Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Now taking donations!

7    12    9
Gorgeous home in Stillwater, MN is for sale - owned by the founder of Loome Booksellers. 

I wouldn't mind having one of those bathtubs, either!

If it was on the river, I'd be suffering serious envy for the new buyer -- whoever that turns out to be.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And ZING! right past the point.

Periodically I let the insanity of discussion among "egals" get the better of me and point out that no one, but no one, ever complains that their church prohibits them from scrubbing the toilets, or polishing the pews on church cleaning day or a dozen other menial tasks that don't come with fancy titles, cushy discretionary funds and comfy offices.

I did that this week, only to receive this response:

"I've never heard of a church denying someone the "right" to scrub the toilets. In fact they usually beg for someone to do it and I'm sure they would accept volunteers of any gender."


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Re-Focus: What happened to the prisoners?

"The Soviet regime was persecuting dissidents, but did not destroy them to the end because its leaders were afraid of Western public opinion. But now, Putin is not afraid of Western opinion at all. On the contrary, the West itself is fawning upon Putin’s Russia.

Could a new Elena Bonner appear in Russia now? No. Now she would be shot down like Anna Politkovskaya and many other real dissidents, not supported by the FSB. And there is one more difference: today’s Elena Bonner would never enjoy support from the West."

From the symposium, Russia After Elena Bonner,  read it all at Front Page Magazine. 

ht: Faith McDonnell

Gargantua the Cabbagge was soooo big!

How big was he?

He was so big even the large bowl on my professional Cuisinart required two batches.

Simple Coleslaw Recipe

Weigh your cabbage at the store (easiest)
Chop or slice the cabbage the way you prefer it for Coleslaw
For every 8 ounces of cabbage, add:

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (pref. Bragg's with the "mother")
2 oz raw sliced -or- toasted and chopped almonds
1 T finely diced green onion

Toss, add salt to taste.  It will be better if refrigerated for 2-4 hours but is fine freshly made as well.

On taking the wrong philosophy as your guiding principle

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.  (Robert A Heinlein)

Now I doubt many of our religious feminist friends actually read Heinlein and have consciously taken him as their prophet, but it's hard to deny they have a great affinity for this same philosophy.  Even the gentlest answer, which a wise man once told us would turn away wrath, elicits cries of "Tyranny!" from the feminist faction, as CBMWs new President learned this week.  Goodness, even a simply statement regarding normal human physiology is seen as the marginalization and illegitimate labeling of others.

The wise man also told us not to answer a fool according to his folly.  Chapter 26 of Proverbs is a series of short instructions on choosing the correct weapon.  You do not answer a fool according to his folly any more than you use a horse bridle on a pig.  And while religious feminists may store up a good deal of wrath, the wrath isn't the problem.  Their wrath is only the catalyst that speeds up the rebellion/reaction.  It starts out calmly and rationally, and for those who are not affirmed in their rebellion against he Word, anger, wrath, even rage enter the picture to act as catalysts -- ensuring the rebellion continues.

But for those for whom the catalyst is removed, with God's help, the reaction slows and even ends.  When that happens, the distortions caused by the accelerating reaction disappear and things can be seen more clearly.  What had been seen as oppression and tyranny becomes known as protection, the blessing and discipline of pastoral care that frees one to play on the plateau of Christian orthodoxy without cowering in the middle because you fear the cliff edge. 

Fences turn out to be not so "oppressive" after all.

Friday Focus: Remember the Prisoners

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves are also in the body.  (Hebrews 13:3, NASB)

I still remember a day in January of 1995 when I was standing on the little balcony of the apartment where I was staying in Donetsk, Ukraine.  It was one of the rare moments that week when sunshine broke through the grey clouds.  In the distance to the left, was a veritable forest of those large, ugly apartment blocks built in the soviet era which would depress even the sunniest of personalities.  Ahead and to the right was a forest of deciduous trees, most likely ash, which added an atmospheric coldness to the physical coldness of the day.  Across the road from the campus was a large brewery which was defended by an 8-foot high stone wall topped by rolled razor-wire and "guarded" at intervals by large and fierce-looking black crows.  The windows of the main brewery building were darkened and announcements in Russian were periodically barked out of external loudspeakers.

