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John StonestreetJohn Stonestreet’s article in Breakpoint is a perfect follow-up to my post of yesterday.  John writes:

You probably won’t see her on Fox News. And she doesn’t have a column in National Review. But a lesbian academic trained at Yale, Camille Paglia, who describes herself as a “notorious Amazon feminist,” is an unlikely prophet of cultural doom. And maybe that’s why we should listen to what she has to say.

In a wide-ranging interview in the Wall Street Journal, Paglia says most feminists today deny the basic differences between the sexes, and as a consequence are setting us up for a huge fall. “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” she says.

How? Well, Paglia says, many members of the cultural elite have no experience in the military and in fact disdain military service, a traditionally male province. “These people don’t think in military ways,” Paglia says, “so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind…. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”Daily_Commentary_01_09_14

Friends, as our friend Chuck Colson would say, this isn’t primarily a knowledge problem. It’s a worldview problem. Paglia says modern feminists pass that misunderstanding onto the rest of us at the earliest opportunity—in kindergarten.

“Primary-school education is a crock, basically,” Paglia warns. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.” As the Journal article relates, “she sees the tacit elevation of ‘female values’—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts.”

And the same thing happens, she says, all the way to college. “The PC gender politics things,” Paglia says, “the way gender is being taught in the universities… is all about neutralization of maleness.” Another prominent feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers, who first alerted us to the ongoing “war against boys” in the culture, agrees, saying, “Boys are languishing academically, while girls are soaring.”

Male neutralization, Paglia says, includes the idea that men and women are biologically the same and that gender is nothing but a social construct. And this is why we shouldn’t be surprised that California schools have started to allow kindergartners with supposed “gender identity” issues to go to whichever bathroom they choose.

Paglia warns us that men have “no models of manhood” in our culture, adding: “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.” The culture, this feminist admits, needs men and it will die without them. Wow.

So what to do about it? Paglia suggests a “revalorization” of traditionally masculine trades, such as construction, electrical, and plumbing work, which pay well enough but don’t come with the PC cache of a college degree. Well, that’s a start, but what I’d really like to see is a “revalorization” of traditionally masculine virtues.

Newsletter_Gen_180x180_BWe have too many guys, even in the church, afraid to be men. We need men not afraid to be strong risk-takers, to be courageous, to take responsibility, who are self-controlled, gentle leaders and willing providers. We need these real men in our homes and the public square, in churches and in neighborhoods. Remember, God made us male and female. We need both.

Now I realize I may be walking on thin ice here, because virtue is not gender specific. Women can also be strong! I pray my own daughters will be bold risk-takers for the kingdom—but as women, not as men.

Come to BreakPoint.org for some strong Christian resources and good reads on masculinity, what it means to be a man—for men and for boys. . . because we need strong women and strong men. In fact, Western civilization depends upon it. Just ask Camille Paglia.

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women fighter pilotsTwenty years ago on April 28, then Defense Secretary Les Aspin first authorized female pilots.  Women aviators have claimed a series of “firsts.”

Now, female pilots like retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally are offering advice to women’s advocates and the Pentagon on how best to integrate women into the all-male world of ground combat.

Col. McSally has a distinguished career.  Of course she was challenged.  Women don’t easily enter the “man’s world.”  But, said Col. McSally, “I have three older brothers.  I’m Irish.  I’m fiesty.  This wasn’t my first rodeo with these kinds of dynamics.”  Hurdles included the ready room where men were not used to women and proving that she could meet the same standards as men.  She sued the Defense Department to contest a policy that required women personnel to wear the Muslim head scarf while off-base in Saudi Arabia.  Col. McSally was awarded the Air Force’s Distinguished Flying Cross for her heroics in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (The Washington Times National Weekly, 4-1-2013)

I have never doubted that women are equal to men, but we are different.  I admire so many qualities about men but that doesn’t mean I covet their vocation or role.  I often prefer activities and conversations with men more than women just because I find our different abilities and perspectives so fascinating.  At the same time, I mourn what happens when men don’t have the help of a woman.

