The Dalai Lama of Kentucky

I will not have a lot to say about this next chapter of The Benedict Option, the chapter on “Eros and the New Christian Counterculture.” I do have some cavils here and there about how much monastics have to teach us about human sexuality, but in the main this is a really solid chapter. Dreher does a very good job describing the threat we face, and he does not fudge around the edges. “There is no core teaching of the Christian faith that is less popular today, and perhaps none more important to obey” (Loc. 2888).

“There is no other area in which orthodox Christians will have to be as countercultural as in our sexual lives, and we are going to have to support each other in our unpopular stances” (Loc. 2901).

Yes, and amen.

Dreher is right that Christians who go wobbly on human sexuality are poised to take a header into other forms of heresy—“they often cease to be meaningfully Christian” (Loc. 2905). “There can be no peace between Christianity and the Sexual Revolution, because they are radically opposed” (Loc. 2982). To “lose the Bible’s clear teaching on this matter is to risk losing the fundamental integrity of the faith” (Loc. 3012). Dreher is right to ask whether sex is “the linchpin of Christian cultural order” (Loc. 2921), and he answers that question rightly.

He also does well to ground his objections in the nature of the natural world. This topic is “limited by the givenness of nature” (Loc. 2967). “Is the natural world and its limits a given, or are we free to do with it whatever we desire?” (Loc. 2972). “It is now considered bigoted to say that the natural family is superior to any other arrangement” (Loc. 3116).

Those who are in revolt against the sexual order authoritatively set down for us in Scripture have had to do far more than set aside God’s revelation to us. They have also had to reimagine the world, and the actual world is proving recalcitrant. They “have been forced to invent a complete cosmology to grasp it” (Loc. 2998). And because it is an invented cosmology that runs contrary to the way that God actually made the world, it has no more authority than the sexual daydreams of a greedy junior high boy. It turns out that there is no such thing as a Paradise Planet somewhere, populated by hot, eager, and sexy librarians. “Oh, look! Junior High Boy has landed!”

There is one thing about the chapter where I would register some qualms. This is the repeated use of observations from Wendell Berry, the Dalai Lama of Kentucky (Loc. 2916; 3203; 3205; 3208). I could handle this, and would have said nothing about it if the topic had been the importance of killing your own chickens. But the topic is human sexuality, and Berry has been lauded by the cool kids far too long not to have completely flopped on the very subject of Dreher’s chapter. It is incongruous, I will admit, to have the apostle of all things natural applauding unnatural acts, and so it is quite possible that Dreher didn’t know that Wendell Berry had done so. But he has, and in a way that shows he has not known what he was talking about all along.

Since the Berry quotes don’t add all that much, and because his presence in the chapter is incongruous, I would recommend dropping him from the second edition. Or better yet, keep him in, but as a poster child for the kind of thing we must not be doing.

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MeMe
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“Jesus talked of hating your neighbor as tantamount to hating God, and yet some Christians hate their neighbors by policy and are busy hunting biblical justifications for doing so. Are they not perverts in the fullest and fairest sense of that term?” I really appreciated Wendall’s words. He also said, “Heterosexual marriage does not need defending it only needs to be practiced….” My issue is in trying to get conservative Christians to take a stand against things like child sexual abuse,which has a great deal to do with issues around homosexuality, abortion, addiction, promiscuity. Then there is racial hated,outright women… Read more »

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: My issue is in trying to get conservative Christians to take a stand against things like child sexual abuse,which has a great deal to do with issues around homosexuality, abortion, addiction, promiscuity. Then there is racial hated,outright women hatred, child abuse, domestic violence, murder. A whole slew of horrors. They seldom want to, however. I suppose it’s far more fun to just kick a few homosexuals and totally ignore cause and effect. MeMe’s social justice alarm regularly fires on issues that are not, in themselves, troll bait, but, more often than not, she immediately assigns the offense to… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

“Maybe MeMe could identify who these “conservative Christians” are that refuse to stand against child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and murder. Perhaps she can name the “conservative Christians” who think it’s “fun to just kick a few homosexuals and totally ignore cause and effect”.” Pastor Wilson has indicated himself to be one such person on multiple occasions. MeMe finds him likable enough and more appealing than most of his commenters, but just the same, he has defended the DP for homosexuality and women who have abortions, but embraced a couple of pedophiles, while at the same time condemning yoga pants… Read more »

adad0
Member

This conversation is off track.