In all, the physical surroundings of the campus provided an atmospheric reminder that only a few years before, there was no Christian oasis in the area and the campus itself was the home of a Komsomol (Soviet Youth Organization) Camp.  Such atmosphere wasn't the only thing working to remind us how privileged are even the poorer folks in the West.  We had also been reminded of the stark reality some Christians had faced in the former Soviet Union when we visited a church in Donetsk that met in the building that was formerly the local KGB headquarters.  What had been an interrogation room had become a room filled with clothing donated by German Christians.  An office had been converted to a small radio broadcasting operation and the main hall was now a sanctuary for Christian worship which, even on that cold and grey January Sunday morning, was so full that some worshippers stood out in the hallway for a 2 1/2 hour service.

But the most saddening reminder of how materially privileged we are in the West came in the form of a warning:

We are praying for your persecution

The reason some Christians who have suffered persecution under the thumb of repressive governments, and the brothers and sisters who are even now so suffering is that they fear we have forgotten them.  We don't write to them, don't give nearly enough and, I suspect, they can sense that we are not praying for them.  We have forgotten that we are a Body, adopted into Christ.  We have forgotten the Christians like them who are hidden from our view much like we forget about the existence of our gallbladder, tucked up under our equally forgotten liver, until it causes us discomfort.

That was fifteen years ago, and depending upon your vantage point, it doesn't look like much has changed.  September 11, 2001 has proven to be little more than a blip on the radar.  It may have been a wake up call that some still look back to but we appear to have hit the snooze button.  More than once.

So this is a teeny little reminder that the hidden parts of the body need attention even when we don't receive constant reminders of their existence.  Isn't it funny that even when we receive national reminders to pray in splashy events such as the National Prayer Breakfast and the National Day of Prayer, we make more fuss over the high school student who was told not to pray when he gave his graduation speech than we do over the abortuary across town where our next generation is routinely executed?  And when have you ever heard someone at a National Day of Prayer Rally remind us to pray for our brothers and sisters in chains as if we were in chains as well?

I sometimes think material comfort is the greatest enemy of body life.  Our wealth has created chains that are harder to break than the strongest prison chains made by a jailer. 

The Scripture at the top of this post is linked to the website for IDOP, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  You'll learn about the organization and how to pray for the persecuted, you'll read testimonies and learn about the resources available to you.  If you would like to get your church involved, be sure to visit their resources page.

But most of all, don't allow yourself to think it is a special day celebrated on the second Sunday in November.  The privilege of praying for our brothers and sisters in chains, praying as if we were chained up alongside them is something we celebrate every day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trailing Chum and why some men still won't hit a girl

"The interview with Dr. Moore was worthwhile. At least he presented a better, kinder, gentler complementarianism. The problem is that there is still no bend to the position; it is as legalistic and hidebound as Phariseeism, if more kindly put."

When Dr. Russell Moore's interview with the palterers* of Molech Today's womyn's blog  was published on the very same day he was elected president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, I was a bit worried. When I read the interview, I was even more worried. I posted a link to the interview to my email group, using the following question as a subject line:

Why does CBMW bother?

I was taken to task by several, including a friend of Russ Moore's, for being unfair and too harsh. Referring to my experience on both sides of this battle - and as far as I have been able to determine my experience is utterly unique - I said I didn't think I was being harsh at all. In fact, men previously associate with CBMW had resigned their association with the group over what is seen as kidd glove treatment of their feminist opponents. In a response to one of those gentlemen in the email group, I wrote the following (edited for typos):

I don't know how Moore can even think that they are not about destroying Scripture when CBE publishes bloggers that deny the Trinity, slander CBMW-ers on a regular basis (claiming they support, enable and encourage wife-beating), and profess to worship "godde". I've watched seminaries, parachurch ministries, denominations and the publishing industry fall like dominoes over this. Then there is also CBMW's inexcusably glowing obituary for Cathie Kroeger - a woman who had dedicated the last decades of her life to destroying Scripture and who giggled about her scholarly shenanigans as well!

The Egalitarians will smell blood and go in for the kill. I know I would have. And God knows what will or will not be gained, though I may never know.  . . .

