Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Thy Peace

February 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm 22 comments

A garden statue of Francis of Assisi with birds

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All too often what I see going on in the manosphere is a vilification of women, the flourishing of stereotypes without sound empirical evidence to back it up (i.e. all women are sluts, and this is the result of feminsm), and the same tired and stupid arguments being rehashed over ad nauseum by a group of people, some women but mostly men, who are all in agreement with each other’s biased viewpoints. These websites are one trick ponies written by men with their own rationalization warthogs.

No room for dissent here. If a critically thinking person brings up evidence or viewpoints to the contrary, then the blogger or the community resorts to personal attacks. It would bother me if I respected their opinions, but since I don’t I just see it as further proof of their single-minded ignorance, and, to some extent, stupidity. If you have to resort to personal attacks, then the truth is that you just don’t have what it takes to bring it. I don’t hate them. Beyond my initial outrage, it doesn’t even make me angry. It makes me pity them.

These men also aren’t self aware enough to realize that if you’re failing at relationships with women repeatedly, then the one common denominator in all these relationships is: you. The same rule applies to the females, absolutely. I’ve previously admitted to my own failures personally on this blog, if you regularly read it. I absolutely think that I bear responsibility for my failure to secure a long-term commitment. I own that. But you can’t apply that rule to the females only, and then go, “Look! It’s exactly like I told you; they’re all either harpy hags or shallow, slutty bitches!”

Well, actually, you could. But this would be a fallacy. Maybe the reason that these men aren’t more successful with long-term relationships is BECAUSE the women recognize that these men deep-down actually hate women and discount their contributions to society beyond their sexual market value and their ability to conceive and incubate a child. If that’s the case, then women are right to respond to these men as they do. After all, even the hottest youngest woman gets old one day, and fertility isn’t a guarantee, and no person likes being someone else’s slave.

Now I realize that I’ve seen a small portion of the websites and blogs that favor men’s rights, and probably not all of them are resorting to blaming rape victims and outright saying that a woman’s only worth is motherhood. There are probably a lot of guys out there who are bringing up some very good points about the relationship between the sexes. There are some guys out there that are probably writing smart stuff about legitimate areas in our society where men are getting shafted, real examples of misandry. The websites I’ve been to, unfortunately, aren’t it. Although, I will say that several men who have commented on this website have brought up excellent topics for debate. I thank them.

My advice to anyone who’s seeking to bridge the gender gap, as I am, instead of perpetuating it, or, God forbid, widening it, is to listen, seek to understand, be open and tolerable to other viewpoints. We don’t have to agree. There’s no law that says we have to agree on everything, but if you’re open and willing to listen, instead of outright dismissing someone on the basis of his or her sex, you just might learn a thing or two that you didn’t know previously. Someone might bring up a point you hadn’t thought about before.

My goal is for women and men to live in peace with one another, enjoy one another, sacrifice for one another, be selfless and kind and think about the ways in which we might fulfill one another and lift one another up rather than tearing each other down. That counts for everywhere from the battlefield to the boardroom to the bedroom.

Whether you are religious or not, much wisdom can be learned from an ancient prayer widely attributed to St. Francis of Assissi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.



Entry filed under: Ethics, Love, Manners, Men, Relationships, Social Commentary, Women's Rights. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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  • 1. Dalrock Reader  |  February 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I agree that there is little agreement or reconciliation to be had. It is, of course, the privilege of favored to look upon the unfavored with mild pity and contempt. Is there any question that men are more likely to drop-out of school, go to jail, end up homeless, and die earlier and more violent deaths? Is there any question that men charged with sexual harassment, assault, rape, or domestic violence are assumed guilty until proven innocent?

    There is an enormous double standard at work. We are willing to make huge changes to the armed services so that the vanishingly small fraction of women who are as physically strong as men can serve, in the name of fairness. But how about the vast majority of men who are unfairly branded pedophiles by airlines who refuse to let them sit next to children who are not their own? We assume the worst of men to justify our treatment of them, and assume to best of women, to give ever greater privilege. Women are given ever increasing domains of exclusivity, to free themselves from the “threatening male gaze”, meanwhile, any remain preserve of male sanctuary is endlessly assaulted in the name of equality. Are there any all-male organizations left in Western civilization? The Boy Scouts?

