macho women wrestling
Theology

Wrestling with Scripture? Is it time to transgender our macho theology?

The Rt Rev’d Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, posed the question of whether the phrases we use to describe biblical exposition are “too macho”.  The Rt Rev’d Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield, responded:

Setting aside that you might think there are far more pressing matters with which bishops ought to be presently concerned (and so which this blog ought to be commenting on today, such as… Spanish brutality it Catalonia, Islamist throat slicing in Marseille, a mass shooting in Las Vegas, or the Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury Cathedral)… etc., etc.), Bishop Paul’s question actually goes to the heart of so much of the contemporary gender-identity obsession that it merits some unpacking – machismo or meek.

Wrestling is undoubtedly a macho pursuit: even combative women need a high charge of testosterone. So wrestling with Scripture (or breaking open the word) is an expressively masculine kind of exertion. The Bishop of Liverpool prefers a gentler approach – “formation, reception, wisdom” – which are qualities more associated with the feminine (indeed, wisdom in both Greek [sophia) and Hebrew [chokmah] is a feminine noun).

Virility is fast losing ground in the Church of England: priests and bishops aren’t encouraged to be macho, because to be so is crass and crude. Far better to kiss and cry, which is love and compassion. Virile men have a tendency to shoot and leave; women carry babies in their own bodies, and then nurture them with their own milk. This is their biology and physiology, if not their psychology and destiny. Reception and formation are positive things: ejaculatory grappling is a necessary thing. The greater wisdom comes from the deeper understanding of the cycles of fertility and the consequent responsibility.

Wrestling with Scripture is what the patriarchs did and do: the era of male domination in the Church of England is over, or at least drawing to an end. There aren’t many women bishops who wrestle, so perhaps the new non-patriarchal culture should be reflected by non-macho vocabulary. Isn’t life-giving reception preferable to wrestling? Isn’t life-sustaining formation preferable to breaking? Are the ‘feminine’ qualities of caring, compassion and non-violence preferable to the ‘masculine’ pursuits of combat, conquest and domination?

So, as we study Scripture as the source of salvation and enlightenment, let us meditate upon motherhood and wisdom, rejecting the gods of thunderbolts and swords. The male God – the Father God – isn’t too helpful, either. Neither is God the Son, come to that. Nor is talk of women listening to serpents or enticing men to eat apples. Let us henceforth do our theology with womb-like intimacy rather than by wrestling, because the time is transgender, and Yahweh looks better in a skirt.

  • magnolia

    The discussion on Twitter appears to me to read far too much into an unimportant area. I am female and have broken many things, sometimes, likes eggs on purpose, but all too often in error!! I cannot imagine many women find wrestling imagery difficult, and if they do perhaps their lives are a little empty, cancel that, a lot empty. These are mere trifles in a very needy world.

    • CliveM

      I agree, but isn’t that what the Church of England specialises in these days? The peripheral and the ephemeral?

      And not just the CofE.

  • Anton

    the era of male domination in the Church of England is over, or at least drawing to an end.

    Just like the Church of England seems to be. Coincidence, of course.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      It will end as a Ladies’ Book Club…

      • layreader

        A church run by middle-aged women will consist of…middle-aged women.

        • Little Black Censored

          So long as they continue bicycling to Holy Communion all will be well.

      • Anton

        “I’m sorry, Sire, but we shall have to delay your Coronation until the Archbishop of Canterbury has given birth. It is a difficult pregnancy, you know.”

      • Ray Sunshine

        A gaggle of Trollopes?

      • Inspector General

        The time can’t be far off when a male stranger attending a CoE church service is confronted by the priestess…

        “Isn’t there some other place you could go to. The ladies in the congregation aren’t too happy about you standing behind them”

        “The parish up the road sent me here. Over there, the first and third Sundays of the month are women only”

        • bluedog

          Welcome back, Inspector. No longer afflicted by UnderLinus?

          • Inspector General

            Special_uptick_for_being_damn_smart

  • Father David

    St Paul seems to prefer the Boxing analogy (I Corinthians 9: 26) and he was quite a pugilist for the Lord. My sainted maternal Grandmother Adelaide used to love the wrestling on television of a Saturday afternoon with Kent Walton and she was far from “macho”

  • Chris Bell

    Your article like so many others on this transgender obsession is due entirely to the failure by church, state and individual to recognise the true message of Christ. No this message is not love, being nice or being fallen in some tragic manner…………Christ’s life and words proclaim that: WE ARE NOT THE BODY.
    Period.
    If this be taken and respected then naturally we are caused to ask ……then who am I?
    Whereupon you will discover many things that will destroy your individuality. It will destroy the dualism that is at the basis of male and female and which is the plain cause of confusion, ignorance and suffering…… and of course absurdity.
    You will find your intelligence sparkling and clear as the burden of the body-idea is shed. You will see that the ‘original sin’ is not some daft devil locked in a closet but your very own idea that you are some important individual. You will become ‘free’ as your natural nature is revealed.
    It is indeed unfortunate that the resurrection is seen as the resurrection of a ‘body’ rather than the clear revelation of infinite spirit. The ‘Christian’ church has simply wasted this magnificent life lived 2000 years ago. But of course none of this matters a jot. All that we witness is the march toward ever deeper ignorance and we are not that!! So no fear. And we can truly laugh at the nonsense.
    So remember the real significance of Christ……..it is not complicated.

  • Chefofsinners

    The Church is, of course, viewed as female: the bride of Christ, loved and called to be submissive. That is the spirit in which theology should be approached. If our bishops would do so, they would find the Word of God is abundantly clear on gender roles.

  • Martin

    As I commented in the thread “When you really examine what Scripture teaches us it means we have wrestle because it challenges so many of our preconception”. The trouble is, the bishops of the CoE are so busy imposing their preconceptions on the Bible that they don’t see that their preconceptions don’t fit.

    Actually the bishops should be thinking about why they don’t wrestle with Scripture, is it perhaps because they don’t actually apply Scripture when it challenges them?

