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Christian Values and Male Entitlement

As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27-28

‘Being male is a matter of birth, being a Man is a matter of choice.’ by Dr. Ed Cole

The message in Man Church is exclusively concerning true manhood. Principles are taught from the ‘Majoring in Men’™ Curriculum by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole. This is where we address the issues that are indicative of the heart of man.

‘Christlikeness and Manhood are synonymous.’ Edwin Louis Cole

From the Man Church International Homepage


A non-military civil war is happening in America over male entitlement. Many of the trappings of patriarchy have fallen to gender equality, but not the foundational belief in male dominance as just, moral, and Christian. A review of events since July shows how the United States Senate and the Supreme Court have become central players in this civil war.

An article in The Christian Post described a “state-like dinner” hosted by the White House for 100 evangelical leaders on August 27, 2018. Reporter Samuel Smith compared it to “a church camp meeting and a campaign rally.” At one point there was an open microphone session of about 40 minutes as one male leader after another praised the accomplishments of President Trump in tones reminiscent of round the table adoration fests at Trump cabinet meetings. Pictures accompanying the article confirmed the impression of a gathering of male religious leaders whose wives attended but did not participate in the ritual of praise and political endorsement.

This event occurred after the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, on July 9, to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Christian Post article quoted James Dobson as listing items for which evangelical leaders thanked President Trump, including “for defending the sanctity of human life, for preserving religious liberty, for the quality of judges appointed.”

During the televised hearings for Judge Kavanaugh, I noticed billboards in Gwinnett County, Georgia, advertising “MAN CHURCH the Movie.” The website mentioned on the billboard called for volunteers for a movie in production with evident evangelical Christian messaging. The movie is needed, I learned, because churches are populated more and more by women and not men. “The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female and 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.” Men have even deserted Christian universities. “Christian universities are becoming convents. The typical Christian college in the U.S. enrolls almost 2 women for every 1 man.” A male pastor is quoted on the urgent need to attract men to church. “Most churches are built to cater to 40 something year old women and their children and the guys are no where to be found.”

My exploration on the movie led to discovering another religious group concerned about the quality of manhood in churches. Man Church International (MCI) provides educational sessions that seek personal conversion to true Christian manhood. Commissioning sessions follow educational experiences, leading to energized outreach to bring in disciples. The language on the website says nothing derogatory about women or anything overtly patriarchal; yet the absence of human rights, or equal rights, or any recognition of female roles as significant gives an impression that Jesus needs real men to the point that women hardly matter.

A lot of public attention has been given the “Me Too Movement” as women find the courage to risk public defaming by accusing powerful men of sexual abuses of all sorts. The Bill Cosby trial was an unusual victory for the movement, because criminal prosecutions rarely develop from decades-old accusations. Time and again prominent men have denied all charges yet have been forced into resignation or loss of power.

The “Me Too Movement” struck again just before the hurry-up vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. As women began to step forward with decades-old revelations of traumas not perceived by others at the time, a male-dominated Republican majority in the Judiciary Committee became outraged. When another hearing before the committee became necessary, the men hid behind a female prosecutor as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was questioned. Then Judge Kavanaugh gave vent to the feelings of Republicans on the committee in an enraged defense that included open partisan attacks on Democrats in terms that also channeled political statements of President Trump. He felt entitled to openly show disdain for Democrat questioners, especially Senator Amy Klobuchar. The previously harnessed Republican Senators also erupted in volcanic anger and attacked Democrats as conspirators behind female accusations.

No one should be deceived about the real conflict that is happening. Female accusations are being rejected, we are told, because: (1) Judge Kavanaugh deserves due process and should be presumed innocent; (2) accusers can’t produce evidence that would stand up in court; and (3) they are part of a Democrat conspiracy to further slow down a process that should be expedited.

None of those attacks explain the extent of Republican hostility being expressed. The Senate has always been known for minority tactics to slow down laws and nominations. For six years of an Obama presidency, Mitch McConnell was a master of obstruction, especially for judicial nominations. Under a Trump presidency, McConnell is suddenly the advocate of abbreviated “hurry-up” procedures to ram through nominations and maximize the benefits of a slim Republican majority.

Claims of the presumption of innocence have not protected media personalities, corporate leaders, and even members of Congress from loss of power as female accusations mounted. The need for public confidence in companies or institutions prompted actions against the accused without determining them guilty. The exception has been the presidency of Donald Trump. And now the question is whether public confidence in the Supreme Court is more important than Judge Kavanaugh’s claims of innocence or the pretense that he will be impartial in cases involving Trump or causes opposed by Republicans.

I repeat, no one should be deceived about the real conflict that is happening. The fundamental morality of male entitlement is under attack. Evangelical versions of Christian morality assume male entitlement as a fundamental aspect of God’s creation. Female charges of sexual abuse are scrutinized for motives to get even with men by claiming non-consensual sex. Motives of men are seldom questioned because the assumption is they can’t use sexual blackmail to get even. Yet the force that keeps women silent is the power of the abusing male who can easily fire someone or ruin a reputation with a hint of female moral laxity.

The battle over male entitlement reflects a crisis within all forms of Christianity as well as a challenge to the institutional integrity of our nation. In Galatians 3:28, Paul reflected the radical gender inclusiveness of Jesus’s message as he also universalized it to relationships between Jews and non-Jews, slaves and non-slaves. Being “one in Christ Jesus” is a radical form of equality, undermining all assumptions of entitlement currently championed by “traditional moral values.”

Legal trappings of patriarchy have been falling along with other limitations on human equality. Elected officials who perpetuate hidden patriarchy by laws, executive orders, and appointments that uphold male entitlement are opposing true gender and human equality in the name of Christian and American values.

The Trump administration has presented one issue after another that has been praised by many evangelical leaders as the triumph of Christian values. Public opinion is not fooled. There is a civil war in America over gender relationships that is being lost by the political and religious forces now in power. As male entitlement is defeated, there is a serious risk that leaders of evangelical churches will completely undermine public respect for all forms of Christianity.


About the Author

Dr. Edward G. Simmons was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1943. A graduate of Mercer University, he earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Simmons taught history at Appalachian State University until he was drafted to serve during the Vietnam era. Stationed in California, South Dakota, and then Georgia, he served in the Air Force. Dr. Simmons then became an expert in the field of organizational management as a result of thirty-four years of service for the Georgia Department of Human Resources. In retirement, he teaches history part-time at Georgia Gwinnett College and Brenau University. He is the author of Talking Back to the Bible: A Historian’s Approach to Bible Study.

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