    You claim you wish peace, and even wish it. But the family courts and civil bureaucracy continue to wage war against men. By asking for peace, you are actually asking for surrender. Fortunately, this state of affairs cannot last long, as no culture that devalues men has ever survived.

    You may find comfort in dismissing these men as losers. It was most tellingly described as the “whiff of personal failure”, by another detractor. I personally am in a fairly privileged position, nor is my success with women in doubt. But I have lived elsewhere in the world, and it is amazing to me that American men can tolerate this. My only goal is to understand the nature of American gender politics, and to ensure that my children are understand that there is an alternative to this madness.

    • 2. Author  |  February 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      We’re not the favored except in certain instances. Men still make more money and hold more positions of power. They still don’t help out equally around the house or take equal responsibility for childcare or cooking.

      It’s not fair that men go to jail more, unless men are actually committing more crime? Are women more violent than men or more likely to be sexually aggressive than men, and we’re just missing it somehow? If that’s the case, then I’ll march with you in Washington to do something about that inequity.

      Children traveling alone should be allowed to sit next to male or female or segregated away from adults entirely. Unfortunately, we assume the men are more likely to abuse children because they do abuse children sexually more often than women do.

      I like the Boy Scouts. I don’t like what they do with the homosexual issue, but I have no problem with the Boy Scouts or any other exclusively male club if the point is to exclusively fellowship with males and not do business networking (i.e. the Rotary Club), and if there’s a Girl Scouts available so that girls can do the same thing.

      I’m not asking for surrender. Here YOU have mentioned some great points about where men are ACTUALLY being treated unfairly…in the court system with family law and divorce. And I absolutely agree with you there. I’ve even mentioned that I believe that men should have equal access to their children in custody agreements unless there is an issue of existing abuse.

      The problem, Dalrock Reader, is that these men are not addressing the issues you’ve mentioned. They are addressing, instead, rationalization hamsters, hypergamy, evolutionary psychology as an apologetic for male chauvinism. They are blaming a woman for her own rape, by saying, no one ever deserves to be raped, but…and then bringing up the same old arguments of what she was wearing and her sexual history. And when it happens…guess what? The moderator doesn’t even call them out on this behavior…because he either agrees with it or doesn’t see it.

      The sad thing is that I find the word “feminist” (which just means someone who believes in gender equality; it could easily be a male) automatically brands me as a granola eating, man hating, Birkenstock wearing, angry hippie. You make a lot of assumptions about me, and you don’t know me. Dalrock accuses me of watching She Spies. Someone else says I’m probably an Eat, Pray, Love fan. Frankly, I have never wanted to read that book because based on the descriptions I read that woman seems spoiled, entitled and shallow, despite the “spiritual” premise of the book. You ASSUME that I think this unfairness in the courts should continue to exist. I’m a woman, therefore, I must be about women being in charge all the time and everywhere and not about being fair.

      No one here is about devaluing men. Men are very important.

      • 3. Dalrock Reader  |  February 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

        Hmm…I had to back up here and re-read your original post, then my reply, then yours, to stop from getting distracted. The problem with these multifaceted issues is that it is easy to just chase one disagreement down a rabbit hole.

        My main concern is this call for peace. I contend (and you obviously disagree), that women are now in a privileged position in society, and that the institutions are waging a perpetual campaign to increase that privilege. To not actively resist is to capitulate. I personally hold little hope for systemic improvement, I expect things to get worse for men. But individual men can tend to their spirit, so that their confidence and drive may not be crushed. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. So shall the unbowed man be, in the land of slackers, man-boys, and lapdog supplicants.

        This is an unnatural state of affairs for both men and women. Men, certainly, enjoy being generous and self-sacrificing towards appreciative women. Women, I believe, enjoy the kindness of men, and reciprocate gladly, willingly. Yet in this twisted world, these natural impulses are suicidal. The generous and trusting husband will be eviscerated in divorce court. Again, this unnatural system cannot last long.

        As to the individual issues you raise, I will briefly address two:

        1. Unequal imprisonment. Women serve much shorter sentences when convicted of exactly the same crime. Men do commit more crime, and should go to jail at higher rates. But women, who have committed the same crime, get preferential treatment.

