Teach Your Boys to Think of Others

(Language Warning.  What’s in our hearts will come out of our mouths, and today’s post features a few people with hearts full of rage…)

One of the things that gets repeated by feminists fairly often is, “We must teach boys how to respect women and control their impulses.”

Yesterday, the women making this point were mad because they were asked to cover their breasts at the city pool while breastfeeding. Many people mentioned the teenaged boys who would be surprised to catch an eyeful of a stranger’s boob when it’s not supposed to be a nude beach.

Here are examples of the responses:

7.14.19 Men Will Be Attracted (edited) (2)

7.14.19 Men Will Be Attracted (edited) (3)

I totally agree with the ladies saying it’s a mother’s responsibility to teach her boys how to respect others. But, I think we’ve forgotten that parents teach those lessons by MODELING THEM.

We must PRACTICE what we want them to learn.

Who’s modeling behavior that teaches a boy he is entitled to a woman’s body?

Is it the mothers showing their infants/toddler’s how to cover themselves in public? Or is it those who don’t believe in breastfeeding rules because their kids should get whatever they want “on demand.”

Who’s teaching their sons that only their perceived needs matter?

The mothers showing consideration for the other people in a room? Or the ones saying–point blank–they don’t care what anyone else thinks or feels?

7.14.19 Revenge Nursing (for blog post) (2) (edited)

7.13.19 Revenge Nursing (2) (Edited)

Which mothers are teaching their sons to respect personal boundaries?

Is it the mothers who demonstrate “modesty” and SELF-respect?

Or is it the ones who discover that their actions are causing someone to feel uncomfortable–and so they GO EVEN FURTHER, to flex their power?*

7.13.19 Revenge Nursing (3) (Edited)

7.14.19 Who Teaches Boys to Be Selfish Again (3) (Edited)

7.14.19 Who Teaches Boys to Be Selfish Again (2) (Edited)

7.14.19 Revenge Nursing (for blog post) (1) (edited)

If a man shared increasingly revealing pictures of his body on public bulletin boards, not just despite but BECAUSE people told him they didn’t like it, we’d all be creeped out… How is that not sexual harrassment?

It’s completely unacceptable.

And it wouldn’t suddenly become okay if the dude put a baby on his lap. In fact, using that innocent child as a defense of his creepy behavior would make it even worse.

So, I agree that it’s up to parents to teach their children what is acceptable and what isn’t. It’s heartbreaking that so many beautiful and natural things are being corrupted by unmasked selfishness.   Neither the man who views women as sex objects nor the woman who uses her children for attention are making the world a better place.

We MUST teach our boys not to be self-focused and entitled.

We MUST teach our boys they can’t have everything they want, on demand.

We MUST teach them to have RESPECT for their fellow humans and SELF-CONTROL, even when they are tempted to give into their animal instincts and force their will on others.

And–in exactly the same way–we must teach these things to our daughters.  To borrow a comment from a certain Anonymous Poster up above, “If you have a daughter who fails to cover her body in public, you’ve obviously failed as a mother to teach her a) how to respect herself and b) how to respect others.” (That goes double if she swears like a sailor every time she’s caught behaving badly instead of taking responsibility and correcting it.) “I hope you never allow your daughters to go to the beach.”

The world needs mothers who are willing to teach their children how to avoid being aggressive, self-centered monsters… which we will do by avoiding becoming aggressive, self-centered monsters ourselves.

*—–*

(*Note: I strongly considered publishing these pictures and comments with names attached.  After all, the women posted these things publicly, expecting strangers to see them, and they insist there is nothing to be ashamed of. But I finally decided to protect their identities for simplicity and my own peace of mind…  This post is about criticizing the toxic ATTITUDE–it’s not about pin-pointing the specific people who have it.)

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If I Vote for Trump, I Will OVERCOME My Fear

