Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Contrasting the moral motivations of Christians and humanists

First, consider this article from the LA Times, about a South Korean pastor who takes in abandoned, disabled children.

Excerpt:

In a country that prizes physical perfection, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, his eyes opened after caring for his own disabled son, has been taking in unwanted infants, who if not for his drop box would be left in the street.

The drop box is attached to the side of a home in a ragged working-class neighborhood. It is lined with a soft pink and blue blanket, and has a bell that rings when the little door is opened.

Because this depository isn’t for books, it’s for babies — and not just any infants; these children are the unwanted ones, a burden many parents find too terrible to bear.

One is deaf, blind and paralyzed; another has a tiny misshapen head. There’s a baby with Down syndrome, another with cerebral palsy, still another who is quadriplegic, with permanent brain damage.

But to Pastor Lee Jong-rak, they are all perfect. And they have found a home here at the ad hoc orphanage he runs with his wife and small staff. It is the only private center for disabled children in South Korea.

“This is a facility for the protection of life,” reads a hand-scrawled sign outside the drop box. “If you can’t take care of your disabled babies, don’t throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here.”

Since 1998, Lee, now 57, has taken in nearly three dozen children — raised them, loved them, sent them to school. He has changed their diapers, tended to their cries in the middle of the night. Today, he has 21 wards: the youngest a 2-month-old, the oldest 18.

His motivation is painfully personal. Twenty-five years ago, Lee’s wife, Chun-ja, gave birth to a baby so disfigured Lee kept the boy from her for a month until he could figure out a way to tell her the unthinkable, explaining only that the child had a serious illness and was rushed to another hospital.

The baby was born with cerebral palsy. A mammoth cyst on his head choked off the blood flow, slowly rendering him brain-damaged. Doctors gave him months to live.

Today he lies on a bed in Lee’s home, his legs splayed at impossible angles, his feet turned back inward. Eyeing the room impassively, he occasionally lets out a snort or sigh, as his parents regularly vacuum his saliva through a tracheal hole in his throat. They call him Eun-man, which means full of God’s grace.

Let’s take a closer look at what counts as morality in a Christian worldview.

Christianity and self-sacrificial personal morality

Well, first of all, the moral activity is proceeding from a true worldview. The worldview of Christian theism is grounded on facts. A scientific case can be made for the existence of God, from the origin of the universe, the cosmic fine-tuning, the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, habitability and so forth. Second that case can be augmented by philosophical arguments like the ontological argument from reason, the epistemological argument from evil, the moral argument, and so forth. And finally, a historical argument can be made made for the resurrection of Jesus, which shows the self-sacrificial and loving character of God.

Most importantly, the Christian worldview holds that our happiness is not the purpose of life. The purpose of life is to be rightly related to God the Father, and that this knowing God can involve some self-sacrificial suffering. The purpose of life is not for us to feel happy, to be liked by others, or to be concerned about equalizing the distributions of material possessions through government. What is required of Christians is that they sacrifice their own interests on an individual basis and help their neighbors personally, etc. There is little mention of accomplishing good through government, the emphasis is all on personal morality. Any earning, saving and spending that we do is expected to be partly for the goal of helping others directly. We don’t concern ourselves with the decisions that others are making with respect to earning, saving and spending. We don’t care about how rich or poor someone is. We just care about our own ability to earn, save and spend – with the goal of making all of it serve God.

Additionally, we are commanded to give reasons for what we believe, based on good science, good philosophy and good history.

Morality on secular humanism

Now let’s contrast that outward-focused example of good behavior, based on a true worldview, with the “morality” of secular humanism. This article written by Rick Heller, from The Humanist.

Excerpt:

If solving the climate change problem were as simple as handing out light bulbs, we’d be all set. This April, three dozen humanists paired up like Mormon missionaries and rang doorbells in Cambridge, Massachusetts—but not to spread a message of faith. Instead, they gave away free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to residents who surrendered their old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in exchange. Coming at the conclusion of the American Humanist Association’s 2011 conference, this community service project collected a couple hundred energy-hogging bulbs for reuse in children’s crafts projects.

