The Toxic War on Masculinity with Nancy Pearcey
September 7, 2023
I am honored to have Nancy Pearcey on the More to the Story Podcast. Her new book, The Toxic War on Masculinity, takes readers on a fascinating romp through American history to discover how the secular script for masculinity turned toxic--and what action we can take to fix it.
Youtube - https://youtu.be/pYg0VkrJo30
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Welcome to the more tis story podcast. I'm so glad that you have come along. This is gonna be a great show. I'm very honored and thankful to have the guests that I'm gonna introduce in just a minute here, and I know that some of you are probably have clicked into this now because you saw who the guest is, and so welcome to the more to story. Podcast this comes to you from Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we do that through a host of programs from Bach.
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Andy Miller III: bachelor's master's doctoral degrees lay initiatives like the Wesley Institute, which starts just after Labor Day this year, and we're excited that we're one of the first seminaries approved by the global Methodist Church. And we offer a course of study for pastors in the global Methodist church. And over the last 4 months we have added 250 global Methodist church pastors. What an amazing thing it's such a blessing to serve these students and these people
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Andy Miller III: who are serving the church, this global Methodist church, particularly as it's emerging.
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Andy Miller III: Secondly, I'm thankful to my friend Keith Waters in Wpo. Development, who helped make some of kind of the technical aspects of this podcast happen. They've been a sponsor from the very beginning, and you can find out more about them at Wpo development. Keith and his team, lead people through capital campaigns, and have successfully done so from 1, 250 churches, schools, and other organizations as well. So I'd love for you.
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Andy Miller III: you to check them out. Finally, I just want to know a few things that are available from Andy Miller, the third com. That's Andy Miller Iii. Com.
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Andy Miller III: My new book Contender, going deeper in the Book of Jude, is available there, and I have a new course. It's a Biblical journey beyond this world. How about that? For the title? It's talking about heaven and other destinations we're describing. So thinking about the afterlife in the Biblical case for heaven, it's 5 sessions, video sessions with discussion guides and bonus content you can find at that at my website. It's just come out just in time for your fall kind of Sunday School class for small group needs.
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Andy Miller III: But now I'm really glad and honored to welcome into the podcast professor, Nancy, pearcy, who is a professor and scholar in residence at Houston. Christian University. Nancy, welcome to the Podcast
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npearcey: thank you so much. I'm good, glad to be here.
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Andy Miller III: I have so benefited from your writing over the last few years. I first came in contact with your writing through love, the body love thy body, and that really put a few things together for me, and then I got connected to several other things, and and of your writing total truth. And I felt like, Oh, man! Now I finally, I finally have somebody I've been looking for for a long time, and it was you. And I'm so thankful for this new book that you have the toxic
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war on masculinity. This is a fascinating book, and I'm so thankful for it at this time, particularly coming from a female scholar. So as we get started here. I'm interested. Please start with some good news. I know this is one of these challenge. People often accuse evangelical Christian men of being oppressive patriarchs
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Andy Miller III: home to abuse.
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Andy Miller III: But you make the surprising claim that they test out as having the lowest levels of abuse and divorce. Now that was a little surprise to me. Can you explain that
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npearcey: it was a certainly surprise to be as well, because we've all heard the media narratives right that any notion of mail headship in the home is going to turn men into overbearing, domineering, tyrannical patriarchs. In fact, I'll give you just one example. It was easy to find examples on Google, but
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npearcey: just one. This was the co-founder of the church to movement which came after the Me. Too, movement.
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npearcey: And she said, the theology of male headship
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npearcey: feeds the rape culture that we see permeating American Christianity to day
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npearcey: and social sciences, like psychologists, sociologists, were reading these accusations and saying, Where's your evidence? You know you're making these charges. But where's your data?
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npearcey: And so they went out and did the studies.
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npearcey: And I quote some 12 dozen or so different studies that found that
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npearcey: the the actual studies found the exact opposite of the media narrative. And so this was incredibly surprising.
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npearcey: Evangelical men test out the highest, the top of the list in terms of being loving husbands and fathers.
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npearcey: And, by the way, they do interview the Y separately, which is important.
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npearcey: Yes, I sometimes get pushed back on that, you know. Of course she's gonna say she's happy. Her husband's sitting right there. No, these were large secular surveys not done by Christians, and so women were interviewed separately, and so it was, the wives themselves reporting that they were the happiest with their husbands, love and affection.
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npearcey: Evangelical fathers test out as being the most engaged with their children. both in terms of shared activities, like a church youth, group and sports. and in terms of discipline, like setting limits on screen time
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npearcey: and enforcing bedtime.
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npearcey: Evangelical couples have the lowest rate of divorce of any major group in America, and the real surprise. They have the lowest rate of domestic abuse and violence of any major group in America.
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npearcey: So sometimes it's good to sort of crystallize it
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npearcey: with a particular quote, so let me give you one of those. my my go-to sociologist, so to speak. The one who did the largest study is Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia.
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npearcey: By the way, he's not an Evangelical, he's a Catholic. A lot of people find that.
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npearcey: you know. Well, he wasn't necessarily trying to find that Protestant men test out the top, but they do. And here's what he wrote, just to give you a sense of his stature.
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npearcey: He writes in places like the New York Times. So this is a quote from a New York Times article. He says, it turns out that the happiest of all wives in America are religious conservatives.
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Andy Miller III: Huh!
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npearcey: And of course they talk about their impact on wives, especially, because supposedly, it's the wives who have been oppressed and silenced, and so on. But the happiest of all wives in America are religious conservatives, fully 73% of wives who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands, have high quality marriages.
