December 3, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, April 26, 2014

Hello, imonkers. I hope you are enjoying your spring.

First up to bat: Chaplain Mike’s Chicago Cubbies celebrated the 100 year anniversary of Wrigley Field on Wednesday. If you know Cub history you will not be shocked to learn that they lost. After taking a three run lead into the ninth. And being one out away from victory. And the opposing team all batting with blindfolds. Okay, I may have made that last one up. 48959722

Shannon Morgan really wants people to know she doesn’t believe in God. But the state New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission denied issuing her a license plate reading, “8THEIST”. So she is suing, aided by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.   Also in the Garden State (snicker), a humanist group is suing a school district for requiring students to recite the pledge of allegiance with its “under God” statement. Unlike most previous lawsuits against the God clause (which have argued the clause violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on the establishment of religion) this one contends the pledge violates a state constitution’s protection against religious discrimination. Of course, the God clause was not added until 1954, when congress decided they needed a bulwark against “godless communism”. I’m wondering if we really need a pledge at all. Your thoughts?

A Louisiana lawmaker has scrapped his bill which would have made the Bible the official state book of Louisiana. Rep. Thomas Carmody said the bill was not trying to establish a state religion, but rather “to educate people.” But he yanked the bill because it had become a “distraction”. Whoa, who could have foreseen that?

“Do you hear me ladies? It is an abominable idolatry to love your children more than you love your husband, and it will ruin your marriage. And yet you blame it on him because he ran off with some other woman! He did run off with some other woman, and you packed his bags. All of his emotional bags, you packed for him. Is that true in every case? No, but it’s true in the vast preponderance of them.” This from a sermon by Pastor Det Bowers, who happens to be the main primary challenger to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.” Whenever you see an intro like that you know you are about to cringe like Richard Dawkins at a creationist conference. Or like James Dobson at a Gay Pride parade. Or Donald Trump at a homeless shelter. [got more? Add ‘em in the comments. Why do I have to do all the work?] “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?” This was the deep question posed by rancher Cliven Bundy, who, up until the time he opened his mouth, was something of a hero for those concerned with government overreach.

Bryan Davies was praying hard: “Help me, Lord. Help me Lord, I need to earn some money”. Fortunately God spoke very directly: “Open up a pot shop”. At first Bryan was a bit taken back, but God responded, “Who are you not to do my will?” So Davies and his wife opened a “Christian pot store”.  Canna Care (get it?) gives away Bibles and sells weed, which, I suppose, is better than the other way around. Maybe. I dunno.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has voted to not accredit a university in their jurisdiction. This means its graduates cannot apply to the Ontario Bar. Did they find the school had inadequate academics? Second-rate professors? Inadequate facilities? No, none of these things. They rejected the school because of its stance on gay marriage. Some are arguing with a straight face that this is a victory for tolerance.

All you New York area imonkers will no longer have to go through 2014 without seeing Joel Osteen in person. Osteen will rent out Yankee Stadium for America’s Night of Hope on June 7. “It’s gonna be a lot about moving forward, believing for big things, believing for a great 2014.” Man, this guy sounds just like St. Paul, doesn’t he? Picture3

An Ontario couple launched a new church last week, on Easter. Its venue: a strip club. Why? To reach those “uncomfortable” with walking through a church door. So apparently we now live in a culture where a good number of people feel more comfortable being seen in a strip joint than a church. Beyond that, the couple certainly seems to have good intentions, targeting the down and out who live in the adjacent transitional apartments. What do you think? Good idea, or not?

Terry Gross of Fresh Air (the NPR program) was interviewing Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband and wife team that wrote the songs for Disney’s Frozen. Gross mentioned that one of her guests had previously worked on some racy productions, and was surprised Disney hired her. The ensuing dialogue is interesting:

LOPEZ: Yeah. Disney is not this sanitized place that you might imagine it to be…
GROSS: Mm-hmm.
LOPEZ: …a little off color and racy. And I don’t think Disney has any problem with employing people who have, you know, done off color stuff in the past.
GROSS: Right.
ANDERSON-LOPEZ: It’s funny. One of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word God.
LOPEZ: Yeah. You just can’t…
GROSS: You can’t say the word God?
LOPEZ: There was even a – well, you can say it in Disney but you can’t put it in the movie.
ANDERSON-LOPEZ: You can’t put it in the movies.

On a related note, the Atlantic ran an article with the headline, “It’s not just Frozen—Most Disney Movies are pro-gay”. According to the author, everyone from Ariel to Zazu is in the parade. I think most of it’s a stretch, but read it and tell me what you think.

Maybe not completely a stretch

Maybe not completely a stretch

Headline of the week: “Man with first name, ‘God’ runs into credit-rating issues”.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to the University Of Tennessee College Of Law on Tuesday, and gave the aspiring lawyers some advice. When asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax, Scalia responded that the government has the right to implement the tax, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.” Okay, then.

Pope Francis raised a few eyebrows this week when he talked about “bat-like Christians”, who are “afraid of joy” and prefer to dwell in the shadows than in the light and glory of the resurrection.  Picture5

Game of Thrones, HBO’s series about medieval nudity, perhaps finally found the line. The line its jaded fans won’t cross, that is. Or at least some of them. Or a couple, anyway. Sunday’s episode featured a brother and sister having sex next to the corpse of their son. But that wasn’t the line. All that was in the book and was expected. But the script-writers decided that an incest-by-corpse-of son scene was just too darn tame, you know, and decided to make it a rape-incest-over-corpse-of-son scene. What upset many is that the director denied it was actually a rape scene because, “Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle…And it worked out really well. That’s one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever done.” Laura Hudson at Wired says about that statement: “I’ve seen a lot of disturbing things on Game of Thrones. I’ve seen people burned alive. I’ve seen men castrated. I’ve seen prostitutes forced to torture each other. I’ve seen pregnant women stabbed in the stomach. But none of that holds a candle to how disturbing the above comment is to me. It’s one thing to present horrific acts in fictional media; it’s another to present a horrific act and deny that it is horrific.”Inbred

“Celebrate 4/20 with us because you can’t get any higher than risen.” Yep, that was the teaser on the Easter invite for Freedom Church in Highland Park. This is referencing, of course, the fact that Easter fell on 4/20, also known as the unofficial pot day.

Did the Pope really tell a divorced woman she could take communion?  It’s complicated.

“The funny thing is, as I left the house to go out that night, I kissed my son and said ‘Daddy’s gonna catch us a big, big fish tonight,’ but I didn’t think it would be this big,”:

You're gonna need a bigger pick-up

You’re gonna need a bigger pick-up

That’s right, Joey Polk landed an 800 pound shark off the Florida panhandle last Tuesday. Then he fired up the grill and served 250 people from the community.

Father Giovanni Cesare Pagazzi, an Italian theologian, is coming out with a new book: The Cooking of the Risen One.The book’s publisher, describes it as a “small evangelical guide” to the relationship between Christ and cooking based on the premise that “Jesus knew how to cook, practiced the culinary arts, and knew its secrets and traditions.” I can see what this will look like: “First, I start with some fresh Galilean trout and some barley loaves. If feeding more than 5,000 just double the recipe”.

Finally, we end with this video  of Bart Ehrman on the Colbert Report. I’m not sure how much of Colbert’s stance here is ironic or legitimate (he is a practicing Catholic). But I do know this: I used to think Ehrman was a smart man but who had an agenda; now I’m only convinced of one of those two things.


  1. Patrick Kyle says

    ‘ abominable idolatry to love your children more than you love your husband,’ Well… maybe not, but it’s still bad. The only security I ever had was my parent’s priority of their bond over their kids.

    • Completely agree. That pastor’s way of stating it was a bit hyperbolic and silly-sounding, but the underlying point was true. The husband-wife relationship needs to be top priority because if it isn’t, the children inevitably end up suffering from friction (fighting and divorce) between the parents, anyway! Never mind that “putting the children first” is frequently used as justification for denying one’s spouse sex/intimacy (in addition to a host of other potential problems; I’m reminded of Walter White, who claims his selfish and horrible acts are “for my family!”)

      • But the emphasis on the wife’s responsibility to love her husband seems to suggest that, in addition to making sure the kid’s are taken care of and the household is kept in order, which is still the default setting in most homes, largely because husbands won’t pick up the slack, the wife had better make sure there’s still plenty of her energy left for hubby. The burden is unfairly placed on the wife, which is typical of evangelical attitudes.

        • “typical of evangelical attitudes” No, Robert, typical of many MEN, PERIOD! No need to bash evangelicals on THIS one. Despite certain Christian teachers and preachers the media does a darn good job of perpetuating the unbalanced mother/child relationship trope while portraying husbands/fathers as irrelevant dunces.

          • You’re right, Oscar. I generalized in an unfair way.

            But I do hear more of this kind of thinking coming out of the mouths of evangelical leaders than I do elsewhere.

