Though I am not religious, I do have some Christian friends. These friends tend to be more independently minded and have some serious gripes with the average church because of some commonly held, yet arguably unbiblical beliefs many church congregations share.
Last night, I was hanging out with these friends when we were all invited out to eat by some of their churchian friends. Knowing of my irreligious philosophy and reasonably high level of debating skills, my friends like to instigate debates between myself and churchians when the opportunity arises. They find it entertaining… However, as I have grown older I have come to realize that attacking the core beliefs of the tribe, assuming they aren’t self-destructive, is bad-form and unnecessary. John Derbyshire put this thought succinctly:
The sensible dissident should in fact practice a lot of self-restraint. He should in particular show a proper respect for the idols of the tribe.
When I was a teenager back in England it was the custom at movie theaters that when the movie program ended, the National Anthem would be played. Everyone was supposed to stand up and be still for the duration. Well, of course, by the age of sixteen I had seen through all that stupid monarchy stuff — a bunch of rich people living in palaces and doing no useful work. Stand up for them? Not me! So I and some like-minded coevals would bravely sit through the anthem. This generated a lot of disapproval from other patrons, leading once or twice almost to fist-fights. We’d made our dissident point, though.
Now I know that the point was not worth making. Harmless tribal rituals are not to be objected to. They are part of the glue that holds a nation together. That’s a fundamental conservative insight. If you’re going to dissent, dissent about something that matters.
What matters? Truth.
So rather than indulging my friends in some heated argument about whether or not the bible is literal truth, I opted instead to focus on something that is arguable from within the Christian frame. This is of course that of proper gender roles, family values, and marriage.
I began by stating that I tend to agree with the Christian community that marriage is between a man and a woman. The intention of marriage is to force people, many of whom are deeply irresponsible, into providing the optimum environment for the raising of children and to keep birthrates high enough that there isn’t precipitous population declines. Most importantly, widespread traditional marriage works to reduce criminality and other social problems in that generation of children and this effect requires both a mother and a father.(1) Gay “marriage” does not contribute to this goal and thus is not a legitimate institution. It is an idea deprived of purpose and is thus meaningless.
However, overall I view gays getting married as trivial. There aren’t many of them to begin with, and even then only a small portion of them have interest in “marriage.” In terms of numbers, whether they marry or not probably won’t have much direct impact. (Kafkaesque enforcement by the Cathedral of twisted values will have much worse consequences, however). More important than that, though, is this fallacy that marriage in its current form is still a functional institution that is capable of further destruction. Marriage will not be destroyed by gay marriage. It was destroyed, past tense, in the 1970s with the introduction of no fault divorces combined with alimony and child support. The later is supported especially by the informal assumption that children should virtually always go to the mother such that she is the recipient of the child support. The results of these laws is the currently very high divorce rate in the US. The churchian community has not been immune or otherwise done anything significant to halt divorce surging among their members.
Thus, the argument instigated was that while the church may have its heart in the right place, it has completely and utterly failed in its mission of being pro-family as judged by the consequences of its muteness or even support of divorce policies which destroyed marriage. These policies are several orders of magnitude more important than gay marriage. Moreover, the enthusiasm with which single mothers and sluts are readily accepted into the church causes huge problems when naive young men are encouraged to marry them because the church condones them as proper wife material when they are not. The churches’ stances on these issues demonstrate that in this respect they are hardly living up to what it is supposed to mean to be Christian. Such was my opening statement in the debate.
To this, our blue pill churchian responded that all sin is equal and that once Christ has been accepted people truly are born again on earth. Their past mistakes are washed away. Thus, the sluts are not just redeemed in a spiritual sense with respect to the afterlife but also in physical reality they are no longer sluts. This redemption process is capable of making them into suitable wives here and now in their lifetime and no harm could possibly come to pairing them off with Christian men who have actually been following traditional values.
I think I was about to have an aneurysm. As I told him, whatever he may want to believe about forgiveness of sin, we have clear evidence that forgiving whorishness does not make a slut a good wife. I have no problem with the idea of forgiving people their mistakes, but the idea that forgiveness can be equated with removing all consequences of mistakes within physical life is nonsense. I made the following rebuttal up without reference to any specific theology, but it supported my point and that is an important component of debate. I confidently stated that forgiveness of sin applies mainly to concerns of spiritual life after death. Forgiveness does not remove consequences of actions within a person’s lifetime, and can not make a slut into a non-slut. They will have to deal with the consequences of their sin even if forgiveness of said sin allows them to still go to heaven. There is no such thing as a “born-again virgin.”
Feel free to tell me I’m wrong on scriptural grounds. As I have stated previously, if scripture can legitimately be used to justify the born-again virgin position then it is just wrong and should be ignored. We know it is wrong based on studies and statistics that compare the marriages of sluts with non-sluts. Sluts making for bad wives is a reality of the world we live in and no faith-based arguments can overturn the evidence.
