Charity or Approval?

Anonymous Reader asked for opinions in a comment at Dalrock’s.  A friend of his is on a handyman crew that his church sends out to help with home repairs and other husband-type duties for various unmarried women in the church.  The sticking point is that they’ve been instructed to treat all unmarried women the same — the widow the same as the woman who kicked her husband out and is living happily on his paycheck:

What should he do? By his actions he is approving of babymomma-life, elevating a choice mommy or three to the same level as a woman who still grieves for the father of her children. But he doesn’t see any way to differentiate between the unmarried women he’s sent to help without being cruel to some, and disobeying what he’s been instructed to do.

So what should he do?  What would I do?

In general, I wouldn’t refuse.  If I felt called to do that work, I’d do it.  We’re all sinners.  I certainly can’t claim to have “deserved” all the help I’ve gotten from family and friends over the years.  Perhaps there were times when someone’s help encouraged me to keep making the same mistake instead of changing, so it would have been better for them to let me work through it myself.  That’s hard to judge even when you know the person closely, let alone when it’s someone you know vaguely through church.

Also, when the context is church-based charity, presumably the effort to share the gospel and bring people closer to Christ is tied up in it.  You can’t do that if you can’t get in the door.  Jesus reached out to major sinners.  Of course, he didn’t condone their sins, but he was also able to see into their hearts and judge the extent of their repentance and their resolve to reform (and drive out their demons for good if necessary).  We can’t do that.  So generally, I’d say if a woman is coming to church (and bringing her children), and she doesn’t go around bragging about her child support winnings or all the dates she’s getting, there’s no reason the church shouldn’t help her out.

There are some lines I wouldn’t cross, though.  If I showed up to clean a woman’s gutters and she had a boyfriend there, I’d make a 180 and walk right back out.  You have a boyfriend?  Then he can do your odd jobs; there are truly needy people out there.  And if I knew that the woman’s ex-husband was being treated poorly by the church, I’d raise hell until that changed. Many a man has left his church because he didn’t feel welcome any more after his wife divorced him, and knowing that some of your friends are over there fixing her gutters — on a house you paid for — while you sit home alone is a slap in the face. I also wouldn’t stand for it if actual widows were being neglected because everyone wanted to go do chores for the hot MILF who just joined the church.

Those specific exceptions aside, I think there are some things he might be able to do to nudge the operation in a better direction.  First, I’d be after the priest/pastor, asking him whether he’s talking to these women about finding new husbands or reconciling with the ones they really still have.  Are they temporarily alone and only needing this help for a while until there’s a man in the house again, or is the situation open-ended until she feels lonely?  What’s he doing to rectify their feral status? Does he have a policy on single mothers beyond making sure they’re comfortable? If a marriage gets rocky in that church in the future, will the focus be on keeping it together, or will it be on helping the woman escape and survive alone?

Also, are there any elderly or frivorced men in the church who could use some of this help?  Not every man has the skills and ability to clean his own gutters and change his own oil, after all.  Extending the charity to some men would help shake the idea that it’s all about “vagina = deserving.”  For that matter, there might be some young families who could use the help too.  Make it about helping people in need, not about helping “single moms.”

There are a lot of single moms out there.  Most of them brought it on themselves and their children.  They shouldn’t be rewarded for it, and married women shouldn’t be given the impression that they can blow up their marriages and be protected from the consequences.  But we do want to encourage repentance and reform, and we don’t want to punish her children for her sins.

In the final analysis, I guess I’d try to decide whether my actions were doing more good or harm, and if the harm seemed too great, talk to the pastor about shifting the focus.  If that didn’t help, I’d bow out and look for personal opportunities to help the people I felt comfortable helping — maybe those elderly men I mentioned.

Don’t Be This Spinster Rob Lowe

Borrowing a quote by James K. from Dalrock’s to riff on.  The context was a 57-year-old divorcee who says there aren’t any decent guys contacting her on the dating sites:

[W]hat she forgets to mention is the quality of the 50-something women who are on the dating market.

S’truth. I don’t check the dating sites much anymore, but when I do, most of the women who show up as having viewed my profile or contacted me are in their 50s. (I’m in my mid-40s, and my profile states clearly that I won’t date anyone over 40, but I guess that doesn’t keep them from looking.) They are, almost without exception, overweight enough for it to be obvious in their thumbnail photo. Most have short hair, which looks terrible on a fat face. Only rarely do I see a slightly attractive one, even in the “If she were 30 years younger” sense.

If you read their profiles, the bitterness jumps off the page at you. They know their prospects have plummeted, whether they’ll admit it or not. They divorced thinking they were going to party for a couple years like those slutty city girls on TV, then settle down with a hunky doctor, or at least an engineer. They might even have had a couple guys in mind:  guys they rejected when they were younger.

But since then, they’ve found themselves getting more and more desperate, chasing men instead of being chased, and banging a guy on the first date because they can already see his interest slipping before the burgers arrive. They get zero messages from guys now, except those clearly looking for a quick, no-strings lay. Not even a pump-and-dump, because that implies there was at least the beginning of a relationship to get dumped from — this is just guys saying, “Hey, my balls are full; could you help me out?”  They take those once in a while, hope springing eternal; and each time come away more bitter at men for “using” them that way, because that’s better than admitting they chose it with eyes wide open.

Most of them have a grandchild or two, so they’re still playing the “You come second after my kids” game in their profiles.  They have jobs they think are important, and drinking friends they think are interesting.  So they’re unattractive (even more so than they have to be), bitter, and can promise you’ll be their third or fourth priority at best.  And they wonder why guys 20 years younger than them aren’t hitting on them anymore, and why guys 10 years younger aren’t proposing.

I feel for them, really, because there’s very little they can do.  Oh, they could try to be more pleasant, but changing your personality is hard enough when you’re young, let alone after 50+ years.  Getting in shape isn’t easy either, and there’s only so much tightening up you can do even if you lose the extra weight.  They can’t afford to drop the meaningless HR job, because the cash and prizes from divorce don’t go as far as they expected.

I really don’t know what I’d advise a single woman in her 50s, except to concentrate on her family — but in a giving way rather than the usual meddling one.  Maybe if she’s feminine in her dress and pleasant in her outlook, and she spends her time as the family caregiver out in public, some 60-something widower or divorced guy will see her and think she’d be nice to have around as he gets older.  That should be her target — the guy looking for quiet companionship in his retirement — not guys who go rock climbing on the weekends and are still considering fatherhood.

The only good advice to be had is for the woman who’s still married and starting to feel a little bored, a little frustrated that she never got to live in Paris for a year, a little disenchanted with her husband.  Don’t Let That Happen.  Make yourself busy, especially with projects that will please your husband.  Ask him to assign you a hobby if necessary.  Make it your goal to pleasure him sexually every chance you get until he asks you to back off.  Find some way to fight the ennui that so often afflicts women with comfortable lives, because the odds that you can do better are vanishingly small.  The husband you have now is the best one you can hope for.  You can choose to be happy, so do it now, before you find yourself looking back in ten years and wondering how you could have been so stupid.

Moar Funding!

At Vox Populi this morning, a commenter suggested that the CDC’s mistakes in controlling Ebola are due to funding cuts.

I was thinking: wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use that excuse in your private life?  Slept with your wife’s sister?  Not enough funding!  Oh, you don’t think there’s a connection?  That just shows you lack the imagination of a career bureaucrat.  Obviously, if you just had Moar Funding, you could afford to buy your wife a personal trainer and a personal dietician, so she’d always be perfectly fit, plus you could get her the hottest clothes and lingerie.  With all that, you never would have been tempted to bang her sister!  It wasn’t your fault, you just lacked funding!

See how easy it is?  I think I’m going to try that for a while.  Every time I screw up and let people down — especially if there are any deaths involved — I’ll just claim I need Moar Funding.


This quote from Dalrock’s fits perfectly with a radio ad I heard last night and was thinking of writing about:

I’ve asked alleged “conservatives” from time to time what exactly is “conservative” about paying women to have babies outside of marriage.

