The Billy Graham Rule Doesn’t Work for Most Who Participate in Today’s Society

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing. -Baltasar Gracian link

What is the Billy Graham rule?

Let me start off by saying something. The first time I ever heard that I was loved by God was during a crusade by Graham televised on my local station. I grew up in a non religious home in Salem, Massachusetts. My dad was Russian Orthodox but I think most of his devotional life revolved around pierogis and the polka.

For some reason, my parents liked Billy Graham. He was the only religious leaders to whom they would listen. No matter what you may feel about his theology, crusades, etc., please understand I will always be grateful to him for his messages that touched the heart of a lonely and confused teenage girl. 

I learned of the Billy Graham rule many years ago when I read his autobiography, Just As I Am. Like many people of my generation, I thought it sounded like a good idea. However, I think it has limited practical application in today's world. I will explain why shortly.

TGC posted WHERE DID THE “BILLY GRAHAM RULE” COME FROM?  The author quotes from Grahams autobiography.

One afternoon during the Modesto meetings, I called the team together to discuss the problem. Then I asked them to go to their rooms for an hour and list all the problems they could think of that evangelists and evangelism encountered.

When they returned, the lists were remarkably similar, and in a short amount of time, we made a series of resolutions or commitment among ourselves that would guide us in our future evangelistic work. In reality, it was more of an informal understanding among ourselves—a shared commitment to do all we could do to uphold the Bible’s standard of absolute integrity and purity for evangelists.

[2. Sexual Immorality]

The second item on the list was the danger of sexual immorality. We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion. From that day on, I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife. We determined that the Apostle Paul’s mandate to the young pastor Timothy would be ours as well: “Flee . . . youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 1:22, KJV).

Why did it come up now?

According to Inside Edition

"In 2002, Mike Pence told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either," The Washington Post reported.

Why did this generate so much attention?

According to The Washington Post

The reaction was swift and extremely polarized.

Many on the right quickly interpreted the tweet as the media somehow being shocked — shocked! — that a conservative Christian couple would establish such boundaries. Yet again, it seemed, here was the East Coast liberal media just not understanding the values of middle America.

On the left, meanwhile, the Pences' arrangement was one that reeked of sexism and a bygone era — an impractical code in the modern age of men and women working alongside one another. And how could the vice president of the United States not be trusted to dine alone or attend parties with women without it venturing into unholy territory? Some even wondered (perhaps seriously?) whether this would prevent him from meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May or German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

I believe that it is a rule that has limited application in the world of today.

A century ago, few women worked outside of the home. They were not allowed to vote. In England, estates would go to the closest living male relative. Secretaries in many companies were men.

My mother is 88 years old. When I told her I had put together something that came in the mail, she was surprised. She said that men were supposed to do that sort of thing and I asked her why. She calmly responded by saying "Men are born tto do those things better than women."She is a product of her generation.

Today, women serve in all capacities in every profession one can imagine, including the Armed Services. As such, they must interact with men in all professions.

The problem is that many of today's Christian leaders do not encourage friendship between men and women.

Earlier this week, we discussed this problem in a post looking at Desiring God's take on friendships. It is my opinion that some pastors who work in the rarefied atmosphere of the church don't get the realities and the changing views on relationships in the wider culture. Take, for example, this post on In Defense of the Billy Graham Rule.

In writing of his pastor father, the author said:

My father practiced, to my knowledge, the “Billy Graham rule” his entire ministry. It was not out of a desire to mute the women in the church or showcase his own godliness. It was instead a personal principle that safeguarded Dad and the people he ministered to. If a woman needed counsel, Mom would come along. Oftentimes it would be my mother who was able to speak most powerfully into another woman’s life. Those situations reinforced Dad’s belief that his marriage was indeed part of his ministry, not merely an accessory to it. And it was helpful: Again, to my knowledge, my father was never once accused, falsely or truthfully, of an inappropriate sexual relationship.

(Side observation: But these types of churches believe that only male pastors can preach into a woman's life.)

He claims that Tullian Tchividjian should have followed the Billy Graham rule.

Olasky, pivoting off the recent confession of marital infidelity and consequent resignation from ministry of Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, wonders whether the recent upshot of ministerial sin (particularly sexual sin) could have been thwarted if more ministers had emulated Graham’s famous personal dictum to never meet with or travel alone with a woman other than his wife. 

Here are some problems with his assumptions.

When I worked for a pharmaceutical company, I both traveled with men and took men out to lunch/ dinner as part of my job responsibilities. I could not have said "Gee, can I take my husband along" or "Can you send another woman with me?" One can get away with that in the church but not in outside of it.

I was never attacked by a man who was inflamed with desire while sharing dinner. If I had been, I would have been surrounded by other diners wielding steak knives. Believe it or not, that sort of thing is frowned on by professionals because it can lead to lawsuits, etc. so it doesn't usually happen with people who want to keep their jobs. Also, most men, like most women, are anxious to get the work done and get home or get back to the hotel and relax.

 I have met with several pastors alone in their offices. These were pastors who knew me and knew my character. I also knew them. In today's church culture, with talking heads instead of pastors, many pastors don't even know the people in their congregation. So they don't trust women nor will they be friends with them. The church is poorer for it.

Ah, Tullian Tchividjian… if only he never met alone with women. The problem is that Tullian had an agenda and he wanted to meet alone with women. He wouldn't have followed the rule because he didn't want to follow it. Men and women who want to have affairs will have them, regardless of rules.

Thoughts for debate

I am going to state a number of observations and thoughts and look forward to you chiming in, pro and con.

  • Mike Pence is part of an older generation and feels more comfortable with his rules. That is fine for him. However, it is not proscriptive for the rest of us. I am part of the older generation and think his rules would have been quite stifling for me as a nurse in the past and as a blogger now. It would have ruined some friendships with pastors along the way as well.
  • Christians who are having affairs are trying to cover them up, not advertise them to the world.  Why would they broadcast their relationships at the local Olive Garden? People tend to meet in hotel rooms in private.
  • Why do we assume that only opposite sex dinners are a problem? Couldn't there be a problem with same sex dinners?
  • Last night, my husband stayed late at work reading tests. The charge nurse also stayed late to work on the schedule. Should he have called me on the phone and told me to get down to the office, stat?
  • There are few, if any, corporations today that would allow a man to turn down an assignment in which he had to travel with a female coworker, take a female client to dinner, or meet alone with a female client in an office with the door shut, etc.
  • It is strange to think that at any moment all men might fall into sin because they are eating lunch with a client. Are men that weak? Are women? Do pastors think that men and women are having sex all the time in the world that doesn't follow the rules?
  • Today, many offices, restaurants, elevators, hallways in public buildings, etc. have video cameras. 
  • I was a visiting nurse and I visited many men in their homes by myself. Should I have refused?

Let me be frank. I sometimes meet with people from this blog and that means men. My husband encourages me to do so. His knows that I trust him to be alone in the office with women and he trusts me to be alone with men at dinner, lunch, etc. In fact, I do not think it has occurred to either one of us to question these sorts of things.

Meeting over a meal is a relaxing way to get to know one another. Many women and men have told me stories over food and I am grateful for the trust that they put in me.

Times have changed and I think it is for the better. Women are now accepted in all levels of professions. If the Billy Graham rule was proscriptive, it would be impossible for women to advance in society. Today, women can reach for all positions in our culture. Unfortunately, women are often sidelined in the church due to antiquated rules that say women should not be trusted by pastors.

Women cannot be pastors in the Calvinista world. In some churches women are not allowed to even read Scriptures out loud in the service. It is sad to think that pastors are afraid of meeting with women because they women might cause him to stumble. That's right. 60% of the church is under suspicion of being a stumbling block to the pastor. Can we say Jezebels?

Are pastors that weak? How would they survive in corporate America? Are women just waiting for an opportunity to bring a pastor down? It sounds to me that men and women are being trained to distrust one another and, in so doing, miss out on some fabulous relationships. 

How can cross gender relationships enrich the church?

In a post at Christianity Today We've Been Duped By Freud on Cross-Gender Friendship: A Response, Dan Brenna makes some excellent points.

Freud's theories, absorbed by pop culture, have put sex at the center of everything in the West—infiltrating evangelical views of relationships between men and women. 

…Alienation is the term I use to describe the brokenness that prevents oneness between men and women both within and beyond marriage. Alienation between men and women has existed since Genesis 3 and manifests in many ways: sexism, suspicion, and sexual objectification.

…Alienation shames us into believing we can't deeply love our spouses while also deeply and chastely loving friends of the opposite sex.

…The greatest way to guard one's marriage is to intentionally nurture trust, transparency, commitment, and intimacy as a couple. But through that marital oneness, freedom can be navigated between the spouses to nurture relational oneness with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of these relationships may develop into deep friendships, in turn bearing witness of the unseen triune God to a fragmented, alienated, Freudian world (John 17).

Anna Broadway, writing for Christianity Today, looks at Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships.

At a recent Southern Baptist conference on sexuality, pastor Kie Bowman suggested men not "get in a car (alone) with woman who is not your wife unless she's your mother's age."

…What do we mean when we talk about male-female or cross-sex friendships? In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says that friendship has to be about something — that it's a posture of two or more people standing side by side, discussing a truth they see in common. Lovers, by contrast, stand face to face and focus more on each other.

…But a side-by-side friendship easily expands from two to several people. In fact, small groups of friends often share richer conversations than only two could.

Each person plays a key role in the larger whole, Lewis says. "In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity… Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald's reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him 'to myself' now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald."

…Fincher says both male-female friendship (of the mainly one-on-one sort, it seems) and marriage entail risks. Since the riskiness of marriage doesn't stop us getting married, she argues risk shouldn't stop us from forming somewhat intimate male-female friendships either.

…And in the church God gives us not just sibling-type male-female relationships, but spiritual uncles, nephews, grandfathers and sons, too — in fact, the whole universe of male-female relationships. What could be better than that?

I have been deeply blessed by friendships with members of the opposite sex. My husband also enjoys hearing what I like about them, what they teach me, etc. These friendships bless both of us. I cannot imagine my world without male friends. Billy Graham's rule worked for him but it would not work for me for many reasons. 

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say about this controversial topic.


Comments

The Billy Graham Rule Doesn’t Work for Most Who Participate in Today’s Society — 1,289 Comments

  1. I fear a cage wrote:

    Lots of good patriarchal IFB churches adore their KJV

    girl, I adore my kjv. I don’t care if it’s a ‘bad’ translation, it is by far the most beautiful one. I like it when the bible sounds like Shakespeare.

  2. Velour wrote:

    @ Darlene:

    I think the discussion of the Billy Graham Rule is important. Many evangelicals are taught to adhere to it and are not taught the repercussions, to an employer and to colleagues for example. And frankly in most places it’s a poor witness. Another whacko Christian who can’t get along with others. By the way, I’m not saying this at all about Vice President Pence.

    I, a Christian woman, have had a Christian man from another team who follows The Billy Graham Rule not step foot in a workplace kitchen if I am the only woman there and he wants more coffee. He will do the same to other women if they happen to be in the kitchen by themselves and he wants coffee. It’s ridiculous. We don’t have The Plague.

    Yikes. Lord have mercy! I had no idea this was a widespread Thing.

    Well, yes, that sort of thing would chap my grits. But as I said, I’m not a highly placed politician under the media microscope. I think that makes all the difference. 🙂

  3. Jack wrote:

    One of the pilots on the flight home was a woman. Locked in a cockpit with her male co pilot. What shenanigans must have occurred once the autopilot was turned on.

    🙂

  4. Lea wrote:

    girl, I adore my kjv. I don’t care if it’s a ‘bad’ translation, it is by far the most beautiful one. I like it when the bible sounds like Shakespeare.

    Tee hee …… like “The Taming of the Shrew”?
    “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body
    To painful labor, both by sea and land;
    To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
    Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
    And craves no other tribute at thy hands
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience-……”

  5. Nancy2 wrote:

    The fetal tissue did not expel itself, and it had begun to degrade ……so, D&C. What would the state of Indiana done in her case?

    Since a court blocked implementation of the Indiana law that Pence signed, I’m not sure there’s a straightforward answer. However, some US hospitals restrict removal of an undeniably dying unborn child until the mother has a certain level of medical distress, such as sepsis. I hope those criteria would not have applied in your daughter’s case, but practices vary by state and hospital.

    The concern about waiting is that the woman will be in medical danger before the hospital consents to act–and that she will not be able to seek medical help elsewhere. These practices sometimes prolong the miscarriages of babies that were wanted but dying.

  6. @ Daisy:
    That was not the point I was making which was about risk management. Pence’s stance can be considered a risk management stance, and he is not alone which you can see if you read the comments on the Atlantic article I linked above. Those are comments from people in the workplace who understand the risks under “hostile workplace” rules. Litigation can be very, very expensive even if it does not go to trial and even if it is not true.

  7. Nancy2 wrote:

    My granddaddy would buy me a coke, and Mr. Roy would give me a free package of peanuts. Guess what I did!

    I know what you did, but may be the only one who comments on TWW who would. They also don’t know that the coke cost 7-cents.

  8. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    No. Is he excluding women from jobs or from public office? No. He is making perfectly legitimate choices WRT his own dining choices. This is his prerogative. How is it anybody else’s business?

    In the real world, in real workplaces, we have to have conversations (short or long) and even meals with members of the opposite sex to get work done.

    It is unprofessional and immature that a grown man can’t see professional women in the same light that he sees professional men and treat them the same.

    Wouldn’t there be an uproar from the men if he had made a rule that he wasn’t willing to meet with men unless a third person was present?

    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG. I think they feel that they must be like “Caesar’s Wife” lest they give the appearance of hypocrisy. I think that is understandable.

    Several folks here claim that Pence’s position will foster lunchtime sex segregation in ordinary workplaces. I think that’s just plain silly. Men and women will continue lunching together at companies all over the planet. And working together as well. Pence’s rule is for Pence, not for the rest of us. It is a very practical rule designed to avoid any hint of scandal for a very public figure. IMHO it is entirely understandable given the fact that Pence *is* a highly visible public figure…and especially given the media’s relentless hostility toward him.

    FWIW I agree with Darlene, Okrapod, and several other folks whom my geezeress brain has just blanked on. This is not about Oppression of Women. And I say that as a longtime professional woman with feminist instincts.

  9. @ Daisy:
    Daisy, that is an opinion piece with a decidedly negative, even haughty bias. It interprets their beliefs and then declares that the interpretations are what their beliefs are. That is exactly what is regularly decried here at TWW.

  10. Lea wrote:

    religious institutions may be allowed to implement these rules (although I would argue that some aspects are impossible in a regular job) but should they? That’s the question.

    Yes, they most definitely should for their own employees if that is what they believe and if that is what the people who give the money for the employee’s salary believe. It is called stewardship of money. If #3 does not believe it then, like I say, ‘the episcopal church welcomes you’ as do many others. But no, employee #3 does not have the final vote on what the job requirements are. Not as long as his is, in fact, an employee.

  11. Question: Would it be practical/beneficial/productive for high ranking women in business and politics to apply the Billy Graham rule to their own lives?
    I say no, but I’d like to hear some opinions from other people.

  12. Nancy2 wrote:

    Tee hee …… like “The Taming of the Shrew”?
    “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body

    Ha. Maybe not that one.

    I do think there are definitely some passages that read snarky a la ‘but brutus was an honorable man’ in JC.

    okrapod wrote:

    Yes, they most definitely should for their own employees if that is what they believe

    But what if what they believe is wrong? What if it is harmful?

  13. @ Christiane:
    As Okrapod pointed out, a vote for/against a particular bill cannot be construed simplistically as a vote for/against equal pay for women.

  14. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    This is not about Oppression of Women

    I have to differ with you slightly on that one. The intention is not the oppression of women, but it can and sometimes does result in the oppression of women (or a woman).

  15. Friend wrote:

    However, some US hospitals restrict removal of an undeniably dying unborn child until the mother has a certain level of medical distress, such as sepsis.

    Wow! Sepsis can be deadly!

  16. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t remember why Pence was even discussing this stuff in public in the first place…

    And to me, that really is the issue. Sounds like some spiritual pride may be in the mix.

    I think it’s a great idea to have rules of personal conduct, especially if one is in a position of power. I’ve got rules, too. I didn’t have any grandfathers growing up. One died from smoking-related illnesses, and the other drank himself to death. So, I don’t smoke anything or drink anything harder than wine, and that rarely. But… I don’t talk about it. This is probably the first time I’ve ever admitted it to anyone outside my family.

    But… You guys seem like family.

  17. Nancy2 wrote:

    The intention is not the oppression of women, but it can and sometimes does result in the oppression of women (or a woman).

    So, I had a conversation with a coworker the other day about some crime issue locally. His comment was that people shouldn’t go out alone ‘after dark’. I told him that although this is somewhat possible in the summer, it is impossible in the winter, especially if you are single. Because all errands are pretty much done alone. I’m not locking myself in the house at 5pm, because dark.

    So what we have is Billy Graham, in a specific situation (famous religious person and constantly on the road) in a specific TIME period making a rule. And then we have a bunch of other people deciding that this is the only ‘godly’ way to be and trying to apply this rule in completely different situations AND trying to force it on people as a condition of employment (because that is what groups like NAMB are doing, even if you think that’s totally ok and they could just jump ship and become Episcopalian if they don’t like it).

    So what are the repercussion of that rule? I think it promotes distrust between sexes, specifically a distrust of women, and it promotes a lack of maturity in adult Christians. And I think it’s a good time to talk about it, because in certain church cultures it is traveling with a host of other issues with the relationship between the sexes.

    Which gets down to…is it a good rule. Is it a just rule. Is it, if strictly applied, even a good Christian rule. Many would argue that it is not, including myself. I don’t know how much of this is generational, but just as younger people don’t see tattoos and automatically think ‘thug’, maybe we don’t see people having lunch and automatically think ‘affair’. I don’t know.

  18. @ Lea:
    I prefer Homer, the Iiliad and the Oddessy. But, I like Greek mythology.
    According to genealogy research, my mother’s side of family (Scottish) supposedly traces back to the man who inspired MacBeth, but I have do my doubts.

  19. Nancy2 wrote:

    But, I like Greek mythology.

    I like greek mythology too, but not for the language. Maybe it’s better in greek.

  20. Nancy2 wrote:

    Question: Would it be practical/beneficial/productive for high ranking women in business and politics to apply the Billy Graham rule to their own lives?
    I say no, but I’d like to hear some opinions from other people.

    How high ranking? I think that Queen Elizabeth might never be alone with anybody, but that would probably not work for Angela Merkel.

    In the south we have an inordinate number of women who own businesses, having inherited them from their fathers or been left with the family business when their husband died or else having started the business themselves. Or so I read years ago in the dress for success literature of the time. These women do whatever they choose to do, and as far as I know nobody cares.

    But I do think that the persons which we now see who are religiously identifiable by the dress of their women (I am being careful of vocabulary) should be allowed to do whatever is in keeping with their own beliefs in their own lives. And I think that at the secular bookstore which was owned and run by an observant orthodox person of yet a third non-christian religion in the town where I grew up and who refused to wait on women in his store but let his DIL do that for him should be well within his rights to do that. That would be even though I had to go away without some art supplies that I had intended to buy because only he was there at the time; and that did happen to me.

    So if some man wants to eat alone or only with other men I think that is lesser problem than if we increasingly encroach on other people’s freedoms by denying them that option. A phrase from Ovid keeps recurring in my mind: ‘the encircling darkness’. As it grows darker it gets more and more difficult to determine what is the greater problem of the many variables at work.

  21. Lea wrote:

    Which gets down to…is it a good rule. Is it a just rule. Is it, if strictly applied, even a good Christian rule. Many would argue that it is not, including myself. I don’t know how much of this is generational, but just as younger people don’t see tattoos and automatically think ‘thug’, maybe we don’t see people having lunch and automatically think ‘affair’. I don’t know.

    In one school where I taught, a male teacher and I were asked to organize an educational school trip for some of our math students. That can’t be done during school hours…. and I did after-school tutoring and he coached. So, we hammered out the trip details in alone my classroom, after dark (January), over burgers and fries. It seems like what we did would have been far more suspicious than meeting at a public restaurant. But a restaurant would have been very distracting, our workspace would have been limited, and we had student files that really shouldn’t have been taken out of the building. If we had both lived by the BG rule ……..

  22. @ Nancy2:
    I say that any woman or man needs to act in a prudent way according to the circumstances. Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

  23. Lea wrote:

    So, I had a conversation with a coworker the other day about some crime issue locally. His comment was that people shouldn’t go out alone ‘after dark’

    Because …… people don’t work 2nd and 3rd shifts, and crimes are not committed during daytime hours?
    Well, at least he said “people” and not “women”.

  24. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    @ Preacher’s Wife:

    Oh, excellent points! Yes, it’s a CYA Rule…that’s a great way to put it.

    If we didn’t have so many “preachers” slinking around with their “A” uncovered, we wouldn’t need CYA rules.

  25. Nancy2 wrote:

    Well, at least he said “people” and not “women”.

    He was referring to himself as well. I was just pointing out that this is pretty much impossible sometimes.

    But yes, shift work obviously is an issue. I know when I closed at several retail jobs we would all walk each other to our cars at night.

  26. Lea wrote:

    But what if what they believe is wrong? What if it is harmful?

    They can think what they want, but the employer has bought their behavior-not their private thoughts. Or they can make peace with it, or they can get a different job. I lean toward the latter when possible, but if not then there is always grit their teeth and endure until they can get another job.

    The rest of us have to do that on occasion. What exempts the professionally religious from job issues?

  27. Max wrote:

    If we didn’t have so many “preachers” slinking around with their “A” uncovered, we wouldn’t need CYA rules.

    That is exactly why BG and his friends decided to make their Modesto Manifesto. They had seen too many evangelical preachers fall for the reasons covered in the Manifesto.

  28. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG

    Employment laws still apply to public officials, including ones in high places.

  29. okrapod wrote:

    They can think what they want

    But they are not allowed, by their employer, to act on these thoughts even if they are morally motivated (giving someone a ride who is in distress).

    I am not saying they are exempt, I am saying this should not be the rule. I think you understand me on this, even if you disagree.

  30. Lea wrote:

    girl, I adore my kjv. I don’t care if it’s a ‘bad’ translation, it is by far the most beautiful one. I like it when the bible sounds like Shakespeare.