I believe in serving my country, but I know a woman does this in a myriad of ways.  And, the best way might not be to become one of the “brothers.”

As we prepare to integrate women into the all-male world of ground combat — infantry, armor and special forces operations, I am compelled to ask: Who is asking for this change in policy?  Is it the young women who may have to face the enemy?  Is it the men who have been taught to be chivalrous and respectful of sisters, mothers, girlfriends, and wives?  Is this departure from time-honored tradition for the good of the nation… or on behalf of “women’s rights?”  Is distraction on the gridiron or the battlefield a good thing?  As enemies grow all-male armies a million strong, will we regret tampering with our defense during a time of relative peace?

“The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat,” writes George Gilder, “embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race.  It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated.  The youthful years of women, far more than of men, are precious and irreplaceable.”

He continues, “Beyond this general imperative is the related need of every society to insure that male physical strength and aggressiveness are not directed against women . . . All civilized societies train their men to protect and defend women.  When these restraints break down . . . the group tends to disintegrate completely and even to become extinct . . . military services, however, are unanimous in asserting that successful use of women in battlefield units depends on men overcoming their natural impulses to treat women differently and more considerately.”  (Men and Marriage)

In all of my years, I have found great joy in working beside men and dialoguing with them.  I could linger for hours in a room of gentlemen.  But, there comes a time when I am wise to give them some space.  To let them breathe.  Work.  Communicate in their own way.  Do what they do the way they do it best.

I am usually happier for it.

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In the last four years, human life has been placed more at risk.  The “right to life” that America promises to guard and protect has diminished.  The life of the unborn – and, therefore, also the born – has been declared of value only if that life is convenient and wanted.

In the last four years and under a government that seems to have another allegiance, a cruel blow has been dealt to the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage and the guardianship of children.  Generations will pay dearly.

Here’s what I see.  The king sets himself and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2-3).

In the past four years, this government has passed over the Creator of life in the scramble to feed the ravenous coffers of Planned Parenthood (PP).  “Opportunity Centers,” PP’s friendly neighborhood sterilization chambers, are set up in strategic locations to reach America’s daughters so they don’t have to worry about pregnancy.  Is there a reason why abortion clinics are strategically set in the middle of African American neighborhoods?  Strange, isn’t it, that one of their own would allow this to happen.   Under no other American presidency has there been such a tight bond between the one who is to defend life and the institution which makes a profit from destroying life.

In the last four years, Americans have been put at risk by an economic burden that threatens to suck the very life out of us.  What kind of leadership pits the young against the old, the “haves” against the “have nots,” and, in general, one citizen against another?

In the last four years, the vibrancy of life that grows out of time-honored marriage and family has been slowly drained away at the altar of progressivism.  But, two men and two women are not a “good fit” (Genesis 2:18).  Faith and science walk hand in hand to prove that social experiments – those trendy ideas that go against the very structure and design of civilization – have terrible consequences.

In the past four years, pedophilia, sex trafficking and all forms of sexual deviancy have risen to dangerous levels.  The hope of desensitizing society and changing the penal code system so that all manner of sexual lust and imagination can be practiced has, indeed, been realized.

In the past four years, the government has determined to take over the health care system. But, human lives will fall between the cracks of a cold and monolithic structure.  The government, after all, is not a person with heart and hands to care.  As to efficiency, well, take a good look at the U.S. Post Office or federally (as opposed to locally) run schools.

In the past four years, people of faith have been told they must deny their faith in order to pay for deeds and services that go against God and conscience.  Under government health care, church-supported schools, social services, and hospitals must cover the sterilization, abortion producing drugs, and birth control of employees.  To refuse places church or private Christian business under penalty of heavy fine.  Will it be God… or Caesar?

In the past four years, the life of every American citizen is more at risk because this government would rather build relationships with America’s enemies than strengthen our defense.  When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was gutted and in-the-field-experienced soldiers sequestered, our president bowed to those who seek jihad against American men, women and children.

