Monday, December 17, 2018

HT Phoenix Preacher, Nadia Bolz-Weber says it's okay to look at porn if it's ethically sourced ... a reminder that affirming the legitimacy of Christian pornography was something Mark Driscoll mentioned as William Wallace II back in 2000

If the mantle of hipster cussing pastor who has edgy things to say about sexuality has been passed from Mark Driscoll to another, the mantle may have passed on to Nadia Bolz-Weber.

But somewhere maybe William Wallace II realizes his shtick has been appropriated by an ELCA pastrix ...

In a recent interview with a New Jersey-based publication, pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber says her new book—Shameless: A Sexual Reformation—touches on the issue of sexual ethics and the church.
Bolz-Weber argued we shouldn’t shame those who consume pornography if, and only if, the pornography is “ethically sourced.”
I wonder if Bolz-Weber understands that this gimmick might be at least twenty years old as a core idea and that it is at least eighteen years old by now in terms of being published on the internet by a pastor.  
Who else among the cadre of cussing pastors who are hip and real have broached the topic of how pornography can be done in a Christian way?

Ah, that's right, Mark Driscoll, when he wrote as William Wallace II and published a post called "Using Your Penis"

We've published this before here at Wenatchee The Hatchet but let's revisit a somewhat lengthy stretch of it just so people can see for themselves.  A few salient passages will be highlighted in red.

Author  Topic:   Using your penis  
William Wallace II
Member   posted 01-08-2001 10:59 PM              
The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may seem, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is His penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while. 

While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wandering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home. 
Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home. But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another mans home. And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home. Paul tells us that your penis actually belongs to your wife, and once you are married she will trade you it for her home (I Corinthians 7:4), and every man knows this is a very good trade for him to make. 

With his penis, the man is supposed to please his wife and learn how to be patient, self-controlled and be educated on how to keep his home happy and joyous (I Corinthians 7:3). The man should be aroused by his new home, and his wife should rejoice at seeing his penis rise to greet her (Song of Songs 5:14b). 

[This message has been edited by William Wallace II (edited 01-08-2001).]
IP: Logged

William Wallace II
Member   posted 01-18-2001 11:13 AM              
Christian pornography. Christian phone sex. Christian cyber-sex. Christian lap dances. 
Someone recently asked me about these issues. And, they are quite valid. 

The problem with many unfaithful unmanly unmen is that they have heads filled with desires and dreams, but they marry a Christian women raised on a steady diet of gnosticism (so she hates her body) psychology (so she thinks too much before she climbs into bed) and guilt ridden don't have sex because it's a dirty nasty thing that God hates and makes you a slut youth group propaganda from hell/Family Books. 

So the poor guy is like a starving man who is told he can only eat once ever couple weeks and his restaurant only has one crummy unspiced bland item on the menu and he either eats it or starves to death. 

Bummer for that guy. 

What the guy wants is to see a stripper, a porno, and have some phone and cyber sex. What the guy needs is a good Christian woman. The kind of woman who knows that men like unclothed and sexually aggressive women. Why? Because they are breathing. As long as a man is alive he is ready for sex every minute of every day. 

Ladies, listen closely. The guy will never get the big dreams out of his head. He can either explore them with his wife, become bitter and sexually repressed, or sneak off to Deja Vu or log on to the net and escape in a moment of adventure. Birds fly, ducks float, dogs bark, and men think about sex every minute of every day because they have a magical ability to continually think of two things at one time, one of which is always sex. Any man who denies this is a liar or has broken plumbing.

So it would behoove a good godly woman to learn how to strip for her husband.
Some nice music, a couple of drinks, candlight and a wife who has thrown her youth group devotionals to the wind would be nice. Most women do not do this because they are uncomfortable with their bodies. Know that for a man there are two variables with a woman's body. One, what does she have to work with? Two, how does she use it? Now I will tell you a secret, number two is the most important. 

How about a Christian guy who wants to watch porno? Maybe his wife should get a Polaroid and snap a few shots of her in various states of marital undress and bliss and sneak them into his Bible so that when the guy sits down to eat his lunch at work and read some Scripture he has reasons to praise God. Or, maybe if the lady would plug in a camcorder and secretly film herself showering, undressing, making love to her husband etc. she could give it to him when he's on the road for weeks at a time, or maybe just so the poor guy can see his wife as some undressed passionate goddess. I have yet to find a wife take me up on this be rebuked by her husband. 

And what guy breaking his stones on the job every day wouldn't like a hot phone call from his wife now and then telling him in great detail what awaits him when he gets home. Or how about the occasional instant explicit message from his wife rolling across his screen giving him some reasons to expect that dessert will precede dinner that night. 

Do you know why the adult entertainment industry is raking in billions of dollars? Because people like to have sex and have fun. Does it lead to sin? Yes. Can it lead to worship. Of course. If you resist this message, please stay single until you get your head straightened out. If you are married and fully constipated, bummer for you and your upcoming divorce. 


If all of that quoted above was not Mark Driscoll's way of saying that ethically sourced porn was something Christians could legitimately enjoy within monogamous marriage, well, I don't know what else it could have been saying.

If Mark Driscoll, as William Wallace II, extolled the possibility of "Christian pornography" as being legitimate between husband and wife then whatever train Nadia Bolz-Weber thinks she may have boarded with her forthcoming book is a train that Mark Driscoll boarded back in 2000 as William Wallace II.  He first preached through Song of Songs back in 1998. Some twenty years ago there was that Mother Jones article wherein Driscoll said ...

