Parting Thoughts Before The Break

As I mentioned before, I am going to take the month of July off from blogging. Unless something extraordinary happens I won’t resume posting until August. In the meantime I might drop a comment or two here or there, and will try and moderate comments here on the blog (although less frequently than I do now). Before I go, a few things I want to mention.

Free Northerner has a post up about Why Young People Leave the Church. While there is more to it than simply a lack of potential spouses, it is definitely a factor. After all, meeting your spouse in church makes it much more likely you will stay in the church (ties matter). The good news is that some Traditional Catholics seem to “get it.” Typically the younger they are, the more they realize things are broken and the more that they are open to when it comes to fixing it. Sadly, I don’t expect that this will help myself or my generation (save perhaps the youngest Millenials). But hopefully the next generation will have it easier, assuming we can maintain our communities, that is.

Keep your eyes on Europe. The mess in Greece has the potential for a lot of economic trouble far beyond its borders. At this point it is impossible to guess how far everything will spill over. Even more troubling, however, is Russia. I don’t think I’m being melodramatic anymore when I say that war is coming. Putin has put his country on war footing, and is moving Russia into an increasingly aggressive posture. I can’t say where that war will be, whether in Ukraine or the Baltic states, or both or somewhere else entirely. But I don’t think Putin is playing games. Not now. Russia has some serious issues internally, and they have made Putin desperate. Desperate men are dangerous, as they are willing to take risks others wouldn’t. I mention all of this because a conflict over there could find its way over here through various means. Cyber-attacks are a strong possibility and could cause major, major disruptions over here. Shutting down the EBT system for a week, for example, could cause quite a firestorm. Given all this, I would recommend that folks keep their pantries well stocked, and their gas tanks full, just in case. Hopefully nothing comes of it, but you never know.

On another note, the last few months have seen plenty of comments left on this blog which have expressed disagreement (to put it mildly) with the topics I cover, or how I cover them. Many never were approved, but they were there all the same. I just want those who have left them to understand that I am unconvinced, and unimpressed, with their efforts. If what I write offends you, stop reading my blog and go elsewhere. Those of you who are easily offended should consider this a “trigger warning.” When I resume blogging in August I intend to say all kinds of offensive things which will offend your delicate sensibilities.

Finally, since I will be gone for a while, this post will serve as a sort of off-topic post should anyone feel like so using it. Feel free to leave comments or links or carry on all manner of discussions. Any particularly worthy links might be added in updates to this post, should I feel it warranted. Post requests are acceptable, of course. And should anyone have any ideas for guest posts, I will be glad to host them in July while I’m gone. And with that, I am signing off (mostly), for now. I’ll leave the light on for everyone.

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32 Comments

Filed under Red Pill, The Church

32 responses to “Parting Thoughts Before The Break

  1. Hey Donal,
    …Free Northerners is an interesting post. I would encourage people to check it out.
    …Greece is about anything but. It is the test case for dealing with the bigger issues in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
    …NATO aggression and interdiction has utterly corrupted the Ukrainian government, provoked a civil war and bankrupted the country. Hans Hermann Hoppe was right about democracy…
    … and open commenting is good, except when its uninformed and personal, which is all too often.
    Have a good break,

  2. Neguy

    Have a good break.

  3. feeriker

    .
    …NATO aggression and interdiction has utterly corrupted the Ukrainian government, provoked a civil war and bankrupted the country. Hans Hermann Hoppe was right about democracy…

    This.

    As for Putin, he’s doing what any other Russian President in his situation would do, the only logical thing that can be done: take defensive measures against an overtly hostile power (NATO) that is deploying troops on his doorstep, troops that are meddling in affairs that are none of their concern. It is Brussels and Washington, not Moscow, that need to “back down.”

  4. sbawtin

    Young people don’t like church because churches try to be hang out spaces and they foster cliques of women who tear apart people for fun. Men aren’t there because they would have to sing emotional love songs to a man, sit still and socialize. It’s the same reason men do worse in school than women only worse. Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow is a great book.

    Russia is on an increasingly aggressive footing? Haha man it’s the US poking them in the face get real. You think Russia started this? We did. Hope you have a good July.

  5. pukeko60

    Men we are
    Trigger warnings are not needed.

  6. Z.M.

    There will be a third world war soon. Many Saints have foretold that this would happen during the latter times of the world which we are now living in. The Chastisement of Our Lady of Fatima will soon fall on mankind as a righteous punishment of the innumerable grievous sins committed daily throughout the world, the abominations of the devil’s sacrifice of abortion, sodomite so-called “marriage”, the oppression of the poor and the doing the workers out of a just wage especially. The Russians will finally launch their rockets and make use of their numerous secret weapons based on the research of Tesla and many other scientists who are as yet unknown. They will undoubtedly be victorious, how could they not be fighting effeminates who would weep if deprived of their little phones? The putrescent apostate west has spat upon God’s Law long enough. the neo-pagan nations comprising it will be crushed by Russian might, so that they will learn that God is not mocked.