    The King James Bible is the one of choice for me too. I love the lilting Elizabethan prose. The newer ‘translations’ just don’t have the same ring, romance, and provenance.

  31. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG

    Employment laws still apply to public officials, including ones in high places.

    There are employment laws that dictate whom one lunches with?

  32. Fwiw I think the issue is not the high places. It’s the spotlight — the public visibility. That’s why I think the BGR doesn’t apply to most of us. But I can see how it would be reasonable for Pence and BG.

  33. Joe Reed wrote:

    I was doing some work in a church (non-reformed large church, just to set that straight up front) nursery the other day, and saw this sign on the bathroom door:
    “Door must be left open if you are assisting a child in the restroom.”
    This is the day we live in. Loss of privacy for child using the toilet because of protection for same child. Be nice if that wasn’t necessary, but it’s an ugly world, and ugly things happen, so precautions are taken.
    I see the Graham rule as essentially the same thing. Generally unnecessary, but it’s the exception that requires the rule.

    I have heard comments like this fairly frequently about such things as a sign on the bathroom door. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going on:

    1) Children who are of the age when they still need help in the bathroom do not have a sense of privacy to be violated (Different if it is an older child with needs for help due to disability of some sort). Therefore, leaving the door open takes nothing from the child. It does however protect the child.

    2) This is the “day we live in” to the extent that we now recognize and acknowledge that people do and *always* have violated children–even nice nursery workers can and have done it. The difference between now and “back in the day” isn’t that the ugly quotient of the world has increased but rather there has been an increase in willingness to acknowledge that ugliness and take steps to prevent it.

  34. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    And indeed some folks will say that other folk’s ideas and solutions are outdated, or wrong, or sexist, or ineffective, or fill-in-the-blank. But sometimes a man or woman has gotta do, what a man or woman has gotta do. And it will always offend someone, somewhere. That’s how this crazy world rolls.

    Yet, we can’t go through life assuming that everyone we cross paths with is out to sully our reputations, or take advantage of us. If we do, we can’t function.

    Yep, not everyone. But there are some bad apples in society. That’s why we have locks on our doors, our automobiles, and places of business.

  35. okrapod wrote:

    You tell me, why does it bother you that some woman disagrees with you? Have I not proved myself in the secular arena to people’s satisfaction such that by doing so I have earned the ‘right’ to have my own opinions? I dare say that I have. So what is your problem with that? Maybe you are not as comfortable with aggressive and successful and opinionated women as you like to think you are; unless of course they agree with you?

    mot, I do believe that I ‘get it’ so maybe you need to take a different approach with me.

    Thanks for your condescending comment. I will make sure I just ignore your comments in the future. I surely did not know you were so successful without your telling me.
    I am happy for you–smiling.

  36. And while we are on the topic I also think that one can and must go through life with the realization that we ourselves are apt to do something really dumb at any moment. Misguided. Act on inadequate information. Be persuaded by some good emotion misapplied to the wrong situation. Be distracted; fail to pick up on the clues; let ourselves be persuaded by somebody we admire too much; let our priorities get confused; feed our own damaged ego; not know when to cut our losses; gamble on the wrong thing. Just for a short starter list of human frailties.

  37. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Ah…but I think God just might have an affinity for the law profession. Because there is a book called Judges!

    Nah, Judges were necessities. If the people of Israel had just behaved themselves, there would have been no Judges! ; ^ )

    In the Garden of Eden before the Fall no judges makes sense. But since that time, there’s always been a certain segment of society that has proven they can’t behave. And that is where we can get into the Nature versus Nurture debate from psychology. Or theodicy and the problem of evil and its existence.

  38. Nancy2 wrote:

    That is exactly why BG and his friends decided to make their Modesto Manifesto. They had seen too many evangelical preachers fall for the reasons covered in the Manifesto.

    Yes, itinerant evangelists of that day had a particular problem keeping their pants on. Of course, they were charlatans not evangelists … as some are who have pulpits today (without them, TWW wouldn’t exist).

  39. Bunny wrote:

    I know! Showing my age tho.

    Soaking peanuts in a plastic coke bottle just ain’t the same. Evidently while we were innocent kids enjoying that treat, there were itinerant evangelists doing naughty stuff! It’s no wonder that Billy Graham and colleagues wanted to demonstrate to the world that they had Christian integrity.

  40. Darlene wrote:

    Yep, not everyone. But there are some bad apples in society. That’s why we have locks on our doors, our automobiles, and places of business.

    And dogs and mace and pepper spray and alarm systems and motion detectors and licenses to carry concealed ………
    But, few bad apples, or fear of what other’s may think of me, isn’t going to prevent me from giving a ride home to some man that I know and trust when his truck up and quits on one of our rural roads.
    Lea wrote:

    But they are not allowed, by their employer, to act on these thoughts even if they are morally motivated (giving someone a ride who is in distress).

    Most trucking companies will not allow their drivers to have passengers in the trucks for any reason – not even spouses, unless they also work for the company.

  41. @ mot:

    mot, don’t you think repeatedly telling someone s/he “just doesn’t get it” is pretty condescending, too?

  42. Lea wrote:

    I think it must be. If 19 year olds can controls themselves (when hormones are raging and your brain is not even fully cooked yet), so can grown men. They do not CHOOSE to. So they make dumb rules (which the ones who wish to have affairs just don’t follow, or they DO follow them and do what they want anyways), or they act as if women are required to control THEM.

    It’s good to hear that you were able to control yourself as a 19 year-old. Many 19 year-olds have proven otherwise. For example, there is a park in the city where my husband grew up that was a popular place for young people in that 19 year-old range to hang out doing all sorts of unsavory things. And I’ve heard it said – by folks much younger than I – that there is this hook-up culture among that age range. The Friends with Benefits thingy.

    Self-control is a good thing. It’s a shame lots of folks don’t choose self-control when it comes to the hanky-panky. There’s be a lot of tabloids out of business.

  43. okrapod wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    If he applied the rule across the board to men, “I don’t meet with anyone – man or woman – unless a third person is present” than that would be a fairer rule.

    Actually in the world of politics that just might be an excellent idea.

    Yeah. Imagine if somebody had been hangin’ out with Billy in the Oval Office when Monica was around. 🙂

  44. Darlene wrote:

    It’s good to hear that you were able to control yourself as a 19 year-old. Many 19 year-olds have proven otherwise.

    1. That was not a brag that was a mere comment on the fact that
    2. It is a choice they are making.

    If I choose to have sex, that is not ‘oops a slip up’. It is a choice, even if made in the heat of the moment. So is adultery. It’s a choice and sometimes a series of choices leading to another choice.

    Lord knows I have made mistakes, but they have been choices.

    Sidenote: Not that this is the only time were alone, but I think I may have seen a bit more freedom in this department than some, from the time I graduated high school, considering my dad did not balk at my moving away for school, traveling alone to orientation even at 18 and then driving half way across the country with a boyfriend (He even made hotel reservations for that one – 2 rooms, though) So maybe I never really got this heavy ‘though shalt not be alone’ thing and I just cannot understand it.

  45. Nancy2 wrote:

    Tee hee …… like “The Taming of the Shrew”?

    Doesn’t “Taming of the Shrew” include McClintock-style Domestic Discipline?

  46. Darlene wrote:

    Yeah. Imagine if somebody had been hangin’ out with Billy in the Oval Office when Monica was around

    Darlene I know you’re joking but I actually made a comment upthread that in many cases there absolutely WERE people around, from Secret service to state troopers. It didn’t help.

    Because it was not about whether anyone was around. People who are aiming at a thing will make it happen.

  47. Muff Potter wrote:

    The King James Bible is the one of choice for me too. I love the lilting Elizabethan prose. The newer ‘translations’ just don’t have the same ring, romance, and provenance.

    KJV sounds like it’s evolving into a Liturgical Translation in archaic language, eventually to be used only in English-language liturgy.

  48. Velour wrote:

    Getting work done in the real world, at real jobs, requires meeting alone with members of the opposite sex, for short and long meetings.
    He hurts women professionals by not treating them as equals to men, whom he is willing to spend more time with. If he applied the rule across the board to men, “I don’t meet with anyone – man or woman – unless a third person is present” than that would be a fairer rule.

    This is not true of all jobs. You are making a blanket statement that is demonstrably false.

    The rule isn’t treating anyone as less than equal. Mike Pence believes it is wisest for him not to dine alone with a woman who is not his wife. Maybe the rule is a bit too far, but he isn’t seeking to impose it on others. And a woman does not have to work with Mike Pence in order to be a professional or secure advancement. There are plenty of other jobs out there.

    So can somebody please give me one woman who was demonstrably harmed by not being allowed to be in one-on-one meetings with Mike Pence. One. Name and facts please.

  49. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    If we didn’t have so many “preachers” slinking around with their “A” uncovered, we wouldn’t need CYA rules.

    That is exactly why BG and his friends decided to make their Modesto Manifesto. They had seen too many evangelical preachers fall for the reasons covered in the Manifesto.

    Which is why it made sense for BG and his friends.
    And by extension public figures in today’s “GOTCHA!” media environment.
    Especially if said public figures have enemies who would try to smear them.

    But today’s control-freak preachers extend that BG Rule to EVERYBODY, laying Heavy Burdens but not lifting a finger to help.

  50. Robert wrote:

    So can somebody please give me one woman who was demonstrably harmed by not being allowed to be in one-on-one meetings with Mike Pence. One. Name and facts please.

    I see we have a Pence-ista here….
    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

  51. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But today’s control-freak preachers extend that BG Rule to EVERYBODY, laying Heavy Burdens but not lifting a finger to help.

    IMO it is about controlling people and helping people to feel self righteous.

  52. mot wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    And that it applies to his private life, not his professional life.

    Are you saying he applies different rules when he is acting in the capacity of VP?

    Well, I could answer that question. But I’m a bit gun-shy after observing how you treat women who disagree with you. On the other hand, maybe I should take the bait and join the ranks of Okrapod. 😉

  53. okrapod wrote:

    The rest of us have to do that on occasion. What exempts the professionally religious from job issues?

    Don’t you know they’re the Priestly Caste, God’s Speshul Pets?

  54. The BG Assoc country boys soared from small town to the international scene quickly, at the outset. They needed their rules. For that time, that situation, perhaps this was Spirit driven wisdom that served them well.

    Would that our Christian boys and girls in ministry, in the work world, in politics & community involvement, equally seek God for appropriate measures for TODAY to live a high standard of ethics & morality.

    Hebrews 10:16 “I will put my laws on their hearts.”

  55. Robert wrote:

    And a woman does not have to work with Mike Pence in order to be a professional or secure advancement. There are plenty of other jobs out there.

    Oh dear. Here is where we start going awry, you know…

    Many religious groups have done this, really, which is why this is about the only place this rule is reliably practiced. They have pushed women out of most ‘advanced’ positions.

    This is also why it doesn’t really work in the real world.

  56. mot wrote:

    I think whether someone voted for Trump or not they have reason to be upset about this nonsensical rule followed by Pence that paints women as the evil ones.
    I’ve seen too much setting women back to the first century by Southern Baptists to just pass over Pence’s “rule.”

    So the rule is nonsensical because it reflects more traditional views of professional relationships between men and women. What’s the objective standard that motivates this comment?

    Look, I have no particular desire to defend Pence’s rule as somehow binding on all. My concern is more all of the lambasting against him. He wants to be sure that he is never in a situation where he might compromise himself morally. His problem is with himself, not with women. Frankly, there is a lot of self-righteous talk against Pence and men in general here. Just remember that the second you think you are above the sins that Pence is trying to avoid, that’s the moment you’re most vulnerable to them.

    I didn’t vote for Trump. I have no great love for Pence. But at least be fair.

    Can anyone name one woman who has been demonstrably hurt by Pence’s rule for himself? It’s easy to be real vague “Well, this rule hurts women because we think it paints them as evil and therefore keeps them away from promotions.” I’m still waiting for actual tangible, verifiable evidence of this.

  57. Lea wrote:

    Many religious groups have done this, really, which is why this is about the only place this rule is reliably practiced. They have pushed women out of most ‘advanced’ positions

    The women are not allowed to usurp the authority of a man. A woman can not be a pastor in the SBC because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. I do not remember the holy scriptures saying Eve made Adam eat the apple and also I thought we were in the New Testament days. I guess for some it us just what suits their agenda. Those poor men around those evil women.

  58. Lea wrote:

    They have pushed women out of most ‘advanced’ positions.

    They will let them work in the nursery.

  59. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Robert wrote:

    So can somebody please give me one woman who was demonstrably harmed by not being allowed to be in one-on-one meetings with Mike Pence. One. Name and facts please.

    I see we have a Pence-ista here….
    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

    I dunno, HUG. Maybe he just has a different opinion than you. And maybe, OTOH, he likes the guy.

    I still don’t get all the hubbub over Pence. But that’s just me.

    Caveat:. I’m not a Pence fan and I have disagreements with some of his political views.

  60. Lea wrote:

    Many religious groups have done this, really, which is why this is about the only place this rule is reliably practiced. They have pushed women out of most ‘advanced’ positions.

    Well, this may be true, although “pushing” women out is a bit overstated. But then again, there are plenty of religious groups where someone like Pence would not be welcome in leadership.

    This is also why it doesn’t really work in the real world.

    Okay. So why all the complaining? If the “Pence” rule doesn’t work and isn’t applied in most situations, why be so bothered by it? Plenty of opportunities exist out there for women who think they must have one-on-one meals with men in order to advance in their careers. Pence is by far the exception in many ways. Are their women that are forced to work under him but can never advance because he won’t eat with them? There are no other jobs on capitol hill if that’s where somebody wants to work?

  61. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    So can somebody please give me one woman who was demonstrably harmed by not being allowed to be in one-on-one meetings with Mike Pence. One. Name and facts please.
    I see we have a Pence-ista here….
    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

    HUG, he’s just asking for evidence. That has nothing to do with “Touch Not Mine Anointed.” It’s a simple request for evidence.

    As you yourself just said, in today’s hostile media environment, prominent politicians are very vulnerable to unfair smearing. Can you seriously blame Pence for wishing to protect himself from that?

    He never said he doesn’t meet alone with women. He simply doesn’t dine alone with them. Someone up above said that this breaks employment laws. I asked which employment law dictated whom one must lunch or dine with. Crickets (so far).

    Good grief. Pence is the guy who got raked over the bleeding coals for presuming to attend a performance of Hamilton. Can anyone wonder why the guy’s a bit paranoid about staying above reproach? He gets reamed for nothingburgers, so he sure in heck doesn’t want to give the viciously hostile media a somethingburger.

  62. Robert wrote:

    Well, this may be true, although “pushing” women out is a bit overstated.

    They are explicitly making rules that says they are not allowed to hold positions of authority over men because ‘god says’, and you think ‘pushing’ them out is overstated?

    Robert wrote:

    If the “Pence” rule doesn’t work and isn’t applied in most situations, why be so bothered by it?

    First of all, it is applied in some very specific places where I think it is a problem.

    Second, read literally the entire thread why someone would be bothered by these rules (which did not start with Pence and opinions about such for me have nothing to do with him really).

    Third, is it really ‘complaining’ to talk about why we don’t like a rule that is being forcibly applied in many Christian circles and DOES affect many women who work in churches or even attend with men who have decided this is the only ‘Christian’ way to be and thus practice it ruthlessly?

    I repeat, this is not all about Pence or politics. This is far more widespread.

  63. Lea wrote:

    Third, is it really ‘complaining’ to talk about why we don’t like a rule that is being forcibly applied in many Christian circles and DOES affect many women who work in churches or even attend with men who have decided this is the only ‘Christian’ way to be and thus practice it ruthlessly?

    Heaven forbid you try and ordain a woman in Southern Baptist circles even she has the same credentials as a man.

  64. Nancy2 wrote:

    If a church planter was trying to get an unchurched person to attend the church plant, and their car broke down on out on the road, and the planter or his wife refused to stop and help …….. or if the person is alone and obviously upset in a corner booth at Mickey D’s, and the planter or his wife refuse to stop and try to lend comfort ……..because, well …… Sex…… What are the chances that person would join the church when reputation trumps human decency.

    If that unchurched person doesn’t join a 9Marks, Neo-Calvinist church, I’m thinking that’s a good thing. If enough people get the message, their ranks just might dwindle significantly. Me thinks the only solution for the NAMB and others like them, to change – is to see a large decrease in membership and financial contributions.

    OTOH, they could become like the Shakers. Dig in and double down. Either way, the end result is the same.

  65. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Yep, I confess that I’m old enough to remember that song. I even remember when she sang with the Mandrell Sisters before launching out on her own.

    Me, too! (Ouch). Loved it. When I was a youngster, I ride with my granddaddy to the Allegre feed mill to farm supplies. My granddaddy would buy me a coke, and Mr. Roy would give me a free package of peanuts. Guess what I did!

    When I was a kid, I saw Barbara Mandrell & her sisters perform at the Ohio State Fair. The Beverly Hillbillies showed up as well. Those were going times.

  66. Darlene wrote:

    When I was a kid, I saw Barbara Mandrell & her sisters perform at the Ohio State Fair. The Beverly Hillbillies showed up as well. Those were going times.

    They used to schedule concerts for the Western Kentucky State Fair – not any more, and I miss it. The summer I turned 18, I got a third row, center seat- less than 30 feet from the stage- for the Oak Ridge Boys. We were allowed to leave our seats, walk up to the stage, and take photos.
    Oh, yeah! I met Little Jimmy Dickens “I got my education out behind the barn” at Beech Bend. Does that count?

  67. I fear a cage wrote:

    Oh no. Lots of good patriarchal IFB churches adore their KJV

    The IFB…. now they take Patriarchy to a whole nutha level. They may actually be worse than the 9Marks, Neo-Calvinist churches. I recently watched a documentary on the Tuna Anderson case. Appalling the way the IFB church treated her.

  68. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I, a Christian woman, have had a Christian man from another team who follows The Billy Graham Rule not step foot in a workplace kitchen if I am the only woman there and he wants more coffee. He will do the same to other women if they happen to be in the kitchen by themselves and he wants coffee. It’s ridiculous. We don’t have The Plague.

    Did it EVER even occur to these ‘men’ that a Christian man would never insult ANY woman in this way? It’s just another form of men turning their backs on a woman speaker at a Church. It is intended to hurt and insult, and there is NOTHING ‘pure’ about that, is there? This very personal form of ‘shunning’ is meant to be noticed and cannot ever be mistaken as a ‘courtesy’ to the victim of the disrespect. It makes her look like something unspeakable and it makes him look like a stupid A$$.

  69. “The Billy Graham Rule Doesn’t Work for Most Who Participate in Today’s Society”

    That may be true, but we shouldn’t conclude that it doesn’t have any application in today’s society, as many of the comments posted seem to suggest. The Billy Graham Rule can be used as a risk assessment tool, especially for those who have a high public profile in their community. Such might be the situation for a pastor of a church (male or female) or for a well known business person or politician. These are individuals where photos and comments can have a devastating effect on their careers or on their business.

  70. Ken G wrote:

    These are individuals where photos and comments can have a devastating effect on their careers or on their business.

    When is the last time having a public lunch in public and nothing else had any affect on someone’s career or business?

    It seems like we can’t get men out of ministry who are caught red handed (sometimes two or three times!) or sitting in jail on charges. Somebody on my facebook feed keeps sharing that clayton person’s videos and he was having a lot more than lunch.

  71. Lea wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Bottom line: I don’t think the BG is realistic for most of us. But I think it may be crucial for a high-level public figure under constant, hostile media scrutiny.

    Random Staffer #3 at the 3rd Baptist church down is also not a high level public figure under constant media scrutiny, but is still required to follow these rules in many cases.

    That is why we’re discussing it. Yes, Darlene, religious institutions may be allowed to implement these rules (although I would argue that some aspects are impossible in a regular job) but should they? That’s the question.

    My personal opinion is that the BG rule has gone into the extreme paranoia stage in many Evangelical circles. However, I *get* why Bully Graham did it and I won’t impugn him for his decision. I get why certain high profile pastors would implement the BG rule. I don’t think attributing dubious motives to them all across the board is wise. As I said waaay up thread, it depends upon the people and circumstances.

    With that said, I deplore sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and all their ugly siblings. That so many churches and orgs in the Evangelical world are so obsessed with gender roles and behavior is absurd and baffling to me. I’ve been out of that world for a while now, and after reading TWW & SSB, I’m glad I left. Because hubby and I don’t practice the BG rule, so we wouldn’t fit in with those who support that mindset to the OCD level.

  72. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    girl, I adore my kjv. I don’t care if it’s a ‘bad’ translation, it is by far the most beautiful one. I like it when the bible sounds like Shakespeare.

    Tee hee …… like “The Taming of the Shrew”?
    “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body
    To painful labor, both by sea and land;
    To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
    Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
    And craves no other tribute at thy hands
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience-……”

    Ah, I should post this Shakespeare quote over at Lori Alexander’s blog, The Transformed Wife.. She and Ken would love it.

  73. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    That was not the point I was making which was about risk management. Pence’s stance can be considered a risk management stance, and he is not alone which you can see if you read the comments on the Atlantic article I linked above. Those are comments from people in the workplace who understand the risks under “hostile workplace” rules. Litigation can be very, very expensive even if it does not go to trial and even if it is not true.

    Gram3, can you post that link again? There thread is so long I didn’t even see that.

  74. Robert wrote:

    And a woman does not have to work with Mike Pence in order to be a professional or secure advancement. There are plenty of other jobs out there.

    OK Robert, that’s unlawful sex discrimination. And that won’t fly.

    Has Mike Pence repeated this evangelical Billy Graham Rule without giving a thought in the world to its implications? When I went to an evangelical, NeoCalvinist church we heard this all of the time and were spoon fed it via church events, books, pamphlets, Bible Studies,
    and even Christian radio programs. And come Monday morning it didn’t work in the real world at real jobs. Christians need to grow up, put on their critical thinking caps, and quit being so weird and wanting ‘special treatment’.

    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex, Robert.

  75. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If he started dining out alone with female staffers, don’t you think the media would have a field day with it?

    I’m not so sure of that. Pence has hired women staffers for several prominent positions, according to a list on Wikipedia. If he gives them a voice at press conferences, and is seen to mentor them in public settings, he might be portrayed more favorably.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Pence_Vice_Presidential_staff

  76. Max wrote:

    @ Joe Reed:
    Joe, in my humble (but accurate) opinion, being the old-fashioned prude that I am, you have framed this issue well.

