With the mass shooting at a Florida High School by Nikolas Cruz we are not only seeing the call to restrict gun rights but we are also seeing the misandrists coming out again. Never missing an opportunity to express their misandry, these haters of all things masculine are now saying the traits of masculinity which the Bible commands are actually the cause of mass shootings.
Alia E. Dastagir in her article entitled “Are boys ‘broken’? Another mass shooting renews debate on toxic masculinity” for USAToday.com writes:
“The problem Black identifies is one feminists have been talking about for decades. It’s called toxic masculinity, the stereotypical sense of masculinity that embodies behaviors, such as denying help or emotions, which psychologists and sociologists say are harmful to men and to society. It’s the things in our culture — from toys given to movies watched to messages parents consciously and unconsciously send — that tells boys and men “being a real man” means repressing feelings and consistently demonstrating strength and dominance.
“We often talk about gender in terms of women … getting the short end of the stick. … Well, masculinity isn’t easy either,” Jennifer Carlson, a sociology professor at the University of Arizona who studies gun politics and gender, told USA TODAY after the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October. “That’s not your ticket to the good life. It isn’t easy to be a man in the United States. Demands put on men — whether it’s to be the protector, to be the provider, to respond to situations in certain ways, to prove yourself as a man — end up being not just outwardly destructive but also inwardly destructive.“
Who is it that places these “demands” on men?
Is it American culture, Western culture or just remnants of Bronze Age cultures that places the demand on men to demonstrate “strength and dominance” and to “be the protector” and “be the provider”?
The answer is found in these passages of the Bible:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
I Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
“Therefore, keep up your courage, men”
Acts 27:25 (NASB)
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.”
Luke 11:21 (NASB)
“Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until evening.”
Psalm 104:23 (NASB)
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.”
Proverbs 22:29 (NASB)
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
Proverbs 13:22 (NASB)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.”
Ephesians 5:25-29 (NASB)
The answer from the Scriptures is it is God who places the demand on men to be strong, to dominate and to be providers and protectors. A man who lacks courage, displays weakness, fails to have a commanding influence over others and fails to provide and protect is not living up to God’s standard for men.
Why does God have these standards for men? Because God created man to be his image bearer:
“For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.”
I Corinthians 11:7 (NASB)
Why does God want men to be strong? Because he is strong.
Why does God want men to be dominant? Because he is dominant.
Why does God want men to be providers? Because he is our provider.
Why does God want men to be protectors? Because he is our protector.
Violent Crimes Are Mostly Committed By Men and Water Is Wet
Alia E. Dastagir in her article entitled “Are boys ‘broken’? Another mass shooting renews debate on toxic masculinity” makes an astounding statement about men and violent crime:
“A 2017 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found many norms around gender, what’s expected of boys and girls, become entrenched in adolescence and have negative impacts that carry into adulthood.
Among consequences the study noted when boys conform to gender stereotypes:
Engaging in physical violence to a much greater extent than girls
Dying more frequently from unintentional injuries
Being more prone to substance abuse and suicide
Having a shorter life expectancy than women
Data shows gun violence is disproportionately a male problem. Of the 97 mass shootings in which three or more victims died since 1982, only three were committed by women (one of those being the San Bernardino attack in which a man also participated), according to a database from the liberal-leaning news outlet Mother Jones. Men also accounted for 86% of gun deaths in the United States, according to an analysis by the non-partisan non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.”
Men commit vastly more violent crimes than women and men make up the vast majority of mass shooters and water is wet.
I love it when writers show they have a firm grasp of the obvious. Men by their very nature to a greater or lesser degree are capable of great violence much more so than most women. Every person since the beginning of humanity could tell us that.
Is Violence Always A Bad Thing?
In most cases the word “violence” is used to denote the unlawful or wrongful use of force. But we all know there are violent acts that are justified and that we would even welcome. We would all agree that what Nikolas Cruz did at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was an unlawful and wrongful act of violence. But imagine if that school had armed security guards and they acted “violently” against Nikolas Cruz by filling him full of bullets when he started shooting? Both would be acts of violence. But one would have been a just act of violence and the other was unjust.