    As for the young leaving the Church the best explanation can be found in the Holy Scriptures “And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to iniquity.” II Thessalonians 2:10-11. One can understand them not liking a Mass full of abuses and novelties, but if they truly loved God they would strive to find a parish wherein the Mass is said as it ought to be. If they instead fall away and become apostates it shows that they were already numbered among the devil’s goats anyhow.

    The remnant of the faithful should quarantine themselves from the infidels to prevent spiritual contamination. “Wherefore: Go out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you. And will be a Father to you: and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Corinthians 6:17-18. No wicked persons should be allowed to enter the house, whether physically or electronically via television &c. The way things are going it won’t be long now. May God deliver those who are His.

  7. Z.M.

    I read the Free Northerner article, I must say it is interesting. For the man who is keen to get married all I can say is : Get money, lots and lots of money, as much money as you possibly can, and then some more. That’s what it’s really all about for most women. Someone wrote in the comments that they generally don’t go for bookish fellows and I agree, though whether this is due to the reason he gave, or is rather to be ascribed to their belief that a man they consider, rightly or not, to be less intelligent will be easier for them to manipulate and keep under control is debatable.

    At any rate if you’ve got enough money it won’t matter one way or another. They’ll find you to be the most handsome fascinating chap they’ve ever laid eyes on, however “uncool” you would’ve been had you been a pauper. That will probably change forthwith if ever the money should run out. On that terrible day she will discover, quite suddenly that she no longer “loves” you ha ha ha, and must proceed to pull the pin of the divorce grenade and go in search of the next chump, sorry, I mean “beloved husband.”

  8. Come to the secular dark side. We are allowed to get laid.

  9. Z.M.

    Here are a few good books which will show those who read them the real origins of the situation the world finds itself in today. The Secret World Government, or the Hidden Hand by Count Cherep-Spiridovich, a Russian nobleman who escaped the Bolshevik filth, The Nameless War by Captain Archibald Maule Ramsay, a WWI veteran who suffered persecution and unjust imprisonment for endeavouring to tell the British people the truth about those who led them to kill their brothers who were acting to defend Europe from the menace which has now overtaken the world and destroyed what remained of the civilization of Christendom. The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit in History by E. Michael Jones, well worth its rather high price, Libido Dominandi, also by Dr. Jones, it relates the history of the subversives who have succeeded in turning the world into an open sewer. Judaism and the Vatican by Leon de Poncins, anything by this author is excellent, Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism and Socialism by Donoso Cortes, those keen on philosophy ought to find this magnificent work well worth reading. For those who can read French Le Juif, le Judaisme et la la Judaisation des Peuples Chretiens and Moeurs et Pratiques des demons ou des esprits visiteurs, both by Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux are splendid works which will enlighten the reader of the 21st century as well, and in some respects, in light of what has come to pass in our dismal times perhaps more, than the reader of the 19th century. May God deliver those who are His.

  10. Feminine But Not Feminist

    Here’s what sweet rebellion against corruption looks like; surprisingly coming from the government of all places…

    http://mrconservative.com/2015/07/61061-mississippi-just-stuck-it-to-obama-with-this-ruling-on-gay-marriage/

  11. Neguy

    Donal, since you’ve been digging into the patristic fathers, I’ve got a research project suggestion should it interest you. I’d be interested in reading what the church fathers and various key thinkers throughout church history have said about marriage and husband-wife roles, especially how they refer back to and interpret scripture.

    The question I want to answer is, how novel are the churchian interpretations of Biblical passages on these topics? So they have a real pedigree in the church or are they innovations?

  12. Neguy,

    That would be a worthwhile project. Which means someone has probably already done it properly, and it is out there somewhere on the ‘net.

    What I can tell you from what I’ve already dug up is that the present notions of “mutual submission” bear nothing to what St. John Chrysostom taught on the subject. Further, he was very clear about the authority and dignity of the roles of husband and wife: the husband had the greater authority, but they were both of equal dignity.

    My guess is that most of the present churchian interpretations (and probably all) date from after the liberal Enlightenment. They reek of the liberal ideal of “equality”, which would naturally push for such an interpretation.

  13. Neguy

    Thanks – I would think it has been, but this isn’t the kind of thing that’s likely to attract mainstream attention. It’s something that I want to do as part of a research project.

