Must a father teach his son to fix things?

In response to Giving thanks for fathers commenter Oratorian wrote:

Coming to this a little late, but does anyone have any insight about how the father-son passing on of masculine roles works among men who are NOT interested in or capable at things like car maintenance and DIY?

Without wishing to criticise any of Dalrock’s points, it’s a fact that not all fathers are particularly practical (mine wasn’t), and being hugely practical can’t be an essential masculine trait, so whenever the discussions becomes centered around this kind of activity I feel as though part of the conversation’s been missed out.

I wanted to respond to this in a post instead of a comment because it is an excellent question.  On top of that, the rest of his comment is also outstanding.  Not only does he go a long way towards answering the question he poses, but he demonstrates thankfulness for his own father, which was the primary point of the post:

My father was an intellectual type, and I rather take after him. He introduced me to what you might call intellectual masculinity. We debated things in depth and he expected me to read widely and make strong arguments with him, and he would have considered it feeble (not necessarily feminine) if I’d taken easy options and accepted received opinions without examining them.

We chopped logs together and unblocked our drains, and he involved me in odd jobs around the house sometimes, but there wasn’t the level of intense mechanical or otherwise practical work going on as so many commentators here describe.

I’m not hugely practical myself and I’ve got very limited experience of using tools and doing DIY, and now that I’m a father (one son so far) I want to know how I can present a good model of masculinity to my son without excelling at that kind of thing.

The short answer I would offer is to focus first on teaching your son what you know as a man.  Skills are very important, but you are also teaching your son about manhood in general and who you are as a man in the process (even if you aren’t really trying to).  If you can honestly say “This is what my father taught me” this will imbue it with additional meaning, even if it doesn’t register with him immediately.  It will be a connection he has not only with you, but with your father as well.

From there I would think about any other skills you want him to learn even if you haven’t mastered them yourself.  Here in the sphere we could quickly come up with an extensive list of things it is good for a man to know or be able to do.  With the exception of faithfully and seriously worshiping Christ, most if not all of these aren’t essential to be a Christian man, but they are still manly things and good things to have.  It isn’t that a “real man” should be able to do all of them or even any one of them, but it would be good if he can do some of them.  I’m sure others will have much to add in the comments, but off the top of my head:

  • Lifting weights.
  • Sports.
  • Martial arts.
  • DIY/maintenance/repair.
  • Shooting (including gun safety and maintenance/cleaning).
  • Hunting.
  • Fishing
  • Basic outdoor skills like building a fire.
  • Cooking with fire (grilling and smoking).

Part of what I would consider here is that as the distinction between the sexes is continuously blurred, showing mastery of more manly traits (especially hands on manly traits) helps a man stand out as a man.  So just from that frame alone you may want to consider how you can strategically expand your son’s horizons.  There is also the idea of contrast Game that could work in your son’s favor.  If he has mastered the intellectual world and also is the only man in his peer group who can with confidence change a tire, start a fire, shoot and break down an AR 15, and clean a fish he will have a leg up when competing for a wife.  He’ll get bonus points if he can manage to be a bit mysterious about how much he knows and how exactly he came to know how to do all of these things.

As you come to your own conclusion on what additional things you would like him to learn, the question turns to how to make this happen.  My father taught me how to shoot, but has never had any interest or skill in fishing or hunting.  When I was growing up and interested in these things my father made it possible for me to go fishing with men he knew who had an interest in it, and he got me started as best as he could by taking me to a trout farm when I was little.  When I was in high school he also took me and a few of my friends on a deep sea fishing charter trip.  Later friends in college and after that my father in law taught me how to hunt and dress out deer and elk.

Some skills you might want to master yourself first before teaching.  Others you might want to learn together.  And some you might look for others who can teach your son directly.  But while skills are good and important, the most important things you will teach your son is who he is as a man.  This you will end up doing to one degree or another no matter what specific skills you are teaching him.

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Posted in Fatherhood, Finding a Spouse, Game, Manliness | 71 Comments

Will trans acceptance push women to look more feminine?

