by Isabel LaCoeur
Forget the yin and the yang
I’ll take the boom and the bang….
Don’t need in touch with my feminine side!
All I want is my testosterone high.
If these lyrics appeal to you and you’re down with Jesus, you might want to become one of the GodMen, a butchy Christian movement that could easily be sponsored by Mountain Dew. The GodMen want to re-masculinize the “wussy”, feminine practice of worshipping Jesus, keep the ladies in their place, and bring back the “Fuck” word.
“Jesus was a very bad Christian,” Coughlin declares. After all, he says, the Son of God trashed a temple and even used profanity — or the New Testament equivalent — when he called Herod “that fox.”
“The idea of Jesus as meek and mild is as fictitious as anything in Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code,’ ” says Coughlin, 40.
Let’s ignore the fact Jesus is referred to as ‘Christian’, and rejoice in the fact he was a bad-ass on par with The Fonz and a Wild One-era Marlon Brando. What a relief; here I thought that he was all love, forgiveness and turning the other cheek.
“He’s been domesticated,” says Roland Martinson, a professor of ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. “He’s portrayed now as gentle, loving, kind, rather than as a full-bodied person who kicked over tables in the temple, spent 40 days in the wilderness wrestling with his identity and with God, hung out with the guys in the street. The rough-hewn edges and courage … got lopped off.”
This rugged and manly new religious movement is the brainchild of standup comedian Brad Stine, Evangelical Christianity’s answer to Robert Bly. It may seem unexpected for a standup comic to lead a religious movement, but you have to admit the results are hilarious.
Leaders don’t even bring out the Bible until they’re well into the curriculum; instead, they teach ideals of Christian manhood through Steve Martin movies and clips from “Braveheart.”
“Do not think Sunday morning worship,” Caldwell says. “Think Saturday afternoon tailgate.”
Personally, when I’m looking for a little spiritual healing, I usually prefer Martin Short movies. I do find it interesting that the GodMen are inspired by the work of Mel Gibson. I wonder what they think of his more recent endeavours.
Now that the GodMen have established the fact that Jesus is a fellow testosterone junkie, it’s time for the ladies to recognize:
.. men taking charge is a big theme of the GodMen revival. At what he hopes will be the first of many such conferences, in a warehouse-turned-nightclub in downtown Nashville, Stine asks the men: “Are you ready to grab your sword and say, ‘OK, family, I’m going to lead you?’ ” He also distributes a list of a real man’s rules for his woman. No. 1: “Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.”
Stine’s wife, Desiree, says she supports manly leadership; it seems to her the natural and God-ordained order of things. As she puts it: “When the rubber hits the bat, I want to know my husband will protect me.”
But some men at the conference run into trouble when they debut their new attitudes at home. Eric Miller, a construction worker, admits his wife is none too pleased when he takes off, alone, on a weekend camping trip a few weeks after the GodMen conference this fall.
“She was a little bit leery of it, as we have an infant,” he reports. “She said, ‘I need your help around here.’ ”
Miller, 26, refuses to yield: “I am supposed to be the leader of the family.”
Being the leader of a family apparently means leaving your wife alone to take care of your children while you play in a forest. At least she doesn’t have to worry about Rule No. 1 for a couple of days, I suppose.
But for all the hypermasculinity and bad Myspace-style poetry, Reverend Git R. Done and the GodMen movement have been helpful to at least one follower:
A few weeks later, Stephenson, 43, is still not sold on profanity. But he has ditched the nice-guy reflex of always turning the other cheek. When he spots a Wal-Mart clerk writing “Happy Holidays” on a window, he boldly complains: It should say “Merry Christmas.”
The clerk erases the offending greeting. Chalk one up for Christian testosterone.
“I wouldn’t have done that before,” Stephenson says proudly. “I am no longer a doormat.”
After all, the act of simply being inclusive is a terrible hardship that no righteous GodMan should have to bear.
Jill@Feministe has some great commentary