Young-Earth Creationism vs. Love

Fred Clark posted about young-earth creationism’s approach to the Bible and its historical connection to the hermeneutic used in defense of slavery. Here is a diagram that he shared, with a quote from the post superimposed:

See too Arni Zachariassen’s post objecting to Ken Ham’s claim that Darwin was a racist, and Pete Lefevre’s post about Ken Ham’s case for young-earth creationism.

  • Just Sayin’

    Perhaps this will help the inveterate fence-sitting types to understand why this is not a fence-sitting issue.

  • Sean Garrigan

    You should really make your readers aware that you are not only rejecting Ken Ham here, but the writers of the biblical texts, and Jesus Christ himself. Many Christians are happy to tolerate the former (criticizing Ham), but many of us are not inclined to reject Jesus Christ.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I should make readers aware that, when you make claims about what my views are, I almost never recognize myself in the description you offer.

      Could you clarify your reasoning? Is your view that standing on the side of love and against the hermeneutic that was used to defend slavery, one is opposing Jesus? That was, of course, what the slave owners of the Southern Baptist Convention argued. But then as now, not everyone found the claim persuasive. The Golden Rule seems to have implications beyond the way most people applied it down the ages. But that does not mean that pursuing a broader application is a rejection of Jesus. If anything, it is pursuing seeing his teaching applied to a fuller extent.

      • Sean Garrigan

        Sorry if I misunderstood. I assumed that you felt that Christ’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman was too restrictive, and that the biblical headship arrangement somehow suggests that women are subhuman or something. If you accept Christ’s definition that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that the headship arrangement is in place for our good, then I apologize for misunderstanding and misrepresenting you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Did you mean to write that you apologize for misunderstanding and misrepresenting Jesus? Or did you mean to apologize to for trying to change the subject and to distract from the criticisms of young-earth creationism, perhaps?

          • Sean Garrigan

            Huh?

          • R Vogel

            Well that took an unexpected turn…..

          • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

            To be fair, “male headship and female submission” in the article, thus Sean’s reference to marriage.

    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

      Do you suppose that you own The Jesus Property?

      But here in the U.S. our sectarian Christians merely quarrel like talent agencies disputing who owns the screen rights to the Jesus Christ story. We’re hassling over the ownership to one of the most valuable properties of all time.

      ~Timothy Leary (2005) Chapter 3: Who Owns the Jesus Property? Start Your Own Religion. Ronin Publishing. p. 36. books.google.com/books?id=XeLME2Zt1q4C

      • Sean Garrigan

        It doesn’t sound like something I’d say, but I guess I’d have to read the chapter to see what the author has in mind. I’d give it a shot tonight, but I’m running out of steam.

        • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

          > many of us are not inclined to reject Jesus Christ.

          In short, just because some of us reject your version of JHC doesn’t mean we reject Jesus himself, especially considering the corruptions one finds.

          Christianity has been divided into orthodox/heresy camps for the entire history of Christianity, and the only difference between heresy and orthodoxy is who has political power.

          Of course, with the 1st Amendment and its emulations around the world, the difference between heresy and orthodoxy has been reduced to whoever blusters the most.

          • Sean Garrigan

            It’s not my version, and probably not Ken Ham’s version (I don’t follow his work), of Jesus Christ and the other biblical witnesses vis a vis marriage and the headship arrangement that are rejected by James and others, it’s the biblical one. That was my point.

            Ken Ham is being used as a springboard here to further a political agenda that contradicts the teachings of Jesus and his followers, according to the Bible.

            • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

              But there is no single “biblical version.” The Bible itself is conflicted and contradictory.

              • Sean Garrigan

                Where is the headship arrangement and definition of marriage contradicted in the NT?

                • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                  Are you completely unaware of the egalitarian vs. complimentarian controversy, as well as all the other contradictions in the Bible?

                  • Sean Garrigan

                    You have no reason to think so. I simply find that the Bible clearly indicates that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that a wife is to be in subjection to her husband.