    Max, you’re cute.

    No, I’m not flirting with you. 🙂

  77. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG
    Employment laws still apply to public officials, including ones in high places.
    There are employment laws that dictate whom one lunches with?

    If you’re having business lunches with men and not with women, then yes you can be sued for sex discrimination.

    If you’re eating on your own…you can do whatever you wish.

  78. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I see we have a Pence-ista here….
    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

    I don’t think that is fair, HUG. He asks a fair question regarding actual harm which no one has actually claimed in the media or elsewhere that I’ve seen. What I have seen is a man and woman who have been married a very long time without scandal. He has employed female staff, and I don’t think any of them have complained. We can have different opinions can’t we?

  79. Gram3 wrote:

    He asks a fair question regarding actual harm which no one has actually claimed in the media or elsewhere that I’ve seen.

    Considering I doubt I could have picked him out of a lineup 5 months ago, it doesn’t seem like ‘actual harm’ should be the question here. I don’t know anybody on his staff to ask.

    Also, if you are on staff and you are wanting to continue to work, you are not going to complain about your employer. You are going to work within restrictions and probably complain privately.

    If you are merely discussing wisdom (or lack thereof) of this rule in general and potential for harm, actual harm is not the standard or rather it can be expanded to all who have been harmed by this kind of a rule, and yes I have seen actual harm from the general principle.

  80. Robert wrote:

    Can anyone name one woman who has been demonstrably hurt by Pence’s rule for himself? It’s easy to be real vague

    I haven’t attacked Mike Pence. I have only stated that his ‘rules’ in the workplace are a form of illegal sex discrimination against women. What he does on his own time is his business.

    Having two sets of rules — one for the men to go by (and advance) and another for the women (to be kept at bay) — is unprofessional, immature, and unlawful.

    I have to wonder if Mike Pence ever thought through this (Billy Graham) rule or if he’s like the majority of the people I knew in evangelical churches who were spoon-fed this nonsense and parroted without ever, ever thinking about it.

  81. You know why this is such a Hot issue right now? I think it’s because it’s about SEX. And sex sells even when it’s talking about Pence the Prude. And so the attention is being diverted away from Trump the Womanizer. This is material made for a sit-com or Reality TV. And fodder for late night comedy talk shows. P

  82. Gram3 wrote:

    What I have seen is a man and woman who have been married a very long time without scandal.

    The same can be said for our former president and his wife. And he didn’t subscribe to the Billy Graham Rule.

  83. My wife knows of former female friends and is very trusting. I always ask her permission if I meet one for lunch and am accountable to her regarding the meeting. Of course working people have to be together, but it is still a wise virtue to avid sin and scandal and its detrimental effects.

  84. Velour wrote:

    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex,

    They exist but I am thinking they are far between. A couple weeks ago I had a mammogram at a large breast clinic here. All the technologists and the office staff were female, as was the nurse facilitator and as was one of the radiologists, but there was one male radiologist at that site. This even though there are male radiology technologists at the hospital and in the radiation oncology department, so this female only situation was obviously intentional. Personally as a patient I appreciated that. I have never seen the necessity or the practice of radiology technologists meet with anybody in private except possibly HR if they were in trouble. It is just not part of the job. And in this particular female only setting there would be no need for anybody to be in private with anybody ever-male or female at all.

    So, yeah I guess it would be the norm in this setting to have no private meetings at all including no mixed gender meetings. I went to a post-mastectomy prosthetics store which was all female and of course all the customers were all female, so that would probably be another. Salesmen would be possibly male but nobody would need to be off in private in that case. So, I guess the breast cancer industry would be one place where mixed gender business lunches or private conversations could be avoided if some female was looking for such a situation.

    I can’t think of anything else just off the top of my head. But then, I was never looking for that kind of job, so I am no expert on what is available for those who are.

  85. Christiane wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    three strikes he’s out

    Sorry, not necessarily, as Okrapod explained rather well, I thought, when she explained the complexity of the issues involved in equal pay. It is quite possible that increasing “equity” for one woman might decrease “equity” for another woman depending on how someone defines “equity.”

  86. Darlene wrote:

    Ah, I should post this Shakespeare quote over at Lori Alexander’s blog, The Transformed Wife.. She and Ken would love it.

    I think Lori should have called her blog “The Tamed Shrew”.

  87. Velour wrote:

    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex,

    I just did, but I had to venture into forbidden territory to do it, quite by accident. Nothing immoral or illegal. Anyhow, check back later.

    None the less, I think they would be few and far between.

  88. Men & Women in Ministry working together: Saint Jeanne de Chantal (1572 – 1741) and Saint Francis de Salle (1567-1622).

    Close friends and partners in ministry, St. Jeanne eventually founded the Congregation of the Visitation in Annecy, France, with the goal of public outreach. During WW2, the town of Annecy took refuge at Visitation, and they were not attacked. All lives saved.

  89. JYJames wrote:

    Saint Jeanne de Chantal (1572 – 1741) and Saint Francis de Salle (1567-1622).

    Typo correction – Saint Jeanne de Chantal (1572 – 1641)

  90. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG
    Employment laws still apply to public officials, including ones in high places.
    There are employment laws that dictate whom one lunches with?
    If you’re having business lunches with men and not with women, then yes you can be sued for sex discrimination.
    If you’re eating on your own…you can do whatever you wish.

    Presumably these are not business lunches, in Pence’s case? I mean, can we give him the benefit of the doubt? If he was violating employment laws, wouldn’t the media be all over it like a dust cover?

    I worked in ad agencies and corporate creative departments for 37 years. I recently retired from Huge Corporation and started freelancing (love it!). In all my years in Agency/Corporate World, I seldom went out for strictly business lunches…and when I did, it was usually in a group. But then, I never made it beyond peonhood, so that may explain it. 😉

  91. okrapod wrote:

    A couple weeks ago I had a mammogram at a large breast clinic here. All the technologists and the office staff were female, as was the nurse facilitator and as was one of the radiologists, but there was one male radiologist at that site.

    How interesting. There are certainly a number of workplaces that would be all female (I know when I worked at a womens clothing store that was true) but often this is by happenstance not design. Side medical question, I know that sometimes men get breast cancer. Do they do a mammogram when this is suspected or is there a different procedure? (of course, mens breasts are not considered to be private, so that isnt’ a factor).

  92. @ Gram3:

    I am not good at remembering as much as I used to be, but there is an older and formerly popular sociologist I think who also preached and who had quite a following–now if only I could remember his name. Anyhow, he came out with the brilliant statement that if some young woman in some church chose to be a nurse when the church had decided that she had the potential to be a doctor instead that the church should excommunicate her. Actually, that is what he is reported to have said.

    Now, having done both, I of course frothed with righteous indignation. But there is the attitude out there in places that women should not only be encouraged but pushed, possibly shamed, and in the mind of this @#$% excommunicated unless they went whole hog career whether they wanted to or not. This is sheer idiocy and worse it is some level of hatred for all things female, or so it looks to me.

    So when people do studies of how much money who makes, just think, the nurses and the teachers are pulling down the comparison with the men because-well-because they are nurses and teachers-usually by choice. But, nobody has any right on the face of the earth to try to force people to devise their lives solely on their paycheck. Doctors are not better than nurses. Preachers are not better than teachers. And women have the right to make their own choices.

    If somebody remembers that man’s name please tell me. I might want to pray one of the imprecatory psalms against him some time

  93. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I seldom went out for strictly business lunches…and when I did, it was usually in a group.

    I would say that business lunches are a part of the culture in dc for sure, as well as ‘parties with alcohol’ which seems to be a pence spin on things unless that is part of the BG rule I’m unaware of. You could avoid both of these things I’m sure, or you could I guess just drag your wife everywhere even though that’s pretty weird and would make me feel awkward if I really was meeting someone on business, or alternately just never meet with women on business one on one. That’s kind of where the problems come in, because it’s so much easier than the other options, so there is going to be a natural bias if you’ve made these rules, you know?

  94. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    No. Is he excluding women from jobs or from public office? No. He is making perfectly legitimate choices WRT his own dining choices. This is his prerogative. How is it anybody else’s business?

    In the real world, in real workplaces, we have to have conversations (short or long) and even meals with members of the opposite sex to get work done.

    It is unprofessional and immature that a grown man can’t see professional women in the same light that he sees professional men and treat them the same.

    Wouldn’t there be an uproar from the men if he had made a rule that he wasn’t willing to meet with men unless a third person was present?

    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG. I think they feel that they must be like “Caesar’s Wife” lest they give the appearance of hypocrisy. I think that is understandable.

    Several folks here claim that Pence’s position will foster lunchtime sex segregation in ordinary workplaces. I think that’s just plain silly. Men and women will continue lunching together at companies all over the planet. And working together as well. Pence’s rule is for Pence, not for the rest of us. It is a very practical rule designed to avoid any hint of scandal for a very public figure. IMHO it is entirely understandable given the fact that Pence *is* a highly visible public figure…and especially given the media’s relentless hostility toward him.

    FWIW I agree with Darlene, Okrapod, and several other folks whom my geezeress brain has just blanked on. This is not about Oppression of Women. And I say that as a longtime professional woman with feminist instincts.

    Gram3 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I say that any woman or man needs to act in a prudent way according to the circumstances. Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

    Yes, Gram3. You saved me the trouble of having to come up with Gram3 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I say that any woman or man needs to act in a prudent way according to the circumstances. Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

    Yes, Gram3. You saved me the trouble of​ having to come up with a cogent response.

  95. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    No. Is he excluding women from jobs or from public office? No. He is making perfectly legitimate choices WRT his own dining choices. This is his prerogative. How is it anybody else’s business?

    In the real world, in real workplaces, we have to have conversations (short or long) and even meals with members of the opposite sex to get work done.

    It is unprofessional and immature that a grown man can’t see professional women in the same light that he sees professional men and treat them the same.

    Wouldn’t there be an uproar from the men if he had made a rule that he wasn’t willing to meet with men unless a third person was present?

    I was not talking about ordinary workplaces. I thought I had made that clear. I was talking about the very specific situation of guys in prominent public roles — e.g., Pence and BG. I think they feel that they must be like “Caesar’s Wife” lest they give the appearance of hypocrisy. I think that is understandable.

    Several folks here claim that Pence’s position will foster lunchtime sex segregation in ordinary workplaces. I think that’s just plain silly. Men and women will continue lunching together at companies all over the planet. And working together as well. Pence’s rule is for Pence, not for the rest of us. It is a very practical rule designed to avoid any hint of scandal for a very public figure. IMHO it is entirely understandable given the fact that Pence *is* a highly visible public figure…and especially given the media’s relentless hostility toward him.

    FWIW I agree with Darlene, Okrapod, and several other folks whom my geezeress brain has just blanked on. This is not about Oppression of Women. And I say that as a longtime professional woman with feminist instincts.

    Gram3 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I say that any woman or man needs to act in a prudent way according to the circumstances. Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

    @ Nancy2:
    I say that any woman or man needs to act in a prudent way according to the circumstances. Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

    Yes, Gram3. You saved me the trouble of​ having to come up with a cogent response.

  96. @ Lea:

    And then there are the unofficial business meetings where business gets done. Which is also very much a part of the dc culture (and many others).

  97. Look, as I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t think the BGR is realistic for most of us. I never followed it myself. (Not sure I’d even heard of it!) But I can see why Very Public People like Pence and BG would adhere to it. If it works for them, where’s the problem? Can’t we just “live and let live”?

    I honestly don’t see that there’s any danger of the BGR being extended to the typical workplace — much less of its being *imposed.* I believe y’all when you tell me horror stories about the Neo-Cal and IFB churches. But that’s not my reality. I’ve never been exposed to that stuff, personally. And I don’t think the Pence Situation fits that model, either, even if he is a conservative Baptist. He’s in a very secular job, not a church job. And he chooses to dine alone only with his wife, not with any other woman. Maybe he doesn’t even do business lunches? In my admittedly limited experience, there isn’t much you can do at a business lunch that can’t be done better at a plain old ordinary meeting. Yes, I acknowledge exceptions. And yes, sex-segregated business lunches are not my cup of tea. But as long as that model isn’t being shoved down anyone else’s throat, what’s the big deal?

    At a former agency job, I had a colleague — Bob Jones grad — who apparently followed the BG Rule. (I didn’t know what it was called at the time.) I thought he was being kind of silly, but it never crossed my mind that he was Oppressing Women in this context. I mean, he had a female boss, and that didn’t seem to bother him a bit. He was also a very nice guy. He’s a big honcho at a Cary-area agency now.

  98. I don’t know how that posted twice and why it looks like that. Commenting someone’s iPhone is frustrating at times.

  99. okrapod wrote:

    So, yeah I guess it would be the norm in this setting to have no private meetings at all including no mixed gender meetings.

    So this is an example of how they meet with patients (same sex employees and same sex patients, mostly) but it’s not an example of how they meet with each other, which as you state d includes a man employee. And yes, you can bet that they do meet one on one with members of the opposite sex, discuss work, etc. It’s just the nature of the workplace.

  100. @ Lea:

    But there’s the rub. Must one participate in that culture in order to function in DC? I hope not. I’m actually fond of a glass of wine with a meal, but I don’t think I’d enjoy the DC Scene you describe.

    I entered the advertising business at a time when the three-Martini lunch was still common. (Yes, I’m that old.) But I never felt pressured to participate in that lifestyle. Just because it’s pervasive, that doesn’t mean it’s mandatory.

  101. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Must one participate in that culture in order to function in DC?

    I’m not saying you have to drink or anything, I’m just saying that every function you go to will have alcohol.

    As for business lunches, that is very much the culture. Of course, when you’re the head honcho you can make the rules bend to you, which is probably what he will do. If he says we are doing X, people will do X. I’m guessing.

    I am much more concerned with this rule as applied on a larger scale in churches, groups like NAMB, and by self righteous super Christians all across the land than I am a couple of famous men.

  102. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Presumably these are not business lunches, in Pence’s case? I mean, can we give him the benefit of the doubt? If he was violating employment laws, wouldn’t the media be all over it like a dust cover?
    I worked in ad agencies and corporate creative departments for 37 years. I recently retired from Huge Corporation and started freelancing (love it!). In all my years in Agency/Corporate World, I seldom went out for strictly business lunches…and when I did, it was usually in a group. But then, I never made it beyond peonhood, so that may explain it.

    Thanks, Catholic Gate-Crasher.

    We just don’t know what he’s doing. Also I haven’t attacked the man. I just disagree with the evangelical world’s shoving the Billy Graham Rule down everyone’s throat and acting like we are very bad people for not following it. And it is parroted without question by most evangelicals. I honestly think they need to grow up. I say this having exited the rarefied world of evangelicals/NeoCalvinists and all of their rules that don’t apply in the every day work world.

    My only point is that if he is following a rule that rule about women that should also apply to men. If he’s not going to have business lunches with women one-on-one, than it would only be correct for him to not have business lunches with men one-on-one.

  103. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:

    If we didn’t have so many “preachers” slinking around with their “A” uncovered, we wouldn’t need CYA rules.

    That is exactly why BG and his friends decided to make their Modesto Manifesto. They had seen too many evangelical preachers fall for the reasons covered in the Manifesto.

    Well there ya go. It wasn’t pious postering on Billy Graham’s part, as someone claimed up thread. Rather, a CYA rule so that they wouldn’t ever get in a situation where he’d have the pants sued off of him. And be tarred as just another one of those hypocritical preachers.

  104. Darlene wrote:

    You know why this is such a Hot issue right now? I think it’s because it’s about SEX. And sex sells even when it’s talking about Pence the Prude

    But the evangelical world (and NeoCalvinists) are obsessed with sex. Everything with them involves some sexual angle. They need to grow up! They are so immature and are really poor witnesses.

  105. Lea wrote:

    As for business lunches, that is very much the culture.

    Sure. And three-Martini lunches were “the culture” back in the Mad Men era and beyond. That didn’t mean everyone had to go out and gulp down three Martinis at lunch.

    Presumably Pence has no objection to group lunches where both men and women are present? Isn’t this more usual anyway, even in DC?

  106. @ Velour:

    Um, no. It was a male radiologist. I was talking about job related meetings which has been the topic of this post. Now of course people have personal lives. I thought you asked about jobs.

  107. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Presumably Pence has no objection to group lunches where both men and women are present? Isn’t this more usual anyway, even in DC?

    Depends on what kind of business you are talking about.
    Darlene wrote:

    It wasn’t pious postering on Billy Graham’s part, as someone claimed up thread.

    I don’t know if anyone said it was pious posturing by Billy Graham (did he tell the world about this? Honest question), but it certainly is by some who are advocating for it now. Even on this thread, it’s been presented that way at times.

  108. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    As for business lunches, that is very much the culture.
    Sure. And three-Martini lunches were “the culture” back in the Mad Men era and beyond. That didn’t mean everyone had to go out and gulp down three Martinis at lunch.
    Presumably Pence has no objection to group lunches where both men and women are present? Isn’t this more usual anyway, even in DC?

    Just realized that some confusion may have crept in here. You mentioned “business lunches,” but the issue is one-on-one, male-female lunches, isn’t it? Not business lunches per se. No matter what the “culture” in DC (or in any large city, such as my hometown of Boston), one can go out regularly for business lunches without necessarily doing so with just one person of the opposite gender.

  109. okrapod wrote:

    And while we are on the topic I also think that one can and must go through life with the realization that we ourselves are apt to do something really dumb at any moment. Misguided. Act on inadequate information. Be persuaded by some good emotion misapplied to the wrong situation. Be distracted; fail to pick up on the clues; let ourselves be persuaded by somebody we admire too much; let our priorities get confused; feed our own damaged ego; not know when to cut our losses; gamble on the wrong thing. Just for a short starter list of human frailties.

    Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    It’s good to hear that you were able to control yourself as a 19 year-old. Many 19 year-olds have proven otherwise.

    1. That was not a brag that was a mere comment on the fact that

    Lea, I didn’t think you were bragging. I sincerely meant that it was a good thing that you knew how to be chaste as a 19 year-old. 🙂

  110. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    I mentioned business lunches because I thought that was what we were mostly talking about here.

    I mean, I’m going to assume we’re not talking about him asking anyone out on a date and that in his personal life it’s easy to manage this sort of rule. Business is mostly where uncontrolled reality would crop up.

  111. I think that one of the reasons that Pence got chosen for VP was because at the time two lines of talk were being put forth. For one thing people were saying, and I believe that the current president claimed that his family was saying, that there needed to be some balance on the ticket, someone who was not all that similar to the current president. The other thing that was being discussed by conservatives was whether it was even right for a christian to vote at all in the last election. Some prominent leaders published some stuff encouraging people to goodness yes vote. I am thinking that Pence was a good choice for balance and to keep the conservatives voting.

  112. Darlene wrote:

    Lea, I didn’t think you were bragging.

    Ha. Ok. I think I was mostly making a comparison with the boyfriend, since he would most closely align with all the braggy dudebros…

    My dad was literally like ‘ok, have fun driving across country, I booked you two hotel rooms’ and sent us off. I clearly have no concept of men as all uncontrollable and neither did he 🙂

  113. @ Velour:

    Okay my reply was probably confusing. The technologists are employees of the hospital. The radiologists are not-they run their own business. Thre is no ‘business’ as such for them to talk about. Hence no ‘meetings’ much less dinners.

    Now like I said of course people have heir own private lives, but I am talking about job related stuff, which is what I though your original question was.

  114. Gram3 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I see we have a Pence-ista here….
    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

    I don’t think that is fair, HUG. He asks a fair question regarding actual harm which no one has actually claimed in the media or elsewhere that I’ve seen. What I have seen is a man and woman who have been married a very long time without scandal. He has employed female staff, and I don’t think any of them have complained. We can have different opinions can’t we?

    Oh no no, Gram3. We’ve gotta have outrage. It’s society’s raison d’etre.

  115. Lea wrote:

    It wasn’t pious postering on Billy Graham’s part, as someone claimed up thread.
    /
    I don’t know if anyone said it was pious posturing by Billy Graham (did he tell the world about this? Honest question), but it certainly is by some who are advocating for it now. Even on this thread, it’s been presented that way at times.

    He wrote about it in his autobiography, but it was quite late in life. Like many things in Christendom, Christians took a formula and tried to make it a rule for all Christians. What he wrote is reposted on his website: https://billygraham.org/story/51705/

    I have not yet since anyone answer my question as to why reputation should be important to a Christian? A few others asked it, too. Why do people call a ministry “their” ministry and get offended at the idea of anyone else taking it over? Do they really deserve to own it? If they didn’t have it, they would never be able to do anything else ever again? Do they really think God can’t give someone else the same gifts?

    Do we really believe that God couldn’t “make” 1,000 or 1 million people with the same evangelistic gifts as Billy Graham? All Billy Graham did was travel and talk. God’s Spirit did the real work.

    I think this idea that someone has ownership over a ministry or job completely cultural. I also think our identities are not in our jobs, and Christians have to stop thinking of them as such.

  116. okrapod wrote:

    The radiologists are not-they run their own business.

    And they’re usually off in their own spot, doing the readings right? Sometimes we even have them reading from off station.

  117. okrapod wrote:

    Um, no. It was a male radiologist. I was talking about job related meetings which has been the topic of this post. Now of course people have personal lives. I thought you asked about jobs.

    Not at you okra – your comment just made me wonder ……..
    “Not dining with a woman other than my wife” …….. I wonder if that would include eating in the hospital/company cafeteria?

  118. ishy wrote:

    He wrote about it in his autobiography, but it was quite late in life.

    Thanks.

    I have to say, I think there is a big difference in having a private rule or guidelines that you have told nobody about and openly telling women in your office (or elsewhere) that you will not see them/eat with them, etc, alone. Kind of like how you can say ‘I have an open door policy’ or you can not say you have an open door policy or you can say ‘I do NOT have an open door policy’. They send different signals.

  119. Lea wrote:

    And they’re usually off in their own spot, doing the readings right? Sometimes we even have them reading from off station.

    That is correct. At one point there was a group in Israel who were reading films from emergency departments in the US during our night time. They advertised themselves as being awake while it was night here based on their location and alleged that they were more readily available and also more accurate because they were not sleepy. I don’t know if they are still in business, but the technology is certainly there to do that. But yes, films are certainly not necessarily read on site.