Colonel Sanders is the Dalai Lama of Kentucky! ????

bethyada
Member

Not sure why you object to Doug trying to help men repenting of a sin to avoid that sin.

rebeccawest1
Member

At Church , every member of the congregation is a sinner forgiven by the blood and grace of Lord Jesus. It would, of course, be foolish to place the former thief in charge of collections, the former pedophile alone with children (which is why every church I know of does background checks for Sunday school workers), or the former alcoholic in charge of buying wine for communion. If those who have violated the laws of man and God have already been punished through incarceration for their crimes, a good church offers restoration (perhaps with great care and caution). The only… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

Everyone is forgiven by the grace and blood of Jesus Christ. Pedophiles are in all churches.

I just grow concerned when our outrage about sin seems more offended by pink hair and tattoos than it does about those who rape children.

bethyada
Member

Then I think you are misreading Doug. He is outraged by child abuse and includes the dismemberment of them that is so prevalent.

MeMe
Guest

But again you miss the cause and effect going on. Women who have been sexually abused as children are 7 times more likely to grow up and seek an abortion. You want to stop abortion, you have to stop the sexual abuse of children. Addiction, promiscuity, abortion, homosexuality, these are all symptoms of child sexual abuse.

OKRickety
Member

While I have no doubt that those who are sexually abused are far more likely to have abortions, addictions, be promiscuous or homosexual, it is not logical to say that stopping the sexual abuse of children will stop abortion. I cannot prove it, but I find it highly unlikely that all, or even more than 50%, of abortions are performed on women who were sexually abused. Unless, of course, sexual abuse is defined extremely broadly.

MeMe
Guest

It is quite logical to suggest that stopping sexual abuse will end abortion or at least put a major dent in it. If throwing a pebble in a pond causes ripples,than not throwing a pebble in a pond,eliminates those ripples. It should come as no surprise that when children are sexually abused it tends to impact their future morality around sexual issues and their perceptions of their own worth and value. In the modern world where BC is so readily available, the very act of allowing oneself to become pregnant against one’s own will speaks to an inability to value… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“… stopping sexual abuse will end abortion or at least put a major dent in it.”

I expect it would put a major dent in it, but it’s a ridiculous assertion to say it would stop abortion, presuming this means it would cease altogether.

It is quite clear that you vehemently oppose sexual abuse. Your complaints that child abuse is ignored by Christians, both individually and corporately, are quite unlikely to have much impact. What other actions should be taken to reduce the abuse?

MeMe
Guest

” Your complaints that child abuse is ignored by Christians, both individually and corporately, are quite unlikely to have much impact.”

They actually have. People are becoming more aware. Pastors are starting to pay attention. Kids are starting to feel safe and able to speak up. My hope is that someday the secular system it no longer perceived as the cure for what ails us.

OKRickety
Member

MeMe, do you have other actions to recommend?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Birth control is readily available, but it takes planning and a certain amount of responsibility. You have to remember to pick up the prescription and take it regularly. You can’t decide that “just this once” will be safe. I think that there are many girls who have not been abused but who do not use birth control reliably because they know there is a “solution” if they get pregnant.

OKRickety
Member

Jill Smith, as a Christian I do not consider birth control for unmarried girls or women to be an acceptable means to stop abortion. In most cases, they choose, albeit often poorly, to have sex. Without the sex, there is no abortion.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Of course it is preferable for an unmarried woman to be chaste. But if she doesn’t intend to be, I think it is far better for her to use birth control than to put herself into a position where she will be tempted to abort her pregnancy. Sex outside marriage is sinful but it is not as dreadful as taking a life.

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: I just grow concerned when our outrage about sin seems more offended by pink hair and tattoos than it does about those who rape children. This is false. MeMe isn’t simply “concerned” about the relative objection to pink hair versus child rape among Christians. MeMe has become a full-blown false accuser. MeMe has declared that “conservative Christians” refuse to take a stand against things like child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and murder. She declares that they find it “far more fun to just kick a few homosexuals”. MeMe has declared that they think pink hair should get a… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

“This is false. MeMe isn’t simply “concerned” about the relative objection to pink hair versus child rape among Christians. MeMe has become a full-blown false accuser.” So I’ve heard numerous times. However, denying the nature of the problem and forever accusing me of bearing false witness does nothing to embiggen the truth of your own argument. In fact, when you start calling me a sick joke and demanding apologies,it looks a whole lot like a panicked forfeit. Are you forfeiting? I assure you, the nature of the problem is exactly as I stated it, “I just grow concerned when our… Read more »