                    The headship arrangement is no more demeaning than my own subjection to my supervisor at work. We are equal; we work towards a common goal; but for the sake of order, in the context of my working life, I am subject to my manager’s authority.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      So? Other people find other interpretations just as clearly. You don’t have to repeat your favored talking points to me, trying to justify yourself.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      I’m just waiting for you to point out where in the Bible it contradicts the two points I mentioned. Apparently you’d rather not do so, which is fine.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      I’m not sure what you’re waiting on, I provided a link that fleshes out the egalitarian-”complimentarian” (actually, hierarchical) controversy that shows there is not single interpretation of the bible as you like to imagine.

                      I also provided a link that shows more contradictions in general.

                      But true believers like yourself will never acknowledge a contradiction, because you’re too intellectually dishonest. So enjoy parroting your talking points.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      No one said there was a “single interpretation” of Scripture. BTW, extreme feminism — one of the supposed “interpretations” presented — isn’t an interpretation of Scripture at all, but a rejection of it.

                      If you believe that providing a link to a blog entry that only alludes to one scripture (if memory serves) is a satisfactory demonstration that the Bible contradicts the headship arrangement and the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, then I’m quite sure there isn’t any point in continuing the dialogue.

                      FYI, even the link within the blog entry that takes you to another entry with biblical verses referenced doesn’t offer exegesis, but merely bolds parts of biblical texts (that I don’t reject, BTW).

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Sean, I don’t give a hoot what you think about the Bible. People wrote the Bible. Most of the Bible is pure bullshit.* I’m not going to argue a position—one you’re trying to attribute to me but isn’t mine—from a mishmash of books for which I have little respect. You can have all the fun in the world duking it out with people who actually believe the Bible is a magical text from a skygod, and, as I demonstrated, even true believers can’t agree on anything it says.

                      The Word I read is the ‘Verse, and the best way to understand the uniVerse is science.

                      And science debunks your silly notions. We humans are egalitarian,** and that egalitarianism that evolved is evidenced in our very bodies.

                      • Note that you have very short canines, just like any woman you think you have the right to dominate. You are equals.

                      • Note the sexual dimorphism between your body and a woman’s body. You have as little sexual dimorphism as a penguin.

                      • Note that you have zero sexual dichromatism. Male humans have to fake dichromatism with clothing like red power ties to conjure an aura of being dominant, since they don’t have red asses like baboons or shiny feathers.

                      All of these measurements are how scientists help determine where a social animal is on the hierarchy—egalitarian continuum.

                      Unless you want to argue about publicly verifiable evidence, I’m quite sure there isn’t any point in continuing the dialogue also.
                      ________
                      * Or as Jefferson put it, “dunghills.”

                      “The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

                      ** Christopher Boehm (1999) Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Harvard University Press.

                    • stuart32

                      I just had a quick look at Christopher Boehm’s book on amazon. His theory seems to be that during the last million years of our evolution we became egalitarian, unlike chimpanzees, for example, which are hierarchical. The egalitarianism to which he was referring was between males, not between males and females. The weapons that males of certain species have, such as antlers, are used in fights between males, not to dominate females.

                      Sexual dimorphism is also usually a sign that males compete with each other. You are right that there is a relative absence of sexual dimorphism in humans. But this isn’t a sign that males and females were meant to be equal. Also, the absence is only a relative one. There is some dimorphism.

                      I think we should be wary of looking to nature to see what we are “meant” to be like. There is good reason to think that nature has programmed into us a combination of monogamy and infidelity. That doesn’t mean that we should follow nature’s presciptions.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      You’re not reading Boehm (or any other anthropologist) correctly if you think egalitarianism is just between males. Yes, there remains some residual sexual dimorphism between male and female, and roles are slightly differentiated in egalitarian non-state societies, but not much. As anthropologist Eleanor Leacock observed, the egalitarianism of non-state foraging lifeways “applied as fully to women as to men.”

                      What we were meant to be evolutionarily speaking is the basis of ethics for Richard Manning.

