Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

Feminist: “Women make 76c to every dollar1 a man makes.”

Someone else (typically a man): “Remember that men chooses the better-paying, more dangerous jobs. And women take more leave for family reasons. And … And…”

Dear guy-who-try-to explain: Feminists already know that. We do not say that bosses, on purpose, choose to pay Jill (who does the same job for equally many hours a week as Jack, and equally well) less on principle. There are very few bosses like that nowadays.

We say that the world is set up to value female work less. It purposefully gives the work that is hard to pay for, like family and child responsibilities, to women and thus free more money-making hours for men. This injustice is behind “women take more leave for family reasons“. This also causes many women to work fewer hours at paid jobs or opt out of paid work altogether. (For women who really have a free choice and chooses unpaid work, I am happy if they enjoy what they do. But unpaid jobs like housekeeping and family care places many women in a precarious financial position.)

When a field has only (mostly) men it pays well, when only (mostly) women it does not. When women enter a field, the pay drops. This means the mansplainer is right: Men are in the better paying fields. But this is, at least partly, a symptom of injustice, not a reason why it is just to pay women less.

As for women not having dangerous jobs, the most dangerous “job” on earth is and have always been female-dominated. The problem is that nobody counts the deaths, because these women are seen as expendable: Prostitution. Even in that “job” (which, make no mistake, is not freely chosen by women), men make more: The average pimp – who does not face those dangers – lives a lot better of prostitution than the average prostitute. You can also see that danger is not the reason for high pay, when you look at the pay of men who does dangerous work against their bosses, who does not: The miner who does blasting is paid a lot less than the mining boss, the security guard is paid less than the owner of the business he safeguards, etc. It is simply untrue that men are paid better because what they do is, on average, more dangerous.

The feminist who notices that women are not paid as much takes into account that the world dumps most unpaid work on women, that female-dominated fields are undervalued, that women who does something dangerous are undervalued as humans even more than the men who does something dangerous, to the point that their deaths are hardly even counted. These are all parts of how the world is sexist. And it is also parts of why women earn less than men.
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1 76c for every dollar a man makes: According to the World Bank, that was the international average between 2011 and 2014. Some countries have a bigger gap than others. There are no countries where women earn more.

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Comments on: "The wage gap – we know, we know" (14)

  1. What breaks the back of this post is the nature of capitalism itself. If the marketplace could find a group of workers they could pay less with no negative factors attached-then this group would get all the jobs and dominate the marketplace. However, the facts point in the other direction because women, as a whole, cost more to employ than a men. Lets see: A company hires and trains a woman and if she gets pregnant, she goes on maternity leave for a year. This costs even more because In most western countries she is supported financially by the taxpayer during this time.
    The company loses an employee for a year: if she comes back at all. In the meantime, the company needs to hire and train a temporary employee until she comes back to work. This cycle could be repeated more than once.
    This comment should be shocking to any Christian: This injustice is behind “women take more leave for family reasons“.
    While It is pretty selfish and an injustice to children for a mother to abandon her child at a day orphanage and drive off to work-but now even this is not enough! Now women are victims unless they can neglect their children even more in order to work the same hours as men.
    You are making selfishness into a virtue.

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    • Hhhmmm, do you see a mother who work to support her family as more selfish than a father who does the same? If so, I suspect the problem is with your eyes.

      I do not say women should neglect children more, I say men should neglect children less. It is just as bad for a child to see little of the dad as to see little of the mother.

      Selfishness is not a virtue, I want society re-arranged so that both sexes do their share of the important work that is hard to pay for. I want an end to male selfishness, not more female selfishness.

      And so that nobody selfishly say things like: “This costs even more because [i]n most western countries she is supported financially by the taxpayer during [pregnancy].” They should look deeper and see that such a tax is not “supporting women” but equally much “supporting men” – they are equally involved with making the children – and firstly not about supporting either dads or moms but about child well-being.

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    • Margaret Boelman said:

      To begin with no one in this country gets a year paid leave for any reason. Teachers at the college level get sabbaticals they need to apply for and justify by explaining how they plan to become better at their job and even then most only get a portion of their normal pay. Secondly, I agree with Retha, women are not more selfish than men when they put children in day care.

