Category Archives: Christianity

When Compassion Becomes Divorced From Reality

Reader Michael K alerted me to this this article yesterday, and I thought it was worth remarking on. The tagline is “Beware of false compassion in implementing Amoris Laetitia.” Its not long, but I won’t quote the whole piece. Instead, here is the relevant section:

Maybe my experience is atypical. But I doubt it. Statistically speaking, men are more likely than women to remarry after a divorce. And that’s just one way in which men typically fare better than women after the breakdown of a marriage. Divorced woman are disproportionately likely to have financial problems, health problems, emotional problems. In a word, they are apt to be women in need.

If Catholic pastors adopt a more open attitude toward divorce, along the lines suggested by Amoris Laetitia, will that attitude benefit the people most in need? As a practical matter, if pastors make a special point of welcoming divorced-and-remarried Catholics, will the benefits flow to the spouses who are abandoned, or to those who abandoned them?

Since the publication of Amoris Laetitia, much has been written about women who have been abandoned by one man and subsequently formed a new union with another. For every wife who is cruelly abandoned, there is a husband who cruelly abandoned her. He, too, might feel more comfortable if the Church relaxes her traditional insistence on the permanence of the marriage bond. Should he?

If women typically suffer more than men after a divorce, the children of a broken home often suffer even more. What sort of message do those children receive, when they see their father, who deserted them to live with another woman, sitting in the front pew with his attractive new partner, while they huddle in the back with their mother, all dressed in second-hand clothes?

Anyone notice a possible problem with what he said?

Well, lets start with the fact that the author mentions some statistics about divorce. Specifically, about who does better afterwards. But then he stops there. No further statistics come into play. Which is a pity. Because if they were, it would help show the error in his argument.

Because from there he essentially makes the argument that men are the primary beneficiaries in divorce, and thus are responsible for the problem.  In other words, all the blame falls on them. There is this implicit assumption throughout that men instigate divorce more than women. We know this isn’t true; in fact the complete opposite is the case. Women initiate most divorces.

Furthermore, look at that final sentence. Does anyone else find that, well, questionable? I mean, has the author ever heard of child support? The truth is usually the opposite- it is the mom who enjoying her ex-husbands income, while he is making do with less- living in a smaller apartment, driving an old car and struggling with finances. Of course, not always; but there are always exceptions.

Also consider this: if mom makes the poor decision re: divorce, why shouldn’t we expect her to make other poor decisions? Decisions which end up with her in a bad financial state? Poor decision makers have a habit of making poor decisions. That is common sense- which we all know is anything but common.

This is just another example of a classic white knight in action. [If I was Rollo I would probably insert here some comment about how this Catholic is saying that loosening the  Catholic approach to the divorce should be rejected because it interferes with the feminine imperative.] Compassion is a good thing. But we must not divorce compassion from reality, else wise we end up doing more evil than good. In this case, it would be poisoning the argument against AL by using faulty examples of where it fails Catholic teaching.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sin, The Church

Sins Of The Father

Dalrock’s new  post, Why the blind spot matters, has proven to be fertile ground for a ton of great comments. I would encourage my readers to give it a look if they haven’t already. I have found that his comment threads have been very hit or miss as of late, but that post is definitely in the hit category.

 

Update: Now to present some of my own thoughts.

To begin with, part of the problem with “blaming women” or holding them to account in society right now draws itself from the nature of how men react to women. There are two natural impulses which men have towards women:

  1. Have sex with them
  2. Protect them

The second impulse is the problem here. Men have a natural desire to protect women, and unfortunately absent careful anchoring that protection impulse can go awry. For example, that protection impulse can lead men to protect women from being sad or upset. And guess what can make women sad or upset? If you guessed rebuking them for doing wrong, give yourself a pat on the back.

The key to solving this is to identify what is going on, and to actively work towards replacing unhealthy applications of this impulse with healthy ones. It needs to be drilled into men that rebuking women can in fact be the loving response. The response that actually protects them from the real harm to them- not that which threatens the body, bu the soul. And of course that is sin.

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

(James 1:15)

Next, I want to address the issue of Adam’s responsibility over Eve. As other pointed out in that thread, God does not call Adam out for failing to “protect” or “stop” Eve. You would think that, if that were an issue, God would call him out for it. But He doesn’t. This fact, plus the wording of Genesis 3:16, led at least one Church Father to explain that Adam didn’t have headship before the Fall. Rather, headship came about as a result of the Fall. Assuming that is true (and I don’t believe it has been conclusively settled for either Catholics or Orthodox), then Adam wasn’t responsible for Eve. And thus couldn’t be held responsible for her sin.

But even if Adam had headship before the Fall (and I think there is a strong argument for this, although I’m not certain about it), that doesn’t mean he was responsible. Again, God was calling out sins there. And He didn’t mention that particular sin. Further, nowhere in Scripture is this argument to be found. And none of the Church Fathers mentioned it either. It is wholly a modern invention, a product of our misplaced attitude and understanding of women.

