I attended a wedding Saturday. In addition to watching a huge accident on the I-30 bridge across Lake Ray Hubbard, one that was so amazing it could have been in The Avengers movie (no one hurt), I was over-exposed to churchianity and I ran afoul of a random lunatic.
This segue is epic….
Did you know that 95% of lesbian women are lesbian because they have been abused by a man? And did you know, similarly, that the majority of gay men are gay because their father mistreated them? Do these things stand out as not being about a wedding? Yes, they do, but those two claims signaled the opening salvo from the nuclear powered Ship of Churchianity.
At the rehearsal dinner a man approached the table where my wife and I were seated with family members and friends of the young bride, including her parents. The man began with a predictable and inoffensive political narrative about Obama and liberals. He knew everyone there but my wife and I, and he quickly offered, “I hope I’ve not offended you all”.
“No, of course not”, I responded.
Then he started talking about same sex marriage. Not a problem topic or view from my side…until he began to describe the ministry he is affiliated with for healing homosexuality (which in and of itself is also not problematic for me). He rattled off that first statistic from above, about lesbians. My wife’s knee connected solidly with my thigh, imploring me….”no, please not here, not now”. When he followed up with the charge that fathers were producing homosexuality in males my wife would have had to put her knee inside my mouth to quiet me.
“So”, I asked, “females are gay because of men, and males are gay because of men?” Mistaking it as a query he nodded and said yes. I told him, “You are wrong about all of that”. I have the ability to control my words and inflection, but trouble with my facial expression. So the reaction on the faces of the others at the table, coupled with a follow up knee from my wife, sent me to tuck back into my meal. And that was that, except a woman seated next to me, later, began to ask lots of questions. I made my case. My WHOLE case and gave her some blog addresses for further study. She was recently divorced.
To the wedding. The young preacher spoke to the couple and the crowd saying words we have heard before. But this was, I realized, the first wedding I’d attended since I threw out the rest of my blue pills.
He went through the feminized Genesis account where the man’s rib is neither from the head nor the feet, but from “under his arm to protect her, and closest to her heart where she can own his love” and be his equal. I note that the bride at once is equal, and needing protection. I’m a nit picker.
He then read Ephesians from The Message:
22 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. 23 The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing
Here we have the manifestation of paranoia seen in conventional wisdom. The divorced woman I had been seated beside at the rehearsal had stated something about this. The concern is that there is a swelling movement of teaching men, in traditional churches to be over-bearing and it leads to abuse. The other concern that follows is that the church is so tough on divorce that that women feel trapped in those abusive marriages. So, this version of the Bible, and this preacher’s use of it in this wedding is designed to correct that (purely fictitious) problem. If I asked the people, carefully, at that wedding how many times they have heard essentially the same stuff the preacher said, if they were honest they would say they hear it at every wedding and routinely at church. Yet they can, what?, take it on faith?, that the target for the message-the over bearing abusive male and the wife trapped in the marriage- is a real and present danger in most churches as a result of wrong teaching? How can they reconcile all that?
Beginning a marriage with admonition for the man and encouragement for the woman, starts the man on the path he is will likely walk with with his church. It also sets the dynamic of the marriage that will result in divorce, a traumatic re-ordering, or a man who is a happy supplicant. One of these ends begins that day. All this the day before Fathers Day. If they were in attendance somewhere the morning after the wedding they got reinforcement of the same message. Man, you got potential. Sweety, stick with it (until you can’t) because he CAN step up, with our help….with your help.
In addition to that huge accident we saw, later, I saw a lunatic who was pissed off about wedding reception parking along the road near his home. He nearly struck my car, other people’s cars, and finally my wife and daughter. So I responded by turning the other cheek. I stood in the roadway and forced him to stop. He rolled his truck right up to my chest. When I approached his window, the man driving cracked it a little and said “these damn cars better be moved from here”. Then he drove away. I got some adrenaline, some testosterone, and my wife was appalled….not really but she had to behave as if she was. Because, well, me being hard on the young man driving that truck may have sent him skidding off into homosexuality.
(No names or places have been changed because I didn’t use any)