Tag Archive: Lust

Evangelicals and Their Obsession With Sexual Lust

lust

Evangelicals have a huge problem with what they call sexual lust. Countless sermons, books, and website articles are devoted to helping Christians overcome lust. Rarely, if ever, do Evangelicals ask WHY they have a lust problem. Why do men and women filled with the Holy Spirit need to be constantly reminded of their propensity to lust? With God living inside of you (there’s a joke waiting to be told), I would think that victory over lust or any other sin would be but a thought or prayer away. If God himself can’t keep Evangelicals from sexually desiring other people to whom they are not married, what hope is there for the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world?

Perhaps, the real issue is that Evangelicals mislabel and misunderstand sexual lust. Thanks to Jesus to telling his followers in Matthew 5:27,28: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart, Evangelicals think that if they look at a man or woman and desire them then they have committed adultery in their hearts. Is it any wonder that some Evangelicals, upon realizing they have committed adultery in their hearts, decide to physically have sex with whomever they are “lusting” after? If you are going to think it, you might as well do it.

What is lust, anyway? A simple definition is this: having a craving, appetite, or great desire for. Based on this definition, all humans lust, and there is nothing inherently wrong with sexually lusting after a man or a woman. What complicates the matter for Evangelicals is that they are duty-bound to live according to the laws, commands, precepts, and teachings of the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. The Bible, then, and not an English dictionary, defines what lust is. The inconsistent, arbitrary, contradictory moral code found in the Bible becomes the standard by which the triune God demands people live — in theory anyway. As any observer of Evangelicalism knows, Evangelicals don’t walk what they talk. Here they are, filled with the Holy Spirit and holding in their hands God’s blueprint for living, yet they fail miserably at being different from the big, bad “world.” Why is that?

The first problem is that Evangelicals view themselves as sinners; weak, powerless, helpless people, who, without the saving grace of Jesus, would be given over to their sinful desires. Evangelicals believe humans are inherently broken and need fixing; and only God, through the atoning work of Jesus, can repair them; and this fixing is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day process. Sin is always at the door, threatening to destroy their lives, Evangelicals think. Powerless, they cry out to Jesus for help, and in his good time, if at all, Jesus supposedly rides in on his white horse and delivers them from their sins. And if Jesus doesn’t arrive in time and Christians fall or run into sin? Forgiveness and a clean slate are but a prayer away: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, the Bible says in 1 John 1:9. Thus, for Evangelicals, there’s no reason for them to own their behaviors and be accountable for their actions.

colossians 3:5

The second problem comes when you join the Evangelical concept of sin and inherent helplessness with strict adherence to what’s written in the Bible. Instead of understanding that it is normal and healthy to sexually desire people, Evangelicals label their desires “sexual sins” such as adultery or fornication. Worse yet, even thinking about these desires, according to Jesus, is adultery. Imagine living in a world where the very thought of another person’s sexual desirability is considered heinous behavior worthy of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. Is it any wonder Evangelical men and women go through life laden with guilt and fear? Is it any wonder so many Christians act out on their desires, often crossing the line from normal human behavior to criminality? One need only to follow the Black Collar Crime series to see that Evangelicals have a huge problem with sexual sin — especially sex with minors or, as in the case of pastors, people with whom they have professional relationships. A pastor having consensual sex with someone other than his wife violates the Evangelical God’s moral code, but outside of Christianity such behavior, at worst, leads to divorce. Consensual sex between unmarrieds is normal, healthy, and expected, but, for Evangelicals, such behavior is called fornication – an accursed sin worthy of eternal damnation. Masturbation and viewing pornography are also considered serious sins by most Evangelicals.

The focus should be on sexual behaviors that harm others. If there is no harm to others, and all parties are adults who consent to the sexual behavior, there should be no condemnation of the sexual behavior. Extramarital sex is generally considered bad behavior, but a married couple could have an understanding, making what Evangelicals consider adulterous normal. The rules I live by are quite simple:

  • I made a commitment to my wife forty years ago when I stood at the church altar and said that she would be my one and only. Polly and I, on that day, entered into a contractual relationship governing our sexual behavior. I live by that commitment. Do I desire other women? Do I find other women attractive? Do I even have thoughts about having sex with them? Yep. I am a normal, healthy human being. But, I don’t act on these desires. Why? I pledged my troth to wife, and I plan on keeping that vow.
  • Whatever people do sexually behind closed doors, as long as it is consensual, is none of my business. I don’t understand why some people enjoy BDSM, but I don’t have to understand it to find it acceptable human behavior. Each to his own as long as the parties involved freely consent.

Simply put, I mind my own business.

Evangelicals, on the other hand, are plagued with all sorts of rules governing their sex lives. Worse yet, these rules have differing interpretations depending on whom their pastor is, where they attend church, and what sect their church belongs to. When Evangelical men and women see someone to whom they are sexually attracted , they immediately feel guilty and worry about committing adultery in their hearts. Instead of seeing such behavior as normal and healthy, Evangelicals fear God’s judgment if they fail to avert their eyes and repent of their inordinate desire.

Yesterday, an Evangelical psychologist by the name of Douglas Weiss barfed up a post titled 10 Powerful Tips to Stay Lust-Free. The article was pretty much standard Fundamentalist fare: pray, read the Bible, memorize Scripture, and keep a journal of your lustful behavior. Weiss did, to his credit, speak of Evangelicals owning and changing their behavior. These points seemed quite humanistic, so I do wonder how Weiss squares personal accountability with what the Bible says about sin and human helplessness without God.

I did find tip number eight quite humorous:

Simply put a rubber band around your wrist and when you start to lust, snap it hard.

Currently, you are giving your brain positive reinforcement when you lust. You escape reality, you feel desired, you fantasize and sometimes even receive a chemical reaction in your brain from the risk and excitement you feel. When you positively reinforce your brain, it will heighten your desire to repeat that behavior.

The rubber-band technique creates a negative reinforcement for lust and sends your brain the message: I don’t want to do this anymore.

Of course, Weiss is giving advice for combating a behavior — lust — that only exists in the minds of Evangelicals. I see a theological contradiction with Weiss’s advice. If Evangelicals are to snap the rubber band when they start to lust, doesn’t that mean they have already sinned? Isn’t lust sinful, regardless of whether the Christian is at the start, middle, or end of the lusting process? Shouldn’t the lustful Christian immediately stop sinning, drop on his knee, and give God a blo- uh I mean pray for forgiveness?

Imagine, for a moment, Pastor Joe sitting at his office desk studying for Sunday’s sermon. Pastor J, as his followers love to call him, is planning on preaching a ten-point sermon titled How to Live a Lust-Free Life. J-Man, as church teens fondly call him, clicks on Firefox, and once it loads he opens an incognito window. Pastor Joe wants his study materials to be between him and God, and by using an incognito window, he leaves behind no trace of what websites he has visited. Pastor Joe navigates to youporn.com, telling himself, what better way to understand lust than “studying” the content of porn sites. As the tenth photo loads, Pastor Joe remembers he is wearing a Lust-Free Life Rubber Band®. He starts snapping the band repeatedly, thinking that the pain from having a rubber band snapped on his arm will cause him to turn from his computer screen. Alas, it does not. Soon, Pastor Joe is overwhelmed by what he has seen. I’m lusting, he cries, but no amount of self-awareness — or rubber bands — keeps Pastor Joe from masturbating. Soon orgasm brings release, and with release comes an overwhelming sense of religiously driven guilt. Oh Lord, I am so sorry for my sin. Please forgive me! Jesus, of course, forgives Pastor Joe, just as he has every other time. Or so we are told, anyway. Pastor Joe is forgiven by God because he says he is forgiven. In fact, every time Pastor Joe “sins” God forgives him. A weak, helpless man I am, says Pastor Joe. Deliver me from my lust, Jesus! What a miserable existence, but the fictional story I’ve told here happens countless times a day behind closed doors. And it will continue to happen until Evangelicals realize that their religion is the problem. Their belief system has turned them into pathetic weaklings who believe they have no control over their emotions or sexuality.