            Also, introducing the idea of idolatry with regard to the wife’s neglect of husband’s status is distinctly evangelical.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            It is pretty accurate with my experience with various branches of evangelicalism for well over 30 years. That does not mean it cannot be found elsewhere. I saw the same attitude on traditional Afrixan cultures. Strangely enough my Muslim colleagues were less patriarchal than the folk at church. Irrespective of cultural origin.

          • Both are true. The basic assumptions in the quoted argument, minus the religious language of “idolatry” and its implications of religious hierarchy, are ones you can find in mainstream relationship/family advice literature. Evangelical advice literature largely parrots this larger body of writing.

            What the evangelicals tend to do is latch onto these ideas with special gusto out of concern for “preserving marriages and the family.” They also bring in religious language and imperatives that up the “stakes,” as it were, and sometimes introduce additional, peculiar ideas. (In this case, the wife is committing idolatry against the god-patriarch, whom she owes both sons and her first allegiances.)

      • The pastor should’ve told the husbands that, unless they helped more with child care, they would be creating an unfair burden for their wives, which would inevitably force the wives to spend more time with the children due to the husbands neglect, and might lead to a situation where the husbands would feel uncared for in their relationship and be tempted to commit adultery. Put the share of the responsibility that the husbands bear on the husband’s shoulders, where it belongs.

        It’s also interesting that the pastor equates what he considers to be neglect of husbands by wives with idolatry, which in effect puts the husbands in the position of God, which is the real idolatry operating in his statement.

        • Patrick Kyle says

          Robert F You sound like a nagging wife…

          • Patrick Kyle, now that’s what I call a substantive response. Either that or a misogynistic aspersion of my masculinity.

          • I think you are misreading or misconstruing the arguments people are making. Nobody is placing the blame for everything at the feet of men. A lot of the comments are focused on the (unfair) expectations placed on women because that is what the sermon text was doing–discussing women’s culpability in cases where the husband seeks a divorce. If the topic at hand was the actions of men, and blaming men for things women do, the comments would be different. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own hobby horse is the way these systems of expectations place burdens on men and women BOTH, and create dynamics that are not helpful. If a system is placing harmful burdens on one sex, you can make a reasonable guess that there’s a mirror image problem occurring on the other side too.

            Your comment demonstrates this. You simultaneously disparaged women *and* men who are off your approved script, in the same 6 words.

            I wonder, do your expectations for men reflect the lived experiences of other men? The first words out my husband’s mouth when I read him the sermon excerpt was, “That guy is assuming a social arrangement that doesn’t reflect any part of the way we live.” What he meant: the sermon assumes a social system where the wife is more or less domestic and caregiving, and the man is arriving home at the end of the day to find her distracted and insufficiently interested in his pretense to authority. My husband belongs to that set of men (a growing cohort) who have wives who work outside the home, and who split the household and parenting tasks with her. In truth, my husband shoulders more than 50 percent of the caregiving burden: he works from home, performs probably 70 percent of the child care in our family, and cooks dinner most weeknights. Meanwhile, I sit in traffic somewhere between Washington, DC and Baltimore.

            So really, if you were to try to apply that stretch that sermon’s paradigm to our reality, the IM “white knighting” of which you are complaining would actually be in defense of my husband, and not of me. Oh, but he’s probably just “a nagging wife”…

        • Patrick Kyle says

          So every wife that loves her children more than her husband does so because he doesn’t help around the house? Really? Wives never make mistakes or on their own engage in unhealthy or destructive things? Or maybe they do but it’s ultimately the husband’s fault anyway.

          • It’s pastor Bowers who makes the ridiculous claim that, in the “vast preponderance” of cases, it is the wife who is responsible for the husband straying because she neglects her relationship to him. The comments in opposition to that idea on this thread rightly are balancing that inflated claim with a dose of reality.

          • “Wives never make mistakes or on their own engage in unhealthy or destructive things? Or maybe they do but it’s ultimately the husband’s fault anyway.”

            Bowers is literally blaming women for their husbands’ adultery, so you are defending someone who is pretty much this with the genders reversed.

            I see this a lot with online “men’s advocates” – complaining about how women aren’t held responsible for any wrongdoing and also saying it’s usually the wife’s fault if the husband cheats.

          • “Wives never make mistakes or on their own engage in unhealthy or destructive things? Or maybe they do but it’s ultimately the husband’s fault anyway.”

            Bowers is literally blaming women for their husbands’ adultery, so you are defending someone who is pretty saying much this with the genders reversed.

            I see this a lot with online “men’s advocates” – complaining about how women aren’t held responsible for any wrongdoing and also saying it’s usually the wife’s fault if the husband cheats.

      • Calling it “idolatrous” speaks volumes regarding what is wrong with patriarchialism.

        • It was a striking choice of words.

        • A wife must love an abusive husband more than the children? seriously, who believes this stuff is true? If that husband is abusing the children, out of love is the wife obligated to let him?

          • Patrick Kyle says

            Well… that didn’t take long to go down the ‘patriarchy is evil,’ ‘all evangelicals are like that’ and ‘those crummy men don’t pull their weight’ road. Any time the Scriptures are brought up about wives respecting/loving their husbands this culture immediately has the need to bring up the ‘abuse’ exception and cast these exhortations in a negative light. Hmmm… no cultural baggage here.

            Speaking of domestic abuse, seems women commit their fair share -40% of all domestic violence by some reports.


          • Patrick Kyle says

            Really DO? No one is saying that. Not even the guy who called it idolatry. Why must you White Knighters always seize upon the exceptional circumstance and use it to cast the whole principle as wrong. Seems to me there is a logical fallacy in there somewhere.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          AKA “The Husband MUST be the wife’s only Idol! Daddy Dearest MUST be the Mini-Mes only Idol! There is no God but the Family Patriarch!”

      • Dana Ames says

        Here’s a word from someone who is actually a wife and mother (not knowing whether Danielle is; if you are, please forgive!).

        1) I AM the Lord your God; you shall not have any other gods before Me. (Even your spouse.)

        2) Yes, a good bond between parents is the most advantageous thing for children in a family.

        3) Sometimes that bond disintegrates and dies. Sometimes there is abuse. A spouse taking the children and leaving in abusive conditions (most often the woman) is actually showing love to the abusing parent (statistically more often the man) by taking away the opportunity for that parent’s further sin, and opening a door for that person to get help. Divorce is not good – and when one parent takes no steps to repair the relationship and is no longer interested in being married and having contact with his/her children (this latter is exactly the case with someone very close to me), it’s the lesser evil.

        4) I actually agree with what Oscar wrote at 9:16. And… the media are only giving people what they think people want (aka “what sells”), given our current culture. And Christian culture is often no different than the culture that surrounds it, alarmingly so…

        5) I have an opinion about that pastor, but it’s best left unwritten, or else I’ll have to take it to Confession. Lord, have mercy.


        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          And… the media are only giving people what they think people want (aka “what sells”), given our current culture. And Christian culture is often no different than the culture that surrounds it, alarmingly so…

          Does this mean we’ll be seeing “Just like Game of Thrones, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”?

    • Most of us agree that both a marriage and a couple’s children are better off if the couple reserves time and energy to make sure their relationship remains strong. It’s not actually good for anyone, including the children, if perceived children’s needs push out any consideration of anything else.

      But the comment goes beyond making that observation. The argument implies that the wife and mother’s job is emotional housekeeping: she plays nurturer and counselor to the kids, then she turns around and does the same thing for the husband. This expectation is reasonable, people think, because women are “nurturers” and are “emotional,” so they are naturally supposed to meet most of the children’s needs and then still have plenty of reserves left over. These expectations are high, and they load the dice: if something goes wrong with the kids or the husband, the wife/mom is often assumed to have fallen down on the job. Basically, it is assumed that the wife’s job is to do the “work” of making relationships “work.” It would be more helpful to discuss how couples together make their relationships work, rear children, and keep the household running.

      Also, there is also something “off” about insisting that there has to be a hierarchy of affection or in positing that family members are in competition with one another for love. Time and energy are limited resources, but love isn’t something one possesses in fixed quantity and parcels out. I love my son, but if anything I loved my husband more after we became parents. The two are mutually reinforcing. And as for hierarchy: I honestly couldn’t tell you whether I love my son or husband more. It feels like a nonsense question.

      I guess you can force it by setting up some scenario where one has to “pick” between people. Well, if you must know, the husband and I had a good joke about that the other night. My husband’s comment: “I’m sorry to say this, but if the house were burning down, and there’s only time to help one other person, I’m taking the boy. You can find your own way out.” My reply: “You had better. If you rescue me first, then as soon as we get outside the building I am going to KILL you.” Having agreed on this ethic, we finish off our bottle of wine.

      • Final Anonymous says

        What about blended families? According to the It’s All Mom’s Fault doctrine, if I prioritize my husband over my kids, then I am rejecting my kids in favor of my selfish desires. If I prioritize my kids over my husband, I’m breaking the all-important Husband First rule.

