Woman with a Mancard: My Night at Kirk Cameron’s Marriage-Strengthening Event

This is a guest post by Annie Thomas. Annie is a science teacher and writer from Gainesville, Florida. She attended this event at my request and donated the ticket reimbursement to Atheist Nexus.

***

The Hare Krishnas on University Avenue chanted and drummed as I started my hour drive south. I drove past the Islamic Center, the YMCA summer camp, and a variety of tiny little churches whose denominations I had never heard of before moving to Florida years ago. Once in the country, I listened to an NPR story about the cross at Ground Zero, as I passed a horse farm named “Almost Heaven.” When I stopped at a store to pick up a bottle of water, the clerk instructed me to “have a blessed day.” I enjoy the freedom of living in a university town, as it tends to be more secular, or at least more tolerant, than the surrounding area. My drive south was not just a directional journey, but a cultural one as well. I was headed to the First Baptist Church of Ocala to attend a “marriage event” hosted by evangelical Christian (and childhood star of “Growing Pains”) Kirk Cameron. In the event’s promotional video, Cameron promises to teach me how to strengthen and protect my marriage… with the help of the Bible.

I wondered if the techniques he was going to teach would be secular at the bone, and simply fattened up with Bible verses and prayer. I was curious if the message could be beneficial to people who were not evangelical Christians. Also, I wanted to find out about Cameron’s atheist past and what made him abandon reason for faith.

I settled into a pew in the back of the big box church and looked around the crowded main floor. I was the only “single” woman in view, and I didn’t see any people of color until the intermission (two out of 1,000 participants, according to my estimate). People seemed pleasant and looked dressed up. Most of the women were adorned with elaborate hairstyles, manis and pedis, and wore fine jewelry and clothing (See 1 Peter 3:3). Tickets were $25 per person, unless you chose to come early for a meet-and-greet with Cameron, which cost an additional $10. The main event lasted 3 ½ hours.

Warren Barfield, a Christian singer and songwriter shared the stage with Cameron. Throughout the evening, we listened to Barfield sing and play his guitar, interspersed with his own testimonial and stories about faith, family and life. He was likable and told lots of jokes (many of them funny). When he was showing the crowd one of the t-shirts on sale in the lobby, which read, “I love my husband,” he promised if we ladies wore this shirt we would spark conversations with others, and be given opportunities to share our faith. He joked, “Guys. If you wear this shirt, you’ll start a conversation… but you’re probably at the wrong conference.”

Good ole Christian humor.

Kirk Cameron came up on stage while Barfield strummed and sang part of the “Growing Pains” theme. A bit of fanfare ensued. Warren introduced him as a “Granola” because he comes from California, “the land of fruits and nuts” (the audience laughed again). Cameron gave a little introduction, talked at length about “Seaver Fever” and finally spoke of his atheist past. He dismissed evolution by stating that he knew he was more than the product of some chemical reactions or a cockroach waiting to be crushed. He reminisced out loud about pondering, “Is there something other than my blind faith in evolution and atheism?” Later in the evening, he made a reference to Creationism: “The same guy who designed our universe also designed our marriages. And I’ve read his manual. And his word trumps Oprah’s every time.” (“Amens” from the audience.)

Marital advice was scant during the first half of the program. Cameron instructed us to write down three “Principles from God’s Word”… even though no Biblical references were tied to them and I don’t remember ever reading the phrase “Marriage is awesome” in the Bible.

They were:

  1. Marriage is awesome. Marriage doesn’t fail. Marriage was designed by God. We fail.
  2. There’s only one person on the planet that I can change, and that is myself.
  3. You must have an effective war strategy to destroy sin in your life.

Fuzzy logic right out of the gate with number one. Marriage was designed by God, so marriage can’t fail. We were designed by God, but we can fail? Which is it? The three points were elaborately illustrated by Cameron. He became most fired up when discussing principle number three. “Pornography and sexual immorality will destroy you. It devours people in their thought lives, all the while being hidden to others. Burning bridges to your feeding grounds [sin] only works for a while.”

