Friday, April 20, 2012
This Just In: Wilson Brays In On "Effeminate Worship"
Moscow's arbiter of all that's masculine and, presumably, therefore holy has topped himself -- and for a man with a history of buffoonery and general adolescent misbehavior, that's something. But Doug Wilson has determined what, indeed, is truly masculine, and therefore has been obsessively searching for, rooting out, condemning and making fun of "effeminate" Christians and the "Evangellyfish" it promotes that he risks not having enough time to persist in offending on the many other fronts for which he's also famous for acting like an ass. Strong words, those. But this is a man whose punkery (doing for "punk" what Amy Winehouse did for the F-word with "f---ery") extends to titty humor and the illegal misrepresentation, on purloined letterhead, of a purported University of Idaho lecture on toplessness; titty humor and Credenda/Agenda magazine covers with a studly guy with battery cables attached to his nipples; and titty humor, during Moscow's lamentable, brief time of legalized female toplessness in the early 2000s, in chortling over the hanging of a "Welcome to Hooters" sign at the western entrance of the city. This is a guy whose every conference seems to have to do with Father Hunger and manliness and male headship in the home. This is a man who regularly admonishes -- titty obsession, again -- the men in his congregation to enjoy, really enjoy, and then enjoy some more the lusciousness of their wives' breasts . . . while the wives and other women are in attendance, no doubt wondering if their nipples are up to the task. Wilson is a hirsute guy, as are most of his elders, and the fact that he drives a green F-150 -- the least manly of all pick-up trucks -- is macho-ly mitigated by the fact that it was a gift from his lusty, grateful congregation. Perhaps more to the point, and much more revealing of a man who doth, indeed, protesteth too much, Wilson is the guy who last year married off, after the briefest of courtships he witnessed with satisfaction, a silly young woman to a man convicted of only one of the seventy-something instances of toddler-aged pedophilia he'd confessed to. That man, as you'll remember if you've read Prevailing Winds for awhile, is legally barred from being around any children, ever, including his own, unless he's supervised by a "mature" adult. If he takes care, alone, of any children he might have with his head-spinningly immature bride while she runs off, say, to Rosauer's for a loaf of bread, he'll end up in prison. For the rest of his life. But so fervent and so deeply ingrained is Wilson's fascination with maleness, maleness-through-marriage (a young man who's still single at New St. Andrews or Christ Church after his mid-20s is a young man whose life is made increasingly difficult by his loving, paternal pastoral elders), and males as masculinist privilege-bearers who never ease up on the presentation of their unfettered, unabated, unalterable damned maleness, that he risks being seen as . . . oh, I don't know . . . maybe a little too focused. Maybe a tad . . . unbalanced. Perhaps even a bit too concerned with things of the groin than things of the heart. To show vulnerability of the heart, you know, is less than fully manly when engaged in worship, and the heart itself is worthy of disdain, perhaps, by being an organ whose primary function in his essay is as a metaphor for emotion -- with no erective, penetrative, or conquering characteristic to it all. This post, from his execrable blog, Blog and Mablog, and posted today, takes up the subject of "manliness in worship," even though fully half of his congregation is, well, you know . . . penis-deprived. Women, that is. Who, His Hirsuteness assures his readers, will be "reached" when their menfolk are reached, and souls can only be reached by the sounds of masculine battle hymns emanating from the stout, the stoic, and the studly in worship. It's utterly un-Biblical, terrifically stupid, unutterably offensive and as puerile, knee-jerk and poorly-reasoned as I've come to expect from Wilson. Read for yourself, and then remember why I spend so many hours writing about and immersing myself in the subjects I devote myself to: There's filth out there in the name of Christian faith, and even though I'm just a gal, I'm a gal who refuses to let my silence allow it to continue unchallenged. Hold your nose -- here's Wilson on "Effeminate Worship": (From Blog and Mablog, April 20, 2012) For a number of interesting reasons, Christian worship in the West has become increasingly effeminate. Leon Podles outlines some of these historical reasons in his fine book, The Church Impotent. (Note from Keely: I've read Podles' book, and it's a bizarre paean to the bloody masculine wound and the need to run away form mother. Not recommended). Ann Douglas makes a fine addition to the discussion in her book, The Feminization of American Culture. To emphasize masculinity in worship is not a practice that excludes women. Rather, it includes them, brings them along, and makes them feel safe. If you reach the men, you will reach the women. Moreover, you will find yourself reaching the worthiest of women, the true mothers in Israel. Think tent pegs and mallets. This being the case, and in the spirit of those lists you see from time to time -- "you might be this or that if . . ." -- I would like to offer a small checklist for pastors and elders, in no particular order. Your worship service and church community might be effeminate if . . . 1. Your music and sermons almost never contain references to judgment, wrath, battles, enemies, Hell, the devil, or apostasy; 2. Your music minister is more concerned that the choir trills their r's correctly than that they fill the sanctuary with loud sounds of battle; 3. One of the ministerial staff has taken to wearing a clerical collar and a powder pink shirt, and no one on the session has the courage to tell him that he looks like a thirteen-year-old boy with rosy cheeks, as painted by Norman Rockwell; 4. The worship team gravitates toward "Jesus is my girlfriend" songs, and their facial expressions while up front are those of guys in the backseats of their cars, having just gotten to second base with their actual girlfriends; 5. The sermons rarely deal with sin or, if they do, they deal with sins found outside the sanctuary, preferably those of secularists in Hollywood somewhere; 6. The worship music rides particular chord changes hard, with special mention being given to the shift from E Minor to C Major; 7. The minister wears a robe, but the effect is not that of being robed for battle. If that same minister were to wear a kilt, everybody would think it was a skirt from a nearby all-girls private school. But, contrariwise, if the minister were able to wear a kilt in such a way as to terrify sinners with the imagined sound of skirling bagpipes, and the sounds of a small version of Armageddon across the misty moors, and the sermon text were a claymore whistling over their heads, then that kind of man could think about a robe if he wanted; 8. The church does not practice church discipline, and not because everybody in the church is behaving. They won't practice it because the elders are misbehaving; 9. A body of elder wives, or deacon wives, or assorted volunteer women have formed a functional shadow government for the church. A vote is taken at the elders' meeting, and about a half an hour after said elders arrive at home, the phones start to ring, the emails start to get sent, and the vote starts to unravel; 10. A robust emphasis on truth, goodness, and beauty has gradually turned into a festival for posers and effete aesthetes. The beauty emphasized is not that of Bach, Rembrandt, Wren, or Lewis, but rather with the kind of pretension found at the Woodlawn Hills Literary Society; 11. This list is printed out and handed around at your church, and at least three people are mortally offended.