Yesterday I examined an article by David French which stated that Evangelicals are supporting Trump because they are afraid of losing political power and they see Trump as a Savior.
I argued that there are at least a few people voting for Trump for reasons other than “fear.” But I didn’t talk much about why I’m considering switching my vote from third party back to Trump in the next election…
——-
These last few years have taught me a lot. Specifically, the entire Brett Kavanaugh spectacle taught me a lot. The fact that he was a well-respected, highly-accomplished, family man with a solid history of fair rulings…. until THE MOMENT he was nominated for the Supreme Court and bogus accusers started crawling out of the woodwork… that was the start of a pretty big shift for me.
Suddenly I realized, “Oh–I see–when we nominate really strong Christians, we’re shouted down about the Separation of Churst and State and told this isn’t a Theocracy… and, then, when we nominate moderate guys, who do their jobs well and without preaching, THEN the opponents will just make up stuff.”
So, why did I let my FEAR of those people calling me a “hypocrite” determine who I voted for?
Why did I feel any need to explain myself to people who will throw mud either way?
And that’s when I started to ask myself, “Who would I elect, if I wasn’t concerned with being able to brag that I did the different and brave thing by voting third party?”
Believe me, it has been fun telling the triggered Atheists that I didn’t vote for Trump, when they find out I’m a Christian and automatically assume I did. But, the truth is, I once said I would even consider voting FOR AN ATHEIST, if he or she had a team of people and a platform that I thought would lead to more freedom and less government. So, voting for a Trumpesque politician, whose personal life doesn’t match mine, never was completely off the table.
In the end, the biggest reason I decided to vote for a third party in 2016 was to remind the Republicans that they can’t count on my support just because they’ve had it in the past.
And I still stand by that message.
Just because a clown has an “R” next to his name doesn’t mean he’s a shoe-in, because many of us (“evangelicals?”) have no problem taking our votes elsewhere.
But, as my views shift from “Libertarian-Leaning” toward a belief that the moral decline in our culture will require the government to act more and more as a leash for evil, now the types of leaders I consider good for the job are beginning to shift, too. I’m starting to recognize the usefulness of people I once would have dismissed as “clowns.”
Anyway, my point is that David French may be right that “fear” is motivating some Trump supporters, because they believe that any other President would drive the country literally to death.
But it was also fear of social repercussions which motivated many Christians NOT to vote for Trump. I was one of those Christians.
Perhaps I will take David French’s advise and have more faith in the next election…
Maybe I will conquer my fear of looking like a Trump Apologist and vote for the guy whose team has done a pretty good job.

Why “Evangelicals” Voted for Trump

Can you even remember the last time the term “evangelical” was used to describe a GOOD trend among Church People? I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what an “evangelical” is–strictly speaking–because no one has nice things to say about them.

It seems to me that no sane person would ever call himself an Evangelical, because it’s such an obvious insult. It’s an unfortunate label that gets assigned to you by critics when you do something racist or hypocritical.

Most of the time political commentators use the word “evangelical” to refer to “Christians behaving badly.” (Just as they use the term “Millennial” when they want to refer to young people behaving badly.)

“Evangelicals” are the Christians In Name Only… they’re the low class, White Trash, Bible-Thumpers…

They’re the Trump Fan Boys.

I haven’t actually asked this dude what he believes, but you can bet that someone from HuffPo would call him out as an “Evangelical”:

If THAT GUY is who David French had in mind when he wrote his article about “evangelicals,” then I guess that’s fine. (I prefer to call people like THAT GUY “Boomers.” And you can see more posts from Boomers, both real and satirical, on this social media group: “For God So Loved the World That he Gave His Only Trump.”)

But, I don’t think the majority of people who voted for Trump are as off the rails as “Boomers” like THAT GUY.

That’s why it annoys me to see headlines like David French’s: Evangelicals Are Supporting Trump out of Fear, Not Faith
Again, maybe I’m misunderstanding what he means by “evangelicals.” Maybe my friends and family who voted for Trump don’t count. Or maybe they’re not SUPPORTERS, in French’s estimation, unless they’re enthusiastic cheerleaders of every, single thing Trump does.
Maybe you’re not a Trump Supporting Evangelical unless you sound like this person:


But the real-life people I know who voted for Trump don’t seem to be “grasping at their fading influence by clinging to [Trump],” as David French describes. Nor are they “acting as if they need Trump to protect” them.

French says that these Trump Supporting Evangelicals have VETO POWER, which means there are a lot of them… But the only person he mentioned by name was Eric Metaxas, who said in 2016:

“It’s a fact that if Hillary Clinton is elected, the country’s chance to have a Supreme Court that values the Constitution – and the genuine liberty and self-government for which millions have died – is gone. Not for four years, or eight, but forever.”

A little hyperbolic, yes.

But who gave David French the authority to judge Eric Metaxas’ heart motivation as “fearful?” What makes him so sure it is “raw fear” which causes Metaxas to urge his fellow Christians against Hillary Clinton–but it’s not also raw fear to warn against Donald Trump? What’s the difference?

(Indeed, David French says that the church’s witness is at risk of “degrading further,” and that, “the church has lost its way.” I hope he has the faith to realize God is still in control, even if Trump is renominated.)