                      “I think a proper system of ethics would examine as deeply as we can, as rationally as we can, what we are, and what we’re meant to be, and then allow your life to somehow mirror your genetic heritage.”

                      youtube.com/watch?v=d5iBOXcoP_8

                    • stuart32

                      I was thinking of egalitarianism purely as it can be judged on a biological basis. I thought you were doing the same since you mentioned sexual dimorphism. You said that human males have small canines just like human females, which makes them equals. This implies that if men had large canines and women didn’t then they wouldn’t be equal. Not true. It would mean that men would compete with each other and there would be a hierarchy amongst men. It might also mean that a man would have an advantage in a fight against a woman, but this would be incidental; it wouldn’t be why the difference evolved in the first place.

                      There is a residual sexual dimorphism in humans in the sense that it is much less than that in gorillas, for example. But it’s still quite considerable. Men clearly have a physical advantage over women. Again, this wasn’t the reason why the dimorphism evolved. The fact that men have the advantage is incidental. The idea that evolution is trying (or not trying) to create equality between men and women is meaningless.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Evolution trying to accomplish a goal? That’s a great strawman, but I never said that.

                      But even if somebody assigned or interprets such teleological baggage to evolution, it still remains that humans evolved to be egalitarian primates. Some have argued that human egalitarianism is even more significant that opposable thumbs or walking upright.

                      Our egalitarianism defines us; it is probably the single most defining trait in humanity. We evolved as egalitarian band-animals in the Pleistocene. Egalitarianism is our natural state, and our birthright. It is what we expect, down to our very bones. Yet today, it has become so rare that many humans doubt its very possibility. We have accepted the evils of hierarchy — the trauma of an animal maladapted to its current environment — as inevitable.

                      ~Jason Godesky
                      Thesis #7: Humans are best adapted to band life.

                    • stuart32

                      Equality has a clear evolutionary meaning in this context. In a hierarchical band of primates some males will have many offsring and others will have few or none. In an egalitarian band of primates offspring will be distributed more equally among the males. Males and females don’t compete with each other to have offspring, obviously, so they cannot be more or less equal to each other in evolutionary terms.

                      But let’s ignore the distinction and think of equality more generally. Evolution gave our ancestors relative equality for much of their history. But what evolution gives it can also take away. Evolution also gave us intelligence, and that enabled us to create the agricultural societies which destroyed the egalitarian way of life.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      The word “egalitarian” has to do with sociopolitical power status, and is defined as being “autonomous” and “sovereign” as individuals. [1,2]

                      And if one maims or destroys what life has evolved, that isn’t defined as “evolution.” Or do you really regard nuclear weapons, torture racks, corporate hierarchies, slavery etc., which “destroy” (your choice of word, and it is accurate) the rich tapestry of evolution, as inextricable aspects of biological evolution?

                      ___________
                      1. “…remain politically autonomous as individuals … this egalitarian arrangement.” Christopher Boehm (1999) Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Harvard University Press. p. 194.

                      2. Historically, people in [Egalitarian] non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign…They bow to no external political leaders.” ~Elman R. Service (1975), Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.

                    • stuart32

                      Very good questions. Can the destruction of life be part of evolution? It seems that it can:

                      http://www.damninteresting.com/how-bacteria-nearly-destroyed-all-life/

                      Are nuclear weapons part of evolution? It would be very odd to say so. What about agriculture? Well, termites practise a form of agriculture. That seems like part of evolution. I suppose the more advanced the technology the more it seems to depart from nature.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Termite “agriculture” hasn’t caused a mass extinction, and their lifeway is evolutionarily stable. Humans are causing the Sixth Mass Extinction with their farming and it is evolutionarily unstable, harms our health, and could wipe out the species.

                      Also, realize humans can change the earth for better. The Amazon rain forest is regarded as an artificial human-made garden:

                      “the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact”

                      1491 | Charles Mann | The Atlantic
                      theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/302445/

                      But maybe, like George Carlin posits, the Earth wanted plastic. So it made humans and got its plastic. And the plastic will be around a lot longer than the human race. ;)

                      But I think we still have a choice. Between fear and love. Between egalitarian and hierarchy. Gardening and raping the earth.