    Do you happen to have a reference to the Chrysostom material handy? If you don’t know off the top of your head, I’ll just look it up myself.

  14. Here is his discussion on Ephesians 5:22.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230120.htm

    If you back up a bit, you can see the rest of his various homilies, which cover many other relevant NT sections.

  15. Mrs. C

    @Neguy – The question I want to answer is, how novel are the churchian interpretations of Biblical passages on these topics? So they have a real pedigree in the church or are they innovations?

    I think the difference isn’t really that great at all. Granted the teaching have developed over the centuries as we have gained more insight into what it means to be human. Add to that, the language that was used has changed over time and cultures and that can give the impression that there has been great changes. Doctrine has developed over the centuries but it hasn’t been thrown away in favor of something else.

    The wording of authority and submisson, you don’t see as much anymore.
    That doesn’t mean it’s been done away with so much as it means a deepening understanding of it in terms of the masculine and feminine complementing each other. Christ restores us to the original order before the fall. St. John Chrysostom points out that the measure of the wife’s submission should be taken in consideration only in the context of the husband’s call to love. The husband’s authority doesn’t call for him to force his wife’s submission or to be in dominance over his wife (or to “game” his wife, IMO), but rather he is called to win her with “unwearied affection” and ” yet by your great thoughtfulness for her, by affection, by kindness, you will be able to lay her at your feet.” “Supply her with everything. Do everything and endure trouble for her sake. Necessity is laid upon you.” In other words, her submission should be a response of love towards you for love having first been given. It should be the response of a free woman as Chrysostom says.This mirrors the Church’s response to Christ having loved so greatly he laid down his life. Both the submission and the authority, being based on reverence for Christ, requires that each must fulfill their call regardless of whether their spouse is fulfilling theirs making the subjection mutual according to Chrysostom. St. John Paul II wrote that the wife should find her motivation in her relations with her husband in the example of the Church towards Christ. I would add that the husband find in Christ his motivation in regards his wife. This motivation is what preserves the unity that marriage mirrors based on the unity of the Trinity .

    If anyone really wants to do a study of this (and this based on the Catholic Church’s teachings) here are some places you can start. You will find some things that lines up with “Red Pill’ such as rejection of radical feminism but you will also find many things that “Red Pill” would reject. The Catholic Church is not Red Pill and it can’t be if it’s going to teach authentically.

    St. John Chrysostom’s homily on Ephesians 5
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230120.htm

    St. John Chrysostom’s homily on John 10:42 (you will have to page down a little to that verse) which isn’t a marriage passage but he being the “golden mouthed” one found a way to turn it into marriage advice.
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240161.htm

    An article by Mary Shivanadan on Feminism and Marriage: A reflection on Ephesians 5
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/mshivana/femmar3.htm

    Other articles by Mary
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/mshivana/maryshiv.html

    St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
    https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM

    I highly recommend anything by Msgr. Cormac Burke. A civil lawyer and a doctor in canon law, he is a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature. He is best known for his work (1986-2000) as a Judge of the Roman Rota , the High Court of the Catholic Church.

    If you want to understand anything about the thinking of the Church, you need to understand Thomistic personalism and how it differs from individualism. Personalism has been given emphasis over the last century, the seeds of which can be found in the early church fathers but was not fully developed. Burke has a great article that explains this here…
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/368

    Thomistic Personalism and John Paul II
    http://www.uprait.org/archivio_pdf/ao42_williams1.pdf

    More by Cormac Burke
    Masculinity and Femininity: The enchantment of complementarity in marriage
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/2440

    Sexual Identity in Marriage and Family Life
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/371

    St. Augustine: A View on Marriage and Sexuality in Today’s World
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/933

    Marriage: A Personalist or Institutional Understanding
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/352

    Feminism vs Femininty: The Threat to Woman’s Identity
    http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/node/2441

    Cormac Burke has many more articles on sexuality, marriage, feminism etc. If you click on English under the Articles category on the left side bar of his blog, you will find a full list of article topics.

    Excellent talk at Charlotte Catholic Men’s Conference by Deacon Harold Burke
    http://www.uprait.org/archivio_pdf/ao42_williams1.pdf

    Catholic Masculinity Explained Fr. John Hollowell
    http://www.catholicgentlemansguide.com/catholic-masculinity-explained/

  16. mdavid

    C, …you will also find many things that “Red Pill” would reject.

    Difficulty here is that “Red Pill” remains undefined. The way I use the term, to define the anti-cultural boundaries of male-female relations based in natural law, your statement on Red Pill here is not true. Your definition may vary of course.

