Homoerotic Churches

There’s been a lot of talk so far this year about the church and mixed martial arts (MMA).  The New York Times had a story in February, “Flock Is Now a Fight Team in Some Ministries,” which read, in part,

Recruitment efforts at the churches, which are predominantly white, involve fight night television viewing parties and lecture series that use ultimate fighting to explain how Christ fought for what he believed in. Other ministers go further, hosting or participating in live events.

The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

My former friend, Mark Driscoll — he who calls out “effeminate worship leaders” — has gotten into the act, too, saying in a video, “I don’t think there’s anything purer than two guys in a cage.”

With all this talk about MMA in the church, does anyone else see what I do: MMA is the most homoerotic sport I’ve ever seen.

I was a classics major in college.  There I learned that it was a long-held conclusion in the academic community that the athletic games of ancient Greece were highly homoerotic.  Men raced and wrestled naked and greased in front of adoring fans.  (Interesting historical fact: before the invention of jock straps, a wrestler would get his penis out of the way by securing his foreskin to his torso with a large safety pin — OUCH!)

Sexuality — and homosexuality — was a overt part of ancient Greek society.  That same society founded Pankration at the first Olympic Games in 648 BC.  The original MMA, Pankration was a mixture of boxing an wrestling carried out between two naked, greased men.  It was outlawed by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393, and it was the only event of the ancient Olympiad not reinstated in the modern Olympics in 1896.

I’m not the first person to see the homoerotic nature of MMA.  A couple years ago in OUT Magazine, Mark Simpson wrote, “Fight Club: How Gay Is MMA?”  His conclusion: MMA is “gay porn for straight men”:

In the octagonal UFC cage set up over the Bell Centre ice hockey rink — octagonal perhaps because it better affords multiple viewing angles than a square boxing ring — Mac Danzig is still on his back; his sweaty, pumped, almost translucently white torso is flushed with the auburn heat that auburn skin produces when it is aroused. His panting, fetching head has been pushed up against the cage by redhead Marc Bocek’s energetic pounding, as if the cage were in fact a headboard. Bocek isn’t making love, however, or at least not the vanilla kind. He’s hammering the living daylights out of Danzig, stoking the crowd into ever-higher waves of frenzy. Although the Octagon is right in front of me, I’m watching all of this on one of the giant screens overhead: MMA is mostly a horizontal sport — one that requires multiple zoom lenses and a big TV to enjoy properly.

Websites abound for gay fan clubs of MMA, something you won’t find in the relatively non-sexual sports of football and baseball.

So it is, of course, ironic that the churches and pastors who are touting MMA are doing so in order to inject some masculinity into American Christianity.  What they seem to be missing — or maybe just what they refuse to admit — is that they’ve chosen the one sport on the American scene that is highly sexually charged.  And the sexuality in MMA is not hetero.

Of course, conventional wisdom has long held, with lots of anecdotal evidence to back it up, that we preach most fervently against the very sin that we are struggling with.

Just sayin’.

  • Seth

    I was thinking this just yesterday.

  • Wes

    Love this! I love the irony of it all. Of course, I find it disturbing that some Christians glorify violence. But, if you’re going to use evangelical tactics that Jesus actually preached against (violence) you might as well do it in a way that may entice gays to your church. Ha!

    P.S. I am gay and I think violent sports are really just gross and intellectually challenged. However, MMA is the one violent sport that I tend to be drawn to watch. :-)

  • Bryan

    “we preach most fervently against the very sin that we are struggling with”

    That was exactly my experience. I went to great lengths to prop up the heterosexual lie that I was living. Even to the point of entering into a heterosexual marriage which was doomed to failure from the beginning. 

    It’s interesting that the woman that I fell in love with looked very much like a male.  After the euphoria of the engagement, the non existent; male aroma, facial hair, body hair, and penis, left me wanting. 

    You can discount that with all the scripture and/or theology you want. But ask my x wife what it was like being married to a gay man for 21 years.

    Also, you would think after that many years of “praying away the gay”, the need to be in the arms of another man should have been driven to oblivion. I would’ve had just as much luck “praying away” my right hand. 

