The Gentlemanifesto

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A certain Presidential candidate and this candidate’s sons and supporters have spent the past few weeks telling the world what we men are; the way we think about women, the way we talk about them when we’re all together hanging out in the locker room, the stuff we’ve done around and to women—what constitutes a real, normal, red-blooded, ordinary man.

We’ve been told that all men treat women as objects, that we all boast of our sexual exploits with relative strangers, that we’ve all been inappropriately aggressive in pursuing affection, that we all have referred to women by their genitalia in social settings.

The apologists tell us that our outrage is all much ado about nothing, that this is what men are, that we should simply accept it and move on.

We take exception.

We are men—and we aren’t this.

We are brothers, husbands, friends, fathers, co-workers, and neighbors living life alongside women we respect as equal to ourselves.

We partner fully with them in raising children, in caring for homes, in doing work, in doing ministry, in creating and building and learning and growing.  

We don’t gather with other men and boast of the things we’ve done or would do to a woman, as if this gives us some elevated social status, as if these things have any inherent value, as if they are a badge of honor.

We don’t need the cheap validation of other men to feel more like men. 

We don’t use the locker room to devolve into some vile, ignorant caricature that supposedly represents who we really are. We change our clothes and get on with our days.

We understand what consent is and we know that we don’t define it for a woman; that her body is not our jurisdiction or our property or our play thing.

We aren’t predators believing we can have anything simply because we desire it.

We aren’t opportunists looking to leverage power or position or situation to take advantage of a woman for our pleasure or vanity.

We aren’t crass, vulgar, braggarts trying to measure our virility or strength by the explicit nature of the words we say in the company of other guys.

We aren’t barely evolved cavemen still dragging our knuckles on the ground and pulling women around the by the hair. We call those men criminals.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t find women alluring and beautiful and attractive and desirable, it just means we understand that those things aren’t license to disregard another person’s humanity.

It means that we strive not to express these things in a way that incites fear or takes away security or discards dignity or does damage or breaches autonomy.

It means that we seek to be decent, honorable, gentle men with the women we share the planet with— whether we’re married to them or live with them or work with them or study with them.

It means we don’t see kindness and compassion and character as liabilities to our manhood but as confirmation of it.  

So this candidate and all his defenders (even those who may be women) can say whatever they like and we will kindly but firmly call B.S.

They can lower the bar all the way to the filthy floor and they can consent to all manner of ugliness in the name of manhood—and we will resist it.  

We will not be categorized by the worst and lowest of us. We will demand better and higher for ourselves and for other men.

We will teach our boys what manhood really looks like, and how it responds on street corners and at house parties and in locker rooms and behind closed doors.

We will not be satisfied with a definition of men that allows for violence or misogyny.

We’ve come a long way since the cave—and we don’t ever intend on going back.

 

 

 

 

87 thoughts on “The Gentlemanifesto

  1. Thank you, John, for standing up to a bully. Thank you for continuing to express who you are as a Christian man, as someone who truly speaks for the disenfranchised. Thank you for reflecting the heart and words of Jesus.

  2. Well said, and I agree. However, I have to vote my conscience. I read both parties platform and chose the one closest to the Bible. Both candidates are horrible people and I could not chose that way. My vote has nothing to do with who either of them are but whose platform is the closest to agreeing with God. And who will do the least damage to our country.

    • You mean the person who is closest to agreeing with your God according to your church’s unique understanding of the Bible, which may differ substantially from the way other Christians understand the Bible. You have to be honest her.

    • Angie, You use the Bible to decide on whom to vote? WOW, sad, just sad, esp. when it leads you to vote for someone like Trump. There is something definitely wrong with your morals, ethics, even humanity.

      • How does the Bible lead someone to vote for a greedy serial liar who never met an abortion she didn’t like?

        Where is the humanity in that?

        At any rate, you are like the blog host. You just can’t accept that some people think and behave differently than you do and do so in good faith. You’re very closed minded.

          • You are closed-minded to the idea that a person can’t vote according to policy or that Hillary Clinton is totally corrupt and has her own moral flaws.

            It is NOT closed minded to use the Bible or one’s religion as a guide to voting. Why would it be?

        • “You just can’t accept that some people think and behave differently than you do and do so in good faith. ”

          Faith you probably have. Logic, however, is sadly lacking. Your position is logically inconsistent.

        • Benny, I’m pro life. I don’t think it’s fair tho, to say HRC never met an abortion she didn’t like. She vowed to protect a woman’s rights over her own body. She’s on record as saying she’s not pro abortion, she’s pro choice. It’s not as simple as being against or for abortion. The people I know, personally, who are pro choice, don’t like it at all. But their conscience prevents them from assuming they have the right to force their opinion on someone else.
          I do believe many people voted for a platform that more closely aligned with their faith. Many did so with regret that it was a person like Trump, but in good faith that they voted their heart and conscience on the issue of abortion. By the same token many who voted for HRC did so for other causes dear to them.

    • Angie wrote: ” I read both parties platform and chose the one closest to the Bible.”

