Might Islam become respectable among the politically correct middle classes, in a way that Christianity never really can, because Christianity is always associated in this country with the conservative, imperial past?
I remembered this column because it describes so well the recent conversion of Tony Blair's sister-in-law to Islam.
Lauren Booth was one of those politically correct middle class types. She began her journalism career as a sex columnist for a lads magazine, then started writing for the left-wing New Statesman paper. She became an activist for the feminist V-Day movement and for the Palestinians. She married and had two daughters, moved to the French countryside where her husband stayed home whilst she commuted to work. She drank much wine.
I was smashing the glass ceiling, Craig was breaking the mould. We (nervously) patted ourselves on the back.
She rejected Christianity along the lines predicted by Peter Hitchens. She went to one church but had conniptions when she found out it was Catholic:
The dreaded words "Holy Roman Catholic Church" swam before my eyes. Had I been giving money to the Catholic Church all these weeks? Dear God.
That's it, then. I won't be going back this Sunday. Catholicism is religion's answer to McDonald's. Their main motivation is to create a world full of their customers and rake in the cash at the same time. And both have committed atrocities and leave you with a sense of guilt.
The Baptist church was beautiful but empty save for a few old ladies:
Last Sunday, we tried the grand, red-bricked, Baptist church. The interior was breathtaking. Wood on wood with more wood, interspersed with impressive, brightly coloured stained glass. We sat in the cosily rounded pews and waited for the show to begin. Two very aged white matrons and a big black lady in a bright pink hat with what looked like her granddaughter were our only companions. At two minutes to eleven, it was clear that there would be no last-minute rush for the sermon. I began to dread the thought of singing the first hymn, a jazzy-sounding number called "Higher, Higher, Higher". A miffed-looking school-marm in round glasses and a black trouser-suit stalked sulkily on to the small "stage" - it turned out she was the "pastor". She looked at row upon row of empty seats and sighed.
Her marriage began to break down. After one argument her drunk husband tore off on his motorbike, crashed and badly injured himself. They divorced. She threw herself into campaigns for the Palestinians and got a job for an Iranian based news agency.
And now she has converted to Islam, writing of the "comfort and strength" it gives to her. She has given up wine, reads the Koran, wears a headscarf and hasn't ruled out wearing a burqa.
She got burned by a modern girl Western lifestyle and so jumped to a more traditional non-Western alternative - just as Peter Hitchens predicted Western women might do. (In one recent column, for instance, she criticises the violence, drunkenness and crime of ladette culture in Britain and calls for a return of a more traditional femininity.)
Of course, for a Western traditionalist like myself this is a frustrating story. It doesn't surprise me that the modern girl life she planned for herself didn't work out well. But instead of returning to her own tradition, she has changed her allegiances entirely.
She has swung suddenly from feminist V-Day campaigns and boasting about breaking the mould of the traditional family to wearing a headscarf and considering wearing a burqa. She has jumped from rejecting Catholicism for its supposed "atrocities" to accepting Islam despite its association with terrorist attacks.
She seems to have a prejudice against her own tradition. What is mild in her own tradition is rejected as oppressive, whilst something more onerous in another tradition is accepted as "comforting".
Hitchens got her right; I hope there aren't too many others.
Like the Black liberation movement she chose Islam especially to shock. I'm sure she isn’t a good Muslim either. Well Lauren Booth we're not shocked. We're tediously bored with the antics of the middle class. Rot in hell.ReplyDelete
This appears on the surface to be yet another chapter in a life consecrated to being different and interesting. Perhaps Islam will replace Buddhism as the religion of choice for trendy Westerners with a hankering for something spiritual. If so, it will be interesting to see what happens when the trendy Western Muslims start rearranging the furniture in an effort to make Islam more tasteful, more acceptable to their trendy, Western, non-Muslim friends. Perhaps Mrs. Booth will die a Muslim; but she will find her new faith sorely tested in about a year's time, when the topic of her conversion has become a bore to her friends and readers.ReplyDelete
It's not at all surprising, and we will be seeing more of this in the years ahead. We also have them here in the US -- white women converting to Islam, not because they are marrying Muslim guys, but of their own accord. Admittedly, still a smallish number, but a growing one.ReplyDelete
In most cases there is a deep alienation with the religion of the West somewhere in these women. This is often a mix of outright prejudice (as is the case here with her reaction to Catholicism -- a seemingly widespread English prejudice as I mentioned a few weeks ago during the Pope's visit) and/or a very simplistic understanding of Christianity based on a poor catechetical formation in youth. Added to this is the "interesting/exotic" factor, which plays on the current bent of the educated upper middle for everything that is non-Western, as it is simply "cooler" than our own.
