Are Mass Shootings A Result of Biblical Masculinity?

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.

Conclusion

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. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:7-8 (NASB)