Category Archives: Books

Made My Evening:

“Cultural differences occur in pragmatics, even within the same spoken language. For example, Shirley Brice Heath (1989) spent many hours observing White middle-class parents and African American families who were poor. She found that the adults asked different kinds of questions and encouraged different kinds of “talk.” White parents asked test-like questions with right answers, such as, “How many cars are there?” or, “Which car is bigger?” These questions seem odd to African American children, whose families don’t ask about what they already know. The African American child might wonder, “Why would my aunt ask me how many cars? She can see there are 3.” Instead, Heath found that African American families encourage rich storytelling and also teasing that hones their children’s quick wit and assertive responses.”

–Child and Adolescent Development; Woolfolk and Perry 2015

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W…T…F….

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

She had always found the elder Mr. Stone intimidating. She would never forget the first time she had met him. She had been terribly nervous and as Bill’s fiancee had wanted to make a good impression. She hadn’t known what to say when Mr. Stone suggested that she escort Brother, Mrs. Stone’s retarded brother, to the bathroom. She could still remember the blood rushing to her face as she stammered out an excuse, and Bill had rushed to her rescue, leading Brother out of the room. That meant she was left alone with Mr. Stone, who’d muttered something and left the room, too.

So, I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out what year this is set in. I think it was published in 2008, but all the direct references to a point in time are of the 70s and since her oldest child is 10, this would make it the mid 80s at the very latest, which doesn’t quite mesh with her and the rest of the girls using personal computers to take orders. It’s possible, but for some reason it’s just not jiving for me.

But, in any case, I can see where her father-in-law could be this flavor of ass in any time frame.

The problem, again, is that Lucy never turns to face the camera and explain that she does not condone her F-I-L’s behavior.

Lucy is supposed to be some idealistic hippy who eats tofu and brown rice so much that McDonald’s turns her kids into hellions. But she’s easily intimidated by strong men and won’t even stand up for her values  quietly to herself. I can get over the fact that she doesn’t make a stand for justice out loud, but this is a novel where we can read her thoughts and her thoughts are embarrassed, but not indignant.

That’s a big problem.

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/166ucGm

How to tell that a person should not own a gun:

I thought of you when I read this quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“Is that a real gun?” asked one of the boys.
“It sure is. It’s a police-issue nine-millimeter Smith and Wesson,” he answered, drawing the revolver from its holster. Lucy eyed the gun distrustfully. “Don’t worry, Lucy. I made sure the safety’s on.”

 Culpepper held the gun out in the flat of his hand for the boys to admire, then twirled it around his finger a few times before replacing it at his side.”

This is police officer Culpepper shortly after bitching that State Police won’t involve the local clips imn the investigation.

I’m not going to lie. One of the quickest ways to make me dislike an author is when they create incompetent cops. I read to escape real life and in a perfect world, the cops are damn good at their jobs and aren’t arrogant morons who think a badges and a gun makes them powerful.

Culpepper was okay until he decided to become John Wayne and show off. 

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/bGHGcGD

Trump Supporter

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“This evil person” —and here the minister paused before hissing—“this sinner, must have come from outside our town. 

“Every night the evening news tells us of the violence that pervades the cities of our country, of international syndicates dealing in drugs and death, and of political terrorism. 

“This is the lesson of Sam Miller’s death. We must fight the evil that is overtaking so much of the world, and we must keep our town as a good place to let our love for each other shine as a beacon of light in an ever-darkening world. Amen.”

This was the end of the Eulogy given by the pastor.

The brother looked disgusted. The wife was wearing a veil so we couldn’t see her face.

Lucy pretty much shrugged and said “could be” after bringing up the idea that the brother is the killer and having it be shot down because he’s a good guy. And making fun of the wife’s preference for less than sensible shoes and clothes. 

By the way, I’d totally wear a veil! I wouldn’t want people looking at me.

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/iHgW4li

Character Introductions

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove.”

I’m not very far into this new-to-me cozy mystery series. Most of the main characters are still being introduced, and since the murder has already taken place, of course, other characters are speculating on the obvious suspects: the wife and the brother.

I personally judge characters based on how they talk about other people, especially people they don’t like. It’s how I judge people in real life, too. It said a lot to me that my husband has always been factual, but never catty, about his ex-wives. 