The concept of a war strategy and fighting for love was intertwined throughout the evening, and sometimes in rather frightening ways. After the intermission, we watched a trailer for Cameron’s upcoming documentary Monumental. Up to this point, there had been a lot of jokes and laughter, so when I saw Cameron on screen, running through a recreated pilgrim village, with a voiceover asking, “What if our forefathers left us a map?” I thought this was a fun little spoof on The Da Vinci Code or National Treasure. But he was serious. The movie teaser is not out yet, but you can watch other videos about the making of the documentary here. Some other quotations from the teaser included: There’s “something sick in the soul of America” and “Our history has not been forgotten; it’s been rewritten.” After the teaser, Cameron added, “I see some fruit on the tree of America that is very concerning.” He did not expand on this comment. But the most worrisome statement he made was that we needed to “build a brand new nation and use the Bible as a blueprint.” (Heads up, FFRF!)

The marriage advice during the second half was all taken from one Bible verse: 1 Peter 3:7. “Likewise, husbands, dwell with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

From this one verse, Cameron painstakingly created six concepts:

  1. Spend time with her.
  2. Study her.
  3. Honor her.
  4. Protect her.
  5. Open up to her.
  6. Pray with her.

Most examples he gave were very basic in nature. Eat dinner with your wife. Give her genuine compliments… often. Take the trash out. Nothing earth-shattering. However, some of his specific and “practical” messages were downright sexist.

Before giving this information to the audience, Cameron said his message was for the guys, because, “I would be a fool to try and tell you ladies what to do.” (Big laughs.) But that butter melted fast. “If something is wrong with a company, go to the CEO. If something is wrong with a team, go to the coach. Us men have been given by God the role of leadership.” Whenever he referred to how hard a woman worked during the day, it was always in reference to her cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children — never to a woman’s professional life.

To illustrate how a man could honor his wife in public, Cameron offered a personal anecdote: “I was in a movie a few years back… Fireproof.” (It was good that he mentioned this… in case we missed the previous seventeen references to his hit Christian film.) He explained that although he and his wife were both actors, they have a rule never to kiss another person, even on screen. During the filming of the movie, there was a scene that would not have been as moving if the husband and wife did not reconcile with a kiss. Cameron was giddy with pride while he explained the clever way he and his wife skirted this sticky situation.

He had his wife wear his co-star’s dress, don a wig, and act as a “kiss double.” Really.

Things veered from juvenile to creepy when he said, “Protect your wife by managing your anger and aggression in a conflict. Don’t throw things, punch the wall, or use a deeper voice during an argument.” (I thought this was common knowledge…) Before another video vignette, Cameron told the husbands, “If your wife cowers in front of you — ever — you have crossed the line and you are not protecting her.” That’s the main concern? That the man is “not protecting” his wife? Why not call it what it is: the result of bullying and emotional abuse.

“When you married,” he told the men, “You signed up to play the role of Jesus Christ to your wife.” (I looked around to see the reactions of others, but no one was vomiting.) He continued, “To the point of warring against sin. To treasure her, so she will be spotless and blameless.” He then invited the men up to the front to pray with him. He later added that they could go back and get their wives, which created a bit of a congestion problem, even in such a large church. I thought they were going to get up on stage and hold hands, but the stage entrances were blocked, so the men (and some women) just stood in the aisles near the stage. Most of the men looked around, searching for direction in what to do next. A few groups showed some gumption and formed mini prayer circles within their aisles. The whole thing seemed pointless, as I felt everyone could have prayed again (we prayed a lot) from their seats. It felt like a time killer more than anything else.

After these six points were presented — ad nauseum — Cameron announced that he had something for the guys in the audience. He instructed the wives that he had cards that were for the husbands’ eyes only, and he asked that the husbands always carry them, but not show them to their wives. I conveniently forgot to bring my husband with me, and I don’t particularly like being told I can’t have something because I’m a woman, so I knew I had to get a card. When the volunteer came to my row, she carefully counted how many men were seated, and handed me the pile. I took one off the top, slipped it in my purse, and smiled as I handed the rest of the stack to the woman next to me. Her eyes widened to the size of meatballs, but she said nothing. It was labeled “MANCARD” on the front and had the very six steps he just spent an hour explaining (!), so I’m unsure why the card’s contents were such a big “secret.” I have the unabridged version of the card in my notes anyway, so there.

The evening ended with Cameron pitching the merchandise available (once again). I could feel eyes on me when he gave a message for those women whose husbands, for whatever reason, couldn’t join us tonight. He said to tell our husbands that “God knows exactly where you are.”

I may have been the only women not wearing high heels, so it was easy for me to sprint out the exit and get in my car before anyone else. I called my husband to say hello once I hit the road. I was excited to share my victory of card-snatching and QBAPLD (quick big-ass parking lot departure). I told him that Kirk Cameron had a message for him. He laughed and waited. I repeated, “God knows exactly where you are.” My husband let out an audible scoff. “Everyone knows where I am. It’s 10:30 at night. I’m in my recliner.”

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23430830 Matthew Shepherd

    Marriage was designed by God…to be whatever he thinks God wants marriage to be, because he said so. So there.

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    “You signed up to play the role of Jesus Christ to your wife.”

    Which is odd, since according to the Bible, Jesus never married.

    • Matto the Hun

      Worse still, he never boned anyone.

      I mean, I dig some roleplay, but this seems rather dull.

      • Anonymous

        i view the jeebus story differently. there was some rather massive editing going on in the centuries after “his” death, but i can still perceive the closer to Roman era flavor of “his love.” a guy who hangs out with a bunch of other guys most of whom seem happily unconcerned with family or children (a big deal at the time), drinking wine and going on boating excursions and making trouble at religious and political events? sounds queer to me. jeebus even had fag hags, socially marginalized women who loved his beauty (of spirit, i guess) but who at no point indicated they wanted to have a family with him. there is a type of gay guy like this in every queer Scene, the type that everybody loves and wants to be with, and because he’s such a lover he sleeps with everyone. that’s the vibe i get off Jesus, not the celibate the later church made him out to be. later christians went out of the way to contrast themselves with old pagan social forms, and the anti-sex vibe in christianity didn’t really get going until later in church history.

        • http://happycat.pip.verisignlabs.com/ Chris aka Happy Cat

            There is the “Secret Gospel of Mark” (at least I think that’s the one) that describes a young man who comes to Jebus  wearing very little. The guy  spends the night with Jebus, who initiates  the young man in the “secrets of Heaven.” (I’ve heard this may be a modern forgery, but it’s still debated.  Sounds a lot like the old mystery cults, tho.).
             Then there is the young man present in in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jebus is arrested.  (Gospel of Mark? Not sure and don’t care enough to bother with teh Google.) He’s wearing only a loin cloth.  A Roman soldier grabs the loincloth and the youth flees the scene in the buff.  Wtf?

          To Annie:  Thank you x10^30.  What a wonderful account. Entertaining and troubling at once.  As a gay man, I’d have started babbling in tongues and performing Linda Blair style obscene gestures & rants until removed from the premises. Just for the hell of it. Kudos!

          • Annie

            Chris the happy cat-  The last sentence of your second paragraph sounds like it may have been the inspiration for the Cinderella story!  I don’t know about the secret gospel of Mark, but it makes me want to read the Song of Solomon again (it’s not included in most bibles, at least not to my knowledge). 

            And yes, from their simple jokes and innuendos, they made it quite obvious that same sex couples were not welcome there.  This saddened me, but was no great surprise.  The views presented was extremely close minded.  They expected everyone to be the same (they expected women to not work outside of the home!), and what a dreadfully boring world this would be if they’re expectations were correct.  I’m glad you liked the piece.

            • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

              but it makes me want to read the Song of Solomon again (it’s not included in most bibles, at least not to my knowledge).  

              It’s included in every King James Bible I’ve seen.

              • Rebecca M

                 It was also in all the bibles I have ever read.

  • Bryan

    Wow.  I love that the “Mancards” were printed with a bad ass corrugated metal (is that what that is?) background, so the men didn’t feel sissified by all this namby-pamby “spend time with your wife” stuff. 

    • entertaining.doubts

      You’d think for $25 a pop they could hire a competent graphic designer.

      • rhodent

        The designer was probably told to do something like that.  Customer’s always right and all that.

        Besides, I suspect that the person who ordered these would have only contacted designers who were as far gone as he* was, and any designer that far gone would have come up with something similar.

        * I’m assuming whoever ordered these was male because…well, surely that part is obvious, right?