      Plain-English translation: “I chose the one closest to the parts of the Bible that I agree with. Not that silly ‘Good Samaritan’ nonsense about taking in Syrian refugees or helping poor people”.

      • Exactly, Michael. I posted something in response about how I use the Bible to choose which politicians will get my vote. It was ignored because I suspect, it would involve one to consider Syrian refugees and the poor.

        • Nothing but innuendos and personal attacks from the progressive “christian” crowd.

          Maybe she’s got a problem with killing babies in the womb too. Just because you guys don’t think they’re worth protecting, doesn’t mean that everybody does.

          Also, refugees do need to be screened properly. There’s nothing wrong with that.

          • “Also, refugees do need to be screened properly. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

            They ARE screened properly. You obviously want more than that, because of your prejudice against them.

  3. I think you may have left the word “don’t” out of this paragraph:

    “We use the locker room to devolve into some vile, ignorant caricature that supposedly represents who we really are. We change our clothes and get on with our days.”

  4. As I read this, all O can think is “I know so many men who fit this repulsive description. I know so few who are as John says men are. I wish I knew more men like John.”

    As for people “voting their conscience”, I personally, and I am not alone, are terrified of the possible results of this election.

    If Republicans prevail, I am at risk for homelessness. I am at risk for zero medical care. I am at risk to lose my sole source of income. I already have food insecurity.

    Yes, I am terrified.

    Everyone who claims they are going to :vote their conscience” and vote for the people who would my life and people like me lives in jeopardy are not people who value the sanctity of all life because you don’t value ours.

    I did not ask to become disabled. I did not ask to become handicapped. Is my life less valuable than a fetus? Because that is what I am being told by people “voting their conscience.”

    I am so very terrified.

    • If you know more men who fit the Trump description, than you know who fit John’s description; then you need to change the men you know. I know more men of John’s image than Trump’s. I used to know quite a few men of Trumps description; I got tired of trying to be accepted by them because they were not who I am; I found new men to hang around with. You know what? I know more men now than I did then.

      • Good for you, Daniel. I want there to be more men like you and John but having worked in the USA’s corporate sector, I met more men like Trump.

        These days I don’t go out much so I don’t many men. But some of the men in my apartment complex… … …

    • You are not at risk for any of those things. Were you thrown out in the street because Bush was elected?

      Disabled people will always be taken care of.

      • “Disabled people will always be taken care of.”

        Yes they will be … in Canada, where I live, because we have socialized medicine here. I don’t know how they’re expected to make do in America.

        • Yeah, it’s horrible here. There’s no such thing as social security disability or any programs for the poor and the needy. They all need to move to Canada…

          • OK benny, you clearly don’t understand: in a humane society, if you are disabled, you DON’T HAVE TO BE POOR TO GET HELP.

            Your attitude is that there’s no problem because we can just let disabled people slide into poverty, and then once they’re impoverished, then they can finally qualify to grab onto the frayed threads of your disintegrating social safety net.

            • Michael, you wrote, “Your attitude is that there’s no problem because we can just let disabled people slide into poverty, and then once they’re impoverished, then they can finally qualify to grab onto the frayed threads of your disintegrating social safety net.”

              Speaking as one whose income is well below the poverty line for a single person due to being deemed disabled and handicapped, “frayhed threads,” “disintegrating” are accurate.

              And it will be even more so should the Republicans ever privatize Social Security That would also be known as gambling on the stock market. Which means children, seniors, the disabled, and the handocapped would not be able to count ion a steady income, such as it is.

              Too many times Republicans have denied us COLA adjustments despite the fact that Social Security is not a line item in the federal budget, nor does it have any impact on the national debt because Social Security is funded from a payroll tax.

              Which is insufficient because there is at present a $117,000.00 cap on FICA deductions. Any making more than $117k contributes the same amount as those making $117K. Think of that. The Koch brothers and other multi-millionaires and billionaires contribute as much to Social Security as someone earning $117,000.00

              Donald Trump said “I think it is immoral” referring to Social Security. Aside from the fact that one could quite legitimatly wonder when Trump has ever demonstrted he knows what morality is, how can it possibly be immoral to provide for the poor, the hungry, the ill, the naked, at hiome and abroad when those are exactly what Jesus is telling us to do.

    • I am so sorry for your fear Gloriamarie…my son is disabled also. Although he lives at home with me he too, is dependent on Medicaid and Disability. I am a republican, and have always voted however I felt the best for my Country would be…I never vote only according to my party affiliation. I understand the genuine concern of those that fear trump as president….I felt that with Obama, so I know how that fear feels…I have had some bad happen under Obama, and some not so bad…I think that this is with any president…either republican or democrat, none of them are perfect and they all make mistakes and at the end of the day probably none of us would ever be a 100% satisfied with them. I as a Republican can speak for myself and my family and those that I am close too…that we in no way care less about homeless, disabled, those of color, or that we would put the life of a fetus above yours. I see alot of talk on here about voting because of Hillarys stance on late term abortion, I do disagree with that…but I look at all policies of a potential president…not just abortion…I am sorry you have such a bad taste for republicans…I hope and Pray that the next four years will not be as bad for you as you think that they will. I would never want to see anyone lose any of their rights…even though you have bashed me in prior posts and called me a troll…I am also not that. For being a republican I am a pretty nice compasionate person:) I don’t condone hate from either side not from the democrats or the republicans…I see all the hate and blame going on and it just gets to be too much. If we are all truly going to be against the hate going on, then we all need to step away from it and be better than that. I know there were the Obama and Obama voter bashers, and now we have the Trump and the Trump voter bashers…but I truly believe that you cannot lump people into a basket according to their vote…or their political affilitation. So while I can be understanding of the fear…the pety insults and bashing should not have a place on a Christian blog. Hence some of my last posts…I can respectfully disagree with someone, but it is hard to do when you are being told what a rotten human being you are all of the time.

