Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why You Should Care About "Why Men Hate Going To Church"

David Murrow has written what PeaceBang thinks is a little jim-dandy of a book called Why Men Hate Going to Church.

Isn't that subtle?
There's a photo on the cover of a cute white man sacked out asleep in a pew with his mouth hanging open. PeaceBang absolutely laughed out loud when she saw it.

The jist of the thing, as you may have guessed from the title, is that Men Hate Going To Church because it's become a thoroughly feminized institution, totally lacking the muscular quality of our Jesus' earthly ministry, which involved manly things like lowering a paralytic down through the roof of a house to hear a sermon.

It occurs to PeaceBang that some of the guys in her own congregation -- and she has a lot of awesome manly men if she does say so herself, and dear God, they're sharp dressers too!!!-- would really enjoy the challenge of lowering someone through the roof of ourchurch. However, she feels that somehow that might be somewhat of a distraction on a Sunday morning. Maybe PeaceBang herself could be lowered through the roof of the church? On a crane or cherry picker?

ANYhoo, reading Mr. Murrow's book, PeaceBang thought to herself, "Not only does this have implications for the way I will plan my preaching schedule and programming for the year(s), it reaffirms for me that I am absolutely right in refusing to dress like some kind of cross between Endora from 'Bewitched' and Grizabella from a bus-and-truck company of 'Cats.'"

My point, sweet readers, is that when female pastors insist on donning the muu-muu's and other loose, shapeless garments, enormous pendants that look like a transponder to the Mother Ship, comfy, squishy shoes that put a man in mind of his grandmother in her waning years, and all in such colors as suggest a modern dance teacher rather than a professional, she communicates something to the men in the congregation. In my opinion, the message she subtly communicates goes something like this:

"I have just come from a Wombyn's Spirituality Retreat where I referred to God exclusively as Mother/Creator/Spinner/Weaver, where I led small-groups on How Patriarchy Has Ruined The World, and where I shared and cared with every woman there in a deep and intimate way that you could never understand or be part of. And, I talked specifically about YOU with your wife. We discussed how you never listen to her and how you perform in bed."

I am not trying to protect and coddle men who don't need my protection or my coddling. What I am saying is, if we dress like Stevie Nicks' much-less-glamorous sisters, we are unconsciously visually aligning ourselves with one kind of spirituality, and we have to take responsibility for that. PeaceBang believes we can be feminine, honor the feminine Divine, and still dress in such a way that expresses our solidarity with those whose work and persona quite explicitly requires them to button up.

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Blogger boyinthebands said...

Funny, I've had "Edge of Seventeen" running through my head all morning.

Woo, woo, woooo!

11:00 AM  
Blogger fausto said...

PeaceBang believes we can be feminine, honor the feminine Divine, and still dress in such a way that expresses our solidarity with those whose work and persona quite explicitly requires them to button up.

That's nice, as far as it goes, but it's not just about appearances. Only if the inhabitants of both pulpit and pew can affirm and honor the masculine Divine as comfortably and openly as the feminine Divine can church actually become a welcoming place for many of the men who hate giong church for the reasons you describe.

It's well past time for a certain type of religious liberal to recognize not only that "Beyond God the Father" can coexist with "God the Father", but that it must, if you want gender balance and/or gender equality in church.

11:59 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Fausto, I hear you baby, but we're all about the FASHION here.

"Ooh, baby ooooh" to you, Scott.Just like the white winged dove sings the song sounds like she's singin'!

1:36 PM  
Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

TallSkinnyKiwi recent post, Sometimes I Dress Like a Pagan is really good! He gives his personal emergent Christian view.

4:36 PM  

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