Monthly Archives: March 2014

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #19

Today’s post begins with two passages from the Letter of James:

26 If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

(James 1:26-27)

What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

(James 4:1-9)

There is a common theme to both passages, namely, not letting yourself be held captive by the world. Or, as St. James explains, not to let ourselves be “stained” by the world. This lesson is fairly common in Christian theology, and for good reason. It is absurdly easy for us to lose track of what matters, and to whom we belong. Our love as Christians is reserved for God, and for our fellow men, not for the world. The more ties we have to the world, the more stained our souls become, and the more distractions there are which will cause us to lose sight of what is important. Lest I repeat myself further, I will close this part by simply noting that we should always be asking ourselves if our actions are Godly, or Worldly.

The following verses from Psalm 16 provide a contrast to the final verses in the second passage, as they are tales of gladness:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    my body also dwells secure.
10 For thou dost not give me up to Sheol,
    or let thy godly one see the Pit.

11 Thou dost show me the path of life;
    in thy presence there is fulness of joy,
    in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

(Psalm 16: 9-11)

The reason for the contrast is simple. Those who are urged to humble themselves by James are those who have embraced the world and lived in sin. Their joy, arising from their sinful lives, is only temporary. Unless they repent and “mourn and weep” as part of begging forgiveness from God, then they will find themselves lamenting not in this world, but in the next, where the lamentations will never end. Our happiness and joy in this life should come from God and His works. If it doesn’t, then we should must mourn instead, and cast that life, and the evil it contains, away from ourselves. The alternative is to never again find our way back to the path of life.

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The Struggle Of Our Time

I hadn’t realized it until just recently, but Novaseeker over at Veritas Lounge returned to blogging. He had let his blog lapse for a while, but restored it and has written two posts that warrant further analysis and discussion. They both revolve around a common theme, namely, the nature of the struggle that we face now here in the West.

The first post is called Lords of the New Church. In it he begins by discussing the call by one Sandra Korn for “Academic Justice” inside of Academia, rather than “Academic Freedom.” As he explains:

What we see here is nothing less than the development of a new orthodoxy, together with the enforcement mechanisms which go along with any system of orthodox belief.

This much I think has been obvious to most folks for quite some time, but he goes further.:

Clearly this is the enforcement of a moral orthodoxy — or, rather, an enforced set of rules about permitted academic investigation or engagement which are in turn based on a preconceived moral orthodoxy.  It’s quite telling that the ultimate justification, the “punch line” if you will, is that of having “the moral upper hand”.  This is the ultimate “moral” (in reality, ideological) basis which justifies the accepted orthodoxy of one’s actions, and which trumps the academic freedom of any dissenters from such “consensus” orthodoxy.  Of course, while being both banal and unsurprising, it is nevertheless ironic (and an irony that appears completely lost on most of the academy, alas) that a group which has claimed inherited solidarity with Galileo in the face of his persecution for articulating ideas which went against the orthodoxy of his day has now completely turned around, and essentially become its own perceived caricature of what it has despised — namely fulfilling to a tee the academy’s caricature of the Christian church as an ideologically-based enforcer of an orthodoxy of ideas, based on a set of moral principles held in consensus by its own appointed few.  What we are witnessing is nothing less than the “coming out party” of a new church — complete with a priesthood, monasteries and an emergent, and zealously enforced, orthodoxy.

I completely agree with Novaseeker’s assessment here. In fact, I have made a similar argument myself in my post The Three Estates. That post described how the US is slowly drifting towards a neo-feudal order, one where there are three major “castes”, or “estates.” This mirrors how much of Europe looking from the Dark Ages all the way through to the Renaissance. As I explained, the nature of the system was like this:

  1. The first caste defined the moral order
  2. The second exercised political and economic control, through its monopoly on force
  3. The third kept the system running

The old estates were broken long ago- the church was/is largely powerless, and the nobility had been broken and disappeared. However, developments in our society had lead to the emergence of a new social order that looked a lot like the old one. The Third Estate is still much as it always was, but the Second Estate is now composed of politicians, activists, lobbyists and bureaucrats who exercise most of the political power in the present system. As for the First Estate, here is what I explained:

The cultural elites of the West, located in the Media, Academia and the overall “Education Establishment”, have begun to take on the role of the First Estate. Like the clergy in Medieval times, they are largely in a position to define the moral order for overall society. The amount of influence they now wield dwarfs anything that their opponents can muster. For some time the media, although it was just the “press” back then, was referred to as the Fourth Estate. This is because they were outside of the overall power structure as it existed back then, but still wielded influence  (and through it power). No longer. Now the media is very much integrated in the social order. They are joined in this by a powerful Educational Establishment, which molds the minds of citizens starting in kindergarten (or even sooner) all the way through post-graduate education. It is this conglomeration of influence wielders who determine what is, and isn’t, acceptable in society. For an idea of what that means, see here. Under the present system Transgress those boundaries and at best you find yourself a social pariah, with fines and imprisonment possibilities for greater infractions of the social order.

