Category Archives: Churchianity

Compatibility And Failure

A two topic post today. The first topic is this post over at Deep Strength’s blog. In his post Biblical prescriptions with no bible, DS examines an ostensibly Christian article which discusses sex and marriage. As DS points out, actual scripture doesn’t show up very often in the article, and the most important parts (at least of the New Testament) are missing. The key part I want to talk about is his response here:

One would think that those who burn with passion and get married would have “great sex,” especially with lots of practice. If they’re burning with passion, they’re going to have lots of sex. Of course, it’s not guaranteed there will be “great sex,” but if the each spouse is focusing on the needs of the other, then it will definitely improve significantly over the course of time.

Then you have garbage like “sexual incompatibility” which is just a “lack of practice” and “lack of focusing on the other’s needs” and/or “lack of attraction.” In other words, selfishness.

Given how it is used, “sexual incompatibility” is a concept which means both everything and nothing at the same time. It is a catchall term that means whatever the user intends it to mean at any specific point in time, without necessary reference to how it is used elsewhere, or even before by the same person. Thus, it is basically worthless.

The way I see it, most sexual problems in marriage are rooted in one of these problems:

  • One or both spouses is not sexually attracted to the other spouse
  • One or both of the spouses has some sort of mental hangup with sex
  • One or both of the spouses has some sort of medical condition which is tied to sex (perhaps something that causes pain during the conjugal act)

Now to talk about each.

Sexual Attraction is one of those elephants in the room that most Christians will just ignore. And I suspect most “compatibility” issues are tied to this. I’ve written on the subject numerous times before, but it never hurts to repeat myself here. Unless the situation is truly extraordinary, a couple should NEVER marry unless they share at least some sexual attraction towards each other. It is never certain that this will change in a positive direction after marriage, and even then, it won’t make for a fun wedding night. Solutions to a problem here are for another post, but this is definitely a problem.

Mental hangups can come from a number of sources. Perhaps one of the spouses was the victim of sexual abuse in the past, and this has colored his/her view of sex. Maybe one or both of the spouses engaged in sexual sin in the past, and this has interfered with their ability to be one flesh with their spouse (say, because of a lack of bonding or an inability to be aroused normally). Or maybe one or both spouses was raised and taught an improper view of human sexuality which has had a lasting impact on them. For example, maybe they were taught sexuality was inherently “dirty” or evil, and thus they tried to repress their sexuality (rather than discipline and control) it in the past. Finally, there are issues of heart and attitude- normally based in how one spouse views the other. This is mostly a female problem, as it is tied to attraction, which is based in part on how a woman views a man.

Medical conditions are another possibility. Some might not have solutions, but many do. As so many commercials say, see your personal physician about the matter.


The second topic has to do with failure, and relies on this post over at Alpha Game. Vox uses the example of a “Gamma” to explain this important point:

What [the “Gamma”] has to do is adopt the philosophy “fail faster”. The more you try and fail, and the faster you can speed up that process, the more likely it is that one or more of your future endeavors will meet with success.

This is a tough thing for some men to accept. We can grow up with a sense that failure is to be avoided at all costs. That was me growing up (I definitely had Gamma tendencies). But failure is a necessary part of life. Without failure there can be no growth. Everyone fails at some point. Everyone. If you aren’t failing, it means you aren’t really trying. And if you aren’t really trying, you won’t ever get anything of important done in your life.

This is especially true, and especially difficult, when women are concerned. Rejection and failing with women isn’t easy for a man. At least at first. But it is part of the process of becoming good at interacting with them. A man just has to learn to deal with the frustration and feeling of failure. Like death and taxes, it is just part of life.

And yes, I know it is easier said then done. I flopped recently, and it was damned frustrating for a while. But I got over it. And I am still going forward. Self-pity of self-loathing might appear to feel good at the time, but you always regret them in the end. Remembering that helped me overcome any sense of failure, and instead try to look at it as a learning experience. It is always good to remember what Vox has to say in his closing lines:

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be seen to try. Even the most successful people fail, badly, most of the time.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, LAMPS, Marriage, Men, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, Temptation, The Church, Women

Market Analysis: Collective Bargaining

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began in my post Market Watch. In today’s post I want to examine and discuss in greater detail this observation that I made:

Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

I have two general areas I want to examine here. The first to look at is the community angle. The second is about making marriage happen.

Starting with community, there is a saying about how “it takes a village” which I think is appropriate here.

Marriage is a communal effort. Everyone in the community is involved in ensuring that it works. When the community isn’t supportive of marriage in general, and marriages in particular, then you get what we have today: tons of divorces and a crashing marriage rate.