Technological improvements such as better light bulbs are part of the solution to the climate problem. But events like the 2010 BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico and the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex make it hard to place all one’s faith in large-scale engineering projects. Furthermore, Boston College economist Juliet Schor warns that the growth in consumption has been outpacing efficiency improvements. “We get more efficient, but that makes people want to buy more energy, because it’s effectively cheaper,” she told me. “So you have to control the demand.”

But people typically don’t want less; they want more. That may be why some even deny the reality of climate change. What if we could offer the prospect of more satisfaction, but in a different form that was less damaging to the planet? People could have more of what they really want—to feel good—while purchasing fewer things that depend on atmosphere-polluting industries.

First, what is the basis for action in secular humanism? Well, in secular humanism, the universe is an accident, and there is no objective meaning or purpose to the universe as a whole. There is no objective moral law that specifies what humans ought to do in secular humanism. Inalienable human rights are also not grounded because there is no Creator to ground them. However, people have happy feelings, so the humanists have decided that we should maximize happy feelings and call that “morality”. (It’s not clear to me how this would not be competitive, since what makes you happy may not make me happy). Humanists act to maximize their own happiness. (And really, by happiness, I mean self-indulgence, as opposed to the Christian sense of happiness which is more like eudaimonia). Humanists are not acting on the motives of the South Korean pastor to comply with an objective moral standard by serving God self-sacrificially or by imitating Christ’s suffering and obedience.

The global  warming myth as a noble lie

Rick appeals to global warming as a reason why we should constrain our consumption. I agree that people should reduce their consumption voluntarily, and I would incentivize that with tax-free savings accounts, etc. But I don’t think that global warming should be used to persuade people to reduce their consumption, because man-made global warming is a false view. The myth of global warming, (which was the myth of global cooling 30 years ago and will become the myth of global cooling 30 years from now), serves two purposes in the secular humanist mythology.

The first purpose of global warming/cooling mythology is to allow people to substitute easy/fake virtues, like recycling for hard/real virtues, like chastity and fidelity. That way, they can be “moral” without having to really deny themselves, especially in sexual areas. Second, the global cooling/warming mythology allows them to draw the wider public into supporting a political program of wealth redistribution and government control. This means that a person can be moral not by giving away their own money to the poor, but by taxing their productive neighbor in order to redistribute that wealth to favored groups. Note that recycling and redistributing wealth are not the same as being self-controlled or being faithful to your wife or taking care of disabled children. It’s not about personal self-denial.

If you want to understand the dangers of pursuing happy feelings instead of self-sacrificial morality, just think of liberal politicians like Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Elliott Spitzer. They will rail and rail about the evil rich  in speeches and receive applause from people who envy the rich and covet their wealth. But then they go out and cheat on their wives in private. They major in redistributive rhetoric but minor in personal sexual morality. Their goal is feelings of happiness – not the obligation to do right when it goes against their self-interest. They feel happy when people applaud them for wanting to take money from one group and give it to another.

They get feelings of happiness from indulging in sinful behavior in private. But there is no self-denial and self-sacrifice in the personal realm, especially on sexual issues. The recycling is meant to provide cover for them to reject traditional moral obligations. The public speeches about wealth redistribution also “balance out” the private vices. That’s why Bill Clinton can still claim to be a good person after cheating on his wife – being willing to redistribute the wealth of others made him a good person, he thinks – and he didn’t have to do anything personally self-sacrificial. 

Is mindfulness the answer?

And this is where we get back to Rick’s article. Rick isn’t advocating easy substitute moralities or wealth redistribution as a path to feelings of happiness.  He is trying to get people to generate happy feelings by themselves by reflecting on the wonders of the things they already own or have access to, like roses and fingers and such. He is very clear that he doesn’t want secular humanists to be grateful to God, though. He just wants them to spend more time acknowledging stimulating things that they’ve been ignoring. He hopes that this will cause them to become less interested in consumption and consumerism, because they appreciate what they already have. He wants them to voluntarily constrain their own material consumption, in order to fight global warming/cooling. So what should Christians make of this?