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    • Rdeesjoy said:

      Inequity – Fathers not getting the same amount of paternity leave as mothers get of maternity leave.

      Clarity – Where do women get a year of tax-supported maternity leave?

      Equity – Men get paternity leave. Women get maternity leave. Adult children get extended leave to take care of ill and aging parents. If this equity is applied, then the employment gap that is at least partly to blame for the wage gap will disappear.

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    • Alana Childers said:

      Hey Naama – I am a stay at home mom, so I’m uniquely positioned to critique your opinions. First off, your viewpoint seems entirely focused on economic cause and effect… which shouldn’t be very relevant to believers. If you recall, the NT church was big on sharing and giving in VERY economically illogical ways. Why? Because we are commanded to love one another sacrificially. Next, your assumption that women who choose to provide for their family are “selfish”. Did you know that in many urban poverty areas in my country (USA), as few as 1 in 10 children are raised with their father in home? So, what, in those homes the mother should stay at home and live on welfare? Oh, wait, she should work at McDonalds, right? Because according to your logic, she better not have been working on a career that could actually pay her a living wage. Even in families that are above the poverty line, 2 out of 5 minority kids grow up in single parent homes. I hate to be pessimistic, but is it “selfish” for women to make sure they have a financial way to help provide for their family if their husband loses his job? In recent years, the oil business went belly up in the US. Guys with years of experience and Masters degrees in geology couldn’t find any work. Lost their homes. Luckily, many of them had wives who had solid careers, and were able to keep the bills paid, even if they had to downsize quite a bit. I bet those kids were glad they had a working mom. Before I had my own kids, I worked in a daycare, then as a professional nanny. It is completely insulting to call professional, highly trained childcare providers insulting names like an “orphanage”. I also know some wonderful moms who suffer from postpartum depression. It can take up to a year or more to recover from terrible hormone imbalance. Many of these women are able to go back to the familiar routine of work, but just struggle being trapped alone at home all day with screaming children in a high stress environment. In the “olden days”, these moms would be out in the field, caring for farm animals, maybe working in the family business while the baby’s grandparent or great aunt cared for the little ones. Read Ruth 4:16, Naomi became the baby’s nanny! What did Ruth do? We don’t know, but it seems very possible she helped her husband with his business in some capacity. 1 Cor 7:29-31 “What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” —— If you are comfortable with single moms choosing whether to feed themselves or their kids, or put new shoes on their kids while they duct tape their own shoes, then you are not walking in compassion. Maybe you aren’t bothered by the many, MANY women who choose to stay with a physically abusive husband because she doesn’t have job skills, and can’t make enough money to get her and her kids out safely. I choose to stay home with my kids, because I know my teaching degree wouldn’t offset the costs of childcare much… but if my husband lost his job, I could go to work tomorrow and pay most of the bills. If we both had to work crap jobs to get by, then I know several godly Christian women who run a wonderful home daycare. If my kid had some insane medical expense come up, then I would go to work to pay for my child’s medical bills. Is that selfish?

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    • All this works out great if men are able to work at their jobs and prioritize them above other family responsibilities. This either depends on having a partner (usually a female) taking care of dependents he might have or just doesn’t apply at all because he might be a single parent. We have been regulating free-wheeling capitalism for centuries to fit the social needs we value- whether that’s ruling that children shouldn’t work 12 hour days in a coal mine or that big banks deserve a government bail out after almost going bankrupt. “Just simple capitalism” is never what’s going on and it’s irrelevant to real world debates to give examples like this that imagine a fictional scenario where that is true.

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  2. annececile7 said:

    Ah, the unusable argument of the female worker who becomes pregnant right after you finish training her… and leave for, wait – a YEAR of maternity leave? In which sweet country does Naama leave? France (my home country) maybe?
    Not the US for sure! And what about all those women beyond the age of having children? And what about all those focused, driven, ambitious men who get trained then – gasp – leave your company for another better paid position? Are kids really the cause of the gap?

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  3. Hi Retha!

    You wrote “Hhhmmm, do you see a mother who work to support her family as more selfish than a father who does the same? If so, I suspect the problem is with your eyes.”

    Lets not misrepresent the facts here. A husband who supports his wife and family would not be motivated by selfishness, rather, he is living a life of faith and benevolent love by supporting his wife and family. In the conjugal/biblical model of sexuality and marriage male masculinity is designed to support and empower our female feminine purpose to serve those who depend on us which is primarily revolves around our children, extended family and community. This is Christian discipleship and charity that doesn’t revolve around thinking how to place a monetary value on everything.

    You wrote “And so that nobody selfishly say things like: “This costs even more because [i]n most western countries she is supported financially by the taxpayer during [pregnancy].” They should look deeper and see that such a tax is not “supporting women” but equally much “supporting men” – they are equally involved with making the children – and firstly not about supporting either dads or moms but about child well-being”

    What is actually being funded by the taxpayer here is the the natural consequences from the faulty egalitarian philosophy that women’s equality and worth is defined and attained by functioning sexually and socially as a male.
    If egalitarian relationships were primarily about the well being of children then couples would actually organize their relationship around serving this as their primary ideal. But, if this were the case then couples would no longer actually be adhering to the egalitarian paradigm because they would be forming around the principles of the conjugal/biblical relationship where couples organize their relationship around the primary purpose of child bearing and child rearing.
    This is why the birth of a child to an egalitarian couple changes the very fabric of their relationship because raising children was never the primary purpose they organized around. Hence, childcare benefits and paid maternity leave is essential for the egalitarian paradigm to work.
    On the other hand, a baby born into a conjugal/biblical relationship would not change the relationship because this is the primary purpose the relationship organized itself around.

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  4. Hi Alana!

    Alana wrote: “First off, your viewpoint seems entirely focused on economic cause and effect… which shouldn’t be very relevant to believers. If you recall, the NT church was big on sharing and giving in VERY economically illogical ways.”

    What this is called moving the goalposts. I was simply replying to a post that was entirely focused on economics and even prostitution in making a feminist argument about a wage gap.

    However, you should also apply this very same scrutiny towards yourself because at the bottom of your reply you firmly place your foot in your mouth

    Alana wrote:”I choose to stay home with my kids, because I know my teaching degree wouldn’t offset the costs of childcare much…”

    You didn’t freely choose to stay at home with your kids because your job wouldn’t offset the cost of daycare and this forced your hand to raise your kids. You have monetized motherhood and placed a monetary value on your children. I suppose the NT church gave and shared in illogical ways out of self sacrificial love except for when it comes down to giving and sharing their own time over making money to raise their own children.

    Alana wrote “Did you know that in many urban poverty areas in my country (USA), as few as 1 in 10 children are raised with their father in home? So, what, in those homes the mother should stay at home and live on welfare? Oh, wait, she should work at McDonalds, right? Because according to your logic, she better not have been working on a career that could actually pay her a living wage. Even in families that are above the poverty line, 2 out of 5 minority kids grow up in single parent homes”

    The egalitarian sexual and relational paradigm has been the legally enshrined and socially accepted practice of our society for a very long time. What you are witnessing is the social and moral breakdown caused by egalitarianism and you better find something you like about these statistics because it is only going to get much worse.
    You could be part of this statistic very quickly because there are no legal protections for you if husband husband decides to walk away from your marriage one day just because he no longer feels like it anymore. In all reality a cell phone contract has more teeth behind it because a person stop paying it just because you don’t feel like it anymore.

    Alana wrote: also know some wonderful moms who suffer from postpartum depression. It can take up to a year or more to recover from terrible hormone imbalance. Many of these women are able to go back to the familiar routine of work, but just struggle being trapped alone at home all day with screaming children in a high stress environment.”

    This is a prime example of creating a situation in order to make selfishness into a virtue. However, we all face adverse situations in life we need to overcome but they are never an excuse for a person to abandon their responsibility. Would post partum also be an excuse for a woman to physically harm a child? How about for having an affair and leaving her husband and family behind?
    Now lets turn the tables: Is a man’s mid life crisis a reason for having adultery or abandoning a wife and children into poverty? Is testosterone an excuse for a man beating his wife.
    This is a highly feminized form of justice which is perfectly suited for raising children who kick and scratch each other or wipe feces onto the wall. However, it doesn’t work very well in adult situations outside of the home.

