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Praise Jeebus for testosterone!

Get a load of this guy. Brad Stine is going to be known as the man who saved the image of Jesus. He wants to return men back to the pews (60% of adults attending on any given Sunday are women), and he’s convinced it’s because men don’t hear enough about the ass-kicking, ball-scratching side of Jesus.

Clearly the kind, gentle, accepting Jesus is an image viewed by those men who are turned off by church as a wuss  — Christ with his nuts cut off. You think I’m being blunt? It’s not far off the mark of the message being delivered by Stine at his revivals called “GodMen: When Faith Gets Dangerous.” (LA Times):

Brad Stine runs onstage in ripped blue jeans, his shirt untucked, his long hair shaggy. He’s a stand-up comic by trade, but he’s here today as an evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man — one profanity at a time. “It’s the wuss-ification of America that’s getting us!” screeches Stine, 46.

A moment later he adds a fervent: “Thank you, Lord, for our testosterone!”

The rugged American, tobacco-chewing, hunting man has been emasculated, and Brad Stine thinks he can turn this feeling around. Do I detect a sense of general fatigue with women? Hmmm.

Hold hands with strangers? Sing love songs to Jesus? No wonder pews across America hold far more women than men, Stine says. Factor in the pressure to be a “Christian nice guy” — no cussing, no confrontation, in tune with the wife’s emotions — and it’s amazing men keep the faith at all.

“We know men are uncomfortable in church,” says the Rev. Kraig Wall, 52, who pastors a small church in Franklin, Tenn. — and is at GodMen to research ways to reach the husbands of his congregation. His conclusion: “The syrup and the sticky stuff is holding us down.”

In the “I’m not sh*tting you” realm, look at the lyrics of a song Stine sings to the manly men who show up to his revivials…give a hand to the GodMen house band…

Forget the yin and the yang
I’ll take the boom and the bang….
Don’t need in touch with my feminine side!
All I want is my testosterone high.

Alrighty then. Manhood a little threatened…maybe a little projection going on? Read on, it gets much, much, more entertaining…

So what’s with the standard portraits of Jesus: pale face, beatific smile, lapful of lambs?

“He’s been domesticated,” says Roland Martinson, a professor of ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. “He’s portrayed now as gentle, loving, kind, rather than as a full-bodied person who kicked over tables in the temple, spent 40 days in the wilderness wrestling with his identity and with God, hung out with the guys in the street. The rough-hewn edges and courage … got lopped off.”

It sounds like that’s not all they think got lopped off. Don’t you kind of get the feeling that the peaceful, gentle image of Jesus is kind of unseemly to these guys, you know, just a too girly, or better yet, too damn faggoty? What, pray tell, could be worse than dropping to your knees to thank some pansy-ass savior?

That’s why we need more real men like Stine to show the emasculated man the way.

In fact, men taking charge is a big theme of the GodMen revival. At what he hopes will be the first of many such conferences, in a warehouse-turned-nightclub in downtown Nashville, Stine asks the men: “Are you ready to grab your sword and say, ‘OK, family, I’m going to lead you?’ ” He also distributes a list of a real man’s rules for his woman. No. 1: “Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.”

Jesus said – “thou shalt lower the toilet seat on your own, b*tch.” Did I miss that passage in The Good Book when I was in Catholic school? Have you all picked your jaws up off of the table? The proud Mrs. Stine, Desiree, approves of her husband’s role as teacher of real men, and as head of the household — in the article she said it’s the natural and God-ordained order of things.

As you might imagine, some of the men who return home after the pumping up they receive at the GodMen get together don’t get a welcome reception to these new man-on-top approaches on the home front. One man, 26-year-old Eric Miller a construction worker, returned home and told his wife that he was going on a camping trip alone, leaving her to take care of their infant.

“She was a little bit leery of it, as we have an infant,” he reports. “She said, ‘I need your help around here.’ “

Miller, 26, refuses to yield: “I am supposed to be the leader of the family.” He’s pretty sure his wife will come around once she recognizes he’s modeling his life after Jesus’, like a good Christian should.

Wait, is your jaw still on the table. I’ll leave you with what Stine also offers men looking to get back in touch with the power of their God-blessed genitalia.

Stine argues that the genteel facade of a Christian nice guy inhibits introspection and substitutes cliches for spiritual growth. GodMen is his attempt to encourage men to get real. His speakers admit to masturbation and adultery. A workshop called “Training the Penis” encourages men to talk openly about temptation and bond with guys who share their struggles.

…”We want to force you out of the safe places that have passed for spirituality,” Stine says. “Maybe worship could be hanging out with a bunch of guys, admitting we like blowing crap up.”

I’m reading this to Kate in disbelief and she said “can you imagine what must go on at night during one of these conferences…all the homoerotic energy there — and all the research being done to get in touch with their masculinity?”

Hat tip, Val.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding