• The Marginalization of Single Women Via The Billy Graham Rule, Fleeing the Appearance of Evil, and James Dobson

The Marginalization of Single Women Via The Billy Graham Rule, Fleeing the Appearance of Evil, and James Dobson

There is much more I could say about the Billy Graham Rule (sometimes also referred to these days as “The Mike Pence Rule”) than what I am writing about here and now, but for this post, I wanted to narrow it down a little bit.

In the context of the Bill Hybels scandal discussion, news sites and abuse survivor blogs are mentioning how mega-church preacher Bill Hybels told one of his targets that under the advice of Focus On The Family’s James Dobson, he wanted to watch some pornography movies.

So, Hybels  – who was married – asked his target, an unmarried woman staffer at his church, a Pat Baranowski, to run out and buy or rent porn, then he watched it with her while wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Baranowski also lived with Hybels and his wife in their home for approximately two years.

One of the spiritual abuse survivor blogs covering this whole ordeal is The Wartburg Watch in this post, where one of the TWW bloggers, Dee, wrote this:

James Dobson was part of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography in the latter half of the 1980s. Note how Hybels cleverly used something that was true to give him plausible deniability.

Mr. Hybels told Ms. Baranowski that he had been told to educate himself on the issue by James Dobson, founder of the ministry Focus on the Family, who had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan to an anti-pornography commission.

Calling it research, Mr. Hybels once instructed Ms. Baranowski to go out and rent several pornographic videos, she said, to her great embarrassment. He insisted on watching them with her, she said, while he was dressed in a bathrobe.

I am opposed to the BGR (Billy Graham Rule), for a few reasons, one of which is because it (like a lot of complementarian teachings, though side note: I don’t believe Hybels was complementarian) assumes several obnoxious things and perpetuates sexist stereotypes: it assumes that men, all men, are unable (or maybe unwilling?) to control their libidos, that all single women are sexual temptresses who have loose sexual morals and are willing to have affairs with married men.

Because of these assumptions, some Christians believe that men and women should not be alone together, especially not married men with single women.

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• It’s Not Billy Graham Rule or Bust by T. H. Warren

It’s Not Billy Graham Rule or Bust by T. H. Warren

Snippets:

15 ways my husband and I guard our marriage while still loving our friends of the opposite sex.

by TISH HARRISON WARREN

With recent allegations of indiscretion against a prominent megachurch pastor, some Christian leaders have doubled down on the so-called Billy Graham Rule, which dictates that men and women should never meet alone.

 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary president Danny Akin tweeted, “A valuable lesson we all can learn from this tragic situation: follow the @BillyGraham rule. If you are married, never be alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. Never!”

This rule, in its most pristine form, renders male-female friendships impossible. However unintentionally, it communicates to women that they are fundamentally dangerous. And it bars men from meaningful mentorship or pastoral care of women and vice-versa.

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• Why Christians Can Do Better Than The “Billy Graham Rule” by T. Osterhouse

Why Christians Can Do Better Than The “Billy Graham Rule” by T. Osterhouse

Quote from the essay:

“The ‘Billy Graham Rule’ is well-intended, but it doesn’t address the heart issue of sexual sin & sexual abuse. It shifts the blame, reducing women to temptresses or objects. Women become the problem and men are safer without them.”

More (by T. Osterhouse):

…I understand the temptation to draw a line in the sand—anything to protect from doing something wrong in a vulnerable moment. Many also argue that the rule protects from even the appearance of evil, especially for people in high-profile ministry positions.

I believe that Graham’s rule is well-intended, but it does not address the heart-level issue of sexual sin or sexual abuse. It merely shifts the blame, reducing women to temptresses or objects. Women become the problem and men are safer without them. Consequently, men are excused from wrestling with and overcoming their own sin.

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• Friendship as a Foundation: Moving Beyond Bill Hybels and Anxious Egalitarianism Pt 2 by Dan Brennan

The following article by Mr. Brennan also discusses the sexist, ridiculous, anti-singles, ineffective, Billy Graham Rule (aka the “Mike Pence” rule):

Friendship as a Foundation: Moving Beyond Bill Hybels and Anxious Egalitarianism Pt 2

Snippets:

…Three weeks ago, virtually any red-blooded American egalitarian would have ascribed so much “power” to what they thought was a “healthy” egalitarian model led by Hybels [Hybels is now in trouble for allegedly acting inappropriately towards women who worked with him at his church].