Evangelicals don’t need rubber bands. Does anyone really believe that snapping yourself with a rubber band is going to keep you from acting on your sexual desires? This is absurd. The only thing that controls your sexual desires is YOU. Not God, not Jesus, and certainly not a Lust-Free Life Rubber Band®. What’s required here is personal responsibility and accountability. Determine what is good and bad sexual behavior and act accordingly. The Bible, with its sexually repressive teachings, is not the answer, and neither are any of Weiss’s tips for living a lust-free life.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Showing Breasts While Breastfeeding Tempts Men to Lust

lori alexander

Many young women today believe that it’s fine to nurse a baby in public and have other men see their breasts because feeding a baby is much more important than what men think or being modest and this is why breasts were created. I disagree. In my grandmother’s generation, women were always careful to cover themselves when they nursed their babies. It was the same for my mother’s generation. They wouldn’t have dreamed of allowing other men besides their husbands to see their exposed breasts.

My generation was modest about this as well. My friends always covered themselves up when they nursed their babies. This generation is different. Nakedness no longer brings them shame and nursing a baby is “natural” and so are breasts, so no big deal, right? Wrong.

You can bet I sure wouldn’t want a woman coming into my home and openly showing her breasts to my husband while nursing her baby. I nursed four babies for over a year and no man besides my husband ever saw my breasts. God commands that older women teach the young women to be discreet and part of being discreet and shamefaced is not drawing attention to ourselves and covering up.

….

Nakedness and shame continually are linked together in the Bible. “…and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear” (Revelation 3:18). We are not to show our nakedness just because we live in a culture that tells us it is acceptable. We are to be discreet in all of our behavior, yes, even when nursing our babies. If most of the generations before this generation could do it, so can you. Breasts are not to be displayed in public by godly women for any reason.

 

Yes, breasts are sexual for men or God wouldn’t have written this in His Word: “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” (Proverbs 5:19). Men are highly attracted to women’s breasts no matter how much women don’t want this to be true. I wouldn’t even nurse in front of my sons if they were older than five years old. No, breasts are to be covered and private. It’s what God has called us to do

— Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Women Showing Their Breasts While Breastfeeding, February 2, 2018

Tim Bunting Writes a Letter to Christian Women Blaming Them for Male Lust

how christian women dress

Tim Bunting is a Fundamentalist Bible teacher at the West Harlem Church of Christ in New York. Earlier this year, Bunting wrote a post for the Downtown Demure website titled, An Open Letter About Modesty From a Brother in Christ.  Here’s an excerpt from Bunting’s letter:

Okay, before I begin, I get it.  You’re tired of talking about modesty.  You’ve put forth some effort to conform to all these different standards being thrown at you, but no one ever seems to be satisfied.  I know what you must be thinking.  “Don’t they know modesty is a hassle?  I’m just trying to look fashionable and attractive.  People at church continue to stress the importance of modesty while the boys give more attention to the girls in more revealing clothing.  Not to mention the fact that no one seems to have any standards of modesty for them anyways.”  All this confusion, legalism, hypocrisy, and double standards is just about enough to make you stop caring about modesty all together.  What’s the point anymore?

Well let me tell you, I’m tired of talking about modesty as well.  I understand. However, we have to keep talking about it as long as it continues to be a challenge in this sexually saturated society.

Keep in mind that immodesty gets so much attention because it’s a visible sin.  As saints trying to please God, we can’t ignore sin (I Corinthians 5:2, 12).  As long as immodesty is around us, we will continue to have to deal with it.  “But aren’t there much deeper problems to worry about?  Isn’t immodesty just a physical external thing?”, you might ask.  Yes!  I concur completely.  However, even though immodesty is external, the way we choose to present ourselves is directly connected to our hearts and has great significance on our souls.  My hope in this letter is to get to the heart of the matter.  I want to thank you for all efforts you’ve already made to be modest.  I want to clarify some misconceptions about modesty, and I want to remind you of the real reason you should be concerned about modesty.

But why does God care about modesty?  God cares about modesty because He is a holy God who calls us to be holy as well (I Peter 1:16).  Sexual perversion is unholy, and it’s [sic] participants are unholy (I Cor 6:15-20).  Sexual perversion includes any sexual activity outside of a marriage relationship (Hebrews 13:4).  That includes lust (looking, thinking, desiring sexual things outside of a marriage) (Matthew 5:27-28).  We are also told that anyone who is a stumbling block to others is also held accountable (Matthew 18:6-7).  This principle is used to condemn the man for divorcing his wife and tempting her to commit adultery (Mathew 5:31-32).  So if there is someone lusting after a person who has presented herself in a sexually appealing way, both parties are guilty of sin, whatever side of the equation they may be.  Proverbs also illustrates that one who draws others into sexual sin is condemned along with the one drawn into sexual sin (Proverbs 2:16-19, 5:3-6, 6:24-29, 7:6-23).  God wants you to be modest, because God wants you to be holy, pure, and free from sin.  God wants you to be these things because this is how He can have a relationship with you, and if you want to have a relationship with Him, then you should care about modesty as well  (Psalm 15:1-2).

….

Still, I know what you might be thinking: “If a guy wants to lust, I can’t control that!  No matter what I wear, some creep can think sinful thoughts about me.  So why am I held responsible for that?”  Those are fair questions.  Allow me to clarify something.  Lust is a choice.  Lusting is the choice to indulge yourself with sexual thoughts.  God can demand a man to abstain from lust because, regardless of what any person might be wearing, we can choose to not indulge in sexual thoughts.  Sexual attraction, however, is not a choice.  A man will be attracted to sexual things because God made him that way (He made women that way too).  However, a man needs to be led by the Spirit, and not by his fleshly desires (Romans 8:13).  A man will be attracted to the many sexual images that surround him on a daily basis, but he must choose to not indulge in lusting over them.

Let me provide an analogy.  Imagine you see something cute.  A puppy or kitten.  A newborn baby.  Or perhaps newborn baby taking a nap with a puppy and a kitten.

What happens?  You swell up with warmth, and an involuntary “awwwwww” escapes your mouth.  Why?  Because that’s what happens when you see something cute.  You didn’t decide for that puppy or kitten or baby to be cute.  They inherently are.  You couldn’t stop thinking it’s cute even if you wanted to.  Imagine if that warm fuzzy feeling of cuteness is sin.  Imagine you are sinning every time you squeal in adoration over something adorable.  What could you do about that?  How could you stop?  You can’t help but think it’s cute.  That’s not even a conscious decision.  You’d have to look away.  You’d have to stop going to pet stores.  You’d have to avoid new couples at church with their newborn babies.  Cuteness is all around, but you have to make sure you don’t lust after it.

This is kind of what it’s like to be a guy.  We didn’t decide for you to be so appealing.  God did.  God made both sexes to be that way.  And it’s a blessing that he did!  However, it’s a blessing that can only be enjoyed in marriage.  So, a man’s responsibility is to not lust over the things he is sexually attracted to by keeping them from his eye sight.  Your concern is to make sure you aren’t one of those sexually appealing things his eyes have to avoid.  Here’s the conclusion: you aren’t in sin because someone is lusting over you.  You can’t control that.  You are in sin if you are presenting yourself in a sexually appealing way.  You can control that.