        2. Unequal pay. Just as men commit more crime, they also exhibit greater drive for higher paying and higher status jobs. Over-representation is not evidence of discrimination. Further, there is plenty of evidence that women at similar positions to men earn more and have greater resources available to them. Lastly, women in their 20’s in most cities earn more than their male counterparts outright.

        I would be happy to provide factual evidence for any of the statements above. Further, I can provide response to any of the other issues you mentioned. But I didn’t want to detract from my main thread of argument.

      • 4. Author  |  February 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

        Hi Dalrock Reader,

        I look forward to your comments. The gender gap is a pretty huge chasm, and there is injustice on each side. I’ve never said that men had it great in everything. I also don’t believe that there’s a conspiracy on the part of men as a whole to keep women down (some men, obviously, if you read the manosphere, but that’s a tiny minority of men). There are inherent biological differences between men and women, and we’re never going to be the same, and most men will be obviously better at certain tasks and will remain so, because of physical capabilities. The same is true of women. We have advantages in some ways as well. You can care all you want for your child, and you can love him just as much as his mother does, but you’re never going to be able to breastfeed him, even if you wanted to do so.

        Unequal imprisonment is not due to lobbying on the part of feminists to unfairly sentence men to longer sentences. It has to do with cultural, sociological and individual psychological biases. We must address these concerns. I’d absolutely be happy to do a post on the subject. The penal system is also unfair to minorities, particularly toward black men. They suffer the worst in this area. No need to provide links. I’m aware of the injustice. It angers me as well.

        On the matter of unequal pay, I think we have to ask ourselves what cultural factors are at work here as well. Women my age and older tended to sacrifice career for family, even if they had a career. Part of the reason that they did this had to do with societal expectations, and part of the reason had to do with the (then) existing pay gap. It’s still present. It hasn’t gone away. I also contend that a great deal of the reason why more women haven’t gone for higher paying and higher status jobs is because they fear what will happen to their relationship with their spouse if this happens. As you’ve rightfully mentioned, men gravitate towards positions of status and power. They’re competitive. Part of this is, no doubt, due to higher levels of testosterone. How many men are secure enough in their self worth to be with a woman who’s more successful? Until recently anyway, very few men were. And these reasons, I think, largely account for why some women who have recently had “equal opportunity” have failed to take advantage of those opportunities. I could get into the glass ceiling and the old boys’ club, but I’m sure you’re familiar with those issues, and I’ll get off on a tangent. It will be interesting to see, as these young women in their 20s begin to marry and start families in the next decade or so, if the pay gap still favors women at that point.

        I’ve also read the recent studies that say that young women are making more than their male counterparts. I’ve read that more women than men are attending college. Women are doing better than men in academic performance. Women are graduating at a higher rate than their male counterparts. In western nations, service economies mean that many jobs and whole industries that provided a good living to uneducated men are simply disappearing. I also find this sad. I don’t cheer about it. Again, no need to provide links. I’m pretty well read. I keep on top of this stuff.

        I still think that men and women can be kind to one another. I’m kind to the men I know. I have lots of male friends, and they aren’t all gay. LOL.

        Other matters you touched on: slackers, man-boys, and lapdog supplicants: I’m concerned.

        I think that we have a lot of examples of man bashing in our culture. There are whole sitcoms, like Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, just to name a few, where men are portrayed as stupid and/or childish while their wives or ex-wives are shown to be mature and brainy. Gone are the days of Father Knows Best, or even the loving chemistry and obvious equality and respect portrayed on Roseanne, The Cosby Show, and Family Ties.

        Men, in this new age, are confused about their place. They are fearful, anxious, hurt, and angry. They feel that we changed the game on them. I get that. What does it mean to be a man? Used to be that I protected you and provided for you, and you provided for me a certain expected output for that service. Now women have found that they can provide for themselves, and so we need to evolve to a relationship that’s no longer based on need.

        I think young men today are living in this pseudo-adulthood that you speak of because they’re confused about what it means to be a man. They don’t see any good role models. Maybe they grew up with single mothers who were bitter about men and spoke harshly about them. I’m not bashing single mothers, but a whole generation or two has grown up largely without fathers. How often is this because a man has abandoned a woman? How often is it because a woman has decided to give up on her marriage for selfish reasons? How often is it because a woman or a man has chosen to end an intolerable and abusive situation? I don’t know, and you don’t, either. As far as I know there aren’t any statistics that get into enough depth on this to tell.