    Alana wrote “Maybe you aren’t bothered by the many, MANY women who choose to stay with a physically abusive husband because she doesn’t have job skills, and can’t make enough money to get her and her kids out safely”

    Where can you back up this claim using my own words? Ahhh, yet another emotional appeal and personal attack.
    Well, under the current egalitarian arrangement the husband is not obligated to provide or even protect his wife so she will now be beaten and also loose half the house, possessions and probably loose some form of access to her children. This is sick justice!
    How about another solution: Why not uphold marriage and require that everyone involved is held accountable? The husband is responsible to protect his wife and this ideal needs to be enforced by others if she needs protection from him. My husband has arrived on the doorstep of a husband who was abusing a relative and warned him that if he beat her one more time he would come back and it would be very painful for him. He stopped drinking and he never hit her again.
    There needs to be serious consequences for breaking the terms of marriage and since an unrepentant wife beater should lose the home and the children and still support her after the marriage dissolves. The primary purpose of the relationship still doesn’t change from its source of raising children.

    Alana wrote:”but if my husband lost his job, I could go to work tomorrow and pay most of the bills”

    You keep bringing up very unique circumstances that might make it hard for a wife and mother to stay home full time.

    If we agree that working wives and mothers would be a necessity only in special circumstances? If this is true, are you then willing to call the vast majority of working mothers who do it out of convenience for what is: wrong and selfish? If not, then you really are just using very unique and special circumstances to make an emotional appeal to justify every mother who works
    This again is what I mean by making selfishness into a virtue

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  5. I think I will start with something you said at the end:

    “If we agree that working wives and mothers would be a necessity only in special circumstances?”

    I can’t speak for Alana, but I disagree: Not working (to earn) mothers were mostly a rarity, except for the middle class people of the 50s and 60s in the Western world. For most of history women shared the farm or shop or spinning or whatever work her family did from home. Many worked as slaves/ maids in the homes of others, while occupying servants’ quarters outside. Families over most of the non-Western world were extended, so that, for example, your sister-in-law’s maid watched everyone’s kids while you worked on the lands and your sister-in-law was at the market selling produce. The maid is a worker – watching kids between her other jobs. The one at the market was a worker, and the one in the fields was a worker. See, for example, all the salaried work of the Proverbs 31 woman. Alana talked of neighborhoods where less than 1 in 10 kids have a father in the home. In my country, 63% of children live in poverty. It is very special if a mom can afford to refuse and stay at home, when getting the chance to work for money.

    Other things:

    Naama, you are still honoring the man who supports his family financially, but not the woman who does the same, pretending only one of them does it out of love. Repeating this statement does not convince me.

    “In the conjugal/biblical model of sexuality and marriage …”

    “Biblical” has at least 4 meanings. https://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/why-the-blog-name/
    But your idea of gender roles is not what the Bible say we should do, even if I know (and have talked on this blog about) how to understand a few proof texts used for the contrary.

    “…the faulty egalitarian philosophy that women’s equality and worth is defined and attained by functioning sexually and socially as a male.”

    When women work for money, they are not functioning as males. They are doing what women have done over most of the world for most of history. When women get pregnant, they are not functioning like males – duh.
    The issue is not that egals want women to act like men. The problem is that some good things (determination, earning money, preaching about God) have wrongly been called masculine . So, Christians who tells female believers to do these things when God leads them to, are wrongly accused of telling women to act masculine.

    “You (Alana) have monetized motherhood and placed a monetary value on your children.”

    No, she did not. Her children have value if she is at home. Her children have value if she works away from home for a salary.

    “urban poverty areas in my country (USA), as few as 1 in 10 children are raised with their father in home? … What you are witnessing is the social and moral breakdown caused by egalitarianism”

    Absolute nonsense. In a home with only one parent, a male and a female are not acting as equals. Statistically, egalitarian marriages are way happier and less abusive, and people thus are less desirous of divorce.

    “postpartum depression…Many of these women are able to go back to the familiar routine of work, but just struggle being trapped alone at home all day with screaming children in a high stress environment…This is a prime example of creating a situation in order to make selfishness into a virtue.”

    You keep calling it selfish for women to work away from their children, but not set the same standard for men. Just because you set that unjust and unequal standard, and even accuse people who set equal standards of causing family breakdown, does not make it so.

