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Monday, August 22, 2005

Al Mohler the Sexist

OK D. R. I know how you like to nitpick terms so that you can avoid the real issue so here goes...:)
Sexist-(from a man with a chauvinistic belief in the inferiority of women. I was outraged after reading Mohler's latest blog on pornography. (I know I sound like a broken record here, but let me make my point). In his 1500 word entry, Mohler speaks of the "Culture of Pornography" and how it negatively impacts families. He mentions young men and boys over ten times. Guess how many references there are to young women? Girls?

His view is so typical of Fundamentalists. They are so patriarchal that they can't even acknowledge the "objects" of pornography. Mohler can't even give one sentence about how pornography impacts women and young girls. Why? They don't matter. I sometimes overstate my case to make a point. I'm not doing that here. To speak of the dangers of pornography without mentioning its impact on women and young girls is to demonstrate that they do not matter. They really aren't part of the equation.

I wasn't too thrilled with Jimmy Carter's recent speech to Baptists at the Baptist World Congress that accused Southern Baptists of "discriminating against women." I thought the speech was kind of tacky. However, after having read Mohler's take on pornography, I must agree that at least Mohler doesn't seem to recognize that women are human.

Like it or not, Mohler speaks for Southern Baptists. Unfortunately, no one in the Southern Baptist camp has the intestinal fortitude to call him or Richard Land on the carpet when they say stupid things.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger D.R. said...

Howie, I am going to respond since you mentioned my name, but I am tired of defending Mohler. From now on, please contact him directly. I am sure he can defend himself better than I.

I don't get what you are saying. His article wasn't meant to be comprehensive. He often writes about the impact of things directly on men. WHY? I believe that it is because he thinks that change begins with men. And there are many stats that back that up. One is that if a woman in a non-Christian family gets saved, there is only (if I remember correctly) a less than 30% chance that the rest of the family will come to know Christ (or even attend church on any bit of a regular basis), but if the man of the family becomes a Christian, there is 90% chance that the rest of the family will come to Christ. Quite a jump.

So that is why I think Mohler directs the majority of this articles to the impact it has on men. He wants men to begin to take responsibility, grow up, and have integrity in the process. The vast majority of women want this, even if the feminists tell you otherwise. Just take a straw poll at your local mall.

So your accusation that he is sexist in the end is based on the fact that in his article he didn't say what you thought he should have and didn't address the issues you think are the most important. So should I conclude from reading your blog that you don't care about the crucifixion of Christ or His resurrection since you have rarely (if ever) mentioned them? Or how about should I conclude that you don't care about sharing the Gospel because you haven't mentioned that people should do it, or even that you do? Kind of a ridiculous for me to say that huh? I think you get my point.

Finally you failed to mention a huge point that goes against your charge of sexism. HIS POST WAS IN RESPONSE TO A BOOK WRITTEN BY A WOMAN! If he is such a sexist, why in the world would he quote a book by a woman and mention how excellent it was? By the way, he has had interviewed many women on his program and he even hires them to serve on faculty at Southern. Did someone say "Scandalous?" So I think your charge is ill conceived based on what he didn't write that you thought he should.

Maybe you should write to him and tell him that he didn't write on the impact porn has on women. Trust me, I think he would take it as a good idea -- his wife might even want to write on it -- she is a huge supporter of modesty in dress. See for yourself at:

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Matthew61 said...

In response to D.R.,

I read Mohler's entry, there is a two sentence paragraph mentioning women that are involved in the "industry" and yes the book is written by a women, but the rest of the post is about how it effects young men and teenagers. Obviously an important group but not the only group affected.

And in terms of contacting Mohler yeah that is always a good idea. But the purpose of a blog, at least most blogs I should say, is the use of your space as an op-ed piece to other blog editors, which is why a lot of people consider a infant form of journalism.

And Howie has a specific purpose for writing a blog, which is support others that have been hurt by fundamentalists attitudes and actions and specifically fundamentalists of the SBC. Because of that purpose Mohler will probably be mentioned a lot because of his role as President of Southern Seminary. And he also has a lot of influence in the thinking in terms of what Christianity is and should be in the USA. That sort of influence cannot be ignored and should be replied to in a public forum.