    Bry

    • James

      BTW Brian praying only works if you want it too and have the faith to back it up.. It’s OBVIOUS that you really didnt want to change your mind. Somewhere along the way you convinced yourself you would be more accepted by being straight. That unfortunately is a crossfire of failure. I am straight but as a good Christian, I don’t judge. If you really are gay than at least pray for your salvation and offer up to GOD the fact that your without the power to change and have the identity of what you are..gay. That being said, then go and be a good decnt person who tries to improve society as a whole and you will be accepted for whatever you are.. God Bless and have a great day…

  • http://djfree.blogspot.com Darren

    Oh boy. I can’t wait for Driscoll’s response to this one! Such a provocateur you are, Tony ;)

  • http://mjkimpan.wordpress.com michael j. kimpan

    LOL @ just sayin’.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith DR

    Those who haven’t seen it might be interested in this post, in part a response to Driscoll, by a former cage fighter who is now a Div school student:
    http://theotherjournal.com/2011/06/28/the-confessions-of-a-cage-fighter-masculinity-misogyny-and-the-fear-of-losing-control/

    • Scot Miller

      Keith–

      Thanks for the link. Very interesting!

    • Adrenalin Tim

      I came here to drop this link. It’s a fantastic addition to the conversation, covering “masculinity” and homoeroticism from an insider’s perspective.

      • Chris Keller

        I agree, The Other Journal published this article a few weeks ago and it fits nicely in the current conversation.

  • Jonathon Edwards

    mma is def the most homoerotic sport out there. Even olympic wrestling doesnt compare. Def a case of sublimation. And not to quibble but… Not a sin. Unles you meant cage fighting.

  • http://www.fightpastor.com Fight Pastor

    A buddy emailed me this today. I don’t know you Tony but my assumption is this was meant to be satirical. While I consider some of what you wrote to be fairly ignorant which I normally wouldn’t respond to, you did quote me from an interview I did almost two years ago. Here is my response to that original article which many people have assumed many things about me from.

    http://fightpastor.com/2010/02/16/breaking-the-silence-fight-pastor-responds-to-the-new-york-times/

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Nope, Fight Pastor, this is NOT a satirical post. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://davewasson.wordpress.com Dave

    So, am I allowed to enjoy MMA, or not? Am I being judged on what sports I enjoy? Is football (American) homoerotic under this filter? Baseball? Figure Skating (I don’t like, I’m just trying to find the line of thought on this)? Should I not have lunch at my local hot dog trucks because they’re called wieners, and they hold a phallic shape (This is a more sarcastic question.. or is it????)?

    Are you suggesting that Christians should avoid MMA because of it’s “gay” factor? This article confuses me in its intention.

    I’m not Driscoll. I don’t like what he has been teaching, or doing for quite a while now. I don’t feel like I hold any of his theology outside of the resurrection of the Christ. I believe in the love, respect, and dignity of all people, regardless of their story or situation. I enjoy competitive sports, and I enjoy the art and strategy of various forms of competition, MMA being one of them.

    Honestly, I just need to know if I am need to prepare to be attacked by other Christians now because of my sports preferences next.

    • http://davewasson.wordpress.com Dave

      Ok, wait.. this about promoting for something they are preaching against.

      If that’s the case, never mind my original post. I see what you did there.* Why did that take me so long to get there?

      *Took a commenter to get me to figure it out.

      • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

        Dave,

        It doesn’t seem that you actually get it. I’m not saying that you can’t watch — or even enjoy — MMA. I’m just saying that churches that promote it as an example of hyper-masculinity may be missing something important.

        • http://davewasson.wordpress.com Dave

          Ok. Thanks for that clarification. I really appreciate it.

          I guess need to think about it more. Never been around a church that promotes it in any sense what-so-ever. Must be my anabaptist roots.

          Not that I have to be responded to, but what if they changed from MMA to boxing? Would this critique maintain? Is it the sport that we are talking about, or the definitions of masculinity “they” uphold and the model through which they convey their ideals?

          Am I getting warm at all?

