HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Darcy’s blog Darcy’s Heart-Stirrings. It was originally published on June 26, 2013 and is modified for HA.
Someone posted this article today on Facebook, from a famous Christian author and blogger:
If Only She Knew ~ Thoughts On Modesty
I read this against my better judgment and honestly, I’m sitting here furious. I have said for years that boys in conservative Christian homes are conditioned to struggle with “modesty” and everyday normal things regarding female bodies. That they are programmed to see non-erotic body parts as erotic. This article is the perfect example of that. This poor boy, and every boy like him have been set up by their parents for a lifetime of failure and shame. Then they have the audacity to blame all the women in the world for their terrible parenting. I’m just so angry at this type of spiritual abuse and bondage!
Here’s how the article starts out:
“Avert your eyes, Son. His dad started saying it to him from the youngest age – when he was only a little boy. Might have been an alluring commercial while watching the ballgame. Or a billboard while driving down the highway. A pop-up on the computer screen. As parents, we had purposed to teach him purity from the beginning.
Temptation can be found anywhere. Even in Target. Target? Yeah, I know. That’s what I thought too. Until one day we popped in to pick up some flip-flops for the summer and I remarked how he kept bumping into things. What is your problem, Son?? “I’m just looking down, Mom,” And with a nod, he indicated the ads placed strategically above us. Billboards for the lingerie department. Yikes. I’d not seen them. “
I’ve written about how modesty teachings enslave women, well this is the perfect example of how they enslave men too. The first few sentences infuriated and shocked me. They created their son’s struggles. They conditioned and brain-washed him to think there was something wrong with seeing females in clothing they didn’t approve of. That looking at a woman is somehow shameful. They did that to their son and they are patting themselves on the back for it. They didn’t teach him “purity”, they taught him shame and objectification of women. They taught him that natural attraction is something to feel guilty about and be avoided at all costs. They should be ashamed of themselves. They have set their son up for failure, and now he is going to be under such a heavy burden his entire life for things that are not wrong. He’s going to struggle with “sins” that aren’t sins but that he’s been brainwashed to think are “impurity”. The sight of normal American women all around him is going to send him into such a frenzy of natural emotion and arousal that he’s not going to know how to function in the real world. This poor boy! I cannot imagine doing anything that unhealthy to my sons.
Oh, but it gets worse:
“It was a hot July day and we all packed up and headed out for fun and fellowship with a bunch of other believers. Picnic blankets, cold watermelon, and squirt guns. It was promising to be a great day.
So I was surprised to see our oldest son hanging back from the festivities. He’s an outgoing guy and usually one of the first out there mixing it up. Except not this time. He stayed close to our small spot and played with his little brothers instead. What is your problem, Son??
He hesitated for a moment. Then answered, “Mom, I don’t know what to do. Dad’s taught me to ‘avert my eyes’, but there doesn’t seem anywhere I can turn here.”
Nowhere he can safely look. Because women in swimsuits and summer clothes are everywhere and he’s had it drilled into him from a tender young age that women in swimsuits are off-limits, tantalizing, and “impure”. This poor boy cannot even go swimming or play outside because of his parent’s brain-washing. How is this “purity”? It isn’t. It’s heaping guilt and legalism on a child’s head and causing untold confusion. This isn’t healthy. This is so very toxic. He’s just a little boy. Yet his innocence is being trampled into the ground.
My cousin Matt said this when he read this article:
“He [the boy in the story] wouldn’t have a problem with it if his parents didn’t make it a big deal. If they approached sexual attraction as a normal thing, and taught him how to control his actions, he wouldn’t have to live in fear of seeing bare skin. Now, it seems like he is afraid to even go out in public, because of all the eye snares around him. Its almost as if he – or his mother, at least – expect girls to cover up for her son’s sake, as if the world revolved around him.
If he was in the real world, you know, the one that inhabits the spaces around his stifling mother and father, then he would find that real men really don’t worry about bare skin. Those of us who control our desires know it is not wrong to look or enjoy the sight of a beautiful woman. We also don’t expect them to serve us because we know they aren’t the temptresses this mother is insinuating that they are.
What he needs is for the walls of his little world to come crashing down. People like his parents think they are helping him walk in victory, but it isn’t victory when you are afraid of the world around you. It isn’t victory when you demonize something God created: beauty in a woman. It trivializes His creation. It makes it seem as if women are there to set you up for failure.
