BREAKING: Someone Called Me ‘Jesus-Like,’ My Mother’s Head Explodes

humility

Humility is worth striving for. I hope I don’t come across as lacking it, because that will be a major failure on my part. (Image/blog.adw.org)

“I’ve got nothing against God. It’s his fan club I can’t stand.” 

— Unknown athiest

I was having a nice time with a small group of friends gathered for my 37th birthday before everything went sideways.

It’s one of those speakeasy-styled places with super-legit handcrafted cocktails. Good company. Good drinks. Good everything.

And then one of my newest friends (who was promptly downgraded to ‘acquaintance’ status after this) stopped in with two of her girlfriends from work, one of whom my friendquaintance was trying to set me up with.

God.

An Interlude

“When you live what you preach, you don’t have to say much.”

— Abdul Nasir Jangda

Something you might not know about me since most of you only read things here and it’s sometimes difficult to convey tone with the written word: I am an animated person.

I’m gregarious. A tad loud sometimes. And I have a reputation with some people as having really strong opinions about seemingly inconsequential things, which is well deserved, but ONLY within the context of trusting that I mostly have my priorities in order.

For example:

Maybe I have strong opinions about some facet of religion or about a particular politician or divisive political issue. No matter what someone believes and no matter how much my opinions might diverge from theirs, it’s generally “safe” to discuss sensitive things with me without any risk of fighting or offending one another.

That’s because I work hard at NOT, A. Judging, B. Trying to convert someone to my way of thinking, C. Being impolite, offensive or unkind, and D. Assuming of every mathematically possible answer that exists in Life, that little old me somehow has all of the correct ones. It’s all part of my master plan to be less of an asshole.

HOWEVER, to the uninitiated, listening to me go off on the relative inadequacies of Mounds or Three Musketeers candy bars, or debating the merits of crunchy versus creamy peanut butter, or some other random personal-preference thing, can seem like I’m going off the rails about something inconsequential.

It’s because I foolishly believe that no rational human could ever think I’m ACTUALLY that passionate about something stupid like peanut butter, just like I foolishly believed that no rational wife could ever ACTUALLY believe that I didn’t love her based on my well-documented Shitty Husband behavior.

When someone dangerously cuts you off in traffic, and you’re pissed about it, the difference between whether they were recklessly cutting you off “just because!” or because they were rushing their deathly ill child to the hospital is likely to influence how we feel about it.

Context matters.

Back to the Birthday Thing

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

The three women walked in, we shook hands while they wished me a happy birthday, then they ordered drinks, before somehow, some way, religion and church attendance became the topic of conversation.

Among the churchgoers, I think everyone attended Christian services of various denominations.

As a Catholic (not a very good one), I counted myself among them.

But I was quickly derided by the girl my friendquaintance wanted to hook me up with. She didn’t attempt to conceal her disgust with my personal choices, informing one of her coworkers that “Catholics aren’t real Christians because they don’t believe in love and forgiveness.”

Attempts to politely correct her were met with assurances that she knew better. As a baptized Catholic, I firmly rejected the concepts of love and forgiveness. That was her take. She looked me in the eye and said so.

I have zero problems with people not believing what I believe. Because in the context of their individual life experiences, it almost ALWAYS makes sense that they believe what they believe.

But there’s a point where that stops being true. And that’s when an ignoramus opines on a subject she knows nothing about, is politely corrected by someone with more than 30 years of personal knowledge on the subject, and STILL insists she knows before repeating something ridiculous.

This was an opportunity for me to behave with patience, with kindness, with humility, with perspective in a way someone might consider Christ-like.

But instead, I did the Matt thing where I get a little pompous and outraged—NOT about the religious aspect of the conversation nearly as much as how irrational and bitchy the Birthday Ruinator was.

Out of context, it probably looked and felt like I was being super-non-Jesusy in a moment that probably called for walking a higher path.

I don’t know.

Maybe it was super-Jesusy that I didn’t call her a big, fat stupid face who sucks at all things, which is reasonably close to how I felt about her in the moment.

The Last Thing I Want to be is Preachy

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

—St. Francis of Assisi

In a comment, a reader asked whether I was a practicing Christian, but I unintentionally never answered it. In response to that comment, another reader wrote this, which could legitimately cause my mother to have an aneurysm or actually explode when she reads it. (I hope not, mom. Please let me know you’re okay!)

In agreement with a previous comment, Catherine wrote:

“I was thinking this. Matt, you are very Jesus-like in the way you preach. Perhaps you should start a Church for Husbands! They do not want to go with us, maybe you could start one on TV? HeHeHe…”

I can’t emphasize this strongly enough: I don’t KNOW anything. I lack the knowledge of those with more education, the experience of those who actually have healthy relationships, and the wisdom of the people with the requisite education and experience.

I never want to come off (even though I have many times failed at this in real life and on this blog) as if I think I KNOW things.

I just THINK things.

And I like to tell the stories of my life and marriage as a cautionary tale to others because I perceive (correctly or otherwise) my life and marriage story to be fairly average.

I think most people accidentally break their marriages, and I think I mostly see how.

But none of that means I’m capable of walking the walk in a future relationship. That remains to be seen. There’s certainly no reason to assume I will.

And regardless of what you might believe about Jesus, there’s EVERY reason to believe I have little in common with him.

I believe Catherine meant well and was mostly being playful.

But my alarm went off when I read the word “preach.” Because I can’t think of a more off-putting way to be than to PREACH. As if I—some divorced jerkoff on the internet—is in any position to PREACH to any one of you.

I apologize for any time you felt as if I thought I was some super-smart and wise person who you should listen to. (About things that matter. You should TOTALLY listen to me on things that don’t matter, like food, music, movies and all of the other things about which I have exquisite tastes.)

I only hope that if you ever recognize yourself in the stories that you ask yourself whether there are better choices to be made or better ways to live, so that good and beautiful things happen for you and your children.

Because they don’t make tequila strong enough to salvage the kind of sideways birthday parties I had. And even if I start walking on water or turning said water into wine, you can be damn sure no one will confuse my behavior with Jesus’.

Even if I do believe in love and forgiveness.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

202 thoughts on “BREAKING: Someone Called Me ‘Jesus-Like,’ My Mother’s Head Explodes

  1. Travis B. says:

    I want so badly to make a funny here that I have to assume Matt would enjoy, since he’s demonstrated a taste for irreverence in his humor, but being an agnostic with strong atheistic inclinations swimming in a sea of many believers around here, I guess I’ll side with the whole “discretion is the better part of valor” thing…

    Like

  2. Eric says:

    Here’s the thing: no one *knows* anything. I don’t mean that in a trippy, existential, what-is-reality sort of way. And I don’t mean it in a holocaust-denying, moon-landing-skeptic sort of way either. I mean that your knowledge of God and life and family and marriage (shitty or otherwise) and peanut butter is just as meaningful (potentially) to me as is Francis Chan’s or Stephen Covey’s or Kevin Leman’s or Malcolm Gladwell’s or Jane Austen’s or the flippin Planters Peanut Guy himself. I agree with you more than I disagree with you. I relate to you more often than I don’t. That’s good enough for me. I look forward to reading your posts because you’re honest about the ways in which you fuck up (or have fucked up)…just like all the rest of us do BTW, but aren’t as willing to talk about or even expose for others to see. (Moms, both mine and Matt’s, I’m sorry for using the F word. You raised me better.) Keep up the good work, and keep the *real* coming, especially stories about the “stupid faces” you interact with. That’s good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Masqued says:

    As someone who has struggled to find her voice after an abusive relationship, I have begun to speak up and own my thoughts more. For the most part, those closest to me have been encouraging me in this. Yet it seems this is more difficult for them to live up to, when my beliefs and opinions don’t match up perfectly with theirs.

    And it is so bloody irritating, when I have thought hard and researched and drawn from my experience to have someone look at me point blank and reject that. It’s taken me a few days (after being triggered by three separate people) to realize my problem wasn’t about them rejecting my religion – but by rejecting my understanding and viewpoint as a possibility, they are in some ways rejecting me. For me, it’s never about being right and making someone agree with me. It’s about other people silencing opinions and declaring they have the ultimate knowledge about the world, particularly a world I have spent a great deal of time in. I am quite content to agree to disagree, and avoid the discussion altogether.

    I have a lot of regret that your birthday crashers had to mess with your festivities, but I appreciate you sharing these thoughts, because I’ve been working through some similar ones myself this week.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      “For me, it’s never about being right and making someone agree with me. It’s about other people silencing opinions and declaring they have the ultimate knowledge about the world, particularly a world I have spent a great deal of time in.”

      Yes! I wrote this on Matt’s “How to be Less an Asshole”-post (sorry if it’s sad/pretentious to quote myself, I can’t quite tell, hehe):

      “And the disrespect that I’ve been guilty of myself in various discussions many many times is mostly what gets me about people who shit on my tastes/beliefs etc. It’s usually not the “I don’t like this/agree with this” that I mind so much (especially when we’re talking about taste, interests etc). It’s the conveying of the message that:

      “I don’t like this/agree with this, obviously I must be right and you must be wrong. I can’t even conceive of the possibility that you could be as right as I am. So obviously you must be stupid/misinformed to think differently than I do””

      It feels so invalidating of me as a person, when someone’s so utterly convinced that somehow their experiences/thoughts/research/feelings//preferences are more real and true and worthy and intelligent than mine because…I don’t know, they’re more worthy/important/capeable as a human being than me?

      I think it breaks a fundamental trust we have in us, a trust about reciprocity and equal worth in our interactions/relationships with eachother. For our emotional and physical health, we’re so dependent on having both a valued self and having connections with others. We recognize on some level that this is true for everyone, so it makes sense that we should treat eachother with equal regard.

      So when others relate to us in a manner that conveys that they know for certain they are better/more right than us, they also communicate that we don’t get to have our feelings/thoughts/selves valued, but they do (without even expending the energy necessary to ponder another perspective), for us to have a connection with them. It’s basically unfair, and it implies that they have concluded we’re less worthy/deserving than them since they think they deserve the privilige of having their thoughts/beliefs/etc respected while we do not. (I’m deeply inspired by the quote by David Richo “Unfairness is about breaking a connection of trust” from “The Five Things We Cannot Change)

      I’ve totally beein guilty of being disrespectful in this same way. And I do recognize that the devaluing isn’t usually the main intention, but I do believe it is nevertheless present in some way. And I also recognize that some people enjoy a good debate and shitting on eachothers beliefs/tastes etc, and that is fine, part of human diversity. It would be totally hypocritical of me to believe that this isn’t an equally worthy way of operating as not enjoying it! ;) But I will throw in that I only think it’s fine as long as it is with someone who likes it aswell, AND if you’re able to take it and not just serve it. Because then there is an implied fairness of “you have as much right to crap on what I believe as I have the right to crap on what you believe”.

      Brent Atkinson talk about legitimate differences, which I find very interesting and I’m trying to internalize. But I’ll also say that sometimes I really do think I’m fundamentally more right than someone else. Not when it comes to interest etc, but when it comes to some values. Like all people, as a general rule. being deserving of equal regard for instance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. linds01 says:

    Matt,
    First – Just so you know, these are my last few days before classes resume, and THEN I get to cram a mini-vacation in before things really get underway.
    Right now, I like spending time here, talking with a few other people.
    I am not choosing this at the expense of something else, at least for the time being. I do expect my life to get busier, and fuller , but right now it is not (and it has not been for sometime, even though I have tried many things, including mental gymnastics to try to change that .) I’m afraid that I spend too much time here, and that you don’t really get much out of what I write, and I am probably a little bit of annoyance to you when you see my name pop up. I am not going to put you on the spot and ask for you to say whether that is true or not. I am not here for you, I am here for me- so there :P (But, if there is something I do specifically that bothers you, or you think may bother other people, please let me know.)

    I think I have at some point equated you to Jesus as well- but, wait- hear me out.

    Maybe it is that you are “Christ like” in how you do seem to accept/not judge, and in how you seem to care about others. That is sorely lacking in the world, people don’t expect it and don’t know what to do with it. But we all want/need that!

    Jesus didn’t “know” a lot of things either, he wasn’t educated. But he spoke with authority because he had an understanding of Gods character. The rules (knowledge) can be misinterpreted if you don’t know the character of the person who wrote them.
    Jesus knew God intimately, and so understood the reason for the rules.
    I am just saying that it isn’t your vast knowledge people are attracted to, it is your understanding. It’s how you put the knowledge you do have together.
    People can get and relate to your assessment of the world/relationships/marriage. And yes, you seem to put things in a light that offers great insight, sometimes.

    The fact that you are gregarious and animated, even in your writing, is a draw to people, too.

    Do I think you are even close to Jesus? I think maybe you are more like Jesus than you think you are. That doesn’t mean you are divine, or in anyway better or more in command of your life, and the world, than anyone else is. It just means that you have developed/are developing some of his qualities- which is a good thing, because I think that is his intention with us to begin with.
    You don’t have to see yourself that way- that’s fine. That’s probably better than fine, because you are just doing what you think is right to do. (And screwing up like the rest of us).

    Let me throw this out to you, though you may not like it any better-
    I think for the most part, we celebrate you. Just like your friends (minus the acquaintance?) celebrated you on your Birthday. That’s what we do for peoples birthdays, we gather round them and appreciate them, we celebrate their life- and they are the celebrate- ee
    ….the celebrity.

    There is a lot about you that tickles people. (I think tickles is a very apt word there.)

    So we come back to read what you have to say this time. Because it makes us feel good in someway, and because we can identify and because you say it in such an elegant way (even when you cuss :) .

    Should we put you above the people in our life that we should probably celebrate more often than we do? NO.

    Will people do that because you may seem a little more exciting, fun, more in touch than the people they see on a daily basis. Sometimes. (That’s pretty much myself and my dogs for the most part, for me, , so- I’m allowed.. : P)

    It would probably do us all a load of good to celebrate the people we have in our life more often and more sincerely than we do.
    And it would probably do us all a load of good, to “be the soul of the place”- to be that person who holds off on judgement, and is just perfectly themselves, and who allows others to be perfectly themselves. I honestly think that is what people see, and equate to Jesus.
    They wouldn’t be wrong, but, it shouldn’t be so rare.

    Like

  5. kirstencronlund says:

    Oh, man. Telling another person what they think or feel or believe – that’s a relationship killer. A wise therapist I know calls that crossing a micro-boundary, and it’s amazing how quickly things go south when that happens.

    I’m guessing there was no first date…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      “A wise therapist I know calls that crossing a micro-boundary, and it’s amazing how quickly things go south when that happen”

      Ooh, good stuff! Do tell more if you feel like it. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • kirstencronlund says:

        There’s an explanation – better than I can summarize here – in this publication. Scroll down to page 14. http://newchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/NCC-5-Navigating-Family-Relationships.pdf

        Liked by 1 person

      • Donkey says:

        Thank you kirstencronlund!

        MICROBOUNDARY VIOLATIONS

        Feelings:
        –Telling a person what to feel
        –Claiming you know how a person is feeling

        Intentions, Desires, and Motives:
        –Assuming you know what a person thinks or wants
        –Believing you know a person’s motivations
        –Expecting a person to know your unspoken wishes

        Thoughts, Opinions, and Beliefs:
        –Negating or contradicting a person’s thoughts
        –Speaking for another person
        –Telling a person what to think or believe

        Family of Origin:
        –Criticizing a person’s family
        –Claiming to understand a person’s experience

        Experience of the Body:
        –Minimizing a person’s pain
        –Assuming a person has the same physical
        experience as your own

        “When someone makes assumptions about another’s internal state, that person
        crosses a microboundary. In short,microboundaries are respect in action. Any time we speak to another person as if we know what they think, feel, or should think or feel, we cross a boundary.”

        “We also cross microboundaries because we think we know better. Every time we do so, it’s a power play in which one person tries to mold the other”

        “”A functional relationship must strike a balance between intimacy and freedom.
        When a problem arises in a relationship, no matter what the area of
        conflict is, the real issue is often power. Who is in charge, you or me?”

        “He speaks of the value in permitting oneself to truly understand another person. We have To permit ourselves to understand our loved ones. We instinctively evaluate and judge something another person does. We say, “That’s unreasonable,” or, “That’s correct,” or, “That’s silly.” In doing so, we violate microboundaries. Rarely do we permit ourselves to understand our loved ones because understanding is risky. The ultimate risk is that we might be changed by that understanding.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • linds01 says:

        Good stuff, thank you Kirsten!

        Like

  6. I have to admit, I tend to get sucked into religious debates/conversations (you can go ahead and read that as arguments), being a Christian AND having a degree in religious studies draws people into “testing” me. I think that religion conversations are the hardest ones to have! Even among my Christian friends (raised Baptist over here) there is usually a heated debate around certain concepts. I once got into a stand off with my pastor who claimed that Catholics weren’t Christians…. geez some people’s children….

    Like

  7. sooo…? Crunchy or creamy? spill it already!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vinaigrette Girl says:

    Keeping at arm’s length from people who preach about RealChristians [TM] is one of my favourite exercises. Sometimes it takes good footwork, sometimes it’s more like parkour. I’m fond of Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, though.

    In other news, you find nice people doing enjoyable things by being in the places they do those things: Ramblers, or choirs, or Scottish dancing, or reading with primary school kids, or Catholics for Choice rallies, or anything you do in groups where you get to know each other as people. As a French friend of mine said: ” If your clothes don’t fit you’re choosing the wrong shops.” Maybe your friendaquaintance has terrible taste in suits, too.

    May you have increasingly happy returns of the day, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I didn’t really want to make this about religion. It’s such a deeply personal thing for most people. I try to stay away from it.

      But here’s my general take on people who want to debate Christianity…

      In a world where billions of people have RADICALLY divergent beliefs up and down all kinds of various spectrums, two people who worship the same God, read from the same spiritual text, celebrate the same religious holidays, and believe the same miraculous story about God becoming Man, are going to quibble over the remaining differences, instead of focusing on all of their common goals and beliefs?

      That, to me, is insane.

      And frankly, indicative of the sort of pompous self-righteousness that causes people who weren’t raised in that faith to reject it.

      It’s not the particular teachings they reject. (They often don’t even know accurate versions of them.) It’s the extraordinary level of Asshole-ishness and hypocrisy people see from the group preaching “Love thy neighbor.”

      People don’t dislike Christianity.

      People dislike Christians.

      People don’t dislike Christians who ACTUALLY behave in Christ-like ways.

      People dislike all the nauseating hypocrisy.

      Or maybe it’s just me who can’t stomach it. I guess I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marion says:

    As someone who has a lot of issues with my birthday (I suspect that may be like the dishes-by-the-sink marriage thing. An unhappiness that is more common than we realize because no one talks about it.), I’m really sorry you experienced this. Especially sad since it happened on a day when you should have been feeling loved and special. The Catholic-bias woman not only behaved poorly, but she did so at your birthday celebration? That takes self-absorption to a new level.
    Is it possible that your acquantiance/friend just made a mistake? Her attempt to set you up not only turned out poorly, but it was ill-conceived. But honestly, I’ve made worst mistakes while attempting to be helpful. Not suggesting you second guess your judgement. I just know if I had experienced that, I would be so hurt and angry that I would try not to make decisions in that state of mind.
    Final suggestion, think of something that will makes you happy and do it. When my birthdays turn out poorly, I treat myself to a spa getaway. I don’t really know you – just your blog. It’s still enough to know you should be cherished. In fact,I hope you are just being humble when sounding doubtful about your abilities to have a healthy relationship. You are ready. I think the key is two people with a generous spirit. You not only have it, but you also have the wisdom to find another generous spirit.

    Like

  10. “I was thinking this. Matt, you are very Jesus-like in the way you preach.”

    She’s quite right, Matt, but there are some subtleties that you may not recognize. Jesus rarely “preached” in the way we define the word today, something more akin to lecturing or getting on our soap box. Jesus mostly just told us stories and parables with treasures hidden within them.

    If you watch how He “preaches” to women, it’s really fascinating. There’s no condemnation, no lecturing, he simply asks them questions, “woman, where is your husband? Woman where are you accusers?” and so forth. It’s really fascinating to me, because to this day if you want to get a woman thinking, perhaps feeling convicted over something she is doing, the fastest way to do that is to simply ask her a question. It’s powerful. If you’re ever at a loss for words, you can simply a parrot back what she just said in the form of a question. For one it makes us feel heard, and second it challenges what we are saying. We might be right, in which case we’ll feel heard and validated, or else we’ll realize we’re wrong and simply back off. With just one question, you can solve the entire problem for us without lifting a finger.