——–

All that to say, I don’t know who these fearful, Trump-loving, morally-compromising “evangelicals” are…. but, my friends and family who voted for Trump aren’t quaking in their boots and being kept up at night with worry.

They are fairly reasonable (and mostly literate) citizens, who can speak for themselves about the process they use to cast a vote, and they are NOT wearing MAGA hats and playing defense against the “Dumbocraps.”

(Not like this guy:)

The more people confuse my intelligent, stable loved ones with the Trump Worshipping psychos, the LESS I want to consider voting for a third party (again)…

Calling people faithless “evangelicals” has almost become like calling them “racists” or “misogynists” or “white supremacists” back in 2016–which is precisely the type of vague, baseless criticism that lead to Trump’s election.

Lots of people who voted for Trump are NOT morally-compromising, power-craving, easily-influenced morons. If you don’t find out what DOES motivate them, then you’re never going to win their vote.

You might try asking someone who voted for Trump, individually, what lead to their decision, instead of speaking about them like they have a hive mind. (Especially when you never have anything positive to say about the Hive… I’m serious when I say that criticism of “evangelicals” looks an awful lot like ‘raw fear’ that they will re-elect He Who Shall Not Be Named. EEEEEK!)

Saying that “evangelicals” are voting for Trump because of “fear” is exactly like saying “Millenials” voted for Obama because they wanted free stuff.

(Except, you often get away with stereotyping Christians because they’re good at saying, “Oh, you’re probably right… I’ve been convicted… Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me, even though I’m a terrible, terrible sinner.”)

But I’m not okay with these generalities, when they result in unfair characterizations of people I actually know. I’m not okay with articles telling me what “evangelicals” are doing, when I love people who call themselves Evangelicals, and I can see their actions for myself, thanks.

What Christians and Gay People Have in Common: Millennials Don’t Like Us

Atheists love to quote statistics about Millennials leaving churches “in droves,” supposedly because Christianity is a horrible religion, and the Millennials aren’t going to take it any more.

“It’s an ancient, irrelevant superstition that will be totally extinct in just a few years!” they insist gleefully.

religion is dying western world

To hear them tell it, the young people are always right.

If a millennial doesn’t like going to church, it’s the church’s fault…

The christians need to adjust their beliefs or be less judgemental, or simply do a better job giving young people what they want.

“Young people are finally figuring out that what they’ve been taught by religious parents is a joke!” I’ve been told this…dozens of times.

6.30.19 Leaving Church in Droves (#1)

So what does that say about the new polls that indicate young people are less and less tolerant of LGBT individuals?

Lol.

Check this out: “Results of the LGBTQ survey are alarming!”

“Young people are growing less tolerant of LGBTQ individuals, a jarring turn for a generation traditionally considered embracing and open, a survey released Monday shows.

The number of Americans 18 to 34 who are comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people slipped from 53% in 2017 to 45% in 2018 – the only age group to show a decline…”

The article goes on to theorize that millennials have been brainwashed by a hateful culture because they are very “impressionable.”

But that’s not what I’ve heard about the amazing intuitive powers of American young people!  I’ve heard they are simply good at recognizing bullsh*t, and they don’t feel the need to agree with you unless you’ve demonstrated a good reason for it!

I’ve heard millennials simply know what they want–and, they’re just waiting for you to ask, so they can help you do better.

Millennials don’t want to spend time hanging around Christians AND they don’t want to spend time with gay, trans, or queer folks…  Interesting, huh?

Just for the record, there have been HUNDREDS of articles (like this one) written about how churches can win back the millennials, by being more loving and more sincere and less awful.

If anyone from the LGBT community wants to read those articles to get the Millennials to like them, I’d be happy to pass a few to you!

😉

No need to thank me. But you’re welcome.

Together, both Christians and Gay/Trans People can learn how to win the approval of America’s youth.

Your Counselors are Killing You

Dear Suffering One,

I see you.
You’re asking for help in a hundred different ways…

The things you say–on your bad days, yes, but even on your good days–which say loud and clear that you’re hurting and searching for answers.

You talk about your many physical aches and pains, or your depression and anxiety, which are cropping up again.

Or you post dozens of songs and quotes and pictures, to which you’re clinging for a bit of hope. (Things like, “I’ll get through this” or “I’m a fighter” or “God’s got me.”)

Other times you’re very clear that you’re struggling:

Not Okay

Suffering One, I want to help you.