What’s wrong is not the world around him, but the world in which he lives. Open your eyes, son, look up. Nothing says you have to look at the lingerie ad, but you won’t go to hell for lingering a second longer on it. Look at it and move on. It is part of the world around you. Your urges are part of your world. Your desires are part of your world. They aren’t your whole world, as your mother seems to emphasize.”
In essence, these parents are crippling their son. There’s no way around that. And this mother is encouraging other mothers to cripple their son and to see all women as objects of temptation. Not to mention using emotionalism and spiritual-sounding language to urge all women to cater to her dysfunction. This is a glaring example of spiritual and psychological abuse.
I’m not going to post the rest. It’s an appeal to emotion that ends up blaming all the women in the world for this boy’s and every good boy’s “struggles”; blaming women for toxic, spiritually abusive parenting they have inflicted on their son. You can read it but be warned, it’s painful.
This is a real, serious problem, but I’ve never seen it outlined so perfectly as this post does. Making normal, non-erotic body parts erotic does a grave disservice to boys and men. And this is a wide-spread problem among conservative Christians and homeschoolers.
Here’s what my friend Katie had to say in a conversation we were having on this topic:
“I believe the ultra conservative teaching many of us grew up under modesty-wise, has hurt men as well as women. Men who grow up so sheltered that they find a cap sleeve enticing and whose moms cover their eyes if a woman with cleavage walks past, never learn how to deal with normal American dress. It is no wonder they experience such trouble at a beach or a pool. Regardless of how you personally believe God would have you to dress, you have no right to control the rest of culture. Your husbands, brothers, sons, etc. will be exposed to cleavage, shorts, bikini’s, mini skirts, etc. We do boys no favors when we raise them so strictly that such normal clothing is hyper erotic to them. Instead of sheltering them we end up hyper sexualizing them. I feel sorry for guys raised that way that struggle thru normal daily life like going to the grocery store.
I hope our generation will do better than our parents at teaching our children (boys and girls alike) how to view the opposite sex. Lust is not a sin that only effects men. Women can struggle with it as well. Part of the problem is that we call sin things that are not sin thereby heaping guilt on men and women for simple biological hormonal reactions.
It is not sin to find a person attractive. It is not even sin to feel turned on by them as they walk past you. That is just a basic function of biology and hormones. It is a sin, to dwell there and savor the moment, to go back to it time and again, or continue to fantasize about that other person (ie undressing them in your mind or worse). We need to teach our children the difference between a hormonal reaction that is biological, and choosing to expand or camp in that reaction and indulge in lust. We need to practice personal responsibility in our handling of situations that are struggles for us personally, and we need to teach our children personal responsibility for their own reactions to others around them. Men and women alike need to dress in ways that do not violate their conscience, but they also need to realize that they can never control anyone but themselves and master their own thought lives.”
Fear, shame, guilt, rules, “temptation is everywhere”….a little boy whose innocence was taken by the very people supposed to protect him. And all in the name of “purity”. My heart is breaking. I may be a woman, and I experienced these lies from a woman’s perspective, but I saw what they did to the men in my life. To the boys programmed with shame. I continue to see the effects of such teachings as the boys I grew up with are now men. An entire generation of men who were raised with shame and fear, like this little boy, have grown up and their stories are enough to keep the tears flowing and the hearts breaking. I have two little boys of my own. And I cannot imagine raising them to fear the world, women, and themselves as the parents of the boy in this story are doing. I hope they see what they are doing to their son before it is too late to undo it
(Warning: I would suggest that if the above sickens or triggers you, don’t read the comments on the post I linked. Some of them are worse by far than anything in the post and completely disgusting.)
Reblogged this on Nerd Ramblings from the Peach State.
Reblogged this on My Blog.
Those of us who can handle the infuriating article and comments need to share our thoughts, or try to. I sure did.
When the child you’ve raised literally cannot function in the culture you have raised him in, the problem isn’t the culture, but your own parenting.
Your missing the point on modesty. I think his parents did a great job, if your societies is corrupt you shouldnt shove your son down with them. God created women’s bodies beautiful that doesn’t entitle you to look, self control is averting your eyes. The things you gaze at nourish or tarnish your soul.