[More to come as I think on it]

 

 

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The High Ground

I came to an epiphany recently, and I lay the blame at Cane Caldo’s feet. Three of his recent posts made something “CLICK” inside my head and I can’t let go of it. The three posts are the following:

Real Men Don’t Impede Her Desires

Her Buck Stops Here

A Caned Response to the Nashville StatementsA Caned Response to the Nashville Statements

Read all three (they aren’t that long) before continuing. The rest will make a lot more sense that way. Each one, in its own way, address the nature of men and women, and how we are to relate to each other. A (very) brief summary of them could be as follows:

  • Men are no longer able to tell women No in any meaningful way
  • Men can no longer enforce male spaces, and in fact none exist in any meaningful way
  • Men in Christian leadership positions (and in general) won’t teach the truth about women in marriage in any meaningful way

The bit in particular which was the “light bulb” moment for me was this:

Where is the article in which they deny that wives should be irreverent, rebellious, or usurpers? Where do they affirm that wives are to be sexually available to their husbands except for agreement of a limited time? What is more important to marriage than that the wife be submissive to her husband? These are serious and timely issues of marriage worthy of writing in these statements; more so than sodomy and transgenderism.

Cane is right, these are more serious issues. And I think I understand why. Perhaps he has already figured this out, or maybe I am going beyond the scope of his original idea. But everything makes sense to me now. You see, you cannot win on issues like “gay marriage” or “transgenderism” after yielding up the high ground in this battle.

Let me explain.

To begin with, high ground often has two different common meanings. The first is a “safe place”, out of the reach of danger. The second is a height which has strategic military value. It is the second meaning I intend. After all, we are in a war- a spiritual war. Now, the war has already been won, thankfully. However, the fighting has yet to stop. In some respects it is like the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was fought after the war officially ended. And while it didn’t change the outcome of the war, it was still meaningful to the men who fought in it. And so it is today- we are fighting a battle in a war the enemy has already lost. But he can still inflict casualties- take souls – and so he fights on. No surprise, really- he was a murderer from the beginning.

The strategic high ground in this battle was twofold- the nature of men and women, and the rights, roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage. Those two things were places to make a last stand- a metaphorical hill to die on. Unfortunately, they were yielded to the enemy generations ago. And when they were, the battle was lost at that point.

Why are they necessary positions to hold? To begin with, they lay the foundations for any defense of everything to come after. Lets start with “transgenderism.”

The whole point of that particular “theory” is that there are no fixed genders. Male and female, man and woman, are social constructs. They exist because society says they exist. Take that away, and people revert to whatever they want.  On an intellectual level, a strong, vigorous defense of the nature of the masculine and the feminine will over course reveal this to be the rubbish it is. But as is the case with so many things in life, personal experiences which shape someone will trump intellectual argument.

For transgenderism to succeed, people need to grow up where man and woman don’t really mean much. And how do you get that? Simple- you create a society with the following:

  • No task or vocations or opportunities, and so on, which are the sole prerogative of men or women.
  • Men and women are interchangeable in the various roles and positions which people occupy in life.
  • You eliminate any spaces which are reserved for men or women.
  • You eliminate any activities which are reserved for men or women.

And on and on.

When this is the society you have- the society we have today- then men and women essentially become interchangeable- fungible even. If that is the case, then the concepts of “man” and “woman” will lose any sense of meaning in the minds of those exposed to it. And this is what everyone is exposed to these days, especially youth. It should come as no surprise that “transgenderism” is on the rise right now. They don’t see any real difference between men and women, save minor biological differences, and those can be changed by surgery. The truth is, “transgenderism” was an inevitable byproduct of this organization of society. It was just a matter of time.

Let’s look now “gay marriage” in the context of the rights, roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage. In the past they were clearly defined. Now, no one dares to defend any real difference whatsoever. At least, a meaningful difference. What is the end result of this? Well, when men and women have the same rights, roles and responsibilities, they become… you guessed it, fungible. They can be swapped out without changing the fundamental makeup of the marriage unit. After all, husband and wife are both equal, right? And since they are equal, they both can do whatever needs doing, right? And are deserving of equal, well, everything, right? In that context husband and wife are no longer meaningful terms.

Instead husband and wife are replaced in the minds of people with “spouse 1” and “spouse 2” [Update: Reader Lost Patrol suggests Partner 1 and Partner 2 work better, and I agree. I’m going to update the rest of the post to fit that.] And of course if mother and father are also essentially the same- equal- then they are likewise fungible. And so you get “parent 1″ and parent 2.” Well, if spouse/parent replaces husband/father and wife/mother, you get some interesting outcomes. Because, after all, if marriage in the eyes of people is Partner1 + Partner 2, then does it really matter who happens to be Partner 1 and Partner 2? Of course not! It is all about two people who love each other who decide to becomes spouses.

And when you think about it, there isn’t really any reason to restrict it to just two spouses together. After all, love is the important part, right? As long as you have that, the nature and number of spouses doesn’t really matter. Dwell on where that line of thinking will take you.

I could continue at length, but I think I’ve made my point. Without a viable, effective and vocal defense of those two principles, nothing else can be defended. The battle will be lost- guaranteed. And it isn’t merely about logic. In fact, I believe that logic takes a distant backseat compared to the way that people’s common experiences affect their perception of the issues. Those experiences shape their views to a degree that rational argument never does.