    • Wicca_29

      It’s called Diamondplate. But yeah, same idea.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rushmoremommy Naomi Dwyer

    ugggggg uGG!    That guy gives me the skeevies. Nicely written Annie!

  • Johannsone

    “I looked around to see the reactions of others, but no one was vomiting. ”
    I nearly died laughing. Great post, wish I could have joined you, it would have made for a most excellent conversation piece in the room :)
    Thank you, not only for sharing, but not putting the anger spin on it. I really enjoyed your writing!
    And my husband, same place every night @ 1030!
    This piece is  like a dark comedy. You wanna laugh, but deep in the center, it’s scary as all get out.

  • Marylynne7

    This is awesome!  Thank you for taking one for the team.  

    My husband and I still go to our Catholic Marriage Encounter monthly discussion group.  So far hanging out with other couples committed to their marriages has outweighed the Christian part, but maybe for not much longer.   A few months ago it was our turn to give the talk – we titled it “Our Spiritual Journey,” subtitled “Guess What, MaryLynne is an Atheist and We Are Still Happily Married.”   It is a very Catholic/Christian group so we were just about expecting to find we were no longer welcome, which we were prepared for. Several of them were old friends, but it was time to ‘fess up or GTFO.   

    Surprisingly, most of the group was fine.   One guy asked me to meet for lunch – turns out he has big doubts and has cobbled together a Catholic/eastern spiritually to try to hang on to something.  He was curious about my journey and how I was able to take that last step.  

    One older couple emailed that they were “sad and disappointed” and worried for me and begged me to open my heart to God.  I just thanked them for their love and concern.  I am not going to argue faith with an 80-year-old couple.    I thought it was cool enough that everyone under 50 in the group could accept it without much trouble. 

    ANYWAY, all that was because one month a couple showed that cod-awful Fireproof.   I kept wishing I had earlids – I could close my eyes but could still hear it.   The weirdest thing was after how the other couples found it so inspiring and wonderful.   Some of these are really smart people, but critical thinking just gets turned off when religion was involved.  I hope, though, that I would have known that movie was a pile of fish guts even when I was still Catholic.  

    MaryLynne  

  • http://wading-in.net/walkabout Just Al

    Actually, I think this is excellent that Cameron is reaching out to those hopelessly mired in the eighteenth century. In an age where Windows 2000 is totally unsupported anymore, it’s nice to know that troglodytes are not forgotten.

  • T-Rex

    Kirk Cameron obviously suffers from some form of mental sickness. It’s very sad that anyone would look to him for “life answers”. He should be sedated and submitted for observation. Delusional would be the understatement of the century when describing Kirk’s condition.

    • Anonymous

      No different than a 700 Club (I like to torture myself) where an elderly women,totally sincere, asked Pat Robertson what kind of medication she should take for her illness.

      • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

        Please tell me that Robertson showed enough sense to tell her “whatever your doctor prescribes.”

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    Are these people able to do any event that isn’t creepy and full of sexist overtones? 

  • Bo Tait

    “ Us men have been given by God the role of leadership.” Perfect way to avoid real communication with your spouse. Don’t question my role as leader, god said I’m leader. GOD said that, wife! If you question me you hate god X infinity.

  • http://twitter.com/Data_Jack DataJack

    In the past, I have mostly thought of Kirk as amusing. Now I find him to be somewhat creepy. It’s hard to understand these
    soft-headed crazies sometimes, but we must always remember: if they ever
    got what they wanted, what they constantly strive for, our society
    would be finished. They want a theocracy.

    • sliderossian

      Hey, Kirk’s gotta make a living, too. I’ll bet 30 dollars of silver that he’s been told to do this by his god of the desert. I’m sure he’s cocksure that he’s going to be paid off in gold and heaven. He’s following his Good Book™, except for the part about 

      Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.Kirk’s god probably told Kirk it’s okay to blabber on about his Kirk’s religion. For Kirk knows, obviously! so qualified and educated, people should just shut up and listen to him. Forget stupid people like Dawkins and Hawkings, they’re the stupid ones, with their PhDs in science and years of study and research and teaching. Something fishy about all that science and rational thinking …

  • Shauna Barhite

    Annie that was an awesome write-up, thank you for taking one for the team by attending!

