A Dutch Uncle

The situation described in the following letters continues to be entirely fictitious, including persons, names, crimes, sins, relationships, circumstances and all particulars. The kind of situation that is described, however, is all too common and my hope is that biblical principles applied to this fictitious scenario may be of some help to individuals tangled up in a real one.

Dear Gabrielle,

As we continue to correspond, I wanted to make a point of thanking you again. I know that writing about these things can be sometimes painful, and it is always difficult. I do not want to take that for granted, or even seem like I am. I know that as I write, I am coming from a completely different emotional place than what you are experiencing—I can empathize with you, but I can’t pretend to identify. I know that you know all this, but I wanted you to know that I know it too. But as I indicated in an earlier letter, apart from the obvious disadvantages, it does impart some advantages. Sometimes a little distance can provide a helpful perspective, and I trust that is what I am doing. It is certainly what I am trying to do.

You are most likely going off to college in the fall, and I wanted to address a few things that are almost certain to come up. A number of these things confront every freshman heading off to school, but some of them will be connected to the past that you feel you are “carrying around.”

Now some of these things I am going to say will sound like I am trying to be a Dutch uncle, and that is because . . . well, I sort of will be sounding like a Dutch uncle. If any of this strikes you as being kind of “gruff,” please know that none of the gruffness is directed at you, but rather at all orcs, trolls, and evil creatures you will be encountering, known commonly to others as “boys.” I hope you know that I am joking. Mostly.

You are going to be plunging into a swirl of new relationships, and in this process you need to be careful to guard your heart—with regard to girls and guys both. I do not mean that you should stand in the corner, trying to project the fact (which you are already tempted to feel) that you are somehow “damaged goods.” That only scares off people who ought to become your friends, and unfortunately, it also attracts the kind of people who will be no help to you at all.

Your demeanor should be bright—warm, friendly, and distant. Don’t let your past become part of your identity. You are starting fresh in many ways, and your God is much bigger than the crimes committed against you. You have to deal with these things, as will the people who are close to you, but do not involve acquaintances and strangers. That turns the abuse into a kind of badge, and it will create an identify for you that could grow to unmanageable proportions.

So warm, friendly, distant. Making friends “for life” in the first three weeks of college is perilous. The Bible has a lot to say about friendship and companions, and you should choose your friends wisely, carefully, deliberately, and slowly. This does not require you to be rude to everybody, but you should be manifestly friendly and clearly reserved. I have seen many instances of “fast friends forever” blowing up before freshman year is over. Hasty bonds of friendship are sometimes lucky, but never wise. Now I believe this is good advice for everyone, protecting everyone, but you are in need of additional protection. You should take steps to provide that cautious protection for yourself without signaling to the world the fact that you have been badly burnt.

Whether or not you feel that way on any given day, you are a beautiful girl. And others will notice this, whether or not you are noticing it. Boys will start coming around. And—here is the Dutch uncle part—you have to recognize that when young men are singling you out, paying you focused attention, one of two things is happening. I am not talking about if a guy says hi to you in passing, or if another guy holds a door for you going into the Student Union. I am talking about if he is paying you guy/girl attention. Either he is trying to figure out a way of getting you into bed dishonorably, or he is trying to figure out how to do it honorably.

Some people find this upsetting, or they think a bald statement of it is off-putting, but there it is. I have found that in arguments with gravity, I always lose. Because you are a Christian woman, you don’t want attention from the dishonorable ones, and this goes back to choosing your friends wisely. Men who are dishonorable in their sexual pursuits are dishonorable in other ways also, ways that are more readily visible—study habits, foul talk, entertainment standards, etc. Steer clear of them.

So you will have a circle of friends, conscientious Christians. They will attend church faithfully, worshiping the Lord. They will be serious Christians—the kind who can talk easily about spiritual things. They will be Bible readers. And within this circle of friends, there will be your guy friends. Now if one of them starts to single you out, you can assume that his intentions are honorable—but not that they are somehow asexual. But because they are honorable, and because you are both freshmen, and because marriage is expensive, there you both are—years out. You look cute together, but his paper route isn’t going to cut it.

But in the meantime, years out, however unspoken it is, you have an aching need for a male presence in your life, a protective male presence that will not turn sexual on you. As far as created beings can be used to meet created needs, this was a need that your father was assigned to fulfill. Failure to fulfill it was right at the center of his crime. Because he violated that, you are now having to make shift.

Now in a Christian setting, where the men are not leering or making suggestive comments all the time—where the men are acting civilized, in other words—it is easy for the women to forget how present the sexual element is for the men. So you are in a group with this guy, he is remembering his manners, and so you start looking to him as though he were an older brother. Now fathers and brothers and uncles have a crucial role to play, which is that of providing a male presence that is never sexual. When it turns sexual, that is a foundational betrayal. But when you have a friend who is like a brother, at least for you, there will be a time when it does turn sexual. And when that time comes, you will want to know the situation well enough that it does not feel like a betrayal as well. Do you see what I am getting at?

None of this is to say that the erotic element is absent for you. It is to say that all the normal impulses are there for you, of course, but they are buried under a history of awful abuse. When such abuse is left unaddressed, when it is allowed it have its carnal way, it drives young women (usually) in one of two directions. Either they are tempted to retreat behind some kind of an impenetrable wall, where men are not allowed, or they just decide the world is gross, and “what’s the use anyway?” and simply give up. The former wind up as recluses, or lesbians, or ardent feminists—any place that makes it difficult for men to get close. The latter wind up in destructive cycles of substance abuse and promiscuity. Neither reaction will be kind to you. It is my desire to help you to prepare so that a third way opens up for you naturally.

So when a guy comes around (and it is when, not if), and he is the kind of guy you would consider as a husband, I would suggest that you involve your uncle and aunt in it. I would urge you to look particularly to your uncle. This is not because “courtship” means that women are chattel, to be dispersed by some guy according to his whims. You are not your uncle’s property, and you were never your father’s property. His crime was that he treated you as property, instead of as a daughter.

Looking to your uncle means that you will be getting counsel from someone who knows the sexual distractions from the other side, but who is not himself distracted. You know that he is a good and godly man, just as you knew that your father was not. The young man you might be interested in is someone who attracts you, but is not someone that you understand very well. At an early stage of a relationship, your uncle would understand him far better.

I know this is an enormous subject, with many variables. I know that I have probably created more questions than I have answered. Sorry about that, but please feel free to ask away.

Cordially in Christ,

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Katecho
Member

Wilson wrote:

That turns the abuse into a kind of badge, and it will create an identity for you that could grow to unmanageable proportions.

Such a great, pastoral warning.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Such a great, pastoral warning.”

But of course, how could it not be? It just serves the narrative so well. This little girl’s trauma now reduced down to nothing more than a “manageable problem,” an easily contained and molded identity that must be kept boxed in all sides, least she create a problem of more, “unmanageable proportions.”

No wonder Miley Cyrus went flying by on her wrecking ball. Suddenly that all makes a great deal of sense.

adad0
Member

You know Memi, I think this post is about ways to avoid being a captive to one’s past, no matter how much of a wreck, anyone’s past may have been. I hope for Miley’s sake, that her past was not as tough as Gabrielle’s. Yet Miley can still self identify as a self absorbed drama queen,even with a past much more benign than Gabrielle’s. I think our host here, is reinforcing to Gabrielle, how free she is, and how free she can be, from a horrifying life event that is commonly debilitating. Finally, Jesus tells us all, “go and sin… Read more »

Jennie
Member

Some times it is good to have someone advise us on how to do that.

Amen, “A” dad. Amen.

insanitybytes22
Member

“I think this post is about ways to avoid being a captive to one’s past” Let’s imagine, A-dad. Suppose your own situation with certain churchians became totally your fault, one people said you brought on yourself, one totally the result of your own inherent sin nature? Suppose we then said you are the one who must be managed,contained, controlled, least you victimize anymore churchians with your uppity ways? Naturally we shall do this all for your own good,on account of the fact that you must be freed of your past so you don’t repeat it and lead others to sin… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Teaching someone self-defense after a robbery is NOT the same as saying that they were at fault for being mugged the first time.”

It certainly is when you are telling them that the thief cannot help himself, he is simply doing what all thieves do, and she now bears all the moral, ethical, and social responsibility to defend herself, while at the same time being so unqualified to even discern, she must consult with her uncle.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

ME, I think this is advice that Doug would give every young woman going off to college. A lot of college-aged men and women want to have a ton of casual sex. If Gabrielle doesn’t want this, she is the one who will have to choose her dates carefully and monitor the boundaries. This isn’t because she is an abuse victim; it’s because she’s a girl.

I think Doug would recommend that every girl talk to her parents when a relationship with a young man starts to become serious.

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: It certainly is when you are telling them that the thief cannot help himself, he is simply doing what all thieves do, and she now bears all the moral, ethical, and social responsibility to defend herself, while at the same time being so unqualified to even discern, she must consult with her uncle. I’m trying to imagine ME’s counter-advice to Gabrielle. Is ME advising Gabrielle to bear only some of the moral or ethical or social responsibility against future abusers, and reject taking full responsibility? That seems like an invitation for excuse-making. Does ME advise that thieves and… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Maybe there is someone else who should take up the slack if Gabrielle is not supposed to bear all of the moral and ethical and social responsibility?”

You don’t say? Hmm,I wonder who that might be?? His name is on the tip of my tongue. Hey, I wonder if it might be that guy who laid His very life down for us? Took up the slack so to speak?

Katecho
Member

Applying ME’s own reasoning against Wilson, above, shouldn’t we conclude that ME thinks that Gabrielle is “so unqualified to even discern, that she must consult with her Lord and Savior”. Using ME’s charge against Wilson, how is ME not also challenging Gabrielle’s own qualifications and discernment? This suggests that ME has a completely different standard that she applies to herself. I’m still curious though, does ME suppose that Christ must take up the slack in our discernment by acting directly, or can God provide shepherds and overseers and headship (and uncles) to help mature our discernment? Unless ME is actually… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Applying ME’s own reasoning against Wilson, above, shouldn’t we conclude that ME thinks that Gabrielle is “so unqualified to even discern, that she must consult with her Lord and Savior”. One would hope that would be true of us all. One would hope everyone would consult with their Lord and Savior. “Unless ME is actually going to dig her heels in against any providential help from pastors and uncles…” ME is going to do exactly that at this point. ME is going to caution Gabrielle and advise her to promptly reject any and all advice she instinctively knows places an… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t think Doug said that she should consult her uncle because of “headship.” I took uncle in this case to mean “an older person who knows you, loves you, and wants to promote your happiness and well-being.” As your own daughters went off to college, did you not hope they would confide in you and your husband? I’m not understanding what the unjust burden is. Gabrielle is responsible for her own sexuality. Whether or not she has been victimized, every woman is responsible. I didn’t get any sense that Doug was saying Gabrielle has been tainted and is therefore… Read more »

Jennie
Member

I’m not speaking for ME, but here’s my own understanding. The unjust burden is the knowledge that she feels and would be viewed by classmates as different in a taboo/bad/unclean way juxtaposed to the knowledge that she is a new creation in Christ. Those two just don’t jive readily, regardless of whether a person is a victim or guilty of egregious sin. Think of the woman with the ‘blood issue’ that touched Christ’s robe. Totally unclean. Ostracized from temple worship. Low in society. Was it her fault? Not at all, but that didn’t make her less undesirable. Yet, Christ healed… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think I understand that, but I don’t think the main point of Doug’s advice was to avoid disclosure on the grounds that she might be viewed as damaged. I think it was to make a fresh start, finding for herself an identity that is not rooted in having been a victim of abuse. I can see how this advice can seem heartless when you have been so badly injured by your past. But, if you don’t do this, you will drag your past around with you like Marley’s chains. It’s true, however, that some people will see Gabrielle as… Read more »

Jennie
Member

Beautifully said, and I agree.

Somewhere in there has to be both an acknowledgement of wrong acts against her and then also encouraging her to leave that behind, while also recognizing the damaging tendencies that may remain because of her past. It’s a delicate balance, and I admire Pastor Wilson for walking it so well.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: I think Doug keeps coming back to the point that there are people who will welcome Gabrielle the victim with open arms, but they will use her as a poster child for sexual abuse without caring about her long term recovery. And, of course, there will be men who will be attracted by any hint of vulnerability. Whether they are sociopaths who would use and discard her, or men who are attracted to needy women they can control, it is not a healthy basis for a relationship. Well stated. Unfortunately, I see ME trying to hijack this fictional… Read more »

Oscar Schneegans
Guest
Oscar Schneegans

“When victimhood is weaponized, victims become nothing more than other people’s weapons. That’s how ME has been using Gabrielle here. As a weapon.” ~ katecho

Yep. And weapons are tools to be used and discarded at the user’s whim, which dehumanizes the victim.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/beware-of-broken-wolves

OKRickety
Member

“… promptly reject any and all advice she instinctively knows places an unjust and immoral burden up on her …Instinctively? Not surprising, as I think much of your diatribe on the “narrative”, etc. in this series is gut reaction, rather than based on what is actually written.