Looking back at my quote, I had it wrong. I shouldn’t have said “Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community,” but instead should have said “Marriage is a matter for the whole community.” Whatever we say or think about it, that simple fact cannot be changed any more than human nature can be changed. We are social beings, and our social environment impacts all of our relationships.

The marriage market cannot be healthy unless the community is supportive of it. When that support is withdrawn, then our baser natures will assert themselves. Thus we end up with the sexual marketplace instead. I suppose, to continue with market metaphors, that the marriage market can be described as a fairly regulated market which, absent those regulations, will quickly turn into a real mess.

Let’s expand that first sentence somewhat. What does “make marriage happen” actually mean? I can think of a number of things:

  • Encourage young people to marry verbally- that is, talk to them and spur them towards marriage if that is their calling.
  • Publicly talk about the benefits of marriage and how wonderful it is or can be, especially around young people.
  • Stop badmouthing marriage- eliminate the griping and negative attitude that is so often expressed. [At the same time efforts need to be made to address the source of these woes. But keep it below the radar]
  • Provide financial support and incentives to young people to marry.
  • Discourage and admonish against individualist attitudes which lead young people away from marriage (careerism, travelism, etc.)
  • Rebuke and punish those who break up marriages or treat them flippantly.
  • Reassure young people that the community will have their back during rough spots in the marriage.
  • Promote life and the unique blessing that is children.

Those are just a few ideas I have come up with while thinking about it. I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on the subject. This post is less developed because I am hoping many of you can propel the discussion forward, hopefully towards directions I haven’t thought of.

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, God, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Parenting, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, The Church

Market Analysis: A Lack Of Confidence

My Market Analysis series continues. Today I want to examine, to some degree, a point I made in Market Watch:

Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.

I have been thinking over this point for some time, because I knew something was going on, but wasn’t sure what. I am still not certain I have it nailed down, but I will try and address it all the same. [Perhaps this discussion will help fix that.]

While I was thinking this over, it appears that Seriously Please Drop It was on the same wavelength as me. His recent post, Our Fates Are Bound- And Some Good News covered much of what I intended to discuss. So I will quote a great deal from his post. I will start with his second point, because it ties directly to my original observation:

To put it another way: young men have generally ceased to believe what Concept 1 says it is very important that they believe: that they stand a reasonable chance of marrying well.  In response, they work less hard to be eligible husbands.

The standard conservative response has been: No problem, we’ll just lie to them.  Or yell at them.  And that actually worked for a surprisingly long time, but as Dalrock details, that train is running out of steam.

I believe that young men are much less inclined to marry these days in large part because they cannot marry well. Simple cost-benefit analysis, really. The stock isn’t worth the price, and so they won’t play the market, if you will.

Furthermore, I believe this is most pronounced among young men who are devout Christians. Now, among the general population there isn’t a marriage strike going on. [n fact a secular acquaintance of mine got married to his long time GF recently. So secular guys still are interested in marrying.] All the same, I think a drop off is happening. However, it is happening the most among the most devout men.

The reason for this? Well, I don’t think it is just one reason.  I suspect a couple are at play. Some possibilities:

  • Devout Christian men are much more “picky” when it comes to a mate. They are screening for a variety of personality and character traits that are in short supply. If they are convinced that such options aren’t available, they may just give up and opt out of the market.
  • Devout Christian men are presumably more likely to take marriage and marriage vows more seriously.  Looking around, they can see that few do. With that kind of observation comes a natural disinclination to take part in something they perceive as likely to end poorly.
  • Female behavior has become increasingly more egregious. Devout Christian men are the most likely to notice this, and to use this to come to a general determination that women simply aren’t worth it these days.

I am sure there are others, and I invite my readers to supply their own thoughts.

Taken together, all of these are indicators that young men are not confident with the market. They see volatility and watered stocks everywhere. In such circumstances, it makes sense to not want to play the market at all. Which brings us to the next point:

Concept 1:  Marriage requires pre-marital cooperation, and therefore intersexual societal trust

Good grooms and brides do not simply appear from the ether.  Eligibility requires work and self-denial from both sexes, for many years before marriage.

Much of the motivation for this work and self-denial comes from the carrot of marriage.  But for this to work, young people must believe that somewhere in the world, their opposite number is doing the same thing.

The Market relies on both men and women to act appropriately. If one sex misbehaves, then the whole market will start to fall apart. Cooperation is key. As a lawyer once explained to me: “the most basic underlying assumption of contract law is that everyone is operating under good faith. If you take away good faith, you don’t have a contract.” What we have right now is a system where at least one side is perceived as acting in bad faith (if not actually doing so in large part).