    The real crux of the discussion is (as usual) cultural, not religious. Africans of any religion (or say people of St. Paul’s era) find the whole discussion amusing. Only disordered folk need to write documents like Humanae Vitae or TOB. Uneducated people of normal sexual relations love male-female differences, love dominate men and submissive women, and love the resulting children and big families. They see no theological issues to parse. I once worked with an African who openly scoffed at Westerners in this light. For him (and submissive wife) children were like money, who wouldn’t want more? Women were of course submissive to obtain their own goals: family. There was a reason he was in the USA and we weren’t over there: he had lots of siblings.

    Personally, I enjoy the way God is deals with the Red/Blue Pill stuff. Westerners are going extinct (should be less than 10% worldwide soon enough) due to their gender-bending (women’s education, women in the workforce, lack of male headship, etc.) so who cares what their bishops are spouting about marriage and family? They clearly got it wrong in practice. Meanwhile, cultures embracing male headship and hard-core femininity are demographically cleaning up. Hence, documents like TOB or HV will become forgotten as their audience fades away, just like music styles typically do. I always find it fun to read the old forgotten encyclicals, basically testaments to some past human disorder. Icon smashing, anyone?

  17. Mrs. C

    @mdavid “Difficulty here is that “Red Pill” remains undefined.”

    You’re right that there is no set definition of “red pill,” however, in trying to define red pill in terms of Christianity, there are some things that don’t jive with Catholic teaching specifically. Because non-Catholic Christians believe they can interpret the Bible for themselves there are a lot of different interpretations for some of the texts about marriage that put the husband in the role of Magisterium for the wife and he tells her how he’s interpreted a certain passage and she is to submit to it without question. For example, the nonsense of the husband having such an absolute authority that if he tells her to sin, she is not to question it but to assume she doesn’t understand his reasons and if it turns out be wrong, she is not guilty of the sin, but her husband is because of his authority. There are some ideas that seem to put the wife in the position of a child which is just wrong. The issue I’m mainly talking about is twisting of Scripture in the name of Red Pill theories. Because of sola scriptura there is a whole lot of misinformation and wrong ideas being applied to marriage that are incompatible with how the Church views the human person and their relationship to God and each other. For the Catholics who read some of this stuff and may not know their faith very well, I think it can lead them astray.

    As far as your definition of red pill concerning “anti-cultural boundaries of male-female relations based in natural law,” I think that’s pretty nebulous as well.
    The problem isn’t with women in the workforce or women’s education. The problem is that the culture at large has been indoctrinated into this idea of the ONLY way to have value as a person and the ONLY valuable way to contribute to society is through a career. The better the career, the more status. Even if you can only get a lower status job, that certainly is much higher status than not working at all. What value are you to anybody if you are not working for pay? You’re a parasite. Because of this idea of worth being based on economic contribution, women have turned their backs on the value that motherhood contributes to society. They either opt out of it altogether or because they see it as a secondary good, they will have one or two children. If family and children aren’t valued, people will look for what is. Feminists have preached that the male paradigm is the only good and worthwhile paradigm. The female paradigm of the nobility and value of serving home and family is largely seen as worthless. Turning that around, IMO, is how we are going to revive the culture. It will take the effort of both women and men. There needs to be a balance. A person’s worth doesn’t come from producing offspring but it should be seen as a “good” that has great value. For women who can’t have children, work is also a “good” that can serve the human person if it’s kept in the right perspective and not a pursuit of materialism so much as a way to serve others in some capacity. There is value to both the male and female paradigm. One is not more important than the other and both are ways of serving humanity and God. It’s the mindset and motivation for both that needs to be put in proper perspective first before any cultural changes can take place. This is where theology and ecclesiastical documents have their value. They are meant to correct and change minds and hearts. Cultural supports are important to hold up the ideal but they are scaffolding. If people don’t value work and family for the right reasons in the first place, it will crumble and it has. Cultural support is not strong enough to keep things running over time. It has to be a mindset that appeals to reason and can show the immense value of how to apply and live natural law. Natural law encompasses more than male/female relations and sometimes some people forget that natural llaw applies to women as individuals outside of their relations with men when they are trying to define proper roles for both.

    @mdavid “Only disordered folk need to write documents like Humanae Vitae or TOB. Uneducated people of normal sexual relations love male-female differences, love dominate men and submissive women, and love the resulting children and big families. They see no theological issues to parse.”

