Dehumanizing Christians Part 3 – The Vindictive Nature of Christian Dehumanization

Discussions about authoritarianism are not merely about the use of authority figures to take away the civil rights of others. They are also about the personal characteristics of individuals who support oppressive regimes. One of the qualities linked to those individuals is vindictiveness. Individuals high in right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) have a willingness to punish those who do not adhere to conventional ideals and lifestyles. It is that willingness to punish others that theoretically allows oppressive leaders of those with RWA to take away the rights of others.

When I first read about RWA and vindictiveness I questioned whether RWA was a reliable source of vindictiveness. I had such questions because of the actions and attitudes I had seen among those who should not, according to the theory of RWA, have vindictiveness. For example, do you remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case? Do you remember that 88 of the faculty members, largely from the humanities such as Women’s Studies, African-American Studies and Cultural Anthropology, signed a controversial advertisement two weeks after the alleged event that strongly implied that the students were guilty? They wanted the students to be punished even before those students were given their day in court. This is the sort of vindictiveness that often is linked with RWA, but such faculty members are unlikely to be the type of political/religious conservative that RWA is typically linked to.

So I decided to test to see if those high in Christian dehumanization (to see how I measured dehumanization look at my first post in this series) also show vindictive attitudes. I used two different methods to do this. First, I used a question I adapted from Robert Altermeyer. He used the following question with a sample of Canadian students.

Suppose the Canadian government, sometime in the future, passes a law outlawing the Communist party in Canada. Government officials then stated that the law would only be effective if it were vigorously enforced at the local level and appealed to every Canadian to aid in the fight against communism.

He then gave the students a nine point scale for the following statements so that the students could either agree or disagree that each of the six following statements is true of them.
1. I would tell my friends and neighbors it was a good law.
2. I would tell the police about any Communist I knew.
3. If asked by the police, I would help hunt down and arrest Communist.
4. I would participate in attacks on Communist headquarters organized by proper authorities.
5. I would support the use of physical force to make Communists reveal the identity of other Communists.
6. I would support the execution of Communist leaders if the government insisted it was necessary to protect Canada.

I adjusted the question for my American sample. Instead of communist party, I used four versions of this question with religious cults, communist activists, protestors at abortion clinics and pastors who preach against same-sex romantic relationships. Initially I found similar results to other researchers in that those high in RWA were more likely to support oppressive measures against religious cultists, communists and abortion protestors but not the pastors. Those high in Christian dehumanization exhibited such support when it came to oppression against protestors and pastors. I figured that part of this difference may be due to choices 5 and 6 in the questions. Indeed those high in RWA are more supportive of use of the death penalty than other individuals. When I tested these results with a shortened scale that eliminated those final two choices, I found what I expected in that those high in RWA are more likely to oppress cultists and communist but not the other two groups while the results were reversed for those high in Christian dehumanization. With the context of capital punishment taken into account those who dehumanize Christians, who as we saw in my last blog entry are likely to be religious/political progressives, act in a similar manner as those who score high in RWA.

My second test is even more illuminating. I constructed two scenarios. In the first scenario I wrote about a case where a man is accused of robbing another man at gunpoint. The respondent was asked to assess a punishment for this individual or to decide that he was not guilty. It is the same scenario that has been used before to show that those high in RWA have vindictive attitudes and are eager to punish those seen as deviant. In the second scenario I wrote about a couple accused of discriminating against a same-sex couple as it concerned renting out their room. The respondent was asked to assess a level of fine for the couple or to decide that they were not guilty.

The results were surprising considering previous research on RWA. Those with high levels of RWA were surprisingly less willing to punish the couple (r = -.484: p < .001), but they were not significantly more likely to punish mugger (r = .075: ns). While not significant my respondents did show some willingness to punish the mugger and considering previous research suggesting that those high in RWA are more punitive in punishing criminals, I accept that RWA is linked to a tendency to punish criminal deviants. But the level of vindictiveness may not be as strong as I had been led to believe.

I found that those who dehumanize Christians are very willing to punish the couple (r = .425: p < .001) but did not care nearly as much about punishing the mugger (r = -.058: ns). Those who dehumanize Christians are not automatically vindictive as they do not go out of their way to punish a man who likely is a robber. But their desire to punish the conservative Christians is so great that 48.3% of those who scored in the upper 25% of the Christian dehumanization scale assessed the maximum fine of $10,000 on that Christian couple. Clearly, a desire to punish social out-groups is not limited to those with high levels of RWA.