    Like

  11. J11 says:

    LOL Matt! I read this one to the hubby tonight and laughed our arses off. Good read. Love ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. linds01 says:

    Matt,
    Sorry- I think I misunderstood one of your last paragraphs:
    “I only hope that if you ever recognize yourself in the stories that you ask yourself whether there are better choices to be made or better ways to live, so that good and beautiful things happen for you and your children.”

    I took “recognizing yourself in these stories” to mean people who may view you as Jesus-like, or whatever. And sort of an invitation to leave .:/!
    But re-reading it I think you meant your stories overall that you share here, and making better choices in their marriage/lives.

    That may not excuse the weirdness at the beginning of my statement, but hopefully helps explain it! Again- yikes, sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Travis B. says:

      Yes, my read on it is that he’s basically saying, “If you see your own personal experiences somehow reflected in mine…”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        I’m a special kind of cra-cra sometimes :).
        I have one more day off before going back to class, and would like to put everything with a screen away – I’m so hooked to this crap. (Phones, laptops- whatever.)
        So you guys can’t have any interesting conversations at all tomorrow! It’s not allowed, not without me! ..Lol- not really.
        BTW- 80’s new wave music counts as interesting, friend. I ❤️Music, so it’s cool to discover or rediscover more from old favorites.
        Thanks for always reaching out, Travis.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. If anyone on this list wants to know more about the life and death of Jesus, I highly recommend Bill O’Reilly’s book “Killing Jesus”. I learned so much from that book that I never knew before. Here is a link to it on Amazon (My favorite book store):

    https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Jesus-Bill-OReilly/dp/1427233322

    If anyone is interested in discussing this book, please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      O’Reilly’s book was ok. But if you liked that, I can do you one better. Read “The Day Christ Died” by Jim Bishop. Takes you through the events, hour by hour. Just riveting. Available for Kindle from Amazon.

      Then, when you’re REALLY ready to swim with the big boys, check out “Meditation on the Passion” by Rev Reginald Walsh. Also avail from Amazon for Kindle. One of the most amazing books I have ever read…the spiritual depths it plumbs is just astounding. It changes you.

      Enjoy!

      Like

  14. DavidLGLLSDPTM says:

    Marriage can struggle through differences in religions, politics, college football team affiliations….but differences in peanut butter choice ? Good thing you saved yourself the grief Matt . Remember the bracelets “WWJD” ? Add “WPBWJC” but I see you are open to both depending. I do disagree however and like crunchy with apples and celery. I suppose this is where Jesus and I split ways ? :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. anitvan says:

    “…you can be damn sure no one will confuse my behavior with Jesus’.”

    Nor should they. You are not Jesus. You are Matt, so you should absolutely act like Matt. When you write about how we all can be less asshole-ish, you ARE being Jesus to others, you’re just doing it in Matt’s way. Being truly loving to others, seeking their highest good – that IS being Jesus to others and you do it in your own Matt way.

    Think of it this way – this person told you they could see Jesus’ love reflected in you. I can’t think of a better argument for you to keep on being you. ☺

    Like

  16. Jeff Strand says:

    Catholics don’t believe in forgiveness? Uh…ok. I thought there was that whole thing called the Sacrament of Penance, aka “Confession”. That seems like it would have something to do with forgiveness. But hey, what the heck do I know?

    And I bet that chick wonders why she’s still single and can’t snag a good husband. Prolly most view her as strictly “hit it and quit it” material…can’t imagine why! And anyway, it’s very un-feminine for her to contradict you (as the man) and argue with you. Very unattractive, and based on behavior like that, how could a man have any confidence at all that she will be able to properly submit to her husband! When he makes a decision, will she submit to it as a good wife…or will she argue with him? I’d guess the latter.

    Matt, don’t sweat this one. You dodged a bullet.

    Like

    • Travis B. says:

      Jeff, I’m loathe to even say anything because I’m not really interested in going down a rabbit hole with you. It’s clear that your religious beliefs, and interpretation of scripture, are important to you, and I respect your rights to them, even though they vehemently ring false to me. I, as I’ve mentioned, am not a theist; therefore, my morals are framed through an entirely different lens than yours. I guess I’m speaking more to the women here than anyone else when I say I can think of nothing more repellent and unattractive than a woman submitting to me. I am turned on by intelligence, common sense, courage, dignity, conviction and, yes, a fully equal mental and emotional partner (for me, the only legitimate criterion where there can be qualitative and quantitative differences between men and women is physically). I have lost count of the times my wife and I disagreed on something–sometimes slight, like a color of wall paint, sometimes weighty, like boundary setting in our relationship, or parental decisions–and I caved in (yes, frankly, just so she’d shut the hell up), only to discover she was 100% right. My wife proved a long time ago that she can meet, and often exceed, my decision-making capabilities for our family; she’s fully earned my automatic presumption of validity. Simply put, she doesn’t honor me by submitting to me; she honors me by making sure I don’t dumbass myself right off a cliff’s edge, taking her and/or my kids with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Travis,

        Yes, yes, we get it. This is the same message we get constantly on the Idiot Box, via about every sitcom there is. Namely, the saintly wife who always knows best…if only her perennially immature husband would just listen to her and do what she says, everything would always turn out right. Because he is like a little boy, not a man…and therefore she has to act as mommy. This goes all the way back to “The Honeymooners” and can be seen more recently in “Home Improvement” and most emphatically in “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

        Again, what you see over and over is that the relationship is more of a man-child to his wife/mommy. This is not healthy, and it certainly is not something that is attractive to the vast majority of women (maybe your wife is the exception to the rule, idk)

        A woman likes to feel she is married to a MAN, not a little boy. And if you give her something to submit to, she will happily submit to him…unless she has been brainwashed by feminists to think doing so is degrading. In which case, she will constantly be at war against her own nature and therefore never at peace.

        God designed it this way on purpose. Women are told explicitly “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord”. Women may choose to reject this command, and follow in the steps of our first mother, Eve, who also chose the path of rebellion. We saw how well that worked out.

        P.S. It’s interesting to note that the sin of Eve was rebellion against God’s command, but the sin of Adam was in following (“submitting to”) his wife…when God had intended it to work the other way around.

        P.P.S. As you’re not a theist, I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in your opinions anyway. The Lord talks about folks like you in the Gospels – He calls them fools who have set their hearts on the things of this world, but will suffer eternally in Hell in the world to come. That’s the choice you make – you decide the lousy few decades you have before you are thrown into a grave are worth more than the eternity of Heaven that God offers you. And to make that kind of choice, you must be borderline insane. So why would I or anyone lose take advice from you?

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        I’ll point you back to two comments I made earlier, which you seem to have (willfully?) ignored:

        “I am turned on by…a fully equal mental and emotional partner.” (NOT mommy/child)

        “I guess I’m speaking more to the women here than anyone else.”

        I must say, after watching you relentlessly dog Lindsey in a recent thread for making her line of dissent about you personally, rather than your position/points of argument, I can’t tell how rewarding and downright Christian it is to see you hypocritically tell me my opinions are invalid because I’m an “insane fool”. These will be my last words to you (it seems clear you’ll be thankful to hear that). From this point on, I’ll simply sit back and enjoy watching you continue to preach to an audience of none.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lissy says:

        Hey, Travis! Thanks for your comment. In my opinion and experience, there’s nothing more soul-killing than to be stuck in the perpetual childlike “role” of submitting, regardless of your intelligence and wisdom.

        It’s funny-the man-child boy/mommy relationship is not healthy, so why should the woman-girl/daddy relation be something healthy? I would choose a man like you that respects me and wants to share a true partnership over a narrow minded, rigid, morally superior male that I have to submit to, any day!

        Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Travis, I’m so sorry to see stuff here at MBTTTR that come across as pure internet troll (whilst I appreciate Matt allowing ongoing discussion). Although I am going to contradict Matt’s take on it from under a different post. It’s not just troublemaking for the heck of it. There’s a difference between those who enjoy stirring the pot and those who cause trouble in other ways.

        I hope you’ll forgive me for coming at you, so to speak, with another defense of the God of the Bible. Sadly, I know how bad those who twist God’s teachings make God look. But then seeing divisions among believers looks bad too. Ugh. But the truth is that mankind can screw up anything including how to understand and follow God and the only way to prevent them would be to take away freewill, which would be contrary to the nature of God. So rather often here lately we see first hand the mucked-up-edness of being a true believer whose strong belief is in self and in believing that God handed down that special snowflake position to you from on high so that self is always perpetually justified as self, the negative side of authoritarian power minus God’s love, wisdom, and commanded meekness and humility to moderate it and inform it. Some who have that struggle just walk away from God eventually from all the conflicts they create within their belief system and their lives and some come to prove their seeking after God was more important to them than all the self-seeking they’d previously put in between themselves and God…turn into amazing people taught by God and by example within family relationships what meekness, humility, love and wisdom offer and why they are a necessary part of the best path forward.

        I totally get the concept of being attracted to intelligence. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced real attraction aside from it. And while that’s sort of a necessity for me as a woman in my previously sought after role, it’s definitely not a woman-thing nor a man-thing. It’s a people-thing. It’s even a weird part of my current recovery in seeing how the substance abuse has sapped the intelligence and made a certain person appear more brain-damaged than intelligent in recent interactions.

        You do not come across as the caricature of the bumbling idiot guy that Hollywood and Madison Ave love to throw in our faces. You come across as an intelligent man who brings plenty of his own unique strengths and talents to the table. Just as any great CEO allows for great talent to challenge him, any great husband has the strength of character and confidence of position to not fall apart or be threatened by a wife with a brain or a wife with an emotional moment or any other strength or weakness he’s confronted by in his chosen life partner. To move on from a moment without having to assert dominance and to even be capable of learning and appreciating despite stressful marital moments is awesome, something we all need to strive for in our chosen or assigned roles!

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Travis,
        I can say as a woman reading this, and I think most women in general, respect your take infinitely more than respecting a man who needs to be with a woman who functions on a the level that Jeff believes all women should function at.
        But, I am sure you already know this.
        I honestly believe having sex with someone at an intellectual level he often refers to is illegal in most if not all states.
        If they don’t have the capacity to make choices in the marriage, they often don’t have the capacity to consent to sex, or marriage.
        That seems to be who he is saying he prefers to have sex with and companionship with.

        Like

  17. Jeff Strand says:

    Travis,

    I didn’t say you are an insane fool, I said Our Blessed Lord Himself said in the Gospel that people like you are fools. But you don’t care, and I think that is a crazy position to take. And I don’t feel like I would take your advice on relationships (or much else).

    That’s just my opinion, which I’m entitled to. So you can play that special snowflake game about how I hurt your feelings all you want. I’ll just tell you to grow up. But I suppose if you had ever grown up, you wouldn’t need a wife to play the mommy role in your marriage.

    I actually feel sorry for you.

    Like

  18. marilyn sims says:

    Please everyone there is an article in today’s Huffington Post that echo’s a lot of what Matt has been saying in his beautifully crafted blogs.

    It’s entitled, ” 5 Common Behaviors Cis Men May Not Realize Are Abusive (And How To Stop Them”). What stands out is that he provides examples of the ways in which patriarchal masculinity disguises the ways in which it manipulates and harms women. He identifies PATRIARCHY as the defining cultural culprit that causes so much pain.

    He even talks about “GASLIGHTING”! He critiques the ways in which the media is complicit in sending messages that men are required to be unfeeling and lacking in empathy in order to remain in control during interactions with women.

    Please take a moment to read this — and pass it on!!!!

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Patriarchy is the culprit? LOL. Patriarchy is the greatest invention since the use of fire. It’s what separates us from the animals and made civilization possible. What patriarchy does is to harness male initiative, energy, and drive and put them to work for the benefit of women and children. The results are stable families, which serve as the basic building block of society…and thus you get stable societies.

      In a patriarchy, everyone gets what they need. Men (as husbands/fathers) get love and respect, regular access to sex, and the assurance that the children they devote their resources to are actually theirs. Women (as wives/mothers) get love and reassurance, the protection and provisioning that a steady mate provides (esp during pregnancies), and a father in place to help with the child raising and serve as a role model for male children to emulate and for female children to use as a template for a future husband. Children gain the advantage of 2 parents in the home, with a stable marriage…this has both emotional and material benefits.

      In a matriarchy, women choose sex partners based on alpha male status. Many women become part of a harem. Most men don’t get a female partner at all, but the top 20% have multiple partners. Single motherhood is the norm. Fathers don’t take responsibility for their children – in fact, they’re never sure if the child is theirs. Social pathologies run riot. Children witness the degrading sight of their mom going thru a parade of various men, none of whom stick around. Due to the prevalence of single motherhood, many children grow up in poverty. Women are reduced to merely sex objects, as that’s all the men are interested in (as opposed to lifelong marriage partnerships)

      In short, matriarchy is a nightmarish, dystopian society. What we need in this world is a lot more patriarchy!

      Like

      • “What patriarchy does is to harness male initiative, energy, and drive and put them to work for the benefit of women and children. The results are stable families, which serve as the basic building block of society…and thus you get stable societies.”

        I’m afraid I have to agree with Jeff here. I’ll go take a couple of aspirin and lay down now.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Lol. IB

          Patriarchy is ONE form of harnessing male initiative, energy, and drive. We could have an interesting discussion about various methods that also harness women’s imitative, energy, and drive I think.

          Liked by 1 person

          • gottmanfan says:

            To me it’s like forms of government. Sure a dictatorship or monarchy has some efficiency in certain ways. Sure democracy is messier. But if the goal is for more fairness and better lives for more people rather than a few, democracy wins over totalitarianism.

            Like

      • Donkey says:

        “To me it’s like forms of government. Sure a dictatorship or monarchy has some efficiency in certain ways. Sure democracy is messier. But if the goal is for more fairness and better lives for more people rather than a few, democracy wins over totalitarianism”

        Agreed Gottmanfan. I think there are numerous studies who also show that patriarchal societies have more violence against women than more egalitarian societies. Violence is not a part of my definition of a good society (and neither is violence against men).

        I read something very interesting once, but I haven’t been able to find it, that the only societies where rape of women doesn’t exist are societies where women hold positions of much social status and power as men.

        I’m confused as to where Jeff Strand got the idea that in matriarchal societies women often end up in harems. That has been more a feature of patriarchal societies, where powerful men gather up wives, and the majority of the less powerful men are left without. From what I know of matriarchal societies, sometimes the mother rasies her children with the help of her brothers (and other relatives). Paternity is irrelevant. And sometimes there’s a sense of the children belonging to the community, so all the males are the childrens “uncles” or “fathers” or something to that sort.

        And of course, we have our matriarchal relatives (even though the females are smaller than the males, and equally as close a relative as the patriarchal chimps, ), where everyone shares the food and everyone has sex with everyone. Seems pretty nice for the male bonobos too. They get reasonably safe access to sex and food (often males will have to fight to the death for that in patriarchal structures).

        Anyway, I’m not rooting for matriarchy, and I’m not rooting for patriarchy. I’m rooting for a partnership society! There is quite a bit of evidence that humans actually lived in societies like that, and had pretty advanced cultures, before being invaded by more patriarchal warrior cultures. “The chalice and the blade” by Riane Eisler presents lots of interesting archeological findings, for instance. Maybe I’ll get back to that at a later point.

        “If a commenter wrote that Jews or Blacks should defer to Christians or Whites would you take some action?

        Is it different because it is women who are being told to defer to men?

        Just a little exercise I use for myself to switch gender to religion or race to see if it reads differently I thought I’d throw out for your consideration.”

        I do this too sometimes, switch gender to religion or race. It can be very illuminating. Is the fact that white culture is so dominant in many ways, and white people in general are wealthier than people of color in the USA a sign that it’s natural that whites should have more economic and social power than people of colour? That it’s natural for people of color to submit to white people? Most people would say no, as would I. And if someone says no to this, I must say, I have a hard time understanding how they can think it’s any more natural that men should by default be the dominant gender in marriage and in society.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Donkey says:

        …though I will acknowledge that if you interpret the religious scripture of the faith you adhere to *literally*, and it says there that women should submit in marriage, not have positions of power in society etc, that is an explanation, a reason. I don’t agree with it, but it is an explanation I can understand, for sure.

        However, if you don’t then strive to interpret and adhere to the exact words of the rest of the main religious scripture (without taking into historical context etc), you’ve pretty much lost me. Because then following the religious scripture of your faith wasn’t the main thing after all, then it’s just interpreting scripture literally when that serves whatever beliefs you hold, but not doing it when it doesn’t serve your beliefs.

        I will acknowledge again though, that maybe some religious scriptures have parts that you’re explicitly encouraged to interpreted literally or not, and that could complicate matters obviously.

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Ok, I’ve been struggling with this submission thing, because it is right there in the bible, and it is supposed to be pretty important to read and understand.

        Here are a few things that I want to point out: the actual order of the verses in Ephesians 5 is

        ” Submit to one another out of the reverence for Christ.”

        Then it says “Wives, submit to your husbands” and

        THEN it says “Husbands, Love your wives.”

        First: we are ALL supposed to submit to each other (yielding your own desires for the benefit of another). We are all supposed to look at each others needs before our own needs.

        Second the wives submission and the husband loving are two sides to the same coin.
        Paul dedicates 3 sentences to women, asking them to submit to their husbands. But he dedicates 7 sentences asking men to love their wives.

        Paul is emphasizing the importance of loving the wife. Paul describes it as “purifying her with the washing her through the word. (THE “WORD” SHOULD NOT BE TRANSLATED AS THE BIBLE!) They did not have the bible back then.
        It is usually in reference to “logos”- AKA, Jesus, or the wisdom of God. (There may be other references, but haven’t looked that closely, sorry!)
        Purifying to me is not some experience of martyrdom,- purifying to me is redeeming, renewing. Filling her up.
        He says to love his wife as his own body. It is submission for the beloveds genuine good- NOT FOR THE HUSBANDS PLEASURE!
        Submission happens in the context of being loved. And ppfft, who wouldn’t want to submit to a love like that?

        Just some other reasons to maybe not focus so much on “Wives need to submit”:

        1) theres a crap load more verses about loving one another vs. wives should submit.

        2) Paul- God Bless him! I do believe he met the risen Jesus, I do believe he had the authority to represent Jesus and “proclaim” ..(want to avoid the word “preach” here…:) the Gospel.
        But, he was a man writing to other men in a specific time and culture. He even states at one point that his directions are his own, not the Lords.
        At times, he gave the best advice he could from his own understanding,- it was not a command from God.
        He also said we should wear head coverings, but Ps-sha, that’s not going to happen.
        There may have been more of a moral need in that culture to be more submissive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        A quick note to Donkey, …
        I can see a much broader discussion possible than the continued debate about submission : ), and I know that you do not view the world through the context of the Christian religion, but I did write my impromptu bible study thing in part for your benefit to also point out that the face value of what is read is NOT always what was written 2000 years ago.
        So, while I agree and appreciate that there are other ways to view the world, I just wanted you to know that what is read on the surface, and what a lot of Christians may say isn’t actually what is at the heart of it.
        If there is an actual argument/debate regarding the Christian worldview, it should be understood in a deeper sense than what is just blithely stated.

        Like

  19. gottmanfan says:

    Matt,

    I know you are a big believer in free speech.
    I know you are busy.

    But I have a question to consider:

    If a commenter wrote that Jews or Blacks should defer to Christians or Whites would you take some action?

    Is it different because it is women who are being told to defer to men?

    Just a little exercise I use for myself to switch gender to religion or race to see if it reads differently I thought I’d throw out for your consideration.

    I say all this with the utmost submissiveness since it is your blog 😀

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      In other words…

      A liberal was once talking to conservative and said, “When I am weak I appeal to you for tolerance, because those are your values. But when I am strong I ruthlessly shut you down and censor you, because those are my values.”

      Gott’s post above is a perfect example of this kind of totalitarianism that is inseparable from today’s Left. When the Left was in the minority on issues like homosexual acceptance and marriage, abortion, feminism, racial quotas, etc, they pleaded for “tolerance”. And they were given it. But now when people on the other side of such issues ask for tolerance, the Leftists prefer to censor them. The hypocrisy is breath-taking.

      And thus they show their true colors.

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        We had a cordial discussion a few posts back. I’d be happy to have another one. You are certainly entitled to your views. Absolutely. I think you make some points that can be part of a very interesting discussion.

        There are many ideas your comments present.

        Theology. Certainly there are many people here who could have a detailed discussion of theological interpretations of gender in the Bible.

        Sociology. Your point of view that patriarchy provides certain good things is worth discussing along with the view that other forms of organization are preferable.

        Marriage. Your views that marriage works best with a husband as leader and a submissive wife is certainly worth discussing too. This is the micro idea to the macro idea that patriarchy is the best form of organization for society.