      • Anonymous, First, you lose most of my respect by not at least putting a first name to your posts. How can we respect you if you’re ashamed to take credit for your posts. Now, everything you say may be true for you and even for your family. However, those same things are definitely NOT true for the great majority of those Republicans you vote for. So, no matter how much you whitewash yourself, you and those like you are definitely responsible for the kind of decisions and laws that will make life a living hell for those left behind by the Trump administration. Trump and his minions definitely don’t give a damn about those who are handicapped, poor, are not white, are other than Christian, who believe that climate is changing due to Man’s decisions, etc, etc, etc. He’s a misogynist, a racist, a hater, a dictator and a thin skinned egotist. He’s also totally untrustworthy. As to comparing him to Obama, that’s outrageous and shows you have little admiration for the truth. Of course, as a Trumper, that would be obvious.

  5. oops forgot to sign up for comments although I am sure there will be many hurtful responses to what I’ve written.

  6. Just to be clear here, I have been in assorted men’s locker rooms many times across my 63 years, and I do not recall ever encountering any of this “locker room talk” the Trump family seems to be so familiar and normal with. Maybe it was because they were locker rooms at family-oriented health clubs in a small, southern town. News travels fast in small, southern towns. “He said what about who’s p****? Argh!!!!!!!!!!! Argh!!!!!!!!! Argh!!!!!!!!!!!! Death to the unbelievers!!!!!”

    • Charles, John, etc, I do remember hearing some of this kind of talk but it was way back when I was a teenager in high school or college. It was almost exclusively bragging by immature young “men”. Most of us immediately put them in a box that could be called deplorables and avoided them. Most of them grew out of this stage. some never did.

    • Where I live, young men in locker rooms might brag about CONSENSUAL sexual exploits. Nobody ever brags about involuntary sexual exploits (aka “rape”).

      I did see an interview with a worker at a prison who said that the convicts talk like that.

  7. I do not vote based on the Bible. I vote based on who I would allow my kids around. Both parties are not evil and I do not have blinders on making excuses as to why God would condone my logic on who I choose. This post is about a man who does not act like a good man. Someone who does not pay after fair work is performed. A man who threatens others who disagree. A man who talks nasty about women to an acquaintance. There is no comparison at this level of disgust.

  8. Nor from me. “Voting your Conscience”? Voting for turning away the refugees, and deporting Mexicans who are only here to do the dirty work because it’s better than starving? Voting for gutting Social Security and repealing Affordable Healthcare? I, too, call B.S.!

  9. John, I love what you are saying, and I echo Gloriamarie Amalfitano in her statement “I know so many men who fit this repulsive description. I know so few who are as John says men are. I wish I knew more men like John.”

    I grew up around construction crews, loggers, miners, and ranchers. As the saying goes, “Little pitchers, have big ears” I heard this kind of disrespectful and demeaning talk as everyday conversation, not only among men, but also among women. Reality is that people talk badly of and about other people regardless of gender. I am acquainted with “fine Christian Men” who disrespect women every day by their actions, attitudes, and words. And “fine Christian Women” who talk trash about their neighbor.

    That there are men like you tells me that Jesus’ message is getting through to some. That the other exists tells me that Satan is a very real presence in the world.

    Trying to live as an example helps , but there is lots of praying to do as well.

    • Oh, yes, Wanda. “Reality is that people talk badly of and about other people regardless of gender. I am acquainted with “fine Christian Men” who disrespect women every day by their actions, attitudes, and words. And “fine Christian Women” who talk trash about their neighbor.”

      Oh, yes.

      A verse I’ve heard for a long time is that we will know each other by the fruit we bear in our lives.

      Then there is that song I remember singing in the 1970s “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

      Some of us who comment here are not known for doing it in a loving manner. Some of us routinely post in a horrid, vicious manner. I confess that I have stooped to this myself and I am wrong whenever I do it.

      • Gloriamarie,

        We still sing “They will Know We are Christians by our Love” at church. We also try to live it in the community by volunteering at the local food pantry, tutoring 2nd and 3rd graders in reading and other activities that let us show the Love of Jesus to the people around us.

        I also have to admit that I am not as good at guarding my tongue as I should be, and have been known to be rather short in conversation with people . Being a Christian is not an easy task and we all fail to live up to Jesus example. How blessed we are that God is merciful and by grace He forgives us.