“The things you gaze at nourish or tarnish your soul.” I reject that anything I gaze at can have any of that sort of power over me. By your statement, you are putting the responsibility of your own thoughts on the objects/people you are looking at. If I notice a beautiful man, the only way it can “tarnish” my soul is if I choose to treat him as less than human purely because I am sexually attracted to him. It’s *my* choice, my responsibility. I’m not missing any point about modesty, I am completely and utterly rejecting the entire Christian teaching about it. It’s damaging and wrong and can’t even be proven by the very Bible Christians claim to follow.
I’m not talking about the bible or Christianity, but modesty as part of faith, considering I’m Muslim so that would be my basis. The responsibility is on you and not the object/person your looking at. Its not for them to be less attractive for your modesty, that’s a different discussion; but for you to lower your gaze and not allow sexual thoughts to start. Its being proactive and not waiting for the those thoughts to start. The onus isn’t being placed on just women or just men, but for each to dress modestly and for each to lower their respective gazes and keep their thoughts pure.
As a non-religious person, I reject the “modesty” teachings of all religions. I can objectively see how they are illogical and harmful. I don’t see much difference between what Muslims teach on this and what Christians teach, though I think Muslims are much more consistent with their beliefs and practices on the matter.
I wonder how many sexual fetishes/paraphilias the boy down the link will develop by the time he finishes puberty.
If he hasn’t developed a few already.
maybe I’m a scaredy cat. but the less political power people like that have, the safer I feel. they remind me of the Islamic State. fuck. Whatever happened to “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them” ?
Do these people read their own book?
Only a few choice verses they can use to hammer people over the head with. Verses like “do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God” they prolly don’t even know exist (it’s Micah 6.8b, btw).
This is what I wrote in the comments on that article. I’m posting it here in case she does not allow the comment to go through:
“it is teachings like this that made me despise my body. It is teachings like this that made me wish I could cut off my breasts. It is teachings like this that kept me captive in thoughts of fear and loathing for what God made me. It is teachings like this that made me dress as much like a boy as I could get away with to look as unattractive as possible – to erase my curves with baggy clothing down past my knees and up past my collarbone.
And still they looked. Every flipping turn they looked. They stared. They tried to hit on me. I suppose it didn’t help that I had super long hair that everyone says is gorgeous.
I blamed myself over and over and over.
Why couldn’t I erase myself? Why couldn’t I prevent myself from making men stumble?
Then I actually read that verse you quote in context. It is an admonition to women to put their focus on God!
It defines modesty as the dictionary intended the word to be defined when not attributed to Christian women: humility!
Don’t focus on braiding your hair with gold and primping yourself all the time! A godly woman’s beauty shines through with her heart for God!
Ironically, you post websites giving modest fashion tips and are violating that very verse in the process!
Jesus’ lusting command to married men (and married men only!) never implicated women as the participants in the married man’s bad thoughts if they dressed a certain way! Never! He put all focus on the married man!!
Maybe because God in his infinite wisdom knew that he put the drive to want women in men. And therefore it is not evil. Only committing adultery by way of desiring someone other than the wife at your side is evil.
And maybe it’s because in His infinite wisdom, he knew that men. Will sexually lust after every portion of a woman’s body that isn’t routinely shown in front of him.
Be grateful for every woman who wears a miniskirt. Because of her, you can wear a knee length skirt in comfort and be considered modest. If all those miniskirt women were wearing what you wear, you would have to cover more to be considered modest. That’s how the Muslims got so bad that it went to the burka. We came close to that in the Victorian Era. “
Modesty as prescribed by Islam ( Muslims) isn’t reactive, it doesn’t matter if women as a collective group agree that wearing short shorts is is going to be the new thing; Muslims won’t suddenly be like okay wearing knee length skirts is now modest considering the state of society.
Modesty in Islam has a set minimum standard and wearing anything more than that is your personal devotion : like the burka. The minimum is taken not only from our scripture but also in following the believing women who were promised heaven like the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) and the mother of Jesus, Mary. This is loose long clothing and covering the hair / neck/ chest area.
Most people may think is this too much, but if Mary were alive today I think she’d look more like a Muslim women. All things in scripture ( Qur’an) are timeless, for all people of all eras, modesty included.
Where you live the burka may be optional. But are you living in a country of non-Muslims who walk around in less?