But Dr. Moore is a gentleman, even a Southern gentleman, and knows better than to hit a lady.  I do rather hope he never forgets that, but I wish he would also grant that there may be a time to take that same lady (read: religious feminist) by the shoulders, sit her down and impart a few home truths about what she is doing to Holy Scripture.  Because it only took a few days to show I was right in my assessment that the feminists would see this interview as a moment of weakness.  You can't win by gentlemanly discourse, and you can't show weakness in the face of an opponent who seeks your death - just ask the State of  Israel what those "land for peace" deals have gained them.

The quote at the top is from the discussion thread following Moore's interview, written by a feminist pastor.  As Irenic as Dr. Moore was in that interview, he is still seen as a legalist and a pharisee.

So, I'll ask it one more time:

Why does CBMW bother?

*look that up in your Funk and Wagnall's

Her.story, a fuller response

My friend, Sarah Flashing, has published her article on narrative ethics and its use over at Molech Today's women's blog:

The Moral of the Story , , ,Is there One?

She explains narrative ethics and shows how particular proponents of that philosophy have influenced Ellen Painter Dollar.  It's a good primer on an increasingly influential philosophy.  So go read it.

I'll tease you with the conclusion:

While God sent his son to pay the debt for our own sin, each of us entered into his story of redemption. But even within the story, God has provided moral guard rails, principles, that help us to become more like him and even protect us from the every day consequences of sin. The narrative ethics of Ellen Painter Dollar appear to be more interested in the experience of the story rather than the moral of the story.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aww, look at the cute little goats playing!

The Monday Merriment feature is on hold this week.  I don't want to laugh.  I want to cry, to weep for the judgment that has befallen us.  Honestly, what I'd rather do is find a place with a nice quiet covered patio, a view, a rocking chair and a bottle of 25-year-old single malt (small bottle since I want to be alone for this) so I can forget about the evil in the world, just for a few minutes.

As a friend reminded me tonight, when we reject God's law, judgment falls and people offer their children on Molech's altar.  Under the guise of listening to people's stories and a new system of ethics called, "narrative ethics", we have tossed out God's moral law and substituted our own judgment.  The goats are in among the sheep, pretending to be so nice and kind and such very good listeners. And we are offering our children on the altar of Molech - only today Molech wears a white robe and performs the sacrifice in a sterile environment, hiding the blood from all.

Weep with me, will you?

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.  (Matthew 25:31-33, NASB)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Too horrified to weep: Molech Today's Priestess

The gals over at Her.whatever have been discussing "narrative ethics"  which turns out to be an odd sort of amalgamation of situation ethics and post-modern "what's true for you may not be true for me"ism.  The trouble with such folks as the blogger is that the more they clarify and engage the discussion, the deeper the hole they dig for themselves.  Ellen Painter Dollar should have been banned from the electronic pages of CTs website a year ago when she wrote this dispassionate re-telling of how she directed the medical murder of three of her children:

PGD is in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with the added step of genetic screening. Only one of four embryos tested negative for OI[a genetic disease she carries] and was implanted, but I did not get pregnant. (We eventually conceived both our second and third children naturally; neither of them inherited OI.) We had the other three embryos destroyed.

The sub-title of the article is, "Christians need much better resources for ethical and theological reflection."  The problem is, Mrs. Dollar (in her latest her.whatever blog post), wants to turn to a bastardized sort of situation ethics in which we may choose to give, "some moral value" "greater weight than an individual's story."  Which means that the more emotionally wrenching the story, the more manipulative its telling, the more likely it is that eternal moral prescriptions will be tossed out like a week old piece of flounder. 

Oh, it is certain that Dollar will object to this characterization, as she already has in the comments on the blog post.  But her closing response in the comment thread puts the lie to that objection.  You see, she doesn't believe holding to eternal moral principles provides a safe space for our story telling.  If that story telling includes her deliberate omission of the moral status of the embryo because, "the moral status of embryos is, for me, not the central issue with reproductive technology", there is little doubt she would think a conversation bounded by eternal moral principles a remarkably unsafe place to tell her story.