        I know you are concerned about the future, but “Fear not” as it is written many times in scripture. God has this under control.

        • Wanda, I know your intention is to be comforting and I appreciate it, but your words “God has this under control” do not mke any sense to me given how highly God respects our free will. Were God to be in control we would be little more that automatons.

  10. Good for you John… your group is growing- but I think you’ll need to check in world-wide before you suggest its size. And as I’m gay and have spent my life battling against the locker-room group that is the same group you’re suggesting you’re not part of- please note that I can’t join your group either. Why? Because I’ve had Christian women bash me for being gay- and I’ve had women try to bed me thinking they could make me straight. So I’m not joining your group either.

    • As the young would say, “I feel ya, J Bruce. John is a good man, but I’m a recovering Catholic and have heard some of the worst anti-gay conversations from Catholics/Christians. It’s only one of the reasons I’m no longer a believer.

      • Be whatever you want to be but to say you are a “recovering Catholic” is an insult to those of us who love the Catholic faith.

        The Catholic Church is very compassionate towards homosexuals. They have a cross to bear, but the Church is also truthful for their sake, and says that to engage in homosexual behavior is a serious sin.

        • Truthful you say!!! The RC wants Homosexuals to live as second class citizens. How’s that “compassionate”? How compassionate was the RC to those kids who were abused by priests?
          Benny, You are exactly the kind of person that drove me away from the RC. I too “loved” it for decades until I saw it for what it is. It is, like you, very judgemental. It will “forgive” you as long as you toe the line but one dares not judge the RC. I lost all “love” I had and became a Recovering Catholic after 65 years as a very, very active RC. Give me one good reason to “respect” you. I disagree with 99% of what you post. I have no reason to respect you.

          • Don’t be respectful then. That’s a very common trait among liberals and anti-Christians and I don’t expect better.

            Homosexual behavior is a sin. The Church is here to save sinners, not to encourage them in their sins. The Church is not being “judgmental.” It’s telling the truth. People who encourage sin are hurting those who are addicted to their sins. They do them no favors.

            The priest elevates the host and says “this is My Body” and it becomes the Body of Christ. When I understood that and believed that, I became a Catholic as an adult, and would not leave because I don’t like somebody sitting next to me, or because a tiny percentage of priests committed some horrible sins. Why would anyone not want to receive Holy Communion and the other Sacraments?

            That’s what the Church is about.

            Call yourself a “recovering Catholic” if you like and don’t worry about being rude to me, but you are also insulting all others who are Catholics.

              • Benny, In a previous post you said you had 3 concerns with SCOTUS nominees. I have the same concerns. That’s why I’m voting for Hillary. I’m not pro-abortion (an abortionist) in your twisted language, but I am against the government telling a woman what to do with her body. Drumpf’s ideas on border control are a joke. How do you know that homosexual behavior is a ‘sin”. What is sin? As for respectful, no one, absolutely no one is more disrespectful than your candidate. He’s a name calling, bigoted, racist who doesn’t hesitate to insult/disrespect anyone. BTW, how do you know that transubstantiation is real? Is it because the bible said so? Fine. What about people who don’t believe in the Bible. Who think it’s a bunch of stories about myths believed by illiterate shepherds who lived 6000 years ago. Who believe Jesus was a messianic preacher at best or non-existent at worse? I don’t have all the answers, and you certainly don’t.

  11. Charles, I have an email notice that you wrote a comment but when I click on the correct place so I may comment on your comment, LOL, all I get is the top of John’s blog and no comment from you which says the following:

    “There is nothing to be terrified about Gloriamarie. Here are the latest truly reliable numbers: (I deleted the URL because it was making my comment await moderation and I don’t think John actually does that. LOL)

    John P. Please explain.”

    1) I am glad you feel there is nothing terrifying about me, although I am curious why you would say that.

    2) I can only pray that what it says in that URL link is true. I personally don’t like to count the votes until they are cast and I wish Nate Silver would shut up because he is blabbing so much I fear people vote the wrong way just out of irritation of his constant pronouncements.

    3) What exactly do you want John P to explain? As I doubt he reads the comments, he may never answer your question.

    • Hi Gloriamarie. One day you said in a post that you were terrified of a Trump Presidency. I posted the latest Nate Silver numbers to show how far Mrs. Clinton is ahead in hopes of comforting you. However, John Pavlovitz puts a “moderation hold” on any post I put up that contains the Nate Silver numbers. This means my occasional posts that contain those numbers never get posted. I have asked for an explanation, but John has not yet responded and may never respond. I guess maybe he is afraid Trump voters will see how far behind they are and try to close the gap—or maybe he is afraid Hillary voters will just wax complacent in the face of such steep numbers and not show up at the voting booths.

      • Actually, Charles, I said that today.

        Please be comforted. You are not singled out for moderation. Frequently when I have included a URL in a post, I’ve gone on moderation too.

        As a result , I now say “Please google title of article.”