Islam's main spiritual appeal comes from its simplicity. The theology is simple -- one God, all other religions having some truth but leading to one which sums them all up (Islam), submission to God's will as leading to salvation. And the "how to" aspects are very clear, too, down to how specifically to pray and when, how much to tithe and to whom, and so on. Although the Koran is a jumbled mess to any outsider (and requires extensive annotations to be made sense of), the resulting religion is in many ways very simple and cut and dried. It's that certainty an simplicity that gives it appeal to people in a world increasingly characterized by atomistic nihilism ushered in by a worship of relativism. Christianity has a harder time competing in this way because Christianity itself is riven with the same relativistic divisions that face the greater West -- not just (or, increasingly, not even) Protestant/Catholic but liberal/conservative, women+gays/traditional-teaching, etc. Never mind the theological infighting that plagues all of Christianity. Islam is able to offer a refuge to people from this, and it *can* do so effectively, even to single white Western women, who would seemingly not be great targets for the submission required by the Koran.
Catholicism is religion's answer to McDonald's. Their main motivation is to create a world full of their customers and rake in the cash at the same time. And both have committed atrocities and leave you with a sense of guilt.ReplyDelete
Leaving aside the issue of what "atrocities" McDonald's has committed, everything she says here is undeniably true of Islam.
It will be interesting to see if her life parallels that of Cat Stevens. In the early 1970s he's writing songs like "Peace Train", now he's making large donations to Hamas.ReplyDelete
I understand the attraction. Islam is very enticing to women who have gotten "burned by a modern girl Western lifestyle". When I was younger I was often very envious of the Muslim girls. I know a few German women who have converted, often after falling in love with a patriarchal Muslim man. Such men are sadly missing from many Christian churches and women tend to go where the hot guys are.ReplyDelete
That sounds really flip, I know, but it was my cousin's hunky Pentecostal husband who brought me back to Christianity, and my husband who got me to start going to Mass again.
Churches should be concentrating on the men. The women will wander over when the guys seem hot enough again. Women are followers at their core, and sexuality and religion are often closely intertwined in their psyche.
single white Western women, who would seemingly not be great targets for the submission required by the Koran.ReplyDelete
I think it's just the opposite. They -- especially the most intelligent, independent, and free-thinking among them -- would be ideal targets for teachings on submission. It is a novel and exhilarating experience for them, and they can become quite addicted to it.
Also, submission is counter-cultural, and such revolutionary movements are generally led by the strongest women, not the weakest ones. The weak just follow the trends; they don't set them. If you look at the Western women converting to Islam, it is mostly the stronger, self-confident women. If enough of them -- the female leaders -- convert, Islam will start making serious inroads.
Christianity has to offer them a viable alternative.
I was just thinking about this some more. The situation with Christian women and the Church is similar to the one with wives and their brow-beaten husbands. First, they insist on seeing the men's "softer side" and the men ceding them more power. But once they do that, the women get totally turned off and wander off to find a Real Man / Real Church. The very kind of man/church they had before, and were constantly whining about.ReplyDelete
Alte I think that what you describe might be true of many women, Islam is a seriously practiced religion after all, and that such converts would be zealous in their following. Its not true, however, I believe for this type of person, who seems a trendy spirit seeker and who is likely to experiment with it for a while then quit claiming it is too restrictive or not in touch enough. Then look for the next hot thing.ReplyDelete
We don't need this rubbish in our civilisation.
Sell her to the slavers at Constantinopol, and don't give it a second thought.
Er, you sure about that? The story (which she extensively wrote up for exactly the same publication as Hitchens' primary outlet, natch) was that she flippantly changed her marital status on her Facebook profile following a row, after which her husband had his crash (which was more then likely completely unrelated to the Facebook thing in reality). Follow up articles (again in said publication - the Mail on Sunday to be specific) then detailed the ambiguities of what followed - he survived the crash, yet with his personality completely changed. Dare I say it as one complete outsider to another, but individual personal circumstances are perhaps greater causal factors in her conversion than any grand societal force.
Funnily enough, a similar thing goes for the first New Statesman article you linked to, though rather more obviously -- given she was raised a Catholic, I read the ending as meaning, 'here was this funky new church which only turned out to be a branch of the old one I had long rejected!' Given the column was supposed to be a slightly humourous one, I wouldn't make much more of it than that. In fact, if anything, the joke's more on the ideal New Statesman reader, anticlerical when anticlericism has long since been a controversial position to hold -- for despite the joke-y context, Booth at that time really wanted to find a nice church for her family to attend.