….

how should a woman dress

Let me summarize Bunting’s “loving” letter to Christian women:

  • No one seems to have any standards of modesty these days. What those standards should be, Bunting does not say. I will assume then, that Bunting’s standard of modesty is his personal opinions and that of his church. The Bible say little to nothing about modesty other than to say women should wear modest apparel. The Bible does not define what is modest/immodest, so Christians make up the rules as they go. What is considered modest or proper attire is culturally driven, often changing from generation to generation.
  • Immodesty is a visual sin. In other words, women who violate Bunting’s dress code are sinning against God. This means that no immodestly dressed woman is a Christian. That’s right…follow my logic here. Christians say that people who habitually sin against God and do not repent are not followers of Jesus. A woman who regularly dresses immodestly is habitually sinning against God and no habitual sinner will inherit the kingdom of God. Imagine a conversation in Hell one day between a man and a woman. The man asks the woman, why are you here? She replies, cleavage. The man responds, me too.
  • Immodestly dressed women are responsible for the lust of men. In other words, women are culpable for how men think.
  • Women dressing modestly leads to holiness, purity, and freedom from sin. Evidently, in churches that follow Bunting’s dress code, men don’t lust and they never fuck anyone they are not married to.
  • Sexual attraction is not a choice. Men are wired by God to want what they see, and to fuck their way indiscriminately through the fair maidens of the church. The only way to keep these horn dogs in their place is for women to dress in ways that don’t lead to lust or boners.
  • Women are like puppies. When people see cute puppies they say “AWWWWW.” And when men see immodestly dressed puppies, err I mean women, they do the sexual version of “AWWWWW“– whatever the hell THAT is.  Make sense? Didn’t make any sense to me either.
  • Women are sinning against God if they present themselves in sexually appealing ways.

immodesty 3

I know, nothing new here. Bunting is just one of a countless horde of Christian preachers who think God has given them the duty and responsibility to police how women dress. Bunting tries his best to not blame women for what he calls male lust, but he ends up talking out of both sides of his mouth. If how a woman dresses can cause a man to lust, then she is responsible for the man’s lust. This is a classic case of laying blame on someone else for one’s own actions.

Bunting says that he plans to keep preaching the gospel of modesty until women heed his words and put their breasts and legs under the cover of oversized feed sacks. And I plan to continue to preaching the gospel of freedom and personal responsibility. Both men and women are responsible for their sexual behavior. Men, in particular, need to learn how to responsibly handle sexual desire. It is normal and healthy to see an attractive woman and sexually desire her. In my gospel, such thoughts are normal. Not in Bunting’s. Desiring any woman sexually besides your wife is a big sin against God, the very God who supposedly wired men to sexually desire women (and for gays, men). Makes perfect sense, right? For weak, pathetic Christian men who are driven to Pornhub by seeing too much cleavage on Sister Sue, the answer is for women to dress modestly. However, wouldn’t it be better if men grew up and owned their sexuality? Wouldn’t it be better if Christian men learned that it is never right to leer at or sexually harass women, and it is most certainly not permissible to touch women without being invited to do so.

According to my gospel, personal responsibility and accountability are paramount. Both men and women are responsible for their own sexual behavior. Christian morality cripples people, making others or outside forces responsible for bad sexual behavior. If church women would just dress modestly, men would be able to sit through the sermon without engaging in lustful thinking. And if women outside of the church would dress as Muslim women do, why Christian men would be able to go through the day with their only stirring being the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful world, one without sexual want, need, and desire; a world where sexual intercourse only takes place within the bonds of marriage and only in the missionary position. Of course, such a world, thanks be to Eros, does not exist. Sexual attraction is here to stay, regardless of how women dress. Clothing, as past human history shows, is not a barrier that protects people from wanting or desiring others sexually. All any of us can do is act decently and respectfully towards others.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Geri Ungurean Blames Sexily Dressed Women for Christian Men ‘Sinning in Their Hearts’

cleavage

Another day, and yet another blog post written by an Evangelical blaming sexily dressed women for Christian men being unable to keep their lustful thoughts, desires, and actions under control. Geri Ungurean, a Christian Fundamentalist and conspiracy theorist, runs the Absolute Truth From the Word of God website. Today, Ungurean wrote a post titled, Sisters in Christ: Are You Causing Brothers in Christ to Sin in Their Hearts?

As you can tell from the title, Ungurean believes that inappropriately dressed Christian women are causing the male horn dogs in their churches to sin. Ungurean writes:

I remember a time when my husband and I were visiting a new church. The music was way too “Rockin’” for us. But the sermon was good and sound. After service, the wife of the pastor offered to walk us around to meet people.

She took us into a 4th grade Sunday School class. As we walked into the room, the teacher was obviously caught off guard. You see, she was wearing an extremely revealing low cut sweater, and when she saw us she immediately attempted to pull up her sweater.

To say that was an akward [sic] moment would be a gross understatement. As we talked with her, she held onto her sweater to keep it from slipping down where it was before we came in.

Okay. I know that there are going to be women who will be angry with me because I am writing about a “touchy” subject.  Well SOMEONE has to talk about this!  And please don’t say to me “I think I look nice when I go to church” because I’ve heard it so many times before. Looking “nice” would reflect the motives of your heart. Of course, we women want to look nice when we go to church – or anywhere for that matter. But there is a vast difference between looking nice and looking sexy.

Here’s the deal – If you look in the mirror and you think “I look sexy” then you do not look nice. You are calling attention to yourself, and you are hoping that men will be enticed by you.  YES – YOU.

Men are visually oriented

If you are lost and do not care about Jesus or Christian men, then you have an excuse. But if you are born again and have repented and trusted the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, then I have some news for you. You are taking the eyes of these Christian men off of the Holy Spirit, and onto your body.

This is sin, and God will hold you accountable for it.

….

Let me summarize Ungurean’s post:

  • She and her husband visited a church that had a Sunday school teacher who showed too much cleavage. Her boob exposure made Ungurean and her husband feel uncomfortable.
  • There is a difference between a woman looking “nice” and looking “sexy.”
  • If a woman looks in the mirror and says, “I look sexy,” she does not look “nice.” Evidently sexy and nice cannot inhabit the same space in Ungurean’s world. (I’ve seen some sexy Amish women. Try as they might to hide their beauty, it seeped through their head-to-toe anti-lust clothing.)
  • Women who dress sexily are calling attention to themselves, hoping that men are enticed by their revealing clothing. (Enticed to do what? Grab them, strip them naked, and fuck them in the middle of the church sanctuary?)
  • Men are visually oriented. (And women aren’t?)
  • Unsaved whores, I mean women, have an excuse for their immoral dress. (Evidently, unsaved women don’t care about men.)
  • Christian women who violate Ungurean’s dress code are causing men to focus their eyes on them and not on the Holy Spirit.

I continue to be hysterically amused by weak, pathetic Christians who can’t bear to see women wearing clothing that accentuates their God-given bodies. I wonder if such people can even go outside, watch TV, or read magazines. Why, there are Jezebels everywhere you look! Perhaps it would be better if Christian men followed Jesus’ advice in Matthew 18:9:

 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Wouldn’t it be far better to be blind than to face, day after day, sexily dressed women who want nothing more than for men to ravage them?

Ungurean believes that women who violate her dress code are causing Jesus-loving men to take their eyes off the Holy Spirit. Has Ungurean ever “seen” the Holy Spirit? Of course not. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is an incorporeal being. He can’t be seen, but women can, and therein lies the problem for Fundamentalists such as Ungurean.  Christian women wearing clothes that calls attention to their comeliness are causing men to have lustful thoughts, and, in some instances, inappropriate boners. Now, there can only be one rising from the dead, so church women must go out of their way to make sure they don’t do anything that might cause male stirrings. Again, women are viewed as gatekeepers. Men are too pathetic and weak to be responsible for their sexual behavior. Evidently, once these servants of the Most High God gaze at a woman they find attractive, morality and religious belief are cast to the wind, turning otherwise normal men into dogs looking for a bitch to hump. Poor Christian men!

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Women Wearing Bathing Suits Cause Men to Lust Says Lori Alexander

comment on the transformed wife

Unfortunately, nudity has come to the beaches, lakes, and pools of America and we shouldn’t be surprised. Many women don’t seem to have any problem with men of all ages lusting after them and seeing them as objects. God commands that we be modest and shamefaced, not drawing attention to ourselves, but as we, as a culture, grow farther away from God’s principles, we can see that women have no shame with being naked.