        I am almost 100% certain that the people whom I have asked to google the articles don’t because evidence, facts, figures, graphs, quantifiable data is simply too challenging to those who have decided to cling to certain ideas, even when there is no evidence of their truth.

  12. seriously? certainly not all, but many, many are. and then the complementarians and quiverful and the michael pearls and the rest of the right wing nut jobs that call themselves evangelical christians? what about those knuckledraggers?

  13. Excellent post, John!

    I have heard those kind of crude remarks and worse, but those who spoke them definitely were gutter minded, poorly educated and lived life far below the threshold of joy, appreciation and love.

    We don’t actually know if the perp in question did exactly what he bragged about but there is evidence that he has many times taken women for granted to do with whatever he desired.

    As narcissistic as he is it wouldn’t surprise me if in his mind he does that to every woman who appeals to him. In that way he has done exactly what he bragged about.

    • Bill and Hillary have said worse.

      Do we vote according to policy or according to what we catch someone saying in a private conversation 10 years ago? If we can find more dirt on Hillary than Trump, do you switch to supporting Trump.

      I don’t think so…

  14. MAYBE in Jr. High and High School locker rooms is this kind of behavior “expected” (but still not acceptable), but certainly we GROW UP and realize how WRONG it was, and teach our sons to be better than that. We don’t just say, “Oh, that’s normal. Accept it.” No, it’s rude, selfish and childish and shows a lack of any maturity in understanding women at all.

    Time to grow up.

    • Please google: Our culture perpetuates sexual violence. It doesn’t have to be this way.

      If I provide the URL, my comment will await moderation, so I only can provide the name.

      Please google: 43 DAYS IN JAIL FOR RAPING A CHILD

      Please google: Attention journalists: An adult can’t ‘have sex’ with a preteen. It’s rape.

  15. “A certain Presidential candidate and this candidate’s sons and supporters have spent the past few weeks telling the world what we men are; the way we think about women, the way we talk about them when we’re all together hanging out in the locker room, the stuff we’ve done around and to women—what constitutes a real, normal, red-blooded, ordinary man.

    We’ve been told that all men treat women as objects, that we all boast of our sexual exploits with relative strangers, that we’ve all been inappropriately aggressive in pursuing affection, that we all have referred to women by their genitalia in social settings.”

    THIS IS A BLEEPING LIE!

    We’ve been told no such thing.

    He’s so dishonest in the way he makes his case…

  16. “And he sat down really fast and he dropped his pants,” she recalled, after being escorted to the hotel room by an armed state trooper.

    “And he was fondling himself. And he asked me to kiss it. Now that is disgusting. And I said, ‘I am not that kind of girl.’”

    After the alleged sexual assault was over, Jones said that Clinton implicitly threatened her to remain silent about the events.

    —————————————————————————-

    But this man and his enabling wife are fine moral examples who we must vote for because Trump was caught saying something something bad 10 years ago.

    You know what? People are voting for Trump because of policy and because they believe the alternative would be horrible for our country.

    What is it about JohnP that he can’t give the benefit of the doubt? It can’t be because someone has good reasons for doing something he doesn’t do or doesn’t believe–it’s always because they’re evil–and probably racist, homophobes, xenophobes, and everotherkindofphobe.

    I’m beginning to wonder if he’s even posting in good faith anymore. Nobody could be this closed-minded. I think maybe he’s just looking to piss people off and get clicks…

    I think he needs to get over himself.

  17. Thank you, John. I believe that there are more men like you and those you stand with than there are bullies and braggarts, but they are sometimes hard to see and hear through the noise and posturing of the others. It’s good to know you’re there.

  18. Might be time to revisit this> Won’t apply to those who are not evangelical.

    Please google: The Greatest False Idol Of Modern Evangelical Christianity

  19. A lot of people say “vote your conscience”, when they actually mean “vote on abortion, and ignore everything else”.

    The problem with abortion as an issue is that it’s an issue where the loudest voices have no real stake in the matter: it costs them nothing to “take a stand” on abortion, just as it costs an old man nothing to take a stand on premarital sex, even if he had plenty of it when he was a young man.

    If your most precious moral principles are the ones which cost you nothing, and the moral principles you are most flexible about are the ones that might ask you to sacrifice something, then it’s not your “conscience” which is guiding you. It’s your wallet.

    • An interesting article to google about voting one’s conscience:

      Would Thomas More Have Voted for Donald Trump?

      Or this:

      Can You Vote Your Conscience?

    • Well, Democrats promise lots of free stuff, yet pro-lifers vote for the sake of the innocents in the womb whose lives are barbarically destroyed via the process of abortion.

      Are you saying if it “costs nothing” to vote to protect the innocent lives, then we must vote AGAINST them and FOR the abortionist? That makes no sense. Besides the fact that there is a cost to stand up against the status quo and for life in the womb.

      This doesn’t imply whatsoever “flexibility” regarding other moral principles.

  20. Please google this article from the National Catholic Reporter

    America, divided on values, seeks authoritarian leader

  21. “So this candidate and all his defenders (even those who may be women) can say whatever they like and we will kindly but firmly call B.S.

