Monthly Archives: August 2014

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #39

The first passage in today’s post comes from the Book of Deuteronomy:

11 “Take heed lest you forget the Lord your God, by not keeping his commandments and his ordinances and his statutes, which I command you this day: 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth; that he may confirm his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as at this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.

(Deuteronomy 8:11-20)

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This is pretty much what has happened in the West. We have forgotten the Lord, Him from whom all good things come. We in the West have achieved unparalleled prosperity over the last few decades, such that now nearly all of us have “idle hands.”  We think we don’t need God any more- whether to provide for us or to explain the cosmos, and so have ignored Him. Even worse, we have chased after idols, whom many worship and even serve.  What comes next is both tragic and predictable.

What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already,
    in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
    nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to happen
    among those who come after.

(Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)

The Letter to the Hebrews is the source of today’s third passage:

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?—

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

(Hebrews 12:3-11)

This is kind of a radical statement, when you think about it: we know we aren’t bastards because God disciplines us. But it makes sense- we correct those we care about, not those who mean nothing to us. God loves us, and sometimes love demands a harsh rebuke. Even though we don’t appreciate it at the time, our guilt and chastisement is a sign of God’s love and favor. Perhaps it is just me, but I find all of this very comforting.

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Saturday Saints- #31

Today’s saint is Saint David of Menevia:

Saint David (Welsh: Dewi Sant; c. 500 – c. 589) was a Welsh bishop of Menevia during the 6th century; he was later regarded as a saint and as the patron saint of Wales. David was a native of Wales, and a relatively large amount of information is known about his life. However, his birth date is still uncertain, as suggestions range from 462 to 512. The Welsh annals place his death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore’s dating revised this to 601.

A few interesting facts from the wiki on him:

  • He was a major opponent of Pelagianism (a school of thought which rejected original sin)
  • His monastic rule was very demanding- for example one could eat just bread with salt and herbs
  • He is almost always depicted with a dove on his shoulder

St. David

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It Is What Is On The Inside That Counts

Over at the blog JustFourGuys Sir Nemesis wrote a post recently, titled How the Feminine Imperative Backfires. Sir Nemesis, in his examination of how the FI sabotages female interests when left unchecked, delved into “fat acceptance and inner beauty.” His words:

Liberal society has pushed to redefine fat plus-size women as being beautiful. At the same time, traditional churchians have pushed men to not care about looks and not be judgmental about looks. As a result, men find it difficult to voice their preference for fit women, which actually has negative effects on women.

To back this up he quoted a comment from Elspeth in my post Whither Thy Sons? Then he backed up his initial contention with a comment of his own and one by Novaseeker. I mention all of this to provide context for the next part. Elspeth responded to his post with this comment:

Some context to my comments are in order so I’ll offer it without overstaying my welcome, ;) .

First, I was not implying that men marry fat women. I was offering that a woman who is auditioning for a position of a man’s wife should have no problem with making the necessary adjustments if they click in other areas and he makes it clear that fitness is important to him.

Secondly, bear in mind that this conversation took place at the blog of a man who (along with many of his readers) are chaste Christian men looking to marry women equally chaste, preferably with their hymens intact. Unfortunately, most of those women in the pews are unattractive to them primarily because in their loneliness they often snuggle up to a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every evening. But they are chaste, and they are devout, and many might make excellent wives if the attraction issue were addressed.

My point was that it might be worth considering entreating a woman you like who meets the faith/chastity criteria to get in shape, join you on your fitness journey, and see what happens.

My comments were not at all meant as promotion of fat acceptance (I am firmly against that entire movement) or any kind of attempt to shame men into marrying fat women.

[Parts in bold are mine.]

Elspeth was careful to use conditional modifiers in her comment, and so what follows next isn’t a critique of what she said. But I do want to focus on what she said in the sentence that I put in bold-

But they are chaste, and they are devout, and many might make excellent wives if the attraction issue were addressed.

Something that has been pointed out by a few people in these parts, including myself, Cail Corishev and reader/commenter mdavid, is that inner and outer beauty often align. By this I mean that a woman’s exterior often reveals a lot about her inner character. Whether is the clothing she wears, the makeup she uses, or her appearance in such categories as weight, a lot is revealed about her. Jesus taught us that we can know a tree, and a person, by the fruit they bear in life. And a woman’s appearance is an example of one such fruit.

I believe it was mdavid who pointed out somewhere on my blog that gluttony and sloth, the sins which combine in women to lead them towards becoming and staying overweight, rarely travel alone. My personal experience has backed this up. I don’t really think that are very many devout and chaste Christian women who make for good wives if they could only lose some weight. Rather, it is been my experience that they often, if you scratch beneath the surface, have plenty of other sin issues besides sloth and gluttony.

