CTNAHM: Why Men Need Wives

A Guest Post by Aletha

Originally posted on Yllom Mormon

Created To Need A Help Meet, pp. 21—26

In this section, Michael lays out his reasons as to why every man should be married. Hint: It’s because they need a help meet. (Shocking, I know)

I Needed Her

The reason I chose Deb to be my bride was because I had developed a need for her. Not sexual at first. I had possessed a sexual need for thirteen years and knew many girls I felt could satisfy that hunger.

Before I met Deb, she was already involved in winning guys to faith in Christ. [She was involved with military ministry] Over a four-year period I found myself increasing relying on her as a friend in the ministry. We became buddies. I liked her, she made me laugh, she challenged me. She was good looking, but I knew other girls that were strikingly beautiful. I chose her because my life evolved to where I needed her. Not just her body, but her—her spirit, her mind, her courage, her wisdom. We were not romantically involved during those years. There was just the basic need that she alone came to meet, and I realized that if I could have her all to myself, I would be fulfilled as a person. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was created to need a help meet, and everything about her seemed to meet my need. She made me whole.

The first thing I notice is that he calls women “girls”. Frankly, if she’s old enough to marry you, she’s a woman. And what’s with the compliments to Debi, and then the bringing in comparisons of other women? Why can’t he just say “I was physically, spiritually, and emotionally attracted to Debi.”? But other than that, I think he makes good points. I’m actually a bit surprised that he says he wanted her for more then her body, considering how last chapter worked out. It almost sounds sweet when he says if he could have her, he would be fulfilled. I like it when my husband says similar things.

Adam and His Helper

Just as I did, the first man Adam discovered his need for a woman. God created Adam alone, without Eve or any other human creature, and then gave him the job of naming all the animals. Observing the animals relating to one other in pairs and groups, Adam searched for his counterpart and found none. The author of Genesis observes “…but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him (Genesis 2:20)”. It was in Adam’s nature to need his yet uncreated counterpart.

I’m reminded here of an experience we recently had at the zoo. We were in the petting zoo section, and a few of the goats were mating. Of course, all the kids were super-curious (“What are they doing?” “Is he hurting her?”) and the parents were all red-faced and trying to get the kiddos to move on to another exhibit. I’m imagining Adam hanging out in the garden, and seeing other animals getting it on and being super confused, so he asks God what’s going on.

“Well, Adam,” says God “It’s called reproduction. When a boy zebra loves a girl zebra very much…” And Adam’s eyes get big.

“Oooooh. That sounds interesting. Can I have one?”

“A girl zebra?” God asks, jokingly.

“No. Not a girl zebra. Just a girl.”

God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone…” because Adam had just discovered a fundamental fact of his nature-he was, in fact, created to need someone. So the creator said, “I will make an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).”

Adam needed sex, but that is a small need compared to the need to have a soul mate. Sex is less than 90 minutes out of a week. That leaves 9,990 minutes for companionship. Less than 1% of our time involves sex. Good sex is great, but marriage is built on much more.

Holy cow. I totally agree with something Michael says. Marriage should be based on more than sex. It should be based on mutual communication, respect, giving, learning, and growing. It should be based on building each other up and becoming stronger together than either was as an individual. Great point, Michael!

What is a Help Meet?

It’s not helpmeet, as one word; it’s two words, a verb (help) used as a noun and modifier (meet). When helper is modified with the word meet, it speaks of a particular kind of helper—one that is designed to fit the needs of the one being helped-a suitable helper. As two pieces of a puzzle meet in exact profile, so a man and woman meet the natures of the other.

My issue with this paragraph is how one-sided he makes help meet sounds. “Designed to fit the needs of the one being helped”. Why can’t both parties help each other? I’m starting to feel like eventually we’re going to get a lecture similar to the one about 3 types of men from Debi’s book. I’m finding it very hard to argue the logic of the puzzle pieces, though. Is one puzzle piece created to fit perfectly into another, or are they both created to work together? How can you tell? It’s seriously blowing my mind.

Michael then gives us 8 Bible verses about suitable helpers and help meets. If you’re curious about the references, shoot me an email. If not, we’ll just move on to the analysis.

Adam was missing something, so God prepared a helper that would meet his needs. A right hand glove is made to meet a right hand. It is not meet for the left hand. Eve was a perfect right hand fit for the right man Adam. She was created to be his right hand wo-man.

Read the passage pausing after the word help, and then read the last three words together: meet for him. “I will make him an help-meet for him.” She was a helper meet for him. Got it? That’s easy, and we didn’t even need the Greek or Hebrew!

Thank you, Michael for dumbing it down for us. We got it. She was created to help him.

Man is Male and Female

Notice how God speaks of himself in the plural: “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” The one God exists in a plural fellowship, so mankind created in that image would reflect that plurality.

The text says, “…in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…and called their name Adam (Genesis 1:27, 5:2)”

God would create persons in his own image, but one person was not adequate to portray his image. He divided his attributes, putting half into man, and half into woman. The text is clear: it is the man and the woman together that reflect the image of God.

It may be just me, but I don’t get this. Because it sounds to me like God has both male and female attributes, but people couldn’t handle that much majesty, so he split his likeness into 2 and gave half each to men and women? I’ve always believed in some type of Mother God. I mean, everything else has a male and female, animals, flowers, trees, people…why not God? So if anyone can dumb this down for me in the comments, that’d be great.

This is a point you must fully appreciate, for it is the underlying principle for the entire book. So let me approach it from a more literal perspective. “Male and female created he them; and blessed them and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created (Genesis 5:1-2)”. Adam was “male and female”. The human race is split into two parts, one part male and one part female. Together they are Adam, God’s creation.

Looking at it another way, God created a single man with no capabilities to reproduce, for he has no womb. So the human race was completed with the addition of a womb-man (woman).

Huh. I think I’m starting to understand where the evangelicals come from when they think that man is the head, and why Debi doesn’t deserve credit for helping with this book. Adam (man) is singular-plural. Since Adam and Eve are one, and go by Adam, that makes Adam the boss…right? Or something like that. Also note that reproduction is most important, and the only real reason for a womb-man. Things are starting to make sense.

God’s Program [or Michael shares his vast computer knowledge]

It is as if God created “MAN Version 1.0″ and then released him into the garden for beta testing. MAN worked beautifully but was not created as a stand-alone program; he seemed to lack a certain something that made his function complete. God then created a patch, calling it WO-MAN, and released it to support the original program. When downloaded together, you have heavenly software capable of communicating with God, becoming “heirs together of the grace of life”. MAN will function alone without the upgrade, but don’t expect him to integrate well into society. He’s a bit (pun intended) imbalanced and unpredictable. I know that’s corny, but my wife thinks it’s cute.

I’ve heard the anecdote that God created Man 1.0 and said “Well, I could have done better” and created Woman 1.0 and then rested because he got it right. I’ve never heard that woman is nothing more than a “patch” to make the man program better. Michael makes the point MAN will function alone, but it seems obvious that a patch without a program is nothing. I guess Michael is once again affirming that with a woman, man is complete, but without a man, a woman is nothing. Which is degrading to both sexes. Both men and women can be perfectly complete and happy single (or with other men and women). But I suppose that is heresy in the Conservative Christian world.

1+1=1

Adam the man was created completely in the image of God and in God’s likeness. His nature is after God’s nature, (mind, will, and emotions) and his body is fashioned in God’s likeness (to see, hear, touch, taste smell-in short, to interact with the universe in physical awareness). But just as the Heavenly Father is supported by the Son, and the Son is supported by the Holy Spirit, and the three equal one God, so Adam is designed in God’s image to be supported and completed by another—woman.

Arguments about the philosophy of the Trinity aside, this comparison doesn’t work. If we start from the assumption that God, Jesus, and the Spirit are one, then it doesn’t translate very well for man/woman. Let me try to be more clear. God, Jesus, and the Spirit have different functions, and are mentioned separately in the Bible many times. Michael just implied that women are merely a “patch” to make the man-program better. Being a patch is far from being an autonomous being. Sure, the Son and the Spirit support God, but they have their own personalities and ways of doing things. I just don’t see that autonomy for women supported anywhere in this book.

In holy matrimony man—male and female—reach the highest expression of the divine image. Therefore “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD (Proverbs 18:22)” You, Sir, were not created to stand alone. You are insufficient to the task. You were made to be one of two parts functioning as a whole.

Again, it really is OK for a man to be alone. Some men prefer to be alone. I think the whole idea of men needing women and women needing men to be complete is the basis for unhealthy relationships. I was taught that in order to be a good spouse (or person), I had to be complete and sufficient in myself. Yes, my spouse supports and helps me, but I am fully capable of being an adult without him. I think this type of teaching limits and hurts men, as well.

Two Are Better Than One

The job God designed for humanity was too demanding and complex to be met by one soul and body, so he created a complementary pair, tailoring each to specific tasks, equipping each to posses the skill and temperament necessary to perform their respective duties for the good of both and the benefit of the family.

I wondered why this seemed awfully familiar (and gendered). Then I remembered the Marriage and Family class my husband and I took before we decided to stop attending the Mormon church.

From the LDS Marriage and Family Relations text:

Except Adam and Eve by nature be different from one another, they could not multiply and fill the earth. The complementing differences are the very key to the plan of happiness.

Some roles are best suited to the masculine nature and others to the feminine nature. Both the scriptures and the patterns of nature place man as the protector, the provider.

Those responsibilities of the priesthood which have to do with the administration of the Church of necessity function outside the home. By divine decree, they have been entrusted to men. It has been that way since the beginning, for the Lord revealed that “the order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son. … This order was instituted in the days of Adam.”

A man who holds the priesthood does not have an advantage over a woman in qualifying for exaltation. The woman, by her very nature, is also co-creator with God and the primary nurturer of the children. Virtues and attributes upon which perfection and exaltation depend come naturally to a woman and are refined through marriage and motherhood.

Well… This just makes me feel very awkward. Both Michael and Mormonism preaching the same thing. And that “thing” is: regardless of your personality, talents, experiences, or intelligence, you are to do nothing more than live out these created gender roles. If you’re a man who would prefer to stay and raise the children, you are going against your masculine nature. If you’re a woman who would rather run a company, you are sinning against your female-ness. It makes me sick. The idea that who I am inside matters less than my genitalia is insulting and frustrating. It’s also one of the major reasons I don’t believe in the Christian God anymore. Why would a “loving” God want people to only fit into 1 of 2 molds? Why would it be OK with him that they are miserable, as long as they are doing what He says makes them happy? Ugh.

Man is not to live unto himself. He is designed to be a social creature, to care, to assist, to nurture, to protect, to love to the point of sacrifice. In that flowing-out process man expands to be something bigger than his original created state. To build for self is selfishness; to build for another is humanity beyond itself. You, sir, were created to be part of a union of two. Only in embracing your nature as a member of a duo will you discover your purpose in life. Utilizing your other half for selfish purposes is not what God intended. Your wife was not there just to scratch your itch. that is not the path to fulfillment. This a spiritual, intellectual, and emotional journey of two souls becoming one. Neglect that fact of nature and you will die and old, loveless, lonely loser. Dedicate your life to elevating your woman to a place of maturity and fulfillment and you will save your own life and experience heaven’s best.