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npearcey: and then he turns to his fellow sociologists. who I don't know if you realize, but it's a it's a very secularized discipline. So these are mostly mostly secular people.
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npearcey: And listen to this. This is my favorite line. He says academics need to cast aside their prejudices about religious conservatives and Evangelicals. In particular.
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npearcey: conservative Protestant married men with children are consistently the most active and expressive fathers, and the most emotionally engaged husbands.
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npearcey: So this is something that even Christians don't know.
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npearcey: It's not out in the, you know public arena. I had to go digging in the academic literature just to find these studies. And so this was really the reason I wanted to write the book. I said, Okay, we need to get this information out there, we need to encourage Christian men who are doing well. That's you know, all the media attacks are just not true.
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npearcey: for Christian men who, you know, are K. Truly committed, attend church regularly. They actually test out as the best, most loving husband in all America.
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Andy Miller III: So it's time for us to encourage Christian man. That's that's my goal here. Well, I love that positive message, but nevertheless.
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npearcey: Christians get divorced at the same rate to the rest of society. I well, it seems like that's just a common thing that people assume to be true. Yes, and it is the first pushback. I always get and.
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npearcey: in fact, in my research, I found that it. It is one of the most widely quoted statistics by Christian leaders.
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Andy Miller III: So there's a reason we've all heard this.
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npearcey: So the researchers went back to the data, and they made that all important distinction between men who are committed and attend church regularly versus nominal Christians, cultural Christians, men who, on a survey like this, might check the Baptist box, for example, but who don't actually attend church rarely, if at all.
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npearcey: and these men test out shockingly differently. They, their wives, report the lowest level of happiness. They spend the least amount of time with their children. They have the highest rate of divorce even higher than secular men.
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npearcey: and the real shocker. They have the highest rate of domestic abuse and violence of any major group in America even higher than secular men.
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npearcey: So this is where we get a lot of our stereotypes, negative stereotypes of evangelicals.
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npearcey: If you take if you take a study of just Evangelicals and and push them together. Obviously, you're gonna your statistics are gonna be misleading, cause you're gonna get men who are better than secular men.
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npearcey: combined with men who are worse than secular men. So the numbers are very misleading.
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Andy Miller III: is it for us?
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npearcey: That's it's important for the church to realize that they're they're dealing with these 2 very different groups of men.
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Andy Miller III: I think it's helpful, too, particularly as we're now. I mean, I'm gonna say sadly, and it'll reveal my cards that we're in the Presidential election cycle. It's like, here it comes again, and and people will often say, Evangelicals do this. Well, I've often wondered, like what probably this similar distinction could be helpful as we decide, like how people are saying Evangelicals, and I say that in quotes are voting
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npearcey: exactly, and in fact, there have been books on Evangelicals that say upfront. I'm not even talking about evangelicals as a theological position. I'm talking it as a political interest group.
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npearcey: and even teaching at a Christian college. By the way, I had some students object to my use of the word evangelical, because they're like what I've only heard about Evangelicals in a negative connotation.
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npearcey: And so I had to put this in in the book right at the beginning
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npearcey: that I am using the term in its theological meaning and not its political meaning. And so and and church historians have some fairly
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npearcey: common definitions. David Babington, who's a church historian in England, put out a definition that most people use. You know they believe the Bible's true in this God's Word and the rule for life they. They believe that
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npearcey: personal relationship with God is more important than church rituals. They believe in evangelism.
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npearcey: there was a fourth one. Active. Oh, conversion! Everyone has to actually go through a conversion experience because I was raised Lutheran, and we don't think that, by the way. Lutherans don't think that. Chris reformed Catholics. They often don't think that
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npearcey: when I say we need to evangelize our own kids, I get pushback from these more. The historians call them the churchly denominations, the ones who define their religion in terms of participating in church rituals.
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npearcey: And I'm not saying that that's less sincere or less real. But it's it's just a different understanding of what it means to be a Christian. So evangelical means. Now you have a personal conversion experience, and you have a personal relationship with God. And that's more important than churchly rituals, anyway. So that's the definition of evangelical that
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Andy Miller III: I think we should we? I think we should like reclaim that as best we can, and even just the the root of the word being good news, and like claiming that I mean this, we're gonna use words that are Biblical words and words that like in David Bevington. And sometimes I think I've heard him talk about it, saying, like he never imagined that he would be so identified with the beving quadrilateral. But nevertheless, like it's a really helpful historical tool to use. Well, I think it's worth
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Andy Miller III: finding like fighting for it, so to speak. Now, I found something really interesting like you described in the book that men are being torn between 2 competing scripts for masculinity. Could you tell us what those are?
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npearcey: Yes, I'll start by giving you a little background, and that is that which is not in the book. And that is that this is proven to be the most controversial book I've ever written, which did surprise me because, love, thy body was on homosexuality, transgenderism, which is really exploded in our day.
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npearcey: But II ran a lot of classes and reading groups on the book, because I like to get a lot of feedback.
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npearcey: W. Rub off the rough, rough, rough edges right, and when they would, when they would tell their friends and family that we were going through a book on masculinity. Invariably the first question was, Whose side is she on
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npearcey: with that? With that tone, whose side is she on? And men tended to assume? I was a male bashing feminist
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npearcey: and progressive, tended to think I was probably some angry, defensive, reactionary.
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npearcey: And so I put this study right at the beginning, because it sort of disarms that initial hostility. The the 2 scripts for masculinity that came out of a study by a sociologist, not a Christian. But he's well known in his field, and so he gets invited to speak all around the globe.
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npearcey: And so he came up with this clever experiment. He would ask young men 2 questions. The first question was, What does it mean to be a good man.
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Andy Miller III: Hmm!
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npearcey: You know, if you're at a funeral and in the eulogy somebody says he was a good man all around the world.
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npearcey: Young men had no trouble, answering that they would all say things like duty, honor, integrity, do the right thing, sacrifice. Look out for the little guy, be generous, be a provider, be a protector, be responsible, and they would just spill it out. And the and the sociologists would say, Well, where'd you learn that?
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npearcey: And they didn't know, they'd say, Well, it's just in the air we breathe. or if they were in a Western country, they would say, it's part of our Judeo-christian heritage.
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npearcey: and then he would follow up with a second question.
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npearcey: and he would say, Okay, but what does it mean? If I say to you, man, up, be a real man.
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npearcey: And the young man said, Oh, no, that's completely different. That means be tough, be strong, never show weakness
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npearcey: when at all costs.
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npearcey: Play, play through pain.
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npearcey: Be competitive, get rich, get laid. I'm using their their language.
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npearcey: And he said. and the sociologists concluded that
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npearcey: men around the globe, I mean from Brazil to
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npearcey: Sweden, to Australia. do know what the good man is. They do have that innate knowledge of that inherent knowledge, we would say, is because they're made in God's image. They do know what it means to be a good man.
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npearcey: These were non Christian cultures. So I would say, this is part of general revelation. Right? Men do inherently know that their unique masculine strength, because they are stronger and bigger than women.
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npearcey: but that their unique masculine strengths are not given them to just get whatever they want.
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npearcey: but to protect, provide, you know, to take care of the people that they love.
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npearcey: and that seems to be an inherent knowledge, but many men feel a cultural constraint, a pressure to live up to what he called the real man
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npearcey: which does include the more toxic traits, or at least, if it's separated from the moral ideal of the good man, it can slide into traits like dominance and control and entitlement.
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npearcey: And so knowing this, I think, gives us a a better approach to these issues. instead of accusing them of being toxic.
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Most men do not respond well to being called toxic.
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Andy Miller III: Right? Nobody would. Yeah.
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npearcey: So instead, I think the job our job should be to, can we tap into that inherent, innate knowledge in all men of what it means to be the good man, the asp. They do have the aspiration to be a good man.
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npearcey: Romans, too. Right. We all have a conscience, and so, if we could tap into and support and encourage and affirm
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npearcey: their understanding of the good men.
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npearcey: that gives us a much more positive way to approach these issues, and and also to argue that the Biblical epic is not contrary to their own inherent sense. You know, we're not imposing something alien on men. When we ask them to live up to a Biblical ethic.
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npearcey: we are giving them something that's in tune with their own best understanding of what it means to be a good person and a good man in particular.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, what do you think people have in mind when they use the word toxic toxic masculinity. What's what's the content behind that? I mean, you've you've hit at it a little bit. But what it you know this came out as something that was a part of a clinically diagnosed a few years ago. But what what does it mean to be? A, you know, toxic mas masculine.
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Andy Miller III: But you know, can I answer that historically sure?
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npearcey: because one of the purposes of my book is to ask, Where does that idea come from? That masculinity is toxic. Yeah, we can't really stand against a cultural trend unless we know where it came from and how it developed. And so one of the key turning points that most people are not that familiar with. In terms of the secularizing of the script from masculinity
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npearcey: was the rise of Darwinian evolution. Yes, this was so interesting. Keep on. Keep sorry. Yeah, I love this.
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npearcey: II do, too. I mean, I don't love it. But I mean I it was it connected to dots just like I was gonna pee push people back to love thy body.
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Andy Miller III: It I mean, I think it's a 2013, 2014, I mean, it was a while ago, and that really it put together like abortion, transgenderism, all of the same sex behavior. These type of things Re really came together, and I feel like this is another one of those lines, Nancy, that you're drawing for me. So thank you. I'm so listen up, folks. So this is what she's gonna say.
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npearcey: So historically, I mean, if we are aware of the evolution controversy at all, we think about it in terms of genes and fossils.
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npearcey: We don't actually realize how much of an impact it had on consciousness of masculinity.
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npearcey: But Darwinian thinkers began to say that the men who came out on top in the struggle for survival would by necessity be the men who were rugged, ruthless, brutal.
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npearcey: savage, barbarian, and even predatory.
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npearcey: And that's the language they started to use, and they started to say that, you know, since Darwin showed us we don't need a God. Right? Natural selection does the job, so we don't need a God. Therefore, what we find out about ourselves as as part of the animal world is really a true nature, so instead of urging men to live up
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npearcey: to the image of God in them. They urge men to live down to their, to the beast within, to the animal nature. II do use Tarzan as as an example, because this is when those books were written, and the son of the author literally writes that his father was writing these books to show that human beings are just part of the animal world and nothing more.
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npearcey: And so, you know, Tarzan is presented as having that. You know wildness, that inner strength because he was raised by the apes, and even after he learns European languages and customs. At the end he turns to Jane and says, I'm still a wild beast at heart.
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npearcey: And so that was apparently the message of evolution was that
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npearcey: you know men were brutal beasts.
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npearcey: And and, by the way, what about women? Well, first of all, Darwin did say that women were intellectually inferior, he was very clear about that. So if part of toxic masculinity is denigrating women, and considering them inferior and disrespecting them.