All of this has been apparent for some time to those of us who have actually been paying attention to what is going on. What is different now, as Novaseeker explains, is that they aren’t pretending anymore:

What is new, however, is the brazenness of it all.  That approach and tone comes when people generally feel invulnerable to their critics.  The ideological left (which is what the academy is – it isn’t a centrist, pragmatic left, it’s generally an out-there, radical, ideological left) is basically doing a socio-political-cultural celebratory dance.  Virtually all of their goals have either been achieved or are well within reach.  They know this.  Hegemony is theirs – at least for the foreseeable future.  So, this gives them the courage simply to state explicitly things that previously everyone familiar with the academy tacitly knew, but didn’t expressly say – it’s the most brazen stage of the entire development by which the academy has become monolithic in outlook while at the same time hugely increasing its influence over the state and the society at large.

He goes even further in explaining the situation, and I strongly recommend everyone to read the whole post (and its follow-up).

His second post is called The Struggle is Spiritual. It begins where he left off in his previous post:

This is a religious fight, from start to finish.  It’s best that we see it that way, that we may approach it properly and with the most appropriate tools.

I’m not going to quote nearly so much from his second post, as you really have to read the whole thing to understand it properly. What I will quote from is his opening:

I have gradually come to the conclusion that the current “struggles” we face concerning the “culture” — whether we are discussing the impact of the sexual revolution, the decline of religion in the public square, the increase of all kinds of license, the coarsening of society, the decline of family life, etc. — are primarily not cultural struggles at all.  And neither are they political struggles, although certain aspects of these elements have been aided and abetted by political action and legislation.

By contrast, it strikes me that the cultural and political elements we are seeing are merely manifestations of a broader spiritual struggle — a larger element which underlies these other manifestations, and unites them into a larger, cohesive, and more dangerous, whole.

I owe Novaseeker a debt of gratitude for this part. While I had always sort of known this, in the sense that I had all of the pieces in my mind, I hadn’t put them together. When assembled, they clued me in to the fact that the First Estate, as I had envisioned it, was not merely composed of cultural elites, but spiritual ones. In fact, the media’s influence is as much spiritual as it is cultural, as they help mold and define what is good, and what isn’t. The same applies to Academia. My suspicion is that the lack of clarity over this is deliberate- a product of the machinations of the new First Estate who want to keep everyone else in the dark about what is really going on. They have created distinctions between culture and spirituality that exist only in our minds- they are no more real than the false deity that has been constructed by this new First Estate over the last few decades to centuries.

What is going on now is nothing more, and nothing less, than a war for the Soul of Western Civilization. A campaign is underway to remove the last (overt) traces of Christianity from what used to be known as Christendom, or what we more commonly refer to now as Western Civilization. In fact, campaign might be too generous. Because by all appearances the adversary has already all but won this war, and is in the process of securing its victory.

The question before us is this: What now? What shall we do? How shall we respond?

Will we keep fighting, even though we cannot win (by ourselves, at least)? While it is doubtful that we will be fed to lions or suffer the other forms of torture and execution that the first martyrs faced, suffering is clearly ahead. Loss of property is assured. As is loss of freedom. Perhaps scarier, loss of family- no doubt those with children will see them taken away and sent to who knows where.

Or do we instead “flee to the catacombs”? Do we hide away in small communities and isolate ourselves from general society? Perhaps we can literally flee to the mountains or otherwise sparsely inhabited regions in order to escape the coming persecution. Because that is coming, as surely as night follows day.  The new First Estate cannot tolerate the presence of another source of moral authority, or at least, one which is opposed to it.

Or will we surrender? Do we given in, and compromise our faith that we might live in peace? Most likely Christians will still be allowed to practice their “faith” if they simply drop those parts which offend the morality and sensibility of the new moral order. We will be allowed to worship our God all we want, so long as we also worship theirs as well. It won’t be that difficult either, I imagine, besides giving lip service to their “good”, and saying the right things and hating the right things.