        • http://tomryberg.wordpress.com TR

          “I’m just saying that churches that promote it as an example of hyper-masculinity may be missing something important.”

          +1

  • Errik

    @”we preach most fervently against the very sin that we are struggling with”
    How come I don’t preach against extramarital affairs?

  • http://www.kesterbrewin.com KB

    I hear Driscoll has been preaching on Song of Songs, and his latest recruitment drive is going to include ‘Topless Darts.’

  • josh mccory

    Dude ur a joke who r u to judge what people do or don’t do ur not god. Mma is a great sport and yes pastors use mma to get people to come to church but those people also hear the word of god so what’s wrong with that. To me ur just mad cuz u didn’t think about it first. If god doesn’t like it then he’ll judge us not u. So good luck to u and god bless.

  • The punk

    You are all so dumb for real. I can not believe you read this article and gave it any consideration. This guy is obviously gay. Looking for ways to tear people down. Obviously, he has not done any homework and just graduated with classics (whatever the deuce that means). Obviously, this article was to try and put him on the map but all it did was announce his coming out of the closet party. hey new kid why don’t you go back to school and get a real degree because this one is not working out for you.

    And with that you have just been punked.

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Dear “The punk” and Josh,

      You two are not doing your side of the argument any favors.

      • Kirk

        In fact, one might say they reinforced your arguement, Tony.

        Ignorance is, well, you know…

  • http://revgoo.posterous.com Matt

    I think the question of whether violent fighting is or isn’t consistent with the Way of Christ is a valid one and can be discussed without personal attacks.
    I used to watch football but as I learned that so many pro athletes are now facing early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, I have been convicted that I am not loving them as my neighbor, as myself. Even one bad concussion can sentence you to serious issues later on.
    Loving our neighbor means hard choices. It means that we don’t blindly give into our impulses and cravings. We crave watching violence? why not ask yourself why, examine that craving, submit that to Christ and see what he says.
    Love is laying down your life for another, not asking another to lay down their life and health for our entertainment.
    Sadly, we are bickering about forms of entertainment instead of standing up against a consumeristic culture that depends on the virtual enslavement of the majority world to provide us with cheap goods and services. “Fight” for them, and then you’ll be loving as Christ loved.

  • AlxRodz

    Let’s begin here by stating very clearly: I do not condone the Church nor its leaders promoting MMA, nor any other sport at that. That is simply not the place nor role of the Church.

    However, the implications of Mr Jones’ comments here are huge, but he’s probably not seeing them. Take this as a bit of help.

    Many military units around the world — including the US Army — take grappling as part of their military offense and defense training (example: http://www.stripes.com/news/army-revising-combatives-handbook-to-focus-more-on-striking-grappling-1.99423). And yes, they may even participate in competitions to sharpen their skills. Is the military then homoerotic?

    College and High School Wrestlers are obviously grapplers, and are recognized in competitions as high up as the NCAA. Are colleges and high schools homoerotic *for this reason*?

    American Football has men in tight pants jumping on one another. Is the NFL homoerotic?

    Soccer often has men hugging and straddling each other when they score a goal. Is soccer homoerotic?

    We could go on and on applying the implications of Mr. Jones’ narrow-sighted view, but I hope it is seen that this is a faulty way to critique any sport.

    Let me end with this: Many men have used grappling techniques to defend themselves, their families and their fellow citizens — which is one of the most manly things one can dream of — when the benefit of a gun has not been theirs. But if Mr. Jones sees stalling an oppressor through a choke or an armbar as homoerotic, so be it.

    Jus’ sayin’.

    • Jodi-Renee

      Hey there: I’m not going to speak for Tony but I don’t know that the point of the article was that grappling is a homo-erotic sport. My cousin is on scholarship to a large school as a wrestler and it was exciting to learn about the sport; but there is a difference between the kind of tactics and wrestling that happen in the NCAA or the High School Associations and what happens in a “cage.” Not only is it different technically, but I’m going to guess that Tony’s point was that the very churches that use a bully pulpit to make their point about homosexuality do so through the very sport that has such a large gay fan base…from a pornographic perspective. Or so my gay friends tell me. It’s an irony, that’s all. I don’t think it’s about masculinity – in fact, cage fighting seems to be about machismo and violence in an overt way. And if defending yourself through grappling techniques is manly, I may be in trouble… ;-) And you’re absolutely right, it’s not the Church’s job to promote sports.

