Random Musings and Links- #7

Its been quite a while since I last wrote one of these posts, and thus it is long overdue. I’m going to cover some important links, relate a few of my thoughts and preview a few possible post ideas in the future.

To begin with, I wanted to give my readers a heads up that I am going to refrain from commenting at other blogs for the near future. I have not been pleased with my comments for a while. None have been good, much less great, and many were sub-par. Given the trouble that a few have caused me, I’m going to hold off with them for the moment, although I will still comment here. Part of my problem is that when I comment I usually write in haste, which does not lend itself well to careful thought or careful writing. So expect to see very little of me around for the time being.

Deep Strength has written a post exploring how AWALT and how NAWALT. There are three things he has as “questionable” that I wanted to briefly address:

  • Do women have the ability to agape love their husbands? There are no commands for women to agape love their husbands but to philea love them (Titus 2).

  • Do women have full moral agency?

  • Are women able to act as their own agent outside of men: what about the fact that women were under their fathers in the OT, and confirmed through 1 Cor 7 to also be under the authority of their fathers prior to marriage?

While others have provided good commentary, there are a few things I wanted to note. First, just because scripture doesn’t command it doesn’t meant that women don’t have the ability to agape love their husbands. Scripture contains what is essential, surely, but it doesn’t contain everything- it cannot, in fact. That is why Jesus gave us the Church, after all- for continued wisdom and guidance. Second, concerning moral agency, I think Deep Strength is conflating moral agency- the ability to choose between right and wrong- with [edit: potential or alleged] female susceptibility to deception. They are not incompatible. Women can choose to do the right thing, just as they can choose to do the wrong thing. Deception merely makes it more difficult to discriminate between the two. Third, women are indeed able to operate as agents outside of the authority of men. Scripture mentions ta number of instances of it, in both the OT and NT. However, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily for the best, at least, all the time. This ties again to the susceptibility of deception- protecting women from deception probably had a large part to do with that. There might be more, of course, and this could be a subject worth exploring in a further post.

Elspeth has closed up shop, although she might comment from time to time. So has Mrs. ktc. Both are going to be moved to my inactive section shortly.

Empath talks about the subtle power of examples.

Stingray has a new blog focused on religious discussions.

Ballista provides yet another example of how conservatives either don’t get it, or pretend not to get it when it comes to marriage.

Bonald has an interesting post, among a great many, which discusses inter-species romance. I mention this one specifically because James T. Kirk is involved.

Free Northerner explores the potential Selection Effects of War.

I agree with Beefy Levinson that enemies are easy to deal with, it is your treacherous friends that are the problem.

Related: Rebellion at a Catholic High School. I hope the admin stands firm.

Mrs. C. had an interesting post on St. Patrick’s day which discussed welcoming sinners. I encourage my readers to read it, because I want to comment on it briefly. There is an interesting tension that the Church has endured since its creation between welcoming sinners, on one hand, and turning a blind eye to sin, on the other. Sometimes the Church has gone too far one way, and sometimes too far the other. I think that a major determinant of how the Church should act with regards to any given individual is determined by that person’s background. The way I see it, there are four sorts of backgrounds someone might have: 1) someone who was born to the faith and never left the church (although they might have strayed), 2) someone who wasn’t born to the faith but converted and is present still in the Church, 3) someone who was born to the faith but then left (prodigal son/daughter?) and 4) someone who wasn’t born to the faith and hasn’t converted before. Each needs to be treated somewhat differently. In brief, I would accord more leniency to persons from the latter backgrounds. The danger of too much leniency (or mercy) towards the former is that it might establish in the minds of the faithful the notion that eschewing sin is not an important or vital part of the faith. In other words, it acts as a stumbling block. This is less of an issue for someone who is coming to the Church for the first time, either ever or for a long time.

Vox brings a story of how Little girls need fathers.

As I was writing this post Rollo put up a new post of his own, where he delves into the subject of “Betas in Waiting.” His efforts in examining the different “stages” of the life of most modern women have provided me with a lot of insights. Some of them will come into play in a future post of mine examining male and female “Sexual Strategies”, and how they interact with one another.

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44 Comments

Filed under Beta, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Sin, The Church, Tradition, Women

44 responses to “Random Musings and Links- #7

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I noticed what I assume is a typo that you may want to fix to not give the wrong impression, hehe 🙂

    Third, women are indeed able to operate as agents outside of the authority of me.

  2. ballista74

    Thanks for the link.

  3. @ FBNF

    Heh, there is a good joke waiting to be had there, but I’ll pass and fix the typo. Thanks for catching it.

  4. Do women have the ability to agape love their husbands?

    Yes, absolutely. I do think, however, that the agape love of a woman would look different than the agape love of a man. This isn’t something that I have fleshed out in deep thought, but I think it is something that should carefully considered (to reach the Truth, but to also make sure that it isn’t a rationalization).

    Do women have full moral agency?

    Absolutely we do and for some to think otherwise is extremely dangerous. The two roads this could go down are both terrible. One side is that of Islam and the other is that of innocent women not being able to do any wrong, not because we have absolute agency, but because there are some who believe that since we don’t, we are innocent and beautiful creatures incapable of sin and more spiritual than our brothers. Both are bad.

    Are women able to act as their own agent outside of men

    Yes, but I think both sexes do best with each other. As husband and wife, we are to help each other to reach heaven. Can we do it alone? Yes. Are there some people out there who honestly do better on there own? Yes. But a great many of us fare much better with help. So, the vast majority of women are going to fare better with men. The Patriarchy worked and not only for women, but both sexes.