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: ME is going to do exactly that at this point. ME is going to caution Gabrielle and advise her to promptly reject any and all advice she instinctively knows places an unjust and immoral burden up on her. Spit those bones right out, promptly. Unjust and immoral burden? I think ME skipped some steps somewhere. Anyway, apart from the adlib, ME directly says that she would be against any providential help (for example from pastors and uncles). But if it’s just Gabrielle and Jesus against the world, why should Gabrielle listen to ME’s advice. If pastors and uncles… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“The more ME comments on the blog, the more it seems that she has a deep resentment of masculine authority, particularly in regard to masculine-feminine relationships.”

Not at all,ME finds such things quite delightful, but then again, ME is surrounded by good and decent men. If instead ME were to encounter the kind of men who often attack ME on this very blog, ME would toss such notions right out the window.

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: … ME is surrounded by good and decent men. If ME permits of good and decent men, why is she counseling Gabrielle to avoid her pastor and uncle’s advice? Why is ME rejecting such providential help? Why is ME creating dishonorable male characters and inserting them into Wilson’s narrative? Why is ME accusing Wilson of having no concern for Gabrielle’s well-being? ME wrote: If instead ME were to encounter the kind of men who often attack ME on this very blog, ME would toss such notions right out the window. ME could use a bit of self-reflection before… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“ME could use a bit of self-reflection before trying to paint herself as a victim here.”

ME has done nothing of the sort. ME has simply taken note of the behavior of those claiming to support headship and found it quite lacking. Me has no need to create dishonorable characters for Pastor Wilson’s story, they present their own selves right here everyday.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

I think it should read something more like this:

“ME is surrounded by good and decent men–who dare not challenge her. If instead ME were to encounter the kind of men who often attack ME on this very blog–for things like lying and refusing to back up allegations–ME would toss such notions right out the window.”

OKRickety
Member

I suspect that the good and decent men who surround ME are not fully aware of her behavior on this blog (perhaps they keep up with her blog but I have my doubts). Would these men consider her comments to be acceptable if they were to investigate? If not, would they take action to correct her behavior, and, if they did, would she submit to them?

Oscar Schneegans
Guest
Oscar Schneegans

“I suspect that the good and decent men who surround ME are not fully aware of her behavior on this blog… ” ~ OKRickety

I suspect they’re relieved to see her bile poured in some direction other than their own.

Katecho
Member

Since we are tossing notions right out the window, I’m tossing the notion that anyone has attacked ME. We just refuse to be bullied by her attempts to weaponize Gabrielle.

adad0
Member

Oh Memi! My Pastor and Elders have already tried to blame their problem on me!???? My own pastor even miss-applied “why not be wronged” to me, in response to the felony committed against me. Yet I have not given up on my church, or my wife. After that Memi, you know, as I do, that we are not our own, we were bought with a price, therefore we do not become slaves to anything, including our past, or wrongs done to us. Win or lose, my good fight will end at some point. I am however, open to the possibility… Read more »

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: Let’s imagine, A-dad. Suppose your own situation with certain churchians became totally your fault, one people said you brought on yourself, one totally the result of your own inherent sin nature? Suppose we then said you are the one who must be managed,contained, controlled, least you victimize anymore churchians with your uppity ways? Speaking of “let’s imagine”, ME seems to be carried away with her own private imagined narrative of what Wilson actually said. Nowhere has Wilson blamed Gabrielle, or said that Gabrielle has to be contained as if she was the abuser. Wilson has warned Gabrielle not… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Actually I thought Wilson was if anything under-emphatic when he discussed the issue of sexual temptations (hers and the young men’s) when she arrives on campus. My experience (my own and that of my daughter and her friends) is that unless you have very clear personal guidelines and boundaries, you will be caught up in the maelstrom of our hook-up culture. You need to know that if you draw those limits, you may have trouble getting a third date. You need to know that young men will speak of love without meaning commitment. You need to know that even your… Read more »

adad0
Member

A little Providence and Divine protection doesn’t hurt either!????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

As I was told on numerous occasions, “Make sure the space between you is big enough to accommodate your Guardian Angels.”

adad0
Member

As advice goes, there is nun better!????

Katecho
Member

Uh oh. Don’t start that habit. :-)

adad0
Member

I see what you did there!????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No more veiled allusions.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Wilson has warned Gabrielle not to be tempted to wear abuse like a badge, or to be caught up in someone else’s identity politics agenda.”

She is in fact, now tangled up in someone’s identity politics agenda, a very churchian one that really has no biblical basis. The well being of this girl is no longer even a concern. It is not about teaching her her worth and value in Christ or enabling her to see herself as He does. It is about reaffirming the sexual abuse her father inflicted upon her and really driving that message home.

Katecho
Member

ME wrote:

The well being of this girl is no longer even a concern.

When called to stop bearing false witness, some people just respond by doubling-down in it. But the invitation is there. I’m sure that Wilson would eagerly accept ME’s apology.

Jennie
Member

ME,

The well being of this girl is no longer even a concern. It is not about teaching her her worth and value in Christ or enabling her to see herself as He does. It is about reaffirming the sexual abuse her father inflicted upon her and really driving that message home.

If I understand you rightly, you think Pastor Wilson should have spent more time on her standing in Christ and made that the foundation of his counseling instead of making recovery from her abuse the foundation. Is that right?

insanitybytes22
Member

Yes! Wilson shies away from the idea that she is property, but the real question is, Who’s property is she? If she perceives herself as belonging to Jesus Christ,it is likely others will too.

Jennie
Member

Thanks! I was baptized when I was 50. I was slightly misled and thought that when I was baptized I was literally a clean slate. I was determined to never sin again. I thought anything less meant I didn’t understand the enormity of the gift of Christ’s blood. What a hard evening I had when I didn’t even make it one day! It was terribly unrealistic to believe that my baptism cleansed my thought processes after 50 years of darkness. My point is, it’s got to be both, right? First her standing in Christ, and then some practical advice on… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Amen JL! I was 13 when I was baptized but I was never a sheltered young girl. But I was very blessed, my dutch uncles where well, very dutch. If I had received a letter like this, I may well have just bolted entirely. God has a way of giving us exactly what we need at just the right time, I suppose.

OKRickety
Member

That question is clearly answered when Wilson writes “Because you are a Christian woman, ….” Clearly she already belongs to Jesus Christ and there seems to be no doubt that she knows this and believes it. Based on this, it is quite reasonable that the next step would be to work on recovery from her abuse.For someone who has previously complained grievously about metaphorical comparisons of people to anything non-human, it is quite interesting that you would choose to refer to this girl as being “property”.

insanitybytes22
Member

I have no idea what you are referring to regarding my alleged grievous complaining about metaphorical comparisons.

Myself, I do like property analogies because they can lend a certain clarity to the relationship transactions that are occurring. When we are made in His image,when God holds the intellectual property rights to us, people have inherent worth and value to Him, so “property” actually distinguishes you from the more human perception of a mere commodity or a clump of cells. We are all property, the question really just being, who owns us?

OKRickety
Member

You stated on another blog, “I don’t care what the gender is, perceiving people as commodities is wrong.” In the context, you were objecting to the idea that a marriage role could be compared to a “job”. (I admit this is not exactly comparing a person to something non-human, but it’s quite close.)From my perspective, the earlier discussion used the idea of a “job” to clarify the relationship transactions that were occurring. I see little difference between property and commodity (and find your discussion of property to be incoherent), but apparently you do.

OKRickety
Member

“… one totally the result of your own inherent sin nature?”The post absolutely did not state or imply that her situation was in any way the result of her own inherent sin nature. Wilson specifically replied to you on this thread confirming that she was not at fault in any way.“He just cannot see the truth any more than you can.”Are you God? No. Yet you are claiming to be the arbiter of truth. You are even certain that you know what everyone else truly means. Such arrogance and pride!

OKRickety
Member

How dare you suggest that she is missing the intent of the post? It’s so much more convenient to insist on one’s own interpretation, allowing her to continue to contend that Wilson is serving the “narrative”. /sarc

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: This little girl’s trauma now reduced down to nothing more than a “manageable problem,” an easily contained and molded identity that must be kept boxed in all sides, least she create a problem of more, “unmanageable proportions.” Seldom sure what point ME is trying to make. Is she trying to say that Gabrielle’s problems are too big to manage? That doesn’t seem very helpful, or theological. By the way, Wilson never reduced Gabrielle’s actual trauma at all, so that charge completely fails. Rather Wilson encourages Gabrielle to be free of the hurt puppy victim lifestyle, for her own… Read more »

adad0
Member

I think Memi is constantly speaking to and agaist the mentality of Gabrielle’s father, which is out there, though not represented by our host.
Memi has a lot of empathy for other people’s traumas, as does our host.
Though our host is constantly speaking of being unburdened of our traumas, as the full benefit of the Blood of Christ!????

Katecho
Member

“A” dad wrote:

I think Memi is constantly speaking to and agaist the mentality of
Gabrielle’s father, which is out there, though not represented by our
host.

Whatever her intentions, ME is actually bearing false witness against Wilson.

Apart from that, ME seems to actually disagree with the central advice of not wearing victimhood as a badge.

adad0
Member

Memi, has a much stronger sense, than you and I do, of what it is like to be a victim. She substantially agrees with our host about ways to avoid being a permanent victim.
The difference is, that Memi’s heart has a different emphasis, which, while not the same as mine, I can’t say is all wrong.

Katecho
Member

“A” dad wrote:

The difference is, that Memi’s heart has a different emphasis, which, while not the same as mine, I can’t say is all wrong.

Bearing false witness against Wilson isn’t simply a matter of “different emphasis” though. I can say that bearing false witness is all wrong.

insanitybytes22
Member

I have no intention of bearing false witness against Wilson. In fact, considering the things I’ve already read about him, such an accusation is almost comical. I actually believe his intentions, theology, intelligence is sound and also quite entertaining at times.

To bear false witness would suggest there is some way I could make him even less appealing to his critics. In truth, I actually believe he has some valuable things to say and wish people would not be so quick to dismiss him.

adad0
Member

Hey Memi! No lack of Dutch Uncles around here huh?????

Jennie
Member

I’ve been curious all day. What is a Dutch Uncle? I had a (Pa.) Dutch father and uncle, but they didn’t have near as much scrapple as Pastor WIlson. (Dutch humor)

adad0
Member

“Dutch Uncle”:
A person giving firm but benevolent advice.

Jennie
Member

I gathered that! Why ‘Dutch’? Why not Greek?

adad0
Member

I think Dutch and German are both pretty guttural and gruff sounding languages.
And after that those folks, as a culture, are not known for mincing words.

Jennie
Member

Ja! Ich verstehe! Danke, “A” Vater!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That is a very good question. Several English expressions use the word “Dutch” pejoratively. Dutch courage, Dutch treat, Dutch auction, Dutch concert, Dutch defense, Dutch widow, Dutch rub, Dutch sandwich, Dutch gold, Dutch generosity. Maybe they originated in envy of Dutch success?

Jennie
Member

Wow! I’ve never heard any of those. I’m double blessed then, Dutch and Welsh! (My mother always insisted that the Welsh were the lost tribe of Israel. If she was correct I’m blessed x 3!) :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Self-identifying as a victim will attract every sociopath on campus. “Let me show you how beautiful and tender it can be.” “Let me help you overcome your deepest fears.” Then afterwards they will drop her cold because they don’t have any intention of dealing with a high maintenance girlfriend.

insanitybytes22
Member

This is well written, charming, and it speaks so well to my own soul in the here and now. The problem being if I were a victim hearing such things, I would promptly slam some doors and the very least, pick up my funny pink hat, and start protesting the horror of it all. You have just burdened this girl with all the sexual responsibility and none of the authority. She is now responsible not only for her own sexual feelings, but the sexual feelings of all men, while also needing to duck, weave, and bob the blatant orcs and… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“You have just burdened this girl with all the sexual responsibility and none of the authority.”No, he did not! She is, of course (although you seem to want to deny it), responsible for her sexual behavior, just as she is responsible for all of her other behavior. It is true that he did not address the fact that men are responsible for their own behavior, sexual or otherwise.Why would he address that? The letter is to her, not to a potential suitor. It is not essential to address everything potentially related to a given behavior.As to authority, he said she… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If I were warning young men, I would certainly advise them to be careful of sexually aggressive young women.

OKRickety
Member

From what I understand, that is common today. Unfortunately, many seem to think this is improbable, instead clinging to the idea of the sexual double standard, even though it has been almost obsolete for years. In fact, some prefer to blame the man entirely for all sexual sin, as if the woman had no choice. I am not sure how a man is blamed for lesbian activity, but it’s what I would expect.

Oscar Schneegans
Guest
Oscar Schneegans

It was common enough in Solomon’s day that he devoted several chapter’s of the Proverbs to the subject.

Katecho
Member

ME wrote: You have just burdened this girl with all the sexual responsibility and none of the authority. She is now responsible not only for her own sexual feelings, but the sexual feelings of all men, while also needing to duck, weave, and bob the blatant orcs and trolls. And her sole purpose in life, the very reason she exists in the first place is her sexuality, her potential usefulness to a man. What a truckload of nonsense and false witness. Wilson’s advice is not very different from advice that I was given, as a young man, when entering college.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Nor is it very different from the advice Polonius gave Laertes when he headed off to school:

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade…
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Jennie
Member

Yes, but look how his daughter turned out!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Poor Ophelia. Hamlet was very unkind to her, and I wish she had listened to Laertes!

