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“You thought it was your people. I thought it was mine. The difference is, I was right.”
– Seventy-One Hour Ahmed, Terry Pratchett, Jingo
The Christian bloggers writing about marriage are starting to intrigue me. After my initial discovery of some outstandingly written blogs, I have dived into the Christian manosphere, where I have made a fascinating discovery. I was reading through Dalrock’s archive last night when I encountered this scathing commentary on Fireproof. While not directly relevant to the ideas I have, it is interesting to see how willing Dalrock is to take apart the idea that a man should serve his wife. I don’t disagree that in Fireproof, whatshername is largely (maybe even mostly) at fault for the disintegrating marriage, but it does have a few concepts right. Loving your wife unconditionally is a Biblically sound concept. I say this as an unmarried man, of course, but ideally, you would love her even in the cases of infidelity and emotional abuse. Men, we are ORDERED to love our wives. Ephesians 5 doesn’t say “Husbands, love your wives as long as they respect you.” Sometimes I feel like men (but honestly, as far as Christian bloggers go, mostly women) are disregarding this fact. That is where the real point of this post comes in. The easiest way to predict the sex of a modern Christian author on marriage is to see who they blame for the current failure of the system. Men tend to blame men, women tend to blame women.
The current crisis of marriage does NOT fall at either sexes feet, but at both. And I mean ‘feet’ in a very Old Testament sense (not funny if you didn’t already see the implication, so don’t bother looking it up. Unless you’re curious). Women who have taken the red pill (yes, Roissy, they exist) see that feminism has defeminized women (not masculinized, actually. Later article in that topic, I think), and blame that particular phenomenon for the crisis. Men who have taken the red pill (AND who are Christians, or at least firm believers in traditional marriage. Very important addendum, that.) tend to see the generation of Halo playing, beer swilling couch potatoes as the problem. Guess what; it cuts both ways. Men behaving in an old fashioned manner is simply BETTER than the way they behave now. The same goes for women. Ephesians 5 (years of marriage counseling in a nutshell, if you ask me) makes two separate, unconditional statements. Wives, respect your husbands. Husbands, love your wives. Neither of them says ‘if’ anything. Just do it. In my experience (okay, so it isn’t first hand. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m looking at when I see the marriages of my friends imploding or on the rocks), the two follow out of each other, but if they aren’t habitually ingrained in you from a very young age, ONE of you (and it almost doesn’t matter which) needs to take the initiative in acting right.
It sometimes feels like there isn’t any point in fighting anymore. I specifically here refer to the ongoing gender war. The vitriol and anger spewed by both sides is getting out of hand. Before continuing, however, I wish to state that I still think that feminism is out of hand, and that men’s (more specifically, husbands’ and fathers’) rights are being trampled on in society and court. Single guys are making out okay, though.
I finally got around to reading the DV debate at A Voice for Men, despite first having heard about it almost a year ago. Give me a break; there are literally millions of relevant words to read on both sides of any issue that could potentially be a bone of contention between the sexes, much less a hot-button topic like domestic violence. I was struck by something that has been bugging me more and more, and has finally led me to throw my hands up in disgust at everyone involved. David Futrelle employed classic feminist simpering male turncoat language, trying to keep the debate moving from point to point without ever resolving anything except how one should feel about things, arguing by assertion, and always stopping just shy of the ad-hominem attack. Paul Elam wasn’t much better. Naturally, I tend to side with his logic, but his sarcastic delivery and snide insults were unnecessary (yes, yes, the Frog is a hypocrite. I don’t insult people during debates, only behind their backs). I’m not going to waste time dissecting the argument point by point; it should be obvious which side I find persuasive, and this is such a polarizing issue that you are in one of four possible positions, any of which is immune to any attempt by me to alter it: 1) you believe that domestic violence is a problem, regardless of injury, initiator, target, or reason, 2) You believe that domestic violence is a problem that is solely caused by men, usually towards women, and there is no such thing as a good reason, 3) You believe that domestic violence is only a problem when committed by men, but women do it too, or 4) You believe that the domestic violence problem doesn’t exist. I think that everyone can agree that 4 is reprehensible (mostly because I made it up; I rather doubt that anyone genuinely believes that), but the other three will have people at each others’ throats in a moment. That saddens me, because the home should be, if anywhere is, a safe haven for both people. Men hitting their wives is no less (also no more) reprehensible than women cuckolding or verbally abusing their husbands. (Switch sexes as appropriate) Why can’t we all (feminists, MRAs, etc…) agree on that?
Okay, call me a cockeyed optimist, I know. Humanity is way too centered in the self, and terrified of the other to do that. It is still a pretty picture, don’t you think?
There are two methods of debate, broadly speaking. The rational, cold, logical method, and the impassioned name calling method. I will not swear but love may transform me into an oyster, but until he make an oyster of me, I shall never employ the second. I have come to a simple conclusion, and I shall continue to employ it for however long I find myself on the opposite side of the issue from anyone. If you generalize about me, or if you generalize about other positions, from one position that I hold, you have immediately invalidated your opinions. You have reduced yourself to an ad-hominem attack, not a reasoned defense of a position.
I don’t know if I’m right about many of my opinions. I’m not convinced about Anthropogenic global warming. I believe (philosophically and eschatologically, at least) in Intelligent Design. I’m both anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment. I can be convinced, in theory and given sufficient evidence, that any of these positions is incorrect. I invite you to try. Please. I’m serious. I LIKE having my mind changed. But do NOT talk about how one of my positions invalidates any other. The ONLY coupled viewpoints in that list are abortion and capital punishment. Oh, and the moment name-calling enters the picture, the debate is over. Facts, logic, and reasoned conclusions are the way to change people’s minds, not passionate denunciation of their entire existence based on their disagreement with you.
One of my dearest friends is a socialist. I am (realistically) in favor of controlled capitalism, or more idealistically a market anarchist. I call her a pinko, and she calls me a reactionary bastard. That is okay; we’ve come to the conclusion that we enjoy a little name calling, but never take it too seriously. That is just friendly banter. When we’re actually discussing politics, though, we shelve the names and talk politics like reasonable people, despite the fact that we disagree on virtually everything. We use examples of history, arguments from great philosophers and political thinkers, and draw conclusions that actually follow one after the other.
If you can’t do that, then you need to sit down, shut up, and let the grownups talk.