Virgin Shaming in the Church

image001ShameShame

I need to apologize. My attitude in writing this post was bitter, unloving and sinful.

The reason I’m not deleting the whole thing? For one thing my critiques of the article were perfectly true, but unloving. Most importantly, I want to show that I’m also a sinner in need of mercy as well as grace.

 

A lot of singles are leaving the church now. I refuse to leave because the Bible says we are not to forsake the Assembly. That said, I dislike going, find it a miserable drudgery and act of penance, and strongly suspect most of the real church members–the smug, sanctimonious couples who count–would just as soon we all leave or better yet vanish from existence. But I digress.

My real issue is with an article written by Matthew Cochran published in The Federalist. http://www.thefederalist.com/2014/06/09four-myths-about-the-helpless-single-woman/Despite (possibly) good intentions, it’s obvious to this single woman that Cochran is clueless about his subject matter.

Cochran addresses a previous article he finds disagrees with written by a single woman. While Matthew Cochran is a man who hasn’t likely been single since his teens he feels he knows all about this subject. After all, he is married and has a Y chromosome. Therefore he must be a spiritual giant.

Hear are the four statements she made that he considers mythical. (Warning: I have indulged my satirical impulse and grossly exaggerated some of Cochran’s statements. If you want to know his exact words please follow the link.)

  1. We’re Victims. Yes, regardless of what God hands you, considering yourself a victim is counterproductive. But according to Matthew Cochran we’re a bunch of sinful lepers  who deserve to be marginalized because we were not “proactive” in seeking out husbands when we were younger. This has got me scratching my head. What were we supposed to do? Set out deer traps baited with homemade pies? Cochran fails to remember that back in the 80’s and 90’s when there were more men available for us Gen-Xers, it was considered unseemly for girls to even tell guys they liked them unless the guy said he liked you first. If you asked a guy out he would assume you were easy. The only way to “get a guy” was to be thin, blonde and perky. A severe eating disorder was a bonus. Wear a whole mess of caked on make-up. And tight revealing clothes. (Those mini skirts showed Christian guys how spiritual you were. Ha ha.) It helped to be an airhead, or at least conceal any intelligence or common sense God blessed you with. You also had to be a social adept, saying “yes” when you meant “no” and vice versa. Lots of brainless, boring small talk that was absolutely meaningless white noise. Guys didn’t have to prattle stupidly, but girls did, plus you had to giggle all the time when nothing was even funny! Some guys at college complained about this, but they always dated the giggle geese. If you weren’t pretty enough or couldn’t figure out the “rules” to the dating game in a month or so you were disqualified and no guy on campus would date you. Ever. So, rules have changed over the years. Despite Cochran’s desire to pin all the blame on spinsters there have been a lot of changes recently we haven’t all been able to keep up with. It’s easier to assume that bad things only happen to those who were asking for it. Just ask Job’s buddies. (I wonder if Cochran’s wife proactively pursued him. Most conservative guys get scared by aggressive husband-hunters and call them unfeminine.)
  2. Biology Changes a Woman’s Behavior. Cochran also thinks that we imagine we can have babies in our nineties like Sarah. We don’t realize how quickly our biological clocks are ticking without fellows like Matthew Cochran to remind us of the fact. Thus our rebellious desire to stay single. His solution? Panic and husband hunt for crying out loud! “Proactively” chase anything in pants, while armed with nets and tranquilizer darts. When guys see you hunting for something with a pulse to drag to the altar they won’t be able to resist your charms. We all know how men love desperate, clingy women. Right?
  3. There Are No Good Men. Cochran counters we’re all just too picky. We only want to date Brad Pitt clones, bad boys who drive around on motorcycles. I never have gone for Alpha males; I always liked Nice Guys. But they didn’t feel likewise, hence we never dated. The fact is, out of all the churches I have visited recently, there were 0 single men over 20 attending. It’s either marry a pagan or steal another woman’s husband. Both unacceptable. According to Cochran, we are single because we all are addicted to hard core porn and watch so many Hollywood movies we confuse them with real life. News flash! I hate television shows and almost never see movies. If I had my choice of any Hollywood hunk I would choose none of them because their godless lifestyles sicken me. As far as porn goes, I avoid “Christian romances” and the tripe by Nicholas Sparks–so no I’ve never read 50 Shades of Grey.  “…it is time to find new media and social circles before writing off many marriageable men who already feel invisible.” Where are these many marriageable men? What alternate universe does Matthew Cochran inhabit? Any marriageable men in my church or community must not only be invisible but inaudible and unregistered by any other bodily senses as well. More likely they don’t exist. No doubt Cochran would blame us for that too. It’s always the single woman’s fault!
  4. Singleness Is Holier. Now begins Cochran’s real virgin bashing. He starts off by saying that celibacy is impossible therefore we must all be a bunch of harlots. If you say that you’re still a virgin you’re a lying hypocrite as well as a harlot because no one can go without sex! (Some Christian married men must lie awake at night fantasizing about the wild sexual escapades they would have if they were still bachelors. Then they pin their lustful thoughts on Christian singles. That’s called projection in psychology.) He goes on to say that even if you are one of those ascetic weirdos (aka virgins) with that gift nobody wants you must spend your days perched on a pillar in the desert. You’re of no use to God or the Church at all and are vastly inferior to wives and mothers spiritually as well as every other way that counts. Apparently Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, weddings and all our marriage seminars have failed to convince you that you’re a bunch of pathetic losers and a disgrace to the Kingdom of Heaven. Get lost Mary of Bethany! Martha’s the real hero after all.

