Marriage Preferences

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When religious feminists say Complementarianism or, indeed, any form of patriarchy are extra biblical tradition which not all people are “wired to fit”, they cut the foundation out from under the understanding of marriage as a man-woman conjugal union. Marriage becomes a question of personal comfort and preferences and ceases to be a matter in which we must be obedient to God’s eternal law. 

I am not a Complementarian. I never have been. I agree with the feminists that it is an extra biblical creation . But I cannot agree with them that the form a marriage takes is a matter of personalities and fit. That way leads to destruction, particularly the destruction of marriage. 

Marriage matters, the form a marriage takes matters because marriage isn’t just two people deciding they will probably spend the rest of their lives together. Marriage is an icon of something greater and icons teach us.  

More to come.

An Open Letter to CBMW

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For years I’ve held CBMW and its allies are taking the wrong approach toward Egalitarians/Religious Feminists. I’ve believed that the approach, which is largely collegial in nature, treating this as an inhouse issue, was bound to fail. And now it has in chilling fashion. 

Specifically, I’ve warned that feminism must be treated as a first-order, core Gospel issue because, whether it appeared to be one or not, the logic impels feminists to attack christology. And now the are growing bolder in their attack on Christ. Jory Micah’s thesis boldly declares, “While Jesus walked the earth as a male, He no longer has a gender.”. Her MA thesis was accepted by Regent University in 2010 and her advisor was Dale Coulter. This is not the first time I’ve heard a gnostic Christ being promoted by “Egalitarians”, either. 

She is pretty small at this point in terms of recognition and social media following. But her influence is growing. She’s being embraced and promoted by CT’s Her.meneutucs writers, The Junia Project, and CBE has recently encouraged her to submit to them for publication. 

I know I first approached one of your leaders about this only a few days ago. But this young woman’s thesis is 5 years old now. During that five years, I’ve heard that same gnostic claim about Jesus in a face-to-face meeting with a former classmate from Denver Seminary, Vaun Swanson –whose work was being promoted by the seminary and who has been something of a leader with CBE, having a bio listed on their website and being a previous conference speaker. 

I don’t have to rehearse the problems with a false, gnostic view of Christ. Without Christ, there is no salvation. Feminism is heretical, it always has been. And now we are seeing the proof in their imaginative construction of a Jesus who cannot save, a Jesus of ancient heresy the Church spoke to and declared to be false long ago. If CBMW won’t stand against such heresy, it’s time to close up shop and quit the field of battle.

As for me, a mere woman? I stand with the Church who is not afraid to remember what heresies are and that many of them have been already answered. I stand with the Church who not only recognizes that women cannot be priests, but that She doesn’t have the authority to make women priests even if She wanted to. I am thankful to be Catholic. 

Feminist Mythologies

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Feminists are so confident of never receiving a serious challenge to their habitual dishonesty (in terms of losing syndication gigs, academic appointments, etc.), that they confidently declare something to exist, the idea of which has just been challenged. 

They simply declare it to exist, dismissing challenges as unworthy of discussion. They then proceed with the rest of their fantastic mythologies and are applauded for their honesty and bravery. 

How far have we devolved as a culture that they get away with it?

Watch “McElroy versus Valenti, FULL DEBATE * How should handle sexual assault?” (I’m not able to embed it) on YouTube. 

Regarding Anne Lamott

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I am reluctant to criticize any woman for her appearance, however …

A 60-something white woman of privilege sporting dreadlocks indicates a lot more than not knowing what her colors are. It’s a deliberate, one might say transgressive, choice. It says she doesn’t care a fig for what other people think. That’s made obvious by her behaviour as well. Known for not being terribly kind or patient with those she deems “stupid”, she outdid herself on Twitter yesterday:


This strikes me as being more defensive than mean. When someone is that vicious in their response to people, it often indicates they aren’t secure in their beliefs. In someone like Lamott, we’d do well to remember it takes an awful lot of energy to consistently and publicly deny core principles of the faith to which we claim to adhere. 

We can’t know the state of her soul. But we do know what she shows us doesn’t look good.

Pray for her. Please do. But please, please, stop buying her books. Don’t encourage her in her support of grave evil.

I’m serious, people! 