Well, this would be a good idea, I think, because it might remove a lot of the envy that left-wing politicians tap into in order to lead envious people down the road to serfdom. If non-Christians stop being taken in by flowery speeches about wealth redistribution, then we will all be a lot more free and prosperous. It seems to me that it is a lot less harmful for non-Christians to reduce their guilty feelings through “mindfulness” than by supporting passing price controls, minimum wage increases, carbon taxes, and so forth, as a way to get goodies without having to work for them. I don’t think that it provides a rational basis for morality, but it might provide an emotional basis for resisting socialist rhetoric.

It would also be a good idea for us to encourage non-Christians to stop spending so much money. The massive national debt that we are accumulating will be bad for our future freedom and prosperity. It is also bad for future generations who will be saddled with crushing debt. Charitable enterprises like the South Korean pastor’s drop box operation run on private donations. The more we restrain spending and make people immune to the secular left’s envy rhetoric, the less government will spend, and the more money we Christians will have in our pockets for charity. We need to keep what we earn in order to love God effectively. The government will never sponsor something like a William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens debate. We need to keep more of our own money so that we can fund that debate.

Self-sacrifice as a way of relating to God in Christ

As good as Rick’s idea is, it still doesn’t go as far as Christian morality goes.

Consider what morality is like in the normal Christian life. The normal Christian is always trying to give of his own self and possessions in order to help others – and not because it makes him feel good, but because it really IS objectively good – it is his way of imitating Christ and having a relationship with God based on the experience of acting on God’s value system. It is because we have a Creator and a Designer that we have an obligation to act in a particular way – there is a way we ought to be, in other words.

We don’t need other people to celebrate our speeches to make up for our rebellion and guilt. We don’t need to have “Chastity Pride” marches or “Fidelity Pride” marches or “Taking Care of Disabled Children” marches. We are not trying to feel happy by doing what we do. We already know that what we are doing is good. We don’t need to force people to celebrate our decisions or to make others be like us through public school indoctrination. We get a sense of joy and fulfillment from the relationship with God. It’s not happiness as self-indulgence, it’s human flourishing according to an objective design. We were designed to be in a relationship with God, and that relationship requires enduring suffering, not avoiding it.


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The New York Times explains why the leftist elite supports narcissism and divorce

Here’s a wonderful romantic story endorsed by the New York Times, which represents the worldview of elite leftists. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

WHAT happens when love comes at the wrong time?

Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla met in 2006 in a pre-kindergarten classroom. They both had children attending the same Upper West Side school. They also both had spouses.

[...]Mrs. Riddell was a reporter and anchor on WNBC television in New York and a mother of two.[...]Mr. Partilla, then a 42-year-old triathlete and a president of media sales at Time Warner, recognized a kindred dynamo. “She’s such a force,” he said. “She rocks back and forth on her feet as if she can’t contain her energy as she’s talking to you.”

The connection was immediate, but platonic. In fact, as they became friends so did their spouses. There were dinners, Christmas parties and even family vacations together.

So Ms. Riddell was surprised to find herself eagerly looking for Mr. Partilla at school events — and missing him when he wasn’t there. “I didn’t admit to anyone how I felt,” she said. “To even think about it was disruptive and disloyal.”

What she didn’t know was that he was experiencing similar emotions. “First I tried to deny it,” Mr. Partilla said. “Then I tried to ignore it.”

But it was hard to ignore their easy rapport. They got each other’s jokes and finished each other’s sentences. They shared a similar rhythm in the way they talked and moved. The very things one hopes to find in another person, but not when you’re married to someone else.

Ms. Riddell said she remembered crying in the shower, asking: “Why am I being punished? Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?”

[...]As Mr. Partilla saw it, their options were either to act on their feelings and break up their marriages or to deny their feelings and live dishonestly.

[...]“I did a terrible thing as honorably as I could,” said Mr. Partilla, who moved out of his home, reluctantly leaving his three children.

[...]The pain he had predicted pervaded both of their lives as they faced distraught children and devastated spouses, while the grapevine buzzed and neighbors ostracized them.

[...]All they had were their feelings, which Ms. Riddell described as “unconditional and all-encompassing.”

“I came to realize it wasn’t a punishment, it was a gift,” she said. “But I had to earn it. Were we brave enough to hold hands and jump?”

[...]“I didn’t believe in the word soul mate before, but now I do,” said Mr. Partilla.