On the contrary, such a place bounded by the unchanging word of God provided in Holy Scripture, the moral precepts the church has given us and held to for 2000 years, the weight of that tradition -- is the only safe place.  It is the only place that will prevent Ellen Painter Dollar, you, I and everyone else from careening into the abyss while telling our stories.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday Focus: The Overpopulation Myth

There is a TED talk floating around which was given by Sheryl WuDunn (see here and here), the co-author of Half the Sky.  She speaks about the work of the Half the Sky Foundation and says that something called, "gender inequity" is the central moral challenge of the 21st century.  This is her first major tenet.  WuDunn illustrates this inequity by talking about the phenomenon of missing girls, putting the number at, "between 60 million and 100 million missing females in the current population."  WuDunn, even though this is her issue, seems to underplay the numbers (more on why this might be in a moment) because Steven Mosher/PRI puts the number at 100 million, which is also the U.N.s number, while author Mara Hvistendahl puts it at 163 million in Asia, the region with the starkest demographic divide.

Whether or not WuDunn is underplaying the numbers, her solution given in the second major tenet is bound to perpetuate the problem:

The second tenet of "Half the Sky" is that, let's put aside the morality of all the right and wrong of it all. And just on a purely practical level, we think that one of the best ways to fight poverty and to fight terrorism is to educate girls and to bring women into the formal labor force. Poverty, for instance. There are three reasons why this is the case. For one, overpopulation is one of the persistent causes of poverty. And you know, when you educate a boy, his family tends to have fewer kids, but only slightly. When you educate a girl, she tends to have significantly fewer kids.

I believe WuDunn may be deliberately underplaying the number of missing girls because it would affect public perception of the above agenda.  That agenda, as a practical matter, requires the widespread availability and practice of abortion.  The case for the link between regular use of artificial birth control and abortion has been made elsewhere so I will not rehearse it here. In order to bring women into the formal labor force and keep them there, you have to depend upon abortion when contraception fails.  Abortion is the birth control back-up plan, so to speak. So, yes, let's put aside the morality of it all, shall we?

[As an interesting aside, I have been criticized elsewhere for linking WuDunn with Mao and calling her a fan of Mao which is odd when you consider that only when the communists were moving women into the formal labor force did Mao coin his now famous phrase, "Women hold up half the sky." And what is a major focus of her agenda?  Moving women into the formal workforce!]

I  believe there are tell-tale signs all the way through this talk that WuDunn doesn't really love these people, she just thinks they need her.  One sign was the way she depersonalizes people in references like this,  "the breast shows no son preference."  Another was that obvious instance where she urged us to put aside morality in favor of her agenda because she knows how to help these people.  But the most egregious instance is her parroting of the overpopulation myth which brings me to the reason for this extended introduction.

Steven Mosher is a widely recognized authority on population issues, particularly in China.  The first American social scientist allowed in China, he witnessed the coercive methods of enforcing the "One Child" policy from the first days of its existence.  Mosher heads up the non profit, Population Research Institute which, "works to end coercive population control, and fight the myth of overpopulation which fuels it." 

Of their special projects, Overpopulation is a Myth is just chock full of catchy videos and the science to back them up.  Other projects aim to Stop Sex-Selective Abortion and Project Real Need which aims at stopping the flow of tax dollars to funding abortion and put that money where it is needed, such as in Malaria prevention measures.

So tour around PRI, get to know their work and check out some of the videos.  You will come away understanding that overpopulation is far from being a "persistent" cause of poverty, it is a myth.  And forget WuDunn's amoral prescription. 

*please also read some additional information in the first comment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The MD-inspred "cone of silence"

I'm done.  It's not my job, it should be done by the men who are defending and promoting the celebrity preacher who is (to paraphrase a friend) the Reformed world's Benny Hinn.  And I am tired of feeling like a pornographer every time I pass on the relevant links, only doing so because I have a tough time saying "no" to my friends (and that is my problem, not theirs).  So here are the relevant keywords. Beyond this, anyone who is curious about the brouhaha will have to do their own research:

Mark Driscoll
Blog and Mablog
Peasant Princess

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Merriment

This week, courtesy of Dr. Boli:

Sure sign of the Apocalypse #962: The Marriage Ref

The Marriage Ref is a newish show on broadcast television in which couples come on television to get marriage advice from, among others, Bill Maher.

