Good and Bad Men: On Chris Kyle and Christian Grey

Good and Bad Men: On Chris Kyle and Christian Grey February 12, 2015

kyleAndrew Walker and I just wrote a piece for The Federalist entitled “Chris Kyle, ‘Savages,’ And Moral Language In A Terrorist Age.”

It engages Chris Kyle’s use of the term “savages” to describe terrorists. We make the case that this is a justified term, as it refers not to ontology, but behavior. Here’s a selection from it:

The pushback against Kyle is both ironic and instructive. It is ironic because a preening minority has focused a great deal of attention on the just exploits of a conscionable soldier and correspondingly little attention on the terrorists who made his sniping necessary. It is instructive because the West has largely lost any sense of martial virtue. Now, we are taught, war is wrong, and anyone who partakes of it is equally implicated. There is no honor in war. So say those who depend upon soldiers to be able to advocate their opinions (precious few of whom have gone without Wi-Fi for a day in their lives, let alone faced an actual terrorist).

Read the whole essay.

While you’re pondering Kyle’s courage, note also that Baptist Press just edited and re-published my piece on 50 Shades of Grey. I cannot say strongly enough how much I abhor this movie. It signals a darkening of American sensibilities. The fact that sexual abuse–even that which a woman consents to–is featured on movie screens across the country makes me deeply upset. There is nothing good about a woman being sexually used by a man. There is nothing cool or fun about abuse.

This is not a positive development for American womanhood.

I am stunned that in a feminist age, so many women buy and seem to enjoy 50 Shades of Grey. Complementarianism, which is regularly critiqued by feminists, holds men to a very, very high standard. We are called to be like Jesus Christ (Eph. 5). But our culture seems much more drawn to the fictional Christian Grey of 50 Shades. Even as courageous men like Chris Kyle are pilloried, sexual predators like Christian Grey are elevated.

These are strange days. They call for the church to be clear-headed. Fathers and mothers must train their daughters to see that virtue, and not sexual allurement, are what they want. I think of my daughters, growing up in a world that is educating young men and women to fill the roles of the sexual predator and the sexually used. With so many Christians, I am thankful that my daughters have so much more to hope for than this.

The Lord has given women immense dignity and worth. They need not abase themselves for a man who will take from them and give nothing in return. They follow a man, a Savior, who gave everything to his bride, and took nothing from her but her sin.

That’s a picture of what we want for our little girls.

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