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Friday, December 16, 2005

Are Christian Women Crazy?

Craig Sowder opined recently about Christian women at Through the Eyes of Faith:

“I'm really starting to think that all young, single, Christian women have brain damage. That's the only explanation I can think of. I mean, in my workplace I am surrounded by plenty of women that are either non-Christians or very nominal, lukewarm Christians and they all behave more reasonably than the Christian women I know.”

I’m inclined to agree with him. Although Craig is somewhat veiled about what specifically Christian women are unreasonable about, I’m going to guess that it has something to do with relationships. After all, Craig is a young, single, red-blooded heterosexual guy, surrounded by young women in the workplace, so there’s a good chance that he’s doing his share of flirting, dating, etc., and workplaces are rife with relationships anyway. Regardless of the case with Craig, I thought that I would take this opportunity to discuss the sanity of young, single, Christian women (hereafter YSCW), since I, and a number of people I know, have had experiences with YSCW in the past, all of which have resulted in disastrous situations and left us questioning their sanity.

So, for those who perhaps haven’t had the pleasure, what are the common experiences with YSCW? Honestly, nothing that’s distinctive from experiences with regular women, (dishonesty, infidelity, manipulation, etc.) but these experiences tend to occur much more frequently and much more egregiously than with regular women.

After a number of barstool discussions, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is something genuinely distinctive about Christianity that makes YSCW much more toxic to relationships. My thesis is that acceptance of female culpability for Original Sin juxtaposed with the projection of Christ onto men is the psychological/theological worm at the middle of this particularly sour apple.

Genesis 3 – “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. They heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.

He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then Yahweh God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’”

Consider this passage from Genesis. The woman is the responsible party for eating the fruit initially, as Adam spares no time in passing the blame onto his wife. But it’s not as if she meant to disobey- after all, she was no intellectual match for the serpent. This passage has been used throughout history as a way to justify female repression, and it’s no surprise that the idea that women are 1) stupid and 2) inherently sinful have been accepted and absorbed into the developing psychology of women, especially in America where religion is much more a part of the general culture. By internalizing this concept, YSCW define themselves as inherently sinful, even more than men, but curiously less responsible for their sin then men, because they are so easily “tricked” into sinning. This results in an increased prevalence of actions typically considered “sin” by Christianity, but without the expected sense of responsibility for those actions.

Despite this lack of moral responsibility, YSCW often become YMCW, often very quickly. And just a quickly, YMCW become YSCW again. I’ve observed this effect time and time again among friends, and while consoling them, I’ve wondered why YSCW are often so dissatisfied with their new husbands. I think the following passage may help to explain it.

Ephesians 5 – “Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

So in essence, for the YSCW, a potential husband is compared directly to Jesus Christ. And even though they’re mythical shoes, for someone who takes that myth literally, they’re mighty big to fill, especially since every man has his faults. What I suspect is that YSCW approach the most Christ-like man they can find, either expecting him or intending to “help” him become even more Christ-like, and then becoming quickly disappointed when marriage is less than the perfect “Christ and church” dichotomy they’ve expected. Sure, most women enter marriage with at least some ideas of how her husband can change for the better, but only YSCW have an impossible standard of perfection that the Bible says her husband should adhere to.

In addition, there's the element of circular self-justification. Often, YSCW will decide on a particular course of action, one which perhaps would be considered by some to be immoral, and then justify it post hoc by rationalizing that since they really wanted to do this particular thing, then God must have wanted them to do it. Therefore, if that's what God wanted for their lives, the morality of the situation is non-applicable. Obviously, this kind of logic can and is used to justify all number of actions which would seemingly be counter to the Christian worldview, including divorce.

Even when an action is committed which is accepted by the YSCW as immoral, it's just a quick step to beg forgiveness from God and receive redemption. This works because, in the Christian worldview, Christians cannot function as moral agents, and therefore are subject to the whims of their deity. Thus, lying or cheating to the YSCW have no reprecussions, since Jesus Christ paid for all sins already (this is the same kind of rationalization that births all kinds of Christian crime, but that's beside the issue).

Ultimately, of course, this is just armchair psychology from a decided amateur. I’m only going on the experiences of those I have known, and a bit of my own (though I never married a YSCW, fortunately). So this amounts to nothing more than conjecture based on a few anecdotal cases, right?

Well, it turns out that even though my explanations may be off-base, the observations of broken relationships among my friends are representative of an actual trend. George Barna, of the Barna Research Group, recently found that divorce rates of Christian marriages were significantly higher than Atheist marriages. And since these married and now divorced Christian women were (by definition) single at one time, it appears that our friend Craig may not be off-base in wondering about them.

In my experience, marriage to an atheist woman has been wonderful. Not perfect, mind you, but no marriage is, and fortunately I don't have to compare myself to Christ's perfection. Also, our arguments never focus around how we disagree on what "the will of God" may be. Any position I or my wife takes has to be based on logic and evidence. And to be quite honest, it's working quite well.