    They can lower the bar all the way to the filthy floor and they can consent to all manner of ugliness in the name of manhood—and we will resist it.

    We will not be categorized by the worst and lowest of us. We will demand better and higher for ourselves and for other men.”

    BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Build your strawman and knock it down with your sanctimonious rhetoric.

    We’re voting according to policy. For the Supreme Court. For dismantling the Obamacare failure and finding a better alternative. For safety within our borders. AGAINST a candidate that is corrupt.

    Stop vilifying good people. Our votes have nothing to do with “manhood,” excusing bad behavior, or with which candidate would be the better Sunday school teacher. We’re voting for Trump BECAUSE WE THINK HE IS THE BETTER CHOICE AND WILL BE A BETTER PRESIDENT. Got it?

    You think Trump policies would be bad for the country or that Hillary’s would be better? Fine, vote for Hillary. I won’t insinuate you’re a piece of shit for voting according to what you think is best for the country, in spite of the fact that I think she and her husband are thoroughly corrupt and that her policies would set us back.

    How about returning the favor and giving Christians the benefit of the doubt that their support of Trump has nothing to do with approval of gutter talk from a decade ago and everything to do with their belief that he would be a much better President.

    Give people who believe differently than you do the benefit of the doubt, and say something nice about Christians once in awhile…

    • benny!!!
      “Homosexual behavior is a sin. The Church is here to save sinners, not to encourage them in their sins. The Church is not being “judgmental.” It’s telling the truth. People who encourage sin are hurting those who are addicted to their sins. They do them no favors.”
      Kiss my you know what!!! NO SAVING NEEDED! And your church is so not telling my truth. I read this last comment and then for some reason just kept scrolling up- and lo and behold- I found this comment of yours! Screw you. Really. Again and again. I AM A HOMOSEXUAL. I’ve been out to myself since I was 13- but I got targeted and attacked by a**holes like you when I was 8. That’s right! 8 years old! And I’m 63. Anyway- I grew up- after being terrorized by your kind- for- well- my whole life. But I’m just a human- and not a sinner. And my sexuality is just my sexuality- and I like it a lot and I don’t have to apologize for it- ever. And especially not to religious folks like you! YOU DON’T MATTER. And so I’ll have homosexual sex with whoever I want whenever I want wherever I want! Because I can. And your church is meaningless. And your god is meaningless. And I had to do a lot of self-healing work to get clear of your religious belief structure- but I did that work. And in the end I became an energy channel and a shaman. And what I know makes your beliefs irrelevant.
      So I’m voting for a supreme court that will maintain my recent gains in HUMAN EQUALITY- and totally against your acquired ignorance. And I could write a book telling you off- and proving you wrong- but- oh- that’s right- I already did. And it isn’t even worth it. So Buh By! Also- please notice- I am an internationally recognized award winning fiber artist- and a published award winning poet and a published visual merchandiser and a whole lot of other things too- and I do nothing anonymously.

      • Don’t come to a place where you will find Christian principles discussed if you don’t like them.

        There’s a difference between saying homosexual behavior is a sin and bullying someone, which is also a sin and wrong, and I am NOT the type who picks on people or would have. I have my own sins to deal with too.

        My concern with the Supreme Court has much more to do with the killing of innocent life in the womb. Homosexuals are being killed by abortion too. Do you care about them?

  22. Thank you for this, John P. When Trump’s remarks were dismissed as locker room banter, my first thought was to call BS. The men I know and RESPECT (my husband and brothers and cousins and son) don’t behave that way. But when others continued to minimize the behavior, I began to wonder if that really is how most men talk about and think about and behave towards women. My first thought was that Trump’s attitude is deviant and dangerous and not the norm for real gentlemen. This post reinforces my belief in the decency of most men and I pray it is so.

    • It’s not that the behavior was minimized but it was put in context of an overall campaign. The Supreme Court is at stake. The economy is at stake. Safety within our borders is at stake.

      We don’t want to be bamboozled by a sleazeball who dug up a recording from over 10 years ago and who with the coordination of the Clinton Machine and the Clinton-complicit press foisted it on us in the final hour. Hillary Clinton and her policies are then supposed to magically appear wonderful and acceptable?

      He apologized for that private recording. That should be enough. Liberals forgave Bill Clinton for much worse, including a rape accusation and another sexual assault, besides disgracing the White House with his antics with a young and vulnerable intern.

      • Benny, I’ll be honest with you. This is becoming tiresome. What is your goal here?

        Is it to express your opinions? We know what you think about Trump and Clinton and abortion and contraception and homosexuality. We got it a few hundred comments ago. At this point, it appears that you are just trying to be the center of attention.

        Is your goal to persuade people that you are correct (perhaps in an effort to help them find salvation)? I have never seen anyone ever, after being pounded over the head with someone else’s opposing opinion respond with, “Oh, now I get it! You’ve convinced me that I was wrong and you are right. Thank you for helping me see the light!” It doesn’t happen that way.

        Is your goal to engage in polite and even enlightening conversation? Truly, it seems that you are attempting to turn the comments section into the Benny Show.