The Bible tells us that God actually puts in man his aggressive tendencies and his ability to perform violent acts:
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle”
Psalm 144:1 (NASB)
My point is this. Men being capable of violence is not a bad thing. It is by the design of God. It becomes a bad thing when men use their ability to act in violence in sinful and wrong ways.
It irks me when I hear people all the time say that boys watching violent war movies, super hero shows or cop shows makes them violent. It is like saying women watching shows that are more drama based and less action and violence based makes them more emotional and relational.
The truth is that most boys like to watch violent war movies, super hero shows, cop shows and other action shows because they ARE action oriented and violent by nature in the same way that women more often watch drama shows because they ARE more emotionally and relationally oriented.
I actually encouraged and played war games like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and Battlefield and many other “violent” video games with my boys growing up. But at the same time I taught them about the responsible use of force and gun safety.
Speaking of gun safety. When my boys were little and had toy guns if the gun looked anywhere near a real gun it would have to have a bright red tip on the end. I would never let my boys have a toy gun like the one in the picture at the top of this article that was totally black. There have been many sad stories where a police officer thought a toy gun was real and tragedy happened and I did not want that happening with my kids.
I own a hand gun which I have taught my boys how to use when we have gone on men’s camping retreats with our church. My second oldest son who is 18 is an avid hunter (which I am not) and he owns a couple of shot guns, several bows and he recently purchased an AR-15 assault rifle (the same style of gun used by Cruz) about a month ago. We plan on going to a state run outdoor shooting range where we can use his new gun with some of his other guns. Of course you know who has to buy the ammo for these excursions? Yep you guessed it – dear old Dad.
I am a firm believer in boys being able to exercise their aggressive tendencies in healthy and controlled ways like going to shooting ranges, playing sports and playing violent video games. As long as we do these things in balance and they do not over power us in our lives or become addictions (and yes sports and hunting and shooting can become an addiction just like video games) then they can be used for our benefit.
My boys know the answer I always give when women come around(whether it is step moms, aunts, cousins) and say things like “why do you boys always have to play those violent video games or watch violent movies” I tell them “Because we are men”.
Most men want to use their aggressive and violent tendencies to defend others – not to commit wrong acts
I just took my boys and my daughter to watch the Black Panther movie this weekend as I have most of the Marvel Movies. Who do you think they were rooting for? The hero or the villain? The one trying to protect people or the one trying to hurt people? The God given masculine desire to be a protector goes hand in hand with the God given masculine ability to fight and be aggressive. It is a defining attribute of who men are.
When our culture says that violence and aggressiveness are a “male problem” they are in essence saying men need to be more like women. The problem is not violence and aggressiveness in and of themselves – it is the wrongful use of violence and aggressiveness that is the issue. That is part of the sin nature.
And all these pansies that are trying to neuter the aggressive and violent side of the masculine nature would be BEGGING for it if their home, cities or nation were ever invaded. We would be praising this side of masculinity – not trying to erase it.
We Will Never Totally Eliminate Evil From The World
And let me give another news flash to my liberal friends who think we can use social engineering to get rid of the sinful inclinations of mankind. Only God change the sinful heart of man. Only God can completely rid this world of sin and evil and one day he will. No social program, no rehabilitation program will do this. I am all for encouraging things like strong families and especially strong fathers in the homes teaching their wives and children the ways of God. This would go a long way to reducing violent crime and a lot of problems that our society is seeing.
But long before the corruption of feminism upon society in the last 150 years – violent acts happened. Massacres happened over the entire history of mankind. This is nothing new. Man has certainly used his violent and aggressive tendencies to prey on the weak and act in the some of the most evil and heinous ways. But man has also used his aggressive tendencies toward violence to defend the weak and powerless and to destroy evil aggressors.
So while we certainly should support mental health reforms and increased funding for mental hospitals where we can lock up those who are a danger to themselves or society we must also approach this from a defensive posture. It is our duty as men to defend our homes, our towns, our schools and our nation. We need to push for trained and armed security personnel whether they are security guards or retired police officers or retired military personnel to be stationed at our schools. We need to allow teachers who are properly trained in the use of weapons to carry hand guns. We need to stop having schools be gun-free zones which basically just paints a big bullseye on them for crazy and evil folks who want to hurt others.
It is not men following Biblical gender roles or the expectation that men should be strong protectors and providers that is a “destructive” influence that is causing these mass shootings. Rather the root of these heinous and evil acts is the same root of sexual sins like adultery and homosexuality. These evils that mankind does are caused by the corruption of sin upon our God given male and female human natures.
We all are “broken” – both boys and girls, men and women by sin and this is nothing new. It has been with mankind since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden thousands of years ago. And only Jesus Christ can mend us.
“7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:7-8 (NASB)
8 thoughts on “Are Mass Shootings A Result of Biblical Masculinity?”
Ummmm….women who do watch drama-emotionally-laden movies tend to act far more emotional. I contend that boys who watch a lot of violence act more violently. What is missing is a role model, an authority, a guidance to reign them in back to reality. I know men who watch a lot of porn and treat women like garbage when pre-porn they did not. I know women who have become dissatisfied with their marriages and their motherhood because of all the Sex and the City they watched.
I know men who have the know-how to be successful criminals, even serial murderers, but they have the character and moral upbringing and fortitude to not commit crimes and heinous acts. Instead, they have joined the armed services, or became police officers, or fire fighters, or work security, or law. Some are avid hunters who provide meat for several families in need.
Role playing a WW2 British soldier in a video game is different than playing a car thief, rapist, and murderer in Grand Theft Auto.
I do not disagree that our environment or what we take in or listen has “some” impact on us. But if a boy goes to school and shoots up a school it was not because he played a violent video game(even one like grand theft auto – which by the way I hate). But for us to take in something – we had to first desire it in the first place.
I do agree though that children – both boys and girls need good roles models in the form of godly fathers and mothers(and yes they need both parents) and this does have a great amount of positive impact on them. But if you made all violent video games, movies and TV shows illegal tomorrow and took them off all communication devices you would still have violent people doing violent things. In fact I would argue that we might have much more violence if people were not allowed to exercise their thoughts through watching violent movies or video games. This was one of the reasons that there were fighting pits and the Colosseum in Rome.
Evil violent acts existed long before we had these motion pictures and video games.
So when I say I will admit to “some” influence from these things – I mean that I believe they could possibly amplify what is already in the heart in some mentally unstable people. But on the other hand I believe that for most people being able to exercise their fantasies through books, shows or video games can actually act to decrease these things.
For instance you state that you have seen many men who watch porn treat women like garbage when I have seen just the opposite. Porn often helps men to stay out of sexual infidelity because they can exercise their fantasies there without going out in real life and committing actual fornication. There are studies that show in countries where porn is illegal rape is actually much higher. See this post where I list this research:
Again we will agree to disagree on this. I would maintain that the women you mention already had the seeds of dissatisfaction with their lives in their hearts before they ever watched an episode of Sex and the City. In fact I would argue that they watched Sex and the City because of that dissatisfaction that they already had and the show simply acted as a tool to help them live out their fantasies of not being a wife and mother.
I will close my comment with a this little story.
Years ago I had a friend of mine from the Christian high school I attended that I thought had a great marriage. He then cheated on his wife with a prostitute. He felt horrible and guilty as soon as he did it. But you know what he did? He blamed it on watching porn. Everyone bought it. His wife bought it. She forgave him. Then they had him read lots of Christian books on porn addiction like Every Man’s Battle and others. Then he did the accountability thing and put things on his devices so his wife could see his internet and his phone history. He was totally locked out of the porn.
But then he did it again! Afterwards he admitted that he had always had a problem with lust long before he ever watched any porn. He admitted that it was evil desires in his own heart and not the porn that made him do it even the first time. He actually made a statement I will not forgot. He said “Larry if I am being completely honest – I used the “porn made me do it” as an excuse for my behavior so my wife would forgive me. But actually the truth is – the porn was keeping me from doing the evil I had in my heart to do. It was only when I decided that the neither my wife nor the porn could satiate my thirst and that I had to have the real thing that I did this sin.”