    “My husband has arrived on the doorstep of a husband who was abusing a relative and warned him that if he beat her one more time he would come back and it would be very painful for him. He stopped drinking and he never hit her again.”

    … Or perhaps he drinks more slyly, and threatened her to never tell you or your husband what happens to her again. And meanwhile, she lives with a man who broke her trust, and can she afford to get away?

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  6. It seems your accusation of calling selfishness a virtue is based on wrong assumptions:

    1) You think the post promote working mothers/ working women. It actually does not. It takes them as a given. It promotes men who do their fair share of looking after their children, aging parents or whatever, and house cleaning and other unpaid tasks usually dumped on women.

    2) You think working mothers are selfish in a way working fathers are not. I reject that.

    3) You think of “work” as something done away from home for money while leaving children, while a) mothers work at home when they raise children, b) some mothers and fathers do paid work from home while not leaving children, c) some parents do paid work away from home, but take their children to their work place.

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  7. Hi Retha

    Retha wrote: “Not working (to earn) mothers were mostly a rarity, except for the middle class people of the 50s and 60s in the Western world”

    This is patently false. The law of coverture destroys your claims. The stats on working mothers in the late 1800’s was around 6 percent which was mostly due to mothers who were widowed and this number began to increase from the 1920’s. The 50’s are typically romanticized by conservatives because it was the last decade before the social and sexual revolution of the 1960’s. The sexual revolution only destroyed the last pieces of marriage that was well underway in the 50’s. A very elderly lady in her late 90’s told me and some friends how she and her friend had to hide being newly married (late 30’s) from their coworkers and employer because they would be pressured o forced to resign. This may sound like a great story of liberation but she said they knew what they were doing was wrong because it was taught at home, school and church that what they were doing would break down the moral fabric of society. She lived long enough to see the words of scripture come to life.

    Retha wrote “For most of history women shared the farm or shop or spinning or whatever work her family did from home”

    I suppose if feminists believe they can revise scripture then why not also revise history. You are parroting the feminist/revisionist playbook that women “always” worked and the 1950s were some kind of cult of domesticity where women were forced to stay in the home but before that women were always out in the workforce and plowing the fields and were just like their husbands “work buddies” with benefits!
    I suppose they were out in the fields or spinning because they had breast pumps, refrigeration, bottles and electric washer, drier and stove. i suppose the english language even has it wrong because both unmarried or married women were “spinsters” who spun their days away.

    Retha wrote: “Naama, you are still honoring the man who supports his family financially, but not the woman who does the same, pretending only one of them does it out of love. Repeating this statement does not convince me”

    You are making a vague blanket statement.

    Retha wrote:”“Biblical” has at least 4 meanings”

    A “biblical” marriage is a reference to the conjugal view of marriage that is unmovable because it is anchored in God’s creation, teaching of scripture and the teaching and practice of the body of Christ handed down by Jesus and the Apostles.

    We can both discuss this topic together, but the bibles teaching on human sexuality is not a topic that can be debated any more than we can debate the law of gravity. What you are witnessing is the breakdown and re-paganizing of the west because we abandoned the bibles teaching on sexuality and marriage.

    Retha wrote” “When women work for money, they are not functioning as males. They are doing what women have done over most of the world for most of history. When women get pregnant, they are not functioning like males – duh”

    I wrote that egalitarianism places women’s equality and worth on our ability to function sexually and socially as males.The term to function sexually-socially here should be treated as a whole-not two separate entities.
    Let me explain using simple biology: male sexuality itself is free from pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and raising children and this biological reality has always enabled men to be the ones to go outside of the home and have a career-even if it is plowing the fields. Once our society changed its primary desire of child raising for a desire for sensuality and materialism then the males ability to exchange child free sexual pleasure which allowed them to have a career and earn money was highly desired by both sexes. Therefore, a woman needs to absolutely sterilize herself during her childbearing years once she is sexually active in order to gain and have the same equality and functionality of a male which liberates her from children and the home. This redefined marriage. The beginnings of the redefinition of marriage began in the late 1800’s and it was very slow and gradual as each generation increased it numbers of couples having premarital sex who then brought this mentality with them into marriage. In the bible, the church of the old testament, or Israel, never had this problem of premarital sex redefining sexuality and marriage because people were either engaged or married very young. They had the reverse problem were adultery and divorce redefined sexuality and marriage and spread out to infect society

    Retha wrote: “Absolute nonsense. In a home with only one parent, a male and a female are not acting as equals. Statistically, egalitarian marriages are way happier and less abusive, and people thus are less desirous of divorce”

    Retha wrote “No, she did not. Her children have value if she is at home. Her children have value if she works away from home for a salary.