On our walks on the beach, I have seen a troubling trend; more and more women are wearing thong bathing suits and when they are laying on a towel or are seen from the backside, they look naked. Is there NO concern for children these days??? Where has common human decency gone? Do all these women care about is themselves, their ego, and what they want to wear?

Yes, these women are absolutely 100% being stumbling blocks to all of the men around them. I read what others write against me for saying this as if women are completely innocent concerning men’s lust but they aren’t! We are called to love others and be unselfish but when women are wearing thongs they are only loving themselves and being selfish. They aren’t thinking at all of the effect they are having on the young to old men around them and the children who are seeing their nakedness.

Aren’t their laws against nudity in our land? Shouldn’t there be beaches that are “family friendly” and we don’t have to see naked women all around us? Yes, I know that bikinis have been around a long time but at least they covered up the most private parts of the female body even though they are still extremely immodest. When women are actually showing off their entire backside, they have become naked which is continually associated with shame all throughout the Bible.

The majority of women desire men and their attention. I remember when I was 16 or 17 years old and deeply wanting a young man in my life. I wanted the strength, love, affection, protection, and attention of a man. I believe it’s a normal desire that God has given to us after puberty. Our culture uses this desire in a twisted way called serial dating. We want the attention and love of a man so we try different men out since we’re “way too young” to be married even though our bodies tell us otherwise. We show off our bodies in hopes of attracting men to us to fulfill the longing we have for a man then do things that should only be saved for the marriage bed unless we’ve been taught otherwise. We pretend marriage.

Many young people get into a lot of sexual trouble during these years because of this trend of putting off marriage for so many years after puberty. Most parents aren’t teaching their children about modesty, waiting for a godly man in God’s timing, purity, abstinence, and all the things that God requires from us who want to live lives pleasing to Him. It’s imperative, mothers, to teach your children from a young age the goodness of God and His ways!

— Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Nudity on Our Beaches, October 12, 2017

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: “Intimacy” With God is the Cure for Homosexual Lust by Deon Howard

deon howard

I know what it’s like to lead a song service and put down the mic, only to indulge in homosexual acts hours after the conclusion of a worship service. I know what it’s like to be bogged down with shame—maintaining a closeted, secret life with no intentions of reaching out for help because of the fear of being condemned by others in the church. I know what it’s like to want to do right, but wrong keeps knocking on the door. But I also know what’s it’s like to be transformed by the power of God’s Spirit. Yes, I know what it’s like to experience total victory over homosexuality and pornography.

People continually ask me for advice for overcoming sexual immorality, mostly in terms of homosexuality. In my initial article “What This Pastor Told a Homosexual Man Who Wanted to Leave His Church,” I suggested that grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) was the gateway to freedom. You can view my initial article here. In addition to trusting and believing God for freedom, I do believe there are certain safeguards that must be in place to guard against sexual immorality, but no method or formula outweighs the power behind intimacy with Jesus.

….

When you become intimate with God, you become engulfed by His nature, so much so that temptation is likened to an ant that manages to crawl on your body, and you just gently wipe it off with hardly any effort because you have no desire for it. Basically, when tempted, I didn’t have to pray tongues and war in the heavenlies because my relationship with Father God had become priority. I was too busy being in an intimate relationship with God. I was too busy abiding in Him: “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me” (John 15:4).

— Deon Howard, CHARISMA News, The John 15 Key to Leaving Same-Sex Lust in Your Past, July 9, 2017

Immodestly Dressed Women Need to Stop Spreading Their Sin to Weak, Hapless, Pathetic Men

tim and kara barnette

Warning! Slightly risque language ahead. You have been warned.

Another day, any yet another Evangelical explaining the importance of women covering up their bodies lest they cause men to “sin.” Today’s member of the clothing police is Kara Barnette, wife of Tim, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Faith, North Carolina. In a post titled Modesty Matters, Barnette had this to say about modesty and the dangers of women spreading their “sin” to men:

It’s that beautiful yet dreadful time of year when summer clothes come-out.  And it seems that every summer shorts get shorter, necklines plunge lower, styles get tighter, and fabrics are so thin that one could read a newspaper through them.  Yet issues over modest clothing aren’t just significant to the Amish and crotchety old people who complain about “those ‘dang teenagers.”

When a glutton eats too much, no one else gets fat.  And when a thief steals from a convenience store, only the thief goes to jail.  But when a young lady dresses inappropriately, the effects of her sin are expansive.

Her sin spreads.

As she strolls down the beach in her immodest bathing suit or worships on a Sunday wearing a revealing dress, everyone who sees her is handed temptation.   The men and boys around her must battle the sin of lust, while the women and girls around her must battle the sins of bitterness and jealousy and the temptation to show-off their bodies, too.   Everyone is distracted by the young lady’s clothing and everyone struggles to think pure thoughts.

Sadly, today there is often little difference in the immodest clothing choices between girls who’ve never heard the name of Christ and those who come from Christian homes.  Satan is winning the war of indiscrete clothing, and these are the weapons he’s using on parents:

….

My daughter must dress in short/tight athletic-wear to play her sport.  Newton’s Lesser-Known Fourth Law of Motion: A volley ball will travel at the same velocity and direction whether it’s served by a player dressed appropriately or by a player dressed inappropriately.   (The law likewise holds true for golf, tennis, and soccer balls, as well as for the dynamics of jogging, cheerleading, and dance…)  Joking aside, if a team uniform doesn’t meet God’s standards and an alternative is not allowed, then God doesn’t want my daughter playing that sport or participating in that activity.  Her personal testimony is worth even more than an athletic scholarship to college.

I can’t find modest clothing for my daughter.  Principals often hear this complaint from moms about school dress codes, and youth pastors similarly struggle to enforce clothing standards for youth groups and camps.  God has plenty to say about ladies dressing modestly (1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:8-10, 2 Peter 3:1-4), and He doesn’t give commands that our daughters cannot follow.  Shop a different store.  Order on-line.  Buy a sewing machine and make clothes yourself.  Or have your daughter wear the same modest clothing over and over if that’s all she has.  Parents must go to whatever lengths necessary to help our daughters protect their purity.

My daughter will hate me if I make her dress conservatively.  Following the Lord’s commands should not be a chore, but a joy!  Teaching a daughter to present her body as… ‘a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to the God, which is her spiritual service of worship’ (Romans 12:1) ought not be a knock-down fight in the dressing room at the mall; it should be a pleasant experience as she learns to embrace colors, fabrics, and styles that please God and accentuate her beauty.  All rules given by the Lord are for our good and His glory, so helping girls learn to dress modestly can be a fun and creative challenge.

Modesty isn’t an important Scriptural issue.  Tell that to the wife humiliated by her husband’s pornography addiction.  To the congregation who lost their pastor because he had an affair.  To the teenager who has to inform her parents she’s pregnant.

….

My daughter needs to show some skin if she’s going to get a guy.  Allow your daughter to dress provocatively so she can catch the attention of boys, and you’ll get your wish.  But it won’t end well for her.

While you would never throw chum into the ocean water where your little girl was swimming, you’re doing something far more dangerous when you allow her to capture boys with her body.  It’s a deadly proposition.

Just ask Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 11:2 simply states… and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.  David’s sinful lust of Bathsheba was provoked because of her revealing appearance.  David didn’t fall for Bathsheba because she was a great conversationalist, or because he felt an emotional connection to her, or because she could cook a delicious rack of lamb.

He fell for her skin.

And while we will never fully understand Bathsheba’s culpability in the affair, we know that it sure caused her a lot of grief.  Literally.  Bathsheba would eventually grieve both the death of her faithful husband Uriah and the baby she conceived with David.

When we allow our daughter to show too much skin, we lead her into temptation.  We deliver her into evil.  And that evil is contagious: it not only harms her but will infect every person she contacts.