A reasonable person may believe that the couple should be heavily punished. But a reasonable person may also believe that a mugger should be heavily punished. However, a willingness to vindictively punish others is not tied to measures of authoritarianism, but rather it depends on who is being punished. This is indicative of the reality that the characteristics (In my book Dehumanizing Christians I also illustrate how lack of an ability to critically think, another attribute tied to RWA, is linked to attitudes of Christian dehumanization) tied to RWA are not unique to those deemed to be authoritarians. These characteristics are not tied to individuals with certain religious and/or political beliefs. We must be careful to look for the characteristics of authoritarianism in all religious and political groups.

Given my research, I find many of the assertions tied to RWA unconvincing. This is not to say that the RWA scales do not measure something. The multiple times the scales have shown themselves to be statistically reliable indicates that there is some dynamic being assessed here. What I doubt is the assertion of researchers that they are assessing RWA. I do not think they are assessing some unique quality more likely to be found among those who have conventional beliefs. They have found a characteristic that is more universal and can be found in all, or almost all, social groups. They did not see how it applied to those with unconventional beliefs due to using references groups that were not relevant to political and religious progressives. My use of conservative Christians as the reference group has allowed me to document the universal nature of what has been called RWA. In my final entry to the blog series I will discuss what I consider a superior explanation and some implications of that explanation.

Surviving and Thriving in the Northeast Winter

Cute-as-can-be Canadian Polar Bear!

Canadian polar bears taught me an important lesson: layers keep you warm when it’s freezing out. Temperatures today in New Haven went to 0 Fahrenheit, so when I finally ventured out to try to dig my car out of more than a foot of snow, I also dug out the clothes I bought in Canada during the winter of 2002. The pink fluffy gloves and hat I bought recently at Talbot’s just would not do.

As I slid my legs into my Canadian snow pants, my fear turned to jubilation. Yes! Twelve-year old snow pants still fit!!! I dug past all the faux scarves and gloves I wore just to look fashionable when I lived in North Carolina. I needed the real stuff: ear muffs, a tight hat, and very well insulated muffins. Here’s another thing I learned in Canada: being cold doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable. Just put the fashionable clothes on top of the warm ones. To top off my polar bear outfit, I put on a fashionable Indian pashmina.

I live in a faculty apartment on campus at Yale. Lately, I’ve been lonely, as my dorm built for 400 people is currently inhabited by about two people. Inside my spacious and gracious apartment, I’ve been feeling like a princess locked in a castle. Daring to break out into the freezing temperatures to clean my car was also partially a strategy to avoid cabin fever. I promised myself that my reward for cleaning my car would be to eat dinner out at a restaurant—largely because I’m dying to see other human beings.

Furthermore, I really, really needed my car to be ready so I could hit the road to Boston early tomorrow morning.  I can’t miss the birthday party of my 2-year old friend and adopted nephew Carston Friedman! Especially not after he sent me the most gorgeous Christmas gift ever: adorable pajama pants and a t-shirt that says, “I love Tia Margarita.” I loved his gift so much that I wore it all day today. I wouldn’t dare wear it outside, however, as the big red heart and the words “Tia Margarita” stretch out over the most curvaceous part of my body. If I wore that t-shirt out, I’d have to charge money for all the stares I would get.

Walking to the lot where I park my car, which is about 15 minutes from my castle at Yale’s Calhoun College, I congratulated myself for how warm I felt inside all my layers. I also psyched myself up as I marched through the snow: no matter what I found, I was going to dig that car out and I would not die of frostbite in the process! But when I entered the parking lot, my eyes bulged and my heart leapt: my car was totally clean.

I texted the owner of the parking lot:

Hey Mike. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Do you know who is the elf that cleaned my car? I’m driving to a 2-year old’s birthday party in Boston tomorrow and he would be sad if I missed it. I came over today to clean the car and move it overnight closer to Calhoun. But it’s totally clean. Please find the elf on your video camera that monitors this parking lot and thank him for me!!!!

A Wintry Day by the Christmas Tree on the New Haven Green

Since my car was clean, I decided to frolic in the snow by the New Haven Green. I even paused for a picture with the Christmas tree decorating the Green. Then I marched over to my favorite pizza place in New Haven, where I had pizza, drank a beer and wrote this blog.

To my chagrin, a rather perfect day ended with me losing my 2nd pair of glasses in as many weeks. The first pair disappeared somewhere at at NJ Turnpike rest stop on the way to my mom’s for Christmas. Tonight, I took my spare pair of glasses off for the picture by the Christmas tree, and I thought I stuffed them in my pocket. But when I looked for them, all that was left were the two rubbery bands that sat snugly around my ears to make the glasses more comfortable.

Sigh :( I may need new glasses, but at least I don’t have to buy new winter clothes to survive in New Haven.

 

The Top 11 from ’13: Academic Journals of Sociological Research on Religion

 

It’s 2014 and time for an annual review of the religion-related articles in the top journals in sociology. As I have done in the past, I use the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports to create the ranking of all sociology journals ranked by last year’s Impact Factor. In this review I noticed that 2012 was an anomalous year; last year I only needed to review the first 10 journals to get my top 11; this year I had to search down to the first 19. Even the newly discovered European Sociological Review had only 2 articles on religion compared to 5 in the previous year. I skipped two journals (noted below) that I had not heard of in any paper or book I have read in the past year in mainstream sociology. Interestingly some journals have gotten a much lower impact factor rating while others that were low last year have gotten a boost. A few remain constant and it’s those that many scholars view as consistently prestigious. Below I include a marker “tie” for those that appear in the same journal in the same year. It’s the journal rank that counts so those articles should be more or less ranked about the same. That said, 7 of the first 19 journals with the highest impact factor contained 11 articles related to religion. As of this writing the December issues of the American Journal of Sociology and Sociological Theory were not available so it’s possible that these rankings will miss important articles here. Hat tip to all those listed for their contributions!

 

Tie (1) Edwards, Korie L., Brad Christerson, and Michael O. Emerson. 2013. “Race, Religious Organizations, and Integration.” Annual Review of Sociology 39:211-228.

Tie (1) Gorski, Philip S. and Gulay Turkmen-Dervisoglu. 2013. “Religion, Nationalism, and Violence: An Integrated Approach.” Annual Review of Sociology 39: 193-210.

[apologies to the second author, I don’t know where the umlaut symbol is and how to work it.]

(3) Goldstein, Adam and Heather A. Haveman. 2013. “Pulpit and Press: Denominational Dynamics and the Growth of Religious Magazines in Antebellum America.” American Sociological Review 78:797-827.

Annals of Tourism Research: skipped

(4) Mathias, Matthew D. 2013. “The Sacralization of the Individual: Human Rights and the Abolition of the Death Penalty.” American Journal of Sociology 118:1246-1283.

Social Networks: 0

Sociological Methodology: 0

Journal of Marriage and Family: 0

Journal of Consumer Culture: 0

Sociological Theory: 0

Population and Development Review: 0

Socio-Economic Review: 0

(5) Scheible, Jana A. and Fenella Fleischmann. 2013. “Gendering Islamic Religiosity in the Second Generation: Gender Differences in Religious Practices and the Association with Gender Ideology Among Moroccan- and Turkish-Belgian Muslims.” Gender and Society 27: 372-395.

[this article might also be awarded the “longest title of the year”]

Cornell Hospitality Quarterly: skipped

Tie (6) Charsley, Katharine and Anika Liversage. 2013. “Transforming Polygamy: Migration, Transnationalism and Multiple Marriages Among Muslim Minorities.” Global Networks 13: 60-78.

Tie (6) Singh, Gurharpal. 2013. “Religious Transnationalism, Development and the Construction of Religious Boundaries: the Case of the Derra Sachkhand Ballan and the Ravidass Dharm.” Global Networks 13: 183-199.

Tie (8) Immerzeel, Tim and Frank van Tubergen 2013. “Religion as Reassurance? Testing the Insecurity Theory in 26 European Countries.” European Sociological Review 29:359-372.

Tie (8) Davies, Scott. 2013. “Are There Catholic School Effects in Ontario, Canada?” European Sociological Review 29:871-883.