So last night on the radio I heard an ad for a local non-abortion pregnancy counseling center.  The lady who runs the place was talking about a girl who came in, and they helped her find a new place to stay and gave her other help with medical bills and such.  She said at one point the girl started crying, and said, “I don’t deserve this.”  The lady responded with, “But you do, you do deserve it.”

That’s the problem right there.  Now, I happen to know this lady, and she’s the sweetest person you could ask to meet.  Her heart aches for these girls and their babies, and she’s dedicated her life to helping them.  She just beams when she gets to talk about how they saved a baby from abortion last year.  She’s truly doing God’s work.

And yet.  Does someone who irresponsibly gets pregant out of wedlock with no ability to fund the pregnancy really “deserve” charity?  In fact, isn’t part of the definition of charity that the recipient doesn’t deserve it but is getting it anyway?

The honest answer would be, “No, you don’t deserve it, but your baby doesn’t deserve to die because of your sinful choices, so we’re going to help you anyway.”  But of course, you can’t say that, because then she might go have an abortion.  This place usually gets one shot at a girl, after she’s already scared and desperate, and she’s expecting them to “judge” her and put her down, so she’s ready to run any second.  You have to sweet-talk her and pat her on the head and tell her she’s wonderful, so she’ll let you keep her baby alive.  Anything that could offend her has to be avoided.

So that’s part of it: abortion is the worst possible outcome, so anything else is better, even using tax money to raise the kid for the next 20+ years while she sits around.

And I think, in a way, this lady does think these particular girls are special and deserving, precisely because they did come in to a place where they’re afraid they’ll be judged, when so many girls don’t.  All the other girls just get the abortion, but this girl made the extra effort to find help for her baby, so she’s special.  Better.  Deserving.

But for most conservatives, it’s not just about abortion.  It goes to their overwrought notion of chivalry, where women really can do no wrong.  If a woman is a single mother and can’t feed the kids, it can’t possibly be her fault.  Sure, she slept with a guy who obviously wasn’t good father material — and then a second one for the second kid — but that’s not really her fault.  They seduced her. Society didn’t teach her any better. Sure, she spends hundreds of dollars a month — enough to feed her kids — on smokes, her smart phone, and lottery tickets.  But that’s not really her fault because bad education again, and she’s allowed to have some enjoyment in life, right?

If you believe that nothing can ever really, ultimately be a woman’s fault, then it’s only natural that you have to pass the responsibility to someone else.

It’s especially difficult for conservatives who like to trumpet their racial color blindness, because everyone knows illegitimacy and welfare are a much bigger problem among certain minority groups, but because of race, they can’t even blame the fathers there.  If you can’t blame the mother or the father, who’s left to blame and be handed the bill?


Commie Catholics

Someone at Vox’s asked when Catholic bishops started meddling in US politics, whether it began with JFK or predated him.  It’s really both.  Of course, there’s a long history of the Church being involved in politics (and vice versa).  After all, for centuries the Church guided the Holy Roman Empire, and at one time the Vatican ruled over the Papal States and was a military and political force in its own right.  Compared to those times, the Church’s direct influence on politics today is quite low.

The difference now is that the Church’s influence on politics is almost entirely in the service of economic and cultural Marxism.  While there are orthodox, traditional bishops (and more of them now thanks to Pope Benedict), they spend most of their efforts trying to shape up their own flocks.  Some of them do speak out strongly against sins like abortion and homogamy, but they do that officially from the pulpit.  They don’t pal around with politicians and try to influence them personally, because that’s not their job, and they have plenty of problems within the Church to work on.  So when it comes to playing politics, the leftist bishops and priests pretty much have an open field.

So when did it start?  I’d say there were two main events.  The first was the Soviet infiltration of the Church.  The USSR attempted, often successfully, to infiltrate many influential organizations, of course: governments, Hollywood, universities, etc.  But the Catholic Church — on record as one of the most outspoken and influential opponents of socialism — was a major target.  Soviet agents worked to place thousands of men in seminaries, some outright agents and some simply sympathetic to Marxist ideals.  Many of these men were ordained and rose into positions of influence, ready for the next blow.