  120. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Okay my reply was probably confusing. The technologists are employees of the hospital. The radiologists are not-they run their own business. Thre is no ‘business’ as such for them to talk about. Hence no ‘meetings’ much less dinners.
    Now like I said of course people have heir own private lives, but I am talking about job related stuff, which is what I though your original question was.

    OK, thanks for clarifying.

  121. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know if they are still in business, but the technology is certainly there to do that.

    That’s funny about the awake business, but true. Definitely the technology is there to read remotely and it happens, although I can’t say what percentage of the time. If you are in a rural area, some specialties can be hard to recruit and remote technology can be a lifesaver.

  122. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    one can go out regularly for business lunches without necessarily doing so with just one person of the opposite gender.

    Sure, if it makes sense. IT would be really weird to bring your wife, though.

  123. Darlene wrote:

    No, I’m not flirting with you.

    Well it wouldn’t have done you any good anyway. Between Jesus and my wife, I can’t get away with anything!

  124. Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Yeah. Imagine if somebody had been hangin’ out with Billy in the Oval Office when Monica was around

    Darlene I know you’re joking but I actually made a comment upthread that in many cases there absolutely WERE people around, from Secret service to state troopers. It didn’t help.

    Because it was not about whether anyone was around. People who are aiming at a thing will make it happen.

    In Slick Willy’s case you’re right. Billy was gonna do what he was gonna do. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And Bill C had the will to engage in hanky-panky.

    With his reputation, he had no interest in following the BG rule. It seems he relished the attention from female admirers. Proper decorum was of no concern to him. If anything, there were some women who did have to be concerned about unwanted sexual advances while in his presence.

  125. Nancy2 wrote:

    “Not dining with a woman other than my wife” …….. I wonder if that would include eating in the hospital/company cafeteria?

    Referring back to the man of the other non-christian religion that I worked with, if someone were doing what he was doing then I would think that eating in the hospital cafeteria would be really problematic for him.

    But speaking of hospitals, in some countries the people prefer for the women patients to be treated by women physicians, so it is sort of a heyday for women physicians. I have no idea how they eat lunch.

  126. Lea wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    one can go out regularly for business lunches without necessarily doing so with just one person of the opposite gender.
    Lea wrote: Sure, if it makes sense. IT would be really weird to bring your wife, though.

    Raise your hand if you want two doctors to discuss your medical procedure over lunch, with one or both of their spouses present…… Or, your lawyer and his assistant discuss your case …… Or two of your child’s teachers discuss how to deal with your child’s behavior problems……
    Hey…… It wouldn’t bother me that much, but some people have real problems with privacy issues.

    BTW – discussing a student in the presence of people not directly involved in the child’s education without the expressed permission of the parent/guardian is illegal in KY.

  127. Ken G wrote:

    we shouldn’t conclude that it doesn’t have any application in today’s society

    The Modesto Manifesto, or some form of it which will cover the same things, is still relevant today. Ministers and ministries can still fall into the same snares of money management, moral purity, and mouthy exaggeration. Exercising sound fiscal management, living without moral failure, preaching what the Word says, and cussing only what needs to be cussed 🙂 are all noble enterprises for successful ministry. Whether they be written on paper or inscribed on the heart, guidelines for Christian character in word and deed ain’t a bad thing. Keeping your walk within bounds, aligned with the Kingdom, by agreeing to do some things and rejecting others is wisdom. But if any manifesto is used to control the lives of others outside of God’s plan (e.g., New Calvinist church covenants re: female subordination), it is not only irrelevant in today’s society but in the Kingdom of God.

  128. Darlene wrote:

    With his reputation, he had no interest in following the BG rule. It seems he relished the attention from female admirers. Proper decorum was of no concern to him. If anything, there were some women who did have to be concerned about unwanted sexual advances while in his presence.

    Was Jim Bakker ever seen having dinner alone with a woman other than his wife?

  129. Nancy2 wrote:

    Raise your hand if you want two doctors to discuss your medical procedure over lunch, with one or both of their spouses present…… Or, your lawyer and his assistant discuss your case …… Or two of your child’s teachers discuss how to deal with your child’s behavior problems……
    Hey…… It wouldn’t bother me that much, but some people have real problems with privacy issues.
    BTW – discussing a student in the presence of people not directly involved in the child’s education without the expressed permission of the parent/guardian is illegal in KY.

    In law, it’s a violation of legal ethics to discuss clients’ cases/matters in front of others.

    That said, there are perfectly legitimate business-related topics that don’t violate attorney-client confidentiality that are discussed in business lunches.

  130. BG rule is to protect people who want to be protected. IMO they have the right to do that as long as they do no harm to others in the process.

    The fact that it does not protect anybody who does not want to be protected, well, so what? It is not designed to do that.

    But, IMO if we all lived like we should then surely in one way or the other, by something we do or do not do, or believe or do not believe, then the ‘world’ would surely be offended by us. I think that comes with the job.

  131. Lea wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    I mentioned business lunches because I thought that was what we were mostly talking about here.
    I mean, I’m going to assume we’re not talking about him asking anyone out on a date and that in his personal life it’s easy to manage this sort of rule. Business is mostly where uncontrolled reality would crop up.

    I think you may have missed my point. Maybe I was unclear, so I’ll try again.

    I was making the distinction between business lunches in general and one-on-one, male-female business lunches in particular. The latter are a subset of the former. Does that make any sense?

    Business lunches do not have to be one-on-one, male to female — in DC or anywhere else. In fact, quite often they are not. I would venture to suggest that most business lunches (anywhere) involve more than two parties. Not all. But many, if not most.

    Therefore, it is entirely possible for Pence to participate in the business-lunch culture of DC without violating his self-imposed rule. He does not need to avoid all business lunches. Just those that are one-on-one, male-to-female. I would suspect that this is relatively easy to do. Even in DC.

  132. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Business lunches do not have to be one-on-one, male to female — in DC or anywhere else. In fact, quite often they are not. I would venture to suggest that most business lunches (anywhere) involve more than two parties. Not all. But many, if not most.

    And it’s also common place for two people of the opposite sex to go out to grab a bite to eat together or to pick up lunch orders for the rest of the team. It is routine and without drama.

    I also don’t think VP Pence’s rule is “self-imposed” but is imposed by the world of evangelical Christianity that creates just about everything into high drama with some sexually sinister motive, because they can’t conceive of anything else. They are, by in large, grossly immature.

  133. Lea wrote:

    When is the last time having a public lunch in public and nothing else had any affect on someone’s career or business?

    My comment addressed the use of the Billy Graham rule as a risk assessment tool. I can give several examples 9in my community) where it has been applied to reduce risk of adverse impact.

    1) A car dealership has all sales people interact with customers at desks that are out in the open in full view. The salespeople can be male or female and the customers can be male or female. There are no private one on one meetings. This is done to reduce the risk of a potential customer, who didn’t get the deal they wanted, from claiming the salesperson made an inappropriate comment, etc.

    2) A well known medical group specializes in sports medicine and injury. There are female and male doctors on staff. A male patient has a choice of seeing a female or a male doctor, but the female doctors will not examine certain areas of the male anatomy and will call in a male doctor, as necessary. I don’t know the rules in place for a female patient.

    I believe these examples are in keeping with the spirit of the Billy Graham rule.

  134. Lea wrote: Sure, if it makes sense. IT would be really weird to bring your wife, though.

    Oh Lord have mercy! I’m sorry. But talk about totally missing the point.

    Who said he has to bring his wife along to a business lunch?? Who remotely implied such a thing?

    Pence is saying that he will lunch one-on-one only with his wife. Presumably he feels perfectly free to have NON-one-on-one business lunches — even in mixed company — without his wife. And, based on my own experience in a fairly major city (Boston), most business lunches are NOT one-on-one. Some, yes. Most, probably not.

    If this is true — i.e., that most business lunches are not one-on-one — then that means Pence can attend business lunches out the wazoo, without dragging his wife along.

    If I were really saying what Lea and Nancy2 think I’m saying, I would be seriously stupid. And I don’t think I’m seriously stupid. So maybe, just maybe, I’m not saying what y’all think I am. Perhaps I’ve been unclear. But surely not that unclear?

    [[feeling a tad frustrated]]

  135. Gram3 wrote:

    Not making rules for anyone else or criticizing the rules other people make for themselves and their spouses.

    I think criticism is fine when the rules one makes for themselves bleed into the work environment and effect the workplace.

  136. Velour, I have to disagree. Maybe Pence’s Rule comes from the Toxic Underbelly of Evangelical-Land. I don’t know. I’m not part of that culture.

    But whatever its provenance, I think Pence is applying it to himself because of his very sensitive, highly visible public position, wherein he is under the media microscope.

    If he were to even appear to “give scandal,” the hostile media would be out after him with hatchets, like Aunt Agatha chasing Bertie Wooster.

    IOW, as Preacher’s Wife noted, it’s preemptive CYA.

    Good grief. Isn’t the usual politician’s M.O. — tomcatting around a la Teddy Kennedy and Bill Clintion (and many GOP pols too) — a whole lot worse than what Pense is doing?

    Can the poor guy buy a break?

  137. Ken G wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    When is the last time having a public lunch in public and nothing else had any affect on someone’s career or business?
    My comment addressed the use of the Billy Graham rule as a risk assessment tool. I can give several examples 9in my community) where it has been applied to reduce risk of adverse impact.

    Neither of your answers addressed harm from public business lunches, though. They are just rules. I know rules exist, that’s why we’re talking about them.

  138. I think criticism is fine when the rules one makes for themselves bleed into the work environment and effect the workplace.

    As far as I can see, no one has yet provided any evidence that Pence’s self-imposed rules have done this. It’s all speculation.

  139. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    But whatever its provenance, I think Pence is applying it to himself because of his very sensitive, highly visible public position, wherein he is under the media microscope.

    I don’t think that’s where it comes from. People in high-profile positions can and do conduct themselves with professionalism, ethics, and class. It’s a choice. Like someone mentioned here the other day…it’s about character.

    Trust me, the Billy Graham Rule is shoved down evangelicals’ throats all of the time, and many people repeat it by rote.(I say this from experience in the evangelical world.)

    Vice President Pence didn’t invent this rule on his own. He learned it from the church. And in real life it doesn’t work and the universe is simply not going to implode if you don’t adhere to this legalistic rule. In fact, you’ll probably be more respected for just being a normal person.

  140. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If this is true — i.e., that most business lunches are not one-on-one

    There are meetings that have to be one on one. There are meetings that you cannot have at the office, for a variety of reasons. These things may not come up for Pence, with SS etc, but they do come up. And if you can’t conceive of any reasons why a one on one meeting would need to occur, than fine. But if they need to occur, and there is not other ‘chaperone’ and pence thinks he needs one then presumably he would bring his wife. Which would be weird.

    Most likely, though, he would just not make meetings with women if at all possible. That is the most likely outcome.

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour, I have to disagree. Maybe Pence’s Rule comes from the Toxic Underbelly of Evangelical-Land. I don’t know. I’m not part of that culture.
    But whatever its provenance, I think Pence is applying it to himself because of his very sensitive, highly visible public position, wherein he is under the media microscope.

    Ah, see I”m going to disagree with you. I think the horse came before the cart here, in that I’m betting he picked this rule up from the ‘evangelical underbelly’ and applied it to his life, not he saw himself as a public person and sought out this rule. That’s what Billy Graham did, sure. He saw a problem and he came up with some rules. The people who borrow these rules did not do that in the same fashion that he did.

  141. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Can the poor guy buy a break?

    I think you misunderstand me. I don’t have a problem with VP Pence. I have a problem with the legalistic rules that the evangelical world is constantly inventing and shoving down Christians’ throats. And so many – the majority of them I think – buy it and parrot it.
    And they never stop long enough to question it.

    Been there. Done that.

  142. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Can the poor guy buy a break?

    HE’s VP of the US. None of this nonsense is ever going to hurt him personally.

    He’s not some downtrodden victim or someone trying to get face time to do their job and running into sex based restrictions. He will be FINE.

  143. @ Robert:

    The one thing that is not being mentioned is that he also said he would only work overtime/ with male aides never female.

  144. @Lea:

    Meetings don’t have to be lunches. And lunches don’t have to be one-on-one. I think you may be imposing a standard here every bit as rigid as the one you object to.

    As a 37-year veteran of the business world, I would respectfully venture that the business milieu is a lot more flexible and multi-faceted than you’re suggesting. And corporations, at least, make allowances for employees’ personal preferences all the time — whether it’s time off for Rosh Hashanah or train travel for execs who suffer from crippling fear of flying.

    It’s not a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter, IOW. Not even in DC, I’m thinkin’.

    @Velour, I see where you’re coming from, and I appreciate what you’re saying; I wouldn’t last two days in such a restrictive church environment. But I still don’t think your concern would apply to Pence, unless he’s imposing the BGR on everybody else. Which apparently he isn’t.

  145. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Doesn’t “Taming of the Shrew” include McClintock-style Domestic Discipline?
    No, not in the original play. Some more modern adaptions have included that.

    McClintock-style?? I have no idea what that is. None whatsoever. I must be out of the loop.

  146. Darlene wrote:

    McClintock-style?? I have no idea what that is. None whatsoever. I must be out of the loop.

    Oh, dear …… That loop is more than 40 years old. John Wayne as McClintock spanks his wife in view of the whole town.

  147. TGC2017 is happening and I have finally put my finger on what truly bothers me about their worldview/rhetoric. They stopped asking why. Every single great move forward for the human species has been made by people who ask why, or why not or we can do it better or this makes no sense, or this is wrong, or maybe we are all wrong. They lack the grace to doubt. That is truly a scary world view.

  148. Ultimately it’s exclusion cloaked in morality.
    For what it’s worth, I don’t Pence or Graham ever stuck to the “rule”. But let’s say they were serious and not just playing to the house.
    This means the good pastor could never meet with a female congregant and the good representative with a female constituent. Unless their wife or the husband of the congregant/constituent was present.
    But in the case of the pastor, what if the problem is the husband?
    This places everything on the woman. She is excluded from confidence.
    If you can’t be trusted alone with a woman who is not a wife or relative then what the heck kind of pastor are you? What kind of elected representative?
    How high opinion do you have of yourself that every woman is a potential Jezebel?
    And don’t bring up “black widows” and other such nonsense. I’ve been working since the age of 17. Never seen it happen. Sure many workplaces have issues but silly rules like this don’t help.
    This has nothing to do with religious freedom. It’s 2017 not 1917.

  149. Velour wrote:

    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex, Robert.

    Wait a minute. So, folks must now insist that Pence meet alone with women while carrying out his duties? Come to think of it, I don’t even know how this is possible. Because there will be Secret Service wherever Pence goes. That’s part of being V.P. So, when will he have to meet along with a woman?

    I dunno. I still don’t get all the kerfuffle over this. Trump and his lousy attitude toward women – I get that. However, I think this Pence issue is blown out of proportion.

  150. okrapod wrote:

    And women have the right to make their own choices.

    Yes, I believe we do. The problem is that choices (and even unchosen circumstances) involve outcomes which are not equal due to controllables and uncontrollables. And a great many people are very uncomfortable with that reality for a number of reasons. What is the legislative or regulatory formula that is adequate to address all of those variables to arrive at “equality?” And I am being totally serious.

  151. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    @Lea:
    Meetings don’t have to be lunches. And lunches don’t have to be one-on-one. I think you may be imposing a standard here every bit as rigid as the one you object to.

    This argument has devolved into silliness. I am not imposing standards, other people are! I am merely saying there are things that come up naturally.

    Agree to disagree on this one.

  152. brian wrote:

    Every single great move forward for the human species has been made by people who ask why, or why not or we can do it better or this makes no sense, or this is wrong, or maybe we are all wrong. They lack the grace to doubt.

    Excellent point, Brian.

  153. Ken G wrote:

    A well known medical group specializes in sports medicine and injury. There are female and male doctors on staff. A male patient has a choice of seeing a female or a male doctor, but the female doctors will not examine certain areas of the male anatomy and will call in a male doctor, as necessary. I don’t know the rules in place for a female patient.

    So a male patient chooses a female MD, but she will not look at certain parts of the patient without a male MD in the room? And it’s a workplace rule? What insurance company allows this?

    Both my husband and I have been examined by male and female doctors, nurses, and technicians. Typically there’s a witness called an escort in the room. All medical personnel leave the room whenever the patient is changing into or out of a gown. They knock before entering. They uncover just one area of skin at a time. They explain what they are doing. It’s a completely predictable and dignified procedure.

  154. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour, I have to disagree. Maybe Pence’s Rule comes from the Toxic Underbelly of Evangelical-Land. I don’t know. I’m not part of that culture.

    Okie dokie. I just did a little ‘splorin’. Pence says he is an “evangelical Catholic”, whatever that is. He went to a parochial school and was an alter boy.
    The church he was attending, at least up until T&P took office, is College Park Church in Indianapolis.
    I explored the churches website. It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.

    >>>>>>>>>YIPE, YIPE, YIPE, (tail between legs)

  155. Bridget wrote:

    I think criticism is fine when the rules one makes for themselves bleed into the work environment and effect the workplace.

    I agree if that is actually true. As far as I can see, we haven’t actually established that it is true in his case. For example, perhaps he makes a point to have his assistant or another person at all meetings and there are no one-on-one meetings. Since we are talking about a governor, a Congressman and now a Vice President, I think that is more likely than not. Or, perhaps he has working lunches in a conference room in his offices. That’s pretty common in the business world.

    IMO, people are catastrophizing unnecessarily. At the same time, I also want to say that, IMO, there is no excuse at all for any person–male or female–to refuse to make an accommodation of some kind for this kind of personal belief so that someone else is excluded or harmed in any way.

  156. Friend wrote:

    So a male patient chooses a female MD, but she will not look at certain parts of the patient without a male MD in the room? And it’s a workplace rule? What insurance company allows this?

    That doesn’t sound like a good use of resources money wise. Docs are expensive. If you had said a nurse had to be in the room at the time, that I could buy as reasonable. I think my doc does that with Pap smears.

    But you would pay a doctor to not be a doctor!

  157. okrapod wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex,

    My husband used to work in construction as a brick mason. He never saw a woman on the job. The only time the construction workers met after work was to hang out at a pub for a beer. So, it wasn’t in a professional capacity.

    Again, the issue here isn’t working with the opposite sex. Rather, it’s the environment in which one man and one woman would be required to work alone. A business lunch isn’t alone as long as other people are around. But I suppose even then people can whisper sweet nothings to each other or blow kisses across the table if sparks are flying between them.

    I think we can beat a dead horse when it comes to the BG rule. For me, while I don’t personally get all the concern about meeting the opposite sex in public at a restaurant, I still can respect other people whose consciences do not allow them to feel comfortable in these situations. I can also appreciate why women take offense in Evangelical circles because the BG rule is carried out in obsessive/compulsive ways that insult women.

    I’m a person who tends to defend people’s freedom. Freedom to make choices, for the good or the ill. But we live in a world where people abuse their freedoms to the detriment and harm of others. So, how do we balance our freedoms versus laws impinging on those freedoms? I would hope we would never become a society where the laws become so oppressive that we fear making a move lest we break one of those laws. Read the Gulag Archipelago sometime, if you haven’t already. Life in the Soviet Union under Communism was stifling, to the point where no one could trust anyone because the government had that much power over citizen’s lives.

  158. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    And corporations, at least, make allowances for employees’ personal preferences all the time — whether it’s time off for Rosh Hashanah or train travel for execs who suffer from crippling fear of flying.

    Correct, corporations do those things because to do otherwise would be a form of unlawful discrimination based on protected characteristics such as being Jewish (and celebrating their religious holidays) or being disabled (suffering from a crippling fear of flying).

  159. Friend wrote:

    Both my husband and I have been examined by male and female doctors, nurses, and technicians. Typically there’s a witness called an escort in the room. All medical personnel leave the room whenever the patient is changing into or out of a gown. They knock before entering. They uncover just one area of skin at a time. They explain what they are doing. It’s a completely predictable and dignified procedure.

    I go to my assigned clinic at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Ft. Campbell. I get whatever Doctor is assigned to me, and in a military community there is a fast turnover. I never know if my PCP, ER, or specialist is going to be a male or a female. I do see some civilian dr’s off post, with referrals. Same steps/guidelines are followed as you describe in all situations.

  160. Nancy2 wrote:

    Okie dokie. I just did a little ‘splorin’. Pence says he is an “evangelical Catholic”, whatever that is. He went to a parochial school and was an alter boy.
    The church he was attending, at least up until T&P took office, is College Park Church in Indianapolis.
    I explored the churches website. It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.

    Good research, Nancy2. Thank you.

  161. Friend wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Ultimately it’s exclusion cloaked in morality.
    We have a winner!!

    Yes, Jack wins the Bingo prize for the day, or whatever we are awarding.

    Congratulations, Jack!

  162. Gram3 wrote:

    Since we are talking about a governor, a Congressman and now a Vice President

    Given that Pence is now VP, I don’t think there can be a one-on-one meeting with anyone, other than family or possibly another world leader such as the British or German Prime minister or one of their representatives. The Secret Service will always be very close by.

  163. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    A couple weeks ago I had a mammogram at a large breast clinic here. All the technologists and the office staff were female, as was the nurse facilitator and as was one of the radiologists, but there was one male radiologist at that site.
    How interesting. There are certainly a number of workplaces that would be all female (I know when I worked at a womens clothing store that was true) but often this is by happenstance not design. Side medical question, I know that sometimes men get breast cancer. Do they do a mammogram when this is suspected or is there a different procedure? (of course, mens breasts are not considered to be private, so that isnt’ a factor).

    Interesting comments about the mammogram facility. A couple of years ago I had to go for a mammogram. During that process, I told the female nurse that I appreciated a woman doing that procedure on me. And that I wouldn’t want a man touching me like that. She told me that they only hire females to work in that capacity. Now, how about that? I think that’s great. So, when will that hospital be confronted with a lawsuit from a male who feels disenfranchised and marginalized because he can’t work around women’s breasts?

  164. Velour wrote:

    It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.

    Good research, Nancy2. Thank you.

    Sadly, not surprised by these facts.

