Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to attitudes. Attitudes lead to behaviors.
It’s no wonder that many within the conservative brands of Christianity have adopted a toxic masculinity not unlike the god in which they subscribe. Believing in a vengeful, callous, narcissistic, exclusive, male, and patriarchal god will most certainly lead to feeling and behaving in much the same way and defining masculinity with much the same attributes and attitudes.
With an insistence on a literal interpretation of the Bible and a claim to holding the one true understanding of it, many conservative Christians have shaped God into a white-bearded man who is always right, always justified in his actions no matter how questionable, has little to no compassion nor emotional connection, and gets what he wants when he wants it. It’s as if they have created God in their own image instead of embracing the image in which God has created all people. In fact, it’s interesting that, in their minds, God is somehow always supporting and siding with their thoughts, beliefs, actions, attitudes, and behaviors as if God is under their authority and direction instead of the other way around.
For when your best ideas for “masculinity” are to become more aggressive, controlling, forceful, stern, abrasive, self-centered, emotionally distant, and entitled while becoming less compassionate, patient, kind, gentle, loving, peaceful, sacrificial, and emotionally accessible. You have not only betrayed God’s design for all humanity, you are blaspheming the fruit of the Spirit and sabotaging their growth and manifestation in men. Period.
According to their own creeds, “In Christ, there is neither male nor female.” Men don’t get an exemption from being like Jesus nor an excuse for living in ways contrary to His graciousness, patience, humility, humbleness, tenderness, compassion, mercy, and softness. To pull these divine threads out of the tapestry of masculinity is to cut Jesus out of masculinity. You can’t be a male “in Christ” without them being lived and manifested in your life. Being a loving, peaceful, temperate, emotional, agreeable, nurturing, warm, and gentle person is not reserved for nor assigned merely to women. There’s nothing inherently complementarian about being male or female, there is only being fully human—with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Make no mistake, what so many conservative Evangelicals fear most is men actually following and becoming like Jesus. All their power, privilege, patriarchy, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry rests on the spiritual and emotional immaturity of men. That’s why they fight so vehemently to control “masculinity” and the masculine narrative. Make God look like a man just like them, and their boys will become just like them too. Never let them see the true Jesus. Never let them think, feel, and behave beyond their testosterone-driven image. Never let them exchange a narcissistic, poisonous distortion of masculinity for the beauty of being Jesus—fully human; of and with the divine.
I remember the time, as a 10 year old, when I was frightened by the story of God drowning the people in the flood. My mother comforted me by saying, “God created rainbows to remind us He’d never do that again.” As if God just had a bad day, and accidently stormed out of heaven like a drunk stumbling out of a bar, and committed genocide. Nothing to see here. Nothing that a rainbow can’t fix. “I’ll never do it again, I promise” says God. “Boys will be boys” says Evangelicals.
I also remember the time, as a 6 year old, when I walked down the stairs from my bedroom into the living room to see that my dad had my mom tied up with a rope on the couch. Their fighting had woken me up, again. When he saw me looking around the corner, he told me it was to “control her” because she was, “out of control.”
Ropes, rainbows—symbols of abuse, not care.
Promises from a narcissist of more narcissism, not change or hope.
Confessions of toxic masculinity born from a toxic God.
Love doesn’t need rainbows or ropes; manipulation or control, aggression or compliance.
Masculinity doesn’t either—it does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth
Grace is brave. Be brave.
Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…
What people are saying:
“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”
White, male-driven, conservative Evangelicalism would love for us all to believe that, despite some of them having a distaste for certain attributes of President Trump, they give their loyalty to him because they believe he is anti-abortion and pro-life. In their reasoning, this issue supersedes all others. They argue that the protection and preservation of the most vulnerable of human life is paramount.
Indeed, this justification may help them feel good about themselves, believing that they are aligning themselves with the Bible and God’s will. However, in truth, for many, their stance against abortion is actually the ultimate hoax. Where all other excuses for their support of Trump have revealed their hypocrisy, their position against abortion is the last card in their deck to seemingly justify their vote for Trump and keep some form of integrity.