  • Dolphinfish

    Personally, I’ve been wrestling with our host’s sense of humour (or lack thereof) for some time now, so I’m not entirely certain he’s being ironic. However, on the assumption that he is, then broadly, I would agree with him. In theology, as everywhere else these days, men (particularly sexually normal men; I dislike the word “heterosexual” because it implies an equivalence between straight and gay) are being chased out, and it’s doing nothing for the culture. Certainly, homosexuality and the attendant liberal bodyguard have all but destroyed the Catholic Church (“all but”, I said – we’re down, but not out just yet), and I heartily recommend Michael Rose’s excellent investigation on the subject of the feminisation of Catholicism, “Goodbye Good Men”, subtitled, “how liberals brought corruption into the Catholic Church”. And what holds for the Church holds for the greater society. https://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Good-Men-Liberals-Corruption/dp/1621574261/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506941078&sr=1-1&keywords=goodbye+good+men

    It’s quite wrong to think of Catholicism – Marian devotion and all – as having ever been a feminine entity. The priesthood was, until quite recently, a musk-drenched tower of masculinity. Indeed, several of my old Catholic school teachers – ordained priests all – were more than capable of going 15 rounds with Lennox Lewis. The Hollywood cliche of the priest running the local boxing club was a cliche for a reason. They often DID. We need them back now, more than ever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZQ_cl7EsTM

    • Dominic Stockford

      I’m sorry, but in the 1980’s RC seminaries were already filled with limp-wristed, cologne wearing, anti-sport excuses for men. The few of us who preferred men to be men, and to enjoy the things men have already enjoyed, were scorned by the majority.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Doesn’t the Bishop of Liverpool think that the Church of England is effeminate enough already? The Rt Rev’d Paul Bayes has presumably heard of someone in the Old Testament who was described as “wrestling with God.”

  • dexey

    “… Islamist throat slicing in Marseille,” and in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, Your Grace.

  • Dreadnaught
  • Chris Bell

    “………because the time is transgender, and Yahweh looks better in a skirt……..”
    No, ‘fraid not, the ‘time’ has always been and will forever be transhuman. The ‘name’ Yahweh’ is a cobbled together retreat from what it attempts to conceal: the name of God is “I am That I am”. Which if spoken in company, as Moses probably found out and Jesus certainly knew, causes the entire world to hysterically shout “Blasphemer”. It seems that nobody really wants to know God largely because they need to leave themselves out of the equation. Better, sometimes, to say “I IS God”. …. and better to just to ‘get out of the way’ of your own foul ego-I. You may want God in a skirt or in trousers, either way you will be done for as you drown in your own ignorance. But He is, as That, is infinitely merciful……….so you will never be allowed to entirely escape. That is the ‘good News’ if there was any!! Ho ho ho.

  • Sarky

    I know, men avoid church like the plague because it is so effeminate, so lets make it even more effeminate.

    Sounds like a plan.

    • Coniston
    • Chris Bell

      Aye its a plan right enough… a plan that will finally finish off an impotent church. I am ashamed to say that I am enjoying this spectacle of women posing as men, men posing as women and a gender dysfunctional organising them both.

    • David

      Not so with many of the low Protestant churches which contain many men, like mine.

    • dannybhoy

      I agree that wussiness, handwringing and sad smiles seem to be the order of the day in some churches, but it shouldn’t be so.

      • Sarky

        Whenever i have been, normally because of something the kids have been involved in, I have just felt really uncomfortable. Its been the same in both a baptist and cofe church. They have just been full of people I just wouldn’t normally associate with. I am maybe being unfair but all the blokes were a bit wimpy.

        • dannybhoy

          You hit on a really important issue Sarks. I think that most people present themselves as they think a Christian ought to be, and over time start to relax as they get to know you. Or they carry on being ‘nice’ in a Sunday sort of way..
          I don’t believe that is what God intends. If He loves me He loves me as I am in all my individuality and peculiarity. I do think that thiis apparent this wimpiness is more often seen in a certain class of people

          • Sarky

            Yep, not the friendliest bunch either!! Very clique!!

          • dannybhoy

            Fortunately there are many churches that are both friendly and natural..

    • Anton

      Yes. Satan’s plan.

  • A Berean

    These responses are beginning to write themselves. It’s all about ideology and nothing else. Of what use is patriarchy and the like when feminist ideology is running rampant?
    The nurturer and nurtured are all very well and necessary but when they’re elevated to the same level as the “wrestler” then they either have or will loose any and all meaning. Whatever anyone may think they will need a wrestler to protect them from those that pose them harm. If the “wrestler” is to be brought down to the same level as the nurturer then all aggressive tendencies-as the ideologues see it-must be checked. Eventually, any and all aggressive patriarchal tendencies will be subdued and suppressed to the point where if all are wrestlers then none are wrestlers. The same with nurturers and the like. Should we reach that point the ideologues are straining for then it’s only a matter of time before the barbarians start marshaling their forces and begin their inevitable march to assault the gates and beyond and plunge us into another dark age.

    • Chris Bell

      What is this but an age of clever darkness….tell me??? Hardly anything new. What is the difference between a fashion show of feminist occultism in a London church and the man who wears frocks, leggings and chasubles proceeding then to intone ‘forgiveness’ from the pulpit the next day??? Tell….. no difference at all. Seeing it as a pantomime of ignorance is perhaps your only chance for sanity.

  • Maalaistollo

    The process seems to have been a long one: ‘As the French say, there are three sexes, — men, women, and clergymen’ – The Revd Sydney Smith.

  • dannybhoy

    There are two sexes because God designed it thus. Woman is a ‘helpmeet’ to her man. Her biological makeup means that she bears and nurtures their children. His biological makeup inclines him towards providing for and protecting his wife and their children (I’m talkin’ pre welfare state/benefits/social workers and counsellors here)
    The two sexes were meant to complement/complete each other in love companionship and encouragement, and work together in the rearing of children.
    Now obviously that’s not what we’ve got, and sadly the further we drift from God’s ordinances the further we move into confusion and unhappiness, and in the long term depravity.
    We know few of us have succeeded in realising our youthful ideals and dreams but that doesn’t mean we should give up, only that we do our very best to aspire to them.
    There has to be a standard that we seek to live our lives by, and Gods standards were specifically designed by Him for us.
    Personally I am sick and tired of all this gender fluidity nonsense, and poisonous multi sexual orientation garbage. It is not symbolic of a free society but rather of a sickly society.