    I agree- a monetary value! I do give her a standing ovation for having that one more child that put her in the situation that forced her to stay home. She should have done it sooner intead of being financially force but the results are the same

    Retha wrote: “Absolute nonsense. In a home with only one parent, a male and a female are not acting as equals. Statistically, egalitarian marriages are way happier and less abusive, and people thus are less desirous of divorce”

    This is beyond nonsense! Since egalitarianism became the law of the land single parents and divorce went through the roof.

    Retha wrote:Just because you set that unjust and unequal standard, and even accuse people who set equal standards of causing family breakdown, does not make it so.

    The statistics make it so

    Retha wrote” Or perhaps he drinks more slyly, and threatened her to never tell you or your husband what happens to her again. And meanwhile, she lives with a man who broke her trust, and can she afford to get away?

    This exposes your egalitarian and feminist bias.

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    • First, a warning:
      You insulted Alana, by once again telling her she puts a price tag on her children by her choices. My comment guidelines say personal attacks are wrong. This is your second warning, as you had one for being off topic on another thread.

      Second, “egalitarianism”, as in the thing you are dissing, and “egalitarianism”, the thing I am promoting, are two very different things. The only way I can see in which this conversation could possibly mean something, is if both of us drop mentioning the word “egalitarian” – we don’t communicate when we say that.
      For example, I believe in Christian marriages according to all the Bible tells Christians to do and be – fidelity, chastity before marriage, one-man-one-woman, the mutuality of 1 Cor 7, taking vows seriously, etc. So do you.
      I do not want women ordered or even recommended to have no children – neither do you. You want society to be ordered in such a way that moms can spend time with their children, I want it so that moms and dads (and grandparents and other family) can spend nurturing time with their children.
      But as long as you use the word I use for mutual respect, using all gifts, etc., to denote sensuality and materialism, I cannot agree with you: I did not spend the past 5 years promoting sensuality and materialism.

      Even when discussing history, you use the word “work” in a way that do not denote its real meaning: A woman who cook, clean, and look after children is working (even more so in an era before modern gadgets, as you would probably agree). And a woman who work in an office or factory or boardroom or hospital is working. And a woman who runs a home business is working. So I insist women always worked, while you find it revisionist history. (I could say more of your take on history, but I don’t see this having a purpose now.) All work matters. I say women’s work at home matter and is worth something, you say it matters and is worth something.

      (Except for that, I tried to look up your first statistic of 6% of mothers working in the late 1800’s. The closest I can find to that is about married women in the USA working outside the home , but (a) the USA is one country, and (b) that is one era, and (c)some married women are not mothers and some mothers are unmarried, divorced or widowed. It also (d) talks only of outside-the-home work, at a time – the industrial revolution still under way – when many men and women would still work at home, and not be included in statistics.)

      As for the word “(re-)paganize”, you seem to believe abandoning the bibles teaching on sexuality and marriage is what “paganize”. We agree Biblical marriage is important, but as I understand it, abandoning Jesus (regardless of how right you are about marriage) “paganize”. We probably understand that word differently, too.

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  8. Hi Retha

    As for the word “(re-)paganize”, you seem to believe abandoning the bibles teaching on sexuality and marriage is what “paganize”. We agree Biblical marriage is important, but as I understand it, abandoning Jesus (regardless of how right you are about marriage) “paganize”. We probably understand that word differently, too.

    Well sexual immorality is always connected to idolatry in the whole of scripture. So faith in Jesus is connected to the physical world and physical realities.
    The sin behind premarital sex or adultery is not about broken hearts or broken trust, of course, this would apply, however, the primary sin that makes these relationships illicit is they are not primarily organized around child-bearing or child raising. Once you understand this point you will understand the redefinition of marriage and the falling away of the church are connected.

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