Sunday, June 17, 2012

Self-Congratulatory Ego Stroking Nonsense

"You are a REAL MAN when you: commit to study God's Word, when you teach your children, when you love your wife."


Seriously?  Now Christians are willing to dehumanize all other people everywhere in order to stroke their own egos and emphasize their superiority to those other mere (hell bound, presumably) slobs?

This is so obviously wrong that it should never see the light of day, and yet Christians are proudly plastering this all over their facebook walls this morning.

Can you imagine Jesus ever saying such nonsense?

Does Jesus anywhere call for people to "study God's Word"?  I don't think so.  Please post chapter and verse from the gospels if I am wrong.

(Fundies: don't even try to say Jesus=the whole Bible so a verse from OT or epistles are on the same level as the actual teachings of Jesus as remembered by the early church.  That's a load of manure and if you were more intellectually honest, it would have occurred to you too.  Meditate on the lesson of the Mount of Transfiguration and it will be plain: Jesus and Moses, Elijah, the disciples are NOT on equal footing.  Jesus is GOD.  Those others guys are just people, like you and me, whose lives were touched by God.  HUGE difference!!)

Jesus commanded us precious few things, so they are easy to remember:  A new command I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.  By this will all men know you are my disciples, if you love one another.

When it comes to children, Jesus loved them and touched them.  He warned people not to offend them.  He said nary a word about "teaching them".

Of course, Jesus was a constant teacher, but when I see a fundamentalist use the word "teach" in connection with the word "children" it usually means something very different than emulating the life of Jesus and how he related to those he taught.  It means spank, demand obedience even when unfair and unjust, and coerce them to emulate spoken and overtly taught parental values like what to think, feel, watch and say. This would include memorizing Bible verses and parroting Christian cliches without thinking about them very deeply.  All a far cry from the nurture and compassion Jesus showed little children and commanded us to also show.  All a far cry from the love and acceptance Jesus showed the crowds of people who came to Him to be healed and taught about the love of God.

Jesus and women? Jesus turned Old Testament misogyny upside down by accepting women as disciples, talking to them as equals, touching them without concern as to whether they were "bleeding" or not, commending for their faith, calling them up to the front of the synagogue, and more.  The list of the ways Jesus defied the patriarchy and honored women is very long.

I don't believe Jesus would ever have used the phrase "REAL MAN" about anyone, because it implies that other men are lesser and women, well we all know what the opposite of a "REAL MAN" is right?  A pussy, a girly-man, a pansy, and a wimp are all pretty much interchangeable insults used as the opposite of a "REAL MAN".  The phrase itself is misogynist to the core.

Oh, and the PRIDE fed by such a statement!  I simply cannot see Jesus ever endorsing such ego-stroking hyperbole, not ever.  If there is one thing Jesus was "against" it was religious posturing and the pride that goes with it.  Oh. my.

That statement just is rotten to the core.  I know of one very abusive, mentally off-balance patriarch who will puff up with pride when he reads this statement.  His children are all emotionally wounded by growing up in his strict fundamentalist patriarchal family cult.  As they age out and break free, the family gets more fractured because the patriarch disowns them for choosing a life different from his own sick, twisted (but scriptural when one is allowed to proof text!) religious life.

His wife is miserable.  The children she sacrificed career and self-development to birth and raise are torn from her. She has to choose between "submission" to the patriarch and loving her children.  How sick is that?

But this guy fits the "REAL MAN" label above.   He, his life and his family are the living examples of how these religious catch phrases have replaced true devotion to Jesus with gaining the approval of your co-religionists.

My husband is a real man. So is my son. So are my Sikh, Jewish and Hindu neighbors.  A real man is one who exists.  Period.  Stop with the loaded language and ego-stroking, church.  It's repulsive.

*sigh*  I have to get back to studying.  I just wanted to get this off my chest.  Peace and good will to all who read here.  You are all real people, fyi!  :)  Shadowspring


  1. I can't really add anything, you captured it all. Just wanted you to know I read it and agree. :)

  2. I am so alarmed at the "real man" rhetoric and wonder if people have stopped to think about what they are really proclaiming and what it really looks like to the rest of the world.

    A child in my son's Sunday school class has recently taken to writing "I am a MAN" on virtually every free-draw project they do. His parents seem loving and caring and sincere, but also seem to have bought into Mark Driscoll's garbage hook, line and sinker.

    Without knowing this background, if someone caught a glimpse of this childish scrawl, what are they likely to think of his family situation -- "Oh, there goes a Christ-following child from a loving family" -- of course not, they will think "Poor kid, his parents are teaching him to hate women, probably from an abusive home led by an Archie Bunker-type tyrant... he probably needs Jesus!!!"

    Sad irony, don't you think?

  3. Shadowspring, methinks the patriarch you speak about only thinks he can tick of the "real man" box above.
    If his wife has to choose between submitting to him and loving her children, he cannot really say he love her - as in, care for her needs. Loving her children is one of a woman's greatest needs.

    Oh, your real man point is also applicable to a list I saw on one patriarchy site on "real womanhood."

    1. True, the posturing and self-congratulatory nonsense is used to stroke female egos too. *sigh*

  4. Hi Shadowspring,

    Sorry this comment is not at all relevant to your post here, but I came across an article today that kind of poked at penal substitutionary theories of atonement and I thought you might like it. :)


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  6. I deleted the comment above because I couldn't find a way to edit it. I realized I disagree with the statement because it only really applies to Christian husbands!
    This is what I posted, editing out "man" and inserting "husband".
    Ok.... I may be the only one with a half-dissenting opinion here. I think a real CHRISTIAN husband is the one who loves Jesus and follows his example, studies the Bible (not just taking what preacher says as truth), nurtures and teaches his children (doesn't leave it all for the wife to do), and loves his wife.
    The original statement doesn't apply to all men, and leaves out the important points of loving Jesus and loving his children (not just teaching them).

    Did Mark Driscoll say that?

    1. I don't know who first created it. It was an internet meme.