So what does everyone else think? Am I and my friends the only ones who have had bad experiences with YSCW? Are YSCW really that much worse than non-believing women? Is Barna's data on Christian divorce nothing but rubbish? Discuss.

Post a Comment


23 Comments:

At 12/16/2005 1:46 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I totally agree with you. After I became an atheist, I once dated a VERY Christian single woman. We were both attracted to eachother, but she would talk about God nonstop and would guilt trip herself about everything. She was an emotional basket case. What was especially ironic is that she would turn to her faith when she was in distress, but her faith only seemed to intensify that distress as she tried to apply Biblical principles to her life. It was a vicious cycle.

I promised myself since then never to date another Chrisian woman again. And I havent. All the women Ive dated since are atheists or agnostics (theres lots of those in Los Angeles). And the atheist and agnostic women have been in far better emotional and psychological condition than the Christian girl was.

Non-Christian women are simply better than Christian women judging by the experiences Ive had.

 
At 12/16/2005 5:59 PM, Blogger mathyoo declaimed...

but she would talk about God nonstop and would guilt trip herself about everything. She was an emotional basket case. What was especially ironic is that she would turn to her faith when she was in distress, but her faith only seemed to intensify that distress as she tried to apply Biblical principles to her life. It was a vicious cycle.

Interestingly, that sounds exactly like an addictive cycle, like someone addicted to gambling would go through

 
At 12/16/2005 11:18 PM, Blogger AnnieAngel declaimed...

Are you being serious? As a Christian woman I am happy to please God by filling the role He has set aside for me. I'm not crazy, I'm quite normal and fun to be with.

 
At 12/17/2005 12:33 AM, Blogger BlackSun declaimed...

Well annieangel, with those sexy legs of yours sticking out into blogspace, I can think of only one role for someone so brainwashed by religion--submissive. Now, up against the wall...

But seriously, Francois, I think you're on to something. Aaron, I think you were witnessing the "virgin/whore" split, something I don't think religious women anywhere have dealt with effectively. They can't seem to get over the idea somehow that sex is dirty or sinful. They can't seem to let themselves enjoy it with the kind of abandon I've seen with 'reasonable' girls. Or if they do, they begin to let it affect their self-esteem by feeling guilty about it.

Now that doesn't give them any less game, of course. Because in the end, instinct is much more powerful than religion. But it just changes how the game is played--namely, the christian single woman will hide behind rules when it suits her, and flaunt those same rules when it serves her.

 
At 12/17/2005 1:31 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

What am I on to ? ;)

 
At 12/17/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger MoNoMo declaimed...

the christian single woman will hide behind rules when it suits her, and flaunt those same rules when it serves her.

It's called being coy -- maybe even sexy. You atheist geeks wouldn't know real sexual pleasure if it came up and licked you on the asshole.

 
At 12/17/2005 2:12 PM, Blogger BlackSun declaimed...

It's called being coy -- maybe even sexy.

As far as I'm aware, being coy is the art of concealing your intentions, of cultivating uncertainty in your suitors to gain maximum advantage. It's an evolutionary strategy, not a tenet of religion. How did that morph into hypocrisy and rule bending that you're now espousing?? Or are you now claiming that religious girls invented coyness, (like every new generation thinks it invented sex)?

Oh and maureen, I've read some of your other postings. Maybe you're confusing this blog with alt.com? There are plenty of people who'd love a nasty girl like you over there. Because you don't make a very good example as a pious christian. As a mouthy submissive, who likes to engage in brat play, you'd have all kinds of fans at alt. But they won't be interested in your faith. I think they'd probably just spank you.

 
At 12/17/2005 2:38 PM, Blogger BlackSun declaimed...

Apologies to Mr. Moore, I thought Francois was the author of the post.

Mr. Moore, I think you are on to something!

 
At 12/17/2005 5:00 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

Mr. Moore:

Many good observations here. I don't know that some of them would prove out, but being a somewhat-educated, armchair psychologist myself, I have to say that your slant on things is thought-provoking. I have always seen two possibilities besides the virgin/whore schizophrenia already mentioned. One: the simmering resentment engendered by the Christian model of "obedience" espoused by C. S. Lewis in "That Hideous Strength". Two: Extreme Christian women tend to be CONTROL FREAKS, running the lives of everyone around them (over which they have some authority) in an atmosphere of "should be" and "supposed to be". In other words, they have bought into the impossible dream of attaining Christian perfection through guilt, shame, and repressed emotion, sexuality, and animus. Granted, there are some social advantages to that life style, but none that translate into mental health, or individual rights and freedoms.