Katecho
Member

Polonius’ lack of attention to his own wise advice creates a perfect irony.

insanitybytes22
Member

This is Gabrielle’s future,this is what she will face from so many in the Body of Christ.

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/22/christian-school-punishes-student-who-got-pregnant-and-rejected-abortion/

bethyada
Member

Doug, would you consider writing an article on this? Everyone is claiming “well at least she did not abort.” While this is true, I think the responses by Christians, while trying to show grace, lack addressing several other issues. I have been disappointed by the lack of discernment (by Christians, I don’t expect the media to get it right) in how these things should and can be addressed.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I have been following this story. My sympathies say, let her graduate with her class. I think it’s wonderful that she did not abort. But are we really supposed to regard this as heroic sanctity? A Christian school, unlike a public school, can make its own rules, and expecting students not to have sex doesn’t seem all that unreasonable. I knew a kid who was expelled from a Christian school for marijuana use, even though he turned himself in. So I feel conflicted about this. I would probably have removed her from student leadership but let her finish and graduate.… Read more »

Jane
Member

I think that’s about right.

OKRickety
Member

That seems reasonable without further information. However, was there a stated consequence if a student does not follow the pledge, and, if so, what was it? Additionally, did the school already have an existing policy concerning situations such as pregnancy, and, if so, what was it?

Jane
Member

This is where you need to ask, “Sure, that’s the stated policy, but was it a good one?”

IMO removing her from leadership positions is appropriate. I don’t think banning her from formal graduation should be.

I suppose she has no grounds of complaint given the stated policy, but that doesn’t answer every question. Maybe it would be better for the school to rescind the policy with respect to graduation and acknowledge it wasn’t a good one.

OKRickety
Member

Reviewing the policy should be done. As to her situation, it seems the student seems to have the right attitude and behavior. However, I wonder if there’s more to the story than the report states. I don’t expect we’ll ever know.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

“did the school already have an existing policy concerning situations such as pregnancy”

My school did and they enforced it on a girl my senior year (the only time I’m aware it happened). She still went to senior’s party, but didn’t come to graduation. I think they did the right thing by upholding their policy. And the girl had her baby and raised it.

adad0
Member

Well, at a minimum, stoning the couple is out!
We can’t find anybody without sin to cast the first stone.
And Hillary! You put that rock down this instant! ; – )

BJ
Guest
BJ

Here is my problem with this article.

“she discovered she was pregnant out of wedlock.”

She discovered squat. Unless she was raped, she allowed herself to be impregnated. Take responsibility. Females can sin, and we do a disservice to assume otherwise.

Also, to see not killing your baby as heroic and deserving of praise is silly. She received the just penalty for her actions. Why is that a problem?

Carson Spratt
Member

Calling a child a “penalty” is rather unbiblical. It’s the natural result, sure, but God calls children a blessing. Also, a steep learning curve. But “penalty” has all the wrong connotations. I ought to know: I was one of them.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t think BJ was referring to the child as the penalty. I think he meant the penalty was not being allowed to graduate with the class.

It’s horrible to think of a darling baby as a penalty! A toddler? Well…

BJ
Guest
BJ

You are correct Jillybean.

But, to your comment, I simply have no skills with infants. I will take toddlers all day. They can at least tell me they are hungry or that something hurts. My wife is a mind reader for the little, little babies, and I simply cannot figure out how she knows the problem.

She has basically handed off the young’uns to me when they turn two or so, so she can deliver the next one. It has been a great system.

BJ
Guest
BJ

Carson,

You have mis-read my comment. The penalty was not the child, but the not being able to graduate part.

I have three kids and one on the way, so if they are a penalty, I am in a world of trouble. Fortunately, they are my little expensive blessings.

demosthenes1d
Member

Also children can be a blessing or a curse. They aren’t automatic blessings. This girl’s child may well be a curse.

Prov. 10.1

1 Sam 2:12-36

It doesn’t do us any good to be all sentimental and say all children are a blessing.

BJ
Guest
BJ

I will take your point well enough, but raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is the decisive factor.

I am not a naturally sentimental person, but children, the fruit of the womb are blessings. What is not a blessing is a raising a foolish child.

demosthenes1d
Member

Absolutely. We should see it as analogous to other covenant blessings and curses. If we obey God in his instruction for raising our children we should rest on his promises and our children will (generally) be a blessing. If we abandon God’s instruction we should anticipate our children being a curse and our old heads going down to the grave in sadness. There is a lot of happy clappy stuff in parenting guidance and there are a lot of bitter parents. (I have many children – you have a lot of catching up to do – and they are all… Read more »

Carson Spratt
Member

Gotcha: sorry for the error.

Carson Spratt
Member

Sorry for the misread! My bad.

Jennie
Member

What a weird article. Why should she be applauded for not aborting her child? Of course she shouldn’t abort her child. That’s like saying, “I stole your car, but you should praise me for not mowing anyone down with it.” I may be in the minority, but I think that getting to apologize to the class and receiving their tears and forgiveness is a really wonderful grace. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences though. I’m also confused by her father’s behavior. Why would he quit his job as school board president in protest and not… Read more »

nathantuggy
Member

The problem seen here is that, once she realized her sex had resulted in pregnancy, there were two main choices before her. One was to do the right thing and keep the baby, resulting in massive social consequences from pro-life Christians. The other was to quietly abort the baby, resulting in no particular consequences at all. Of course, it is often true that those who try to do the right thing will suffer for it, and this is something a mature Christian will rejoice in. But surely Christians should not be eager to enforce that themselves. Punishing a believer for… Read more »

Jennie
Member

Thank you. That helps me understand that position somewhat, although I have many more questions just from your post like is there any other kind of Christian besides a pro-life one? This is unwise in a situation like the one our culture is in where many young Christian girls are seriously immature in the faith and have a lot of trouble facing up even to the unavoidable aspects of taking care of a baby instead of aborting it. I hope you will forgive me for being blunt, but isn’t this a lot like the rationalizations that were used on blacks… Read more »

nathantuggy
Member

(You can be a “non-pro-life Christian” the same way you can be an LGBT-supporting Christian, an evolutionist Christian, a worldly Christian, a Christian living in sin. That is, you believe and act wrongly for a Christian, inconsistent with the Gospel in some serious fashion. You are rightly condemned in those beliefs and actions by part of the Church but not all of it, and may or may not actually be saved, but very likely believe yourself to be.) There is a vast, vast difference between treating people of any and every age as though they were children because of their… Read more »

Jennie
Member

Thank you. Your first paragraph had some really interesting points, and you are right that my comparison was off the mark. If you are correct about the diminishing of spiritual maturity of modern children then was the school wrong to ask the children to take an oath in the first place? Certainly if the oath did not include the consequence of expulsion for failure to keep it, then it was a meaningless oath, in a practical sense anyway. My logic goes like this. I made an oath with the school to remain chaste. If I fail to keep that oath,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think they no longer see fornication as a serious sin, and for most kids with a grain of sense, fornication doesn’t lead to unwanted pregnancies. She was irresponsible as well as unchaste. There is very little in our culture to give kids the idea that sex before marriage is actually wrong. Looking back at my own youth, I can’t tell how much of my chaste behavior was based on horror of sin and how much was dire fear of consequences. Because having a baby out of wedlock meant the end of anyone’s dreams of college, careers, and fairy tale… Read more »

Jennie
Member

I agree about the oath. Do they have to take an oath not to kill someone? Obviously not. Therefore the message is that fornication is no worse than getting drunk or stoned. Chastity is just a preference in this case.

I guess if you can change your gender at will, then why not your virgin status?

My Portion Forever
Member

I don’t know if we know how genuinely penitent she was or not. All we know is that she wanted to apologize herself (good), and still wanted to have all the benefits of the school (understandable, since she is an apparently hard worker and good student… in that sense she has earned it). It may have shown more repentance to accept the loss of graduation, but that might be a case of the punishment not fitting the crime. Also, I believe I benefitted in my will-power against pre-marital sex by having made a similar promise to my parents as a… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

But you can and should level less serious consequences. Perhaps suspension instead of expulsion. For that matter, I’m not entirely sure why “you got pregnant, so you can’t be in this school any more” even makes sense as penance. Nathan, read the article, at least for the facts of the case (in every other respect, it’s all sorts of wrong). First off, “when the school discovered Runkles was pregnant, they stripped her of her role as student council president and insisted that she finish the rest of her classes at home.” That’s not expulsion, nor even suspension; that’s merely a… Read more »

Jane
Member

“Second, the school would still be right in imposing consequences because it wasn’t the pregnancy that got her into trouble (like the article seems to imply), it was the premarital intercourse. The only thing the pregnancy did was force her to admit she reneged on the pledge.” The problem with this argument is that unless you have a high degree of confidence that no other students are breaking this pledge, the school is setting up the condition that breaking the pledge is not punishable, only pregnancy is. If there’s a record of expelling every other kid who’s ever confessed to… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Doesn’t matter; other than the One Exception, immaculate conceptions simply don’t occur. If the pregnancy were the result of rape (which is very rare), then all the arguments put forth in the article would have some validity and the school would do well to make an exception for the girl. However, that’s not the case here. Lots of people exceed the speed limit and get away with it, but just because there’s no record of every instance of speeding in this country doesn’t mean the cop is on shaky ground for issuing tickets to the people he does catch. The… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Dunsworth wrote: The problem with this argument is that unless you have a high degree of confidence that no other students are breaking this pledge, the school is setting up the condition that breaking the pledge is not punishable, only pregnancy is. This is a separate, pragmatic or strategic concern though. Some arguments may be structurally disadvantageous to make, but that doesn’t affect the truth of them. In other words, if it is truly the case that they were addressing the sexual immorality, and not the pregnancy itself, then it is not morally relevant whether the visible pregnancy is what… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Whether a school is generally successful at patrolling its pupil’s social lives or not is distinct from the question of how the administration is to respond to undeniable evidence of wrongdoing right in front of them. It may be that some of the students are drinking and partying on weekends, and only the unfortunate fellow who manages to throw up on the principal’s car gets suspended. Well, there may be arguments for and against a school snooping into the lives of students and their families; it is perhaps debatable how nearly the Student Morals Committee should approximate the methods of… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Are you or Jill able to clarify that her not graduating with her class means that she doesn’t attend the ceremony or that she does not get her classes credited?

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Interesting… Should consequences lead to more consequences? Well this seems natural and “unfair” at the same time. What do you think?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

This is a real mess that we’ve got ourselves into, and I don’t know the way out. Because we don’t want girls to get abortions, we’ve come to see them as poor kids who need massive amounts of love and support to get them through pregnancy and childbirth. This is all well and good, but it has become almost impossible to say, “You shouldn’t be in this predicament because you shouldn’t have had sex.” Anyone who says that now is seen as shaming the girl and forcing her into choosing an abortion. In fact, people will be angry with you… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Anyone who says that now is seen as shaming the girl and forcing her into choosing an abortion. The possibility of experiencing shame is a powerful motivator to not do something. Chances are, if this girl knew she would experience shame for having sex out of wedlock, she wouldn’t have opened her legs in the first place. The possibility of something being illegal with severe consequences is also a good motivator to not do something. Chances are, if abortion were illegal with the possibility of her going to jail for getting one, she wouldn’t be “forced” into choosing one. EDIT:… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

That analysis seems relatively similar to the treatment of women, especially those with children, who have chosen to divorce their husbands for non-Biblical reasons.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I felt more sympathetic before I started reading about this all over the Internet. I don’t understand why her parents have urged her to go public with this–talking to the New York Times, for goodness sake. It doesn’t suggest to me that the family or the girl really thinks she has done something wrong. The principal wrote a statement on the school website saying that she is not being disciplined for being pregnant but for immorality. She is actually a very lucky girl. Her parents are completely supportive. They are reasonably well off. She will still be going to college… Read more »

Jennie
Member

I feel fortunate that I hadn’t heard it before!

The only good thing I can see in this is that the child won’t have a stigma attached to it. That is a blessing.

Katecho
Member

JL wrote: It’s threads like this that make me think katecho is right and this nation is doomed. Well, our doom isn’t a foregone conclusion. I do say that we are past ripe for catastrophic judgment, and we seem to be piling even more judgment on ourselves through our cultural refusal to repent. The trends are going the wrong direction. But we have the record of Ninevah. Ninevah repented at the last minute, and God showed mercy. So it is possible. Our nation will be humbled one way or another. That can happen through a destructive humiliation, or a repentant… Read more »

Jennie
Member

katecho, amen! I’ve been trying lately to pay better attention to where the majority of the church is right now. It isn’t uplifting. I can look back at the history of the last couple centuries and say, “We made a mistake here, and this started or added to the decline.” That’s all well and good, but how can we stop the slide in our time? It seems that once a nation starts down a slippery slope it’s nearly impossible to stop the slide. Ninevah, perhaps, was a special case and not a prototype of our situation. Kings II might be… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

The problem seen here is that, once she realized her sex had resulted in pregnancy, there were two main choices before her. One was to do the right thing and keep the baby, resulting in massive social consequences from pro-life Christians. The other was to quietly abort the baby, resulting in no particular consequences at all.