In his post The Left pushes America down a slippery slope Larry Kummer contemplates the implications of the latest round of the culture wars with the inclusion of a “transgender woman” in the current Miss Universe contest:

If he – or she, as you prefer – wins, it will be a milestone. That is, a meaningless even by itself but marking progress on a path going somewhere. We can see only a few of the implications.

  • As the guys at 4Chan said long ago, this shows that men are better at everything than women – including being women.
  • It shows the glitterati is hard-left, contemptuously poking in the eye their mostly traditional and mostly male audience.
  • It shows that the far Left is winning, remaking our society in a form more pleasing to their ideology. Almost uncontested.
  • It means the West is going full Weimar. That didn’t end well last time.
  • It probably means other things. Things of great significance but beyond my pay grade to see.

I’ll add a speculation of my own to the list.  I suspect that as men dressing as women becomes more and more common, we are going to see women start to fear being mistaken for men.  For many decades the trend has been for women to ape men, starting at least in the 1920s with Amelia Earhart and her peers.  This has progressed so far that today we have two kinds of clothing and styles:

  1. Clothing and styles everyone can wear.
  2. Clothing and styles men must not wear.

For a woman to be seen as “crossdressing” she has to not only put on the apparrel and hairstyle of a man, but she has to make a concerted effort to pass herself off as a man.  This isn’t true for men.  If we see a dude with a full beard but with a woman’s haircut and wearing a dress, we still recognize this as crossdressing.  We would in fact recognize it instantly if he were merely wearing women’s shoes.  But a woman not wearing any women’s clothing (there is no longer men’s clothing) with a butch haircut isn’t seen as crossdressing unless she goes by a man’s name and speaks with a false deep voice.  It is possible for a woman to crossdress in our society, but it takes extreme effort.

Yet as men are pushing the envelope from the other direction this creates an entirely new problem for feminists.  While they want to be like men, they don’t want to be mistaken for a man, or at least for a transvestite.  They may applaud Bruce Jenner, but they don’t want to be mistaken for him.  Making this all the worse is that transvestites very often do want to be mistaken for women.   This can create very uncomfortable situations for women who just a few years ago would have been seen as having great moxy;  now they aren’t seen as women dabbling at being men but the reverse!

For an admittedly extreme example of this, see the NY Post story Grandma sent to all-male jail after mistaken for transgender man.  In that case, a woman who doesn’t look that out of the ordinary was mistaken for a transvestite.  She does have a very manish expression about her, but this is commonplace for women in this age.  Tragically her jailers refused to believe her when she assured them she was a woman, and she spent a harrowing 10 hours locked up in a holding cell with 40 men.

When a corrections officer asked the nurse if she had physically examined de Veloz, she brushed her off, firing back, “She’s a man” — and then walked away, the Miami Herald reported.

“You are a woman. Good luck if you’re alive tomorrow,” a corrections officer told her, according to the suit.

It may seem obvious that the nurse should have physically checked to see what kind of bits de Veloz has, but we live in a complicated world.  While de Veloz is suing her jailers for not checking her bits, The NY Post has another story about an inmate suing jailers for doing just that: Transgender woman forced to show genitals in jail, called a ‘he-she’: suit

A transgender woman in Texas was forced to show her genitalia to jailers who questioned her sex in Dallas County after she was arrested on a weapons charge, an explosive lawsuit claims.

“Ms. Jackson has suffered trauma, felt demoralized, anxious, stressed, a loss of dignity, and fear,” the lawsuit states, adding that county officials violated the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, which prohibits jails from examining transgender or intersex detainees solely to determine their gender.

But it isn’t just jailers who face confusion on the issue.  As crossdressing becomes more and more accepted, even promoted, we will all face this quandary.  After all, if you looked at both women in the respective news stories (here and here), the man dressing like a woman looks more feminine than the manish woman.