Call me crazy, but I don’t see the “manly man” Michael seems to want to portray as caring, nurturing, or assisting. And I’m rather confused by this paragraph. Knowing what we do what Debi says about a wife being a submissive help-meet, it’s boggling to read Michael say “Your wife is not there just to scratch your itch.” Because it sounds a lot, in Debi’s book, that yes, that is a wife’s job. Scratch any itch, willingly and cheerfully. It’s amusing to see the scare tactics used in Debi’s book here as well. Instead of being a lonely woman, alone in a cold bed in a dumpy duplex, the man without the woman is a lonely, loveless loser. Wonder if he’s in a duplex as well? I really do like the line “Dedicate your life to elevating your woman to a place of maturity and fulfillment.” It sounds very noble and what I want my marriage to be (well, mutually mature and fulfilling). He doesn’t clarify, at least yet, how to do this, but I have a feeling I’m not going to like it. Guess we’ll see.

You Need One

If you are a man alone, you have a need. You will always be looking, wanting, hoping until you become one with your helper. Likewise, if you are married but do not function as one with your wife, you are still alone. The aloneness is worse than it was when you were single and still had great expectations of fulfillment, for your empty relationship now mocks you like a thirsty man who spent his last dollar to buy a well only to discover that the water was too bitter to drink. It is not good for a man to try to make it through life without one of those female helpers designed to meet his needs. Man was created so that his soul needs the company of a woman. Many wives don’t know how to supply their husband’s needs and many husbands won’t let their wives perform their essential function as a helper. Or maybe at one time your wife was a good help meet, but something caused her to change toward you. Once again, she will become that wonderful helper when your life and your speech demonstrates that you need her.

Good golly. Man alone is terrible. He needs “a female helper designed to meet his needs”. There is nothing about mutual need-meeting. Just “You, my good man, need a woman to help you.” End and full stop. The last few sentences are a bit foreboding. “Many wives don’t know how to supply their husband’s needs” and “She will become that wonderful helper when your life and speech demonstrates that you need her.” I can’t wait to find out how Michael plans to teach this.

PS—Let me know if you would prefer if I chopped a chapter into smaller bits. I’m realizing these make exceedingly long posts. Thanks!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Jack Kolinski

    Well done! I cannot help believing if more women read & understood what “scriptures” say about them, they would tell religion to FUCK OFF! (possibly more politely than I just did, but still)

    • hatstand4510

      This comment assumes that “understood” is the same as “agree with Michael Perl’s interpretation” which is quite problematic.

      • Gillianren

        It also assumes that “religion” means “religion that follows these particular scriptures.”

      • Jack Kolinski

        Good catch. No. Really. B/c so many religions don’t have any scriptures and treat women as equal human beings! Only I keep forgetting which ones. Can you help me out?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Buddhism and Wicca seem to fit your requirements. I don’t know much about the Druids, but while they did a lot of objectionable things they seem to have had the whole gender equality thing down pretty well.

        I really didn’t think I’d be the one saying this (as an atheist who leans anti-theist), but dude, wtf? Making fun of people’s sincere and harmless beliefs is not cool, even if you think they’re kind of silly and definitely not true. Denigrating women on a blog that has developed into something of a safe space is beyond not-cool; it’s downright cruel and offensive, actually.

      • Jack Kolinski

        I’m just having fun replying to silly people who choose to walk around with painful sticks lodged in uncomfortable places. But you? “dude, wtf?” “safe space” “beyond not cool” “Feminerd”? It’s 2013. My initial comment was to the ridiculous use of “help meet” for “woman” in the KJV. You sound as if you were born two centuries to late on a planet “far, far away.” You’re all ANONYMOUS and I have issues? (not a good way to end b/c I do have one or two issues).
        That’s funny. I don’t care who you are.

      • Lunch Meat

        Yeah, see, as much as you are acting all White Knighty and wanting to
        rescue the poor womenfolk from their delusions, I can’t help you see me
        and my experiences as just a way to score points against your enemies. I
        can’t help feeling like you’re gleeful when you
        learn about another woman who’s been spiritually abused or victimized,
        because it means you get to mock religion some more. So, nope, you’re
        not on my side and I’m not on your side. Women don’t “need” me or you to
        shake them out of anything. We are capable of taking care of ourselves,
        just like men are, even if we’re not making the choices you would make.
        Your sneering contemptuousness is just as misogynist as Michael Pearl
        and just as harmful.

        And it’s so cute the way you accused someone else of being patronizing, and then of projecting!

      • Lunch Meat

        Grr, Disqus; that first sentence should be “I can’t help feeling like you see me…”

      • Jack Kolinski

        Dearest “Lunchmeat”:
        “We’re capable of taking care of ourselves.”
        I realize it is difficult to see beyond your own pitiful (based solely on your comments) existence but there are MILLIONS of women living in ignorance, poverty and submission to their male-dominated religions and cultures who will only have a chance to pursue “life, liberty and happiness” when the world collectively and adequately expresses its “sneering contempt” (no need to add 7 unnecessary letters) for misogyny.
        Your suggestion and that of others here that men are disqualified from this endeavor because of our gender is profoundly ignorant.
        Read ALL the comments here and try to convince yourself that you are capable of taking care of yourselves. Your right to VOTE is less than a century old.
        What could I have been thinking?
        You practically rule the world. Carry on.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        What is this I don’t even. You’re not actually listening to Lunch Meat. I suggest you try LISTENING.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Enough. Seriously, enough.

      • Baby_Raptor

        There’s nothing harmless about the way women are treated in the bible.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Agreed. I just think Wicca is fairly harmless, and that’s what Jack Kolinski was denigrating (well, and all women everywhere for daring to have higher estrogen levels than he does).

      • Alix

        Wicca can, admittedly, fall into gender essentialism sideways, sort of – I’ve met a fair few who are as wedded to the notions of there being only Men and Women as fundamentalist Christians.

        Not nearly all, by any means, and I know a lot of Wiccan and Wiccan-influenced folks who are very open to QUILTBAG folks – and quite possibly a higher percentage of Wiccans are more socially liberal on such things than Christians. That wouldn’t surprise me. But the basic cosmology still lends itself to enforcement of a gendered binary.

        (Not defending Asshat here. Just running with a thought.)

      • Alix

        And, wow, I am the monarch of mangled sentences today. XD Sorry.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Nodnod. I really don’t know much about Wicca- I’ve one friend who practiced for awhile, but by the time I met her she’d mostly stopped casting spells and being active, so it hasn’t come up much. At a glance, I’d say that Wiccans are as influenced as everyone else by the culture around them- I wouldn’t know nearly as much about the trans* and ace parts of the spectrum if I didn’t know several transwomen in real life, which led me to the parts of the Internet that talk about asexuality and genderqueer and all sorts of interesting parts of the spectrum.

        It’s definitely made more than a few people be disappointed when I don’t even blink at their mentions of polyamory or prior gender identity/presentation, especially because I apparently present as a super-innocent little white straight girl. I ruin all their fun!

      • Gillianren

        I don’t identify as Wiccan any more than my Catholic mother identifies as Methodist, but I do identify as Pagan. I’m mostly a solitary practitioner, but the group with which I do rituals a few times a year is fairly open to whatever sexuality/gender identity you have. We do not, to my knowledge, have any trans people in the group, but I don’t know a lot of the group very well. And if anything, I’d say that the women run the group, not are dominated by the men. We try to have equality, but with the numbers skewed the way they are and with the force of personality of some of the women, it doesn’t quite work that way.

      • Alix

        …Not to come off as too critical here, but Wicca does have a definite theology, or at least guiding theological principles, that a non-Wiccan Pagan might not have at all. So it’s perfectly possible for a pagan to have a theology with none of the inbuilt essentialism/dualism of Wicca, but that really has no bearing on Wicca itself.

        Pet peeve time: Paganism is not anywhere close to being the kind of specific umbrella term (how’s that for an oxymoron?) that, say, Christianity is. Your mother’s got a lot more in common with Methodists, for example, than I have with many (if not most) fellow pagans – simply because Christianity is still referring to a single religion and paganism is a catch-all term for a whole slew of them.

        …I’m sorry if this comes off as harsh. >.< I don't mean it that way, but this sort of poked a sore spot. I am so sick of the weird conflation of Wicca with all of paganism, and with the way pagans are treated/treat themselves as if we're all part of the same religion. :/

      • Gillianren

        Well, yes, and that’s specifically why I’m rejecting the label of Wicca. I was pointing out that there are a lot more flavours of Paganism than just Wicca, but that all anyone mentions is Wicca. It’s one thing in people who just don’t know the difference, but a lot of Pagans do it, too. And for some reason, the argument keeps using the term “Wicca” when I think “Pagan” is more appropriate. Yes, Wicca does have a specific theology, but it isn’t the only Pagan religion, and it isn’t the only one that isn’t completely sexist.

      • Alix

        Fair enough! And my apologies – I wasn’t tracking the thread all that well last night.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Oh, I’m sorry. I misunderstood you then. Apologies!

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        No problem! It’s a wonky thread, like most comment threads are, and easy to misinterpret because of it.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Yes. “Problematic.” Very deep. I have “stumbled” into a hornet’s nest of “spiritual” women. May the Earth goddess have mercy on me. Hope to see you all at your favorite vortex in Sedona. Shit! The estrogen…I’m …

      • AAAtheist

        Yeah, religions demeaning women, huge problem.

        Sexist dudes making cracks about estrogen (implying women, religious or not, are hormonally imbalanced and incapable of rational thought), not demeaning to women at all?

        Cognitive dissonance much?

      • Jack Kolinski

        “Lions and tigers and estrogen OH MY!” Thank you oh brave feminist knight in shining armor for voicing your passionate defense of women at the hands (word?) of “sexist dudes.” Your patronizing rant was not sexist? Project much?
        So this is what twitter looks like when you go thru the looking glass.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        There was nothing sexist about AAAtheist’s comment, and quite a bit sexist about your comment. Cease or you will be banned.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        This is sexism. It is also extreme condescending and incredibly rude. Cease or I will ban you.

      • Ezme Green

        Im VERY female AND feminist and Im with Jack. You lot are nothing more than a bunch of men-haters who need therapy. And I dont mean that in a derogatory way….Im mean it in a ‘you have victim issues and need to see a therapist’ ….Im guessing many of you have been hurt and are wary of men. This is the fault of the men who hurt you….NOT every man.

      • Baby_Raptor

        You don’t need to look at Michael Pearl’s interpretation of the bible to see women being treated like crap. Just looking at the bible itself will do that.

        Forced abortions. Forcing women to marry their rapists. Saying it couldn’t have been rape if she didn’t scream loud enough to be heard (because that’s totally not easily preventable.) Rape in general not actually really being treated as a bad thing. Constant talk of how women are inferior and need to submit. Expecting women to work their tails off so men can sit around and do nothing. “Blessing” men with multiple women who have no say in whether or not they want to be a sex toy. Only punishing women for adultery when it takes two to Fuck. Need I continue? I’m pretty sure I can.