Brits tend to have an antipathy to Roman Catholicism because of history; they don't care for armies that have attempted to invade England and overthrow the culture by force, no matter who they were. (One of the things I have noticed for decades about Catholics is they tend to know absolutely nothing about the history of the church they submit to.) I wish that Englishness could revive today, given the ongoing invasion by Islam.ReplyDelete
Agree with Alte about the attraction of patriarchal Islam to women. Likely the 4-wives rule in Islam was partly due to captives after massacre, but also due to alpha attractiveness. The same thing appears to have happened in the US with the Mormons; Mormon polygamy was a rational response to the fact that more women than men converted in the first years. Later on, polygamy became a net drag on the Mormons and it was revealed in the LDS Temple that monogamy was the proper way to marry. Not all Mormons accepted that, and polygamous communities exist on the fringes of society in northern Arizona & southern Utah. They are a constant source of troubled young men who are kicked out for minor infractions, too.
Back to Islam and Booth:
It will be interesting to see how long Booth puts up with Islam. At some point, being apparently a kind of intellectual tourist, she may decide that she's had enough. If she ever tries to leave Islam, being rather high profile, she will likely be in for the rude surprise that Sharia holds for would be apostates.
To put it in terms that baby boomers would understand, Islam is the "Hotel California"...
But the shortage of Islamic women converts in the public eye in fact conceals a trend in the public at large that is in the very opposite. Sheikh Imam Ibrahim Mogra from Leicester said: "I receive many more inquiries from women. It is quite surprising, given the negative publicity in terms of the mistreatment of women. But women say it was all the negative things that first stimulated their interest."
As for this:
Furthermore, the trendy middle-class types associated Christianity negatively with an imperial past
I think that's one of Islam's best selling-points. Christianity is strongly associated with Old White Men, so it is seen as a dying faith. Who wants to align themselves with losers?
Islam is clearly on the up-and-up. It is greatly over-represented in the media, because it is associated with passion and youth. Islam is definitely trendy. And the whole terrorist-aspect makes them seem sexy and daring, like revolutionaries.
The defining driver of liberal philosophy and society outside the academic world is no longer autonomy or equlity but self hate.ReplyDelete
Until you understand this you cannot understand the crazy things they do.
She has jumped from rejecting Catholicism for its supposed "atrocities" to accepting Islam despite its association with terrorist attacks.ReplyDelete
But the Catholic stuff was just "old white men behaving badly", whilst the Palistinian stuff is "hot brown men fighting for a cause". Totally different stuff, because the latter group are alive, breathing, and turning her on. She hangs out with them all the time, probably respects their tenacity and fighting-spirit, and wants them to admire her. Hence the headscarf. Perhaps there is even a particular specimen she is focusing on?...
The irony is, despite her apparent return to more conservative behaviour (e.g. dressing modestly), can there be anything more liberal that chossing your religion like you're selecting something from a menu, especially one as alien as Isalm?ReplyDelete
Brits tend to have an antipathy to Roman Catholicism because of history; they don't care for armies that have attempted to invade England and overthrow the culture by force, no matter who they were. (One of the things I have noticed for decades about Catholics is they tend to know absolutely nothing about the history of the church they submit to.ReplyDelete
Being half-Irish and half-English, I can tell you as someone raised Irish Catholic, we have a profound appreciation of the impact of English attitudes towards Catholicism. Countless hundreds of thousands of Irish Catholics died needlessly due to English anti-Catholic prejudices. This is clear from history, and should be beyond debate. I am amazed that the English are being portrayed in your comment as being the victims of Catholic aggression. At no point in modern English history has this been the case, yet that same history is replete with vile, needless, and thoughtless knee-jerk discrimination against Catholics, especially Irish ones.
There is absolutely nothing spiritual about Lauren Booth's conversion. She herself admits that she tried on religions the same way you or I might try on a pair of sneakers, waiting for the one that fit just right. The truth of God doesn't come into her thinking.ReplyDelete
She has jumped from rejecting Catholicism for its supposed "atrocities" to accepting Islam despite its association with terrorist attacks.
Islam has been a religion of violent atrocities for 1400 years. I'd bet that more people died in the sack of Constantinople (where children were raped to death on altars as their parents watched) than all the terrorist attacks of the 20th century combined. Booth doesn't want to think about that because she despises the West. Her conversion is part of an attempt to burn the Western-ness from her own veins.
There is no creature as pathetic as the one that hates its own kind.
Booth is a write-off, but her children are still up for grabs.