  165. What is it with this thread? I’ve had so many comments go into moderation it isn’t funny. It must have something to do with the subject matter. There must be some key words that go through the time-out filter before approved. Maybe the DEEBS want to make sure we’re all behaving. 🙂 Love ya, DEEBS! I’m trying to be good, but it’s hard to avoid the S word when talking about the BG rule.

  166. Nancy2 wrote:

    Pence says he is an “evangelical Catholic”, whatever that is

    myunderstanding is that he converted to ‘evangelical’ out of Catholic, so technically he is an ‘evangelical’ now …..
    I’m curious as to why he referred to himself as ‘an evangelical Catholic’ and am wondering if he was politically trying to present to a wider ‘base’ by doing that ….. it is actually confusing, what he calls himself, because Catholics ‘evangelize’ in their way, but certainly not in the manner of fundamentalist-evangelical people, nor do Catholics share a whole segment of evangelical beliefs about many important theological points

    I would say he might be more comfortably placed somewhere along the lines of a ‘conservative Christian evangelical Republican’, rather than ‘Catholic’ 🙂

  167. Velour wrote:

    Friend wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Ultimately it’s exclusion cloaked in morality.
    We have a winner!!

    Yes, Jack wins the Bingo prize for the day, or whatever we are awarding.

    Congratulations, Jack!

    Great phrasing, JACK! perfect imagery for what is REALLY going on

  168. ishy wrote:

    All Billy Graham did was travel and talk. God’s Spirit did the real work.

    Yes. BG preached Christ Crucified and Risen From the Dead as though he meant it …. with an authority that comes from the fire of the Holy Spirit working through him …. Catholics LOVE this man

    Franklin is not a man like his father, no.

  169. Christiane wrote:

    I would say he might be more comfortably placed somewhere along the lines of a ‘conservative Christian evangelical Republican’, rather than ‘Catholic’

    I’ve known catholics who fit quite squarely into that definition, actually.

  170. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I would say he might be more comfortably placed somewhere along the lines of a ‘conservative Christian evangelical Republican’, rather than ‘Catholic’

    I’ve known catholics who fit quite squarely into that definition, actually.

    I’m thinking Paul Ryan, but I see him far more like a devotee of Ayn Rand in his economic social thinking, far more to the right than most evangelical folks even. Ryan certainly doesn’t fit into the group that embraces the social doctrine of the Catholic Church as it applies to preferential treatment for the poor, no.

  171. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.
    Good research, Nancy2. Thank you.
    Sadly, not surprised by these facts.

    Me neither, Mot. It goes with the territory. Sigh. So glad to be free of that bondage.

  172. Christiane wrote:

    I’m thinking Paul Ryan, but I see him far more like a devotee of Ayn Rand in his economic social thinking,

    I’m not talking about Ryan and some catholics are conservative, economically and socially. They are still catholic.

  173. Velour wrote:

    No thanks. But print out a copy and we’ll shoot it to bits when we have target practice at Camp Backbone in Kentucky!

    (Smile). There’s a photo of the pastor.

  174. Gram3 wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    I think criticism is fine when the rules one makes for themselves bleed into the work environment and effect the workplace.
    I agree if that is actually true. As far as I can see, we haven’t actually established that it is true in his case. For example, perhaps he makes a point to have his assistant or another person at all meetings and there are no one-on-one meetings. Since we are talking about a governor, a Congressman and now a Vice President, I think that is more likely than not. Or, perhaps he has working lunches in a conference room in his offices. That’s pretty common in the business world.
    IMO, people are catastrophizing unnecessarily. At the same time, I also want to say that, IMO, there is no excuse at all for any person–male or female–to refuse to make an accommodation of some kind for this kind of personal belief so that someone else is excluded or harmed in any way.

    Thank you, Gram3! You are the voice of sanity and balance IMHO.

    @Lea, since you seem to misconstrue everything I say, I’m not sure further dialogue is possible. FWIW, though, I meant only this: You seem to be insisting that DC Culture necessarily entails one-on-one, male-female business lunches. I think that is, quite frankly, false. It’s also overly rigid (IMHO) to say that business lunches — nay, business relations in general — must follow the formula you describe. And yes, it is a formula…and a very constrictive one IMHO. All sorts of allowances are made in the business world for people who cannot, in good conscience, meet off-campus after hours, attend cocktail parties, etc. The whole trend right now is toward greater and greater flexibility, greater and greater accommodation for special needs, e.g., wearing the hijab, observing religious fasts and holidays, etc.

    If a Muslim employee who objects to cocktail parties can be accommodated, why on earth can’t VP Pence? Do you not see how you are restricting flexibility here by championing conformity to what you perceive as DC Culture?

  175. Velour wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.
    Good research, Nancy2. Thank you.
    Sadly, not surprised by these facts.

    Me neither, Mot. It goes with the territory. Sigh. So glad to be free of that bondage.

    It is bondage. I live in the Southern Baptist world and do not understand why women tolerate this bondage?

  176. mot wrote:

    @Lea, since you seem to misconstrue everything I say, I’m not sure further dialogue is possible.

    Funny I feel the some way! Which is why I was trying to go the agree to disagree place, which is generally the nice way to end an argument.

  177. Velour wrote:

    Correct, corporations do those things because to do otherwise would be a form of unlawful discrimination based on protected characteristics such as being Jewish (and celebrating their religious holidays) or being disabled (suffering from a crippling fear of flying).

    Hello?? That’s exactly what’s going on with VP Pence. He is following his religious convictions (i.e., “protected characteristics”).

    You and I may not agree with those convictions. As a Catholic and a professional woman, I certainly do not. But I respect his right to hold them. If time off for the High Holy Days is OK, why not Pence’s refusal to dine one-on-one with a woman not his wife? It’s exactly the same thing.

    Are only observant Jews and Muslims “protected”? Why not evangelical Christians? Aren’t those religious protections meant for everyone?

    I find his Calvinista church as distasteful as you do. But, last time I checked, churches I don’t like were just as protected by law and custom as churches I do like.

  178. Lots of disagreements and misunderstandings here, myself included. I just want to remind everybody that communication is difficult when all we have is keypads/boards.

  179. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    No thanks. But print out a copy and we’ll shoot it to bits when we have target practice at Camp Backbone in Kentucky!
    (Smile). There’s a photo of the pastor.

    In that case, I can hit the bull’s eye!

  180. @ Christiane:

    I’m not reading that right now, I’m just saying you don’t get to decide, based on literally nothing except me telling you that someone is conservative, that they aren’t catholic.

  181. @ Lea:

    Well, it sure came across that way, especially when you said that such lunches are unavoidable! 😉

  182. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lots of disagreements and misunderstandings here, myself included. I just want to remind everybody that communication is difficult when all we have is keypads/boards.

    I feel very strongly about this issue and it has brought out a different mot than has commented in the past here.

  183. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    That’s exactly what’s going on with VP Pence. He is following his religious convictions (i.e., “protected characteristics”).

    No it’s not the same in law. If he wanted to take off for a religious holiday, just like a Jewish person who wanted to take time off for one of their religious holidays, that would be ok.

    A person is not permitted under anti-discrimination laws to use their religious beliefs to unlawfully discriminate against another person because of their protected characteristic (i.e. sex, race, etc.).

  184. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    Pretty sure i said pence would have zero problem avoiding lunches with women, due to being vp.

    Pretty sure I said many, many times that this is more of a general issue for me than a specific issue with pence. My problem is more the widespread use of this rule and its implications.

    Pretty sure I said I have no problem with others disagreeing, but I still have my own opinion.

    Pretty sure that’s still ok.

  185. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    But, last time I checked, churches I don’t like were just as protected by law and custom as churches I do like.

    OK, a First Amendment right to one’s religious beliefs doesn’t give one the right in a public place of employment or business to violate anti-discrimination laws.

    (There are some exceptions according to the appellate courts. For instance a religious group can hire based on their faith and can discriminate persons who don’t meet their criteria. They can also discriminate based on age, etc.)

  186. Nancy2 wrote:

    BTW – discussing a student in the presence of people not directly involved in the child’s education without the expressed permission of the parent/guardian is illegal in KY.

    It is illegal in the state of PA as well.

  187. Lea wrote:

    Pretty sure I said many, many times that this is more of a general issue for me than a specific issue with pence. My problem is more the widespread use of this rule and its implications.

    Yes, Lea did say that.

    And that’s the same concerns that I have about the Billy Graham Rule. Its wide-spread use has greater implications.

  188. Nancy2 wrote:

    The church he was attending, at least up until T&P took office, is College Park Church in Indianapolis.
    I explored the churches website. It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.

    Well, buckle your seat belt … “Lead Pastor” Mark Vroegop “has written articles that are published in Leadership and 9Marks Journal.”

    Good Lord! They are everywhere!!

    Fortunately, VP Pence doesn’t have the same arrogant spirit characteristic of the New Calvinist movement. Hopefully, he got away from it just in time!

  189. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    With his reputation, he had no interest in following the BG rule. It seems he relished the attention from female admirers. Proper decorum was of no concern to him. If anything, there were some women who did have to be concerned about unwanted sexual advances while in his presence.
    Was Jim Bakker ever seen having dinner alone with a woman other than his wife?

    Nancy2, I think you may have heard of Jessica Hahn. 😉 That was a lot more than dinner. But who knows. It may have started with dinner and moved on from there.

  190. Max wrote:

    Well, buckle your seat belt … “Lead Pastor” Mark Vroegop “has written articles that are published in Leadership and 9Marks Journal.”

    Wow. They are everywhere. But, alas, we know them to be cowards. Because they won’t take comments and permit rigorous debate of their articles.

    Our Deebs (Dee and Deb) are made of stronger stuff! Look at the hundreds of comments on this article.

  191. Darlene wrote:

    I think you may have heard of Jessica Hahn. That was a lot more than dinner. But who knows. It may have started with dinner and moved on from there.

    Or was it clergy sexual abuse?

  192. mot wrote:

    I feel very strongly about this issue and it has brought out a different mot than has commented in the past here.

    Been there. ……. Facial expressions are a big part of communication for me.

  193. Darlene wrote:

    That was a lot more than dinner. But who knows. It may have started with dinner and moved on from there.

    I know who the main course was, anyway. And, it wasn’t the turkey.

  194. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I think criticism is fine when the rules one makes for themselves bleed into the work environment and effect the workplace.
    As far as I can see, no one has yet provided any evidence that Pence’s self-imposed rules have done this. It’s all speculation.

    This is my take on this too, CGC. I just don’t see the evidence of anyone being harmed by Pence’s self-imposed rule. A lot more women were harmed by Slick Willy who didn’t have any rules in mind when dealing with the opposite gender.

    So, I’m still of the opinion that this fuss over Pence is much ado about nothing.

  195. Darlene wrote:

    A lot more women were harmed by Slick Willy who didn’t have any rules in mind when dealing with the opposite gender.

    Who is slick willy?

  196. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    @ Lea:
    But there’s the rub. Must one participate in that culture in order to function in DC? I hope not. I’m actually fond of a glass of wine with a meal, but I don’t think I’d enjoy the DC Scene you describe.
    I entered the advertising business at a time when the three-Martini lunch was still common. (Yes, I’m that old.) But I never felt pressured to participate in that lifestyle. Just because it’s pervasive, that doesn’t mean it’s mandatory.

    Here’s something to consider. What about a recovering alcoholic who does not want to put himself/herself in harm’s way and so declines business lunch meetings where there is alcohol being served? Should they be able to have that right to decline? Should his/her employer make adjustments for this person?

  197. mot wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    A lot more women were harmed by Slick Willy who didn’t have any rules in mind when dealing with the opposite gender.
    Who is slick willy?

    Bill Clinton

  198. Darlene wrote:

    Here’s something to consider. What about a recovering alcoholic who does not want to put himself/herself in harm’s way and so declines business lunch meetings where there is alcohol being served? Should they be able to have that right to decline?

    My friends who are recovering alcoholics know how to handle these situations just fine.
    They go. They order a non-alcoholic beverage. At many business lunches here in California
    people don’t order booze with lunch and have sodas.

    If they are having difficulty, or are newly sober, they book-end these situations with their A.A. sponsor, meaning that they call their sponsor before and after the event. Or they have other A.A. members that they make program calls to.

  199. Velour wrote:

    Or was it clergy sexual abuse?

    Hahn said she was drugged and raped by Bakker. Bakker said it was consensual.
    At any rate, Bakker paid Hahn in excess of $270,000 in an effort to get her to keep their little secret. Bakker was convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

  200. Max wrote:

    Well, buckle your seat belt … “Lead Pastor” Mark Vroegop “has written articles that are published in Leadership and 9Marks Journal.”

    College Park Church is on the 9Marks church locator map.

  201. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    That’s exactly what’s going on with VP Pence. He is following his religious convictions (i.e., “protected characteristics”).

    No it’s not the same in law. If he wanted to take off for a religious holiday, just like a Jewish person who wanted to take time off for one of their religious holidays, that would be ok.

    A person is not permitted under anti-discrimination laws to use their religious beliefs to unlawfully discriminate against another person because of their protected characteristic (i.e. sex, race, etc.).

    How is not going out to lunch discriminatory??

  202. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    That’s exactly what’s going on with VP Pence. He is following his religious convictions (i.e., “protected characteristics”).
    No it’s not the same in law. If he wanted to take off for a religious holiday, just like a Jewish person who wanted to take time off for one of their religious holidays, that would be ok.
    A person is not permitted under anti-discrimination laws to use their religious beliefs to unlawfully discriminate against another person because of their protected characteristic (i.e. sex, race, etc.).
    How is not going out to lunch discriminatory??

    As I posted up the thread earlier, not going out to lunch is fine.

  203. Okay, I think I’ve read just about every comment on this thread. So, I want to take some baby steps here.

    1. Can we agree that the Billy Graham rule was not originally established from sinister motives toward women?

    2. Is the BG rule egregious to its core for everyone, in every place. for all time, amen?

    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?

  204. Darlene wrote:

    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?

    We call this common sense, not a rule.

  205. @ Lea:
    I have no knowledge of these people you speak of, or what they believe or do not believe. I asked if you thought they were ‘Catholic’ in their understanding of the Church’s social doctrine and I gave a reference. So that’s an end to it, then, as I accept that you choose not to respond to my question. No problem. 🙂

  206. Laura wrote:

    The constant men’s groups at church discussing the dangers of women seem to have resulted from the guilt these men had over normal sexuality in their early years. The conservative focus on sexuality stems from repression.

    Absolutely. Well said. Thankfully I’ve been able to outgrow the twisted sexual mores that I was raised with. When you are taught that it was taboo to see a woman’s knees your fundie brain absolutely short circuits when you see a woman in shorts.

  207. Darlene wrote:

    Well, there’s also another scenario. It’s the one where those men once lived sexually promiscuous lives. That was the kind of evangelical culture of which I was once a member. Both the guys and the gals came from the free love lifestyle, where having s_x was like eating candy. Very licentious. So when they became Christians, they wanted no part of that former lifestyle.

    Perhaps. Swing the pendulum all the way to the right. But white-knuckling rarely lasts long.

    However the majority of sexual issues in the dozen or so fundie/evangelical churches I have been part of were NOT about formerly promiscuous people but men damaged by an unnatural and erroneous view of sexuality during their upbringing. This sexual repression would lead to secret pornography addictions, molestation, incest and abuse being the outflow of that repression.

  208. @ Darlene:
    The teachers on a team who share students who switch classes on that team ARE frequently, often daily, involved in meeting as a team and discussing how best to help their charges. Sometimes, we will bring parents in, and the administration will send a representative to the team meeting, and sometimes the school counselor may attend also.

    All is done with the children’s benefit in mind and there is no intention of violating anyone’s privacy. On our team, we read the files of ALL students we taught, not just our homeroom. And, from time to time, we attended other important meetings in the school as a team teacher representative to discuss a particular student’s progress (or lack therof) and any special concerns at something called a Child Study Team.

    Then again, I worked in an environment with many students who had needs not seen in the schools that served ‘average’ American neighborhoods;
    so our meetings frequently dealt with special circumstances and more critical need for professional intervention on behalf of students.

    Did parents cooperate? sometimes, yes, but many times they were not able to come for reasons that were not under their control (working with no permission to take off, incarceration, illness, many other reasons that were not ‘excuses’ but real reasons)…. so we teachers did what we could for the children in loco parentis sometimes with getting needed help, supplies, advocacy, home visits with school counselor, shopping trips for shoes ….. people have no idea how much teachers take care of or at least try to do for their students, no

    We were supervised by knowledgeable, experienced people and had binders of regulations to rely on.

  209. @ Darlene:

    Darlene,

    I guess one of the other issues that’s been going through my mind about the Billy Graham Rule is this is precisely how the abusive, authoritarian, cultic Shepherding Movement started in the 1970’s. It started with the Florida Five and ‘accountability’ because one of them had fallen into sexual sin. The accountability morphed into control of other people, and ended up being incredibly destructive.

    While a couple of the Florida founders of The Shepherding Movement have repented of its abuses, and seen the error of their ways and are horrified that Shepherding is now spreading across the land, a few of the Founders have not repented.

  210. Velour wrote:

    They are everywhere.

    The title “Lead Pastor” is always a dead giveaway. The New Calvinists love to call themselves that.

  211. Accipiter wrote:

    However the majority of sexual issues in the dozen or so fundie/evangelical churches I have been part of were NOT about formerly promiscuous people but men damaged by an unnatural and erroneous view of sexuality during their upbringing. This sexual repression would lead to secret pornography addictions, molestation, incest and abuse being the outflow of that repression.

    this comes to mind
    http://www.tmz.com/2016/09/10/tlc-willis-family-arrested-toby-raping-child/
    Willis makes Josh Duggar look like a choir boy by comparison ….. very ‘controlling’ father of his daughters ….. a sad family tragedy and a product also of sick patriarchal perversion

  212. Darlene wrote:

    I just don’t see the evidence of anyone being harmed by Pence’s self-imposed rule … I’m still of the opinion that this fuss over Pence is much ado about nothing.

    Agreed. Would that more politicians demonstrated Christian character. Old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy as he may come across, he appears to be the real deal.

  213. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    McClintock-style?? I have no idea what that is. None whatsoever. I must be out of the loop.
    Oh, dear …… That loop is more than 40 years old. John Wayne as McClintock spanks his wife in view of the whole town.

    Oh my, I remember that movie. Maureen O’Hara was his co-star. All the townsfolk – male and female – were laughing when McClintock was spanking his wife. None came to her aid. And that was supposed to be humorous. Cary Grant also used to have some very sexist roles that he played. Actually, quite a few of the male actors from those days now that I think about it. Very strange thinking permeated the culture back then as to what men thought women wanted and deserved.

  214. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Here’s something to consider. What about a recovering alcoholic who does not want to put himself/herself in harm’s way and so declines business lunch meetings where there is alcohol being served? Should they be able to have that right to decline?

    My friends who are recovering alcoholics know how to handle these situations just fine.
    They go. They order a non-alcoholic beverage. At many business lunches here in California
    people don’t order booze with lunch and have sodas.

    If they are having difficulty, or are newly sober, they book-end these situations with their A.A. sponsor, meaning that they call their sponsor before and after the event. Or they have other A.A. members that they make program calls to.

    But shouldn’t they still have the right to decline? Since when are lunches mandatory?

    If your teetotaling friends went along and sipped ginger ale, bully for them. But since when is that a requirement?

    This is surreal. I remember “command-performance” meetings and conferences that some colleagues nonetheless skipped because they had crazy deadlines or whatever. IOW such scenarios are always flexible. The way y’all are portraying the business world, it’s like: “You VILL attend this one-on-one lunch or else.” This does not match reality IMHO. Reality is messy and flexible. And…diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.

  215. brian wrote:

    TGC2017 is happening and I have finally put my finger on what truly bothers me about their worldview/rhetoric. They stopped asking why. Every single great move forward for the human species has been made by people who ask why, or why not or we can do it better or this makes no sense, or this is wrong, or maybe we are all wrong. They lack the grace to doubt. That is truly a scary world view.

    They have the cosmos figured out to the nth degree. They’re more Calvinistic than Calvin!

  216. Max wrote:

    Old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy as he may come across, he appears to be the real deal.

    Dining habits aside, he has more power than the typical fuddy duddy. And many Christians might see his positions as a mixed bag. Here is a summation from the National Catholic Reporter:

    https://www.ncronline.org/person/mike-pence

  217. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?

    We call this common sense, not a rule.

    That’s semantics. Whatever you call it, can it be a good thing?

  218. For those of you who are obsessed with Pence not wanting to be alone with any woman other than his wife let me just say that you can take comfort that JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton had no problems with that. Barney Frank loved the young boys. We have Pastors hooked on pornography and hookers. There are child molestors in the church and out of the church. One can hardly turn around without falling in the sewer which is an equal opportunity hell hole. This confirms what I’ve always though about those who want unlimited choices to be the most intolerant, opinionated nasty people.
    Give it a rest about Pence.

  219. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    But, last time I checked, churches I don’t like were just as protected by law and custom as churches I do like.

    OK, a First Amendment right to one’s religious beliefs doesn’t give one the right in a public place of employment or business to violate anti-discrimination laws.

    (There are some exceptions according to the appellate courts. For instance a religious group can hire based on their faith and can discriminate persons who don’t meet their criteria. They can also discriminate based on age, etc.)

    If VP Pence were actually violating anti-discrimination laws, somebody outside of this combox would have figured it out by now. And presumably filed suit. Or at least made a formal accusation.

  220. Gram3 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    And women have the right to make their own choices.
    Yes, I believe we do. The problem is that choices (and even unchosen circumstances) involve outcomes which are not equal due to controllables and uncontrollables. And a great many people are very uncomfortable with that reality for a number of reasons. What is the legislative or regulatory formula that is adequate to address all of those variables to arrive at “equality?” And I am being totally serious.

    Gram3, your comments reminded me of an orientation that I had to endure (yes, it was OCD to the core) at a former place of employment. All the do’s and don’t’s so as not to harm, offend, upset, worry, insult, etc. etc. etc. clients and co-workers and anyone else that ventured on to the premises of where I worked. All to prevent lawsuits.

    And this discussion has me wondering if our government will become so obsessed with controlling people’s behavior that freedom will be squelched in the name of not offending anyone, anywhere, any time. As I said up thread, folks should read the Gulag Archipelago (if they haven’t already) – to get an idea of what it’s like to live in a country where the government controls every facet of citizen’s lives. That’s how life was in the Soviet Union under Communism.