  • aerie

    Take one for the team is right! Thank you Annie. There is no way I could have sat through that.  Uh, uh – no way.  I’ve spent waay too many hours forced to be a part of all that good Jesus-lovin’.
    Awesome play by play as well.   

  • http://thefloatinglantern.wordpress.com/ Tim Martin

    Haha, nice writeup! I enjoyed it, even if I don’t enjoy the crap these people were putting out. “Yes men, be understanding of your wives – as females, they’re doing the best they can.”

    I don’t even know what kind of indoctrination it takes to be okay with that.

  • Anonymous

    “Spend time with her” – Why else would you have married her if you didn’t want to spend time with her?”Study her” – What, is she some kind of beetle?”Honor her.” – So basic human kindness and polite behaviour needs a reminder now?”Protect her.” – Why is she so frail that she can’t look after herself?  My partner and daughters are pretty self sufficient.  If I suggested protecting them they’d probably punch me.”Open up to her.” – Good grief, communicate with your partner?  Is the the best that 2000 years of Christianity can come up with?”Pray with her.” – F off.  I can think of much better ways to spend our time together.Annie, you have patience in heroic proportions to sit through this rubbish.  I think that your husband had the right idea though.  An evening spent relaxing in a recliner sounds like time better spent to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001361337900 Jeremy Wells

    In the promo video he was signing the bible. LOL 

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanfigdor Jonathan Figdor

    Wow, they just do a great job of making marriage sound terrible.

    • Bruce_wright

       That’s EXACTLY right.  UGH… Man, I’ve been happily and monogamously married for 15 years.  Can we get the law changed so that Cameronites can’t get married so they don’t sully the institution?

  • Pickle

    I admire those of you who can sit through crap like that and report back to the rest of us. I don’t think I would have lasted five minutes in there.

  • Dan

    Cameron strikes me as someone who is really very insecure in his marriage and in his life. 

  • http://twitter.com/Luvrte66 Beth Riches

    Thanks for suffering through this, Annie, in order to make this report. You have great fortitude.

    As someone who was once married to a man who joined the God Squad (AFTER we were married), this is giving me flashbacks. We clashed often over what he thought my role should be. When discussing having children, he said that he didn’t want me to work, that I needed to stay home with them. (This was in front of friends!) I said, “Oh really? What are you gonna do? Chain me in the basement?” Yeah, I didn’t take kindly to that whole ‘wives be submissive’ thing. 

    At one point, he attended a Promise Keepers rally. As I read up on that organization, I realized just how intolerable the situation was becoming, and that he was never going to rest until I joined the God Squad, too. Hearing that he thought I was possessed by demons was a pretty good indication that we weren’t going to make it. I asked for a divorce.

    A while after that (before it was final), he called me up and we were talking. He had something he wanted to tell me. He said that a month after we got married, when he went to Texas for Officer Training School (I stayed with my parents), he cheated on me. And he realized that my asking for a divorce was God’s punishment on him for cheating on me. I said, “Really? A month after we were married? Nice.” But I went on to say that it really didn’t matter now, anyway. The point was moot. I knew that he was telling me that in order to hurt me (ahhh, good ol’ Christian love), and I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction. 

    I heard a couple of years later that he’d gone to China on a missionary trip, and married a Chinese woman and brought her back to the States. According to my ex-mother-in-law, she looked somewhat like me, with the long dark hair, but didn’t speak much English. So I guess he got the package, but one that wouldn’t talk back! 

    Beth

    • Drfamily

      Both you, the writer of this article and all the others are so pathetic. Why don’t you try speaking about marriage and raising children in front of thousands of people? Or better yet? What do you do for a living? Hmmm, let’s see, typical weekend for you? Does it includ profanity, drinking, watching television, shall I go on? What are you doing to strengthen our screwed up human race? (homosexuality, children having children, drugs, violence, etc) Don’t be so jealous…

      • GreenEyedAmoralSinner

        I had a godly marriage once. It involved a lot of yelling about me not keeping my husband’s glass full at the dinner table, and quite a bit of nagging about me not meeting his sexual needs (a la 1 Corinthians 7:5) because I didn’t want to have sex with him when he hadn’t showered in two days. And right there at the end, before he abandoned me, it also involved a good dose of seeing other women.