If so, you are benefitting from their attire inoculating the men around you. In places like Afghanistan under the Taliban, however, a burka is what you need to wear to be modest. Why? Because now the hijab is the norm and causing men to lust. When the burka becomes the norm, then just the sight of a woman in a burka is enough to arouse a man. So then she has to stay in the home an not leave without an escort to prevent lust.
Men are men everywhere. You have the mindset that clothing can prevent lust, it goes further and further down the rabbit hole.
Look up the video of the man in Egypt who dressed up as a woman in a hijab and a long skirt and walked down the streets of Egypt being harassed by men every step of the way.
This is how the human mind works.
I’ve watched that video before and Ive lived in both western and non countries fact of the matter is that Word of God is what mandates the hijab not the lust of men. A women’s duty is to dress modestly period, if men choose to still find that attractive then that’s their sin for looking and and letting their thoughts go there.
Modesty is not wearing more depending on your society. I live in north America and not a single guy would bat his eyes at seeing my hair, 90% of women have their hair uncovered BUT I still wear the hijab, WHY? Because the Word of God mandated it for me, because its better for me and my way of showing submission to my creator and not for the opposite sex.
Like I said its not reactive to society or men’s gazes its timeless and just, aka not subjugating women to wear more because men are perves.
If that’s your belief, that’s fine. That’s not how it’s practiced.
Just like the Bible says zip, zero, nada about what women are supposed to wear to please God/prevent men from lusting; yet they still try to shoehorn it in there.
Your religion is yours. In my mind, God can see me in the shower, coming out of the womb, dressing in the morning, etc. So it makes sense that covering up does nothing to please God. In fact, nothing we do pleases God except worshipping Him and trusting in Jesus.
Who did Jesus condemn the most? Pharisees. And they are the ones who sat around looking all pious to the outside world. But God knew the heart. And the heart is what matters.
Jesus’ admonition against lusting after a woman is probably more properly regarded as being against lusting after/coveting (same word in Greek) a [man’s] wife (also same word in Greek). The mating response is normal physical behavior. What is wrong and is against the Commandment(s) is to covet what is not yours so as to want to have/take it – whether one’s neighbor’s house, wife, servant, ass, etc.. Under the Law adultery was defined by the marital status of the woman; if a married man had sex with an unmarried or unbetrothed woman, it was not “adultery.” For far too long too many Christian men have been guilted by this passage because of being taught that it referred to any physical and/or visual attraction to a woman.
Except that Jesus said the sin he was talking about was committing adultery against your wife. Jesus has previously stated that Moses’ allowance for divorce and remarriage for the man was something he allowed because everyone complained but that actually doing that was committing adultery against your wife and causing her to commit adultery. Of course, the point is to show how inadequate we all are in getting to heaven on our own, not actually telling us that we should all be able to achieve this.
Although I’m not sure the family that wrote this would want to hear it, as much of it has roots in Eastern philosophy, but learning mindfulness seems to be a much better solution than avoiding culture altogether. Learning that my thoughts don’t control me, I control my thoughts, was one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever had.
The fact that I have an initial impression of a situation isn’t the issue, what I choose to do with that impression is. The ability to recognize a thought as destructive and push it out of my mind has been incredibly freeing.
I don’t believe it’s a sin to find other people attractive. It’s a sin to let that thought fester, to use those thoughts to objectify the person and forget that they are an individual, and to allow those thoughts to interfere with other relationships in your life (such as your marriage, etc.). But teaching a boy to just avert his gaze every time he sees someone attractive doesn’t teach him to control his thoughts. If anything, it does more to objectify the woman he’s seeing – she’s just a woman with cleavage, or *gasp* bare knees. Not an individual who maybe decided to wear a tank top because it was hot outside and she wanted to go for a hike.
I think it’s a shame that there aren’t voices here saying that modesty is a good thing, lust for others bodies is a bad thing BUT we cannot control other people. We can raise our children to understand how to dress for the occasion and what their outfits might cause others to think, but we certainly cannot control the lewd world (unfortunately). So surely our responsibility is to teach them how to live in it, respecting others by looking them in the eyes, not judging their clothing for being more revealing, simply being an example of the difference of Christ (God willing, anyway).
