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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

When did "manly" become a dirty word?

This is one of the most scatter-shot, scatter-brained pieces I have ever read, even considering the source.

It's mostly about marriage, and why Jesus didn't say what He said.
So, you know, thank God we have Cardinal Kasper to explain what Matthew the Evangelist got wrong.
After Jesus asks the disciples what Moses taught, they have the presence of mind to ask why Moses taught it: It is because of the "hardness" of the Israelites' hearts, Jesus says. We too should ask why Jesus answers as he does. Besides divorce, is hardness of heart an implicit target of Jesus' instruction here?
See? Jesus spoke out against divorce to protect the people marrying and divorcing from the Pharisees, because of the hardness of heart of the rest of us, the mean old religious types, who'd get all judgey on people.

But then it goes off on this truly bizarre tangent about the priesthood, linking to a video of young men comparing team sports to their vocation, the work, the sacrifice, the commonality of rules and goals as a point of reference even among strangers...
Would any of us really want our pastors looking at us like the seminarian does here? 
Since there are at least three seminarians in the video referenced, I'm not sure which one the NcR guy is mocking, but I think it's the one at the beginning, kind of in the shadow, wearing his clericals and holding a basketball under one arm, and yes, I'd be fine with a pastor looking at me like that.
I'd prefer people with whom I am interacting to look like this, e.g.:

 rather than like this:

or this:

or even this:

(Not that I don't enjoy the work of both Martin Short and Jim Parsons.)

When did some of us start wanting men, especially men in positions of authority, to be weak and soft so that we'd know they couldn't hurt us, (or our feelings) ?

Wouldn't we rather they be strong and hard but worthy of trust so that we'd know they wouldn't hurt us, but would fight for us if need be?

I know not all of us need the same thing, (thank God for St Paul trying to be all things to all men, setting an example,) and many want a shoulder to cry on rather than a size 11 to give us a good kick in the pants when we need it.
But I can't think I am the only one who is more interested in a pastor who is a teacher rather than an enabler.
Okay, and that was wrong, right there - the word "enabler" is getting all judgey.
You know, the way the NcR guy gets about some of us:
They want to prove they are strong enough to shoulder the demands of faith, and when they see other people getting away with what looks like moral laxity, it threatens the meaning and value of their own self-sacrificing rigors.
Oh, and one last thing, he gets that way about a priest whom he says is
a marvelous priest overflowing with warmth, sincerity and hospitality. He said just one thing that bewildered me so much, I didn't have the wherewithal to question it.
"Our next generation of priests," he said, "must be manly priests. We want real men. We want John Wayne in a clerical collar."...Why valorize machismo?
I'm not a big fan of Wayne's, but if you want to use a well-known actor's film persona in an article, you should know enough about that persona that you won't caricaturize the way you did the peronae of the seminarians you're maligning.
"Cause this is "John Wayne," too:

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