If I need to explain or defend my assertion that this is a sure sign, then I can't help you.  I could put together the argument, but it wouldn't help.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

THE QUESTION: In which Byron York learns the old rule still stands

Boys don't hit girls.  They just don't.  Byron York learned that the rule still holds, even when the girl is putting herself up for the biggest game in town - Presidential politics.  Even before he finished asking THE QUESTION, a chorus of "Boo!"s rose up from the audience.  Bachmann seemed gratified by the audience response, but she should not have been.  It was one more indication of the American public's love-hate relationship with feminism and feminists.  We want our women to be able to rough it up with the big boys, but when someone treats them like they actually are just one of the boys, the old instincts rise up.  Welling up from a deep place within us that we try to ignore, the reaction is undeniable.  You can try to ignore it, but that won't work for very long.  As J Budziszewski has reminded us, there are some things which you "can't not know".

Against many commentators, I will say unapologetically that it was a perfectly legitimate question.  A journalist should ask questions relevant to each candidate's own individual beliefs and positions.  You wouldn't ask Herman Cain if he submits to his wife because he's never indicated he thinks this might be a biblical mandate (as far as I know).  Nor would you care if Mrs. Romney submits to her husband because no one cares, she is not the one wanting our vote, not the one who will be making the decisions.  And assertive though Mrs. Gingrich is said to be, it's Mr. Gingrich that is running for the nomination.  But Mrs Bachmann is a "Mrs".  And she has publicly said she submits to her husband because Scripture teaches her to do so.  So, yes, it is a relevant and legitimate question for her and her alone.

But the American public can breath easy. If we are to believe Bachmann's response to York, submission doesn't really mean submission.  It means respect.  It even means mutual respect.  Goodness, Mrs. Bachmann is sounding more and more like she's been reading CBEs materials rather than CBMWs, doesn't she?  But I'll let Mrs. Bachmann speak for herself:

Both he and I, what submission means to us, if that's what your question is, it means respect.  I respect my husband. . .And he respects me as his wife.  That's how we operate our marriage.  We respect each other, we love each other, and I've been so grateful that we've been able to build a home together . . .

Bachmann, in her interview today, doesn't seem to have elaborated on that answer, instead she has reiterated and affirmed it.  So all you folks who were holding your breath can let it out now.  Marcus Bachmann will not be directing foreign or domestic policy for his submissive wife.  She doesn't really mean submission in the biblical sense,where wives are called to submit to their husbands in a way that husbands, who do not receive a reciprocal commandment to submit to their wives, are not.  She means a sort of mutual admiration society that does sound remarkably like the doctrine of the Egalitarians.

We should all learn the lesson Byron York learned.  It's a lesson the feminists have been trying to teach us for more than a generation.  They WILL play with the big boys whether you like it or not.  But if you dare treat one of them as if she actually WAS a big boy - your name will be reviled throughout the land.

It's a boy's game, but they want to play by the girl's rules.  Fail to learn that lesson at your own risk.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The ahistorical nature of religious feminism and the myth of the naked public square

This should be a short post as I just aim to share something of a light-bulb moment. 

First, in what I quote below, you will find a popular formation of the myth of the naked public square.  I am not going to analyze it as many minds, finer than mine, have already dealt the myth a death-blow.  Start with the work of First Things and founder Fr. Richard John Neuhaus to see what I mean.

It has been said that one who goes deep into history ceases to be Protestant.  There are times when I fear that is true (I say fear because I still am a Protestant, you see).  As a contemporary corollary to that I would offer the maxim that (using the generic masculine, take note): He who is steeped in reality ceases to be feminist. The feminist, not least the religious feminists, exists in a sort of culturally illiterate vacuum never before seen in public discourse.

Here, then, is part of a blog exchange which took place elsewhere this morning.  My words are in plain text, my respondents words are italicized:

My work focuses on women’s equality and I have found that almost every conversation can be brought to that subject.

Michelle Bachmann should not have been asked that question. Plain and simple. You would not ask Romney whether or not he believes that his wife should submit to him. Most Mormons do believe that, just as SBCers believe it, but it wouldn’t be asked.

It is time we took religion out of politics. Whether you are egalitarian, as I am, or whether you are complementarian, we should keep church and state separated. If not, one day we will wake up and find that we have a church-run country.

No man will ever be asked if his wife submits to him because no one cares – it does not affect his political decision-making whereas Bachman (who is a wife and not a husband) will be very much affected in her decision-making by her husband if she truly submits. Now that may be for political good or ill, but it is a legitimate question because it is a legitimate difference.