Great article BGR.
The ideas in a show can certainly form opinions and change someone’s contentment and expectations if they are not wise to the game being played on them. People can certainly be mislead by mistruth, and it is everywhere. The enemy is very successful with this. This is why you have to recognize it by comparing everything to God’s ways through scripture.
It is complicated though – every situation is different – it depends on the root cause. I’d say it is both true that sin in someone’s heart causes them to seek out media AND media can also fuel a tiny ember of sin into a huge fire. So they can go together. Or they can be apart. Someone might be doing fine and take in a message that isn’t good and if they accept/internalize/follow it, then there is trouble.
The answer is knowing God’s word and strongly trying to align yourself to it through obedience.
On the issue of modern times and mass shootings. This society has problems and the culture has been turning far from God for many decades. As usually happens, God will allow/give people over to what it is that they want and they will pay the price.
The fact is that people are going the wrong way, away from God. Everyone thinks the next super medication or shiny trinket is going to make their life better and people are addicted to prescription drugs, or not prescription drugs, or taking medicines to make their toenails 10% shinier and no one has a clue as to what th effects of them are except that it is making a huge amount of money for big pharmaceuticals. I have to also wonder if humans are suffering the effects sin and each generation is less capable than the one before despite having more technical innovations available to them. At my son’s school there are so many young people who are so messed up and have trouble functioning. It doesn’t seem that toxic male behavior is going to be an issue for long, my son is commenting all the time about how girly so many of the boys act.
Actually, I don’t really disagree with you. I think we just both gave valid examples from different points of view, although I agree, that even in cases where there is excess in consumption of say, violent rape porn or violent movies and video games, we aren’t to blame the thing, but rather the person. No one is tying them to chairs, forcing their eyelids open, and making them consume hours upon hours of these things in order to create a monster.
Just like in Genesis 4:7, it is a path of choices that brings sin to our door.
I do not agree that there is a place for porn use in Christianity. I have read your posts on the matter and I found them helpful in better understanding the male mind and not feeling so crushed and hurt when hubby does view something, like a graphic movie, or suggestive YouTube video. However, despite not agreeing with you in some aspects, I enjoy challenging perspectives with respectful conversation, so I thank you for that.
“excess in consumption of say, violent rape porn”
You don’t watch porn don’t you? I’ve watched porn for over 20 years and been to literally thousands of different porn sites and I’ve never ever come across “rape porn”
Do you know why? It’s because so called rape porn doesn’t exist, it’s a myth promulgated by the anti porn lobby……there is SIMULATED rough sex and rape “fantasy” but no one is hurt and it’s all consensual
The only way to access “rape porn” would be to get it illegally on the Dark Web, but even that would represent less than .005% of available porn out there
I absolutely loved everything about this post.
Ironically these are the very traits that women find attractive in a mate. It is these very traits that build a civilization that provides safety and affluence for women and children. Biting the hand that feeds you is an irrational response by irrational feminists.
The man of God does not repress His feelings. The book of psalms is the very expression of feelings, yet those feelings are subordinated by something greater. That thing that is greater is the apprehension of the incomprehensible God followed by a rational response in faith. Biblical men are not unemotional, they are in control of their emotions. When an emotion is unhelpful to their mission and task they override it or steer it toward energy and movement. In this way warriors overcome pain, loneliness and deprivation to protect their homes and homeland. In similar fashion the man of God takes up his cross to advance the kingdom of Christ. The taking up of the cross is often emotionally painful and unbearable, but he does so willingly for a greater good depending on a strength that comes from outside himself.
What feminists fail to apprehend is that men in control of the their feelings is called maturity, that men demonstrating strength are providing security and that men displaying dominance is called “leadership”. Take away these characteristics and civilization will fail, the kingdom of Christ would languish and women and children would become vulnerable victims of nature and evil persons of both sexes. The problem is not too much masculinity or toxic masculinity, but insufficient masculinity as defined in the scripture. Men have become emasculated and women worshiping wimps.
Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! Psalm 12:1