There’s a third option: put the baby up for adoption, which would be the right thing to do, more so than keeping the baby. I don’t understand why nobody ever brought it up.

nathantuggy
Member

And would that have changed the school’s response any? If so, great, awesome, adoption is wonderful.

If not, it’s just a special case of “don’t murder your baby to cover your sin”.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I agree with the sentiment “don’t murder your baby to cover your sin.” So would you argue that because it is such a great temptation, there should be no consequences for this girl pour encourager les autres?

nathantuggy
Member

I already specifically denied that I was arguing for any such total lack of consequence.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Sorry, I dropped in and missed that comment. No offense intended.

fp
Guest
fp

I wasn’t addressing the school’s response; I was addressing the “two main choices” false dilemma you presented. All I said is that there is a third choice which nobody is talking about, which would go a long way in shining a light on the girl’s immoral attitude. And yes, adoption is better for the baby than her raising the baby, because the baby at least would have a chance at a two-parent, mother and father home, which would increase the likelihood of that child doing better in life, no matter the school’s response. If this girl were to consider adoption,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

One of the articles I read said that Maddi has been accepted at Bob Jones University for the fall. I don’t know anything about whether this acceptance is still current in light of her having a baby in the fall. But–and I could be mistaken–anything I have read about dorm life at BJU doesn’t suggest that she could bring the baby to school with her. I have personally seen real heartbreak where a girl’s parents undertake to raise the child as their own. If they care for the child while Maddi goes to school, it’s pretty tough on both them… Read more »

nathantuggy
Member

If you’re not addressing the school’s response, why are you even in this thread at all? The stated dilemma is not a false one, as one of the choices simply folds together all the alternatives to the other choice, and — from the point of view of the school’s response — all those alternatives to abortion seem extremely likely to be identical in effect. So, from the school’s perspective, she had two choices: save or kill. From this perspective, general adoption, family-member adoption, keeping the baby and raising as a single parent, etc would all give the school the unmistakeable… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Nathan Tuggy wrote: Kill your baby? Eh, we can’t tell, so you get off scot-free. Keep your baby? We’ll make you publicly confess and leave school. Give your baby up? We’ll, what, ruin your school record so you have to re-take high school? There is an online video interview of the principle, Dave Hobbs, explaining the situation. The issue for Heritage Academy was the sexual immorality. How they came to find out about it was never said, but there are many other ways besides a baby bump. The principle explains that all parties are pro-life, and that pregnancy wasn’t the… Read more »

nathantuggy
Member

I would appreciate a link to that interview (or better yet, a transcript) for better sourcing. And, of course, no one has said that it’s the pregnancy that actually caused the discipline. But it’s the proximate cause, the thing the school is reacting to. Part of that is, of course, the unfortunate difficulty I’ve already alluded to in finding out about sin if it’s covered up by abortion. But the problem is that justice that only works if the criminal turns themselves in or is amazingly stupid is not justice: it will mostly punish those with reason to deserve lesser… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“So there needs to be a solution to this.”How would one go about making certain that there is fair treatment for everyone for every law? That is, ensure that all criminals were always caught and always penalized justly?I don’t think this is possible. However, this does not justify not penalizing those who are guilty and caught. The possibility of being caught and penalized should at least deter most from offending. I suppose one can define crime without a punishment, but that seems illogical.The law should be enforced or it is pointless.

nathantuggy
Member

Perhaps I should rephrase: there needs to be some systemic approach to ensure that a rule can be realistically enforced by some means other than simply punishing anyone foolish enough to admit to having violated it. If the vast majority of those punished are those who were only caught because they repented, this is not a just rule. This systemic approach doesn’t need to be perfect; that would be silly. But it does need to essentially work, instead of being completely non-existent. Consider the very similar case of the proposed NC bathroom law of some time ago, which would for… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Nathan Tuggy wrote: And, of course, no one has said that it’s the pregnancy that actually caused the discipline. Actually, I understand that Maddi Runkles, herself, has made this accusation directly. She has charged that the administration barred her from the graduation ceremony simply because her pregnancy shows. This is key to the linking of her “mission” with the pro-life cause. If she granted that her discipline was because of her sexual immorality, she would not get the sympathy she is getting. Nathan Tuggy wrote: But it’s the proximate cause, the thing the school is reacting to. Not according to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Yikes. Apparently Maddi Runkles said: “My main mission through all this is that Christians claim to be pro-life, but when a girl chooses to keep her baby they still don’t want anything to do with it. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of being pro-life, and says to girls, ‘Maybe you should have gotten the abortion because we could forgive you for that.’” This isn’t a contrite heart. This comes across as a “mission” of accusation against Christians for not doing enough to support her. It’s almost as if she wanted a blue ribbon for not aborting her child,… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Or maybe she shouldn’t have broken her pledge in the first place. She made a large, costly mistake, and is imposing the burden on her family and on others. The fact that Students for Life thinks she deserves a scholarship and baby gifts as a reward for her misbehavior by begging outsiders for money is yet more proof that the priorities of the people in this girl’s camp are out-of-whack.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

What’s worse, it seems to be working. Most of the press coverage, and the public comments, have embraced the narrative of Maddi Runkles having been treated like Hester Prynne. Even conservative Christian sites are falling into lockstep on this one. I ended up feeling very sorry for the school, which has posted a statement from the principal on its website. I am sure they will be flooded with hate mail.

Katecho
Member

Indeed. Whether deliberate or not, the entire school is now paying the price for Maddi’s “mission”.

Katecho
Member

For further background, the principle of Heritage Academy, Dave Hobbs, provided a statement indicating that administration had met with the Runkles family three times, and each time they compromised on disciplinary measures. At the final meeting the Runkles family agreed that the result would be binding, but apparently they later chose to go to outside groups to continue to pursue their cause against the school.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Maddi, the girl in the story you cite, is getting lots and lots of sympathetic attention and support from soft-headed Christians all over the country. As we speak, people are rounding up scholarship money, cash gifts, baby clothes, and toys to give to this poor little waif who so bravely decided not to kill her unborn child. The school is being blasted on all sides, while Maddi and her father are the heroes of the hour. If this is what Gabrielle faces in a similar situation, it’s not so bad. I know a lot of really deserving young women who… Read more »

soylentg
Member

Keeping in mind that we seem to be getting only one side of the story, it would seem that the only thing that the school may have erred in, is if the father of the child is also a student and he did not receive the same discipline. Of course we (or at least most of us) have no reason to think the school ignored that aspect; Perhaps the father was not a student. The absolute misdirection (lying) displayed by nearly every “headline” one finds in a quick search is amazing. Example: “… expelled from a private Christian school in… Read more »

adad0
Member

‘wonder if shot gun weddings will come back in style?????

wtrsims
Member

“I decided I wanted to confess what I did and ask for forgiveness from my school, but the other kids who had broken other rules – even when they were caught – they still lied about what they had done,” Runkles said. “It just seems unfair. I tried to make it right, but was still shot down. Ah, this must be the broken and contrite heart that David spoke of in the 51st Psalm! The school could have used Maddi’s story as an example of how to do the right thing and support a pregnant student. But they didn’t. The… Read more »

lndighost
Member

Socialise in a group. If you are trying to gauge the character of a young man of interest, you will be much better equipped to do so in a group setting where he may not be on his ‘best behaviour’ trying to impress you as he would be on a date. Observe how he treats his friends, the stranger whose drink he accidentally knocks over, the waitstaff, children. For bonus points, see how he treats animals. Most candidates will lose interest as soon as they believe you really mean it about no premarital sex. Quite apart from being God’s requirement,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, yes, yes! See how he talks about his mom and his sisters. Notice if he calls girls ho’s. If you go to parties with a group of girlfriends, take care of each other and don’t leave anyone behind. Don’t go on a car date with a total stranger! My daughter can rattle this off by heart!

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Here is a random question for you. When you first began commenting here, did you do so under the name Jill and frequently speak with a woman named Carole?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, indeed! I miss Carole, and often think about her.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

She hasn’t commented in a while…

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I know. She was also a teacher and from California, so I liked talking to her.

BJ
Guest
BJ

Us teachers must stick together! ????

OKRickety
Member

With that grammar, the English teachers might prefer to remain separate. :)

BJ
Guest
BJ

Actually, I am an English teacher, so there is that.

But I am also an Appalachian American with deep roots in Kentucky, so bad grammar is just part of the package deal.

adad0
Member

No it ain’t!????

BJ
Guest
BJ

Grammar are good.

OKRickety
Member

Does “Appalachian American” have the same status as other groups of Americans? That is, do you get preferential treatment from some, or, for that matter, hostility and mistreatment from others?

BJ
Guest
BJ

No, we clearly do not have the same status. I use the term as a joke, making fun of identity politics. But we are passionately hated by White liberals, wealthy Republicans, and metrosexuals. Honestly, though, we really don’t care, which is what we are really known for. This is evidenced most clearly by our choice of broken down cars as yard decorations and having RVs bigger than our mobile homes.

OKRickety
Member

There are certainly other places and groups that have similar visible “status symbols”. I won’t name them so I can remain “politically correct”.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I wonder why that is, BJ. I remember that back in the 1960s liberals had a lot of sympathy and concern for the poverty in Appalachia. I watched a Diane Sawyer documentary about life in the hills, and it seems as if there is a degree of poverty that you wouldn’t find in other places. I was reflecting that even in the inner cities there are clinics and schools and 99 cent stores everywhere, but in the program I watched there seemed to be a lack of infrastructure. If liberals ridicule some Appalachians for being poor, that is probably the… Read more »

BJ
Guest
BJ

There are any number of reasons, I think. Part of it is self-imposed. We come from the hills of Scotland and Ireland, and choose to live in the mountains. We have some pretty high distrust of outsiders (however you might define that), and some of that is justified and some of it isn’t. But, the effect is that folk tend to think we are weird. The other part is that we don’t fit the SJW narrative of poor victim. We are white, Northern European and we don’t tend to marry across racial lines, so the identity politics don’t play well.… Read more »

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Yes. Cletus the slackjawed yokel is a stock figure.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Them’s my people.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.

lndighost
Member

If he calls anyone a ho, take him back to the swamp and put him back under the rock.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

What if this honorable man is referencing an actual “ho”?

Jane
Member

Assuming he actually has occasion to speak of prostitutes, I can’t think of a context in which it would be a good sign for the honorable man to be using street slang to make the reference. However, I’m sure jilly was speaking of a more general tendency to talk about women that way.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

I enjoy the pejorative connotations of a word like “ho”, “faggot”, “snowflake”, etc. If we get all Victorian on this shiz we might start calling sodomites “gay”.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I use snowflake appreciatively. Snowflakes are beautiful, fragile, and unique. Put them together and you get an avalanche.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

And many people “identify” as snowflakes but may not be as beautiful and unique as they think…

Jane
Member

It’s not actually “Victorian” to be respectful of women about whom you know nothing, in your use of language. It’s Christian.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

I certainly wouldn’t advocate for a slur when you know nothing about the person, who said that?

Jane
Member

Because I said that I believed that jilly was referring to the practice of generally referring to women as ho’s, and you responded to that comment.

BTW, my objection to ho’ is not that it’s pejorative — there’s no non-pejorative way to accurately refer to prostitutes if it’s their prostitution that’s in view. It’s that it’s crude and it promotes the foolish idea that it’s okay (and perhaps, in light of your comments, virtuous) to speak coarsely of sin. You might be able to give me great arguments why that idea isn’t foolish, but that’s not what scripture teaches.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

I don’t refer to specific people as a ho, fag, or otherwise in person, but we need to maintain a general sense disdain towards the slide of cultural toward euphemism. We probably agree mostly. I’m ok with saying “Don’t be a fag” to a male buddy who is is acting like a puss. We should be shaming the culture of sexual sin while loving individuals. There is lots of name calling in the Bible. And you are kinda wrong about this: “there’s no non-pejorative way to accurately refer to prostitutes if it’s their prostitution that’s in view.” How about “Working… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The one that gets on my nerves is “sex workers.”

Jane
Member

Call girl is pretty pejorative, because it specifically describes a wicked profession. If calling something for what it is, and what it is, is wicked, that’s pejorative, at least to people with moral sense. And “working mother” doesn’t even mean prostitute. It could mean waitress, secretary, or teacher.

I’m not in favor of euphemisms, but there’s a middle ground between euphemisms, and coarse talk, which we’re specifically forbidden to engage in. (Are you concerned with that, or not?) Accurate, non-prurient language works quite well.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

I’ve engaged in plenty of coarse jesting and it has been sinful and I don’t want to anymore. Dirty jokes and the like are no good. Mean names towards individuals in order to hurt them is wrong. At the same time I want the slang to be there as s cultural reference point in my community. I want it to sting if my daughter is called a ho, or my son is called a fag. If it’s true it’s even worse.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Since it’s just a street pronunciation of “whore,” a term used often in the Bible, there could be appropriate contexts. Using it to refer to women in general certainly isn’t one (thank gangsta rap for that one). However, someone ministering to young men on the street could give them an OT prophet-like warning about gangs, drugs and ho’s (the actual kind). That wouldn’t bother me.

