I would like to begin my first post by making a few disclaimers. First of all, I am no scholar, nothing I say carries much more weight than simply being my own humble opinion. I have no formal education other than high school-which hardly counts for much- and trade school for luthiery. That being said, my writing will undoubtedly be rattled with poor grammar/syntax and disjointed thoughts. It is my hope, however, that my posts will, perhaps, tingle your philosophical and theological neural lobes. All-that-to-say, if you have any problems with what I have to say (Dan) you know where to find me. So there!
Now, my first post will be an anecdote on my experiences with the modern- particularly evangelical- church and heterosexuality. It all begins at Christ Church Kirkland in Washington state. At first it seemed to be a “normal” evangelical church. However, soon after I mentioned my long-term-lady-friend-of-the-time I was approached by several members of the congregation. They politely (I must stress politely, as was the case) brought to my attention the practice of “courtship” rather than dating. I dare assume that most of the patron readers of this blog (I do hate that word) are, at least, vaguely familiar with the concept of said “courtship”.
Here I will pause to briefly define courtship as I have come to understand it so that those of you whom are unfamiliar can have a foggy idea of what I’m writing about, and so that those of you whom are familiar can disagree with me. As I see it, courtship is a format of building a sexual relationship with a heavier emphasis on the community rather than the individuals in question. The relationship is held firmly accountable to family, close friends, and pastoral staff. The goal is the build a stronger foundation (let alone see if there is room for foundation) for marriage, while maintaining the emotional and moral integrity of the immediate parties (lovely little twenty something evangels). That’s my bare-bones summary of courtship.
With that said, I eagerly took in all information on the subject, particularly in regards to CCK’smethods of courtship. I learned several things: if a woman catches one’s eye, he must first present his feelings to the female’s father: he must also discuss the prospect with the pastors: after he has been granted to the privilege of speaking with the lady, the couple is presented to the entire congregation in a joyous celebration. All this raised several flags in my [liberal] head. Women are apparently incapable of making life decisions. So their father, but not their mother, makes decisions for them. A young suitor must essentially go to a girl’s dad and say (in a roundabout way) “I want to use your daughter as a vessel for my genetic material”. I don’t care if you’re St. Christopher, that’s never fun. After all this, the whole congregation is celebrating your interest, mean while, you have not even said more than “how do you do?” to the dear girl. For all you know she could have as much depth as a Paris Hilton.
Okay, regarding this example as rather extraneous and out of the norm, it still seems to me that dating in the modern church is nearly impossible. There is far too much stress on gender roles, as far as I’m concerned. Women, seem to be degraded on a social level, but also raised to act like princesses. It’s nothing short of objectifying our female counter parts. I really do not want to date a Christian female if she feels less than myself. I kinda like women who will give me a piece of their mind and get offended if I tell them what to do.
Maybe I need more of an argument to backup my claim that the modern church still objectifies women. However, for sake of not being too lengthy I will leave my thoughts off here. Tear into me as you see fit.
-The disgruntled Alan Payne Snyder has set his feverishly typing fingers hereto