Modesty matters.

Once again, we have an Evangelical blaming “immodestly” dressed women for the inability of men to keep themselves from “lustful” thoughts. Pathetic men, they are, who can’t control their thoughts once their eyes focus on women showing too much of their bodies. In Barnette’s mind, dressing “immodestly” causes women to spread their sin and we all know that women spreading their sin leads to them spreading their legs.

Yes, we live in a culture when women publicly expose more skin than previous generations.  My God, my wife wore a dress to a wedding last weekend that showed a bit of cleavage! What’s the world coming to? Doesn’t Polly know that she is spreading her sin by wearing a 38DDD push-up bra? (Her first push-up bra, by the way — a sure sign of her atheistic depravity.

bruce and polly gerencser 2017

Polly and Bruce Gerencser, March 2017. Several firsts….cleavage and a black fedora. (my cleavage is covered up)

Barnette’s problem is that she is immersed in a Fundamentalist religious culture that treats human sexuality as something that must tamped down and, at times — because the Bible commands it — denied. Women are viewed as Jezebels, temptresses out to bed every man who casts a gaze their way. These weak, pathetic, horn-dog men have little or no power to keep themselves from lusting (evidently God living inside of you is not even enough), so it is up to women to keep men from lusting by covering up their bodies and avoiding behaviors that might lead men to think they are “available” — Greek for “easy.”

Most Evangelicals are Republicans who supposedly believe in personal responsibility. One need only listen to Evangelical congressmen pontificate about welfare and the importance of holding assistance recipients accountable for their behavior to see this thinking at work. Yet, these haters of the poor attend churches that preach, when it comes to sexual matters, that heterosexual men are not totally accountable for what are deemed immoral behaviors; that women who tempt men to lust are also culpable for their “stiff prick having no conscience” (a line told to Midwestern Baptist College ministerial students by crusty IFB preacher Paul Vanaman).

Lust is a religious construct meant to elicit fear and guilt. Two thousand years of preachers lustily preaching about the dangers women present to unsuspecting men have led to the female sex being blamed for the inability of the males of the species to keep from wanting to bed women they find attractive. And therein lies the problem. Evangelicals live in denial of their biology — that men and women being physically attracted to one another is necessary for the propagation of the human race. Some Evangelicals will grudgingly admit the biological aspect of human existence, but will then say that our biology has been corrupted by the fall — Adam’s and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden.

Remember the story? God created Adam and Eve naked, put a mystical fruit tree in the middle of their subdivision, and told them he would kill them if they ate fruit from the tree. Adam and Eve ignored God’s threat and once they ate kumquats off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they became knowledgeable of good and evil. Since that day, all humans are cursed, born with a “sin” nature. According to Evangelicals, we don’t become sinners, we are by nature sinners — haters of God. This is why we need the salvation that was made possible through the sacrificial death of the God-man Jesus on the cross.

The first thing God did after confronting Adam and Eve over their poor choice of a snack was to kill several animals and make the sinning couple one-of-a-kind fur outfits — covering up their nakedness. Implicit in this story is that nakedness is sinful.  Christians, Muslims, and Jews have spent several millennia drilling this idea into the minds of primarily the fairer species. Why? Because it was Eve who first ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was Eve who gave a kumquat — I love that word —  to Adam. Get the gist of the story? Adam may have been the head of earth’s first family, but Eve is the one that plunged the entire human race into sin. A woman was to blame then, and women are to blame now.

Let me conclude this post with my view of human sexuality and personal accountability. I am an atheist, so Barnette’s Puritanical, anti-human views on sexuality play no part in my sexual ethic. I recognize that I am sexually attracted to some women.  How women dress can get my attention sexually. As Polly will attest, my eyes have on more than a few occasions been drawn to the comely shape of women who are not my wife. (And Polly will admit to the same. Last weekend she told me over dinner, why are some gay men so damn attractive? I laughed, thinking of how, not so many years ago, such a discussion would have been impossible.) I subscribe to the look but don’t touch school of thought. Everywhere I look I see attractive women. I saw them as a fifteen-year-old Baptist virgin and I see them forty-five years later as a well-used atheist. What I have learned as a grown-ass man is that I am TOTALLY responsible for my sexual behavior. I am TOTALLY responsible for how I deal with my sexual desires. It is up to me, not women, to control my sexuality. If I behave inappropriately, the only person responsible for my behavior is yours truly. I am mature enough to be around women I might find attractive, and if I feel some sort of sexual stirring — down boy, down boy — it is up to me to control my physical response.

My wife and I are in a committed monogamous relationship forty years in the making. Now that we have been liberated from the sexual bondage of Christianity, we are free to embrace our sexuality, while, at the same time, living according to the commitment we made to each other thirty-nine years ago on a hot July day in Newark, Ohio. Both of us are TOTALLY responsible for how we behave sexually. Knowing that marriage is far more than sex, neither of us worries about the other being tempted to sin by a nice ass or an attention-seeking babe or hunk of a man. (And yes, both of us are comfortable enough in our sexual skins to admit that there are times we have found someone of the same sex attractive, all without flying a rainbow flag on our porch.)

Humanism and Buddhism teach me to treat others with respect, and while I may not be able to control what happens to or around me, I am responsible for how I respond to these outside influences. When a nurse puts an IV in my arm I know it is going to hurt, and that it might take her several attempts to get the job done (thick skin, deep veins, genetic curse). I also know that it is up to me to decide how I respond to the nurse. After making sure the nurse has sufficient experience to do the job (I am considered a difficult stick, so only the experienced need apply), I turn to humor to control the pain that is coming. I tell the nurse about my best and worst phlebotomist list, sharing stories about who is at the top of the list. Once the IV is in, I let the nurse know where she placed on my list. By doing this, I am choosing to be accountable for how I respond. I have heard more than one patient go into a profanity-laced tirade at a nurse who couldn’t magically make an IV insertion pain-free. It is not the nurse’s fault, and blaming her is misplaced. So it is with people who wrongly want to blame women for the moral failures of the human race. Barnette’s blaming of women for unapproved chubbies is misplaced. Men are, from start to finish, responsible for how they respond when sexually attracted to women. Instead of long lists of rules that have proved to not work, why not teach not only men, but women too, how to behave sexually. Surely Evangelical churches can teach men that the Billy Graham rule — never allow yourself to be alone with a woman who is not your wife, a rule even Jesus didn’t practice — is fear-mongering bullshit; that the Vice President of the United States should be able to have a private lunch with a woman without fearing that he will succumb to lust and try to fuck her.  Surely the people who gave us purity rings made in China can instead teach men and women that it is not what you wear that matters — no ring has ever successfully kept young adults who want to have sex from doing do; that the choice of how to respond to sexual attraction rests solely with us, not others; that inappropriate sexual behavior by me is not anyone’s fault but mine.

Church of Christ Preacher Al Shannon Says Women Who Dress “Immodestly” Risk Rape by Lustful Men

Church of Christ preacher Al Shannon wants pubescent teen girls and women to know that if they dress “immodestly” and are raped it is their fault. And if parents don’t teach their girls to dress modestly and they end up being impregnated by Christian horndogs it is the fault of lax mothers and untrained daughters. Shannon writes:

Mothers with young girls will do them a real favor by teaching them while little to learn to dress in modest apparel. It just may keep your unmarried daughter from being raped or getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Shannon also wants sexually aware girls and women to know that if they dress inappropriately and some poor, hapless, weak, pathetic teenage boy or man lusts after them, it is their fault. Shannon writes:

The Bible teaches that we must dress in modest apparel. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shame facedness and sobriety” (1 Tim. 2:9). A failure to dress properly induces others to sin. Mary Quant, the London fashion designer and mother of the miniskirt said, “Mini-clothes are symbolic of those girls who want to seduce a man . . . and leads to sex.