                      Christianity has the power to change the ride. I agree with Lynn White, St. Francis should be our Christian ideal.

                      Lynn White Jr. (1967) The Historic Roots of our Ecological Crisis. Science. Vol. 155 no. 3767, pp. 1203-1207. http://www.zbi.ee/~kalevi/lwhite.htm

                      youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      “Sean, I don’t give a hoot what you think about the Bible. People wrote the Bible. Most of the Bible is pure [expletive]…”

                      Yet YOU chose to begin interacting with me with a question that specifically involved my view of the Bible. If you didn’t care then you shouldn’t have pretended that you did.

                      “Note that you have very short canines, just like any woman you think you have the right to dominate. You are equals.”

                      Precisely so, just as I’m equal to my manager at work, yet appropriately subject to said manager’s authority.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      You’re the pretender, imagining that you own the Jesus Property exclusively, and that anybody who doesn’t believe your version, as you purport, rejects Jesus. (Read what you wrote 2 days ago.)

                      I reject your Platonic version of Christianity, yet still follow Jesus’ ethical teachings, just the same as Thomas Jefferson did.

                      Also, you’re not an equal if your are a subject. Sub- means under. (Under isn’t equal.) Which goes to show your whole “headship” paradigm is nothing but an intellectual fraud.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      “You’re the pretender, imagining that you own the Jesus Property exclusively, and that anybody who doesn’t believe your version, as you purport, rejects Jesus. (Read what you wrote 2 days ago.)”

                      Not at all. As I pointed out, it’s not my version. Any Jesus who isn’t the biblical Jesus is but a projection of ourselves.

                      “I reject your Platonic version of Christianity, yet still follow Jesus’ ethical teachings, just the same as Thomas Jefferson did.”

                      Well, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but given your demeanor I’m not about to read over 200 pages just to find out.

                      “Also, you’re not an equal if your are a subject. Sub- means under. (Under isn’t equal.) Which goes to show your whole “headship” paradigm is nothing but an intellectual fraud.”

                      The only fraud is one who refuses to interact honestly with what someone says as an excuse to offer illegitimate criticism of the other person’s view. Virtually everyone on the planet is subordinate to someone, yet few believe that this makes them inferior.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Your version of Jesus is a projection of yourself. There is no objective “biblical” version, because there are so many interpretations of the bible itself.

                      Platonic refers to supernatural, the version of the Jesus which you hold to be real. Read it or not. Another book that delves into the Platonic influence on Christianity is River of God, The: A New History of Christian Origins.

                      Inferior means “lower;” avail yourself of a dictionary. You’re still trying to get away with the intellectual dishonesty that George Orwell illustrated so well in his 1945 novel Animal Farm, when he wrote: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      By your definition, virtually everyone on the planet is “lower” than someone, then. Ironically, it is not my approach that demeans anyone, but yours, for you are one implying that functional subordination implies that people a subordinate role are inferior.

                      Though I’m not a Trinitarian, they often compare the marriage arrangement to the Trinitarian Godhead. The son isn’t less than God, just because he’s subordinate to the Father. When the husband and wife become “one flesh”, the wife isn’t less than the husband, just because she’s subordinate to him.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Inferior means “under.” Sub- means “under.”

                      You keep trying to have your cake and eat it too. I keep pointing it out your Orwellian language.

                      Non-State society band and tribal society, The Original Affluent Society (Sahlins, 1973) is egalitarian. State society (agricultural civilization) is hierarchical, where the rich Lord-over the poor, in a complex strata of hierarchical layers.

                      As Thomas Paine (Agrarian Justice, 1795) observed: “The life of an Indian is a continual holiday, compared with the poor of Europe; and, on the other hand it appears to be abject when compared to the rich.”

                      upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Anti-capitalism_color.gif

                    • arcseconds

                      In what sense are you equal to another if you have to obey their orders and can be disciplined if you fail, but you are unable to give them orders or discipline them?