    Well, if you are going to approach everything from only a cultural standpoint
    and leave theology out of it, then you are going to have problems as well. “Disordered folk” encompasses all of humanity and yes, if you believe that Christ left His Church to lead us into truth and to fight error, then documents that speak out against heresies and wrong-reasoning do need to be written and often. It’s the human condition. As far as Africa is concerned, they do have a strong sense of family and that is to be commended but up until recent times polygamy was rampant. The culture valued children so much, in some tribes the marriage was not considered consummated until the wife produced a child. If she failed to do so, the husband can send her back to her family or take another wife to produce children. In other words, a woman was worthless if she is infertile, never mind that it also could have been the husband who was infertile. This mindset goes against the Christian view, which is that a person’s worth comes from their “being” rather than their utility. Even the view of children, which is seen as being an extension of the parent’s immortality, is a wrong view of the human person. A person’s value doesn’t come from their biological contribution. The value of children in traditional African culture often subordinates the unity (one man, one woman) and the indissolubility of marriage to the procreative function. Marriage is also seen as largely a family affair and often the pressure to marry someone to join two clans violates the Christian view of free consent in marriage. A marriage without free consent is considered invalid. In many ways, Africa has something it can teach the dying Western culture but it’s hardly an ideal to fully emulate.

  18. mdavid

    C, Well, if you are going to approach everything from only a cultural standpoint and leave theology out of it

    I never said “everything”. That’s silly. I said this issue, which being instinctual and genetic to normal humans needs no doctrine to get the right answer. Rather, people seek doctrine to try to muddy the waters. Response to sin (feminism in this case) is how doctrine oft develops. E.g., the faith/works balance were never even formalized until the Reformation since most prior Christians (hell, pagans!) didn’t need the Church to get it right. It’s why so most peoples naturally recoil from homosexuality or feminism or non-submissive women. They are hazardous not only to one’s soul but also life on earth. God clearly reserves the most severe earthly punishments for the more serious moral sins.

    In many ways, Africa has something it can teach the dying Western culture but it’s hardly an ideal to fully emulate.

    Again, you miss my point. Africa is not “teaching” anybody. I’m not as arrogant as yourself here; I don’t claim to know who’s more righteous, Westerns or Africans. I merely look at what brings life, and life to the fullest over three generations or more. And in this case, the true mortality is feminists like Hillary and not polygamists like Jacob. Demographics don’t lie about what sins are moral to this life. God is never mocked for long.

    Natural law encompasses more than male/female relations and sometimes some people forget that natural llaw applies to women as individuals outside of their relations with men when they are trying to define proper roles for both.

    Modern culture has no issues protecting individualism. Especially female individualism! It’s what they do best. I find you funny, earnestly pointing out deck chairs on the Titanic while I’m talking about the iceberg that cannot be denied. And I’m seriously amused at the disbelief of the passengers (Western RC) and the crew (Western RCC) at watching their ship sink so ugly and doth protesting too much. Pointing out African cultural flaws? So what? God always heads out to the byways to collect anybody he can, and He is clearly doing so in this generation unlike no other.

  19. Mrs. C

    @mdavid -“. I said this issue, which being instinctual and genetic to normal humans needs no doctrine to get the right answer.

    This issue? My original comment was to the question of whether Catholic teaching has gone off course from the teachings of the Early Church Fathers re: marriage or if the Church still teaches in line with their thinking. I simply gave many resources for those who might want to study further the comparison of the two while pointing out that while language and emphasis to various facets may have changed, that I believe there has been no great variation other than a deepening understanding. I also pointed out that, according to some red pill theories floating around (especially Christian), there may be things that don’t line up with what some are interpreting Scripture to say. I didn’t word it clearly in my first comment but I clarified what I was thinking in my response to you.

    Where I was thrown off was you seeming to say that natural law is the answer to male/female relationships and that doctrine is not needed. “Only disordered folk need to write documents like Humanae Vitae or TOB. ” and ” people seek doctrine to try to muddy the waters.” says you. What the heck does that mean? People seek doctrine to come to a better understanding of the meanings of certain beliefs, the reasons behind moral laws etc. Doctrine, if anything attempts to clarify natural law and to give moral direction based on Divine Revelation apart from what we can perceive from natural law. Natural law is the foundation but what we are to believe and how we are to act in order to attain our ultimate end which is union with God, is given to us through doctrine and dogma. Males and females transmitting life to the next generation and to rear and care for offspring, is something we can know by natural law. Polygyny follows natural law but it breaks the moral law. This we can only know by divine revelation which is interpreted and explained to us through doctrine. Moral theology of marriage tells us not only what is right to to believe about marriage (one man/one woman, open to life, indissolubility) but how to apply that in recognizing rights and responsibilities of each spouse.

    Doctrine doesn’t develop as a response to sin. Doctrine is often clarified in response to sin. Things that are obscure or misunderstood are restated down through the ages as understanding deepens.