      • hatstand4510

        Yeah, I know. I’m not actually ignorant of the sexist stuff in the bible. And I don’t have a problem with people leaving Christianity over that sexist stuff. To me, it is, ultimately, an issue of interpretation. Basically: do we read these stories as descriptive or prescriptive? I have a huge problem with Christians who justify their sexism using the latter (e.g. Michael Perl).

        I also tend to side-eye conversion attempts that rely on an argument that sexism is solely a characteristic of religion. As Jack K’s comments so eloquently demonstrate, it’s not like atheism is a sexism-free utopia. Sexism is something that we need to fight in every aspect of our society, not just in religion.

    • The_L1985

      Hi! I’m a Wiccan. Please tell me more about this sacred scripture that I apparently have, and how it apparently demeans women.

      There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio.

      • Jack Kolinski

        WOW! I’m so excited for you! You even know how to spell “Horatio.” Delighted your Wiccan-ism does not demean you. Who made that up, if you know?

      • Whirlwitch

        Given your nasty, condescending tone, I can only assume that demeaning women is something you quite approve of, at least if you’re the one who gets to do it.

      • Jack Kolinski

        It’s called sarcasm. Wanting to help women rid themselves of religion only demeans women who want to keep other women barefoot & pregnant. You do recall the RCC used to burn so-called witches at the stake right? They didn’t stop b/c they had a change of heart. They stopped because the secular world forced them to stop. You are one dumb witch.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        You have blatantly violated my comment policy. I’m losing my patience here. I’m going to finish reading your comments, but I get the feeling that I’m going to need to ban you.

      • The_L1985

        Hamlet, or Wicca, smartass?

      • Jack Kolinski

        I’m pretty comfortable on the Hamlet author (But see Anonymous; great movie suggesting maybe not). And I know Wiccan pretends to go waaaaay back like all other superstitions. But does anyone get credit for being its founder? Do you have a “Jesus” or “Mohammed”?

      • The_L1985

        I know Wicca’s less than a century old (although a lot of the concepts it ties together are much, much older). I’m not an idiot.

        Frankly, I’d like to know what makes you think that every religion must have a Messiah-analog and/or a religious text. There’s a reason you’ll never find a translation of the sacred texts of the ancient Druids, and if you study your ancient history, you’ll know why.

        A Messiah is for faiths who believe humanity is “fallen,” and those are precious few. Zoroastrianism is the only non-Christian example I can think of off the top of my head.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Judaism technically does have a messiah too. He hasn’t come yet, but it’s part of the theology that there will be one, and Orthodox Jews do spend time hoping and praying for it. There’s two (incompatible) schools of thought on when he’ll show up- when humanity’s fucked things up beyond repair, or when we build a world fit for him. Conservative and Reform Jews pick the latter interpretation to support their social justice work, if they even think about a messiah at all. The whole Messiah thing is not a major part of non-Orthodox Judaism, though.

      • Jack Kolinski

        “I’d like to know what makes you think that every religion must have a Messiah-analog and/or a religious text.”
        Oh, maybe b/c Judaism, Xianity, Islam and Mormonism (representing 2.5-3 BILLION people) have them.
        BTW, I’ve studied ancient history enough to know that it involves less than 1% “history” & should be called “ancient guesses.”

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I think you forgot Hinduism (~1 billion people), Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam (Mohammed and Jesus are prophets, not messiahs, and I don’t think Islam has a messiah at all but I could be wrong on that), Aztec, Olmec, Inca, Cherokee, Cree, Hopi, Navajo, and other Native American tribal religions, Polynesian religions, animist and pagan traditions in Africa, Druidism, ancient Greek and Roman pantheons, and many many other religions. If only 3 BILLION people think there is a messiah that has come/will come, that leaves 4 BILLION other people who don’t think that.

        So, answer her question please. I, too, would like to know what makes you think that every religion must have a Messiah-analog and/or a religious text.

      • The_L1985

        Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, and all of the Native American, African, and native Australian religions that I know of are totally “Messiah”-free.

        Many religions were originally practiced by people without a writing system (such as ALL of the native tribes in what are now the US and Canada), so they don’t have a sacred text either.

        Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not the only religions in the world, and most other religions aren’t structured in the same way as they are. You are viewing all religions through a Christo-centric lens, probably because you grew up in a majority-Christian country.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Thanks for your enlightenment. Had no idea there were more than 3 religions in the world. And that “Christo-centric lens” comment! Your Pulitzer is practically assured. Keep up the good work. “Lunchmeat” (cleverly disguising the “baloney” aspect. NOTE her incredibly witty “Womb-man” comment immediately below!) and the rest of the gang need you now more than ever. These be hard times for enlightened Wiccans. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Probably that darn penis thingee weighing me down, depriving my brain of much needed oxygen. (“In your dreams!” “Exactly! This is the internet! None of these people are real!”)

      • The_L1985

        Um…The_L1985 isn’t my real name, but that doesn’t mean I’m somehow not a real human being.

        And if you’re not a complete fucking moron, then why are you acting like one? Seriously, I’ve seen more maturity from a 12-year-old. Grow up and quit trying to pick fights with commenters on a blog you don’t even read.

        Also…why the FUCK are you automatically assuming everybody who comments here is female? There are male feminists out there, and I’m pretty damn sure that a lot of men have been victimized by the fundamentalist homeschool movement Libby Anne blogs about on a regular basis.

        Oh, wait, clearly I forgot about how my estrogen levels, while not enough to prevent me from earning a master’s degree AND learning a lot of cool stuff on the side, are somehow potent enough to render me less rhetorically competent than a 10-year-old anti-theist with a nanoscopic penis. However will I teach the kiddies how to integrate transcendental functions now? </sarcasm>

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        The condescension is strong with this one. Beware the ban hammer.

      • The_L1985

        Oh, by the way? 3 billion is less than half of the world’s population (7.5 billion last time I checked).

        And as for ancient history, have you honestly never heard of archaeology?

      • Alix

        Not to mention, like, ancient texts. Gee, not like we have whole libraries or anything.

      • Alix

        All history, by that view, is guesswork. We don’t have perfect knowledge, we don’t have unbiased sources – from a historian’s standpoint, every single record is biased. (And that includes non-written records, like art.)

        Any historian worth er salt won’t claim to know The Truth About History. That’s not what history is. History’s not science, it’s the reconstruction of social narrative through time. Modern or ancient, the same caveats apply. We have more sources the closer to now we are (typically), more data points to fill in our map, but they are no less problematic and the map is still imperfect and gap-filled.

        If you’ve studied history enough, you should know this.

      • Jack Kolinski

        We agree! (Scary, huh? Imagine how I feel). Not all history is guesswork but all history is imperfect and “biased” or at least subjective, no? Just finished fascinating biography of Hitler. Not sure we’ll ever get a good handle on him but relegating him to “monster” won’t teach us much. History IS science BTW, just not ONLY science (I suspect that’s what you meant. Language is so darn imprecise! Sometimes people don’t even realize they AGREE b/c they’re more interested in fighting over the words used. Come to think of it, THAT’s YOU!). No more time to waste on anonymous pseudo-intellectual menopausal basket cases.

      • Alix

        LOL. I’m a military historian focusing on the ancient Mediterranean. To me, it’s all guesswork – in the sense of detective work. And I’d still contest that history’s a science – archaeology’s the science, but it’s not like historians can employ the scientific method here. We can’t exactly formulate hypotheses and go back and test them.

        There’s never any objectivity in history. It’s all subjective. That’s both the fun and the frustration of it, to me.

        And you’re absolutely right: relegating people to “monster” status never lets us learn. Neither does sitting around being a condescending asshat, come to think of it.

        anonymous pseudo-intellectual menopausal basket cases

        LOL, that’s “semi-anonymous quasi-intellectual genderqueer basket case” to you. XD

        Keep on ‘splainin’ to us, friend. Keep on ‘splainin’.

      • Jack Kolinski

        “Military historian.” Almost as laughable as “Peacekeeper missile.” Remember that body counts should NEVER be rounded to hundreds or thousands. It makes them sound phony (which, of course, they always are). We learned that from SecDef MacNamara.
        “Focusing on the ancient Mediterranean.” Thanks for narrowing that down to thousands of years and several different empires. You sure know how to focus. Does your “focus” stop before the Neanderthals left us? Or do you go all the way back to “Eve” who seems to be a person of great interest on this forum?
        If you ever find yourself in central Florida let me buy you lunch. I’d love to get your take on ancient casualty estimates. Nobody seems to have a frickin’ clue.
        If you decide to shoot me, do it before I pay the bill.
        Your lovable asshat (one of my favorite words too!)

      • Alix

        Oh, god, ancient casualty estimates. Don’t get me started. “Hey, the enemy army was the size of the population of the world! WOW!”

        Would you believe I fell into military history by accident? My real interest is the rise of civilization, which is why I suck at narrowing it down. I only managed to narrow it down this much ’cause I was forced to! (Yes, I’m one of those obnoxious people who’d love to know everything. :P) Prehistory through end of the Bronze Age, mostly. I consider the Mediterranean cultures too interactive to narrow them beyond that without missing half the picture.

        I find military history interesting mostly because war’s been such a central preoccupation of humanity – but I very definitely consider it a last resort. (Which I’ve argued in class. Made things interesting, since I was a civilian attending a mostly-military university.)

      • Jack Kolinski

        “I find military history interesting mostly because war’s been such a central preoccupation of humanity.”
        Pretty tough to argue w/that. We do seem to be getting less violent as a whole. But there always seem to be groups pulling us back to the “bad old days.”
        Be PROUD to be a “generalist”! Somebody needs to try to tie it all together and make sense out of it.
        We’re already too close to the point where an “expert” is someone who knows “a lot” (but not even MOST!) of what there is to know about (almost) NOTHING! (Think “Higgs boson expert”).
        Peace.

      • Alix

        We do seem to be getting less violent as a whole.

        I fervently hope so.

        Somebody needs to try to tie it all together and make sense out of it.

        That’s the fun of it! I currently – no joke – spend my free time trying to reconstruct ancient trade routes in Google Earth. (I might need to get a life…) These cultures all interacted with each other – majorly so – and from my perspective you can’t talk about any of them in isolation without missing out on a LOT of what made them who they were, and their place in the broader regional history and cultural evolution.

        I want to make people see that.*


        *Which means, in practice, that I have an unhealthy obsession with maps and timelines. XD

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        I’m only leaving this comment here rather than deleting it so that it can serve as an example of blatant sexism masquerading as enlightenment. No thank you.

      • Alix

        Well, some mystery cults had the view that men were either fallen or imperfect, either way needing redemption through their deity. Orphism comes to mind mostly ’cause I’ve just been reading up on it, but it’s not the only one.

