Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 13 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
Aleteia logo
News
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Who Wants Good Men? Satan Does—And the World Doesn’t

WEB-Catholic-Men-for-Jesus-Christ-Jeffrey-Bruno

Jeffrey-Bruno

Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ - published on 01/08/15

Modern culture has declared war on masculinity.

“Where have all the good men gone?” Author A.J. Kiesling gave that title to her bookpublished in 2008. For all of the talk, especially in feminist circles, of “male privilege”, a sober and honest look at publicly available evidence suggests that our culture has been crushing men (and boys) simply because they are male. Compelling evidence to support that claim is found in both secular and Christian sources.

Controversial social critic Karen Straughan gave a ringing  

at the “A Voice for Men” conference at Detroit last year. There she warned about changes in law and academia that harm men and as a result, harm women. In her video blog, “Girl Writes What,” she speaks
and
and about the cultural changes that have made men apparently disinclined to marry. She goes so far to say that the most familiar forms of feminism do not desire
 but rather 
. (Fair warning: sometimes her vocabulary is not entirely suitable for polite company.)

Popular online philosopher Stefan Molyneux of FreeDomainRadiohas addressed similar issues. He has made blistering criticisms of the misandry commonly found in many forms of feminism. He also offers well researched analysis and commentary on the legal, academic, economic, and social forces arrayed against the dignity and flourishing of men. A list of his relevant videos can be found here.  (Fair warning:  sometimes his vocabulary is not entirely suitable for polite company.)

Well-known writer Christina Hoff Sommers, who made a name for herself back in 1995 with her book, “Who Stole Feminism?:  How Women Have Betrayed Women, in 2013 sounded the alarm on behalf of men with her book, "The War Against Boys:  How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men." In both books she documents how the most outspoken advocates for “gender equality” have done little good and much harm to both men and women.

Turning to Christian sources, we see that Michael S. Rose stirred up a hornets’ nest in 2002 when he published "Goodbye: Good Men." The subtitle of the book explains his thesis: “How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations from the Priesthood.” His contention is that strong men were expelled from or turned away from seminaries precisely because they were strong men.

Another outspoken critic of an anti-male spirit within the Catholic Church is Michael Voris of ChurchMilitant.TVI know that some people object to Voris’ tone and his apparently near-constant anger, but he and his group do their homework. They are careful with their research and their use of sources, as seen on their DVDs/CDs available on their site. Voris has produced a number of YouTube videos addressing the crisis of masculinity in the Church. Some of the most recent can be found

and
.

Protestant author David Murrow’s 2011 book, “Why Men Hate Going to Church” offers not only criticisms of current Protestant practice but also offers attempts at solutions. He is the founder of “Church for Men,” with a mission to offer ministry and worship that appeal to the nature and needs of men specifically. His online quiz, “How guy friendly is your church?” might be worth a look from Catholic men as well.

All these sources argue, in various ways, that men and women suffer when culture is arrayed against the flourishing of men as men. When the masculine charism—which includes risk-taking, innovation, sacrifice, leadership, struggle and courage—is denigrated, everyone suffers. Boys refuse to or are rendered almost incapable of becoming men, or, very often, men are told that their masculinity is not welcome. (For example, men are told that they are by definition advocates of “rape culture” and are all at least potential rapists, although the

is quite to the contrary.) Adult males then are discouraged from becoming the husbands and fathers (both biological and spiritual) that God made men to be. The social fallout from the expulsion of authentic masculinity is catastrophic for both
and the Church. But this problem is not new! The universal and unbearable costliness of a failure to cultivate men as God intended was spoken of over a century ago.  Consider these words from Louis Cardinal Pieand his Christmas homily of 1871. Cardinal Pie, by the way, was a favorite of Pope Saint Pius X. Cardinal Pie preached:

“Is not ours an age of mis-lived lives, of un-manned men?

Why?

Because Jesus Christ has disappeared.  Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men.  Thus what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men.  I do believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and consequently no religion of society.

Do what you will: only from God you will get men.”

The social/cultural problem of the “un-manning” of men is ultimately a spiritual problem. The roots of the problem are diabolical. Satan hates God and creation. He hates what God has made. He hates the human race made in the image and likeness of God. He rages against the incomparable dignity—a dignity that the pagans could not imagine and the moderns could not comprehend—conferred upon human nature by the Incarnation of Christ. To hate what is authentically human is to hate God and His Christ. It is not surprising, then, to see Satan conspire against men as men and women as women.

We need men—we need real, Godly men.  What we see around us is a generation of not men but merely “boys-who-shave,” that is, males who are unwilling to shoulder the cross of being a true man, a man who sacrifices and leads and provides. We suffer from a lack of men willing to take responsibility for the children they beget, or for the women who love them, or for the civil liberties they enjoy. Today we are surrounded by countless Peter Pans, boys who refuse to become men. They are not all of the problem, but these Peter Pans who live in their parents’ basement, spending their days smoking dope, using pornography, and demanding a free ride are surely not now ready to be part of the solution. And we have been reminded, again and again, that these shallow and selfish Peter Pans have a very dark side that can explode in selfish and murderous rage.

What to do? The first step is to admit that there is a problem. Satan is waging a war against men as men, and various secular forces, wittingly or not, are aiding in that war. Second, we must admit that spiritual problems require spiritual remedies, so we must take to heart the words of Cardinal Pie: “Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” In other words, repentance, reparation, intercession and obedience are required on our part, so that men’s nature will more clearly be made available to God’s grace. Third, we have to find allies and resources in this battle for the masculine soul and vocation. No one can afford to sit this one out!

When I write next, I will identify assets both spiritual and natural that we can bring to bear in this great struggle for men.  Until then, let’s keep each other in prayer.

Father Robert McTeigue, S.J. is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.  A professor of philosophy and theology, he has long experience in spiritual direction, retreat ministry, and religious formation. He teaches philosophy at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL, and is known for his classes in both Rhetoric and in Medical Ethics.

Tags:
Satan
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.