        I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading Matt’s blog but a few months ago Matt, Travis and I had a discussion about how much moderation and guidance is appropriate for the comments on this blog. That is why I addressed my comment to him.

        The comments in question then were ones that had negative belittling comments about certain kinds of men. I was asking Matt to provide more feedback as a moderator since his voice is what all the comments are responding to.

        So my question to Matt is a continuation of that discussion. It is asking Matt to consider providing his voice and guidance in comments.

        I’m a believer in free speech too. But it also needs to be balanced with other considerations. And, as Matt commented to you in a previous post, responding without insults is necessary for a good discussion.

        Like

    • Matt says:

      This is a fair question.

      I hope it’s clear from everything I have ever said, written or done in my entire history that I think one gender submitting to the other (simply on the basis of gender) is EVER sensible or appropriate. Although I have blatantly come out in favor of women demonstrating more often than not to by be the vastly superior gender when it comes to situational awareness, relationship skills, and general Life Management tasks within the context of male-female relationships.

      If someone were to come on here and offer racist or culturally discriminatory language that fostered hate and disgustingness, I’d likely delete them as soon as I saw them.

      I have invited gender discussion by writing much of this blog’s subject matter.

      Anti-semitism and racism would be intentional hate speech, since we don’t discuss those things here.

      Sexism tends to be equally unpleasant, but it’s not irrelevant to the conversations we have here.

      I have seen this comment thread, but I’ll read through it now.

      I don’t have a defined and well-articulated line on what’s okay and not okay here. I just sort of know it when I see it.

      I’ll read through now.

      I would be disgusted by your hypothetical in the context of what we discuss here.

      I have viewed Jeff’s needling as something assumed everyone was mostly rolling their eyes at.

      Hate, in my humble opinion, is a much worse crime than being trollish, or stubborn, or a jerk.

      I don’t think Jeff HATES anyone. I just think he likes causing trouble.

      But I’m going to go read the thread, because maybe I missed something important.

      You asked a totally relevant, fair and thought-provoking question. Thank you. for that.

      Like

  20. Jeff Strand says:

    Gott,

    I am just sick and tired of Generation Special Snowflake. (Or as Clint Eastwood recently put it, a bit more crudely, the “pu$$y generation”). Everything is “offensive” or “triggering” and everyone needs to run to a “safe space”. It’s laughable.

    By the way, you should add women’s suffrage to your list of items for discussion. A great case can be made that this was a disastrous mistake, as Ann Coulter has contended. It can also be argued that giving women the vote leads directly and inevitably to a police state, as we are witnessing.

    Actually, the Catholic Church has traditionally viewed monarchy as the ideal form of human govt (where not many vote at all, although usually the nobles or a senate have some influence over the king). And been very suspicious of so-called “democracy”…for good reason.

    To quote Pope St. Pius X: “The idea that there must be a wall of separation between church and state is a thesis absolutely false; a most pernicious error.”

    I wonder how many American Catholics (like Matt, for example) are familiar with that quote? Not many, I’d wager. And yet, the Holy Father was only stating what has always been the official teaching of the Church – the doctrine of Christus Rex.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Jeff,

      We SHOULD add women’s sufferage to our list of discussion. Should women have been given the right to vote? What were the effects of that? Should we recind that right and return to men only? Originally most states only allowed white male landowners so we might want consider exclude renters and non-whites to return to the original voting eligibility.

      And your other topic of a theocracy as the Catholics official view of the best form of government is interesting too.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        I would just recommend you avoid the term “theocracy”. To most, this implies religious leaders running the state…as in Iran with the Ayatollah. Whereas, in the traditional Catholic version of society, you have a secular govt (typically a monarchy) that is separate from the official Church (such as the bishops and the rest of the magesterium).

        However, under the doctrine of “The Social Reign of Christ the King” even such a secular govt would acknowledge that Christ is the Head of human society, just as He is the Head of Heaven and the whole created universe. Therefore, the secular govt may not pass any laws that are contrary to God’s Law and has the right to ban immoral actions that also cause strife in society, e.g. homosexuality, abortion, fornication, pornography, publishing blasphemous and heretical materials, etc. All these things may be prosecuted and punished under criminal law.

        But the secular govt may NOT attempt to force people in their own conscience. So for example, the govt would not force you to get baptized, make public declarations of faith, pray, go to Confession, etc.

        So basically, these are the conditions that were in place in most Kingdoms of Europe during the High Middle Ages. I would not describe them with the word “theology”, because once again, the secular govt was not part of the Church nor was it composed of clergy. But the secular govt was unabashedly placed under the social reign of Christus Rex.

        Very different form our modern govts, which claim complete independence from God and His Law.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          That’s very interesting! I’m curious how you know all that? Were you raised a Catholic? Were you a history major? Or have you just read about this topic because it interests you?

          Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        Oops, in the second to last paragraph that should have been “theocracy” rather than “theology”. But I’m sure you knew that.

        As far as how I know this, I read a lot. When I study truly authentic Catholic teaching and doctrine (meaning, pre-Second Vatican Council), I can see that this is Truth. With a capital T. When I read the lives of the saints, or the accounts of the children at Fatima and so on, I am in awe of their faith and devotion. Not to mention the miracles, which are the proof of their authenticity.

        And I feel such a craving for Heaven. It’s hard to explain, I don’t know if you can relate. But I meditate on the nature of the Most Holy Trinity and how He has made us to contemplate Him in all His mysteriousness in the Beatific Vision, and I know as sure as I know my own name that nothing else matters. Being there. With Him. With the Blessed Virgin, the angels, the saints. Forever and ever.

        So while I also find economics, astronomy, history, real estate, etc interesting…it certainly pales by comparison.

        And this ties back into the more typical topics discussed in this blog. I know it is my duty to assume the leadership role in my family, over my wife and children…just as it is their duty to submit to me and obey me. Did not Our Lord and Our Lady submit to St. Joseph as the head of the Holy Family, even though both surpassed him in holiness, precisely because he was the father of the family? If I failed to exercise my God-given role of leader of my family that God has entrusted to me…what excuse could I give on the dreadful day when I stand before the Just Judge?

        I realize this all probably sounds horribly anachronistic and out-dated to your ears. The post-Vatican II Church of Antipope Francis doesn’t even seem to believe it anymore. But I know it to be the truth, and therefore my conscience binds me.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        Thanks for explaining your point of view. It helps me understand better your comments.

        Were you raised to believe the pre Vatican II as more valid than current Catholic views or is that something you came to understand as an adult?

        Are there churches in Texas that practice pre-Vatican II Catholism?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        It’s something I’ve come to learn as an adult. I don’t see how anyone can come to a different conclusion when the man claiming to be pope is openly preaching heresy, pretty much constantly. This means he’s not a Catholic, any more than a Mormon or a Presbyterian is a Catholic (they are heretics too). So if he’s not even a Catholic, how can he possibly be pope? Therefore, the conclusion is inescapable – the seat (i.e. The throne of St. Peter) is vacant.

        And yes, I am able to attend (with my family) a traditional Catholic Church with a traditional priest who offers the pre-Councilliar Tridentine Latin Mass. This priest is not affiliated with the Vatican II Sect, aka Francischurch, in any way. And the Vatican II Sect led by “Pope” Francis is just another false religion – it is definitely NOT the Holy Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII and predessesors, although it outrageously and blasphemous claims to be.

        By the way, this was all predicted ahead of time. Our Lady of La Salette said in the early 1800’s that “Rome will lose the Faith and go into apostasy” and also that “the Church will go into eclipse”. This mass apostasy and rampant confusion is all a punishment from God for the sins of men.

        Like

    • Matt says:

      Jeff. Much like how the Westboro Baptist Church does a piss-poor job of reflecting ANYTHING resembling Christian principle, and how that behavior is ultimately harmful to the faith’s reputation, I must say, positioning the Catechism of the Catholic Church as somehow validating gender inequality seems equally harmful.

      Jeff. I can’t take seriously arguments that any credible accounts of Christ’s ministry and teachings in ANY WAY reflect those of misogyny, or of one gender being better than another, or ANY person being “better” than another.

      If you believe a certain kind of human being is inherently more valuable than another, we simply don’t have anything to discuss.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Matt,

        The Church has always taught what you can also find right in your New Testament: “Wives, submit to your husband as to the Lord.” I mean, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

        Your problem is not with me, but with the Bible and perennial Catholic teaching, which comes down to us from the Apostles and is known as Sacred Tradition. We must not question such teachings, but merely obey them. To deny this is to brand oneself a heretic, if not an outright apostate; it is to rebell against God and cry out with Lucifer “Non Serviam!”

        Be very carefully here Matt. This is serious stuff. God has ordained that the husband/father is to be the head of the family, and the other members must submit to him (though the minor children must additionally submit to their mother). God set it up this way for a reason. Far be it for humble man to question Him.

        P.S. Where did I ever say that one of the sexes is “better” than the other? Did I ever say one has more worth in the eyes of God? Nope. But the sexes were created by God to fulfill different roles here in this world. And we must not rebell against those God-given roles and the natural order; rather we should accept them and echo the words of the Blessed Mother, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to Thy Word.”

        Like

        • Matt says:

          1. No questioning God here, Jeff. Just no presumptions that I know all the correct answers while every single conflicting belief has wrong answers. The lack of humility required to believe that, to me, is a fundamentally incorrect way to live.

          2. You NEVER used the words “men are better than women.” It’s simply that every thing you put out into the world DOES say that. Thus, the answer to your question is: Every time you speak about gender, you position men (or at least those who agree with you) as “better” than women. That’s not semantics. What you do matters more than what you say. Evoking (for no discernible reason) women’s voting rights and blatantly saying that, in your (and Ann Coulter’s?) opinion, “allowing” women to vote has led to a bunch of problems IS — no matter how you try to spin it — saying men are better than women.

          3. Snot almost came out when I read you say “humble man.” Jeff.

          You said “Be very careful here, Matt. This is serious stuff.”

          So let me make sure I have this straight. (You’ll recall I am, and have always been, Catholic…)

          You are Catholic. Which means you consider the bible, at least symbolically, as the Word of God.

          So stop me when I get something wrong…

          Under the supervision of the bishop of Carthage in 397 A.D., the specific books of the Old and New Testament to make up the Bible were chosen by the Council of Carthage.

          Those original writings were in three languages: Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic (the native language of Jesus).

          Those texts (even the New Testaments ones) were at the time, centuries old.

          In other words, even when the Bible was brand new (as a collection of writings), it was mostly centuries old.

          Jesus died in 33 A.D.

          Bible established in 397 A.D.

          Difference = 364 years. (Thought exercise: What was America like 364 years ago? If you read something written by natives or the earliest European settlers, what percentage of their word choices are relevant to 2016 America?)

          So, here’s all i’m saying Jeff.

          MAYBE the bible is 100%, literally true, right down to every symbolic word in Psalms and Revelation, and every disturbing word in Leviticus. Maybe every word is true in the book of Wisdom, which was an unchallenged book of the Bible more a thousand years before Martin Luther removed it and a handful of others to create a slightly different version of the Bible during the Protestant Reformation.

          Maybe it’s all, literally, the truest true thing ever.

          Do you think it’s reasonable to conclude that the 100% accuracy of meaning, intention, context, nuance of EVERY word in the bible translated into English in whatever year English versions became available?

          You trust the translators to synthesize centuries-old Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic?

          The stock answer is of course, “these translators were divinely inspired.”

          It’s not man, alone. God has a hand in it.

          That’s what we say, right? When people ask us hard questions about Catholicism? We say, “well, there’s an element of faith that the Holy Spirit is influencing the decisions.”

          That’s how we have always explained how the Council of Carthage had the authority and credibility to decide what books would be in the bible.

          That’s how we have always explained papal authority, as well.

          Final question, Jeff:

          Are you saying it’s perfectly okay as a Catholic to deny that Pope Francis is a legitimate pope –that maybe somewhere along the way God abandoned the previously divinely inspired process — but that I’m way out of line for questioning your hardline biblical interpretations in 2016?

          If this is serious stuff, you have to pick a side, Jeff.

          You’re either a devout, unwavering Catholic who says our church has the authority to determine the books of the bible, discern its meaning, and applies that authority to Vatican II and papal authority, or your not.

          You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of Catholicism fit your personal comfort levels and beliefs, deny the rest of it, and then tell me perennial Catholic and Apostolic teaching, and Sacred Tradition.

          A sane question, Jeff is:

          “Is it possible that me, a flawed human, does not know the deepest mysteries of the universe, and that whatever is true about God is beyond my ability to understand?”

          I don’t know things, Jeff. I just ask a lot of questions.

          But I think I know that if you’re going to lean on Catholicism as your stock answers to everyone challenging what feels to us like misogynistic opinions, then the LEAST you can do is either also pay respects to Vatican II and Pope Francis; OR exercise the humility required to admit you don’t really know God’s wants and intentions either.

          I don’t deny things, Jeff.

          I just say I don’t know. Because it’s the most honest thing I know how to feel and say.

          Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Matt,

        I will try to address some of your questions.

        First, even though you admit I never said men are “better” then women, you claim I somehow implied it. I don’t understand how you conclude this, unless you feel that the mere fact of accepting that the sexes have different roles to play in the family implies this. Which is not something I believe. Perhaps it would help if you can define for me what you mean by the word “better”.

        If someone says that men IN GENERAL are physically stronger than women, does that make him a woman-hater? Is he saying men are “better”?

        As far as the obvious fact that “Pope” Francis is an anti-pope, I know this is hard for some people to accept. But at this point, Bergoglio has publicly advocated so many heresies and apostasies that there is no other conclusion one can reach. If you accept Bergolio’s teaching, than the whole Church was in error before the Council and always has been. This is not possible. But it IS possible that a heretic could be proclaimed “pope” – many great saints such as Thomas Aquinas and Robert Bellarmine discussed the possibility.

        I strongly suggest you go to the site “Novus Ordo Watch”. They do a fantastic job of laying out this whole case, and cataloging Francis’ heresies. Full disclosure: they believe the seat has been empty since Pius XII died in 1958. But personally, I don’t think that’s cut and dried – I understand their arguments, but to me it’s a grey area and I can see good points on both sides, up through the papacy of Ratzinger. But now with Bergoglio, it’s not grey at all – he has made it clear he’s not a Catholic, therefore he cannot be the pope. Period. We should pray for him to repent of his heresies, he is in very grave danger of eternal damnation.

        Finally, to get back to the roles of wives and husbands. You know Matt, the nice thing about being a Catholic is that you are NOT reduced to merely trying to decipher a 2,000 year old book and apply it to us today, like the Protestants are. We not only have Sacrd Scripture to look to, but Sacred Tradition as well. So I found for you an encyclical on marriage by Pius IX (he’s the one who formally elevated to infallible Catholic dogma the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin). Here is the official Catholic teaching on marriage, and this is what I subscribe to. Note especially the quote by Pope Leo XIII in the last paragraph, this sums it up beautifully.

        26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that “order of love,” as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.”[29]

        27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

        28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact .

        29. With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”[30]

        Like

  21. marilyn sims says:

    I asked you all to read the article because it affirmed what Matt has said about men and their LACK OF EMPATHY. A lack which was partially responsible for his divorce. A lack which was not his fault, but his RESPONSIBILITY to correct by changing his behavior.

    I asked you to read the article because there was a paragraph that talked about GASLIGHTING — that was something that Matt mentioned and received lots of feedback from in the comment section..

    I asked you to read the article because there was information about UNINTENTIONAL PAIN that men caused their loved ones — Something that Matt spoke eloquently about in his previous blogs.

    I asked you to read the article because it said men must do more — in their daily lives — to listen to their partners when pain is expressed about certain issues and refrain from responding with disrespect and/or intimidation. Matt talked about those things as killers of marriage.

    I asked you to read the article because I felt it was written with the same sort of concern for the welfare and the emotional well-being of men and their partners that is at the center of all that Matt has written.

    I asked you to read the article in the hope that you — all of us– might CELEBRATE the immense CARE, DEDICATION AND COURAGE that Matt has shown and send him messages that acknowledge our debt to him.

    Like

    • Fromscratchmom says:

      Marilyn, I appreciated the article. It was quite challenging for me to read it because it makes quite a few allusions to things I disagree with on a foundational level, but interestingly it still managed to have some amazing gems in it that in reality reflect traditional New Testament teachings to husbands that vast numbers of men and church have conveniently ignored through the centuries. In the time of Christ his teachings to men to elevate women, to love them, to treat them well were radical ideals. Clearly through the centuries far less Christ-like forms of being a husband have been wrongly propped up and supported by “Christian” societies as well as by many other sorts of societies. But in cultures with a strong influence from Christianity there’s always been that voice teaching real love and empathy and there have always been examples of good husbands even if the society on the whole still props up abuse as a way of life and allows for (or supports) the women are only for sex and for submitting heresy that we continually witness new adherents to.

      I can’t fully agree with the author’s conclusions against “patriarchy”. Patriarchy happens in most cultures with or with out religion to prop it up. I think what he takes issue with is “worldly” patriarchy or what I might refer to as patriarchy minus the teachings of Jesus Christ on love that moderate individual roles within a patriarchy in the best possible way.

      Thanks for posting, Marilyn!

      Like

  22. Fromscratchmom says:

    Linds, I’m commenting from my phone over cellular data since the soon-to-be-ex monster had the Internet shut off so please forgive me all the typos I’m likely to miss and my not being able to do much editing-wise, looking back at your comment I had wanted to respond to, etc.

    Your pointing out that first is all of the household of faith submitting to each other and also pointing out the two sides of the husband/wife coin and the greater time spent telling husband’s their part is spot on. It’s a travesty that some men ignore it and ignore that God assigns the job of teaching women how to love their husbands to older women and just latch onto their own worldly view of having women be for their pleasure, for having a pet or a toy or an underling to submit to them. But despite the perversity of some men, God’s true teaching remains and lifts people up where they truly follow it and seek to be more and more Christlike.

    I was just writing in my journal this morning about these types of things. I’d been praying and meditating on how men often give elders the credit due to the elders wives for her submission and yet still don’t credit the elders for possibly leading in those very different ways that lift their wives up but rather for Ruling over her…basically cutting out the word “well” from “ruling their own house well” and missing the point of Christlike love and leadership and it’s very different results compared to lording your authority over women in your home and/or women in general.

    Well it’s 3 in the morning and I have to be awake tomorrow when the GAL comes to my home. So I better leave it rather than trying to remember the part I wanted to question! Lol. In all seriousness, I do actually need to spend more time in prayer tonight for the GAL to be given the wisdom of Solomon, for the light of truth to shine, for His will to be done, for protection and care and providence, maybe even for satan to not be allowed to protect or prop up the alcohol problems, etc. etc.

    May God protect us from worldly guys and from those who claim Christ but only to use his teachings to prop up their dominance over their underlings and toys!

    Liked by 1 person

    • linds01 says:

      FSM,
      I bet you wanted to question my comment about Pauls word maybe not being God’s command :).

      Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        Now that you mention it, I do remember noticing and wondering about that! It is my belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that God had the intention and the power to preserve it for us, that he is unchanging, and that all scripture is beneficial for… running out of recall and quote power in my head… srry! However I do know that there are at least a couple of places where Biblical writing specifically speaks to liberties or to understanding culture as context for application. And the covering specifically is a hot topic among those who debate it! I know women who do wear the covering. Most of them I have great admiration for as godly women determined to do what God wants and to train their wisdom and consciences well by His standards and His will. I would have worn one if my husband had believed I should or if I had to move to an area where it is part of the culture. But I’m not convicted to believe that I should start wearing one based on what the word says about it. Do all things by faith. Also it seem to prohibit ever stopping wearing one if it has been your habit or your culture in the past. So I don’t want to take that lightly.

        I believe that the word of God is mostly not nearly as complex or hard to understand as people make it out to be, but that is one of the rare areas where I really do have some trouble with some of the wordings and translations. I still think God made no mistakes and gave me what I need. If I’m screwing up that is on me. But there do seem, from my weak human perspective, to be some conflicting contextual clues about the culture versus the standard-regardless-of-culture as well as about liberty (again versus the standards that are more absolute).