The Lord of creation does not stand far off.  He has not forgotten those who call upon Him.  He defends the fatherless and oppressed.  He has shown us what is good.  What does He ask of us?  “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

So, please.  Vote.  Vote as if your life depends on it.

Then, in the words of Winston Churchill (the man whose bust was removed from the White House four years ago): “Stay calm.  Carry on.”

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“All the people care about is the economy.”

“The people aren’t interested in ‘social issues’ like abortion, homosexuality or gay marriage.”

“There they go again,” reports MSNBC and others.  “The ‘radical right’ is working abortion and marriage into the conversation.”

Rightly so.  Social issues, as they are called, are moral issues.  The legalized killing of preborn human children is a moral issue.  Re-defining marriage is a moral issue.  Teaching our children that homosexuality is just a choice on the “sexual menu” is a moral issue.

Everything has a moral component.  The government has a moral obligation to protect “life and liberty,” to maintain a strong military, and to live within its means.  It should encourage responsible, orderly behavior and a good work ethic.  It should protect families from drug cartels, terrorists, and enemies from within and without.

Anyone running for office should have moral integrity.  Moral character.  Moral and ethical fiber.  It’s not just my opinion, but God’s mandate that people who rule a nation should respect the life that He creates.  Anyone who compromises on issues such as abortion, infanticide, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia has lost (or never had) a moral compass.

Those who seek to experiment with marriage and family float rumors.  They say that Americans don’t really care about same-sex “marriage.”  They add: If someone is against gay “marriage,” then they must be against homosexuals.  Not true.  People who believe they are homosexual are persons, too.  They are  people loved by God.  But, God is the Creator of marriage and, therefore, He alone defines it.  God created marriage for one man and one woman because it’s the best environment for children, it connects children to their biological origins, and it brings two opposites — male and female — together to mentor boys and girls in the way God intends for them to go.

Moral integrity is practiced — or not practiced — on Wall Street and in every business.  In education.  In health care.  In courts of law.  In the military.  In homes.  And during election cycles.

My eyes have seen that men and women who defend the sanctity of human life generally have a moral compass not only in place but in operation.  Leaders — in the home, community, church, and government — who value the life that God creates and redeems in Jesus Christ are imperfect leaders to be sure, but they are accountable to someone other than themselves.  Their God determines right and wrong.  Their neighbors matter.  Their choices reflect hope for a new generation.

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Thomas J. Vilsack is the former governor of Iowa.  My governor.  He drifted away from Iowa in a bubble of political correctness to land in the chair of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Vilsack, apparently still in the bubble, is pushing for an intense brand of homosexual sensitivity training.  The Washington Times (6-19-2011) reports that this training would include a discussion that compares “heterosexism” to racism.  People who view marriage as being between only one man and one woman are guilty of “heterosexism.”

The “push for the training” is coming from Vilsack.  Why?  Does he have too much time on his hands?  Is there not enough work to be done with farm service agencies?  Food and nutrition?  The forest service?  Rural development?  Food safety and inspection?   What does agriculture have to do with homosexual sensitivity training?

Vilsack has launched a department-wide “cultural transformation” that includes a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Special Emphasis Program.  It appears that this program goes far beyond any training now being done by the Pentagon.  The USDA’s program is called “groundbreaking [and a] model for other agencies.”  It “delves more into gay issues and terminology.  It also justifies pro-homosexual political positions.”

Rowan Scarborough, writing for The Washington Times, explains that if the Obama administration accepts this kind of homosexual sensitivity training “it could mean more sessions for military service members already undergoing gay-sensitivity indoctrination.  Critics fear additional gay-oriented training would add an unnecessary burden for combat troops and encourage some to leave.”

Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness, has long opposed the repeal of the military’s ban on acknowledged gays.  She told the Washington Times, “There are disturbing implications for national defense in the USDA’s development of  a ‘groundbreaking’ training program that is to become a model for other federal agencies.”  She notes that “thousands of experienced troops, starting with chaplains and people of faith who do not support LGBT ideology and activism” would be driven out of the military.

