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Posted by bobbieinok in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Nov 08th 2006, 02:20 PM
This article is by Sharlet, who wrote the Harper's article on Haggard, parly reprinted at

The full article is at /


Not that Dobson acknowledges a debt to feminism; indeed, he sees it as a threat to Christianity. The problem, as he outlines it in Straight Talk to Men, a Dobson "classic" originally published as Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives, is that men, in a righteous attempt to resolve the problems of sexism, have ceded too much power to women. As a result, he insists, women are engaging in a parody of male headship and most men lack the guts — and the sensitivity — to stand up to them. "Everything we do is influenced by our gender assignment," he writes. "Any confusion… in the relationship between the sexes… must be seen as threatening to the stability of society itself." ...


...Many of the man-manuals advise loving attention to wives and speak of the joys of married, heterosexual sex as a bulwark against the culture (which is queer by definition, since it is not Christ-centered, a peculiar oxymoron at the heart of the faith), but they also teach a "sensitivity" that is called to stand in for the sins of their cavemen fathers. ...

...But more shocking is Hagee's announcement that nearly every woman he's counseled over the years has told him that "It's really no big deal if I never have sex again with my husband." This makes sense only if one accepts the division of identity increasingly popular in evangelicaldom: young men are knights and young women are virginal maidens, and even after marriage that formula, in a sense, continues: Men must get dirty in battle, women must stay pure at home. Sex is for the fellas.

Some fellas respond to that "spiritual reality" by seeking out other fellas; guys, the thinking goes, are always up for a good time. The oversexed female as public enemy has been replaced by the oversexed male; and in the worst case scenario, he is gay. Or perhaps it is, for the Christian right, the best case scenario — ...

..."The gay man" is the new seductress sent by Satan to tempt the men of Christendom.

Like most fundamentalists, Haggard believes that sexual sin is among the worst; he also knows it is the most common. Evangelicals, he'll say, aren't more obsessed with sexuality these days; rather, homosexuals are, somehow, more homosexual. ...


But with Christian womanhood restored and redeemed, a crucial character in the Christian conservative morality play has gone missing: the seductress. It is no longer acceptable to speak of loose women and harlots, since sexual promiscuity in a woman is the fault of the man who has failed to exercise his "headship" over her. It is his effeminacy, not hers, that is to blame. And who lures him into this spiritual castration? The gay man.

Christian conservatives loathe all forms of homo- and bisexuality, of course, but it is the gay man (singular; he's an archetype) who looms largest in their books and sermons and blogs and cell group meetings. Not, for the most part, as a figure of evil, but one to be almost envied. "The gay man" is the new seductress sent by Satan to tempt the men of Christendom. He takes what he wants and loves whom he will and his life, in the imagination of Christian men's groups, is an endless succession of orgasms, interrupted only by jocular episodes of male bonhomie. The gay man promises a guilt-free existence, the garden before Eve. He is thought to exist in the purest state of "manhood," which is boyhood, before there were girls.

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