    • Brian

      Not even a ‘society’, since a society is based on commonalities. Sexual inversion and confusion work against any notion of ‘society’ in the pursuit of fantasy.

      • dannybhoy

        True, but we are still managing to cling together as a society in the sense that we can understand each other; even though it’s getting harder to understand, harder to find common ground and the distances between us grow ever longer.

    • Chris Bell

      Well, you are right here. But I am afraid that you are going to have to grow up beyond the ‘sexes’ as they are so sweetly called. Humanity is not some sacred right…..it is where those who want to really know God suffer the confusion of ego-mind………viscerally! Humanity is not an idea that needs any support. It is just an idea …. a set of opinions. Know yourself and all will be well……………(oh, and forget that imagination called ‘society’ there have been no free ones and never will there be)………..the purpose of everyone’s life is to ask “Who am I?”
      If this is not done a person’s life is absolutely wasted.

      • dannybhoy

        I understand the words….
        Just not the order in which you’ve placed them.

    • Dominic Stockford

      “…the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home.”

      They are commanded to wrestle at home, or in silence!

      • dannybhoy

        I think most women like the sort of wrestling that involves a lot of cuddles and sweet nothings…

  • The only wrestling liberals do with God is how to make him say the opposite of what he does say. It’s a mug’s game.

  • David

    In my reading of the New Testament Jesus was a pretty tough man. He walked huge distances, drove the money changers from the Temple with a whip and bravely stood his ground against the religious hierarchy of the day. He was also politically astute as his answer ” render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar” demonstrates.

  • Brian

    ‘St Paul a pugilist for the Lord’ saith Father David – good one. Certainly the Apostle commended Epaphras (Col. 4.12) ‘who is always wrestling in prayer’, and he was fond of military metaphors for the Christian life. Even that heretic bishop John Robinson entitled one of his books ‘Wrestling with Romans’.
    That ‘central’ and liberal Anglicanism has lost any appeal for ‘macho’ men – as it may have had in the days of ‘Tubby’ Clayton – has been obvious for years. And as men left, their families failed to join.
    Paul Bayes seems intent on making what is left of Anglicanism in Liverpool into a gay-feminist alliance.

  • Little Black Censored

    Woe to thee, O Church, whose bishops are called Pete!

    • Royinsouthwest

      If “Peter” means “rock” is “Pete” a stone that you might get in your shoe?

      • Little Black Censored

        Now that’s wrestling!

  • Brian

    If Pete Wilcox doesn’t think ‘breaking open the Word’ has ‘any biblical basis’, perhaps he has forgotten the work of biblical exposition by the Risen Christ on the Emmaus Road in Luke 24.32: ‘he opened to us the Scriptures’.as well as v. 45, ‘he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures’. The ‘breaking of seals’ on prophecy is found throughout the Book of Revelation. Paul Bayes, as a good 70s liberal, is afraid of anything that smells of masculinity.

  • Marcus Stewart

    I’ve little patience with the Bishops’ debate. Jesus plainly uses combative imagery and that which we can relate to: we ‘battle’ with the forces of evil (internal and external) that good may prevail and sin be vanquished. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mt 10:34) Numerous other examples that it may be proposed are too ‘masculine’.

    At a time in the Church’s history when it’s possibly less attractive to men than ever (and I understand why, given simpering, limp-wristed ‘theology’, clergy, and endless PC obsession), why on earth this foolish debate? What planet are these people on?

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Well at least we don’t need to worry that CofE bishops are a bunch of unmanly wimps who owe their sees to ruthless self-advancement….

  • writhledshrimp

    Some idle musings are best left inside ones head not Twittered.

  • Haven’t these “bishops” got better things to do? What silly, silly withering’s by them.

    Both men and women “wrestle” spiritually with God’s word and His will – especially as this contradicts our own sinful inclinations. We all try to bend His word. Is that a homophobic term? The word, in context, doesn’t always mean a wrestling match. It also means: (verb): “to struggle with a difficulty or problem”, or (noun): “a hard struggle”.

    Isn’t it rather sexist to suggest women are unable to struggle with and resolve difficulties or problems?

    • Chefofsinners

      It is. And it is absurd to expect the Christian life to be anything other than a struggle. It has been well said:

      I asked for strength and God gave me struggles to make me strong.
      I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
      I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brains to work.
      I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
      I asked for patience and God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
      I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
      I asked for favours and God gave me opportunities.
      I asked for everything so I could enjoy life.
      Instead, He gave me life so I could enjoy everything.
      I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Who wrote or said that? It is worth remembering.

        • Mike Stallard

          I suspect it was Chiefofsinners himself…

          • It’s the conclusion to:

            The Butterfly (author unknown)

            ”One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon; a man sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

            Then, it seemed to stop making any progress.It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further.

            So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon.The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body, it was tiny and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body, and become firm.

            Neither happened!

            In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.

            What the man, in his kindness and his goodwill did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

            Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Never been able to fly.”

            https://www.dropbox.com/sh/71lcm5xcgy9idv7/AAAnLFDM-oxdb-gv2R3RGpA-a?dl=0&preview=The+Butterfly.pdf

          • Chefofsinners

            Indeed it is. The Monarch butterfly. Flies thousands of miles to breed, then its children fly back to overwinter in the same trees their parents used last year.

          • God’s natural world does indeed contain messages about His creation.

          • Mike Stallard

            I like that one! Thank you.

      • not a machine

        i asked the gov for a consideration of an idea and got a crappy letter 🙂
        best bit was I was right …..
        ahem chefof sinners good post

      • Jack likes that. Where’s it from?

        • dannybhoy

          Well it wasn’t from ‘Lo Lo Lo Lo Lola’ that’s for sure…..