        As far as the new atheist-me…weekends are pretty mundane. My (atheist) boyfriend and I play card games, go to WalMart, have sex, eat food with friends, and occasionally console a friend or give advice, celebrate birthdays, give homeless people money, even go to church (so we don’t insult our families’ feelings)…

        I’m sorry that there isn’t more criminal activity in there, but maybe we just aren’t *hardcore* atheist enough that we go out and fornicate with everyone while doing lines of coke and stabbing people. We don’t have time for that between the blood donations and the adopting orphaned/abandoned kittens and the getting a college education so my boyfriend can set up the video and audio systems in your church.

      • atheist friend

        What kind of weekend doesn’t include drinking and swearing? Lame hah.Get of your high judging horse and do the Christian thing, pray for our heathen souls to be saved.

  • http://silveroutlinedwindow.wordpress.com/ Shannon

    I wish I had something witty to say in response to my childhood celebrity crush turning into a banana-packing xtianist. Sadly, I’m too appalled and entertained to think of something. 

    At least I can still count on Leo DiCaprio – his playboy ways still entrance me ;)

  • Scott Carnegie

    Man is head of the woman just as Christ is head of the man, pretty typical new testament stuff. Of course it is cherry picked, he probably didn’t bring up 1 Corinthians 7:3-5,

    3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

      In short, “fuck, and fuck often (even if you’re not really in the mood).”

  • Anonymous

    I’d almost want to go to that myself… I love a good stage comedy musical.  Do you think they’d kick me out for laughing so hard I’d pee myself?

    Unfortunately, I know a dozen ladies who would wait in line for tickets to that and most of them have husbands who would willingly go.  Sheep… just waiting for their slaughter day with smiles on their faces.  No backbones.  Sickening.

  • Tortuga Skeptic

    hoverFrog, I’m going to be saying “what is she, a beetle” all day.  Thank you.  

  • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

    My grandmother keeps asking me if my protohusband has been praying with me. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve come up with an Artful Dodge for that sort of question. 

    Cameron sounds eerily like my high school theology teacher (they probably get their material from the same sources). I have an extraordinarily vivid memory of him saying that if his wife had a pregnancy gone wrong, and the doctors told him that the baby was doomed anyway and they *had* to abort it or both the baby and its mother would die, then he would say goodbye to his wife and watch her die. (I think the idea that *she* could demand the procedure never entered this conversation.) I was recently sad to hear the crazed missionary wannabe now has two daughters.

  • The Captain

    I always find it funny when reading these things how what it seems the ideal woman is to these christian men is a creature I find repulsive. It seems they desire women who are docile, submissive, indecisive, and dependent. All qualities I loath in my partners. I get the felling I couldn’t stand to date a “good christian woman” more than 15 minutes. My current GF would wipe the floor with Cameron if he told her she should be obedient to me. 

    Oh and also Forrest Whitaker for his role in the Last King of Scotland studied all of Amin’s recorded speeches, put on 50lbs, met and lived with amin’s family, colleagues and victims in Uganda, learnt to speak Swahili fluently and mastered the accordion, and Cameron won’t even kiss an actress! Kurt… this is why you suck as an actor. If he ever pulled that crap on a project I was directing, I’d throw his ass of the set.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-A-Sera/743004321 Natalie A. Sera

    Thanks for the summary. It was much easier for me to read than to try to watch a video! :-)

  • Anonymous

    This aspect of Christian theology is doublebad.  Not only does it validate domineering men, it probably induces some couples who would otherwise treat one another as equals to assume these twisted gender roles in their homes because the bible says so.  “To get good people to do bad things, that takes religion.”

    • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

      This is so true. I have always been an independent type, but for some time while I was in high school, I believed that I needed to make myself more submissive in order to find a good partner. No good. 

  • Anonymous

    Nice to know that Cameron is still lying about having been an atheist.  Hint:  Kirk, we know you’re lying because you lived your teenage years on television, and we have documented proof that you were an obnoxious fundamentalist asshole to the whole cast and crew of “Growing Pains.”

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      To be fair, he wasn’t an obnoxious fundie on Growing Pains until one of the last seasons. My impression is that he was likely an atheist but not one who put much (or any) thought into it. An apathetic atheist. Since he never knew any of the reasons why the god hypothesis was so poor, he was easy pickings for conversion. This is why teaching critical thinking is so crucial to immunize people from bad arguments.