Jane
Member

If you use the street language because you’re communicating with people use understand street language, wouldn’t you run the risk of having them think you’re using it the street language way — i.e., all women of the class you might desire? So i still can’t think of a context in which it’s appropriate to use that term rather than a more accurate one that is less susceptible to a misogynistic connotation (i.e., desirable women are there for my enjoyment and I can use a slanderous term for them and it doesn’t matter.) Maybe you could treat the guys on the… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Perhaps, unless you clarified what you meant by the term. Maybe something like “Stay away from that ho on the street who will trade her disease for your money.” It’s clear you’re not talking about all women.

I’m not a big fan of using street language or shock value to communicate with troubled youth or young men in general. But I won’t say there’s “never” a time the term can’t be used appropriately (wow, was that a triple negative?).

Jane
Member

It might be clear that you’re speaking of that woman in that instance, but it may not be clear to the street kid that you’re calling her a ho’ because of her profession, rather than because it’s cool to call all young women that, just like his homies do.

So if there’s a time when that’s the best possible choice of word in the context, I won’t necessarily object, I just can’t imagine when that would be.

OKRickety
Member

Ho is street talk for whore — For some reason I hadn’t made that connection. Thanks for educating me!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

He should call her a fallen woman. A lost girl. A waif of the streets. A loose woman. A woman of easy virtue. A round-heels. A lady of the evening. An unrepentant Magdalen.

Any of these would be a welcome novelty.

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Lady of negotiable affections?

wtrsims
Member

Lady with financial considerations (or “obligations”)

OKRickety
Member

Why not use the descriptions found in the Bible? Adulteress, harlot, fornicator, whore. Not euphemistic enough?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If she earns her living by it, okay! If she has merely fallen one or two times, a little severe.

OKRickety
Member

In that case, slut or floozy would be a better. As to the number of times, I’m not sure where the line is. But I have heard that one definition of slut is someone who has had sex at least one more time than the speaker.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

It doesn’t matter if it’s 1,000 times…that’s slut-shaming and the SJWs will not tolerate it!

OKRickety
Member

But isn’t intolerance wrong? :)Just wondering, as to slut-shaming, is there an equivalent word to slut for men, and, more importantly, would they be okay with “slut-shaming” men?

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Dats the Heebew and Greeks.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“See how he talks on the internet” is looking like a pretty good one too.

bethyada
Member

I have found that in arguments with gravity, I always lose.

If you are going to collect these articles into a book (which I hope) can I suggest a modification here. I read “gravity” meaning “weighty”: I have found that in weighty arguments…

Rewrite: I have found that in arguing against gravity, I always lose.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I see what you mean but read it as intended first go, for what it’s worth.

My Portion Forever
Member

I’m with you! I first heard that term used that way in the Chronicles of Narnia, A Horse and His Boy. The King of Archenland was telling his young son, Corin, that as future king he must behave with more gravity. I thought Corin’s joke was pretty good, though.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So when a guy comes around (and it is when, not if), and he is the kind of guy you would consider as a husband, I would suggest that you involve your uncle and aunt in it.

I wish we’d talk more seriously about the “don’t marry” option in the church. While we don’t have to ascribe a gigantic degree of importance to 1 Corinthians 7, especially 7:8 and 7:25-40, paying some degree of attention to them is better than paying them no attention at all.

OKRickety
Member

While singlehood is certainly a valid option and, unfortunately, seldom mentioned much less taught, the reality is that most Christians will marry or greatly desire to marry. Therefore, it is not surprising that Wilson would treat this as a given. It’s also possible, but I do not know this, that he considers marriage to be a far better option than singlehood, perhaps even considering marriage to be commanded.

Jane
Member

Even if she decides on the “don’t marry” option, Wilson’s advice still holds, because the guy will still come around who will pique her interest, unless she is very, very, very unusual.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I believe there is a vocation to the celibate life. But, people do better in groups and families than they do living isolated lives.

I quite like the idea of temporary religious vocations, where a girl might commit to living and working with the Franciscans for a couple of years after college.

wtrsims
Member

I agree — even as a protestant.

It seems that singleness for women has been spun as an inherently feminist idea, and I’ve come to question that.

Certainly, the vast majority of people are geared towards getting married, and they should, but I think it could be possible that a particular woman is inclined towards singleness and service and it not be the result of having been infected by feminism.

Of course, I think she should be directed towards some form of service in and to the Church rather than towards a life of competing with men in the job market.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Oh, I’m not a fan of isolated lives at all. I’m not even a fan of nuclear families in isolation – that’s a very weird and unhealthy historical situation we’ve created. I am a huge proponent of intentional Christian communities of families and singles both.

valerieab
Member

Doug talks about this issue a bit here. Paul is addressing Christians in a specific historical context, which is not the one we find ourselves in.

bethyada
Member

I agree. I have thought about this a bit. Given that Paul specifically says that due to current problems, and elsewhere tells widows to marry, I suspect that this caveat in Corinthians is just situational.

OKRickety
Member

It’s my opinion that the situation today, although not the same as Paul’s, also makes remaining single to be an excellent choice (as long as one abstains from sexual sin).Starting from Paul telling widows to marry, one could argue that Christian young people should marry at a young age to avoid succumbing to the temptation of their sensual desires.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It certainly imposes quite a burden on young people when they start dating at 16 but don’t marry until 27! When you add living on their own to the mix, it’s a wonder that so many do succeed in remaining chaste.

OKRickety
Member

I don’t know how you define “so many” because, based on the statistics I’ve read and additional anecdotal evidence, I think the percentage of never-married virgins at 27 is quite low (less than 20%?).

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think Doug’s interpretation is quite a bit off: It is one thing to be told that if you don’t deny Christ you will be thrown to the lions. It is another to be told that if you don’t deny Christ you, your wife, and three little children will be thrown to the lions. But this emergency situation was just a temporary one; the “time is short” (v. 29). The Corinthians that Paul was writing to weren’t having their wives and children thrown to the lions – that’s either a bad anachronism or inappropriate manipulation. And if that had been… Read more »

D
Guest
D

Very good, thanks. Pastors have seen all sorts of problems with long-term singleness, and they know that there are very few young people (men especially) who won’t “burn with lust.” However, the correct response isn’t to explain away Paul’s instruction.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Singleness is the only option for people whose sacramental marriage has ended in divorce. I wish there were communities that offered such people support.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You mean like a church?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It would be very nice if a church were to offer some kind of supportive ministry to such people. I don’t mean simply reminding them every so often that it would be mortally sinful for them to date. Separated and divorced women, even those divorced against their will, can have a very difficult time in church. In my experience, people either treat them as if divorce is contagious or treat them as sinful women out to steal other people’s husbands. And practical support, such as is given to widows, is not given to the deserted. In my experience. However, they… Read more »

lndighost
Member

I’m very sorry that that has been your experience. Your church has been at fault. Every church I know would have handled the situation with a great deal more charity, or at least with more practical help. The women at my church will set up a meal roster at the slightest provocation.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That is nice! I survived, and luckily I had wonderful friends outside church. My husband’s family and my own were also very good to me.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Are you lamenting the absence of divorcee-specific ministries, or merely a general lack of fellowship? If the latter, I am sorry that your local church is so disengaged!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think either would be nice. My local church, the one I am supposed to attend, has far too many people being served by two over-extended priests. I was more disappointed in the church I was attending at the time as it was a small congregation which could have provided a little support, even if only moral and spiritual. I don’t think Catholics generally look to their church for fellowship the same way that Protestants do. There is a lot of emphasis on toughing it out alone, and looking back, I’m kind of glad I did because I learned that… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I would think there would be at least one person in “far too many people” who would be willing to take the initiative to start such a group. I presume you are not that person. I would think the priests (or other leaders) would know of such interest and could, at least, facilitate the beginning of such a group.

bethyada
Member

In my experience, people either treat them as if divorce is contagious or treat them as sinful women out to steal other people’s husbands. And practical support, such as is given to widows, is not given to the deserted. In my experience.

While not my experience I have heard that this is so. It is appalling that the innocent are condemned.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Seriously, I have contemplated having a pretty button made that says, I DID NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Even religious human nature is far from pretty!

bethyada
Member

But your ex-husband did; or at least has done so now. This means that your divorce is valid (or you can get a valid divorce) even with a very conservative interpretation of Jesus.

You are therefore free from him and free to marry.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Catholics aren’t allowed to remarry without an annulment. Just because one partner breaks the vows doesn’t change the fact that, in God’s eyes, you’re married until one of you dies. I could probably get an annulment fairly easily, but I don’t think that’s right. But it’s going to be a moral dilemma. He says I am his best friend. He is getting remarried in the summer, and once he does that, can I still be his best friend? In the eyes of the church, he will be still be married to me, but in the eyes of the law, he… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Then the church is keeping you under bondage. It is clear that a valid divorce allows one to remarry. And there is no argument that infidelity is a valid reason for divorce.

valerieab
Member

Jilly, if he’s unrepentantly broken his marriage vows, whatever else he might be to you, he is certainly not your friend. And you are no friend to him if you enable him to continue playing both sides—best buddy and betrayer. Quit scratching your head, and cut off any semblance of intimacy with him. You no longer owe him your heart any more than you owe him your body.

OKRickety
Member

“In my experience, people either treat them as if divorce is contagious or treat them as sinful women out to steal other people’s husbands.”If your experience is typical (and I suspect it is), I think it strange that women initiate more than half of all divorces, and are often encouraged by other women. It seems they believe in “fairy tale divorce” where everyone, especially themselves, will live happily ever after.

OKRickety
Member

I presume you realize that most Protestant groups would give the so-called “innocent party” the freedom to marry again. The more liberal would extend that freedom to all divorced people.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

But, of all possible reasons for abandoning my Catholic faith, doing it to be allowed to date strikes me as pretty feeble!

OKRickety
Member

Do you believe dating is only acceptable if marriage is a possibility?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Generally, yes. I would not rule out companionship, like going to the opera with a gentleman who is also not looking for a romantic relationship. But I wouldn’t consider that dating either.

wtrsims
Member

Depends on the date, thickness of wallet, and where he takes you, no?

Surely, if you were to ever get special dispensation, Francis would be the Pope to try it with.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I would probably have a fairly easy time getting an annulment. I can’t speak for how I might feel in the future, but it strikes me as a bit dishonest. I certainly believed I was contracting a valid marriage.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I should add that dear Pope Francis doesn’t handle things like dispensations and annulments (unless you are a priest). All that is handled by your local bishop and by a marriage tribunal presided over by canon lawyers.

bethyada
Member

Marriage isn’t a sacrament.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Is so. One of the seven, along with holy orders, communion, baptism, confirmation, penance, and extreme unction. It was established by our Lord at the wedding feast at Cana.

bethyada
Member

Exactly where in the text did he do this?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Gee, I thought you had conceded game, set, and match after the first volleys! By choosing the wedding feast at Cana as the occasion of His first miracle, our Lord elevated marriage to sacramental level, making it a source of supernatural grace. Most of the sacraments don’t have specific scriptural texts. Even baptism and holy communion are not called sacraments in scripture. But, in the Catholic Douay Bible, St. Paul refers to marriage as a sacrament in Ephesians 5:22. The Catholic Encyclopedia points out that the early church fathers saw Christian marriage as sacramental. Was this view essentially unchallenged before… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“Even baptism and holy communion are not called sacraments in scripture.”

True. Baptists don’t call baptism or communion sacraments either. It’s not a term they use.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Perhaps the crux of the issue is that the Roman definition of “sacrament” differs from the Reformed one.

bethyada
Member

Sacramentum means mystery (or oath). Which is fine if you speak Latin but not fine if you take over a theological meaning into the English transliteration. Better to use the word “mystery” or “secret” (it means something hidden that is now revealed).

If marriage is a sacarment it is that from creation not since Cana. I don’t see how first miracle makes something a sacrament. You might have to lead me through the logic of that.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I would if I knew it myself. I ransacked my usual sources of information, and learned that while eons of Catholic children learned about the wedding feast at Cana, most modern Catholic theologians don’t think that the miracle made it a sacrament. I do know, however (having been poring over a canon law website), that marriage is unique among the sacraments in that it is conferred by husband and wife on each other, and is not conferred by the priest. He simply blesses it. (Baptism can also be validly performed by a non-priest. The baptizer doesn’t even have to be… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I think Doug’s interpretation is quite a bit off: I’m shocked, I say. Shocked. Jonathan wrote: The Corinthians that Paul was writing to weren’t having their wives and children thrown to the lions – that’s either a bad anachronism or inappropriate manipulation. Wow, see Jonathan impute ill motives to Wilson. Anyway, the epistle to the Corinthians was very likely written only about a decade before Nero was tossing Christians to wild animals. So even if Jonathan wants to suppose, for some bizarre reason, that lions were the only threat that Paul had in mind, the warning would have… Read more »

bethyada
Member

It is not just Wilson, many commentators take Paul’s comment to be situational. Instone-Brewer who has a different take to Wilson on what divorce and separation mean in Paul’s writing, and is egalitarian, thinks that this command is temporal.