Perhaps these are the end times, and the Day of Judgment will soon be upon us. Or maybe this is just another period of brief darkness that will pass in time. Either way, we cannot tell beforehand. The only thing that we know for certain is the choice we have to make. Fight, flee or surrender?

Choose wisely.



Filed under Christianity, Neo-Reaction, The Church

Saturday Saints- #9

This Saturday’s saint is one of the first that I have included in this series, Saint Helena:

Saint Helena or Saint Helen (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta; c. 250 – c. 330) was the consort of the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus and the mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, an important figure in the history of Christianity. She is traditionally credited with a pilgrimage to Syria Palaestina, during which she discovered the True Cross of Jesus’s crucifixion. She is revered as a saint by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran, and the Anglican churches.

(Wiki article here)

I found her interesting for several reasons. To begin with, she was the mother of Constantine, who had a significant impact on Christianity’s early development. Also fascinating was that she was heavily involved in searching for early relics of Christian history and tradition. During her trip to the Holy Land she also helped found several churches, including the Church of the Nativity. So all in all, she exerted a great deal of influence in her lifetime (which was pretty long for that time).

Saint Helen of Constantinople


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Questioning Understanding

I was reading Martel’s latest post over at Alpha is Assumed, when I came across this paragraph:

I’ve been talking offline a bit with a woman who can be somewhat critical of the manosphere.  She’s definitely on our side in her opposition to feminism and support for natural gender roles, but she finds our vitriol to be somewhat counterproductive.  She’s very big on Christian love, charity, and forgiveness, believing that we can never really know why somebody ended up being a certain way.  She believes that were we more understanding and less quick to criticize, we’d be more effective.

As I see it, the woman whom Martel was speaking with was making three different points. They are:

1) The manosphere is (overly?) vitriolic and this hurts “the cause.”

2) It is impossible for us to truly understand why someone chose to act or be a certain way.

3) If the manosphere was more empathetic, and less critical, it would be more effective in getting its point across.

Now, all of those points are explicit arguments. Self-evident, if you will. But I think there is another argument being made, one that is implied:

4) It is important for us to understand people and why they do what they do.

Point 1 is something that I agree with. Of course, the manosphere is more about “educating” men than it is about “fighting for the cause.” As for point two, I agree with it in the sense that people are complicated creatures and it is impossible to know everything that makes them “tick.” However, I also disagree with it, in that as a Christian I understand that human beings are fallen creatures who are predisposed towards evil. So in a way we do know why they ended up a certain way… when that way involves sin. Regarding point 3, I think that the woman misunderstands the nature of the manosphere. As I pointed out in response to point 1, its primary purpose is to educate men. But ultimately, these aren’t the points that matter. It is point 4 that drives this post, because I have seen arguments similar to it before.

Something that I hear not infrequently is that we as Christians shouldn’t be hasty to judge/evaluate others, because we don’t know what kind of life they have lived. We don’t know their hardships, their trials, the difficulties that they have endured. And principally this line of thought is applied to people who have engaged in sin, or are living lives of outright sin. An example of this would be “We don’t know why she decided to become promiscuous/a prostitute. She could have been neglected or abused growing up!” Or “Don’t be so harsh on him, he had a tough life. Its no wonder he became a criminal.” Of course, there are many, many other such examples.

What I am curious about is just how Christian this whole line of thought actually is. Many of my readers have a far better knowledge of Scripture than I, and the Catholic/Orthodox readers probably are better with Tradition as well. So I am asking for your assistance in this matter. Where in Scripture does it say that we should be understanding of what causes people to sin? I haven’t found anything yet which seems to support that notion, but of course I could be missing something.

The reason I’m asking about this is because I think that this desire to “understand” people is often used as a means of excusing sin.  Even if it isn’t used as an excuse, I think it is at best a distraction, as it is something that ultimately doesn’t matter to us as Christians. And frankly, I think it is used far more as an excuse than for some alternate purpose, like relating to someone better or helping them turn their life around.  Although in most cases I don’t think it is outright intended to excuse sin. Rather, it is those preach “Christian love, charity, and forgiveness” who seem to be the most likely to do it, because they want to be loving and understanding. But I think that while their intentions might be noble, they have lost sight of what they are actually doing.