So far, Lucy and her friends come across as bitchy gossips. 

I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt about the wife when they described her as a pretentious snob for rejecting an invitation to the Friends of the Library because I’m an introvert and these women are obviously extroverts who don’t believe introverts are a thing. Not being social is a sin in their book. I figured that with a bit of time and real exposure to the wife, they’d revise their opinion of her. This was merely the author giving her characters room to grow as people. That’s okay!

Then we get introduced to the brother and how he doesn’t live up to his brother’s “golden boy” status. He’s not a show off, he’s a “mama’s boy”, he goes to theater productions, he collects stamps, he’s not Ken Doll handsome, and, gasp! He might be gay because he doesn’t have a public girlfriend.

Which leads me back to the quote I shared above: 

“Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove.”

Now, again, this could be the author’s way of giving her characters room to grow. It could be a red herring meant to subtlety call out any homophobic readers who hvw decided that the brother is guilty because he checks all the boxes on the “what a murderer looks like” list according to small town, USA.

McCarthyism at it’s finest.

But this doesn’t sit right with me.

I’m all in favor of subtle snubs at the homophobic and racist status quo. But, while most people who call out their hometown for being homophobic or racist will say soomething as blatant as “Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove”, they will usually emphasize it by making it it’s own paragraph, the literary equivalent of standing in the center of main street to voice it. Then they will immediately make some kind of statement that definitively shows that they are against homophobia. Period.

Instead, this sentence sits at then end of a paragraph that lists all of the brother’s “faults”. Being gay is just another one. He’s the jealous brother because he’s ugly and not a real man because he likes theater, stamps, and potentially other men as sexual partners. He’s the murderer because he’s different. 

Then she changes the subject.

Like I said, Lucy is a bitch. She fits every stereotype of small town, small mind that I can think of. I’ll give this book it’s fair share and finish it, but a lot of crow will need to be eaten for me to read the next one.

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/cMlJLgB

The Case for Christ (book and film–spoilers)

I was sent this book a few years ago by someone who thought it’d convince me of the divinity of Jesus. I felt that the book didn’t prove it’s point. I saw that the film is now on Netflix, so I figured I’d better watch it to see what points are emphasized (since the film can’t hope to bring in as many arguments and evidence as the book did).

Since it’s been a couple years since I read the book, I have decided to A) not re-read my previous review and B) look back at the book as I feel is appropriate.

In watching this film (currently paused at exactly 29 minutes), I am struck by his outward hostility to Christianity. I view Lee Strobel as a very passionate person. Passionate people tend to be all or nothing. So, while it seems like he’s a “devout” atheist, I’m more inclined to believe that he’s just the kind of person who views the world as black or white. There is no grey for him. So he either believes or he doesn’t believe; nothing else matters.

I got this from the book, too, I think. For him, he’s able to drum down the truth of Christianity to just the Resurrection. I find it ironic that he got this idea not from his own investigations but (by film-lore) by his editor, I think. This strikes me because, well, what if his editor had told him that all of Christianity revolves around the Virgin Birth? Or the Literal Interpretation of the Bible?

There are a lot of atheists who come to the conclusion that there is no god after years of studying the Bible. Here’s an excellent example.  These are people who know the Bible inside and out and have many, many reasons why they don’t believe it. Yet, Strobel, a “devout” atheist has no clue what even the basic tenants of Christianity are. He’s saying he doesn’t believe in something he knows absolutely nothing about. It’s then not a surprise that when given a glossy bit of the faith, he believes that there must be something there and since the world for him is black and white, he now must do everything in his power to prove it correct.

Which brings me to why I just hopped off the couch and grabbed my copy of the book. I don’t read bibliographies very often. Mostly I just look at them to see if they exist and to what length research was done. In this first 29 minutes of the film, I realized that Strobel is the kind of journalist who likes to talk to experts and read their books, but I wasn’t sure if he’d spend much time in a library looking at the primary sources.

Guess what? Out of about 140 citations, 4 seem to come from primary sources. All the rest appear to be secondary sources or not contemporary to Jesus sources (depending on the nature of the source).

I’m not saying that this is a bad way to do academics, but one of the things that I recall from the book was the chapter on how immediate to the Resurrection the sources were. What I mean is, Strobel spent some time discussing when the Gospels were written and other sources and concluded that most were written 30 to 80 years after the Resurrection. But, every subsequent mention of this dating used the low end of the spectrum. Since I was reading this like a regular book and not as an academic challenge, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to what sources he was directly referencing when talking about a particular date, so maybe he was always using evidence from an earlier source rather than a later one, so claiming it was written 30 years after the Resurrection was appropriate, but my memory has him speaking very generically about all his sources, yet using the earlier date.

By the way, shortly before the 29 minute mark, Strobel is talking to a scholar who claims that some sources are from mere months after the Resurrection seeing Jesus walking around. Strange, that sounds like what the Gospels say but these weren’t actually written down for that 30 to 80 years. Plus, I don’t recall Strobel writing about such a short time frame. The way it’s presented in the film, you’d think you can go to an archive and pull out a bunch of bound diaries where folks wrote:

3 June 0001

Today I saw Jesus walking around the market place, buying some sugar. Funny, I swear he was crucified 2 months ago!

Okay, the film is resumed. I don’t know if I like the way it’s focusing on his family life and “transformation” from atheist to Christian. I guess it’s because I don’t buy him as being particularly strong in his atheism (he seems to not know why he’s atheist, since he doesn’t even know what it is that he doesn’t believe in). It seems fake and I’m not sure how many people can really identify with him. I mean, I know that there are plenty of people like him, but I think that there are a vast majority more who are atheists because they know the Bible and other religions well, are agnostic because they’ve never had an interest one way or the other and don’t care about what they don’t know, are “spiritual” because they don’t know about theism, or are deist because they don’t believe in the power of prayer.

Ooh…We’ve hit the first bit of historical flubbery in the film. Comparing the Iliad to the Bible for historical authenticity. Yes, we believe that copies of the Iliad are accurate to what was originally written by Homer. But this doesn’t prove that Hera and Zeus actually had the conversations that are written there. Or, since I know the Odyssey better than the Iliad, Odysseus didn’t actually fight a cyclops or deal with Circe. Just because it’s a reliable copy doesn’t make the subject matter as written true. Supernatural events are probably made up.

Ugh. Lee is an asshole. Telling his wife that she’s “cheating on him with Jesus” while he’s staying up all night and obsessing about disproving Christianity.

Ooh! He’s actually discussing the evidence. Yes, the questions are good and the answers probable. But, they still miss a certain bit. When a Biblical scholar asks an atheist if they want the truth or just want to prove what they already believe, ding, ding, ding! That’s exactly what Biblical scholars are doing! If they’re Christian, then they’d be hard pressed to come up with an explanation that doesn’t lead to their Christian faith.

And boom! The scene ends with a hanging issue: sure, it’s reasonable that the 4 gospels would have varying accessory details about the main story of “a group (or single) woman visits Jesus tomb and found it empty”–cool! I can believe this. Except: where’s the evidence that no one removed the body during the 3 days?

Answer: I remember that he’ll get to this in a little bit, and the answer is that there was a guard and moving the stone and other stuff that’s a great argument if we knew for certain that there’s no evidence of tampering. Except, I’ll refer you back to the Iliad: a work of fiction that is taken as a very reliable source for what it says about historical facts. It’s still full of conversations between the gods that are obviously made up, unless they were divinely inspired, of course. There are plenty of contemporary sources that aren’t included in the New Testament. Why? Because of tradition and because they alter the story a bit (don’t do anything to prove the supernatural bits).

Power: what’s the agenda. It’s not a new thing.

Ugh. Why is the wife getting advice that she’s supposed to listen to Lee? She tries to talk and he shuts her down, but she’s supposed to just listen to him and take his abuse while he gets away with abusing her?

I guess I wasn’t paying much attention in the book about his story of the cop shooting gang informant (I don’t remember this). But wow. What a way to seriously prove my hypothesis about him seeing the world as black and white. All he cared about was telling the world about how the police were protecting their informant. He didn’t think twice about exposing the truth (as he saw it) without considering the consequences. He didn’t wonder why the cop got shot (since the cop and the informant had a history, there’s definitely a motive that needs to be addressed, especially with the history of abuses in the Chicago PD) or consider what information the informant was giving police. Was it worth keeping quiet about? In Lee’s world, shooting a cop is a black and white event and the guy deserves to go to jail for life without any consideration of extenuating circumstances.

I’m not saying that the informant doesn’t deserve to go to prison, but depending on what information he gave and why the shooting occurred, he doesn’t deserve to have any “friends” in prison knowing that he’s a snitch and killing him for it. The world is a very gray place!

God. Lee is such a misogynistic asshole. He’s decided that his wife is incapable of deciding for herself what she believes and that she’s being manipulated. Excuse me, but she’s a grown woman who can decide for herself what she thinks. She doesn’t need a husband to tell her what her opinion is. Strange, he sounds like most Evangelical Christians who buy the whole “Umbrella of Protection” crap and that women need a keeper.

Why do I expect he won’t change a bit once he becomes a Christian? Oh wait, he doesn’t have to!

Wow! “She’s different”–like, she’s her own person with her own mind and her own thoughts! Why is this so baffling to assholes? Oh yeah. Because they’re assholes!

Ya know, I don’t recall being this upset with Strobel while reading the book. I mean, I disagreed with his arguments, but I didn’t judge his character. But with this film, his character disgusts me!

Sigh, I wish that Lee had gotten a tougher lecture when it came out how crappy a journalist he’d been with the Hicks trial. Oh yay, he got to go get drunk and have his own pity party. Because he’s the smartest man in the world! Grr.

Sigh. And of course, the film ends at the exact same place the book does: he still has questions and doubts, but can’t deny what evidence he’s gathered. There still isn’t any proof, but there’s enough probable cause to get him to become a Christian.

That’s probably the thing that makes me mad at Christians like Strobel. They claim to have all the answers (or rather that all the evidence points to where they want it to) and declare that to believe otherwise is wrong. Here’s the thing! A lot of people are presented with every bit of evidence that Strobel was and they have decided that it’s just not enough proof. Or rather, there is plenty of room to doubt.

Like I said, the Iliad and the Odyssey are a good example because they show how easily fact and fiction can be intertwined together. It doesn’t really matter that the Bible had multiple authors because there was always the one narrative: the one that Jesus wanted publicized.

Erm…Hmm…

Okay. So, here was my thought process as I wrote the above paragraph about Jesus’ end-game. “Huh. I wonder if the author’s were present at the Loaves and Fishes Miracle (since it’s one that I happen to remember).” So, I went and pulled up the Loaves and Fishes and read the Wikipedia Article. Which led me to take the link to a chapter of Mark that talks about Jesus feeding 5000 and then 4000 in two separate miracles.

This is a chapter written by “Mark”. I’m not a theologian, but a quick Google search led me to another Wikipedia article that says that historians believe that Mark is actually written by an unknown person. Which is fine for the point I will be making here.

2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

–Mark 9: 2-8

 The author of this is using a third person omniscient perspective. They know all, yet weren’t actually there. In this case, the only people on the mountain were Jesus, Peter, James, and John. So,unless one of these men is the anonymous author of Mark who writes of themselves in third person, the author wasn’t there and this is a bit of he said, he said. John, who apparently is the same John that authored a gospel, doesn’t seem to mention this event, but if he did mention it in passing (debatable) he’s very vague on details. If God had spoken so blatantly to me, I’d definitely write all about it! So, did it happen? I’m dubious. If the 4 did go to the top of the mountain and decide that Jesus would be labeled the Son of God, but didn’t decide on the details, then yes, artistic license 30 to 80 years later is very probable. The exaggerator and the circumspect.This makes as much sense as any explanation.

Which is why The Case for Christ doesn’t make as strong an argument as it claims to.

But they don’t deserve a living wage? Health care?

I’m still in chapter 7 of Good: The Joy of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Tony Reinke is explaining why he teaches his children to say thanks before every meal:

Besides being an extremely nostalgic vision of food production and distribution in America, it also comes across as being very self-centered (“look at how many people God influenced so that we can eat!”)