      • AlxRodz

        Jodi, thanks for your opinion. As a matter of fact, wrestling is one of the most fundamental disciplines in MMA, and one of the most successful at this moment in the sport. And not to mention, wrestling *requires* 100% contact on the ground, whereas an MMA match may not ever go to the ground, like boxing or kickboxing. In this respect, then, Mr Jones should call out College Wrestling even more strongly than MMA as a homoerotic sport.

        Whether a sport has a large gay fan base or not, says nothing about about the sport itself. That line of argumentation just does not prove anything.

        My point about defending your family and fellow citizens by using grappling techniques was from the perspective of a man, in other words, if a man did so. I defaulted to a man because of the topic at hand and because I am a man. However, I know of many brave women who practice grappling and use it for self-defense and to defend others.

        By the way, these women may train and compete with other women but also other men. So when a woman trains with men in order to defend herself in the case of an attack, is she participating in erotic behaviour? That seems to be the natural conclusion of Mr. Jones’ opinion here.

        • Jodi-Renee

          Hey Alex: Thanks for responding so kindly and candidly. I hear all that you’re saying and actually agree completely. In fact, I trained (self-defense and martial arts) only with men and my experience was not an erotic one, though I would have to say that anything can be eroticized if one is inclined to make it so. And yes, I tease my beefy, strong, masculine cousin all the time about his particular athletic choice. ;-) Not because I actually think anything “logical” or legitimate about homo-erotic references to wrestlers/ing but just because I love him, I can as his much older cousin, and – you’re right – it really doesn’t hold water.

          Having been on the receiving end of Pastor Mark’s sexist, misogynistic hermeneutic and knowing Dr. Jones, I read this post as rhetorical: being about the irony of Mark’s severe machoism using something that is – from the perspective of the average Joe on the street – a rather viscous and over the top representation of masculinity. I would never deny the athleticism or skill of those in the MMA but it does carry a different energy – sexual (yes – as do many beautiful and not sexualized things) and physical – than your average college wrestling match. It also draws a different kind of individual, not across the board but as a general rule. The fact that I mentioned it draws a large gay fan base wasn’t to make a logical point, but again, another rhetorical one. My queer friends don’t watch the sport for the athleticism of the contenders. At all. ;-) And that’s just funny and ironic. I know that one might try to draw a parallel to something like watching women playing beach volleyball, but I’ve to to tell you…I’ve watched enough MMA to realize myself that the jokes come far more easily than they ever could with something like women in bikinis playing volleyball, or even Greco-Roman wrestling for that matter.

          Again, I’ve got to say that I’m quite certain that Tony’s point wasn’t to implicate wrestling as something “queer” or erotic but rather to make the point that it’s almost comical that a church and a pastor with such a painful and public need to masculanize the gospel (to the end that one would actually have to deny it’s radical and sacrificial essence – as if fighting or violence were manly) would choose one of the sports that opens itself up so easily to jokes and parodies about its potential homo-eroticism. Like most things in life, in it’s ferocious attempt to prove what it *is*, it actually becomes a shadow of the thing it would love to believe it’s not. And so what? It doesn’t make it true. That’s not Dr. Jones’ point, I’m sure.

          I think every single one of your points is valid and thoughtful, I just think that they’re part of a different conversation: Tony wasn’t trying to eroticize cage-fighting or call it out. And I’m confident he wasn’t trying to create an air-tight argument around that topic. I think he was calling Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll out for their extremism and sexual bullying by using this (funny and not overly scholastic) point of irony to do so. It’s not satire, but it is, in my humble opinion, a very valid point made with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

          You sound like a man with a great deal of respect for those who have developed skill and strategy – regardless of their gender. I really respect that; and on that point, you are already proving yourself to be different than a Mark Driscoll. In some ways, this post serves as a balm for those of us who have been on the receiving end of Driscoll’s limited and secular sexuality (and that would be anybody who’s female, queer, or not a cage fighter). I’m a straight, married woman, which puts me one step above property, but still about to fall into one of two apparently inevitable ditches: deceived Eve (actual words from the Mars Hill pulpit) or adulterous Jezebel. This article wasn’t satire, but it still made me laugh and sigh and nod and *get it.* “It” being the rhetorical irony.