  5. Also, Donal, thank you very much for the link.

  6. Thank you for the link as well.

  7. When orthodoxy is optional, it will eventually be proscribed. Thank you for the link brother.

  8. Elspeth

    Thank you for the acknowledgment, sir.

  9. @ Beefy

    When orthodoxy is optional, it will eventually be proscribed.

    Is that a quote from someone? It sounds like it belongs on a plaque somewhere.

  10. I was thinking the same thing, that was a good one.

  11. Mrs. C

    Thanks for the link DG.

    I do agree that background will determine how the Church responds to the sinner but there’s also more subcategories that could be added under some of the categories you listed. For instance, born into the faith could mean anything from nominally practicing parents to counter-culturally devout and many more scenarios in between. This makes it difficult for anyone to judge anything without knowing the particulars. This is where specific pastoral guidance would need to come into play in order to flesh out the best way to guide the sinner back to full Communion with the Church or to welcome them for the first time.

    My post was focused more on the attitude we as “people in the pew” can have towards those who show up at Church and perhaps we know them to be living a sinful life and being less than welcoming that they dare to show up or try to get involved in parish life. The Pope’s homily was about being careful of judging solely by Law and not recognizing that their appearance there could be their attempt to life a better life in Christ, even if they aren’t there yet. He was warning that if we don’t recognize that they may be beginning to discern that the Holy Spirit is calling them to a full life in Christ, we could destroy the work of the Spirit in them and cause them to remain in sin and give up.

    This is no easy task as you point out. There is a difference between giving so much mercy that they feel ok to stagnate in sin and judging by Law only and causing them to lose further growth towards holiness by the harshness of our treatment of them when they show up or our avoiding them because they are “great sinners”.

  12. mdavid

    Fr. Neuhaus (First Things editor) coined Neuhaus’ Law: Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.

  13. Feminine But Not Feminist

    You’re welcome Donal. 🙂 I would’ve loved to have heard the joke you had in mind.

    @ Elspeth

    I didn’t catch your last post in time to be able to comment on it. While I’m sad that you’re not blogging anymore, I think you’re doing the right thing (based on why you’re stopping). I’m glad you’re sticking around to comment on occasion; you’ve been one of my favorite people to read comments and stuff from for months now, and I have learned a lot from you. I hope all is well with you and your family these days.

  14. Pingback: Formalization of AWALT and NAWALT | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  15. mdavid

    I finally got around to reading all the links. Regarding: Ballista provides yet another example of how conservatives either don’t get it, or pretend not to get it when it comes to marriage., I’m going to propose a way of thinking about writers like Ballista:

    1. In the past, women and men were traditionalist. By this, I mean men were heads of households, young marriage was the norm, kids and marriage went together (no birth control or divorce allowed).
    2. 1600: Reformation. Western iindividualism started slowly. Divorce allowed.
    3. 1900: Individualism within family now standard. Birth control, female vote.
    4. 1950: Family individualism begins in earnest. Feminism rules.
    4. 1960: JFK, non-trad Catholics merge with culture and now protestant.
    6. 2015: writers like Ballista have no clue regarding the link between their own individualistic religious and cultural views…and women who act like them. Relying on the State not the Church to maintain their Christian marriage, they invent a false term called “traditionalism” few protestants could have recognized in 1900. In the historical religious and family sense. Ballista’s “trads” are merely liberals. Proof: Show me a single Ballista “trad” writer who believes BC is a sin, something every Christian believed before 1930. These ain’t trads by any definition.

    The people I hang with, Catholics who worship and live like their ancestors did 1500 years ago (families generally have 5-10 kids) are trads. While rare, we do still exist and are the future of Christianity. These other “trads” he complains about? They are barely Christian in historical terms and are the natural consquence of his own religious worldview. He wants the liberation of individualism, to interpret the bible however he wants…but then complains about the consequences when women and culture do the same thing, and blames it on faux “trads”. No Church = No Father as head of household, that’s ABC. He reaps what he sows.

  16. Novaseeker

    Mdavid —

    True, but stating the obvious. As in “All Orthodox and Catholics (true ones on both sides) know this”. So why piss in another’s porridge? Honestly, I am drafting an article in a collaboration with another writer about 1517 and its tremendously terrible impacts, to be published in a couple of years, but you can win many more people with honey than with vinegar. Approach matters, in other words.

  17. Scott

    Mdavid–are you Orthodox or SSPX or something? Cool.

  18. mdavid

    Nova, fair enough. I don’t mean to piss in anyone porridge, my comments, (as a trad) were merely defensive. DG has linked several times to posts that nail “traditional conservatives” as part of our feminist problem, so definitions really need to be clearly articulated. Were actual trads not lumped with liberals, I would remain respectfully silent.

    Scott, please don’t take offense (I don’t want to feel Nova’s wrath!) but I’m no SSPX & EO. I see both as divisive (say individualistic at the bishop level) and thus headed down the Anglican and protestant road over time.

  19. Mrs. C

    “I think Deep Strength is conflating moral agency- the ability to choose between right and wrong- with the female susceptibility to deception. They are not incompatible. Women can choose to do the right thing, just as they can choose to do the wrong thing. Deception merely makes it more difficult to discriminate between the two. ”

    I assume you mean women are MORE susceptible to deception rather than women are and men are not. Even so, who says women are more susceptible? St. Paul?

