After more than 40 years, the Marines are retiring one of their key recruiting phrases; “We’re looking for a few good men.” As they retire the slogan I find myself saying that’s EXACTLY what we need right now. A few good men.
We need a few good men. Over time I hope we get lots and lots of good men. But right now we really need a few good men to step forward in the midst of the good ol’ frat boy culture that was on full display at the Kavanaugh hearings.
This past July President Obama gave a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa and said in exasperation, “Men have been getting on my nerves lately.” As an imperfect man, I resonate with this sentiment because I’m both deeply disturbed by yet grateful for the floodlight that has revealed men behaving badly. From Harvey Weinstein to Bill Cosby to Brett Kavanaugh and countless more men in between, we have been seeing more than ever how harmful, ugly and dehumanizing the contempt and disregard of so many men for women is.
“Good men,” whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, Gay, Straight or anything else, are men who see women as their equals and cherish that truth as a gift from God. In so doing, they are reflecting the way that Jesus consistently interacted with women in his time even though the culture put women far below the status of men.
For the first four centuries after the death of Christ, the Church was seen as a countercultural threat to the status quo because they put such high value on women, the poor, the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the marginalized as the Beloved of God. Coming out of a highly anthropocentric culture, that meant that a lot of good men following Jesus had to get out of the way to make room for the many.
The world is aching for a few good men to subvert the status quo by listening, esteeming, and making room for God’s gift of women to the world. Strong women are more than doing their part to invert the imbalance, but strong men must meet them at that place not with some lame and defeated passivity but with vigorous, life-giving love, respect and partnership.
Nothing but Love,