Saturday 29 August 2015

Putting Christianity Second: What is wrong with the Manosphere, Religious Reaction etc?

The Christian Manosphere is primarily about 'men' and only secondarily about Christianity - my impression is that their analysis would be that the problems of men need to be sorted-out before Christianity can be sorted-out: that the problems of sexual relationships are primary are most-urgent, and these problems are blocking any realistic possibility of Christian revival. the conclusion is that society must sort out sex first.

This is analogous to those Religious Reactionaries (primarily political, secondarily Christian) who regard sorting-out the problem of mass immigration as the primary priority, which needs the most urgent solution - and that only after that has been done, and borders are secure, can Christianity be sorted-out.

There are several other flavours of Christianized socio-political grouping - for all of whom the priority is secular.

My own view goes in the opposite direction - I believe that it is lack of Christianity which is preventing us from 'solving' what are in fact trivial-non-problems.

Our anti-Christian, secular, hedonistic society is so profoundly disorientated and demotivated that it has become incapable of basic common sense.

Therefore, whatever the major socio-political problem, the answer is Christianity; and Christianity must come first.

The fact, and I think it is a fact, that Christian revival of any flavour seems extremely improbable in The West does not alter its being a fact.

Since it is the weakness of Christianity that is the underlying problem; giving priority to any secular problem leads to more secularism, and worse problems.


Thordaddy said...

Dr. Charlton...

It's funny because before Kristor made mention of the "Christian" manosphere, I hadn't even conceived such a thing. The original manosphere is an outgrowth of the MRM (men's rights movement) and the MRA (men's rights activists) that gave it "life." The core idea behind the MRM was anti-marriage 1.0. The mass deception was in not making any distinction between state contracted "marriage" and Biblical marriage. This was not an oversight. It was a deliberate act of NONDISCRIMINATION ultimately tied to the idea of ridding white males of the pressure to Biblical marriage. It's why I'm aghast at the idea of a "Christian" manosphere... The "man"-o-sphere is a "white" male liberationist movement (de facto homo) through and through.

David stanley said...

I wonder how much of your support for Mormonism is because they focus on building a society rather than engaging in endless arguments about what Christians should do in the world? As a wishy washy christian myself I admire the actions of those who build for the future rather than talk about it. Sometimes Anglicanism seems like a big sack of procrastinating,cowardly janitors failing to maintain a crumbling museum of a faith.

The Social Pathologist said...

I think your diagnosis is only partially correct. Yes, the Christian manosphere does focus on things like politics and sex but a deeper analysis of the problem leads to the conclusion that there seems to be something wrong with contemporary Christianity. It is always assumed that Christianity (as it is currently understood by believers) is incapable of any further perfection and thus is without error.

My own view of the matter is that many of the contemporary ills of society are misjudged reactions to real problems with the applications of Christianity in contemporary society.

I know it's hard to fathom, but perhaps there are real problems within the Church.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SP - "I know it's hard to fathom, but perhaps there are real problems within the Church."

I assume this comment is meant a tad sarcastically? If so, it is misplaced since I am an unaffiliated (non-church-going) Christian - although I am a believer in the CJCLDS.

The severe corruption of the mainstream Christian churches (especially the Anglican denomination) has being discussed on this blog ad nauseam - that is not in question.

But the key distinction is between those who believe that Christianity was the original and primary cause of the corruption that is modern Western Leftism; and those (like me) who believe that Western Leftism was the cause of the corruption of modern Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Christianity gives you first principles, but practical solutions to pressing problems you have to come up with yourself. Progressive Christians have no problem presenting bad, wrong, and highly destructive solutions to almost any problem you can think of.

When you have a problem sometimes you need to get a solution implemented before you explain the deep truth and first principles behind it.

I guess ideally people would accept the truth of Christianity, and then adopt functional behaviors based on it. I think its original appeal to the typical member of Roman society was that it provided good results. Being a Christian made one better off than being a pagan, especially if you were poor. In the same way people don't become Mormons because they have studied the revelations of Joseph Smith and find them compelling, they become Mormons because they see Mormons are functional and have good well-being.

William Zeitler said...