As for your longed-for naked public square – it is a myth.

“my longed-for naked public square” Whoa, where did that come from? And what does it mean?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Focus: Simple Actions

All too often when we run across injustices, particularly big ones, we freeze up with the enormity of it all.  We become convinced that there is nothing we can do so we end up doing nothing but stewing about it.  The first and foremost course of action for any Christian is: prayer.  Simple and simply world-changing.  Whether God answers your prayer by nudging someone else into action or showing you the way to take one step forward, one little kick at the darkness -- prayer is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal.  It calls up armies of angels, gathers the saints militant and triumphant for battle.  In the end, it is not simply our preparation for battle, it is the one field of battle into which every single Christian, no exceptions, is called.
But prayer often feels so nebulous to us, so ineffectual because we often do not see that answers come.  Particularly so when we are concerned about BIG issues like sex trafficking and abortion.  We want to DO SOMETHING, anything.  So often we comfort ourselves, in this age, with typing our names in a little box on a computer screen and think that signing a petition is doing something, because doing more seems so overwhelming and might call us to get our hands dirty.  In fact, I recently wrote a "note" on this for my FB page. 

There aren't many of us who could or should pick up sticks and go to work volunteering for IJM or World Vision or go to work at a Hamlin Fistula Hospital.  When we do this without the proper preparation we can end up hurting more than helping.  When this happens we can see that perhaps prayer really is our best weapon, prayer for guidance and direction.

So I think you already know today's assignment.  But for extra credit you can do something positive, a simple action to support a good piece of legislation.  Here is a link to an explanation about the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.  Here is the Senate website from which you can find the contact information for your two Senators.  Read the information on the IJM page and poke around a bit, checking some of the links which include a link to the full text of the bill.  Use their letter as a model for your own letter to your two Senators.  Then get in touch with your Senators, both of them.  Whether by phone call, personal email, postal letter or a face-to-face meeting the next time they are home.  Meeting with local staffers and leaving a letter for the Senator works as well.

It's a simple thing to make it personal. In the words of Bruce Cockburn, gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight. Sometimes it takes an awful lot of kicking, but it starts with one kick at the darkness and one knock on the doors of Heaven.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Riding in on a shiny new pony

A couple of weeks ago there was a big shindig here in Denver, The Western Conservative Summit.  And while I am quite sure there was a pair or two of genuine cowboy boots (with honestly gained smelly brown stuff barely scraped off) present in the swanky downtown hotel, I think Jay Ambrose might be a bit too messianic in his assessment of the event:

The People Who May Save America

You'll forgive me for being a bit skeptical.

Steinem's sour grapes

Ms. Gloria Steinem, who found rather late in life that sometimes, yes fish do need bicycles, is being feted in events surrounding publicity for the HBO documentary, Gloria: In her own words. New York Magazine interviewed her at one of those luncheons and asked her about Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Proving, for the 567th time, that the "women's movement" was only ever an "upper middle class women's movement", Steinem responded, "They’re there to oppose the women's movement. That's their job." It's not about a mythic glass ceiling or women who can make it in a "man's world". Never was. If it was truly a movement of women who believe that "women are people, too!", Steinem would be applauding the fact that a woman had been on the presidential ticket for the second time in a generation and that two women (Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Michele Bachmann in 2012) are given serious consideration for a presidential nomination.

The truth is that Steinem sounds frustrated. It also sounds as if it is Evangelical Christianity which she really despises and not merely politically conservative women. Read the rest of the article here.

Steinem is wrong and rather than moaning, she should be celebrating. Her movement has gone so mainstream/underground that, while certain pundits and media darlings use their sex to attack Palin and Bachmann, no one really thinks their place is, well, out of place. Steinem makes my point for me when she lumps Palin and Bachmann in with Rick Perry (you know, that guy who organized a really dangerous gathering of people to . . . pray, right?). You know a movement has done its work in permeating society when the bulk of Evangelicalism has embraced it. So, chin up, Gloria! Your moment has passed and your work is done. Were all feminists now.

