The Mark Regnerus Controversy, and the Priorities of Modern American Culture

For those of you who don’t know, Mark Regnerus is making news again, but this time, not just in Christianity Today, but in the national spotlight. You may remember Mark Regnerus, the Sociology professor who wrote this bigoted and extremely selfish and self-centered piece on Christianity Today about the issue of delay of marriage [which I addressed here]. The main issue I had with this article at the time was in this paragraph:

And I am suggesting that when people wait until their mid-to-late 20s to marry, it is unreasonable to expect them to refrain from sex. It’s battling our Creator’s reproductive designs. The data don’t lie. Our sexual behavior patterns—the kind I documented in 2007 in Forbidden Fruit—give us away. Very few wait long for sex.

As I said at the time, the notion that it is unreasonable to obey God, and not have sexual relations is an utter repudiation of the gospel. The notion that the data doesn’t need to be interpreted is likewise naive, and the effects of the fall are completely left out as an explanation for the data. Perhaps the reason why we don’t wait long is because we live in a fallen world, and we want personal peace above obedience to God’s commandments? This is not even so much as entertained as an explanation.

Worse than that, the whole article is littered with some of the most bigoted comments towards brothers in Christ who are faithfully fighting sin, and serving God. Here is just a tasting:

Unfortunately, American evangelicals have another demographic concern: The ratio of devoutly Christian young women to men is far from even. Among evangelical churchgoers, there are about three single women for every two single men. This is the elephant in the corner of almost every congregation—a shortage of young Christian men.

Try counting singles in your congregation next Sunday. Evangelicals make much of avoiding being unequally yoked, but the fact that there are far more spiritually mature young women out there than men makes this bit of advice difficult to follow. No congregational program or men’s retreat in the Rocky Mountains will solve this. If she decides to marry, one in three women has no choice but to marry down in terms of Christian maturity. Many of the hopeful ones wait, watching their late 20s and early 30s arrive with no husband. When the persistent longing turns to deep disappointment, some decide that they didn’t really want to marry after all.

Or what about this statement:

Men get the idea that they can indeed find the ideal woman if they are patient enough. Life expectancies nearing 80 years prompt many to dabble with relationships in their 20s rather than commit to a life of “the same thing” for such a long time. Men have few compelling reasons to mature quickly. Marriage seems an unnecessary risk to many of them, even Christians. Sex seldom requires such a steep commitment.

Again, such a statement betrays a kind of bigotry towards Christian men that can hardly be explained away as a mere slip of the tongue. He goes on further and says:

As a result, many men postpone growing up. Even their workplace performance is suffering: earnings for 25- to 34-year-old men have fallen by 20 percent since 1971, even after accounting for inflation. No wonder young women marry men who are on average at least two years older than they. Unfortunately, a key developmental institution for men—marriage—is the very thing being postponed, thus perpetuating their adolescence.

Ya, the key to development is a mere creation [marriage] and not the creator [the Holy Spirit]. And the reason for men not growing up is because they are not getting married. So, God is so impotent that his work is entirely dependent upon a mere creation, namely marriage. God the Father sent the Son to die for the sins of this single person, the Son dies in their place, and the Holy Spirit comes to apply that work to their life, but low and behold, the work of the Trinity is frustrated because he needs an almighty creation to make his work effective, namely marriage. I can’t believe that people have not thought through what an insult these kinds of statements are to the cross of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

While I don’t agree with Amir Larijani on the issue of marriage as a cure for sexual sin, he is very competent in the field of economics, and has taken both Regnerus’ bigoted statements towards single men, and his sloppy economic reasoning to task here. I would highly recommend that you read this to see how his interpretation of these facts are so strongly bigoted and biased against single men that one wonders why it is that he has not been approached by his elders about these statements, and called upon to repent. Hence, we have a man who is in open and unrepentant rebellion against God for slander towards his brothers in Christ. Any of these statements above towards single men in the church would be enough to show this bigotry beyond any reasonable doubt.

However, that is not the end of it. Mark Regnerus also participated in the video Demographic Winter [see 34:20]. If you want to see the attitude these kinds of people have towards single men, just simply start listening to this video at about 18:40:

Ya, I read Maxim magazine…Not! Right now I am reading a college textbook on Neuroscience, as I am seeking to understand the way in which the brain processes language. I just got finished reading Yan Huang’s textbook on Pragmatics, and am seeing if I can review Biochemistry [which is very important in understanding neurotransmitters], as well as obtain a textbook on historical linguistics. But, ya, I play video games for two hours [actually, I don’t even currently own a TV, although I am getting a used TV to use as a monitor for my laptop and I-Pod], and I also have no aspirations [even though I am applying to a doctoral program in linguistics]. Ooops, I guess I must not fit their mold! I am sorry to be so sarcastic in my tone, but it is amazing to me the bigotry that people like this display for brothers and sisters in Christ. They are more than willing to slander someone who is unmarried simply to suit their agenda. Regnerus is not the only one out there who does that; there seems to be an entire sector of Christianity that makes such an idol out of marriage, family, and, especially men, that they get angry when young men do not do what *they* want them to do. Thus, they resort to insults such as “child men.” Of course, what should we expect when these people place the finite, limited institution of marriage above the creator of marriage?