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npearcey: Darwin bears a lot of of responsibility for that as well.
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npearcey: and one of the popularizes of Darwinism. Here in America was Herbert Spencer.
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npearcey: and he literally addresses the question of Well, if men really are these brutal beasts
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npearcey: barbarian, savage, and so on. How in the world do women get along with them? And he said he said.
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npearcey: if women needed to learn the ability to please and placate.
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npearcey: and then he added, it would also help if they learned to hide their resentment at such poor treatment.
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npearcey: So this was the message of evolution, man, a brutal boost, and women need to learn how to please and placate them and hide their resentment at being treated so badly. So I think many people don't realize how incredibly
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npearcey: influential Darwinism was on the secular script for masculinity.
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npearcey: And II should add.
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npearcey: if this isn't just historical, because, social Darwinism is the application of Darwinism to social issues has come back in a big way in our own day.
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npearcey: It's being called evolutionary psychology.
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npearcey: and the idea is, if your body evolved, and so did your whole mind, your whole feelings. You know your your whole psychology also has to be explainable by evolution. And this again, the modern evolutionary thinkers are saying the same thing is a bestselling book
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npearcey: So a lot of people are reading this called The Moral Animal. and in it. The office, says
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npearcey: the human male. is a possessive.
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npearcey: flesh-obsessed pig
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npearcey: giving a man a book on how to have a Better marriage is like giving Vikings a book on how not to pillage.
00:21:54.760 --> 00:22:01.780
npearcey: So we're still getting the idea that you know, if if you're not a Christian, and if you are Darwinist.
00:22:01.820 --> 00:22:26.900
npearcey: that the message to men is now I call that toxic us. Yes, tell me about it's interesting. There's a song that I didn't know what the words were. It's a very popular song. Well, maybe not as much anymore. Maybe 4 or 5 years ago, by Maroon 5. And II had to look up what the band was, and II found this tune was just like playing in the grocery store, and it's kind of a catchy tune to me.
00:22:26.900 --> 00:22:43.840
Andy Miller III: But then I saw the words, and I was horrified that you know the lead singers on the you know the voice and these type of things, I think. Somebody that people look at as a real manly sort of person, and they the words are baby. I'm praying on you tonight and not praying like you and I having a prayer meeting.
00:22:43.840 --> 00:23:12.609
Andy Miller III: And it it goes through as we're like animals, animals, animal, old, I mean, it's just like that's all it it all we're doing is living by these instincts. And this reminds me like of Jude and or says that we just survive there. The these folks who are detracting from the gospel, who he's calling to contend for the faith. They're the ones who they need to resist. Those who are just living by these fleshly desires. But it's interesting to see this, the historical source
00:23:12.610 --> 00:23:14.660
Andy Miller III: being found in Darwinianism.
00:23:14.960 --> 00:23:22.770
npearcey: Yes, and another popular song. It was popular, maybe a decade ago. So, but you may remember this.
00:23:23.130 --> 00:23:30.680
npearcey: it it went like this. you and me. Baby ain't nothing but mammals. so let's do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel.
00:23:45.390 --> 00:23:55.029
npearcey: It's the language is sort of clever, but the message is incredibly destructive. You know we're nothing but animals. And so, and he noticed that he immediately draws the implication.
00:23:55.030 --> 00:24:17.130
npearcey: You know that sexual immorality is natural to the human species, then, and, by the way, that is a common Fri, a common claim by evolutionary psychologists that men are just naturally promiscuous. You know II didn't put that one in under brutal and savage. I should have added promiscuous, because that's another one that's very common for them to say that males are naturally promiscuous.
00:24:17.130 --> 00:24:28.629
npearcey: and it's very important, then, for us, as Christians, to help call men back to Biblical understanding of masculinity, because even young Christian men, I think, are sometimes getting caught up
00:24:28.690 --> 00:24:37.570
npearcey: in the secular script, because it seems to be more manly. I just got an email from a former graduate student who teaches at a Christian school. And she said.
00:24:38.100 --> 00:24:40.709
npearcey: all our boys are into andutate.
00:24:40.940 --> 00:24:50.109
npearcey: Oh, no, yeah, yeah, exactly. That's the other side, like the man up side, right? The man up script. Yeah, the the real man, exactly. And
00:24:50.160 --> 00:25:00.249
npearcey: wh? What is it? What is about the church that we're not attracting these men? And that's another part of what I'm addressing in my book on Masculinity is, how can the Church
00:25:00.280 --> 00:25:01.480
npearcey: have a
00:25:01.530 --> 00:25:07.000
npearcey: a view of masculinity that encourages and and and inspires men?
00:25:07.030 --> 00:25:09.349
npearcey: Yeah, it supports men.
00:25:09.430 --> 00:25:20.949
npearcey: A lot of people said, What's good about my book, by the way, is that A Christian psychologist? So as a psychologist, he, he especially spent time on the introduction.
00:25:21.270 --> 00:25:24.669
npearcey: I don't know if you remember, but the introduction is about how
00:25:24.740 --> 00:25:34.810
npearcey: I was raised in a very abusive home that my father was physically abusive in books on abuse, they often ask, was it open hand or closed fist.
00:25:34.850 --> 00:25:42.310
npearcey: and it was close fists? It was, in fact, it was the knuckle fist that he he liked to use a knuckle fist to make it extra sharp pain.
00:25:42.520 --> 00:25:52.769
npearcey: at any rate. So, in in a sense, what I say in the introduction is, I've been writing this book my whole life trying to come really work through to a positive Biblical view of masculinity.