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I’m serious, people! If your nouveau theology, overturning all of Church history, requires you to completely efface, ignore, write over the creation of Adam then …

Oh bother! 

Barnum was right. That seems to go in triplicate for Christianity. We’re supposed to be wise as serpents, gentle as doves, not naive and untaught, accepting everything that comes from an authority and appears to make some sort of sense on the surface.

We stand on the shoulders of giants and we are fools not to recognize that. 
(Tweets quoting Ron Pierce, Old Testament Professor at Talbot and co-editor of a book I repent of having a part in)

A Challenge to Pro-Contraception Christians

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It was my own fault, and you know I know better than to do this. But I did and here we are. Rachel Held Evans is, once again, moaning about Christian women being “shamed” for using contraception:
Never mind that for the first 19 centuries of Christian history, the church universally viewed contraception as a shameful act. We know better now, don’t we?

But we don’t. The vast majority of self-identified Christians who say access to contraception is integral to their own pro-life ethic completely ignore history and theology. Indeed, they appear to be wholly ignorant of it in their manner of advocacy and in their writing. 

When was the last time you heard them mention the Comstock laws?

Acknowledge that the Anglican communion was the first Christian body to permit the use of contraception by married couples and then for only serious reasons?

Give any evidence that they’ve even read Humanae Vitae?

So this is my challenge to progressive Christians like Rachel Evans:

Before you defend access to contraception, study history. Study the Comstock laws and why Protestants led the fight for them. Take a look at Lambeth 1930 and the trajectory of Protestant bodies since then. Study Humanae Vitae, especially the four predictions Paul VI made about what a world that had embraced contraception would look like. 

Lastly, consider the historic fact that the rise in demand for access to abortion follows the availability and use of contraception. If access to contraception lessens the need for abortion, why does the demand for abortion follow rather than precede access to contraception. Perhaps you should also read the decision and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. 

But mostly, read Humanae Vitae. Because I dont know how anyone can credibly claim to be prolife and still support access to contraception and claim to be a Christian after they’ve understood the encyclical’s prophetic nature. It’s not just for Catholics. It’s true, full stop. 

A religious gathering of one’s own

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I sometimes wonder if religious progressives understand how much of their self-centeredness they reveal when they say things like this:

“I had to start a church I’d want to show up to, basically because I’d rarely gone to one I liked,” she says”

So says Nadia Bolz-Weber, a local pastor who delights in coarse language and a Crossfit obsession and claiming she is not a theological liberal:

But while she is socially progressive, she adheres to the teachings of the orthodox Lutheran tradition.

A woman pastor who claims adherence to to the orthodox Lutheran tradition yet has a drag queen who serves as a “minister of fabulousness” in her church is a new one to me. More on the cussing pastor from the BBC here. Someday I hope she explains why church should be a place we 👍🏼

Little Boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of Ticky-tacky …

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if you’re old enough I’ve now done you the nearly unforgivable disservice of planting an earworm. If you’re not old enough, whatever you don’t, do not toddle on over to YouTube to see what I’m apologizing about. 

Those are the first words of a song ridiculing the growth of nondescript suburbs full of tract homes of only slightly varying size, color and floor plan in the 1950s and 60s. They were an ugly but functional product of population growth and an emphasis on owning your own (exclusive to your nuclear family) home. Then, in the last few decades we’ve seen the growth of “McMansion” subdivisions, huge houses which the purchasers frequently cannot afford to fully furnish. 

And now, the pendulum is swinging the other way with a tiny house movement:
Both the McMansions and the Tiny houses say something about us that is quite saddening. McMansions are all about consumption and social status. They are the natural end of the whole idea of “keeping up with the Joneses”. But they are mostly empty, cold and impersonal. Some even come fully kitted-out where, as a television program I saw some years back had it, you only need pack your toothbrush to move in. They aren’t homes, they are house-shaped display cases. 

Tiny houses represent a reaction against such excesses. They represent stunningly clever uses of space and can be very charming. But I think they say something equally depressing about our culture. They fairly scream “No Children Allowed”. You might have room for two adults, but where are you going to put the crib? The toy chest? Give up the tiny square shower stall and take sponge baths standing by the kitchen sink? Snort. 