But then again, I could be completely wrong here. So if anyone has anything to contribute, please do so.


Filed under Christianity, Sin

Report Any Problems

Like any part of the internet, this particular section is not immune to “flame wars” or other heated disagreements. In fact, we have seen more than a few since I first started blogging, and more before that when I was only a commenter or lurker.

Now, I don’t find them to be terribly helpful, and in fact believe that most of the time they cause unnecessary division and infighting. Given the present social/cultural environment, I don’t believe it helpful for blue-on-blue fights to break out.

The thing is, I believe that such conflicts are often avoidable, because more often than not they seem to be the product of miscommunication or misunderstandings. It is far from uncommon for the conflict to die out once one side or the other, or sometimes both, realize what was really trying to be said. Were there better avenues of communication to begin with, then perhaps in-fighting wouldn’t have broken out, and instead matters could have been discussed/debated and resolved in an agreeable, and certainly less public, fashion.

Towards that end: if anyone has a problem with something that I have written- whether they think it merely incorrect, or accidentally (or purposefully) serving feminism/the feminist imperative, or is in otherwise need of correction- then I would ask that person to contact me via e-mail first. You can find it in the About section. Hopefully we can work out any disagreements through e-mail first, before letting it spill over into posts and comment sections.

Ultimately, I think that will help keep in-fighting down, and allow us to focus more on the topics/subjects that are important to us, rather than get bogged down by internecine warfare.


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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #18

Today’s first passage comes from the Book of Kings:

And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Eli′jah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Eli′jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Eli′jah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Haz′ael to be king over Syria; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Eli′sha the son of Shaphat of A′bel-meho′lah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And him who escapes from the sword of Haz′ael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Eli′sha slay. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Ba′al, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

(1 Kings 19:9-18)

There a several important points to be grasped in this passage, but the one I want to focus on is in the middle, when God passes by Elijah. In telling us that God wasn’t in the  overpowering events that swept by the cave, but in the quietest of sounds, Scripture is teaching us that God works in quiet deeds as much as mighty ones. We are reminded that signs of His presence can appear in all things, great and small. We shouldn’t focus on the “big things” in life, but instead look for, and accept, that He is everywhere, when when we least expect it. In fact, it is a common theme throughout Scripture that God’s presence was not recognize by his people.

This is taken a step further in the Book of Isaiah, who provides another account of the faithful failing to notice what is before their very eyes:

Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account.

(Isaiah 53:1-3)

Of course, Christians understand exactly whom this passage referred to: Jesus of Nazareth, or God among us. God walked amongst his people, as foretold in prophecy, and yet His people did not see, or understand this. They saw only a man, nothing more. This is because they had closed their hearts, and their minds, to what God intended. Rather, they had their own ideas on what to look for, on what to expect from the one who was to come. They expected the mighty presence of an earthquake or fire, not the quiet voice. They looked for a lion, not a lamb. If we are not careful, if we let our pride and our own desires interfere with our senses, then we too will fail to observe God’s presence in our lives. We must learn to open our eyes, and see what is true, and not what we expect.


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Saturday Saints- #8

For today’s saint we reach back a bit, to the first few centuries of Christianity. Also, we look at someone of a very different disposition and manner from the previous saints. Today’s saint is St. George:

Saint George (Greek: Γεώργιος (Georgios), Classical Syriac: ܓܝܘܪܓܝܣ (Giwargis), Latin: Georgius; c. 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD), born in Lydda, Roman Palestine, was a soldier in the Roman army and was later venerated as a Christian martyr. His father was Gerontius, a Greek Christian from Cappadocia, and an official in the Roman army. His mother, Polychronia was a local Greek Christian of Palestine. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian. In hagiography, Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic (Western and Eastern Rites), Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.

When dealing with a figure like Saint George, one finds that little is truly known about him and yet the tales about him are numerous indeed. I like what Pope Gelasius said about him, in that he was among the company of those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God.” It is he who is attributed the story of slaying the dragon, and whom England now claims as its patron Saint- although he lived long before there ever was an “England.”

Setting aside any fanciful tales, there is a lot to admire in the man, or at least what is probably true of him. He was a Roman soldier, and a brave and capable one at that. He was an officer in that army, and thus enjoyed a position of authority, influence and respect. Yet he was a devout man, unafraid to express his faith.  This story from the Wikipedia article on him is inspiring:

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George objected, and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but George never accepted.

