Castrate, Then Bid Them Be Fruitful
A physician told my brother, a pastor, "I think I've concluded that your pastor-mask makes you incapable of expressing your true feelings. What do you think?"
I think this is part of being a man, not just a pastor. It's called the duty of maturity and manly self-control, now made more difficult than ever in the face of a society that wants to make us over into emotionally expressive women while the women become "strong" like men used to be. And what passes for Christianity—the encouragement of religious feeling (Schleiermacher's Gefühl or the soul-excitements sought in nearly every modern church, whatever its theology)—is at least partially responsible for this, particularly since the nineteenth century, when the "feminization of American culture" (Ann Douglas) began to take hold.
Men have had customary ways of dealing with their "true feelings," usually in the empathetic and protective company of other men, but the functionally man-hating spirit blocks as many ways of doing this as she can by making exclusively male groups and organizations politically incorrect or illegal. The doctor might be informed that where male pastors gather for prayer and mutual encouragement one has something different entirely, but once again, the advent of women pastors who insist on joining what was meant in the providence of God to be a fraternity wrecks this too, so now in many places pastoral men have nowhere to go for releases that are not only psychologically necessary, but placed in the divinely ordained economy of the Church for their spiritual well-being.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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