But, when I see the type of counsel you’re running toward, I’m just not sure how to intervene.   Quite frankly, I’m afraid your counselors are killing you, but that sounds so negative, doesn’t it?

That’s bad, because those deadly advisors have taught you to shut out the “negative” people who question anything you don’t want questioned.   “GET RID OF THE TOXIC PEOPLE,” they say.

“Just keep consuming what we’re feeding you.”

How can I help you get better when you think you’re already getting the treatment you need?

—–

There’s an eating disorder called “Pica,” in which people crave non-food items.

Hair?  Dirt?  Rocks? Paint chips?

A person with Pica wants to eat those things.

Here’s a lady who appeared on the show “My Strange Addiction,” because she couldn’t get enough toilet paper.

I can’t help thinking of this lady, when I see some of the “advice” y’all are validating on social media.

Stuff about remembering that you’re “enough”…

Stuff about how to be less of a “people-pleaser”…

How to diagnose all of your exes as “narcissists” and set up “boundaries” so that you can surround yourself with “supportive friends” rather than the “toxic” kind…

Suffering person, I have to tell you: that’s a whole lot of toilet paper you’re eating. 

So often, those encouraging quotes are paint chips and balls of hair which you’re devouring because no one wants to cross your boundaries by saying “WHOA, GROSS!”

I’m afraid you’re just going to call me a “hater,” just like your toilet-paper-eating counselors have said.

Too many of you suffering, broken, grieving, hurting, traumatized individuals have built walls around yourself, so that no one can get in except other hurting people…

…but now you’re in there, sharing paint chips with your friends, and all of you are wondering why you’re not okay. 

What can I do?  Can you even hear what I’m saying right now–through the wall?   Or have you already dismissed everything I’m trying to explain, because it doesn’t taste like Charmin?

How can I help you recognize healthy food?


 

Financial advisor Dave Ramsey often says, “Don’t take financial advice from broke people.” He gets frustrated because clients come to him, asking for help, and then they refuse to give up the lifestyle that led to being broke in the first place.

He writes:

“Taking financial advice from broke people is like taking dieting advice from fat people. In other words, it’s dumb.”

The point should be obvious: Show me where your advice comes from, and I’ll show you where YOU will be in the near future. 

So many confused and hurting people are allowing OTHER confused and hurting counselors to mentor them.

I actually know a Christian who recently shared an article about recovering from childhood trauma.  The article came from a website called “Let’s Queer Things Up.”  (That alone ought to give a discerning Christian something to think about.)

Furthermore, within the 2300-word opus, the blog author put himself in a position to assist other people with their trauma solely because HE is dealing with trauma himself.   Openly admitting to multiple patterns of unhealthy behavior, including addictions and eating disorders, and he eventually writes this:

“I’m sharing this because, holy shit, my friends, the number of traumatic relationships I’ve thrown myself into — professionally, personally, romantically — to get stuck in this cycle, with my self-esteem pulverized, has made my heart so heavy.”

I’d like to speak with anyone who thinks this guy is in a position to help Christians with their “self-esteem.”   But it seems to me that he presumes to be a teacher (James 3:1), because he comes from a culture that says the best counselors have “walked a mile in your shoes.”

(Some of you have found that to be a shareable meme!)

walk mile my shoes

 

The problem is, the “walk in my shoes” rule requires your advisors to come stand where you are–in the pain and confusion–which is the opposite of wisely choosing advisors who are walking in the shoes you would like to wear someday.

You’re taking hiking advice from people wearing your busted-up boots.

You’re taking spiritual advice from Spiritually Broke people.   

I know those Spiritually Broke people are calling their methods “healing” or “therapy” or “empathy.” But, really, they can’t offer anything other than toilet paper*.

(*The author of the above article endorses Pete Walker, M.A.–to whom he gave glowing praise for shaping his thinking. It turns out, Mr. Walker’s “self-help” books are based on the tenants of Taoism, which is an ancient, godless philosophy that contains all the nutritional value of 2-ply.)

…but there’s no point in delving further, if you’re more concerned about having a wallow-buddy to commiserate with than a successful person who can teach you how to grow.

Suffering, traumatized people, my heart goes out to you.  I’d really love to support your recovery.  But, if you crave unhealthy things, I simply can’t in good conscience give you what you’re asking.  Trust me, I get no pleasure for standing by helplessly–immovably– while you beg for more of what you’re getting from Let’s Queer Things Up.