        It’s hard, talking about ancient religions, because we have some trouble characterizing them. In many ways, those separate cults were separate religions, even if they shared pantheons or whole myths; in other ways, they weren’t quite like what we now think of as religions. I tend to be a splitter, not a lumper, so there’s my bias on all this.

      • The_L1985

        Apparently my comment from a few hours ago was deleted. Stupid cellphones. Here’s the best approximation I can give you as to what I said around 4:30 EDT or thereabouts:

        Wicca is less than 100 years old (although many of the concepts it connects into a single religion predate Wicca itself by centuries), and Wiccans know this. Gerald Gardner is the founder of Traditional Wicca, but he is not its “Messiah” because Wicca doesn’t have any such thing.

        Also, Jesus =/= Mohammed, unless you’re Muslim. There is no such thing as “original sin” in Islam, hence no need for a “savior.” In Islam, Jesus and Mohammed are considered prophets on equal footing with Moses, Elijah, etc.

      • Anat

        JFYI the Islamic version of the messiah is known as the Mahdi. And I think we had a discussion of the Jewish concept of the messiah and the messianic age in one of the Judaism 101 threads. Which of course does not mean they are the same as Jesus in Christianity.

    • Lunch Meat

      It’s so nice to come across a feminist man on the Internet. Why can’t I find more men who believe I must not understand my beliefs if they think my beliefs are demeaning to me? There’s just not enough people who tell me what to think.

      • Jack Kolinski

        You are so welcome! And you enjoy sarcasm as much as I do even though you’re not nearly as good at it. So you think for yourself do you? And most of the women you know do as well? Well aren’t you special. Many women (RC, Prot. Orthodox Jew, Mormon, Muslim, et cet. BUT NOT APPARENTLY ALL SEVEN WICCANS! LOL) aren’t that fortunate and need someone to shake them out of their imaginary friend fairyland. We might hope to have women like you do that as well assuming they are willing to remove their heads from their asses.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Stop. Your entire attitude here is incredibly condescending. This is not the tone I want in my comment sections, and if it continues I will ban you.

      • Ezme Green

        I would say that Lunch Meat was the one being condescending and that Jack was reacting to her rudeness. Just because he is a man doesnt mean he cant have an opinion.

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      No offense, but this is kind of a presumptuous statement. There are many women like me whose feminism is firmly rooted in our understanding of scripture. I certainly respect that you might disagree with how I interpret my scripture, but I don’t think it’s helpful to make blanket statements about how all women should feel about all scriptures. It dismisses the very legitimate feminist scholarship that has been done in many world religions, such as Christianity and Islam.

      • Jack Kolinski

        No offense taken. In fact, delighted to see a SANE response to my “presumptuous” comment. BUT, “no offense,” ALL religion is mindless superstition and precisely NONE of it has EVER been helpful to women. EVE caused “original sin.” Because of original sin God PUNISHED women with painful childbirth AND placed her under the CONTROL (read: OWNERSHIP) of her husband. If you’ve managed to “interpret” that favorably as part of your “firmly rooted” “feminism” you are a peculiar feminist indeed. Nevertheless, thanks for being civil.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Believe it or not, there are many Christian feminists.

    • Lola

      I think it’s sort of patronising yo imply that the only reason any woman would be religious was because she doesn’t properly understand her religion, or has bothered to read the Bible. Michael Pearl is butchering the scriptures by leaving out whatever he doesn’t like and failing to take into account the different cultural context in which they were wrtten

      • Lola

        *to imply

      • Jack Kolinski

        “Patronizing”, with a “z”, is what ALL religions are and always have been, in addition to nonsense. Wake up and smell the Universe. NO intelligent person believes in sky-fairies but some religious people (not many) can spell.

      • Lyric

        That’s British spelling.

        It’s also irrelevant to the rather insulting argument that you’re making.

      • Alix

        “Patronise” is a perfectly legitimate variant.

        Before spouting off about how smart you are and condescending to others on the internet, try making sure you’re actually right.

      • Jack Kolinski

        I thought you ladies were capable of defending yourselves? Oh. I see. It’s a group effort.
        “Either we hang together or we’ll hang separately.” (Who said that?)
        I’m not even “right”- handed.
        Thanks for reminding me how valuable a sense of humor is. You never fully appreciate it until you see a bunch of lumpish plume-plucked flax-wenches without one. (courtesy of Wm. Shakespeare)

      • Alix

        You keep calling me a lady. LOL.

        When you say something funny, I’ll respond with humor. But you’re not sharing a joke, you’re being one.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Oh my! Ya Got me! I’ll never live this down.

      • Alix

        …It’s like performance art.

      • The_L1985

        Alix is a man. Why do you persist in calling him a lady?

        By the way, “DonQuixote1950,” I find it hilariously pathetic that you are incapable of arguing your way out of a paper bag, given that you’re the one with a law degree. You’ve got 35 years on me (assuming you’re not some moronic troll pretending to be retired lawyer Jack Kolinski–stranger things have happened), yet you have failed to indicate in any way, shape, or form that you’ve learned anything in that length of time.

        You refuse to engage with any evidence presented to you. You act as if nobody had ever made any scientific or archaeological discoveries since you were in school half a century ago. You act as if women were incapable of rational thought or serious discourse (one would generally expect that, after having raised 4 women to adulthood, you’d understand that women are, you know, HUMAN). You ignore the fact that many of us, especially the ex-Christians, do not wish to use our real names on the Internet for fear of censure from our Christian relatives, instead preferring to mock us for wanting to keep our online and offline existence separate. (Like a witness protection program, only without the permanent separation from one’s friends and family.)

        I would be greatly surprised if you ever won any of your law cases, given the apparent standard of your discourse. Or is “retired” supposed to be a euphemism for “disbarred?”

      • Alix

        …Erm. *shuffles feet* Genderqueer. If you’ve got a favorite gender-neutral pronoun set, that’s great; if not, I don’t honestly care which set you use. XD

        Sorry – it’s a bit churlish to bring this up when you’re stepping in to defend me, but, well.

      • The_L1985

        Oh, crud. I thought you were male. Mea culpa.

        I need to stop assuming that “not female” automatically means “male.” Stupid gender binaries.

      • Alix

        It’s no problem. XD I was just striving for accuracy.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Again, I’m only leaving this comment as an example of how someone can claim to be in favor of women’s rights and yet actually be horrifyingly sexist. Ugh. No worries, he’s about to be banned.

      • Olive Markus

        I think my jaw has been lying on the ground reading this whole exchange. I’m not really sure what I’ve been seeing here…

        Libby Anne, I think you have some of the classiest regular commenters I’ve ever seen. I need to take lessons from them.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Nice deflection. Lola says you are patronizing her, and your response is that religion patronizes people. No actual response to Lola’s comment?

  • Lunch Meat

    There was just the basic need that she alone came to meet, and I realized that if I could have her all to myself, I would be fulfilled as a person. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was created to need a help meet, and everything about her seemed to meet my need. She made me whole. …

    If you are a man alone, you have a need. You will always be looking, wanting, hoping until you become one with your helper.

    I agree that it’s nice the way he talks about needing “everything about her,” but this is poor interpretation and also unhealthy. “It’s not good for man to be alone,” but that doesn’t mean that everyone needs a spouse. Jesus and Paul weren’t married, but they weren’t alone–they had companions and friends. You can be just as fulfilled single as you can be married. However, you can’t expect people–even your spouse–to “fulfill” you or make you “whole.” We meet each other’s needs, yes, but people are always going to disappoint you. If you always look to others to find what’s missing in you, you’re not going to find it.

    Also, you can’t ever have anyone “all to yourself.” Even if your spouse is the perfect stay-at-home wife, she has relationships with her children and siblings and friends and neighbors and church members. Much more so if she volunteers or works.

    “I will make an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).”

    Yeah, he could have just used the satanic liberal modern NIV (which says “a helper suitable”) and not had to waste all that time trying to put it into language his readers could understand.

    • wanderer

      yes, this appalled me too. All to himself? Very much sounds like a relationship I would want to run from FAST AND FAR.

  • AAAtheist

    Michael Pearl:

    “… Adam was ‘male and female’. …”

    And also, from Michael Pearl:

    “… God created a single man with no capabilities to reproduce, for he has no womb. So the human race was completed with the addition of a womb-man (woman). …”

    So, according to Michael, if women are basically just a version of men, wouldn’t all so-called heterosexual sex actually be gay sex?

    Hooray! Christian justification for gay sex! Republicans can now feel free to support marriage equality! Right?

    Hello?

    (… cue sounds of crickets chirping and wind blowing tumbleweeds …)

    • Saraquill

      I volunteer to help you spread pamphlets and fliers of your discovery.

      • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

        Me too! I’m sure folks here in the Bible Belt will eat that stuff up!

    • AnonaMiss

      I think a better (as in ‘more fitting to the text’, not as in ‘morally superior’ because it’s a profoundly antifeminist argument which could only be made to profound antifeminists like these ‘complimentarian’ assholes) Christian justification for gay sex is that god made Adam, and then looked around and made Eve as an afterthought… but he never added anything to Adam after his initial creation. Since Adam had genitals before woman had even occurred to god’s original plan clearly can’t have been for men to only stick it in a woman. (Whether he was intended to just play with himself, to stick it in animals, or to reproduce asexually and then have sex with other men, is unknown.)

    • Trollface McGee

      Wouldn’t that make him a hermaphrodite?
      And since women are patches then sex with women is bestiality since we’re not fully human. Therefore the only Godly sex is gay sex.

    • Richter_DL

      Actually, a two-gendered creature has no need to have sex, except with itself. Something tells me Michael spent a lot of time like that, too.

      • Leigha7

        That’s not to say they don’t or can’t, though. A lot of plants have both female and male parts, and they can reproduce with themselves if necessary, but they tend to use methods like pollination because it allows for genetic diversity. Of course, plant reproduction is also pretty passive (and frequently assisted by others, like bees).

  • jasondick

    The whole “puzzle piece” bit sounds to me to be dog whistle language for, “gay people are against God.”

    That said, I think I’d be more likely to read your posts in detail if you were to chop them up.

  • Lunch Meat

    Also, since I can’t resist,

    So the human race was completed with the addition of a womb-man

    Slower than a speeding bullet! Unable to carry 30 pounds without complaining! Incapacitates her enemies by crying inexplicably! Able to incubate an entire person inside her abdominal cavity! It’s… WOMB-MAN!!!

    • Sally

      Ha! :)

  • tulips

    Notice how the backhanded compliment maintains his dominance and relational leverage. Debi has had a crush on him since early adolescence…he makes it clear that he finds other women more attractive but her utility/service affords her adequacy. So she’s “good enough” as long as…and ONLY as long as…she serves him sufficiently. It explains a lot about her reactions to other women. “Pretty” women who offend her. Less “pretty” women laughing while in a headlock. Yes, very telling.

    • wanderer

      yes, I was so disturbed that he would say she’s “good-looking” but other women are “strikingly beautiful”. And to publish it! I mean, honestly, why would he have to throw in a public insult under the disguise of describing why he picked Debi? What a sicko.