[...]“My kids are going to look at me and know that I am flawed and not perfect, but also deeply in love,” she said. “We’re going to have a big, noisy, rich life, with more love and more people in it.”

Just FYI, I am using the word “adultery” for this because I consider carrying on an emotional affair while you are married to be adultery.

I think that this view is very popular among liberal elite circles, such as New York city. These elite liberals get very impatient with morality once they have risen to a certain level. They tend to want to elevate the pursuit of happiness (the “right” to be happy) over moral obligations to other family members who depend on them. There is no transcendent purpose for marriage, on their view – it is just another thing that is supposed to make them happy, like cars, vacations and careers. It doesn’t really matter what happens to the children. The leftist elites blunder their way into marriages thinking that marriage is just another accessory added to their exciting glamorous lives, like triathlons and careers in news media. (Or yoga, recycling, animal rights crusading, and vegetarianism in other cases). Then they find a way to weasel out of their marriages so that they can be happier and more fulfilled with more glamorous and exciting partners. But what is the deeper issue underlying this view of marriage? After all, people didn’t use to treat marriage as being about personal fulfillment… what happened?

The root cause

Obviously the people in our story are either functional atheists or outright atheists, since they are unrepentant adulterers. So why do atheists struggle so much with staying married? Let’s see.

You know how I am always talking about how atheism doesn’t rationally ground self-sacrificial moral obligations? Well this instance of adultery is exactly the kind of example that I am talking about. The problems with atheism and morality arises when an atheist is confronted with a desire to be happy that goes against what his society in that time and place considers to be moral. On atheism, right and wrong are relative to an arbitrary time and place in which the atheist was born – they are just like traffic laws and clothing fashions. It’s arbitrary. And no atheist in the world is going to sacrifice a moment of happiness because of arbitrary customs and conventions that change over time and place – as long as they can escape the consequences. The whole point of atheism is to dismiss moral obligations, to look down on those who are moral as stupid, and to pursue selfish happiness in this life. But what happens when atheists face a “moral obligation” (as defined by culture) that goes against their self-interest, i.e. – their feelings?  Well, the moral obligations go out the window – as long as they can avoid the social costs and punishments of their society (which is why the left is always so busy breaking down the Judeo-Christian morality of parents in the secular leftist public schools – they don’t want your kids to judge them for things like adultery and divorce). This is why the left support same-sex marriage – they want to redefine marriage so that it is based on the feelings and needs of selfish adults, not on moral obligations to children. The left doesn’t care about born children any more than they care about unborn children – they care about themselves. And they spin these self-serving “i’m the brave victim of your silly cultural prejudices” stories to minimize their culpability for the damage they cause. They are inventing a new standard of morality – one that glorifies selfishness and the triumph of the strong over the weak (children, born and unborn).

On the Christian worldview, God is real, and he has a design plan for us. Part of that design plan is that we were made to honor our relationship with him. Honoring that relationship with him means treating others a certain way, especially our spouses and children. We have to train our whole lives in order to be able to shoulder the burdens of family relationships – to our spouse and to our children. If a man neglects his education or his employment history or his investment portfolio, then he cannot be a provider. His feelings on those obligations don’t matter. If he wants to marry, he has a God-given obligation to provide. If a woman reads “The Shack” instead of “On Guard”, votes Democrat because she thinks that the Comedy Channel is more reliable than Fox News, and sleeps around a lot in college after freely choosing to make herself drunk, then she has failed to prepare for her role as a mother and wife. Denying yourself happiness as you prepare for moral obligations in a marriage is not rational in a godless universe. If God does not exist, then there is no way you ought to be, and no way marriage ought to be, and no way children ought to be treated. Children are the biggest victims of all – if the leftists aren’t killing them outright through abortion, then they are voting for no-fault divorce, single mother welfare, same-sex marriage, etc. in order to encourage selfish adults to deny children relationships with their two biological parents.

The problem with the left is that they want the prestige of marriage, but they won’t give up their selfish moral relativism. But how can marriage, which is built on the idea of vows and self-sacrificial moral obligations, be entered into by non-theistic self-centered leftists who are guided only by their self-interest and their emotions? It can’t. What they should have done is invented a new relationship, like cohabitation, and entered into that. But what they did, and what same-sex marriage activists are trying to do, is entering into marriage and then changing marriage into cohabitation by law. This is what conservatives mean when we say that no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage change marriage. If one party can dissolve a marriage unilaterally, then marriage has no meaning. If marriage can be had by people in non-exclusive relationships, then marriage has no meaning. They should have invented somethings else – something consistent with a worldview that denies self-sacrifice and moral obligations to children.