Vilsack’s bubble of political correctness will burst.  Of that I am sure.  But, before that happens, I wonder.  How many people and institutions — including the family — will his “cultural transformation” affect?

Why is it more important for the USDA to be a leader in gender-identity diversity training than growing food to feed the world?

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Twisted feminism is foolish.  It puts civilization in harm’s way.

It is foolish to believe that a woman can have freedom only if her child is aborted.  It is foolish to believe that men and women are the same.  It is foolish to fantasize women warriors.

“The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race.  It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated,” writes George Gilder in Men and Marriage.

“Beyond this general imperative is the related need of every society to insure that male physical strength and aggressiveness are not directed against women . . . All civilized societies train their men to protect and defend women.  When these restraints break down . . . the group tends to disintegrate completely and even to become extinct.”

What about the so-called successful use of women in today’s military?  It, writes Gilder, “depends on men overcoming their natural impulse to treat women differently and more considerately.  The consequence of this latest demand for equality would be nothing more or less than a move toward barbarism.”

I like George Gilder.  Again and again I return to “Men and Marriage” because, from a purely sociological and economic perspective, Gilder explains how the foolishness of women competing with men ravages family and destroys harmony.  If my sources are correct, Gilder became a Christian later in life.  (What God has created is naturally revealed unless our eyes are shut and minds are closed.)

“Women in combat” is one of the “hot button issues” discussed during a Titus 2 Retreat.   The topic stirs mixed feelings.  Some believe women don’t belong in combat because they don’t have the physical capacity to endure the rigorous standards of training or the hardships of war.  Some believe it’s a woman’s “right” to defend her country and that she can do so as well as a man.  Others note that “modern” warfare is more technological than “front-line.”

Generally speaking, there is significant difference between male and female bone and muscle structure.  This reality has undermined the rigors of basic training and is why Stephanie Gutmann titled her book A Kinder, Gentler Military.  Of course, the physical strength argument can be countered with examples of women who have developed body strength and can keep up with men.

There is also sexual attraction between men and women.  Putting men and women together for training and in combat creates an environment in which each are vulnerable to sexual misconduct and abuse.  But, this argument can be countered with the practice of self-control.

So, for me, the question isn’t, “Can women be in combat?”  The question is, “Should women be in combat?”  I enter this discussion from my vocation or role of “helper” (Hebrew: ezer).  That’s what God created woman to be.  I am a helper for man and, therefore, for all that man is called by God to do.  Will I help for good, or for harm?  Away from temptation, or into?  With focus on others, or self?  Nurture life, or put it at risk?

I pause to let you ponder.  But, there’s much more to consider… in another post.

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Please bear with me.  I’m staying with the topic of boys and girls matching up to wrestle because this issue is indicative of a much deeper problem.   The problem roots deeply into the culture at large.

What is the problem?  We have forgotten — or not believed — who we are as male and female.  We have failed to understand and appreciate God’s equal but different creation of male and female.  Failing to appreciate our very identity and the relationships and responsibilities that come from that identity has a profound affect on marriage, family, the workplace, the military, well — in general — the health of civilization.

The younger generation is not to blame for experimenting with behaviors or wanting to break through barriers.  Young people have always wanted to cross boundaries or do something different from their parents.  It’s the older generation I hold responsible.  When fathers, mothers and grandparents forget what God has done and the hard-learned lessons of experience, then we will probably fail to equip (let alone protect) our children.

The culture is deteriorating.  We are falling to a lower standard of behavior.  And, as so-called adults remove natural boundaries and disregard the uniqueness of male and female, our children will suffer the consequences.  But…

I’m an eternally optimistic person.  Nearly every day, I hear from someone who writes or speaks with the logic and sense that can only come from the Creator of male and female.  In my next post, I hope to share the thoughts of some of those daring and clear-headed thinkers.  In the meantime, let me leave you with this:

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.  Rather train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promises for the present life and also for the life to come . . . ” (1 Timothy 4:7-9).

The young wrestler, Joel Northrup, is an example in speech, conduct, and faith (v. 12) not only for his generation, but for mine.

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