Thursday, November 14, 2019

For the Purveyors of Macho Christianity

I have composed this blog entry in my head perhaps half a dozen times over the past ten years, but I never got to the point of typing it all out before, much less posting it.  It could ruffle some feathers, and perhaps hurt some feelings.  I didn't want to do that.  But the particular kind of Christian leader who pushes this kind of "hard-edged men / soft women" teaching has driven me to the point of actually writing the thing down.

Here's the teaching in a nutshell:  God has made men and women to be very distinct.  They have different acceptable gender roles, and should pursue different sets of virtues.  Men are to pursue the hard, aggressive, combative virtues, and women the soft, nurturing virtues.  Additionally, we must look the part.  Most of these teachers mock men who choose not to wear beards as being not fully Christian and not fully male.  They do things like form pipe (or cigar) clubs at the churches they pastor.  They may cultivate a taste for single malt whiskey.  They talk about pirates and warriors and sports.  A lot.

The motivation for at least some of these purveyors of macho Christianity is not hard to find.  Our entire culture is howling wasteland of gender dysphoria.  They seek to clarify male and female roles.  Typical of the burden they lay on people is the responsibility of every Christian to emphasize, as far as possible, the differences between males and females.

And, for the male Christian, their prescription can be boiled down to a single word:  hardness.  Christian men should be courageous, strong, immovable, unyielding, but mostly hard as (well, you fill in the blank).

The thing is, nearly all these Christian priests, pastors, and thought leaders are fat.  They are incredibly soft.  Maybe if they were not sitting at 20 to 25% body fat, I would take serious what they say about the hardness, and about being warriors in training for battle.  But, with a few notable exceptions, they are fat or even obese.  I know one priest who competes in bodybuilding and other who runs marathons.  Perhaps I could stand to hear such a teaching from one of them.  But not from these doughnut-scarfing fatties.

So to you fat purveyors of hard-edged Christianity for males:  Just stop!  You look ridiculous doing it!

No comments: