A reader sent this comment in about my post about men staying away from church:
I used to attend a protestant small group. It was based out of a Methodist Church but was open to anyone. For a time we even had a few Catholic there. The lessons overtime just because self help series. Want a better marriage here is a video series on it. Want to live your best life here is a series on that. The only time when it would be different is when the men and women broke up. Then the lessons actually got better or at least from my perspective. But the whole thing could be summed up in this. Just pray if you have problems and Jesus will give you something better. Sometimes I would chime in that sometimes you don't get something better until you die. Sometimes on this earth you are called to be a martyr. I was eventually asked, nicely not to come back after I butted heads with people over attraction and men in church. Of course it was the women who I butted heads with. My separation was coming from the group. We did not share a worldview. I am still friends with many people from that group and they are serious Christians but lack something I can't put my hands on. But there is no doubt that they want to follow and worship Jesus and want to lead their children in that direction also. For the time being many are very influential in our community and I take comfort in that. I did share your book the Benedict Option with someone in the group. Never got it back so there is that.
The second thing I want to share is that I am a member in the ACNA. I don't consider us Anglicans protestants in as most people think of them. I know a while ago you mentioned our Holy Orders and the Orthodox view of them but about 100 years ago there was a much higher view of our orders and Orthodox were encouraged to go to Anglican Churches if no Orthodox churches were available. This really only fell apart once the Anglican Communion started to liberalize in the 70's on women ordination. I hope in the ACNA and other traditional Anglican groups we are about to fix that issue. I see a lot of hard core active young men in the ACNA all against it.
But back to my experience in the ACNA. I have only been Anglican for just over 2 years but our parish has a serious unbalance of way more young men than women. We have a beautiful liturgy but more than that what we have is a priest who demands change from us. In fact probably over half our parish is made up of former addicts of some sort as accountability and the overcoming of their addiction is basically demanded of them. It is demanded of all of us. We are called in the liturgy to struggle against sin. In the Eucharist liturgy we go from the Summary of the Law or the Decalogue to Lord have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy. The whole liturgy is about our sinfulness and needing Christ to overcome it and our struggles against our sinful selves. Combine that with a priest who teaches us the ethos of struggle against our selves and temptations and sins and well you have an overwhelming younger male parish. I am not sure how things are in most ACNA parishes but there is hope there in the liturgy combined with a good priest.
I stumbled across this post from a few years ago, about an Australian Catholic woman longing for a good Christian husband, but not finding one.
Another reader writes in which this comment:
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There exist many things we’re not allowed to notice or talk about, one of them being that feminism is bout allowing women all the benefits of being a man, while still expecting to be protected by men and society, physically and psychologically. Meanwhile, men must continue being expendable and face danger for society’s benefit. The ironic thing about feminism is that it actually requires men to be willing to play along. I say willing, because coercion would ultimately lead to conflict and a collapse of the order.
For example, men are subject to conscription, but women aren’t. Yet, women can serve in the military if they’d like and they can serve in combat if they want to. This is such a glaring contradiction and it doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t need to if we’re not allowed to notice or talk about it. There exists no movement to subject women to registering for Selective Service, even though this would certainly symbolize equality between the sexes by declaring men and women must share the responsibility of protecting this country. This is where the Right fails so badly at pointing out the Left’s contradictions – they instead waste their breath saying “Women shouldn’t be in war to begin with!” which is an absolutist position with no anchor in reality, since war ultimately impacts both men and women.
I was thinking about all this reading your entry “Church: Where Are The Men?” You quoted Leon Podles, who said:
Any society that faces dangers must have an ideology that convinces some to face those dangers voluntarily for the sake of others, and if a society is to survive, those who face the dangers must be men, not women on whom the biological continuity of society depends.
Central to the abortion question is that women don’t want to be saddled with the burden of reproduction, nor do they want to be defined solely by their ability to do so. However, civilization sustains itself no other way. An equally important question is whether men feel burdened by the fact they’re still expected to face danger and act as expendable bodies for the greater good of society. Our betters talk about there not being enough women in construction, but they’re not talking about insufficient representation among the laborers. Neither have I seen a major push for greater numbers of women in the foresting industry, one of the most lethal occupations, year after year. All this talk about women going on strike to “show the men” would only prove that there’s always a man able, willing, or forced to do the job instead and they just might do it better. A “Men Strike,” now that would be the wake-up call to end all wake-up calls! Women wouldn’t just have to fill the occupational void left by men, they’d have to defend themselves from the barbarians and savages (mostly men) sure to surface and this would be a tall order even without any children to look after.
There doesn’t exist a counter-weight to feminism, so it’s hard to tell how men really feel about all this. What I do know is that since the beginning of time, men have been more than willing to shoulder the load on behalf of society, especially women, and we’ve all benefitted from it. A few entries ago, you quoted someone who said he doesn’t expect mass violence from the overturning of Roe v. Wade because women aren’t willing to risk life and limb to do so. My reaction is that they don’t need to risk anything, because there’s plenty of left-wing men willing to risk life and limb on their behalf. Most left-wing militants, are still men and, like any war in history, a future American civil armed conflict will pit mostly men against men.
Two can play that game. You’ve seen Fight Club, right? Amazing how the film’s message has become so clear and relevant 20 years later, the quintessential movie ahead of it’s time. Listen to Tyler Durden here and tell me he, in 1999, wasn’t sending a message to the future:
We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives.
If that doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will. Feminists and women in general have the benefit of thinking they’re always fighting against something – the patriarchy, sexism, etc. Men, on the other hand, are often told what they can and can’t fight for. And when they’re told to fight for something, they have to do it. The price of inaction is either dishonor and shame or, worse, the downfall of civilization. Again, you can’t talk to a feminist or most women about this, because they’re so high on decadence, they view things like civilization as a given, as opposed to something to maintain and protect.
Another big lesson from Fight Club is that there’s nothing more terrifying than a group of very, very pissed off men under the right leadership, organization, and a sense of purpose. They can build, but they can also destroy equally as well. All the screaming and obnoxious behavior we see throughout our feminized cultural landscape, all those hashtags about the future being female, it all crumbles before a group of men who see themselves as aggrieved and willing to do something about it.
That something? They’ll still sacrifice. They’ll still do the dirty work and heavy lifting. They’ll just do it on their own terms.