    “14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    He wrote to Timothy because there were false teachers leading people away from the faith. Biblical scholars don’t know for sure why he was targeting women but suspect that there were women teaching authoritatively and teaching that which was false or some were teaching that women should be teaching authoritatively.

    At the beginning of the letter Paul writes,

    “3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship[a] from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.”

    He then appeals to his authority to teach and to Timothy’s.

    “12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,”

    “8 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,”

    He ends his letter

    “4 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

    Paul’s teaching seems to be more about those holding themselves up as authoritative teachers when they are not. Adam was created first as a foretelling of Christ, the new Adam and the Bridegroom and also the male-only priesthood representing Christ to the Church. He says

    “Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions”

    It would seem these certain persons were women or perhaps some others who were vainly discussing things and indicating a desire to teach with authority. Scholars have never reached a consensus on this.

    Paul uses the same analogy with the Church in Corinth where he addresses the whole church and warns them against being deceived as Eve by listening to false teachers. He then also appeals to his own authority.

    “11 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    “5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a] 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.”

    “12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

    Although the Catholic Church has never definitely interpreted these teachings, history shows that it has never understood that women couldn’t teach men unofficially. Men and women are free to teach unofficially but those ordained can only teach officially or in other words authoritatively.

    The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith teaches “Paul in no way opposes the right, which he elsewhere recognizes as possessed by women, to prophesy in the assembly (cf. 1 Cor 11:5); the prohibition solely concerns the official function of teaching in the Christian assembly.”

    Paul doesn’t say women can’t teach because Eve was female and was deceived so therefore, women being females are easily deceived. He seems to use this line of reasoning as shown above when speaking only about those given authority to teach. If this really was his meaning then the same meaning would apply to Adam. It’s speculated that Adam was willfully disobedient while Eve was deceived into it. If Adam as a male showed that males as a sex had a weakness towards being disobedient to authority then they shouldn’t have authority. Or if Adam failed to lead his wife then males don’t make good leaders and shouldn’t lead. We can see this line of reasoning doesn’t pan out.

    St. Catherine of Sienna had both men and women disciples to her teaching and was a papal adviser.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03447a.htm

    I’m not saying women can’t be deceived, they can, but I don’t think women are necessarily more deceived than men. We could say that those who followed Luther in the Reformation were deceived and that he himself was deceived. It wasn’t just women who followed him.

    Deception is easier to fall into when someone is in ignorance of a subject or looks to non-authoritative teachers for information. It’s also easier to fall into when one desires their own will over God’s and they look to their own reasoning rather than the teaching of the Church as justification for “going their own way.”

    Also, males as priests have little to do with merit as a sex or even spiritual merit. It is a calling to an individual by God despite their failings. Look at St. Peter or ask any priest if they merited their calling. Defect in nature has no bearing on who will be called and who will not.

  20. mdavid

    It’s speculated that Adam was willfully disobedient while Eve was deceived into it. If Adam as a male showed that males as a sex had a weakness towards being disobedient to authority then they shouldn’t have authority. Or if Adam failed to lead his wife then males don’t make good leaders and shouldn’t lead. We can see this line of reasoning doesn’t pan out.

    An old Jewish interpetation: Adam was afraid of the dragon and fled, while Eve was then seduced. IOW, Adam + coward = sin (not because he sought disobedience), while Eve + foolishness = sin (again, not willful disobedience; she was in fact very obedient to the serpent in Adam’s leave…but quick to switch sides and and was both foolish and easily seduced). Paul seems to be merely restate this viewpoint.

  21. @ Mrs. C.

    <blockquote.I assume you mean women are MORE susceptible to deception rather than women are and men are not.

    Yes, that is what I meant to say, but didn’t make clear. I will try and fix that shortly.

    Even so, who says women are more susceptible? St. Paul?

    I was thinking of him and St. John Chrysostom, based on the latter’s homily on that particular passage. However, reading through his homily again, I think that I misinterpreted him. He does apply some things generally to women, but after careful re-reading I’m not sure that a susceptibility to deception is one of them. Here is the relevant section:

    But how was Adam not deceived? If he was not deceived, he did not then transgress? Attend carefully. The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me.” But the man did not say, The woman deceived me, but, “she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Now it is not the same thing to be deceived by a fellow-creature, one of the same kind, as by an inferior and subordinate animal. This is truly to be deceived. Compared therefore with the woman, he is spoken of as “not deceived.” For she was beguiled by an inferior and subject, he by an equal. Again, it is not said of the man, that he “saw the tree was good for food,” but of the woman, and that she “did eat, and gave it to her husband”: so that he transgressed, not captivated by appetite, but merely from the persuasion of his wife. The woman taught once, and ruined all. On this account therefore he says, let her not teach. But what is it to other women, that she suffered this? It certainly concerns them; for the sex is weak and fickle, and he is speaking of the sex collectively. For he says not Eve, but “the woman,” which is the common name of the whole sex, not her proper name. Was then the whole sex included in the transgression for her fault? As he said of Adam, “After the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come” Romans 5:14; so here the female sex transgressed, and not the male. Shall not women then be saved? Yes, by means of children. For it is not of Eve that he says, “If they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” What faith? What charity? What holiness with sobriety? It is as if he had said, “You women, be not cast down, because your sex has incurred blame. God has granted you another opportunity of salvation, by the bringing up of children, so that you are saved, not only by yourselves, but by others.” See how many questions are involved in this matter. “The woman,” he says, “being deceived was in the transgression.” What woman? Eve. Shall she then be saved by child-bearing? He does not say that, but, the race of women shall be saved. Was not it then involved in transgression? Yes, it was, still Eve transgressed, but the whole sex shall be saved, notwithstanding, “by childbearing.” And why not by their own personal virtue? For has she excluded others from this salvation? And what will be the case with virgins, with the barren, with widows who have lost their husbands, before they had children? will they perish? Is there no hope for them? Yet virgins are held in the highest estimation. What then does he mean to say?