I’ve mentioned before that I attend, whenever I can help it, a Traditional Catholic parish. One of the things that first struck me when I visited that parish was that the average woman there was much thinner than her counter-part at the non-Traditional parishes I’ve attended. Very few women were truly overweight, and I don’t think this is a coincidence. This experience, when combined with other personal experiences, has led me to theorize that you can often (although not always) use weight as a proxy for other marriageable traits in a woman. In particular, a woman’s weight combined with her manner of dress seems to be a fairly accurate indicator of her devotion and other positive traits. Likewise, I think that there is a correlation between a woman’s willingness to lose weight and her overall quality as a wife candidate.

Of course, most of this is based purely on anecdote and personal experience. So I invite my readers to offer their thoughts and experiences on the matter. Am I on track here? Is it just coincidence? Or am I blinded by a woman’s weight such that I’m missing a lot of perfectly acceptable wife candidates who merely need to lose a few pounds?

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Filed under Attraction, Christianity, Churchianity, Femininity, Sin, The Church, Women

Object of Contention

I.

Mrs. ktc over at To our bodies turn we then had a post some days back (found here) in which she linked over to a discussion at The Thinking Housewife in a post called Looking for a Wife.

The discussion starts thanks to a commenter named George- a frustrated mid-30’s Christian man who cannot find a wife. While there is a lot to dissect in his comment, and the ones that follow, I want to focus on one particular segment of his comment. Specifically, the parts in bold of his second to last paragraph:

This lack of goal fulfillment is most dispiriting when it comes to family formation, as I feel that if I cannot find and marry a mate within a few years that it will be too late from a practical perspective to achieve my goal of having a family. After 35 the single male is for better or worse seen as defective and a romantic discard, especially those who are shy and have had little experience in relationships. They are seen as losers and I have come to the conclusion that this is absolutely the correct way to view them. They are not up to their duties as men to procreate, provide, and protect and they have failed the game of life. This of course also means that I consider myself to be a loser. Is this the correct way to view such men? I understand that not all men want to marry or have families, that some men abstain for religious or other convictions, and that events in life sometimes lead to undesirable but uncontrollable outcomes. But I have had plenty of time to do the heavy lifting and have failed to do so, frankly out of cowardice and fear, and also because it is very difficult to find traditionally minded women out there.

[Emphasis mine]

Comments were closed there, so I couldn’t respond, which is a pity because I had a lot to say about this. This post is about objectification of men, and how it relates to George and to other men in Church. It will be in two parts- the first addresses George specifically, and the second men who find themselves in a position similar to George (somewhat older man who is moderately successful yet unmarried).

II.

My first, initial reaction was disgust. Here was a man who had completely, unreservedly accepted the feminist construction of man as an object designed to serve women. Under this view men exist only so far as they can provide for and protect women, and for a rare few, procreate with them. It is the ultimate objectification of men (unless someone can clue me in to one that is worse), turning them into mere tools for women. Ballista over at Society of Phineas has countless posts about this mindset. Plenty of other bloggers have addressed it as well, including Dalrock and Free Northerner, to name a few. And this guy had bought into it hook, line and sinker. His question “Is this the correct way to view such men?” is a meaningless formality, and not a serious inquiry, as one can tell by both the proceeding and following sentences.

George’s real problem is not his lack of a wife. That is a problem, true, but one that can wait. First he needs to recognize the poison that has infiltrated his mind and eject it, forcibly (much like removing snake venom from a wound). In its place he needs to accept that men (and women) exist to glorify God, first and foremost. Everything else comes second. To place anything about serving and glorifying God is Idolatry. And that is what George has (apparently unconsciously) done. Note how serving God never shows up in his comment in reference to himself. He is an idolater and doesn’t even realize it. Until George transforms his mind, until he reassess his worth and value, everything else he does is moot.

What would I tell George?

I would tell him that serving God needs to be the primary focus of his life. Perhaps that means doing so as a husband and father. Perhaps it doesn’t. Prayer and discernment are key- figure out your vocation, your calling so that you can do what God wants you to do. At the same time, recognize your value as a man doesn’t depend on how well you can “procreate, provide and protect.” Your value is based on how well you serve God. It is not based on how well you serve women. If society teaches something other than that, society should be ignored. Conform to God, not the world. Oh, and once that is done, remember you aren’t looking for a woman whom you will serve as your wife. You are looking for a helpmeet, a woman who will help you serve and glorify the Lord.

III.