Here was a man who was offered not simply a choice between life and death, but between a life of luxury and power and a death both painful and humiliating. There is a stark comparison to be made between the test that St. George faced in the court of the Emperor, and that faced by Jesus during his forty days in the desert. So in a way it is altogether fitting that he graces this blog during the season of Lent.

Saint George


Filed under Saturday Saints

Picky, Picky

This blog post is dedicated to a couple of phenomena that I’ve heard about from some of the female commentators around these parts, and from some of my female readers who reach me via e-mail. The first has been explained to me as a scenario where a man finds a woman objectively attractive, but feels no sense of passion for her, i.e. he doesn’t “burn for her.” As for the second scenario, that involves a situation where a woman receives or picks up Indicators of Interest from certain men, but the men giving them otherwise ignore her and instead direct their efforts towards other women. To quote one commenter, oft times the women receiving male attention are those with a “slut aura.” In this post I will give some thoughts about why these situations might happen, supplying some of my theories on the matter as well of those of a few people I’ve talked with. I’m going to address them in reverse order, starting with the second scenario.

Low Hanging Fruit

There is a very simple explanation why most men will focus on women who exude a “slut aura.” They are making a simple, rational decision, although not a moral one, that they shouldn’t pay full price when they can “have the milk for free.” I explained this more fully in my post “Why Does My Boyfriend Pressure Me for Sex?“, but it essentially comes down to men taking the least costly path that leads towards sex. Most men, if they perceive a woman as not being “easy”, will ignore her because the perceived cost of sex from here will be great. On the other hand, a woman with a “slut aura” is perceived as “easy” and a low cost means of getting what they want more than anything.

Negative Feedback

Another thing that might be hurting women who don’t have a “slut aura” is the fact that their own aura might be pushing men away. Whether you want to call it an “Ice Queen” aura or something else, women can send off vibes that will keep men away. Approaching a woman can be a difficult experience for many men, and if given a reason not to do it, such as cold, rigid body language and behavior on the part of the woman, many men avoid it all together. Women with a “slut aura”, on the other hand, give off the impression of being easily approachable. My suspicion is that many women who don’t adopt that aura will go too far the other way- in their desire to appear modest they actually create an impression of being unapproachable. Much of the problem arises because women aren’t taught the kind of feminine attitudes and behaviors that they were in the past. Part of that included advice on how to both seem modest and yet approachable at the same time. That knowledge is largely forgotten these days, and so women must learn to fend for themselves. For a Christian woman who doesn’t want to give off a “slut aura” or some other brash set of behaviors, it is probably easy to fall unwittingly into the trap of cold modesty. That cold modesty can go beyond behavior, too. Poor dress, short/bad hair and bad makeup skills can also be included here.

Bad Read

There is another explanation, one that is somewhat cruel to say but needs to be acknowledged. It is always possible that women who think they are being passed over because they lack a “slut aura” are misjudging their own attractiveness. They might be misinterpreting men, thinking that they are picking up IOIs, when instead men are merely being friendly. I’ve written a post or two which discussed the trouble women have evaluating their own attractiveness (and whether they should get help for it), and that problem might be manifesting itself here. As cruel as it sounds, a woman who isn’t attractive will be passed up by a lot of men. Of course, she can mitigate this somewhat through healthy diets and exercise, in order to maximize her “physical assets.”  But she will need to understand that the pool of men interested in her will necessarily be smaller, and that she will have to adjust her expectations accordingly. That does it for the second scenario, for the moment at least. Turning now towards the first one again.

Cost/Benefit or Risk Analysis

[This isn’t exactly an explanation for the behavior in scenario one, but is something that I should point out, as it goes along well with the overall purpose of the post. ] Something else that can be at play is that a man might be running a cost/benefit analysis in his head and deciding that a woman just doesn’t rate high enough in looks. That seems kind of callous to say, but it is important to acknowledge the reality right now that marriage is a risky proposition for a man. He is completely exposed during marriage, with essentially no protection any longer. Society and the courts will not only not protect him, but will actively encourage the worst of behavior by women. The church even is of little help at best, and in some instances is as much of a problem as any divorce attorney. With this kind of hostile environment, men will be hesitant to marry. They will want the perceived benefits to be worth the potential costs. And yes, this applies to even Christian men. Perhaps especially Christian men, as Jesus reminded us of the importance of counting costs. As I indicated in my previous post, a woman’s beauty/looks/attractiveness is something that matters a lot to men. Of course, men can easily take this too far. Marriage shouldn’t be a selfish thing, otherwise it just becomes another idol. And beauty alone is a foolish measure of whether a woman is marriageable. But the truth remains that in the present age women who are less attractive might get passed over because a man isn’t sure the reward is worth the risk.