Sociological Methods and Research: 0

Politics and Society: 0

Law and Society Review: 0

Tie (10) Cao, Liqun and Edward R. Maguire. 2013. “Class, Religiosity, and Tolerance of Prostitution.” Social Problems 60: 188-205.

Tie (10) Guenther, Katja M. and Kerry Mulligan. 2013. “From the Outside In: Crossing Boundaries to Build Collective Identity in the New Atheist Movement.” Social Problems 60: 457-475.

 

Dehumanizing Christians Part 2 – Who Dehumanizes Christians?

In the first part of my series I examined the dehumanization of Christians as a critique of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). This theory stipulates that certain individuals tend to use authoritarianism in a global manner. I showed that those who exhibit authoritarianism against radicals and feminists are different from those who exhibit authoritarianism against conservative Christians. The notion of authoritarianism as a personality trait limited to only certain types of individuals is simply not accurate.

Authoritarianism has been used to explain the actions of religious and political conservatives. In my last post I pointed out Dean’s argument that authoritarianism has led to Republican extremism. I have always struggled with such assertions as I see extremism in both political camps. Previous research in RWA suggests extremism on only one side of the political spectrum. My first stab at looking at Christian dehumanization did not ask the respondents about their religious and political identities. Fortunately, I followed up with two more surveys that allowed me to investigate whether it is only political and religious conservatives tempted to use authority figures to oppress those they define as deviants.

In addition to asking about religion and politics, I also asked the respondents about their sex, race, education, SES and a variety of other social/demographic factors. You know the sort of stuff we sociologists are socialized to ask about. I wanted to include a table where I compared those who scored in the top 25 percent of my Christian dehumanization scale (see my blog entry last week to get some idea on how it was constructed) to scores for the entire sample. But now I must sheepishly apologize for my poor blogging skills. I tried to include a table so that readers could see the breakdown of the results but I could not format it in an acceptable manner. However the information is available in the book and I can report on the general findings from my work here without a table. Regionally, both groups appear to be dispersed in proportion to the rest of society. However, we see that those with RWA tend to be married while Christian dehumanizers are not. Those with RWA tend to do better financially while Christian dehumanizers are poorer than average. Educationally, those with RWA do not score as high while it seems that Christian dehumanizers do as well as everybody else. I see these results painting a picture of those with RWA as those living in somewhat stable married lives. Conventional lives, if you will, to probably match their conventional beliefs. Christian dehumanizers may be just starting out in life and are not wealthy. They are likely to live the life of a single and thus are not as conventional in lifestyle as authoritarians. However, I suspect that some of the income and marital status differences may be due to my use of Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect my sample as I likely collected a lot of unattached, lower SES individuals who may be attracted to Turk to make money.

But these effects are relatively weak compared to the political and religious effects which reinforce my speculation of conventionality (Regression models supported this assertion about the power of political and religious effects). Reinforcing previous assertions about RWA I found that they are more politically conservative, more likely to be Christians, less likely to be atheists or agnostic and more likely to attend religious services than the rest of the sample. These findings comport with just about every other study of RWA that measured political and religious dimensions. But the results on Christian dehumanization were just as powerful that those who dehumanize Christians are more likely to be politically progressive, less likely to be Christian, more likely to be atheist or agnostic and less likely to attend religious services than the rest of the sample. Authoritarians have traditional religious beliefs and support a political ideology that reflects conventionality. Nothing really new here that has not been discussed in other scholarly treatment of RWA. Dehumanizers are the opposite of authoritarians with nontraditional religious beliefs. Not surprising that those with unconventional religious beliefs are more likely to dehumanize those with conventional religious beliefs.

I am certain that someone is eager to point out that I am using a non-probability sample which cannot be generalized to the entire population. That is a fair enough critique. However, research supporting notions of RWA are not based on probability samples either. I have yet to find a study using the RWA scale that was sent to a probability sample. Thus, if one wished to discount these results due to the non-probability makeup of the sample then one also has to discount the results supporting RWA. One could argue that there are many such studies of RWA compared to this single study of Christian dehumanization. A few points address that argument. First, one does not overcome the problems of non-probability samples simply by doing non-probability sampling over and over again. Second, my results concerning those who (higher religious/political conservatism) possess RWA conforms to other research about RWA. Why would we accept those results and throw out the other results? Third, all new research ideas start with a single study. Those who believe this study is an anomaly have the responsibility to do more research empirically showing that my assertions are incorrect. Merely stating that may study is the only one with these results is an insufficient response since this may be the first of many studies to come. Finally, there is research by myself and by Louis Bolce/Gerald De Maio indicating that political progressives and the irreligious are disproportionately likely to have animosity towards conservative Christians. My current research builds on that work by allowing us to see some of the consequences of that animosity.