        Last random thought on the covering: I see some contextual clues that it would have been necessary for women who participate publicly in worship (and maybe only for them?) from back when demons and the gifts of the day of Pentecost were all still active. IF I had reason to believe I needed to lead publicly I would absolutely wear one for that even though the symbolic reason explained in such a simple wording is still a little bit difficult for me to grasp, well maybe not so much difficult is just totally foreign to the cultural paradigm I live in and grew up in.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Mom,
          There is alot to be said about this. I love the bible. I do believe it tells a story that is generations and generations old that points to THE something that is bigger than us all. I believe in Jesus, that He was God incarnate and that He provided a way for us to be fully redeemed. Starting now and continuing on forever. What I have found, though, is that having/reading a literal interpretation of the bible and then trying to live that out has in someways removed me from God, and from the real world, and God’s intentions for me in the real world.
          Richard Rohr talks alot about “The third way”- it’s holding/believing two polarities and opening a way for a third- which by and large is the more likely “true” answer than either the one polarity or the other.
          So, while I love God and want to live for him and be a whole person, and THE person He created me to be; I find that living out (or focusing my energies) on trying to live out what even new testament scripture tells us is the right way to live doesnt bring me closer to him. BUT- I absolutely do still believe in the bible. Weird, huh?
          I believe in the God described in the bible. And I believe I belong to him. So may faith isnt in living out the instructions in the bible, but my faith is in the person the bible was written about.

          Like

  23. gottmanfan says:

    Matt,

    Thank you for responding to my question to you. I know you are busy right now with your new business (congrats!) in addition to pârenting and working and killing spiders (did you ever find it?)

    1. You said “I hope it’s clear from everything I have ever said, written or done in my entire history that I think one gender submitting to the other (simply on the basis of gender) is EVER sensible or appropriate.”

    I defintely do NOT think you have ever said that!

    You wrestle with gender differences without saying that it is necessary to have certain gender roles whether determined by nature or nurture or certain Biblical interpretation.

    2. You said “I would be disgusted by your hypothetical in the context of what we discuss here.

    I have viewed Jeff’s needling as something assumed everyone was mostly rolling their eyes at.

    Hate, in my humble opinion, is a much worse crime than being trollish, or stubborn, or a jerk.

    I don’t think Jeff HATES anyone. I just think he likes causing trouble”

    Ok here we might have an opportunity to get direct feedback from the readers!

    I, for one, do not respond to Jeff by rolling my eyes.
    Judging by comments I would guess Lindsey, Donkey, Scratchmom, IB might respond similarly. Perhaps they’d be willing to offer their comments on how Jeffs’s comments (both content and inflammatory rhetoric) change this blog.

    It does not tend to provoke eye rolling in me when someone genuinely suggests that women should not be able to vote. In the same way I would guess that an African American would feel about the positivity of returning to a time when they could not vote.

    It does not provoke eye rolling in me when Jeff talks about women not being able to say no to sex with their husbands as a good prescription for marriage. No this is not eye rolling because I know this is STILL commonly taught in many contexts. And has real world consequences. Ideas have practical consequences as you know. Just a couple of examples.

    I understand your not deleting Jeffs’s comments as a troll. Reasonsble people can disagree about where the line is between free speech and allowing mysogyny to be freely expressed.

    I am a special snowflake and I believe Jeff is a special snowflake too. There’s room for all our special snowflakeness in the world. I just would like less yellow snow. Let’s keep the comments respectful. And provide moderating comments when they are not.

    Lets talk about ideas. Even offensive to many ideas. And personal experiences for why we have come to have those ideas. But let’s challenge each other respectfully. But freedom of speech comes with a price. The constant repetition of some of these ideas
    IS wearing. Even if it is boring in its lack of novelty.

    Jeffs’s viewpoint on gender is not novel to me as I am sure it is not novel to virtually all the women on this blog. I have heard it so, so many times in various places throughout my life. I can give both sides of the arguments of Biblical interpretation and/or evolutionary/anthropological approaches. Yeah, some atheists have similar views.

    It is wearing to hear so many times in so many places people arguing that my role in life is determined by my sex. Arguing that limitations based on biological sex are good.

    Now I do appreciate that Jeff gives me some novelty with the Pre-Vatican II addition. That is new to me and makes it interesting again! So thanks for that Jeff!

    I think the way Jeff phrases his ideas often are inflammatory or insulting. That I would like to see change so that all the special snowflakes can have a good discussion. He has demonstrated his ability to do this on certain occasions. And when he is able to do this, he can raise some interesting points.

    I don’t know if Jeff HATES anyone. Hey I’ll be honest on most days I HATE some people. I am working on becoming more differentiated so I don’t do that so much. In my undifferentiated state I want people to see the world as I do cause you know I think I’m right! I want others to agree with me or at least disagree in ways I can see as reasonable.

    But hey, I’ve learned this leads to treating people as “wrong” even when they’re not. Or it leads to treating people who are actually “wrong” as less than human. I come here partly to practice being differentiated so I can learn to be more mature. Because I’ve got some more growing up to do for sure.

    Thanks for your blog Matt. Even when we disagree I appreciate your willingness to engage respectfully.

    Like

    • Fromscratchmom says:

      Gottmanfan, yeah I would characterize myself as sitting here rolling my eyes. I started out, I don’t know how many posts back trying to ignore it, but recognizing it as coming from a true-believer in self and in his own authoritarian power over all else, something that yes, sadly I do have plenty of experience with from several different angles. Then when I was confronted directly by requesting that not be done. But after the response was a bit of car cra or manipulation I realized you can’t avoid the unavoidable despite knowing it’s like trying to wisely engage with a viper or a loon. So it’s unnecessary for me to know if he really wasn’t smart enough or if it was a bit of obtuse for the purposes of manipulation. It just is what it is. And I can work around it and with it as best I can in future knowing there are likely to be failures along the way.

      While I don’t necessarily want Matt to have to start refusing commenters, I very much appreciate Matt’s most recent comment! It touches on a lot of Catholicism that I’m not sure I have a knowledge base to interject into. Well, I sort of do but there’s a lot of background assumptions that would differ and make it an extremely complex interaction…difficult on a migraine kind of day! I could nevertheless appreciate him dealing with it head on which I think was appropriate under the circumstances. As I said up higher just a few minutes ago, I never thought it was just troublemaking for fun. I think Jeff is a true believer in his authoritarian self unmoderated by love or wisdom or humility or meekness. And I think he is genuinely stymied by the disagreements and misunderstandings that have arisen, lacking a foundation to understand where differences of assumption are coming in and then only able to default to assuming those who disagree with him also inherently disagree with God. It’s sad. And it’s dangerous. But hey despite some of his positions on marriage being anysmal and hurtful, at least I don’t care too much about the voting issue y’all discussed. Since I see a benefit to viewing families (rather than individuals) as the basic unit of society I can envision a socio-political environment where his view could work well enough. But I can imagine good and bad monarchies and good and bad democracies and republics too! I have a wide and varied imagination and scope for exploration of philosophies! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • gottmanfan says:

        Thanks for giving your feedback!

        I’d love to hear from others their “eye rolling” or “non-eye rolling” responses.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Hey Scratchmom,

        I’m just curious how voting in a family context would work in your view. How does the family vote if the husband and wife want to vote for different people?

        Doesn’t that give a more weight to single men than to couples since they both would be counted as one vote? Or would the vote be doubled based on the couple?

        In the days before women’s suffrage, the man voted for the family. Are you suggesting a different approach?

        I have to admit I am fond of voting rights for individuals. Most especially for those who have been denied the right in history because of their land owning or sex or race. Most especially because people have literally died to get the laws to change.

        So I am curious how you, whom I have always found to be a very thoughtful reasonable person, might approach this idea of women not being able to vote as individuals. I’m trying to keep an open mind. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Those are really good questions about voting! I’m sure would be true to say that in past examples it was generally more likely for single men to gain a vote and less likely for single women to do so. This may really have been mostly due to logistical issues of how most societies arrange for gender roles than anything else. So coming up with a very different system would be a super interesting exercise.

        To be honest the thing that has tended to happen naturally throughout history of women either being protected within families or not is a preferable system to the mass exploitation of women that might be likely without that protection in place for some of them. Without a standard for giving a reason to love and to be humble and even to love a wife “as oneself” there is still exploitation likely within families (and harems). But also without that standard to teach those things you’re just back to mass exploitation of all women. What this really makes me think of is landowner voting which made a sort of sense. It gave order. It prevented voting by the unproductive. Sadly, then it had flaws as well. But if I had to come up with a new system that would be my jumping off point to help me look for a way for citizenship and nationhood to matter and for single people to be represented by the same standards as families gain representation.

        As for how would voting within families work, doubling the vote would really be a necessity if any single people at all had votes. How that vote would be used would be an autonomous matter within each family. Do they have good love and respect and communication within any individual family or not? Do they accept each others influence and work well together or not? I think modern history and ancient history prove some do but many don’t. There are no perfect humans and therefore there are no perfect human systems or governments.

        Btw, weirdly that was a typo at the beginning of my last reply…meant to say NOT eye-rolling. But when I discovered it just now I realized it didn’t matter. The more you end up dismissing someone the less it matters if you do so with significant angst or with ease or whatever. It’s hard stuff across the Internet trying to behave with the type of general love, respect, and consideration that facilitates productive discourse! There are so many underlying assumptions that effect every little thing. For example Matt and Jeff are discussing Catholicism where they share certain assumptions that I do not share with them about the papacy. They diverge over the current pope in an interesting way that Jeff has no defense for other than defaulting to its obvious to him, which is in my view both perfectly sensible because if changes that have happened and at the same time totally outrageous because changes are the entire history and concept of following various men called popes. If it was right when Innocent the 9th started the tortures of the inquisition because of papal infallibility (or we could point to a hundred different challenging bits of papal history from John the 12th to Clement the 7th) why not now? But on the other hand maybe I’ve made assumptions differently than they have. So maybe their discussion (or their two different views) makes perfect sense to them in a way that my having questions and possible disagreement with parts of their context wouldn’t make any sense to either of them. Those underlying assumptions are a killer!

        Like

    • Travis B. says:

      gottmanfan said, “Ok here we might have an opportunity to get direct feedback from the readers!”

      Well, I certainly feel like my thoughts will amount to little more than “yeah, what she said!” at this point, but since feedback from other readers was solicited, here we go. I very much agree that the problem here may be that it is easy for us as men to roll our eyes at Jeff’s assertions and philosophies in much the same way that the speaker referenced in marilyn sims’ article denounced rapists and overt abusers while self-aggrandizingly segmenting himself and others who don’t rape and hit as “good men”. We don’t see ourselves reflected in Jeff’s thoughts, so we can easily dismiss him out of hand because we’re the “good guys” and he’s a “bad guy”. We’re evolved and he’s devolved. We’re the future of men and he’s the past.

      But for the women who have found a welcoming and beneficial community here, it’s as though a wolf has slipped in past the gate and is now on the prowl in what had always previously been a fulfilling and restorative environment. For them, Jeff’s words aren’t just empty or abstract philosophizing–they are beliefs made manifest in their everyday reality. Jeff’s words carry for them all the horrible weight of Hitler denouncing the Jews, David Duke denouncing African-Americans, Donald Trump denouncing Hispanics, because they don’t just stop at being words. They don’t just stop at being intangible thoughts. They are verbalizations, reinforcements and championing of a very tangible reality for women. As men, we have the luxury of just looking at these words as an exercise in theory, in debate. For women, these words are dangerous and can hit every bit as hard as a fist, can penetrate every bit as hurtfully as a sexual assault. And it must be so very draining and soul-sucking to have to constantly see assertions being made, no matter how entitled to Jeff’s opinion he may be, or how deeply the convictions he holds in their merit and validity, that position you as a second-class citizen. To see words that help support violence toward, and subjugation of, women. To read sentiments that ultimately say, “You have no right to determine your own worth, to define your own standards of acceptable behavior committed toward you.”

      So this puts you in a difficult position, Matt. Kick Jeff off the board and this place takes a large and frightening step toward becoming a homogenized environment where the status quo goes unchallenged, and where the discussion never varies from a kind of preaching to the choir. Let him and his ilk continue on unchecked and you leave a massive section of your readership exposed to a very real kind of abuse, disrespect and demoralization disguised as “just one man’s opinion, to which he’s entitled”. It’s a rock and a hard place, a decision with collateral damage on either side of it. Perhaps what would be most beneficial is for the blog interface to be upgraded with an “Ignore” option (which I’ve seen, and even used once or twice, at many online forums). In a case such as with Jeff and myself, where he has drawn a hard line in the sand that my thoughts and opinions could never hold water for him due to my religious beliefs (or, more accurately, lack thereof), and I am drawing a similar line in the sand based on the fact that I find his stated beliefs grotesque beyond measure and dangerous in the extreme, he and I could make the decision to ignore each other’s comments in a manner where they will simply never even appear in our mutual feeds. This would also afford any women here who have come to the individual decision that Jeff’s philosophies carry too little moral weight and too much personal attack to simply “void” his posts from ever showing up for them, leaving gottmanfan alone to continue to enjoy her study into his aberrant psychology while the rest of return to an environment where we feel mutual learning and respect can safely take productive root.

      P.S. – Bravo on your recent replies to Mr. Strand. Nailing it.

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        I do not roll my eyes. If I were more differentiated and healthier emotionally, maybe I would. Personally, I usually feel exhausted and saddened, sometimes even despairing (when I bother reading and engaging, I might just have to train my eyes to stop every time I see the name Jeff Strand).

        Differentiated or not, it’s much easier to roll your eyes at hate speech when it’s not directed at you. I can feel disgust and disbelief at antisemtic speech, but it doesn’t get to me as much, because it doesn’t insult a fundamental part of me, and I don’t share in a long history of prosectuion for my faith.

        I feel it’s similar with being a woman. It’s only been a few decades in our culture where women have actually had equal rights by the law. For centuries women have been blamed for all the world’s evils, denied opportunities, they’ve been labelled less intelligent, a lesser version of a human, a man’s property, they’ve been subjected to horrible violence and injustices.

        Somehow people think we’ve arrived in a non sexist culture. That’s just hogwash, and a huge part of the problem. I know men get the short end of the stick in many ways too, I don’t deny that. If only Jeff Strand was one of a very limited number of misogynists, it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is that misogyni is still alive and well in obvious and subtle ways (like how women do about 66& of the world’s work in return for less than 5 % of it’s income, how only about 30% of husbands accept influence, slut shaming, how women’s looks are scrutinized, how few of the world’s heads of state are women, how many women are raped, honor killings of women, how girl fetuses are aborted simply because they’re girls….)

        I have a priviliged life in many ways, and yet my whole life there have been varioussexist inequities and microagression that have hurt me, because I’m a woman. We’re not done with this crap, it’s pervasive, it hurts me, and that’s why I’m not able to just roll my eyes at some of the misogynistic speech Jeff Strand uses.

        Like

      • Matt says:

        I can’t even begin to explain how much time I don’t have, but we’re going to attempt to establish a sensible, enforcible commenting policy via a post tomorrow.

        Travis makes a good point.

        It’s easy for me to roll my eyes at someone who seems so out of tune with me, that perhaps I fail to see how it impacts others.

        (I’m about to rant a little. There are “You”s in the rant. The “You”s are the royal You’s, and certainly not directed at you, Travis, or anyone in particular.)

        Here’s what I find UNACCEPTABLE, EVER:

        Censoring someone because we disagree with them. It’s weak-willed, low-character, low-confidence, ignorant nonsense.

        Should there come a day where a comment from someone is intentionally removed, it sure as hell will never be: “Because I didn’t like it!”

        But guess what I don’t like?

        Bonus distractions and tasks.

        My annoyance with the mere existence of a problem with adult behavior in comments, should be the kick in the pants needed to make some kind of decree about how it will work moving forward.

        In a perfect world, everyone would think it was fair. Not everyone will.

        Yesterday, I was introduced to a very, very, very interesting culture document outlining how things will work at a new company.

        The amount of thoughtfulness put into the document, and how people will treat one another and ideas are certainly relevant to adult conversations about Life.

        I will be borrowing (and crediting) heavily from this document.

        The goal of any and every conversation should be to collectively elevate the knowledge base of all participants in an effort to discover The Best Idea.

        I won’t hear Just Because.

        I won’t hear Ehhhhhhh, It’s Just How I Feel.

        I won’t hear My Idea is Better Than Yours, You Are Dumb.

        I’ll hear: This is what I believe and why.

        Attacking ideas is acceptable. Attacking human beings NEVER is.

        I think of myself as an all-inclusive, the-more-the merrier, kind of guy.

        But I think maybe we won’t be about this.

        If there is to be an exchange of ideas, and/or anything resembling debate, the goal MUST be to find the closest thing to truth our idiot little human minds can settle on.

        If you, Random Person, are more interested in Being Fake Right (i.e. winning some meaningless internet-comments argument) than you are at Personal Growth for yourself and others, than your participation will not be welcome.

        The goal will be learning and helping others understand your beliefs and the reasons for them.

        When someone points out some clear contradiction or logical fallacy that passes every known Is This Objective? Sniff Test, and the response is anything bordering on namecalling or personal attacks, we’re going to blow it up.

        BE OPEN TO LEARNING SHIT.

        Assumptions are bad. Dogma is bad. Closed minds are bad.

        In the context of Being Open to Learning Shit.

        I’ll say it for the thousandth time:

        The TRUTH always holds up to scrutiny. So, if you know true things, explain them to people with kindness out of a desire to help them learn the truth. If you feel the truth challenged, and you get emotional about it, ask yourself: “Am I emotional because I care about this other person and want them to know what I know?” OR “Am I emotional because good questions are being asked that I don’t have answers for?”

        If it’s the latter, FIND THE ANSWERS.

        Seek Truth in all things, big and small.

        We are ALWAYS wrong about most things. Our collective goal must be to constantly try to grow LESS wrong.

        No more dogma. If the dogma is Truth, then distill the Truth.

        Don’t say “Just Because.”

        “Just Because” is bullshit.

        Question everything. Challenge everything. In yourself before others.

        Treat human beings KINDLY.

        If winning a meaningless argument on the internet matters more to you than the opportunity to connect with the real-life human being on the other end of the conversation, you have some real, uncomfortable truths to ask yourself about Who You Are in this world.

        Be your best self.

        Help others be their best selves.

        If you have special knowledge to offer, offer it with patience and empathy, since everyone else has a radically different prism and Life Resume they’re working from.

        If you’re unwilling to answer questions people have in the collective effort to discover The Best Idea, then leave the conversation, or simply be honest that you’re unwilling to answer them.

        No more bullshit.

        Here, we care about people.

        If caring about people is not in your belief system, then I guess we might be exercising a little intolerance and exclusionary practices toward your belief system.

        More to come Friday.

        In the meantime, I am now going to write a post asking people to give money to something for the third time in this blog’s existence.

        I hope someone does.

        Be kind to each other. Be part of the solution.

        Help humans flourish.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        And I’ll add, Fromscratchmom and IB for instance have opinions that I deeply disagree with (like wanting a form of patriarchy if I have understood them correctly, though I imagine their ideal versions would look very different than Jeff Strand’s).

        And yet, I’ve never had a falling out with them. Why? Because no one name calls, no one is sarcastic, no one calls other people insane etc, and everyone acknowledges what other people say.

        So other than the blatant misogyni, the real problem for me isn’t really Jeff Strand’s beliefs (though I do disagree with some of them). The real problem isn’t that he thinks wives should submit, again, I get along just fine with other folks here who lean in that direction. And I actually found it quite moving to read some of the heartfelt sentiments of his faith. It’s the way he expresses himself, his way of arguing that is the main source of the problem, I believe. He insists he’s being polite when he’s sarcastic and namecalls, and when people (myself included) confront him with that, quoting him precisely, he either ignores it or says that he won’t read anything I say about marriage (though I wasn’t talking about marriage at that point) because I’m not christian. And yet he’s a fan of Laura Doyle’s marriage advice even though she, to my knowledge, is not christian either, so the logic he uses doesn’t even add up.

        And he just won’t take into account what people are saying. With Travis recently, Travis stated twice that he was interested in an equal relationship with his wife, not a mommy/child one. And yet Jeff Strand just keeps on ignoring that. Jeff Strand uses personal experience to argue for his opinions. When Ruralbethany and others (including myself) simply ask him to accept that while his experiences are valid, other people have different experiences which must, by that very same way of reasoning, be at least true for them, he just will not acknowledge it. At least very rarely.

        All of this reads at the very least extremely disrespectful, so the discussions quickly fall down a non productive rabbit hole.

        I say this only to express my opinion on the matter, not to tell Matt how to run his blog. And I say this with the utmost respect for Jeff Strand’s fundamental worth as a human being. I wish Jeff Strand could just express himself in a more respectful manner, like everyone else usually is able to do. But if he’s not willing/able to do that, I have some thinking to do. The disrespect and misogyni (and certainly not just directed at me) is bad for my emotional health, and I must do some thinking as to how I can continue being a part of the blog without being subjected to that.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Travis’ post is frightening, became like many Lefists today he specifically equates expressing an opinion he considers “offensive” to physical assault. And this, even if that opinion be expressed in fairly polite terms as I have done (compare to most feminists, who use non-stop profanity in their pronouncements and drop F-bombs every other sentence)

        This is the kind of thinking that will lead directly to the repeal of the First Amendment, esp if (God forbid) Hillary is elected. Already, 60% of millenials in a recent survey back the repeal of the First Amendment. If this doesn’t frighten you, you’re not paying attention. If any ladies would like to post and make clear they dont agree with Travis’ over-wrought and hysterical take on things, I would love to see it.