  • Chefofsinners

    Hello grapplefans, and welcome to the Lambeth arena, for the fight of the century: Gay vicars versus the Holy scriptures. The doctrine of the Church of England to be decided by two falls, two submissions or a copout.
    In the red corner, Giles Fraser, and in the red corner, Paul Bayes.
    And… Fraser looks to have a nasty chip to the nail varnish… and another one on his shoulder… they think it’s all over… it is for the Church of England.

    • How are they dressed?

      • Chefofsinners

        Sequinned Spandex, of course, and sports bras for the moobs.

        • Brian

          In the correct liturgical colours, I hope. Did Giles throw in the stole?

          • Chefofsinners

            No, it went missing. We think someone stole it.

          • Brian

            I mitre guessed that would happen. I hope he could cope with that.

          • Brian

            Even if it was surplice to requirements.

          • Brian

            Hmm, this is not a good in-vestment of my time.

          • dannybhoy

            You tried very hard though.

          • Brian

            OK, that does it. I’m getting out my biretta.

          • You have competition, Chef.

          • Chefofsinners

            I can’t cope with the way he crows ‘ere. I’m so cross I’m fleeing to cassockstan.

          • Competition does indeed drive excellence.

        • Remember Big Daddy, Billy Two Rivers and Mick McManus?

          • Sarky

            Giant haystacks!!!

          • Catweazle to you. Let’s keep it civil.

          • Chefofsinners

            It’s all still out there. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vBU9QPiGIeM
            So much better than the American copy. Eat your heart out, Carl.

          • Wonderful memories ….

          • Chefofsinners

            Ah, fat bald men in leotards and stripy pants… more than a passing resemblance to the Church of England.

          • Cheering the good guys on and booing the baddies on a cold Saturday evening, huddled together round a coal fire.

          • Chefofsinners

            …Liverpool top of Division 1 again.

          • Well, yes, there were disadvantages too.

          • carl jacobs

            Hey, I remember watching stuff like that … I was probably 11?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Happy days! The Bishop of Liverpool would surely be pleased to know that there were many women, including middle aged and elderly ones among their fans and that Big Daddy’s real name was Shirley Crabtree!

          • Anton

            “Don’t call me Shirley”

          • Little Black Censored

            And Giant Haystacks.

  • TropicalAnglican

    Apologies for being off-topic, President Trump has just delivered an address to the American nation regarding the horrific Las Vegas shooting.
    This was the Fox News headline: “Trump: We ask God to help see us through this difficult time”.
    And he shared Scripture: “Scripture tells us God is close to the broken-hearted”.
    He has advisers to help him with his speeches, of course, and thankfully, they seem better acquainted with God’s Word than those liberal fellas listed above …

  • Dominic Stockford

    Wrestle, wrestle, wrestle – in the knowledge that by doing so we will be helped to grow in our faith by the Holy Spirit. Just as Job wrestled with what he knew of God, and what he experienced in the world, we too MUST wrestle.

  • vsscoles

    Just when you thought Snowflakery couldn’t get any more, well, flaky, up pops the Bishop of Liverpool with a new line in flakery.

  • Len

    The Christian life is a struggle because true Christianity is entirely of another world.
    The battles the christian faces is with the World, the flesh, and the devil. All formidable opponents, and each will try and take him/her down and to destroy their faith
    But no fear, because if the Spirit of Christ lives within the believer He said,”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(john 16:33)

    • Mike Stallard

      I think this is hovering on denial of the incarnation isn’t it?

      • betteroffoutofit

        Not sure I follow you, Mr. Stallard.
        Part of my understanding has been that Christ’s Incarnation shows us that God knows what it is like to be human; He proves that He has experienced it as one of us.
        At the Crucifixion, of course, His scale of perception was undeniably and exponentially beyond that of any human being, but even as He overcame the greatest evil the world could perpetrate, He could still cry out for us:
        “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” The best response our benighted race could come up with: “And they parted his raiment, and cast lots”: (Luke 23:34 KJV).

        Or are you referring to Reincarnation?

      • Len

        No idea what you are talking about?

        • Mike Stallard

          “true Christianity is entirely of another world.”
          It is not – as you go on to say. It is very much of this world actually. “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven…” PS Perhaps I have been a little harsh – I apologise.

          • Len

            Not problem Mike.

  • Chris Bell

    At last…………the last comment is on track. The progress that Christian makes as he wanders across aridity, stupidity (so deep, now, that it cannot tell the difference between male and female) and hypocrisy is never known by that world he trudges across…..nor even himself…………his progress, however, is not of this world but it is known. Thus should you know.

  • Fr Kevin

    I wonder why I am part of the Church of England after reading articles such as this…..

    • Mike Stallard

      Why are you then?
      If you simply rewrite the Bible – both bits – and deliberately kick the traditions aside and rewrite Cranmer’s liturgy, what is left?
      I’ll tell you: closed churches, kiddies’ services with very few kiddies run by grannies, people over 80 running the show and the diocesans breeding like rabbits.
      And insistence on the shibboleths of the current age which, an a few years will be a laughing stock.

      • Fr Kevin

        A good question Mike. But if those of us who actually haven’t subscribed to re-writing the scriptures as you describe leave, then what is left?

        • Mike Stallard

          Ever heard of Lot?

    • Jack can only express his great relief you are not a Catholic!

      • Fr Kevin

        I’m curious as to what would you suggest then Jack. What options are there for Anglo- Catholics? Go to Rome? Third province? Sadly I fear the time is drawing near when choices will have to be made.

        • Little Black Censored

          There is no Third Province; that might have been a wonderful remedy.

        • Apologies, Jack mistook you for another “Father” who posts regularly on here.

          You are facing a tough decision and Jack will pray for you. You’ll know the options available, Jack is sure, and really it’s your decision and Jack, despite his “robust Catholicism”, wouldn’t want to influence you unduly. Besides, from his perspective, there really is only one answer and choice.

          The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham would be a good place to start. Why not explore what it has to offer? Their liturgy is wonderful and surpasses the Novo Order Mass in both its beauty and its expression of theology. Alternatively, you could discuss this with other priests who have “crossed the Tiber” and there are many of them. You could meet or correspond privately with Father Hunwick or Father Blake, for example.

          http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/
          http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/

          Alternatively, EWTN has a YouTube channel which interviews priests who have switched and explores their reasons with them. And the routes “home” seem many and varied.