To Howie,
I with you.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Joel Rainey said...

Matthew61 and Howie,

I read this blog regularly, and understand that its purpose is to support people who have been hurt by fundamentalists. I will also agree that fundamentalism has a dark side that can be very hurtful.

I also understand that as the SBC is addressed, Mohler's name will come up often, and I recognize your disagreement with him on a range of issues.

Nevertheless, to argue from silence that a man is a shauvanist (as D.R. said, simply because he didn't address the issue the way you thought he should have addressed it) is irresponsible. Add to this the fact that Russell Moore has eloquently addressed the affects of porn on women, and it becomes very difficult to believe that Mohler doesn't care about women, or sees them as second class citizens.

I wonder if your prejudice against the "complimentarian" view of women in ministry causes you to approach all who hold this view as though they are shauvanists. If so, I suppose I would be in that category as well. I am in full agreement with these men concerning their belief that the pastoral office is limited to men, and that men, as husbands and fathers, are to shoulder the responsibility of leading their homes. This view is not based on a foundational disrespect for women. Quite the contrary. It is based on careful study of the Pastoral Epistles. It is blatantly unfair to paint those of us who hold this view as "shauvanists" simply because we do not comply with a certain cultural view of "equality."

Also, I echo D.R. in exhorting you to address these issues with Dr. Mohler himself. If you really believe he is in error, then do the Matthew 18 thing and approach him "screen-to-screen" rather than spouting unfounded claims about his views on a blog. Your credibility as one who disagrees on principle will be much greater as a result

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Marty said...

"Complimentarian" view of women? Exactly. The reason I now attend the United Methodist Church. By the way, the correct spelling is "chauvinist". Elle, I may take your advise.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Elle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Elle said...

I'm going to start off by saying that these comments are really pushing my ability to share with grace.

As a man, it's probably harder to spot sexism against females. Since I'm a [egalitarian] feminist (yes, I use the F-word) I try to spot and stop sexism against males, but I'm certain I don't catch it all. Sexism isn't always overt, and much more often it is disguised. From my experience, concealed sexism (such as ignoring) is far more damaging than the obvious displays that I don't think I need to name.

I perceive disguised sexism in Mohler's writing (not necesarily in or confined to this particular piece), as do I in the beliefs of many others in his tradition. As a female Christian, it's twice as hurtful as if he were to outright claim women are inferior creatures incapable of spiritual leadership and intended to serve men. At least then I could dismiss him as a nutter.

As for Mohler’s post, it would have been better if he made a companion post about porn’s impact on females rather than pretending it’s not a problem, but I’ll stop myself right there before I say something I might regret posting.

d.r., ”change begins with men” Change begins with anybody who is willing to take a stand. Female-instituted change may rarely happen in a patriarchal society, but no offense that’s not a testament to the God-ordained greatness of men, that’s a testament to the bias against women.

Marty, that’s one of about 271 reasons (but probably one of the biggest reasons) I’m now United Methodist too! I should really list those out someday.

Howie, your comment sections are getting to be pretty fun.. : )

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Marty said...


I'm doing the deaf clap....hands up in the go girl!

At 4:13 PM, Blogger grandma1 said...

Careful Howie D.R. will have a blog against you like he does Dr. Bruce Prescott. Isn't there something about false witness maybe D.R. should like that one up.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger D.R. said...

Grandma, tell me what I said that was false against Bruce Prescott. I wrote to his blog, told him that I posted what I did and asked him to come and respond. He deleted the comment and I posted it again. He chose not to defend himself. He chose not to answer for his actions. If you can show me one falsehood that I wrote about Bruce, I will take the post down. I would think a grown man could defend himself and not send another relative to do it for him. By the way, this is not the place to deal with the subject. I posted a response to you on my own blog. I would post more on Bruce's blog, but he only deletes comments. Yeah, that's censorship.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger D.R. said...