  221. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    “You VILL attend this one-on-one lunch or else.”

    OK, I’ve already stated up the thread that people didn’t have to go to lunch.

    Since recovering alcoholics were used as an example, I gave an honest answer about how my friends who are recovering alcoholics handle such situations.

    No one is making anybody do ‘lunch’. But lunches and other social occasions will arise.

  222. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If VP Pence were actually violating anti-discrimination laws, somebody outside of this combox would have figured it out by now. And presumably filed suit. Or at least made a formal accusation.

    Not necessarily. It’s hard to file lawsuits against powerful people, or employers in general, and not pay a price.

    But again, as I’ve said up the thread that I didn’t have a problem with VP Pence himself.
    I, like Lea and others here, have a problem with the wider implications of the Billy Graham Rule being implemented.

  223. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?
    We call this common sense, not a rule.
    That’s semantics. Whatever you call it, can it be a good thing?

    It’s not semantics.

    We don’t need the Billy Graham Rule to be people who have good character and conduct ourselves as such.

  224. Darlene wrote:

    Oh my, I remember that movie. Maureen O’Hara was his co-star. All the townsfolk – male and female – were laughing when McClintock was spanking his wife. None came to her aid. And that was supposed to be humorous. Cary Grant also used to have some very sexist roles that he played. Actually, quite a few of the male actors from those days now that I think about it. Very strange thinking permeated the culture back then as to what men thought women wanted and deserved.

    Yeah … McClintock was filmed in 1963. I was born in 64. I was thinking about it ….. the Billy Graham rule was was 15 years before McClintock. Makes me wonder what the general consensus on women was in the send-Rosie-the-rivitor-back-to-the-kitchen era.

  225. Velour wrote:

    We don’t need the Billy Graham Rule to be people who have good character and conduct ourselves as such.

    I do not understand praising people for doing what they are supposed to do.

  226. Velour wrote:

    But again, as I’ve said up the thread that I didn’t have a problem with VP Pence himself.
    I, like Lea and others here, have a problem with the wider implications of the Billy Graham Rule being implemented.

    My main concern: Will certain evangelicals (9Marks, Acts 29, SBC, EFCA, etc.) use try to Mike Pence, his national political position, and his church to further their male headship/submissive women cause?
    I’ve heard more than I want to hear from Russell Moore about Donald Trump……… waiting with baited breath to see if he has anything to say about Pence. Pence may be Moore’s perfect storm.
    Am I exaggerating? I hope so.

  227. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Oh my, I remember that movie. Maureen O’Hara was his co-star. All the townsfolk – male and female – were laughing when McClintock was spanking his wife. None came to her aid. And that was supposed to be humorous. Cary Grant also used to have some very sexist roles that he played. Actually, quite a few of the male actors from those days now that I think about it. Very strange thinking permeated the culture back then as to what men thought women wanted and deserved.
    Yeah … McClintock was filmed in 1963. I was born in 64. I was thinking about it ….. the Billy Graham rule was was 15 years before McClintock. Makes me wonder what the general consensus on women was in the send-Rosie-the-rivitor-back-to-the-kitchen era.

    Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board did an article about spanking wives in patriarchial marriages as a form of “discipline”. It’s one of her most widely read articles on the internet and apparently it’s a greater problem than most of us knew about.

  228. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    We don’t need the Billy Graham Rule to be people who have good character and conduct ourselves as such.
    I do not understand praising people for doing what they are supposed to do.

    Yep.

  229. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Name me jobs in the real world that don’t require meeting with the opposite sex, Robert.

    Wait a minute. So, folks must now insist that Pence meet alone with women while carrying out his duties? Come to think of it, I don’t even know how this is possible. Because there will be Secret Service wherever Pence goes. That’s part of being V.P. So, when will he have to meet along with a woman?

    I dunno. I still don’t get all the kerfuffle over this. Trump and his lousy attitude toward women – I get that. However, I think this Pence issue is blown out of proportion.

    Amen, Darlene!

  230. Short off topic announcement.

    Shauna and her son Billy in Texas are in a very tight financial situation. Shauna’s part-time job at a grocery store was cut to 13 hours a week. They have no money to pay their rent ($700). Any donations to their GoFundMe account that Dee set up would be appreciated.
    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  231. Nancy2 wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Velour, I have to disagree. Maybe Pence’s Rule comes from the Toxic Underbelly of Evangelical-Land. I don’t know. I’m not part of that culture.
    Okie dokie. I just did a little ‘splorin’. Pence says he is an “evangelical Catholic”, whatever that is. He went to a parochial school and was an alter boy.
    The church he was attending, at least up until T&P took office, is College Park Church in Indianapolis.
    I explored the churches website. It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.
    >>>>>>>>>YIPE, YIPE, YIPE, (tail between legs)

    So Pence is a Calvinist? Whoa…Nellie. Could it be that the 9Marxist, Neo-Calvinist Camp is in the process of implementing a Calvinist coup of the United States? A plot for the Calvinization of an entire country? Roll over Rover!!!

    I know, I know. This is the stuff of Conspiracy Theories. 😉

  232. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If VP Pence were actually violating anti-discrimination laws, somebody outside of this combox would have figured it out by now. And presumably filed suit. Or at least made a formal accusation.

    Not necessarily. It’s hard to file lawsuits against powerful people, or employers in general, and not pay a price.

    But again, as I’ve said up the thread that I didn’t have a problem with VP Pence himself.
    I, like Lea and others here, have a problem with the wider implications of the Billy Graham Rule being implemented.

    Nonetheless, if Pence were really violating the law, presumably somebody outside of this combox would have at least noticed that. I know the media are ripping Pence to shreds over this issue right now, but if they are claiming that he broke the law, I must have missed it.

    As for lunches and similar scenarios “arising” — with all due respect, so what? Just because something arises, that doesn’t mean one has to handle it a certain way.

    I get your concern about widespread “implementation” of the BGR, but I just don’t see this as an immediate threat. I totally believe you that the BGR is commonly enforced in certain highly controlling churches. But I doubt it could ever spread to the wider society, much less be “implemented” there. Maybe I’m wrong (it’s been known to happen :)), but I just don’t see any evidence for the impending imposition of the BG Rule across corporate America.

    Anyway, as Gram3 observed, why can’t we just use our own prudential judgment and allow others to use theirs? If BG and Pence want to avoid lunches alone with women not their wives, they have every right to do this, and who am I to judge? I would not follow their example, but that’s OK. We are all different. Variety makes the world go ’round. 🙂

  233. Darlene wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Velour, I have to disagree. Maybe Pence’s Rule comes from the Toxic Underbelly of Evangelical-Land. I don’t know. I’m not part of that culture.
    Okie dokie. I just did a little ‘splorin’. Pence says he is an “evangelical Catholic”, whatever that is. He went to a parochial school and was an alter boy.
    The church he was attending, at least up until T&P took office, is College Park Church in Indianapolis.
    I explored the churches website. It is all-male, elder led and all-male staff. It offers Biblical counseling. It library contains books by John Piper, Tim Keller, Martha Peace, and Paul Tripp. That was enough ‘splorin’ for me.
    >>>>>>>>>YIPE, YIPE, YIPE, (tail between legs)

    So Pence is a Calvinist? Whoa…Nellie. Could it be that the 9Marxist, Neo-Calvinist Camp is in the process of implementing a Calvinist coup of the United States? A plot for the Calvinization of an entire country? Roll over Rover!!!

    I know, I know. This is the stuff of Conspiracy Theories.

    LOL!! Wasn’t there a Calvinist movement called Dominionism that really did want to take over America, or something like that?

    Why does this make me think of Pinky and the Brain?

    I think it’s past time for bed. See y’all later, gators!

  234. Christiane wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    All Billy Graham did was travel and talk. God’s Spirit did the real work.
    Yes. BG preached Christ Crucified and Risen From the Dead as though he meant it …. with an authority that comes from the fire of the Holy Spirit working through him …. Catholics LOVE this man
    Franklin is not a man like his father, no.

    I grew up in an atheist/agnostic home. I used to watch Billy Graham with my atheist grandmother. For some reason, she loved to watch Billy Graham preach. Go figure.

  235. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lead Pastor CPC. ….. It’s really getting interesting now…… The Gospel Coalition, vision casting …..
    https://www.cedarville.edu/Event/Healthcare-Ethics-Conference/Mark-Vroegop.aspx
    If anyone would like to read his lengthy sermon on “The Beauty of a Submissive Wive”, I’ll paste a link!

    Oh my, that pastor looks like a kid. I must be getting old. Please, Nancy2, post that sermon. I don’t feel much like perusing that website right now. I’m still thinking about a Calvinist coup of United States. LoL!

  236. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I would not follow their example, but that’s OK.

    On that we can agree.

    Something just came through my Twitter feed tonight. An Ask A Manager article.
    In this case a woman was promoted to a senior position that requires some travel every quarter. ( a few days) Her husband won’t allow her to travel now as the job requires and she is supposed to “obey and submit to him” as she told her employer.

    So the employer asked Alison at Ask A Manager what to do. http://www.askamanager.org/2017/03/my-employee-is-refusing-to-travel-because-her-husband-said-she-cant.html

    Sigh. And we wonder why so many Christians have such a bad reputation in the work place.

  237. Darlene wrote:

    I grew up in an atheist/agnostic home. I used to watch Billy Graham with my atheist grandmother. For some reason, she loved to watch Billy Graham preach. Go figure.

    He’s a sweet man.

  238. @ Darlene:

    I think you’ve heard me tell this horror story before, Darlene. But at my ex-gulag (cough, splutter aka *church*) the first godly Christian man I saw be ordered to be excommunicated and shunned was a doctor in his 70’s. Faithful and loving husband for nearly 50 years. Loving father to grown children.

    The good doctor had bought expensive resources — books and DVDs — with his own money to start the church lending library.

    The good doctor also invited and paid for the senior pastor to join the doctor and pastor John MacArthur on a trip to North Carolina to meet the Rev. Billy Graham at his log cabin home (just a few years ago).

    And for all the good doctor did for our church and for the senior pastor, this was the thanks he got. To be lied about before hundreds of church members on some trumped up charge and to have have hundreds of church members (including students from the elite Stanford University) told to never speak to him again!!

    Just outrageous. All of it.

  239. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?
    We call this common sense, not a rule.

    So, that would be a ‘Yes’ then. 😉

  240. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?
    We call this common sense, not a rule.
    So, that would be a ‘Yes’ then.

    My vote would be a “no” because the Billy Graham Rule is for all situations, not just a few circumstances.

    Common sense, on the other hand, is implemented on an as-needed basis.

  241. Darlene wrote:

    I grew up in an atheist/agnostic home. I used to watch Billy Graham with my atheist grandmother. For some reason, she loved to watch Billy Graham preach. Go figure.

    well, I figure it is the work of the Holy Spirit Who goes where and to whom He will and helps them, like your grandmother, that don’t have ‘the words’ in her head, but something far more valuable to God in her heart perhaps 🙂
    ” 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. 27And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit” (from Romans, Chapter 8)

    surely, if your grandmother loved to watch Billy Graham preach, she must have had the grace-given virtue of ‘hope’ ….. there is a ‘hope’ they speak of that resides in the human spirit, and some say that it is ‘in hope, we are saved’

    “Hope is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons . . . It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
    (Vaclav Havel)

  242. @ Christiane:
    That pastor preaching on The Beauty of a Submissive Wife talks about hope as well. But it is a very strange view of hope, in light of submitting to an ungodly man. I was cringing while reading that sermon. So much there that an abusive husband could use and run with it.

  243. @ Darlene:
    it seems wrong and cruel somehow that any pastor could take something as beautiful as hope, and twist its meaning so that corrupt and evil men can ‘use’ that definition to continue hurting women

    I think that the place where ‘the inerrancy of the Bible’ goes wrong is in not realizing how very errant some pastors’ ‘vision’ of what the Bible is saying can be …… men see through a glass darkly, DARLENE, and some see a darker glass than others

    if your grandmother loved to watch Billy Graham preach, that is a ‘hopeful’ sign that something in her was responding to the message at an even deeper and more meaningful level than she may have been aware of in her mind 🙂

  244. Well, I listened to that sermon, and it was a bit more detailed than the text version on their website. Still, very disturbing in what was said in certain places, and not said at all. Absolutely no mention of boundaries, or a woman knowing how to protect herself when living with an ungodly man. Nothing – no strategies about wives who live with abusive men. “Submit” and “obey” are framed as the guarantee that all will be well, even when things are “frightening.” The Deebs, or someone, should do a critique on this sermon, because this is the dangerous message being taught at Neo-Calvinist churches across the country.

  245. Darlene wrote:

    The Deebs, or someone, should do a critique on this sermon, because this is the dangerous message being taught at Neo-Calvinist churches across the country.

    Darlene, if you click on the top right of the black secion under the picture marked ‘Contact Us’, it will give you their e-mail addresses and a phone number to call

    It sounds like something they might want to investigate, yes.

  246. Darlene wrote:

    “Submit” and “obey” are framed as the guarantee that all will be well, even when things are “frightening.”

    Darlene, your instincts are correct, it is very frightening. I expect this advice has led to some horrendous experiences for innocent wives who are trying to get advice on how to deal with what no woman should ever have to deal with: a violent, abusive husband…..
    my daughter once worked in a shelter for battered women and she had heard stories about women being ‘counseled’ by pastors to ‘keep trying’ by ‘submitting’ to abuse and ‘obeying’ their abusers.

    It’s toxic advice, and dangerous. It can send women back into situations that can prove fatal to them. I think the ‘pastors’ who do this are enablers of very sick husbands, and I would call these pastors ‘co-abusers’ of these women, yes.

  247. Lea wrote:

    They are explicitly making rules that says they are not allowed to hold positions of authority over men because ‘god says’, and you think ‘pushing’ them out is overstated?

    So the real beef is that this rule is followed in complementarian churches, and you don’t like complementarianism. Okay, that is fine. This is a free country. There are many churches who are happy to ordain women.

  248. Lea wrote:

    Third, is it really ‘complaining’ to talk about why we don’t like a rule that is being forcibly applied in many Christian circles and DOES affect many women who work in churches or even attend with men who have decided this is the only ‘Christian’ way to be and thus practice it ruthlessly?

    The premise of the thread is that the rule isn’t good for today’s society, or at least we should talk about whether it is is or isn’t. From there, a lot of the comments have descended into “This rule is evil because it holds women back from advancement.”

    First, I’ve yet to see any hard evidence that this is the case. Second, most of the places where this rule is practiced are not going to ordain women anyway, so it seems rather pointless to complain about that. You don’t have to join those churches, and if women in those churches are unhappy about their “lack of prospects,” they are free to leave. Plenty of women are apparently just fine in those churches. If you feel unwanted, join a church where they’d be happy to make you a pastor, elder, deacon, or whatever.

  249. mot wrote:

    Heaven forbid you try and ordain a woman in Southern Baptist circles even she has the same credentials as a man.

    Don’t be a Southern Baptist if you don’t like their practice.

  250. dee wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    This is not true of all jobs.
    It is for the majority of them

    Alright, let’s assume that it is true that majority of jobs require one-on-one meetings between men and women. I would say the Pence rule is silly if there is no way to make that happen. Because all it takes is to have the meeting in a room with the door open or a window open to the outside world.

    But again, I don’t see where Mike Pence has said all marriages must operate in such a way that this rule is followed. And I don’t see any evidence where advancement is being denied in the secular world by people following the rule, whoever they may be. What we are left with is potential lack of advancement in the church. But the churches most apt to practice this rule are complementarian. And people are free to disagree with the complementarian position on women in ministry. But nobody is trying to force women to attend complementarian churches. If you disagree, find an egalitarian church.

  251. Christiane wrote:

    if your grandmother loved to watch Billy Graham preach, that is a ‘hopeful’ sign that something in her was responding to the message at an even deeper and more meaningful level than she may have been aware of in her mind

    Here is an example of how one can be influenced by being in a situation where there could be temptation. In the case you mention the person might be ‘tempted’ by the gospel. In a different sort of situation the person might be ‘tempted’ by evil. Either way, this illustrates why some people preach and practice that it is important to stay away from situations which may look harmless but which can be a place of temptation. If an atheist is tempted by the gospel, well and good as I see it, but if a man whose wife does not understand him is tempted by a woman at work who does, not good at all.

    This is part of the thinking behind the BG rule. Some situation may look harmless, it may actually be harmless at the moment, but you never know and it may end up being a temptation-for the man, for the woman, for the gossipers. This is what I heard preached way back in the day. And the advice was to cut yourself a wider margin of safety if you were serious about staying out of trouble.

    This gets more complicated in dealing with the culture of today. In BG’s peak era it was easier because the cultural expectations were different. Not better-just different.

    IMO, people need to use common sense, which will vary from person to person and situation to situation as they see it. I plan to be tolerant of people however they choose to deal with these sorts of things.

  252. Robert wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Heaven forbid you try and ordain a woman in Southern Baptist circles even she has the same credentials as a man.

    Don’t be a Southern Baptist if you don’t like their practice.

    Oh, the if you do not like it leave advice. Millions have left the SB and I am confident I will join them one day!

  253. @ ishy:

    I agree with you in theory. But it’s so much harder to live out in practice.

    Personally, it’s hard to distance yourself from your ministry. There is a lot of work that goes into it. When you spend 40 hours a week studying and preparing a sermon on top of all the other church stuff that comes up, it’s hard not to be proud of the work put in. It is a constant battle of pride and every now and then God knocks you down a bit and a sermon that should have been good suddenly flops. It’s also very hurtful when people take credit for the things you’ve done. Especially the things you’ve fought for and lost sleep over. It’s equally hurtful when people blame you for things out of your control, or worse, things that were obviously someone else’s fault. Nobody really prepares you for how abusive people can be, and how much more it hurts when it’s done by the people of God. So no, we don’t own any ministry and God gets all the glory, but we have suffered for it and there is some pride in that.

    As far as CYA rules, churches and religious institutions have fewer employee protections than other jobs. We can be fired for our religion – so if my husband preaches in favor of using an organ in church, he can be fired. (he can be fired for any reason and they can say it’s for religion too it’s hard to prove anything) Not only that, he can be maligned to other churches so finding a new job is really hard. Now if you’re single with no outstanding debt, it’s demoralizing but not tragic. If you’re married with kids, student loans, a mortgage, and ministry is what you’ve been trained in and qualified for, than it’s a bigger deal. So yeah, reputation is important. Maybe we aren’t good Christians because we are concerned about the future and about our reputations. But our entire life is wrapped around ministry, it’s hard to compartmentalize it.

  254. Robert wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Heaven forbid you try and ordain a woman in Southern Baptist circles even she has the same credentials as a man.
    Don’t be a Southern Baptist if you don’t like their practice.

    OK, Robert. Knock it off.

    Mot is a pastor.

    The Southern Baptist line of treating godly women with gifts of teaching and preaching like they are some kind of three-eyed dragon who are heretics is unconscionable. Maybe a denomination that was founded to protect slavery should take a good hard look in the mirror about how they still try to enslave people.

  255. okrapod wrote:

    And the advice was to cut yourself a wider margin of safety if you were serious about staying out of trouble.

    And this kind of thinking borders on paranoia. It is unbecoming for Christians to live in such a fear-induced state. And when Christians practice this nonsense in the workplace, they look like buffoons and bring a reproach to the cause of Christ and to The Gospel. Because even unbelievers have a lick more sense.

  256. Christiane wrote:

    It’s toxic advice, and dangerous. It can send women back into situations that can prove fatal to them. I think the ‘pastors’ who do this are enablers of very sick husbands, and I would call these pastors ‘co-abusers’ of these women, yes.

    So true, Christiane.

    And it puts the children in danger too.

  257. Robert wrote:

    The premise of the thread is that the rule isn’t good for today’s society, or at least we should talk about whether it is is or isn’t. From there, a lot of the comments have descended into “This rule is evil because it holds women back from advancement.”

    There is nothing wrong with a legitimate discussion of the issues, Robert.

    Congratulations you’re a man so you won’t be impacted by the Billy Graham Rule in places such as the work place when some conservative Christian wants to foist this on their colleagues. It is harmful, destructive, immature, unprofessional and selfish behavior.

  258. Velour wrote:

    when some conservative Christian wants to foist this on their colleagues. It is harmful, destructive, immature, unprofessional and selfish behavior.

    Some of these men will have to let you know how righteous they are.

  259. Velour wrote:

    The Southern Baptist line of treating godly women with gifts of teaching and preaching like they are some kind of three-eyed dragon who are heretics is unconscionable. Maybe a denomination that was founded to protect slavery should take a good hard look in the mirror about how they still try to enslave people.

    Two of the greatest women in Southern Baptist History–Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong would never be allowed to serve as missionaries today IMO.

  260. Christiane wrote:

    So that’s an end to it

    Yes. Because they told me they were Catholic and I believe them. Which is the same reason I believe you are catholic.

  261. Velour wrote:

    Maybe a denomination that was founded to protect slavery should take a good hard look in the mirror about how they still try to enslave people.

    a people that would defend the slavery of a human person using the Bible seems to have no trouble using the same Bible to inflict a ‘submissive’ subordinate role on another category of persons in the Church …… the ‘victims’ changed, but the new targets of the ‘masters’ are still being treated as ‘beneath’ these ‘masters’

    the old poison still infects these men and what they are doing now is as toxic to their victims who are also human persons made in the image of God and deserving of respect, not ‘subordination’

  262. @ Velour:
    By the way, in December of this year, Dr. Emily Hunter McGowin’s PhD dissertation is going to be fully publised by Dayton University with her permission ….. it concerns quiverfull families and I am looking forward to reading it when it is printed/published. Some people here may remember Emily as someone who used to comment on Wade’s blog and has an interest in women’s issues. She is a former Southern Baptist and is now Anglican/Episcopalian. Her husband is now an Anglican/Episcopalian priest.

  263. Nancy2 wrote:

    Makes me wonder what the general consensus on women was in the send-Rosie-the-rivitor-back-to-the-kitchen era.

    This topic came up a lot when I was a child. Women in our family believed they had a patriotic duty to give the men’s jobs back, after all the men had endured in wartime. But there was unmistakable anger at the scoffing notion that the women had not done these jobs well. The disdain of women in the workplace applied also to women’s traditional jobs as teachers, nurses, secretaries, and phone operators. Family pressure to stop working after marriage caused misery. Meanwhile the kitchen and diaper pail were not always so interesting.