          Again, thanks for your gentle reply. Peace, JR

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/carlgregg/ Carl Gregg

    As Stephen Colbert ‎wryly observed, “Christianity is the best way to cure gayness. Just get on your knees, take a swig of wine and accept the body of a man into your mouth….” (http://on.cc.com/qgeuVE)

    • http://www.annajoy5.blogspot.com Anna Cogliandro

      I laughed so loud when I watched that episode I’m sure Stephen Colbert could have heard me from where I sat–across the country. Seriously. Christianity is not exactly the most homoerotic free religion ever exactly…

  • Matteo

    Thanks for the post. I really needed a good laugh today and that did it for me.

  • Josh

    From above: “yes pastors use mma to get people to come to church…”

    No explanation need. How did the Gospel ever thrive without male on male action?!

  • Jay M.

    As a former wrestler I can recall constant accusations made upon myself and others who wrestled that the sport was somehow homosexual in nature. Usually it went something like this “You like to roll around with sweaty guys in spandex in order to get them on their back”. Um, yes I did wrestle, yes the guys were sweaty, yes the goal was to put them on their back, and yes wrestling is incredibly close combat and the appearance of it could be describe as erotic. Yet any heterosexual wrestler would tell you that the allure is the combat, the struggle, the pain, that is unique among all other high school sports. MMA is much the same, and I believe the allure to MMA for most is the same as what drew me to wrestling.

    I would agree that using MMA to insert machismo into the church is just plain odd and unwarranted. Moreover I think the scriptures give us an apt description of Christ by themselves and there is no need to make him more attractive by equating him to a fighter of sorts. At the same time affirming MMA to be a homoerotic sport, and that gathering to watch it is a homoerotic activity is probably misplaced. I do confess I have yet to watch MMA so maybe I am not qualified to comment, but it does seem to be parallel in many regards to H.S. wrestling, at least in alleged ‘homoeroticness’.

  • S

    Maybe its a way for the church people to get together and have a good time sharing their interests in mma.. This would build a stronger amd closer congregation also with communication. Get a clue!

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Driscoll just posted a non-apologyover at the Resurgence.

    “These are big, tough, far-reaching issues. Too big, tough, and far-reaching for things like Facebook and Twitter, I’ve recently learned.”

    “I then [after a conversation with an unchurched man who didn't like an "effeminate" worship leader] put a flippant comment on Facebook, and a raging debate on gender and related issues ensued. As a man under authority, my executive elders sat me down and said I need to do better by hitting real issues with real content in a real context. And, they’re right. Praise God I have elders who keep me accountable and that I am under authority.”

  • http://aarondbrooks.wordpress.com Aaron Brooks

    The logic of Mr. Jones:

    If you promote something that could be construed as a trigger for some alleged sin that you preach against, then your promotion is self-defeating. Furthermore, you may be struggling with the very sin you are preaching against (according to anecdotal evidence…since when does that qualify anything?).

    I hope the problem with this logic is evident. The conclusion is by no means a necessary consequence of the antecedent. Of course, I think this article was meant to be more rhetorical than rigorously logical.

    On the other hand, I can’t stand hearing preachers talk about cage fighting from the pulpit. So in that regard, I liked this (non…really?) satirical post.

  • Danny

    Mr. Jones,

    I have somewhat of a familiarity with both your work and Mr. Driscoll’s work. I know that even though you two sit on opposite sides of the table over most theological issues, I still believe you both to love Jesus and his church.