Filter Distortion

Another idea that I have bounced around in my head centers around “floors”- attraction and arousal floors, specifically. I discussed them at length in my post Romantic Architecture, and recommend to those reading this that they review that post before continuing on. Using that post as a baseline, I have basically argued before that normally the male “arousal floor” is lower than the male “attraction floor.” Referencing back to Romantic Architecture, a man’s arousal floor (the point below which women cannot arouse a man) is found at the threshold between “Unattractive” and “Not Unattractive.” Meanwhile, the attraction floor is the boundary between “Attractive” and “Not Unattractive.” The theory I’ve been thinking about revolves around the idea that a man’s arousal threshold might not be fixed. Instead, depending on environmental factors, it might move up or down the “Scale”. In terms of explaining what caused scenario 1, I speculate that a number of different environmental factors might have pushed a man’s arousal floor above his attraction floor. The result of this would be that a man could find a woman objectively attractive, and yet not be immediately/easily aroused by her. What could cause this?

Well, one possibility might be that old Churchian bane, pornography. A man who views sufficient amounts of it might rewire his brain such that he can only be aroused by a high level of sexual conduct by women. Mere sight and normal interaction with a woman who is attractive but not greatly so just might not arouse him like it used to. The same impact can possibly be had outside of pornography, with women that a man encounters in everyday life. If a man has a lot of experience (not necessarily sexual experience, just time spent around) with women who dress and act provocatively, then that might adjust his “baseline” for what to expect from women. If the women are very attractive then this resetting of the baseline might be even more likely.

Under this framework, a woman who dresses and acts modestly may not trigger a man’s passion, even though he can objectively evaluate her as attractive. This meshes well with scenario 2, actually, as men, after sufficient exposure to women with a “slut aura”, might not be able to get easily excited by a woman without. Just like how women can assign a guy to the “friendzone”, and no longer see him as sexually exciting, perhaps men can also lose their ability to view certain women in the same light.

Typing Without a Keyboard

Another possibility, one that was brought to my attention by one of my more astute readers who I communicate with via e-mail, has to do with types. You see, men have certain “types” of women that they prefer. In some of my past post I have referred to archetypes, but this is somewhat different. By “type” I mean that each man has a set of features that he looks for and prefers in women. Some are universal (symmetry, for example), while others vary from man to man. Some features are rated higher or lower, and others a man might not care about at all. As applied to scenario 1, a man might be able to objectively rate a woman as attractive, but if she isn’t his type than he might not feel that immediate passion that he would for a woman who was his type. This is because it is those features he rates highest in his “type” which arouse him. Even though her overall physical appearance might be attractive, if it is sufficiently far from his type it just won’t get his juices flowing. At least, that is the theory.

Another component to this is psychological. A man might not want to commit to a woman who isn’t his type, perhaps because “type” is genetic, or maybe something that he developed as a result of environmental conditions. Either way, because he is so strongly compelled towards his type, he will have trouble committing to a woman who doesn’t fit that. And this mental block might lead a physical block as well.

The present marriage market exacerbates the problem that the male preference for a certain type already adds. For a devout Christian woman, finding a devout Christian man who would make a good husband isn’t enough by itself. You have to be his type as well, or at least attractive enough so that you can overcome that. Likewise for men, the problem is that even if you find a devout Christian woman, who meets most or all of your non-physical criteria, if she isn’t your type then you might have trouble committing to her. In the past this wouldn’t have been as much of a problem, because there were enough marriageable men and women out there that you were likely to find someone who was your type (or whose type you were) while also meeting the other criteria. With so few good candidates these days this may not be the case.

Of course, women have “types” as well, and that might complicate matters from the other end. Then you have personality types and compatibility issues there as well, which makes things even worse on both ends. All of which adds up to the whole situation being a terrible mess right now.


So, that pretty much sums up my explanations/ideas/theories for the time being. I invite my readers to offer their own thoughts and commentary. Feel free to rip them to shreds, goodness knows that I’m in need of an ego check on a regular basis. Oh, and for those who have been participating in my password protected Lenten posts, I will be writing a short one that will act as a counter-part to this post in the next day or so. If you haven’t been participating but would like to, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment requesting access.