        Also, it’s highly possible that a society that embraced gender equality swung the pendulum with too much force. Maybe we culturally implanted a whole generation of Americans with the idea that women are actually superior to men, that they are inherently better people. It could account for some of the actual instances of very real misandry that you’ve brought up today.

        It’s still not equal, for a lot of other good reasons that I could bring up, the fight for women’s equality is not over by a long shot. But where there is injustice for men, that’s not cause for cheer. I get that men are threatened that the territory we’re encroaching on at the rate that we’re advancing means that one day you might find yourself invaded by the enemy. That might be the goal of a tiny minority of feminists, but it’s not mine.

      • 5. Dalrock Reader  |  February 23, 2011 at 6:01 am

        Thank you for that thoughtful reply. My response will be brief, but I assure you that I read its entirety.

        My issue remains the presumed posture of peace. You strike a pose of neutrality, generously offering your sympathies and righteous anger at injustices towards men. You shake your head in regret and sadness at men who are “confused about their place.” You assure me that you are no hater of men, and except for a tiny group of feminists, no women wishes ill of men.

        I believe that you don’t hate men, and I believe that you genuinely believe that nothing you espouse is hateful towards men. But that is the problem – you consider what is happening to be inevitable, almost natural, and no one is at fault. Unfortunate bad luck for the men caught under the wheels, but we can hardly turn back the clock, now can we? The march of women’s lib must roll on.

        Men have, in a spirit of generosity, championed women’s causes. The NFL even wears pink to support breast cancer research. When have women ever done anything similar? Men are asked constantly to sacrifice for the good of society, while society is constantly asked to accommodate and adjust to women’s rights. The sum total of this is a devaluation of men, whether you wish it or not.

        Again, I don’t expect things to change. I fully expect your every wish will be fulfilled, its only a matter of time. 20, 30 or 50 years. But your good intentions will have unintended consequences, which of course, you will be dismayed at, just as you are dismayed at the state of men now, and you will genuinely believe that you had nothing to do with it, that you were innocent and wishing peace, just as you do now.

      • 6. Author  |  February 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

        The women’s rights movement flourished in the 1960s and 1970s in no small part due to the political activism of women and men who mobilized, joined forces, and took to the streets. They were political and social activists. They did something to change the injustices that they experienced and witnessed. If, like you contend, men are the true victims now, then it’s not enough to sit on your ass and bitch and moan on the internet.

        Form a political action committee, mobilize all these men of the manosphere that are the good men that don’t want to see women oppressed but only want to see their boys and men have equal opportunity, and take it to the streets. Donate money. Lobby congress. Write your own blog. Start or join a cancer advocacy group for testicular cancer survivors. Work to get the word out that men’s cancer issues need money and attention also.

        The problem is that men aren’t doing these things. If you only wanted to correct the injustices being done to men without sending women back to a place where they lose options, then I will be in the streets marching with you. I assure you. And there are many other women who feel the same way. I’ve been to these women’s blogs. Some of them are anti-feminist. They will be happy to support your cause up to and including taking rights away from women. But first you have to mobilize. You have to spread the word. You have to get people behind your cause. And since it is men who are claiming that they are now oppressed, then it is men who will have to lead the charge! You want change. Convince us that it’s needed. Campaign for it. Make sacrifices for it. It’s not my job to champion or helm your movement, but if your goal is to change the injustices we discussed, then I’ll be happy to contribute.

        Think about it.

      • 7. Dalrock Reader  |  February 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

        Well, I’m glad we agree that male advocacy is necessary!

        Please remember that the 60’s and 70’s women’s rights was not a smooth ride. There was a lot of extremism and anger. The leading intellectuals of the movement, the feminist academics, demonized men. All men are rapists, fish needing bicycle, marriage is oppression, all of these were taken as serious arguments. They wrote papers, books, documentaries, of which you are undoubtedly familiar. It wasn’t all peaceful fund-raising and Sunday marching. It was systematic demagoguery, by women who hated men so much that they wished they were lesbian (seriously, how much feminist literature has been written about the evil of the penis?). The moderate middle simply floated along for the ride, waving olive branches.