Modesty Enforcer Shannon also wants teen girls and women to know that if they wear skimpy bathing suits they shouldn’t be surprised if teen boys and men lust after them and want to fuck them. Shannon warns:

Women on board the hi-jacked pleasure ship Santa Maria left off wearing “enticing clothing of shorts, halters and swim suits” and stayed out of the ship’s pool for fear the rebels might have designs on them sexually! This was in the 1960’s. If you plan on swimming, you need to pick a place other than where there is mixed swimming. When women dress in such a way as to entice men, don’t be surprised when they want to do more than just look! Women of the millennium wear macro [sic] bikinis that reveal every aspect of he [sic] human anatomy. In other words, women of today parade themselves naked before the eyes of the world to see and cause them to lust after their bodies.

What about how teen boys and men dress, Preacher Shannon?  Here’s what he had to say:

Fathers need to also talk to their boys about proper attire. Way too often today we see boys wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants and revealing the imprint of a certain body part. This is totally indecent.

Oh my God, teen boys are showing off their underwear by wearing it outside of their pants and this somehow indecently shows the imprint of “certain” body parts! I wonder what that “certain body part could be? Penis? Dick? Or any of the dozens of euphemisms men have for their rod? Is Preacher Shannon ashamed to say the word “penis,” lest he corrupt the minds of his readers? How does wearing underwear outside of your pants show off your penis any more than wearing underwear inside of your pants?  And why doesn’t Shannon mention men’s bathing suits?

While women continue to make inroads outside of the Evangelical church, within its walls they are still viewed as the keepers of zippers. If teenage boys and men are to keep their “certain” body parts in their pants, it is up to teen girls and women to make sure that they never dress in ways that will cause lustful Johnny to reach for his package. Once Johnny unzips his pants and lets loose his manhood, why, there’s no telling what he might do. And if he impregnates or rapes a woman he’s not to blame!  Remember, the Bible says in Proverbs 7:

 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

Never, ever forget that when men lust women are ALWAYS to blame. If teen girls and women would just dress like they did in the days of Little House on the Prairie or wear some sort of Christian burka, burning male lust would be extinguished, women would no longer be raped, and no children would be born out of wedlock. Or so say the Al Shannons of the world. Perhaps the real solution is for women to stay away from Evangelical churches, much as they would dimly-lit alleys late at night. If Christian men are so easily aroused that exposed cleavage, legs, or tight clothing causes them to lust and have thoughts of rape, wouldn’t women be safer if they spent Sundays at home?

 

Why Do Fundamentalist Men and Women Dress Differently?

how should a woman dress

Within Evangelicalism, especially on the far right of the Evangelical spectrum, women are considered subservient, second class, whoring Jezebels out to rob men and teenage boys of their virtue. Listen to enough sermons at the local Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church and you will likely conclude that seductive women are lurking in the shadows ready to expose a bit of leg and cleavage, bringing weak, helpless men to their knees and hopefully to her bed. After all, the Bible does have a story that warns of this very behavior:

…For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7)

Evangelicals have concluded that the only way to save teenage boys and men from whoring Christian women is to demand that women cover up their flesh and wear clothing that mutes their feminine shape. They are implored to dress in a way that will not draw any attention from the male species. Often, women are told not to wear excessive make up or jewelry. Again, it’s harlots that paint themselves up and wear bawdy gaudy jewelry, so Christian women should avoid wearing anything that gives the appearance of being an easy sexual mark. Again, justification for this demand can be found in the Bible:

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (1 Timothy 2)

While most Evangelical churches no longer make an issue of how women wear their hair, some on the far right of the Evangelical spectrum do, requiring women to wear their hair long and/or put it up in a beehive or bun. As always, the BIBLE says:

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (1 Corinthians 11)

Some Evangelical sects believe, based on the above text, that a woman wearing her hair long shows that she is in submission to her father if she is unmarried and to her husband if she is married.  Some sects even go so far as to require women to wear a head covering, a doily-like piece of fabric which says to all who dare gaze on her that she is in submission to God, the church, her father, and her husband.

All of these things are used to keep women in their place. What is that place, you ask? Married, submissive, keeper of the home, bearer of children, and on-demand sex machine. Post high school education is often discouraged, and if a woman is determined to get a college education she is often shipped off to an Evangelical Christian college to train for her MRS degree. The end game is always marriage and bearing children.

On any given day I can go to Meijer or Walmart and I will see Evangelical families shopping. How do I know they are Evangelical Christians? One look at the mothers or the daughters is all I need. Their head-to-toe Evangelical burka or Little-House-on-the-Prairie garb make them stand out from the unwashed Philistines around them. I can even determine of which particular sect they are a part based on the way the women wear certain items of clothing or how they wear their hair. Apostolic or holiness women, forbidden to cut their hair, often put their hair up in a bun or bee hive.

But, here’s the thing, if the unmarried boys or the fathers are in the store without the fairer sex by their side, they blend in quite well. Some Mennonite sects wear a certain style of pants, belts, or suspenders, but outside of the that the men look like any other man in the store. Why is it that the men are free to dress as men typically do, but women are forced to dress in a manner that says to the world that they are part of a religion that treats them like seductresses and appendages, the man’s  servant?

I’m sure pious Evangelicals will suggest that women dress and behave this way because they choose to do so. Anyone who thinks like this is ignorant of the conditioning and mind control that goes on in many Evangelical sects. From the cradle to the grave, women are told what their place is in God’s divine order. They are constantly reminded of the importance of covering up their body so they don’t cause men to lust. Many of the people who read this blog were raised in this kind of religious environment, and they will tell you that the puritanical moralizing becomes very much a part of a woman’s life. It’s all they’ve ever known, so how can it ever be said that they freely choose to live this way?

Here’s all the proof you need. Look at women who leave/flee Evangelical sects such as those mentioned above. What are some of the first things they do after they leave? get a new hairstyle, paint their nails, stop wearing dresses/culottes, start wearing makeup and jewelry, start wearing shoes with heels, show a little leg or cleavage. Perhaps in the quiet confines of the bathroom or the bedroom they look at themselves in the mirror wearing their new style of clothes and they smile and say “nice!” And once the proverbial horse is out of the barn, there’s no hope of corralling it. I know of no woman who ever returned to these type of restrictions once they were free of them.

Were you once part of an Evangelical church/sect that restricted how a women dressed, wore her hair, etc? How did things change for you after you left? Please share your story in the comment section.

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Two Male Patrick Henry College Students Blame Female Students for Their Lust

bathing suit length

As I have shared before, Evangelical young men are taught that they are weak, pathetic creatures easily led astray by mere exposure to too much female flesh. A little cleavage or a tight blouse has led many an Evangelical man to the slaughter.  Instead of being taught to own and control their sexuality, many Evangelical men whine, moan, and complain about women “tempting” them to sin. Well, the moaning part is them masturbating after seeing too much of Sister Sue. Let me give an example of this kind of thinking. A year ago, Homeschooler’s Anonymous published a 2006 letter written by two Patrick Henry College (PHC) male students to the female students of the college. For those not familiar with PHC, it is fundamentalist Christian college in Purcellville, VA. Michael Farris, of Home School Legal Defense Association fame, is the chancellor. According to Wikipedia, PHC has 320 students.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

…We rejoice to say that the women at Patrick Henry are, overall, some of the most conscientiously-dressed ladies it has ever been our joy to meet. And we have seen a number of our sisters here grow in this area over the past few years. However, we must in honesty say that there are many who could do better. We do not believe that there is a general wicked desire to “cause a brother to stumble”—quite the contrary. You all show great love and care for us. But many Christian women, probably a large majority, simply do not understand the depth and extent of the foul perversity of the male mind. (If you’re a man and some part of this doesn’t apply to you personally, just assume we’re only talking about ourselves at that point.)

We have a duty as brothers in Christ to guard the purity and holiness of our sisters, which means restraining how bluntly we speak. On the other hand, part of that duty is to help you understand the problem. To avoid causing offense for our own sake, all the most explicit bits are taken directly from Scripture. Anyone who finds God’s authoritative written revelation inappropriate is advised to skip this section.