                      This strikes me as the kind of ‘equality’ that slaves have with their masters, or vassals with their lords, i.e. the kind of ‘equality’ that people have striven for centuries to eliminate in favour of… well, I’m not sure what to call it now.

                      Perhaps this is what they mean when they say ‘we are all equal, but some are more equal than others.’

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      Yet it’s the kind of equality that society wouldn’t and couldn’t function without. Let Obama make one of his endless “Executive Orders” that there are no more supervisors, no more managers, no more leaders of any kind, even no more presidents (oops, he wouldn’t do THAT), and society would be in chaos within the hour.

                    • Kubricks_Rube

                      Off topic, but just to be clear:

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Society isn’t destroyed by egalitarianism. Only the status of those Lording-it-over others is destroyed by equality.

                      “I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, [European and Colonial] under pretence of governing, they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      Yet you are clearly mistaken, as society *would* become chaos if leadership were abolished. There’s actually not even a legit question about it, which makes it impossible for me to take your objections seriously at this point.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      F.U.D. is no substitute for anthropological and historical observation: hierarchy is what causes chaos.

                      “We are finding our a bit more about an intelligence that we know lived with nature instead of dominating it, and lived without hierarchy or organized violence. (Head-hunting, cannibalism. slavery, war all appear only with the onset of agriculture.)” ~John Zerzan, Twilight of the Machines

                      Is it natural for humans to make war? New study of tribal societies reveals conflict is an alien concept
                      independent.co.uk/news/science/is-it-natural-for-humans-to-make-war-new-study-of-tribal-societies-reveals-conflict-is-an-alien-concept-8718069.html

                    • arcseconds

                      You’re continuing to call it ‘equality’ without justification.

                      Stop playing this Orwellian, humpty-dumpty game, call a spade a spade, and just be up front in that you think society requires inequality.

                      Then we can talk about whether it’s necessary or not.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      “You’re continuing to call it ‘equality’ without justification”

                      You’re continuing to suggest that I’m inferior to my supervisor without justification. I guess we’re at an impasse. Surprise, surprise.

                    • arcseconds

                      No, I’m afraid I did give a justification for this. Go back and read my post again. It’s very clear, and I can’t make it any clearer: I’d only be repeating myself.

                      Honestly, Sean, in many places supervisors are called ‘superiors’! That ought to give you a clue…

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Inferior/Superior = equality at Animal Farm, Inc. Don’t you get it yet? ;)

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      The problem is that you continue to ignore the clarifications I’ve offered so that you can argue against a straw man. My subjection to my supervisor does not make me inferior _as a human being_. I happily accept the mutually beneficial arrangement, and I’m grateful that it’s in place, because positive results are better achieved when we work towards our goals in an orderly way. My worth as a human being isn’t determined by the roles I willingly assume in the course of my life.

                    • arcseconds

                      I’m sorry, I don’t see anywhere here where you have given a justification as to why an arrangement where one person has the right to give orders and dispense punishments and the other does not should be called ‘equality’.

                      What does this ‘equal _as a human being_’ amount to, if it means a master-slave relationship in daily life?

                      When people have fought for equality, they’ve never settled for some kind of notional equality where people solemnly intone ‘you are equal to me as a human being but it just so happens I won’t let you make decisious for yourself. Now, please remove your shirt, O equal of mine, because you deserve a sound thrashing.’ They’ve always wanted something more substantial then this: the right to self-determination, the right to own property, the right to vote in elections, that sort of thing.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      I don’t recognize the Christian headship arrangement in your comments.

                    • arcseconds

                      And I don’t recognise equality in yours. It’s no use saying “X and Y are equal” as though that’s a good thing if that’s quite compatible with “X treats Y as a slave”.

                      And so far, you have not given me any reason to suppose your notion of equality rules that out, or in fact any reason to suppose that it deserves the word ‘equality’ at all.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      The running back is not the “slave” of the Quarterback, and does not feel demeaned in any way when he scores a touchdown in the context of a play called by the Quarterback.