Anyway, read the whole disgusting, self-serving New York Times story, and leave me some comments.

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Why do women flock to movies like Switch and Eat, Pray, Love?

My friend Robert, who has an amazing apologetics-enabled wife, asked me to write about this topic. And Mary helped me to edit it, because the first version was really really mean. Now the last half of the post is a lot more positive, thanks to her input. The meanest part is right after the movie review excerpts and before the advice for Christians.

First, a little blurb about Switch.

Excerpt:

It’s a feminist adage that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”, but Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston is taking that message a step further, saying that women don’t need to “fiddle” with men in order to have and raise a child, thanks to artificial insemination.

Aniston, 41, is the star of an upcoming Miramax film “Switch,” in which Aniston’s character decides she is tired of waiting for a man to come into her life to have a baby, and elects for artificial insemination. Apparently the film is supposed to be a romantic comedy, as it turns out that the best friend of Aniston’s character is the sperm donor.

A reporter at a Sunday press conference in Los Angeles, where the actress was highlighting her movie, questioned Aniston’s character, suggesting it was “selfish” to deprive a child of a father in order to fulfill a personal dream of parenthood.

“Women are realizing more and more that you don’t have to settle, they don’t have to fiddle with a man to have that child,” the actress asserted in their exchange. “They are realizing if it’s that time in their life and they want this part, they can do it with or without that.””The point of the movie is, what is that which defines family?” Aniston continued. “It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot.”

She stated, “Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere.”

Second, a little blurb about Eat, Pray, Love.

Excerpt:

The movie stars Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert, a writer who suddenly decides she doesn’t like being married to her husband any more.

[...]…Liz decides to visit India to look up her former lover’s Hindu guru. At the guru’s place, she gets into Hinduism, including Hindu meditation, really heavily. She also befriends a young Indian girl going into an arranged marriage and a troubled former alcoholic who’s lost his family. From all these experiences, Liz comes to believe in meditation and pantheism, where the believer uses meditation to become like God. She also comes to believe she has to forgive herself, not apologize to the people she’s harmed, especially her former husband, who seems to be a decent, sincere man.

Finally, Liz heads to Bali to consult an elderly spiritual healer and fortune teller she had met before. In Bali, Liz helps a battered wife, finds further spiritual anti-enlightenment and a new lover.

[...]The biggest problem, however, is that the female protagonist is a selfish woman trying to find personal enlightenment and happiness apart from the God of the Bible. Sadly, she jumps from man to man. Even worse, she eventually finds spiritual darkness in the false religion of Hinduism and pantheism, the belief that everyone is god or has a piece of god inside herself.

Another problem with the movie is it presents a negative, feminist view of marriage.

I know that many young unmarried women really really like these movies – even Christian women – so what message are they finding so attractive?

Here’s what the popularity of these movies tells me about what young unmarried Western women believe. (This is the mean part)

Moral obligations are bad

Young, unmarried Western women oppose the idea that their will to be happy can be constrained by moral obligations, especially obligations to their husband and children. They want relationships to be all about fulfilling their emotional needs, which often includes their need for a career so they can be just like men. They want to be able to enter relationships like marriage and parenting when it pleases them, and then to walk away from those relationships when it doesn’t please them. They also want to avoid being judged morally when they act selfishly and destructively. And they believe that any financial difficulties they suffer that result from acting selfishly can be solved with bigger subsidies from the government – like single-payer health care (abortions, IVF, etc.), single-payer education, single-payer day care, etc. And when they act selfishly and impose these social costs on others, they want to be celebrated for it, perhaps even using the force of law in order to censor and coerce dissenters into celebrating their selfishness.

