For years the Salvation Army in the Southern California division held an annual men’s retreat weekend. We followed a traditional script: men getting together for “fellowship” with sessions on “How to be a happy Christian husband for your happy Christian wife in your happy Christian home.” These were valuable sessions with good speakers, but attendance at the camps was dwindling every year. It became so bad that the church was ready to discontinue the men’s retreats.
Other punishments have not deterred tardiness, double parking and littering among officers, but acting chief Pongpat Chayaphan believes the armbands will do the trick. “After this policy came out, the police are scared,” he said. “It will be very embarrassing to walk around with Hello Kitty on your arm.”
What’s so bad about a pink armband? This seemingly benign corrective strikes a double-whammy at the heart of manhood. Every man fears being perceived as feminine (pink) and childish (hello Kitty).
Sadly, churchgoing has become a pink armband for many men. It’s a sign of weakness, childishness and femininity.
A recently released study seems to have blown a hole in one of the central premises of my book: that women are more verbal than men, which makes gals more comfortable in our wordy churches.
When you join this church, you are referred to as a soldier.
One evening I was speaking to a group in upstate New York. I posed the rhetorical question, “Why do men flock to Islam, while avoiding Christianity?” I didn’t expect an answer, but one woman blurted out, “If Christianity required women to walk behind their husbands and wear burquas, then we’d have a church full of men.”
So is that why Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion? Must a religion oppress women to attract men? Why do men flock to Islam, while avoiding Christianity? I posed this question to David DeMeo, professor of Middle Eastern and Arabic studies at Harvard. I sum up his response this way: Islam is a religion that delivers results for men. Too often, Christianity does not.
If your church has a lot of men, it’s probably growing, according to a study from Hartford Seminary. Meanwhile, a surplus of women makes growth much less likely. The study, reported in the Christian Science Monitor, finds congregations that draw more men than women are three times as likely to be growing as female-dominated churches.…