(Link): The New Homophiles: A Closer Look (article) Re: Christian Homosexual Celibates and Christian Homosexual Virgins

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

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

(Link): Famous Preacher Claims Obama is Paving Way For Anti Christ Vis A Vis Legalization of Homosexual Marriage

(Link): Study: Conservative Protestants’ divorce rates spread to their red state neighbors (Divorce Rates Higher Among Conservative Protestant Christians)

(Link): The Way We Never Were (book – Family Idol)

(Link): Idolizing Family by David McCrory / Familial Idolization by Christians

(Link): Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols

(Link): Homosexual Father Arrested for Raping His Nine Year Old Son, Filming it For Perverted Friends, Lets Friend Rape His Kid, Resulting in Kid Getting STD – Parenthood Does Not Make People More Godly or Mature

(Link): Being Against Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Homophobe (editorial by a homosexual man)

(Link): Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes

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

(Link): Why Do Christians Ask if Homosexuals Can Change Their Orientation – Why Not Explain that Celibacy is an Option?

(Link): Married Youth Pastor Father of Four Caught Raping and Molesting Several Little Boys claims the molesting kept the boys sexually pure and cures them of homosexuality

(Link): Virgin – and Celibate – Shaming : Christian Double Standards – Homosexuals Vs Hetero Singles – Concerning Thabiti Anyabwile and Gag Reflexes

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

(Link): Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles