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Men and the Evangelical Church

March 30, 2012

Will S. of Patriactionary directed my attention to Bwana Simba, a fairly new blogger who’s documenting his experience of misandry in evangelical churches. This passage resonated with me:

It has gotten to the point where I no longer go to church, as I have yet to see one that draws in strong men.  I even hate going to my college Christian groups and typically skip the message and singing simply to get right to the social atmosphere as I believe nothing said is healthy.  I have seen strong and wild men filled with spirit go into churches and church groups and come out docile, nice, spiritually lifeless and filled with self-hatred.  Simply put, I do not believe God is in the church anymore.

I hate attending evangelical churches. I almost invariably find that the only thing of any value is the socializing. Sermons are emotive but lacking in content; the worship is even worse; and I find myself filled with contempt for the other men in the building for even putting up with it (though I admit that’s not a very Christian of me).

Start with the worship music. Here’s Blessed Be Your Name, chosen pretty much at random from the CCLI chart of the top worship songs.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

There’s plenty of emotive first- and second-person language here, but absolutely nothing here for the analytic (male) mind to latch onto. Perhaps a man can endure that. But he could not sing Tim Hughes’ Here I am to Worship without demeaning himself:

Light of the world, You step down into darkness.
Opened my eyes let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore you hope of a life spent with you.

And here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that you’re my God,
You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

I hesitate even to allow that this is genuine worship. There is a difference between saying “I worship you” and actually worshipping. Compare, for example, the first stanza of How Great Thou Art:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder
Consider all The worlds Thy Hands hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout The universe displayed;

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

This classic begins by actually observing powerful demonstations of God’s glory, and not by merely saying “oh, you’re great.” Moderns worship music rarely does it this. It cultivates an entirely artificial emotional state through repetition and introspection, rather than by invoking a sense of wonder through concrete ideas. That’s not good for women either, but it’s plainly insulting to men. (Yes, ‘men’ wrote these songs, which just goes to show what everyone already knows: church guys are sissies.)

I’ll pass over sermons, because they’re pretty similar: lots of “here’s how any given passage is about your life this week“—which is sheer pandering to women.

But nothing reveals the sorry state of the evangelical male like is the pathetic state of a few popular recent attempts to reclaim masculinity. For example, there’s John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart.

Eldredge, Wild at Heart

It looks like a romance novel, and reads worse:

There is something else I am after, out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey… something that can only be found through the help of wilderness.

I am looking for my heart.

Repulsive.

Mark Driscoll’s church is supposed to be another beacon of manliness. But, as I’ve pointed out before, he’s also a sissy who tells men to treat their wives as gods.

Of course the whole highly feminized environment suits women, but even they know that something is wrong. Especially younger, single women, because they heavily outnumber the single men, and they aren’t much impressed by those men who are available anyway. They are very willing to hear you out on the points I’ve covered. Don’t shy away from it.

Values and the Racial Achievement Gap

March 29, 2012

The standard view about racial achievement gaps in education is that under-performing groups (blacks and Hispanics) under-perform because they don’t adequately value education (they don’t have enough books at home, their parents aren’t involved, etc.), while over-performing groups (Asians) are successful because they value it highly.

This explanation is typically seen as an alternative to the view that racial achievement gaps are a consequence of differing IQ levels between racial groups. But the two aren’t really alternatives.In general, of course, the contrast between culture and biology is easy to overplay. But the more direct point is that people like, and work hard at, and value, things that they understand and are good at. And they don’t like or value or work hard at things that they don’t understand or aren’t good at.

This is as true of groups as it is of individuals. If the Chinese value education, this is just evidence that the Chinese are smart.

Happolati’s Miscellany, One Week On

March 29, 2012

My new site has been up for a week, and has already surpassed this one in terms of traffic, thanks to my decision to post a picture of Jenna Talackova in a bikini.

While I’ve mostly been posting links, quotes, and pictures there, I’ve also posted some brief but substantive (or at least semi-substantive) items. For example, I’ve explained why Asian campus dominance is here to stay, and why Asian babies are so cute. I’m sure readers won’t want to miss out.

Racism is A Heterogeneous Thing

March 28, 2012

‘Racism’ is a useless notion that encompasses quite different attitudes surrounding quite different (and often largely ineradicable) social dynamics.

Some ‘racism’ amounts to no more than noting or making fun of basically trivial group differences: Asians are short; white people can’t dance, blacks love fried chicken. At worst this is xenophobia, or perhaps bullying on a larger scale—akin to teasing a fat or socially awkward kid. But sometimes it’s perfectly good-humoured and totally harmless, as long as everyone in earshot shares a sense of humour and a modicum of trust.

Sometimes racial attitudes are genuinely coloured by fear or even hatred. But even here the cases are very different. Blacks, for example, commit a lot of crime and demand a lot of social services. The fear and hatred people sometimes feel towards blacks thus reflects contempt and literal concern for physical safety. On the other hand, Asians can seem too talented—too smart, too hard working. So the fear and hatred that whites may feel for Asians is coloured rather by resentment and fear of losing out—losing jobs and college spots, for example.

Moreover, all of this goes in more than one direction. Whites can fear or resent blacks for their positive (social, physical, musical) abilities as well as feeling contempt for blacks because of their social pathologies. Blacks likewise can resent white success while also feeling contempt for white softness or physical inferiority. Asians feel contempt for whites pathologies and lack of intelligence while also resenting them for stealing their women. And so on and on.

Nothing much can ultimately be done about any of this, so long as there are racially heterogeneous societies. Status jockeying is inevitable, so you’ll never get rid of bullying. And groups are different, with different strengths and weakness, and everyone knows it, so fear and resentment and insecurity and so on are inevitable. Intermarriage will change some of this over time, but only by creating new divides.

People who talk about ‘racism’ are just declaring their ignorance of, or unwillingness to learn about, the genuine difficulties and complexities of a multi-racial society. As long as ‘racism’ is the rubric we employ in trying to understand social friction, we will never be able to do more than muddle along.

A Bit More on Rape and Chastity

March 28, 2012

On Happolati’s Miscellany, I linked to Karen Armstrong’s absurdly feeble attempt to understand why ‘Islamophobia’ is so common in the Western world. And since she mentioned Scandinavia in particular, I directed reader’s to Skarphedin’s depressing account of immigrants in Sweden. In the course of it, he provides this quote from a Swedish newspaper:

“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably ****** before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne—this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore—girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words.

This is repulsive, of course, but on this blog we try not to avoid hard truths. There are a couple worth noting here. First, Western men don’t much respect Western women either. For example:

My son—the one who is a blond muscular Viking type at Stanford—was home for a visit on Saturday and saw that headline in the Journal. He snarled with outrage and exploded: “Has the sexual revolution been good for women? Hell no! It has turned most of them into unmarriageable sluts. Those women are doomed. They are like used toilet paper. Who wants to touch it?”

And if you think that sounds negative, visit the blogs of the men who are actually using women that way (some of them are on my blogroll).

Second, it’s interesting to note that, whether or not provocative behaviour puts a women in danger (presumably it does), it seems it may well put other women—namely her co-ethnics—in danger. (Though it’s also possible that Hamid and company would just come up with some other excuse if Swedish girls were more chaste.)

Note: crying “don’t blame the victim” is just another example of feminists thinking that women should never be held responsible for their sexual behaviour. There is such a thing as stupid behaviour that is likely to get you into trouble.

The Mentally Disabled

March 27, 2012

For a couple of years I worked with mentally handicapped adults. It was a rewarding job, and I learned a lot about what it is to be a human being. Beforehand, I think I had assumed that retarded people are basically just dumber people—basically like animals. That’s not so at all.

Retarded people often are, in many ways, less capable than, say, a dog. For instance, they can’t take care of their own bodily functions, and they can’t learn much. But they nearly always retain many distinctive human traits. People who can’t talk or wipe themselves often still have a sense of humour (admittedly usually fairly slapstick), or a sense of independence (in respect to those few things they can be independent in). That’s why working with mentally handicapped taught me something about what it is to be human. It’s as much about possessing a certain suite of desires and affections as it is about possessing language and a large mental capacity.

*     *     *

Philosophers (both professional and amateur) make frequent recurse to the notion of ‘personhood.’ This is a nonsense notion. By contrast, ‘human being’ is a real and important notion.

In the Gender War, Everybody Loses

March 26, 2012

In response to my posts on pornography, Dylen Durret (@sicklove) tweeted this:

Porn certainly stunts men’s growth and ability to bond, it also plummets the value of unattractive women to worthless status.

This got me thinking about how both men and women have made advances in the relationship market in recent decades. While some people have no doubt benefitted, my feeling is that, overall, this is bad for most people of both genders. After all, an arms race can impoverish everyone.

Porn is a major competitive advantage for men. Since porn no doubt functions as a substitute for sex, all women have seen a drop in their market value. To compensate, many women have adopted sluttier behaviour. But this makes them less fit for marriage or other long term commitments, thus pushing their value further down, and making marriage to a quality man (the real ultimate goal for most women) less attainable.

All this could be considered an gain for men those men who would never have attracted a decent partner in the first place (porn is arguably better than never having anything), or for men who don’t want to settle down anyway (and are happy with easy women). And it could be considered a gain for (assertive and socially competent) men in general insofar as they want easy sex until they settle down.

But just as a monopoly tends to dull the competitive edge, porn has not made men better in any absolute sense. Staying home and not meeting anyone doesn’t do anything for a man’s own value. If he also comes to expect sluttier behaviour from women, and is consequently less able to form attachments and to appreciate the less gaudy joys of monogamy and marriage, then he’s losing out too. Worse, many such men come to desire the wrong thing: easy access to sex rather than an adoring and faithful partner. Some men have clearly ceased to believing that the latter even exists.

Women have also made gains. Women have gained great independence, which means that they don’t have to put up with as much in a relationship. They’ve also gained legal advantages: women are favoured in divorce law, and generally in domestic law. For example, a woman can be as cruel as she wants to a man, but if he hits her in response she can easily have him imprisoned, and take his money and his kids to boot. Even if she hits him first, he’s liable to be arrested under ‘predominant agressor’ policies. All this means that women have much more power within marriage, and with regard to children. But again this is by no means an altogether good thing even for women. Wealthy and independent women find it harder to find desirable men. And lots of men are deciding that marriage is a raw deal and are swearing of it altogether. Women often divorce to discover that they can’t so easily find another good partner at their more advanced age. Their children suffer, too.

Competition can enrich everyone. It’s not clear that competition between the genders benefits any but the less scrupulous. Nor can it be desirable even for men and women to see each other in an antagonistic light, and major competitive advances on both sides can’t help but cultivate that impression.