This brings me to another point. Even after a man stops objectifying himself, he needs to watch out for other people, especially other Christians Churchians, who will objectify him. Now, I gather from George’s comment that he has relatively little, if any, sexual history. So what follows will be based in part on that assumption, as applied to him and to other single Christian with little to no sexual history.

I’ve written in the past that “sometimes I get the impression that a lot of Christians see good, virtuous men as janitors or sanitation workers who are expected to pick up the “trash” in church.” I believe that this phenomenon is largely a result of Christians Churchians having come to objectify men (aided along by the feminine imperative, of course). They view men as tools or resources that can be used to solve problems. This is especially prevalent among those in leadership positions, who have to confront those problems in church and find solutions for them. One such problem is the former carousel rider and/or single mother. Both are problems in their own way, especially the single mother, who is almost certainly a net resource drain on the church. What I think happens is that is that when someone in leadership looks at that situation, he sees a problem that needs solving. And what do you do when you have a problem that needs solving? You look for the right tool to fix it, of course. Enter the single Christian man looking for a wife- here is the solution to the Church’s problem! When he marries that washed up harlot single woman the man has the wife he was looking for, and the Church no longer has a drain on its resources. And if there were children, why they have a father now!

Of course, someone with that mindset is motivated by what is best for them, and best for the church as an organization. They do not have the best interest of single Christian men in mind. Certainly they never stop to consider what would make for a good wife for the somewhat older single Christian man with little to no sexual history. If they did they would realize that such women would certainly not be good wives for men in George’s position (Truth be told, they might not be good wives for men in any position-but that is another matter). Of course, those who have that mindset would never stop to consider what would make for a good wife for men like George. If they did, they would have to recognize that it would be women whom the church would be in short supply of, and the kind of women that most people in the church don’t want marrying anyways (devout, younger, not unattractive women with little to no sexual history).

I would say to George and to a man in a similar position the following: marry a woman because you want to marry her and because she is a good match for you and you are a good match for her, not because others want you to marry her. Unless God orders you to marry a harlot, you are under no obligation to wife one up. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You have no duty to rescue a woman from her past mistakes errors by marrying her. You do not owe it to a child that is not yours to marry his or her mother just so that child has a “father.” You should take to wife a woman who is a good match for you (and vice versa), not someone that people in church are trying to offload on you. Marriage is meant to glorify God, through properly channeling human sexuality and rearing God-fearing children. It is not about reducing the monetary burden of a Church. Or for providing a happy, fairy-tale ending to all the women in Church. If anyone tries to press the issue, make it clear to them that you are a man, not a tool. You have inherent value and dignity. This means you aren’t obliged to marry an unsuitable woman*. And don’t hesitate to make that abundantly clear. If they don’t respect that position, then leave that church, shake the dust from your feet, and find a new community of actual Christians.

IV.

In summary:

Men, don’t objectify yourselves. You exist to serve and glorify God, not to serve and glorify women. Also, don’t let others objectify you, especially when it comes to a wife. Marry a woman who is a good match for you. If you don’t have much of a sexual history, ignore those who want you to marry a single mother or former carousel rider. If they don’t accept your decision, leave that church and find a better one.

* I should at this time emphasize that suitability is the most important thing here. A woman might have truly, earnestly repented of her past but that doesn’t automatically mean she would make for a good wife. I am working on a post (hopefully out by Friday) which will examine what men should look for in a wife, and it will delve into further detail on this. But some qualities, like sensibility and good judgment, are crucial for a woman to have to make a good wife, and a man needs to look for them in a potential bride. Women who have grievously sinned (especially sexually) knowing what they were doing have demonstrated a serious lack of such traits. Furthermore, they might never gain good sense or judgment, despite their repentance.

Of course, that covers only character. As readers of my blog are well aware there are other reasons why a woman’s past might not make her suitable as a bride, especially for a man with little to no sexual history. A woman whose innocence was stolen from her is not at fault for her past, but unfortunately that past can and usually does impact her marriage. A man must carefully discern whether such a woman is a suitable match for him, and also whether he is equipped to deal with the consequences of her tragic past. My suspicion is that few men with no sexual history are ready or capable of this. A similar reasoning applies to women who were not raised to see fornication as a sin- they are usually not a good match for such men.

The important thing is prayer and discernment. Don’t let anyone else manipulate you into what is likely to be a bad marriage. 

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The Male Hamster In Action- Exhibit # 1273

Men have a Rationalization Hamster, just like women. It is a more reclusive beast than the female variant, true, but it exists all the same. Most of the time it keeps its head low and maintains a low profile, such that we don’t notice when it is at work at its wheel. But occasionally it gets revved up and engages in a full-fledged, undisguised rationalization that can rival anything the female Hamster can accomplish.