Novaseeker, in my opinion the oppression of Irish Catholics by English CofE forces was as much an act of colonial oppression as religioius. But it appears you've forgotten the attempted invasions of England by Catholic Spain and Catholic France. The fact that the Spanish Armada failed, or that the French plans during the War of Austrian Succession did not come off does not change history. Until the most recent generation or two, every English schoolboy knew of these attempts, and that the last successful invasion came from Normady in 1066.ReplyDelete
No group of sinful humans is without crimes in their past. My own denomination has murder in its past, and I acknowledge it. Would that more Christians knew the history of their faith, whatever it may be, and acknowledged the flaws therein. I find Catholics particularly prone to self righteousness and ignorance of the blood on the steps of St. Peters, but maybe it's just the Catholics I've known.
Now may we return to discussing the appalling notion of western women converting to the Hotel California of religions, Islam?
Anon Prot. wrote: "One of the things I have noticed for decades about Catholics is they tend to know absolutely nothing about the history of the church they submit to"ReplyDelete
One of the things I have noticed is the amusing phenomenon of protestants thinking they know more about the Catholic Church than Catholics do (kind of like liberals trying to redefine Islam as the "religion of peace", they think they know better than the actual adherents, lol!) English culture was Catholic from the first day of Christianity’s presence on the Iles. The protestant “reformation” was a historic anomaly that occurred relatively recently in English history.
Gee, I wonder if the fact that the so-called babptists had a female "preacher" has anything to do with the low attendance.ReplyDelete
If this namby pamby mish-mash of self help temples is what passes for modern Mainstream Christianity, then no wonder no one watns it. People want clear boundaries. The churches have given in to what women say they want, which as usual is the exact opposite of what they will actually respond to. I agree with Ante, patriarchal religion is narually more appealing. Feminist squalls are to be ignored.
I wonder if Mrs Booth is at all familiar with the history of the Muslim conquests of Southern Asia? Has she ever met a Zoroastrian for example? If not, there is a good reason for that. But surely there are enough Hindus in the UK to clear this notion up?
More on Islam in Britain:ReplyDelete
Tower Hamlets elects the first Muslim mayor.
Little Catholic Ireland looks east and sees Big Bad Protestant England.ReplyDelete
Little Protestant England looks east and sees Big Bad Catholic France and Spain.
No surprise there.
I'm from Little Protestant Northern Ireland. We look south and see Big Bad Catholic Ireland!
As far as I am concerned, being a regular reader of Mr Hitchens' columns, he correctly predicted what is likely to happen. Islam is on the rise, it does not take much observation. In terms of numbers, even though the Catholic Church remains the biggest religion in the world, it does not take into account two facts. First, the Roman Catholic Church is going to be overtaken by Islam by 2020. Second, all of today's Roman Catholics are arguably not as observant as Muslims on average. People will always look up to a strong, convincing alternative. Christianity does not appeal to them, because it is obviously associated with purported past atrocities (Islamic atrocities notwithstanding as these people will ever refuse to contemplate the hard facts), but this is chiefly due to shifting dynamics. We are clearly on the wane in terms of demographics and culture, not to mention the rapid pace of economic decline, we are not standing our ground at all. By sharp contrast, Islam seems on the ascent, their numbers are fast growing, their culture is aggressive and assertive, everything that the West ceased to be decades ago.ReplyDelete
We should gap the bridge and work towards mending our culture, and this is not likely to be achieved through petty squabbles and bitter bickering between Protestants and Roman Catholics. We do have our differences, but we ultimately worship the same God, and our moral principles are very much alike.
"There is absolutely nothing spiritual about Lauren Booth's conversion. She herself admits that she tried on religions the same way you or I might try on a pair of sneakers, waiting for the one that fit just right. The truth of God doesn't come into her thinking."
I entirely agree this does not seem to be a serious business. Perhaps she did it on a whim, and will likely revert to her usual dissolute ways before long (if she is not butchered before, we all know the doom that awaits apostates leaving Islam). However sceptical I am in her case, I still believe the general pattern is one of a downward slope for Christianity as compared with Islam. We will have to beef it up.
France and Spain are about as "Catholic" as Pakistan.ReplyDelete
Liesel wrote, "Gee, I wonder if the fact that the so-called babptists had a female 'preacher' has anything to do with the low attendance."ReplyDelete
Liesel, you nailed it. Lauren Booth is typical of the trendoid to whom frumpy old Christianity seeks to pander. She only winds up silently despising the panderer. Feminism and "equality" is rife in the evangelical churches of the western world today, and such aberrations as female preachers are not only scripturally disobedient, but a royal turnoff to those who might be searching for reality. Which, I might add, they will only find in true, biblical Christianity.