        Benny, you are enthusiastic about your civic duty, and I applaud that. You are confident in your religious convictions, and I get that. If you would like for people to listen to you and learn from you, I recommend that you come to the conversation sincerely ready to listen to and learn from other people. And know that it’s really okay to keep your thoughts to yourself sometimes. You might even try showing genuine understanding and compassion for people with whom you disagree. And if you must disagree, could you try to do it without pounding the other person over the head with your opinions? Perhaps you could do so respectfully and trust God to take care of the rest.

  23. Fior Benny and those here who agree with him.

    Rape culture: Of Donald and Don Giovanni
    Christine Schenk | Oct. 27, 2016 Simply Spirit

    Will we heal a centuries-old culture of sexual abuse?

    I watched with horror (and some admiration) as more and more women came forward to decry the sexual misconduct of Donald Trump after a campaign-changing Hollywood Access tape recorded him bragging about his inability to control himself around women.

    The silver lining of this otherwise salacious media circus is that it has sparked a national conversation about the unsavory behavior of some men, that women have, in the main, kept quiet about for far too long.

    We didn’t talk about it because unwanted sexual advances were so ubiquitous, so culturally embedded, why waste our breath? Better to employ avoidance strategies and move on.

    I speak as a woman of a certain age who as a very young child learned the importance of distinguishing between good men and bad men. Bad men — like the one who exposed himself to my 7-year-old sister in broad daylight as she walked home from the library.

    Bad men like the “peeping Tom,” who ordered my mother to remove her clothing as she sat knitting in our living room one summer night while Dad took the baby sitter home. Wrong target. Every ounce of Mom’s outraged Irish heritage reared up as she loudly cursed him until he ran away. As my Mom reported the incident to the police, I listened from the top of the stairs staring numbly at the police cruiser’s flickering red light. A bad man had tried to take advantage of my mother while my father was away.

    I was 10 years old and I was frightened.

    My Catholic high school didn’t help much. Girls were told that the boys were committing sins of impurity (a euphemism) and it was our fault because our uniforms were too short. (Wrong. The boys were discovering how their reproductive equipment worked, but that’s another story.)

    We also learned about good men. My strong and fearless father was very protective of his wife and four daughters. We felt secure knowing no one could harm us with my Dad around.

    In pre-convent days, Dad visited me in Cleveland to paint the interior of my new house where I lived alone. Before departing he nailed guard bars over the basement windows and deliberately left his old shoes and clothing hanging from a nearby nail. He was silently signaling there was a man around to protect his daughter. (I still get a little weepy remembering this). My uncles were great — kind, gentle, and a lot of fun. They taught my sisters and my female cousins (there are a ton of us) how to relate to good men outside of our nuclear families.

    It can be confusing to be a girl child. We learn very early to be on guard in public places, especially at nighttime. We learn that some men will violate our personal space and that men outside of our families can be dangerous — that is if you are lucky enough to have grown up, as I did, in a family that isn’t cursed by generational sexual abuse.

    TV doesn’t help. It seems like it is always women who are being stalked and murdered.

    In the mid 1980s, when I worked as a nurse midwife, we began routinely screening women for sexual abuse at their first prenatal visit. Up until then many in the medical community believed sexual abuse was relatively rare. We were shocked to find how prevalent it was. Often the abuse occurred in childhood, but it also happened far too frequently in spousal and boyfriend relationships. Sometimes these women could not tolerate routine pelvic exams because of post-traumatic stress flashbacks. If unaddressed by psychotherapy, some women would have significant complications during labor and birth.

    I wonder if what is euphemistically described as Mr. Trump’s “lewd language,” has triggered a new moment of archetypal healing. Are we lancing a centuries-old wound that will at last allow the corruption to drain away?

    Women are courageously calling out unacceptable male behavior and demanding change. I sincerely doubt this would be happening were it not for the fact that the other presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a woman who has fought for women her whole life.

    Good men are joining the conversation too, and it helps. It helps a lot.

    Shaun R. Harper is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania with expertise in college-age masculinity. He recently wrote in The Washington Post:

    We have to stop excusing the disgusting degradation of girls and women as ‘locker room banter.’ Feminists and courageous others have done much to contest exchanges like the one between Trump and Bush. But it takes men like me to hold our friends accountable for things they say and do to objectify women. We must challenge their values, language, and actions.

    Last weekend I attended Mozart’s, “Don Giovanni,” performed by New York’s Metropolitan Opera and shown in HD at a local movie theatre. One of the most popular operas of all time, “Don Giovanni” tells the story of Don Juan, a philandering nobleman, serial womanizer, and rapist. Spoiler alert: the original title is (roughly) “The Punishment of Don Giovanni.”

    The breathtakingly beautiful music assuages a good deal of the pain unavoidably linked to this terrible topic. Donna Anna — who Giovanni had tried (and failed) to rape — has a fiancé named Don Ottavio. He sings a deeply healing aria:

    Listen, beloved, please listen! Look at me one moment only! Your beloved speaks to you, he who lives only for you!
    Upon her peace of mind, mine also depends; what pleases her is what gives me life, what displeases her is what gives me death.

