Monday, October 23, 2006


In his book, Manliness, Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield makes a compelling case that our society should stop looking at manliness as a curse and start embracing it as a virtue.  It did not take long for the liberal media to begin howling at this rising moon with a clamor of protest.  According to Mansfield, manliness "seeks and welcomes drama, and prefers times of war, conflict and risk."  Manliness asserts itself, craves adventure, loves action and power in a distinctively different way than women.  Manliness desires the heart of a woman and seeks to protect and provide for her.  It is this manliness that benefits and protects our culture especially in times of danger and war.

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that schools, parks and clubs across the nation that are removing diving boards from pools, and children are stopped from playing the game of tag.  Why?  The fear of someone getting hurt and filing lawsuits.  This may be what therapists call a presenting problem.  In fact, the culture is growing increasingly weary and suspicious of manliness.  Boys are full of recklessness on
playgrounds and this frightens leaders in our litigious environment.

Where will the lack of manliness lead us?  My guess is that it leads to a growing insecurity among males who find it confusing to even define “maleness” much less “manliness.” It leads to extreme expressions by males who have no role models of responsible masculinity. All too many males are acting in violence and predatory sexual nature both in reality television and reality. It leads to a timidity in leadership and a willingness to place an increasing burden on women to provide and protect themselves.

The ultimate expression of masculinity is Jesus Christ.  He refused to be passive, accepted responsibility and awaited a greater reward.  For the men who followed him, Jesus modeled what a man was to do in the face of violent opposition, and how a man was to stand firm in the face of overwhelming opposition.  He elevated and honored women like no man in history.  Jesus was and is the ultimate model of manliness for what He did when He died a shameful death in my place.  You can trust him as your Savior, and you can also trust him to show you how to be genuinely manly.

Ed Litton

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Impact of a Wedding Band

In an article entitled, “Marriage Gap Could Sway Elections,” USA Today reported that the wedding band could have the greatest impact upon congressional elections this fall. According to the 2005 Census, House districts held by Republicans are full of married people; Democratic districts are stacked with people who have never married. The article also sited the 2004 Presidential election as more evidence of this divide. According to exit polls conducted by national news organizations, President Bush beat John Kerry by 15 percentage points among married people and lost by 18 percentage points among unmarried people.

The most interesting part of this finding is not political, but what this says about the world view of Americans. What conclusions can be made from these findings? First, the impact of your family is greater than you tend to think. The health and survival of your marriage is critical to the nation, as a whole. Your belief about marriage and family impacts not only your family, but our entire culture. Second, those who are married with children tend to vote differently, because they see life differently. Due to their concern for their legacy to their children, they tend to be cautious about social experiments, such as gay marriage. When done right, parenthood is a self-sacrificing experience. The overwhelming experience of sacrificial love drives people to think less about their rights and more about future generations’ survivability. Third, I think we should find encouragement in this report. It says that living according to a biblical world view, though often lampooned in the popular culture, has a profound effect. (Remember from where the popular culture is broadcast. New York and Hollywood tend to be the most liberal and hostile toward the core values of the Bible.)

We can make a difference in the fly-over zone, as it is often called. We can impact the vast fruited plain of this nation, where normal people live, by living our lives according to biblical truth and love. If we will lead our families and vote, guided by our deepest convictions, we can make a difference.

I am encouraged by a recent report card on marriage in Alabama, published by the Alabama Policy Institute, which reported that we are making progress against the rising tide of divorce in our state. I am convinced we will see even greater progress in the culture, as pastors and people work together to develop strong biblical marriages and stronger biblical world views in our families.

Ed Litton