    Some interpret his meaning thus. As what happened to the first woman occasioned the subjection of the whole sex, (for since Eve was formed second and made subject, he says, let the rest of the sex be in subjection,) so because she transgressed, the rest of the sex are also in transgression. But this is not fair reasoning; for at the creation all was the gift of God, but in this case, it is the consequence of the woman’s sin. But this is the amount of what he says. As all men died through one, because that one sinned, so the whole female race transgressed, because the woman was in the transgression. Let her not however grieve. God has given her no small consolation, that of childbearing. And if it be said that this is of nature, so is that also of nature; for not only that which is of nature has been granted, but also the bringing up of children. “If they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety”; that is, if after childbearing, they keep them in charity and purity. By these means they will have no small reward on their account, because they have trained up wrestlers for the service of Christ. By holiness he means good life, modesty, and sobriety.

  22. I think women are more susceptible to deception in the sense that they are more likely to follow popular fashions than men. Fashion in clothing, for example, in which women all try to reflect each other, is primarily a female phenomenon. The same is true for fashionable ideas. That doesn’t mean men can’t be deceived, obviously, but that women take to it more easily. That also means that women probably take to the truth more easily (when the truth is in style).

  23. I would have to agree that women are definitely far more susceptible to deception. I stake this on personal experience, rather than on authoritative proof (chiefly because I haven’t any to quote from on hand at this moment). What comes to mind at the moment is what could be regarded as the worship of the cult of personality. I am too busy right now to elaborate, but I’m contemplating a post on my own blog on this very topic, as it has come up again just this week in conversation here at home.

  24. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I think it’s true that women tend to be more easily deceived than men (as a general rule). I know I, for one, can be very gullible, which I think is one of the ways it manifests.

  25. I think that what might account for susceptibility to deception might in fact be primarily a result of deception from the other sex. I suspect that it might be that women are susceptible to men deceiving them. And the reverse definitely seems to be true based on many accounts from these parts. I have some further ideas of my own I want to mentally thrash out before commenting further.

  26. Mrs. C

    A few thoughts-

    Mdavid-Thanks for sharing that other interpretation.

    DG-Yes, Chrysostom takes some patience in reading. Sometimes you find yourself reading along and thinking he is making some point and then suddenly he refutes what he just said. You then realize that he is presenting a certain idea or theory first in order to refute it. It’s not always clear on a first read through.

    Moving on-

    I think that because no one really knows the why’s and what for’s of The Fall, we have to take the different speculations and look at them to see if we can see anything of ourselves in the sins of either Adam and Eve (as the two of them together represent humanity). If we do recognize a weakness in our self, then we have to work to overcome it.

    DG, I think you are right in that men and women can be deceived by each other and that each sex most likely has something about their nature that makes them vulnerable to this. Having said that, we also have to account for other variables which are as countless as individuals. Things like age, life experiences, learning from previously being deceived, education, personality traits, intelligence, etc will either mitigate or exacerbate a person’s vulnerability to deception.

    One of the reasons it’s so frustrating to talk about vulnerabilities that women might have in a discussion of moral agency and women’s ability to function without men is the implication that vulnerabilities or tendencies mean a need to protect women from themselves by being under the direct guidance of a man. While this may serve a practical solution, (and seemed to be largely used throughout history) the better solution, for any person regarding any natural tendency, is education in methods of rational and critical thinking combined with Christian truth, prayer and opportunity to exercise the higher faculties in order to come to self-mastery. Something always encouraged by the Church but sorely lacking in society today.

    A woman who is self-possesed, makes a much better mutual help to the men in her life, or any person in her life than one who is dependent, needy and stunted in her development. I think St. Paul’s point about Eve’s deception and false teachers falls under this. A person must be guided by rightly appointed authoritative teachers so that they can recognize false teachers and doctrines when confronted with them. It’s useless for a woman to follow her husband if he isn’t submitted to the teachings of the Catholic Faith. A woman who knows her faith will be able to freely assent to a decision or to know when to decline if it’s in error. If there is any doubt in either party, then the best thing to do is to consult Church teaching. If a wife thinks there is something immoral in her husbands decision, she needs to come to see that it’s not by consulting a higher authority. If she assents against her conscience then for her it’s a sin. If the matter at hand isn’t moral, then most husbands and wives will work it out and come to consensus or have the one who is most capable in the area in question make the call.

    Another point about making sweeping generalizations about either sex is the danger to assume that, for instance, because men tend to think more rationally, that women are incapable of thinking rationally and are always irrational or because men can be more vulnerable to their sexual appetite that they are incapable of controlling their sexuality and are potential rapists. Neither of these conclusions is true. Tendencies in nature should be realized for what they are. A tendency towards a weakness doesn’t mean a huge gaping gulf that can never be overcome. It’s a slight disadvantage that has a spectrum across individuals who posses the tendency. Education and exercise in self-mastery can make differences negligible.

