This article appeared in the far left UK Telegraph. (H/T Dina)
New banning orders intended to clamp down on hate preachers and terrorist propagandists should be used against Christian teachers who teach children that gay marriage is “wrong”, a Tory MP has argued.
Mark Spencer called for those who use their position in the classroom to teach traditionalist views on marriage to be subject to “Extremism Disruption Orders” (EDOs), tough new restrictions planned by David Cameron and Theresa May to curb radicalisation by jihadists.
In a letter to a constituent, Mr Spencer, the MP for Sherwood in Nottinghamshire, insisted that Christian teachers were still “perfectly entitled” to express their views on same-sex marriage – but only “in some situations”.
Christian campaigners said Mr Spencer’s remarks confirmed what they had previously warned: that those who believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman would now be “branded extremists”.
[…]Ministers have signalled that the orders, expected to be a key plank of the Government planned new Counter-Extremism Bill, would be used not only curb the activities of radical Islamist clerics but those who promote other views deemed to go against “British values”.
According to the MP’s letter, the anti-terrorism laws would be used whenever teachers taught children that redefining marriage was wrong. This is the view of every Bible-believing Christian, by the way. Defending the standard definition of marriage is now the equivalent of advocating for Jihad, in British schools.
I did a quick search to see what really is going on in the UK with freedom of conscience, free speech, and so on, and I found this story:
A Christian registrar who claimed religious discrimination has today been denied an appeal by the European Court of Human Rights, in a move described as a “sad day for liberty of conscience”.
Lillian Ladele was claiming religious discrimination after being forced out of her Islington Council job over her conscientious objection to same-sex civil partnerships.
She was seeking to appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights after losing a 5-2 majority decision in January.
Two other Christians, Shirley Chaplin and Gary McFarlane, also had their applications for appeal turned down.
It’s a good idea, when deciding who to vote for, to look at other countries to see where the policies being put forward today have led. One policy that led to a terrible place, especially for men and children, was no-fault divorce. Today, we have same-sex marriage, which denies children access to their biological mother or father, or both, and makes relationships about the needs of selfish adults, instead about the needs of children. And in the UK, speaking against this second redefinition of marriage is now a crime.
Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail, and I want to comment on it.
The number of stay-at-home mothers has hit a record low as more women choose to get a job, new figures reveal.
In the last two decades, the number of women who do not work to look after their home and raise their family has dropped by a third to just over 2million.
[…]The number of stay at home mothers and grandmothers has fallen steadily since records began in 1993.
New official figures show that there are only 2.024 million women out of work to look after a home or family, a 31 per cent fall on 2.913 million in spring 1993.
[…]The sharp turnaround comes after 20 years of social and economic change, with parents increasingly sharing the burden of raising a family and many women reluctant to give up their career once they have children.
In socialist countries like the UK, the majority of the people are so accustomed to big government and dependency that they cannot conceive of shrinking government and letting the private sector and families and churches solve any problem. Right now, the current problem is that they are spending too much on huge numbers of social welfare programs that reward selfish, destructive behavior like men not working, single motherhood by choice, unskilled immigration, welfare that is not means-tested, welfare that is not time-limited, and so on. It is a nanny state, and during election times, all the candidates do is talk about how they want to spend the people’s money to be “nice”. So, you can get breast enlargements, sex-changes and in vitro fertilization (IVF) as part of the country’s bloated “health care” system. So the question is: how will they pay for all this “generosity”? Well, all the political parties agree on the answer: it’s to put in places taxes and policies that make it impossible for women to stay home with their kids instead of working.
David Cameron has promised to double free childcare for three and four-year-olds from 15 hours per week during term time to 30 hours.
The Tories argue the measure will ‘help parents who want to work’.
But critics warn it is discriminating against people who do not want to go back to work.
Claire Paye, spokesman for Mothers At Home Matter, said: ‘The government has set arbitrary targets to get mothers into work and to make sure that they are using government funds to pay to look after those children instead of mothers doing it for free.
‘There is a real concern that the drop in stay at home others is because mothers are being priced out of the home.
‘The government’s only focus is to get mothers into work and they will not support any other family model than two parents working.
‘We are concerned that these figures represent families who are no longer able to choose to look after their own children even if they want to.’
In a House of Lords debate this week, the Bishop of Durham said stay at home parents were made to feel that they are ‘somehow not doing the best for the nation or the child’.
Rt Rev Paul Butler warned of the ‘implicit and not so implicit message that it is better to put your child in childcare and go out to work than stay at home and look after your own children’.