Annieangel:

Nice gams. Thanks for sharing. You can't be all that serious about Christianity or you would have to be ashamed of yourself for being unchaste. Your point is taken though, I have personally met several devout women that were sexual dynamos. This is not from first-hand experience, mind you, but they were flirting with me! There was an illustration in Playboy years ago that captured the phenomenon. It was a drawing of a pretty girl, from the waist up, with a solemn expression on her face, naked except for a sign hanging around her neck (covering the breasts)that said, "Make me".

 
At 12/18/2005 11:18 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

"It's called being coy -- maybe even sexy. You atheist geeks wouldn't know real sexual pleasure if it came up and licked you on the asshole."

Case in point.

 
At 3/05/2006 2:24 AM, Blogger Richard Austin declaimed...

check out: antiochan orthodox church

 
At 10/12/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

In my experience, marriage to an atheist woman has been wonderful. Not perfect, mind you, but no marriage is, and fortunately I don't have to compare myself to Christ's perfection.

My wife and I have experienced marriage as both believers and as unbelievers. Our marriage is better in every way now, in the latter category.

Also, our arguments never focus around how we disagree on what "the will of God" may be. Any position I or my wife takes has to be based on logic and evidence. And to be quite honest, it's working quite well.

I think that is part of it, but perhaps more that the two of you don't waste so much time and resources on silly things (eg church, prayer, tithing, serving, religious guilt, using religion in arguments to imply that one or the other of you is more godly, etc.), and instead are able to devote that time and those resources into each other?

So what does everyone else think? Am I and my friends the only ones who have had bad experiences with YSCW? Are YSCW really that much worse than non-believing women?

I've met many more crazy-ass YSCWs than non-Christian crazies. I think part of it is the pressure to "fulfill God's role" for themselves -- they feel compelled to complete their identity by subsuming into a man's identity (logical, right?).

Part of it is balancing out the desire to be sexy and chaste, modest and attractive, etc. They are battling biology and their own hormones all the time.

Is Barna's data on Christian divorce nothing but rubbish? Discuss.

Imagine how much worse the data would look for the Christian side if so many couples didn't stay in miserable marriages just due to religious pressure/guilt/etc.?

They can't seem to get over the idea somehow that sex is dirty or sinful. They can't seem to let themselves enjoy it with the kind of abandon I've seen with 'reasonable' girls. Or if they do, they begin to let it affect their self-esteem by feeling guilty about it.

Bingo. I agree entirely, and i think this contributes to the bat-shit craziness.

As a Christian woman I am happy to please God by filling the role He has set aside for me.

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding...

 
At 6/10/2007 9:34 PM, Blogger marilyn declaimed...

I confess I got a laugh out of the article and quite a few laughs out of the comments--and yes, I'm a christian. (As the daughter of a minister, I have seen it all and then some.) My sisters and I have considered writing a book about this very subject. 'Why do Christian Women Suck?' was our original title, but do to the potential confusion we decided to rethink it.

Seriously, your arguments might garner some interest with this crowd, but in 'real life' they don't hold up. You guys have done alot of sterotyping, generalizing and speculating without any real data, which, correct me if I'm wrong, seems to be against the entire premise of this site. Please, if you have any clear data to back up your claims, I'm all ears.

 
At 6/25/2007 8:32 PM, Blogger Julie declaimed...

I personally think your real problem lies in the fact that Christian women will not have sex with you until marriage. (or shouldn't as some ACSW may become weak from loneliness)

Yes, some of my ACSW do expect a lot out of their husbands, but I guarantee you that they will not divorce them as easily as non-ACSW would.

 
At 7/08/2007 6:32 AM, Blogger Roberta declaimed...

I could see where infidels might think Christian women are crazy, just because their vaginas are clean and sanctified by Jesis. Please cleanse your mind and stop associating with homosexuals and redbloods.

Blessings,
Roberta Shugs

 
At 5/05/2008 9:09 AM, Blogger Dancefaster declaimed...

Completely agree Marilyn :) If women are making themselves feel guilty because of God then they have missed the point somewhat. To be perfectly honest it seems that what's happened here is that some people have met a few zany examples of Christian women and used it as 'evidence' that we're all like that. Hey, one guy i dated cheated on me and if i recall he was atheist.. so how about a discussion about the growing epidemic in atheist infidlity? There HAS to be some direct correlation between their anti-theist beleifs and their inability to keep it in their pants right?

 
At 9/16/2008 2:44 PM, Blogger shmabadab declaimed...

I know I'm late for the bus because this blog was posted a long time ago. I ran across it when I was looking up articles on Christian women in the workplace. Anyway, its a good topic! I am a woman and I am a Christian and I can say I understand what Mr. Moore is talking about - but from a different perspective. I want to go ahead and explain why some Christian women seem insane, but I also want to clarify the real purpose of the verses that Mr. Moore quoted and based his points from.