An example of such a moment took place recently in Dalrock’s post “From celibate boyfriend to celibate husband (true love doesn’t wait).” A commenter left this, one of the most brazen and hilarious examples of male Hamsterization I have ever seen. Unsurprisingly, if you switched out a few words here and there the comment would be pretty much indistinguishable from what the average female troll leaves at Dalrock’s blog. If you have some free time, check it out.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #38

Today’s beginning passage is a long one, as it is the whole of chapter 30 from the Book of Numbers:

Moses said to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded. When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Or when a woman vows a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house, in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself, and says nothing to her; then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father expresses disapproval to her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself, shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her. And if she is married to a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it, and says nothing to her on the day that he hears; then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he expresses disapproval, then he shall make void her vow which was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips, by which she bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her. But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. 10 And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, 11 and her husband heard of it, and said nothing to her, and did not oppose her; then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. 12 But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning her pledge of herself, shall not stand: her husband has made them void, and the Lord will forgive her. 13 Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself, her husband may establish, or her husband may make void. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows, or all her pledges, that are upon her; he has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. 15 But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then he shall bear her iniquity.”

16 These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses, as between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter, while in her youth, within her father’s house.

(Numbers 30)

I was quite surprised when I re-read this passage recently. It has been some years since I read the Book of Numbers, and so I had forgotten all about it. As a result my memory of this passage had been, well, corrupted, by feminist attacks on Christianity without realizing it. What I had remembered, or thought I remembered, was that women couldn’t enter a contract (pledge) without their husband or father’s permission under the Mosaic law. Needless to say, this was something that feminists used to point out how the Judeo-Christian tradition oppressed women.

This passage does nothing of the sort. Far from oppressing women, it protects them and gives them a right that men lacked. Namely, women were given the opportunity to escape from a rashly made vow/contract through either their father’s or husband’s intervention. They could still enter into the contract in the first place, but in the event it proved oppressive they could potentially escape it. Is this law paternalistic? You bet. But oppressive it isn’t. So long as their father or husband acted swiftly, they were protected from men who tried to take advantage of them via a contract. As a practical effect, I imagine that this would have made men much more circumspect about entering into contracts with women- if the terms were too advantageous to the man, he risked the contract’s annulment.

Something I have found interesting while reading the New Testament is how Paul’s ministry develops over time. As he and the other Apostles built up the Church (with the help of numerous saints like Timothy, Titus, Priscilla and Aquilla) they refined Church practices and teaching. For example, early in his ministry Paul had this to say to the Church at Corinth:

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I have the Spirit of God.

(1 Corinthians 7:39-40)

But several years later, when he wrote to Timothy (who he appointed Bishop in Ephesus) concerning widows he said this:

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband; 10 and she must be well attested for her good deeds, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, relieved the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11 But refuse to enrol younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households, and give the enemy no occasion to revile us. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan.

(1 Timothy 5:9-15)

While the exact details aren’t clear, it seems to me as though a couple of things brought about this change in pastoral teaching by St. Paul. The first is that some younger widows had apparently gone astray from the faith when they didn’t remarry, and by implication it seems that this wasn’t a problem, or as much of one, for those younger widows who did remarry. Also, I suspect that St. Paul had become less convinced of the imminence of the parousia, the Second Coming. Thus he developed more of a long term pastoral mindset that was focused on helping Christians live in holiness for the whole of their natural lives.

What this shows is that pastoral practices are not fixed like doctrines. Whereas doctrinal teaching doesn’t change, how one ministers to a particular Christian community will vary depending on the community and the times. It occurs to me that much of what Churchianity does is to take pastoral flexibility and apply that principle to doctrine as well. I’m sure that my readers, who come from many different Christian faith traditions, can think of examples of this. Right now in the Catholic Church there are those trying to do this with teaching and doctrine on divorce. Like St. Paul, we need to keep our eyes open for this kind of error and confront it when we find it.

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Random Musings and Links- #4

For this post I’m going to begin with the links and then carry one to various musings and random thoughts.

I would direct my male readers, especially the unmarried ones, towards this post by Feminine But Not Feminist. Therein she has asked Men what they really think of young women who have had premarital sex. She hopes to use that post, and the comments by men that follow, to clue young women in to the consequences of engaging in premarital sex. Here are the four questions she is asking men:

1) What would you tell a young woman that wants to get married “someday”, but thinks it’s okay if she sleeps around for a while first?