So, we have a couple of points in there. Stay-at-home mothers are shamed for “wasting” their education on raising children. Daycare, which is proven to affect children negatively, especially in the first two years, is set forward as praiseworthy. Tax increases force women out of the home to work, in order to maintain the same-standard of living they had before the higher taxes and big government. And those big social programs almost never go to help married couples – they are primarily there to enable a permanent lifestyle of disfunction.
I thought of a couple more problems. Easily obtainable divorce and sole custody for the mother is a major deterrent to men marrying in the UK. So, of course the marriage rate is in a free fall as men stop trying to get married and settle for stress-free jobs that allow them to scrape by as singles. Why work hard just to support a wife when the whole culture is telling her to divorce you and get alimony and child support for life? And you’ll never see your kids again, either. Easy divorce and easy premarital sex sounded like such a good idea to feminist ears, but they never thought about how men would respond to it. Most men just take the free sex that the feminist Sexual Revolution provides, and decline the responsibility of marriage and fatherhood.
Another problem is that Christian parents these days have a different view of the Christian life than I have. If you look at the shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it’s very clear that parents have a responsibility to teach their kids about God. And that requires a plan to marry well so that the parents have time to teach their kids about God themselves (homeschooling), and put them into schools that will not push secularism on them.
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
As a man, I would of course be delegating a lot of this responsibility to my trusted chief of staff (i.e. – future wife), whose skill in parenting, especially apologetics, would be phenomenal. I would certainly not trust strangers to implement the specification in these Bible verses. If we had to bring in expert Christians – either through Sunday school, lectures, debates and conferences, or through books, DVDs, etc. then we would. But parenting the kids is our responsibility. Secular daycare and secular public schools will not be the main influence on my kids. And I oppose all policies and laws that make the state more influential than us in raising our kids.
Parents have a responsibility to make sure their kids will be Christians into adulthood, and will make a difference for Christ and his Kingdom. But what has happened is that Christianity has become all about me and my feelings. Parents themselves that they don’t have to know whether it’s true, in order to teach it to the children as truth. We think that it just has to make us feel comfortable and peaceful. But that is not the way to raise kids who will make a difference, much less remain Christian in a world like this.
Trina sent me this astonishing post about a woman whose boyfriend literally gouged her eyes out. The article is written by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Theodore Dalrymple. It appears in City Journal, the famous journal of the centrist Manhattan Institute.
There are no graphic images in the article, but there is very vulgar and violent language in some parts. The author of the article is sympathetic with her suffering, but we can learn a lot from her story about how to choose a good man.
First, we learn that Ms. Nash grew up fatherless and the bills were paid by the state – she had no idea that women should prefer men who work hard, self-sacrificially, to be able to provide for a family:
Nash was born in Cornwall, one of six children to a mother whose relationships with men were tumultuous. “I’d seen my mum go through hundreds of break-ups and be badly treated by men,” she tells us. The mother’s complex love life left little time for her children, for, as Nash observes, “I was much closer to [my grandmother] than my mum, who never seemed to have time for us.” How many of the six children shared the same father we never learn, and indeed Nash makes no mention of a father of any of them, including her own. It appears that she came into a radically fatherless world, and though she does not say so, it is likely that at least some of her brothers and sisters were half-siblings; and again, though she does not say so, it is likely that the principal economic support of the family was the state, whose paid-out benefits meant that it was, in effect, father to the children. Nash grew up in public housing and seems to have lived in such subsidized housing all her life.
Not seeing her father providing for the family and loving her mother left her with no way to tell good men apart from bad men:
She tells us early in the book that she is a single mother of two children. Speaking of her first child, she says, “I may have had [him] when I was very young but my kids mean the world to me and not for one moment did I regret becoming a mum at sixteen.”
[…]The next sentence reads: “My choice in men, however, left a lot to be desired.” And when she reaches the beginning of the narrative of her blinding, she writes, “I had [moved back to my town of birth] with two sons by different dads and a series of dead-end relationships.” It is obvious that the suitability of men to be fathers to her children arose for her neither before nor after their births, because she deemed fathers inessential or even useless, as economically they obviously were, given her likely financial support from the state. That is why her choice in men “left a lot to be desired”: nothing of long-term significance for her hung on it, or seemed to hang on it, so that the only criterion of choice was immediate attraction—commonly known as lust.
This is the problem with feminism that I am always warning you all about. If women are taught that there are no specific behaviors that men are responsible for, (because that’s sexist), then they will prefer men solely on surface criteria like appearance, feelings and peer-approval. They will not choose men who can actually do the jobs that men do: protect, provide, lead on moral and spiritual issues.