        Btw, I read Travis comment to my wife to get her reaction as a woman. She laughed out loud and said some things I hesitate to repeat…but I will because I think some may be in interested in her reaction. She said he sounds like “an emotional teenage girl”, a “pathetic loser mangina”, and “is taking pathetic white-knighting to a new low”. Those are her words, not mine. Also, I mentioned how Travis has disclosed he is too afraid and timid to approach women and ask them out, and hence his wife had to pursue him and practically hit him over the head to get him to ask her out, and my wife answered “Well, I’m not surprised. That’s not what I would call a man”.

        In closing, I will add this. If Travis is right that women are really so delicate that just hearing a different opinion is to them the equivalent of physical assault and even rape…if women are really so delicate…that why in God’s name would you even consider having such delicate creatures join the military, or run companies, or be lawmakers, presidents, etc?

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Travis, thank you very much! :)

        You said pretty much everything I wanted to say, I didn’t even have to post my own comments. An “ignore” option would be great, if that’s possible.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Travis,

        Thanks for your feedback!

        You said: “For them, Jeff’s words aren’t just empty or abstract philosophizing–they are beliefs made manifest in their everyday reality. Jeff’s words carry for them all the horrible weight of Hitler denouncing the Jews, David Duke denouncing African-Americans, Donald Trump denouncing Hispanics, because they don’t just stop at being words. They don’t just stop at being intangible thoughts. They are verbalizations, reinforcements and championing of a very tangible reality for women. As men, we have the luxury of just looking at these words as an exercise in theory, in debate. For women, these words are dangerous and can hit every bit as hard as a fist, can penetrate every bit as hurtfully as a sexual assault. And it must be so very draining and soul-sucking to have to constantly see assertions being made, no matter how entitled to Jeff’s opinion he may be, or how deeply the convictions he holds in their merit and validity, that position you as a second-class citizen.”

        You GET IT Travis! You really “get it” at least from my perspective.

        I enjoy debating ideas YES! I do not enjoy debating or reading that husbands are to make decisions brcause he us and man and wives are “unfeminine” if she disagrees. Or a woman described as a chick who is viewed by men as only worthy of “hit it and quit it material” to reference the first comment Jeff made in this post.

        Or to read you indirectly referred to as a fool for expressing your opinions respectfully. This was similar to Jeffs’s treatment of Donkey in another post because she is not a Christian. And of course the whole special snowflakes themes.

        These are the kinds of things I would give warnings to a commenter if it was my blog. And after a few more similar comments without efforts to comment more respectfully I would block them. Why? Because although he is rude to other commenters and writes in misogynistic language.

        There are other commenters here who share some of his views of the husband being the leader in marriage. That concept, while I strongly disagree, is not the problem. Others respectfully present their views and also respectfully listen to others.

        But as you so eloquently wrote, these are not theoretical ideas alone. I am HIGHLY triggered by suggestions of sex roles being good.

        You know why? Because it has impacted me directly. It is not theoretical to me. It’s the reason why teachers told me I couldn’t play soccer because that was for boys. Girls were cheerleaders.

        It’s the reason why I had to take home making and not shop as I wanted.

        It’s the reason why people thought I should want to watch children rather than teach at church.

        It’s the reason why people say it is right that my husband’s career should be more important than mine.

        It’s the reason why people assume that my son is smarter and better at math than my daughter.

        It’s the reason why marriage counselors tells me that it’s my job to do all the heavy emotional lifting because men just won’t.

        It’s the reason why I had to take my husband to certain doctor appointment so that they would take me seriously.

        It’s the reason for a lot more shit I could list here if I had the energy. But some of those are a result of unconscious bias not people really believing what Jeff believes about men and women.

        This is not theoretical. This is STILL taught overtly in many places and situations. I know I have been to many churches that teach these gender roles overtly.

        I’ve read atheist blogs that also overtly say it too.

        It’s soul sucking as you say. I’ve had a lifetime of this shit. And I’m not old enough to have really had to deal with the worst of it either. It makes me sad when I see my own kids having to experience it too.

        I’d like to come to this blog and not have to read more of it. But it’s not my blog.

        And Jeff is a human being so I have been trying to engage him as a human being. We all come to think these because of various experiences. It was interesting to understand where he is coming from. He in an intelligent man who is strongly influenced by his pre Vatican II views. That’s interesting. It’s the presentation that’s offensive.

        But then again, you can present offensive views in an intelligent and respectful way and the content is still demeaning. I’m thinking of conversations a few years ago I had with someone about Rand Paul’s previous objection to requiring public businesses like restaurants being forced to serve African Americans.

        I want to reiterate that his traditional views that would have been mainstream 50 years ago are not si much the problem. It’s the language they are presented in. And the rude responses to those who state things he regards as heretical.

        THAT is the real problem. I have friends who have marriages and gender views much like Jeff describes. We don’t agree but we are able to respectfully discuss things. That’s the difference. And I have atheist friends I can learn from and very religious too.

        Ok I’ve gone on too long. I really appreciated the comment you made about your intelligent wife and what you value in a woman.

        We’ve disagreed in the part but it always stayed within reasonable bounds even we got frustrated. So I appreciate that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt and Jeff,

        This is an example of the kind of comment that I believe should not be tolerated.

        Jeff said (talking about his wife’s response to reading Travis’s comment)

        “She said he sounds like “an emotional teenage girl”, a “pathetic loser mangina”, and “is taking pathetic white-knighting to a new low”. Those are her words, not mine. Also, I mentioned how Travis has disclosed he is too afraid and timid to approach women and ask them out, and hence his wife had to pursue him and practically hit him over the head to get him to ask her out, and my wife answered “Well, I’m not surprised. That’s not what I would call a man”.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          I second that.

          Jeff, if you think the comment is somehow above reproach and passes the sniff test of civil discourse, then you’re going to end up believing we’re a bunch of intolerant, close-minded assholes, and we’re all just going to have to sleep at night accepting that reality.

          The VERY FIRST THING you ever said to me Jeff was calling me a “Mangina.”

          Maybe I told you to go fuck yourself. I hope not, because that would be unkind.

          Here’s what I think I know.

          The things I write about genuinely help SOME people. Nothing can ever be all things to all people.

          Sometimes, a person can identify with some pain and feel less alone.

          Sometimes, a person can finally make sense of why they’re having the same relationship fights and communication break downs.

          Sometimes, people discover new questions and perspectives and ways to think about the world.

          To conjure up a recent example:

          Some guy dangerously cuts you off in traffic, and appears to be an asshole.

          If you were magically able to know the reason for why it happened, you might change your opinion about it.

          A man rushing his dying son to the hospital, and A man aggressively speeding home because he’s listening to Pantera and roid-raging are two VERY different things, despite both falling under the objective reality of:

          A man dangerously cut you off in traffic.

          If you can’t make the logic connection between that example, and the various ways people interpret things they read here from me or in comments, then, once again — we’re just going to all have to agree to have conflicting opinions. I’m very comfortable with conflicting opinions.

          Jeff.

          I don’t care if you think I’m a mangina. I don’t care if you call me a mangina.

          I care even less how your wife feels about it, because I can’t be convinced she has independent, self-generated thoughts on the topic because you’re the head of your household, and your wife submits to your Man judgment. (Side note: I hope you take me seriously when I say that I think it’s great that you have a good marriage under that arrangement, that I’m in no way challenging the healthiness of it, and that I applaud your marriage being a unified and happy one. You seem to believe it’s happy because it fits into a particular category of marriage you perceive to be best. That’s fine. I believe it’s happy because it’s a union of two people in philosophical alignment with shared values. And I submit that OTHER people with DIFFERENT philosophical beliefs also have happy marriages, because the common denominator is that they have alignment and shared values.)

          While I don’t care about you calling me names, because I just don’t care, I DO CARE about you calling other people names, or passing along namecalling from people who probably exist, but maybe don’t.

          If Ryan Lochte had guns pointed at him, then maybe people I don’t know on the internet are making things up.

          People you are allowed to call names:
          1. Me
          2. Public figures who couldn’t sue you for libel or defamation (like celebrities or other famous people) and only so long as you’re not some how conversing with them in these comments.

          I fundamentally disagree with 80-90 percent of Red Pill philosophy.

          I’d be happy to discuss why sometime.

          The term “white-knight” is a dead giveaway that Red Pill philosophy is alive and well in the hearts and minds of people who live in your house.

          That’s fine.

          In addition to fundamentally disagreeing with most of the Red Pill philosophy, I also observe the majority of Red Pill-oriented commentary on the internet to be filled to the brim with assholery.

          I’ll outline how things will go moving forward in tomorrow’s post.

          Every single comment left after this one that contains juvenile name calling is getting deleting the moment I realize it exists.

          I don’t give anything resembling a shit how amazing the rest of the content was.

          KINDNESS:
          “Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.”

          If it doesn’t pass that common-sense sniff test, I’m trashing it.

          Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Wow. So OK, some of you may have noticed my admonishment to just ignore it when it’s that offensive or that far off the wall from what you can relate to but when there is such an aggressive and determined quest to assert oneself against all reason and all odds of success there is certainly a reasonable expectation of being engaged with the disagreement if others. It isn’t hurting me emotionally to read it or to address it so I’ll address it a bit here and there as I’ve begun doing already anyway.

        When a person speaks in vulgar, aggressive, nasty and sarcastic terms but also perpetually claims he’s doing the opposite that’s going to lead into the gaslight effect that we have discussed in the past, even if the perpetrator is obtuse and therefore semi-non-intentional in doing what he’s doing. I love the ignore button idea. It puts the power on each individual to protect him or herself if the need is felt and the responsibility squarely where it belongs on each poster to work for it if they want to be able to reach a wider audience. I eagerly await Matt’s next couple of blogposts, to see his decisions on these matters.

        So now we know the Mrs Strand version is even more overtly hostile and offensive than the mr. Strand version. Egads. I hate the so far-most used word for this recent yuck, misogyny. I generally find it, like narcissist, to be overused, often unhelpful, and totally over-emotionalized, but it does have a real definition and therefore a real purpose. Leads to quite the rabbit hole of wild theories about women who hate and malign and relish and wallow in vulgarity, but totally submit as the perfect sex toys of unloving, Lording-my-authority-over-women type men. But like I said none of this really hurts me emotionally from the distances afforded over the Internet, so leaving it alone works better than spending energy in useless rabbit holes all about the wild negatives and perversity found across the Internet.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        The paragraph you quoted was my wife’s reaction to what Travis said. As I mentioned, I hesitated to post it, but elected to do so because I thought you might be interested in what my wife thinks…since I have never asked her about her thoughts regarding this blog and then posted them.

        I thought about “sanitizing” her remarks, but decided I would leave them as is…as it’s more honest that way. Wasn’t trying to be insulting.

        My actual thoughts are contained in the rest of that post, where I discuss the danger of losing our freedom of speech in this country.

        Btw, Travis said that just my expressing of my opinions makes me the equivalent of a rapist or an abuser of women. That doesn’t cross a line for you? No call to ban his comments? My feelings don’t matter? Don’t you think I may get triggered by comments like that, and need protection from them?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Fromscratch,

        I mentioned to my darling wife how you described her as submitting to her husband as the perfect sex toy. She answered: “Sounds good to me! I’ll take that as a compliment”

        Lol, ahhhh I am truly blessed. After 15 years of marriage I still thank God for her everyday…and our beautiful children too, obviously. It puts a lot of responsibility on me as the head of the household, but I accept it without question.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        You said: “Btw, Travis said that just my expressing of my opinions makes me the equivalent of a rapist or an abuser of women. That doesn’t cross a line for you? No call to ban his comments? My feelings don’t matter? Don’t you think I may get triggered by comments like that, and need protection from them?”

        Although that is not what Travis said I might have agreed with your point more if you hadn’t written in previous comments that a good wife never refuses to have sex.

        It seems to me that those words could reasonably be within the sphere of what Travis was talking about in terms of some female readers.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        Good husbands also don’t refuse sex. Does that make their wives rapists?

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        You said”I thought about “sanitizing” her remarks, but decided I would leave them as is…as it’s more honest that way. Wasn’t trying to be insulting.”

        Ok now we might be on to something constructive. If you are truly not trying to be insulting, go with your instinct to sanitize! That will not lead you wrong.

        I am a direct person too. I’ve had to learn to tone done my “honesty” so that I can convey my thoughts to others in a kind and respectful way. It’s something for you to consider.

        Jeff, you seem like a very intelligent man with a lot of interesting things to say. I don’t agree or like some of your positions but I have had some interesting dialogue with you at certain points.

        Please do us all a favor and bring your best game to explaining yourself. If you can express yourself respectfully and kindly we can learn from each other and expose ourselves to new ways of thinking about things or at least new ways of dealing with people who are different than us.

        We can turn this thing around so we can enjoy interesting, thoughtful discussions. Maybe your wife will want to give her “sanitized” perspectives too.

        Come on Jeff, lets do it!

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        I will willingly concede that I’d rather read Jeff Strand’s comments than be physically assaulted.

        But like Gottmanfan says, when Jeff Strand previously has said that a good wife never refuses sex (I think he said something like “no shouldn’t exist in her vocabulary”), I don’t see why he should feel *that* offended at being likened to someone who rapes or abuses women. We can add to that his expressed glee that his wife is happy to be a sex toy to him (and the implied diminishment of her humanity in that statement, as if her main worth is being a sexual toy/object to him).

        There’s ABSOLUTELY a big difference between saying something and doing something for sure. But the sentiments expressed are quite similar (a man has a right to a woman’s body, no matter what she wants). Even if he only thinks it’s ok within a marriage, that does not make it ok in my book.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        If Jeff Strand believes husbands never should say no either, at least it becomes somewhat more of an equal opportunity thing. Though I fermently believe in everyone’s right to say no. That’s not to say I don’t think people should aim to please their spouses sexually though.

        However, as Jeff Strand has explicitly stated that he thinks wives should obey their husbands, it doesn’t really add up to an even playingfield.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey,

        As I already mentioned, the requirement that a good wife not refuse her husband his conjugal rights (unless there be good reason, such as illness) also applies to the husband. If he refuses intimacies to his wife without good reason, then he too is in the wrong. What is your issue with that? Could it be that it’s because women are more likely to commit this particular sin of denying sexual intimacy to their lawful spouse?

        As far as my wife delighting in being “my sex toy”, for one thing I guess it never occurred to you she was being half facetious. She has a good sense of humor, and we like to laugh a lot together.

        Secondly, for the part of her that was actually serious…why do you find it so strange that she would take pride as a wife in knowing that she fulfills all her husband’s needs in this area? Can you not see that knowing she keeps me totally satisfied and content in the bedroom is a point of pride for her?

        By the same token, I don’t enjoy being a tax slave and wish I could retire tomorrow – yet it is a point of pride for me to know that I work hard to provide for my wife and children, and that I take very good care of them. And not a day does by that my wife doesn’t thank me for all that I do to protect and provide for her and the children. And just a simple word of thanks like that can make all the difference.

        So men, thank your wives for being your “sex goddess”. Maybe even try being a little crude, tell her she is “a great f-ck” or “a hot piece of @ss”. Watch her blush but at the same time, swell with pride. What woman doesn’t want to feel desired by her husband? Sometimes you just have to rip her clothes off like Rhett Butler did to Scarlett, throw her on the bed, and ravage her. You will see the happy effect this has on most wives – for one thing, there will suddenly be a lot less nagging…and a very content wife! Lol

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Matts comment at 12:10pm- yep, that’s going into the “Matt says” files. For sure.
        :D..

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        “As I already mentioned, the requirement that a good wife not refuse her husband his conjugal rights (unless there be good reason, such as illness) also applies to the husband. If he refuses intimacies to his wife without good reason, then he too is in the wrong. What is your issue with that? Could it be that it’s because women are more likely to commit this particular sin of denying sexual intimacy to their lawful spouse?”

        As you can see, I posted another comment right before you posted yours, which moderated my view somewhat based on what you said. I definitely believe spouses should aim to please eachother sexually, but I also strongly believe in an individual’s right to say no. That’s the main issue I take with it.

        But probably more so I’ll admit, when the woman is being told she can’t say no, because throughout most of written history (but not all of history, see “The chalice and the blade” if you’re interested), women have been considered men’s property, often to do with as they please. There are at least two stories in the Old Testament about men giving away their daughters or wives for strangers/mob to rape, to protect the man’s guest or property. Rape and violence against women done by men who somehow feel entitled to their bodies (and yes I do acknowledge it’s sometimes the other way around) is a world wide problem still today. So anything that implies that a woman’s body belongs to a man raises my hackles.

        Again, if the man is the head of the household, he has by definition more power than the woman, and so it’ll be much easier that the woman will feel forced into doing something she doesn’t want to do.

        If I take issue with it because women are more likely to commit this particular sin? Hmmm… Honestly, my main issue is honestly with individuals right to say no, and the long history of women lacking that right. But it’s certainly possible that a smaller part of the issue I take is because it’s a sin women commit. Because I often think women get a raw deal in marriage, as the research for instance show only 33% of men accept influence, and more often than not women do more of the combined labour than men. And yes, in that sense it would feel somewhat unfair to focus on the sins of women, when, averagly speaking, the husband gets his way more often and does less work, and I think that inequity should be adressed first.

        But I’ll say again, I definitely believe people should strive to please their spouses sexually, and while I always believe in an individual’s right to say no, if you don’t plan on having a sex life, I think you shouldn’t get married (or only to someone who equally don’t want it).

        “As far as my wife delighting in being “my sex toy”, for one thing I guess it never occurred to you she was being half facetious. She has a good sense of humor, and we like to laugh a lot together.

        Secondly, for the part of her that was actually serious…why do you find it so strange that she would take pride as a wife in knowing that she fulfills all her husband’s needs in this area? Can you not see that knowing she keeps me totally satisfied and content in the bedroom is a point of pride for her?”

        I have no issue with a wife taking pride in fulfilling her husband’s needs sexually. As long as it’s mutual, I must add. What I take issue with is the labelling of her as a sex toy (again, implies diminishment of her humanity and objectification fo her), instead of as an equal partner who, yes, makes her husband happy in the bed room. It did occur to me that she was joking somewhat, but from your own expressed views of women’s roles (no shouldn’t exist in her vocabulary, women should submit to their husband) and your wife’s sexist speech against Travis, I am more inclined to take her literally when she say something like that than if, say, Travis’ wife had used that expresson.

        “By the same token, I don’t enjoy being a tax slave and wish I could retire tomorrow – yet it is a point of pride for me to know that I work hard to provide for my wife and children, and that I take very good care of them. And not a day does by that my wife doesn’t thank me for all that I do to protect and provide for her and the children. And just a simple word of thanks like that can make all the difference.”

        I believe expressions of gratitude is very important. However, I don’t think the situation is quite comparable, because you believe the man should be the head of the house, therefore, you have more power than your wife. Also, men don’t have a long history of being owned and often violently brutilized by women for their labour (though I definitely recognize that many many men, slaves or not, have been exploited for their labour throughout history). If that were the situation and the wife was the head of the house and called her husband a tax slave, I believe I would find that equally offensive.

        Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        Jeff, I am not surprised at her response nor at yours, not in the least. In fact because I care about human beings and their pain versus their happiness and fulfillment I am glad to hear it. There are only the two possibilities, being cognizant of the downside of your one-sided-hate-and-use-and-abuse-women-teachings or only know the upside and so be easily if willfully blinded to the downside. So I am thrilled that your and her experience is all on the upside of that terrible conundrum. However your success with your fun street-walker style vulgar language filled view of sex sex sex for fun fun fun and no other purpose to women in life but to thrill you sexually and even in her vulgarity of speech to those outside of your marriage does not mitigate all the harm that comes from the downside where men get to be the abusers and the users and women can like it or lump it or possibly have their husbands put in jail only to later be called out on the internet by you as a trainwreck of a woman who is so bad that she would willingly cooperate with law enforcement to put the bad man in jail. You are blessedly free to enjoy your vulgarity and your luck in finding a person who perfectly agrees with your assessment of her value and her role in life. I’m all for people enjoying their married sex life. That is awesome. But you are not free to make other women who have been beaten or otherwise attacked or “just” emotionally terrorized to actually be at fault for the abuses they have suffered… I mean obviously you are free to think it, just not free to force others to submit to that perverse view. And if you really have any interest in God (which to be honest is tough to grasp given the way you represent yourself) as you constantly claim you might consider what repercussions and modes you think should exist for men who are actually committing evil if you can stretch your mind to realize that men are in no way perfect but actually totally fallible and actually even in real life with a woman at their side still wrong sometimes when it is they who are wrong and not their poor train-wrecked wives who don’t happen to talk trash or hate or malign everyone who sees things differently than their perfect husband does.

