Revamped Men’s Retreat Brings Guys Back

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.

Churchgoing = Pink to Men?

Hello Kitty on PolicemanThe Chief of Police in Bangkok, Thailand has discovered the ultimate punishment for wayward officers: they must wear a pink armband emblazoned with “Hello Kitty,” a cutesy favorite of under-10 girls.

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.

Why Men Flock to Islam

MinaretOne 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.