Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Debbie Maken Shows her True Colors
(And a challange to Debbie Maken)

I don't know if people involved with the Mandatory Marriage Movement saw the dialogue between Debbie Maken and a man with the screenname of "Farmer Tom," but it reveals some interesting things about Debbie Maken. First, Farmer Tom wrote the following:

Any attempt to get men back to church, ie older(traditional)forms of worship, without also teaching women to assume the traditional role of women, staying home to raise the children, not spending their day in the corporate world, is doomed to failure. You want men to be the traditional man while living out your feminist fantasies as the smart, sexy, career godess who can do it all. Good luck with that. Guys can find bimbos that believe that foolishness on every street corner, and in most churches.

Debbie Maken replied with:

Farmer Tom,

Did you even read the article???

Newsflash: Most women do not want careers, but to be wives and stay at home moms. This is even more true of Christian women.If you care to look at the research from the National Marriage Project, it is the men who are actually seeking "independent" women, so that they don't have to measure up as the family bread winner. The Popenoe/Whitehead surveys reveal that the men do not want that much "pressure," and that they view women who want to stay at home as "gold diggers." If you care to look at the writings of Danielle Crittenden, she advances another theory for females who maintain their careers after marriage-- it is because the liberal divorce laws ultimately inform them that their husbands may or may not be around, and that they need to keep up their competitive market "cred," almost like a divorce insurance policy. Most women have no choice today but to prepare themselves to be market producers because our climate is so anti-marriage and because most men cannot be counted on to bring relationships to a full orbed marriage.

Yet again, I find myself addressing a faulty assumption with a faulty conclusion. So, farmer Tom, spare me the condescension of most women being feminist, men-disrespecting, corporate ladder climbing, career lovers, somehow leaving hapless, well-intentioned men in a dusty haze of confusion. Get off your bottom, be a "man," so that a woman will actually be attracted to you, and quit making excuses.

However, Debbie made a HUGE mistake. Farmer Tom is already married. Here is what he wrote back:

First, an explanation. I have read your book, my wife and I gave it as a gift to several young ladies who graduated from high school or college this year. I agree with your thoughts on an "agent". I believe that the Biblical model shown us by Eliezer in his search to find a wife for Isaac is an excellent principle for Believers to follow. I am currently helping a young couple who are interested in finding a marriage partner in their search. Please understand that I agree with your description of the current problems in "christian" circles, regarding the lack of men who commit to marriage. I agree it is a problem. I said these same things in a two part review of your book I did on my blog.

While, indeed, Debbie Maken embarrassed herself by saying this, her response is even more telling:

But I do want to apologize if my initial reply came off as harsh. I am afraid I thought you were just one of those rude and contentious bachelors that spend more time nitpicking over my book, than investing in securing a wife. I am glad to know that you are married and have brought fruit into this world, and that our disagreement is actually small in the scope of our assessment of the situation. Let me respond to your substantive points soon.

Debbie Maken

Notice that Debbie Maken said that she will respond to his substantive points soon. What does that mean? That in her first response she had nothing of substance to say to Farmer Tom only because he was single! She says that he is only making excuses, and therefore, he is not actually engaging the issue.

Now we have a problem. If Farmer Tom is just out there making excuses, then how can you make a substantive response to his post? What does it mean to make a substantive response to excuses?

Secondly, I have a challange for Debbie Maken. Debbie wrote the following on this post:

Read the book and the blog. My personal focus is on helping ministers get back on track. The original version of my manuscript had a hard time finding a publishing home because it was twice as long as the book and more academic than how the book currently reads. The publishers thought and I concurred that it would be a good idea to make the book "more accessible" to large numbers of women and men, where the idea could take hold among Christian singles, and this in turn would then force the ministers to stop marveling at the emperor's nudity.


If we can get the help to make this work, I have a challange for you. If you think your book is so academic, and that Christian men are just "making excuses," then I challange you to a written debate on each of our blogs. Here is the catch. I would like to have this debate sent to John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, James Dobson, Joshua Harris, and Carolyn McCulley. If we are just "making excuses," and the "modern" view is so bad that you had to point out that "the emporor has no clothes," then let us see if some of the most respected theologians of our day can agree. Here is the thesis:

The position given in Debbie Maken's book Getting Serious about Getting Married about singleness and marriage is the Biblical position, and the position of the reformers.

Debbie would affirm, and I would deny.

Remember our little dialogue where even people who were in agreement with you were saying that you were unfair? Do you remember that you and "Darren Allan" had to resort to an absolutely reprehensible misreading of me, saying that I said that "Barrenness is like being a nerd in school?" Do you remember that you blatantly engaged in the ad hominem fallacy by trying to determine my motives, which even secular philosophers recognize is always fallacious? Trust me Debbie, you would not get away with that if we were to do this.