        I’m also not surprised to see you for about the millionth time totally ignore and employ misdirects away from the stuff that doesn’t support your paradigm. (yay, I get great sex, watch me boast on both how much and how little my relationship offers!) If you insist on continuing, it really would be nice to see you stretch just a little towards the intelligence of choosing wisely and with love and compassion and humility to understand others and engage them honestly and productively that God teaches.

        Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Hmm…it is really hard to address “bad behavior” without using labels that sound bad to use. I guess that’s another point in favor of the ignore feature in my mind. It’s the Internet, dontcha know? It’s totally OK that I don’t know if that’s just s poodle with a keyboard on the other end, and don’t care either, just as it’s usually totally acceptable here if I make my feeble attempts to reach through any and all the bad communication to try to make a point. I certainly do prefer the more common mode of communication found here where it’s so easy to work for more successful and more meaningful communications.

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        I deeply appreciate your comments here, Travis.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Travis,

        You said:

        “This would also afford any women here who have come to the individual decision that Jeff’s philosophies carry too little moral weight and too much personal attack to simply “void” his posts from ever showing up for them, leaving gottmanfan alone to continue to enjoy her study into his aberrant psychology while the rest of return to an environment where we feel mutual learning and respect can safely take productive root.”

        I want to make it clear that if this blog had an ignore button I would have enthusiastically clicked it on day 1.

        Gottmanfan does not “enjoy her study into his aberrant psychology”. I have plenty of relatives with similar gender views I can study.

        It is only because there was no way to ignore his comments that I tried to engage him as a human. To engage with some of the ideas. If he was going to be so prominent in the comments on the blog I at least wanted to move away from the insults. To see if it was even possible.

        Because I greatly enjoy this blog and the many commenters here. I want to continue to stay here. I want to continue to read things that make me think.

        That is why I wrote the comment to Matt. Not because I am some delicate flower that can’t handle his comments as Jeff suggested in another comment. Of course I can handle his comments. I’ve heard it all before. I’ve debated it all before.

        These ideas are so common. It’s the equivalent of getting cat calls when you’re just trying to walk down the street. Men think it’s no big deal but it is just so wearing. Is there no where I can go and not read this toxic shit?

        Where men get to tell you what God thinks you are to be and do. That you are designed for a different submissive role.

        This delicate flower has heard it all before. And I feel a combination of disgust and weariness. I’m just so sick of this shit! It is like breathing in toxic gas and it is polluting this blog comments. Give me an ignore button. Yeah!!!

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        gottmanfan, I tip my hat to you. A knoble effort to, in effect, try to polish a turd. In that sense, I suppose you’ve shown the most Christian behavior of all in this thread. But, yeah, since I don’t believe in a life after this one, I don’t have the time to spare for such an endeavor. Bring on the Ignore button! ;-)

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      Gottmanfan,
      I don’t think he consistently expresses the passion of hate in his words. I think he is blindly ignorant of any feeling (especially his own). That is the only way you can draw conclusions that a human being is alive for the expressed purposes of another human being. That is disgusting to me.

      Personally, I dont think direct engagement with him has any real purpose for me.

      It does seem as though most everyone here sees his logic is a little skewed, and so dont usually agree with his conclusions.

      There may be some benefit in it if he has the capacity to look at the evidence when it is presented to him instead of insulting the person speaking, or plugging his ears (metaphorically speaking) to what is being said.
      If he did that, I would support it greatly.
      And I pray for the strength for anyone who chooses that engagement.

      Like

  24. marilyn sims says:

    Fromscratchmom,

    Thanks for responding. Unfortunately I missed the religious context of the article and focused more on the content that supported what Matt has so generously offered throughout the year.

    I would NEVER have even mentioned the “P” word if I had known it would have elicited such powerful and sometimes incendiary responses.

    This has always been a place where differences of opinion have been offered, discussed and accepted with respect and grace. I hope we can all return to that place of equanimity.

    Like

    • Fromscratchmom says:

      Absolutely, Marilyn. It’s like in the literal world where it’s always or often surprising when a hornet’s nest is suddenly swarming where we’d never have predicted it! But I’m constantly amazed here when I see people continually striving to moderate their speech with love and/or wisdom after some wild and inflammatory has arisen. There’s always a positive!

      Like

    • Donkey says:

      “I would NEVER have even mentioned the “P” word if I had known it would have elicited such powerful and sometimes incendiary responses.”

      This saddens me. Because then we’ll effectively have been silenced.

      I must say, I was encouraged to read the friendly and respectful discussion between you both Marilyn Sims and FromScratchmom, even though you disagree with eachother.

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        I didn’t mean to criticize you Marilyn, obviously you’re allowed your own opinions about what’s appropriate where and when and so forth. :)

        Like

  25. marilyn sims says:

    gottmanfan,

    I am so glad that you were able to respond to Jeff as you did. Like too many of us “tragically flawed” human beings I lose all perspective and restraint when I feel assaulted by opinions expressed that relegate me to a “lesser than” place because of gender.

    As I told fromscratchmom in an earlier post, I hope we can return to that place of equanimity which has characterized this place for such a long time.

    I would like to have your opinion on the article which has stirred powerful feelings in so many of our contributors. As a matter of fact, I don’t know whether it was the article itself that caused the “dust-up” or my enthusiastic support of the author’s critique of patriarchal culture.

    I hope you are well and that things are “coming up roses.”

    Like

  26. marilyn sims says:

    Matt,

    I know you’ve been swamped trying to “be there” for all those who are important to you along with other worldly responsibilities, so NO NEED TO RESPOND!

    Amid all the hubbub, I neglected to wish you “Happy 37th Birthday! Many Happy Returns!
    Kudos for all you have accomplished here and in other endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jeff Strand says:

    By the way, in case anyone is interested. I was reading the rest of Pius IX’s papal encyclical on Christian marriage that I quoted above in a response to Matt. There, I was citing the part that refers to a wife’s duty to submit to her husband. But later in the encyclical, there’s a few paragraphs that deal with the great crime of abortion. I thought this was so well-reasoned and well-written, I’d share it here. I highly doubt anyone here has ever read this before. (Compare the beauty and truth of this to the tripe put out today by “Pope” Francis!)

    63. But another very grave crime is to be noted, Venerable Brethren, which regards the taking of the life of the offspring hidden in the mother’s womb. Some wish it to be allowed and left to the will of the father or the mother; others say it is unlawful unless there are weighty reasons which they call by the name of medical, social, or eugenic “indication.” Because this matter falls under the penal laws of the state by which the destruction of the offspring begotten but unborn is forbidden, these people demand that the “indication,” which in one form or another they defend, be recognized as such by the public law and in no way penalized. There are those, moreover, who ask that the public authorities provide aid for these death-dealing operations, a thing, which, sad to say, everyone knows is of very frequent occurrence in some places.

    64. As to the “medical and therapeutic indication” to which, using their own words, we have made reference, Venerable Brethren, however much we may pity the mother whose health and even life is gravely imperiled in the performance of the duty allotted to her by nature, nevertheless what could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature: “Thou shalt not kill:”[50] The life of each is equally sacred, and no one has the power, not even the public authority, to destroy it. It is of no use to appeal to the right of taking away life for here it is a question of the innocent, whereas that right has regard only to the guilty; nor is there here question of defense by bloodshed against an unjust aggressor (for who would call an innocent child an unjust aggressor?); again there is not question here of what is called the “law of extreme necessity” which could even extend to the direct killing of the innocent. Upright and skillful doctors strive most praiseworthily to guard and preserve the lives of both mother and child; on the contrary, those show themselves most unworthy of the noble medical profession who encompass the death of one or the other, through a pretense at practicing medicine or through motives of misguided pity.

    65. All of which agrees with the stern words of the Bishop of Hippo in denouncing those wicked parents who seek to remain childless, and failing in this, are not ashamed to put their offspring to death: “Sometimes this lustful cruelty or cruel lust goes so far as to seek to procure a baneful sterility, and if this fails the fetus conceived in the womb is in one way or another smothered or evacuated, in the desire to destroy the offspring before it has life, or if it already lives in the womb, to kill it before it is born. If both man and woman are party to such practices they are not spouses at all; and if from the first they have carried on thus they have come together not for honest wedlock, but for impure gratification; if both are not party to these deeds, I make bold to say that either the one makes herself a mistress of the husband, or the other simply the paramour of his wife.”[51]

    66. What is asserted in favor of the social and eugenic “indication” may and must be accepted, provided lawful and upright methods are employed within the proper limits; but to wish to put forward reasons based upon them for the killing of the innocent is unthinkable and contrary to the divine precept promulgated in the words of the Apostle: Evil is not to be done that good may come of it.[52]

    67. Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother’s womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cried from earth to Heaven.[53]

    Like

  28. gottmanfan says:

    Although this will not be meaningful to Jeff who rejects Pope Francis, I thought this recent document by the Pope on the family might be of interest to others.

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2793677/AL-INGLESE-TESTO.pdf

    A few quotes:

    “A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony.

    Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. This, thank God, has changed, but in some places deficient notions still condition the legitimate freedom and hamper the authentic development of children’s specific identity and potential.”

    “There are those who believe that many of today’s problems have arisen because of feminine emancipation. This argument, however, is not valid, “it is false, untrue, a form of male chauvinism.

    The equal dignity of men and women makes us rejoice to see old forms of discrimination disappear, and within families there is a growing reciprocity. If certain forms of feminism have arisen which we must consider inadequate, we must nonetheless see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women.”

    “Surely it is legitimate and right to reject older forms of the traditional family marked by authoritarianism and even violence, yet this should not lead to a disparagement of marriage itself, but rather to the rediscovery of its authentic meaning and its renewal.”

    Like

  29. gottmanfan says:

    Here’s another quote from the paper from Pope Francis about mutual submission in marriage.

    “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improp- er interpretations of the passage in the Let- ter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22). This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys. As Saint John Paul II wise- ly observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should estab- lish through marriage is constituted by a re- ciprocal donation of self, which is also a mu- tual subjection”.162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be sub- ject to one another” (Eph 5:21). In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the ful lment of the other.”

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      This post is so good I’m going to post it again without the annoying hyphens and spaces.

      “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22). This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys. As Saint John Paul II wise- ly observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21). In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

      Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Now I’m going to post it with more spaces to make it easier to read.

      “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

      This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

      As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

      162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

      In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

      Like

  30. Jeff Strand says:

    Gott,

    Francis has also said that couples cohabitating without benefit of matrimony (i.e. Living in sin) have the graces of true marriage if they are faithful to each other. So apparently fornication is no longer a mortal sin – nice to know. OTOH, “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are invalid”. This last bit of insanity was too much for even the Vatican, so they took the extraordinary step of falsifying the transcript of his talk – they changed “great majority” to “some” or “a potion of” (depending on how you translate into English). Which of course, changed the entire meaning of what he said. How very Orwellian.

    He’s also said that today’s Jews still have a valid covenant with God and go to Heaven as Jews, while rejecting the True Faith. I hardly need to point out this is absolutely contrary to continual Catholic teaching over 2 millennia. He has also embraced ecumenism and modernism, although both are verboten to Catholics, and has told the faithful the Day of Judgment is no big deal, “don’t sweat it”. He has also heaped praise on the concept of separation of church and state, thus rejecting the age-old Catholic teaching of the Social Reign of Christ the King. He has pushed for the divorced and “remarried” (who are actually just living in sin) to receive the Most Blessed Sacrment of the Altar in such an unworthy state, which is a great blasphemy and insult to Almighty God.

    In short, he has proven himself not just merely a heretic (as if that wouldn’t be bad enough), but basically a full-blown apostate. In fact, I would not be shocked in the least to learn he is an actual atheist.

    So no, I don’t listen to ANYTHING he says at this point, and neither should any other Catholic. And more and more are rapidly coming to this realization. When you refer to him, you really should use the scare quotes, i.e. “Pope” Francis.

    He is not even a Catholic, much less pope. He is in great danger of eternal damnation, whether he realizes it or not. Pray for his conversion, that he may at least become a Catholic (though not the pope)

    Like

  31. Donkey says:

    Travis, I hope you’ll see this. This is old news by now, but I remember I promised to follow up on it, so here I go:

    Are we good after the whole c-section post? We’re good on my end at least. :) I probably don’t agree with you about my questions (considering the way I asked bout them, the circumstances etc) being presumptuos and possibly invasive, but I recognize that some people will find them to be just that. It was in any case useful to be made aware of a possible blindspot of mine. My own version of Ipod policing, if you will, that *I* don’t think is rude/inconsiderate, but other folks may very will think it is. And that is something for me at least to consider.

    Like

    • Travis B. says:

      Donkey, to be honest, I don’t recall any such conversation or perceived “falling out” between us. As I recall, that c-section conversation ended up more in a “Matt vs. almost everyone else on the blog, including me” place. Please refresh my memory if I’m mistaken and, either way, yes, I assure you I have no negative associations with any regulars here, save for Mr. Strand.

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        Well, then it’s all good. :) Thanks for getting back to me.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        (*thumbs up*)

        Like

      • Travis "Magina All Day, Err Day" B. says:

        I just went back and refamiliarized myself with that thread. Oh yeah, things did get a little zesty there, didn’t they? LOL. That whole thread was such a weird and unpleasant outlier to our usual discourse here. I don’t think anybody came out of it with the warm-and-fuzzier and I hope to never experience its like here again but, yeah, seriously, 100%, you and I are solid, my friend.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Dear Travis “Magina All Day, Err Day” B.

        I gave you somewhat of a hard time for the Ipod police behaviour (or your own personal brand of that). And so I thought it would only be fair and good for my own growth that I acknowledge that I can have my own Ipod police equivalent behaviour, that I’m blind to some people being offended by. As evidenced by you finding something I asked about intrusive etc, while I didn’t. It’s good to be made aware of a possible blindspot!

        Anyway, I hope you wear your new name as a badge of honor! 8) Of course, it was totally offensive to you, and to women as a gender at the same time, seeing as how vagina (and I presume, having one) is implied as an insult.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        Donkey said,

        “Anyway, I hope you wear your new name as a badge of honor! 8) Of course, it was totally offensive to you, and to women as a gender at the same time, seeing as how vagina (and I presume, having one) is implied as an insult.”

        “Oh, no no, it’s cool, I’m taking it back.” — Randal Graves, CLERKS II

        ;-)

        Like

  32. marilyn sims says:

    To Travis,

    Our most valued “warrior-poet” thank you. I wish I had your talent with words, those you spoke to Jeff about the hate-filled nature of his remarks and the harm they inevitably inflict on real, flesh and blood women was YOU AT YOUR BEST. You absolutely “get it”.

    Like

  33. Fromscratchmom says:

    Hey, Donkey, I hope you won’t mind if I offer you clarification way down here at the bottom. I’m starting to lose the blog architecture on my phone! I’m not actually trying to build a patriarchy. I’d be willing to live under one just as I’d be able to live under several other sorts of societal structures and still pursue God. But I am generally trying to learn to live in the present. Every age and every place has its flaws and hopefully its strengths too. My views would definitely effect my own family life if I ever chose to marry again. But of course you know the jury is still out for me on the pull towards partnership, friendship, companionship and a great monogamous sex life like I would want versus not risking any more to do with men of a certain ilk. You may be getting a laugh out of me gripping the mattress again in the future! LOL but at least you can be assured that my BS meter is on high alert and I will definitely be avoiding all the weak-minded, all the abusers, all the addicts, and all the selfish mucked-up porn dogs we’re seeing so much of anymore.

    Interestingly, I’m totally enjoying watching my youngest daughter exploring, for the first time, a bit of a crush. It’s like great medicine seeing her NOT totally screwed up by life’s traumas and having a fun friendship with a great young man, from a distance. (He lives in a different state.) He’s very intelligent and well-mannered. I wish all of y’all could see how cute and funny they are, all teenage awkwardness! And on top of that I wish y’all could see her older sister settling beautifully into her tiny little college campus (my alma mater) where she’s surrounded by Christians and yet also stretching her wings for the first time, 19 hours away from me. I’m so proud of both of them and so thrilled with how well they are doing now! In a way, we may all have a long way to go, but huge milestones of hope and progress are being reached!

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hey Fromscratchmom!

      Thank you for clarifying, I’m sorry that I misunderstood you. If you at some point feel like sharing what your ideal society would be, I would be interested to hear more about it. :)

      And yes, as we both know, mattress gripping is a real predicament. ;) Keep that BS meter high, girl!

      I’m glad to hear that your kids are doing well! It seems like your healing is coming along nicely too, even though I do not doubt it’s a long road.

      It was very interesting to read what you said in another post, about how your ex is almost rewriting history, so that he can come out still thinking of himself as fully innocent and good. Or something like this?

      Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        I love conversing with you, so I’ll try to come back to this, I hope by tomorrow! I have got to try to take a nap before I have to teach in the classroom from 6-10 at night! If the nap doesn’t work I’ll have to resort to my fioricet prescription since my alternative methods aren’t kicking my migraine’s butt like they usually do!

        Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Hmm…the ideal society is a really fun but also really huge concept. Let me start with two small concepts that I believe to be realistic to add to a real and functioning society that can only make it better. I believe they are both Biblical concepts that can aid Christians on making choices here in the country I live in where it’s my assigned civic duty to vote (and in this worst election cycle ever to oppose all the massive corruption going on.)

        1) I want legally and politically whatever makes it easiest for Christians to obey Romans 12:18. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” I know it is hard to see that one in the current climate of braggarts and bullying but it’s something people denying self to seek to be what God wants them to be must strive for. And it is also quite difficult currently politically because there are large societal forces that are fighting to attack Christanity and Biblical tenets and make them into what is evil or hostile or violent or hateful.

        And 2) I wish the government I live under to do the best earthly job possible of the job referred to as belonging to governments in Romans 13:4. Governments are like little machines of laws and law enforcement, I wish government would not make itself impotent by making laws there is zero intention of enforcing said laws, which happens all the time, for a variety of reasons. If it’s unlikely or unwise to enforce it as a general rule then often the best answer would be to take it off the books! Similarly I wish for legal codification to be cut down in size and complexity. Ignorance of the law shouldn’t be a defense but it actually should sometimes be in the current state of things. A kid or a less intelligent guy shouldn’t need an advanced degree or a lawyer in his pocket to go about life within the law. And I wish quite a few political trends of recent decades would be reversed, trends where gross violence such as ripping a baby from its mothers womb to murder it has been “legalized”, trends where people focus on the less usual problem of false conviction get priority over the concept of deterring violent crime so that people literally and intentionally choose more rape, murder, theft, etc over less in an effort to declare and live a value of never convicting an innocent man. I do have great compassion for those wrongly convicted just not more than I have for the victims of the crimes being deterred by having a legal system that does actually punish crime in real ways on a regular basis.

        But aside from that your question makes me think of far broader answers of all encompassing concepts, as I am guessing you intended it to refer to a kind of utopian concept.

        I think The best way I can answer that also happens to be the briefest, which still isn’t likely to be brief at all, lol. I can describe a sort of micro-society I’m blessed to be associated with from time to time. I have for several years been taking my kids to campouts once or twice a year with other Christian homeschoolers from across the country. These are vacations that don’t really look like most people’s vacations, but are about the best, most renewing vacations I could possibly ask for. They are organized by individuals and participated in as a group function.