I am not sure the distress was lions (though it is not clear that Wilson is saying Corinth was lions; or that lions would be an example of a distress that earlier Christians faced). There is evidence of famine in Corinth about that time which would make the vows of marriage harder to fulfill.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The other catastrophe lurking in the background of all the Epistles is the sack of Jerusalem, though I suppose one might argue that this isn’t so dire a concern for those in Corinth.

bethyada
Member

Sack of Jerusalem was ~66 AD. Letter to Corinth probably ~55 AD. I hold to an early authorship of other epistles as well.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It is not just Wilson, many commentators take Paul’s comment to be situational. Instone-Brewer who has a different take to Wilson on what divorce and separation mean in Paul’s writing, and is egalitarian, thinks that this command is temporal. Yes, the anti-singleness issue is widespread in our culture. That’s why my original statement was, “I wish we’d talk more seriously about the “don’t marry” option in the church.” I only spoke specifically to Pastor Wilson’s poor attempt to justify the exclusion of almost a whole chapter of Paul’s words when Valerie linked his interpretation. Do you have a link to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Is the insistence on marriage and having children perhaps a part of Reformed theology? It is alien to my spiritual tradition which has only recently seen marriage as having as much value to God as vowed celibacy.

valerieab
Member

There is not an insistence, but there is certainly an emphasis, at least in our circles. Marriage is the norm; celibacy is in some few cases a special gifting and in other cases a hard providence.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: Is the insistence on marriage and having children perhaps a part of Reformed theology? The idea of “anti-singleness” is apparently a maggot in Jonathan’s own mind. An encouraging support of marriage and children is hardly anti-single, let alone exclusive to Reformed theology, but if there is any sense of “insistence” on marriage, it would find its root all the way back in God’s very first command to multiply and fill the earth. How’s that for insistence? On the other hand, Wilson freely acknowledges that Paul had a gift of lifelong celibacy, and acknowledges (along with Paul), that it… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“… God’s very first command to multiply and fill the earth.”What does it mean to “fill the earth”? Is it possible that this point has been reached and thus this command is no longer needed?“In the conservative church, it would not be unusual to find this cohort of women outnumbering the men in the same station of life by a factor of about 5 to 1.”Perhaps this is true, but I don’t see it in my area, nor have I ever seen it anywhere in my lifetime. Note: I hope he is not including women who have chosen to divorce… Read more »

Katecho
Member

OKRickety wrote: Perhaps this is true, but I don’t see it in my area, nor have I ever seen it anywhere in my lifetime. I can personally attest to an unusual number of faithful and beautiful women (not divorcees) who would love to be married, would be an objective blessing as a helpmate, who are ready in terms of maturity, and who have been living very patient and celibate lives, praying for contentment. OKRickety is closer to such women than he may realize. I also know several young men who would love to be married and are working on their… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I note that you refer to your current place as an “unusual” number, which suggests that you do not consider it to be the norm. I would be happy to be the first to deny the validity of Wilson’s claimed ratio, but I am not certain. I cannot find much evidence online to support high ratios (e.g. 5:1) although the Latter Day Saints do claim this in regular attenders. As far as pastors’ claims about it, I am dubious. I really believe they are often ignorant about reality. And, for what it’s worth, my experience is in fairly conservative congregations.… Read more »

valerieab
Member

Doug said it would not be unusual to find the ratio that high, which is not the same as saying it’s that high across the board, so anecdotal evidence would suffice. I’d guess that the numbers at Christ Church are pretty close to that.

Katecho
Member

OKRickety wrote: I note that you refer to your current place as an “unusual” number, which suggests that you do not consider it to be the norm. Correct. I don’t consider that this lopsided reality should be normative or usual in God’s family. I agree with Wilson that the situation ought to be pastorally addressed, and culturally addressed. OKRickety wrote: As far as pastors’ claims about it, I am dubious. … Do you have evidence other than anecdotal or pastors’ claims? If OKRickety is simply questioning whether a specific 5:1 ratio exists in any conservative churches, he is welcome to… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I have no doubt that specific congregations have 5:1 or even higher ratios. As to overall numbers, I simply have difficulty thinking the average ratio would be as high as even 2:1 because it doesn’t fit with my own perception of the US (from what I have heard about European countries, it is greatly different from fly-over USA). You are suggesting that a woman’s college degree may actually lessen her marriageability in general. I think that is true, but I question it is due to intimidation. For me, I would be more impressed by her abilities outside of her educational… Read more »

valerieab
Member

OKR, you are setting up a false dilemma. Being a hard-working, competent person who applies herself diligently to the tasks before her is just the sort of quality that will make a woman a good wife. It is an asset to that possible future calling, not a detriment.

OKRickety
Member

These women were described as “currently professional (not by first choice)”. I presume this means they would instead prefer to be wives (and mothers?). Certainly, being hard-working, competent, and diligent are excellent character attributes, but they are not skills. Suppose a plumbing company is looking to hire a plumber. Of the top 2 candidates, one has worked diligently and is an excellent baker, and one has worked diligently and is an excellent plumber. The former could become an excellent plumber, but the latter already is an excellent plumber and thus is the one that will be hired (all else being… Read more »

valerieab
Member

By that logic, every man would be better served marrying a widow or divorcee, because being married is the only way to gain experience in being married.

OKRickety
Member

One could suppose that, but it’s important to recognize that experience is not equivalent to skill 🙂, and, even more importantly, skills are not the only factors in her attractiveness to a potential husband. For example, most men would consider women to be less attractive as their weight increases.

Ignoring widows (they are relatively few), I doubt that divorcees are generally considered more attractive to men than never-married women. The two most common reasons would be children (if she has them), and the question of the degree of her responsibility for her divorce.

valerieab
Member

Of course I was tweaking you about the widowed or divorcee thing, because I was trying to get you to realize that none of the factors you’ve listed have anything to do with education. There is nothing in the way of desirable practical experience that a woman with a college degree is less able to acquire.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Judging from my daughter’s college campus, there is a certain kind of practical experience a woman might be much more likely to acquire there.

valerieab
Member

Well, miseducation, dyseducation, and The Wrong Extracurricular Activities are a whole nuther ball of wax…

OKRickety
Member

But are likely to be associated with most universities, at least in the USA.

OKRickety
Member

The time and effort spent in tertiary education is time and effort that could be spent in learning and improving other skills. It’s not that a degreed woman cannot do it, but it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that she will not do it while she is engaged in tertiary education, or starting her career.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If so, it must be a relatively new phenomenon. Almost all my female friends graduated from college, and almost all are,or have been, married. When I was young, one still heard about doctors marrying nurses and lawyers marrying secretaries, but I think this is much less likely today. Doctors and lawyers tend to marry people with equal income prospects. I do think that many people find their spouses in the workplace, which is why many teachers marry other teachers.

valerieab
Member

In my world, it’s not much about income potential, as most wives don’t work outside the home, at least not once little ones start arriving. Education is an asset in itself—a wealth that either spouse brings into the marriage. This conversation is as much about what education is for as anything else. A typical NSA grad might not necessarily use Latin ever again, but has a mind well trained to reason, to learn the specialized knowledge of any vocation (career or homemaking), and to apply the Word of God to all of life.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Absolutely.

OKRickety
Member

It seems you are looking at a education from a limited, and I think, skewed perspective. I presume NSA is New Saint Andrews (National Security Administration is my first thought). Your claims may be true for them, but not nearly as likely for someone who was “indoctrinated” in Womens Studies at the nearest State U. For that matter, a degree in Microbiology from MIT is not going to be all that useful for a stay-at-home mother. In my case, I don’t think my degree itself was all that useful. I think it primarily shows that I had the intellectual capacity… Read more »

valerieab
Member

Your problem, then, is with feminism and with specialized, employmentcentric schooling, not with true education. But even an education as poor as mine was (at a large state university) broadened my knowledge and interests and skills in a way that was not totally devoid of value. How much more for the younger gals I know who were better educated and therefore more fit for any calling in life?

OKRickety
Member

I had presumed we were discussing what is commonly meant by tertiary education in the USA, rather than being pedantic and switching to “true education”. For the great majority, their experience of tertiary education broadens them, not just with feminism, but other philosophies and beliefs incompatible with Christianity.

valerieab
Member

And because we were talking about women in conservative churches, I presumed we were talking about Christian education or at least educated orthodox Christians. So now that we’ve cleared that up, are we pretty close to being on the same page? My only continuing quibble is that if we’re talking in your terms, I think it would be more accurate and more just to point the finger at feminism and other anti-Christianisms rather than at education or degrees. It’s like blaming bad nutrition on meals in general.

OKRickety
Member

I am still skeptical about the amount of value received in formal tertiary education, And, since I am used to most people attending non-Christian education, I find it hard to envision the scenario you are considering. Okay, I’m done.

OKRickety
Member

The times, they are a-changin’. Perhaps college-degreed men do desire college-degreed women. However, I think that women today outnumber men in both college attendance and graduation, and the number of men is decreasing. If these women want to marry a college-degreed man, the odds are getting longer. Even if she is willing to marry a non-degreed man, he may be “intimidated” by a college-degreed woman, again making the odds longer. And the ratio may mean the college-degreed man has more options, reducing his willingness to commit to one.

valerieab
Member

Men who are intimidated by well educated women wouldn’t make them very good husbands, anyway. Which is not the same thing as saying a man with less education can’t ever make a good husband to a more educated woman. I know some fantastic marriages of that flavor. If a man is intimidated, the fault is not in the extent of the woman’s accomplishments, but in the gelatinousness of the man’s backbone.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Valerie, what good would a well educated woman do a man? It’s not a necessarily a bad thing, and personally I consider intellectual curiosity an attractive characteristic, but otherwise, from a man’s perspective it doesn’t add much, and that education may well come with some priorities and expectations that make a woman less, well, let me say it – useful to a man.

valerieab
Member

Let me flip the question: What good would an ignorant woman do him? or his children? In what way would an inability to understand or reason be more useful to him?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

When we say highly educated I’m assuming we’re talking about at least a four year degree, and the “highly” part implies to me post-graduate education. If by ignorant you mean a woman who is less than highly educated, why would you think such a woman is unable to understand or reason? I’ll grant, in this day and age a high school dropout wouldn’t be an attractive prospect, but that’s because there was probably something wrong with her the caused her to drop out, not because she would have learned anything in high school that would better equip her to meet… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

John, assuming that a woman with a professional degree wants to marry a man with a traditional view of women’s roles, she probably is willing not to work outside the home while the children are young. Being intelligent and realistic, she probably also realizes that she needs to become expert in domestic skills–which is really not difficult. In the years I was working but not yet married, I made sure that I’d mastered cooking, sewing, how to refinish furniture, and how to set a formal dinner table. Have you had the experience of arguing with someone who is absolutely unable… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

But I don’t assume a woman with a professional degree wants to marry a man with a traditional view of women’s roles. I don’t necessarily *assume* she doesn’t either, but I expect there generally is an inverse relationship between level of education and acceptance of traditional (natural) gender roles. Even if a woman does desire a traditional arrangement a professional degree won’t make her any better able to function within that arrangement, even if it doesn’t hurt either. Then add to that the question of why she bothered in the first place. It’s not that I’m categorically opposed to women… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think you might be right on your last point. I wonder if men don’t tend to be as focused on intelligence in a spouse as most women are. Then again, my friends and I may not be as mainstream as I tend to assume. After good character, it is probably the most important thing I would consider. I didn’t mean argument in the usual sense, but in the academic sense of a free exchange of ideas. I didn’t argue with my husband in the first sense, but I certainly did in the second. If a man says to his… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“…my friends and I may not be as mainstream as I tend to assume.”Likely enough. I really don’t have the perception that women are generally concerned much with men’s intelligence.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think they probably do think about it because it can be a reasonably accurate predictor of income. My personal fatal flaw is a weakness for men who make me laugh. Which I expect is a function of intelligence.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“I wonder if men don’t tend to be as focused on intelligence in a spouse as most women are.”

And slowly the light dawns. :-)

Now I will note there is a tendency for men to marry within class, or not too far below, and of course there is a correlation, less than perfect, between class and education. I would say that perhaps it makes some sense for a highly educated man to marry an a woman with at least a bachelor’s degree, for compatibility’s sake.

OKRickety
Member

“John, assuming that a woman with a professional degree wants to marry a man with a traditional view of women’s roles, she probably is willing not to work outside the home while the children are young.”I suspect it is difficult to find a woman with that willingness. If nothing else, she is likely to resent it, at least subconsciously.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I was happy to stay home, and I do know quite a few professional women who have taken ten years off while their children were young. My interests are primarily academic, and I found that being at home gave me much more time to pursue them than I ever had at work. I can’t understand resenting something you have freely chosen to do. The biggest problem, I think, in the conversion from career woman to stay at home wife is finding a compatible circle of friends who share your interests. But the Internet has made that much less of an… Read more »

valerieab
Member

I’m not arguing that women without degrees make poorer wives. You are arguing that women with degrees are less desirable as wives. I’m just trying to get you to explain why.