I suspect that just as we have seen men responding to women trying to look like men by growing beards and lifting weights, we are likely to see women’s fashions similarly react to men encroaching on women’s territory.  If I’m right, this won’t just show up as a resurgent appreciation for skirts, dresses, and non-sensible shoes.  I suspect this will show up in women’s facial expressions as well.  Today nearly all women are terrified of presenting a quiet, gentle spirit.  But as men continue to get better at looking like women, women are going to find themselves more and more afraid of being mistaken for men.

Posted in Rebellion, Ugly Feminists | 114 Comments

Perversion is love, and love wins.

Deti asked me to clarify what I meant in my last post about complementarian gay activists twisting the idea of repentance and being freed from sin.  Instead of framing being freed from sin as something gays should be thankful to God for, they frame gays repenting from sin as something straight Christians should be thankful to gays for.  What complementarians are doing here is framing perversion as something good, something gays deserve compensation for giving up. Rosaria Butterfield does this in her ERLC article and concludes that non gay Christians owe it to gay Christians to compensate them for the great things they left behind in the gay lifestyle (emphasis mine):

Take, for example, our Christian brothers and sisters who struggle with unchosen homosexual desires and longings, sensibilities and affections, temptations and capacities. Our brothers and sisters need the church to function as the Lord has called it to—as a family. Because Christian conversion always comes in exchange for the life you once loved, not in addition to it, people have much to lose in coming to Christ—and some people have more to lose than others. Some people have one cross, and others have ten to carry. People who live daily with unchosen homosexual desires also live with a host of unanswered questions and unfulfilled life dreams. What is your responsibility to those brothers and sisters who are in this position in life?

God’s people need to wake up to something. If you want to share the gospel with the LGBTQ community or anyone who will lose family and homes, the gospel must come with a house key.

The problem here is not the coordinated ERLC claim that we as members of the church are to form a new kind of family that all of us can benefit from.  The problem is the twisted way it looks at perversion, at sin.  From a Christian point of view gays are ensnared, trapped, in something awful.  Being freed from that trap is in and of itself a profound gift.  But Butterfield and her colleagues at the ERLC don’t see it that way.  They see being freed from the trap as a loss, at least in our earthly lives.

Pastor Sam Allberry has the same frame of mind in his ERLC speech The Church as the Family of God: Singleness, Same-Sex Attraction, and the Hope of Hospitality.  Allberry describes a gay man who is highly satisfied with his current gay relationship.  The satisfied-with-being-gay man asked Allberry what would be the benefit of leaving his gay relationship and following Jesus.  Allberry says he really struggled to think of a here and now answer to this question.  Unspoken is his view that the man’s gay relationship is something of real value, not something terrible to be freed from:

He said to me, listen this partnership I’m in has by far been the best thing that’s happened to me. What could possibly be worth giving that up for? And I sat there for a moment and thought “Yeah that’s a good question”. And I looked at him and said “that’s a very good question.” And I remember praying “Lord that’s a really good question. A bit of air cover here would be useful”. And I could have answered it by saying “Well you get heaven. You get a relationship with God you get forgiveness of sins, those things are gloriously true. But it was a ground level here and now question, that was looking for a ground level here and now answer.

I can understand why Allberry might choose not to lead with being freed from the trap of sin and perversion right off the bat in the conversation.  But Allberry speaks at length as if the happy gay man has a great point.  The reality is the man doesn’t have a point at all, his conscience is seared so he can’t feel the pain that comes with his depravity.  Yet Allberry never recognizes this in the speech.  More importantly, what Allberry and his ERLC colleagues are doing (along with Piper and Roen) is trying to sear the consciences of non gay Christians on the subject.

Pastor Matt Chandler touched on the same theme in his own ERLC speech:

All of us have to die to ourselves. There’s no question that the invitation to come and follow Christ is the invitation to come and die (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). And yet there are some crosses that are heavier than others. Scott Sauls (a pastor in Nashville) one time talked about having this yearning for companionship while fighting for sexual purity as a single man. It was difficult, but should never be compared with those who earnestly desire that kind of companionship and sexual companionship for whom that’s simply not coming in this lifetime.