00:25:52.820 --> 00:26:14.879
npearcey: And a psychologist said, when I first read you introduction, I thought, oh, no, it's going to be an angry woman, an abuse woman angry at man. And then he said, It's not. It's not that at all. It's very supportive. It's very positive towards masculinity import men. And so, you know, if a psychologist sees it that way, I'm I'm really glad. So I hope I hope other readers see that, too.
00:26:14.910 --> 00:26:34.409
npearcey: Yeah, some people might come back, Nancy, and say, Well, why should we even worry about man? You know they occupy all positions of power. I'm I'm in, you know, the the president of our institutions, a man I'm a man, the Cfos. A man. I mean that that's like maybe a common argument, you might hear, oh, absolutely. You hear it all the time. And the answer to that is.
00:26:35.170 --> 00:26:44.769
npearcey: yes, maybe about 5% maximum. 10%. Of men are in the top levels, the top echelons, the Ceos, the Presidents.
00:26:44.840 --> 00:26:47.419
npearcey: the Hollywood film producers, and so on.
00:26:47.730 --> 00:26:54.520
npearcey: But the average man is actually doing worse than he was in the past, both during
00:26:54.560 --> 00:27:14.359
npearcey: relative to where men were, but also relative to women. So, for example, boys are falling behind at all levels of education from kindergarten. For goodness sakes! You know where you just learning how to use the scissors from kindergarten through college most colleges, now, on average, are 60% female, 40% male.
00:27:14.510 --> 00:27:19.519
npearcey: more women than men going to graduate school, and even professional schools like law and medicine.
00:27:20.330 --> 00:27:34.390
npearcey: And then, and then, when they graduate, men are doing worse as well, they're more likely to commit suicide, to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, to be homeless to be mentally ill, to be in prison. 90% of prison inmates are male
00:27:34.540 --> 00:27:43.449
npearcey: and and male unemployment has gone down in recent years. It's not showing up in the unemployment statistics because they stopped looking for work.
00:27:43.980 --> 00:27:55.789
npearcey: So research is had to dig deeper. And now they're telling us that mail unemployment levels are at depression, error levels, depression, error, I mean. I was shocked when I read this.
00:27:55.920 --> 00:28:05.170
npearcey: and male life expectancy is also going down. Women's is not male life expectancy has gone down in the last 4, 5 years.
00:28:05.510 --> 00:28:11.410
npearcey: and so that so that one magazine that I quoted called the New Scientist.
00:28:11.510 --> 00:28:23.200
npearcey: said the major demographic factor these days, for early death is being male. So I do think it's time to start having some compassion on men
00:28:23.250 --> 00:28:42.719
npearcey: and saying, Are there programs that we could institute that would support boys and men. for example, one women. One reason women are doing so well. And, by the way. It's not a bad thing that women are doing. Well, we can't come across as if we think that's a bad thing. It's good. It's great that they're moving ahead and doing so well in education.
00:28:42.830 --> 00:28:54.380
npearcey: but one reason they are is because 1994 Gender Equity Act poured billions of dollars into women's education into
00:28:54.430 --> 00:29:10.219
npearcey: equity workshops and curriculum that encourages girls, and so on, which is great. There are now 4 times as many scholarships for women as for men. but now maybe it's time to do something for boys there was has never been anything comparable for boys.
00:29:10.300 --> 00:29:17.899
npearcey: And so now we're seeing the result of that, which is that both boys and men are falling behind on several measures of well-being.
00:29:18.310 --> 00:29:19.100
Andy Miller III: Yeah.
00:29:19.440 --> 00:29:30.079
Andy Miller III: I'm the father of 2 sons. They're 16 and 14. I also have a daughter who's 12. And from your research. And the way you're thinking about this and talking about this regularly, what practical steps
00:29:30.080 --> 00:29:52.639
Andy Miller III: can fathers take to be more involved with their sons. I can tell you some of the things I'm trying to do, and also with my daughter, too, like I feel like that's a part of the role that I have to play like part of defeating toxic masculinity, or this myth of it, so to speak, is to make sure that I'm engaged. But what what are you seeing from the research that would help us be better engaged?
00:29:53.380 --> 00:29:57.800
npearcey: Well, I have 2 chapters on fatherhood.
00:29:57.820 --> 00:30:09.939
npearcey: We all know that fathers are regularly ridiculed and mocked in the media today. Right? They're treated as the the bumbling idiot to them with dad.
00:30:10.390 --> 00:30:29.689
npearcey: from movies to commercials, to animated films like that. Homo Simpson. Everyone knows Homo Simpson, And I think that's one reason that fathers have actually pulled back from fathering in our own day, so that 40% of American children are now growing up apart from their natural fathers.
00:30:30.070 --> 00:30:36.599
npearcey: and many of them never do see them at all. It's the highest rate of single parenthood in the world. Hmm.
00:30:37.160 --> 00:30:45.509
npearcey: so we have a problem. We do need to get fathers back involved with their kids. And so I look at the long term it started
00:30:45.540 --> 00:30:59.000
npearcey: with the Industrial Revolution. Before that men worked alongside their wives and children all day in the on the family farm, the family business, the family industry. And so fathers and sons in particular,
00:30:59.160 --> 00:31:05.050
npearcey: were working together all day. Fathers were teaching their kids the skills they needed for an adult life.
00:31:05.140 --> 00:31:11.519
npearcey: Fathers were expected to be just as involved with their kids as mothers were. In fact, most books.