''Islam is on the rise, it does not take much observation. In terms of numbers, even though the Catholic Church remains the biggest religion in the world, it does not take into account two facts. First, the Roman Catholic Church is going to be overtaken by Islam by 2020.''ReplyDelete
Before 2002 nobody cared about Islam much. We will have to see if they will make it unlike Christianity which has endured criticism for centuries since criticism of Islam is starting to pile up today. In terms of numbers Christianity is growing in absolute numbers.
''Second, all of today's Roman Catholics are arguably not as observant as Muslims on average.''
''We are clearly on the wane in terms of demographics and culture, not to mention the rapid pace of economic decline, we are not standing our ground at all. By sharp contrast, Islam seems on the ascent, their numbers are fast growing, their culture is aggressive and assertive, everything that the West ceased to be decades ago.''
Well due the ''Evangelical Collapse'' that has started in 2009 Christianity will reform in a generation or perhaps even less. I don't know what's occuring to other religions but Christianity will do just fine (it may become smaller but it will be more commited and authentic either way). There are plenty of read the Bible in one year classes so Christians on average are no longer biblically illiterate.
Do not be too quick to believe everything that propagandists for Islam claim about growing numbers. Many Moslem countries are at, or even below, the Zero Population Growth level (2.1 children/woman/lifetime). Algeria, Morocco, Tunis come to mind. I believe that Indonesia's birth rate continues to fall. Iran's birth rate is dropping in the next two years to ZPG, and at some point in the next generation Persians will no longer be a majority. Given how despicable the Shia theocrats have been, it is not impossible that when they fall, mass conversions away from Islam could occur in that country. Now, it is true that Yemen and probably Saudi Arabia are still growing in population due to birth rates, on the other hand. But my point is that the notion of some "historical inevitability" of Islam backed by demographics is not nearly as solid as it seems at first glance.ReplyDelete
Also do not underestimate the conversion of Moslems away from Islam along the border between the dar al harb and the dar al salaam. A Christian from Uganda I talked with a few years back expressed dismay that Saudi money was being spent in his country to build mosque after mosque, but did reflect that there seemed to be a worry among Moslems that younger people, especially women, were converting to Christianity. Nigerians have told me similar things, some opine that the reason for so much effort on the part of Saudi funded Wahhabi clerics in their country is the number of younger Nigerians pulling away from Islam in the cities.
Finally, again I state that this woman, Lauren Booth, appears to be a kind of tourist. Islam contradicts so many of her left-wing dogmas, I don't quite see how she will be able to square that circle, even if she shifts to Sufism. When and if she chooses to leave Islam for something else, it will be most interesting to see how that plays out.
Finally, it was not my intention to refight 17th century wars, but merely to point out that there are historical, factual reasons for antipathy towards the RC church and the Pope in Britain, and it is ignorant to claim otherwise.
It looks like Islam Gamed Booth. Britain has many tales of middle-aged women going on holiday to the Middle East and happily getting involved with a variety of scamsters.ReplyDelete
Here is one account, with Bardamu's rough commentary (that's a warning to the tender-eared and the naive).
It looks like Islam Gamed Booth..
Bingo. As other commenters noted, the Baptist church she went to was thoroughly feminized and thus bound to lead Booth to despise it, in hypergamous terms.
Hmm. If Booth remains Gamed by Islam, then she'll remain loyal no matter what is done to her...
There's a Doonesbury strip from the late 70s/early 80s (I got rid of my Doonesbury book many years ago, and I can't find it online), where there's some sort of international political gathering, and the Muslim guy (Iranian?) is talking to a couple, and he says to the man, something like "Why does your wife wear a skirt? Only prostitutes wear skirts?" The husband has some namby-pamby response, but the wife is all, "A REAL man!" over the Muslim guy.ReplyDelete
I don't like Trudeau's views, but that strip nails it.
Sorry - the Muslim guy did not end the sentence as a question:ReplyDelete
""Why does your wife wear a skirt? Only prostitutes wear skirts!"
"In terms of numbers Christianity is growing in absolute numbers."ReplyDelete
I did not deny the fact the Roman Catholic Church is growing in absolute numbers, and I do agree it is better to have a smaller church and more observant people as opposed to big numbers without underlying faith. Christianity is at bay in Europe, which is the fact I find most frightening.