Imagine another group of Christians forming a sort of sin lobby for their favorite perversion, and claiming that they were better than other Christians because they gave up their wonderful perversion for Jesus!  This is absurd, but it is the frame the ERLC is promoting.

For another example of this twisted perspective, see the conversation below between Rosaria Butterfield and ERLC President Russell Moore.  Listen closely to Butterfield to try to spot any sense that she is fortunate to have been freed from her wicked life of lesbianism and gay activism.  I will confess that I’ve only watched the first 15 minutes, so it is possible that Butterfield eventually recognizes that her conscience had been seared.  I’ll ask my braver readers to take one for the team and listen all the way through and report back in the comments.

Posted in Dr. Russell Moore, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Matt Chandler, Pastor Sam Allberry, Uncategorized | 50 Comments

Chandler: Every Christian should have a gay friend.

Complementarianism is about bringing the “progress” of the culture wars into the conservative church while pretending to retain orthodoxy.  Complementarians started with feminism, but many of the biggest names are now doing the same for the LGBT agenda.  Much of the battle here is to overcome Christians’ feeling of disgust at homosexuality.  Conservative Christians need to be taught what the rest of the culture has already accepted:

  1. Being disgusted by homosexuality is a grave sin and a sign of hateful bigotry.
  2. Gays are special people, and due to the virtue of diversity every organization must include gays and every person should demonstrate their lack of bigotry by having gay friends.

Pastor Matt Chandler does an outstanding job with both in his speech to Equip Austin, an event produced by the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in 2015.  For a partial transcript of the speech see “The Church Must Be a Place Where It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.” Matt Chandler on Homosexuality & the Church.  Chandler explains that conservative Christians are hateful bigots who need to overcome their disgust of homosexuality (emphasis mine):

One of the things I’ve seen is that some people are very terrified of homosexuality. The accusation that Christians are homophobic actually is true about certain Christians I’ve been around. They are mortified of homosexuals; they are grossed out by [them]. And the gospel (really on any subject) reshapes us to a place of compassion, it reshapes us to a place of love, and it reshapes us back to an eager hope for reconciliation in all things.

Later in the speech Chandler explains that every Christian should have a gay friend (emphasis mine):

All of us are going to have gay friends, family or co-workers. That’s a giant umbrella. And listen I want to push that you should have someone in that umbrella in your life.  If you’ve so withdrawn from these types of relationships then I think honestly when all’s said and done you’re not really helping in the relationship between what appears to be two warring factions although I would argue that we’re really not at war.  There is a war going on, it’s not between us right.

There are some other bits in Chandler’s speech that will ring familiar to my readers.  This speech is from 2015, and even then Chandler was laying the foundation for Allberry and Butterfield’s hospitality message that Christian families need to give gays access to our children:

Here’s how I want to encourage you. One, this is the place where genuine friendship and hospitality pays dividends. I have found that where I disagree with someone on theology, life and practice, those disagreements can remain and there be genuine friendship — if a relationship has been built. So come into my home. Sit at my table. Let’s hang out. Let’s go see this movie. Let’s go grab a drink. I’ve got a party at my house on labor day weekend. Come over to my house, bring your friends, and let’s just hang out, swim and barbecue…

Allberry and Butterfield argue that gays deserve access to our children because intimacy with our children is the reward Jesus promised them for following Him, to make up for the intimacy they are giving up by leaving the gay lifestyle.  Back in 2015 Chandler laid the foundation for this as well.  He says that gay Christians are special because by giving up the gay lifestyle they have given up more than the rest of us:

There’s no question that the invitation to come and follow Christ is the invitation to come and die (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). And yet there are some crosses that are heavier than others. Scott Sauls (a pastor in Nashville) one time talked about having this yearning for companionship while fighting for sexual purity as a single man. It was difficult, but should never be compared with those who earnestly desire that kind of companionship and sexual companionship for whom that’s simply not coming in this lifetime.

