Evangelicalism Hypermasculintity Purity Movement
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 13, 2020 12:36AM

"One of the most interesting threads in your book is this story about how evangelical leaders have tried to modernize the church by using pop culture to lure people in, but over time the pop culture has completely supplanted the theology and all that’s left is the vacuous political brand."

Jesus and John Wayne



Sean Illing

I’d like to steelman the evangelical perspective, so can you tell me what cultural forces they’re reacting against?
Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Well, it changes over time. In the ’40s and ’50s, it’s all about anti-communism. But once the civil rights revolution takes hold, it becomes about defending the stability of the traditional social order against all the cultural revolutions of the ’60s. But the really interesting moment for me is in the early ’90s when the Cold War comes to an end. You would think there would be a kind of resetting after the great enemy had been vanquished, but that’s not what happened.

Instead, we get the modern culture wars over sex and gender identity and all the rest. And then 9/11 happens and Islam becomes the new major threat. So it’s always shifting, and at a certain point I started asking the question, particularly post-9/11, what comes first here? Is it the fear of modern change, of whatever’s happening in the moment? Or were evangelical leaders actively seeking out those threats and stoking fear in order to maintain their militancy, to maintain their power?
Sean Illing

So this drift into a more militant and nationalist Christianity leads to this obsession with toughness and machismo. The way you put it is that evangelicals are looking for “spiritual badasses.” They don’t want gentle Jesus, they want William Wallace (as in the film 'Braveheart'-Corboy) or John Wayne.

(Corboy commentary.

What Professor Kobes du Mez tells us is not hypocrisy. It is the result when insecure, frightened, sincere white males read their Bible through the lens of anger and fear combined with specific cultural messages - a combination that itself is never rooted in Sermon on the Mount.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Yeah, these are their role models. Most white evangelical men that I knew during the height of this movement, which is really the early 2000s, were very militant. They were buying these hypermasculine books and taking part in these men’s reading groups. They weren’t living out this rugged, violent lifestyle, except maybe at weekend retreats where they role-played this stuff. But in real life, they were still walking around in khakis and polo shirts, but these were the values that were really animating their worldview.

Sean Illing

Wait, are there weekend retreats where evangelical men are role-playing Braveheart?
Kristin Kobes Du Mez

I don’t know about that in particular, but this is very much a thing. The success of John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart [a huge bestseller that urged young Christian men to reclaim their masculinity] was a big deal in the evangelical world, and it sold millions of copies just in the US. Every college Christian men’s group was reading this. It was everywhere in the early 2000s.

There were lots of conferences celebrating this version of a rugged Christianity. It was big business, and there were lots of weekend retreats where men could go out into the wilderness and practice their masculinity. Local churches invented their own versions of this. One church I know in Washington had their own local Braveheart games that involves wrestling with pigs or something. It was all weird and different, but the point was to prove and express your masculinity.


Kristin Kobes Du Mez

The emphasis on strict “gender difference” and perceived need to “define” Christian manhood is far greater in conservative white evangelicalism than in other Christian subcultures. White evangelicals also stand out in terms of their emphasis on militancy and their conceptions of masculinity, and in how that militant masculinity is connected to Christian nationalism.

In Black Protestantism, for example, you may find an emphasis on Christian manhood, but you’re much more likely to encounter discussions of fatherhood rather than a militant warrior masculinity. In mainline Protestantism you’ll be more likely to encounter a kinder, gentler masculinity — more of the Mr. Rogers sort. (Militant white evangelical masculinity explicitly denounces Mr. Rogers’s model of manhood.)

That said, evangelical constructions of masculinity have made inroads into mainline circles largely via popular culture (many mainline churches use evangelical literature in their small-group Bible studies, for example), so the lines between white evangelical and mainline Christianity are not always all that clearly drawn.

For more, read here:


(Corboy: we cannot know a person's world view just by hearing his or her professed creed. What is the content of that person's fantasy life? Is it full of heroic warfare on lines of Bravehart and John Wayne? Does this fantasy life need hated enemies to propel its narrative and give it juice? If a persons fantasy is a dream of domineering power at the expense of a hated enemy, it will affect the mind just as a drug does and create emotions that contradict behaving in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount, and Pauls statement that his strength was made perfect in weakness. Such Christian lives, lived in sincerity but unconscious delusion will claim victims, without the person ever consciously knowing it - short of a miracle of grace followed by taking action and making amends. Corboy)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2020 01:02AM by corboy.

Re: Evangelicalism Hypermasculintity Purity Movement
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 13, 2020 12:46AM

Evangelical Purity Movement

Corboy comment:

Purity of virgin girls means males are responsible for protecting their "virtue" and justifies Evangelical male privilege - and male control of girls and women.

In a perverse twist, Evangelical Purity Culture requires girls and women take responsibility for controlling not only themselves but also avoid triggering lust in boys and men -- while occupying a subordinate role as weaker vessal.

Without female weakness in need of protection, the Evangelical male has no purpose - he is not needed, which is why he hates empowered independent females.


In purity culture, both young men and women are taught that sex before marriage is wrong. But it’s teenage girls who end up most affected, Klein finds, because while boys are taught that their minds are a gateway to sin, women are taught that their bodies are. After years of being told that they’re responsible for not only their own purity, but the purity of the men and boys around them; and of associating sexual desire with depravity and shame, Klein writes, those feelings often haunt women’s relationships with their bodies for a lifetime.

How Evangelical Purity Culture Can Lead to a Lifetime of Sexual Shame

Former born-again Christian Linda Kay Klein combines personal reflections with years of research to trace the psychological effects of purity culture on women in her new memoir, "Pure."


For more read here


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