I really do find it frustrating that in discussions on modesty the baby tends to get thrown out with the bath water. I appreciate many have been hurt by zealous, judgmental beliefs, but there is still value amongst some of the broken pieces…try not to overlook them all in your anger x
If by “modesty” you mean humility, which is the true meaning of the word, I fully believe it to be a good thing. If by “modesty” you mean “be sure you cover your body in the way I/we/church/Jesus/culture/whatever think is enough”, then, no, I find nothing good in that. I am not and never will be raising my children with any sort of “modesty” that has anything to do with clothing. There is no baby in that bathwater.
I agree with this comment right above and parts of the blog post. I believe in dressing appropriately and considerately, and “preparing” our kids for the real world. And no, I don’t think it’s called “humility” although it may take a humble person to do that. I say this with respect and gentleness: I seems that much of the “fire” in some reactions/responses to this issue is coming from a place of wounding and unforgiveness towards leaders or church members who have not taught from Spirit filled interpretation of the Bible. I hope we’ll find the grace to forgive those people or the Church in general, IF that is the case. As the title of the post hints, many have been wounded by this teaching, but there is also much to be learned from a really good teaching on dressing appropriately in such a way that takes into consideration helping others “guard their eyes.” Now, some people may interpret proper attire differently, in such cases, I believe we should be patient and humble not to judge people based on their clothes.
njstevensonwalling, I appreciate your understanding that many have been hurt by these teachings. What I don’t think that you do understand, and maybe you can’t without having lived it, is the depths to which we have plumbed said bathwater. We WERE the baby in there and we are being rescued from drowning in the bath.
Leaving the metaphor behind, those of us who are angry about this, are not lashing out in some uncontrollable rage. Most of us are hyper in control of our emotions. As a group most of us are roughly in the 30’s range and have spent our entire lives deeply studying this. Each of us has roughly 20 years of experience in these teachings. Granted half of those 20 years we were children, but if you consider the childhood years as an apprentice position, we have still earned an expert status. As a group, even more so.
Our lives, even before we had a choice, were dedicated entirely to thinking, talking, studying, teaching and living these beliefs. We have taken and lived them right to the bitter end. We have seen the results, not just in our individual lives but in our entire communities. We were not dabblers, we were dedicated believers, who found that if these beliefs are taken to their logical conlusion they are harmful in a myriad of ways and unsustainable for even two generations much less many.
You urge us that there is still value among the broken pieces of the judgmental zealous beliefs, and I think most of us would agree with you. We have all kept a valuable piece or two. In my case, Jesus is the ultimate value that I kept from all the muck. We are here to tell you though, as a community of well trained experts, that the entire system of modesty is corrupt, and the farther you take it the less sense it makes, but even dabbling on the edges causes harm.
We have not thrown out our years of extremely hard won expertise. Leaving behind the conservative teachings, we are not even able to leave behind the extreme amount of thought that we were taught to put into everything. We have literally had to learn to be angry, but thinking rationally and arguing well comes naturally to us. Please do not discount our expertise simply because we also have emotions.
Thank you, Lauren, for helping dispel the “bitter,” “reactionary,” and “immature” stereotype often assumed to be true of those who speak out against an extreme upbringing. I found your comment really helpful!
You seem to feel that there is some value in Scripture. People write here and on similar blogs the word “fundamentalism.” That is not an attractive word, and is often a pejorative term, not one people pick for self-description.
In biblical hermeneutics, “fundamentalism” has a different meaning, and is not a valid technique, as it goes against the literal meaning of the text. “Literal” also is popularly misunderstood. The term people mean when they commonly write “literal” is “literalistic.” So “literal” is good, in literary criticism. “Literalistic” is bad, as it blithely confuses things like genre. People take a poem and interpret it as if it were a didactic passage.
Or, as David Hume once said, “You cannot take narrative and get imperative.” People take a story from the Bible and assume it is an example for right teaching, that we have a duty to do as a character in the story did.
I find it interesting that you stated the problem so clearly, but did not offer a solution or alternative? I’m not ultra- conservative and we are raising our children to live in the world without being of the world. It’s a big world with boobs and thighs and exposed shoulders ( gasp) and our hope is that our kids can function and shed light by looking people IN the eyes, NOT averting their eyes. How are we to spread the awesome news of the gospel if we are all looking at the floor?!?!