      • Annie

        This is a really good point.  There are huge differences between being raised as an atheist, and being raised in a house with no religion.  The fact that he referred to his “blind faith” in atheism illustrates that he really doesn’t know what he is talking about.  I imagine parental involvement in raising him as an atheist stopped right after they named him after a Star Trek character.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001361337900 Jeremy Wells

        There is a big difference between being an atheist and not going to church. Many of these people that say they used to be atheists really just mean they didn’t go to church. Atheism is a choice that people make after analyzing the evidence. It is obvious that most converted atheists never made this choice, but they use the statement because it makes their “testimony” sound better. 

      • sliderossian

        This difference between being an atheist and being Kirk Cameron at any point in his life is humongous. This bozo never had the intelligence to question, let alone doubt. Ignorance is not a point of view. His “atheism” was probably going to church only on Sundays and not ruining people’s day by loudly and proudly pontificating on his bizarre hierarchical religious self-serving bullshit. 

      • cipher

        He became an evangelical because he met his future wife, Chelsea Noble, and she was already in the cult. It happens that way more than anyone realizes (in other religions as well). More men have confused an erection with a “religious experience” than – well, I really don’t have a good ending, but you get the point.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

         I can’t seem to find the video, but I remember watching an interview in which Cameron says something along the lines of “I knew there was a higher power, but I didn’t want to give up my freedom” when talking about his days as an atheist.  I don’t think he ever was an atheist by the standard definition of the word.  He was only an atheist according to his fundyspeak definition, since many fundies think that atheists are people who believe in god deep down but deny it so they can do blow and have orgies.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Annie,

    I enjoyed your description of your experience.  I thought the recounting of you snatching the man-card was great.  “Her eyes widened to the size of meatballs…”

    It seems you benefited from the “submissive female” role they encourage since the other woman didn’t say anything to your snatching of the card.  You probably could have walked up to stage, slapped Cameron in the face, turned around, and walked out of the church without anyone doing anything about it.   Everybody would have been dumbfounded and speechless.  :)

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      Correction:
      “…and walked out of the church without ANY WOMAN doing anything about it.”

    • Annie

      Jeff P- the meatballs, although not the best word choice (at least I didn’t use the cliche saucers) was a nod to the FSM.  Thanks for noticing. ;-)

      I loved your breakdown above of the 6 “steps” to marital bliss (my term, not his).  The idea that grown adults need instruction on how to interact with someone of the opposite sex (much less their spouse!) was incredible to me. 

      Incidentally, a few posts ago, when the students took over and locked Hament in Mexico, I responded to a post about how I changed my views in some way.  I wrote about coming to the realization (through the help of counseling) that my husband wasn’t a mind reader.  Kirk Cameron said the exact opposite!!  He talked at length about men figuring out what their wives need… before they ask.  Talk about stetting people up for failure!

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Annie,

    I enjoyed your description of your experience.  I thought the recounting of you snatching the man-card was great.  “Her eyes widened to the size of meatballs…”

    It seems you benefited from the “submissive female” role they encourage since the other woman didn’t say anything to your snatching of the card.  You probably could have walked up to stage, slapped Cameron in the face, turned around, and walked out of the church without anyone doing anything about it.   Everybody would have been dumbfounded and speechless.  :)

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    In reviewing the Man-card, I have the following comments
    from a guy who has been married for 16 years and counting…

    1.  Spend
    time with her.  Yes I do that.2. Study
    her.  I don’t do that. I’ve gotten to
    know her by spending time with her as equals… not studying her like an
    object.3. Honor
    her.  I treat her with respect but it
    seems that “honor” here presupposes a status differential like the man is
    higher than the woman but the man should be big enough to “honor” the
    woman anyway.  I don’t honor in that
    way.
    4. Protect
    her.  Well since I’m physically bigger
    and stronger than my wife, my wife feels more comfortable with me
    around.  If some physical threat came
    her way, of course I would protect her. 
    My wife, though, is quite capable of protecting herself otherwise.
    5.  Open
    up to her.  As much as is necessary
    for a healthy relationship.  I
    probably have some secrets and she probably has some too.  I honor a little bit of privacy even
    with my wife.  And no, I’ve never
    cheated.