Education is a type of wealth. You haven’t given me any reason why having less of it is preferable to having more.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Sometimes what a man thinks he wants can be a bit of a letdown when he actually gets it. Think of Prince Charles and how colossally bored he got staring across the breakfast table at the beautiful but uneducated Diana. Even if she had not had other problems, Charles was repelled by her inability to enter into any of his interests. (He should have understood this and not married her.)

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I’ll take your word for that you’re not arguing that women without degrees make poorer wives, though you did imply that such women would be unable to understand or reason well. I’m not arguing in the first place that women with degrees are less desirable so much as I am denying that having a degree does make a woman particularly more desirable. That far I bear no burden of proof. In the second place I am suggesting that there is generally (note qualification) an inverse relationship between level of education and acceptance of an arrangement that our grandmothers, and pretty… Read more »

valerieab
Member

But this whole conversation is about women who want exactly that.

OKRickety
Member

On the face of it, yes, but for myself (and, I think, JohnM), I have doubts that these women who want to be married are willing to be submissive wives, supposing it likely that their degrees and careers are an indication of feminist beliefs (even when denied) that will make a Christian marriage difficult, if not impossible.

valerieab
Member

And I’m saying that’s an unjust supposition.

OKRickety
Member

Perhaps you are right, but these women can only control their own behavior, not that of the men in hiding. Until the men do marry, the point is moot. Who they choose to marry would be instructive as to what they find attractive. Do you have information as to what the potential husbands find attractive? Do you know why they have not married? If not, why are you so adamant that my perceptions are incorrect? Is it possible that I am correct, but you are denying that possibility because the ramifications are unpleasant or worse?

valerieab
Member

I’m denying that there’s an objectively good reason for men to view a college degree as an objectively negative accomplishment in a potential wife.

This subthread has gotten pretty far afield of the original post, so I don’t want to belabor it much further. I’d just recommend reading more from our host on education and listening to his daughters’ podcast for an example of what well-educated, godly wives and mothers look like.

OKRickety
Member

Obviously we disagree. This subthread concerns why these women remain unmarried when they have college degrees. You don’t like my answer. Please let me know when you find the correct answer. Note: Wilson considers this a pressing pastoral problem, so I presume pastors either also do not know the answer, or they have not been able to effect a solution.

valerieab
Member

It’s too difficult to find the beginning of the subthread on my phone, but maybe you can. Was the pastoral problem education-specific or was it simply the imbalance of marriage-interested women to marriage-interested men? I know not all the single gals at Christ Church have college degrees, and I’m sure there’s an equal distribution of the struggle for contentment and an equal dispensation of pastoral concern amongst all education levels. ????

OKRickety
Member

The pastoral problem was not stated as being education-specific. I believe Katecho raised the aspect of college degree, seeming to imply that one increases their marriage prospects. Regardless, pastors do not know the answer, or they have not been able to effect a solution. I have ideas, but expect they would be dismissed as ludicrous, much like you have done with the idea that a degree might not be of significant value, much less that it might be a negative. It seems to me that the experts, for example, pastors, tend to believe those of their own circles, rather than… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Sidebar re. your Disqus feedback: I doubt he understood the problem. If nothing else, his “explanation” was very unclear which is why I don’t think you “misunderstood”. I also disliked his general attitude, e.g. considering it “resolved” without waiting for you to state your understanding. I already disliked Disqus and will be happy if Wilson moves away from it.

valerieab
Member

The problem with Disqus is that it’s the worst commenting system out there…except for all the other commenting systems out there…

We got to understanding in the end. And now I know that oldest vs. newest views are a good chunk of the disappearing posts issue.

valerieab
Member

Oh, it’s quite possible that you’re correct that some men find education unattractive. But it’s also quite possible that I’m correct that that’s silly of them. ????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It’s a good thing to find that out as early as possible!

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Sometimes the issue is not the “education,” but the cognitive dissonance with certain professional degrees. If a man is looking for a woman who will thrive in being domestic and she has spent the last 7 to 10 years working on a professional degree, then he might have a hard time believing that what the woman really wants is a domestic life. She has spent the last decade of her life preparing for something. In some ways it can be an issue of mixed signals. Also, if he doesn’t have the same education he might realize that he might not… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think that would be a reasonable concern. If she has just passed the bar exam and owes $200,000 in student loans, her sudden desire to give it all up and stay home should be looked at with a bit of caution.

OKRickety
Member

Either way, I doubt the extent of her education is very important in whether a man finds a woman attractive for marriage.

insanitybytes22
Member

Well of course it’s “silly of them.” Most things that govern what we find attractive are quite silly, but they are still real enough :) There may well be some men in the world who value having a wife with credentials of some sort, “my wife has her masters,” might give them bragging rights or something, but for the most part, you’re quite right. What concerns me about this issue is what these women are saying about other women, and about their own selves. Ignorant? Unable to reason? Undesirable? Inability to understand? Poor? Have little worth and value? Incapable of… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I think the proponents of a good education would consider it invaluable to both sexes, although the discussion here does seem to limit it to only women. Although they expect education to be attractive to men, I don’t think that is the entire motivation. It is also being considered as an interim substitute for a husband before marriage, and as a backup plan should the marriage fail.

insanitybytes22
Member

“It is also being considered as an interim substitute for a husband before marriage, and as a backup plan should the marriage fail.” Yes. And as much as I empathize with that, it should come as no surprise that such ideas contribute to why marriages fail and why women’s overall emotional well being is in decline. Education is fine, life long learning is fabulous, for both genders, but what they are talking about is actually schooling as an economic token that says “I have more worth and value, I can survive without you, I have a back up plan for… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

ME, I don’t think that Valerie or I have called women without degrees ignorant. Or said that they have little worth or self value. Or said that they are stupid, flawed, and defective. I think your own defensiveness on this topic is making you jump to conclusions. Of course, I think higher education is valuable and important. That doesn’t mean that I think people who don’t have a degree are unvaluable and unimportant. Valerie and I were disputing the contention that higher education adds nothing to a woman’s value to a man and may in fact be seen as a… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“ME, I don’t think that Valerie or I have called women without degrees ignorant.”

I copied and pasted those words right out of both of your comments. Now of course you weren’t “calling women names,” but you were clearly using those words and that language to describe women who have not gone to college.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I just re-read all my comments on this topic. Show me one instance of where you copied and pasted something I said.

insanitybytes22
Member

I took the words “ignorant, unable to reason” right out of the comment section here. I’m not going to go back and link to them all, because my point is not an accusation, not a gotcha game, my point is that the language we use reveals what we really think about ourselves as women on a sub-conscious level.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

In other words, you are not going to link to those supposed comments because you can’t. You made a specific accusation that I had used used unkind and demeaning words about women who do not have a college degree. When I challenged this, you told me you had cut and paste your statements from my comments. On my asking you for one example of this, you now refuse because that wasn’t your point? Give me a break. You lied about me and now you want to walk that back without admitting the lie. Wouldn’t it be more Christian and a… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Actually, what would be really lovely is if you would stop defensively nit picking everything I say and instead try to hear the larger point I am making. Two days ago in this very thread, Valerie said, “What good would an ignorant woman do him? or his children? In what way would an inability to understand or reason be more useful to him?” From words such as these we can extrapolate that she perceives an uneducated wife to be ignorant, possessing an inability to reason. I am not going to link to all of your own comments Jilly, because I… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You can try to spin it however you like. But the fact remains you accused me of something I did not do. No larger point you are trying to make excuses the fact that you said you had copied and pasted, from my own posts, statements that are demeaning towards women. I am not interested in what you think Valerie had to say. I am interested in the fact that you said you copied and posted my exact words when you did nothing of the kind. All the spinning in the world does not make your statement anything other than… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I feel bad that you went through that, though I admit with a small smile thinking, “it’s good to see I’m not the only one who is forced down that path here.” Good job defending yourself unwaveringly from a made-up accusation.

insanitybytes22
Member

I am not lying, Jilly. I was hoping you would see the harshness of your own words, because they are words you condemn your own self with. They are words lurking in your sub-conscious that you are speaking over your own self.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, I often call myself ignorant and dumb. But I don’t have to call myself a liar. You lied. You can deny it until the next Ice Age, but you lied when you said you had cut and pasted my own words. What is the point of denying a fact that any person who reads your posts and mine can see plainly? If you had expressed an opinion that I have horrible attitudes toward the uneducated, I would disagree but I would not be taking this stand. I am not backing down on this because I very much resent your… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“The importance of attending college is not merely to train for a profession but also to become a well educated and cultured person.” -Jilly Jilly, you have flat out made several comments that reveal a strong bias. There is another comment above speaking of a verbal skills and intelligence. There is yet another asking if uneducated women should be educating children. So, let’s make this personal. You have just indirectly implied women like me are uncultured, uneducated, incapable of reason,lack verbal skills and intelligence,and should not be educating children. I am not offended in the least. But you are not… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Let’s try to make this simple. This is what you said to OKRickety: What concerns me about this issue is what these women are saying about other women, and about their own selves. Ignorant? Unable to reason? Undesirable? Inability to understand? Poor? Have little worth and value? Incapable of thought? Ungodly?Wowsers. My own bruised ego will survive all those labels, but why do we burden women with them, burden ourselves as if women are defective,flawed, stupid creatures incapable of critical thinking, who must be educated, taught how to think by others, or else we will have no worth and value… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Wait, someone who regularly refers to others here as “pathetic morons” and other pejoratives is calling Jilly harsh? Also, that last sentence sounds like something out of the world’s worst self-help book.

insanitybytes22
Member

I do not and never have “regularly referred to others” as pathetic morons. That one is specifically reserved for you.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

You’ve done plenty of other name-calling on here. And Jilly’s behavior has been the opposite of yours.

Your projection is getting really out-of-hand. I’d recommend taking a break from blogging/commenting or talking to someone.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

If you care at all about the truth, you’d certainly find them and link to them–or you’d apologize and admit that you lied. It’s that simple.

A Dad, I hope you aren’t going to defend this…

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

only a naive man would believe a career oriented woman is not a feminist

valerieab
Member

I know it can be difficult to follow these monster threads, but this conversation is not about career-oriented women; it’s about “faithful and beautiful women…who would love to be married, would be an objective blessing as a helpmate, who are ready in terms of maturity, and who have been living very patient and celibate lives” and “are currently professional (not by first choice).” It’d be great if we could stop trying to change the subject to feminists.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m not sure why you would assume that a degree and a career are synonymous with feminist beliefs. In my own instance, even though it was decades ago, every child in my family was expected to attend university and to train for a career. That was true for most of my friends and, actually, for most people I knew. You didn’t get to hang around the house while you waited for a husband! If I had told my parents I wasn’t going to university, they would have replied,”Oh yes you are.” The only girls I knew who didn’t attend university… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

They are not synonymous, but they are closely tied. Basically, feminists would say that women are entitled to the same opportunities career-wise that men have, perhaps even obligated to pursue them. Many of these require degrees. Of course, some families and social circles, for example, yours, expect a degree to be pursued for non-feminist reasons. If one doesn’t desire a career, a degree is much less desirable, and the cost in time and money is of questionable value. In the case of the opposite of a feminist woman, a woman could desire to get married at 18, have children, and… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I would dispute that a little. The importance of attending college is not merely to train for a profession but also to become a well educated and cultured person. (I am assuming that it is a good college with a good liberal arts curriculum.) My years at university gave me exposure to ideas and learning that would not otherwise have come my way. The cost is an issue for many people today. When I attended university, the provincial government paid three-quarters of the cost for anyone with excellent grades, so my parents were in luck. My daughter’s college cost close… Read more »

lndighost
Member

$50,000! Yikes! I can see why you need to be really really sure before committing to something like that. (It’s about $5,000 here)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

We are lucky that she did not want to stay until graduation. She was totally miserable there. They gave her a scholarship for half the amount, but it was still insanely expensive and it was a really alien environment for her. It was a rich kids’ school where frats and sororities were the dominant life on campus, the only minorities worked in the kitchens, and students kept the statues of Ayn Rand and similar right wing persons decorated with flowers. It had an excellent theater department, but it was immediately apparent that the only reason they would ever cast a… Read more »

lndighost
Member

Sounds positively squalid. Frats and sororities must have been introduced as a kind of cruel social experiment. Providentially the worst trials I was faced with at uni were lots of dreadlocks and loud political harangues.

bethyada
Member

The divorce rates for girls who marry at 18 are very high

Careful here. The divorce rates for co-habitation then marriage are often higher than marriage first up. And the kind of people who marry at 18 are a contributor to divorce; the kind of people who don’t marry at 18 are unlikely to have a high divorce rate if they choose to marry younger.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The statistics are very confusing. However, one that is repeated across numerous studies is that marriages between college graduates have a 10% lower divorce rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the divorce rate decreases with every year of age past 20 until 30, when it begins to climb again. I’m not sure I understand your last point. Are you saying that there are two types of people: those who are immature and impulsive at 18 (who have failing marriages), and those who are not immature and impulsive at 18 but who postpone marriage for other reasons? Is it… Read more »

bethyada
Member

My last point. Who is marrying at 18. What type of people are they. Who is marrying at 26? Yes the second lot a more mature than they were at 18, but they are also different from those who married at 18.