Which blow came in the form of Vatican II.  The context of Vatican II was that the Church was doing very well — vocations were up, the pews were full — but some thought things were getting a little stale and old-fashioned.  So the idea was to throw open the windows and let in new ideas, while at the same time opening up the Church in a more welcoming way to non-Catholics.  In hindsight, it was a staggering show of hubris, as they seemed to forget that when you throw open the windows, bad can come in with the good.  By convening a Council, everything that wasn’t a matter of settled doctrine could be changed, and even settled doctrine could be obfuscated and interpreted in confusing new ways.  The leftists within the Church took full advantage of this opening.

Church members who wished the Church could change her stance on things like socialism, artificial contraception, or divorce simply acted as if she had.  The attitude developed that Vatican II had made virtually all doctrines optional and subject to personal interpretation and approval.  That allowed priests and bishops to preach virtually anything they wanted, and only a few hide-bound traditionalists would object.

There were other factors, of course.  Modernism had been a growing problem for a long time — just ask Chesterton — but the Soviet infiltration was the first concerted effort by a major power in that direction.  And to some extent, all institutions were affected; the Church wasn’t and isn’t alone in swinging toward leftism, globalism, socialism, equalitarianism, and so on.  But the Church does seem to have been especially affected — the institution feared for Crusades and Inquisitions becoming a doormat for nearly every left-wing cause — and I think the double-whammy of Communist infiltrators and Vatican II accounts for that.

The good news is that the generation that was infiltrated is on the way out.  The seminaries have been considerably cleaned up, thanks to the homosexual abuse scandals (which were part of the infiltration, not a separate issue), so younger priests are much more orthodox.  They just can’t be too open about that, lest it get them in trouble with their Boomer superiors.  And in Pope Francis, who hails from the part of the world afflicted with LIberation Theology (Marxism with a Catholic coating), we have an instructive example of what lies in that direction.

In 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a vision in which he saw a Job-like conversation between God and Satan.  The exact conversation isn’t known, but the gist was that Satan claimed that he could destroy the Church if God gave him a century and more power over those who would follow him.  God consented, and Satan chose the 20th century, or the period running approximately 1885-1985.  The 70s and 80s really were the nadir, with the effects of Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, and the abuse scandals.  Since then things have been improving, but slowly.  Much damage was done, and many feet are still being dragged, so we have a long way to go.

Who’s Dragging Those Heels?

Dalrock has another post up which touches on the issue of delaying marriage.  Now, whenever this topic comes up, someone claims that it’s really men who are delaying marriage.  This is both true and completely irrelevant and misleading.

The truth is, men have always delayed marriage.  In other words, men have never particularly wanted to marry; they’ve been willing to marry when that was the way to get what men really want: exclusive sex and procreation with a woman of their choice.  That’s why the trope is of a woman dragging her man to the altar, and not the other way around.  So while men may be delaying (“avoiding” would be a better word) marriage, men have always avoided marriage, so that doesn’t account for the changes we’re seeing.

The change is in women, in two closely related areas: how long women delay marriage, and how women have detached sex from marriage.

Since most girls now think the ideal age for marriage is about 28, and they’re consciously avoiding it until then, that means that most of them are sexually active for a solid decade or more before they start seeking a husband.  By that time she’s gotten used to the idea that relationships start with sex; marriage is something optional that might come along later if you let it.  When she hits 30 and starts to scramble for a husband, it’s not going to come natural to her to start being chaste and holding out for a ring.  Sex is how she gets to know guys; it’s how she knows how she feels about them.  Some women do try the “born-again virgin” thing, and I think we all know how well that works — it falls apart as soon as they get the tingles, or they go so far the other direction with frigidity to keep their pants on that no guy can get close to them.

A couple generations ago, guys knew that you had to marry to get sex.  Even if your girlfriend caved in and let you get past third base once or twice, it wasn’t going to be a regular thing — if nothing else, you’d end up with a quickie marriage and a kid six months later.  In the 80s and 90s when I was starting to date, girls would have sex if you were “going steady,” but if you were having regular sex, you knew the marriage clock was ticking.  At some point — usually within months, not years — she’d start talking about marriage, and if you didn’t go along, she’d cut off the sex and eventually move on.  The window of opportunity for getting the milk for free was limited.