Drinking too much contributed to her poor choices with men:
We arrive now at her choice of Jenkin as consort. As it happened, Nash had met him at a party some years previously, just following his release from prison after serving four and a half years “for stomping on a guy’s head and giving him brain damage,” as her best friend put it—adding that “he’s a bloody psycho.” And Nash’s first experience of him was not altogether favorable: after they spent hours talking about music and “our mutual love of rapper 2pac,” he tried to force himself sexually upon her. It was not love at first sight, therefore: it was love at second sight.
That second sight came when “I’d had a few glasses of wine” at a restaurant and a “few shots of tequila” at a nightclub, where she ran into him again, so that she “could barely hear in my head those words of warning [about Jenkin by her best friend years earlier] for all the alcohol I had knocked back.”
[…]When he asked for her telephone number, “I didn’t hesitate for a second. I felt I could trust him.”
She felt (feelings) that she could trust him. But there was no evidence that he could be a good father and husband.
So, why did she feel she could trust him?
What was so attractive about Jenkin? It was his size and muscles. He was six feet, four inches tall, and “his chest was so big his T-shirt clung to him like cellophane, highlighting his pectoral muscles. His blue jeans molded to his thighs, showing off his pert bum.” Nash’s subsequent rationalizations for staying with him were but a smokescreen for the rawness of her desire.
[…]But Jenkin struck Nash as a “great big teddy bear” with “puppy-dog eyes.” On waking up after her first night of sex with him, however, she noticed the tattoos on his chest and arms: “Down his right arm was an image of a hooded executioner raising his sword like he was about to slaughter someone. . . . On his left chest was a tattoo of a tiger ripping someone’s head off. Down his left arm was OUTLAW in big bold black letters.” Still, though she knew he had served a long prison sentence for seriously injuring someone, she “chuckled at the thought that Shane fancied himself as a bit of an outlaw.” His night of love with her resulted in him failing to get up in the morning, whereupon he lost his job as a painter and decorator, and he never found, or sought, another.
No woman who believed in traditional gender roles could ever think that this man would make a good husband. He is unemployed, unchaste, a convicted violent criminal, a drunkard and a brute.
The article then talks for a while about the drinking, partying and domestic violence between Nash and Jenkin. He accuses her of cheating, spits in her face repeatedly, throws a brick through her car window.
There were plenty of signs:
Jenkin exhibits almost every conceivable warning sign of vicious future violence. He takes anabolic steroids. He arrives one day with a crossbow—a formidable weapon—claiming that some Lithuanians with whom he has had a dispute want to kill him. He spends his days playing violent video games and his nights watching horror films of terrible sadism, including some that graphically depict people having their eyes gouged out with bare hands—scenes that obviously excite him and that he demands Nash watch with him. Nash learns that Jenkin had stabbed his own dog to death—a Rottweiler, needless to say—when he grew tired of it.
Jenkin actually attacked her before the eyes were gouged out. And she lied in court saying he was innocent and that she fallen down the stairs. And she took him back after he was acquitted of the first attack. The second time he attacked, it cost her her eyes. And all was done in front of her children.
The article ends with this:
In her book, Tina Nash describes how she tried bravely to get on with life after being blinded. After she finished the book, she found a new boyfriend. He has just been sent to prison for assaulting her.
The point of me posting this is as a warning to those who believe that there are no differences between men and women – no specific things that men are supposed to do for a woman that she should choose him for. A man has to be able to work in order to provide. He should be protective and gentle with women, children and animals. He should be loving and caring. He should know God and be prepared to defend God. He should have strong convictions about theology and the moral law.
A woman learns about the qualities of good men by reading stories about good men, e.g. – Austen, Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, etc., and also from watching her father be a protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader in the home. It is very important that her father perform the standard male roles for her mother in front of her. That’s how daughters learn what it means to be a good man, and how men are supposed to love women well. It doesn’t mean letting a woman be spoiled and selfish all the time. But she should always feel safe and loved, no matter what she does.
By the way, you can read Dalrymple’s first book for free online. All the chapters are linked in this post.
Reformed Baptist theologian Wayne Grudem speaks on the Bible and the right of self-defense.
About Wayne Grudem:
Grudem holds a BA from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, Grudem became Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary. Prior to that, he had taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he was chairman of the department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.
Grudem served on the committee overseeing the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and in 1999 he was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is a co-founder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of, among other books, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the body-soul dichotomy in the nature of man, and the complementarian (rather than egalitarian) view of gender equality.