“There are gays all over our church and I don’t need to yell at them like the religious right,” Driscoll says. “You can be a gay or punk and we’ll treat you like everybody else. Even if you never become a Christian, we’re still friends.” 
Mars Hill is all about acceptance. Compared to the religious right’s favorite son Ralph Reed, a vision of fundamentalist zeal in a blue suit, Driscoll seems downright countercultural. He’s unabashed about using the pulpit to discuss sex. “I speak very frankly about the reasons God made our bodies to experience orgasm, the Bible’s approval of oral sex between a husband and wife,” he says. “Once you’re married and as long as you remain monogamous, God tells his children to be unblushingly erotic and passionate.” 

He offers classes at church on topics such as “evangelical feminism” (“the Bible is clear that men and women are both created by God in His image and likeness and totally equal in every way,” he says) and disavows any link with conservative politics. “I used to think it was part of Christianity to be conservative,” he says. “I was further right than Falwell and Limbaugh.” Now he says he doesn’t even vote. What changed? “It got boring,” he says with a shrug. “And I realized that politics didn’t change anything, that in the meantime, people were still starving.”  [emphases added]

So if Bolz-Weber might really believe she's bringing something new to the pop Christian publishing table here's a news flash, Mark Driscoll was going that direction twenty years ago.  If even William Wallace II, better known as Mark Driscoll, could produce a litany of pornography that he considered, in Bolz-Weber's taxonomy, "ethically sourced" it may just be that there's absolutely nothing about Bolz-Weber's idea at a practical level that wasn't articulated by ... Mark Driscoll, two decades ago.

Sure, it's likely Bolz-Weber is aiming to endorse as okay a variety of things that Mark Driscoll would consider sinful but the core gimmick of saying that the right kind of porn is the right kind of thing for Christians to consume can't be one of those things.  Mark Driscoll, as we've quoted at moderate length from his William Wallace II days, was praising the legitimacy of Christians enjoying what Bolz-Weber might call ethically sourced pornography back in 2000.

There is nothing new under the sun ... apparently least of all at the pop Christian publishing industry ...

Having seen a response over at Phoenix Preacher regarding what Driscoll advocated, a bit of clarification.  The point I've considered at the post is not whether Driscoll and Nadia Bolz-Weber would agree on homosexuality or pornography use, the point I've proposed is that these are two celebrities who are using a cheap gimmick to sell books that never needed to be written and published in the first place and have assimilated talking about sex as a spiel into their public personas.  What these markets rely upon is the assumption that nobody reads across their respective liberal or conservative, red-state or blue-state trenches to observe the ways in which the same cheap gimmicks and rhetorical flourishes get used.  The long-form case that Driscoll became increasingly permissive across his twenty year career of writing publicly about sex and marriage and what was acceptable in marriage (which Driscoll himself, as William Wallace II, outlined as the creation of some kind of Christian porn) is a somewhat different topic.  There's any number of arguments to be made that what he advocated as acceptable within a Christian marriage is still ridiculous, foolish and perhaps even dangerous in terms of media use and production; but that's also not what I was looking at in this post.  Let's put it in a more direct and polemical way, hacks of this sort resort to the same stunts and gimmicks to promote their brands regardless of real differences of conviction about any number of issues. 

If either a Bolz-Weber or a Driscoll were writing a book-length treatment on recovering the value of lifelong celibacy that would be more of an effort to buck trends in the pop-level Christian book industry. 


Unknown said...

In this day and age of social media where a picture or video can travel the world in a nano-second,any woman (or man for that matter) who creates pictures of videos like that should know that they will never truly be private and could be revealed to the world at any moment. The more I contemplate the vulnerable, compromised position Driscoll was advocating his female followers put themselves in, as a matter of course, to please their husbands, the more I am blown away by his misogyny, irresponsibility, and lack of pastoral spirit.

BGarrison said...

Actually, given the speed of technology over these past 20 years, we can’t compare current marketing campaigns to those of yesteryear. When Driscoll made his comments in 1998, I was accessing the Internet using dialup, most editors preferred corresponding via email, ideas were communicated via message boards not blogs, and social media wouldn’t be around for several years. Not to mention the massaive shifts in the publishing industry re e-books, audiobooks, hybrid/self-publishing and the like and it’s a completely different world from when Driscoll first made his splash to today.

Where Wenatchee the Hatchet comparison is apt in that he’s noting how Nadia Bolz Weber is marking herself as a cutting edge Christian thinker but employing marketing memes that Driscoll adopted twenty years ago. Nothng new here but the same tropes the Christain Industrial complex continues to rebrand and recycle. The cussing pastor meme was perfected by Driscoll though one can see different iterations in the various pastors trying to be cool starting with JPUSA - Driscoll just tacked on the cussin’ bit which got him the PR he needed to score book deals. Then Nadia added some tattoos (though I’ve met a # of tattooed pastors who were working in the trenches decades before Nadia made her mark). And the blessing of porn under certain conditions albeit between husband and wife (Driscoll) or ethnically sourced (Bolz-Weber) are very provocative titles generated to get media buzz (and hopefully bucks in the process).

Meanwhile what’s being missed in the buzz promoted by both parties are key Qs raised by #churchtoo (both Driscoll and emergent church where Nadia first platformed herself came from the Young Leaders Network, and the history of abuses stemming from that network have been well reported). That’s the real convo that needs to happen but to do so requires critiquing the very platforms that propped up these two in the first place.