    @mdavid “Africa is not “teaching” anybody. I’m not as arrogant as yourself here; I don’t claim to know who’s more righteous, Westerns or Africans. ”

    Neither did I claim who’s more righteous. I was pointing out while Africa more closely follows natural law and that leads to more life, there was still a deep element of moral law that is broken. This is where the importance of doctrine comes in. Knowing the moral precepts that tells us how to apply natural law.

    I said above “Natural law encompasses more than male/female relations and sometimes some people forget that natural law applies to women as individuals outside of their relations with men when they are trying to define proper roles for both.”

    You stated that “Modern culture has no issues protecting individualism. Especially female individualism”

    I wasn’t talking about individualism. Natural law, Thomistic natural law, specifically, at it’s very basic is the notion that we should pursue good and avoid evil. Those who spout off things in the name of Christian male headship, like women shouldn’t question a directive from her husband even if it’s a sin because he may have a very good reason for giving it, choose to ignore the natural law as applied to woman as a person. Like I said above, this is more a problem in Protestantism where the husband can act as the Magisterium for his wife in interpreting Scripture.

  20. rather he is called to win her with “unwearied affection” and ” yet by your great thoughtfulness for her, by affection, by kindness, you will be able to lay her at your feet.” “Supply her with everything. Do everything and endure trouble for her sake. Necessity is laid upon you.” In other words, her submission should be a response of love towards you for love having first been given. It should be the response of a free woman as Chrysostom says.

    The trouble is that this doesn’t work with contemporary, strong/independent/empowered women. It was likely good advice in the late 4th/early 5th C. in the Eastern Mediterranean cultural milieu, where such treatment by men, in an overall culture which did not empower women but which empowered men could encourage women to submit in response. In other words, in a context where men were obviously more empowered than women, such gestures of kindness and affection hardly undermined a man’s position of obvious power vis-a-vis the women, which was itself the source of the kind of admiration which generates the desire to submit in the first place (as well as the desire to love and the desire to mate). It was good advice in that context for how to do complementarian marriage, no doubt, given the overall environment.

    Today’s women, in response to the samebehavior, will simply develop a lack of respect for the man, which will lead to the opposite of a desire to submit/love/mate, because these women are themselves actively engaged during most of their day in the pursuit and accretion of power for themselves. A man who acts today as recommended by Chrysostom in the late 4th Century will get run over by today’s strong/independent/empowered woman, because there is no great power differential between men and women in this culture — something which means that a man must primarily work to demonstrate that he is in some way “higher” than a given women in order to generate the respect that leads to a desire to submit to begin with (and which leads to falling in love and so on). A man of the 4th Century had that power differential to begin with in a world which was often brutal towards women, and so acts of kindness and affection were, in that context, not undermining to the respect needed to generate the desire to submit, but instead enhancing of it precisely because of the often difficult circumstances the age placed on women.

    Note that I’m not speaking here of the worst of the radical man-hating feminists, I’m talking about the average, educated, empowered American working professional woman who probably doesn’t even consider herself a feminist, but rather a Christian. This woman will generally not submit as a response to kindness, affection and thoughtfulness, but perceives these often as signs of weakness, which are unattractive — unless there are other signs of obvious strength present within which the acts can be contextualized so as not to undermine what is generating the respect to begin with. Again, unlike in Chrysostom’s time, when it was obvious to everyone that women were weaker/less powerful than men, and therefore these kinds of acts were received differently by women (as kind condescensions of the powerful which in no way impacted her respect for him, and may have even increased it, because his superior position was always obvious and reinforced socially/culturally/legally), today’s women are equally empowered (or better than equally so) with men, so when men do these things, it is not seen as being a condescension from a higher place of power, but rather as supplication from an equal or lesser position of power, which destroys both respect and attraction, which for women depends almost entirely on respect. So in today’s context it is critical that a man generate the “delta” in power/status/etc. which generates the desire to submit/love in a woman before he starts with the kindness and affection, precisely because the former is not a given today and must be actively generated and with some difficulty because he is doing it in direct competition with women (and often with this specific woman) as well. He must do this, therefore, as a priority to establish the respect that generates attraction and the desire to submit before he engages in acts of kindness and affection to any substantial degree, because if he gets the order of things wrong, he will generate the opposite of respect, and destroy any prospect of her developing either attraction or a desire to submit.

    There are exceptions to this, but they are exceptional. In short, the context matters. No doubt Chrysostom’s advice was useful in the context in which he was speaking — where the situation between men and women was utterly different than it is today. It isn’t useful for today’s empowered women, however, because that empowerment has entirely changed the economic, political, cultural and sexual dynamics between men and women, and all of those things impact the way people relate in a marriage, and what will, and what will not, encourage women to fit into their complementarian sex role in a marriage, or even enter a relationship which could lead to such a marriage.