You’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again: men are visually wired. A man notices a pretty female walking by. His eyes lock on, his brain clicks in (we mostly tend toward one-track minds). He is attracted to her. Attraction, when left undirected, leads naturally to desire.

If she’s his wife, all is well. In itself this visual attraction is a good thing. A man is supposed to look upon his wife and be drawn to her beauty. Please, please, ladies, don’t confuse the abuse of the thing with its good and proper and holy purpose in God’s plan. Husbands are not merely allowed but commanded to take pleasure and fulfillment in their wives’ physical beauty: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19). This intoxication is a blessed fact and should be a cause for great rejoicing. As C. S. Lewis says in a very similar context, “God likes it. He made it.”

But there is a great deal of abuse. If the attractive female wandering by is not the man’s wife (and mathematically, the odds tend that way), then there’s a nifty Biblical phrase for desiring her: “lusting after her in your heart.” We’ll leave out the details; you don’t want to know. Suffice it to say that he wants to be intoxicated and filled with delight too. As Solomon says in that passage we declined to quote from earlier: “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” It’s all right for Solomon, he’s talking about his wife, but many of us are not married. Of course most men—here at least—are decent enough not to actually do anything much; but that’s beside the point. The man has spoken these words to himself. He has made the act of volition…

…We are not trying to blame you for our sin. Rather, as a warrior with many wounds, on behalf of ourselves and these our brothers, we are asking for allies. This is a cry for reinforcements, lest the battle go to the enemy. We are sorely pressed on every side. This is no exaggeration: we need all the help we can get. We don’t need to be struck down from behind by friendly fire.

Remember, Adam’s sin was Adam’s, but that doesn’t mean God held Eve guiltless in the affair.

Eve tempted her husband, and God cursed her for it.

If we give in to temptation, we are judged; but if you deliberately tempt us, you are judged, whether we give in or not—even whether we notice or not. The sin is not in successfully tempting a brother, but in trying to do so. The immodest swimsuit is still immodest and sinful even if there happen to be no guys on the beach that day—if you decided to wear it because you hoped there would be. Deliberately choosing the barely-too-tight top is still immodest and sinful, even if the RA catches you before you make it out the door…

…But let us also offer a warning. Although women almost never completely realize the extent to which (or the ways in which) they can affect men, most women are aware on some level that certain things attract men. And women like to feel attractive. This is natural; we have already said that you are created to be beautiful. But we have also said that the purpose of attraction is enjoyment.

Please be careful of this desire to attract. It is a good thing; but it is easy to misuse. Many females drive us to ask some pretty unpleasant questions.

If a woman does not want to be the subject of wicked imagining, why does she provide so much scope for the imagination? If she does not intend to be suggestive, why does she tantalize with hints, peeks, glimpses, suggestions?…

…Some articles of clothing are just irredeemably scandalous (in the Greek sense of “causing to stumble”), but many others may be immodest on one woman and perfectly modest on another, and not simply because of physical differences. (Just be careful of the “Well, it could be immodest, but I’m not wearing it like that” argument.) Any woman can be immodest “by accident,” but she is far less likely to do so if she has sisterly love in mind as a deliberate daily goal. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Modesty flows from a heart devoted to the service of God.

“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to Godliness.” (I Timothy 2:9-10)…

You can read the entire letter here.  These two men took over 4,000 words to tell the women of Patrick Henry College that they are making them lust. Lest you think that PHC women are running around half-naked, here’s the dress standard for women:

  • Women should not wear clothes that are too revealing, (e.g., spaghetti straps, halter tops, tube tops, see-through tops, or tops that reveal bare midriffs, that strap at only one shoulder, or that strap below the shoulder).
  • Shorts: Shorts should extend mid-thigh.
  • Skirts: Skirts and skirt slits should end no higher than 2 inches above the top of the knee when standing.

Under the Business Dress section for women, the Student Life Handbook states:

  • Shirt: blouses and nice tops are to be worn.
  • Skirts/Slacks: Women are to wear skirts, dresses, or slacks (dress slacks or Dockers style).
  • Shoes: Women are to wear dress shoes; sandals that would be considered professional business attire may also be worn. Tennis shoes and flip-flops are not allowed.
  • Appearance: Excessive or gaudy jewelry or make-up should be avoided.

These standards, when compared to those of other fundamentalist institutions, are quite liberal.

not my fault

This letter reflects the common notion among Evangelicals that if a man lusts after a woman it is her fault. While the letter writers try to distance themselves from the suggestion that they are “blaming” PHC women for their lust, their argument loses its force when they demand that the women dress in ways that will not cause them to be tempted. Based on the Student Life standard for female dress, what could PHC women possibly be doing and wearing that would cause these poor, weak men to lust?

These men have likely been schooled in a Puritanical form of morality that requires women to be the moral gatekeepers. It is up to women to keep men from lusting after them.  After all, men will be men and they can’t help themselves; it’s just how they are wired. Instead of embracing their sexuality and realizing that it is quite normal to be physically attracted to women and to admire their beauty, they are taught that such feelings and desires outside of marriage constitute sin (even though these very desires will likely draw them to the woman they will someday marry).

These men need to be taught to look but not touch and if they are being tempted to touch then it is their problem, not the woman’s. They need to grow up and take control of their sexuality and not blame others for their own perceived weakness. I say perceived weakness because I think this weakness is a manufactured one brought on by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible and fundamentalist moral/social standards.

So what do you think, you slutty temptresses? Is it your fault these men are tempted to lust?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Notes

New Republic article on Patrick Henry College

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Freedom without Jesus

jimmy carter lust quote

According to Evangelicals, we live in world inhabited by fallen, broken people. All humans  are sinners, from the moment they come forth from the womb speaking lies to when they draw their last breath. Numerous Bible verses reinforce the notion that there is something seriously wrong with every one of us. We have a disease called sin and it is killing us.

According to Evangelicals, we are helpless, hopeless, and empty. We lack purpose, direction, and meaning. Simply put, we are fucked. There is no hope for any of us. From the first man and woman to the baby born just a moment ago, all of us are hopeless, helpless wretches in bondage to our wants, needs, and desires. Sure sucks to be us, yes?

But wait, Preacher Billy Mays says. All is not lost. God sent his son Jesus to earth to die on the cross for sinners. Through his shed blood sin is expiated, and by putting faith in him we can have our sins forgiven and find purpose, meaning and direction. And as an added bonus, at no extra charge, those who pray and ask Jesus to forgive them will be given eternal life and a home in God’s Holiday Inn after they die.

Millions and millions of people call the 1-800-salvation number only to find out that there is a catch. Yes, the salvation is free; yes, the eternal life and motel room is free, but there is a small shipping and handling charge. How much, you ask?

Just your life. If you buy what Preacher Billy Mays is selling, the cost is your life. Every moment of every day will belong to Jesus until you die. Your life will be governed by an ancient text called the Bible. This text has hundreds of laws, rules, regulations, and precepts that you will be expected to obey. While technically you can still get eternal life and a motel room after you die even if you don’t obey, surely you don’t want the room at the back of the motel, the room where the plumbing never seems to work.

Sold a fantastical story about sin, brokenness, and emptiness and forgiveness, healing, and fulfillment, the Evangelical gives the operator his credit card number and orders God’s Eternal Life Package, free, just pay shipping and handling. This shipping and handling charge, as they will find out later, will be charged to their credit card every month until they die.

Evangelicals love to point out the awesome freedom they have now that they have bought God’s Eternal Life package. Are they really free, the non-Evangelical asks? Bound to the words of an antiquated book, is the Evangelical really free?