        We call them family vacations. We keep them loosely organized on purpose. At the start of each campout week one of the men will make some opening comments, mostly for the benefit of new families, to explain that it IS a family vacation and that no one is obligated by virtue of being at the campout to participate in any group activity, sport, Bible class, meal, etc. but that if you signed up for a job to please do it and do it on time. Each head of family is responsible for their own family. Parents should watch out for their own kids or any they have agreed to watch to help someone else out since you never know what could happen and responsibility for safety should be diffused as usually happens in large groups or forgotten as sometimes easily happens when you’re surrounded by such a feeling of safety. The people I get to spend time with at these campouts tend to be the best people on the planet. There is so much kindness, sincerely, amazing communication, …it’s really impossible to describe accurately. It’s usually whole nuclear families although there are always a few moms and kids there where the husband couldn’t get off of work and sent the fam or maybe even like in my situation a husband who didn’t want to go but allowed for us to go without him. You know there’s another descriptor I hesitated to add to the list. Those folks tend to be some of the most intelligent I ever encounter as individuals and as a group. I don’t want to sound like a snob against those not blessed with a high IQ but I really do appreciate intelligence and good sense, good decision making and intentional wisdom. I often think that a large part of intelligence is a choice and the older I get the more strongly I believe it. People really do train their wisdom and intelligence (and the interplay between the two) to move toward what’s better or what’s worse. We also train our emotional states through our choices. (People also train those around them through offering stress and meanness or through offering encouragement, helpfulness, kindness, etc. )

        Anyway, it’s awesome stuff and this side of heaven I wish my day-to-day life could be a little more like campout, the best week of the year. But of course it’s not like these are perfect people, like I get to rub elbows with those who walk on water. But it is like I get to rub elbows with Christ in that they are people who are letting their lights shine and doing the work to lift others up as much as us imperfect humans can do. We all sin and fall short of the glory. But I get more of the blessings that come from people sharing their struggles, temptations, burdens and sins as the New Testament church was told to do there at campout than in any other time or place…and more of people responding to that kind of openness and honesty with the love and helpfulness that Christians are told to respond with! There was even a real crime at campout once and weirdly even in that awfulness I saw christlikeness like I’d never expected to see on this earth, because of the better way that people responded to what was happening. There was after the fact an angry dad storming across the campground. He was, without exaggeration, the most physically imposing person I’ve ever encountered in person, even far more so than coach Hulme from high school. He’d sound like a cartoon character if I tried to describe him. But thank the Lord there were also several of the other men saw what was going on and joined right with him with grace, wisdom, intelligence and determination. (And thank the Lord none of them falling for the stupidity of equating physical stature with real manliness but instead all having determination and follow through and to whatever extent it might help some of them were also pretty big guys!) So they stopped him from committing any violence and calmed him down and took over handling the situation of facing criminal activity, investigating, etc. etc. so that all the right stuff happened (including in that case involving the police) and no one heaped sin on top of sin with cover-ups or a lynching or even unwise or cruel words and manners. I could almost say that everyone involved taught me something through their excellent behavior and choices. But of course I can’t be everywhere and see everything. I just did what I could do to be helpful and saw many parts of it.

        I’d rather live in heaven but while I’m here on earth with all the other broken people I’ll choose to draw near to those who try to emulate Christ or who reflect his goodness in noticeable ways as much as I can. (And I’ll keep going to campout and praising and thanking God for that vacation in a “mini-utopia”.)

        About the ex, yeah I don’t know if I fully understand what’s going on in his head where he seems to be loosing his grip on reality. It could be its just simple denial and justification, or it could be the long term effects of alcohol abuse on the brain, or it could be that thing the Bible says about God sending a strong delusion to some because they weren’t lovers of Truth. Oh well, his problems aren’t mine to own. He chose this and I’m going to heal and fully differentiate! And I’ll save my mattress gripping thoughts for some imaginary or yet to be encountered good guy. LOL

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      Mom,
      Just finished reading through some of your posts. I’m actually still not finished with all of them (from everyone), and I may not. I want you to know how awesome you are, and I think its great that you can stand up against the things that Jeff says. Hey- it may even be therapeutic (Except for the having to read it part ..:)…
      It’s great you are seeing hope in your girls.
      I’ve recently been changing my view of how I deal with the future, too. I am very goal oriented. (which you may not guess if you saw me being a slug on the couch..:). Its not that I am an overachiever or super ambitious or anything, its just that I have to have a reason to keep going. For me my life is always a few steps ahead. Unfortunately I am so future focused sometimes that I really feel like I am not prepared when I get there. Its because I am not accepting and living in my present.
      I have a plan, and so create the circumstances to complete the plan, but in the meantime I really miss some things that are vital- like living in the present.
      My new plan is to kind of have a general direction to go, but to allow myself to interact with the present just for the sake of the present and see where that takes me.
      I am assuming a lot of the future feels anxious for you? I start worrying about details, and what needs to happen to get those details taken care of, etc.
      I am finding a lot of comfort in the idea of just being present. You have to trust your capability, but even more- and a great lesson for me is that even if we aren’t capable at that moment,we can ask someone for help, and/or we can learn from it.

      Anyway- just want to cheer you on and say praise for the blessings we get for everyday!

      Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Hiya, Linds. Thank-you for the encouragement! I love hearing about your progress as well! You are definitely on to something…and it’s so similar to my own thoughts when you describe creating the circumstances but trying to be in a present…er…already losing how you put it, but I DO relate. And you’re right that I feel anxious about the future at times, but I’m working to always pray when I feel it. And it really helps tremendously!

        Yeah, at this point I couldn’t possibly go back on my phone of all things and read everything added or being added by everyone. That’s OK. Life can be like that. I scrolled looking for me and Donkey and found you too. Yay. :)

        About Jeff, yeah, sadly there’s not much more to say that I can think of right now. I hate to give up on an effort at real and productive communication but there’s either a ton of complexity of errors of communication, understanding, and reasoning OR an intentional effort against it. That is pretty hard to pick apart. One part might be, for lack of a better term, theological errors. But a also a big part (if it is complexity, instead of just stupidity and evil) might be related to that huge and complex discussion we all had a while back about a feminine perspective on being treated well versus being treated badly within the realm of relationships with guys who think of themselves generally as good guys but who have yet to learn empathy or own the necessity of it in order to love others well…you know the one that touched on women sounding like they’d prefer a thug over a “nice guy” who treated them like dirt in other ways even though of course most women don’t really want a thug and also touched on the gaslighting effect and how damaging it can be? It does seem that empathy is usually harder or less common for men to learn… as far as generalizations go. We tend to see more men get to a point of refusing communication and relationship skills growth or even being proud of that and claiming there’s some virtue or manliness in choosing to be less intelligent and less wise. And you know I absolutely do think that men and women inherently think and feel and operate differently in some respects and I absolutely do think that that is OK. But that thing where men brag about being unwise or unintelligent and/or claim some sinful thing is actually a manly thing and therefore not wrong at all just sets my teeth on edge. I thank God for the good examples I see in this life of real men/really great men!

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

          Liked by 1 person

        • linds01 says:

          Also, Mom- I am really sorry if I am being really self centered by always talking about myself.
          I mean, I kind of know I am. And I am in this interesting place of being ok enough with myself to acknowledge that while also looking for ways to reach beyond myself.
          That is one the reasons I really appreciate you guys. I feel like there is healing inside, and greater reach towards the outside.
          So, THANK YOU!

          Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        You are absolutely welcome, Linds! I feel the same about talking about myself too much sometimes. But then again I am totally who I am and I’m somewhat comfortable with that. I guess I prefer to overshare than to hide the stuff that matters which a lot of people make mistakes in doing and then hinder the healing or give off very false impressions like they have no struggles or other people who do should be intimidated! So I never think of you as selfish, I just see a kindred (open and sharing) spirit. *hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

  34. marilyn sims says:

    Donkey,

    Because I value this “space’, this place of community so very much, I will be mindful of the passions certain words evoke. I will no longer assume that everyone who visits here does so out of the need to learn and grow. I will try not to be angered/upset by people who express beliefs I find to be “appallingly non-humanitarian”.

    I share with you the tendency toward being judgmental about certain values that people hold — like refusing to value the humanity of those whose sexuality differs from our own
    I’ve go a long way to go in trying to understand their thoughts.

    I know intolerance exists among those who claim Christianity as their guiding life principle and I know that I still have lots of growing to do when it comes to fully accepting those whose life principle is Islam.

    I am looking forward to what Matt will say regarding how to insure that this space will continue to be the place where we all feel safe.

    BTW, Travis’ comments to Jeff — I agree with you— were phenomenal.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Before I saw this comment of yours I posted this higher up:

      “I didn’t mean to criticize you Marilyn, obviously you’re allowed your own opinions about what’s appropriate where and when and so forth. :)”

      My thinking was that I was too quick to say what I said, and I’m sorry for that, because you might very well have some reasoning for why you don’t want to use the p-word for instance that doesn’t involve being silenced as a general thing. Like valuing this community very much.

      I’m sorry if I came across harsh/judgemental.

      I think you and I agree on a lot. ;)

      Kudos and kisses to you! ;)

      Like

  35. Fromscratchmom says:

    Donkey, one more for you since this thread has become all about Jeff and his ego and his communication issues, it is totally unpleasant reading some of his stuff to the religious and the non-religious. But having said that, it’s still possible that he’s totally blind to the image he’s put out there and still not doing so badly towards his wife as he tells men in general to do towards theirs. He stretches incredulity plenty since he advocates for some stuff that seems like it can’t exist in the same guy who could be good to his wife, but you know there’s lots of different levels of intelligence and communication ability out there. And some small allowances can be made for people being blind to their own poor communication. While I can’t agree or respect the abusive attitudes he advocates for (whether he does it intentionally or not) I can appreciate that he and his wife may be very very happy and having a great sex life. Maybe next they’ll stretch their talents in some other areas someday and then become capable of having a positive impact on some poor idiot porn dog who bought into the abusive attitude and now needs some talent in some other areas to pull out of all the crapola he’s created for his family as a giant ass type of guy.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hi again, Fromscratchmom!

      I agree, it’s certainly possible Jeff Strand’s nice to his wife and that they have a happy marriage.

      Again, though I don’t wish for it for myself or want it as the norm, I can see the man as the leader in a marriage working out for both parties, if that is what they both want and the man is being considerate and mindful of his position and responsibilites. Of course the wife must be mindufl of her responsibilities too.

      I can also see someone believing in this type of marriage who at the same time DOES NOT agree with a lot of the other things Jeff Strand has said. Many captains would welcome the thoughts and ideas and needs of their 2nd mates, maybe especially when they don’t agree (at least eventually), because the difference in perspective could very likely ultimately lead to a better solution/way forward.

      If I have understood you correctly, both you and IB belong to that second category. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, I’ve found it very encouraging that folks who believe in some version of the man as the head of the household, also take women’s humanity very seriously and also take A LOT of issue with much of what Jeff Strand has expressed,

      Like

      • “Anyway, I’ve found it very encouraging that folks who believe in some version of the man as the head of the household, also take women’s humanity very seriously…”

        Absolutely, Donkey. In theory, in a perfect world, no one takes a woman’s humanity more seriously than a husband. He’s prepared to sacrifice his very life protecting her.

        There is also the heightened responsibility here. A man in leadership will answer for whatever faults or failures he may have had. He not only takes responsibility for his own self, but partial responsibility for the spiritual well being of his wife and his kids,too.

        I say “in theory” because we know it doesn’t always work out like it should

        Like

  36. Jeff Strand says:

    Donkey and fromscratch,

    I’ll respond down here, for formatting reasons.

    You know, I just don’t understand this bit about we have to assume every man is a wife-beater or abuser. Because you are constantly implying that if a wife submits to her husband, he will abuse her. It makes me wonder what kind of men you ladies are marrying. Are so many men really like this? If anything, for me looking from the outside it seems the opposite – so many men today seem so weak and feminized. Very metrosexual and “in touch with their inner girl” and all this kind of stuff.

    So maybe I am a bit of a caveman…or call it old fashioned. My wife is always telling me that she can’t believe her luck that she found me, how there are no more men like me out there, how if something happened to me she would never marry again because it could only be a disappointment, etc…but I am not so arrogant as to take this literally. I take it as “we may not be perfect, but we’re perfect for each other”. But is she perhaps right? Am I really the only one left? I don’t know.

    I do know that I’ve known plenty of crazy/abusive women in my life – some I was involved with romantically, some family members, some friends, etc. But I don’t go around all bitter at all women as a result, always assuming women are abusive to men. I know some guys do, and have vowed to never marry as a result, claiming you can never trust a female. They are the male versions of you gals who immediately think “wife beater” or “rapist” when a man talks about being the head of the household. So do as you wish, but that kind of thing is not for me…from either side. Life is too short to be so bitter.

    Both the wife and I believe a big part of the solution is teaching kids to embrace their masculinity (as we do for our son) or femininity (as we do our daughters). We make a conscious effort to raise our girls to be ladylike. They don’t swear or cuss. They were skirts and dresses. They play tennis and do cheerleading rather than play softball or contact sports. Their mother teaches them to cook, clean, do laundry, shop, run a household, budget, etc. They regularly take sewing classes and are pretty good at it…both with a machine and sewing by hand. They get culture by taking piano lessons, studying Latin and the classics of Western Literature and Art History. They are reminded regularly that Hell is real and there is a very good chance they will go there, as the vast majority of human souls do…so they are taught to pray regularly for God’s mercy, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, resist temptation, etc.

    They see their mother demonstrate by actions (not just words) that dad is the head of the household and “the boss”, and they expect to similarly submit to their husbands one day. I honestly believe they are beautiful human beings, and we are raising them the right way. And because of this (and because both are blessed with physical beauty) we expect that they will marry well to good, God-fearing men who will lead their future families as is befitting his role of husband/father. We encourage then to marry young (early to mid 20’s at the latest) and to start producing grandchildren for us without too much delay.

    So I ask you, is how my wife and I are with each other, and how we raise our daughters…that different and strange, compared to the “norm” in this world today? Does this really make us total oddballs? I’m curious. But if we are, it’s odd how we are so happy and content in our lives…and it seems everyone else is so miserable and complaining.

    P.S. My wife says she would prefer our girls not go to college, as she is afraid they will be corrupted. She’d rather they become beauticians or secretaries, and just marry young. And I see her point…I was actually just watching a sermon by Bishop Richard Williamson on YouTube where he strongly urges against girls going to university and says the best education for them is to be found in their mother’s kitchen. But I have put money aside for their college education anyway, in case they really want to go. However, my rule would be nothing beyond 4 years – no grad school. And maybe a 2 year vocational thing would be best, like become a physical therapist or X Ray tech or flight attendant. We will see, as they are still young. Of course, my main goal for them is that they get to Heaven, same as it is for my son and my wife.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

      This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

      As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

      162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

      In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        You’re quoting an antipope. Here is the authentic Catholic teaching, which cannot change any more than God can change:

        Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that “order of love,” as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.”

        With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      Jeff,
      I don’t think anyone here is against the domestic set up you have. Everyone is different in what works for them. So that is not what everyone here is recoiling from, or argues against.

      You said at the beginning of your statement “You know, I just don’t understand this bit about we have to assume everyman is a wife beater or abuser.”
      This statement is patently false. Noone has ever said every man is a wife beater or an abuser. However, there are people on this blog who have experienced that or are experiencing it and you run roughshod right over them with some of your comments.

      “Because you are constantly implying that if a wife submits to her husband , he will abuse her. It makes me wonder what kind of man you ladies are marrying”

      Again, I really,really don’t know how you can twist things so far, or what benefit that is for you.

      While some women would not prefer a patriarchy for a marriage, other women here support it.
      The reference to abusive behaviors comes from your very own statements, Jeff.
      The things you have said to US are demeaning and hostile.
      The way you talk about submission- as if the wife has no self, no will, no determination over her own life IS abusive. It takes away her humanity for whatever you think is best. And I’m sorry- the schema that you have demonstrated here does not give me confidence that what you think is best would be good for anyone but you.

      Here is a definition of abuse if you need it.

      1) Use something to a bad effect or a bad purpose, to misuse.
      2.) Treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

      Here’s the thing. Either you treat her this way or you don’t.

      If you treat her the way you described several times “no should not be in her vocabulary” – that is abuse. It’s actually called rape. And you are not a very upstanding guy.

      Or

      If you don’t treat her like this, then great. But, you have to admit all your braggadocious misogyny is just you puffing up your chest in a show of machismo.

      I can tell you, you would have a lot more respect from the men and the women here if you owned some failure or fault than if you continued in it, but just kept changing your story so as to not lose credibility (although I don’t know how much of that you have anyway), or “your audience.”

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Linds,

        I just can’t buy the babe in the woods routine. From the minute I mentioned the Biblical doctrine of wifely submission, I got “abuse!” and “rape!” and “making her a non-person!”, etc.

        I did not get, “hey, different strokes for different folks”. No, i got the same ridiculous hysteria I’ve come to expect from Lefists in particular and feminists in particular.

        Man, I really hope Trump wins…if for no other reason that to send all the special snowflakes scurrying for their Safe Spaces!

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

        This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

        As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

        162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

        In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

        Like

    • Fromscratchmom says:

      Yikes, I’m really going to run out of time just noticing this now after having been intentionally seeking to converse with Donkey this morning. But I’ll address a couple of bits of this if I can. You sometimes say many things I agree with but on the other hand you frequently communicate an image that is the polar opposite of the good and strong views of those better bits. While I may have some differences of opinion on some of the stuff of what you describe for various reasons much if it sounds fine and parts of it are even great. But none of that changes your sins of being arrogant/proud, a braggart, foul-mouthed, lacking any discretion and often eschewing wisdom and purity in how you communicate.

      You earlier shared some words from your wife’s mouth that made your wife seem pretty heinous. Any of the women I know in real life who really fit the picture you have most recently painted here of your wife would never dream of saying such an ugly thing, as my mom would have called it, to anyone, not even a stranger on the Internet. Those of us who honor Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8-10, James 3 (verses 3-13 if you wish to narrow it down a bit) are then getting an impression of you and your wife that is anything but good or godly. And others here who are not concerned with the same things still have their own reasoning to see you and your claim to Christianity in a light that brings shame to the cross. First you shared it with pride and a nasty bullying nature trying to heap shame on Travis (who if he cares to think on the religious implications at all certainly has the intelligence to see the shamefulness of it and be repelled by your shameful “religious” nature.) And next you backed off in defensiveness where we could see you posture clearly saying, hey those are my wife’s words! not mine! You seem to say you believe in husbands as leaders which I would agree with. And you even seem to have some sort of theological construct going on where you see women as something morally lesser than men. But you absolutely failed to live up to the leadership or the greater moral position that you appear to claim. DUDE, MAN UP and own what you did there, sinning against both Travis and your wife! “God, honestly it was the woman you gave me. She ate the apple first!” And you accuse Travis of being weak and unmanly?! At least he’s consistently standing by his convictions as a man. Where were your beliefs and convictions in all of that? Maybe both you and your wife are morally weaker like children and need a mom to come wash your mouths out with soap and make you copy out the relevant Bible passages a bunch of times? Or are only young unmarried women supposed to be taught to not cuss?

      And although I am more than out of time, I will give the very minimal clarification to say I don’t believe and never said that all husbands who are submitted to become physically abusive husbands or even otherwise abusive. You are seemingly lacking in understanding of the abusive nature of the attitudes and mannerisms and language that your portray of yourself and advocate for others to embrace. Hurting a person and mistreating them can come in more than one mode or form and physical abuse just happens to be all the more likely when the totality of abuser attitude/bully mentality is embraced and/or enforced.

      Like

  37. Jeff Strand says:

    Oh, let me add something else. Just because my wife submits to me as the head of the household, this doesn’t mean I treat her as a child or like I’m her warden. She has her own responsibilities too. When it comes to her areas of expertise, like the domestic sphere, I am careful not to infringe on her role as the one who keeps things together and functioning well in such areas. Instead, I may just bite my tongue and not say anything…figuring I’ll cut her some slack because, after all, she is a good kid. No doubt she does the same for me.

    What you end up with is a real sense of teamwork that is very fulfilling. Like I told her when we married, I’ll make the money and you make the babies, lol.

    But in the final analysis, when it comes to big issues we both know the responsibility to make these decisions falls on me. When I decided we needed to move for financial reasons, she didn’t question me even though she loved the old house (luckily, she now loves the new one too). When she was told by her doctor never to get pregnant because it might kill her, I decided we would take the risk anyway (several times!) Again, she didn’t question my decision. When I decided we had to cut certain of her family members out of our lives completely, for reasons that are not worth going into here, again she obeyed. When I told her I needed her to be a caregiver for an elderly family member on my side of the family, she agreed immediately in spite of already having several little ones to take care of.

    So I consider that she is a very good wife and she knows I treasure her and would do anything for her, including laying down my life for her and/or our children if necessary. And I told in the prior post how she feels about me (the whole, “im so lucky to have found you, there’s no men like you left out there”). And I really think a big part of the success of our marriage as we approach 2 decades of wedded bliss is our embracing of God-given roles in our family, a spirit of selflessness and self-sacrifice, and an appreciation for all God has done for us.