Knowledge and planning are bad

Young, unmarried Western women don’t invest much time and effort into learning the requirements of marriage and parenting. They don’t research the difficulties that men and children will face (e.g. – taxes, public schools), and they don’t research the needs of men and children. For example, they won’t study no-fault divorce, school choice, state-run day care, tax rates, etc., and they won’t make plans to help their husbands with any of these challenges, because it doesn’t make them happy to solve problems for other people. If they read anything then it will be probably be something that blames men for being “controlling” or blames children for not being “resilient”. They aren’t going to be  supportive of men as protectors, providers, and moral leaders, either, because they resent the traditional role of men. They are especially resentful of being supported, of being corrected on facts, and of being judged by men on moral grounds. Any authority that constrains their freedom to pursue happiness at any moment will be harshly criticized.

An amusing, entertaining man is the best man

If you read down a typical young, unmarried Western woman’s list of desirable attributes in a man, you’ll find that what they are looking for is amusement and entertainment – things that are not the main focus in a serious Christian marriage founded on self-sacrificial love and service to God. They really haven’t thought out what marriage is about, so they don’t know what men do in a marriage – they think that the best mate is the one who makes them feel happy. They especially avoid virtuous men, because those are harder to blame if they get caught being selfish. Women who watch these movies want Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right. And that is why they are now thinking that men are not necessary for raising children – they’ve learned that “all” men are unreliable because all the men they freely chose using their hedonistic criteria didn’t pan out as husbands and fathers. This is what’s behind the impulse to replace men with sperm donors, welfare checks and social programs. “You can’t trust a man” these women say – and of course, they’re right. You can’t trust a man who is selected based on his ability to be amusing, entertaining, unchaste, passionate, exciting and amoral. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – they get the bad men they set out to find, and the bad men abandon/abuse them. And then they blame the bad man that they freely chose for being bad!

Marriage-minded men are not willing to suppress their God-given inclinations to be protectors, providers and moral leaders, just to be approved by selfish women. And so women reject those marriage-minded men, and instead prefer to pursue dramatic, passionate hook-ups and temporary cohabitations with immature alpha males and pick-up artists. And that’s why 70% of divorces are initiated by women for “unhappiness” and 50% of all marriages end in divorce and 40% of children are born out-of-wedlock and 77% of young unmarried women voted for bigger government and more welfare in 2008. Not to mention abortion,  which is supported by most (77%) young, unmarried Western women because they vote for Democrats, a party that supports abortion to the point where they want it to be funded by pro-life taxpayers.

What about Christian women – are they any better?

(This is the nice part) Well, the ideal for Christian woman is to not be like this at all, although some are like this. Now initially, I wrote this section as a mean rant against fake Christian women, but Mary urged me to re-write it to express what Christian women ought to do to avoid all the mistakes I had before. So I hope this is better, because all my male  friends liked the first angry version better.

OK, so, Christian women are supposed to be Christian, and that means that they even have to love in Christian ways. So, instead of looking at men as a source of happiness, Christian women should think about how to love men SELF-SACRIFICIALLY. In other words, they should spend more time trying to find out what wounds a man has that are stopping him for contributing more to the Lord and heal those. Then she can turn to helping him with his work, his investing, and other major projects. And she should be rigorous about interviewing him, reading books about men and marriage, and then having a plan to invest in him as a person to make him the most effective Christian he can be. That is how a woman scores with a man, by loving him well and helping him to be a better Christian. Part of that will come back to her as he becomes a better husband and father.

Christian women also make it easier for a man to concentrate on the morals and skills that will help him in the marriage. For example, she encourages him to choose a field that will allow him to earn a living or make a difference. Good fields are fields like engineering, and engineering and engineering. That way, he can build up a nice-sized portfolio so that he is ready to shine in his traditional Biblical role as provider. She should encourage him to lift weights, fire guns and learn self-defense, and she should vote for laws that favor parental rights, school choice and firearm ownership – so that he can be a protector. And she should regularly submit herself to moral criticism so that she encourages him to hold her accountable for her selfishness to prepare him for his role as moral leader of the home. That all starts in courtship, and it takes planning to be effective. It’s not about having a good time, and having passionate experiences – it’s about intentionally and intelligently building something together. Serving together.