Pardon me while I go vomit.

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Virgin Shaming in the Church

8 thoughts on “Virgin Shaming in the Church

  1. That is a very nice article, you should have “likes,” at least for us fellow word-pressers to press. (Mine are disabled because they wanted to collect and sell information on my guests). I like, in the Apocryphal Acts of John, John is told in Voice “John, If you were not mine, I would let you marry.” Mary Magdalene is the real hero, we say, as Mary embodies “Church-as-mother,” So Mary Magdalene embodies “Church as bride” (Rev.19. If Jesus were a regular guy, she would have been literally the bride, but she is first to see the risen Christ, and no one believes her.

    While Celibacy cannot be had by convention without providing a cloak to hide deviant lifestyles in homophobic eras, eh? it occurs for various reasons. Some Apostles were celibate, like John, James and Thomas, while some were married, like Peter and Phillip. The Geek Orthodox church has two levels of priests, like we have priests and deacons. It is nice as an option for people who have higher purposes- the family is all-consuming. And who but the priest can show a real man that it is possible to remain faithful while out of town for years, like Odysseus, a business traveler, or a soldier? Come read my poems, in the menu of the website!

    I have also been basically kicked out of two or three churches, Catholic Baptist and “nondenominational!” I taught at a Catholic college, philosophy, but will not swear an oath to obey humans, required of teachers in the human things. Jesus said, “…Do not swear at all” (Matt. 5). Come read my blog “Tax Exempt Status for Churches?” where the funny story is told about getting kicked out of the Trumpster church up the street! See ya ’round!-MM

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    1. I voted for Trump–reluctantly. I don’t think GOP membership should be an article of faith. 🙂

      I never married because of chronic illness. Sort of a SAHD now, but not your typical kind. The Churches of Christ are not generally THAT weird or extreme in Complementarianism. My sister is a campus minister and our Dad is proud of it. Still feel overlooked and invisible a lot.

      One church I attended was very radical. Almost Luddite in many ways–no television or computers! “Cause you use computers for lookin’ at porn!” Women would insult me in Sunday school for being single and childless. They also cold shouldered me for wanting to teach English on a college level. Because of all the over-emphasis on “Biblical Headship” the men would get ugly when they’re helpmeets failed to worship them. Divorce was a big problem in that congregation. No one could figure out why.

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      1. I was a McCain supporter, and still am, but I like Barack, and voted for him the second time. We are very worried now. They just seized 1400 Chaldean Christians for deportation, illegally because they will be persecuted, not to mention the Mexicans. One guy was brought here at age 11 and smoked pot, was here for 30 years, now likely to be tortured and killed. Trump is not republican, is what no one gets, nor Christian. We think we see that something terrible has occurred, and tyranny is seizing our nation. Anyway, the stuff you got for not marrying reminds of the Old Testament significance of having children for women. Teaching English would be fun! We do lots of Shakespeare and Plato, but for political philosophy. It is a blessing to not be married, see those headship guys! I had one great love, lost,never recovered, spent 17 years alone, then lost my friend and fiance the second time! See what your missing! But you know where Paul says marriage reflects the mystery, by analogy, the image of God, like Genesis 1:26 and the principle of the law regarding both love and anger, Gen. 9:6. The most complete image of God in the scripture is the wedding of the Bide and Lamb. A bit different from a domestic despot using scripture to justify tyranny! We just did Revelation, and I read some Jack McArthur too, but I should do more. Romeo & Juliet, the Palm dance, that’s it, imago Dei, “You kiss by the book” she says, “My sin is purged” he says. Those weird sects think Christianity is a law like Moses! Its no wonder, the Most High gave up on sending us guys! Sorry about illness, though, but it may have spared you! I just have my five cats, old age and solitude to write. care for the old mum, and try not to speak, because they will not listen, and they will take me away and try to drug me. Then when what I said turns out to be true, they forget to apologize! P.S. Is the true fast in Ezekiel and not Isaiah? I talk too much, sorry!

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  2. A lot of ugly stuff going on, and I think Satan is behind it. The love of many is growing cold.

    There is a reason God keeps some of us from marrying. He foresaw our lives and planned them from the beginning of the universe–our celibacy did not catch Him off guard. As long as we do our best to obey Him and trust Him in all our life circumstances we can know His will is being done in our lives. Even if we don’t feel good much of the time.

    Don’t blame you for not wanting drugs. Way too much drugging of the emotionally troubled, the elderly and even small children now!

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    1. Often I think I am called to it. My physical desires are practically gone from poor health and aging. I prefer living alone. I wish my church family were more accepting though. Church makes me feel lonelier than staying at home sometimes.

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  3. Thank you Megs. The good thing about these problems is they force me to focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. Everything else is temporary. God has been better to me than even the best husband.

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