I’m pretty sure Reinke has never worked in customer service or really any job where he was responsible to actual customers. He’s also never paid any attention to any kind of reporting on the food industry in America:

  • Hubby was a long haul truck driver. He would refuse loads of groceries, especially produce because of how many regulations there are/demands by customers.
  • A few years ago, one of the major news agencies did some investigative reporting on trucks driving around with perishable groceries and their refrigeration units (reefers) turned off or to the wrong temperatures, so food was melting/getting too warm for safe consumption. Hubby said that California inspectors would tell drivers to turn off their reefers because their trucks were polluting too much 😐.
  • There is constant debate about how much room chickens need to be able to move freely.
  • Chickens are not herbivores! Yet, I’ve seen organic chicken advertised as being fed an “All Vegetatarian Diet”.
  • Food, Inc is a documentary that delves into the modern American food industry and it’s toll on the people employed by it.
  • The poultry industry is lobbying heavily right now to get the FDA to let them increase the speed that workers process a chicken at, despite risks to employees, animals, and consumers (do you want the mechanical eviserator flinging feces all over your chicken legs, thighs, breasts?). EWW!!
  • And finally (though there is so much more!here are some stories from the hell that is customer service/retail.

    This tiny section of the book goes a long way to explain why Conservatives don’t think workers deserve a living wage and health care benefits! They’re completely oblivious about the real world! 

    {Well, I kinda already knew that!}

    Obedience and Disobedience

    I’m back to reading Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood. This sentence from Chapter 7: Everyday Forward, brought me to a screeching halt:

    Disobedience brings negative consequences; obedience brings positive consequences.

    Now, I realize that this is coming from a dad who means it quite innocently in the way of “there’s a good reason why a child should STOP on a dime and not run out into the street.”

    But, we literally just had a chapter on how and why women are supposed to submit to their husbands and earlier in this chapter, this same dad “explained that civil authorities (like presidents) are God-given blessings for our flourishing.”

    [I wonder how much tongue biting went with saying/writing this about Obama.]

    The chapter on submission implies that wives aren’t supposed to blindly to bad husbands, but since I hat advice is immediately followed by:

    “Ultimately, Christ is a wife’s final authority….As a wife follows her calling to submit in marriage, she is ultimately submitting to Christ”

    Paired with NO ADVICE on how a woman is supposed to deal with an abusive husband (i.e. divorce his ass!) and Lori Alexander’s disgusting article about how women are supposed to submit without any expectation that their husband will reform himself (or as I think of it, the most blatant propaganda to keep women in abusive relationships), it appears that “not blindly submitting” really means that women know and accept that they are being treated like dirt.

    {If you feel you are being abused and need help, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline:  +18007997233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org}

    Is it no wonder I got concerned when a dad wants to teach his children that obedience (always and only) leads to positive effects and disobedience (always and only) leads to negative effects?

    The world is not black and white and children are NEVER too young to learn that sometimes disobedience is the correct choice!

    • Being abused by a person (especially when the person is in an obvious position of power).
    • The Holocaust HAPPENED! Other Genecides are happening today!
    • Jesus Camp has a scene where a 10 year old boy says that Galileo should have submitted to the Church’s teaching on the Sun orbiting the Earth. Because apparently scientific discovery is disobedience.

    Children  should be taught right from wrong and why they shouldn’t do certain things for their own safety. But teaching children to “do what I said because I said so” doesn’t teach children real life skills except how to please people.

    Teaching Consent Before It Was Cool

    Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite fairy tale. I haven’t met a version that I don’t adore and am re-watching the new Disney live-action edition tonight.

    It was during the scene where Beast let’s Belle go to save her father that I had a revelation. As the past two weeks has brought #metoo to to the forefront and people are openly talking about how being harassed and abused by someone in a position of power makes people less likely to report that harassment and abuse, I have never realized how no matter what edition of Beauty and the Beast I have read or watched, include what I think is one of the first publications of the story, the Beast always let’s Belle go as a proof of his love.

    …Okay. After further research, I hadn’t read the original by Madame De Villeneuve, but am reading it now :-).

    Classic, haha.

    I feel like most of the rest of the “Disney Princesses” don’t get much of an opinion about their lives. Cinderella gets bullied by her step-family until she takes the first ticket out of Dodge. Snow White is equally bullied and takes whatever help she can get. Sleeping Beauty is loved, but lied to and, well, who’s going to argue with true love’s kiss?

