The Economics of Sex
Absolutely young women (and older ones as well) should run an inventory on how biblical their standards are. If their standards are what the law allows them, in which case alpha male or beta male hardly matters anymore, then they are collaborators and not the resistance. Let’s not deceive young men into thinking they can control the ball by being the right kind of man.
John, I think you are right about the reality of the challenge. But let’s also not deceive young men into thinking that it doesn’t matter what kind of man they are because the system is rigged against them. Of course it is rigged against them. This is not an absolute, but men control more than they think they do.
Regarding “The Economics of Sexual Purity,” thanks for your consistent and firm messages on this topic. You can’t find the straight stuff anywhere else. It took a while for these things to sink in (I’m stubborn and thick-headed sometimes), but I am joining the resistance on July 21 of this year. I began by taking your advice: I saw her at church, “passed the peace,” and asked her name. Funny how God works like that . . .
Kyle, that’s not what passing the peace is for, but I do commend you for the effective multi-tasking.
Could you speak to the dichotomy of “early” marriage and our culture of higher education? It seems that the push for higher education fights against early marriage. It is very hard to pay for an expensive education and support a family at the same time. It would seem that if we had more septic tank pumpers we would have more early marriages, Also I am not saying because something is hard you shouldn’t do it, but as creatures that take the path of least resistance the outcome is one or the other.
Don, living in a college town, I have seen many couples go through school together. If the woman is given to the man to be a helper in his vocation, then why can’t she be a helper during his preparation for that vocation?
On “The Economics of Sexual Purity”: I get what you are saying and largely agree. A call to join the resistance is a good way of putting it. However, you seem to imply that “the natural inclinations of women” in this arena are more virtuous than men’s. On the surface, this might appear to be true, but the marriage structure are meant to tame women’s desires as well, or, to paraphrase Chesterton, provide a fence for wild things to run free. Many women today are perfectly happy to be part of the modern day harem of some alpha male. Not promiscuous like men are promiscuous, but still promiscuous. They will use their beauty to get temporary enjoyment instead of using it to attract a husband. And while there might be some churches with an overabundance of marriageable young women, I haven’t seen that to be the case. They have either been brainwashed to hold out hopes for a perfect Prince Charming, are chasing a career before they want to settle down, and/or have not dedicated themselves to any domestic pursuits. This doesn’t absolve young men, of course. They should always be working to improve themselves. But the situation is pretty dire out there. I’m writing as someone who is happily married and grabbed a good one, but I do sympathize with the plight of young men today.
Matt, I agree with you that things are pretty bad currently. But the apostle Paul, lamenting the sexual degradation of his culture, also lamented the participation of the women in it, saying “even the women.” We are pretty close to that now. The reason we don’t see it clearly is that we listen to our propaganda more than we listen to Scripture and to nature.
You’ve come this far with the economics. You might as well have a look at sexual market value graphs for men and women. Women are going strike the best deal in a marriage when they are around 20 while men will in their early 30s. You wrote in an earlier post that men should be marrying earlier and I couldn’t tell if that was because you didn’t feel comfortable telling women to marry earlier. You should be matchmaking your high school senior girls with college senior men. Also, warn both sexes about how obesity limits your options.
Barnie, yes, obesity limits options, as does being ugly and stupid. And other limitations may become obvious upon further reflection. As to women marrying young, I don’t have any hesitation urging them to marry on the young side, just like the men. I don’t go with your encouragement of college senior/high school senior match-ups though. The level of education your daughter has is likely to be a good predictor of the level of education your grandson will have. As a general rule, I think that men and women should marry in the 21-22-year-old range.
I’m a 25-year-old man who fights homosexual temptations, and the first time I stumbled across your blog I was furious. Your words pissed me off, a lot (specifically, “homo-jihad”). But I kept reading because I sensed that you were onto something. One day it all clicked. I realized how fully I’d sold out to this wishy-washy culture around us. I realized how I’d trained myself to not take ownership of my sin. I realized that I wasn’t engaging in the fight of life. That was about 3 years ago, and I’m fighting pretty damn well these days. I’m becoming the kind of man God created me to be—the kind of man I always wanted to be. I haven’t been reading you much lately, but your blog played a pivotal role in me choosing to stand up and fight. For that, I’ll always be thankful for you.
Ryan, thank you very much. Keep fighting.
A Random Request
May I request that you consider writing an autobiography?
Rob, I have thought about it. And bits and pieces of one can be found under the heading of Autobiographical Fragments.
