Girly Men (and Boy-y Women?)

My Facebook (and real life) friend Joel Mathis recently alerted me to a troublesome article by Bryan Fischer in the online publication The Moral Liberal. (The views expressed in this publication are neither moral, nor liberal. Discuss.)

This article is entitled “The Feminization of the Medal of Honor.” Fischer has noticed that we aren’t giving medals to soldiers for killing people anymore. We just give medals to people for making sacrifices to save lives. This, he thinks, is a problem.

Did I mention that Fischer is closely connected with the “Christian” group the American Family Association? Sure, Jesus sacrificed his life and urged others to do the same. But Jesus is really a hero because “he defeated the enemy of our souls” through the cross.

And so, concludes Fischer, “We rightly honor those who give up their lives to save their comrades. It’s about time we started also honoring those who kill bad guys.” Got that? Kill the bad guys.

There is so much wrong with the theology and philosophy expressed in this article that it is difficult to know where to begin. Luckily, Adam Weinstein over at Mother Jones has done a surprisingly good job addressing the heart of the theological problems.

I’ve been thinking most about another deeply disturbing aspect of this piece: the idea that saving lives is “feminine.” Thus, by implication, killing people is “masculine.” If I were a man, I would be highly offended by this. As a woman, I am just profoundly appalled.

And I am increasingly worried about the damage caused by false ideals of masculinity and femininity in our society.

There was an incident over the summer where a man beat a toddler to death in an attempt to “try and make him act like a little boy instead of a little girl.”

Transgendered people face multiple forms of discrimination and an increased risk of being victimized by hate crimes. Even here in the progressive oasis of Lawrence, Kansas, we could not pass a law that would have allowed transgendered people to use the public restroom of the gender with which they are identified.

Same-sex marriage is still illegal in most states.

Boys are using steroids.

Girls are starving themselves.

Too many college males believe that if they buy a girl dinner and a few drinks they are entitled to have sex with her. And some college females agree with them.

Thanks to the internet, the use of pornography has skyrocketed.

I think that false ideas about masculinity and femininity are at the root of all of these problems. And Mr. Fischer is adding fuel to the fire by suggesting that killing is a masculine act while saving lives is a feminine act. This from a man claiming to promote Christian family values.

Let’s try some actual Christian values instead: Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew 5:3-9)

Wait, I’ve got another one: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

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2 thoughts on “Girly Men (and Boy-y Women?)

  1. Wow, these are such deep thoughts and feelings to be considering before 8 a.m.! But thank you for the post. You love and concern for justice for all people shines in this post. Thank you.

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