  264. mot wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    ‘subordination

    According to these men women will still be subordinate in Heaven.

    I have heard about this! My initial response when I heard about it was unprintable. 🙂 So how did you learn about it?

  265. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?
    We call this common sense, not a rule.
    So, that would be a ‘Yes’ then.
    My vote would be a “no” because the Billy Graham Rule is for all situations, not just a few circumstances.
    Common sense, on the other hand, is implemented on an as-needed basis.

    This is why I do not like the BG rule.

    Avoiding lunch with Susie may be wisdom. Avoiding lunch with Sally may be foolishness and in some cases actually harmful to you or to Sally. The BG rule does not allow you to distinguish between wisdom and foolishness.

  266. Robert wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    They are explicitly making rules that says they are not allowed to hold positions of authority over men because ‘god says’, and you think ‘pushing’ them out is overstated?
    So the real beef is that this rule is followed in complementarian churches, and you don’t like complementarianism.

    My ‘real beef’ is that I do not like this rule. See literally every other post for why. I brought up the fact that it is often applied in churches where comp is practiced because it is relevant to how people relate to each other in the workplace. And it is relevant that these thing travel together.

    And I do go to a church that ordains women. Some of this nonsense is the reason I left the SBC.

  267. @ Robert:

    What you’re missing from my point is that this is not about advancement at all in these churches, because women are not allowed to advance. It is about the way women are treated.

    And many have fled from such churches, because of how men see them. As liars, temptresses, or less than. That is my issue with the rule, it promotes such thinking. It does not promote seeing women and men as brothers and sisters in christ.

  268. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    By the way, in December of this year, Dr. Emily Hunter McGowin’s PhD dissertation is going to be fully publised by Dayton University with her permission ….. it concerns quiverfull families and I am looking forward to reading it when it is printed/published. Some people here may remember Emily as someone who used to comment on Wade’s blog and has an interest in women’s issues. She is a former Southern Baptist and is now Anglican/Episcopalian. Her husband is now an Anglican/Episcopalian priest.

    That’s great to know. Keep us apprised. I will copy your comment to the top of the page under the Interesting tab, the Books/TV/Movies/ETC. tab for future reference.

  269. Friend wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Makes me wonder what the general consensus on women was in the send-Rosie-the-rivitor-back-to-the-kitchen era.
    This topic came up a lot when I was a child.

    Nancy/Friend, for a different perspective, my grandmothers father encouraged all of his children to get an education and have a career, include the girls. They all were educated right during this late 40s/early 50s time period and all the girls had teaching careers, because he believed they would always be able to get a job with it. I think this attitude came from them losing money during the depression? But that is the one I remember growing up hearing about.

    So these women must stay at home people would put stricter rules than my family had imposed 70 years ago and they all managed to live good lives and were strong christians. My grandparents were married over 60 years.

  270. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    3. Is there not one situation, one circumstance in anyone’s life where the BG rule might be a good thing?
    We call this common sense, not a rule.

    So, that would be a ‘Yes’ then.

    It’s hopeless, Darlene. Sometimes people aren’t going to grasp what you are saying even if you put it in skywriting. And that’s OK. As my late mom always said, loosely paraphrasing the famous quote falsely attributed to Voltaire: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  271. Question: If someone practices the BGR for himself but doesn’t impose it on anyone else, is that OK? I mean, chacun a son gout, right?

    I’ve already mentioned the guy I worked with who practiced the BGR. I thought he was being silly. But it never remotely crossed my mind that he was oppressing me (or any other woman).

    Again, I get that it’s presented as a requirement in certain churches, and I agree that this is a Bad Thing. But outside of those churches it’s merely an option…and a seldom chosen one at that.

    Why object to an idiosyncratic option that few people actually choose? Isn’t America all about options? Land of the free, and all that?

  272. Christiane wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    ‘subordination

    According to these men women will still be subordinate in Heaven.

    I have heard about this! My initial response when I heard about it was unprintable. So how did you learn about it?

    SBC Voices.

  273. Velour wrote:

    OK, Robert. Knock it off.
    Mot is a pastor.

    I believe we know that. And did we not just have a conversation on TWW about whether or not it is okay to criticize a pastor? Or whether a pastor is somebody special who may not be criticized? I think that the very fact that he is a pastor makes it all the more necessary to be sure that he knows how people feel and think, including those, perhaps especially including those, who disagree with him.

    Kind of like what some people are saying that public prominence is all the more reason to critique somebody; they were talking about the VP at the time I think.

  274. @ Christiane:

    About who is or is not to be understood to be catholic and what criteria are to be used to determine that. And whether that criteria are to be full adherence to all catholic teaching…

    A certain powerful and high profile woman in the US House of Representatives repeatedly declares herself to be a Catholic, but she is staunchly ‘pro-choice’. Politically actively pro-choice. Is she a Catholic because she says so? Is she a Catholic because she is still permitted to receive the eucharistic sacrament? Is she Catholic because her church has chosen to look the other way on this every time it has been brought forth in the media?

    I think she is Catholic because she says she is and because her church has not declared that she is not.

  275. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Nonetheless, if Pence were really violating the law, presumably somebody outside of this combox would have at least noticed that. I know the media are ripping Pence to shreds over this issue right now, but if they are claiming that he broke the law, I must have missed it.

    The crazy Fundies over at Bloomberg don’t seem to be as upset as the commenters at TWW over the Pence’s convictions. Megan McArdle who knows a thing or two about economics and female employment opportunity opines:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-03/the-pences-prophylactic-approach-to-infidelity

  276. Gram3 wrote:

    The crazy Fundies over at Bloomberg don’t seem to be as upset as the commenters at TWW over the Pence’s convictions.

    Those of us that are upset about Pence at TWW are not upset about his convictions.

  277. Velour wrote:

    OK, Robert. Knock it off.
    Mot is a pastor.

    I did not know that, but I’m also not sure how it is relevant. I have an MDiv and a ThM, and am on track for ordination, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the discussion either.

    The Southern Baptist line of treating godly women with gifts of teaching and preaching like they are some kind of three-eyed dragon who are heretics is unconscionable.

    The gifts of the women in question have nothing to do with the SBC rule. If you look at the qualifications for elders, only one of them is the ability to teach.

    Maybe a denomination that was founded to protect slavery should take a good hard look in the mirror about how they still try to enslave people.

    This is a genetic fallacy. It’s also quite preposterous to suggest that not allowing women to be pastors in a denomination that they can freely leave is in any way parallel to the kidnapping of men, women, and children from Africa and forcibly keeping them on the plantation.

  278. Robert wrote:

    I have an MDiv and a ThM, and am on track for ordination, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the discussion either.

    What denomination are you a part of?

  279. @ Gram3:

    Good article. Thanks for the link.

    IMO, everybody needs excuses, so I did not get the promotion because I missed out on the the burgers and fries may be accurate, or may be just one more whine. It needs investigated certainly, but it does not need to be accepted at face value.

  280. Lea wrote:

    my grandmothers father encouraged all of his children to get an education and have a career, include the girls.

    Thank you for mentioning this. I’m glad it worked in your family.

    In my family, girls were indeed encouraged to get an education, and some of them did. Then they were supposed to use that education to stay at home and raise their children.

    Education as an end in itself is a marvelous and satisfying thing. But a trained teacher, who loved teaching, was ordered to stay home after marriage by the very same parents who sacrificed to make sure she got a college degree. She was supposed to be a “lady.” Way too much sacrifice, way too much inconsistency. Her husband died young of overwork, so she did get to use her education, while raising small children, in an era before day care and preschool.

  281. okrapod wrote:

    I believe we know that.

    Okay. My mistake. I knew that, and mot has mentioned it before. Robert did not know that.
    Because mot is a pastor and is in a position to do either good or harm is one reason that I believe he must stand and answer just like the rest of us.

  282. Lea wrote:

    What you’re missing from my point is that this is not about advancement at all in these churches, because women are not allowed to advance. It is about the way women are treated.

    Okay.

    And many have fled from such churches, because of how men see them. As liars, temptresses, or less than. That is my issue with the rule, it promotes such thinking. It does not promote seeing women and men as brothers and sisters in christ.

    I’m not sure it necessarily promotes such thinking. I could claim that churches wherein there are no strictures promote the view that sin is not an abiding problem in Christians and that we are all so sanctified that there would never be any temptation when in close quarters with the opposite sex.

    I appreciate the point about developing integrity as a way to avoid problems, but every one of us who is married could end up in an adulterous relationship, and if you don’t think that is possible, consider that hardly anyone who ends up committing adultery goes into marriage thinking, “Gee, one day I’ll cheat on my spouse.” Go through a rocky patch in a marriage, deal with other issues, or pick your environment and then boom, with the right situation, adultery becomes a real temptation for people who might not otherwise think of it.

    The fact also is that while my wife is my sister in Christ, she is not the same sister in Christ to me that you are and there are reasonable precautions that all wise married people take to guard that relationship. Now perhaps you think Pence’s practice is unreasonable, and in some cases it might be unreasonable. But again, I don’t think he’s saying “This is the only way to be Christian.” And for that matter, the complementarian churches I know don’t make it a rule for membership. It is only a guideline for pastors.

    And in the pastoral setting or for anyone with a public face, it’s quite a wise rule. It can help safeguard against infidelity. It also protects the public figure from being liable to false accusations. All it takes is one accusation to ruin a career and a life, and even if one is vindicated, it can be quite costly in terms of time and money to secure the vindication. Sometimes it’s better just to minimize the risk.

    In a slightly different context, if you’ve ever worked with children, then you know that a children’s organization worth it’s salt will have policies not to allow an adult to be in a one-on-one setting with a single child. Two adults have to be present, generally, or at least another witness. The policies protect the child and the adult. Why aren’t people complaining that these policies break down the trust between adults and children or hinder the ability of an adult to see a child as his/her brother/sister in Christ? Because we recognize the wisdom of the policy to protect both parties.

    Well, the church (and society) is full of sinners and adults can sin against each other as well. Pence’s policy is intended to help put safeguards against this.

  283. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I’ve already mentioned the guy I worked with who practiced the BGR. I thought he was being silly. But it never remotely crossed my mind that he was oppressing me (or any other woman).

    Here’s how I’ve seen it applied in a problematic way:

    1. Pastors refuse to counsel or meet with women alone.
    This often has the effect of making the pastor a pastor to the men only. Women have no access to pastoral care or counseling.

    2. The “visitation pastor” will not visit women shut-ins or women in the hospital because it’s too difficult to find someone to accompany him during the day and his job description doesn’t include evening hours, or he can’t get anyone to go with him then either. (“Pastor, that’s what we hire you to do. We didn’t think it was a job for two men.”)

    3. If an abused wife does manage to get her pastor to meet with her, she will be an unknown to him. The pastor will be far more likely to believe and defend the charming abuser he thinks he knows than the victim he has never said two words to.

    We have seen, in this comment thread, quotes from men bragging that they would leave women stranded by the side of the road or walking in the rain rather than abandon the BG rule.

    Some may call this oppression. Others may simply call it a callous disregard for women. And some see nothing wrong with disobeying our Savior’s command to love one another — as long as it is a woman from whom love is being withheld.

  284. Velour wrote:

    There is nothing wrong with a legitimate discussion of the issues, Robert.

    Indeed, but how legitimate is the discussion when I keep asking for tangible proof that Pence has hurt anyone with the rule or even how the rule has hurt women in the church. The rule is followed in churches, generally, where women cannot be ordained anyway, so it isn’t impeding them. Now your complaint may be that the churches don’t ordain women in the first place, but that’s a different discussion.

    Congratulations you’re a man so you won’t be impacted by the Billy Graham Rule in places such as the work place when some conservative Christian wants to foist this on their colleagues. It is harmful, destructive, immature, unprofessional and selfish behavior.

    Still looking for proof of these accusations. The fact that you feel like it is harmful, destructive, immature, etc. doesn’t necessarily make it so. And the only workplaces I know where the rule is applied is in complementarian churches, where women cannot be ordained anyway so if that’s your beef join another church, and in some parachurch organizations. And at least in the parachurch organizations I have seen that apply the rule, the rule hasn’t kept women from attaining high positions.

    Is there a way to apply the rule that legitimately hurts women. Sure. But it isn’t necessarily the case that the rule is always bad for women. That’s part of my point.

  285. BC wrote:

    For those of you who are obsessed with Pence not wanting to be alone with any woman other than his wife let me just say that you can take comfort that JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton had no problems with that. Barney Frank loved the young boys.

    I think the point is this. That rule would not have prevented any of these guys from doing what the wanted. It is highly likely that the person who endorses the Billy Graham rule would not have had affairs, rule or no.

  286. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Here’s how I’ve seen it applied in a problematic way:
    1. Pastors refuse to counsel or meet with women alone.
    This often has the effect of making the pastor a pastor to the men only. Women have no access to pastoral care or counseling.
    2. The “visitation pastor” will not visit women shut-ins or women in the hospital because it’s too difficult to find someone to accompany him during the day and his job description doesn’t include evening hours, or he can’t get anyone to go with him then either. (“Pastor, that’s what we hire you to do. We didn’t think it was a job for two men.”)
    3. If an abused wife does manage to get her pastor to meet with her, she will be an unknown to him. The pastor will be far more likely to believe and defend the charming abuser he thinks he knows than the victim he has never said two words to.
    We have seen, in this comment thread, quotes from men bragging that they would leave women stranded by the side of the road or walking in the rain rather than abandon the BG rule.
    Some may call this oppression. Others may simply call it a callous disregard for women. And some see nothing wrong with disobeying our Savior’s command to love one another — as long as it is a woman from whom love is being withheld.

    And in all of these examples, it’s not the rule that’s the problem it is the dumb application of it.

    1. In counseling, the pastor can always have another woman present. That’s what my church does. We are blessed even to have a female counselor on staff. Not everyone can do that, I recognize, but most churches can have the secretary or someone available to sit in on a session.

    2. This is an argument for a presbyterian model wherein you have a plurality of elders running the church so that there is no such thing as an elder who thinks it wouldn’t be part of his responsibility to join a church if necessary. In a congregational model, the rule can have such negative effects. But the problem isn’t the rule, it’s the polity.

    3. This is another failure in polity/pastoring. A pastor should know his flock, but it doesn’t require one-on-one counseling to do that. And any pastor who does not see a problem in a husband that would not let his wife meet with him and a witness without the husband’s presence probably shouldn’t be in ministry.

    And as for people not stopping to help a woman in need on account of the rule, that’s just so contra-commonsense it’s not even funny. It’s wise to be cautious, but at some point you just help somebody who needs help. Particularly if a woman is stranded on public road. That’s a public setting, for crying out loud, a place where the rule isn’t meant to be applied anyway!

  287. Robert wrote:

    And in the pastoral setting or for anyone with a public face, it’s quite a wise rule. It can help safeguard against infidelity. It also protects the public figure from being liable to false accusations. All it takes is one accusation to ruin a career and a life, and even if one is vindicated, it can be quite costly in terms of time and money to secure the vindication. Sometimes it’s better just to minimize the risk.

    I’m so glad that my Christian male therapist does not live his life or conduct his ministry based on fear — or he would never have agreed to take me on as a client. God has used him powerfully in my life. It was especially healing for me to receive genuine, unconditional love from a male who had no reason and no agenda in loving me. It was such an example of Christlike love.

    I would find it troubling if therapists restricted their practices to same sex, heterosexual clients only. If we expect therapists to conduct themselves with integrity and not to give way to prejudice or fear, why do we expect less of pastors?

  288. Robert wrote:

    And for that matter, the complementarian churches I know don’t make it a rule for membership. It is only a guideline for pastors.

    A guideline for pastors that involves not meeting with half (or more) of the congregation become a defacto rule for the congregation in dealing with the pastor and as it is also generally spread out to staff, basically it applies to all dealings women have with the church. So what does that mean for them?

  289. Robert wrote:

    And the only workplaces I know where the rule is applied is in complementarian churches, where women cannot be ordained anyway so if that’s your beef join another church, and in some parachurch organizations.

    This has nothing to do with ordination. It has to do with churches who exclude women from having an input into the church functions. When men will not meet with women, it is possible that the pastor may not have adequate input from women in the church.

    Secondly, if the pastor is taking on a counseling role, then having other persons present in the counseling session is a violation of that person’s confidentiality. Many pastors bemoan people going outside the church for counsel. I think it is a good idea since in many of these churches, pastors cannot or will not maintain confidentiality.

    I have come up with a proposal for complementation churches. Why not have a group of women, who are elected akin to elders and deacons, whose job is to advise the male leadership on issues that are important to women in the church? There is nothing in the Bible that says this cannot be done. The bible just says they cannot be elders. Why hasn’t male leadership come up with a structure that give women an input into the church?

    It is my contention that if more women had input, child sex abuse and domestic violence in the church would be dealt with expeditiously. I am unimpressed with the leadership of complementation churches in this area.

  290. Robert wrote:

    Why aren’t people complaining that these policies break down the trust between adults and children or hinder the ability of an adult to see a child as his/her brother/sister in Christ?

    Because women are not children? Maybe that?

  291. dee wrote:

    It is highly likely that the person who endorses the Billy Graham rule would not have had affairs, rule or no.

    Unless it was all a public front, of course. Men who have affairs are quite capable of lying, in fact they’re generally pretty good at it.

  292. @ Lea:
    Well said! Women are too often put into the same category as children in some of these churches. “never be alone with a child” leads to “never be alone with a woman.”

  293. Robert wrote:

    But it isn’t necessarily the case that the rule is always bad for women.

    It isn’t ‘necessarily’ the case is hardly a ringing endorsement for me.

  294. Note: it would have been highly unprofessional and unethical for my therapist to have insisted on dragging a third party into our sessions.

    Also, not all church secretaries are competent to counsel.

    When a pastor will meet with men one-on-one, assuring them privacy and confidentiality, but will not do the same for women — out of fear — that in itself can lead to problems no matter what the church size, structure, or form of government.

  295. @ Robert:
    Why not have the rule apply to pastors meeting alone with men? There are a number of pastors who are same sex attracted so shouldn’t we be just as concerned about them.

    To be absolutely sure that the *tule*. is correct applied, no one should meet with anyone alone, ever.

  296. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Note: it would have been highly unprofessional and unethical for my therapist to have insisted on dragging a third party into our sessions.

    There is a reason that HIPPA rules are mandated for competent counselors.

  297. dee wrote:

    Secondly, if the pastor is taking on a counseling role, then having other persons present in the counseling session is a violation of that person’s confidentiality. Many pastors bemoan people going outside the church for counsel. I think it is a good idea since in many of these churches, pastors cannot or will not maintain confidentiality.

    Yes! Exactly.

  298. dee wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Well said! Women are too often put into the same category as children in some of these churches. “never be alone with a child” leads to “never be alone with a woman.”

    Another thing about that argument…rules made about children are made to protect the children. Rules like the BG rule are meant to protect the pastor. So it’s a complete reverse of motives!

  299. okrapod wrote:

    i am sorry that he died, but that is not a diagnosis.

    Understood. Overworked three years straight (seven days a week, first in a company that failed, and then as the “new guy”). He was hospitalized with pneumonia and exhaustion, died 18 days later.

    Elsewhere in the family, another teacher-turned-housewife also returned to teaching after her husband died of an infection.

    They at least had education to fall back on. After one grandsire was killed in an industrial accident, his wife moved back home with her several children, one of whom was disabled. She could not provide income, so she and the little ones just gave what efforts they could and took as little as possible.

  300. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    When a pastor will meet with men one-on-one, assuring them privacy and confidentiality, but will not do the same for women — out of fear — that in itself can lead to problems no matter what the church size, structure, or form of government.

    Yes it can. And when a pastor will meet with women one-on-one assuring them privacy and confidentiality that also can lead to problems. Just different problems.

    There is no perfect answer.

  301. Robert wrote:

    the only workplaces I know where the rule is applied is in complementarian churches, where women cannot be ordained anyway so if that’s your beef join another church

    Women don’t have any rights in setting X, ergo, ipso facto, quod erat demonstrandum, the lack of rights does not harm women. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  302. Well, if all the male pastors are required to get one-on-one with any woman in the church that wants to get one-on-one with him, then that solves the problem of not needing women on staff. If the guys are required to do it all, then who needs women in either pastoral or counseling positions?

    Great idea. Run off the women staff. Save the salary money. Why didn’t I think of that? I guess I was too busy trying to see why the women can’t function unless they can get the pastor into some one-on-one situation where nobody else will do except the male pastor. Now I know. Rules. Rules that say that both he and she have to get one-on-one with each other. So, like somebody said, the required ‘love’ can go from the pastor to the woman. Because, I suppose, the male pastor has a lock on ‘love’ and is the requisite dispenser of it? For me, this gets crazier by the minute.

  303. @ Friend:

    I love that Robert took my comment and ran with it in a totally different direction! And added the ‘if women don’t like it, they can leave’ element. (Phil Johnson levels of Pastoral right there)

  304. My father was a pastor for many years, finally retiring in his early 80’s. One memorable summer years ago, I was his church secretary.

    My father is a man of great integrity (his longest, closest friends affirm this) and also of compassion. He believes strongly in pastoral confidentiality.

    Most of the churches he pastored were not constructed in such a way as to have the secretary’s office adjoining or right outside his door. In older churches, the pastor’s office was often situated where it would afford the most privacy. Although counselees often (usually? I’m not sure) came through my office as secretary, as it was the only door unlocked most of the time on weekdays, they then walked through the fellowship hall, down a hallway, etc., to reach my father’s office. I was instructed to never breathe a word about whether my father was in a counseling session, meeting, or otherwise occupied (I could only say he was unavailable) and I was certainly never, ever to let anyone know who he was meeting with, even if it was a husband frantic to know his wife’s whereabouts.

    Confidentiality was considered extremely important in those days, and especially by my father. So was protecting the vulnerable. My father considered himself a pastor to his entire flock and refused to sacrifice principle and ministry out of fear.

    There was never a hint of scandal. My father is a gentleman, gracious and proper.

    He also is humble…and was one of the most scholarly Bible teachers I’ve ever heard. He set the bar so high for pastors that I’ve struggled finding a “church home” all my adult life.

    Obviously I wish far more pastors were like him.