      • sylvia_rachel

        Yes, that is a really mean thing to say in print.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Michael says the following of Debi:

    she challenged me.

    So Michael found the fact that Debi challenged him alluring and contributed to his decision to marry her.

    Yet, Debi repeatedly insists that a wife — especially the wife of Command Man like Michael — should never challenge her husband. (Well, at least not overtly.) And not for nothing, after covering Michael’s retelling of their honeymoon in the last installment of this series, I have a hard time believing Michael actually appreciates Debi challenging him.

    I’m having trouble reconciling these things.

    • Olive Markus

      My guess is that, in typical Christian fashion, he has simply taken the word “challenge,” because it sounded good there, and redefined it to mean whatever in the heck he has decided it means. I’m sure it doesn’t resemble our use of the word, though.

      If I’m wrong, then, yeah… not sure what’s going on :).

    • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

      Michael Pearl’s logic is not like our Earth logic.

      • Ella Warnock

        His ways are mysterious, and not our ways. ;-)

    • Lunch Meat

      “By not being immediately submissive, she challenged me to be more manly and dominant”?

    • Alix

      “Challenge” in certain Christian circles can be a weird bit of jargon for something approximating “pushes me to be more Godly” – in this case, Michael’d probably add a gloss of “… to be more manly.”

      I think Debi, on the other hand, is using the more normal definition of “challenge,” though with a decidedly negative slant, like “challenging Michael’s authority.”

      • Sally

        “pushes me to be more Godly”
        I agree that’s probably how he’s using it, but it still is strange because Debi goes so far in her book as to suggest that women can’t be more spiritual than men, and she definitely doesn’t imply that the woman helps the man be more spiritual by pushing him towards God. She speaks directly against that.

      • Alix

        Yeah, I don’t know. It sounds like he’s using jargon to paint a rosy picture of his marriage, and she’s using a different set of jargon to paint a different picture of hers, and they are utterly blind to how incompatible the two views are.

        Though I’ll note that the Christianese version of “challenge” doesn’t actually require the challenger to be authoritative, or even active. Just “convicting” their spirit by their godliness or whatever.

        Which, yeah, still doesn’t mesh with Debi’s “you can’t be more spiritual, ladies!” thing.

    • JP

      As well as what other folks have said- it’s one thing for the husband to say his wife challenges him. It’s quite another for the wife to claim it herself. Like in everything else, the husband has the ability to assert himself and define the relationship. The wife doesn’t have that (or any other) power.

    • Richter_DL

      Don’t forget the super lovely honeymoon he gave her in the last chapter.

      • Richter_DL

        Ah, you actually didn’t. Shame on me. :(

  • luckyducky

    So, I know you said that you find lines like

    I realized that if I could have her all to myself, I would be fulfilled as a person.

    sweet when your husband says them… and in the right context it probably wouldn’t bother me but without context and particularly in the context of M. Pearl’s writings it is a BIG RED FLAG.

    “Have” smacks of ownership not partnership. In the context of a sexual relationship, it isn’t about mutual pleasure, it is about fulfilling ones own’s needs (at the expense of the other’s?). It is like saying “if I could have a sandwich all to myself, I wouldn’t be hungry anymore.”

    “All to myself” screams isolation, which is a precursor to abuse – emotional/psychological or physical.

    And, you touched on it later, but “be fulfilled as a person,” based solely on being in relationship with another person (generous phrasing on my part), is also not indicative of a healthy concept of relationships or that relationship. Fulfillment is not a one-time thing IMHO, it is a life-long process of being/becoming… and, again, not up to someone else.

    Alternative phrasing: “if I could *be* with her and only her, I would be unimaginably happy/I could take on the world/I would be ready for anything.”

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Good point. I never considered the ownership part of that statement.

    • Katty

      That phrase (“all to myself”) jumped out at me too. After describing his interaction with her as one between equals, this right there is where he goes back to objectifying her and getting all selfish and possessive. Like a child who doesn’t want to share their favorite toy.

      • dj_pomegranate

        Haha, this was my reaction exactly, mentioned upthread. “Mine mine mine all mine!” is not becoming for a husband.

      • Katty

        Oh, sorry, missed that comment. It shows up downthread for me. :-)

        Anyway, yes, totally. Reminded me of the seagulls in “Finding Nemo”! (I’d link to a clip but I’m on my mobile and this stuff gets complicated on a phone…)

        ETA: I’m home now, so here‘s a link for anyone who wants to revisit the hilarious seagulls…

      • dj_pomegranate

        Oh, no need to apologize! I just meant to point out that I had also picked up on that possessive tone. Hahahaha the Nemo seagulls: perfect.

  • Kristen Brennan

    ” Because it sounds to me like God has both male and female attributes, but people couldn’t handle that much majesty, so he split his likeness into 2 and gave half each to men and women? I’ve always believed in some type of Mother God. I mean, everything else has a male and female, animals, flowers, trees, people…why not God?”
    Huh. That does seem to be his argument. It draws pieces from what I would consider “real” Christian theology in that God the Creator–the “Father”–is usually understood (in mainstream and liberal circles, at least) to encompass both the masculine and the feminine and is “beyond” both. So, in the liberal congregation that I’ve been attending, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a communion liturgy that praises God while using only female pronouns. I’m a little surprised that Michael would touch on this, since most fundamentalist preachers are very invested in the idea that “God identifies as male.” From what (embarrassingly) little I know about Mormonism, I understand that it teaches a “Mother God” as a separate entity from “God the Father”?
    As for the “why” of the male/female divisions, I’ve never had that explained to my satisfaction. I’m relatively sure that Michael is making up his “people just couldn’t hold that much glory” idea. I’ve always interpreted that passage as emphasizing that male/female divisions are secondary to the fact that every person is created in the image of God–that it specifies “male and female” to emphasize that women are included and to inoculate (ineffectively, it turns out) against the false perception that only men reflect God’s image. Fast forward a couple thousand years, and Paul screwed that up with his “man is the image of God but woman is (only) the image of man” bullshit.
    At the end of the day, I think Michael is paying lip service to the egalitarian creation narrative in Genesis 1 so that when people call him on his crap, he can say “look! I respect women! Image of God and all that good stuff!” All the surrounding text–where he calls Adam the hand and Eve the glove, where he says woman was created to remedy man’s lack of a uterus, where he compares women to a freakin’ computer patch, seems calculated to imply that men, but not women, are fully human.
    Oh, and as a quick aside from the Biology major: it’s not exactly true that “everything” has/needs a male and a female. Plenty of plants encompass both sexes and can self-fertilize. Plenty of lower-level organisms still haven’t moved beyond binary fission as a reproduction strategy. Parthenogenesis is a thing, even among higher-level vertebrates. If I’m remembering my dev bio correctly, it’s believed that males emerged *after* females and that the Y chromosome is shorter than the X chromosome because it literally broke somewhere along the way. A mammalian embryo develops the precursors to both sets of reproductive tracts and in the absence of a specific “become male” signal, it will become female as it grows.
    Okay, that wasn’t quick. My nerd floweth over.

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Yes, Mormonism believes in a Mother God. Frustruratingly so, we are only told that because God loves her so much, and doesn’t want her disrepsected, we don’t know anything about her. Head/wall.
      And thank you for the extra info. I should have phrased it “Many things have a male and female version”.

    • Mel

      I find a lot of theology rather confusing, but I’m pretty sure Mike Pearl is pulling most of this out of his ass.

      • Hat Stealer

        Most theology is meant to stifle actual thought with pseudo-intellectual balderdash. It’s not meant to be understood.

  • BobaFuct

    I thought Michael had studied the bible for 50+ years? Apparently he missed 1st Corinthians 7…

    “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am….Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that.” (1 Cor. 7:8, 25-28)

    • Mel

      As Debi has well learned by now, bad marriages lead to distress.

    • TLC

      Wait — you expect him to read past the Old Testament? What kind of “Christian” are you? ;-)

      Seriously, I also thought of this while reading. What about all the nuns, priests, saints and other people who chose to live a life of celibacy to honor God? Or those of us who became single again and chose to not screw around because it’s the right thing to do?

      Apparently, in spite of this, we’re still not as good as the married people.

      • CarysBirch

        Oh my. You’re mistaking Michael Pearl for someone who cares about the actual history of Christianity. Protestants of his stripe think that priests, nuns, saints and others who choose to live celibate are part of the Whore of Babylon, the greatest false religion to ever masquerade as true Christianity. Because everyone knows that Paul ran an American style fundamentalist home church and preached from the KJV.

        Or, as my father says: “Catholics are valuable allies on a lot of the social issues, but you can’t forget they’re also idolaters.”

      • Baby_Raptor

        You know, it’s cool that you personally feel sex outside of marriage is wrong. More power to you.

        But please refrain from labeling your personal beliefs “the right thing to do.” There’s nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage. Your “right” is not a universal “right.”

        Note: If I misread this, please disregard.

      • TLC

        No, just stating it was the right thing to do for me and my family. And actually, I have no problem with sex before marriage — in fact, I would NOT get married again without sleeping with him. I don’t want any surprises!

        When I got divorced, I was a single parent with a 4-year-old boy, and I just decided that having a bunch of strange men in the house in front of him was not a good idea. I also decided that one-night stands weren’t fun anymore and I wasn’t going to go there. Sorry for the lack of context. ;-)

        But sadly, even then, that would not be “good enough” for Michael Pearl. I’m still “less than”, according to him, because I’m not married.

    • Sally

      This is off topic, but if this passage doesn’t make it clear Paul thought the end times were eminent, nothing will (and by eminent, I mean within the lifetimes of the people he’s writing directly to).

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Eminent = imminent, I think.

        Eminent means prominent or well-known. Imminent means happening very soon.

        /vocabularian (yes I made that word up, shush!) hat off now

      • Sally

        Oh, that’s embarrassing. But thank you for correcting me so kindly (said sincerely).

    • Baby_Raptor

      Note how only women are virgins. Yup, we sure matter! Our sex parts, anyway.

      • sylvia_rachel

        Could this be one of those places where the English has “virgins” but the original (Greek?) has a term that could equally well just mean “young women” (or “unmarried women”)?

        Just a thought. I am shockingly ignorant on the subject of Paul, which/who was not really part of my religious education…

      • Baby_Raptor

        It’s completely possible. The only real studying I’ve done on the original Greek words has been what’s said about homosexuality, so I’m open to this being a translation thing.

      • Alix

        The word used is the standard Greek word for an unmarried woman/virgin/maiden: παρθένος. It’s got basically all those semantic meanings rolled up into it: girl, unmarried woman, virgin. It was certainly used of unmarried women who weren’t virgins, but that’s not the assumption one would make upon reading that word without further context.

      • Alix

        (Replying to myself) As for how Paul meant it, given that he repeatedly characterizes lust as something that takes away from one’s proper focus on God*, and given that he tells people who cannot control their passions to get married, I think it’s pretty safe to say he meant “virgins.” And 1 Corinthians isn’t one of the disputed epistles, either, so.