Dropit sort of sums everything up in this:

What we are hitting upon here is the importance of morale.  We could aptly describe current failures in the marriage market as a cyclical “Morale Crisis.”  We should start talking about this!

He uses the word morale, and it works. Morale is certainly low. However, I think the underlying basis for that low morale is a lack of confidence or trust in the market. People are convinced that the players in the market are not acting in good faith. Let’s examine in further detail this tidy little bit of wisdom:

“Why prepare for marriage? Guys will always be available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no girls available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no guys available.”

Examining it in detail, you can see where bad faith leads us towards. Point 1 is all about women acting in bad faith. The realization of this leads men to stop bothering becoming marriageable, because it is clear to them that women aren’t to be trusted. In turn this leads those women who don’t engage in Point 1 thinking to be convinced that men aren’t serious about marriage, and they in turn throw their hands in the air. It is a vicious cycle with no end-point but an utter lack of trust in the opposite sex and in the institution of marriage.

My attempt at a brief summation: Young men, especially devout Christian men, are not inclined towards marriage because they have come to believe they cannot trust their female counterparts. In turn many of the remaining decent women are also coming to believe they cannot trust the men, either. We cannot begin to fix the marriage market, especially among devout Christians, until we fix the trust issues that exist between men and women.

I am going to hold off on further commentary for the moment. In the meantime I hope my readers will chime in and offer their thoughts.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Courtship, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill

Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

Masculine Monday- Sympathy And Understanding

[Men only]

One of the hurdles that men face today in navigating the Marriage Marketplace is the widespread ignorance of most people where the MMP is concerned. For a variety of reasons most of the people that a man interacts with don’t have a clue how the MMP really works. This applies as much to married men as to men seeking to marry. Most people just don’t get it.

Which drives me to the subject of this post- men shouldn’t expect much in the way of understanding from those around them re: the MMP. In fact, the only ones who might understand are men in the same position (or who recently occupied it). I don’t know about most of my readers, but I find this to be a terribly frustrating matter. On more than one occasion I have been asked why I’m not married yet. And no matter how much or well I explain it, I can see in people’s eyes that they don’t understand. I find this quite isolating at times- it creates a climate of being cut off and without aid.

Now, at this point I should mention that one of Rollo‘s little “laws” is that women are ultimately incapable of understanding the male experience. In this area I agree- the disconnect in experience and thought patterns means that women just can’t “get” what it is like to be a man. My advice is to not even try to go into detailed explanations with women when it comes to this field. You will be wasting your time.

At the same time, while understanding isn’t possible from women, and from most men too (they are too bound up in their “Blue Pill” worldview), sympathy is still possible. Even those who don’t understand why your life is the way it is can still be sympathetic. Personally speaking, I don’t find that nearly as much of a relief as understanding. But it is something, at least. So if you do find those who are sympathetic, appreciate that sympathy for what it is- the best connection you can hope to make with most people you encounter, even the good ones.

I write all of this to perhaps save some man out there the frustration that comes from trying to explain to someone what they cannot hope to understand. Accept that you will never impart that understanding, and the connection that comes with it. Take what sympathy that you can get, and keep moving forward. Such is the burden of being a man in this day and age.

 

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Filed under Blue Pill, Churchianity, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sexual Market Place

You Reap What You Don’t Sow

[Alternate title: Shaking Yourself Apart]

So I caught this in the news recently: One of the Shakers’ last three members died Monday. The storied sect is verging on extinction. An excerpt:

One of the last three remaining members of the dwindling Shaker sect died Monday.

Sister Frances Carr died at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, “after a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement on the community’s website.

It continued, “The end came swiftly and with dignity surrounded by the community and her nieces.” Carr was 89.

Carr was a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, a Christian group formed in 1747 in Manchester, England. They earned the name the Shakers when critics began calling them “Shaking Quakers” because of “their ecstatic and violent bodily agitation in worship,” according to Sabbathday Lake’s website. The Shakers eventually abandoned this particular dancing-style worship, but the congregation adopted the term, according to the Associated Press.

I remember reading about this particular sect years ago. I am not at all surprised the group is nearly extinct. Here are some of their core beliefs:

The Shakers practice celibacy, in addition to pacifism, equality of the sexes and communal ownership of property.