Finally, as I have demonstrated in my post on the reformer's view of marriage, the "scholarship" in your book is so dishonest that anyone who has access to the sources you cite from church history can just look up the sources and see that you have, misleadingly, left things out of quotations, and even altered quotes to make the reformers say what you want them to say. You had better believe that I will point that out in this debate. You had also better believe that you are going to have to do better then just citing particular passages and then giving an interpretation. I will challange you to interact with the scholarly literature at every turn. I will challange your interpretation at every turn.

Also, given the above facts, I have to wonder if the reason why your book could not find a publishing home is because of the fact that you think that a thousand foot notes equals a "scholarly" and "academic" book. Given your misuse of scholarly sources and your tendency to just quote a passage and just assume its meaning, I have to wonder if the real reason your book could not find a publishing home is because of the fact that most publishers are not going to be willing to publish such an error-filled book. I cannot prove that, but, given the fact that I am, myself, a part of the acadamy, I know that I would get a failing grade at my school, Concordia University Wisconsin, if I *ever* displayed the "scholarship" that you have. Trust me, I will point this out at ever turn in our dialogue.

Also, if you do to me what you did to Farmer Tom, you will lose easily. If you do not respond with substance, these church leaders will not take you seriously. On the other hand, I will point out that your position comes, not from the Bible, but from the Indian culture in which you were raised. I will point out that, time and time again, you read the Bible and the reformers through the lens of your Indian culture.

So, let's be honest. If we can get the people to make this work, you have absolutely no reason to decline this challange. You are trying to show that the single men who are against you are just making excuses, and are just little children who are not men. You also say you are trying to "help ministers get back on track." Well, you can do both of these if your analysis of the situation is correct. However, I will be interested to see if, indeed, you have the confidence in your convictions about single men, and about the church in general to even take up this challange, or whether you will just spew out more of that intimidation that you use to try to avoid the obvious conclusion that your book was a huge mistake, and that you have gotten in way over your head. I know that there are plenty of people interested in this issue that can make this work. Maybe you know some people as well. Either way you have no reason to turn this down. I can only think that a refusal from you will merely demonstrate what we have been saying all along is exactly correct...that your ad hominem attacks are simply something you use to hide the fact that you cannot answer the arguments put foward by me, Anakin, and others.

Debbie, I know your arguments. I have dealt with them, and I have refuted them. I have beaten you before, and I will beat you again.


Songbird said...

I know it's off topic but I want some of your input. It seems that for many people that it will be better off if people are asexual and that males and female become just allies, nothing more and nothing less, although that would just beyond sad. That's what many men and women alike tend to believe about each other. Even Christians started to feel that way. How can I response to someone like that?

Songbird said...

What's the big deal, frankly? In all honesty, GoS/GoC advocates and the marriage mandate folk are making a big deal out of nothing. Absolutely nothing. It is true (sadly) that we live in an anti-relationship and anti-marriage culture and singles are treated like freaks. However, self-control and chastity are things that needs to be practiced. There is no excuse. I don't see how GoS or marriage mandate is any helpful in making that happen. Why make it harder that it has to be?

For most of church history, married are often treated like second-class citizens. It's only this century where it is the other way around. That doesn't make either of those things right but it's human nature to make ourselves superior so that we can have some control.

PuritanCalvinist said...

Hey songbird,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had a big exam, and it took a long time to study.

I think that the answer to the question is that the nature of marriage as a God ordained institution is that it must exist. Thus for a person to suggest a society in which marriage does not exist is to suggest a society that goes against the very decrees of God.

In response to your second post, the significance of this movement, and why they need to be refuted and rubuked for their actions, really comes down to the fact that people are alleging that sin is involved in this situation. Sin is very serious, and it calls for the attention of the church. However, these folks are sending a false alarm, and shaming single men for no reason other than either that they do not hold the marital status Christian leaders would like to hold, or they are not giving the women what they want.

Also, as I have demonstrated over and over again, these folks misuse resources, and are simply, at times, dishonest in their presentation of the facts, and it is on the basis of these falsehoods that they want to shame single men. The sad thing is that some church leaders are buying into this, and this is why I continue to work in this area so that I can inform church leaders as well as single girls hoping that my work will be a vaccine against this stuff.

I guess it wouldn't be so bad if these folks were not bringing sin and shame into the discussion. However, when you do that, you are presenting a movement that has implications for how we run our churches, and thus, how the entire Christian community operates. My hope is that every minister in Reformed churches will be aware of this stuff, and kick it out of their churches when they see it.

Songbird said...

Thank you for your reponse. I seriously didn't think that people will call singleness a sin even though these no legitimate basis. The motives of remaining single by choice possibly but the state of singleness isn't a sin. In that case, that's a whole another story

Songbird said...

I almost forgot. This my university chapel sermon from a year ago and a school new article are very helpful, far more helpful than many from marriage mandate camp or even from GoS/GoC camp.