Filed under Attraction, Men, Red Pill, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #17

For today’s post I will be returning to the Book of Sirach. Like last week’s post, this will deal with marriage and worthy traits in women. The first selection happens to be two verses from a section on children:

A sensible daughter obtains a husband of her own,
but one who acts shamefully is a grief to her father.
An impudent daughter disgraces father and husband,
and is despised by both.

(Sirach 22:4-5)

Addressing the last verse first, a woman who cannot control herself or show respect where it is due insults both her father and her husband. The insult to the father is because it gives every semblance that he cannot raise his children properly, which in a healthy society is a grave insult indeed. For the husband, it is insulting because it makes him seem weak and ineffectual as a man leading his family.

The first verse, however, is the one that matters most in my (not so humble) opinion. Because, as is clear, it shoots down the idea that women aren’t to be active agents in seeking marriage. As I mentioned in the previous post in this series, sensible (or sound judgment) is one of the traits most frequently ascribed to women who would make (or are) good wives. And what does a woman with this worthy trait do? She goes and obtains a husband for herself. Of course, there aren’t any women in the Bible who do that, right? I mean, we all know that God is just going to deliver a good husband right into the arms of a Daughter of the King’s Christian woman.

I think that the compare and contrast here is important. On the one hand is a sensible, wise daughter who takes the steps necessary to get married. On the other hand, you have daughters who act shamefully (as in, sleep around) who cause nothing but grief for their parents. Christian women have a choice: they can be sensible and wise, and therefor seek out a husband, or they can act shamelessly and disgrace their family, or they can seek a religious life of celibacy. Well, inaction is a choice as well, but that carries with it the sin of Sloth, and so should be avoided as well.

This brings me to the second selection for today. I’m going to quote it in full, and then tackle it piece by piece.

26 A woman will accept any man as a husband,
but one girl is preferable to another.
27 A woman’s beauty lights up a man’s face,
and there is nothing he desires more.
28 If kindness and humility mark her speech,
her husband is more fortunate than other men.
29 He who acquires a wife gets his best possession,
a helper fit for him and a pillar of support.
30 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered;
and where there is no wife, a man will become a fugitive and a wanderer.
31 For who will trust a nimble robber
that skips from city to city?
So who will trust a man that has no nest,
but lodges wherever night overtakes him?

(Sirach 36:26:30)

26 A woman will accept any man as a husband,
but one girl is preferable to another.

This is an interesting verse. I suspect that the first part is true in so far as that if a woman adopts a proper submissive and respectful attitude towards her husband then any man can satisfy her needs and expectations. As for men, the second part is certainly true. In fact, when it comes to wives, wise men tend to be very discerning and discriminating. I will go into this a bit more in my next post, hopefully coming out Monday or Tuesday.

27 A woman’s beauty lights up a man’s face,
and there is nothing he desires more.

This verse might not sit well with certain folks, but there is a stark truth to it. A woman’s beauty has an effect on a man that is like no other. It is difficult to describe just how profound an effect I’m talking about here, and frankly, I don’t know if it is something that woman can fully understand, even. Let me simply say that the attentions of a beautiful woman impart in a man a feeling of power and completeness that compares to little else. And that is just attentions- affection from a beautiful woman elevates that feeling even further.

Fortunately, the true depth of this verse applies to more than just beautiful women. Every wife can benefit from the wisdom here by understanding that her husband is a physical and visual creature. So she should make every effort to keep up her appearances and take care of herself. Make the best of what you have, in other words. Even though they may not strictly say it, men appreciate it when their woman takes care of herself like that, and it will inspire them to even greater levels of affection and love.

28 If kindness and humility mark her speech,
her husband is more fortunate than other men.

A soothing voice that calms, rather than agitates, is easily worth its weight in gold. I don’t think most women appreciate just how much a difference their voice can make. If a woman is of gentle speech, her husband can truly relax and allow himself to fully escape from the horrors of the world around him.

29 He who acquires a wife gets his best possession,
a helper fit for him and a pillar of support.

This bit is directed towards men. To those already married, it reminds them that their wife is the most important thing in their life besides the Lord. It helps them recall that a wife is there to help him and support him like nothing else can, and that he shouldn’t treat her like just another servant, or as a trophy to be shown off. For unmarried men, it serves to educate them that they shouldn’t waste their strength and their money on harlots. Instead they seek out a wife, who will add value to their lives and do more than provide momentary pleasure, at a price that is difficult to fully perceive.