    “We must not think at our leisure to go to Heaven on feather-beds. That is not the way, for Our Lord Himself went forth with great pains and suffering, and by many tribulations was the path wherein He walked thither, and the servant must not seek to be in a better case than the master.” — St. Thomas More, on the eve of his martyrdom, 1535

    “Can we expect to get to Heaven for nothing? Did not Our Blessed Lord track the whole way to it with His Blood and tears?” — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

      This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

      As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

      162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

      In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        You’re quoting an antipope. Here is the authentic Catholic teaching, which cannot change any more than God can change:

        Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that “order of love,” as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.”

        With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

        This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

        As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

        162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

        In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

        This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

        As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

        162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

        In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        So you repeated the same quote from an antipope two more times. Does that change anything? Should I start repeating my posts 2 or 3 times? Does that make them more true?

        No. It just makes you more annoying.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Jeff,

          Excellent! I am a most annoying person so on that we can agree!

          “156. Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected. This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).

          This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys.

          As Saint John Paul II wisely observed: “Love excludes every kind of subjection whereby the wife might become a servant or a slave of the husband… The community or unity which they should establish through marriage is constituted by a reciprocal donation of self, which is also a mutual subjection”.

          162 Hence Paul goes on to say that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).

          In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by delity, respect and care. Sexuality is inseparably at the service of this conjugal friendship, for it is meant to aid the fulfillment of the other.”

          Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        “Reciprocal donation of self.”

        That’s a solid way to phrase that, JP2.

        Like

  38. marilyn sims says:

    Donkey,

    No need to apologize, no offense taken. As a matter of fact I think, in a way you were right.
    I just need to be less naive and sensitive. I am, I know, “thin-skinned.”

    Like

  39. linds01 says:

    You respond as though we are the ones pushing our agenda- if you don’t like what we say (our product) then go elsewhere. I wouldn’t go to peir one stand in front of the register and tell the person behind it “I’m not buying what your selling”.
    That would be a little ridiculous.
    But to answer you directly- no, I believe you are mistaken. You did not come in stating your opinion other than direct insulting women in statements about what kind of women that should be deemed “un-marriable”.
    But look- I’m not trying to get mixed up your convoluted understanding.
    I was giving you an out. About admiring some of your previous statements were wrong or maybe a little exaggerated. It’s up to you if you want to take it or not.
    I stand by the idea that you would have a ton more respect if you were honest about your true sentiments, ideas ect.
    But as it is, it is obvious your story has changed a little, and your singing a different tune. Ie- you’re not fooling anyone.

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      And just to clarify our “agenda” if you want to call it that is discussing ideas minus the insults.
      Which I would consider calling someone annoying as one of them.

      You have no class, Jeff Strand.

      Gottman on the other hand, is a conduit of wit, Grace and intelligence.

      I am so sorry you miss that in your need to be superior to everyone else.

      I’m done.

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Saying you have something or act in a certain way is a little different than “you are” statements. But, I’ll grant not by much.
        I think the bigger difference is that I am pointing out something that has evidence from your behavior vs. things that have no merit or validity and are said only to injure someone. I guess its sort of like the definition of pornography. Is there any redeeming value in your words? I personally dont think so. Can we discuss them to find out whether they were more true than false? And if they were more true would it have any bearing on ANYthing?

        Like

  40. I really do believe in submission and I blog about it frequently because it can be very empowering and freeing for women. In faith we are called to submit one to another which is a good way to have healthy human relationships. So “wives submit” rather than being something that denotes inferiority, is simply a reminder to relate to a husband as believers are called to relate to one another.

    My own theory is that the bible says “wives submit, and husbands love your wives,” because both of those things run contrary to our nature. So men have a hard time understanding what it even means to “love” your wife. And women who will often submit to just about everything including girlfriends, stoplights, and the family pet, will often resist the idea of submitting to a husband. To submit really just means to yield. So do we yield to husbands, are we charitable? Quite often no, we are in competition with them, we fear being oppressed,we desire control. Never mind men, all these things can all make women unhappy, distressed, full of anxiety, which puts a lot of strain on a marriage.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB,

      I agree with you here. Female rebellion is a common problem…clearly it goes all the way back to Eve. It is no coincidence that Mary, the “new Eve”, was all about humility and submission. Submitting to God’s will even though it meant a “sword shall pierce your heart”, submitting to St. Joseph to be the head of the Holy Family and never questioning him…even though she herself was much closer to Almighty God than he was.

      For all these reasons, plus her spotless purity, she is viewed as the epitome of womanhood. Loved by all men, and placed in Heaven by God Himself above all other created beings, even the seraphim. To use Bishop Fulton Sheen’s memorable phrase, she is “the world’s first love”.

      And she achieved all this not by “leaning in” to act like man and compete with men. But by embracing her femininity, and a humble life of prayer, submission, obedience, unconditional love, and the quiet acceptance of suffering. So in a sense she is the anti-feminist, and yet she is now crowned king of Heaven! No wonder feminists hate her so!

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        * ….now crowned QUEEN of Heaven, not king of Heaven. Obviously.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Which makes me think of another point.

        I’ve often heard atheists claim that organized religion, esp the Catholic Church, denigrates women. I wonder if they realize that the Church teaches that the created being closest to God in Heaven and dearest to Him in His own eyes is…wait for it…neither cherubim nor seraphim, neither archangel nor man (even though he be a prophet or saint)…but a human female. In other words, a woman. This is the teaching of Holy Mother Church.

        Food for though.

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      IB,
      Hey. In all adult relationships we have to become well versed in submitting.
      It does come with a feeling of burden and oppression though.
      I honestly think there is a big connection between the submission part and the love part that I haven’t quite put my finger on yet.
      In general I have been coming to the conclusion more and more often that Christianity as an exercise in trying to fit ourselves into the commands is futile and really not the point at all.
      It maybe even is counter productive.
      If I am feeling hate and anger towards someone (not anyone here- I swear!) I typically would beat myself up, and think about scripture that says you can’t love God if you don’t love man..well, I have thought about that scripture and I just had to say “well, God, I’m pretty pissed at you,too.”
      I don’t want to stay here, but I have to admit it I’m not above that.
      I think way too often that’s what we do- we can’t agree that we have sin, so nothing changes. We just find another place to hide it.
      I think even in us trying to submit and men trying to love we try to fulfill these and fail so often. Why would he ask us to do something that is so contrary to our nature?
      I don’t think he is- I think those things are a part of our “spiritual man” that we kind of halfway walk in and halfway don’t…
      But at any rate, my thought is trying to live up to the ideals of sctipture feels so futile.
      While I agree we have to take action and we have some responsibility for our growth, I am really leaning towards the whole “Father, I am a sinner and not worthy” as truer statement of my faith than trying to implement the commands of scripture.
      Just some thoughts.

      Like

      • Interesting, Linds. Here’s the first part that caught my eye, “In all adult relationships we have to become well versed in submitting. It does come with a feeling of burden and oppression though.” I have never felt that. I actually find submission freeing. Far too often I have been left in charge, the oldest kid in a dysfunctional family, the boss at a dysfunctional workplace. So anytime I encounter functioning and healthy authority, I am prone to submit, rather relieved actually to be unburdened by someone else stepping up to the plate

        I encourage you to discover what those feelings of “oppression and burden” are about.

        As to being mad at God, as to not living up to scripture, that’s where we’re all at. That’s why Christ gave his life for us, because none of us can do it alone. We all fall short. Look at the bible, even those God truly favors, were once actually murderers, thieves, fallen women, dancing girls. The woman at the well with five husbands, the adulteress about to be stoned, the woman with the perfume, all women who fell way short of scripture.

        “Why would he ask us to do something that is so contrary to our nature?”

        Always for our own good, for our own benefit, to bless us. I don’t know why we people are like this, but we generally resist the things that are for our own good, that are going to benefit us.

        We do fail, but we don’t have to bury it, we don’t have to hide it, we simply surrender all that at the foot of the cross, ask for forgiveness and allow Him to heal us.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Hey IB,
          Sorry, I think I was thinking of a few things at once and that is what came out.
          Thank you for responding. What I meant about the oppression and burden was more along the lines of forcing myself, or someone forcing me to do something I don’t want to do, or preventing me from doing something I felt born to do.
          I guess it is important that submission is supposed to be freely given. But I think most people read the word as burdensome. And I think most people who want to do the right thing often grit their teeth and do things, and sometimes more importantly don’t do things that they would or wouldn’t do on their own volition.
          I question if that is what God, or even Paul intended.
          I can understand how it would be freeing. There is a part of me that would love someone else to take over, and let me just enjoy the ride. It’s great if you have that- truly, it is.
          But, the fact of the matter that isn’t a common thing. There aren’t a lot of men who dont know how to love, and so submitting would be really just so they could have a full life and what about the women?
          For someone like myself, who doesn’t have a husband, does that mean I have to submit to men in the work place?
          I know of some denominations who would think so. They also run the church in a way that women have no authority except in the childcare areas, and that is “overseen” by a man.
          That’s where I think we get it wrong.
          If its submission in a marriage, then it should be understood within the context of love- always.
          It isn’t submission to males in general.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        IB said:

        “We do fail, but we don’t have to bury it, we don’t have to hide it, we simply surrender all that at the foot of the cross, ask for forgiveness and allow Him to heal us.”

        I agree we all fall short and need to seek forgiveness. This is why Christ established the Sacrament of Confession, you can read about it in the final part of the Gospel of St. John. It is the only ordinary means God has given us for the forgiveness of serious sin committed after baptism.

        But I would just add that it’s not ok to give up and just say “I can never meet the commandments of God, so I’ll just stop trying and live in my sin. Hopefully the blood of Christ will save me anyway”. Well, no it won’t. This was the heresy of Martin Luther, and it directly goes against Scripture and the teaching of the apostles. St. Paul warned us: “Be not deceived. Neither fornicators nor adulterers nor drunkards nor the effeminate, etc, etc will enter Heaven.”

        Our Lord told us the same thing when He said “Be ye perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” And even more starkly, “Not all those who say unto me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into My Kingdom, but only those who do the will of My Father in Heaven”.

        So don’t give up or stop fighting. We all have the firm responsibility to do our utmost (with the help of God’s grace) to resist temptations to serious sin. It is a lifelong battle, to be sure. But at the end of our lives we want to be able to echo the words of St. Paul: “I fought the good fight; I finished the race; I kept the Faith”.

        And following death, we want to hear from the lips of Our Lord those blessed words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Come, and possess ye the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

        May it be so.

        Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        Hey, Linds. I don’t believe that the Bible teaches all women submitting to all men. But it does specifically speak to gender roles within local congregations as well as within marriages. Although the two are quite different in how they are handled, there are also some connections between the two in a way. Submitting to men in general anywhere and everywhere would be totally different and I’m so thankful that is not taught by the Bible, as I’m sure any godly husband would be glad of as well! That would in many instances be setting up a serious conflict. Yikes.

        When you mentioned bosses I found that interesting because the husband/wife thing should certainly not be extrapolated to any male boss. But on the other hand men and women alike would be commanded to respect and submit to their bosses (and to their earthly governments) as long as those authorities don’t set up conflicts with obeying God first and foremost, and to do their work as if doing it for God. So I do submit to my boss in a way, who is, I’m blessed to be able to say, a very nice guy and apparently somewhat godly although we haven’t discussed his religious views to any great extent. (I rarely ever communicate at length with him since he likes to leave our little office as relatively autonomous compared to his larger company.)

        I do disagree with him on certain business decisions at times and I try to respectfully communicate my point of view when I get the chance. And then if he continues on in ways that seem to me to be harming the business I just remind myself that its his business and that if he pulls it out of the mess it was in when he bought it I’ll be super impressed and if he doesn’t God will still take care of me in some other job or whatever. I haven’t talked him into a raise yet though. lol. I came close a month or two ago! And just two days ago my office manager suggested I might revisit that issue now. hmm… I have to say I do have good job satisfaction in having reason to believe that I am quite good at my job and that the talent isn’t at all common. That is a weird position to be in since I’m really very used to not only trying to be humble for God’s sake but also being pretty naturally used to being put down and knowing whether its true or just or not I’m useless in the view of plenty of earthly folks. So to actually have that job satisfaction and confidence is a bit unsettling in a way!

        But as for submission in general and the general state of “the war between the sexes” and the men who are not good at loving a wife…I’m doing pretty well on it now in some ways. You know there are always going to be people choosing to do wrong. “The way is narrow.” and “We are all sons of wrath.” If I find myself tending towards negatives in any real or personal way I try to bring myself back to reality. I try to remind myself there are just as many women who are in need of salvation as men (all of us) and that our sins are no less going to separate us from God compared to men’s sins and the effects of those. Or I remind myself of the amazing godly men that I do have some great examples of in my life and usually that goes hand in hand with amazing wives, but there are at least two I can think of out of the past that are inspiring because of how nobly and well they handled being married to women who were just so wrong toward them.

        I’m not sure if you saw it, but I wrote something recently that mentioned the fact that the Bible specifically assigns a duty to women to teach other women to love their husbands. After all the amazing conversation and meditation and prayer of late I have come to see a fuller meaning and purpose there than I used to recognize. It seems quite likely that God intentionally excluded a command to men to teach women to respect or submit as part of how women need to learn to be good to their husbands. If God or another woman explains it to me it is encouraging and helpful and always gentle and kind plus it is never selfish. When the man who could (as so many men do) exploit his position and misuse a woman takes on the task of enforcing it on his wife or women in general that they should submit to him personally or to their husbands it sometimes takes on an ugly and abusive cast and it always puts him in the position of focusing on what is hers to own while what is his to own to love her as he loves himself and as Christ loved the church is suffering as a result. Although I don’t mean to portray adults of being deserving of being treated as children it is really rather like when you see siblings fighting and they really want a parent to take sides in a way that validates or justifies them, they may not like it if the only side the parent will take is “let me tell you what you need to own in this scenario no matter what so and so just did.” That was me as a parent (well who I tried to be). I won’t talk to you about what your sibling needs to own or repent of or grow from. I will talk to you about how you can own your “stuff”. You can only control yourself and your actions and reactions. I’m guessing I didn’t do too too badly at it since I’m at the stage of life now that my children have come to own their own beliefs and their own salvation and even to take seriously the teachings that would bring them to me in a respectful way if they have a spiritual concern for me. Wowzers is that an amazing thing to learn to face. Eep. But still how can you not love them all the more and be so thankful for them?!

        It truly can seem rare that it works out well, but submission doesn’t have to be a dirty word. We wrestle with it for a different reason and that’s not so much worse than anything else we wrestle with to become who we want to become or who we are being led to become. I loves YOU. ;)

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Aww..Mom,
        Thank you for that last sentence. I loves YOU, too! :)
        But seriously, those are words that maybe I needed to read. This whole emotional intelligence thing would be so much easier if I knew and believed that I, me- the person I am right now, with all her faults and the things she’s not great at, and the things she lacks along with the things she is really good at and the things she brings are worthy and valued, and even loved.
        Sometimes (most of the time) we want others to tell us that. May we- you and me , and everyone else who needs to, may we carry the knowledge that we are lovely and worthwhile human beings close to us. May we love ourselves rightly, and love others well.
        We really are worthy of love and having a good life.
        Love to you, too :)

        Like

  41. marilyn sims says:

    Matt,

    I’ve read enough. Bring on the “Ignore” button!

    Like

  42. marilyn sims says:

    From:

    EAGLES: The Very Best Of ( Don Henley and Glenn Frey) “Hole In The World” — sung acappello

    There’s a hole in the world tonight,
    There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow,
    There’s a hole in the world tonight
    Don’t let there be a hole tomorrow.

    They say that anger is just love disappointed,
    They say that love is just a state of mind,
    But all this fighting over who will be anointed,
    tell me how can people be so blind.

    There’s a hole in the world tonight,
    There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow.
    There’s a hole in the world tonight.
    Don’t let there be a hole tomorrow.

    Oh, they tell me there’s a place over yonder,
    cool water running through the burning sand
    But until we learn to love one another,
    we will never reach the promised land.

    There’s a hole in the world tonight,
    There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow.
    There’s a hole in the world tonight,
    Don’t let there be a hole tomorrow,

    Like

  43. marilyn sims says:

    Donkey and Linds01

    Please do not take the following as an endorsement of the spiritual path called HInduism.
    I am quoting this excerpt from ” Eat, Pray, Love” because it absolutely affirms by belief in the divinity of the feminine – without intervention or explanation or equivocation from any masculine divinity. It is to me beautiful and thoroughly poetic.

    Believe it or not, Jeff Strand mentioned the book and its author at least twice in one/two of his responses. He never mentioned that it was during an exceedingly intense session at the ashram in India that the author offered the following:

    “The conversation is between the goddess Parvati and the almighty, all-encompassing god Shiva. Parvati and Shiva are the divine embodiment of creativity (the feminine) and consciousness (the masculine).

    She is the generative energy of the universe; he is its formless wisdom. Whatever Shiva imagines, Parvati brings it to life. He dreams it; she materializes it. Their dance, their union
    (their yoga) is both the cause of the universe and it manifestation.”

    Like

  44. linds01 says:

    Thank you for this Marilyn. This is an nice metaphor of both the feminine and masculine in creating the world around us.

    Like

  45. Travis B. says:

    I wanted to say “Happy Women’s Equality Day!” to all of MBTTTR’s female readership but, gosh, doesn’t it seem like this thread has already done it for me? ;-)

    #thisiswhywecanthavenicethings

    Like

  46. marilyn sims says:

    Hi Donkey,

    A few posts back (August 25th to be exact) you were apologizing for being “critical” of my decision not to use the “P” word — in effect it silenced the open, free-flowing dialog that most of us here enjoy so much.

    Well, as I was reading some of fromscratchmom’s later posts, she mentioned another “P” word — PARTNERSHIP”.

    I had forgotten about the lively and thoroughly (for me) enjoyable discussions about what it might mean to live in a true partnership model of marriage. In such a marriage SUBMISSION would not be an issue because each partner would have previously come to an individual decision that SUBMISSION would not be a value they espoused as healthy for their marriage/ partnership.

    I remember talking about the principle that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Anyway, just some random thoughts about “the good ole days”.

    Like

  47. Macy B. says:

    Hi Jeff!

    I never knew I was a lesbian, but that “mangina” named Travis B. has never once failed to pleasure me. That gives me all the peace I need!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Travis B. says:

      Ladies and gentlemen…(*gestures to the side*)…the missus.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        Pahahah!!
        Nice to meet you Macy! Welcome to the tribe! :) :) :)

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Travis and Macy,

        How great to hear from Travis’ wife whom we have read so many wonderful things about!

        I hope Macy is able to comment often. And tell funny stories about Travis. Lol

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        I rather suspect that may be the last time you hear from her, or at least it will be quite seldom. My wife has chosen to let me have this corner of the internet world to myself, so I can be free to speak freely about my marital experience in my efforts to strengthen it, but she’s also a passionate woman who, when I mentioned Jeff’s words to and about me, well…didn’t cotton to them, LOL.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Travis,

        You said:

        “she’s also a passionate woman who, when I mentioned Jeff’s words to and about me, well…didn’t cotton to them, LOL.”

        If only she possessed this blog’s digital iron fist for even just a few minutes.

        I can imagine how disturbed I would be if I read something like that being said about my husband.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        gottman fan said,

        “If only she possessed this blog’s digital iron fist for even just a few minutes.”

        You would have been able to hear the screams of a certain commentator as far away as China.

        “I can imagine how disturbed I would be if I read something like that being said about my husband.”

        What was posted was a PG-13 version of her hard R verbalizations, to be sure. And as you can see, it took her a few days to calm down enough to write something even that civil, LOL. Shucks, it’s nice to be loved. (*blushes*)

        Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      Travis,

      I know a while back you were considering writing your own blog. Is that still a possibility? Would love to read your warrior/poet voice with your mission statement of finding ways to apply ideas to 2016 marriages.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Travis B. says:

        I think you may have misremembered multiple people (Matt included, garsh!) encouraging me to write a blog as a statement of interest on my part in doing so. I can’t say it isn’t something I wouldn’t be interested in doing at a later point in my life (“real life” has certainly curtailed my creative outlets, to my constant lamentation), but with a full-time salaried job, two young school-age children, renovating one home to sell it so I can use the proceeds to purchase a bigger one, and, well, a desire to actually spend as much time as possible with my wife versus spending that time just talking about her with others (and it’s going to get even harder soon because she plans to go back for more schooling in January), my schedule just doesn’t afford me that creative bandwidth right now. I appreciate the support and encouragement, though; for now, it will have to suffice for me to contribute my occasional two cents’ worth of experience here.

        Like

  48. linds01 says:

    Jeff, you do know what you said to Travis was rude and attacking, don’t you?
    That’s not expressing an opinion that is being offensive.
    And I could say some things about you going to your wife,too.
    So instead of pointing fingers why don’t we show respect?

    Like

Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: