Tag Archives: Missionaries

Eat, Pray, Love author divorces man she married after leaving her first husband

Eat, Pray, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert and her Brazilian stud Felipe
Eat, Pray, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert and her Brazilian stud

Does abandoning your marriage in order to travel the world indicate that a woman has the character necessary for a life-long married love? Let’s look at a case in which a famous feminist abandoned her husband to travel to have adventures.

The New York Times writes:

Elizabeth Gilbert, whose best-selling 2006 memoir, “Eat Pray Love,” traced a journey of self-discovery around the world that continues to resonate with fans, announced a new chapter on Friday.

[…]Ms. Gilbert, speaking directly to her readers in a Facebook post, said that after 12 years she was separating from José Nunes, the Brazilian importer whom she met during her travels and later married, and who was a central character in the book.

“I am separating from the man whom many of you know as ‘Felipe,’ ” she wrote of her husband, referring to his pseudonym in the book. “Our split is very amicable. Our reasons are very personal.” She also asked for privacy, saying she would be “a bit absent from social media during this sensitive moment.”

“Eat Pray Love,” a sumptuous tale of escape, self-discovery and romance, quickly became a cultural phenomenon, though not one without criticism, with some noting that not every woman who wished to escape would have the privilege to live as sumptuously as Ms. Gilbert did on her sojourn through India, Italy and Bali.

The book, however, drew praise from Oprah Winfrey and was made into a 2010 film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. The tale also resonated with fans, mostly women, who either identified with being in an unhappy relationship or had managed to artfully escape one.

The phenomenon has endured over the past decade: The travelogue touched so many readers that it eventually spawned a book, “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It,” comprising 47 essays from inspired fans who had written their own tales of escape and discovery. That book was released in April.

[…]In April, Ms. Gilbert said that she missed travel: “I’ve never been to Japan, Iceland, South Africa and other places that it would be a pity to come to this earth and miss.”

Adventures, escape and discovery – that’s what young women want today. Not marriage, and not motherhood. They believe that they can find lasting happiness through travel and adventures. Even if they change their minds later, and want to marry, repeated acts of self-centered behavior do not prepare a woman for life-long self-sacrificial married love. Promiscuity and hedonism do not prepare a woman’s character to be content with the roles of wife and mother.

Here is Gilbert writing in the New York Times about her priorities:

It started with a boy I met at summer camp and ended with the man for whom I left my first husband. In between, I careened from one intimate entanglement to the next — dozens of them — without so much as a day off between romances. You might have called me a serial monogamist, except that I was never exactly monogamous. Relationships overlapped, and those overlaps were always marked by exhausting theatricality: sobbing arguments, shaming confrontations, broken hearts. Still, I kept doing it. I couldn’t not do it.

[…]If the man was already involved in a committed relationship, I knew that I didn’t need to be prettier or better than his existing girlfriend; I just needed to be different.

[…]Soon enough, and sure enough, I might begin to see that man’s gaze toward me change from indifference, to friendship, to open desire. That’s what I was after: the telekinesis-like sensation of steadily dragging somebody’s fullest attention toward me and only me. My guilt about the other woman was no match for the intoxicating knowledge that — somewhere on the other side of town — somebody couldn’t sleep that night because he was thinking about me. If he needed to sneak out of his house after midnight in order to call, better still. That was power, but it was also affirmation. I was someone’s irresistible treasure. I loved that sensation, and I needed it, not sometimes, not even often, but always.

[…]In my mid-20s, I married, but not even matrimony slowed me down. Predictably, I grew restless and lonely. Soon enough I seduced someone new; the marriage collapsed. But it was worse than just that. Before my divorce agreement was even signed, I was already breaking up with the guy I had broken up my marriage for.

[…][I]f you asked me what I was up to, I might have claimed that I was a helpless romantic — and how can you judge that? If really cornered, I might have argued that I was a revolutionary feminist, taking brazen agency over my own sexuality…

She didn’t want to commit and love others self-sacrificially. That’s boring! She wanted to get attention and drama. Men liked her because she was easy to use and easy to throw away. She wasn’t anyone’s “irresistible treasure”, because she didn’t have enough value for any of these men to commit to her for life and take care of her as she aged. The men she chose wanted sex, but they were not going to actually provide for her or protect her when she reached her 70s, 80s and 90s.  The question that we need to ask is whether a woman like this can stay married. Is she capable of doing the work that ordinary wives and mothers do in a married home – the work that wins a man’s loyalty for life? Is she capable of behaving in a way that leads a man to commit to caring for her when she is no longer young and pretty?

Let’s review what happened after Elizabeth Gilbert divorced her first husband for travel and adventures.

Christian men’s rights blogger Dalrock explains:

Having written a book on divorce, Elizabeth decided to write a book on marriage titled Committed.

From the Publishers Weekly review on Amazon:

How did a woman who didn’t want children land the only Latino hottie with a vasectomy in all of Indonesia?

[…][I]t turns out he needed a visa to get into the US, so he asked Elizabeth to marry him.  After a year of bickering and unhappiness together, she finally said yes after he explained it to her.

From the Publishers Weekly book review on Amazon.com:

When are you going to understand? As soon as we secure this bloody visa and get ourselves safely married back in America, we can do whatever the hell we want.

You couldn’t make stuff this romantic up!

That was 6 years ago, Elizabeth is about 47 now and divorced again. I wonder how well her plan of “seducing” men and getting no commitment in return will work over the next 40 years? Tramp stamps and belly-button rings seem fun when you are 17, but are not so fun when you are 71. Hooking up, cohabitating, traveling and having adventures seems to make sense when you are 17, but they don’t result in a man standing by you when you are 71. A woman needs to invest in a marriage-minded man early, and sustain this investment if she expects him to stick around when she loses her youth and beauty. Not every man will respond to this investment, but it is her job to choose one who will – with the help of wise advisers.

UPDATE:

In early September 2016, it emerged that she is now in a relationship with her best female friend.

MUST-READ: How the media’s secular bias affects their news coverage

Here is a magnificent post up at Big Journalism, Andrew Breitbart’s new web site. (H/T ECM)

First, he talks about different journalists are from the rest of America:

The modern secular newsroom lacks the ideological know-how to truly understand religion.  Perhaps Terry Mattingly best exlplained the media’s “diversity problem”. According to Mattingly, “While there’s been heavy gender and racial diversity … there’s a lack of cultural diversity in journalism…”  It is this lack of diversity that leads to major misconceptions and the media’s inability to adequately tell stories that are rooted, themselves, in religious themes.

The lack of diversity may lie in the journalists themselves, as personal faith plays a role in the ability to understand and thus illustrate religious themes.  Just how religious are journalists?  According to USA Today, “the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported in 2007 that 8% of journalists surveyed at national media outlets said they attended church or synagogue weekly.”  Additionally, 29% reported never attending church services, with an additional 39% stating that they go a few times each year.  In sum: Not very religious – especially when compared to America as a whole.

Later on, he talks about how rigid conformity to secular presuppositions creates bias:

In covering the American Religious Identification Survey that was conducted in March 2009, the Pew Research Center wrote,

“A comment on the blog Matters of Faith declared, “The media’s tendency to give inordinate attention to religious dimwits and crackpots has seriously damaged the credibility of religious leaders. You rarely read or hear of the miraculously generous work of faith communities in caring for the poor and infirm around the globe. But let someone suggest that the Virgin Mary has appeared in a plate of refried beans and the bulletins circle the globe in minutes.”

This commentary targets one of the media’s main malfunctions when it comes to covering religion in general and Christianity in particular.  As is the case with most stories covered by the mainstream media, the more outlandish, the more the story is pursued.  In practice, this creates a climate of coverage strewn with the “dimwits and crackpots” mentioned above, as journalists lack the understanding or desire to seek a wide array of theological viewpoints.  Meanwhile, thousands of Christian missionaries risk their lives both domestically and internationally to make lasting spiritual and physical change in the lives of those in need.  Yet their stories go widely unnoticed.

Here is an example of news coverage that you will never see in the mainstream news.

The secular leftist media will run stories about Sarah Palin’s children, and the Duke Lacrosse non-rape, because even though the stories later turn out to be fraudulent, they want to send the right message. They view their work as propaganda designed to effect political change. And I think it is sometimes useful to reflect on the story in the video above and ask why such stories are not covered. And the answer is because the media doesn’t tell people about news that doesn’t fit their rigid ideological stereotypes.