        Maybe we can simplify things by letting everyone freely communicate their needs and take responsibility for their own choices and behavior…

        • Dana Ames says

          FA, freely communicating needs and taking responsibility for oneself is what people do in healthy relationships. Your point about blended families is taken, and by extension adopted children. Danielle’s point about love not being a zero-sum matter is probably the most important one made here. As an adopted child, I can confirm that blood is emphatically not thicker than water. People do despicable things to their biological offspring – and people can very much love children they did not conceive.


      • Danielle, very much agreed. It’s another example of how hardline patriarchy has made inroads into what used to be middle of the road evangelical circles.

        Patrick, you have yet to make any cogent statements as to why patriarchy is inherently viable, let alone beneficial. (And not just today – over a long period of time.) It seems to me that you react to people who criticize patriarchy, and that’s it – no interaction except to say that people are misrepresenting your beliefs, or else simply making snide and often belittling comments? That’s not exactly dialogue, is it?

        • Patrick Kyle says

          I am not defending Patriarchy. See my longer comment presently in moderation. I am frustrated by the double standard of blaming/chastising/exhorting men for their sins and shortcomings, but refusing to allow similar criticism of women’s sins and shortfalls. You can criticize men for anything, and people just let it stand. But if you criticize women in the same manner, defenders rush out of the woodwork shouting ‘ Patriarchy’ and ‘Misogyny.’

          Patriarchy itself is another subject, and the fact that it has been patriarchal cultures that have built the great civilizations, including our own, should speak for itself. Patriarchy as expressed in the founding of our country is what has enabled the widespread recognition of Human Rights and equality for all. Was it perfect? No. But it laid the groundwork for the rights and equality that have blossomed from the seeds it sowed. I would argue that in the last 30 to 40 years we have ceased to be a Patriarchy. No fault divorce, the family court system, Affirmative Action and anti-discrimination laws, cheap and free birth control, and the ubiquity of the Feminist world view, have firmly mitigated the control men have over women and actually drive the political and social agenda in the US.
          Should we go back to a more responsible and benevolent Patriarchy? Maybe. Can we, or will we? Not a chance.

          • There is sometimes a speech double-standard, although I don’t think its really evident in this discussion thread. Speaking very generally, in public discourse one can carelessly toss barbs at men, and it’s sometimes consider funny or acceptable. Popular culture spends half its time painting men as buffoons (the “Family Guy” trope) and the fact that male privilege has been questioned so very recently that the barbs aimed at it come off as useful venting. It is becoming increasingly unacceptable to do be dismissive of women in quite the same tone; that said, it is still so ubiquitous in our culture and advice literature in so many other forms, that one can easily find examples of it in operation. Case in point: the quoted sermon. It would be problematic directed against either sex, but that particular argument is ordinarily used to explain the sexual wanderings of men.

            What really needs to happen–and it is happening–is that the way society talks about gender (masculinity and femininity together) needs to be interrogated and reflected upon. The dialogs on the sexes are linked. They directly affect each other. The ways men are disparaged and dismissed, and the ways women are dismissed, are usually symbiotic.

            For example, you point out somewhere above that women are responsible for domestic violence, not just men. You don’t want that fact painted over. In this cause, the feminists are actually your allies, and the remnants of the male privilege is actually your enemy. Male sexual and physical violence is still normalized in our society (see Game of Thrones discussion below!). Why is it so hard for a college girl to admit to being drugged and raped at a party? Why is it so hard for men to say that they are getting beat up at home? The same gender system that assumes male aggression both slut-shames the collegiate girl and questions the masculinity of the battered husband. Both make it hard for people to speak up and be believed.

          • Ugh. Forgive the grammar mistakes.

          • I am amused by many of your claims, Patrick. And (putting on my historian’s hat) I would know your sources for the “facts” you present re. European and American history, since they really don’t seem to reflect any actual primary source materials. It sounds more like David Barton’s ultras revisionist cr*ap to me.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            So in your opinion Greece, Rome, Western Europe and the United States were matriarchies? Or something less than patriarchy? Do you deny that the founding documents of the early United States laid the groundwork and planted the seeds of Emancipation of the Slaves, women’s sufferage, the Civil Rights movement, and the ‘liberation’ of women?

          • What does patriarchy have to do with it?!

            Further, one of the primary attitudes held by many who were proslavery was this: that it was a system of bene lent patriarchy. I know you might not believe that, but it doesn’t take much digging to find supporting documentation from them period…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            What does patriarchy have to do with it?!

            When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            I have answered your questions and provided link etc. You have presented no facts of your own
            ( other than the ‘bene lent patriarchy’ which I have no reason to question) just questioned my assertions and addressed none of the documentation. Does this qualify as dialogue either?

          • Patrick Kyle says


            I appreciate your thoughtful comments and your tone. I hear what you are saying, I am not well read in Gender studies, so I am unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the deconstruction of gender roles and gender as a social construct. However, I suspect biology plays a much bigger role than is currently given credence, especially if evolution is true, and that these traits and behaviors are not arbitrary or as socially conditioned as theorists would have us believe.
            Time will tell.

    • Patrick Kyle says

      Well… that didn’t take long to go down the ‘patriarchy is evil,’ ‘all evangelicals are like that’ and ‘those crummy men don’t pull their weight’ road. Any time the Scriptures are brought up about wives respecting/loving their husbands this culture immediately has the need to bring up the ‘abuse’ exception and cast these exhortations in a negative light. Hmmm… no cultural baggage here.

      Speaking of domestic abuse, seems women commit their fair share -40% of all domestic violence by some reports.

      • Dan Crawford says

        The problem with bringing up the Scriptures about patriarchy is that only certain selected verses are cited. We never talk about about men submitting to their spouses, or loving their wives as Christ died for the church.

        • Patrick Kyle says

          Says who? In all the congregations I have ever attended these verses were soft pedaled and immediately ‘balanced out’ with God’s requirement for the men. Occasionally in the church at large you here something like the above sermon, but it is infrequent enough that these examples are almost self parody, and make an easy target. I would argue its almost the opposite.

          Churches and the MSM think nothing of exhorting the men to man up and there is no shortage of sermons or news stories detailing the failure of men to do x and blaming them for a myriad of ills. Ok, there are some problems that need addressing. BUT you NEVER hear the same kind of sermons or articles calling women to account and placing the responsibility of their actions squarely on their shoulders. And on the rare occasion someone attempts, it the backlash is quick and fierce. Heard plenty of sermons and read plenty of articles chastising men for their sins and failings., Adultery, drunkeness, failure to be mature, unwillingness to shoulder responsibility, unwillingness to be serious about a career or school, not being serious about prayer and your relationship with the Lord, avoiding commitment and marriage, physical and sexual abuse.
          Fine. These are all problems needing to be addressed in different quarters.
          I want, just for once, to see an article or sermon that addresses why women initiate over 60% of the divorces in the US. There is no way in hell that all these divorces are the result of abuse by men. Some are, but I am willing to bet its a small fraction of the total number. Where are the moral exhortations for married middle aged women to be faithful to their husbands and quit flirting with other men?((Facebook, anyone?) Seen a lot of this personally. I know of half a dozen divorces, including my own, that were the result of marital infidelity by the wife. And no it wasn’t because we abused our wives physically, sexually, or verbally.
          I know of two marriages that failed because the wife refused to stop spending money and repeatedly brought financial catastrophy to the family.

          I hear a lot about providing for your family as a man. Never hear anything exhorting the wives to stay in the marriage during long stints of unemployment or financial hardships. Actually heard wayward wives consoled and encouraged in their actions because the husband was a deadbeat or a ‘losing horse’ after losing a job to cut backs or a dying industry.

          What about the rising tide of Alcoholism among stay at home moms?

          What about the plague of promiscuity among the young people? Men are chastised and exhorted to be sexually pure and blamed when there is a lot of sex going on.( For better or worse, Promise Keepers was big on this, so are many men’s groups and Accountability groups.) Not a word from the pulpits or social commentators about slut culture among young women where many young women have partners numbering well into the double digits. Crickets…..

          Just sayin’… I notice that when men are publicly criticized, people are willing to just let it stand, but when women are criticized a host of defenders come out of the woodwork to make sure the criticism is ‘balanced’ by taking men to task for the same thing or even blaming men for the woman’s behavior. Our culture has indoctrinated people so thoroughly that this is almost a reflex reaction.

          • Sources for the claimed stats re. women?



          • Patrick Kyle says
          • Two thoughts:

            1. I suspect that when you encounter certain sources, you tend to interpret authors peddling “soft patriarchy” as capitulating, and trying too hard to place responsibility on men. I, on the other hand, see them as perpetuating the same old patriarchy, moderated somewhat and dressed up in nicer clothing. This difference in vantage point causes us to read the evangelical sermons/advice books differently.

            2. I know I’ve already beat this horse half to death above, but most of the examples you cite, the assumptions that you think are cutting back against men unfairly flourish in cultural systems where hard or soft patriarchy is still influential. Who insists the man be the breadwinner? Who insists that the family has a problem if the wife, and not the husband, is conducting family devotions? Who is obsessed with male lust toward female bodies and male “sex addiction”, and the correspondent idea that women are either relatively innocent of lust and therefore the passive victims of men, or else are “sluts” who “tempt men?” You already named your culprit: Advocates of soft patriarchy, as we saw with the Promise Keepers movement. Egalitarians and feminist types are typically interested in deconstructing the systems out of which these assumptions proceed.