    6. Pray with her. 
    Fortunately, neither one of us like doing that.

  • Meg

    After watching that video and reading this breakdown of the event, all I can think is that Mr. Cameron must have some crazy skeletons in his closet and sooner or later they’ll come out, a la Anthony Weiner or Eliot Spitzer. Kirk is clearly doing this to 1) make money and 2) repent for who knows what sort of sins.

    • Annie

      He mentioned porn at least three times.  He also talked about when he is home alone, that he enjoys eating snacks and watching “sports” until 3 am.  What sports are on at 3 am??

      • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

        Well, could be he meant one of  those all sports, all the time channels. The ones that will show old games in their entirety. 

        It’s possible.

  • Annie

    Thanks everyone, for your generous reviews.  As humorous as the whole event was, it was quite sad that each couple shelled out a minimum of $50 for “advice” that was far from novel, or even helpful. 

  • Bruce_wright

    You know, all but the last one on that card is improved vastly by adding the phrase “…in bed.”

    • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

      Before we got married, my husband and I did Catholic marriage prep class. We were told to earnestly pray during sex. Apparently it’s one of the best times to communicate with god. Can’t say I’ve ever tried it. 

      • sliderossian

        If my wife prayed during sex, earnestly or otherwise, we would not have 4 boys.

  • Bruce_wright

    Signing a bible.  WHOO that guy’s got an ego.

  • cipher

    Could there PLEASE be an act of Congress forbidding him to speak in public?

  • http://twitter.com/MelissaSBennett Melissa Bennett

    That is some funny shit. I just told my husband that since he “signed up to play the role of Jesus Christ” to me, that he needs to get that whole water-into-wine thing going. He’s obviously been holding out. 

  • Jett Perrobone

    After seeing the design of the “MANCARD” I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about Kirk starring in a movie of the same name.  I can see him playing the role of a tough guy, abducting men having affairs with his wife, and leaving behind ransom notes on business cards.  “Fidelity heist through the power of Christ!”  Coming soon to a theatre near your church.

  • Pseudomorph

    This reminds me of my cousin’s wedding last month. My Aunt has a very successful career in medicine, as well as being married and having 4 kids. She’s never gone in for the whole wifey-at-home thing, despite her and my uncle being committed x-tians. To get to where she is she’s had to fight a lot of sexism and people telling her she should be at home looking after her kids, she has some pretty awful stories about the way some people treated her. When I was growing up she was one of my heroes.

    My cousin (her daughter) got married last month, and my Aunt was asked to do a Bible reading during the service. The passage my Aunt chose to read started with ‘Wives, submit to your husband…..’ it took all my self control not to facepalm in front of the whole congregation.

    After everything she’s achieved, and all the hard-work and battles she’s had over the years, and she still thinks these versus are appropriate to read at her daughters wedding.  Religion really does mess with your head.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1611021836 Kelly Benson

    Ugh I sat through similar sexist relationship sermons/seminars with my then boyfriend (now husband) back in our religious days.  The message pushed was the whole “man is the head of a woman” schtick for dudes along with “freedom through slavery” brainwashing for the ladies.  At the height of our christian faith, my husband and I tried to change our (already great) relationship to better reflect these christian “values” but it was a terrible fit for us both.  He was always really uncomfortable being thought of as my “CEO” and I patently refused to obey anyway so we just trashed the whole idea.     You’d think with all that kickass advice from Promise Keepers and Kirk Cameron, the divorce rate for fundies wouldn’t be so dismal  :P  

  • Fargofan1

    My dad says the husband is the head and the wife is the heart.  I assume this means the man is robotic and the woman is hysterical. My mom basically agrees with him, only she says, “A marriage with two ‘heads’ is a two-headed monster.” I say, “Two heads are better than one.” By the say, I laughed out loud at hoverFrog’s line, “What, is she some kind of beetle?” Classic.

  • Pablo

    Why make the racist statement, “I saw no people of color until the intermission?” Would you make the statement, “I saw no white people” at a marriage conference put on by people from a black church or a Latino Church? The Politically Correct racism has to stop. No people of color at an event does not equal racism. It is a smear tactic and it is getting old.


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