According to the Evangelical, God created everything, including every human. God gave us sexual desire, the Evangelical says, but the Bible says we can only act on this desire if we are married to someone of the opposite sex. Acting on our sexual desire outside the boundaries of a heterosexual marriage is a sin, a sin that some verses in the Bible say will result in us forfeiting our Eternal Life Package and room at God’s Holiday Inn. Instead, we will get Satan’s Eternal Death Package and a room in Beelzebub’s Motel Six.

Not only does the Bible condemn any sexual behavior except married heterosexual intercourse, it also says that if we look at a person and desire him or her sexually, we are sinning against God; so much so, that God calls it committing adultery in our heart. Don’t touch, unless it is your spouse and don’t look lest you burn in hell. And Evangelicals call this freedom?

Earlier today I was watching a rerun of an NFL football game. As the camera man panned the sidelines the camera slowly focused on the cheerleaders. Next to the cheerleaders was a 40 something year old attractive woman wearing a Denver Broncos jersey. I thought nice, and I hit the replay button so I could confirm my observation. Yep, nice.

No guilt.

No fear.

No quick prayer asking forgiveness.

Like a road trip on a beautiful fall day, I was just enjoying the scenery.

And then it hit me, here’s the difference between the “freedom” the Evangelical thinks he has and the true freedom I have as an atheist. The Evangelical has to feel guilty over being a healthy, normal heterosexual man. He dare not hit the replay button lest he lust and commit adultery in his heart. If he does hit the replay button then he must confess his sin to God and promise to never, ever, fingers crossed, do it again. And come football season, because he is a man with a normal, healthy libido, he will once again, with one eye covered, gaze upon the cheerleaders’ comeliness. And as every time before, he will claim 1 John 1:9 and promise God to never, ever, fingers crossed, do it again.

Me, the godless atheist? I am free to enjoy life without feeling guilty over being a normal, healthy heterosexual man.

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Beecher Proch Blames Girls for Boys Being Visually Attracted to Girls

beecher proch

Beecher Proch

Snark ahead. Girl and woman used interchangeably.

The shaming of the fairer sex by a Christian fundamentalist is on public display at Girl Defined: Getting Back to God’s Design. Today’s shaman is Beecher Proch.  Part of a family singing group, 4 Proches, Proch has a blog and is part of Broch Productions, a Christian film company. You can also find Proch on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. He is a 2014 graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regents University and has written articles for several websites that cater to primarily a young female Evangelical Christian clientele, including Lies Young Women Believe and  A Lovely Calling.  I could find no articles by Proust on male focused sites, so it makes me wonder, with all the writing on female focused sites,  if Proch is trolling for a covered up, hot Christian woman. Or, perhaps he is, oh, I don’t dare go there.

Proch views American culture this way:

In today’s culture modesty is totally out of style. The phrase that I’d say best describes the current trend would be “less is more – show your skin.” Skin is everywhere: billboards, magazines, social media – everyone everywhere seems to be attempting to show off as much skin as possible and draw as much attention to themselves as they can.

The American culture is constantly putting the *wrong* message into girls’ heads. “If you don’t flaunt what you’ve got, guys are going to pass you over and move on to the skin-revealing, midriff-baring, hottie.”

Right away, Proch uses the word “modesty, a word he never defines other than to suggest immodest is showing too much flesh. How much flesh showing is too much? A little leg, a little cleavage, a little shapely form?

Proch assumes to know why women dress the way they do. In his mind, any woman who exceeds his modesty standard is trying to attract attention to themselves or is out to get a man. I will leave it to the women who read this blog to educate the young, unmarried, and I assume virginal Master Proch.

Proch buys into the notion that men are visual and women are not. While men certainly demonstrate their desire through a gaze, a look, or a creepy look, women are also visually attracted to men and other women. After Polly and I deconverted, we talked about this subject many times. I wanted to know what type of men, beside the stud muffin she is married to, Polly was attracted to. At first, fearing it would offend me, she didn’t want to say. Now, she freely gives her opinion on the male form. She really liked the movie Magic Mike, a psychological  thriller about a man who does magic shows for children. I am always surprised at the type and look of men she likes. I’ll see an attractive actor on TV and I’ll ask, do you find him attractive? The man I think she will think is hot is rarely right.

Each of us process the visual world differently. Do men view the world differently from women? Sure. But, is this a genetic difference or the result of social conditioning, parental training, religious influence, education, and personal likes and dislikes? Again, I will leave it to female readers to educate Proch.

Before Proch launches into his version of slut shaming, he makes it clear that:

…men are 100% accountable for where they put their eyes, and what they do with what they see once it enters their mind…

And then he says BUT,

…But I also know this: it sure is a blessing and encouragement when a woman makes the effort to dress modestly.

A woman who doesn’t reveal as much skin as she can shows love and consideration for the men around her striving to pursue godliness…

In other words, if women really love and care for weak, pathetic, helpless, sex-crazed, vagina seeking Evangelical men, they will make sure they watch Little House on the Prairie and Little Women to learn how to dress.  Either that or let Proch educate them on exactly what the Bible says about modesty. According to Prouch:

Modesty is Biblical! It shows that a woman understands who she is in Christ and that she knows she’s valued by God. A woman’s body is beautiful and amazing. There’s no embarrassment in how different the shape of a woman’s body is from a man’s.

Modesty doesn’t hide the difference, it clearly acknowledges it with the correct attitude and focus on God’s creative differences in body shape. Immodesty focuses on the body with the wrong attitudes of lust, pride, and self-focus.

Proch demands that Evangelical women and women everywhere adhere to his understanding of modesty. He even gives some rules he wishes women would abide by. Remember, these rules are derived from his interpretation of the Bible, so this means that these rules were given to Proch by God on Mount Sinai:

  • Dress modestly! Cover up the cleavage, ditch the short shorts, and go for some fashionable, but modest, clothing. Convictions in this area will differ, but I think we can all agree that clothing which blatantly draws attention to certain parts of your body isn’t modest. Do the mirror check before heading out the door.
  • Think twice before posting that photo to social media. Are you holding your photos on Facebook and Instagram to the same standards you yourself hold in real life? Could the photos you post cause others to stumble? Here’s a great post by Kristen about seductive selfies that will challenge your posting standards.
  • Ask yourself this catchy little phrase: “Is it too high at the bottom, too low at the top, or too tight around the curves?” Then respond appropriately.

Proch goes even further by suggesting that a woman can cover herself up and still have an immodest spirit and attitude. This spirit and attitude is shown in how the woman carries herself, whatever that means. I suppose he can look in a woman’s eyes or watch her walk and discern that she has an immodest spirit and attitude?

Here’s the bottom line for Proch; women need to get right with God. According to him, immodest dress is a sign of a heart problem:

I Corinthians 6:20 tells us to “…glorify God in your body.” The next time you go to put on those shorts with the 2 inch inseam, or the shirt that reveals cleavage, ask yourself, “Is this really glorifying to God? Will it direct people’s thoughts towards God, or will it lead them somewhere else with their thoughts (and eyes)?” Remember your ultimate end is to honor God with every single thing you do.

I know, nothing new here. Just another screed by an Evangelical man who blames women for the moral (using the word moral as Evangelicals do) failing of weak, pathetic, sex-crazed, visually stimulated Evangelical men. Out here in the evil world of unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines, men are generally required to own their sexuality. It is up to me to choose how I sexually respond to others. I am a married man in a committed, monogamous relationship. This fact determines the parameters of my sexuality. That said, my wife doesn’t scold or chide me when I enjoy female beauty or comment on the female shape. She gives me a boys will be boys look and is quite glad I still look at her the same way.  Beecher Proch needs to grow up and spend some time in a world that is not dominated by Christian fundamentalism. Perhaps then he can learn to not blame women for the sexual ills of males. His post is little more than another example of the slut shaming that is all too common in Evangelicalism. (please see my recent post Dear Kristen Welch, How to Make Sure Your Teen Age Son Can’t Handle His Sexuality and Rebecca Davis Worried About Her Lustful Four Year Old Ogling A Woman Wearing a Bikini and other post on human sexuality)