        The men’s blogs you disparage are doing the same thing. No change can be created in moderation. To move the center, you must first move the extremes. We are only having this conversation because Dalrock has set a new extreme (and even he is not that extreme by man-o-sphere standards). I seem moderate by comparison. But imagine what I have said, being said at a polite dinner. I would be dismissed as a woman-hater.

        This extremism will be extremely unsettling to society, because there is little that is feared more than large groups of angry men who have the single-minded discipline and determination to achieve an objective. So yes, I agree that “bitch and moan” will achieve very little, but you may not like what is necessary to actually achieve change.

        As to change? Well, it will happen. Remember, women’s suffrage was in the 20s, women in the workplace was in WW2, and women’s lib in the 60’s, and finally, our situation today. It takes a long time.

        But trust me, there are plenty of men in my generation who are unhappy, and they are connecting the dots. They’ll obviously never say it in public, but on the internet, or between beers when women aren’t around, it’s another story. Conversion to action will take time. Men will have to learn to suppress our natural instincts towards women, and that itself is a tragedy, but necessary.

      • 8. Author  |  February 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

        No, it wasn’t a smooth ride. Hateful things were said on both sides, and extreme viewpoints were expressed. The fish need a bicycle thing, I think has been quoted out of context, because what Steinem was trying to say was that it was possible to live a happy and fulfilling life as a single woman, if that is what you choose to do. I would have liked to have gotten married, but don’t cry for me Argentina. It doesn’t mean that I’m in bed every night crying for my “barren womb” or whatever other claptrap that Solomon II likes to spout.

        I’m not anti-marriage, but I think that marriage should be a union between two loving people who may or may not want to produce children, instead of a bartering arrangement where the woman is bought and paid for like chattel. I also don’t feel ashamed or see my choice to be single or childless as somehow making me less of a woman. I especially don’t think it makes my viewpoints fit to be discounted automatically. Dalrock and Solomon II make it seem like no woman over the age of 30 should be allowed to be married and every woman who’s infertile or has gone through menopause should be shot by firing squad. I respect marriage and motherhood, but it’s not my purpose on this earth. Mrs. Dugger will be happy to make up for whatever children I don’t produce.

        My problem is that, with the exception of the man bashing on Lifetime that seems to be a regular feature of Dalrock’s (a criticism I myself have made on my own blog, I might add) most of what they write about has very, very little to do with legitimate oppression of men and much to do with continuing to oppress women. There are better sites out there that have to raise real, legitimate concerns about men’s issues like the ones you addressed in your comments. I found one just the other day and published a link. The problem is that Dalrock and Solomon II are being counterproductive if they want to raise the rally for men’s rights.

        Solomon II writes an entire blog where he says all women are sluts, but he’s a man whore, and a deplorable one, as well. That he can get women to fall for this is surely partially explained by the fact that he exclusively pursues very young women with less dating experience. If he tried focusing less on the “hot” factor and more on the character factor and tried dating someone closer to his own age and changed his attitudes about women, then I think he might, just might have some luck in securing a meaningful relationship. Statistics show that amongst women who are better educated, with better incomes, who are marrying older, marriage is still successful. But he focuses exclusively on looks and then wonders why all women fail to meet his standards in other areas. It’s just stupid, stupid, stupid. The thing is that I actually feel sorry for him, because I think he’s in pain, but he’s causing his own pain with his counterintuitive dating strategies and his hideously skewed opinions.

        The evil of the penis thing is carrying it a little far, but that’s not exclusive to feminism. The legend of the vagina dentata has been around long before feminism was a twinkle in Susan B. Anthony’s eye. And yes, I realize that feminism has actually been around longer than that.

        To affect change, not only must you mobilize, but you must also market effectively. To market effectively you are going to need to appeal to the reason and the intellect of not just men but also women, since they now have 50% of the vote. You need to be able to appeal to mainstream women. Dalrock, Solomon II and their ilk will, I assure you, hurt you in that endeavor. The women who made the most extreme arguments probably hindered the feminist movement. A lot of people who might have otherwise voted for the Equal Rights Amendment didn’t do so because the media published accounts of the views of some of the most extreme feminists (things like unisex public restrooms, for instance) that turned voters off.