    My question is do you really suspect Mark Driscoll to be a closet homosexual? I get that many people view him as a bully…and perhaps the criticism is fair most of the time. I guess what I’m asking is are you really wondering if pastors like Driscoll (and others) who happen to like MMA aren’t secretly gay because of the alleged homoerotic nature of the sport, or are you just trying to punch back at the bully? If this was meant to be a legitimate sociological observation/hypothesis then I think it is rather weak. (I’m guessing that was not your intentions, because I know how educated and smart you really are.) But if it is merely your clever way of giving the bully a taste of his own medicine, then I can understand where you’re coming from and why you’d want to confront him in some way, but I still wonder if this is a wise way to go about it. I fear it borders on immaturity…because unless Driscoll surprises us, the gloves are gonna come off and he’s gonna fire right back at you. By that point we’re way off issue and have only further divided the various sides of this important discussion and have been reduced to middle school level behavior.

    I know that Driscoll would be wise to consider the words of St. Paul in Eph 4:29 more often (as would I), but I wonder if maybe the words and general tone of this blog post wouldn’t be different as well after meditating on these words “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such AS IS GOOD FOR BUILDING UP, as fits the occasion, THAT IT MAY GIVE GRACE TO THOSE WHO HEAR.”

    Thanks for your consideration. I’m really not trying to be accusatory, but always want to take advantage of opportunities to create unity rather than disunity among Christ’s Church. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Blessings!

    • Beth Walters

      Danny, thank you for the reminder for all of us.

  • http://www.larsrood.com Lars Rood

    So I like to Grapple. Crap.

  • http://finalinsurrection.blogspot.com/ Lock Rutledge

    I dare you Tony to go in person to a MMA fighter and tell him your opinion of his career choice. That would be funny.

  • Russ

    This is one of the earlier articles on homoeroticism in MMA, interesting because he analyzes MMA recognition and increasing acceptance of their gay fan base.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/10/31/is-ultimate-fighting-gay.html?cid=hp:beastoriginalsL6

  • Robert

    You’ve explained something; I couldn’t make out what attraction MMA could have for the church. Machismo my foot; there have always been gays – repressed and otherwise – in the church, and some sections of it attract significant number. the tragedy is the way it all gets suppressed, and then has to break out in unexpected ways instead of expressing itself openly.

  • Friendly Heathen

    Tony, (FYI I’m not a Christian) I completely agree with your article. Living in Canada (in gay ole Toronto to be more specific), evangelical Christianity is something that’s just not on our radar. To hear that MMA….is being used to sell Christianity is….stunning. You are 100% accurate; a) MMA is the most blatantantly homerotic sport ever and b) Jesus preached love and non-violence. The irony approaches comedic levels. Period.

  • Marc

    I have to say this article has compelling evidence. And I also disagree with the use of bloodsport to draw people to church. I some how feel like that is sending mixed messages. And as far as homoerotic, yeah it probably is arousing to a gay man, doesn’t mean that a straight man is struggling with homo feelings in his private life because he enjoys watching a dude pound another guy’s face open. I guess what I’m saying is these are wild jumps. At least in my mind.

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  • DG

    Sexuality is quite unique to each individual person. Each person perceives different things sexually or as sexual, whether that is a specific action or sport or how a person us dressed – all these sexual triggers a different for different people. Therefore what is erotic to one person may not be to another, what I’d homoerotic to one may not be to another. I personally do not sexualise MMA or violent sport but I do enjoy the competition and action of it all.

    Perhaps the writer of this blog has the problem if the only thing he can think while watching UFC is to sexualise it and those taking part, is the one with a problem. You know, we preach most fervently against the very sin we are struggling with. Just sayin’.

  • Beth Walters

    Timely!! I had just seen a friend’s picture of the Men’s Fight Night promo on the sign of Harrison United Methodist Church here near Charlotte when I read this. So I went to the church’s Facebook page and found this:

    MEN OF HARRISON – JOIN US FOR “FIGHT CLUB” THURSDAY, July, 14 at 7 p.m. in Hammill Hall. Hot dogs served at 6:30 p.m. for those coming from work. Speaker: Glen Wagner, formerly of Calvary Church and Promise Keepers. Invite a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker to join you. Questions call Joe Montgomery at 704-904-6505.