  27. “It’s useless for a woman to follow her husband if he isn’t submitted to the teachings of the Catholic Faith.”

    That’s not what the Bible says. “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct…you are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

    “While this may serve a practical solution, (and seemed to be largely used throughout history) the better solution, for any person regarding any natural tendency, is education in methods of rational and critical thinking combined with Christian truth, prayer and opportunity to exercise the higher faculties in order to come to self-mastery.”

    That’s not how reality works. Women have never been better educated than they are today and look at what they do with their greater knowledge of rational and critical thinking. I think it comes down to men being naturally inclined to building civilization when the incentives exist. Trying to replace submissiveness with anything including education just wrecks things in the long run. That doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t be educated but that that can’t ever replace submissiveness without ruining things like Church and civilization for men and women both.

  28. @Patrick,

    We obey our husbands in all things unless it is contrary to our religious faith. For example, if we were to marry a non-Catholic, in former times the Church required a signed statement that the non-Catholic spouse would raise all children Catholic, regardless of whether the non-Catholic spouse was the potential husband or potential wife.

    So the non-Catholic potential husband would be presented with papers that he would be required to sign to this effect. He did, of course, have the choice to sign them or not sign them. If he refused to sign, then the marriage would be called off, or, if the Catholic was determined to marry him anyway, their marriage would not be a sacramental marriage and therefore the Catholic partner would be living in grave sin.

    Once married, the non-Catholic husband could not interfere in his wife’s practice of her religion, and he was obligated to raise all his children of both sexes Catholic. The signed documentation would be on file. Unfortunately, this really depended on the non-Catholic’s good will and honesty in keeping his promises; there really was no way to enforce this, and even the marriage tribunals could do little but exhort him to fulfill his obligations to which he freely agreed. Which is why the Catholic Church has always strongly opposed mixed marriages. The danger to faith is far too great.

    But, I am sorry — a Catholic wife has the obligation to see to it that her children are educated as Catholics, even against their father’s will. She must fulfill that obligation under pain of mortal sin. That trumps all obedience to her husband in this regard, because the law of God requiring her to educate her children is higher than that of wifely submission. She is required to submit in all things that are NOT SIN. To fail to educate her children in the Catholic Faith is a mortal sin. She MUST disobey him, and disobey him in the strongest possible terms, standing firm in her faith that God will protect her in all things should her husband attempt to prevent her from doing so.

    Do not try to argue this point with me, because it is far too serious and too important to discuss. There simply is no discussion on this, and DG being Catholic knows the seriousness of this subject.

  29. @Patrick,
    Perhaps I was a little harsh on that point, and I do apologize if I came across as such.
    The education of women is never more important than it was today, because we are now charged with the necessity of providing a university prep education for our children. So education of our daughters cannot be neglected on any account.

  30. Mom in the Shoe,
    You’re mixing my two unrelated points. Re education, I was only talking about education in rational and critical thinking, not about learning about the Faith. And I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with education in critical thinking, either, but to say that that’s intrinsically a better solution than submissiveness is wrong.

    About obedience, I’m not 100% about the practical application of it, but it’s plainly not useless like Mrs. C said for a wife to obey a husband who “obeys not the word” since according to St. Peter that’s a good way to win him over.

  31. @Patrick,
    I understand where you are coming from, being that you haven’t the experience, but one can be so submissive that one loses one’s ability to think even remotely critically. I have seen it. One has to be able to resist when necessary. Every woman must have a thorough education in rational and critical thinking; it is essential to live a fruitful life. You are advocating here a very dangerous form of authority that will eventually lead to despotism. This I have seen, also. It is not pretty.
    On issues regarding the Faith and educating one’s children in it, there is no compromise. Period.

  32. By that logic almost no woman prior to the 20th century had a fruitful life, which isn’t true. I’m only advocating what the Bible says plainly and what the Church taught all way up until very recently, so unless you think the whole history of Christianity is dangerous and despotic you’re wrong.

  33. Mrs. C

    Patrick, you said the following in reply to my comment “It’s useless for a woman to follow her husband if he isn’t submitted to the teachings of the Catholic Faith.”

    That’s not what the Bible says. “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct…you are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

    I was speaking specifically of Catholic marriage in light of the idea that women largely be kept uneducated and rely on their husband for guidance in all things under the pretense that women being more easily deceived are better off leaning on a man for guidance rather than working on her own development and potential. This doesn’t work and fortunately the Church doesn’t see it this way either because it recognizes that each individual – male or female – needs to be free to study and grow in faith, (which should also encourage growth in holiness.)

    It also recognized that the wife’s submission is one that is to come freely from the assent of her will and not under any compulsion or force. In order for her to be able to do this, she will have to know and understand the Catholic faith. You can’t assent to something, especially a moral matter, if you are ignorant of your faith.

    As far as the Biblical text, a clearer translation is
    “In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives.”

    The principle here is that a wife should understand that if is she is married to an unbeliever, that doesn’t free her from all submission, as her good Christian behavior towards him and her respectful conversation would do more to win him to the faith than bad behavior. It also doesn’t mean a wife can never speak about her faith. Normal daily living would have this come up as a topic and while she shouldn’t nag or berate her husband about his lack of faith, she should as Peter mentions just a few verses later “But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. ” and “But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. ”

    A Catholic marriage is one submitted to the Church and it’s teachings. Should the husband fail in this or is unbelieving, the wife is still submitted to the Church first and her husband second. If a husband is losing his faith or is acting contrary to Church teaching and his wife points it out, he should submit to her fraternal correction and begin to obey the Church. Likewise the wife if she is not submitted to the Church.