All I can do is ask God for Wisdom on your behalf: asking Him to change our appetites and lead us in the path of righteousness, so that both of us can walk more loyally in HIS shoes.

I ask God to supernaturally intervene and protect us from unqualified counselors, who are only dishing up more and more of what is killing us…   

 

How to Empower a Young Girl

Last week, my dad wrote a letter to girls who let their boyfriends paw all over them…   

It was probably tough for some young ladies to hear.  But, actually, it was a very encouraging and EMPOWERING message if you know where real, lasting confidence comes from.

We empower people–both men and women–by giving them the opportunity to take ownership of their decisions. We empower them by giving them the tools to change their mistakes. 

Unfortunately, there are people who struggle with this truth, because holding people accountable feels kind of mean.  It feels like “ganging up” on girls to write a letter directly to them…

Sometimes empathetic Christians want to stand up for the girls and shield them from the empowerment process, because they mistakenly see it as some type of punishment.

These people may say something like this:

Now, it’s important to understand that I’m not sharing this screenshot (unedited) in order to PUNISH Jenna.   I’m sharing it because taking ownership for the things we say/write in public is one step in the Empowerment Process.  If I’m misunderstanding or misjudging Jenna, then I am accountable for that.  It makes me a stronger woman to dialog with people and identify disagreements and to defend the truth to the best of my ability…

…and, when I’m wrong, it makes me stronger to admit it and apologize. 

But, by the same token, Jenna is accountable for the incongruent statements she makes about “shame,”  and she is accountable for devaluing the “Letter to Girls” by changing the subject toward a topic that she likes better.  (By the way, my dad DID address the boys in the original post, and he also wrote this follow-up letter to appease those who found his focus unbalanced.)

Anyway, I’m passionate about helping women like Jenna start to explore the question of where REAL empowerment comes from…because I worry that her interest in “Boys-as-Intiators” ends up weakening the girls/women in the long run.

She’s certainly not doing it intentionally!  But it’s not helpful to introduce words like “shame” into the conversation when a teen girl is being given a Dad Talk.  In that moment, remember that the Dad genuinely cares about the girl, and his confidence in her intelligence is motivating him.  For Heaven’s sake, THANK HIM for loving the girls enough to pour wisdom into them… don’t get in the way!

Again–it’s important to be clear:  my goal is to give both Jenna and Ashley the opportunity to DEFEND their position, or to CLARIFY their comments, or to CORRECT their view, if they no longer stand behind their original points.

But, if they are unable to do that, I suspect they are still in need of the very same Dad Talk they had a problem with…  Ironic, huh?

It truly burdens me that so many Christian women lack confidence in their beliefs…but it’s hard to help them understand that real confidence comes from being challenged over and over and over.  (Real confidence doesn’t come from asking the pastor to talk to your boyfriend for you.)

It’s frustating because insecure women sometimes lash out and/or they delete their comments.

Sometimes they even block me.

But very few are willing to learn how to take criticism and RISE to a challenge. 

If we looked at disagreement as an opportunity to GROW, it would change the world.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of women who currently feel weak and uncertain and easily-intimidated would start to come out of their shells…knowing that whether they are wrong or their opponent is wrong, the most important thing is seeking the Truth together.

I wish I had the opportunity to tell Jenna and Ashley that we are all on the same team. We’re daughters of God and sisters in Christ, who have no reason to feel squeamish when someone tries to correct us.  In fact, the Bible says a wise person LOVES correction and LOVES the opportunity to learn.

Instead of defending young girls when they are being given a lesson–we should THANK the teachers who are brave enough to empower them in a culture which calls that “sexist.”

Instead of BLOCKING a Christian sister who says, “You’re absolutely wrong about this” perhaps thank her for the chance to learn something new?

I know it’s hard.  Actually, getting along with people who think differently is a miracle of the Holy Spirit! (No joke.)

But maybe…just maybe…the next time we see a man writing a letter to the BOYS, we will have the perspective to say, “I certainly hope you plan to write a letter to the girls, as well.  They are capable of making decisions and learning from their mistakes as well. Give them the gift of correction!”

Please, please, respect women and girls enough to hold them accountable for the things they say and do.   They will be stronger for it.

On Vulnerability and Becoming a Grief Sage

My sisters and I recorded a podcast a few days ago in which we discussed grief and emotional vulnerability.  The conversation actually started the Sunday before we recorded, when my dad preached a sermon about using discernment when we’re online because we’re absolutely bombarded by pretty-sounding lies:

5.21.19 You are Perfect

So I wanted to ask my sisters whether they agreed with me about the group of individuals who tend to be the MOST likely to accept and then repeat Pretty Lies: people who are grieving.