To further lubricate their commitment to Trump, they paint progressives as being in bloodthirsty support of abortion and the sole engine that drives the “murder of millions of babies.” Like the false flag of the Gulf of Tonkin, Evangelicals must have an enemy to fight in order to sell and legitimize their faith, even if it means contriving one through issues like abortion.
That’s why so many Evangelicals desperately want to conceal the truth that progressives hate the idea and reality of abortion, and that progressives want the eradication of it as much as anyone. No one wants to humanize the womb more than progressives–period, full stop.
Evangelicals also don’t want people to realize, as progressives do, that solving the issue of abortion is much more complicated than other simple issues like police brutality, kids in cages, and mass shootings, of which Evangelicals are, ironically, desperate to make so difficult to address and solve.
Within the many layers of solving abortion, progressives reject the conservative Evangelical methods of subjugating women’s rights, denying science, and belittling medical truth, especially at the feet of a brutal, hypocritical, conservative Evangelical patriarchy. Contrary to what Evangelicals would have the world believe, there are no progressive, pro-choice people who cherish the idea and act of abortion. For them, this issue is both complex, heart-wrenching, and holistic in its solving. Every progressive believes life matters, from womb to tomb.
However, apparently, that is not the case for much of white, male-driven, conservative Evangelicalism. With their obvious preferences of school shootings over gun control, children in cages over welcoming the foreigner, police brutality over police accountability, mass incarceration over racial justice, a rich-favored economy over care for the least-of-these, and the military industrial complex over universal healthcare and economic justice for all, their priorities and values are crystal clear. There is almost nothing “pro-life” about white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical Christianity. And quite frankly, when it’s all said and done, so many of them don’t give it crap. With tremendous fear of losing control, power, and privilege, instead of coming clean with their duplicity, they cling all-the-more tighter to their MAGA hats. Indeed, their vehement declarations of being pro-life and anti-abortion are the ultimate fake news.
This is why, like never before, now is the time for people to smell the oscillating fan of crap they are trying to blow up the ass of America in regards to abortion.
In fact, the Scripture writer warned of the same diversion tactics now being used by Evangelicals.
“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” Jeremiah 6:14-16
In this passage from the Bible, God is upset. The religious people of the day are exploiting harmful problems for personal, political gain and not addressing their true solutions. They act like they care, but intentionally allow the issues to remain unresolved. They outwardly insist that they desire a way forward, but inwardly they have no real desire at all.
Trump and many conservative Evangelicals treat “abortion” the same. They outwardly declare that they are “pro-life” and detest abortion. They feverishly rant against how many “babies” are being murdered. Many make abortion their defining issue as to the reason why they support Trump. They promote themselves as wanting to make it illegal, as if that was the cure. It all looks and sounds so spiritual to the casual observer. Yet, inwardly, for many, they have little-to-no heart for a real solution. For if they did, they would be addressing, providing for, and adopting the proven remedies that positively impact abortion. But, they don’t.
Instead, with deceit, believe it or not, they actually want to keep the abortion issue alive because it manipulates their voters. Without it, they have no drum to beat and no provocative enemy upon which to summon their troops to fight. The need to create the illusion that they lead the way against abortion while making sure it remains unresolved, that they might remain in power.
In fact, perfectly credible and widely known statistics show that abortion rates have gone down significantly with the kind of Democratic leadership that approaches abortion wholistically and addresses the real issues that can bring real change. Yet sadly, these same statistics reveal that under Republican leadership, abortion significantly increases–that’s the facts.
Yet, with Trump at their side, many conservatives ”do not even know how to blush” at the truth about abortion, how they exploit it, and how they resist actual remedies. Instead, they declare “Pro-life, pro-life” where there is no pro-life among them. All in hopes of drowning out the biblical voice crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the ways of the Lord to heal abortion and cure its causes.”