        *For clarity’s sake: this is Paul’s view, not mine.

      • sylvia_rachel

        I meant my other reply as a reply to this reply …

        ::waves fist at Disqus::

      • sylvia_rachel

        That’s kind of disappointing. But good to know!

      • Alix

        It actually maps pretty well, semantically, with “maiden,” both in terms of all the associated connotations and in terms of the potential ambiguity.

        (Sorry – I can’t help myself, I have to throw out random clarifications when they pop through my mind. XD)

      • sylvia_rachel

        Aha, okay, I wondered if it might!

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    I had possessed a sexual need for thirteen years and knew many girls I felt could satisfy that hunger.

    God then created a patch, calling it WO-MAN, and released it to support the original program.

    she will become that wonderful helper when your life and your speech demonstrates that you need her.

    I realize that the whole point of this section is “women are objects created by God to serve specific functions for men, who are actual people,” but this is just creepy as all hell. Like, someone-should-check-the-crawl-space-for-bodies kind of creepy.

  • Cassiopeia

    Nobody ever asked Eve if she was OK with this shit. If she wanted to dedicate her life to helping somebody.

    Because for me, that is the ninth circle of hell right there. Being somebody’s ‘helper’ and nothing more. Pardon my French, but fuck that. You can have a relationship where the participants are not arranged as man/helper and it can be amazing. In fact, I believe that it’s probably better. For the relationship to work there has to be communication between both people. Not just one way. Both people need to be able to take criticism.

    Nobody should be forced to turn themselves into some smiling automaton ramming the last vestiges of their personality into some tiny corner of their minds just because that’s what their husband wants.

    I realized that if I could have her all to myself, I would be fulfilled as a person.

    The key word there is I. Michael would be fulfilled as a person.

    Does he know what would make Debi fulfilled as a person? Does he care? After all, she is a woman therefore having a husband is automatic fulfilment, right?

    • dj_pomegranate

      Yes, “I realized that if I could have her all to myself, I would be fulfilled as a person…” totally squicked me out. He sounds like a petulant child who doesn’t want to share his toys. “Oh, if I can have this toy and have it all to myself then I will be soooooo super happy forever!” Except that the “it” in this case is AN ACTUAL PERSON.

    • Lunch Meat

      In my personal theology, the whole point of creating Eve is that Adam needed someone who was his equal because something that was less than him couldn’t meet his need for companionship. A trained monkey or a pet or a work animal couldn’t do it–it had to be another person.

      I also like the idea–which I think I read here or maybe at Slacktivist–that one Jewish understanding based on the original language is that the original adam was agendered, and was actually split into two to make Adam and Eve, not that Eve was a secondary creation made just to serve him. Can anyone elaborate on this?

      • Christine

        There is a story I heard (I don’t know how old it is) that says that God made a woman from a toe, but she was too meek, and then made one from part of Adam’s head (can’t remember which part), but she lorded it over Adam. So Adam had to ask for a third time, and got Eve, who came from his side – his equal, neither above or below him.

      • sylvia_rachel

        There’s a midrash (I think: someone more knowledgeable please correct me if I’m wrong) which says something very similar: that the reason G-d made woman from man’s rib is so that rather than running ahead of him or following behind him, she would walk beside him. I *believe* I read about this one in the context of an article on how rabbinic Judaism reconciled the two contradictory Creation narratives; the theory that “Adam” was originally both male and female, and that the second Creation narrative actually describes G-d splitting “Adam” into male and female halves, was also mentioned.

        I mean, not that the rabbis weren’t hella sexist quite a bit of the time.

    • Bugmaster

      They did ask Lilith. The answer was, “hell no”. That’s why God was forced to create the watered-down help-meet Eve; Lilith was too much for him to handle.

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      This is why Michael’s dumbed-down version of what “helpmeet” means is such an abysmal failure on so many levels. The original Hebrew words are the word “help” that is used to refer to rescue, rather than assistance (usually used for the kind of help/rescue that God gives to mankind) followed up by a word that means “facing” or “of equal stuff.” I’ve heard that the most drop-dead literal interpretation of the original word is “strong one facing.” That implies something completely different from the version that Michael gives, or, for that matter, the version that most churches will give you if you put together the MODERN ENGLISH versions of the words “help” and “meet.”

      • Rachel Heston-Davis

        In other words, it means one who rescues and is equal to the rescue-ee, rather than meaning one who gives assistance and fills in the blanks of the other person.

      • Alix

        In other words, Adam was in waaaaay over his head, so God sent someone to save him. ;)

  • dj_pomegranate

    “Sex is less than 90 minutes out of a week.” Well, speak for yourself, Michael…

    All kidding aside, yes, it’s true that sex is not everything in a marriage. But “sex” in my mind and experience is more than those 90 minutes. Sex can be more than the sum of its parts. There’s a very nuanced and personal relationship between sex and compatibility, overall happiness, foreplay, anticipation, desire, respect, boundaries, consent, turn-ons… etc. Do I constantly think about sex with mr pomegranate? Haha, no. But does the rest of our relationship inform our sex life–and vice versa? Absolutely yes.

    So even though I agree with this statement on its face, he’s (unsurprisingly) overlooking a lot of the implications of his own argument. For instance, if you are a man who believes that this “girl” was only made to “support the original program”, are you going to spend time figuring out how to satisfy her? Or is her pleasure of secondary importance, since she’s a secondary partner in this union?

    • Katty

      I wonder how he came up with the 90 minutes number. It seemed so random to me. Like couples could have a lot less or a lot more sex in a week and of course it will vary from one week to the next.

      Did he just want to get at the ten percent? I hate to think that he timed his activities with Debi and calculated the average!

      • Gillianren

        Yeah, when I read that, I started mentally comparing my own sex life to what I know of my friends’ and thinking, “Maybe for some people, but not for everyone.”

      • wanderer

        yeah I wondered how he did that math too, immediately started trying to figure out how he would have broken that down & gotten to 90.
        From everything he and Debi have said, it doesn’t sound like he’s one for foreplay. I’m guessing either he’s exaggerating his prowess (because I can’t imagine him spending much time actually love-making) or there’s a lot of quickies. He sounds like a 3-minute wham-bam-thankyouma’am kinda guy.

      • Katty

        I [...] immediately started trying to
        figure out how he would have broken that down & gotten to 90.

        Me, too!! My first thought was: “So that’s approximately 12 minutes per day.” Then the maybe more reasonable estimate of thirty minutes three times a week dj_pomegranate mentions ocurred to me. But really, who’s to know? He just throws that number out there, without any explanation (let alone citation!) at all.

      • j.lup

        Yeah, I reckon that Michael’s boast of having sex all the time coupled
        with his 90 minutes per week pronouncement probably means that he
        heroically performs the deed for about 12 minutes each day (12 minutes counting from the moment that Debi screams after Michael takes out the trash and then drags her into the bedroom to the moment that Debi’s punishment is concluded).

      • dj_pomegranate

        Right? I assumed he was just taking a guess, like, “I bet people have sex three times a week, for about 30 minutes each time.” Which like, ok, I’m sure that there is some sort of “average time devoted to sex with your partner in America” study, but come on. People are different.

      • Leigha7

        Coming from him, it’s probably less “3 times a week for 30 minutes each” and more “18 times a week for 5 minutes each.”

      • Theo Darling

        Especially for someone who simultaneously BOASTS ABOUT HOW MUCH SEX HE HAS. I mean, way to go, Michael. Just go ahead and advertise that you’re done in three minutes.

    • smrnda

      Even if sex is just 1% of a particular marriage, if that is a really lousy 1%, it’s going to cause problems.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Hey, I just emailed you about something and haven’t heard back. I know sometimes people use spam email addresses for writing comments, so I’m not sure you got the email. If you didn’t, please email me and let me know and I’ll send it to you!

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      I wanted to write in the commentary that I imagined him with a stop watch in the bedroom, but felt that was too snarky.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        Plus, imagining the Pearls bedroom is not really anywhere most of us really want to go, even though the damned book has taken us there.

      • Alix

        Nothing is too snarky for this shit.

      • Richter_DL

        Yes, exactly.

    • CarysBirch

      Not to be crass either, but a couple’s sexual relationship isn’t limited to their actual time spent PiV or similar. The actual moments of physical, literal sex we have are part of my sexual relationship with my partner, but that relationship also informs how we relate to each other outside the bedroom, how much we touch, how comfortable we are. (The giant raspberry he just blew into my neck unexpectedly, lol.)

    • Richter_DL

      90 minutes out of a week? Given he has sex three times a day … wow. There are medical professionals who can help you with premature ejaculation, Michael.

  • Jayn

    “Instead of being a lonely woman, alone in a cold bed in a dumpy duplex,
    the man without the woman is a lonely, loveless loser. Wonder if he’s
    in a duplex as well?”

    …THAT’S why she’s so hung up on the duplex! One side for the unhappy single lady, the other for the unhappy single man.

    • Conuly

      Sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy.

    • Newbie

      It’s interesting though, because in Debi’s description of what happens to the unsubmissive wife, the ex-wife gets the “dumpy duplex” while the ex-husband gets a nice house, remarries and lives happily ever after.. Now Michael makes it sound like being married is not so much a perk that will just come becauae he’s a nuce guy, but a requirement if you don’t want to be a “loser”… My head hurts

      • sylvia_rachel

        I find I get a lot of headaches from trying to reconcile statement A with statement B in the Pearls’ writing…

  • katiehippie

    I had possessed a sexual need for thirteen years and knew many girls I felt could satisfy that hunger.

    Sooooo he wasn’t a virgin. Bad Michael.

    • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

      Well, he felt they could. Doesn’t say he knew they could.

      Considering the rest of the chapter, this is probably just as well.

    • Sally

      Actually I did a double take on that one too when I got to the phrase “knew many girls” because I thought he was going with the biblical “know” for a moment. But the rest of the sentence spoiled that notion, of course.

    • Things1to3

      I read that section as the steriotypical guy who’s struck out and tells
      his buddies that he could have had her, he just
      didn’t want her.

  • Theo Darling

    “Sex is less than 90 minutes out of a week.”

    Ahahahahhahaha, not MY week~

  • Theo Darling

    Also–there are two creation stories in Genesis. One where Adam is created first and Eve is created for him, and one where the text literally suggests that first one genderless being was created, and split into two different-gendered people. “Adam” wasn’t a name any more than “Hippo” is a name. And I have actually heard THAT version held up a lot as an argument for gender egalitarianism, so haha, Michael.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Yes! This! The first human was ‘adam’ because ze was made from ‘adamah’ or dirt. That’s it. ‘Adam’ is not a proper name at all in Genesis.

  • wanderer

    PS yes IMO smaller sections would be helpful. I had too many WTF moments in one post to process them all.

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

      Me too. I had issues continuing to read it at all – my mind had been twisted in so many directions by this circular logic that I gave up about halfway through and skipped direct to the comments.

  • Conuly

    Ugh! Woman has nothing to do with womb!