  21. mdavid

    C, I like to argue, but I don’t disagree with your above comment. Dammit :-).

    To answer your question “Only disordered folk need to write documents like Humanae Vitae or TOB. ” and ” people seek doctrine to try to muddy the waters.” says you. What the heck does that mean?

    I mean healthy cultures with normal sexual/family desires don’t need such documents. Only sick cultures need them, who they then use them as a way to weasel around the very truths they try to teach (NFP is an example here). It’s like: “Should my 10% tithe be from net or gross?” Reply: “Do you want blessings net or gross?” Missing. The. Point.

    The whole thing is hysterical. Poor uneducated women who have never heard of TOB or HV are offered a mighty gift made in the image of God Himself. They grab it. Meanwhile rich European ladies go to school to read this stuff…and enter the dustbin of history. They won’t be missed.

  22. mdavid

    Nova, astute comment.

  23. Mrs. C

    @mdavid -C, I like to argue, but I don’t disagree with your above comment. Dammit

    LOL-obviously I like to argue too. Are you sure you can’t find something wrong with what I said? Thank you for making it clearer what you were trying to say about doctrine. I see what you were trying to say now and I agree.

    @ Nova – That’s a good observation in the results of taking that advice from Chrys.at face value and applying it to today’s relationships. My point in referring to that particular advice, and perhaps I could have been more clear was not how it would work practically in today’s culture but to show continuity of thought through the ages expressed differently by Chrysostom and St.JP II. If the husband, using Christ as his example wished to inspire a loving response of submission from his wife, he should care for her like Christ cares for the Church. Chrys also points out that whether the husband is a brute or the wife scornful and unsubmissive, (He uses extreme examples to make his point) each spouse was still to respond according to their own image (Christ/Church) in the hopes of eventually stirring similar behavior in the other by good example. This advice really isn’t different at all from other Scriptures in how Christians are called to respond to others in the hopes of winning hearts and keeping unity. The advice isn’t given so much as a guarantee of success but rather the charitable and peaceful way of living and spreading the Gospel.

    St. JP II, in using the language we’re more familiar with today, advises the same in TOB about the husband/wife finding their motivation in relating to their spouse in Christ and the Church. He uses the idea of giving a ‘sincere gift of yourself’ because until we willingly, totally and freely give of ourselves, we will never fulfill what we were created to be.

    It also has to be remembered that these teachings are telling us what the Christian ideal of Marriage is so we have something to strive for. It tells us how we are to act and react if we are going to attempt to preserve for life the unity of marriage despite each spouse dealing with the fallen natures of the other. In other words, the normal ups and downs of marriage. No husband is ever going to perfectly respond like Christ towards his wife and no wife is ever going to perfectly respond like the Church towards her husband. However, we are to keep our own prototype in our minds when our spouse is less than perfect and not worry about whether they are living up to theirs if we are going to keep peace.

    The spirit of individualism today,(feminism is just another manifestation of it) has infected almost everyone to greater or lesser degrees. This is the antithesis of marriage and makes finding a spouse in our culture very difficult depending on how high your standards are. Individualism seeks to serve self and preserve personal rights with only grudgingly carrying out duties and responsibilities “if I feel like it or there’s something to gain.” Until a person becomes disillusioned with this mindset, sees it for the dead-end that it is and begins to seek for something greater, they won’t respond well to Christ-like love given to them by others. They won’t be able to appreciate it for what it is and will instead take advantage of it for themselves. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. It’s required of us regardless. Of course, how to carry this out requires forethought and prudence.

  24. M.

    Imagine the following scenario: Someone comes out of a room holding a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun, it has double triggers as well and both hammers are cocked. You’re handed the shotgun and told that one barrel is loaded and the other isn’t. You’re then told to point it at yourself, pick a trigger and pull it. That’s marriage in this worthless society and anyone in their right mind will of course refrain from taking up the offer.

  25. mdavid

    C, He uses the idea of giving a ‘sincere gift of yourself’ because until we willingly, totally and freely give of ourselves, we will never fulfill what we were created to be.

    C, I was thinking of a comment at Rollo’s shown below:

    He is again asked to accept the lie that “those mistakes/other men/experiences made her who she is today” that she is “finally ready” and thus he should see this as equity accrued to him. The lie on the font end is a lesson learned. But it is the fact that the lie is perpetuated over all of those years and choices, only to be eventually re-heated and served up lukewarm when she decides to change lanes that is so damaging. And the normalcy whitewashed over this is astounding, to the point in which a man might hear his own mother instructing him to accept it for all kinds of reasons and rationales that pave over his own experiences and observations.