    But Beauty has the choice to refuse to go to the Beast’s castle. She feels free to tell him that she won’t marry him (or otherwise denies his requests). Even after he falls in love with her, she’s freely allowed to essentially do her own thing. It is her choice to love or not to love, though I prefer versions of the story where the Beast isn’t so actively bribing Belle and her family.

    Even though the Beast is holding Belle prisoner and though he needs her love to re-become human, he cannot force her to love him. He may act cruel and heartless, but unlike in real life, Belle never feels pressured to pretend to love him or even pretend to like him. She doesn’t have to smile at his bad jokes. She doesn’t have to stroke his ego.

    She has the freedom to be 100% herself and fall in love with him on her own terms.

    The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood–Chapter 6

    What is Submission by Christina Fox

    Mrs. Fox admits that her childhood was full of verbal abuse (put downs, anger, threats, rejection, and fear) and that this left her with a very negative reaction to marital submission. The only way I can think of to connect marital submission to this abuse is if her parents were actively linking the two. Few secular couples ever connect the idea of submission with marriage unless they’re into BDSM, which is a very different kettle of fish.

    When a parent is abusing their spouse or child, the words that are usually used (based on what I’ve heard friends describing in their household) are “you should do what I say, because I’m in charge”. Or, “You owe me.” The abuse doesn’t get linked to submission directly unless you happen to look in a dictionary. And at that point, it’s still viewed as an expectation of an abuser, not as an expectation of a spouse.

    So, I can completely understand where Mrs. Fox would be skittish about a potential husband turning abusive, but I think that the only way for her to mentally connect biblical submission in marriage to marital abuse is if her parents were using the Bible to threaten her into submitting to the abuse. In this way, a bastardization of the Bible’s view of submission is used to control the child, which seems to me to be the place that Mrs. Fox is coming from.

    I took a quick peek at her website and scanned her writing to see if any posts jumped out at me as being specifically about her upbringing. None caught my attention, so until further notice, I will assume that I’m correct that her parents directly linked Biblical submission to the abuse she suffered.

    The definition she’s using for submission, which I’m very comfortable agreeing with since it doesn’t change my opinion on submission comes from John Piper:

    “the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. It’s the disposition to follow a husband’s authority and an inclination to yield to his leadership.”

    Apparently by using the above definition whenever submission is used by Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33 is supposed to show that submission isn’t the equivalent of abuse. It apparently shows that a woman submitting to her husband is no different from a church submitting to God/Jesus.

    This is supposedly beautiful.

    There is a section on what submission isn’t. Essentially, Biblical submission is neither a conduit for abuse nor is a wife supposed to blindly submit to her husband because Christ is ultimately her guiding force.

    But the last section on “Marriage and the Gospel” seals the fate of submission:

    “When we struggle in our God-given roles in marriage, it is the result of sin.”

    Sigh. Let me once again explain how an egalitarian marriage works, in terms maybe a woman like Mrs. Fox can understand:

    I submit to my husband. And he submits to me. Just like you try to say that the bible encourages.

    The difference is that our “submission” isn’t a mandate, while, however much you try to spin it otherwise, submission is a mandate in the Bible. How do I know that submission is mandated in the Bible? That quote about how all troubles in a marriage are caused by sin. Plus, Piper says that submission is a “divine calling of a wife” so if a woman doesn’t submit, she risks not fulfilling her divine calling.

    When me and my husband “submit” to each other, all it is is us doing each other favors without any obligation. He operates on a different schedule than me, so there are many nights when I’m eating dinner and he’s not hungry. Later, he may ask me to make him mac-n-cheese or something else quick because he’s useless in the kitchen. I really don’t mind doing these things for him because I care about him and want to make sure that he eats something with a semblance of nutrition rather than just a bag of Frito’s. However, we have an agreement that the kitchen closes at 9 pm unless I’m unusually awake.

    A husband who expects his wife to submit would want a fully home-cooked meal on his schedule, without any regard to whatever else she’s doing.

    Remember: “When we struggle in our God-given roles in marriage, it is the result of sin.” Sins by whom?

    What happens when a husband expects his wife to always submit and she has to say “sorry, dear, I’m too tired to cook you a 3 course meal at 2 am”? To what extent is her refusal to cook for him a sin? That is her “God-given role” in the marriage, isn’t it? Obviously, the question is whether a Biblical husband  would even think about asking for a 3 course meal at 2 am. But if he’s working on some huge project that is supposed to revolutionize the world, it’s quite possible that he might.