I was chatting with ECM about this post, and he informed me about The New Yorker’s movie critic Pauline Kael, who was surprised by Republicans’ 49-state landslide victory in the 1972 federal election.

She said:

“How could that be? I don’t know a single person who voted for Nixon.”

And that’s the news media today. They are not informed about views different from their own. They do not question their own fundamentalist assumptions by seeking out debates. Everything they need to know about religious people they learned from watching “Inherit the Wind” and “Jesus Camp” and such propaganda that allows them to demonize anyone who disagrees with their worldview. You would think that their ignorance of the best arguments on the other side would make them cautious, but it doesn’t.

Indian Christians cheer election results

In September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported on anti-Christian violence in India:

In the past week in Karnataka, the southern Indian state that is home to India’s high-technology capital of Bangalore, at least 17 attacks have been reported on churches and prayer halls, according to local Christian groups, independent monitors and police….Christians, who make up roughly 2% of India’s 1.1 billion population, have periodically been the targets of violence by Hindu-extremist groups who oppose Christian missionaries and the conversion of Hindus. Christianity has proven popular among those on the lowest rungs of Hinduism’s caste hierarchy, in part because Christian groups often offer education and health care.

Christians and churches also have been targeted in Kerala in southern India, Madhya Pradesh in central India and Uttar Pradesh in the north.

The incidents follow attacks on Christians in the eastern state of Orissa starting last month that have left about 25 dead. The Orissa attacks were sparked after a Hindu-fundamentalist leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, was found dead in a temple. Orissa police have said they suspect Maoist rebels for the deaths, but Hindu-extremist groups blame Christian missionaries.

The violence has taken on a political tinge as India prepares for national elections that must be held before May.

The article talks about the two main parties in the May elections:

The opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is viewed as ideologically aligned with the extremist Hindu groups, such as the Bajrang Dal, that minority groups and some other parties blame for stoking the violence.

The BJP and the Congress Party are India’s two main national parties. The current government is a Congress-led coalition.

…”The BJP has always fallen back on a strategy that polarizes people on communal lines to get what they imagine will be electoral gains,” said Jayanti Natarajan, a Congress spokeswoman.

Check out these comments by the BJP, it’s scary:

Kalyan Singh, BJP national vice president, said the party doesn’t believe in sectarian agitation. “We condemn the violence in Orissa, but the main and deep root is the mass conversions by the Christian missionaries,” which the BJP opposes, he said.

Bajrang Dal is a militant youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a Hindu-nationalist organization. Prakash Sharma, Bajrang Dal’s national head, said in an interview that the death of Mr. Saraswati in Orissa was “under the inspiration of the Christian missionaries and converts.” He said that as a result, “people all over India are responding spontaneously against them.” Asked if he could cite evidence of Christian culpability for the death, he failed to do so.

He denied any involvement of Bajrang Dal in the riots against Christians in Orissa and Karnataka.

CNS reported on the anti-Christian campaign waged by the BJP:

Orissa is one of five Indian states where BJP authorities have passed anti-conversion laws which the U.S. State Department says infringe upon an individual’s right to change religion.

…Christians say those who have become believers do so willingly, and in the process escape the discriminatory caste system.

The Christian ministry Open Doors, which maintains a watchlist of countries where Christians face the worst persecution, this year moved India to 22nd place, up from 30th last year.

The May elections are now completed! And here are the election results so far, from the BBC: (H/T Dr. Roy)

State television says Congress’s alliance has won or is ahead in 263 seats, compared with the BJP’s (154), the Third Front (60) and others (66).

…Prakash Karat, the leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the key mover in the Third Front, accepted Congress had won.

“The CPM and the Left parties have suffered a major setback,” he said.

It’s a Parliamentary system with 543 seats, you need a governing coalition with the majority of seats to govern.

Dr. Roy says:

…There will no need for commies to be part of the governing coalition. There was 60% turnout. Unfortunately 60 people died in attacks by maoist terorrists. Congress and its allies have won in Tamil Nadu. Probably not very good news for the ltte. The Prime minister will be ManMohan Singh for now, but it is likely a Gandhi will be PM in the not too distant future.

Great news for Christians in India!

UPDATE: The Competitive Enterprise Institute says that it’s a victory for free market capitalism, as well! Bonus!