Ok, now that I have dealt with that junk, let me say to you Howie, that I meant the comment to contact Mohler kind of tongue-in-cheek. He does allow emails and I think you made an honest critique that you should tell him about, albeit not a legitimate enough one to label him a sexist.

Now, to Elle again:
Everything you are saying about Mohler is built upon very sketchy evidence and a very biased view about Evangelicals (since this is not only a Baptist issue -- you do know that there are many, many UMCers who hold to a complementarian view, don't you?) concerning their view of gender roles. You can call Mohler a sexists all you want and you can say how "ignoring" hurts women more than all the other things you couldn't name (in which category I suppose you would place pornography in -- which I couldn't disagree with you more), and you can even suggest that we live in a patriarchal society and that is why women aren't as important to change, BUT why don't you explain to me why it's the Evangelical Christians in this country that are the ones that are so amenent about restricting pornography and its the liberal democrats (that are supposedly so progressive and feminist-friendly) who vote against restricitng internet pornography and for policies that actually help expand the porn industry all in the name of "free speech?"

At least Mohler writes about the impact of pornography on society. I haven't read of very many feminists getting very much attention in their protests against the porn industry. When was the last time any feminsts protested the big porno conventions? I guess they are too busy protesting the war that ended the persecution of millions of Iraq women. Those protesters are Evangelicals or even Fundamentalists, who in your opinion, it seems, hurt women most with their complementarian views of gender roles.

Give me a break! Even Howie asked a few posts ago where all the feminists were when it came to issues of exploiting women! But instead of joining forces with the Evangelicals like Mohler who draw attention to the problem, you criticize him for not talking about it the way you think he should. I am sorry, but that is very unhelpful in your battle to end the oppression of women.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Elle said...

Marty, I've never been so honored in my life to have a deaf clap!! :D

d.r., I cannot dignify such a comment filled with ignorance with a rebuttal.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger S said...

I've enjoyed being a silent reader here...but reading DR's last comment, I felt like he spread out his arms and started spinning, hoping to hit something! At least keep your argument limited to what's actually being discussed! DR, I do think you have made very valid points previous to this comment even if we disagree on other things!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger D.R. said...

Let me remind you that dismissal is NOT a form of debate. I have answered your comments, yet you call mine "ignorant" and give no example of what you based this off of.

As for S, again, saying something like you did without making a serious argument is like saying nothing at all. I have taken the time to respond to what is being said by engaging you comments. The least that I ask is that you do the same without dismissing them.

I have tried and tried to be patient in the midst of being the one in the minority here. I would think you could appreciate that I give you the respect you deserve by trying to carefully answer all of your objections to my posts and my views. I honestly don't feel that the same thing has been extended to me.

I am not complaining, mind you, simply noting that I treat your comments like they are thought out and deserve careful answers. That is what I have done. If you disagree with me, that is fine. You can even say, "I disagree" and leave it at that, but to call me "ignorant" and then say I don't deserve a response is disrespectful. I am sorry Elle, but that is what it is. I have tried to be sensitive to your positions, treat you with respect and all this despite the fact that I disagree vehemenently with you on the basis of what I believe Scripture clearly teaches. Yet, I have never called your views "ignorant."

Posting here has really tried my patience and I realize that despite my best efforts, I am no longer able to hold a Christlike attitude here. Because of that, I will not visit for a while. Thank you for allowing me to post Howie and may God bless the ministry he has called you to. Thanks for your new post on Mohler. I appreciate your willingness to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Soli Deo Gloria,

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I read Mohler's article, and I have also read the book that he is writing about — Pornified by Pamela Paul. The book is secular, and has a chapter on the harm that porn does to women, and another on what it does to couples. Mohler's summary of the book may pay less attention to this material, but I don't think he distort's the book's central arguments. After all, even when porn hurts girls and women, men are usually the agent of that harm, and you can end the harm by getting men to stop looking at pornography. The problem of women watching it on their own is much smaller (although not zero, especially among younger generations. There is a chapter in the pornified book that is about children and it is hair-raising).


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