    Of course, a wife may be very happy to complete this task for her husband and that is her choice. But the real debate over submission isn’t about wives “serving” their husbands or husbands “serving” their wives: it’s about what happens when one or the other decides that they’re not in the mood for whatever reason to comply with a specific request.

    To ever say NO to a spouse seems to be a direct refusal to be submissive. Biblical submission is always described as beautiful because a spouse would NEVER request something of their spouse that they know the spouse doesn’t want to do. But that is not how reality works:

    I have a higher sex drive than my husband. I enjoy having sex. However, I work 40 hours a week and most nights I’m half asleep by 9 pm. When he is interested in sex, it’s usually not until 11 pm. So yes, there are plenty of nights when I’m already asleep when he comes to bed wanting to have sex and yes, I reject him.  Does he get all upset about this? No. Does he make an effort to join me in bed earlier? Not usually, hahaha. His loss.

    Every article I’ve ever read a Christian woman write about any kind of marital submission has never included any description of what to do when a wife doesn’t want to submit. This book says that abuse isn’t Christlike, but doesn’t tell a woman what rights she has to say NO.

    ….

    My husband just got home from a trip to the store and bringing me a sub for dinner. We ended up having a bit of an argument/debate because he said in passing to his buddy on the phone while getting the sub that a woman who was out there should put some more clothes on. This happens to be one of my soapboxes (obviously) so I tried to explain to him that while I agree with the statement at face value (no one really wants to see all that), the reason it offends me is that despite my not wanting to see a woman or man’s body all hanging out, it is her right to wear whatever she damn well pleases and it hurts society to sum up such an interaction with “she should put more clothes on” as though it’s her fault should anything happen to her. My point is entirely that the party line is “blame the girl” and that we as a society would do better to leave the comments about the girl alone and instead focus on statements about boys and how they should respect women. Changing the party line would do more to change society than continuing to have toss away statements that ultimately do nothing.

    Of course, my husband, as well meaning as he is, feels that conversations of this nature are an attack on him as an individual instead of learning that he can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. He has had too many experiences with women getting him in trouble for their lies, so his gut reaction to my arguments is that I’m automatically taking women’s side rather than seeing “both sides of the issue”. Truthfully, it all comes down to him arguing about Oranges (that there are 3 sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth and that no one deserves to have blind acceptance of their story) and I’m arguing about Apples (that it hurts women (and men) to always make the conversation about what a women is wearing or doing and that we as a society can do better if we make the automatic statements into “look at that woman and how she has the absolute right to wear whatever she wants without being touched” instead of “if she goes walking around like that in the wrong neighborhood she’ll get raped”–one statement teaches boys to respect women, the other tells boys that women only deserve respect when they’re wearing respectable clothes).

    I still haven’t figured out how to explain to him that I’m not the only one who has a visceral reaction to certain triggers. He seems oblivious to the fact that he automatically reacts negatively to these discussions, though he seems well aware of my triggers. But that’s a discussion for another day :-).

    Anyway, in my attempt to explain to him that I’m not anti-men, but anti-party line about this issue (and that it’s not his fault that he’s been well trained by society to spew the usual lines about women being the problem) I pulled this paragraph from Lori Anderson’s “The Transformed Wife” to show him that it’s not just men who spew the party lines:

    Young women are encouraged to have “free sex” and pursue higher education and careers instead of getting married, bearing children, and guiding their homes. They are told to send their children to daycare and public schooling instead of raising them in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord and yes, having boundaries for them, disciplining, and training them. They are encouraged to divorce their husbands when they aren’t happy instead of being covenant keepers until death do they part. They are sold a bill of goods in buying provocative clothing to cause men to lust instead of dressing modestly and respecting themselves and the men around them enough to cover up.

    I added the emphasis for the sentence that sounded most like what he’d been trying to say in his defense. About how it’s women and how they dress that causes men to lust and if women respected men, they would cover themselves up. I don’t know what he thought of it because he didn’t respond, but I’m hoping it’s something he’ll think about.