30 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered;
and where there is no wife, a man will become a fugitive and a wanderer.
31 For who will trust a nimble robber
that skips from city to city?
So who will trust a man that has no nest,
but lodges wherever night overtakes him?

This is an interesting pair of verses, one that I think is somewhat clearer with the RSV translation (I normally use RSV rather than NRSV, but in a couple of books, like Tobit and Sirach, the NSRV translations had better access to source materials and are usually clearer in their statements):

25 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered;
and where there is no wife, a man will wander about and sigh.
26 For who will trust a nimble robber
that skips from city to city?
So who will trust a man that has no home,
and lodges wherever night finds him?

I suspect that most of my readers will have heard of the phrase “Home is where the Heart is” before. That, I think, is the purpose behind these two verses. A man without a wife doesn’t really have a home, because his heart has no rest. That part of him which registers loneliness will keep him in a constant state of agitation and unease. Even though he may stay in one place, his heart is forever wandering about, seeking the companion that was created so that he wouldn’t be alone. For all that it has been abused, the notion that a man with a wife is like a truck with a load rings with some truth. Ben Sira and others understood that men need an anchor in order to firm them up and help them develop the sense of responsibility that would make them valuable members of the community. Partly this comes about because such men have a stake in the community’s success, whereas a man who lodges where he will doesn’t care what happens to the world around him.

Having a large number of unmarried men in a society is a recipe for social distress. At best such men have little incentive to defend the stability of society, and at worse they will seek its downfall. So far the evidence that a “marriage strike” is taking place or starting to occur is weak, and the US had best hope that it continues to stay that way. If enough men decide that marriage simply isn’t worth it, or cannot find a woman whom they feel is worthy to marry, then expect nothing but disaster to result. Our system cannot withstand a large percentage of men becoming wanderers, whether literal or figurative. The poetic justice of it all will be the fact that those who have the most to lose are also those who are in large part the most responsible for its collapse. But sadly, not all; the innocent will suffer, as they invariably do, when everything falls apart.


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Predicting Marriage

A sociology professor at the University of Miami has recently published a study in Social Science Research where he explores the different traits that make someone a marrying type. The Atlantic has an article on the study, providing a broad overview of it. If I get some free time later I will dig into the study, but the overview provided in that Atlantic piece validates certain ideas that I (and others) have advanced. The highlights:

Michael T. French, a sociology professor at the University of Miami, and his team looked at longitudinal data of more than 9,000 adolescents as they became young adults—starting in 1994 when participants were in high school and middle school and ending in 2009 when they were aged 24 to 34. Interviewers were asked to rate the participants’ looks, personality, and grooming on a scale of one to five, five being the most attractive. So this study doesn’t get into the nuances of personality, and how one person’s “sarcastic and abrasive” might be another’s “charming and adorable,” but instead just looks at whether someone’s personality is generally “attractive.”

Of those three traits, the only statistically significant interaction was that men with an above average attractive personality were more likely to get married. Taking each of the factors individually, no other significant trends emerged. But those three factors in aggregate (what the researchers called “the personal traits index”) were linked to likelihood of marriage. Someone who scored more highly on the index overall was more likely to walk down the aisle.

The fact that men with an “above average attractive personality” tended to marry more often would seem to indicate that my LAMPS/PSALM model has some merit to it. Since Power/Personality stands out among other factors (like physical attractiveness), that supports my contention that the P component of male attraction vectors is the most potent of them. Also, since Power/Personality is a huge component of male MMV, and not just SMV, it would/should translate into a greater ability to marry (for men). And that is exactly what seems to be the case here.

There are a few other points worth noting about the study:

  • Its focus on attractiveness fits in well with the overall state of marriage, in that it is largely hedonic in this day and age. Although as I study more on the subject, it looks like that isn’t an entirely new thing. Rather, it is just more prominent now.
  • There doesn’t seem to be as strong of a correlation between an attractive female personality and marriage. Part of me wonders what they meant by “attractive personality” for women. Since personality is a factor in female MMV, does it simply mean agreeable, or something more?
  • I was a bit surprised that grooming was thrown in here, although in retrospect it makes sense. Since it seems to have an effect, in aggregate, it is something that marriage minded men and women shouldn’t ignore.

That does it for now.


Filed under APE, Attraction, LAMPS, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Women