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: I assure you, the nature of the problem is exactly as I stated it, “I just grow concerned when our outrage about sin seems more offended by pink hair and tattoos than it does about those who rape children.” MeMe’s “concern” has morphed into accusations against believers. If MeMe had correctly identified the problem with “our outrage”, she would have been able to name a Christian who is “more offended by pink hair and tattoos” than about “those who rape children”. She could not. When challenged to name any such person, she named Doug Wilson. That’s what MeMe… Read more »

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: Pastor Wilson has indicated himself to be one such person on multiple occasions. Pastor Wilson is a conservative Christian, but that’s not what I asked MeMe to provide. I asked her to identify conservative Christians who refuse to stand against child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and murder. Failing to provide any, MeMe simply resorted to bearing false witness against Wilson (again). MeMe wrote: MeMe finds him likable enough and more appealing than most of his commenters, but just the same, he has defended the DP for homosexuality and women who have abortions, but embraced a couple of pedophiles,… Read more »

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: So, the firing squad it is for any twinklebuns with pink hair, but pedophiles should be restored into fellowship? Firing squad? MeMe may need to take a break from lecturing blog guests about love and compassion until she can start behaving like a Christian toward the host of this blog. As has been repeated for MeMe’s benefit multiple times, there is a difference between how Christ treated the apostles of the world versus the refugees of the world. MeMe seems intent on miscasting all of the apostles of the world as refugees of it, and vice versa. MeMe… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“My issue is in trying to get conservative Christians to take a stand against things like child sexual abuse,which has a great deal to do with issues around homosexuality, abortion, addiction, promiscuity. Then there is racial hated,outright women hatred, child abuse, domestic violence, murder.”

What is required for you to consider that conservative Christians are “taking a stand” against these things? Please be reasonably specific. Without clear goals, it is unlikely that they will be reached.

MAS
Guest
MAS

Meme, it is interesting that you feel conservative Christians have not taken stances on all these subjects which they assuredly have. “Gay marriage” is being pushed down our throats, so you will naturally observe the loudest choking happening on that issue. No laws are being pushed for legalizing child sexual abuse, racial hatred or these other issues ( though I suspect polygamy and man-boy marriage will begin to get shoved as soon as the Trans folks get their bathrooms). Conservatives have been actively fighting such things since Biblical times. Perhaps you feel that waving your arms and shouting about other… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Berry says some things that could be variously construed early in his address if we give him the benefit of the doubt, but he veers way off the road later. Berry: If it can be argued that homosexual marriage is not reproductive and is therefore unnatural and should be forbidden on that account, must we not argue that childless marriages are unnatural and should be annulled? This is just clueless and insulting to barren women. Barren women are infertile because we live in a broken world. Sodomy is infertile by design; or rather because the participants can’t recognise design. The… Read more »

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

Racial marxists continued their long march through the church this week as an anti-white pastor introduced a resolution to the SBC to condemn the Alt-right and John Piper wrote a column recommending excommunicating racists (naming Martin Luther and John Edwards as examples). Knowing about my recent comment on the moral degeneracy of John Piper, my wife sent me this Rushdoony quote today. “The rights of the criminal ARE protected by Biblical law. The legal principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty is derived from the Bible. The same is true of the requirement of corroboration before a testimony… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

So how would you suggest dealing with the actual racists and misogynists who actively preach hatred in Christ’s name and allege to be past or present members of the SBC?

I think this resolution is far too broad,it targets the entire Alt Right rather than the behavior of those on the fringes.

Just the same, some outright hatred is going on in Jesus Christ’s name. Racist misogynist,ugly stuff, not microaggressions, stuff as ugly as Kathy Griffin’s behavior. So how do you go about denouncing stuff like that?

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

I suggest that they drive all healthy men and families right out the front door and then tap dance in front of a congregation of shrill Jacobins to prove how not-racist they are. How well do you think a white Southern Baptist is going to negotiate the pitfalls of a racial hysteria? Not as well as George Bridges or Bret Weinstein, I imagine. The Alt-right are going to be very entertained.

MeMe
Guest

Which part of the Alt Right is going to be very entertained? Would that be the “bang hot Asian chicks” branch? The Daily Stormer Brigade with their Jew hate? VD with his never ending, “hatred is a Christian virtue” mantra?

Pretending as if Alt Right means “good, virtuous,and not racist” is as silly as declaring them all racist. There’s a real problem and pretending as if it doesn’t exist isn’t going to make it go away.

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

No, we’re definitely all racist which is why it was nice to see Piper putting us in such good company.