Sarah Palin and those around her embraced the feminist label and created a new species, the Frontier Feminist with a mama grizzly as their mascot. Michele Bachmann is more soft-pedal in her feminism. In fact, I don't think I've seen her mention the word in any of the speeches I've heard or articles about her I've read. While Todd Palin publicly appears to be an absent husband-father, Marcus Bachmann is very much presented as the servant-leader a good complementarian husband should be. Palin also has a young and troubled family with a teen daughter known to be pregnant out-of-wedlock when she accepted the offer from McCain. Bachmann has raised her children and is staging the next act of her life.

So there are stark differences between the families and life stages of Palin and Bachmann, are they really that different? Is Palin the cheerleader more of a feminist than Bachmann the class president? Well, yes. Bachmann's candidacy is much less of a concern than Palin's was, because of all those reasons I just listed. But the question remains whether or not public office, especially national office, is an appropriate goal for a woman. If, as Complementarian Evangelicals believe, a wife is to submit to her husband's headship in the home and that she is not, by virtue of her sex, eligible for ordination or presiding office in the church and because St. Paul ties these conditions to creation (as indeed the big picture of Scripture does from beginning to end), then:

How can a woman submit to her husband at home and the rule of the elders in church but then, when she sits at the desk in the oval office, become her husband's, her pastor's, her elder's Commander-in-Chief? Who are we? Who has God created us to be as male and female? And how can what holds in the Church and the home not hold in the workplace? Are we not the same person, male or female, no matter where we are, how we relate to or how we engage the world?

Yes, we are. And before the advent of religious feminism we would have known that. In consequence, I must conclude that Michele Bachmann still presents us with feminism, even if it is the sort of compromised feminism Steinem decries.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More waah waah from the religious feminists

Culled from a religious feminist blog discussing the Barna survey:

All the women I know who are not in church are amazing followers of Christ who are tired of church yuckiness destroying their faith walk.

OK, right.  Now let's try the same scenario in a related biblical context:

All the women I know who are not living with their husbands are amazing wives who are tired of husbandly yuckiness destroying their marriage.

Wait for it. 

Nope.  It just doesn't work, does it?

It didn't for St. Cyprian either, who wrote in De Unitate Eccslesiae:

 "He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother; . . . he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ" (vi.); "nor is there any other home to believers but the one Church" (ix.).

It wasn't just St. Cyprian who thought that.  The maxim has been repeated down through the Church Age by Catholic and Reformed. 

Time for a reminder: The Definition of Feminism

Now I know some will disagree with me on this, particularly my Catholic friends who have embraced the "New Feminism" spurred on by JPIIs use of the term in Evangelium Vitae, but I believe that feminism is feminism is feminism and, as I've said before, I'm not a great fan of "isms".  In the months since I first developed this definition of feminism (with the wise guidance of some faithful brother-theologians, I will add), I have not felt the need to seriously revise it.  The definition includes both the genus, feminism and the particular species of feminism with which I am most concerned, religious feminism:

Feminism is the belief which denies the created order of the sexes. Religious feminism, in particular, is the heresy which denies the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the authorship of Scripture and denies the paradox at the heart of orthodox Christian anthropology - that man and woman are equally created in the image and likeness of God and that, by creation and sovereign decree, God has established the headship of the man over the woman.

Yes, there it is again.  I used both the "h" word and the "p" word.  If there is one thing religious feminists hate more than the implication that they are not the schismatics, that they are not the ones causing the current rift, that patriarchalists are not trying to put something in Scripture that was never there to start with -- it is the implications of that necessary and beautiful paradox at the heart of Christian anthropology.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Merriment

I was going to start a second feature called, "Monday Merriment" today, but in searching for fodder, I found this.  And while its more like a kick to the solar plexus, it may afford a sort of sad chuckle.  Courtesy of the Sacred Sandwich, I present Condimentality:

Feminists should back off the wah-wah peddle

Barna's got a new survey out and religious feminists are leaning a bit hard on their wah-wah peddles.  Or should that be waaah waaah peddles?  According to Barna, the only religious behaviour that has increased among women in the past twenty years is women becoming unchurched.  One religious feminist muses that perhaps churches don't have the welcome mat out for women, that women are getting their feelings hurt.  Apparently the Ezer-warrior women aren't so ezer-like after all?

The truth is that the truth will out, you can't fool "mother nature" and you can only suppress those truths we can't not know for so long. We know those truths, they penetrate deeper than the marrow in our bones, we can suppress and ignore them, but not for long.  Sooner or later, something's gotta give.  And now that religious feminists have gotten the church they wanted they've also found that they really don't like it very much. 