        My hope: chivalry is dead, but long live kindness. You aren’t required to open a door for me. I would thank you if you did, though. And I would do the same for you. I’ve opened doors for people of both sexes on numerous occasions. I’ve cooked for boyfriends. But I expected that they would cook as well, or that if they didn’t, then some kind of quid pro quo was set up, like washing the dishes. That’s the kind of thing I’d like to see happen all over the world.

      • 9. Dalrock Reader  |  February 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm


        Just as feminism killed the female impulse for femininity towards men, so must male advocacy kill the male impulse for chivalry towards women. The world will be worse for it, as both men and women become less trusting and more selfish, but even dogs have the right to self-preservation and self-defense – do men deserve less?

        Men must individually decide how they wish to live in the world. Some have decided to take revenge, and treat women entirely as disposable sex objects. Some have given up, and live as Peter Pan. Some have surrendered, and live as neutered pets. I’m sure their wives find that very attractive and fulfilling. Still others abandon this culture and leave or marry foreign women.

        And what about those who seek traditional family structure, despite the great difficulty and risk of the endeavor? One phone call, two words:”verbal abuse”, and everything I have worked my entire life for goes away. Forget equality – how can a man even stand straight with a gun to his head? This is madness.

        And the response of men to this madness will change over time. Expect a hardening of hearts, and cold reason to replace love and kindness. Men are very, very good at compartmentalizing emotion, but this skill has never been directed at women before in a systematic way. We’ll see what happens.

      • 10. Author  |  February 24, 2011 at 4:36 am

        Verbal abuse, on the part of both men and women, is absolutely true and damaging. As far as you losing everything you have worked for, in a divorce, a fair standard to be applied would be to equally split all household income, regardless of sex, for the time that the couple was married.

        Equal access to children should be applied unless abuse can be proven.

        As far as child support is concerned, it should be applied fairly to both sexes. If mom makes more than dad and children spend equal time at both houses, then mom should pay child support, based on her income in relationship to his, and vice versa.

      • 11. Dalrock Reader  |  February 25, 2011 at 2:15 am

        Well, I think I’ve said all I wanted to say. Which ended up being quite a lot!

        I think you may have misunderstood my last point about Dalrock et. al., they are not meant to be persuasive ambassadors for recruiting people to the cause. Their value is in moving the center by creating a new extreme of opinion. It’s a good-cop bad-cop routine.

        Just as the bra-burning “all men are rapists” feminists created a new extreme, which allowed olive-branch waving “I just want gender peace” moderates to move to a new center, so must they stake out a new extreme, so that the average man can move with confidence to a new center.

        For example, Tucker Max’s “I hope they serve beer in hell” is so repulsive to most women that they will view their own men with slightly more gratitude. Their value is not to persuasive ability, but in their virulent extremism.

        I could quibble about about vagina dentata and such…but I don’t want to distract.

      • 12. Author  |  February 25, 2011 at 2:54 am

        I get the point.

  • 13. Louella  |  February 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    ‘ If a critically thinking person brings up evidence or viewpoints to the contrary, then the blogger or the community resorts to personal attacks. ‘

    I VERY recently had that experience on a forum and called out the moderator who I felt was being a bully and making rash accusations that were clearly incorrect due to someone not agreeing with his view.

    Well!! My comment was immediately deleted – I was sent a warning WHERE – GET THIS.. HE CALLED ME A ‘JACKASS’ – wonderful example there mod eh.. lol

    and when I responded saying his behaviour was less than deisrable and mean, nasty and hurtful… He suspended me for 7 days – with some speel about being so busy he couldnt tolerate peoples abuse. (I never said an abusive word, even AFTER he called me a jackass in a moderators capacity)

    Then.. I responded to that hihglighting immaturity and quoting his ‘there cannot be a set of rules for you and for everyone else’
    and he sent me back an email Suspending me for 30 days.

    To which I grew entirely fed up with the arrogance and sent this back:

    ‘Why dont you make it a year? You are really outdoing yourself now!

    Heck, full deletion would be a reasonable response wouldn’t it? After all – there is nothing more offensive than someone disagreeing with you!’

