Postmodern “things”: toxic masculinity, feminism, transgenderism, gayness. Okay, enough of that. I am writing this post on my iPad. How do I know when a word has really become a “thing”, as in trend, or cultural phenomenon, when your iPad or iPhone fills in the rest of a word you haven’t used before, like I type toxic and among the next three suggestions is masculinity. I have read all kinds of opinions on what a man or woman is, how they act or should, how to define real masculinity, in particular. Among the myriad opinions and assertions, I have not seen the one I consider most important, so here goes.
What is the imprimatur of a real man? I would include women, but since I am a man, rendering opinions on what a real woman is, is presumptuous in the extreme. That’s a good excuse to avoid the controversy. I grew up with the expression, “he’s a man’s man”, which did not imply homosexuality nor being kept or enslaved by another man. What it meant is you look at this guy, the way he walks, how he talks, how he dresses and is groomed, and both his gender and his sexuality is unambiguous. He is a man, and heterosexual! He’s also a leader, but in a quiet, self confident way, speaks few words, most of them weighty, and his counsel is sought and listened to, like Joshua. “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14-15. No equivocation, a man’s man.
Does that ideal still exist today? I don’t know, there’s sure a lot of bluster out there, along with sexual confusion, metrosexual style, and so forth. My male friends have many similar physical traits, from the way they dress and wear their hair–those who still have any left–to how they walk–fast, eyes front, goin’ somewhere baby! That’s not to say I would avoid friendships with men who look or act more effeminate, a word I refuse to define, but what I care most about is character, and I assert that one of the best ways to judge character is the ability to render judgment impartially. Meaning what? Some examples will serve best. Years ago, I ran a business in which two of my partners had a dispute. One of them was a close friend and the best man at my wedding, the other I was always clashing with. They each presented their case, solicited my judgment and agreed to abide by my decision. I knew my friend was wrong, and that deciding against him would turn him and his wife against me, and also knew that the other person would continue to argue with my every decision, regardless of deciding in her favor. Impartiality required putting all personal considerations aside and rendering right judgment, no matter how unpopular my decision.Can you, have you, put aside personal feelings and preferences, and demonstrated impartiality when asked to judge? Can you weigh the merits of the case alone, rather than merits of the people (which is to say, how they have treated you, or how you feel about them) or their personalities? The main reason our culture today, and western culture in general, is “under assault”, or appears to have “lost it’s way”, like a body with a severely compromised immune system, is that the institutions which should uphold our culture have long ago lost their nerve and “bowed the knee” to popularity. Immediately, questions come up. Which institutions? What do institutions and culture have to do with each other? What’s wrong with popularity? Glad you asked. Remember this principle: Culture is downstream from religion. In the United States, the widespread misconception about “separation of church and state” is one of the culprits. Those who won our independence from Britain, and wrote both the Declaration of Independence and our constitution, as well as all the original state constitutions, never wrote separation of church and state into any documents. They understood that the state should not fund nor favor any particular religion or denomination. That principle is the basis of the first amendment. Look it up! That true understanding has been corrupted into keeping any expression of religion out of the “public square”. The Christian Church itself has been complicit by the failure of the courage to preach the Bible instead of accommodating preaching and teaching to the desire for popularity with the culture. Popularity kills principles and truth, that’s what’s wrong with popularity. The church is the main institution for preserving the culture, but has failed. So has the press and the government. Instead of defining what is normal and desirable, the church, the press, and the government have buckled to the yelping, whining leftist pack to become complicit in their assault on normal and desirable. My post is about impartiality, so what was that two paragraph rant about? This: Being able to render truly impartial judgment, and thus showing how to “man up” (women can also, its just a phrase and you know what it means), means rejecting the lure of popularity and standing for principles and truth. My rant was a quick exposition of how popularity poisons.