Not only is the woman supposed to be effective at molding a man into his role by taking an active interest in his work, strength and character, but she has to give him the opportunity to exercise and practice those skills. She should let him provide gifts to her, and defend her from skeptics and atheists. She should take his advice and learn from him about how to defend her faith. She should read books he hasn’t read so that she can solve problems for him, like problems of how to buy a home, how to rollover a 401K, and how to apply for a Ph.D. And finally, she should also encourage him in Christian virtues like chastity, chivalry and sobriety. She should be the first and best person that he can rely on to honor him for his dedication to Christian morality. She should NEVER EVER make him feel bad about being a virgin, being self-controlled and stoic, being a prude, etc. In the whole world there is no one who encourages a Christian man to be virtuous -it’s the woman’s job to stand by that man. She should also read about things like no-fault divorce, oxytocin, gender identity disorder, etc. and encourage her man to be strong in his moral convictions – even if that leaves her with no one to blame but herself when she’s selfish. She’ll just have to realize that the love of a good man is more important than being able to deflect guilt and responsibility by blaming men.

A Christian woman should not think of a man as an accessory for creating feelings of happiness in her. We’re beyond that now. There’s a war on, and every man who takes his faith seriously is busy trying to serve the Lord effectively. For myself, I am focused on charity, writing and doing apologetics with non-Christians. Things like these should be  more interesting than fun for a Christian woman – in fact they should be the ONLY things on her list of criteria of what makes a good match. She should put her desire for happiness behind her and love a good man self-sacrificially as a way of serving God by making her chosen man more effective at serving God. And that is why it is so important to screen a man about his faith, and especially about how that faith works out practically, before marrying him. A Christian woman loves a man before the face of God – she is trying to honor Christ in the way she chooses a man, and in the way she loves him. Her satisfaction about his appearance and his conformity to a secular alpha-male ideal should be the LEAST of her concerns. (In any case, many of those trivial things are easy to change)

Good movies

Oh, and if you’re looking for movies where you can learn something about what really happens to selfish women, watch “Madame Bovary” (1949) and “Anna Karenina” (1948). If you want something newer, I like “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Ordinary People”. I also heard good things about “Mommie Dearest”, but have not seen it.

By the way, if you want to go see a movie that’s out now, go see “The Expendables” instead. (Here’s a good review) I also thought that the new Rambo was good.

Here’s my full list of good movies.

  • Rules of Engagement (Samuel L. Jackson)
  • Bella
  • Henry V (Kenneth Brannagh)
  • The Lives of Others
  • United 93
  • Taken (Liam Neeson)
  • Cinderella Man
  • The Blind Side
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (Gerard Depardieu)
  • Amazing Grace (Ioan Gruffudd)
  • Gettysburg
  • We Were Soldiers
  • Stand and Deliver
  • Blackhawk Down
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • High Noon

These are good movies for courting – to teach women what men are like, and how they ought to treat men.

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What does “the pursuit of happiness” really mean?

From Muddling Towards Maturity. He quotes Chuck Colson on the pursuit of happiness.

Excerpt:

Our founding fathers understood the pursuit of happiness to mean the pursuit of a virtuous life. This concept of happiness comes from the Greek word eudaimonia—which refers to a life well-lived, a life rooted in truth. That is what happiness means, and that is what every man and woman has an inalienable right to pursue—a virtuous life.

And as I wrote in my book The Good Life, this is the definition of happiness that we need to reclaim in American life—especially within the Church. After all, a Barna survey revealed that more than half of evangelicals agreed with the statement: “The purpose of life is enjoyment and personal fulfillment.”

Come on. If the last 50 years have taught us anything, it’s that consumerism and hedonism (the pursuit of unbridled pleasure) do not lead to happiness, but instead to personal and societal misery.

[...]The goal is not pleasure; it is righteous living, decency, honor, doing good—in short, living a virtuous life.

I’ve heard J. P. Moreland write about this, too, in his book “Love Your God With All Your Mind”. (And again in “Kingdom Triangle”)

J.P. says in chapter 1 of LYGWYM that freedom is “the power to do what one ought to do”. he right to the pursuit of happiness means that no individual or government has the power to prevent you from living the virtuous life that God intended for you. That is why I come down so hard on the secular left. When they force Christians to deny their faith and act like atheists in public, (e.g. – to perform abortions or lose their jobs), then the government is thwarting the pursuit of happiness, rightly understood.

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