          • I really wish this red pill stuff would stay off the site.

            Patrick, I’m sorry your marriage ended so badly, but I think you’ve let it poison your attitude toward women too much. It’s obvious that you have become bitter and have tunnel vision on whatever stories, anecdotes, and public statements support your negativity towards women and your perception that they get a pass on everything while ignoring anything else. It’s like a woman who says “all men are jerks.” Do you really think illicit use of Facebook is an especially female thing, for example? (By the way, anyone for whom this is a temptation shouldn’t have an account). You probably think I’m a “white knight” for saying this – I don’t really care.

            You keep talking about how men are blamed if the wife does something wrong and no one ever calls women out on anything. Yes, this happens sometime – blame shifting is a human thing. But women are blamed for husbands cheating quite often. Bowers did it. Mark Driscoll does it. And the Red Pill crowd that you seem so fond does it all the time, both the secular and Christianized versions.

            Most single Christian women I know who take their faith seriously are not promiscuous, by the way.

            One thing I do agree with you on though: evangelical men’s ministries are really weird and make my skin crawl.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            My attitude towards women is not negative. I love my wife and daughter and have many female friends. I do not wish women at large any ill will. Most of the women I know are not involved with the things I listed above. I do know personally other women that are guilty of those things and worse. However I am frustrated at what I see as a double standard when it comes to the public critique of men. There is a culture of denigration that assumes if men are not buffoons then they are at least morally suspect. Don’t believe me? Then turn on the TV. Note the tone and tenor of many of the comments in these threads and others. Notice how quickly people rush in to ‘balance’ any comments that take women to task for something. That is my point.
            Using the Facebook thing as a quick example. Of course women are not the only ones abusing it. I have sat through many sermons decrying men’s use of Internet porn, seen many articles on it and the avoidance of ‘on-line relationships.’ Other than your comment about not having an account if you are tempted, I have never heard a Pastor tell the women in the congregation that if they are talking to old boyfriends on FB to quit or close their account. Don’t even think I have seen an article to that effect. Maybe some have issued such exhortations. I would like to see it.

            As to blaming wives for their husband’s adultery, every person is 100% responsible for their own sin. I haven’t read Bowers and I don’t read Driscoll, but it would be interesting to see if that is what they are really saying. Denial of sex by either spouse is wrong, and in some quarters is seen as a breaking of the marriage vow, regardless of who is doing it. And by doing so you expose your spouse to some grave temptation and you open up your relationship to interlopers. Even the Apostle Paul urges married couples to not abstain too long lest temptation enter in. The adulterer owns their own sin, but don’t put your spouse in a position where that is even an issue. ( Note: this applies equally to men and women,so don’t accuse me of blaming women for their husband’s adultery.) I suspect that this is what Driscoll is talking about, but again I haven’t read what he said, and until I do I reserve judgement. Internet comment threads have not been kind to that man, so forgive me if I don’t jump right on that band wagon. Maybe you could supply the salient links.

          • I still don’t see anything re. your claim about “double digits.”

            As for bias, the so-called manosphere is full of it, and it is lethal. Like Joel, I wish it would stay away from this site.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            Numo, Forgive me… in my numerous links I failed to to provide a link for one of my sub points.

            Here is one..

            But it’s really not needed because you and I personally know both men and women with over ten partners.

            However, there is a bonus in one of my above links. Here it is again.

            The guy goes over the stats showing that 80% of the divorces in the UK are initiated by women, then goes on to speculate why that is. Does he ask if some women have chronic dissatisfaction or false expectations? No. He literally says its because men are ‘cowards’ and only ‘women have the balls enough to end the relationship.’

            This is the very thing I was pointing out. I find it as repugnant and distasteful as crude racial humor.

          • Benevolent patriarchy re. the way many in favor of slavery described what they believed slaveholding to be.

            As for the rest, if you didn’t understand my question, then why bother? I am not going to try and engage you on the links you provided, since you’re so intent on promoting patriarchy For the Greater Good and don’t acknowledge that you’re pulling that double digit claim either out of the air/from some manosphere blog or other. The very fact that you equate “civilization” with patriarchy makes me think your claims are spurious and, further, that you know you’re making insubstantial arguments.

            Btw, the disparaging comments you make to people here are, imo, a sign that you’re not really interested in dialogue per se. So, let’s pretend this series of exchanges never happened, or that there was too much static on the line, which is nearer the truth.

      • Thanks for fighting the good fight, my similarly-named brother. I don’t have the patience for protracted debates about this sort of thing. I’m just tired of men constantly blamed and verbally abused for everything. I mean look at the above responses that orbit around “abusive husbands” whenever neither of us said a thing about that (very different) scenario!

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I smell Manosphere…

          I mean look at the above responses that orbit around “abusive husbands” whenever neither of us said a thing about that (very different) scenario!

          Especially with the “pat-pat-pat myself on the back attaboy” of that last statement.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            In a comment above, you ask me if I am ‘Manosphere.’ If you ask me if I am in the Church, and I say ‘yes’ it does not mean that I am a corrupt Bishop, a pedophile priest, or a snake handler.

            The same with ‘Manosphere.’ While I do not subscribe to or endorse all the things that come under that label, I find enough truth in ‘Red Pill’ thought that I don’t dismiss it out of hand because some of the manosphere is crazy and/or destructive. The Pick Up Artist stuff is mostly bad, not because it doesn’t work (it does) but because it is used for evil and they encourage others to do the same. The ‘pump and dump’ guys, the nihilists, and live for today stuff is all wrongheaded. However, Christian blogs like Cane Caldo’s and Dalrock are well thought out and make some very pointed observations. And as ugly as it is, Athol Kay over at Married Man Sex Life is right on about female reactions to various male behaviors. I have lived some of that and seen friends go through exactly what Athol said would happen in given situations. The man is almost prophetic in those areas. Women DESPISE weak supplicating men. I vehemently disagree with a lot of what Roissey says, but his intellect is something to be reckoned with and it is a mistake to dismiss him out of hand.
            Also, the only other people tackling the pornography problem are some of the manosphere guys. Some of their critiques are devastating, but many come from a non Christian point of view.
            It is convenient to sneer and dismiss my comments and the whole manosphere as some poisoned ideology, however it is a growing force and people will have no choice but to engage the arguments proffered by it’s most able spokesmen.

            As to Kyle’s comment to me, he is right. It’s the same as the Reductio ad Hitlerium in other contexts. As soon as it looks like someone is going to take women to task for something (usually Scriptural) the ‘abusive husband’ argument is brandished and used as a bloody club.

          • Dalrock is “xtian”? Could a fooled me!

            You are a manosphere person trolling this blog, methinks.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            Been on this blog since 2007. Was a friend of it’s original proprietor, the now sainted Michael Spencer, and a friend of Chaplain Mike’s. Actually wrote some guest posts back in the day. I used to write for a blog much less renown than this one but on friendly terms with this blog and several other prominent ones. Was Michael Spencer’s first advertiser and sponsor on the blog.
            Been involved in more than one dust up in these threads and a lot of great discussions. . There have been a lot of changes here and I don’t find myself in as close alignment as I used to be, therefore I am not as frequent a commenter or visitor. Occasionally I’ll engage on something that piques my interest, but those times are fewer and farther between and of late seem to be more negative. But old habits die hard and I haven’t found it in my heart to delete this blog from my bookmarks…. But a troll I am not…

          • Patrick – fair enough. I’ve been here since 2006 myself, though only an occasional commenter during Michael Spencer’s tenure.

            The thing is, your emphasis seems to have shifted to manosphere thinking, and the casual insults you throw out (like the one earlier in this thread where you compared Robert F to a “nagging woman”) don’t speak well for your way of attempting to engage people. But you and I have had several go-rounds this year alone, and they were fruitless. I think that if you were a little more respectful and less sarcastic (also less prone to make claims about commenters doing things like attacking patriarchy when that clearly wasn’t happening), you might be more easily able to engage in some substantive discussions.

            I have to admit that I don’t understand your approach in this thread, or in others where I’ve seen you comment in recent months. It seems to consist of jumping on people about things they never said – cf. your reply to me upthread about matriarchy, which I was in no way meaning to imply. I think your insistence on certain common manosphere topics makes it very difficult to have any kind of constructive conversation, and hope you might trim your sails accordingly. But if not, then not. It’s entirely up to you.

    • Okay, any man that walks out on a marriage for the reason “I’m jealous my kids are getting the love that belongs to meeeee” needs to be sat down and have a talk about the meaning of marriage and parenthood.

      Sweet holy divine, I thought I’d heard some things, but this is putting the cherry on the icing on the cake. Seriously, how do any women in these churches get married? The messages I’m hearing are “If your husband leaves you, it’s your fault because you let yourself go/ you got fat/ you don’t wear makeup/ you don’t do the sex acts he wants when he wants them” and now this “You love your children better than him”.

      Meanwhile, to the men and the reasons their marriages might fail because of the husband’s behaviour? Crickets chirping as the tumbleweed rolls by.

      Yes, it’s possible to make an idol of your family and your children and to make everyone miserable. C.S. Lewis has an example of that in “The Great Divorce” about a woman who turned her love for her son into idolatry, ruined all her other relationships and duties to others over it, and finally destroyed her relationship with her son due to it becoming a devouring, all-consuming demand for an impossible level of devotion.

      Also his line about “She’s the kind of woman who lives for others, and you can tell the others by their hunted expressions” 🙂

      But to say that “Ladies, if your husband leaves you and your children, it’s your fault for loving your kids more than him” is just – ahhhh! It’s a good job my mother is dead and in her grave, because she’d have made mincemeat of this guy!

      What does St Paul have to say on this?

      Colossians 3: 18-21 “18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged .”

      Ephesians 6: 1-4 “1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath : but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

      Nothing there (even in Ephesians 5 which is the one always quoted about submission to the husband) about “Husbands and fathers, make sure your children do not take the love your wife rightly owes you; Children, do not steal your mother’s love from her husband”.

      • “Okay, any man that walks out on a marriage for the reason ‘I’m jealous my kids are getting the love that belongs to meeeee’ needs to be sat down and have a talk about the meaning of marriage and parenthood.”

        As if the children aren’t a central, incarnational aspect of the marriage and relationship.

      • Martha: Brava!! Thanks muchly; you state it so clearly.

  2. I don’t watch TV at all, so I don’t know much about Game of Thrones, except that i’ts popular and has received some critical acclaim. But from what I’ve read about it in this post and elsewhere, it sounds like the Roman Colosseum and the intrigues of the House of Borgia rolled into one.

    Have we come to the point that as a culture we don’t place any credence in the idea that what our imaginations habitually consume will eventually shape (or misshape) our moral thinking and responses, and the ethical landscape of our culture?

    Concerning Game of Thrones I will say: thanks, but no thanks.

    • cermak_rd says

      Yep, I can’t say I don’t watch TV. I watch maybe a couple hours a day whilst doing tonal exercises on my clarinets. Of course, I don’t hear much of the dialogue, so my viewing mainly consists of animated shows I’ve recorded on my PVR (for some reason I like “The Penguins of Madagascar”) or a sports event (hockey or baseball mainly). Other than that, if I’ve got time for TV, I’ve got time to practice an instrument, or sing some intervals (singing intervals is part of my ear training. It’s what I do when the mouth muscles are too sore to play)..

    • Agree. GoT had just come out and someone at work was talking in glowing terms about how awesome it was, so my wife and I decided to give it a shot. Yeah; mistake. We didn’t make it through the first episode.

      • Same here. I watched about 10 minutes of it. A weird sex scene and three cut throats later the channel was changed.

        • The books are REALLY violent – with tons of rape/violence against women as well as men – and yet, because Martin knows how to write scenes (from his time in TV scriptwriting), they’re very hard to put down. Even when nearly impossible to stomach.

          But putting it all onscreen – apparently they’ve only shown a tiny fraction of what goes on in the books. But I am honestly surprised that they’ve gotten away with *that* much. I saw the first 3 episodes of season 1, and that was more than enough.

          I think the outcry over this scene has a great deal to do with the fact that sexual violence against women is something that an awful lot of us actually experience. To bush it off with an excuse about a rape somehow becoming consensual sex is pretty damned appalling, to say the least! (Though certainly something that many men want to believe, judging from reactions elsewhere, as well as in society in general – still.)

          • Also re. the books, Martin’s descriptions of torture, rape etc. come across as quite sadistic. Imo, its violence porn. Some of the worst passages in the most recent book are about a man being repeatedly tortured and humiliated.

            The thing is, Martin *could* write compelling stories without all the explicit detail re. rape/other kinds of violence, but he clearly doesn’t care to, because many of his fans want him to write that way.

          • I just don’t like to watch depictions of violence. Two months ago my wife uncharacteristically borrowed a zombie movie, World War Z, from the library, and, despite the fact that most of the violence is not too graphic, and the gory stuff takes place just off-screen as in action-adventure movies, I’m still a little haunted by some of the disturbing scenes. I don’t need the darkness, I don’t need the hopelessness, I don’t need the barely contained yawning nihilism; there’s enough of that in life.

          • Not exactly a fan of onscreen violence, either, though I did love Forbydelsen (the original Danish show that has a US spinoff, The Killing). That’s because Forbrydelsen is very complex and extremely well-acted, but it *is* dark.

            It is also the only TV show I’ve ever seen that had the resonance and depth of a top-shelf novel.

          • Edited to add: there’s little onscreen violence in any of the three seasons of Forbrydelsen. The darkness is psychological, and includes the unraveling of true evil. So of necessity, it is not exactly an optimistic show, but it is incredibly compelling and offers the only in-depth depiction I’ve ever seen of bereavement and the grieving process.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > Have we come to the point that as a culture we don’t place any credence in the idea that what
      > our imaginations habitually consume will eventually shape (or misshape) our moral thinking
      > and responses, and the ethical landscape of our culture?

      Yes, we have arrived.

      Sadly, to suggest otherwise gets one immediately labeled as a fundamentalist prude and an advocate of censorship. Any middle ground has been scorched by the culture wars and rendered uninhabitable.

      • Yeah it is infuriating. It is completely insane the way people freak out at you if you mildly suggest that maybe playing video games about murdering civilians and raping prostitutes has a corrupting effect on the mind. And they get all “BECAUSE SCIENCE!” about it too, because no matter how carefully you phrase your argument, they will try to claim that you are saying “bad video games cause school shootings” or something, and therefore enabling them to pull out “correlation does not equal causation.”

        There’s no consideration given to the basic principle of GIGO, the idea that some fantasies should just not be indulged at all, in the first place, ever.

  3. How I wish Pope Francis would lead the RCC in changing its teaching regarding divorce and re-marriage, perhaps using Eastern Orthodox practices in this area as a model. The teaching has caused untold pain and suffering to more people than can be imagined, and has separated many from a church they truly love.

    • The Eastern Orthodox do not have a uniform way of decreeing ecclesiastical divorces among the varying Rites. The number of reasons for a divorce can differ from Rite to Rite. Using the EO approach to divorce as a model becomes tricky in this regard. The larger question behind this issue is whether or not a Sacrament can be broken if one no longer participates in the Sacrament.

  4. Maybe that couple could plant another new church in a crack den.

    • cermak_rd says

      I think it will be interesting to see if it works. I certainly give the couple kudos for trying to reach the folks in the transitional housing. It is noticeable that many of the satellite campuses of the big churches are planted in very nice areas with upper middle class folk and higher. Of course, most high poverty areas are flooded with churches, so maybe that makes sense, even if it does seem a bit unseemly.

      • Maybe you’re right, and perhaps I”m being narrow-minded in an un-Jesus-like way, but I can’t seem to help but believe that the choice of church location, in this case, lends tacit approval to the non-church business that’s conducted there. Call me a Pharisee.

        • Yeah. Also, as a working class woman, I would NOT appreciate the idea that the upper class church people imagine I would be ~more comfortable~ in a den of iniquity like that. Talk about poisonous stereotyping.

      • Richard Hershberger says

        Most nice areas with upper middle class folk and higher have lots of churches, too, unless it is a very new development. There may be church planters who drive through a neighborhood, observe that there already are churches in the area, and conclude that therefore the neighborhood has no need of another plant. But there also are any number of church planters who drive through a neighborhood, observe that there is money there, and couldn’t care less about whether or not there are already churches in the area.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Most nice areas with upper middle class folk and higher have lots of churches, too…

          And more pot consumption than you might think…

        • cermak_rd says

          Yes. That’s why it said it seems unseemly that so many of the satellite campuses are planted in fairly well-to-do areas. It looks like $$ chasing to me.

    • Robert, you must have led a sheltered middle class life because for ME, growing up in the poorer areas of a big eastern city, I remember seeing plenty of store front churches in run down strip malls and semi abandoned tenderloin areas. Granted, they were probably more financial decisions rather than missional, but the idea of opening in a strip club is hardly original. In fact, you could almost say it was a throwback idea.

      • Oscar, I won’t deny having led a sheltered childhood, although my life for a long time now has been far from sheltered. I’ve never lived in a downtown city neighborhood; most of my adult life has been lived on the poorer edges of suburban towns, among apartment dwellers, many like me, just barely managing to keep a foothold in the lower middle-class.

        And no doubt it is this sheltered naivete of mine that causes me to think that there is a world of difference between having a storefront church in a run down strip mall right next to a strip club on the one hand, and starting a church inside a strip club on the other, as well as causes me to be truly surprised that churches have been planted in strip clubs before.

        You’re saying that churches have been located inside strip clubs before? Really?

