Our conversation with the pugilistic pastor has turned into a discussion on torture and recent history. But it began with a discussion on masculinity. He is a member (or something) of a group that hopes to fight against the feminization of Christianity.
I have read Eldridge (not convinced) and I have also read my history. I know that this is just the latest in a long line of people who decide that Jesus has to be more like the one they want--Billy Sunday did it when he wanted a brawling Jesus. Bruce Barton did it when he created a Jesus who would be a kick-ass salesman and businessman. The Promise Keepers did it too.
Whatever. As far as I am concerned, if these men want to beat drums and play soldier--that is their choice.
But the "wussification" intrigues me. "Wussy," of course, is probably a combination of "wimp" and "..." well, the "P" word. The word used to denigrate women as weak and therefor denigrate men who might be like those women. The misogyny is palpable and the fact that this "comedian" has an album dedicated to this "wussification" speaks volumes.
Forget political correctness, the word is simply a "Christianese" attempt to avoid saying something coarse. But the meaning is still there, as is the attack on women. And he embraces it and uses it to disparage others. Just as Jesus would do, we are told. Somehow, the Jesus who spoke with the woman at the well and stopped the adulteress' execution would disparage other men by telling them they are like women. That he would disparage the traits of forgiveness, kindness, nurturing, compassion, etc.
Are we asked to follow a Christ who would do this? I would suggest not. Anymore than we are asked to follow a Christ who would sit smoking in the corner while his compatriots waterboarded Judas. Anymore than we are asked to follow a Christ who would cheer the death penalty, or mock the poor.
I think we can do better. We can move beyond obvious and antiquated gender stereotypes. We can do better. We can discuss gender roles without disparaging women. I think we can do better than this comedian and his followers.