                    • arcseconds

                      What exactly is your point here? There are some examples of unequal relationships that are relatively unproblematic?

                      OK, granted. I guess no-one consideres a running-back demeaned by the normal relationship of a quaterback (I have no idea what either is, so for all I know it’s an incredibly demeaning relationship, but I presume the quaterback is kind of like a team captain in other sports?).

                      But that doesn’t establish that the relationship is an equal one. It doesn’t sound like an equal relationship to me.

                      So, sure, some unequal relationships are not equivalent to slavery and aren’t demeaning. This seems obvious and I never claimed otherwise. Hopefully you also recognise that some relationships are both demeaning and equivalent to slavery.

                      The quaterback presumably only has authority over the running back on the sports field. Futhermore, this relationship is tempered by other things that make it a fairly unproblematic compromise: it’s a relationship entered by mutual consent, it’s for a limited time, and in a limited sphere of endeavour.

                      If the relationship was for life, and goverened every aspect of the running-back’s existence, and the quaterback could dictate what the running-back is to eat, who they’re to date, and order them to mow his lawns and clean his shoes, then we probably would consider this to be both demeaning and a form of slavery!

                      (We would consider it to be slavery because this is the same kind of relationship a master has with his slaves.)

                      I note that you’re still not giving any explanation for why what you call ‘equality’ deserves to be called equality, or why it’s important if it’s completely unconnected with anyone seeking equality has ever wanted, despite me asking several times. It’s going to be difficult to have this discussion if we both mean completely different things by ‘equality’.

                    • Kubricks_Rube

                      In the context of your work relationship to your supervisor, I don’t see why inferior is an inappropriate word. In that specific context you are certainly not your supervisor’s equal. But outside of that context, such distinctions are inappropriate. In life, you are not your supervisor’s inferior; you are equals. The question is whether one should view their wife as a subordinate in the same way they’d view workers they manage as subordinates. I could never do that. Marriage, unlike a job, is not a unidimentional aspect of one’s life with structured context-dependent relationships. It is life. My wife and I are coequal partners. In fact, I hate that the word complementarian has the Orwellian connotation it has, because my wife and I are complementary, just not in the way prescribed by gender essentialism. We make decisions together based on what’s best for both of us as a couple and as individuals. Neither of us is the boss.

                      Also, leadership roles in society and in one’s career are neither preordained nor permanent. Even if marriages did need a head, the idea that the man is automatically the head by virtue of birth is contrary to the social structure our country values.

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. The primary issue here, IMO, is that folks have strong opinions about what society should be like, and when they encounter a view that isn’t perceived to be in harmony with their own, they sometimes end up arguing past it rather than truly against it.
                      There is both a certain ambiguity in the application of terms like “subordinate” and “inferior”, and a certain degree of equivocation that each side perceives to be involved with their opponent’s argument.

                      The irony is that those who are claiming that my view is Orwellian are themselves, whether wittingly or unwittingly, abusing language to try and make their point, because they’re (a) arguing against a straw man, and (b) using snippet dictionary definitions as the basis for their argument without respect to the rather obvious philosophical problems with applying the terms in the manner that they are applying them in context.

                      Regarding (a), they’re arguing against a straw man because they’re talking about function whereas I’m talking about ontology.

                      Regarding (b), even their arguments involving function are flawed, because they assume that a person is necessarily demeaned by accepting the authority of another person, yet there doesn’t appear to be any basis for such an assumption. A running back is not demeaned when he makes a touchdown in the context of a play called by the Quarterback.

                      About this:

                      “Even if marriages did need a head, the idea that the man is
                      automatically the head by virtue of birth is contrary to the social
                      structure our country values.”

                      Accepting someone as your King is contrary to American values, yet accepting Christ as the Messiah involves precisely that.