00:31:11.790 --> 00:31:22.339
npearcey: most parenting books like sermons, advice, manuals, and so on, were addressed to fathers. If you go to a bookstore today, they're mostly addressed to mothers
00:31:22.510 --> 00:31:37.259
npearcey: back. Then they were dressed to fathers because it was assumed. The fathers were the primary parent that you know, after infancy, you know where mothers play a bigger role, that it was fathers who had the major responsibility for spiritual and especially spiritual and intellectual development.
00:31:37.310 --> 00:31:44.029
npearcey: And there was actually a word house, father. It was common at the time, I mean, we say house wives right? But they said, house fathers.
00:31:44.090 --> 00:31:58.969
npearcey: So it's some. Sometimes we need to see that. Contrast historically to say, hey, wait a minute. This has not always been the case. Men today we would tend to think mothers are the primary parent back then they thought fathers were the primary parent
00:31:59.710 --> 00:32:08.650
npearcey: and the Industrial Revolution. Of course work was taken out of the home, and fathers had to follow their work out of the home into factories and offices.
00:32:08.780 --> 00:32:11.540
npearcey: And that's when you first start to see people saying
00:32:11.790 --> 00:32:20.079
npearcey: fathers are getting disconnected from their kids. You know that they no longer intricately involved in their children's lives. They don't know their children's needs.
00:32:20.180 --> 00:32:27.209
npearcey: and for the already in the nineteenth century you start to see literature saying. You know, fathers are becoming sort of irrelevant.
00:32:27.240 --> 00:32:31.720
npearcey: They're not part of the family anymore. They're becoming incompetent.
00:32:32.240 --> 00:32:44.700
npearcey: The idea that men are somehow more incompetent as parents. You don't see that until after the Industrial Revolution, when fathers, in fact, were less involved with the kids. And so they didn't know as much what their children needed.
00:32:44.850 --> 00:32:53.550
npearcey: and those literature of the day really lament. We're so used to it now. But the literature of the day she expressed enormous shock
00:32:53.620 --> 00:32:58.460
npearcey: and trauma over the loss of fathers. One woman, one of the
00:32:58.520 --> 00:33:03.030
npearcey: best known women writers of the nineteenth century. said
00:33:03.450 --> 00:33:11.710
npearcey: the father, is supposed to be the prototype of the Heavenly Father, and yet he's hardly in the home except on the weekends.
00:33:12.530 --> 00:33:16.229
npearcey: So I do have a whole chapter on other
00:33:16.440 --> 00:33:25.800
npearcey: practical things that we can do to sort of adjust the workplace. Now, even though we're not going to ever undo the Industrial Revolution.
00:33:25.870 --> 00:33:36.509
npearcey: the the pandemic actually had a silver lining, which is that a lot of fathers discovered they did like working from home more and being more involved with their kids in one
00:33:36.840 --> 00:33:42.069
npearcey: survey. 65% of fathers said they did not want to go back to the office full time.
00:33:42.100 --> 00:33:54.500
npearcey: They wanted at least a hybrid model. Yes, and New York Times that. One's in the book. Then there's one that's not in the book, because it came out later. But the New York Times had an article saying during the pandemic
00:33:54.800 --> 00:34:06.590
npearcey: fathers got closer to their children, and they don't want to lose that Amen. So II do give a lot of personal anecdotes about people who found ways to work more from home.
00:34:06.900 --> 00:34:10.929
npearcey: and I have to, of course, have to talk about Ceos recognizing. Hey?
00:34:11.000 --> 00:34:20.309
npearcey: It actually worked. I quote one, for example, who said we were afraid to let people work remotely, because we thought productivity would go down.
00:34:20.940 --> 00:34:26.800
npearcey: And then he said, the pandemic completely exploded that fear productivity did not go down.
00:34:26.820 --> 00:34:37.059
npearcey: And in fact, we had, because people much happier working with their kids, and if, being close to the family, you know, having lunch with their family.
00:34:37.449 --> 00:34:42.630
npearcey: that and another CEO. Put it this way. We've discovered
00:34:42.830 --> 00:35:02.159
npearcey: we've discovered that giving fathers time to be better fathers makes them better workers. Oh, interesting! Yeah, it's a win-win. They act, you know, if they may not come in on weekends, and so on, is often. But the time they put into the work. They're more they're more dedicated, they're more focused and they end up being better workers.
00:35:02.800 --> 00:35:25.079
npearcey: So can I give you just one anecdote. Sometimes, you know, sort of crystallize things. So one of my own graduate students is married to an it professional who came home works from home during that pandemic, and because he was home he was more involved with the home schooling. He decided he would be the one to make lunch for the family every day he was able to take his kids to soccer and choir practice.
00:35:25.310 --> 00:35:31.310
npearcey: and he he picked up so many of the family responsibilities that his wife was able to start a part time business.
00:35:31.530 --> 00:35:35.500
npearcey: and the whole family benefited from the added income.
00:35:35.510 --> 00:35:38.000
So I interviewed the father.
00:35:38.210 --> 00:35:53.020
npearcey: He said, our family life is so much more balanced. Now I am never going back to 40 h in a cubicle, and then there's a final kicker, and that is, he said, the time I used to spend commuting to work.
00:35:53.190 --> 00:36:03.810
Andy Miller III: I now spend praying every morning with my wife. So yeah, isn't that cool?
00:36:03.990 --> 00:36:09.420
npearcey: But I had a lot of anecdotes of people who did find a way to work around their family
00:36:09.440 --> 00:36:11.149
npearcey: and be more involved.