See, if Evangelicals truly cared about abortion they would be far less concerned about making abortion unavailable and far more concerned about making it unneeded. But, they aren’t. Instead, they are outwardly striving to make abortion illegal and, therefore, willing to put the “lives” of pregnant women at greater risk while actually failing to decrease the numbers of abortions. In places where abortion is illegal, over 70,000 women die from unsafe abortions every year while abortion rates actually increase.
If Evangelicals truly cared about abortion they would be champions for women’s equality, men’s sexual accountability, birth control for men, the demise of toxic masculinity, and the cessation of male rape culture. But, they aren’t. In fact, their support of a President who advocates, “grabbing women by the pussy” reveals everything we need to know about their true concerns for abortion and life.
If Evangelicals truly cared about abortion they would be leading the way at teaching men and boys how to make respectful and responsible choices concerning their own sexual behavior. They would be teaching men that it’s abhorrent to use coercion, assault, and exploitation to satisfy their own hunger for sex and power. But, they aren’t.
In fact, men could actually prevent all abortions by using condoms and/or rejecting unprotected sex. The science is pretty clear; no sperm, no baby, no abortion. If white, conservative Evangelical men want to lord over women and prevent abortions, they could start and end by keeping their abortion-maker in their pants. But sadly, they aren’t.
If Evangelicals truly cared about abortion they would be declaring from the mountain tops, “The problem with abortion isn’t the post-conception choices of women, it’s the pre-conception choices of men.” “Men are the problem, the sin, and the solution, long before women.” But, yet again, they aren’t.
If Evangelicals truly cared about abortion they would be leading the way at having a vision and commitment for fostering a society in which all women have the information and means necessary to prevent unintended pregnancies, to carry healthy pregnancies to term, to raise their children with safety, stability, and dignity, and to have safe abortions when necessary.
This means providing insurance coverage and public funding for family planning. This means greater access to contraception. This means effective programs that combat domestic violence and sexual abuse.
This means, first and foremost, the valuing of economic justice.
This means giving women the means to have and raise a child in health and safety. In fact, the most common reasons women choose abortion is because they cannot afford a(nother) child. By providing low-income and young women with genuine education and career opportunities, health care, child care, housing, services for disabled children, and other basic supports, many would have the resources they need to fulfill the serious obligations that parenting brings.
Yet, sadly, this is not the heart nor aspirations of many Evangelicals.
In fact, it should be of no surprise to anyone that, for many, their white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical stance on abortion isn’t about caring about abortion at all, not even close.
Instead, truth be told, it’s actually about being “against” the full fruition of women’s equality, the sexual accountability of white men, and the cessation of their religious dominance to dictate the lives of all others. This is the Evangelical wizard behind the curtain. This is why they support Trump under the guise of being anti-abortion. Clearly, the only lives that matter to him are his own and that of white, male-driven, American, conservative Evangelicals. There is almost nothing “pro-life” about the presidency of Donald Trump, and many white, conservative Evangelicals are totally cool with that as long as he joins them and leads the way in dismantling the enemies of their pursuit of supremacy.
I mean, isn’t it interesting that many Evangelicals demand their God-given freedom to NOT wear a mask in order to protect the lives and prevent the deaths of other people while they wave signs declaring, “My body, my choice?”
So, one more time for the people in the back. The reason why so much of white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical Christianity makes such a big deal about abortion isn’t because they are “for” life, “for“ birth, or “for” Jesus. Not a chance. It’s about standing against anything that threatens their white, male, conservative Evangelical power and privilege.
In fact, if white, conservative Evangelical men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be deemed biblical, made easily accessible, and free. Not just that, but probably offered next to the church coffee shop or bookstore in the lobby after Sunday services.
Don’t be fooled.
If Evangelicals truly cared about abortion, it wouldn’t be a thing.
But it is, and if they get their way, it will always be.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
–Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Stupid Shit Heard In Church.