No Holds Barred: Would Jesus oppose gays and be silent on porn?

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June 1, 2009 20:41

The foremost danger to marriage in our time is the wholesale degradation of women in the popular culture.

4 minute read.



No Holds Barred: Would Jesus oppose gays and be silent on porn?

anti-gay marriage protest 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

Here's a glimpse of religion in America. All gays all the time. It seems that nothing else can capture the spiritual imagination of this nation. Jesus came to the world to stop the damned gays. He had precious little else to say. Forget the fact that we Americans desperately need to be liberated from our materialism and narcissism. Or that our youth are clamoring for anything other than American Idol to inspire them. America's clerics will get around to it just as soon as we stop them gays. The latest installment in the American obsession with gay marriage comes from Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who said in the Miss Universe competition that she opposes gay marriage and was immediately championed as a Christian heroine throughout America. But it seems that her Christianity could not prevent her from posing topless for men or from having the Miss Universe pageant pay for her breast implants. Now I ask you, what is a bigger threat to heterosexual marriage today? Gay marriage or porn? When a wife waits alone in bed for her husband who is downloading pictures of naked women on his laptop, do you really believe she consoles herself by thinking, "Well at least those gays can't marry"? For all my Christian brothers and sisters who scapegoat gays for undermining the institution of marriage, I would remind them that we straight people have done a mighty fine job of destroying it ourselves. The gay population in the US is estimated at somewhere around 5 percent, while the heterosexual divorce rate is more than 50% and was so well before gay rights ever became a national issue. THE FOREMOST DANGER to marriage in our time is the wholesale degradation of women in the popular culture. In magazines, on TV and especially on Internet porn, women are portrayed as the libidinous man's plaything, not an equal to be respected but a subordinate to be used. On college campuses male womanizing is an expected rite of passage. Women like Miss California who participate in porn become complicit in their own degradation and further the male view that a woman's principle purpose is to satiate male erotic needs. Beauty pageants don't help much either, and it's surprising that my Christian clerical brothers haven't spoken out against them as they have against gay marriage. Can you believe that 60 years after feminism rightly pointed out that a woman's mind is even more important than her legs, we still have televised contests of women parading around in their underwear for Donald Trump to rate their bodies? And what would Jesus say about Miss California's implants? HOW ANY of this is congruent with Christian values is beyond me. It seems that we've entered some weird Twilight Zone where opposition to gay marriage alone makes one a Christian in good standing. Look. I'm not here to condemn Carrie Prejean, and I can of course be just as religiously inconsistent. But my point is that America has real problems and can really use an authentic spiritual voice to lead us out of the shallowness, greed, divorce and teen sex that are plaguing our country. So long as we make gay marriage the only issue of importance, we abdicate our moral responsibility to provide spiritual leadership to a starving generation. Most of all, we shift our focus away from combating the misogyny that has become such a staple of American culture. Patti Stanger of Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker and I recently debated her belief that women ought to marry rich husbands. I argued that this just fuels the stereotype of women as greedy gold-diggers prepared to sell themselves as a commodity to a guy with cash. When men come to believe these stereotypes, it affects their respect for women. Soon they believe they can neglect their wives as long as they give them credit cards. But three quarters of all divorces today are initiated by wives who are making their own money and would rather be alone than remain with a distant husband in an empty marriage. Approximately 30 percent of married women in America are on an anti-depressant, and Maureen Dowd of The New York Times scored big by publishing a book suggesting that perhaps women are better off without men. As for the guys - well, it seems the only ones who still want to get married are gay. While the gay men are out petitioning the Supreme Court for the right to get hitched, the straight guys are inventing brilliant excuses not to wed girlfriends with whom they have lived for years and even have children. We can save marriage in America and get men to become gentlemen who treat women like ladies. But that must be accompanied by women not only demanding male respect, but by respecting themselves as well. The writer's new book is The Blessing of Enough: Becoming Materially Content and Spiritually Hungry. He is the founder of ThisWorld: The Values Network. www.shmuley.com


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