    Man in this sense means “human person” (and incidentally, the -man in human is an unrelated coincidence). A woman is a wif-man, where wif (wife, and that IS related) means female. A male human would be a wer-man, where the were is the same as the were in werewolf.

    • Cathy W

      I was about to mention this.
      Plus, it only works if you assume God speaks English. Even other languages closely related to English don’t derive their term for “female person” from the term for “male person” or the term for “uterus”.

      • Conuly

        When my mother was a young child and going to catechism class, the nun teaching the class started off telling them that “history is His story!”

        30 7 year olds, half of them Italian and the other half Puerto Rican, and one little Belgian girl who spoke French in the home (as her classmates spoke Italian and Spanish, of course), and they all KNEW it was garbage, but they couldn’t figure out a polite way to say so.

        /tangent

      • Christine

        Well given that the KJV is the only accurate version of the Bible, it stands to reason that God speaks English. How else would translating into English give a better representation of the magical book?

    • The_L1985

      I know! Even the Hebrew for “woman” means, essentially, “from man.”

    • Richter_DL

      Michael Pearl is full of funny ideas about the English language, it seems.

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    “I had possessed a sexual need for thirteen years and knew many girls I felt could satisfy that hunger.”–Ideally you see a sexual relationship as more than meeting a need…ideally you would want the person you are in love with MORE than you want other people sexually, because there is also an emotional connection. But y’know. Just sayin.

    “She made me whole.”–Now THAT’S interesting. Usually, it’s women that patriarchy tells to be made whole by their mate. (But still…just, no).

    • CarysBirch

      I misread this as “a sexual need for thirteen year olds.”

      Is it bad that I would barely have been surprised if Michael had actually said that?

      • The_L1985

        So I’m not the only one who had to read that sentence twice.

  • Sally

    “Wonder if he’s in a dumpy duplex too?”

    Maybe he’s in a van down by the river.

    (SNL reference for anyone who doesn’t remember the Chris Farley days)

    “…she challenged me”
    I find it fascinating that this is one of the qualities that Michael seems to have appreciated about Debi before they were married. Now, I realize “challenged” doesn’t likely mean “got in his face and stood up to him,” but it clearly means something here. I take it to mean she gave him some kind of constructive feedback, which clearly from her own book is NOT something she does once she’s been trained up by Michael in marriage. Yet he mentions it here as an attractive quality.

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      It’s ineresting. If you look at their website, there’s stories of Debi preaching, prophesying, and all the other things she deems not appropriate for wives to do.

      • Sally

        But is it ever directed at anyone other than “younger women”?

      • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

        Oh. Good call. On further reading, everything makes sure to specify that Debi talks to the “young woman/old lady/Mama”, even if it’s a general prophesy in midst a group of people.
        I stand corrected.

  • Saraquill

    I don’t know. Michael’s been married for ages and he’s still yucky.

  • wanderer

    I felt the whole section like I was being jerked back and forth between 2 very opposite mentalities (which michael says both encompass what he believes):
    Oh, sacrificial love is what God made men to give…
    But then wait, you complete ME…
    But then I am made to need YOU and your wise compassion…
    But hold up a sec, I’m supposed to make you become mature and know how to meet my needs…
    on and on. It’s not even close to consistent. makes me feel like he’s trying to use words that sound like men are loving & sacrificial (in his worldview) but then keeps slipping up and being honest that he thinks he’s The Shit and Debi is lucky he settled for her so she can serve him.

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      I noticed that too. On one hand he’s like “love and sacrifice for your wife” on the other he’s “woman is made to be a perfect helper for a man”. I thought the dissonance was because Debi stepped in to edit…
      But your POV makes sense, too. :)

  • j.lup

    Okay, I haven’t finished reading the whole post yet, but ‘Sex is less than 90 minutes out of a week’?! I’ve never been married and I understand that people have different levels of desire and sometimes little time and energy between work and child care and maintaining a household to fit in opportunities for physical intimacy, but that’s only twelve minutes a day! If I had a spouse and we were only having sex 90 minutes of every week it better be because we work in different cities and only get to see each other once or twice on weekends.

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

      Or illness, or young babies.
      Before I got pregnant, we had a very active sex life.

      Now, with a four month old and ongoing physical difficulties from pregnancy and childbirth, we are lucky to manage half an hour a week.
      But its for a season, not forever (I hope – things are already getting better)

      • Olive Markus

        Yeah, for me, illness completely destroyed my desire for sex and my ability to enjoy it :(. I don’t think we hit 90 minutes every four months, and I’m not exaggerating in the least (but I really, really wish I were). I do spend massive amounts of time trying to study up on how to balance my hormones, my immune system, libido, energy, etc. So far, nada.

        Before that, I’d get upset if we weren’t spending at least an hour a day in bed :).

      • j.lup

        To everything there is a season. And yes, infants and illness and physical issues (I know all about those) definitely crowd out desire and gobble up both time and energy. But if you’ve got a good foundation of compatibility and a commitment to communication and staying connected, you’ll make it through any season together.

        I suspect that for Michael Pearl, and a great deal of other CP adherents, sex is narrowly defined as coitus, which means that other kinds of physical and sexual intimacy by themselves don’t count as sex. As Dan Savage says all the time, men who complain about not having sex enough should think about whether they would want to have penetrative intercourse every day if it meant that they were the ones being penetrated, and if they could re-frame sex in their minds to include non-penetrative sexual activity as ‘real’ sex, they’d probably end up having a whole lot more sex more frequently.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        Agree totally.
        And I have to say, I cannot wait for this season to pass and normal service to resume (especially since I’m struggling with the loss of self from having a baby so much that I’ve stopped asking for the little bits of physical touch, and my husband is not naturally demonstrative unless I’m regularly modelling it!)

      • j.lup

        Is this baby your first? It is so, SO common for new mothers to not seek out physical touch (or even try to avoid it!) when you have a new infant because you’re spending so much of your day being clung to and in physical contact with your child. If you can, ask your partner to take over some of the baby-snuggling – it’ll be good for both of them and give you some time to exist in your own physical space.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        Yep, on that :) He gets the baby passed to him almost the moment he walks in the door. Its probably the only reason I can stand the physical contact I do get with him! Roll on the end of breastfeeding, reduction in hormones and hopefully an increase in energy!

    • Alix

      I remember sort of wondering at that and thinking that if that was true, maybe no one would mind being married to me. XD It doesn’t fit either with how important sex is to many other people, or how important it is to Michael.

  • TLC

    There are usually so many things wrong in such a small portion of this book that it might be better for you to do smaller posts.

    As others have pointed out, Jesus and Paul weren’t married either. I guess they were “incomplete” in the eyes of God, right? And maybe their mansions in Heaven are just bleak duplexes, right across the street from the single women and their bleak duplexes?

    If Debi dies first, with Michael consider himself once again “incomplete” in the eyes of God? Or will he still believe he’s perfection because he has testicles?

    I just cannot believe these people think they are “better” because they are married! I am SO glad I escaped this.

    BTW, loved your reference to the girl zebra. :-D

    Also had a lot of fun dividing 90 minutes up several different ways and trying to figure out how many times a week Michael and Debi have sex, and how long it lasts. 15 x 6? 30 x 3? 45 x 2?

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Thanks! :D

    • Cathy W

      Given that Debi holds “If you get divorced, he’ll be flaunting the new trophy wife in your face within a week” over the head of wives, I suspect Michael fully believes he can remarry, to some hot young thing that he can remold into a perfect helpmeet, in a hurry, if something were to happen to Debi.

  • http://Thechurchproject.me/ Tracey

    Is it just me, or is Michael’s description of how he met Debi alot different than her description in her book?
    He says they were ‘buddies’ for 4 years. She claims they didn’t interact much while she crushed on him for 7 years. Then he popped the question and they were married in a week.

    • Alix

      The whirlwind romance sounds fun and special if Debi talks about being swept off her feet by her dream man. From the perspective of this jackass, though, it would sound predatory.

      It’s like he has these moments where he’s almost self-aware…

      • Olive Markus

        I have experience when I say that people like this have remarkable self-awareness, but it’s the processing and application of that self-awareness that seems to go very, very awry somehow.

        It is honestly a part of how they end up being as manipulative as they are.

      • Alix

        Serious question: self-aware, or aware enough of societal norms that they can just manage to figure out how to fit themselves in well enough?

        Or maybe there’s no difference, and I’m splitting funny hairs at half past midnight.

      • Olive Markus

        Great question.

        My brain isn’t functioning too well this late, either, but I’d say 100% both. Combine those things with utter self-delusion and narcissism, and you have the ride of a lifetime :). If I feel like I can form the thoughts more thoroughly, I’ll come back to this question. It’s very complicated, though. Not sure I’ll manage to form coherent thoughts.

    • Christine

      They may very likely have had different versions of what constituted interaction. He saw her around, they were buddies, right?

      • Alix

        I just realized this reminds me a LOT of how stalkers think. They’ve seen you, interacted with you, you MUST be best friends/soul mates!

        In the meantime, you have no idea why that guy you see around sometimes is staring at you.

        :/

  • Katherine Hompes

    The “we can’t handle the amount of majesty were god to embody two genders” thing made me think- LaFayette! That totally explains it!

  • Trollface McGee

    Oh goodie, reading Debi I got the impression that I was a rebellious house-elf.. now I know that I’m less than that, a mere patch for Man 1.0 (I guess Michael doesn’t do much programming because otherwise he wouldn’t use such a silly analogy as a programmer as intelligent at God would never stop at merely one version of man). And if God is perfect and didn’t derp at creation, then why would he need a patch? In Michael’s world it’s Michael> other men > God > erm..crabs? > women.

    • Miss_Beara

      Off topic but whenever I see your name I giggle.

    • Katherine Hompes

      Oooh, does this mean I should go around hiding socks in fundamentalist homes? ‘Cause that would be really cool. Also, in my head is now a picture of Lucius Malfoy and Dobby going crabbing :-).

      • sylvia_rachel

        Or Barty Crouch and Winky.

  • http://slatewoman.blogspot.com/ Slatewoman

    i haven’t read the bible apart from a verse here and there in the context of blog posts in years, but michael seems pretty hung up on the idea that being married brings people the closest to god as they can ever get during their time on earth, and lauds it like it’s the only goal in life. to marry and have a bunch of kids.

    surely it’s been mentioned before, but i wonder what he thinks of paul when he says it’s better to be alone, but people lack the sexual self-control to remain chaste for the duration of their lives alone so you might as well marry. i guess he’s able to spin it to back up his point of view. perhaps it’s way too catholic a sentiment for michael and other evangelicals.

  • Mogg

    Also Australian, New Zealander and other parts of the English-speaking world. And weirdly enough, my spelling and intelligence were exactly the same when I was religious.

    • Jack Kolinski

      Really? That is weird. Do any of the people on this site actually know each other? “Lunchmeat.” “Alix.” Everybody has a funny anonymous handle and nobody has a sense of humor. Maybe if Alix had some Lunchmeat both of them would feel better. Not sure how Mogg would fit in.
      Hey! Here’s an idea. What say we try to get past “patronizing/”patronising” and move on to “tomato”/”tomato”…or not.