Read the report for yourself. Then ask yourself how much evangelical churches, parachurch ministries and educational institutions have been affected by religious feminism.  Twenty years ago, would your church have considered calling a woman as pastor?  Associate pastor?  Senior pastor?  Look back, think seriously and honestly.  Twenty, thirty, forty years.  And then consider whether you can honestly tell me religious feminism has not accomplished much of its agenda.  If they have, as I think you will find they have, then why are women leaving?

Why do they not seem invested now that the battle has largely been won?

Friday, August 5, 2011

The religious feminist's useful lie

Excuse me a moment, will you? . . . 


There. I feel a bit better now.  Harder to kill than Dracula.  If you'll forgive the Princess Bride-ism, it's never more than mostly dead.  It's the useful lie by what Lenin would have called useful idiots (folks supporting something they really don't understand is a kinder way to put it).  You can put a stake through its heart, cut off its head, burn it at the stake (oops, that might have been the wrong picture to evoke), feed it to the fishes in Sicilian fashion, but it simply w-i-l-l n-o-t d-i-e.

What is it?  It's the libel against the Church, that it has traditionally held that women do not have full access to God and that women are by nature lower than men.  Now it is true enough that some men who are called Fathers of the Church have rather gone off the rails on this point, but to indicate it ever was a widely held belief is nothing short of libel.  This same Church called Mary Magdalene the "Apostle to the Apostles" and St. Nina was honored "Equal to the Apostles".  Then there is Hildegard of Bingen, a Magistra who corresponded with Bernard of Clairvaux, Frederick Barbarossa and at least two popes.  One of those popes was so impressed he sent her on a preaching tour of Germany.  Just a few examples, I know,but it's hard to see how someone who knows a bean about church history can get sucked into the perennial lie.

Here are just two correctives, two more stakes in the heart of the lie:

From Augustine and Aquinas

Please feel free to add your own stake.

Friday Focus: Truckers aganst Trafficking

Human trafficking victimizes men as well as women, children and adults.  And it is probably happening within minutes of your own home.  If you have ever taken a road trip with your family, you have probably been within feet of a victim of one particular type of trafficking at one of those travel plazas where the hash browns always have crispy backs but if you order cinnamon toast, it may come with plain cinnamon and not cinnamon sugar.

Human trafficking takes many forms.  Men are victimized for labour and women and children are often victimized as sex slaves.  Some of the newest forms, such as reproductive tourism, don't even look like trafficking or slavery.  Evil evolves to fit the conditions available to it and yet there is nothing new under the sun.  There have always been users and victims.

There have also always been Good Samaritans who help restore victims to health.  Truckers against Trafficking is on such "Good Samaritan" organization, helping to equip and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industries to recognize and combat sex trafficking. 

Sometimes all it takes is one phone call from one trucker to rescue one victim.  Pay the website a visit.  Find out how you can help.  Connect with them on Facebook and spread the word.

It's worse than that . . .

Sign #479 that the Apocalypse is near and the world as we know it is ending:

Just a few moments ago, I entered the Solid Grounds coffee shop and waited for the coffee mistress to finish emptying the trash before I ordered my tea.  No, that is not the sign.  The sign is that, when she reached for the cup in which she would pour my iced tea, I said, "Unh, Unh, Unh!"  The look she gave me appeared to be a combination of, "What's the problem?" and "What's your problem?"  So I explained, "You've just handled trash, wash your hands."  Which is really more of a demand than an explanation, but not an unreasonable demand. 

She argued back, "I only touched the outside!" and shook her head in consternation. 

At this point, recognizing the SURE SIGN of the Apocalypse, I put my money back in my purse and walked out.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Just testing to see if third try's a charm and the networked blog thingy is working.

The Magic Roundabout

I never quite understood the fascination with roundabouts.  I guess they are a nice replacement for a four-way stop at a low-traffic intersection.  And it's kinda fun to zip around without stopping.

So why in blazes do the unthinking beings called city planers and landscapers plant TALL GRASSES as landscaping on the approach to a roundabout?

Can someone please tell me why?

It turns a roundabout into a four-way stop.  Isn't that what the roundabout was designed to avoid?