Specifically, we talked about Grieving Mothers.

Now, I need to stop here, just like we did in the podcast, and list my “credentials.”  I have experienced deep, life-altering pain.  I don’t have a vendetta against grieving mothers, because I have been a grieving mother.  And I have spent countless hours talking with my two sisters while they were traveling through the rawest parts of their own grief–whether it was the torture of imagined tragedies conjured up by postpartum depression, or the real-life loss of two babies, we are no strangers to significant grief.

But what worries me is the way our culture tends to elevate and revere people who are suffering, WHILE THEY ARE IN THE THICK OF IT.  Conventional “wisdom” says we must listen–never questioning–whenever a grieving person comes to a Big Conclusion.

5.21.19 Grief Poem

When I see stuff like this being passed around, it worries me. I see a trend with the types of people who are absorbing and practicing this stuff, and it doesn’t seem to make the world a better place.

Many of these Grievers are getting exactly what they’re asking for: “Don’t ask me how I’m doing.” “Don’t say that time is a healer.”  “Don’t say it was God’s Will…”  etc, etc. They are getting all of the “support” they claim they need, and yet those individuals tend to become more demanding and more unlikable as time marches on…

Eventually we should ask ourselves if the “wisdom” we’re being taught by those who are still in the middle of their grief isn’t actually helping…?

My sisters agreed with the idea that grief doesn’t have a timeline, and sometimes it crops up years later when you’re not expecting it. I told them I understand , and I don’t expect anyone to “get over” the loss of a loved one.

But, my frustration comes from the power we give those who want to use their suffering as a Teaching License.  I’m fine with letting a person feel their emotions as long as necessary–but let’s notice the difference between asking “is this God’s will?” and declaring, “This didn’t happen for the best.”

Let’s not put hurting people in our cultural drivers’ seats, while they’re at their most vulnerable. Let’s not fail to recognize all the ways their suffering makes them susceptible to Pretty Lies. Let’s not defer to them, as the ones who know best what sort of counseling or advice they should be getting:

5.21.19 Things to Avoid

Now, at this point in the podcast recording, my dad said he actually AGREED that counselors are often too quick to provide answers, and it’s okay to just be with a person while they cry

He admitted that he didn’t know how to help while I was grappling with postpartum depression and suicidal thoughts, so he just listened...  

But, again, I had to point out that there’s a subtle difference between someone who is asking for help–and someone who wants you to get in line while they tell you everything their grief has taught them. (“Period.” “Full stop.” “No, I will not be taking questions, because I’m the Sad One, and what I say goes.”)

If the person grieving is still in the question-asking stage of their journey, it’s not necessary to “help” them do anything. They’re already processing things, exactly as they should be.  In fact, if you encourage them to KEEP asking questions, they will get around to questioning the Pretty Lies as well.  That’s a good thing!

But, when a person demands the final word because she believes that suffering gives her the right to construct her own Truth, she is in a dangerous place. 

A person who has been leveled by pain and is humbly questioning their old beliefs about God has a very different spirit from the one who bossily insists, “Don’t say this or this or this or that.”

When someone switches from questions about grief  to sweeping declarations about grief (like, “This wasn’t God’s Will”), they are looking for agreement.  When they start sharing lists of things they expect others to say and do, they are revealing that they want to be the Teacher…and they’re testing the loyalty of their Disciples.

We should not allow this to happen.  We need to understand that doubting and questioning serves a good purpose–but while a person is doubting and questioning, she isn’t in a position to teach.

It’s fine to be caught without an answer. But it’s not fine to stand up on a soapbox, pontificating about your Big Doubts, as if your questions themselves are Important Lessons you’ve been called to pass on to others.

Experiencing a change of perspective doesn’t automatically make someone a Wise Teacher with Divine things to say, as the rest of us gather around in rapt attention. Why do we LISTEN to those who admit they’re reeling and confused? Why do we raise them up like Enlightened Sages, instead of shielding them from the Pretty Lies, and gently guiding them as Seekers, which their tragedy has forced them to become?…

I mean, I think I know why. It’s because the people who are reeling and confused are most likely to screech, “YOU’RE SUPPORTING ME WRONG! DO IT THIS WAY INSTEAD!” and we don’t want to deal with that.

But this gives the Grief Sages the potential to become the most dangerous Lie-Spreaders in the culture.

Agree or disagree?