Category Archives: Marriage

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

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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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Femininity, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sin, The Church, Women

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

Assistance Sought: Captain and First Officer Tales

I have strong suspicion that many of my readers are of a… shall we say… bookish nature. As in, they are major nerds. So I am counting on that nerd power to help me out.

What I am looking for is instances in Star Trek of good Captain and First Officer interactions. This would include instances where they operated well together, as well as instances where conflict was handled. In fact the latter would be especially nice.

I am hoping that my readers will know of specific episodes where these instances take place. At the moment I don’t quite have the time to watch them all to find out on my own.

*Other instances of good Captain and First Officer interactions outside of Star Trek would also be ok too.

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Filed under Marriage, Red Pill

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: Penny Stocks

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began with my post Market Watch. Today I want to cover a topic which was brought up by Elspeth in a couple of comments. Here is the first:

I’m just done, done, done, with pretending that Christ cannot change people deep down and for real. Suppose Paul had been deemed of no earthly use to the Church because of his previous persecution of it.

Which is followed by this:

None of that changes my original assertion that people can and do have sincere changes of heart, and that any person’s decision to reject a certain group of people as mates is fine but let’s kill the “even real and true Christians are damaged beyond any kind of repair as potential mates”.

The issue here is whether some people are so “damaged” that there is no realistic hope of recovery, and thus, eventual marriageability. In the past the word “ruined” might have been used of such cases- as in, ruined for marriage.

First to define “damage” in this context.  A simple explanation would be strains or burdens on someone’s physical/mental/emotional well-being which impair his or her ability to have a successful/stable marriage. [If someone has thoughts on a better explanation please mention below.] I mention all of these because they can and do all affect one’s capacity to be a good spouse.

It is also worth mentioning that these factors- these burdens- are not necessarily the fault of the person in question. Some are- the products of sin, for example. But others might simply be the product of nature (think certain illnesses) or the willful actions of others (the trauma created by abuse, for example).

The way I see it, what we are talking about here is a spectrum of “damage.” Everyone has at least some damage- small things which would get in the way of their being a good husband or wife. However, there is a spread which takes place. Some people have relatively little damage (a few bad habits), and others have a huge amount of damage (think of some stories from the ‘sphere). Now, somewhere on this spectrum is a point where someone is too damaged to be considered marriageable. That is, they are too burdened, as they are at that time, to make a good spouse. [I suspect this point is not fixed- it is heavily influenced by culture and the overall environment- thoughts for another post.]

Now all of this needs to take into account that where people fall in this spectrum changes over time. Sometimes damage is “healed.” Sometimes it gets worse or new damage takes place. So the real question is whether some damage cannot “heal” or get better.

Well, having thought it over some, I think there are some people who are beyond simply “damaged.” These people are broken. I suspect most of my readers know people like this. People who have experienced terrible trauma and struggle with it daily. They are enduring burdens which go beyond the need for ordinary healing- they need out and out miracles. And not the everyday miracles we often overlook- I mean the the kind which are unmistakable.

Now, these miracles do happen. Perhaps my readers know of some instances, either with people they know or have heard of through the grapevine. But all the same, without such miracles those people would not have improved.  Thankfully they are not common. But they do exist.

At the same time, all of this has gotten me thinking about how exactly people “heal.” And how Christian transformations work. I know they work- I have seen them happen first hand. But I have been wondering about the process. Since Elspeth mentioned St. Paul, I think this seems appropriate to ponder:

I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

Part of me wonders if the transformation is not always about healing. That is, it isn’t about removing the harm or burden. Instead, it is about lending strength to the person in question such that they are able to carry on despite the burden. If so, this is important to understand because there is a marked difference in how they operate.

If the burden is gone, then it should hopefully not come back to haunt someone in the future. But if the burden remains and is covered by grace, then a lapse in faith by the person means that it comes out full force again.

Perhaps my readers have some thoughts on this they would like to share. I am curious to hear what you folks have to say.

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Filed under Alpha Widow, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Sin, Women

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