Saturday, August 4, 2007

Jesus Christ, Macho Man!

As we noted here recently, many of our Republican friends are strangely fearful that their masculinity might be lacking a bit -- or at least that it might be perceived that way.

One of these pathetic fellows, Rod Dreher, also is worried that not enough menfolk are showing up in churches these days, and he figures it's because they're not fully aware of what a manly man Jesus was.

There are too many chicks in the pews, argues Rod, which means that Christian leaders have got to reposition the product in the marketplace so as to attract more fans of wrestling and NASCAR.

Toward that noble end, Dreher borrows an idea from Catholic blogger Dom Bettinelli:

We might also look at the Mass and wonder if it too has been over-feminized. Men like ritual. Don’t believe me? Watch the stands at a professional baseball game. When the home team is losing in the late innings see how many rally caps appear. But it must be a certain kind of ritual. It must be majestic, soaring, even martial. It must challenge and call you on. In many ways that’s what the Tridentine Mass was. Even the fact that it was in Latin made it a challenge, something you had to work at, rather than become a passive observer.

But my favorite part of Dreher's essay is this one:

I believe one reason so many male Christians responded deeply to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" was because it depicted a masculine Jesus who chose to endure excruciating pain to rescue those he loved. The Christian faith teaches that this is what Jesus did, but somehow the intense physical courage that that act of love required is easy to overlook. Gibson didn't overlook it. The Jesus Christ of his film embodied manliness par excellence: a strong, brave man who was willing to suffer and die to save others. After I saw that film in a press preview, then went to Ash Wednesday services and heard the plush priest give a homily about how Lent is really supposed to be about learning to love ourselves more, I wanted to slug the guy.

Yeah, that's the spirit. Whup his ass for Jesus.


Will Pfeifer said...

I dunno. All this manly stuff, it sounds a little gay to me.

Not, of course, that there's anythign wrong with that.

The Rascal said...

Yeah, it DOES sound a little questionable, especially the part where the dude complains about too many women at church. The wonder is that any women attend Catholic church, considering the Vatican's record of dissing women.