Matt Walsh has a new post* up pointing out the problem of Christians focusing on gay marriage while ignoring divorce. One of the commenters demonstrated why it is so difficult to hold divorcing women accountable. As I’ve mentioned before, when men call other men out on their sins, they tend to feel brave doing so, and men generally will acknowledge their failure. When men call women out they feel like they are being a bully, and even worse when you call a woman out you are off for a day at the (hamster) races.
Even though Matt specifically excluded divorce in cases of serial adultery and abuse (and Matt is absurdly inclusive in his definition of adultery), commenter Kristin called Matt out for the sin of making her feel bad about her divorce.
Matt, I know marriage is sacred. And I think your post was alright. But the thing is I am a pretty hard-core, love one another person and it was unsafe for me and harmful for my kids or me to stay married to that particular man who ‘surprise’ was a completely different man than who he presented himself to be when we wed. This is so devastating to me, especially because in my beliefs, marriage is more than ’til death do us part’. The thing is, I agree that divorces hurt marriage more than gay marriage hurts marriage but I’m kind of a bit crushed by your post. I thought in times past that you sounded like one of the really good christian guys but man, this was pretty darn harsh on people who’ve been divorced.
Note that while she hints that her husband was abusive, she doesn’t actually make the charge. This is especially telling, since after establishing her victimized woman cred she goes on the offensive, explaining to Matt that one shouldn’t ever judge the reason someone divorced (emphasis mine):
Maybe the answer is that divorce is more complicated than you give it credit. I do think that it is a tragedy for people to easily give up on marriages but I also know that I would never again judge, especially as harshly as you have, the reasons why people are divorced. You did write about the abhorring spread of porn recently, did you not? I’m surprised you didn’t even mention that in the above post. Just saying.
A lot of people are trying their best to do the best they can with what they know. And maybe not everybody has as good of an ‘image’ as you do, being ‘married until you die’ and being so sure of that. But don’t be so hard on people. It’s not even remotely Christlike. And yes, I’m stating that as a fact.
What is fascinating about this tactic is not only how common it is, but how often the woman using it goes entirely unchallenged. Everyone gets so caught up in protecting the woman suffering the fate of feeling bad that they don’t notice the bait and switch. She starts by complaining that she was unfairly lumped in with those other kinds of divorcées, and then shifts to defending the very divorcées she doesn’t want to be associated with. Which is it? She isn’t like those other divorcees? Or you can’t judge anyone who divorces?
She closes by holding out the possibility that she might find it in her heart to forgive Matt for the sin of making her feel bad:
That being said, I think I can forgive the hopeless feeling you seemed to impose on me. I think if you only knew more, you’d have written a much different post. Big picture, I agree with you, but overall that post did not appear to be written out of love.
Whenever I see this tactic I always think of this scene from The Blues Brothers:
*H/T Free Northerner
Hamster pic from Love hamster. Checkered flag from Ewan ar Born. I combined the last two to create the hamster 500 pic. You are free to use this new picture so long as you are in compliance with the original two image licenses.