        • “You’re saying that churches have been located inside strip clubs before? Really?”
          No, not IN strip clubs, so you are on point on THAT one. But there HAVE been a few churches that decided to meet in taverns, as have been covered on THIS venue.

          Now, if they decided to have the meeting during regular business hours, well, even I would object to THAT!

          • Oscar, here we have a difference in values. Roman Catholics and Episcopalians have very different attitudes about the responsible consumption of alcohol than evangelicals do.

            Here in central PA there are several Roman Catholic and Episcopal groups that meet in local taverns and bars to discuss theology; one of them, the Catholic one around Harrisburg, is called Theology on Tap. My own Episcopal parish has its own version of this with a different name, which escapes me at the moment.

            My parish also has an annual micro-batch of ale brewed to sell as part of the fundraising to support our free breakfast program, a program that offers breakfast 5 days a week, year round (including holidays), to around 200 people each morning.

            Although I am a non-drinker, I have no problem with this.

            I’m not sure, though, that I would approve of a church being planted in a bar or tavern. Not a good idea, I think.

          • Robert F – though with you on the overall attitude toward Demon Rum, I do feel that meeting in a bar (as opposed to a restaurant with a liquor license) isn’t really the best idea, given how many people secretly battle alcoholism. There are folks who would likely benefit from meeting with these groups who are pretty well excluded when the meeting place isn’t neutral ground, you know?

            Btw, do you guys live outside of Harrisburg?

          • I’ve not attended any of these events, but I do believe pub-like places that offer food and spirits in equal measure are chosen, not beer-and-shot joints.

            We live in Ephrata, about 10 miles north of Lancaster City.

          • Robert – gotcha on your location and also the places where these group meet, which sound like they’ve been chosen wisely. I wish there were some groups like that in my neck of the woods.

            I’m up in the mountains, not near you guys.

      • Oscar, actually, it doesn’t surprise me that churches have been planted in strip clubs before, it’s just that this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. And, since the question in the post is whether we think this is a good idea or not, you can put me on record as thinking it is not a good idea, no matter how many times it’s been done before, for the reason I offered in one of my comments above: it can not help but seem to give tacit approval to the business of stripping and strip clubs, and the lust that is catered to and stoked by that business.

  5. Thanks to Cliven Bundy this week for providing The View from Ruby Ridge.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      1. The government very much likes to overreach.
      2. Cliven Bundy is being an A-hole.
      Why are these two mutually exclusive?

      • They’re not mutually exclusive. But the admiration on the Right for those who take up weapons against the federal government is scary. And his atavistic attitude, and language, about African Americans is both pathetically laughable and sad, the saddest thing being that he is by no means unique in his attitude.

        • Dan Crawford says

          Actually the party of Darwin, Rand, Ryan, Boehner and McConnell has in Mr. Bundy its ideal running mate for the 2016 Presidential election. A racist, ignorant, xenophobic and fascist “patriot” embodies the ideals the Party has trrumpeted for the past 15 years.

          • That Other Jean says

            Darwin? “Social Darwinism” is an excuse to abuse the less powerful, drawn with embellishments from the ideas on natural selection as applied to humans in Darwin’s “The Descent of Man.” Blame Herbert Spencer for that monster, not Darwin. The rest of your comment, I’ll gladly agree with.

        • Totally agree, Robert. I am rather dismayed to see a few of my facebook friends expressing admiration for him. Blows my mind.

  6. About Frozen being “pro-gay”: Reboot Christianity did a good blog post debunking the Frozen-is-gay conspiracy theories.

    The linked article (in the post, not my linked article) is just silly and makes me think you could read a “pro-gay” agenda into almost anything at all, if you had a sufficiently strong imagination.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Most Disney movies seem to be a variation on the theme of previously rejected now accepted, underdog coming into their own etc. There is a legion of possible applications, of which lgbt acceptance is but one.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Didn’t they say the same thing about the X-Men movies?

        • Cedric Klein says

          I think director Bryan Singer, who is having some problems of his own in that regard, even said that about his X-Men movies.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The linked article (in the post, not my linked article) is just silly and makes me think you could read a “pro-gay” agenda into almost anything at all, if you had a sufficiently strong imagination.

      1) When all you have is a hammer…

      2) Maybe that’s the only channel allowed for a “sufficiently strong imagination” among Christian Culture War Activists; the same channel as a secret police enforcer witch-sniffing for Conspiracies against the Glorious Regime.

      • This article wasn’t written by a Christian, I don’t think

        • No, it’s actually something I heard on NPR as well. Though I don’t believe I heard this particular interview. But I heard plenty of center-left talking heads about how great “let it go” could be for young teenage girls discovering the sexual orientation swings differently.

          Actually I heard the left touting this movie for it’s pro-gay stance long before I heard the right decrying the movie for the same reasons.

          • Yeah. And Tumblr was convinced that Oaken is waving to his gay lover and their surro-gaybies in the sauna. Seriously. It is right on the border between “really reaching” and “straight up living in a delusional fantasy world.”

            I also heard a lot of people saying because Elsa wasn’t married off by the end of the movie, she is probs a lesbian. I object, “wait, so if you are a young woman presently primarily focused on something other than romance with a man, you MUST be gay? This is a progressive message and not profoundly regressive HOW?” But apparently that made *me* a homophobe in denial about ~who Elsa really is.~

    • On Tumblr there are people who “ship” the sisters. Some people honestly are never happy until there’s gay sex, in any media, honestly. It is bizarre. It’s not even political, it’s just some kind of obsession.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        It’s called Slashfic. (From the original slashfic sub-genre of Kirk-slash-Spock.) And Shipfic has defaulted to sexual so much fanfic writers had to coin a new term — Friendshipfic — for Shipfics without meat-in-meat in motion.

        Any two same-sex lead characters are going to get Slashed. Period. Frozen Slash just adds vicarious Incest to the Juicy mix. There’s a lot of real sick puppies out there.

        • I know what slash fic is. I never want to stop being shocked by the fact that *significant numbers* of adults who outwardly appear normal, sane, and non-criminal write “slash” about teenage sisters in a kids’ cartoon. The day that stops shocking me is the day I have lost a very important part of my soul.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            In my own wanderings through fandom (and its “interesting” tracts of mental landscape) I’ve encountered a LOT of slash re “characters in a kid’s cartoon.” Chip-slash-Dale, Baloo-slash-Kit, Babs-slash-Fifi-slash-Shirley. Someone did a chart about who-got-slashed-with-whom in My Little Pony, illustrating it’s not just Rainbow Dash-slash-anypony but Everypony-slash-Everypony at some point. (Like the ponies don’t have anything else to do?) It’s become a running joke — someone even uploaded a hilarious print-it-out card game (a card version of “Pipe Mania”) based on it called “Twilight Sparkle’s Ultimate Shipfic”.

  7. cermak_rd says

    The Pledge is not normally recited by Jewish students as it is taking an oath which Jews don’t do, Moreover, in my opinion, it is unwise to have children who do not understand the complexity of what they are saying (hence various renditions of I led the pidgeons to the flag, and one nation invisible) to take an oath. Should they later make other choices (say immigration to another nation) are they then foresworn?

    • flatrocker says

      While I’ll always hold in high regard the ideals of our great country and the privilege of citizenship, a civil pledge in any of its forms is a non-issue for me. The “Good News” and “civil sensibilities” seldom seem to make very good bed-fellows. In essence, the “Pledge” as it is written binds our allegiance to God and state. And if we take seriously the very nature of a pledge, we are being called to make a solemn vow. It’s serious stuff – as it should be. However, we need to consider how this national pledge becomes one too many masters upon which we are called to serve. The question becomes how can we solemnly vow to pledge allegiance to both?

      I am more inclined to lead with something more like this….”I pledge allegiance to the one and only living God – and to none other; to do his will and bring his light to our nation, indivisible in his love, with liberty and justice for all.”

      Now that’s a pledge that I’d like to see debated by our Christian nation.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Especially when the Pledge first hit critical mass around WW2 (wartime home front) and the “Under God” clause was an artifact of the Cold War.

    • Agree about the children part. Eight year old me had no idea what I was pledging myself to.

    • I hated having to say the pledge, because it seems wrong on SO many levels. Especially “one nation under God, *with liberty and justice for all*” section.

      Soat one point, I stopped reciting it, and ended up in a hell of a lot of trouble with the powers that be. (This was during the late 60s.) A Mennonite kid not reciting the pledge: not a problem. Anyone else: severe consequences.

      • I still hate saluting the flag, which got me into some very awkward situations when I lived in D.C. and went to free concerts by military choirs/big bands/classical ensembles.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Before all sporting events, etc… when the national anthem is apparently mandatory I always excuse myself to use the restroom.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        I, and others, when pressured to recite the pledge in school would just say it wrong “One nation, under the dollar, with liberty and justice for the fortunate”. Simple enough.

        Fortunately I have no children – for which I am grateful every single day – as I live in a state where the pledge is now legally required [thanks to our state legislature focusing on import pressing issues…]. Otherwise I’d make that teachers life a living hell, and darn tootin’ I’d be suing the school. I’m thankful there are others to take up that fight.