    I forwarded the abusive email onto the other moderators, but the moderator I was dealing with actually owns the site, so chances of them being able to enable a fair outcome is minimal 😦

    Its particularly frustrating when dealing with bully’s, especially when they abuse their position and power.

    • 14. Author  |  February 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Ultimately, it’s a reflection on them and their character. It’s not a reflection on you. I very rarely don’t publish someone’s comments. I think that’s only maybe happened once. And I very rarely indulge in name calling. I admit I’ve done it a few times when provoked, but it’s not something I’m proud of at all.

  • 15. Dalrock Reader  |  February 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    As a separate issue:

    From reading a bit more of your blog, I presume you are Christian. If you don’t mind me asking, which denomination is your church? There are several related questions.

    1. Do you identify God as Father, or as a genderless divine being?

    2. Similarly with Jesus – is he the Son of God, Son of Man?

    3. Is Adam the corporate head of humanity?

    4. Does Christianity give different commissions to man and woman?

    There are hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage, but I’d rather avoid these for now. The risk of conversational derailment is too great.

    • 16. Author  |  February 22, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Hi Dalrock Reader,

      I grew up United Methodist with a brief stint in the Disciples of Christ Church in junior high school, spent some years in a non-denominational Bible church, went back to the United Methodist Church for a time, and recently I’ve attended another couple non-denominational Bible churches and gone to church a handful of times with friends at a Presbyterian Church. My personal theology doesn’t adhere strictly to the dictates of any one specific denomination, but I’m fairly theologically conservative and socially liberal. I don’t think most people would consider me either a heretic or a Bible thumper. I consider my theology to be Bible based. I do consider the Bible to be the inspired sacred word of God. It’s a complex book, the Bible, and it is not meant to be taken entirely fundamentally or literally. I believe that all study of the nature of God should be held to the Wesleyan quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, reason and experience. To that, I would add a fifth and sixth factor as well: historical context and literary genre. That being said, the answer to your questions:

      1. The Bible refers to God the Father many, many times. The Bible also, but less often, uses maternal imagery to describe God. Intellectually, I believe that God is neither gender, but since I myself had a loving father, if forced to say what image comes to mind, I won’t say it’s exactly a white man with a long beard and flowing robes, but I don’t envision a woman, either. Calling God a Father gives us human beings an image with which we can connect, but I think the essence of God is so much more complex and awesome and beautiful than the human mind can fully comprehend. There is no proper metaphor to fully encompass the nature of God.

      2. Jesus was a man, and he actually lived. Whether or not you choose to believe he was the Messiah, Jesus is a historical fact. I believe that Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

      “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

      3. Adam, according to the Book of Genesis, was the first man to live. God created him from clay. Male and female, he created them both. There are multiple stories of the birth of the human race in Genesis, written, most scholars believe, by more than one author. One version has Eve created from Adam’s rib. I think the story of Adam and Eve is actually an allegory, meant to instruct man as to his relationship with God, his purpose on this earth, and his relationship to nature. It even holds some keys to the relationship between men and women. Is it possible that it’s the literal truth? We know that all things are possible with God. Given what I know of natural selection and carbon dating and other scientific facts that prove that the earth is definitely older than just 6,000 years, and what I know from my study of literature (I was an English major) I think it’s a story that’s meant to educate us to some essential truths about God and this life. That doesn’t make it any less truthful or sacred for me.

      I hope that answers some of your questions.

      • 17. Dalrock Reader  |  February 25, 2011 at 2:27 am

        Thanks for your detailed replies. I can’t really “argue” about this, because these are articles of faith and therefore, impossible to argue. I will simply describe my belief.

        My own belief in #1, #2 are similar to yours. I ascribe fatherhood to God because he is describe that way in the Bible, and is referred to as such by Jesus himself. Therefore, I believe that God as Father is valid, while Mother or androgenous being is not. But certainly God’s nature exceeds that of a earthly father. He is the Heavenly Father.

        #3 – I have similar ambivalence about the literal nature of Genesis until Abram. Creation is described twice, but I don’t believe there is an alternate explanation for Eve. The description of Eve comes after the two descriptions of creation, which end with God resting. But, I don’t think we can infer much from the fact that woman was created from the man’s rib, even if literally true.