Re-posting this old post because Dina and I spent Friday night playing games again! And this is one of my favorite posts. Last night was Portal 2 and Orcs Must Die! 2.
Last night, I played through the Pegasus Bridge scenario from the Memoir ’44 wargame with Dina a few times. We actually played the online version of the game, using Steam. She was very gracious to play a wargame with me, which I don’t think is necessarily the first thing on most women’s lists of things to do on a Thursday night! I appreciated her agreeing to learn how to play and then playing with me several times. I think that Christians need to plan and execute more “together” activities like that – activities that involve interaction, co-operation, communication and engagement. We try to avoid doing things where we are both spectators. Playing wargames is not the only thing we do – we also do Bible study and cooking lessons (for me), for example.
Anyway, the point of this post is to express the deeper meaning behind playing wargames. I think that it is important to recognize and celebrate those who have demonstrated good character, whether it be now, or in the past. I think that it is important for us to search out the best role models ourselves, so that they will influence the way we act in our own lives. The second world war was a clear example of good versus evil. Anyone on the Allied side who demonstrated bravery and courage should be celebrated for safeguarding the security, liberty and prosperity that we enjoy today. In the case of Pegasus bridge, the hero is Major John Howard of the British paratroops.
Here is a quick re-cap of his exploits that day from the New York Times:
Maj. John Howard, the commander of glider-borne British infantrymen who seized the strategically vital Pegasus Bridge in the first battle of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, died Wednesday in a hospital in Surrey, England. He was 86 and had lived in Burford, near Oxford.
Under cover of night on June 6, 1944, six gliders carrying 181 officers and men of the Second Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry landed on the eastern flank of a 60-mile invasion front on the northern coast of France. The regiment had a heritage going back to the battles of Bunker Hill and New Orleans, to Waterloo and to World War I. Now its soldiers were in the vanguard of the invasion of Hitler’s Europe.
Major Howard’s D Company was ordered to seize two bridges, one over the Caen Canal and the other spanning the parallel Orne River. If the Germans held on to those bridges, panzer units could move across them in a counterattack isolating 10,000 British paratroopers jumping behind the British invasion beach known as Sword, where infantry forces would arrive at daybreak. And Major Howard’s men sought to strike swiftly to prevent the Germans from blowing up the bridges if they were overwhelmed; the British needed those bridges to resupply their airborne units.
British Halifax bombers towed the gliders over the English Channel, then cut them loose.
Major Howard’s lead glider landed at 12:16 A.M., only 50 yards from the Caen Canal bridge, but the glider’s nose collapsed on impact, knocking everybody aboard unconscious for a few seconds. The soldiers quickly emerged, and over the next five minutes the men directly under Major Howard killed the surprised German defenders.
The nearby Orne River bridge was captured by other troops in Major Howard’s unit, and soon the words ”Ham and Jam,” signifying mission accomplished, were radioed to the airborne.
Two British soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in the operation.
Over the next 12 hours, British paratroopers and commandos reinforced Major Howard’s men, and British forces were able to move toward the city of Caen, their flank having been protected by the capture of the bridges.
On July 16, Major Howard received the Distinguished Service Order, Britain’s second-highest award for valor. On the 10th anniversary of D-Day, he received the Croix de Guerre Avec Palme from the French Government, which had renamed the Caen Canal span Pegasus Bridge, for the flying horse symbolizing the British airborne. The road crossing the bridge was later renamed Esplanade Major John Howard.
Why is this important? Well, it’s important to think on the things that are excellent. There are so many things in the culture that are not excellent that we are confronted with every day. We have to make it our business to do things together where goodness is celebrated. Especially when manly virtues like courage are celebrated. We don’t do that much anymore. And I think there’s a connection between wargames and Christian apologetics that we need to deliberately encourage.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. (4.3.43)
This is from the famous speech in which King Henry charges his men to fight well before the famous Battle of Agincourt.
You can read more about the history of the British Airborne division and Pegasus bridge. The famous historian of the second world war Stephen E. Ambrose also wrote a history of the Pegasus bridge battle, called “Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944“. You won’t find many military historians better than Stephen E. Ambrose!
You might be surprised how many men are interested in military history and wargames, precisely because men instinctively look up to men like John Howard who embody qualities like bravery and courage. We have a dearth of moral character in this society. And we don’t do much to teach young men about manly virtues, even in the church. I think that it is important for us to think of creative ways for us to present good character to our young men. Young women should also learn about good character, because they must separate out the good men from the bad when they are courting.