Now, all of this should be more than enough to totally destroy Regnerus’ credibility. Simply quoting that article by Regnerus should show him to be a hedonist, and a bigot towards single men, and simple pointing out the kinds of statements made in the program I posted above should likewise point out the utter bigotry that Regnerus has for single men. As far as I am concerned, because of his hedonistic views of sexuality, and his slander of brothers in Christ, I do not even consider Regnerus to be a Christian. He needs to be called upon to repent of these things by the Christian community, and be restored to the body of Christ.

Hence, as you can see, I harbor no sympathy for Mark Regnerus, as I do not even believe he is orthodox. However, what does it say about our culture when they attack Mark Regnerus by pointing to a study he did on homosexuality and lesbianism? Regnerus apparently studied homosexuality and lesbianism, and found that, in general, there are major negative consequences when children do not grow up in families with both a mother and father. Regnerus’ research was consequently upheld by the university, who found that he used “sufficiently scholarly methods.”

I really have to laugh at the fact that this study even needed to be done. I remember as a child when kids would brag about their dad “My dad can do this” or “My dad can do this.” Can you imagine these children then turning to Jimmy who has two mothers and saying, “What can your dad do, Jimmy?” The kinds of stabilizing effects that men and women have on each other during the child raising process is enough to recognize that, in general, a child without those stabilizing influences is going to not turn out as well as a child whose parents have those stabilizing influences. I don’t even know why we had to waste money on this study.

However, what I think is interesting is that when the culture criticizes Regnerus, they don’t go for the easiest way to criticize him [his hedonism and his slander of brothers in Christ], but the go after his views on homosexuality. What is so amazing about all of this is that those views are far easier to defend than his views expressed in the above article! Homosexuality, as I have said before, is a physical attack upon another person. I have posted this before, but it bears repeating. This is from a doctor who has done extensive work on homosexuals:

I know well the medical and surgical pathology directly related to the sexual practices typical of active homosexuals, particularly anal intercourse (sodomy) and oral intercourse (fellatio)…. Sexual practices typical of homosexuals can affect the oral cavities, lungs, penis, prostate, bladder, anus, perianal areas outside of the rectum, rectum, colon, vagina, uterus, pelvic area, brain, skin, blood, immune system, and other body systems…. While none of the following practices is unique to homosexuals, they are nonetheless typical…. Most common is anal intercourse (sodomy)….Foreign objects are often used in order to produce a different erotic sensation or to instigate a more violent sexual activity (sadomasochism). Objects that I have removed from the rectum and lower bowel include corn cobs, light bulbs, vibrators, soda bottles, and varied wooden sticks. “Fisting” is when a fisted hand is inserted into the rectum, sometimes as far as the elbow, which produces varied sexually exciting sensations, strongly linking eroticism with pain…. Oral intercourse (fellatio) is when the tongue is used to lick or tickle the outlet of the rectum for sexual excitement, arousing, or foreplay. Needless to say, bacteria may contaminate and infect the mouth. One other sexual practice is “Water Sports,” in which urinating into the mouth or rectum is used as a sexual stimulant. Physical damage to the rectum may occur because of some of these practices….There is an antinatural activity being performed when the rectum is the recipient of a penis or foreign object. Because of this activity, cracking of the tissue (fissuring), open sores (ulcers), boils (abscesses), and other infections can occur in the skin of the surrounding tissues…. Persistent anal-rectal sexual activity can lead to various pre-cancerous lesions such as Bowen’s disease and Kaposi’s sarcoma. Whenever tissues are traumatized, cracked, or abraded, they are vulnerable to bacterial infection. [cited in Gudel, Joseph P. Is Homosexuality a Healthy Lifestyle? Christian Research Institute. 2009]

I mean, I cannot but read that, and simply choke at the disgusting nature of it. It is like reading a story of a woman poisoning her husband slowly over time. Homosexuality is a life destroying act, and relates as much to the command “thou shall not murder” as it does “thou shall not commit adultery.” It is so amazing that anyone created in the image of God can look at what is written here and say, “Ya, that is morally acceptable, and Regnerus’ statement that children who are parented by people who are involved in such murderous behavior are less likely to turn out well than people who have both a mother and father is horrible.” What kind of a culture have we become when hedonism and slander are okay, but saying that the above kind of behavior is wrong is terrible?

I think what it says is that people are so committed to their personal peace, that they are willing to defend the indefensible. They are willing to say that breaking their personal peace is worse than slander of other people and utter and utter and complete hedonistic language. When personal peace becomes this important, it is no wonder our society is in the mess it is in.

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