Anonymous Protestant, it would be quite silly of me to deny the major differences between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, it was never my intention to do so. Nor do I underestimate these differences. However, I think it will not help to shift the responsibility on other Christians or engage into pointless arguments. I was baptised a Roman Catholic, although my leanings are far more Protestant, to the extent I could convert shortly. So I am acutely aware of these differences, which are actually the reason why I would like to convert. However, I do not want to disparage my fellow Christians, whether they be Maronites, Orthodox, Lutheran or Quaker, although our disagreements may be sizeable, many things unite us in brotherly love, and we are all faced by the Islamic threat.
I wonder. Perhaps the "Christian" churches she visited reminded her of the life she wanted to leave: left-wing social activism. The accepted church where I live would be United Methodist, but I won't join, not because I don't believe, but because the UM is too closely tied to Communism.ReplyDelete
Video: Lauren Booth reverts LIVE at the GPUReplyDelete
Extraordinary. Here we have the leftist urge to identify with the other taken to a logical conclusion.
I find it so unbelievably sad that in order for Christianity to be successful and in order to have a moral society, we must be ultra conscious of whether our actions sexually excite women.ReplyDelete
Sexual excitement trumps logic, emotions and morality, this thread has truly raised my view of Roissy in DC. No appeal to morality through logic, or tugging on heartstrings can ever sway women unless you can get those juices running. Sad, truly sad. I heard somebody say that women are wholly sexual, this has now been confirmed to my satisfaction.
"But the shortage of Islamic women converts in the public eye in fact conceals a trend in the public at large that is in the very opposite. Sheikh Imam Ibrahim Mogra from Leicester said: "I receive many more inquiries from women. It is quite surprising, given the negative publicity in terms of the mistreatment of women. But women say it was all the negative things that first stimulated their interest."
Oh great, women are not only turned on by serial killers but also terrorists, the fun never stops!
Why is that sad?ReplyDelete
Women are turned on by domination, it is simply that their reaction is generally indiscriminate. Morality doesn't play into pure sexuality, and to expect that it would is unrealistic. That is not to say that a woman can't control herself, or override her own instinctive impulses, but rather to confirm that her impulses do effect her greatly outside of the bedroom.
Sexuality does reflect in every aspect of women's lives (even when men aren't present), which is why all of the complaining on those newsites about "women choosing their religion for practical, rather than theological, reasons" just sounds like male projection to me. To be perfectly honest, the idea of choosing Christianity for "theological reasons" never actually occured to me, and it's taken a few days of consideration for me to even understand what those comments were going on about. I've been Christian for almost 10 years now, and have read the Bible numerous times in the same manner she is reading the Koran ("I'm on page 60 now!" -- as if it were a novel), and it is only a few years ago that I started actually seriously studying my faith.
That is why God called men to be the spiritual leaders in their household, after all. He knows what women are really like, since He created them. Women aren't theologians, they're religious followers. Even the female Catholic saints are mostly famous for their chastity, charitable actions, or phallic visions, not their theological insights.
Women are expedient, so they will gravitate to the religion that most greatly benefits themselves (which is why secular Western women are converting to Islam, and Muslim women are converting to Christianity -- in each case, they feel they are getting the better deal and the superior men). They use the theology as a rationalization for choosing the religion, but it is not the rational reason they chose the religion. Get the difference?
Christianity always focused on men being dominant husbands and leaders, so obviously the phenomenon was not entirely lost on the ancients. Almost every curse in the Bible involves "and the women will rule over you!", so they could probably have told us how this would all end in tears. Actually, the Pope told us in Humanae Vitae, but everyone just laughed. Roissy's Four Sirens of the Sexual Apocalypse mimic Catholic social teaching (I think he comes from a Catholic family, actually):
1. Effective and widely available contraceptives (the Pill, condom, and the de facto contraceptive abortion).
2. Easy peasy no-fault divorce.
3. Women’s economic independence (hurtling towards women’s economic advantage if the college enrollment ratio is any indication).
4. Rigged feminist-inspired laws that have caused a disincentivizing of marriage for men and an incentivizing of divorce for women.
Roissy is correct, I just don't agree with what he's decided to personally do with the knowledge he's acquired. It is very possible to know how to play women like that and not do so, out of a sense of honor and decency.
for Christianity to be successful and in order to have a moral society, we must be ultra conscious of whether our actions sexually excite women.ReplyDelete
Although it is actually the opposite (as Roissy would tell you). You should live your Christianity with complete disregard for whether it sexually excites or pleases women, and then the women will clamour for you (because your indifference signifies a superior status) and behave themselves in order to please you. It is good to care for women's well-being, but supplicating to their whims is self-defeating and pointless. Best to just do what you think is right and wait for them to stop whining and trail after you obediently. They like trailing, and they'll be secretly impressed that you got them to trail.