I've been somewhat involved with the "Christian Men's Movement" leading men's groups about that, working through Rohr's _Adam's Return_, ferinstance. In that book Rohr talks about four archetypal masculine roles/qualities (note: I did not say 'male', and I think his list is just a bare beginning): Warrior, Wise Man, the Lover (namely passion: for an art, for a science, for Justice, etc.) and the King. When we started with 'warrior', the whole group drew a blank as to what it means for a man (not just a Christian man) to be a warrior in a righteous sense of that word. They completely drew blanks. You've got to be kidding me! A warrior is about (in part) being willing to risk and give all for a cause or purpose greater than yourself. In that sense Jesus was absolutely a warrior, as were the Hebrew Prophets, and the Apostles, and all the martyrs, up through modern examples like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

I realized that one of the major problems of the modern church is that the Masculine has been castrated right out of it. All that huey about the 'manosphere' and 'sex & politics' is missing the real underlying problem: that we need men (and women) warriors, who are wise and passionate, etc. (That would just be a start. There remain one or two other problems... he he!)

Bruce Charlton said...

@dl - I think you misunderstand my point. (If you want the full version you could look at my mini-book Thought Prison - )

My point is that modern people suffer a kind of mass insanity from their attempt to live without religion - this is what creates such pseudo-problems or non-problems as mass immigration and feminism, bureaucracy and socialist economics. These, like most other problems which dominate modernity, are trivially easy to solve in the sense that it is easy to know what to do, and do it.

However, this will *not* happen because there is no motivation. The fact that these problems exist, and keep getting worse, shows that there is no motivation to solve them - indeed the motivation (the revealed motivation) it to make these problems permanent and make them worse.

(If we managed to manufacture motivation to solve any one particular problem of secularism, you can see how this would inevitably further erode motivation, and worsen all the other problems of secularism.)

To get motivation requires that the population get religion - this religion would not have to be Christianity, but it would have to be some kind of real, traditional and patriarchal religion (so far as we know, all viable religions are patriarchal).

Realistically there are only two choices of religion - clearly I would choose Christianity - therefore (in shorthand) I say that, from here, Christianity is an absolutely indispensable pre-requisite for secular problem solving.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WZ "the real underlying problem: that we need men (and women) warriors, who are wise and passionate, etc" - Yes, but that cannot be the priority, because otherwise the current situation would not have happened in the first place, or would not have been sustained. Real men and women (as it were) could only emerge after the restoration of religion.

Anonymous said...

There is a ship, sailing to port through stormy seas. There are people swimming around in the sea, trying to build a city out of seaweed. A few of them are trying to build a ship out of seaweed, but most are trying to build a city. Some even jump off the ship in order to help them. Sometimes they are able to cooperate well enough to pile some seaweed together for a little while, until it comes apart again. Everyone who persists in this folly drowns. They all think they will succeed, but they don't know that they need land, and proper building materials, in order to build anything that is any good or that will last. They don't know what these things are, because they have never seen them. And when the captain of the ship tells them, they don't believe it and refuse to come aboard. They don't see that the ship is made out of wood and ropes. All they see is the seaweed that covers the lower parts of the outside, and they think they can duplicate the whole ship for themselves with the seaweed that they have, or, better yet, build a whole city out of it right in the middle of the ocean, because some people once piled a pretty lot of seaweed together...

JP said...

Mass immigration is not a pseudo-problem or trivial problem or non-problem. It is a massive problem, not least because many of the immigrants (especially in Europe) are primitive, culturally alien, and aggressively anti-Christian.

I don't see why we have to "do nothing" about mass immigration (or feminism, etc.) until Christianity is "sorted out". We are being attacked on all fronts. Some sort of defense is needed on all fronts. If Christians ignore politics and focus on spirituality then by definition they are conceding everything else to the Left. This is what Christians have done for decades and the result has been disastrous.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JP - I am not saying that we *have to* do nothing about mass immigration, I am saying that we *will* do nothing about it - because we have grossly insufficient motivation, because we don't believe in anything but short term distraction, comfort and feeling good about ourselves; which are destructive of motivation.

Until or unless the motivation-deficit is sorted out nothing will be done about anything.

Nathaniel said...

Christianity is a description of reality, and so all all secular right politics - though often close to reality, fall short. They continually misdiagnose the issue and offer incorrect treatment. To love God is the first and highest commandment and all else follows.

Even at its highest ideal, secular right offers little more than practical and real comfort, material success, etc. - yet, aside from the left trying to continually undermine it, we've basically had that for a long time. It provides no motivation for long-term, eternal, post-mortal struggles.

Christ said it clearly: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Do you think any of these secular movements could at least lay the foundation for a Christian revival, making it easier to convert, just as you say a foundation of paganism makes it easier to convert?

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - Yes they *could* - but that is a rather non-specific requirement. These movements don't provide what I would regard as the most needful aspects towards religious revival - such as imagination and animistic thinking. Some of the on-line people who have become self-identified Christians via the secular Right have apparently become legalistic, harsh types of 'Christian' - as if their Christianity was an extension of fascism: fascism plus divine back-up.