    One of the things that was in the back of my mind was something I read on a Protestant site where the wife counsels wives about submission and she was stating that if a wife thinks something is a sin (other than the big and obvious ones, stealing, lying, murder) and her husband is asking her to do it, then she should obey him because the Bible says “in everything.” I think it was even stated by a commenter that the husband is the wife’s conscience and authority. This is contrary to what the Church teaches which is that a properly formed conscience belongs to the individual alone and should be followed even if it it’s against Church authority. “Properly formed conscience” being the qualifier, not just whatever you feel or want to be right. In order for an individual to have a properly formed conscience, they must be educated in the faith so they take ownership of it themselves and not be as children where obedience is required before understanding. Mature obedience comes from assenting from your will to that which is good rather than an outside force. This comes from discernment and discernment comes from a good, well-rounded Catholic education.

    You also said “That’s not how reality works. Women have never been better educated than they are today and look at what they do with their greater knowledge of rational and critical thinking. ”

    But here’s the question, is it allowing women to be educated that’s the problem or is it the bad teaching, false ideas being paraded as truth, and religion being separated from that education that is the problem? You can be educated poorly and with that which is not good or you can be educated in many subjects under the light of the faith.

  34. Amen, Mrs. C! You said what I need to be able to get out of my own mouth. 🙂 Thanks for the help there (don’t have a lot of time on this end).

  35. Mrs. C,
    Since “conversation” doesn’t refer to talking but to conversion or ongoing conduct, it’s not a clearer translation. It confused you, for example. Women relying on their husbands for guidance leads to bigger, stronger, intact families, which is better for everyone, men, women and children. It’s the same principle that wrecks the denominations that put women in charge. Women “following their own consciences” leads to social destruction.

    “But here’s the question, is it allowing women to be educated that’s the problem or is it the bad teaching, false ideas being paraded as truth, and religion being separated from that education that is the problem?”

    That’s not the question. The question is whether wives’ submissiveness, which is based on their ontological makeup and the nature of marriage, not on a lack of education for women in the distant past, can be replaced by education, including religious education, without wrecking everything. I don’t think it can. Authority by definition involves a compulsion to obey and force, even if just moral force, e.g. excommunication. One can assent perfectly without perfect understanding, which is something we all do when we assent with our wills to everything the Church teaches. And again, I don’t have a problem in principle with educating women. But you’re wrong that “mature” obedience requires understanding in the sense of education, and you’re wrong that education including religious education can replace submissiveness. That’s just an iteration of feminism. Even Mary was obedient to her husband.

  36. Feminine But Not Feminist

    But you’re wrong that “mature” obedience requires understanding in the sense of education, and you’re wrong that education including religious education can replace submissiveness.

    @ Mrs C

    Patrick makes a very good point there. If you consider the husband/wife relationship in light of the Christ/Church relationship, it makes perfect sense. What I mean is that, we don’t always understand why He tells us to do things. Sometimes we do, but oftentimes we don’t. It will all be revealed to us on the other side of the pearly gates, but for now we simply have to either choose to obey in faith, or to rebel. It should be the same with a wife submitting to her husband, meaning she doesn’t need to fully understand everything about her husband’s decisions (or even agree with him) before she submits. It’s certainly better if she does understand obviously, but it’s not a totally necessary prerequisite.

  37. FBNF,
    If she doesn’t fully understand, yet goes along with it anyway, and continues to not fully understand, eventually problems are going to start. She will no longer be “submissive”, but “obedient”, and they are not the same thing. Whereas the former leads to intimacy and growth together, the latter leads to isolation. I have seen some very, very bad results from blind obedience, with results in serious problems so deeply entrenched that it would take a miracle to solve the problems. Depression and anger begin to set in, as carefully concealed as possible so as to not rock the boat, but eventually they come out, either by outbursts or by physical symptoms.

    A man who simply gives orders is not taking a wise approach. He would do well to first always talk to his wife, consult with her, ask her opinion and let her know that her opinion is crucial for him to make a good decision. When he makes a decision, he needs to explain how he came to that conclusion and ask for her support. Believe me, she will be more than willing to back him up if he takes this approach, because he has demonstrated that he believes her to be a person of worth, with intelligence and insight into things. She was able to participate with him. A little extra time, more concern about including his wife rather than being right all the time, and he has just invested himself in his marriage.

    We’re expected to do this all the time without question, and take scoldings with our heads down meekly. However, if we request the same consideration from our husbands, it appears that the cry of “feminist” will be raised from various quarters. If we get irritated with our husbands, we’re to keep our mouths shut. I think they want us to smile all the time even when we’re gritting our teeth and seething. Because, when you look at it, when our anger comes out in the spurts and bursts, then we’re manipulative, see? Finally we go try to blow it off somehow. If we confront him with a clear message of being angry and listing the reasons why, we are confrontational and unfeminine, and therefore deserve to be ignored….frankly, unless your husband is wiling to believe you have something to offer to him, you can’t really win this one for losing. I know you are coming from the point of view of a single woman, so you don’t have the experience of living day to day with a man.