They also say we have no room for friends. No dinners lasting into the small hours discussing Mad Men. No oven big enough for a 15-pound turkey. Where would everyone sit, anyway? And no spare room for a friend in need or an unexpected visit from Aunt Jane. No room at this Inn. No sir, we’re a self-contained unit, were dinks*. 

Neither the excesses of the McMansion world or the parsimony of the Tiny House movement are Christian ideas. There are whispers, though, of a better way. Every once in a while you hear of a couple caring for mom because they don’t like the idea of nursing homes. Both I and one of my oldest friends are currently semi-retired while caring for an aging parent. There are babysitting co-ops and community gardens springing up in some neighborhoods, sometimes facilitated by churches. As the realization of the ill-effects of hormonal birth control spread and young couples embrace fertility-awareness and natural family planning, although these methods are highly effective, they seem to bring with them a desire for more children. That’s just a guess on my part, but don’t be shocked if the sales of bunk beds increase in the future. 

For myself, I have one serious question for tiny householders:

Where do I put my books?
  **not my own books, but I can dream, can’t I?

*Dual-Income, No Kids

We sent out engraved invitations

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I have given up hoping that Evangelical leaders will get this. I mean truly understand the foundations, how we got here and how radically they have failed countless church members and parachurch supporters.

I’m not talking about despair, something I will never give into. I’m simply acknowledging that it is foolish to expect anything but a slight change in emphasis and rhetoric. Not when organizations like the venerable ERLC publish a statement such as Here We Stand which is devoid of any suggestion that civil disobedience should be put on the table as a possible response to the Obergefell decision. Not when the statement is also a handwringing caution against outrage and a call to something termed convictional kindness. And not when CBMWs leader issues a call to Build a Marriage Culture that fails to mention one of the most important cultural phenomena contributing to a devaluation of marriage: contraception.

Nope. I am not wasting anymore psychic energy or pixels. I’ve begged long enough, my pleas have fallen on deaf ears for too long. I’ve been a fool to continue as long as I have. 

But there is hope. An increasing number of young women (in particular) are seeking out information on fertility awareness and natural family planning. These aren’t fringe “traddy” Catholics or Quiverfull Stay-at-Home daughters, either. These are bright, gifted, educated young Evangelcal women pursuing advanced degrees and working in policy institutes, parachurch organizations and writing books. They are out there and their tribe is increasing. Contrary to the teaching of “complementarianism”, the men leading Evangelcalism now might, when they reach their dotage, find their venerable organizations led by women.

That’s my little soapbox speech. Nice, but what do we do now?

First, we read, study, mark and inwardly digest Humanae Vitae. Study it until you come to recognize its profoundly prophetic nature. 

Then, read Mary Eberstadt, Adam & Eve After the Pill. The final chapter is also available here. It’s called, The Vindication of Humanae Vitae

Then, read this whole series by my friend Jennifer Lahl and the good folks at The Center for Bioethics and Culture, Family Equality Requires Eggsploitation (link takes you to the first of the series). 

Finally, you pray, you keep reading until you know where to act and how. If you keep studying, praying, and become acquainted with the organizations and people fighting faithfully for the eternal truths of marriage and family, unimagined opportunities will come to you. 

We sent out engraved invitations, decorated the hall, engaged the caterers and then threw the door wide open. That process began less than 90 years ago when the first Christian body officially embraced the permissibility of the use of contraception in Christian marriages. How many of us even know that no Christian denomination accepted the use of birth control before then? In fact, in the 19th century, it was Protestants who led the charge against contraception on the grounds that it would lead to lower morals! Yet, in little more than a generation after that first breech, Rome stood alone in her faithfulness to the generations that had come before. And now, less than 90 years after the Anglican Communion’s meeting of Bishops at Lambeth 1930, the American branch of that body has officially sanctioned weddings that are a demonic parody of the rite of Christian marriage. At some point the slippery slope ceased to be a cheap and possibly fallacious argument and became an historic reality. 