I was a "YSCW" at one time and I'll explain why. As a new Christian, I didn't quite understand my role in the world. I felt passionate about my new found faith, but I didn't understand how to mix faith and the the world. I took everything from the Bible literally without really studying it or understanding what certain passages were really talking about. Living like that can cause a lot of confusion and a lot of guilt. Consider that confusion mixed with the confusion brought on by dating someone who is an atheist or closet Christian! That's alot of confusion to be had!

Since then, I've had ten years of life experience. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not here to save the world (thank God). And I've also had an opportunity to study the Bible without preconceived notions -- studying it simply to understand. That's something I wish Mr. Moore would have done before he posted that blog -- please, if you don't believe it and don't study it, don't quote it. So here goes my interpretation:

The Genesis, Original Sin Talk
Let's get one thing straight: neither Eve nor Adam were completely deceived. They made a deal and Eve served as the mediator. She was smart and she knew what she wanted - power. Adam wanted the same thing but didn't want to be the one left holding the bag. Some people believe there is such a thing as Original Sin - I don't. I do believe that pride is the root of everything that's wrong in this world and that Satan is the one who introduced us to it.

The Typical Ephesians Five Discussion
For one thing, Paul's letters are the most difficult to understand in the whole Bible -- not because they are macho bull****, but because they were written within contexts that so often get left out. Paul wrote about specific issues to specific people (hence the names Romans, Galatians and Ephesians). In the case of Ephesians 5, if you read letters not in the canon you will find that Paul was writing in reference to an argument that was going on at the time. That argument was, "When I'm trying to give a -message, so-and-so's wife keeps interrupting with questions and arguments -- it's embarrassing and I can't do this anymore!" Evidently, there was a wife (or wives) in the congregation that did not understand social manners and they wouldn't listen when their husbands told them out of embarrassment, "shut up." Paul wrote that letter in ancient Greek, we read it in modern English. This can make a huge difference on how it sounds. The reason I believe this: Paul didn't have a problem with women holding roles in leadership (as too many male Christian leaders misconceive today). Take Lydia, for example: A business woman, could have been married or single (her husband is never mentioned), she would travel and speak in Paul's place. In conclusion to all of that, do the back-work before you make assumptions guys.

Issue of Divorce and Infidelity Among Christians
Here's the cue: Christians aren't perfect and Jesus never told them they would be. Just like any relationship, the relationship with Jesus Christ is a continual progression. But sometimes, people go through times of regression. It's all about the relationship. It's sad to me when anyone gives up on any relationship, be it their marriage to a buddhist or their unity with Jesus. It's sad because I believe in love and forgiveness, yet people won't allow those key elements in their lives. To me, regression shows imbalance and imbalance is directly due to a lack of communication with God and with others.

In conclusion, YSCW's do exist and they are that way due to immaturity and unresolved guilt, not original sin because it doesn't exist. A successful relationship between a man and a woman happens when they see eye to eye. When the key elements of love and forgiveness are not carried by both, it will end in a regressive relationship and eventually infidelity or divorce.

God is my balance. He's my equilibrium. He is the creator of love and the reason for forgiveness. Knowing Him and being inspired by Him is what keeps me in right relationships with others. He opens my eyes.

 
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At 11/16/2009 10:03 PM, Blogger blue_ice88 declaimed...

What really caught my eye was the exerpt from Genesis - that is so funny how you associate that event to women being the cause of the first sin. First of all, God commanded the man to lead and the woman as the suitable helper (helper in the sense like how God is a helper) - the serpent targeted the woman because he knew that the commandment to not eat from the tree was given to the man therefore it's easier to fool the woman. So really, both sinned at that point, the man not measuring up to the role God has commanded him and the woman for trying to lead by eating the fruit without consulting the man first and for making the man eat the fruit. As for the submissive part that y'all had thrown in to the mix, men had used the Bible to make their wives be submissive forgetting the part that God commanded in Genesis that man and woman are created equally meaning the man is to lead, the woman to support/help but they work together and make decisions together. But overtime, men had used verses in the Bible to tell women that women have to submit and have no say in anything which is not what God inteded it to be! As for the "crazy" single Christian women that y'all are talking about... this world is cruel and it is difficult to live up to the standards God calls us to and men you are not helping by making us compromise our faith; hence, you get the "crazy" single Christian women because they want to stay true in their faith but at the same time they want to be liked by men. This is true for single Christian men as well... worldly single women try to make them compromise their faith through seduction and what have you. As for the divorce rates in Christian homes, I blame the worldly views, media,and etc... they put you in a situation in which the only way out and live within the "Christian standards" is to marry thus end up marrying the wrong person, leading to divorce. And I also blame Christians for using marriage as s solution for their MISTAKE because it seems like they marry for absolution when they should confess, repent, be healed from their mistake and not do it again until they meet the man/woman God has inteded for them.

 
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