Now it’s not limited at all.  If you’re having sex with a 22-year-old girl, you need not fear that she’ll ever bring up marriage.  In fact, if you bring it up, there’s a good chance you’ll scare her away.  If you just stay away from the topic — as your male ancestors tried to do — odds are marriage will never even come up unless you’re together until she hits 28 or so.

If you’re having sex with a 35-year-old girl, she’ll probably press for marriage before too long, but not in the 1950s sense of punishing you with blue-balls until you marry her.  More likely the sex will be plentiful from day one as she tries to entice you into marriage with the only skill she’s learned in that area.  Even then, there won’t be a direct connection between sex and marriage; the sex will be to try to get you to stay around, so that over time she can nag you into marriage.  There’s no direct quid pro quo anymore.

So, how does this relate to the numbers Dalrock is seeing, where men aren’t remarrying as quickly as they used to?  Well, why would they, when it no longer increases their chance of having sex?  That’s the real crux here: being willing to marry no longer noticeably increases a man’s chance of having sex, even regular exclusive sex with the same woman.  A man can be on a date with a woman and tell her he has no intention of ever marrying, and it probably won’t reduce his chance of getting laid that night.  It might with some women, but it’ll increase his odds with others.  (The ones who tingle will ignore him and assume they’ll change his mind later anyway.)

Since we’re talking about remarriage, we’re mostly talking about older people, say 30+.  If a man that age can’t get a date, this question is moot.  But if he can get dates, most of them will have sex on the first or second date.  If a woman likes him, she’ll keep coming back for more, and pretty soon she’ll manuever things toward living together.  He can simply go along with this program, never refusing to marry but never bringing it up, and get regular sex and companionship for a few years at least.  If she eventually gives him an ultimatum of marriage-or-out, well, he can deal with that when the time comes.  Maybe she won’t ever push it that hard, if she’s afraid to lose him.

So what we’re seeing is simply men reacting to their environment.  When the requirement for regular sex was getting married, men got married.  When the requirement changed to “be willing to get married pretty soon,” men went along with that, though some bailed out when the pressure got heavy.  But now that there’s no marriage requirement at all, men are fine with that too.

There are other aspects of this, especially the financial ones.  Thanks to punitive divorce laws and affirmative action, a lot of men don’t feel they can afford to remarry.  But I think that’s secondary to the issue above, because the desire for sex is very strong.  If so many women weren’t giving away the milk for free, more men would find a way to buy the cow — or fight against the legal and political changes that have made the cow so expensive.

Those Aging Eyeballs

Vox recently posted about a study that shows that men are attracted to women who are in their most fertile years, regardless of the age of the men.  I was reminded of this when I saw a promo for a new show starring Tea Leoni as some sort of ball-busting politician (pretty clearly preparing us for President Hillary) during the football game on Sunday.

Tea Leoni
Now, Tea Leoni is pretty much what I’d get if I ordered a girl from a girl assembly factory, choosing all the bits from multiple choice, right down to the dimple.  She’s pretty close to my age, and I’ve had a soft spot for her since I first saw her, probably when she was in her mid-20s.  But I hadn’t seen her in several years.  I was surprised by how much less attractive I find her now that we’re both older.  I’ve aged just as much as she has, and she has the benefit of all the anti-aging technology Hollywood commands, yet I found myself thinking, “She still looks good — for her age.”  At 30, I would have crawled across broken glass to kiss her; at pushing 50….

So it’s true: unless you have the benefit of wife goggles to keep your wife looking young in your eyes as she ages, wrinkles are wrinkles, and getting older yourself doesn’t make wrinkles start to look attractive.  If anything, I find 40-ish women less attractive than I did when I was younger, now that I’ve taken the red pill and am always aware of the baggage they’re likely to be carrying.  At 20, I might have gone for a fit 40-year-old, thinking she could teach me a thing or two.  Now I just can’t see the point.

While writing this post, I discovered that she and Duchovny just divorced.  So she’s available and 48.  That’s just plain sad.