In other words, it is in trying to please women (giving them what they want), rather than loving them (giving them what they need), that Western men have failed. The answer is to switch it around and ignore the complaining. Women like to complain, so it would be cruel to take away their reasons for doing so.
There once was a sister of BlairReplyDelete
For her people she didn't much care
First she worshipped the Other
Then decided she'd rather
Wear the hijab over her hair.
I'm going to show people that!
On Ideologee's post,ReplyDelete
Lauren Booth says “Your religion is about joy, compassion, peace and love for each other” well you’re on record sweetheart. Lol on the roping in of the daughter.
Your comments disturb me Alte, you personally disturb me. Dave from Hawaii has said that to get angry at women for hypergamy is like getting angry at the sun that rises, so if it simply is the way that it is I can accept it, I’m simply saying I don’t like what it is. I’m not attacking women for being very sexual, but because in my mind they lack any ability to subjugate their sexual urges in order to follow higher moral principles. That makes them by definition amoral. You admit that the only force that lead you into Christianity was your libido (or at least the strongest force), obviously your sexuality is stronger than urge to do what’s right. Tell me if your husband suddenly ceased to have game for whatever reason, would you stop going to Mass, seeing as he was the reason why you started going?ReplyDelete
Alte, your words are forever indicative of the reasons why women should always be treated like children. Not because you suffer from any lack of intelligence but because of what you said about women responding first and foremost to dominance.ReplyDelete
I realize you agree that women should be subjugated beneath men so I’m just trying to figure out exactly where our point of contention is. I guess if we are both true believers in Patriarchy (and we are) and believe women should have drastically less rights and responsibilities then their isn't very much to squabble over.
I guess the difference is your at peace with the true nature of the woman, I am not. Maybe the red pill in my body has yet to be fully digested, I don’t know.
As a side note what you said about women embracing religion for practical, as opposed to theological, reasons intrigues me. I am not a Christian yet have been very tempted to take the first steps down that path but as of yet I’ve refused to even dip into a toe into that ocean. The reason being is that I would feel a great sense of guilt and feel so dishonest doing so because I would be doing it mainly for practical reasons, like those women. It would take me years to understand the bible, Christian theology, the history of the church and then to compare that to the other religions of the world. Its an extremely daunting task and this is even without mentioning the deeper spiritual side of things that develops out of a deep understanding of the actual text. I don’t know where the gender divide comes into play (if it comes into play) but my male mind interprets embracing a religion that you cannot 100% back with all your mind, all your heart, every part of yourself, as disrespectful to that religion and its followers. But having said that, the alternative of years of study before taking any steps to become a Christian isn’t really feasible.
Then comes the question of faith. Is faith something one should have before beginning this path, or is it something that is supposed to build and strengthen over time. If one wants to practical benefits of Christianity is it not profoundly disrespectful to “fake it till you make it” in regards to faith? Things to ponder.
I think that it is respectful to investigate the religion of your historical culture. So if that means attending Church whilst perhaps not quite sure about it, or maybe not 100% agreeing, then that's fine. On the idea of attending Church or joining a religion for practical gain I agree that that is antithetical to the religion.ReplyDelete
I am terribly honest and I understand that what I write is sometimes disturbing.ReplyDelete
in my mind they lack any ability to subjugate their sexual urges in order to follow higher moral principles
Yes, but that is precisely the reason why those women should go to Church, in the first place. It was my religion that taught me to "subjugate my sexual urges in order to follow higher moral principles". Women control themselves when they have a reason to control themselves. Giving women a reason and tools to control themselves is supposed to be one of the primary functions of organized patriarchal religion. And my faith is now independent from the people around me, including my husband.
The reason being is that I would feel a great sense of guilt and feel so dishonest doing so because I would be doing it mainly for practical reasons, like those women.
Doesn't matter what brings you into the Church, as long as you eventually go there. Go for the art, go for the music, go for the bake sale, go because you think the pews are comfy. Whatever. If your faith is weak then going to a good church may strengthen it. People start going to church for all sorts of reasons, some of them profound, some of them banal.
Remember that the fruits of the faith are testimony of the faith. My cousin's quiet certitude and strength of character bowled me over. My husband's forthright and determined manner was convincing to me. If a woman is impressed by that silent testimony and it leads her to the faith, then more power to her. She's lucky she got to witness it.
I think it is difficult for those who are cradle-to-grave Christians to understand the personal reasons for conversion, so they are quick to judge. They say, "But that is a stupid reason to convert!" Perhaps, but it is still a reason, the person has still converted, so let us all give thanks. If I converted because I accidentally showed up at a revival one morning, when I meant to go to a birthday party, does that make the conversion worthless? Either way I ended up a Christian.
I am not Christian for merely practical reasons (I actually do believe in my faith), I was just saying that it was a powerful emotional draw that brought me into the Church in the first place, not a cool examination of theology. It is always such an emotional draw that leads to conversion, with women the draw will often be psycho-sexual, with men often practical (wanting to lead a better life or wanting emotional support after a tragedy). Once I was there, it just "seemed right" and I stuck around and learned more about the actual religion. Now I believe in it, and study it regularly. I'm grateful I thought he was a hunk and let him drag me to his crazy Pentecostal church, or I'd still be spending my Friday nights drunk and fornicating.
That is the way most people convert, and that is the way it has been throughout history. Didn't Tony Blair convert through his wife's influence? That is why the Bible encourages those who are "unequally yoked" to stay with their unbelieving spouses. They knew that the spouse's love could lead the unbeliever into the Church.
Evangelization is one of the reasons for the Church's charitable efforts, after all. Teach people to love Jesus by loving them like Jesus. Teach women to follow Jesus by teaching them to follow a simple man (that is what Ephesians 5 speaks about). I think that is actually a positive thing for evangelization purposes because Christianity offers women by far the best deal and the best potential mates. We basically blow the religious competition completely out of the water, which is why Christianity spreads like wildfire wherever the real Christian truth is taught. Personal dignity, a loving husband, unique and respected female roles and role models, a strong Church family, help in times of need, hope for the future on Earth, and an afterlife spent in the presence of God.
Is faith something one should have before beginning this path, or is it something that is supposed to build and strengthen over time.ReplyDelete
If converts all waited to believe in God before attending church, the pews would be empty. It took my father 4 years of grumpy, pew-warming agnosticism before he converted. He was just going there to make my mother happy. It's 32 years later, and he still believes in God. Good thing he warmed the pew for a while, or he would have missed out.
If one wants to practical benefits of Christianity is it not profoundly disrespectful to “fake it till you make it” in regards to faith?
You don't fake it. It's perfectly legit to go to church even if you don't believe in God. I didn't believe in it for a while, either. When people would ask if I had "accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior", I'd just say, "No, I haven't. I'm just here because they dragged me here."
I used to just sit there and stare at them all acting like "they got the spirit" and thinking they were completely nuts. I'd complain on the way home, and he'd just say, "We'll be by to pick you up again next Sunday." And they'd pick me up, I'd sit in the pew and roll my eyes, and then I'd go home. It took me two months of that to actually "get it".
I suppose that's not a very inspiring conversion story. No theology involved.
Christianity offers women by far the best deal and the best potential mates. We basically blow the religious competition completely out of the water, which is why Christianity spreads like wildfire wherever the real Christian truth is taught. Personal dignity, a loving husband, unique and respected female roles and role models, a strong Church family, help in times of need, hope for the future on Earth, and an afterlife spent in the presence of God.ReplyDelete
I think that's a rather nice, honest conversion story Alte. You capture exactly the kind of red cheeked embarrassment I dread experiencing walking through those church doors. I think if more people with similar stories such as yours spoke about it would have a far more encouraging effect on the heathen masses.ReplyDelete
Its all these dudes that go on about some instantaneous conversion that come out of nowhere where God himself appeared before them..............
If you have that kind of expectation and the results aren’t delivered in such a swift, earth shatteringly intense manner it becomes very tiresome. There’s a great BBC documentary which details this very well called The Monastery, showing the tedious, frustrating, going through the motions type church activity, which eventually leads to an intense conversion. Kind of amazing to see the BBC make a program so undeniably pro-religion and pro-Catholic nonetheless, but here it is if your interested:
Perhaps the "Christian" churches she visited reminded her of the life she wanted to leave: left-wing social activism.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's a sad state of affairs, but the main thing keeping me away from church is a desire to avoid the charitable work and missions. Not that I find them undesiralbe in an absolute sense, but I am so turned off by the modern world that I don't feel like giving money or time to the people that populate it. I am both angry and embarassed by charitable workers and those who are receiving the aid. Sad, isn't it?
Lauren embraced Islam at a first hand experience, after being exposed to the atmosphere of a Muslim country and having authorities to consult about any fears or assumptions she had about Islam. I invite you all to try to get a glimpse of that experience, using the medium of knowledge not necessarily belief. Only then you can form a more accurate concept about Islam's attractions, which is more imp. than Lauren's personal reasons for conversion. Thanks to allReplyDelete
"having authorities to consult about any fears or assumptions she had about Islam"ReplyDelete
We can all be sure that said authorities won't be offering taqiyya during such consultations.