                    • arcseconds

                      I’m still waiting for an explanation of why your ‘ontological equality’ isn’t just a piece of empty sophistry that allows you to bandish the word ‘equality’ around while condoning any kind of ‘functionally’ (i.e. in reality) unequal arrangement you please.

                      If ontological equality doesn’t translate into anything real, then it’s just a word-game that allows one to say lovely-sounding things while oppressing people.

                      But I’m pleased to see that there’s finally some room in your account for allowing that the relationship between you and your superior at work, and the relationship that you are promoting between husband and wife, are not in fact equal relationships.

                    • Pam

                      A running back and a quarterback have each agreed to take their particular position and role within a team. Also, their role will be based on their ability, not some arbitrary physical/biological factor. In your job, if you work hard and are talented you can get promoted and have an equal job with your supervisor, or maybe even be promoted above them. In a complementarian approach to marriage and relationships, women do not ever get such opportunities. We are permanently put in a place that is subject to a male simply because of the genitalia we are born with No heed is paid to our abilities, no heed is paid to our interests (it’s not paid to men’s, either). We have no possibility of moving outside of that position, whereas should you excel in your job you can move beyond your position. Where the footballer gets to play in the position that best suits him (or her), in complementarian approaches to relationships none of that exists. There’s just two narrow boxes, one each for all men and women. That is not equality.

                    • Kubricks_Rube

                      I agree with Pam below. Also, marriages are not formed for the same reasons and under the same conditions that they were when ideal family structure was written about in the Bible. The social structure then in general was much different than our own, with roles across the board limited greatly if not entirely by birth. And this was the context the writers of the Bible were working in and the context in which Jesus would need to lay the groundwork for the future arc of human development. (Full disclosure: I’m Jewish, not Christian, so my relationship to/analysis of scripture is a bit different.) But just as our options and opportunities in society and more fluid and less preordained and permanent than when the Bible was written, so too our marital dynamics. And with good reason: there is more variability across the spectrum of all men and across the spectrum of all women than between the average man and the average woman. So for me, the proper sports analogy would not be coach and player or quarterback and running back, but teammates together on the field of play reacting to game conditions as they come based on their own natural (and developed) skills and abilities. Who is the lead tackler on a given play? It depends on where the runner is on the field. Backhand shot or forehand shot? Depends. Which pitcher comes out of the bullpen? Depends. Which golfclub out of the bag? Depends. And I’ll take that analogy one step further: sometimes I’m the 3-wood and my wife’s the putter, sometimes it’s the other way around. It depends. (This analogy may be getting away from me. Within marriages and relationships people tend to settle into specific roles; the point is that those roles can vary greatly across all relationships and that’s more healthy than forcing the roles based on gender alone.)

                    • Sean Garrigan

                      BTW, I meant to mention that the analogy involving the supervisor/employee relationship wasn’t meant to suggest that a Christian husband should treat his wife like an employee. The work analogy, like the sports analogy, is merely meant to show that it is not necessarily demeaning to accept the authority of another person. To me, establishing that is the first step in a discussion like this, because if you can’t even get someone to acknowledge the fact that accepting the authority of another is not necessarily demeaning in principle, then there’s no point in trying to move beyond that to discuss the spectrum of application of the headship arrangement in the context of a marriage.

                    • Pam

                      It’s not demeaning in principle, but it is demeaning if it is permanent and unchangeable. If there is no way for a particular group to ever hold authority over the other group, then that is not equality.

                    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

                      Nice reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm. :) The “headship” schtick is clearly Orwellian.

  • Jr

    So, actually it seems Darwin was a racist and Zachariassen’s makes no real effort to suggest otherwise. Instead he brings up two other issues: Darwin believed in common descent and abhorred slavery. Both are true but do not show he was not a racist.

    Darwin did not hate other races and was abhorred by the inhumanity of slavery but he definitely thought other cultures were inferior and probably thought the mental faculties of non-whites were genetically less advanced. That he believed in common descent is also irrelevant. I believe I share an ancestor with my potted plant but I do I am not going to support plant rights anytime soon.


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