      • The_L1985

        Or how about you just quit being a condescending jackass? You’re clearly greatly lacking in intelligence, humility, and tact.

      • Alix

        Given that Alix is my first name, I’m not sure how anonymous it really is. I could be using one of my weirder internet handles…

      • The_L1985

        BTW, technically my handle is only semi-anonymous. I use “The_L” on a lot of websites, my avatar indicates the subject I teach as a professional educator, and guess what 1985 indicates?

      • Baby_Raptor

        Did you really just imply that Lunchmeat and Alix need to get laid because they disagree with you?

        I thought people stopped pulling that card in high school.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Ah! A new day. A new “clever” comment on “Estrogen: Man’s Punishment For Needing Pussy.”
        The expression is “playing that card.”
        But you can “pull my finger.”
        Funny Story.
        Yesterday, I saw this reference to “help meet” (Guess where? You can do it!).
        So I left a comment (“20hrs ago” but it seems like a lifetime!) expressing my contempt (It’s like “contemptuousness” but it uses fewer letters) for the KJV use of “help meet” to refer to women.
        My contempt for ALL religion, no exceptions, no asterisks, embodied in my comment, set off an explosion of estrogen (and possibly some testosterone) unrivalled in the annals of military history (Hopefully, Alix will take that in the entirely complimentary way it is intended).
        I haven’t had this much fun since trading insults with pro-Israeli Neo-Nazis on Amazon.
        And now your pithy comment.
        Well done, Baby_Raptor! Well done!
        Another sarcasm orgasm slowly comes to an end (“Peters out”?).
        I’ll be here all week folks.
        You’ve been a great audience.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Cool. I think I can get a bingo off this.

        Sexism? Check. Implying I’m stupid? Check. Bitching at me for something I didn’t do? Check. Expecting people to read your mind? Check. General insulting? Check. Blatant, proud trolling? Check.

        More than enough for a bingo.

        Pro tip: Don’t mock people for supposedly being incapable of comprehending large words when you’re too lazy to type out a 5 letter one. Not having any spelling errors would also help your case, but it’s only slightly related.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Look on the bright side. At least you’re now fully awake, pissed off, and it’s only 8:30 a.m.! You have “purpose”! Rick Warren would be so proud.
        Bumbling
        Insecure
        Nose-picking
        Guts-griping
        Oaf
        BINGO! (Not my best effort but better than yours.)
        Tip(s): 1. Don’t use “Pro” unless you are one (dinner for sex doesn’t count);
        2. Don’t confuse silliness, sarcasm and stupidity (all of which I freely admit to) with misogyny (“sexism” to you).
        They’re not the same thing.
        3. This is the 21st century. NOT spelling out words is part of texting/Twitter/Twenty first century. Join us. You’ll like it here once you get used to it (reasonably sure you’re MUCH younger than I am). Don’t waste time bickering w/old white men. We’re not worth it.

      • Mogg

        Hint: it wasn’t your contempt for religion/s that people disliked.

      • Jack Kolinski

        Really? There are actual “people” behind some of these avitars? And you’ve surveyed them? About ME?
        Have you ever wondered:
        “Isn’t there something MORE than surveying people I’ll never meet about what they disliked about old white guy’s comments on a thread about…Michael somebody’s misogynist views about women?”
        “Hint”

      • Mogg

        No survey required – only a quick look at the comments policy, which is very easy to find, what with it being linked at the top of the page and all.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Ugh I should have banned this guy sooner. I think I need a mod team.

      • Alix

        I was actually thinking you responded with commendable speed.

      • The_L1985

        You know what, fuck this. Fuck you and your mansplaining and your smugly-grinning avatar. Life’s too short to bother reading anything else from an asshole who insists that the time, labor, and expense that went into earning my teaching certificate was a waste; that women are incapable of rational thought, and the only reason any of us could ever possibly get angry is from a lack of sex, rather than being talked down to as if we were 4 years old; and that being a member of any religion is somehow the equivalent of being a fucking YEC.

        I think I’ll end this…exchange? (I can’t really call it a conversation, because that would require you to listen to me once in a while) by saying that you make me dread my own retirement years. After all, clearly there is nothing left after retirement but going to blogs you don’t read for the sole purpose of making potshots at total strangers. No visits from grandchildren, no board games with friends, no walks in the park, just bitterness and condescension.

      • Jack Kolinski

        I am listening. And I LOVE your passion. I hope your own father is as proud of you as I am (If he isn’t, that is HIS loss, not yours!). My sarcasm gets carried way too far into rudeness far too often. I LOVE arguing with words. It’s a lawyer thing but it’s more than that.
        Sometimes I forget not everybody does. You are fully justified in your anger/annoyance and loathing but please know this. I would be incredibly proud to call you my daughter. My four have a LOT of your characteristics.
        If it’s any comfort, were they to become aware of our exchanges they would be all over my ass for my treatment of you. And they would be right.
        None of your words offended me. I do not look to other people to determine who I am and you shouldn’t either.
        I love spending time with my daughters and grandchildren. I play cards every night with my wife’s sister and her husband. I have the best life in the world and not an once of bitterness.
        “Condescension”? I’m working on it but let’s be honest. Although YOU didn’t deserve it, a LOT of people out there do.
        I anticipate receiving a LOT of shit over this posting.
        I’m okay with that.
        What is important is that I express as straightforwardly as I can, my apology for offending you and my genuine admiration for your spirit and openness.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        I banned him. Wow, just, absolutely insufferable.

  • CarysBirch

    Does it strike anyone else that if if “help meet” is grammatically how Michael describes it (and I think he’s right, actually) then its plural should be “helps meet” not “help meets”.

    /randomness

    • Alix

      Heck, I still argue with people about the plural of passerby.

      In other words, I’m right there with you.

      • The_L1985

        Isn’t it “passersby?”

      • Alix

        Yup. Which apparently only myself and my mother actually say. >.>

      • CarysBirch

        Oh no, there are more of us.

        Heck, I say fora, foci, and curricula too.

      • Alix

        MY PEOPLE!!!

      • Helix Luco

        what is a fora.

      • Katherine Hompes

        Plural form of forum

      • Katherine Hompes

        Which means the question should actually be “what are fora?” Please excuse my correction, I hold myself back out of politeness most of the time, but the English language (and the many ways to *f* it up) is one of my passions.

      • CarysBirch

        The latin plural of “forum”. The English form “forums” has become recognized over the years, but it hurts me inside. :P

      • Katherine Hompes

        Really? I thought everyone said it that way. I live in Australia- although I find it hard to believe our grammar is any better as a country. Spelling, on the other hand…

      • Alix

        I hear “passerbys” a lot. And it hurts to even try to type that. >.<

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        It hurt to read too :/. I also have a thing about pronunciation- I’m sure it annoys my friends quite a lot, but I will correct them if they pronounce something wrong.

      • Alix

        I’m very much on the descriptivist side, intellectually, when talking about language – I firmly believe that what matters with language is how people are actually communicating, not how we think they ought to.

        But I fully cop to having my linguistic pet peeves, and “passerbys” is one of the major ones. XD It doesn’t even roll off the tongue properly!

      • sylvia_rachel

        Oh, no, I say it too!

      • Mogg

        Really? What else do people say? ‘Passerbys’ seems clearly wrong to my ear, and ‘bypassers’ would in my mind be people who perform cardic surgery or build highways.

      • Alix

        “Passerbys.” Usually accompanied with that halt-and-stare that means it sounds as wrong to them as it does to me, but they can’t figure out where the screw-up is.

        I’m not blaming them for that, btw. I have my own pronunciation issues.

  • KarenH

    It’s funny that Michael writes “Two are better than one” as a section head. Two ARE better than one. But if neither man nor woman is complete without the other, they aren’t really two, are they? if they need each other for completion, the best they can ever be, as a couple, is one. So if two really are better than one, then really they need to be four.

  • Baby_Raptor

    One problem: Adam never actually voiced any real thoughts on the matter. *God* decided he was alone and needed a human mate. We don’t know if Adam had favourite animals he was content to pal around with, or if he’d have developed such an opinion after spending more than the few minutes it took to name them with the creatures. God just decides that Adam needed a vagina owning version of himself.

    I’d never noticed this before, but it was pointed out in a conversation on the Slacktivist a couple days ago.

  • Richter_DL

    God speaks of himself as “we” because god is using Majestic Plural. Which was pretty common usage at that time for royalty and other high-and-mighty.

    Michael Pearl does not understand this because he is an American Christian with apparently no idea about history or the evolution of the English language. Who knows, maybe he doesn’t believe in the evolution of languages.

    • Sally

      That’s an interesting point. I know there was a royal “we” when the KJV was made, but do we know if the original Hebrew is using a royal “we” or a plural “we”? Or is it ambiguous?

      • Alix

        There are grammatical clues in the sentences that point to it being singular – singular verbs, for example, other grammatical indicators that English lacks. I don’t read Hebrew myself, but there are a lot of good sources out there breaking this down. (This article breaks down the related issue surrounding the supposed plural form Elohim, but he’s got some idiosyncratic views of the pronoun thing. His related points still stand, though.)

      • Sally

        OK, thank you. If I understand correctly, it can go either way, but based on the other elements of the sentence, it is likely singular. If it is plural, some scholars would argue it is so because Elohim refers to a pantheon at a time when the Israelites weren’t so staunchly monotheistic. I think I got it.
        Either way, Michael’s suggestion that “we” refers to the maleness and femaleness of the one God is pretty much made up. It’s funny because he doesn’t really need to do so. The story makes it clear elsewhere that both male and female are in the image of God. It’s almost like he can’t stand God being male and female in “one” so he uses the word “we” to separate these “parts” of God. In fact I don’t see any way to talk about it without talking in circles (the male/female aspect of God). It’s all made up to me, but I do find the scholarship and original meanings fascinating.

      • Alix

        You’ve got it. :) I’m glad that helped.

        Yeah, Michael’s making crap up. (Par for the course, eh?) And fwiw, the Bible makes it pretty clear later, given some of the feminine language and imagery tied to God, that God is both male and female.

      • Alix

        Although in fairness I should point out that this is one of those points that gets brought up by folks looking for traces of the early polytheism of the early Israelites, so.

      • fiona64

        Well, in fairness, Elohim is a genderless, plural pronoun meaning “gods and/or goddesses.”

  • stacey

    If women were created to help men only, WHY is it a task so hard that few can do it right, and require all this learning and practice? When something is created to do a job/task, it should be obvious what it does. There should be no need for thinking about it, it should be programmed in from the start. Sounds like a major design flaw to me…..

  • Mike Anita

    i just want to share my testimony here.. i was married for 15 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the life of my husband.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for divorce..my whole life was turning apart and i didn’t know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned me and my 5 kids.. so someone told me about trying love spell to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster called dr. ogala spell…so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn’t believe in all those things… then when he cast the spell, after 3 days that he told me, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man help, his email address Ogalalovespell@gmail.com his spells is for a better life.


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