With this in mind, I iterated that most deplorable of all was that objectively good men who are good husband material were being thrown on the spikes for the sake sinful whores because of this faith in immediate transformation within a person’s lifetime. Unbelievably to me, he stated that we are all equally sinful. A practicing Christian man who follows abstinence before marriage and otherwise does a fair job at trying to be Christian is just as sinful (say he masturbated once) as the born-again virgin. There is no differentiation between the magnitude of different sins. Small mistakes of one are equivalent to large mistakes of the other. Ridiculous egalitarianism truly is a concept memetically descended from Christian theology. Since this faithfully Christian man is considered to be equally sinful with the whore, there is no reason to treat each one differently based on different degrees of sin. In fact, he stated that it was only right and proper to throw the poor guy under the bus because his suffering would bring him closer to god. Face palm. No wonder so few men go to church these days. They aren’t going to look out for your interests, that is for sure.
The churchian used two scriptural passages to justify these attitudes. He first paraphrased Hosea to support marrying sluts as well as handing money and resources over to them; the later being a justification of the current policies which facilitate wealth transfers from men to women during divorce. In Hosea, god commanded the prophet to marry a slut and have children by her. However, she eventually went back to whoring and she was to be hated and foiled. Despite this, god then commanded Hosea to literally buy her back and supposedly this command can be extrapolated to all men by the churchian’s view. See the paragraphs which he uses to justify his view:
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
[After gomer went back to whoring] The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”
The above is from hosea 1 and 3 respectively. This is all extremely blue pill and seems to support his claim that the bible is in favor of marrying sluts. However, Hosea 2 is very, very red pill in how it treats the slut. So what we have is a sort of blue pill sandwich with red pill meat:
“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
3 Otherwise I will strip her naked
and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land,
and slay her with thirst.
4 I will not show my love to her children,
because they are the children of adultery.
5 Their mother has been unfaithful
and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water,
my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’
8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,”
declares the Lord.
Well, if the story was concluded with this passage, then I would say he was wrong in his interpretation. However, after this passage Hosea was ordered to take her back despite how depraved she was so in my view Hosea clearly supports his case. I suppose it could be argued that this was only meant to apply to Hosea in the particular and no one else because he was a prophet in a specific situation (Hosea’s relationship with his wife was a metaphor for the contemporary relationship between God and Israel), but even if that is true not everyone is going to understand that and confusion will be continual. In this instance the bible has proven to not be a good supporter of traditional values. It clearly opens the door for men to be thrown under the bus for whores based on scripture. This is a nasty strike against using the bible as the foundational text to support traditional values and gender roles. Criticism of the bible from the right, who would have guessed.
He also directly quoted Corinthians chapter 5 to consciously and purposefully support throwing men under the bus. Let’s see if that fares as badly:
So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Yikes! During the conversation I was quite taken aback by this clear support of throwing men under the bus. Although I clearly don’t agree with what he is trying to support with this quote, I do find it entertaining that he inadvertently implied that sluts and whores are equivalent to the ultimate embodiment of evil. Anyway, thanks to smart phones, the context was made clearer then and there:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
To me, this passage does nothing to support the churchian’s argument. If anything, it clearly shows that the exact opposite of what he was saying was advocated. Though, the solution is to expel the sluts rather than accept them while avoiding promoting them as marriage partners. Fair enough, I have no objections with that. In fact, the bible’s solution is better than the compromise of forgiveness without encouragement of commitment I suggested during the argument. In this case, I believe his interpretation was wrong and that the bible is supporting traditional values here.
Is it just me, or does the actual consequence of the churchian thought pattern and action seem more likely to drive men away from the people who give them bad advice rather than bring them even deeper into Christianity? Regardless of its being justified by scripture or not, I have already addressed the belief in born-again virgins and the encouragement of good men marrying them in my “Chastity, Once Lost, is Forever Gone” post, so I guess I will just quote myself:
[The idea of a born-again virgin is] that if a girl repents her actions she can be forgiven and it will be like it never happened. Maybe this can be justified by verses in the bible, and maybe it can’t. Certain Churchians certainly made a persuasive stab at it. Not being a Christian, I will let you know you can save your theological arguments. As far as I am concerned, if this can be justified in the bible, then the bible is wrong. If it can’t, great. If some people can be legitimately and understandably confused on whether the bible supports this then Christian Traditionalists have a real problem. Even if it can be demonstrated through some convoluted means that “born-again virgin” isn’t a Christian concept, ambiguity here is a very big fault with using the book as the basis for the traditional family. That being a slut can’t be taken back should not be ambiguous in any way in the foundational religious document of a society. Chastity, once lost, is forever gone.