    One saying that I heard years ago rings true to me to this day: education is the most valuable possession you can possibly have, because it is the one thing nobody can take away from you. I would also add the Faith as well to that saying. You can lose your freedom, your possessions, your home, every material item in the world — but your Faith remains and your education remains.

  38. Mrs. C

    @Patrick you said “Since “conversation” doesn’t refer to talking but to conversion or ongoing conduct”

    How is what I said a confusion of that verse? I said “a wife should understand that if she is married to an unbeliever, that doesn’t free her from all submission, as her good Christian behavior towards him and her respectful conversation would do more to win him to the faith than bad behavior.” How is that not ongoing conduct?

    I did mention that it doesn’t mean she can’t speak of her faith because normal conversation in marriage will necessitate it. If she says she’s going to Mass and her husband asks her to stay home, is she supposed to walk out and not try to explain that she is obligated to be there or she commits a mortal sin? She is submitted to the Church ahead of her husband. She needs to know her faith and she needs to be able to explain it well.

    Casti connubii states

    “This outward expression of love in the home demands not only mutual help but must go further; must have as its primary purpose that man and wife help each other day by day in forming and perfecting themselves in the interior life, so that through their partnership in life they may advance ever more and more in virtue, and above all that they may grow in true love toward God and their neighbor, on which indeed “dependeth the whole Law and the Prophets.”[27]

    You said, “But you’re wrong that “mature” obedience requires understanding in the sense of education, and you’re wrong that education including religious education can replace submissiveness. ”

    I’m not wrong about mature obedience (meaning the difference between a child’s obedience and a wife’s). Again Casti Connubii says

    “This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is customary to not allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin.”

    As far as education and submissiveness, I’m not really seeing where you would get the idea that I was saying education would replace submissiveness. I never said that.

  39. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ MitS

    I didn’t mean that a wife should just blindly obey anything and everything without ever understanding anything or being involved in the process. I also don’t think a husband should be treating his wife like a child who shouldn’t be allowed to be privy to what’s going on and why, or that he should behave the way you describe the men you know behaving.

    What I was trying to say is that it’s not absolutely necessary for a wife to completely understand and agree with something before deciding to submit to her husband’s decision at the time. There will inevitably be times where he needs to make a decision about something for reasons she might not understand in the moment, there might not be time to explain it to her, or something like that. In those cases, she should just trust him and do what he says, and can seek out understanding at a later (and more convenient) time. And if he’s living with her in an understanding way as Scripture commands husbands to do, then he will discuss it with her later so that she will understand (just as God will show us all things one day later).

    Just because you know men that don’t live up to their end of Scriptural commands aimed at them as husbands doesn’t mean that wives shouldn’t be living up to theirs.

  40. mdavid

    An important part of the first mate’s job is to offer alternate suggestions to the captain and to question his decisions. Of course privately and respectfully. Analogy: ship = family, husband = captain, wife = first mate, kids = crew, ocean = world.

    I’ve always envied men wiith wives responsible and smart enough to question their judgement. 95% of women are simply not analytical/cold/harsh enough to be a trustworthy advisor, and they know it. Being a responsible leader of people you love is a terrible job, one that haunts good leaders until they can’t sleep at night…they die a little more every day.

    Nobody thinks about this much anymore in the West; men aren’t really needed to lead families…we are rich, safe, childless. Women go nuts in envirorns like that, and men stay infantile. The root of feminism? Lack of family. Lack of need for males. Until the next war, of course.

    Shoe, One saying that I heard years ago rings true to me to this day: education is the most valuable possession you can possibly have, because it is the one thing nobody can take away from you.

    Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences (Murrow). Education cannot replace wisdom. Chesterton: The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. The Church is a classic example of how just being dumb and submissive can rescue the simple and uneducated, while our brightest and most educated (especially women) tend to fall from heaven like lightning. Education often a tool used to create prisoners of their own mind. Another Chesterton quote in this vein: The slave doesn’t fear hell, but the slave owner does!.

  41. mDavid,

    Your final paragraph is most definitely true, and I would never contest that. I completely agree with you! St. Bernadette Soubirious’ incorrupt body is probably the most powerful modern-day testimony to that (as is St. Charbel Mahklouf and others too numerous to mention). What I am saying, however, is that anyone caught in the vicious circle would do well to remember, even in the grimmest circumstances that their minds are free. What they choose to do with their minds is completely up to them. But the well-educated mind (I would say classically educated mind) can learn to discern wisdom, learn to realize that the most precious possessions one has are those of the mind and heart, even when they have nothing else.

  42. As far as I can tell, this entire paragraph of yours deals with “conversation” as if it meant “talking”:
    “The principle here is that a wife should understand that if is she is married to an unbeliever, that doesn’t free her from all submission, as her good Christian behavior towards him and her respectful conversation would do more to win him to the faith than bad behavior. It also doesn’t mean a wife can never speak about her faith. Normal daily living would have this come up as a topic and while she shouldn’t nag or berate her husband about his lack of faith, she should as Peter mentions just a few verses later “But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. ” and “But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.””

    “As far as education and submissiveness, I’m not really seeing where you would get the idea that I was saying education would replace submissiveness. I never said that.”