People generally mature with age, but not all immaturity is the same.

OKRickety
Member

“Cultured” … I suspect that your definition applies to a mindset that, in my opinion, is likely to lead to a form of snobbery. “$50,000 a year”. At that price, it is way overvalued for anyone unless it is required by a specific, well-paid position guaranteed afterward. The divorce rate is too high for all (boys, too), but decreasing somewhat (cohabitation instead of marriage is a likely factor). I suspect one of the reasons some women do not “always have a husband to support her” is that women may bail on their marriage commitment, thinking “I can take care of… Read more »

lndighost
Member

I haven’t done a comprehensive study, but I suspect we’d discover that hanging around the house waiting for a husband would not be a very effective way of finding one (although that’s probably not what OKR and JohnM et al are advocating). This question of what a godly single woman should do with her time is an interesting one, especially because no one ever knows how long they will be single. If she is waiting around doing not very much, she might be desperate enough to make a bad match if one is offered. Then there are the talents God… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

There is real diversity of opinion on this among Christians, I think. Some people think that educating girls beyond high school is simply a waste. Some think that a woman who can earn her own living can’t be a good wife because she won’t feel as “trapped” in an unhappy marriage as a woman who can’t support herself and her children. I find this a really detestable point of view. I can’t imagine wanting to marry someone whose only reason for hanging around is fear. My religious tradition doesn’t teach that women must invariably be homemakers if their talents are… Read more »

valerieab
Member

“though you did imply that such women would be unable to understand or reason well.”

Nope. I was flipping the tables in an attempt to show a flaw in your argument. I was asking, “If more education is somehow a detriment, then why wouldn’t less education be a benefit?”

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“In what way would an inability to understand or reason be more useful to him?”

Who are you saying would have this inability? If the answer is no one, I don’t understand the point of the question.

valerieab
Member

I’m saying there’s a continuum. If someone higher up the continuum is less desirable, is someone lower down more desirable?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Perhaps then “relatively less able” rather than “unable” ? I too would expect a person with more formal education would be better able to understand and reason in a general way, but I don’t take it for granted they would be. When it comes to the topic at hand, that capacity is worth something, but less than you might think. Only if a woman without a college degree is completely unable, which we agree is not the case, would the difference matter that much. Being able to reason isn’t the same thing as being reasonable, the latter being more important,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Vocabulary and verbal fluency are a function of education as well as intelligence. Given that a Christian stay at home mother is going to be spending a great deal of time with her children, wouldn’t her verbal ability be of concern to a prospective husband? Come to that, would you entrust the education of your children to someone who may be uneducated herself?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“…would you entrust the education of your children to someone who may be uneducated herself?”

Well, I wouldn’t entrust my children’s post-secondary education to someone with no post secondary education, but then I wouldn’t expect them to receive a college education at home.

I would consider any woman with a high school education to be educated by comparison to a child, and I would not assume she is unable to contribute anything to a child’s education.

OKRickety
Member

Of course, vocabulary and verbal fluency/ability matter, not just in child-raising, but generally. However, I suspect you value this more highly than most, mostly because of your own work as an educator (and additionally reinforced by your specialty as an English or English Literature teacher, if I remember correctly.) Unless we’re discussing home schooling, the issue of entrusting the education of your children to the mother is not in play. Consider, for example, immigrants to the USA who became educated and highly successful even when neither of their parents were themselves educated and, in some cases, relatively unable to speak… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That is true, and it says much for their intelligence and hard work. In my teaching career I noticed, however, that one of the single most important predictors for academic success was coming from a highly verbal, literate home. Children who have been encouraged to read widely, discuss their thoughts and opinions, analyze information, and speak and write standard English have an incredible advantage over those who have not. We didn’t home school our daughter, mostly because she was the only child of older, academic parents and we didn’t want to make her too weird! But I didn’t trust the… Read more »

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

the more educated, the more feminist and more satan like…

education means nothing these days…

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Because it is really Satanic for a woman to know something about classical literature and organic chemistry? Does it interfere with her dish washing capabilities?

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

or physics , math , engineering. directly no, indirectly yes, the thought of being a wife to a man is repulsive to feminists unless it is her employer… but to pretend colleges do not force down cocktails of feminism on an hourly basis is stupid…. so yes in our culture there is a direct relationship with education and satanic beliefs… in other cultures- although westernization is changing that I know many educated women etc who changed their direction on marriage… in the west however men are taught to servant lead to support your satanic women… women are not taught to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree that many colleges push feminism. But not all. And I do know happily married women whom you would consider feminists in the sense that they have continued to work outside the home. I have also known women forced to work outside the home who would have preferred to be at home with their children.

One problem with defining a feminine woman as one who has absolutely no interest in the world of learning and ideas is–what do you do with highly intelligent women?

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

women that try to be men or manlike are by definition NOT intelligent women….
rebelling against God is not intelligent, male or female

highly intelligent women should thus theoretically and in actual fact do make the best wives?

or are you assuming that looking that prioritizing home and supporting your husband = less intelligence?!

yes many supposedly christian women work, it is about their heart, are they doing to support their husband or be independent of him because the would rather submit ( be the wife) to their boss than he own husband

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No, I don’t think it is less intelligent to prioritize home and husband. That isn’t what I’m getting at. Do you think that a woman who is actually extremely good at something like being a research chemist is, by definition, unfeminine? If God has given a woman a gift for nursing or medicine, is it unfeminine for her to use that gift? Is there something in the definition of male and female that suggests that only men get to use their brains outside the domestic sphere? Is a feminine woman who happens to be brilliant at math required to give… Read more »

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

use your Gifts to follow Gods instructions
using you Gifts to usurp your husbands role and pretend to be a man is evidence of an insecure woman who is deeply disappointed that God made her to be a woman ….
Lady like?
Domestic sphere?
Why does everyone like to make everything Victorian
Creation occurred well before Victorian times

“Women to act dumb”
you are again implying that women that fulfill their Godly duty are intellectually inferior…
I think deep down you must believe that because this seems to manifest itself in so many of your comments.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No, I don’t think they are necessarily intellectually inferior. Intelligence is on a continuum, and obviously some women are going to be more academically intelligent than others. Just as some men are more academically intelligent than others. I don’t understand why you think that a woman who works in a research lab is pretending to be a man. She may be a perfectly feminine woman who happens to excel at chemistry. You are suggesting a role division much more rigid than scripture commands. Is a male nurse pretending to be a woman? I think that throughout history many brilliant women… Read more »

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

there is no example in the bible of men being praised for supporting their wife’s endeavors . Eve was Adam’s helpmeet not the other way around. A female married neurosurgeon is hardly being a wife or mother This idea that gifts = usurping your husband and taking away his role as leader, provider etc is only modern aka it is feminism the vast majority of men and women are going to get married what next, denying women training to be pastors is denying their gifts?!! She can if her home is looked after, but this new trend of supposedly christian… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, I think we will never agree so we should probably stop! I was a happy stay at home wife and mother, but my husband welcomed any additional income I brought in by doing professional writing at home. He was not asked to watch the baby while I did this. I think that these things usually even themselves out. You would probably not be attracted to a woman with academic interests, and I would probably not be interested in a man who found my intellect, such as it is, unwomanly. But I still think you are possibly defining feminism with… Read more »

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

intellect is not unwomanly….
“meaningful work”
again you keep implying that those women who Follow God’s instructions are somehow less than.
Raising the next generation , supporting your husband and following God is far more meaningful

Western society is just starting to reap the rewards of its selfish career women- aging population , weak men, chaos ,decline of family.

A woman who follows God is far more intelligent than one that tries to be a man.

Good for your husband! and good for you!
But that ain’t the case today
men are now called to servant lead by being house husbands,

valerieab
Member

In that case, men, also, should remain as uneducated and ignorant as possible.

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

men as a population still do not buy into SJW nonsense, women however do…. maybe women being weaker is more than just the physical state…!!

You still believe the education provided now is education? haha
more like training in stupidity.

your liberal colleges are far more ignorant
FYI simple minded people tended to follow Jesus, not the highly educated.
Worldly Education means nothing…

valerieab
Member

I’ve got to give it to you, BDash. At least you’re no hypocrite. You despise wisdom, knowledge, and reason, and you faithfully avoid obtaining or exhibiting them.

*Gives BDash a gold star for consistency* [Isn’t he cute, folks? Bless his heart!]

But since I wouldn’t want to contaminate you, I’ll just refrain from further interaction. Buh-bye!

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

I despise the Wisdom of the world just like the creator does!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Smart girl.

insanitybytes22
Member

You are equating uneducated with ignorant. That is untrue, that is a bias. There are many successful people who are not ignorant at all, people who abandoned education for various reasons.

valerieab
Member

Hey there. Remember when I said I wasn’t going to engage with you anymore? I meant that.

insanitybytes22
Member

You are free to totally not engage. Suit yourself. I’m just pointing out that you are flat out wrong. Uneducated and ignorant do not walk hand in hand.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Maybe we should all follow suit.

Jane
Member

“That’s not to say a well educated women never make good wives, some do, but the education doesn’t necessarily add anything, unless it’s the ability to raise well informed, rational children..”

Not anything except something of essential value to her role in life? What does that even mean?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It means it did occur to me that a well educated, by which we seem to mean college educated, woman would be presumably be capable in that regard, however I don’t take it for granted she would be. Note too my other comments pointing out that college education is not necessary, as there is no reason to think a woman with a high school education could not do the same thing. Hence, “unless”. But then, are we really talking about something of essential value to her role in life in the first place? It’s not the value, I question, or… Read more »

Jane
Member

I don’t think anyone said it was necessary, but there’s a lot of pushback against it here, as though it’s an inherent evil, or at best, something that’s a waste of time because the positives can’t be expected to outweigh the negatives. I think that’s what’s being addressed.

Nobody said all wives have to be educated, just that there’s value in it. All wives don’t have to have *any* given qualification, really, beyond godly character, but that doesn’t mean that various “optional” qualifications are worthless because there are good wives that don’t have all of them.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I do hope you’ve read all of my comments on the subject, and note where I qualify my statements. There is value in it, but the value is there apart from a woman being a wife. A young woman might well want to obtain a college education because she wants to, not because it will be of particular use to her as a wife. Especially if a young woman is in no hurry to be married, and I don’t see why she needs to be, yes, why not go to college if she wants to? Being a wife and being… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Speaking of false dilemmas, aren’t you assuming a woman with less education is unable to understand or reason?

valerieab
Member

Nope. I’m assuming that a woman (or a man) who has received the blessing of more extensive education will have more of the things that education is meant a to confer—greater understanding, better reasoning skills, and a clearer biblical worldview—than the same woman (or man) who did not receive that blessing. Just the same as a person who receives a million dollars will have more money than a person who didn’t. And if that person earned the million dollars through good old-fashioned hard work, well, all the more value added! I am not arguing that less education makes a woman… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“I am not arguing that less education makes a woman less valuable.”Well, I think you are. As far as I can tell, your first paragraph makes the claim that, without exception, more education adds value. Which, by inference, clearly makes the claim that a woman with less education is less valuable. I think you are mistaken as to what I am arguing. I have been stating that a degreed woman is not necessarily more valuable than a non-degreed woman. I think you have interpreted that to mean that a non-degreed woman is more valuable. Did I actually say that? I… Read more »

valerieab
Member

A well-educated woman will bring something more valuable to a marriage just as a woman with a large bank account will. That doesn’t mean either is a more valuable person. You keep talking in terms of skills, but that’s not the kind of education I’m talking about. I’m arguing that broader knowledge and sharper reasoning skills are things of value in themselves. In one sense, a man should be intimidated by them, just as he would be by exceptional beauty or wealth. All such assets make a woman terrible as an army with banners. But what does it say about… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“…not because she is non-degreed, but because she has more godly qualities and attributes than the degreed woman.”

LOL! Well than, in theory you should just love little old non degreed Me,shouldn’t you?

Less education these days tends to mean less indoctrination and also the ability to still think for oneself.

Please take note of the third time in history I have actually agreed with you.

OKRickety
Member

In case you missed it, I did not say that non-degreed women always have more godly qualities and attributes than the degreed women, only that they may have more.Three times? I think I’ll go celebrate.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

She might be more interesting to talk to, better able to understand his concerns, more useful as a sounding board, and much better equipped to teach his children. Assuming her education was a good one, she will know the difference between a feeling and a thought, and between an opinion and a fact. It argues for a certain level of self-discipline and perseverance.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

She might be more interesting to talk to, but don’t assume a man is primarily looking for someone to talk to – it’s not nothing, but it’s not primary. If anything she might be less concerned about his concerns, less supportive. The question isn’t “can she bake a cherry pie”, but is she willing to?

My Portion Forever
Member

My husband probably wishes I would spend less time in the kitchen and more time as his sounding board for ideas. We both have bachelors in technical fields. I believe our marriage has benefited greatly from both our educations (partially because we probably would not otherwise have met and gotten to know each other). I am much more valuable to him as an educated person because I can support his intellectual pursuits, and he values that.
I know not everyone is in this boat… just throwing it out there.