We began sending out the engraved invitations in 1930 and have acquiesced or assisted in arranging this cultural watershed moment for the next 80+ years. A narrow acceptance quickly became, by the 1960s, an unremarkable commonplace. This trend was followed by an increase in divorce rates which shamefully mirrored the frequency of family sundering in the culture at large. By the late 80s churches were spending more time and money on divorce recovery workshops than on marriage preparation. And remarriage after divorce ceased to become a problem, it as simply assumed that any divorced couple were each free to marry others and, more probably than not, would do so. 

Once we severed procreation from marriage, once we denied that the procreative meaning and end of the marital union was a good and a given, there was little reason to restrict the one thing that makes babies to the union created to foster the begetting and rearing of children. Churches routinely solemnize the marriages of fornicating and adulterous couples without a whisper of caution. 

And, once we denied the teleology of sex, it was an easy move to bring baby-making into the laboratory. We normalize sex without babies, why not embrace babies without sex? Children are now manufactured, not begotten. No one questions the ethics. Virtually no one considers the little murders that happen when their less “viable” offspring are casually discarded in the process.  The flagship publication of evangelical christianity, Christianity Today, even published a glowing review of a book describing the process of PGD (embryos are created in vitro and screened for genetic disease before being implanted, with embryos carrying the disease being discarded) where the author tells about her use of the technology and directing three of her offspring be destroyed because they carried the disease. We even make children this way while deliberately depriving them of one or both of their biological parents when third party reproduction makes use of “donor” gametes.  The only part of this process which Evangelicals have yet to embrace the common use of is the practice of surrogacy, a form of human trafficking in which a woman is paid to carry someone else’s baby and deliver him or her up to them upon, well, delivery. The practice is highly exploitive, mainly targeting poor women of color in parts of Asia and requiring they live in dorm-like multi bed wards for the duration of their pregnancy. Contracts can include a demand for cesearean birth scheduled at the convenience of the contracting “parents” and clauses requiring the product (read: baby) be destroyed (read: abortion) if it doesn’t meet certain standards (multiple pregnancy, sex, defect or disease). 

But wait.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby …

If same sex couples have the right to marry, they also have a right to create a family. No? Well, sorry folks, you’ve already embraced the logic which led us here. We might not be able to construct a formally valid philosophical argument, but the evidence e is there before us. The logic of human behavior and desire dictates it. You won’t find it in a “Rules for Arguments” logic textbook, but you will find it in the culltural wisdom of rhymes, proverbs and poetry. 

Long ago we forgot the wisdom in that old poem by William Ross Wallace, The Hand that rocks the cradle. I fear it is already too late to recall the wisdom in the old playground singsong, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby …

Our Imperial Court (formerly known as SCOTUS), has gone full Humpty Dumpty on us and disregarded the Constitution and stuck a thumb in the eye of universal, and I mean nowhere known to history or anthropology, practice and given us the legal novelty and ontological fiction of “gay marriage”. 

This wasn’t a culture war, it was far worse than Chamberlin, Quisling and a host of fifth columnists all rolled into one hideous mess. 

We sent out engraved invitations. 

Western Imperialism on steroids, literally

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Bill Gates wants remote control access to African Women’s fertility.  The article is a year old, but it bears repeating. Especially with Evangelical celebrities like Kay Warren and Amy Grant partnering with Melinda Gates in a new women’s health initiative. 

Do Evangelical Christians (especially them!) really want to get in bed with this sort of Western imperialism, racism, colonialism, paternalism, Malthusian anti-human population control and, let’s be honest, misogyny of the basest sort? Kay Warren, are you really okay with this? Amy Grant, do you really want to contribute to a coercive population control mentality that will prevent women from ever singing “Baby, baby” to their own newborn child?

I know I shouldn’t, but I still have great difficulty comprehending how Christians can be so blind to what this all means and what the consequences will, inevitably, be. They are so concerned to be gentle as doves, they forget about the other portion of that proverb. I think it had something to say about wisdom. 

From the article:

A remote-controlled contraceptive computer chip which would be implanted under the skin has been developed with the backing of Bill Gates.

The chip, which would last for 16 years, would release levonorgestral daily, a hormone which is used to prevent pregnancy.

However with the new implant, a woman could choose when to deactivate or reactivate the chip using a wireless control.

It is designed to be implanted under the skin of the buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen.

The implant provides a long-term solution to birth control and would mean no more trips to the clinic or a procedure to remove the implant.