I was feeling a little bit cranky at the time, and I commented:
Masculine Christianity? Feminine Christianity? Look, I'm not a Christian, but even asking the question seems to me to be profoundly missing the point. What I'd most like to see, myself, is a humane Christianity.This may not have been the most tactful way to describe what I've seen of the "Masculine Christianity" movement, but it seems to have struck a nerve: an awful lot of people liked that comment. And I figure that anything I write which gets that sort of attention probably ought to be reproduced here on the Blog o' Doom, so here you go.
Every time I hear someone start talking about how Christianity needs to be more 'manly' or 'masculine' - or, by contrast, less effeminate - it seems to come at the cost of basic politeness and human decency, of empathy and forgiveness. It's gotten to the point where I assume that anyone who says that basically just wants permission to be more of a prick than the traditional reading of the Gospels says that they should be (i.e. not at all). The more of this "manly" Christianity I see, the more I'm convinced that it's just a cover for bad behavior, motivated by a misguided longing for a certain sort of machismo that Jesus neither endorsed nor practiced.