Alfie, Death Panels, and Our Health Care System
As a trauma surgeon immersed in our current American medical system, I can tell you that one early step that veered off course was taking personal and economic responsibility away from both physicians and patients. Physicians do not have to weigh the cost of care when prescribing and treating, and patients and families are not ultimately required to pay a dime for said care (those who are able, or unable but conscientious, are fleeced). Insurance company’s delving into monthly or yearly premiums for all care instead of actual “insurance against catastrophe” created the illusion of unlimited resources for several generations, and we are living in a culture that still acts as if resources are unlimited . . . though as we can all now see, healthcare economics are fracturing under the weight of such mindsets. Even further back in the deviation would be family and personal guilt. Families and patients strive after every last drop of life, even if it is life worse than death, frequently because they have neglected said family member for decades, and now want to “do everything for them” in a last ditch effort to salve their consciences. The “murderous ways” you mention are not so much engrained in the medical culture, they are engrained in the hatred of unregenerate people for each other—and the associated guilt—patient and physician alike. Repentance, I think, has to start with confessing and forsaking personal and familial relationship sin, followed by loving our neighbors economically (as you so well stated just a few days ago), and then taking personal responsibility to 1) turn down (or stop prescribing) excessive testing or procedures; 2) live in the light of our impending deaths, and 3) recognize that inability to pay for something means exactly that—it is not yours to take (probably the hardest to concede, and the hardest to accept, particularly regarding health). Obviously this is a complex issue with no easy and quick solution . . . but on the ground, lack of personal responsibility appears to be the chief manifestation of our collective error.
Nathan, yes. Our problems really are systemic, and almost all of them go back to basic issues of selfishness.
A liberal bureaucracy reacts to a hearty “I toldja so” like a poke in the eye with a pointed stick. They hate it, but they will survive it. Alfie, God bless his soul, is in a hospital bed breathing on his own and refusing to die. That, my friends, is akin to some skinny kid with a sling and a stone standing before a big, foul-mouthed, blaspheming giant. I have no doubt they will eventually kill Alfie, even if they have to starve him or dehydrate him to death, but what they cannot kill is the realization of the truth of who they are and just what this whole “government as god” scenario entails. Eventually, (maybe not in my lifetime) enough people will see the giant for who he really is and cut his head off with his own oversize sword. Either that or Jesus will come back and hey y’all, watch this.
This story is heart breaking, but the media has not accurately and fairly reported the medical evidence presented to the court (I realize that, even so, that doesn’t change your overall point). This is not a case where treatments to halt or reverse a disease are being deliberately withheld by the National Health Service. According to the medical evidence presented to the court, significant brain death has already occurred and there is nothing more his doctors can do. Three Italian doctors from the hospital to which the parents would like to bring this child have examined him in England, and concur that no treatment will arrest this disease. What the Italian doctors are offering is surgery to help him breathe and eat, thus prolonging his life. I think this is an important point to emphasize. Some media outlets are claiming that Alfie is being denied possibly effective treatments; this is simply untrue. I think that the more salient issue here is parental rights, and in this case I think the courts have overstepped. If it is true that the child is in a semi-vegetative state, it can’t be argued that taking him to Italy would cause him to suffer. I can’t see any legitimate reason to deny him life-prolonging care that any other medical system is wiling to provide. But questions about who gets to make medical treatment decisions on behalf of a child also arise in nations which don’t have single-payer state run health care. Hospitals in the U.S. have also gone to court to challenge parental decisions which they feel are not in the child’s best interest.
Jill, right. But no one that I know of is blaming the UK health care system for refusing to heal Alfie. It is the hubris of standing in the parents’ way as they seek out responsible medical care. But you also raise an important point—parental rights in this kind of thing are not an absolute. Suppose the parents were opposed to a routine blood transfusion on religious grounds, or charismatic parents wanted to take him from the hospital in order to name it and claim it at home. In other words, sometimes children die because of arrogant physicians—but they can also die because of arrogant parents. But all things considered, in a fallen world like ours, I generally want to go with the parents instead of the death panels.
You’re so right when you say it come down to a bureaucrat’s decision on who gets treatment or not. Healthcare would be managed better if the people had more control and avoidable technological errors like an overclocked CPU. The Western World is facing their penance now.
Dennis, I would say that we are just starting to face it.