    If she sighs, then I, too, must sigh. Her anger becomes my own. Her tears belong to me. And there can be no joy for me if she is not happy.

    This is the kind of healing brought by good men. And to them we give our love.

    Although Giovanni at first seems to be getting away with degrading and objectifying women, in the end he has his comeuppance when, amidst splendid pyrotechnics engineered by the Met stage crew, he is cast shrieking into hell. But not before his loyal servant, Leporello, Elvira (the wife he wronged), and even Donna Anna’s father (whom he murdered), repeatedly beg him to repent. But he will not.

    Now Donald Trump is no Don Giovanni. But some of his sexual behaviors are the same.

    I pray for him. We must all pray for him.

    And we must pray to heal the unhealthy rape culture that breeds too many Don Giovannis.

    [St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. She holds master’s degrees in nursing and theology.]

    This article is from today’s National Catholic Reporter

  24. My brother thought Donald Trump’s comments on the tape with Billy Bush was gross. He said he has come across the rare weirdo in locker rooms from time to time but every guy he knows stays away from that kind of thing. He thinks Donald Trump is a rich and powerful creep and is concerned that he will abuse his power if elected.

    The thing that puzzles me is that there is an abundance of solid proof showing what Donald Trump is capable of. So, it is hard to believe anyone would vote for him.

    • Yes, it truly is hard to believe that anyone would vote for him. I’ve spent some time on Trump’s FB page and it is clear from the comments that his rather rabid supporters, at least the ones who comment there strike me as rabid, are deeply dedicated to him. It reads like idolatry sometimes, especially when those who say they are Christians write.

      We know Trump is an authoritarian who thinks being elected President gives him the divine right of kings to do whatever horrible thing he thinks of, regardless of the Constitution and the Constitutional process.

      We know Trump is a bigot. That is well documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is a coward because he didged the draft and is terrified to release his tax returns, claiming that he can’t until the audit is complete which is a lie and the head of the URS has said so many times.

      We know he discriminates against people if they are not WASPS (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants). That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know his economic plan would be a disaster because it has been completely debunked by a Nobel Prize laureate economist.

      We know that he is driven by his ego to demand more and more attention. He has to keep feeding his narcissism. He sits on a tacky gold throne in this living room.

      We know he is a fascist. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know his foreign policy ideas would be a disaster for the USA and rest of the world.

      We know he is gynophobic. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth and by his treatment of women all his adult life.

      We know he is a homophobe. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is a hypocrite. He claims creating new jobs in the USA is important to him. If that is true, why hasn’t he closed his overseas factories in twelve different countries and brought those factories and jobs back to the USA? If his desire to build up the economy is real, why is that almost nothing that appoints his new hotel in DC was made and purchased from US sources and vendors? It is well documented that sheets, bathrobes, rugs, furniture, etc all came from overseas.

      We know he is an idolator and the god his blasphemous worship is money.

      We know he is intolerant of anyone who disagrees with him. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is a liar. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth. The non-partisan, Pulitzer prize-winning PolitiFact has demonstrated over and over that 91% of what he says is mostly false and completely false. Snopes has also proven so many of the words that have come out of his mouth are lies.

      He doesn’t believe in medical care for all. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is a misogynist. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth and his treatment of women all his adult life.

      We know he is racist. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth and his history of racism.

      We know he doesn’t think the rules apply to him. He has demonstrated this over and over every time he refused to pay someone who works for him.

      We know how sexist he is. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he thinks Social Security is immoral. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth even the majority if beneficiaries are children, the disabled, and the elderly. He said he would abolish it

      We know he has temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way, exactly as my two-year-old brother did and any other two-year-old I’ve seen. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is transgenderphobic. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      We know he is a white supremacist. Were he not, he would have told David Dukes and the KKK that he doesn’t want his endorsement.

      We know he does not have a working knowledge of the Constitution and the constitutional process. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth. He rpeatedly attempts to prevent journalists from exercising their First Amendment rights. He has a flawed unbderstanding of the Second Amendment appears to be ignorant of every other word in the Constitution to the point he is recommending that his supported break the law by becoming vigllantes to intimindate and prevent people from voting.

      We know he is a xenophobe. That is well-documented by the words that have come out of his mouth.

      I really don’t understand how anyone who says they are a Christian could possibly vote for anyone who turns their back on the hungry, the naked, the sick, those without an ability to provide for themselves.

      I really don’t understand how anyone who says they are a Christian could possibly vote for anyone who has broken as many of the commandments as he had.

      I really don’t understand how anyone who says they are a Christian can fail to vote for the woman who has been a public servant her entire adult life. I don’t understand how anyone who says they are a Christian can believe the lies the Republicans have manufactured against her from the day she became FLOTUS. Heck, they’ve admitted they made uo the Benghazi thin solely to keep her from exactly where she is today.

      I don’t understand how anyone who says they are a Christian could embrace a life of lies, because if they reject Hillary, to vote for Trump, then they have chose to embrace evil. Pure and simple.
      .

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