Their extinction is sort of a given considering their beliefs. Of course, the surviving members think otherwise, but hey, why wouldn’t they? Another point from the article:

Although it may sound like an old-fashioned religious sect by today’s standards, at one time the Shakers were considered progressive. As PBS noted, “Seventy-five years before the emancipation of the slaves and 150 years before women began voting in America, the Shakers were practicing social, sexual, economic, and spiritual equality for all members.”

We can see in the Shakers the end result of “Progressive Christianity” – extinction. This group just happened to (almost) get there a lot faster given their embrace of total celibacy. Other sects will come to the same fate as well, as sooner or later their deviancy will catch up with them.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Parenting, The Church, Tradition

The Blind Spot

My recent post Something Else led to some excellent comments by my readers. Two subjects were raised there that I think should be readdressed in a separate post- this one.

The first is the role of the Church in all of this. Deti left a comment on the subject, and here is part of it:

Zippy Catholic addressed this a while back, saying that “The Church is not your daddy”. The Church’s only job is to administer the Sacraments to the faithful and provide for education and training up in the faith. That’s it. It’s not to help socialize men, provide vocations for them, or help them find wives. So I think you’ll have to convince the Zippys of the world that the church should take up the banner of providing outlets to channel what is essentially untapped and unreleased sexual energy. You have to convince folks like Zippy that helping guys do things other than get laid is something the church should and must do.

He then linked to Zippy’s post on the subject. I would like to make a couple of points here.

First, when I speak of the Church I don’t mean only ordained clergy and the official hierarchy of the Church. I mean the whole body of Christ. Yes, I think the clergy has a role to play in all of this, but they shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden alone.

Second, the Church has historically done more than just administer sacraments and teach/train. From the beginning the Church was helping to take care of its members. The first deacons, Stephen the First Martyr among them, were ordained in order for them to help minister to the needs of the faithful. St. Paul was very active in helping ensure charitable relief. At the same time there is quite a difference between providing food to someone on one hand, and ensuring a vocation on the other.

This brings me to the second comment I want to cover, by feeriker:

This is a blind spot that the Body of Christ on Earth is never going to even acknowledge, let alone address. To do so would lead it to some very unpleasant places and demand some serious introspection, which in turn would lead to an obvious call to re-evaluate doctrine and practice in a variety of areas. Not gonna happen, or if it finally ever does when all [e]lse fails, it will be too little too late.

I disagree with feeriker here on a couple of points.

First, while the Church might not be acknowledging it now, it did in the past. Many of the Fathers of the Church argued against the criminalization of prostitution. While they called it out for the sin that it was, they recognized at the same time the problem of untapped male sexual energy. They knew the problems that would result if men didn’t have an outlet. Hence why prostitution was legal in so many Christian nations (until Progressivism had its way).

Second, the problem right now is not doctrine (at least for Catholic and Orthodox Christians). Rather, the problem is practice. What should be taught is not taught, and what should be encouraged is not encouraged, and what should be exhorted is not exhorted.

Now, I agree with feeriker that some serious introspection is required. And sadly, I agree with him that when it does happen, it will be mostly in the too little, too late scenario. Which I would argue is today.

Now, to try and put this all together…

It is not the responsibility of Church leadership to ensure that everyone is able to fulfill their vocation. Priests aren’t matchmakers (and neither are Deacons or Bishops). That is not only impossible to guarantee, but also outside its sphere of responsibility. Instead of being charged with ensuring “fair outcomes”, the Church hierarchy and clergy is charged with teaching and exhorting those things which are necessary to give everyone a fighting chance. Some examples:

  • Teach and exhort the importance of young marriage
  • Teach and exhort the importance of parents and family helping their children/relatives marry
  • Teach and exhort an anti-materialist/consumerist mindset
  • Teach and exhort parishioners that helping their brothers and sister in Christ to marry is charitable

The laity isn’t responsible for fair outcomes either. However, they are responsible for teaching their children these things as well. In addition, while not a duty to specifically help their fellow Christians marry, it is charitable to help them find their vocation, and thus the right thing to do. This can and should go beyond helping individual Christians to include group and community actions as well.

I should note that plenty of Churches have various ministries which help those in need. There is no reason why lay members of the Church cannot help minister in this area as well. Perhaps not directly as a matchmaker, but in other, more indirect ways. And of course, even if there are matchmakers, they will be limited by the pool of those seeking marriage. So other avenues need to be available. Reader MK mentioned lay orders, and I think that is one path that has a lot of merit.

In summary, there is a lot that can and should be done in this regard. Clergy and laity all have a role to play. Everyone can contribute. But such contributions aren’t taking place and that is a tragedy which will continue to harm many faithful men for a long time to come.

 

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