Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, May 06, 2005  

Why Men hate Church

Amy Welborn refers to this article and the book, and has interesting comments.

The religion of the American male is masculinity. The religion of the European male is hedonism.

The idea that Christianity once had robust, virile apostolic heroes is a figment of a well meaning imagination. The early church was one of losers. Slaves, women, poor people, and a strong spine of men who had risen in the world, but had no prestige or cachet, and wanted a place of leadership and significance.

Frankly, Jesus is not a masculine hero. He is a wimpy guy who teaches people to be vulnerable, tender hearted, kind, introspective, prayerful, but also tough-minded, resolute, determined, loyal, and devoted.

Men can accept the idea of obstinancy and toughness, but couched in the idea of acceptance of suffering is too much. We have created notions of masculinity and femininity which are monstrously false, but have great seemingness to them. The generalities we find applicable to the sexes are reasonably accurate.

We have the firm belief that the sexes are powerfully different but complimentary. This is true because if we don't grow much beyond the consciousness of a child or teenager, the sexes are clearly of different minds and spirits.

Jesus got far past the obvious determination of sex and became a whole person. Just as God cannot be either male or female in spirit, as we are in his image, neither can we have a lopsided condition of selfhood being all male or all female.

The 70's pyschobabble talked of men developing their feminine side to equal their male side, and then all that hideous left brain/right brain junk came into play. This is incredibly repellant to men.

In fact, an underlying cause of the intense hatred the men of the Left have of Red State guys (and soldiers) is the fact that the "sensitive" men despise perceiving themselves as weaker than deer hunting, venison eating macho characters.

As Samuel Johnson said, “Every man thinks meanly of himself for having never been a soldier.” The Lefty male has to deny this, but who does he celebrate on his side? People like Che, John Reed, Hewy Newton, a Ward Churchill, and even (for Pete’s sake) John Kerry as a war hero. They are desperate to appear tough, rough, and full of serious action.

Jesus is anathema to both kinds of men. The Left hates him because he is morally absolute, and despises the human will to domination. The man’s man dismisses Jesus because he’s non-competitive and entirely co-operative, and men like hierarchy, pecking orders, fixed rules, and clear boundaries for the games they play including the one called life. Men like the Church when it is rather severe; and men of all kinds really do hate “dialogue”.

The idea of a man sitting down, taking a great amount of time, or spending a lifetime seeking to understand others, himself, and God seems like an unbearable waste of daylight on a will o’ the wisp.

Also, in prosperous cultures (of the West), there is little call to vulnerability and neediness in men. When so much of what happens is somewhat self-determined, who needs God? Also, look at the twelve step AA programs. I don’t remember the exact figures I was told, but I believe that less than 10% of the people who take part in AA succeed in overcoming their addictions. The entire core of AA is to surrender your will to a “higher power”. It is a conversion program of faith (rather amorphous, but still faith).

Women do respond better to Christianity than men do, but they get trapped in a different way by their biology. They fail to overcome their emotionalism. They do not become more direct, tough-minded, rational, and principled. Their style of passive/aggressive determination to lead or dominate a group through subterfuge and female wiles is impressive. They seek their way by indirection and indispensability. They end up running everything although not being the titular head.

Men don’t want to go to church and be further reminded that they lose all the power struggles with females. I got kicked out of a comments section of a website recently for jocularly suggesting that the women needed to go back to baking cookies and letting the men run the church again. The vitriol that was poured down upon me was substantial. The idea of women serving men rather than running it all by themselves was horrifying. Just when they had taken it all over, someone was demanding it back -- it being Power. The entire concept of sexual roles being complimentary, and of humble submission to husbands as the head of anything made them furious.

The women wanted guarantees that if they were submissive, the males would be equally so to them, and that they had as much right to having the last word on anything. But humility doesn’t work like that. One cannot say he will be humble but only so long as it works for him in getting his way.

The submission that Jesus demands is radical. He reduced it to this statement, “Many are called but few are chosen.” And wondered if on his return he would find any of faith on the earth.

90% of men believe in God. They are “called” to knowing there is a God, but they cannot bring themselves to become chosen for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. The paring away by God of their masculinity is simply too great a humiliation to be borne. That’s why men hate church.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:14 PM |