      • 18. Author  |  February 25, 2011 at 3:00 am

        Some feminists contend that the rib thing is meant to counteract the fact that man comes from woman, as in, men are born from women. The stories of Genesis were an oral tradition long before they were scripture, and there’s a lot of evidence that some of the earliest religions were matriarchal, since they didn’t exactly understand conception and childbirth and how it occurred. They gave women a lot of influence and reverence because of their seeming ability to create children from nothing.

        Me. I just think it’s a story. I don’t give credence to an agenda here.

    • 19. Author  |  February 22, 2011 at 1:25 am

      Oops. Almost forgot #4. Are you referring to Paul’s writings on the subject of marriage? Jesus never made any comment on different commissions to man and woman, so I assume you are speaking of Paul. Paul’s writings urge both men and women to remain celibate and not to marry unless they were overcome with desire, and then they should marry only so as they won’t sin. Paul urges wives to submit to their husbands as the leader of the house, and he also commands husbands to love their wives as Christ would love the church. This is a covenant relationship, and if the husband as the leader is failing to make loving and selfless decisions for his family, then the covenant is broken. This is harder than it seems, because it isn’t merely a rule that all wives must obey husbands in everything. It’s saying that someone has to be the head of a family, like a country needs a President, but that doesn’t mean that the President is entitled to treat himself as King and enslave his population. There’s a distinct difference at work in the way Paul means for this to be applied and the way many, many husbands and churches apply it.

      • 20. Dalrock Reader  |  February 25, 2011 at 2:34 am

        Well, the descriptions of the roles of man and women are sprinkled throughout the Bible, and I don’t have the time to exhaustively engage in them. From Genesis, the prime motivation for the creation of Eve was to create a companion and helper for Adam (Gen 2:18). But I don’t want to get bogged down in theology.

        My general question is, do you believe in egalitarianism (men and women have identical roles in the the eyes of God, man is theologically no different than woman), or complementarianism (men and women are different in the eyes of God, and are theologically distinct).

        From your understanding of Paul, It would seem that you are complementarian. Certainly Paul does not give man carte blanche, but that in marriage, men and women have different and non-interchangeable roles to play.

      • 21. Author  |  February 25, 2011 at 3:15 am

        As an answer, I’m going to say that I’m a little bit of both. It’s like the tension between the concepts of free will and predestination, how they seem to be in opposition, and yet if we know our Bible at all, we know that scripture holds both views to be true and in co-existence with one another. It’s one of those beautiful mysteries of contention that we have with faith, like the can God make a rock that’s too big for God to move conundrum. I don’t like to spend too much time thinking about it, as it makes my head hurt. 😉

        I don’t think my sole role on earth is to be a companion and helper for men. Certainly, as a Christian I enjoy being loving and self-sacrificing. That’s part of every Christian’s commission, to grow in our love of Christ, to try to be more like him each day, even though we know that that is an unattainable goal. I do think, however, that if I were married that it would be my duty to submit to my husband’s decisions for our family if those decisions are sound and wise ones. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right to question them or that my husband can unilaterally make decisions without consulting. It also doesn’t mean that my children or I have to tolerate abuse. It doesn’t mean that my husband gets sex whenever he wants it, and I have no rights to refuse him, regardless of the circumstances. It does mean that sometimes I’m going to have sex with him when I don’t feel like it, if that’s the only real problem, just because that’s the loving thing to do. It does mean that if my husband has taken into account our welfare and has made a decision that I don’t want but that he can truthfully reason is good for our family, then I’m required Biblically to capitulate.

        I’m not trying to excuse my failures in relationships, because, certainly, I should have picked better men to whom to give my affection, but part of the reason I never married was because I never dated a man that I thought had the faith or the wisdom required for me to want to put the fate of myself and my children in his hands. That sounds snarky, I know, but it’s just the truth. I met men that I thought were trustworthy on that level, but I was never in a relationship with one.

      • 22. Dalrock Reader  |  February 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

        I’m pleasantly surprised! That’s not a position I would have expected from you.

        I differ from your position in a few significant ways, but I’m not in a mood to argue – we’re probably in 80% agreement. Also, I think your positions are probably quite a bit more conservative than the average woman on spousal relationships.

        I wish you luck in your future relationships. I think you’ll find that trust can be nurtured. Your trust in him will inspire him to be more trustworthy.

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