If Christians want to have any, and mean any chance of turning this battle around, then those two strategic positions must be re-taken. There is no other recourse.

 

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Resuming Broadcasting

I have returned from my unofficial absence/sabbatical. I originally planned on only being gone for a week or two, but eventually stretched it to over a month. Partially because life kept getting in the way, and partially because I have felt for some time that this blog has become un-anchored.

My suspicion is that much of it is internal- I am trying to orient myself right now because I don’t feel that I am doing what I should. Deep Strength has a recent post where he talks about how you should “Do you job.” I found it timely, because I am less sure than I have been in a long time about what, exactly, my job is. Not my secular job- that is fine. Rather, it is my vocation- my calling to serve the Lord.

So much of my blogging energy will be directed towards examining that, in addition to my usual fare. In the meantime, I hope to get some regular posts up starting in the next few days.

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A Helpful Reminder

In my life I have heard plenty of Christians complain about what was in the Old Testament. They complain of the violence, the treatment of people, especially women, and the overall awfulness of the law and on and on. What I have explained to many of them is this: those were pagan times- awfulness is to be expected.

Most don’t get it. I don’t think it is because they are incapable; rather, I think most don’t want to really process what it all means. It demands too much of them, especially giving up on comfortable notions of how things are, or should be.

Which brings me to the main point of this post, and the reminder I try to keep in my mind all the time now:

America is a pagan country.

[And by extension, so is the whole of the West.]

When something horrific happens here, we shouldn’t be surprised. That kind of behavior is to be expected of pagans. Which is what the vast, overwhelming majority of Americans are.

Sure, the majority of the country might identify as Christian. But their everyday actions show them to be anything but disciples of Christ. The percentage of actual Christians, and I use that term very broadly, is probably in the low single digits.

My experience has been that some people (folks sincerely trying to be Christians) will not get this.

Others will get it on a surface level. They will know it is the case, but have trouble really grasping the full extent of what that means.

Only a handful will be able to appreciate the full magnitude of what living in a pagan country entails.

Unfortunately, I think that as events move forward, more and more people will end up in that latter camp. The cruel instructor that is reality has many harsh lessons in store for all of us in the years ahead.

However, I think we can do ourselves a service by keeping that reminder in place. We can prepare ourselves for what is to come, if only mentally.

 

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An Inquiry About Love

I am hoping that my Christian, and Catholic/Orthodox in particular, readers will do me a favor here. I have something I want to try and nail down, and could use help.

You see, something which is not uncommon to run across is a variation of the following notion:

Women love more than men.

Sometimes it is as simple as that. Other times you will see it as “wives love more than husbands.” Or “mothers love more than fathers.” And so on.

The point being, it is all an example of the above idea that women are more loving. Nevermind what particular notion/definition of love is intended.

What I am asking from my everyone is if there is any scripture which justifies this notion. Anything at all, please mention in the comments. And for my Catholic/Orthodox readers, are there any writings of the Church Fathers or saints which say something along these lines?

I am quite curious about this. My gut tells me this is a modern notion, something which has appeared since “Chivalry” in the west was perverted. [If I was Rollo I might say something along the lines of “feminine primacy socialization” or the like] However, I might be wrong. So I’m asking for your help here. Anything you find, just leave in the comments.

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Shoot The Messenger

Dalrock has been on a roll lately in his take down of one “Pastor Wilson.” See the two most recent posts, here and here.  The most recent post was inspired, in part, by an attempt to defend Wilson from those assailing him. The thing is, I can understand why someone might defend him. At least from a Protestant perspective, he is normally pretty good about standing up for (Protestant notions) of the Truth. Most of what he teaches is close, or even spot on. One might be tempted to argue that we shouldn’t tear him apart if he manages to get one or two things wrong.

However, this defense is misplaced. The fact that someone like him gets so close and yet fails is what makes him dangerous. How so?

Well, to begin with he makes the errors he defends seem that much more reasonable to the unaware. After all, if Wilson defends something, and since he is such a stand up guy, it has to be correct, right? The fact that he is right, say, 95% of the time means that people will be more likely to accept that 5% of error without thinking.

Second, he makes it harder to actually defend or teach the truth. Opponents (feminists, etc.) can point out to him, and say something along the lines of “even Pastor Wilson disagrees with what you are saying.” Thus they can push anyone who tries to tell the truth out of the periphery, labeling them as “truly extreme.”

There are probably other reasons as well which I am forgetting, but both of those suffice for the situation. Keep in mind also that these are not periphery issues. Rebellion, especially female rebellion, is one of the principal crises afflicting the church right now. It can only be solved when it is fulled exposed and explained. And messengers like Wilson are getting in the way of that.

I believe that until men like Wilson are dealt with, there really is no chance of “fixing” what is wrong with the Church in the West. Unless they are converted to the truth, or cast down from their high places, they will be effective obstacles to reform. Of course, my readers can offer their own thoughts on the manner. I encourage them to do so, as I wonder if others share these views.

[Much of this post is more oriented towards Protestants than it is Catholic or Orthodox Christians. But everyone is free to chime in.]

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