00:36:11.440 --> 00:36:35.250
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I love that. I've just personally made a transition from serving the Salvation Army to serving in the Academy at Wesley Biblical Seminary. Unfortunately, we found a house that was just up 5 min from the Seminary, so most days I go home for lunch, and I love that. And and at the same time we also switched to home schooling. So it's it's interesting switch that's happened in my life, too, and I can see some of those
00:36:35.250 --> 00:36:57.799
Andy Miller III: benefits of being more present and being more available. Now I also am interested, as somebody who trains pastors and has served as a pastor, that you talk at the end of your book about the problems of abuse in Christian homes. I is there you have any thoughts on how churches and church leaders can respond more effectively to those situations.
00:36:58.800 --> 00:37:12.330
npearcey: Yes, the most common mistake is to think that abuse is a marriage problem, and therefore you should bring both husband and wife into the into the office, into the pastor's office at the same time.
00:37:13.480 --> 00:37:27.749
npearcey: Fortunately there are being. There are books being written by Christians, Christian therapists, Christian psychologists who are pointing out that that doesn't really work for 2 reasons. One is abuse is not a relationship issue. Abuse is a sin issue.
00:37:27.990 --> 00:37:37.609
npearcey: As once, as one Christian psychologist put it. If a man is willing to hurt his wife to get what he wants. That's not a relational issue, that's a that's a hard issue
00:37:37.730 --> 00:37:38.819
npearcey: for the man.
00:37:39.030 --> 00:37:45.899
npearcey: But the second reason is that a woman is probably not going to be open about abuse, because she knows that once she leaves the office
00:37:46.040 --> 00:37:47.289
npearcey: she'll be punished.
00:37:47.390 --> 00:37:54.500
npearcey: and I gave an example that was related by a psych psychotherapist who said,
00:37:55.070 --> 00:38:02.580
npearcey: There was a couple that the therapists felt like they had reached the point where they could talk openly about abuse happening in their in their marriage.
00:38:02.990 --> 00:38:17.589
npearcey: And so the wife related the abuse, and in the therapist office the man looked shaken and repentant, but on the way home in the car he kept one hand on the steering wheel, and with his other hand he grabbed her hair and smashed her face into the
00:38:17.680 --> 00:38:18.850
00:38:18.900 --> 00:38:24.230
npearcey: saying, I told you never to talk to anyone about that, except he used very coarse language.
00:38:24.390 --> 00:38:27.440
npearcey: and so that would be an example of
00:38:27.790 --> 00:38:30.919
the the kind of harm that can happen to the victim.
00:38:31.110 --> 00:38:39.259
npearcey: you know, in a truly abusive situation. She doesn't. She's not. Gonna she's not gonna talk about it. She knows she knows she'll be punished.
00:38:39.520 --> 00:38:46.930
npearcey: And so you can inadvertently actually encourage more abuse by bringing them together.
00:38:47.000 --> 00:38:54.249
npearcey: So that's that's the first thing is. don't treat it as a marriage problem. Okay, it's been problem
00:38:54.590 --> 00:39:10.849
npearcey: sin problem. And and what do you do with the sin problem? Second point, Matthew, 18 you know Jesus tells us how to deal with them. That you are supposed to confront it. Yes, lovingly, gently, you know, doesn't mean you have to be rude about it.
00:39:10.960 --> 00:39:19.750
npearcey: But you do have to let people know that if they're sinning this is wrong, and they should not continue to do it. They need to repent
00:39:19.880 --> 00:39:23.510
npearcey: and change their behavior. And if the woman.
00:39:23.550 --> 00:39:28.000
npearcey: if the woman can't do it because her husband's going to beat her up for confronting him.
00:39:28.090 --> 00:39:35.720
npearcey: Which does happen? You know. Then the Church has to stand alongside her, and that's what Jesus says. Right. Bring people from the church?
00:39:35.790 --> 00:39:39.969
npearcey: And then, if they, if it still is a problem,
00:39:40.460 --> 00:39:42.899
npearcey: the church might have to take disciplinary action.
00:39:43.550 --> 00:39:50.740
npearcey: So I think I'm glad I wrote the book when I did, because there are a number of Christian therapists.
00:39:50.890 --> 00:40:01.229
npearcey: psychologists, and even seminary professors like Stephen Tracy at Phoenix Seminary, who's written a lot about this issue. Who are now saying
00:40:01.900 --> 00:40:05.610
npearcey: The the answer for churches is to learn to
00:40:05.690 --> 00:40:15.600
npearcey: confront in a in a in the right way, but to confront somebody and just to let you know why how this is different. II should have probably started with
00:40:15.660 --> 00:40:19.820
npearcey: most. But up until recently most books on abuse
00:40:20.730 --> 00:40:22.470
npearcey: made it the woman's problem.
00:40:22.980 --> 00:40:35.640
npearcey: They said, if you would just love more, if you would submit more if you would forgive more if you would make his favorite meals. If you would have sex more. If you then he will blossom into the man you want him to be.
00:40:36.100 --> 00:40:43.849
npearcey: And that's been the major message for a long time. And it's people are finally starting to say, actually, that doesn't work.
00:40:43.860 --> 00:40:51.850
npearcey: You know, we all know that if you're dealing with a bully you don't acquiesce. You don't play Kate with as a playground bully.
00:40:51.890 --> 00:40:58.160
npearcey: or whether it's an international affairs, you know, belligerent nation. We all know what happens if you try to placate
00:40:58.310 --> 00:41:02.369
npearcey: somebody like we know that from World War 2 right?