  8. Frozen involves a confused young woman singing about cutting herself off from the rest of the world (one that she just plunged into an eternal winter, however accidental), while creating beasts that keep people away. It ends with her declaring “The cold never bothered me anyway” and then slamming a door behind her so she can be alone where no one can hurt her and she can’t hurt them.

    If this is your new self-empowerment anthem, good luck.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      She’s been hurt and she’s lashing out and withdrawing into herself at the same time. So nobody can ever hurt her like that again.

      Until her sister is able to pull her back out of her frozen shell.

      Oh. And they have been Pony-fied:
      In a way, it was inevitable. Frozen’s story of the two Royal Sisters echoes the in-universe mythology of the current reboot of My Little Pony; Elsa’s story parallels MLP’s Princess Luna’s backstory except Luna plunged their land into an eternal night instead of eternal winter.

      • Justin and HUG – exactly.

        As for supposedly “pro-gay” subtexts… People see what the want to see, as with the flap over the princess in “Brave” a couple of years ago. Just so foolish.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Re the witch-sniffing for “pro-gay” subtexts:
          “When all you have is a hammer…”

          And another thing about Frozen’s two Royal Sisters:

          Just as MLP:FIM’s two Royal Sisters ponify the Sun/Day and the Moon/Night, so Frozen’s two Royal Sisters personify Summer and Winter. Elsa is Winter, and Anna is the Spring/Summer that ends the Winter.

    • This is what amazes me about the popularity of this song, everyone seems to be missing the point of it! It’s not really glorifying Elsa’s behavior – if you take it in context, it’s pretty clear that she’s just hurting herself. People hear what they want to hear, I guess. And The Strong Powerful Individual takes precedence over The Power Of Grace.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        All the talk about Frozen piqued my curiosity, so I took a look at Wikipedia’s article on the movie. According to the writers, Elsa’s main motivation is Fear, and Anna’s love ends up casting out that Fear and bringing her sister back.

        Perfect Love casteth out Fear — where have we heard that before?

        Some years ago on Internet Monk, there was a comment regarding abysmal Christianese storytelling. Commenter claimed an insight/vision/prophecy from God that since Christian media (fiction, movies, TV) had dropped the ball so bad, God was withdrawing His mantle from them and was placing it on Secular authors and producers and writers and musicians and actors; henceforth Secular creative media would begin saying what God wanted said.

        Coming from a church where “Mary Channeling” is the preferred way to flake out, I am normally skeptical of such “direct revelation from God” claims, but this one has always stuck in my mind. Maybe when I’m writing about furries in a space-opera universe and/or assisting Eric on his My Little Pony fanfics, in some way I’m God’s hands on the keyboard, echoing that Deep Magic. And the production crew of Frozen might be doing the same.

    • Right? And to achieve peace and healing, she has to put her powers “back in the closet” at least partially. So…someone didn’t think that metaphor through very well before they started blabbing it all over the internet.

  9. conanthepunctual says

    Yeah….. If the sex obsessed adults could stop reading sexual topics into films aimed at kids that aren’t viewing their world through the same filter, that would be great.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      They can watch Game of Thrones instead?

      (Though GoT is interesting; the rampant sex scenes appear to be fanservice to initially draw viewers in, holding them long enough for them to get interested in the complex storylines & characters. I know a couple people who originally tuned in for the Va-Va-Voom and after three or four episodes they now fast-forward through the “money shots” to the REAL meat — the complex web of interweaving stories and characters.)

      • If I want complex webs of interweaving stories and characters in a narrative not afraid to deal with the dark and seamy side of existence, I can re-read Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, or, better yet, his entire oeuvre. Faulkner may lack “money shot” teasers, but he offers something that I’ve never actually found in any television series (and I’d be surprised if GoT was any different): profundity.

    • …or perhaps the problem is the sex-obsessed adults who keep WRITING sexual topics into films aimed at children.

      • …and then I actually read the article. Spot on, those things have nothing to do with sex.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          All I can say is these Christianese Kyle’s Moms must have VERY dirty minds.

          • There was no “Christianese” and there were no “moms” the Atlantic article was a celebratory fantasy by a gay man.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Then he’s also got a Dirty Mind.

            Like a fanboy indulging his sexual fantasies through non-canonical fanfics (and I’ve waded through enough bad fanfics to know what I’m talking about).

    • Thank you.

    • It really, really bothers me, speaking as the mom of 3 little girls who LOVE Frozen and MLP, which are both HUGE targets of that kind of obsessing. Actually all the Disney movies get read into by creepy adults, as that Atlantic article shows.

      There’s plenty of screwed up media for adults, leave the sweet innocent stuff alone.

  10. “it’s another to present a horrific act and deny that it is horrific.”

    I think I have heard American conservative politicians recently spew no less horrific statements about women and sexual assault.

    • …or Rush Limbaugh.

      • flatrocker says

        …or the porn sites
        …or the rap music
        …or at the foot of the stripper poles
        …or the guys at the gym
        …or the bachelor party

        but it’s all just a little innocent indulgent fantasy fun.. isn’t it?

        • …”but it’s all just a little innocent indulgent fantasy fun.. isn’t it?”

          As my Zen teacher used to say: junk in, junk out. But Jesus was far more accurate when he said that evil comes out of the human heart.

          The scariest thing of all is that, when people with more creative and vivid imaginations than the rest of us produce entertainment with the resources of the evil in their own hearts, the rest of us have a tendency to eat it up as if we were dogs eating another dog’s vomit, and the whole enterprise seems to gain strange and powerful energy from the synergy rising out of the evil in myriad hearts. Perhaps this is the nature of what has traditionally been called original sin. Deep calls unto deep, but not in the way the Psalmist meant.

    • dumb ox – yes, especially to your most recent comment.

  11. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    The Powers That Be at HBO have some serious misogyny going on. The did a rape turns into hot consensual sex thing on Board Walk Empire during it’s last season too.

    Also, as a fan of the books – one of the themes of the books is the redemption of Jamie Lannister. In that one episode HBO completely crapped on that.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Wouldn’t be the first time a writer torpedoed a main story line to insert Fanservice. (I understand the scene staging was a shock to George R R Martin as well, and he wrote the original series.)

      Happened so often in Furry Webcomics I finally just stopped reading them completely.

      • Interesting thing is that the “consensual” rape scene very definitely isn’t fanservice from the fans’ point of view. I never got into “A Song of Ice and Fire” so I’ve skipped watching “Game of Thrones” but there are very devoted fans of it who, on my Tumblr feed, were incandescent about the rape scene.

        I agree, Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous affair is tangled, messed-up and isn’t good for anybody, but what really offended them was (a) not alone does this deviate from the books, and probably is HBO throwing in extra sex’n’violence and now rape but (b) the ‘explanation’ of the director that “Really, it wasn’t rape” and “It turned consensual in the end” made a lot of them furious.

        Because it’s too much like the trope in porn where rape is portrayed as “women really enjoy it” and things real-life rapists have said to their victims about “you really want it” and “stop fighting and you’ll like it” and the likes.

        The anger generated by this is not alone that it’s changed to be a rape scene, but that it’s not even recognised that that is what they were doing, and making it ‘consensual’ in the end does not excuse the scene.

    • Dana Ames says

      Luke & Laura in “All My Children” in the late ’70s. She first accused him of rape; they later got married. Nothing new under the sun, except Luke & Laura’s situation was not portrayed very graphically at all.


      • True, but it was pretty creepy and *very* controversial at the time.

        The GoT scene is SO much worse, in so many ways, as others have mentioned.

  12. David Cornwell says

    Putting god in the pledge, or on our money or our license plates does nothing to change reality. American paganism can’t be papered over with slogans.

    • Christiane says

      American paganism was never more on display than in the Ryan Budget of 2012

      fortunately, people are beginning to acknowledge that run-away ‘greed’ seriously hurts innocent people

  13. …like Tim Challies visiting the Vatican.

    Oh, sorry? Too soon? 🙂

  14. I am slightly more concerned that Bundy’s racist but irrelevant remarks about my African American brothers has raised more flack than his armed disobedience and misuse of public land. “Public” of course, meaning that I have as much right to that land as mister armed and insecure.

  15. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Norwegian – he was better off eating lye soaked cod than cream of mushroom soaked macaroni.

  16. I took a “Christian Scriptures” class in college that used Ehrman’s book as our text. I remember scratching my head on many occasions and thinking, “why is he infatuated with such arbitrary facts?” He was obsessed with the “Messianic Secret” and planted many personal “thought provokers” such as hypothesizing about St Paul’s suicidal nature since, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I image St Paul thought about death often, and may even have been tempted with suicide. I doubt however that it was to the extent that Ehrman thought it was.

    • A man who is able to say “I’ve been flogged, I’ve been run out of town on a rail, I’ve been hauled before the governor, I’ve been shipwrecked, and I’ve been brought to Rome for trial which might end in my execution” probably did think a lot about the possibility of death.