          God Bless.

  • Inspector General

    Are we not effete enough as we are?

    When our children give serious consideration about “changing sex” there’s something wrong, is there not.

    Have a look at this…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Newspapers attack trans teens for wanting to be able to have kids later in life
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/10/01/newspapers-attack-trans-teens-for-wanting-to-be-able-to-have-kids-later-in-life/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    No, you have not jumped to the wrong conclusion. Our daft young want to freeze their sperm and eggs as when they have their genitals sliced off and they are walking around in a sack of a dress with a badly fitting wig complaining about incontinence, they still might want to give life to the next generation to come!

    One is warm to simple eugenics. Weak human stock should not be helped to breed.

    Word of warning: If you follow the link, don’t read the vile comments. It’s a nasty war zone as pro and anti tranny forces battle it out. Or perhaps ‘slug it out’ would be a better description. Some of these trannies pack quite a punch, and an Inspector would not be at all surprised if one of them pulled a knife on him in a heated exchange. Not for the worst of them effeminacy, as indeed Mick Jagger himself discovered when he met a gin soaked bar room queen in Memphis…

    • Royinsouthwest

      Don’t worry Inspector. I think either of the two women wrestlers in the photo above would make pretty short work of the people you are warning us against!

      • Little Black Censored

        Gosh, I was clueless! (Also about Puff the Magic Dragon, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and no doubt etc., etc..

    • Met her in a club down in North Soho
      Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola
      See-O-L-A cola.

      She walked up to me and she asked me to dance.
      I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said, “Lola”
      L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

      Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy,
      But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
      Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

      Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
      Why she walk like a woman and talk like a man
      Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

      Well, we drank champagne and danced all night,
      Under electric candlelight,
      She picked me up and sat me on her knee,
      And said, “Little boy won’t you come home with me?”

      Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy,
      But when…

      Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy,
      But when I looked in her eyes,
      Well I almost fell for my Lola,
      Lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
      Lola lo lo lo lo Lola lo lo lo lo Lola

      I pushed her away. I walked to the door.
      I fell to the floor. I got down on my knees.
      I looked at her, and she at me.
      Well that’s the way that I want it to stay.
      And I always want it to be that way for my Lola.
      Lo lo lo lo Lola.

      Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.
      It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
      Except for Lola. Lo lo lo lo Lola.

      Well I left home just a week before,
      And I’ve never ever kissed a woman before,
      But Lola smiled and took me by the hand,
      And said, “Little boy, gonna make you a man.”
      Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man,
      But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man,
      And so is Lola.

      Lo lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo lo Lola.
      Lola lo lo lo lo Lola. Lola lo lo lo lo Lola

      • dannybhoy

        Never knew that was what it was about.
        Mind you, I don’t study this sort of stuff Jack..it holds no interest for me Jack..

        • Jack remembers drunken nights belting this out with his pals until the meaning of the lyrics struck him. It has undertones of pederasty too.

          Catchy tune though.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh yes, great band and not the only one either. I rather liked the Temperance 7’s music.

          • Now you’re driving Jack crazy, Danny. Never heard of them!

          • dannybhoy

            Surely you have Sugar, that’s what they named them….

          • Er: “Now you’re driving me crazy”. There first major hit! Too subtle?

          • dannybhoy

            For a change mine was too subtle for you ..

          • Don’t go running wild, Danny. Let’s leave it to hard hearted Hannah to adjudicate.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmmmm..
            Please, take him away……

      • Royinsouthwest

        I didn’t know you were a fan of the Kinks, Jack. I feel nostalgic now.

        • Anton

          They never topped Waterloo Sunset.

        • Not what it used to be …..

    • dannybhoy

      I had a cursory look at your link and moved away. It makes me feel very sad that we as the older generation have become so morally bankru

  • not a machine

    Well as your grace knows , words and interpretations of meanings have occupied great theological minds for at least 5000 yrs ,unfortunately some have caused terrible problems , however bishops having an open discussion on twitter seems to me unusual , for as we know few tournaments are more brutal than those that take place between academics looking for a prize.
    However I should give an answer ,whilst the setting of Christ seems to fire up most gender issues compared to todays setting for the holy spirit , it doesn’t for me , I mean of course I understand what might be termed religious belief has not really had a good dialogue with what modernists may wish .My belief is that gender is important , and those who think that genderless education will work out are deluded or will not admit what sort of self hate and insecurities it could create.Whilst innocence has perhaps changed and I have doubts about that also , when those who become appointed as bishop or archbishop think changing the bible is the course to pursue , to not conflict with gender equality ,then I think that is undermining of something pre determined , for which as question posed to a bishop he/she would have no answer that has humility.If you fully believe in evolution the biological expense of sexes makes no sense , if you believe in the laws of thermodynamics then nothing much more than bacteria should be life , if you believe in God and our lord Jesus Christ , you will encounter mental wrestling , if the holy spirit is your guide , you will have to wrestle with thoughts that are not from yourself , which in medical terms could lead to diagnosis of madness . But wrestle we do , its an appropriate metaphor for scripture understanding as you may well find yourself in a painful situation about what you receive or encounter from God .
    Wrestle is male thing , it was no doubt left in understanding as Greek was the intellectual language in 1st century and the Greeks loved wrestling and athleticism in general, so no doubt someone will post the Greek word and its translation , and I would imagine it is a sporting meaning , where the best wins ….oh hold on moment am I back with Darwin ? gulp

    • not a machine

      I don’t know what is worst the audio or the photos from Las Vegas , or his stash of weapons in the hotel room .I thought it was perhaps the presidents most heartfelt moment so far in his presidency , but very sad ,I am sure many people will be traumatised in the days ahead and let us hope our prayers and god can offer some comfort .

      • Inspector General

        One_learnt_the_other_day_the_theme_tune_for_’Animal_Magic’_is_named_
        ‘Las_Vegas’

        • Oh dear, the s_t_a_m_m_e_r has returned!