My results last week indicate that those who dehumanize Christians are not right-wing authoritarians but rather a different population from those authoritarians. But we also saw that such individuals were willing to use authority figures against conservative Christians, just as it is predicted that right-wing authoritarians are willing to do. With this entry we see that those individuals are religious and political progressives. Kind of throws a wrench in the wheels of the arguments that political and religious conservatives react in a way that is uniquely oppressive to out-group members. This reinforces my beliefs that potential bad behavior is not limited to one political ideology or a certain religious tradition. In my final blog entry on this series, I will explore an alternate way of looking at the information gained by those studying RWA which I think better explains those results than this argument of a unique personality trait.

But there is more to RWA than assertions about the misuse of authority figures. For example, proponents of theories about RWA have argued that those with authoritarianism are more vindictive and less able to critically think than other individuals. Fear may drive a lot of these negative outcomes. Those with right-wing authoritarians may be vindictive since they have fear of those they see as deviants and believe that those individuals must be stopped. Thus they are more willing to favor heavy punishment for those deviants. This fear can also interfere with their ability to critically assess social reality. Fear may lead right-wing authoritarians to make illogical assertions as long as those assertions support their presuppositions about social reality. Fear brings with it the idea that one cannot be wrong and one cannot lose the social/culture war that is being fought.

But if fear is the source of these other dysfunctions then are those dysfunctions limited to political and religious conservatives? Political and religious progressives may also see themselves in a social/culture war that they cannot fathom losing. My qualitative work with cultural progressives indicates a great deal of unreasonable fears such individuals have towards conservative Christians. It is possible that in a contextualized fashion we should see similar trends towards vindictiveness and non-critical thinking among those who dehumanize Christians.

In next week’s blog I will look at the propensity of those who dehumanize Christians to take on other negative characteristics linked to RWA. Due to space limitations I will only deal with vindictiveness however in Dehumanizing Christians, I also explored the propensity of those who dehumanize Christians to fail to engage in critical thinking. I will illustrate that the context of that vindictiveness matters but it is indeed the case that those who dehumanize conservative Christians also possess a good deal of vindictiveness. In doing so, I will argue that the desire to punish those who differ from us is not limited in scope or in intensity by political ideology.

In Search of Male Role Models

During the Christmas and New Years season, I end up reflecting more than normal about some of the choices I make in my life.  In celebrating with family and reflecting on the birth of Christ, I’m reminded of many of the relational blessings in my life.  Although I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions, in starting a new year (and new semester), I’m often challenged to be more intentional in the choices I make.  It’s also a good time for me to reflect together with my husband about where we want our life to be headed, and what directions we feel will help us live most in line with God’s passions and vision.

With the end of the semester also comes the grading of tests and papers, where I ask students to reflect on how their gender (and other’s gendered assumptions) has impacted their own trajectories.  I am immersed in the literature on challenges faced by evangelical women (as women), so many of the responses from my female students are often not surprising.  As a woman myself, I also relate personally to many of their experiences. I am reminded that there are few models of strong women providing leadership in evangelical institutions.  The project I’m currently working on alongside Janel Curry at Gordon College and the Center for Social Research at Calvin College is focused on understanding some of the structural, cultural, and theological factors at play.

In her book Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles (NYU Press, 2003), Julie Ingersoll finds that for the married women who do succeed in being in positions of power in the evangelical world, having the support of their husbands is incredibly important. For myself, I’m incredibly thankful to work together as part of a team with my husband, as we jointly think about what it means to live faithfully.  (I do not think all people need to be married, and agree with the arguments made by Christine Colon and Bonnie Field in Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church (Brazos Press, 2010)) that the church needs to find more ways to support and encourage single people.)