      But when there are plenty of people ready, wiling and able to kill you, I don’t think you need “thoughts of suicide” to explain why there may have been references to death in his epistles.

      I don’t know if Mr Ehrman is aware of the early Church’s condemnations of those who wanted to commit ‘suicide by martyrdom’ and went about eagerly looking for opportunities to be killed for their faith; the whole point is that a martyr is not a suicide.

      I’m going to quote a chunk of Chesterton here:

      “When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront. Of course there may be pathetic emotional excuses for the act. There often are for rape, and there almost always are for dynamite. But if it comes to clear ideas and the intelligent meaning of things, then there is much more rational and philosophic truth in the burial at the cross-roads and the stake driven through the body, than in Mr. Archer’s suicidal automatic machines. There is a meaning in burying the suicide apart. The man’s crime is different from other crimes–for it makes even crimes impossible.

      About the same time I read a solemn flippancy by some free thinker: he said that a suicide was only the same as a martyr. The open fallacy of this helped to clear the question. Obviously a suicide is the opposite of a martyr. A martyr is a man who cares so much for something outside him, that he forgets his own personal life. A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything. One wants something to begin: the other wants everything to end. In other words, the martyr is noble, exactly because (however he renounces the world or execrates all humanity) he confesses this ultimate link with life; he sets his heart outside himself: he dies that something may live. The suicide is ignoble because he has not this link with being: he is a mere destroyer; spiritually, he destroys the universe. And then I remembered the stake and the cross-roads, and the queer fact that Christianity had shown this weird harshness to the suicide. For Christianity had shown a wild encouragement of the martyr. Historic Christianity was accused, not entirely without reason, of carrying martyrdom and asceticism to a point, desolate and pessimistic. The early Christian martyrs talked of death with a horrible happiness. They blasphemed the beautiful duties of the body: they smelt the grave afar off like a field of flowers . All this has seemed to many the very poetry of pessimism. Yet there is the stake at the crossroads to show what Christianity thought of the pessimist.”

  17. Is there a point where the income tax is just wrong?

    99%? 85 %? 72%?

    At what point should we say, “you’re taking too much?”

    Who is working for whom…anyway?

  18. Christiane says

    The imonk Saturday Ramblings has become something I look forward to each week . . . informative, dismaying and hilarious, and just plain entertaining! This weekly production is the perfect ending of a long week, as imonk’s Sunday sermons are a great beginning for a new week . . .

    thankful for the effort AND the sense of humor which goes into these Saturday productions . . . keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Thanks, Christiane. I appreciate your kind words. I have toyed with the idea of giving it up (because of the time) so it’s good to hear that.

      • Daniel – I can imagine that the time commitment is very draining, but boy, do I like what you’ve been doing in this post and the past few werks’ worth! You’re striking a great balance, imo.

        But maybe: a bit shorter? So you’re not feeling quite so burdened by it? *Not* intended as criticism; just a thought.

        • Yeah, that may be a good point. I started teaching a philosophy class a few weeks ago; first time teaching it, so it has been a lot of work. And, of course, I have my normal gig.

          Thanks, btw.

          • Wow, no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed! I hear you.

            You’ll survive, and I’m willing to bet that you could get 2-3 weeks’-worth of posts out of the links and ideas you used for today’s post.

            I wonder if giving yourself a word count might help? (Just thinking aloud here; I know that having limits like that helped me a lot, back when I was doing music reviews and suchlike.)

          • Also, as they say, prayers are being offered non your behalf.

            Is this your first time doing an academic gig?

          • Daniel Jepsen says

            yes, on a college level

    • Christiane says

      Hi DANIEL,
      I had this thought that if your Saturday posts were placed in a time capsule and opened a thousand years hence, your posts would be quite a revelation of what REALLY went on in our own time. 🙂

    • Brianthedad says

      I echo. The Dunn model of fun/silly/serious is on display. Well done Daniel.

  19. I don’t think a homeless would bother Donald Trump at all. I suppose he would, if it was federally funded.

    A collective is the masses under the control of an elite oligarchy or plutacrisy. So, what does one call a world where the one percent control the wealth and political power? If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

  20. Dana Ames says

    I was at the exchange – wasn’t really a debate – between Bart Ehrman and N.T. Wright in San Francisco a few years ago, and I watched the last time Ehrman was on Colbert. Ehrman is smart, earnest, sarcastic/ironic – and, for all that, very much lacking a sense of humor. Intellectually, he couldn’t hold a candle to Wright; just kept making the same points with an ironic tone. Wright treated him kindly and respectfully, and actually responded to the points he raised. Unlike Wright when he was Colbert’s guest, Ehrman can’t seem to interact with “Stephen Colbert the Character” (though Colbert himself often shows up between the lines…) In this latest foray, Ehrman talks just like the literalist/inerrantist he used to be, and couldn’t make a joke about the elephant thing, or even crack a smile… He has “missed the boat” regarding Christianity, in both of his academic/life-iterations. I feel sorry for him.


    • There are a lot of Christians at UNC who think Bart is wrong. But most think he’s very smart but has come to some wrong conclusions.

    • “Ehrman talks just like the literalist/inerrantist he used to be, and couldn’t make a joke about the elephant thing, or even crack a smile…”

      It may go beyond attitude. Per Craig Evans (HT: MB): “Bart Ehrman is arguing like a fundamentalist. It is an all-or-nothing approach. If the Bible is truly inspired (and therefore trustworthy), it must be free from discrepancies. But this is not how most seasoned scholars think, including evangelicals. Nor was it the way early Christians thought.”

      • This is the problem that I have with Ehrman, especially his latter work. He does not take the posture of a scholar, but rather the posture of a fundamentalist. I still read his work, because I think it balances out other fundamentalist voices, but I can’t even bring him into conversation with scholars without a lot of painful deconstruction.

  21. Anytime anyone mentions Joel Osteen, I post this in response:

  22. The amusing (if less than edifying) conclusion to the 2008 exchange between Colbert and a guest came to mind about that Bart Ehrman clip.

    As Wikiquote puts it:

    Stephen Colbert, Interviewing Stanford University professor emeritus Dr. Philip Zimbardo, author of the book “The Lucifer Effect”. After an increasingly heated debate on the problem of theodicy, Colbert sets the record straight responding to Zimbardo’s slightly sarcastically charged “Obviously you learned well in Sunday School”. The Colbert Report (11 February 2008).

    Zimbardo: Paradoxically, it was God who created Hell as a place to put Lucifer and the fallen angels. And had He not created Hell, then evil would not exist.

    Colbert: Evil exists because of the disobedience of Satan. God gave Satan, the angels, and man, free will. Satan used his free will and abused it by not obeying authority.

    Hell was created by Satan’s disobedience to God and his purposeful removal from God’s love, which is what Hell is. Removing yourself from God’s love.

    You send yourself there. God doesn’t send you there.

    Zimbardo: Obviously, you listened well in Sunday School.

    Colbert: I teach Sunday School, motherf****r.

  23. re: Trinity Western University Law School/covenant

    Ontario and Nova Scotia law societies put their foot down. New Brunswick will be voting in June.

    The BC Law Society (which approved the law school application) now will have a full meeting within 60 days because of a petition of members garnered twice the number of required signatures with the goal of a referendum.

    Gay kids go to TWU, that is not the issue. To frame this as being about about 2 competing rights and freedoms (as per the federal Charter of Rights -freedom of religion and equality). ) is a red herring – but the TWU pr offensive has been going on for awhile.

    With the TWU covenant, a gay married person would not be admissible to the potential law school.
    SSM is legal in every Cdn province and territory.

    The past 10 years law schools grads could practice in any province or territory.

    TWU doesn’t need a law school, it wants a law school. Yes, TWU is academically accredited and adequate. There may well be a few second rate profs, the argument is not whether TWU profs are adequate. It is not about whether TWU graduates competent students. TWU is not a mickey mouse bible school. Those are not the issues.
    Canada does not need a ‘faith based’ law school. That is a slap at every Canadian lawyer who is a Christian, and an elitist slap at lawyers and law schools across the country.

    Law studies in Canada are standard. TWU conservative evangelical culture aside, the law students will get the same education others get.

    The TWU president, B. Kuhn is a lawyer. He is combative, bellicose, determined and he led a win in a discrimination case re: TWU’s teachers training. Kuhn says he has fairly represented GLBT in his law practice, I guess we have to take his word for it. Given his public rhetoric, I”m skeptical.
    He’ll take this one all the way to the Supreme Court, the school is private, wealthy and prepared to do battle against anyone in it’s way.

    I think TWU will get to open the law school, and will discriminate in admissions whether it’s legal and ethical or not. There were other qualified universities in BC which also applied.

    This is already nasty, will continue to be nasty and polarizing , and as an evangelical Cdn, I don’t see this as being about evangelical faith under fire. That is such a tired canard.
    Hopefully if TWU admits a first law school class in a few years, the students will be subversive about this covenant.

    The Prince George Citizen carried an opinion piece which reflects what many of us are thinking.