    Anyway, while scrolling through Lori’s blog posts on feminism to find an example to use for my husband (it, unfortunately, wasn’t hard to locate), I found this gem which seems very appropriate for use on this post about submission:

    “When you heard many sermons on how women submit to husbands but zero on how husbands lay down their life for wife.” I have never heard a sermon from the pulpit of any church I have attended in my 58 years that teach women to submit to their husbands. In fact, there are few women preachers/teachers/writers/bloggers who even teach it. Instead of searching out Scripture for how they are to live their lives, they prefer to hear how their husbands should treat them instead. These women are either unbelievers or baby Christians because those who are mature in the faith examine themselves to see how they can become more like Christ. They understand that they will only have to answer for themselves one day instead of constantly pointing their finger at their husband. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith(2 Corinthians 13:5).

    This is from Lori’s blog post about Misogyny in the Church, which apparently she thinks is a feminist delusion. According to her, telling a young girl that she can’t be president is simply sharing that God’s plan for women is for women to be wives and mothers and to be content to stay at home.

    Anyway, I can totally believe that women like Lori aren’t hearing their pastors specifically teaching women to submit, but then, Lori makes it clear that she’s not a preacher because she’s a woman and therefore isn’t Biblically allowed to preach. What she refuses to believe is that she is one of the people who is teaching women that they should submit to their husbands. I don’t know whether she’d be proud of the fact that she has so much power over women or shamed because women aren’t supposed to overshadow men. In any case, here’s Lori’s very blatant post on the submission that she’s never heard preached anywhere in any church she’s ever attended. I think me and Lori have very different definitions of preaching.

    Urgh. I was scrolling through other recent posts by Lori and apparently she has a big problem with young women not being taught to submit to their husbands:

    “God is clear in His Word what older women are to teach younger women. They desperately need to be learning to submit to their husbands, how to properly discipline their children, to be sober, discreet, modest, chaste, good, and keepers at home since many younger women who claim to be Christians don’t look or act any differently than worldly women.”

    Maybe Lori should get ordained so that she can have a real pulpit to preach from instead of a blog that only masochists read. Then she could teach even more women…

    Before my husband got home and caused me to look at Lori’s blog, I’d already found this post where Michelle Duggar offers advice to newlywed women about always being sexually available to their husbands because that’s the one thing that sets a wife apart form any other woman in the world, supposedly. If you remember where I was before my husband got home and distracted me, I’d just explained how being in an egalitarian marriage doesn’t mean that my husband and I don’t “submit” to each other in an appropriate manner (though we’d use a better term like loving each other and showing that affection through our actions), but that because we’re in an egalitarian marriage, there’s no obligation to never say NO.

    ————————————————————————————–

    By the way, I’ve loaded up Lori’s post on Misogyny in Church on my tablet because I’d like my husband to read it. Or I may just read out the parts that he most needs to hear because the vertigo makes his eyes jump around, which makes reading difficult and the stroke that affected his left side has caused him to be slower at comprehending what he reads/hears–he get’s stuck on certain ideas easily, which is why we so often are arguing Oranges and Apples :-). It’s not because he’s a closet misogynist, no matter how much it sounds that way; he’s just had the party line ingrained in him for a long time because he’s of a certain generation, plus his own experiences, and then the stroke makes it harder for him to switch gears quickly. I think that offering him more female anti-feminist voices will help him understand that I’m not attacking men specifically, but society as a whole. Women are just as much to blame for rape culture as men, since I fully blame mothers and fathers for not teaching their sons to respect women rather than blaming mothers and fathers for not teaching their daughters to dress modestly.


    Argh! I just checked Glow, my fertility tracker for our natural family planning (because I don’t want the hormones from birth control) to see where I am in my cycle because arguments don’t stop our sex-life, haha. Anyway, Glow has a daily community poll and today’s question is “Is your relationship an equal partnership?” and I generally expected the spread of answers that I’m looking at: 70.9% of women (I assume that most users of Glow are women) are in an equal relationship and happy about it and 17.8% of women aren’t in an equal relationship, but want to be (they really should find a better significant other). I think it’s sad that 10.3% of women aren’t in an equal relationship and think that that’s okay (they also deserve better), but the fact that 1.1% of women ARE in an equal relationship and don’t like it, is the worst statistic! What have these poor women been taught that they want their significant other to quit treating them like an equal?