OKRickety
Member

“Just the same, some outright hatred is going on in Jesus Christ’s name. Racist misogynist,ugly stuff, not microaggressions, stuff as ugly as Kathy Griffin’s behavior. So how do you go about denouncing stuff like that?”
That’s essentially what I asked you earlier on this thread. So far, crickets. Do you have an answer, or do you just want to keep complaining about others’ behavior when you have no suggestions?

bdash
Guest
bdash

no where in the bible is there the sin of misogyny….
God confronted exactly 0 men in the old testament on their treatment of women.
God endorses Patriarchal Models of family and Church in the NT

Katecho
Member

bdash wrote: no where in the bible is there the sin of misogyny…. God confronted exactly 0 men in the old testament on their treatment of women. bdash may want to check again. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. — Malachi 2:14 And the young woman’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her. Now he has charged her… Read more »

jamey_nichols_
Guest
jamey_nichols_

MeMe, your comments in this thread are are nourishing morsels for this recovering Baptist. You remind me that vogue controversies do not warrant more outrage than the do other, more familiar forms of unholiness–forms with which the church (in certain precincts) has grown complacent. I only ask that you remain careful to avoid any dismissisive tone for those who are late coming to the disapproval of our overall sexual condition. I find that folks jump on board over particulars before embracing generalities. We all have to start somewhere. May we all end up at the perfect place of holiness reverence… Read more »

bdash
Guest
bdash

Yes
It is good though to see the true Satanic beliefs of these supposed Christians reveal themselves.

bethyada
Member

Those who are in revolt against the sexual order authoritatively set down for us in Scripture have had to do far more than set aside God’s revelation to us. They have also had to reimagine the world, and the actual world is proving recalcitrant.

Are you saying that the modern choices push back? Like this?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ll note that Pastor Wilson has admitted in the past that he’s never read Wendell Berry, has absolutely no familiarity with his essays on human sexuality, and has not expressed any interest in getting to know Berry’s actual positions on the topic.

He’s basing his opinion of Berry entirely on excepts from an interview where Berry stated that the government should not be involved with marriage. A position many commenters here hold as well.

And, of course, the fact that Berry advocates for sustainable farming and concern for the environment, topics that Pastor Wilson regularly mocks.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I’ll note that Pastor Wilson has admitted in the past that he’s never read Wendell Berry, has absolutely no familiarity with his essays on human sexuality, and has not expressed any interest in getting to know Berry’s actual positions on the topic. If Jonathan thinks that Wilson doesn’t know (or has misrepresented) Berry’s actual position, then Jonathan should have provided some evidence to that effect, rather than just assert it. Notice that Jonathan didn’t support his contention that Wilson has misrepresented Berry in any way. Jonathan wrote: He’s basing his opinion of Berry entirely on excepts from an… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

December 2012, I believe in the post titled “The Truth About Organic Foods”, Pastor Wilson criticized Wendell Berry fans. When he was taken to task for it in the comments, he admitted that he hadn’t read Berry and had nothing against him but was only criticizing his fans. The next month, January 2013, he got excerpts from that speech and began attacking him. Since then he has still not quoting a single written work of Berry’s. You can also look at Pastor Wilson’s book log. It goes back to 1979 and doesn’t show a single Berry book. That’s the evidence.… Read more »

bethyada
Member
bdash
Guest
bdash

Most Christian men are at best tranny’s anyway…

Satan has won and succeeded in Castrating men
of course heresy thrives

MeMe
Guest

That’s totally ridiculous. Most Christian men are not tranny’s and satan has lost.
Men are awesome and Victory is already seated at the right hand of the Father. It’s a done deal.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

What with men washing dishes and all!

Nathan Smith
Member

I’m interested in the link and origin of calling Wendell Berry the “Dalai Lama of Kentucky.” I’m aware of the fact that Berry is a Kentuckian, but then I’m at a loss. Are these Dreher’s words? A quick google search brought up a somewhat interesting article on Berry and Merton and a not too interesting article on the Dalai Lama and CS Lewis.

bethyada
Member

Doug will have coined the term for this post.

Nathan Smith
Member

OK. I like it. As a Kentuckian, I don’t like missing out on Kentucky things, hence my concern :)

Daithi Dubh
Guest
Daithi Dubh

I respect Mr. Berry for his essays, novels, and poetry. He, along with others like Joel Salatin, have much to say of immense value on all things agrarian. BUT his position on homosexuality/same sex unions, etc., is high-sounding nonsense!