I would hope that people don’t need to be told what “the solution” to shame-filled teachings are. My solution is to raise kids in a sex-positive household, with respect for the autonomy of themselves and others. To teach them that you can be sexually attracted to a person while still viewing and treating them as a whole person. The two should not mutually exclusive. They are taught that bodies are beautiful and desirable, attraction is fun and natural, sex needs to be safe and consensual, actions must be honorable, and that all people are worthy of respect, including themselves. As for how to dress, I teach them that clothing should be appropriate for weather and for the occasion (i.e. you must wear jeans and boots in the snow). That’s it. It’s not a very difficult solution.
I know that people should not have to have to be offered a solution, but that is part of the problem. Some people need to be taught. Making assumptions that they ” should” know the solution is not helpful. I have seen this myself and had to deal with it, some people have no idea how to navigate healthy sexuality. Your peice was very negative and if I was searching for support and help, then your article would have been very detrimental to your cause. Then again, if all you wanted to do was bash people, then mission accomplished.
A little education on your part as to the reason behind some of the teachings wouldn’t hurt either. I’m not talking about hearsay or a book by a random person. I can only speak from a catholic perspective, but educating yourself via the catechism as to the reasoning to our particular brand of modesty might be helpful.
1. my piece was not about support and help. It was about exposing the very real damage done by these teachings. It was talking about a very negative subject, therefore it was not rainbows and butterflies.
2. I have no need to study the “why” or the motives and have no need to “educate” myself on this issue. I lived it. I grew up only wearing long, heavy skirts and shapeless jumpers and being taught my body was dangerous and shameful and that men were pigs who couldn’t control themselves and would go crazy at the sight of my bare shoulders. I intimately know the fundamentalist teachings on modesty (which are pretty much the same whether you are Catholic or Protestant) and the reasons behind them. I completely and utterly reject such teachings and their reasons.
Greetings, your line about wearing boots, coats in the snow made me laugh remembering how I got over that years ago (my kids are now young adults, pushing 20!) One day when my son was about 7, he started to run out into Autumn weather (we are in Canada) and I yelled after him that he needed a coat. My friend, on the phone with me responded, ” Don’t you think this little fellow knows if he is cold and needs a coat? Why don’t you trust your boy?” But but but I started with all kinds of excuses but then, later, I saw she was correct. I stopped and let him learn on his own. I did offer coats after that but never told him he had to have one. Thanks for making me giggle in memory (and for your comments here and there in blogland…)
Shared on the anti-purity movement Facebook page!
I am a man who was raised this way by my stepmother. When I grew up to reject the childish fairy tales of the Bible and all of its childish exhortations it was like a weight had been lifted from my soul. I no longer felt guilty about my sexual desire that I spent my teenage years praying that Jesus would take away. (He never did–And here’s why–he’s a fairy tale.)
However, none of the awful things that the preacher’s I listened to on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night ever happened to me. I did not become a serial killer. (It was a “fact” at my church that all men who look at pornography become Ted Bundy.) I didn’t even become more of a social deviant than I already was. After a short period of indulging in porn after leaving my family and church, I have fewer sexual compulsions than ever. I can glance at attractive women without staring and I no longer have the infatuations with girls I had during my teenage years. I rejected the idea of sin, and now I am truly free from it.
When I see articles and stories on the subject of “modesty” in fundamentalist Christian culture, I immediately relate it to the larger picture of similar cultures in other religions. Look at countries and cultures in the Middle East and their general attitude towards women in society; women are practically invisible there. When the genders are separated and women forced to don modest apparel to spare the men from having desire, men’s view of women becomes distorted. Women as a group are seen only as sex objects, more mysterious and inherently evil in their very existence – they are merely walking vaginas.
Have any of you heard of: mychainsaregone.org? You might find it helpful.
You got me, Kyle. I looked and what I saw was just another lot of woo-woo: We know the truth of the bible, you can be free like us, escape the horrors of porn etc. Kyle the chains are gone because they have crossed the threshold of woo-woo and no longer wish to see them. Why do you wish to have such an invasive grip on your life, no personal boundaries, to be told what a mess you are and all these guys know the answer that God has given just to them??? JOIN UP. Serve GAWD and AMURKA! Get yourself a man-gun and attend Liberty University. It is all bunk even if it’s hunk-bunk: God made the little woman to be protected by hunk-man. No thanks, Kyle. I have thrown away my freedom before (and just like these guys, called it REAL freedom.)