          • not a machine

            putting the punch into punctuation ehh ?

        • not a machine

          not to worry skippy was played on r4 this afternoon

    • Ray Sunshine

      The Greek word for wrestling, since you ask, is pali, another feminine noun, just like sophia, which Cranmer mentions in his post. Paul uses pali in Eph. 6:12, though in the AV the Greek noun has become an English verb: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood … ”

      • not a machine

        a feminine noun ??? ,not being scholarly in classical studies why isn’t it a male noun.??

        • Pubcrawler

          There is a difference between natural gender (such as English has) and grammatical gender (which most other languages have). Grammatical gender is a matter of morphology, not of sex.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Well put, Mr. Pubcrawler.

          • Pubcrawler

            Thank you. It’s perhaps a little condensed but I’m using my phone so I have to keep things short.

          • not a machine

            mmm sort of sounds right , thank you

          • Pubcrawler

            In short it’s about grammar not any nuances related to the ‘social construct’, as it were, of being feminine.

          • Bob Long

            Yes, I thought the distinction, until recently, was “words have gender, people have sex.”

  • Inspector General

    An aside.

    The Inspector never thought he would rise to his feet, rousingly applaud and exclaim “Well done, Sir! Well done!” to Justin Welby, but this is precisely what he did today.

    Once again, another journalist wretch has tried to extract from the man an admission that gaynus sex is the Almighty’s preferred method of copulation for humanity. Admire how deftly he kicks it away…

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/10/02/archbishop-of-canterbury-justin-welby-wont-give-a-straight-answer-about-gay-sex/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • The s_t_a_m_m_e_r has cleared up!

    • Martin

      IG

      Actually sounds pretty feeble to me. The Bible is quite clear.

      • It’s more than “pretty feeble”.

        • Martin

          HJ

          I’m English.

          • You’re forgiven.

          • Martin

            HJ

            When you’re English you don’t require forgiveness.

          • You’re forgiven anyway.

          • carl jacobs

            Then why are you always apologizing?

          • Pubcrawler

            Sorry?

          • Jack is so very sorry; he makes it a point of principal never to apologise.
            [As does Anton – well not to a Papist anyways]

          • Anton

            You’ll find me doing so to IrishNeanderthal on the very thread in question.

          • Is he a Papist?

          • Anton

            No idea. Is he?

          • Anton

            We’re good at apologetics.

    • Inspector, this was hardly a direct answer to the question he was asked:

      “I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question.

      Why not? As a man of God charged, with teaching and defending the Faith, you should have.

      “Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships …. I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition – that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman.”

      It’s a “tradition” – no longer the inerrant Word of God? Marriage is only “understood” as being between a man and a woman.

      “I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with an answer for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not – that covers both sides of the argument.”

      As if God’s call could be different today than it was from the beginning. This is modernist nonsense. He has to “condemn” no one, just sinful behaviour. What he’s struggling with is the opposition he’ll face when he states clearly active sexual homosexual relationships are opposed to the very clear word of God, 2000 years of Christian teaching, reason and Natural Law.

      • Inspector General

        One_is_trying_to_be_encouraging_to_the_fellow.Personally,_one_feels_it_would_be
        _better_he_resigns.But_who_to_replace_him…

        • Anton

          Cometh the hour, cometh the man. You, Inspector?

          • Royinsouthwest

            I was going to suggest that too!

          • Inspector General

            Ashenden_is_their_only_hope.Or_someone_like_him.It_can’t_be_far_off_
            otherwise_before_the_CoE_splits_apart.

        • Martin

          I get a vision of a donkey jumping up and shouting “choose me”.

          Sorry.

        • not a machine

          mmm this could be interesting , so what response would you have given as an Anglican (if leader of the Anglican communion) to the question ???
          Happy Jack is welcome to submit a separate answer 🙂

          mine : I am of the opinion that sex should be between a man and woman , however knowing that homosexual relations exist , I still think the long tradition of the church is correct and sexual abstinence , whilst having a loving relationship , is the only situation that the church wishes to inhabit .

          • Inspector General

            How_about

            “The_church_does_not_wish_to_support_minority_peculiarities_that_a_
            small_few_of_its_membership_may_practice_in_the_privacy_of_their_home”

          • not a machine

            mmm not sure if minority peculiarities is more traditional than mine , so whose mr Barraclough and whose mr mckye in this one then (invites judging panel to be formed) 🙂

          • Inspector General

            Wouldn’t_suffice_anyway.Big_Queer_wants_ecstatic_affirmation_of_the_
            anal_indulgence_not_quietly_passive_acceptance.

          • not a machine

            mmm somehow I can imagine you and welby enjoying port and exchanges well into the night without mentioning if anal sex is a sin or not as confounded Welby 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            Question: Is gay sex a sin?
            Answer: Yes. There is no moral foundation in the Created Order for that behavior, and the desire that motivates it is intrinsically perverse.

          • Natural Law is entering you arguments, Carl. As is the language of intrinsic evil. This is most excellent. Jack is pleased to witness such progress.

          • carl jacobs

            Umm … that post was entirely predicated upon Romans 1.

          • As is all Catholic moral doctrine, Carl.

            However, it seems Welby and others disagree. Just who are we to believe? Ourselves and like minded individuals who gather into independent churches, each claiming scriptural authority? Or collections of individuals who gather together and accept they believe different things that are “held in tension”, with “good disagreements” permitting “mutual flourishing”?

          • Anton

            As I understand it Kant, regardless of his own beliefs, showed that you cannot watertightly prove the existence of a moral creator from the goings-on of the creation, including man. You can nevertheless make it very plausible once you are aware of the claim.

          • That’s where faith and revelation enter. Once you accept there is a Creator, and scripture is His word, you’ll find it has something different to say.

          • dannybhoy

            By definition a Creator makes the rules, and there’s no arguing. God could be capricious if He wished, cruel if He wished, being only accountable to Himself.
            In monotheistic faiths the nature of God is revealed through the prophets and the writings of Scripture.
            Interesting that Judaism is the source of all three faiths, and only Islam has changed the nature of God and altered/reinterpreted the history..