This is subtle because it twists the idea of repentance.  Instead of Christians being grateful to God for being delivered from sin (something awful), the idea is that non gay Christians should be grateful to gay Christians for giving up their life of sin (something of great value).

Posted in Complementarian, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Matt Chandler, Social Justice Warriors, Southern Baptist Convention | 69 Comments

Loud and proud complementarians: Pastor Matt Chandler.

Pastor Matt Chandler is at the nexus of the modern complementarian movement. He is a contributor to The Gospel Coalition (TGC), the president of the Acts 29 church planting network and a council member of the ERLC. In the video below Chandler explains to Vice TV why so many evangelicals support President Trump.  Chandler argues that as great as President Obama and our recent social justice advances are, the social progress has been too fast for evangelicals to accept:

I think people are frightened. I think people are frightened at the speed at which things are changing culturally. So I think they begin to grasp for something that might help. The Obama presidency, great man, some of his policies and the way he rolled out his policies really really scared evangelicals. And without any kind of real help from Pastors and ministers to help us understand, the news media just whipped us into a frenzy and made people feel desperate.

According to Chandler the problem with the modern church is that it isn’t on the social justice bandwagon, and this is leading to declining membership:

My experience with the de-churched, thats what I would call them, those who grew up in the church and have left, is that it is a sense of hypocrisy they have picked up on, a kind of cowardice among the church to address things that are serious and significant pains of our day. So whether that be domestic violence that the church has been just painfully quiet on or even things like racial reconciliation.  Which means that if you step into these spaces you are going to draw a lot of flack from the evangelical world.

He is especially concerned that Christians are sinning in their opposition to the gay and trans agendas:

But I think especially around topics like homosexuality where we are quick to say it’s a sin.  Which I’m not going to disagree that I would think from the scriptures that it’s not ultimately what God intends, but  to pretend like we’re not talking about human beings with souls, who sometimes are deeply conflicted it’s just a great error.  And to be right the wrong way is to be wrong.

I think some of the blind spots on the left is that the left, specifically city left, feels like the country is more progressive than it actually is, and the more it presses, the more it makes conservatives dig in their heels.  The bathroom bill had passed, and I’m telling you people were terrified by that bathroom bill, more than anything else the thought that their children were going to be in a bathroom with the opposite sex, and I know all of arguments around that, but I’m using the language that I think would make sense to most conservatives, that made them go “whoever the opposition is to that I’m voting for” and then they lost their soul on that, many of them did.

Chandler looks back and sees Christianity as having been on the wrong side of history when it comes to the culture wars.  But oddly he doesn’t see the accelerating social justice movements of the last 50 years as an assault on Christian morality.  He sees the church as having suddenly and mysteriously started to mistreat women, gays, and transsexuals over the last 50 years:

I think you are going to see what we’ve already seen probably three or four times in Christian history.  There are going to be those that try to reach the world by becoming like the world.  And then there are going to be those that try to by the grace of God hold fast to orthodox Christian faith in a way that’s compassionate and kind, and they are going to have to weather the backlash of all of the wrong that has been done in the name of Jesus in the last 50 years.

This is the complementarian frame in a nutshell.  Christianity existed for 2,000 years, and then a group of social justice reformers decided that Christianity was anti woman.  Complementarians responded by agreeing with nearly everything the anti Christian “reformers” had argued, but kept just enough of the old teaching to be able to point to themselves as theoretically different from the reformers, even though in practice there is virtually no difference.    Then immediately after praising the reformers, complementarians denied that the reformers ever existed.  This way they can deny that they are at war with 2,000 years of Christian doctrine, because the only thing that changed was the church suddenly started mistreating women (and gays, and transexuals) 50 years ago and complementarians are restoring the old order.  This kind of doublethink is farcical, but it really is baked into the complementarian view.

H/T Darwinian Arminian

Posted in Acts 29, Complementarian, Domestic Violence, Donald Trump, Doublethink, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Matt Chandler, Social Justice Warriors, The Gospel Coalition, Traditional Conservatives | 60 Comments