Now we know, with all this stuff coming out—there was a lot of psychological social sexist ministry happening under his leadership that was happening underneath the surface egalitarianism.

… One of the biggest reasons we are here is that Willow Creek egalitarianism never took a woman’s intimate personal power in friendship, seriously.

… Before #MeToo, both complementarians and egalitarians paid lip service to women’s intimate personal power in non-romantic relationships.

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• What Tony Robbins Got Wrong in His Controversial #MeToo Comment, According to Career Experts

What Tony Robbins Got Wrong in His Controversial #MeToo Comment, According to Career Experts

What Tony Robbins Got Wrong in His Controversial #MeToo Comment, According to Career Experts

By JENNIFER CALFAS
April 9, 2018

In his now-viral comments, life coach Tony Robbins shared a problematic anecdote on how some men in positions of power are responding to the #MeToo movement with discriminatory hiring practices.

“I was just with someone the other day — very famous man, very powerful man — who was saying how stressed he was because he interviewed three people that day,” Robbins told a packed crowd in San Jose last month in what now has become a viral and heavily criticized speech. “One was a woman, two were men. The woman was better qualified, but she was very attractive and he knew, ‘I can’t have her around; it’s too big of a risk,’ and he hired somebody else.”

“I’ve had a dozen men tell me this,” he added.

The purposeful dismissal of a qualified female candidate due to her looks is indicative of a larger issue in how companies and men are responding to the national conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace in this #MeToo era.

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• Christians Need to Reform Their Ideas About Sex and Power by Megan Powell

This editorial I link to much farther below, by Powell, on Eternity News site, reflects several views I’ve held for a long time, one of which is that American Christians, especially the more conservative ones, are really not so different in their views towards gender and sexual behavior as the secular culture.

However, American Christians really like to run about in their blogs and podcasts saying their take on things is “counter cultural” and oh so very different from what they imagine liberals and feminists promote.

My response to that: No, it’s not. The Christian view is not all that different from what they, Christians, believe liberals and feminists supposedly promote or believe about sexuality.

Christians are actually maintaining and enabling the cultural status quo and re-enforcing cultural gender stereotypes and sexual practices they claim to be in opposition to.

I have also noted that strict adherence to traditional gender stereotypes, which Christians promote under gender complementarianism, are not going to resolve societal problems, such as divorce, transgenderism, and other things Christians say they are concerned about.

(Nor will heterosexual marriage, natalism, or the nuclear family “fix” societal ills either, but Christians from James Dobson to Al Mohler and secular conservative think tanks keep promoting these entities, though the Bible itself does not – not as a solution for cultural decay.)

Where the author, Powell, states:

…[we should be] teaching our sons a masculinity that isn’t based on power and aggression…

She would be describing some of the elements that encompass what feminists refer to as “toxic masculinity.” Many anti- feminists, Christians and conservatives misunderstand what the term “toxic masculinity” means.

Christians Need to Reform Their Ideas About Sex and Power by Megan Powell

#metoo shows the church has the same problem as society

A return to traditional sexuality and gender norms will not solve the problems raised by the #metoo movement, because research shows that it makes no difference to the incidence of sexual harassment and abuse.

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• When #MeToo Becomes #YouToo by E. G. Ryan

When #MeToo Becomes #YouToo by E G Ryan

Snippets:

The entities that enabled sexual harassers are now charged with cleanup. But will their pursuit of symbolic victories and ‘zero-tolerance’ policies cause more problems?

by E. G. Ryan

….In 2016’s “The Case of the Missing Perpetrator,” Rebecca Solnit examined the way language erases male malfeasance. Pregnancy, rape, and sexual abuse are often treated as events that happen to women, not things that men do to women.

“Men are abstracted into a sort of weather,” Solnit writes, “an ambient natural force, an inevitability that cannot be governed or held accountable. Individual men disappear in this narrative and rape, assault, pregnancy just become weather conditions to which women have to adapt.”

…It turns out people are far more happy about women speaking up than they are comfortable with something happening to the men the women are talking about.

Every woman who is “speaking up” is speaking up about somebody.

For every #MeToo, there’s a “#YouToo.” Or, in some cases, “#YouToo?!”

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