          • not a machine

            in the created order …mmm perhaps ,in Darwinian order have seen explanation and its to do with gene transfer .
            the more challenging question perhaps is more to do with if or how much homosexual people can help how they feel , if it turns out to be something genetic ,then you cannot say it is immoral ,you can say it is done by a small percentage ,immoral being a thought process ,genetics being a pre thought construct/program

          • carl jacobs

            If we are nothing but coded genetics, then there is no such thing as morality. Behavior would have no objective moral content. It would simply exist in a world of different observers. None of those observers would have the ability to authoritatively define moral content for other observers. There would be no authority capable of assigning moral content except genetics which is morally blind. Why then should any man be asked to subvert his programming?

            But in fact you don’t really believe this. Any behavior, sexual or otherwise, can be justified this way, but you would not use genetics to justify every behavior. When the pedophile says “It’s just my genes” you would say “Tough! Overcome your desires.” That’s a requirement of a moral life – that we overcome our immoral desires. In this case you would demand that morality take precedence over genetics and programming be damned.

            So you have in fact already decided that homosexual behavior is morally acceptable before you seek to justify it on genetic grounds. How did you do that? You applied your actual standard of sexual morality – human autonomy. The actual presupposition is that people should be free to do what they consent to do. Why this should be the case is never explained. And inconvenient corner cases are simply ignores.

            Q: Should a father be able to screw his consenting adult daughter?
            A: No.
            Q: Why?
            A: Shut up!

            Genetics remains an afterthought in this discussion. It is used only to subvert the negative moral case.

            But of course behavior is not determined by genes. You couldn’t actually show me a behavior in DNA because we choose behaviors and we don’t actually understand human will and its relationship to the mind or our genetic structure. You might make a case for desire. But then we are back into the argument about what justifies acting on the desire.

            Unfortunately, desires are never self-justifying. “Because I want to” is never sufficient reason for acting a desire. You already know this, of course.

          • dannybhoy

            There is no moral foundation in the created order, full stop. The only ‘absolute’ is the need for living things to survive and reproduce.

        • Better if he spoke his mind clearly and taught the Gospel bravely. Jack believes he is orthodox about these issues but feels constrained by the politics of the situation.
          Has an Archbishop of Canterbury ever been forced to resign for being unpopular with his clerics, politicians or the public?

          • Inspector General

            One_was_killed_during_a_peasants_revolt.His_skull_resides_in_some_nook_
            hole.

            A_walk_down-the_street_today_and_there_still_be_peasants.Urban_sort

          • Anton

            Robert of Jumièges. And arguably Stigand.

        • The Rt. Rev Dr Ashenden of course.

      • carl jacobs

        Ya know, Jack. When you get away from defending the tissue of confusion that is RC dogma, you can write a pretty good post.

        • All Jack’s posts are good, Carl. Even when they’re bad, they’re good.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Welby was asked the question by Alastair Campbell. Perhaps before answering it he should have asked Campbell if he knew what sin is. I suspect Campbell’s answer might be something along the lines of “anything we all disapprove of” or “anything the Church disapproves of.” Or Campbell might have listed things such as murder, theft, lying etc. Then Welby could have replied that not just those things but anything that takes the place of God in our lives or separates us from Him is sin.

    • Anton

      He says he hasn’t got a good answer to the question he was put, yet he knows what God’s answer is. God’s answer is not good enough, it seems.

      • dannybhoy

        He is perhaps embarrassed by it..
        Compare this with John Sentamu’s attitude to the leader of Christian Concern at synod. He said that the church was there to serve the community…

        • Anton

          Matthew 10:33. Welby has no fear of the Lord. He should have.

          • dannybhoy

            He holds to a social gospel, as I suppose does Sentamu.

        • Little Black Censored

          A pity Sentamu himself is not a little more servant-like.

      • What sort of an Archbishop is he who can’t bring himself to say out loud God’s answer?
        He’s weak and feeble.

  • Mike Stallard

    Isra-el.
    Jacob struggles all night and then the force he is wrestling with cheats and throws him.
    What right have these silly little people to rewrite the scriptures?

  • John

    A conversation worthy of Pseuds Corner in Private Eye; haven’t these two gentlemen got anything better to do? Jeremiah said God’s word was like a hammer and a fire. Paul said it was unchained. In Hebrews it is likened to a two-edged sword. Images of untamed, raw power.

    • Ah, but that was a misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted, patriarchal culture and the authors of scripture could only write in concepts available to them at the time and knew no better. Oh, and they were transphobic and racist too.

      The authors of scripture were prisoners of this culture, including Christ, in His human nature. They didn’t have the advantages we do of insights from sociology, psychology, anthropology and all the physical sciences. We know so much more now we have evolved and progressed – as has God.

      • Merchantman

        He struggles to keep up.

  • Chefofsinners

    Is this story funny or just sad? A train full of commuters ‘evacuated themselves’ (honest – their words, not mine) when a man began reading from a bible.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-41466140

    • Little Black Censored

      Odd that people whose trade is words cannot even understand their own language!

    • Inspector General

      An_Inspector_expects_that_once_they_realised_it_was_a_mere_Christian_reading_aloud_
      from_the_bible_they_all_a_had_a_good_laugh_about_it_and_remembered_how_lucky_
      they_are_to_live_in_a_multicultural_country.Even_those_who_were_so_upset_that_
      they_headed_back_home_on_the_next_train_out.Too_shocked_to_work_that_day….

    • Lucius

      This cannot be real or there must be more to the story.

    • Anton

      He was either an incredibly good preacher or an incredibly bad one.

  • Don Benson

    I detest effeminacy, it sickens me. By undermining the essential God-designed difference between men and women it amounts to throwing that design back in his face. Yet true masculinity is Godly for men just as true femininity is Godly for women; and where that difference is subverted, God is openly challenged, and humans cannot help but become irrational, weak-minded and dissolute.