    You did say that:
    “One of the reasons it’s so frustrating to talk about vulnerabilities that women might have in a discussion of moral agency and women’s ability to function without men is the implication that vulnerabilities or tendencies mean a need to protect women from themselves by being under the direct guidance of a man [note: IOW submissiveness] While this may serve a practical solution, (and seemed to be largely used throughout history) the better solution [note: the bettter solution than being under the direct guidance of a man, IOW submissiveness], for any person regarding any natural tendency, is education in methods of rational and critical thinking combined with Christian truth, prayer and opportunity to exercise the higher faculties in order to come to self-mastery. Something always encouraged by the Church but sorely lacking in society today.”

    I don’t have a problem with education, but regarding vulnerabilities and natural tendencies and the nature of marriage, education, including religious education, can’t replace submissiveness, and isn’t “the better solution.”

    “But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin.”

    Good quote. This is exactly the situation we’re looking at today, and it’s what you support in the second quote I provide above, in my opinion. I don’t think the question is so easily put aside by saying the wife is subject to the Church first and her husband second. It would be like saying, “the Catholic is subject to the Church first and the Magisterium second” or “to Christ first and the Church second.” You’re glibly separating the “heart” from the “head.” The family is the “domestic church” and “the basic cell of society.” Husband and wife, while having the same human dignity, aren’t equals, which is why the wife owes the husband “honorable and trusting obedience” (Casti Connubii). I know a family, for example, in which the wife is smarter and better educated than the husband (they’re both educated in the Faith), and, for practical purposes is the head of the family since she’s able to run circles around him intellectually, and yet still makes stupid decisions for the family. His instincts as head of the family are better than her rational and critical thinking, even informed by religious training and study.

  43. “95% of women are simply not analytical/cold/harsh enough to be a trustworthy advisor, and they know it.”

    Do they know it? Seems to me barely any of them know it.

  44. Mrs. C

    @Patrick “As far as I can tell, this entire paragraph of yours deals with “conversation” as if it meant “talking”:
    “The principle here is that a wife should understand that if is she is married to an unbeliever, that doesn’t free her from all submission, as her good Christian behavior towards him and her respectful conversation would do more to win him to the faith than bad behavior.”

    Yes, I did mention talking because many interpret that verse as meaning a wife of an unbeliever must never, ever speak of or give a reason for her faith. I pointed out that normal daily living would necessitate this and gave an example of why. However, the first sentence I gave is the overall summary of the principle of the verse.
    ““The principle here is that a wife should understand that if is she is married to an unbeliever, that doesn’t free her from all submission, as her good Christian behavior towards him and her respectful conversation would do more to win him to the faith than bad behavior.” Submission in all that is not contrary to the faith, good Christian behavior AND respectful conversation (meaning giving a reason for her faith), will all work for the good of her husband’s conversion.

    @Patrick “You did say that:
    “One of the reasons it’s so frustrating to talk about vulnerabilities that women might have in a discussion of moral agency and women’s ability to function without men is the implication that vulnerabilities or tendencies mean a need to protect women from themselves by being under the direct guidance of a man [note: IOW submissiveness] While this may serve a practical solution, (and seemed to be largely used throughout history) the better solution [note: the bettter solution than being under the direct guidance of a man, IOW submissiveness], for any person regarding any natural tendency, is education in methods of rational and critical thinking combined with Christian truth, prayer and opportunity to exercise the higher faculties in order to come to self-mastery. ”

    No. You are reading the idea of submissiveness into my statement. “being under the direct guidance of a man” is meant in terms of letting him be her conscience and reasoning rather than encouraging her in developing these faculties in herself.

    @Patrick ” This is exactly the situation we’re looking at today, and it’s what you support in the second quote I provide above, in my opinion. I don’t think the question is so easily put aside by saying the wife is subject to the Church first and her husband second. It would be like saying, “the Catholic is subject to the Church first and the Magisterium second” or “to Christ first and the Church second.” You’re glibly separating the “heart” from the “head.”

    No. Support of the idea of women gaining self-mastery in being able to freely assent to submission rather than submission being necessary because she never developed these faculties is not an exaggerated liberty. It falls into the right and proper liberty of the wife. Rather than separating the heart from the head, they will be able to be more of one mind if she is able to assent due to her ability to recognize the moral goodness of the judgement of her husband rather than having to assent because she has been kept in some way from reaching spiritual maturity. If a wife, by necessity has to take the role of the husband in directing the family if he can’t or won’t, she will always have to be encouraged to develop the reasoning faculties along with deeper understanding of what the Church teaches. Ideally, the wife assuming this role wouldn’t be necessary but life isn’t always ideal. For the Catholic wife married to a non-Catholic, the Church teachings always trump anything the husband might want to the contrary.

    You seem to be assuming that I’m advocating a feminist position that the wife has need of education as a means of being able to free herself from her duties as wife and mother. Rather, what I’m advocating is the encouragement of the wife in developing her reasoning faculties and understanding of the faith through education and exercise of those faculties for the betterment of the marriage and the family. This is to assist as either being a true help to her husband if they are basically of one mind in the faith or if the husband is not of the faith, it is to enable her to be faithful to Church teaching while teaching her children the faith as well.

    My point is along the lines of this Chesterton quote

    “Life is a real thing; it really matters whether you marry a good husband or a bad husband. And just as it is certainly to a woman’s advantage to have a kind husband, it is certainly to a man’s advantage to have a clever wife. What man ever does keep his wife in darkness and inferiority? Why should he? It is much jollier to have an intelligent wife than a stupid wife, considering the great amount of time that one has to pass in her company. I have met wives who were kept stupid because their husbands were stupid. But I have never met a wife who was kept stupid because her husband was clever.”

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