    Figure the only thing missing is JPII’s TOB used to whitewash the social scene Nova is deploring. Note I don’t council pessimism here (I council realistic aggression). But what Nova is articulating (as I read it) cannot be solved by men simply giving MOAR as a path to sainthood. That’s enabling female bad behavior. It can only be solved by men stepping out of the local marriage market, either by not marrying at all (read: prudence) or going where the selection is better. Or, of course, women or the Church starting police their own. But that’s not gonna happen. Men are on their own here.

    M., That’s marriage in this worthless society and anyone in their right mind will of course refrain from taking up the offer.

    Nah, didn’t you hear? It’s a path to sainthood. For you, that is. For her, it’s just a playdate with cash and prizes at the end :-). My suggestion? Don’t marry unless you marry a woman who accepts sacramental marriage. Otherwise, just shack up; it’s the new pagan marriage structure.

  26. Mrs. C

    mdavid – is that quote from Rollo’s talking about whether or not to marry or referring to if someone is already married?

    If a man doesn’t think it worth the risk because of unjust laws and women infected with individualism (feminism), then he has every right to be prudent in either not marrying or being extremely selective. The philosophy of personalism, which heavily influenced JP II’s theology means to know your own value as a man and an image of God or as a woman and an image of God. It means an awareness of your rights, freedom, duties, and responsibilities and in generously carrying them out (sincere gift), you will fulfill your purpose and find fulfillment (as much as we can this side of heaven). Because a man is aware of his rights and freedom, he most certainly can deem marriage not an option and find other ways of giving of himself in the Christian sense. In marriage, this awareness of rights and freedom, keeps either partner from being a doormat, in the name of “loving like Christ” or “submitting like the Church”, but also calls them to be keenly aware of lovingly carrying out their duties and responsibilities as a recognition of the other person’s rights and as a way to fulfill our “image of God”.

    TOB is for those who are married and is instruction for BOTH husband and wife to give fully, faithfully and fruitfully to the marriage. Ideally, when both are on-board and doing this, marriage is at it’s most beautiful. Of course, in a normal marriage when one or the other partner fails, there should be an apology and forgiveness. Both spouses should be generous with this kind of forgiveness and overlooking of faults. I’m talking normal, everyday sin not extreme sin like adultery, frivorce etc. In extreme cases, for instance, the wife cheats and wants a divorce. He may fight against anything unjust she is asking for in the settlement because we are called to fight against injustice including when it involves our selves. This is being aware of your rights and freedom. However, spiritually, he would be required to forgive (it may take a lifetime), pray for her soul, speak civilly, not remarry because he is still married to her in God’s eyes, not take revenge etc. This is to love like Christ. This is stuff that takes spiritual maturity. Also, we all know that love doesn’t always mean giving the other everything they want. It can sometimes mean, saying no. You can love an unfaithful wife fully and still refuse to reward her behavior by handing over anything she demands unjustly without a fight. To give her everything she wants when she is at fault, would actually be to love less than fully. It would be to reward sin.

    I do understand though that when people read TOB, they may not read it through spiritual eyes that are seeing “goodness” of the highest order. They will rather try to use it as a way of avoiding their own responsibility while wagging their finger at the other saying, “Tsk, tsk, you’re not loving me fully if you don’t give in to my every whim.” This is individualism in a nutshell. Me,me, me but never looking at their own duties.

    This is tough stuff figuring out how to practically carry out our call to follow and be like Christ in the very unChrist-like culture we live in.

  27. Mrs. C

    I said “TOB is for those who are married and is instruction for BOTH husband and wife to give fully, faithfully and fruitfully to the marriage. ”

    Correction: TOB is for all vocations and includes instruction for BOTH husband and wife…….

  28. Mrs. C

    Just wanted to share an interesting read about the history of the father’s presence in the home. The whole blog is also good as it’s focus is a “Philosophy of Household.”

    http://baconfromacorns.com/2015/07/15/my-article-a-fathers-presence-in-the-home/

  29. Mrs. C

    On July 20th @ 2:41 – I said ” Polygyny follows natural law but it breaks the moral law.”

    This is only partially true. Polygyny follows natural law ONLY as it relates to characteristics man shares with other animals. However, because man differs from animals in his ability to reason, we can know by use of this reason that monogamy is proper to humans in natural law. If men and women are equal in dignity then it follows that polygyny violates this aspect of the natural law for humans. Polygyny violates the equal dignity of the wife, and excludes marital friendship by putting her in a servile role, per Aquinas. Friendship requires equality in dignity and is based on the highest virtue that unites us with God.

  30. mdavid

    C, that’s a great website. Cuddyback teaches at Christendom (one of the mating pools for my tribe, along with TAC & Stub.)

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