Back in my more red pill, less reactionary days it was widely known and accepted among my group of friends that the “born-again virgin” girls were easy prey. And yes, we occasionally went to “singles” church events to find these girls despite not being religious. Lots of them were single mothers. Most would get drunk and have premarital sex with you Saturday night before stomping off to church Sunday morning in hopes of tricking some poorly advised Christian beta into paying for her and her bastard children. The “born-again virgin” status of these so-called “Christian” women is a complete fabrication. Their facade is a purely Machiavellian attempt to maximize their Alpha Fucks/Beta bucks mating strategy. And like the rest of society, the Christian community is far too credulous of these girl’s crocodile tears of repentance. Worse yet, they gladly throw the legitimately Christian men under the bus by pressuring them into dating and marrying these skanks. No wonder men are leaving the church in droves. I would too if I was given shitty advice like “marry the sluts”. I would leave any such organization which thought that way and I would laugh when it was completely destroyed, as it justly should be.
This was more or less the same response I gave our blue pill churchian in the argument.
I made sure to highlight the fact that modern churches are extremely emasculating and attitudes like those promoting the marriage of sluts were driving the trend of low male attendance at christian churches. To this the churchian informed me that the church does support masculine virtues. He obliged my request for him to describe masculine virtues and used adjectives like gentleness, kindness, meekness, tenderness, compassion and other similar things. All of these things aren’t masculine virtues, but feminine virtues. I should point out that he wasn’t using the right definition of meekness which is a synonym for timidness (I grilled him on that). Rather, he thought it meant “strength under control.” Strength under control actually isn’t that bad of a masculine virtue, but meekness does not mean that. I assume that he has absorbed all of these so-called “masculine virtues” from various sermons he has heard, including the incorrect definition of meekness.
With these weak and effeminate concepts of masculinity being preached in churches, is it any wonder that male attendance is down to 43% overall and as low as 35% in certain denominations and churches with female ministers. Female ministers is particularly ludicrous to me. If you claim to believe in the bible, you can’t allow women to even speak at church let alone establish them as leaders. Corinthians 14:34:
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
The previous link elaborates on the feminization of the church that drives men away in droves. Here are some select quotes:
Yet, as Murrow (2005a, 8 ) points out, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam all have at least as many male adherents as female ones. Podles (1999, ix) also notes that, within Christianity, the Orthodox Church has a general [sic] balance. The implication is clear: it is not that religion or spirituality per se are inimical to men. Rather, it must be specific forms and expressions of religion or spirituality that alienate men and deter their participation.
‘Perhaps the main focus of those who criticise the Church for having become feminised is that its worship is too ‘touchy-feely’, overemotional or over-personal. This has been derogatorily called ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ (or, more provocatively, ‘girlfriend’) worship. As Murrow (2005a, 187) argues, “today’s praise music invites the worshipper to assume the feminine role” and praise music can resemble the Top 40 love songs.’
‘It is a commonplace that masculinity is in crisis. Men are experiencing considerable confusion over their identity, in terms of who they are and what their roles are. As the end of the millennium approached, Roy McCloughry reported “a loss of definition and a confusion about what is expected of men… It is amazing how quickly men seem to have lost their confidence”
Clearly this crisis in masculinity in the church (and everywhere else) is quite rampant. This churchian has no clue what masculinity actually is and in fact seems to think a whole host of feminine virtues define what it means to be masculine. I don’t believe this is his fault, honestly. It is the fault of the church leaders who have adopted ideas from feminism (probably without quite realizing it) about the differences between men and women. They then teach these false beliefs to their flock which sets the men trying to do the right thing up for complete failure. At one point, after arguing that even if church leaders forgive sluts their sin when they repent, they should not support chaste men marrying them. It is their responsibility as elders to properly guide young men to proper wives and help them avoid mistakes. His response was that the blind could not lead the blind and these young men should just be allowed to make the mistake. At the time I argued against him. The leaders should be somewhat knowledgeable of proper morality (and consequences of certain actions) and it is their duty to guide men correctly. However, later consideration of his quip made quickly and without reflection has unintentionally won me over on this position. This churchian’s blatantly blue pill, misandric, and factually inaccurate understanding of the male condition clearly demonstrates that church leaders are blind and have no business guiding anyone. Its like someone gauged out their eyes with a pitchfork.
(1) The paper shown studied the differences between children raised in normal families vs. gay “families” and found that children raised by gays are worse off. You should be able to download it at the link provided, but if not go to /r/scholar and you can request it (make sure you read their instructions for how to get it before making a request). The paper is “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study” by Mark Regnerus. To view the anti-science response to this article by the cathedral, look for “Politicized science” by Richard Redding.