    But, for Christians, St Paul was in no doubt (Ephesians 6):

    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

    Now that’s the kind of talk both men and women Christians need to hear. It stirs men up in particular because it’s real masculine talk and it answers the deep call in male hearts to fight for a cause, to be manly as you stand with the Man who conquered death, the Man who will never let you down, the Man who knows you and loves you because he designed you as a man and does not apologise for the male characteristics which he has given you.

    And if anyone, male or female, thinks it’s a good idea to emasculate a church by eradicating the macho language of its theology, they will find out soon enough that they have destroyed its beating heart.

    • not a machine

      agree with your last line more than your opening one

  • carl jacobs

    So maybe this post asks the wrong question. Maybe instead of asking about the use of masculine imagery to describe our interactions with Scripture, we should instead ask about whether bishops who ask such questions are even fit to be bishops.

    • Mr Trouble is back …..

      • carl jacobs

        Wut?

  • not a machine

    I have just had a thought …. please ask Mrs Proudie if we can introduce all girl wrestling to the Sunday service ,I note the crowd is somewhat larger than that we had a communion last week…….I am sure Mr Slope can find some art aspect to it ,to help convince the bishop …..

    • Mike Stallard

      But what about the kiddies?

      • not a machine

        well they could use ring as play area during prayer ? 🙂

    • bluedog

      Mixed mud-wrestling preferred.

      • Down boy. Back in your kennel.

      • Jon of GSG

        Yes, or jelly wrestling

      • not a machine

        mmm

  • magnolia

    My guess is that very few if any women care that wrestling is not the sport of most women (or men and notably, also of Bishops!!) and understand and use the imagery themselves frequently.

    My life has included wrestling with sardine tins, nails and screws that won’t do what I want, toddlers with arched backs that are needed to be in car seats, toddlers in tantrums, turkeys in and out of the oven on Christmas days, tax forms, flatpacks to assemble, photocopiers, computers, TVs, dishwashers, gummed up hoovers, and larger puppies who see a squirrel on the other side of the road, plus male labradors inappropriately-appreciating a brother’s embarrassed friends……and so on….and on….and on….

    Real life. Some is more physical than others, much is common to men and women- all is real.

    Oh, and while we are on physical, what is this male fallacy Cranmer cites that women are always about “life-giving reception”? Sometimes we is just tired from all the aforementioned wrestling!!

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist that 😉

    • dannybhoy

      You are a genuine star Magnolia, and those dependent on you, whether human or canine should count themselves fortunate. As I have often remarked to my wife as I hunched over the washing up bowl, most men take for granted what the women in their life contribute to marital and familial bliss..
      Proverbs 21 from verse 10..

  • Well worth a read:

    But if we follow the data, we will find that the problem (the decline of marriage) goes much deeper, down to one of the foundational tenets of enlightened opinion: the idea that men and women must be equal in every domain. Social science cannot tell us if this is true, but it can tell us what happens if we act as though it is. Today, the results are in. Equality between the sexes is leading to the demise of sex.

    To understand why this is, we need to turn to Gary Becker, an economist who won a Nobel Prize for his study of the economic principles behind human interactions. He documented how the benefits of marriage receded as women’s earning power rose relative to that of men. The years between 1973 and 1983 were decisive. In that decade, young women’s wages climbed steadily while men’s actually fell, never to recover. Women had less reason to marry, and they had less attractive mates should they nonetheless decide to. Though women had often entered marriages for financial reasons, many nonfinancial benefits followed, including the formation of a stable, intimate relationship with a spouse and the sense of purpose that comes with raising a family. These are things that no job—however lucrative—can deliver.

    The introduction of the Pill has not changed what men and women value most, but it has transformed how they relate. The marriage market before the Pill was populated by roughly equal numbers of men and women, whose bargaining positions were comparable and predictable. Men valued attractiveness more than women, and women valued economic prospects more than men. Knowing that men wanted sex, but realizing that sex was risky without a corresponding commitment, women often demanded a ring—a clear sign of his sacrifice and commitment.

    Not anymore. Artificial contraception has made it so that people seldom mention marriage in the negotiations over sex. Ideals of chastity that shored up these practical necessities have been replaced with paeans to free love and autonomy ….. The mating market no longer leads to marriage, which is still “expensive”—costly in terms of fidelity, time, and finances—while sex has become comparatively “cheap.”

    For every one hundred women under forty who want to marry, there are only eighty-two men who want the same. Though the difference may sound small, it allows men to be more selective, fickle, and cautious. If it seems to you that young men are getting pickier about their prospective spouses, you’re right. It’s a result of the new power imbalance in the marriage market. In an era of accessible sex, the median age at marriage rises. It now stands at an all-time high of twenty-seven for women and twenty-nine for men, and is continuing to inch upward.< In this environment, women increasingly have to choose between marrying Mr. Not Quite Right or no one at all.

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/10/the-death-of-eros

    • Mike Stallard

      Thank you for a superb analysis. Really convincing and thought provoking.

      • First Things is an excellent site with contributions from Catholics and Protestants. Unfortunately, they’re now a subscription site and one can only access three articles a month without paying.

    • dannybhoy

      Excellent piece, although it would be interesting to see a refutation.

  • Hi

    If wresting with scriptures is too masculine , maybe hockey is more appropriate. Like knocking them around with a big stick ? Or maybe swimming with scriptures . I like that one better.

    • Mike Stallard

      How about pillow fighting?

    • dannybhoy

      “Like knocking them around with a big stick?”
      Maybe that’s already happening..

  • Jon of GSG

    I remember once having a baffling conversation with a very liberal Christian (ish) friend of mine who wanted to know how I can accept all the military imagery in the Salvation Army. We had such different assumptions that we were barely able to discuss it at all – I couldn’t, and still can’t, really, understand how “fighting evil” could be a problem for anyone.

    On the other hand some time later he did remark about how terrible the sentiments are contained in the song “we want to see Jesus lifted high”, so I suspect he maybe wasn’t that interested in fighting the good fight anyway.

    • Chefofsinners

      There’s a hymn book out there called Christian Hymns. The foreword explains that hymns with military imagery such as ‘Onward Christian soldiers’ have been removed because they are not felt appropriate for the modern day. I do not own a copy.

      • Jon of GSG

        Oh dear!