    So I posted a link to your blog, Tony. No one has said a word. No one has commented. It’s still there. Strange. But then the whole phenomenon is strange. Do you suppose their Sunday School teachers try and teach little boys not to fight in SS?

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  • Kathy Smith

    I live in a household of MMA men (esp. wrestling and jiu jitsu). I don’t pretend to understand all of its appeal. Though I will say that what appeals seems to have changed over the years for them. (They don’t actually watch much cage fighting any more.) There are some terrific folks involved in this sport like there are in any sport. When I referred this post to my husband, he responded:

    “Homoerotic perhaps. Isn’t that in the eye of the beholder? What we see in the ring does not represent a culmination of the relationships that happen in the training process. An incredible amount of trust, nurturing, mentoring, passion, compassion, patience, sweat, and tears need to be made manifest with the athlete, coach, training partners…. Is that gay? If so, give me some.”

    Not quite sure that’s what Driscoll’s ministry had in mind…

  • DJ

    YOU ALL DON’T GET IT. He isn’t calling MMA gay, or it’s participants gay either. He’s saying that it’s ironic that pr***ks like Driscoll are using it to promote uber-hetero-ness because of it’s homoerotic origins. THAT’S ALL.

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Damn, DJ, it takes 50 comments for someone to finally understand the point of this post?!?

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  • DJ

    I’m not saying I’m super-intelligent, but the point of the post was pretty clear to me. Methinks that people that had an agenda wanted to make you sound like you were saying something that you weren’t.

  • Kathy Smith

    WoW! And I thought I was agreeing with you, Tony.

    And DJ, we did get it, sigh. I think you didn’t get what we were saying.

    The point being that those of us who don’t participate in mixed martial arts don’t really get it, but never mind.

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  • http://peputz.blogspot.com Paul

    What Tony really meant:
    “Damn, DJ, it takes 50 comments for someone to finally completely agree with the point I made?!?”

    What DJ really meant:
    “I can’t trip over myself fast enough to accept your compliment, Tony. Your post was as innately clear and without need of clarification or interpretation as that good old-time religion I was brought up on!”

    What I really mean:
    “I’m bored and feel like being an a-hole”

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Paul, you succeeded. :-)

  • http://www.djremixgospel.com DJ Remix Gospel

    This is controversial…

  • http://livingwaterfromanancientwell.blogspot.com/ Brad Culver

    YOU ALL DON’T GET IT. He isn’t calling MMA gay, or it’s participants gay either. He’s saying that it’s ironic that pr***ks like Driscoll are using it to promote uber-hetero-ness because of it’s homoerotic origins. THAT’S ALL.

    NICE WORK DJ… TOUCHE’ TONY…

    THE HOLE MMA THING AS A “WITTNESSING TOOL” HAS ME SCRATCHING MY HEAD.. I GUESS YOU CAN PUT ON WHAT EVER KINDA SHOW YOU WANT WHEN YOU OWN THE COLOSSEUM.

    Bless ya …

  • hoytraptor

    Only people aroused by homo-erotic images would make this connection. If so, that’s fine. I’ve always thought the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders we’re pretty cool. I’m just that way.

    Homoerotic notions do not occur to me when I watch mma.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQEtrrU8GcI Hot Girls

    Good post. I be taught one thing tougher on totally different blogs everyday. It’s going to at all times be stimulating to read content from other writers and observe a little bit one thing from their store. I’d choose to use some with the content material on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a hyperlink in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://gravatar.com/jonreeves Jon

    I haven’t spent much time thinking about this topic, so take this with a grain of salt. It must be asked: if it was a man and a woman in the cage, would we consider that heterosexually charged? We may, but would we in good conscience suggest that it espouses a sexuality that’s actually about sex? Or one that’s about frustration and confusion, leading to a response about power and domination? Sex is inherently about more than physiological arousal and physical behavior, but those are significant components, and the homoeroticism of fighting has (arguably) little to do with either of those things.

    It’s an interesting and provocative observation that fighting is a homoerotic activity endorsed by some believers who proscribe homosexual behavior…but isn’t this oversimplified?

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