Yes, I’m writing this on an article nearly ten years old, but what can I say. . . I searched from Dan to Beersheba and here I am. Could you consider an article or series of articles on Christian patriotism? I’m reading what your blog has on the topic, but still find myself torn. Perhaps due to coming of age and becoming politically aware in 2007-2008 and having my introduction to our national culture in that environment, I do not strongly identify with the United States. I can’t say I love the country, as all values and leaders are largely antithetical to mine. While I would defend this country were it attacked (I see that as incumbent on all men as part of their duty as protectors), I do not have any particular interest in seeing the current structure persist outside of a preservation of our now lost first principles. Any devotion in my heart is toward principles that are becoming more and more rare. As the current United States becomes more divorced from the principles, my allegiance goes with them and not with this nation-state. Are these just my “private libertarian brain-thoughts” that I’m honoring? To what degree should I be proud of a godless nation? Catch my drift? I don’t say the Pledge, since I think it is idolatrous to pledge allegiance to anything but Christ and His Church or, say, my wife, but I will stand and face the flag with my hand in the required place during the Anthem. This is only because I respect what we once were, those who try to keep it, and generally desire the peace of the realm. I’m not about to go agitating for the overthrow of Washington, in other words, but beyond my support in a hypothetical defensive crisis, I’m not a flag-waving patriot. However when describing that view to a friend, he asked me pointedly, “Well, what are you standing for then? What are you saluting?” I must admit I came up empty. I don’t have any particular pride in this country, don’t identify as “an American” much at all, and generally look suspiciously at anything red, white, and blue. Perhaps that’s odd from a serious fan of our history . . . I’m not sure. I decidedly do not want to see American values exported overseas given where we are now. Is my Church “a floaty thing” as you say? Have I explained it well? In a sense I don’t even understand my own heart on this. Perhaps it all comes down to a need to explain what exactly patriotism is. I’d appreciate any wisdom.
Samuel, you are right. I do need to write more about this. In the meantime, the thing to do is “not drift along.” In other words, previous generations found it easy to conform to a thoughtless patriotism—and they were just fitting in. It wasn’t a matter of sturdy principle. Your reaction seems to me also to resemble a conforming to the current generation’s lassitude. So take care that you don’t fit right in, the same way your great-grandparents did.
The Race Thing
The problem with most of these racist oppression outrage stories is that, 90% of the time, there is a backstory to the story. And when that backstory comes out, those of us who want to judge the issue fairly and not be rushed to justice by the mob, find ourselves wondering what all the fuss is about. It is truly a “boy cried wolf” situation, where our sensitivity to true oppression and injustice is being dulled by the repeated outcry over every manufactured crisis. I’m not saying that no injustice was done to the young men in the Starbucks, but that it isn’t always the black and white issue that the media paints for us.
C, right. There is a reason why rushing to judgment is a bad idea.
Is Porn Free Speech?
I’m studying for my First Amendment exam and wrestling with the strong protection the Court has given to pornography. It seems clear to me that porn has deleterious effects on the men who consume it and they often pass along those harms in their interactions with others. Still, that kind of rationale for exempting expression from A1 protection has been rightly rejected in other contexts (e.g., suppressing communist literature for fear it will damage American capitalism) and poses threats to Christian speech (the recent California legislation seems a good example). There is something unsettling about suppressing speech because people might accept its message (though it does seem more attractive in cases like porn where the messages conveyed are uniformly destructive). Does the state have a role in fighting the war on pornography?
Pat, yes. I believe the problem comes from confusing categories. What is “speech?” First, I don’t think a stripper pole is equivalent to a lectern. And second, if certain sexual activities should be against the law (e.g. adultery), then filming it shouldn’t be against the law. Rather, the film should be used by the prosecution in the trial for the adultery. If a bunch of idiot teenagers took pictures of themselves on a vandalism spree, we wouldn’t think to pass a law against that. Instead we would thank them very much.
Diet and Cancer
From reading your writings, I think you are fairly skeptical about the organic foods and restrictive diets movement and “crunchy” types. And, there are surely some good reasons to be so. However, there are quite a few fairly compelling works that I would commend to you for your consideration as to the importance of diet and environmental factors in the development of cancer. If you have the time or inclination, I think these could be informative: 1. The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes 2. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell II 3. The Gerson Therapy by Charlotte Gerson & Morton Walker May you keep writing and ministering for many, many years!
BLT, thanks. I am familiar with Taubes, and have read at least one of his books, and enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendations.
Starting in California
The Christian is not only being mentally crippled, but Christianity is on the brink of being outlawed in America.
Daniel, yes. I think the conflict is going to escalate pretty rapidly now.