As I’m mentioned in previous posts (Why We Should Support Men and Egalitarian Men and Working Fathers), the problem of women’s underrepresentation in leadership and decision-making roles is not just about women.  Men who are committed to more egalitarian relationships face many of the same work/life challenges; they also face challenges and pay-gaps in the job market. As I read some of the reflections from my male students, I’m struck by the fact that they also lack a plethora of strong role models to follow.  That is, for those men committed to living in egalitarian relationships in their pursuit of Christ, it can also be hard to find good examples to emulate. We need more examples and role models of strong men, working alongside strong women.

I want to highlight three of those models – strong men, working together alongside strong women – that have been influential in my own life.  They are models that my husband and I look to together of the type of people we want to be like.  Catherine and Andy Crouch, Ruth and James Padilla DeBorst, and Sandra and Paul Joireman.  Each of these couples has also traveled extensively as part of their vocation, be it spending time abroad or traveling regularly for speaking engagements.  For each of these six individuals, his or her career accomplishments alone make him or her a person I would seek guidance from. Yet it is through watching them do the dishes, answer their child’s question, lead worship, teach a Bible study, provide mentoring, and live in community, that they challenge me in my own journey.

I first met the Crouches as an undergraduate at Harvard, where I was part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  Andy was working as a staff worked with IV (and serving as the editor of re:generation quarterly). Catherine was a post-doctoral student in the physics department at Harvard.  Today, Andy is a senior editor at Christianity Today, and a popular author/speaker. (Andy has written a great piece on the need for churches to better deal with scientists, which to me exemplifies some of the ways the two of them live in mission together). Catherine is a tenured professor at Swarthmore. They invested deeply in the lives of the students at Harvard; they’ve prioritized their children in their decisions. I was able to witness the way they co-parented young children at a critical juncture in their careers. They’ve been committed to specific religious bodies, and the lives of their children, and institutional structures within the church.

A few years later, while I was in El Salvador with World Relief, I had the privilege to meet Ruth and Jim Padilla DeBorst. They were working with the Christian Reformed World Missions. They began the Seeds of New Creation network in EL Salvador. Ruth has served as the general secretary of the FTL (Latin American Theological Fraternity), spoke at the last Lausanne Congress and currently works for World Vision. Jim provides leadership to the Centre for Interdisciplinary Theological Studies (CETI), has worked in development for over 20 years, and teaches and researches on international development. Jim and Ruth have six kids in their family, and currently live in Casa Adobe in Costa Rica, where they are invested deeply in the local community of Heredia. They are leaders in the global and local church, committed to ideas of integral mission. They frequently are asked to speak at conferences around the world. Yet in their quest, they have supported each other and their children. They are one of the best examples of a couple who provide global leadership through their local commitments.

Most recently, we’ve been able to be part of Lombard Mennonite Church as we live in Wheaton, where we’ve been inspired by the example of Paul and Sandra Joireman.  Sandra was a political science professor at Wheaton College, but is currently the Weinstein Chair of International Studies at the University of Richmond. She is also the current chair of the Board of Directors of Bread for the World.  Paul works as an Advanced Developer at VG Bioinformatics.  He previously worked at Fermilab, and has been a chemistry professor at various universities.  They are deeply invested in the community of our small church, from children’s ministries to adult education. They have two children, who they have parented together (sometimes from different countries).  We’ve seen them deal with some of the same questions we ask regarding dual career households, and their advice and example has been especially important to us in this life stage.

As a woman, I’m really thankful for the different models that Catherine, Ruth, and Sandra have been, usually in ways they do not even know.  It’s the ordinary way that they live their lives. As a woman, I also really appreciate Andy, Jim, and Paul. None of them are leaders in the feminist movement (to my knowledge). But they support strong women, and encourage them to succeed. They are committed to their families, sometimes at personal cost to their career.  They invest in building community with their spouses.

Given the gendered norms and inequalities that still exist in the evangelical world, we should recognize that it’s not just women struggling to find strong role models, but also men as well.  I realize that some reading this post may not want egalitarian role models, but for men and women who do, they have to be intentional about those to whom they look to for wisdom. I want to especially encourage young men committed to greater gender equality and shared partnership with women to look for strong male models such as those mentioned; to look for mentors who not only pursue Christ in their vocations, but alongside commitments to church community, and who encourage their partners to exercise their full potential.

 


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