00:41:02.500 --> 00:41:11.219
npearcey: And it's it's just odd that no one ever applied it to marriage. But now, finally, people are, they're starting to say, actually to tell a wife to just love more, forgive more placate.
00:41:11.390 --> 00:41:23.720
npearcey: placate and please him more. Well, then, he has no reason to change. He thinks everything's fine. you know, people who are actually abusive take forgiveness as acceptance of bad behavior.
00:41:23.860 --> 00:41:30.169
npearcey: They take kindness as weakness. and so the older the older books
00:41:30.460 --> 00:41:41.529
npearcey: and I met I read plenty of em. The older books are unfortunately, being superseded now by books that say no. If you, you do need to stand up to sin, even even in marriage.
00:41:42.310 --> 00:41:50.319
Andy Miller III: If you people who are listening. My podcast will know I've had Dr. David E. Clark on 3 or 4 times. Oh, you know, I'm great. Yeah and
00:41:50.360 --> 00:42:07.279
Andy Miller III: he is, he's the honestly, he's so good on this topic. And he, you know, happen to Monic again here soon. He's good to become a regular guest, and honestly part of the reason, Nancy, that I do. It is every time I have him on I find somebody who's able to escape a difficult situation.
00:42:07.490 --> 00:42:24.739
npearcey: Finally figuring out that the message to that abused woman is not
00:42:25.070 --> 00:42:32.199
npearcey: try to please him more. Try to love him more. Try to forgive him more. I mean II should pause and say, of course you start there
00:42:32.470 --> 00:42:52.420
npearcey: because people who have not experienced abuse often don't understand, and they even thought my book was too harsh, and I had to go back several times and say, Well, of course you start there, love more, forgive more etc., you know we all need to learn how to do that more. So that let's let's make sure we say that first.
00:42:52.620 --> 00:43:01.130
npearcey: But if you have a truly abusive husband or spouse, you know. Sometimes it is a woman, but statistically, it's more likely the man
00:43:01.260 --> 00:43:17.849
npearcey: David Clark. By the way, he he talks about that the advice that women have been given to to love more forgive, more so on. He calls that the wimpy, the the week, Wimpy walk all over me approach, and he is adamant that it does not work.
00:43:17.850 --> 00:43:42.249
Andy Miller III: So I like him a lot. Yeah. And and he goes after, as he calls the narc's, you've got a narc and a narcissist, you know, like like. So he's just like really hits hits them hard, like trying to encourage. And he takes us from a Biblical perspective. Every book he has presents the Gospel, but really trying to move us to a place where we're not going to allow this happening. We're not gonna have enabling behavior
00:43:42.260 --> 00:44:08.989
Andy Miller III: towards somebody who's gonna hurt someone else. So I really recommend, you know this, these chapters in your book and of course, some of the podcasts and books from from Doctor Clark as well. This is so interesting. I Wanna, make sure. People know this is immortal story podcast and we're so thankful to have Nancy Pearcy on in her book, The Toxic War. Notice to the the late, the order of those wars, the toxic war on masculinity. Nancy, how can people connect with you? And how can they get a copy of this book
00:44:09.620 --> 00:44:20.430
npearcey: cause the book is available on Amazon, like everything is. although, if you prefer, Christian book.com, or if you're lucky enough to have a brick and mortar store
00:44:20.860 --> 00:44:33.109
npearcey: and you can come and check out and browse my other books. I have a new Website. My publisher very thoughtfully gave me a new website that's colorful and fun. So come over, and
00:44:33.200 --> 00:44:51.509
npearcey: Nancy Pearcycom, PEAR. CEY. Nancy pearsit.com. Come on over browse my other books. You mentioned a couple of my other books. And leave a comment. I do read the comments. I can't answer all of them, but I read them. So come on over to my website as well. Nancy pearcy.com
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Andy Miller III: great, and and we'll leave a link to that in the show notes and a link to the so people can get this book. And Nancy, one of the things I do is that our podcast is called more to the story. So I always like to ask a question. There's more to the story. So we know you've talked about these books. But I'm curious. Just a little bit more about you. Is there like a hobby that you have. Is there more to the story of Nancy Pearcy than to normally told in an interview?
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npearcey: Well, you warned me that this question was coming. Yeah, indeed. And I said, Well, I do play the violin when you see Hobby.
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npearcey: Probably the thing II love the most is playing the violin, and it's on the top of my mind right now, because I just came home from visiting my mother, who's a professional violinist.
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npearcey: and so we play duets every day.
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npearcey: And and and that is really special. Music, you know. Music is just such a fulfilling thing to do.
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npearcey: So unfortunately, here in in Houston. I don't get very many opportunities. So that's that's a real gift. When I get to go play duets with my mother. So that's that's I guess the more to the story. My mom, being a professional musician, did make sure that
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npearcey: she had 6 kids. She made sure that every one of them played an instrument. So growing up, I always heard somebody practicing right. And II loved it. I loved growing up with music in the home all the time.
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Andy Miller III: Well, it's a good way for men to connect with their children. We're talking like for a men to sing with their children. What a great thing we try and do that in my house. We sing, even if we, you know just acapella. Make music together. It's a great thing. Nancy, thank you so much for coming at podcasts. It's a podcast it's such an honor to have you. I admire you. I appreciate the way that you function as an intellectual in society, and.
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Andy Miller III: you know, just looked you up and follow what you've done lately. It means a lot to me that you come on, and we thank you for the work you're doing for the kingdom.
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npearcey: Oh, thank you so much, and it's been really a joy getting a chance to talk with you. I appreciate it.