2) Would you rather marry a girl that is a virgin, or one who has a lot of sexual experience, and why?

3) Does a woman’s prior sexual experience make her bad wife material, and why?

4) If a woman is willing to have sex with you pretty early on, what do you think of her (even if you do decide to have sex with her), as opposed to a woman that isn’t willing to give it up right away?

So stop by her blog and give your thoughts (please direct any towards her blog, not the comments here, thank you).

Free Northerner talks about his experiences courting a young woman in Courtship and Young Men. While we can never truly know the reasons why it didn’t work out for him, FN’s tale is far from unique. I’ve had many men comment on this blog and e-mail me about similar experiences. His post reminded me that parental madness during the courtship process is another explanation for why men aren’t courting Traditional women in, which I examined in my post Whither Thy Sons? [Update: Free Northerner has followed up with another post- More on Courtship.]

A Northern Observer has a post up about a woman who decided not to stop at accusing her husband of abuse. Some poetic justice appears to be on the way, and is well deserved.

Ballista has an excellent post up about how Marriage Doesn’t Wait for True Love. It is a superb take-down of the madness that the “Purity Movement” has become. Personally, I think that the problem started when the focus started to be on virginity as compared to chastity. One can be a virgin and not chaste (think a young woman addicted to 50 Shades of Grey and the ilk), and one can be a non-virgin and chaste (such as a young woman who was a virgin until her wedding night). Fortunately Catholic teaching on this is better, and this phenomenon is mostly restricted to Protestant sects. [Update: Or perhaps it is more common in Catholic circles than I thought, as Ballista alludes to with his comment here. Personally I haven’t ever seen that kind of stuff in anywhere in any of the Catholic circles I’ve traveled in, so I wonder if this is new, or just something I missed.] Unfortunately (and the reason why Catholics shouldn’t crow), this teaching is hardly ever actually, you know, taught.

Elspeth asks What If It Doesn’t Work Out? Like many of her posts, its a must-read, whether you are married or not.

Chad has been writing a story of power. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Zippy talks about how people are Blaming the Prophets.

Margery responds to a feminist.

April over at Peaceful Single Girl examines Disney Weddings. The idolization (which is what this is) of weddings and the honeymoon period is not a new phenomenon, believe it or not. St. John Crysostomom  addressed similar problems a millennium and  half ago in one of his homilies. It is going to be the subject of a future post, one that will probably come in about 2 weeks or so.

Lovelyleblanc warns men that foreign women are no panacea to the problems in Western women.

That ends the link part of this post. Now to a few things bouncing about in my head.

Female Empowerment

First off, Elspeth has been taking exception to the traditional notions of “Team Woman” in the manosphere in my post Power To The People. She made a number of convincing arguments that the level of solidarity among women is heavily dependent on the environment, and went a long way towards convincing me of her point of view. I recommend that readers head over to the post and read them, starting with the first one here. With that in mind, here is a graphic which sets about illustrating how “Team Woman” would work under that particular model. As you can see, the level of female solidarity is directly connected to the overall prosperity and security of the social structure. Furthermore, the relationship is geometric.

The relative strength of Team Woman depending on the environmentNothing to be Done

Something that has come up quite often, both in the comments of this blog and others, and in my e-mail correspondence, is the relative lack of opportunities available for young people looking to marry to connect with like-minded individuals. One young woman in particular has explained to me that she would love the opportunity to meet more people to see if anyone would be interested in her, but hasn’t figured out how. In her present situation she just doesn’t have a whole lot of options for meeting eligible young men. “Going out” means going to places where there won’t be any devout Christians, or to places lacking in eligible, single men. She is not alone in voicing this concern, I’ve heard it from men and women alike.

The best place to look for such candidates is other churches, assuming that yours doesn’t have any men or women who will work for you. The problem is that visiting churches to looking for marriage partners is a time limited window activity. Depending on when various churches hold services, you might not be able to visit more than one a week. And to really scope out a church and determine if it has anyone who will work for you takes several weeks, as people might not be there on any given week. For men this is even more difficult, as single men are basically outsiders at Church and are distrusted. All of which means that a lot of time and effort is required to search various churches for potential spouses. Of course, doesn’t even take into consideration theological concerns. Or the fact that some parts of the country might not have many active churches. And the list goes on….

Unfortunately there is no easy solution to this problem. Online dating solves some issues, and brings up a whole different set. Matchmaking through personal connections is great, if you have the connections, and if your connections are of a mind to help, and if your connections know potential candidates. The whole thing is very depressing, and I recommend that anyone caught in this trap to read their Bibles often. I find some of the Psalms to be especially comforting.

 

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