  305. Darlene wrote:

    Absolutely no mention of boundaries, or a woman knowing how to protect herself when living with an ungodly man. Nothing – no strategies about wives who live with abusive men.

    She is supposed to call the elders and let them deal with her husband. I believe that, because of the uproar in the wake of Piper’s “endure abuse for a season” remark, they have said she (or he) should call the police if anyone is in danger. It’s toxic stuff that comes from misapplying texts that were written to another culture where women had few rights at all.

  306. And before someone says, “Times were different” — sin was always around. My father went through a lot, including being held at gunpoint by an intoxicated man, being targeted for death by an extremely troubled and violent man, and all sorts of other dangers I don’t even know about. Plus, ever since I was in my teens, I became aware that there were women in the church quite smitten with him, but he managed to graciously ignore that and discourage them while still ministering to them.

    My father tends to rely on prayer a lot…God has promised wisdom to those who seek it.

    Rules are often a shortcut. Who needs the Holy Spirit when we can just stick ourselves in a box? (Says the former legality who relied far too much on supposedly “common sense rules” and not enough on God)

  307. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I’ve already mentioned the guy I worked with who practiced the BGR. I thought he was being silly. But it never remotely crossed my mind that he was oppressing me (or any other woman).

    Here’s how I’ve seen it applied in a problematic way:

    1. Pastors refuse to counsel or meet with women alone.
    This often has the effect of making the pastor a pastor to the men only. Women have no access to pastoral care or counseling.

    2. The “visitation pastor” will not visit women shut-ins or women in the hospital because it’s too difficult to find someone to accompany him during the day and his job description doesn’t include evening hours, or he can’t get anyone to go with him then either. (“Pastor, that’s what we hire you to do. We didn’t think it was a job for two men.”)

    3. If an abused wife does manage to get her pastor to meet with her, she will be an unknown to him. The pastor will be far more likely to believe and defend the charming abuser he thinks he knows than the victim he has never said two words to.

    We have seen, in this comment thread, quotes from men bragging that they would leave women stranded by the side of the road or walking in the rain rather than abandon the BG rule.

    Some may call this oppression. Others may simply call it a callous disregard for women. And some see nothing wrong with disobeying our Savior’s command to love one another — as long as it is a woman from whom love is being withheld.

    My erstwhile colleague and I worked at a secular job, so absolutely none of this applied to us.

    I’ve already stated that I agree it is inadvisable for a church to impose the BGR within its “churchly” bounds. Not illegal, mind you. But just wrong to be so control-freaky.

    But some folks here have implied that the Pence Principle will lead to widespread adoption of the BGR in the broader society. I think that’s simply not going to happen. And I’m also saying that, in the one isolated instance when I worked with a BGR Practitioner, he wasn’t oppressing me. Because he wasn’t. His Own Personal BGR did not impinge on me in the least. Or on any other woman at the agency. If anything, it was just good for a giggle.

  308. Another thing: doesn’t Scripture tell men to treat women as sisters and mothers? Do pastors following the BG rule also refuse to ever be alone with their actual sisters, daughters, and mothers?

  309. Robert wrote:

    f you feel unwanted, join a church where they’d be happy to make you a pastor, elder, deacon, or whatever.

    You know, Robert, I agree with you on this issue on this thread because I basically believe in the freedom of conscience, but your attitude in this comment is really not helpful. I am a very conservative, inerrantist (!) mutualist who was dis-affirmed, keyed out, dis-fellowshipped, excommunicated, or whatever you want to call it from a 9Marksy church. Not because I wanted to be ordained. Not because I was a troublemaker. But because I asked too many questions *in private.* Think about that before you snark at someone about “find another church.” That is very unkind.

  310. okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    About who is or is not to be understood to be catholic and what criteria are to be used to determine that. And whether that criteria are to be full adherence to all catholic teaching…
    A certain powerful and high profile woman in the US House of Representatives repeatedly declares herself to be a Catholic, but she is staunchly ‘pro-choice’. Politically actively pro-choice. Is she a Catholic because she says so? Is she a Catholic because she is still permitted to receive the eucharistic sacrament? Is she Catholic because her church has chosen to look the other way on this every time it has been brought forth in the media?
    I think she is Catholic because she says she is and because her church has not declared that she is not.

    Okrapod, I agree that it is a scandal that some bishops will admit Pelosi to Holy Communion. (Others will not.) However, the Church need not formally excommunicate her: As a prominent pro-abort politician, she is self-excommunicated “latae sententiae.” I still think her bishop should formalize it, though. But there’s a lot of confusion in the Church right now. However, this too shall pass. If we survived the Borgia popes, not to mention the theological chaos at the time of I Nicaea, we can survive anything. Even San Fran Nan. 🙂

  311. Robert wrote

    And people are free to disagree with the complementarian position on women in ministry. But nobody is trying to force women to attend complementarian churches.

    No one is free to disagree *at all* with Complementarian dogma at Complementarian churches. I was born, baptized, and married in Southern Baptist churches. It used to be possible to disagree and discuss all kinds of things. No more. Agree, shut up, leave quietly, or be dismissed.

  312. Lea wrote:

    @ Friend:
    I love that Robert took my comment and ran with it in a totally different direction! And added the ‘if women don’t like it, they can leave’ element. (Phil Johnson levels of Pastoral right there)

    Well, let’s talk about that issue of if you don’t like it you can leave. The real question is who gets decide what the policies are. Do individuals get to decide for themselves? Does the church have some system in place like a board of elders or a vestry or a bishop who can be called in? And mostly, what is the consensus if there is a congregational form of church polity? Who gets to ‘get it their way’ when differences surface? And what is a person to do if their position loses out when the decision as to policy happens? Stay and complain and be unhappy and perhaps cause as much division as possible? Go somewhere else where they are happier? What if nobody much else agrees with me-what should I do in that situation?

    What I did do was I just left-moved on-not over this issue but over issues and doctrines. I actually highly recommend it, and I think it is the honorable thing to do.

  313. @ Gram3:

    Gram3, I agree! Robert makes good points, and he is clearly very intelligent, but his tone is not helpful IMHO.

    For me, this whole issue is about freedom of conscience, just as you say. I’ve had pretty heavy-duty exposure to control-freakyness, and I don’t like it one wee bit. But if it’s control-freaky for church to say, “You must practice the BGR or else,” then IMHO it is equally control-freaky for us to tell individuals that they cannot practice the BGR. Control is control, no matter which “side” it’s being exercised on.

  314. mot wrote:

    Those of us that are upset about Pence at TWW are not upset about his convictions.

    Then what is the issue I’m missing? Because I’m missing something.

  315. Gram3 wrote:

    That is very unkind.

    It probably is, but what he is advising is exactly what I did and it has proved to be absolutely the right thing to have done.

  316. Gram3 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Those of us that are upset about Pence at TWW are not upset about his convictions.

    Then what is the issue I’m missing? Because I’m missing something.

    You will just have to figure it out yourself. It is just too obvious.

  317. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    But if it’s control-freaky for church to say, “You must practice the BGR or else,” then IMHO it is equally control-freaky for us to tell individuals that they cannot practice the BGR. Control is control, no matter which “side” it’s being exercised on.

    Absolutely. Wish I had said that.

  318. okrapod wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    That is very unkind.

    It probably is, but what he is advising is exactly what I did and it has proved to be absolutely the right thing to have done.

    I have done it too. Not because I wanted to be a pastor (they did ask me to join a different office recently and I almost turned it down), but because these negative attitudes about who women are, and what they are, what they can do tend to travel together and I was pretty much over it.

    So yes, I hope many women do take his advice, but goodness isn’t it just a reflection of his heart. What ARE they teaching in seminary these days? I’m afraid we see it reflected all over the place.

  319. Robert wrote:

    I have an MDiv and a ThM, and am on track for ordination

    And if you are a Complementarian, then perhaps you can provide us with the missing verse(s) from Genesis 1-2 where God explicitly ordains that males shall have authority over females. Because I cannot find it. And D.A. Carson cannot find it. And Ray Ortlund can only find whispers of it. As a conservative, I would appreciate it if you could help me out. My former elders could not help me find it, and RMBW didn’t help.

  320. In today’s NYT, writer Cohen notes that since we gave the visiting Prime Minister of Japan, Abe, the full Mar-a-Lago treatment, the same will happen with the visiting leader of China, Xi. Then, Cohen adds, “Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, need not apply.”

    Does this have to do with gender?

  321. Lea wrote:

    Rules like the BG rule are meant to protect the pastor.

    Interesting, since by the numbers of what really happens, women, by and large, need protection. Where is that set of BG rules? BG’s own grandson, for instance.

  322. Lea wrote:

    Neither of your answers addressed harm from public business lunches, though. They are just rules. I know rules exist, that’s why we’re talking about them.

    I’ve had many business lunches. Each time the lunches were in the company’s cafeteria or sandwiches and salad were brought into a conference room. There were no off site lunches. They are a time waster and tongues can start wagging – what were they doing for two hours? Public business lunches have gone the way of the dinosaur. There is no need for them.

  323. JYJames wrote:

    Interesting, since by the numbers of what really happens, women, by and large, need protection.

    This is why the ‘no public lunches’ thing blows my mind. That seems like pretty much the safest one-on-one meeting possible. Public place. Well lit. Full day. To think of THAT as dangerous is difficult.

  324. Ken G wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Neither of your answers addressed harm from public business lunches, though. They are just rules. I know rules exist, that’s why we’re talking about them.
    I’ve had many business lunches. Each time the lunches were in the company’s cafeteria or sandwiches and salad were brought into a conference room. There were no off site lunches. They are a time waster and tongues can start wagging – what were they doing for two hours? Public business lunches have gone the way of the dinosaur. There is no need for them.

    KenG, that is how our business lunches were, too. The only exceptions were those occasions when Big Important Printing Company took our bosses and graphic designers (but not us poor copywriters, sob, whine) out to a fancy restaurant for dinner. As a group.

  325. Gram3 wrote:

    And if you are a Complementarian, then perhaps you can provide us with the missing verse(s) from Genesis 1-2 where God explicitly ordains that males shall have authority over females. Because I cannot find it. And D.A. Carson cannot find it. And Ray Ortlund can only find whispers of it. As a conservative, I would appreciate it if you could help me out. My former elders could not help me find it, and RMBW didn’t help.

    Males don’t have authority over females in any unqualified way. Paul is quite clear that wives are to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord, not to all men, and that both men and women in the church are to submit to church elders, the office of which is open only to men. And nobody but Christ is owed unqualified submission.

    The closest you can get to a possible argument for authority in Gen. 1–2 is in Adam’s naming of Eve, but even if one accepts that reading, it would just refer to their marriage. But I don’t need Gen. 1–2 to say anything about the topic, and I think that most complementarians go astray when they try and read too much into those chapters. Paul says for women to submit to their husbands, for only men to be elders, and for all of us to submit, but not in any unqualified, unthinking way, to the church’s elders.

    I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but I think that you have to go to an excessive amount of exegetical twisting and turning to get female elders/pastors. But I don’t think that means women should never teach men in any setting or even in every church setting.

  326. @ Robert:
    Here’s a way you can help as a future pastor. You can help stop the relatively recent (mid 70’s) toxic teaching on Genesis 3:16 that George Knight III propagated that was first, ironically, written by Susan Foh at Westminster Philly. That is the teaching that women, by nature, desire to overthrow male authority. That women are, by nature, rebellious. This teaching is toxic to relationships, particularly marriages. This is a new doctrine. You are a young man, and you probably have never heard anything else. I am an old woman. I’ve been married a very long time. Read the actual Bible text (you have a ThM so I assume you know the languages) and not the doctrines of men like George Knight III and Susan Foh. How ironic that all you guys who are teaching that men should not follow the teaching of women are relying on the teaching of a woman!

  327. Gram3 wrote:

    You know, Robert, I agree with you on this issue on this thread because I basically believe in the freedom of conscience, but your attitude in this comment is really not helpful. I am a very conservative, inerrantist (!) mutualist who was dis-affirmed, keyed out, dis-fellowshipped, excommunicated, or whatever you want to call it from a 9Marksy church. Not because I wanted to be ordained. Not because I was a troublemaker. But because I asked too many questions *in private.* Think about that before you snark at someone about “find another church.” That is very unkind.

    Not attempting to be snarky. Just pointing out the obvious. If you were disfellowshipped for an inappropriate reason, then I’m sorry that happened to you. But many of the complaints here on this thread are from people who don’t like the fact that complementarian churches even exist, and the BGR rule is being used to press that agenda.

    All I am saying is that people are getting upset about Mike Pence’s rule, which will never apply to them or anyone they know personally, and that seems rather strange. People who think women are somehow being slighted by this rule won’t even want to be a part of those churches to begin with, so find a place where you feel more welcome. That’s all I’m saying.

  328. Gram3 wrote:

    Here’s a way you can help as a future pastor. You can help stop the relatively recent (mid 70’s) toxic teaching on Genesis 3:16 that George Knight III propagated that was first, ironically, written by Susan Foh at Westminster Philly. That is the teaching that women, by nature, desire to overthrow male authority. That women are, by nature, rebellious. This teaching is toxic to relationships, particularly marriages. This is a new doctrine. You are a young man, and you probably have never heard anything else. I am an old woman. I’ve been married a very long time. Read the actual Bible text (you have a ThM so I assume you know the languages) and not the doctrines of men like George Knight III and Susan Foh. How ironic that all you guys who are teaching that men should not follow the teaching of women are relying on the teaching of a woman!

    Indeed. Which is why I don’t accept that reading of Gen. 3:16 and I think the ESV’s recent change of the text was a bad move and not justifiable textually. It’s a clear case of ideology directing the translation. I’ve learned an awful lot from female teachers and Bible scholars over the years, and I think a lot of what goes under the name “complementarian” cannot be justified biblically. And most of the attempts to apply it beyond the church end up being silly.

    That said, having once been an egalitarian myself, I don’t see how you can walk away from the NT with anything other than a male-only ordained eldership. That’s just where I am on this.

  329. Robert wrote:

    1. In counseling, the pastor can always have another woman present. That’s what my church does.

    Or, the church might have a female…older woman who is competent to teach and counsel. Since you know your NT languages, you know that this is perfectly consistent with actual NT textual evidence.

    Problem solved. Women get to talk to women if that is what they prefer. Men get to talk to men if that is what they prefer. Everyone’s consciences are protected.

  330. OK, I am being baaad, and I really should get back to my freelance project. But something keeps nagging at me.

    In the wake of our big, huge sex-abuse scandal, my Church has implemented some practical changes. E.g., most traditional confessionals now have a window (either clear glass or entirely open) in the central box where the priest sits. And all “reconciliation rooms” (also used for Confession) must have doors with clear glass windows.

    The reason is obvious. It’s so that anyone can see inside, to ensure that Father’s not up to something. (Obviously, it can also protect Father from false accusations. Which do happen.)

    I think that’s called “transparency.” Might the folks who practice the BGR (without imposing it on others) also be motivated by a concern for transparency? If so, how is this a Bad Thing?

    Again, I’m not saying it’s my cup of tea. But, in those cases where someone (like my former colleague) practices it without imposing it on anyone else, might the BGR be at least defensible? Might it not reflect a laudable concern for transparency?

    The key here is “without imposing it on anyone else.” Can we at least agree that, when it’s NOT imposed on anyone else, the BGR might not be the Greatest Evil Threatening American Society At The Present Moment? 😀

  331. Robert wrote:

    I don’t see how you can walk away from the NT with anything other than a male-only ordained eldership. That’s just where I am on this.

    Southern Baptists will welcome you with open arms.

  332. dee wrote:

    This has nothing to do with ordination. It has to do with churches who exclude women from having an input into the church functions. When men will not meet with women, it is possible that the pastor may not have adequate input from women in the church.

    I agree. But we’re not talking about men not meeting with women, but meeting with them alone.

    Secondly, if the pastor is taking on a counseling role, then having other persons present in the counseling session is a violation of that person’s confidentiality. Many pastors bemoan people going outside the church for counsel. I think it is a good idea since in many of these churches, pastors cannot or will not maintain confidentiality.

    That may be true. A better compromise might be to have a window put in the office that opens out to the secretarial area.

    I have come up with a proposal for complementation churches. Why not have a group of women, who are elected akin to elders and deacons, whose job is to advise the male leadership on issues that are important to women in the church? There is nothing in the Bible that says this cannot be done. The bible just says they cannot be elders. Why hasn’t male leadership come up with a structure that give women an input into the church?

    It is my contention that if more women had input, child sex abuse and domestic violence in the church would be dealt with expeditiously. I am unimpressed with the leadership of complementation churches in this area.

    This is a very wise idea and actually my complementarian church practices something akin to it. There is a female staff member who helps with counseling and runs the women’s ministry, and I’ve seen elders deal with church discipline situations where the first goal is always to protect the woman in an abusive situation. Church policies are not enacted without receiving advice from at least some of the women in the congregation.

    Any church that is not talking to its women is foolish and sub-biblical.

  333. Robert wrote:

    And for that matter, the complementarian churches I know don’t make it a rule for membership. It is only a guideline for pastors.

    Nope. It is not a “guideline” within the SBC’s IMB and NAMB church planter structure. They require both church planters and their wives to sign code of conduct contracts.
    Not eating alone with a member of the opposite sex other than spouse …… not being alone in a vehicle withe a member of the opposite sex other than spouse ………

  334. Nancy2 wrote:

    sign code of conduct contracts.

    You have to sign documents in the Southern Baptist world they will not just trust you.

  335. Robert wrote:

    All I am saying is that people are getting upset about Mike Pence’s rule, which will never apply to them or anyone they know personally, and that seems rather strange.

    I must say I agree.

  336. Lea wrote:

    it applies to all dealings women have with the church. So what does that mean for them?

    In one church I know of, there is a female counselor who meets with females but it has to be approved by the male elders, so females still have no confidentiality while males do. Does not meet the Gram3 Rule standard.

  337. dee wrote:

    @ Robert:
    Why not have the rule apply to pastors meeting alone with men? There are a number of pastors who are same sex attracted so shouldn’t we be just as concerned about them.
    To be absolutely sure that the *tule*. is correct applied, no one should meet with anyone alone, ever.

    If a man is same-sex attracted, the rule should be applied to men if a church adopts it.

    But the fact is, at least in Protestant circles, it is far more likely that among adults any abuse, false allegations, harassment, etc. is going to take place in the context of a male-female situation. Heterosexuality is the norm and a iron-clad rule cannot be devised for every situation. Which is why even I will say that the BGR is not necessarily the best solution. It think it is wise for pastors and for other prominent figures, and I would reverse the rule to apply if it is a prominent woman we are talking about—it’s not wise for her to spend time alone with a man who is not her husband. Rules can become legalistic, and that’s a problem, but there’s also wisdom in having them if they are wisely applied.

  338. Robert wrote:

    People who think women are somehow being slighted by this rule won’t even want to be a part of those churches to begin with, so find a place where you feel more welcome.

    Women I know who were slighted by these rules (not allowed to meet with the pastor alone, not visited while a shut-in or in the hospital) either had no choice in the church they were attending (due to holding to complementarian teaching placing the husband in charge of such decisions) or they did not wish to be part of a non-complementarian church. None of these women desired ordination.

    It’s real easy to stand at a distance and tell a young woman on a hospital bed, or a battered wife seeking her pastor’s counsel only to be turned away, “If you don’t like feeling slighted, go to another church.”

    I know women who, in a time of extreme crisis, were told exactly that. It only added to their devastation.

    Do pastors and elders treat their sisters and mothers this callously and lovelessly? What makes them think they can ignore the Scriptural admonition to treat women in the church as sisters and mothers, in all purity? What happened to the commandment to love? Why hold up as a standard the opposite of Christlikeness?

  339. dee wrote:

    I have come up with a proposal for complementation church es. Why not have a group of women,

    Your idea comes from a woman and proposes that women have something valuable to contribute to the thinking of men. Ergo No Go.

  340. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    Women I know who were slighted by these rules (not allowed to meet with the pastor alone, not visited while a shut-in or in the hospital) either had no choice in the church they were attending (due to holding to complementarian teaching placing the husband in charge of such decisions) or they did not wish to be part of a non-complementarian church. None of these women desired ordination.

    Well that is very tragic, and I’m sorry to hear that. But the problem is not the rule in question but in its nonsensical, overly rigid application. There has to be allowance for some flexibility in the rule, especially in the situations you mention. The fact that some church leaders are stupid doesn’t make the rule a bad one.

    It’s real easy to stand at a distance and tell a young woman on a hospital bed, or a battered wife seeking her pastor’s counsel only to be turned away, “If you don’t like feeling slighted, go to another church.”

    Of course, I would never say that in such situations. We’re talking generally here, and the people who are complaining the loudest are the people who are saying the rule is holding back women from advancement, not the people who are saying this rule is being used to keep women being abused or not to do hospital visitation. I don’t even know how one could employ the rule in a visitation, since hospitals are very public places.

    I know women who, in a time of extreme crisis, were told exactly that. It only added to their devastation.

    My comment is to people who are upset because they can’t be a woman elder because of this rule, not people who are being abused or anything else.

    Do pastors and elders treat their sisters and mothers this callously and lovelessly? What makes them think they can ignore the Scriptural admonition to treat women in the church as sisters and mothers, in all purity? What happened to the commandment to love? Why hold up as a standard the opposite of Christlikeness?

    Nobody is trying to ignore the admonition. Jesus tells us also to be as wise as serpents. The fact is that there is sin in the church, that men and women can become attracted to one another without meaning to, that false accusations are made, that our litigious society can bring people and institutions down, etc. Part of being wise is figuring out ways of navigating all that so that you can be loving. Without wise boundaries, a whole lot of lives can be ruined. Have none of the abuse scandals taught us this?

    If anybody cares, I don’t see anything wrong with the Pence rule for certain situations. One-on-one counseling, for example. But there are ways to adopt the intent of the Pence rule without being so legalistic. Put a window in the office door. Having lunch meetings in public restaurants. Have a third party in the room. Etc. I understand the concerns some have about it being legalistic. I don’t get the “This rule keeps women from advancing” kind of complaints.

  341. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    When a pastor will meet with men one-on-one, assuring them privacy and confidentiality, but will not do the same for women — out of fear — that in itself can lead to problems no matter what the church size, structure, or form of government.

    Exactly. I mentioned this later in response to an earlier comment you made. Women have few choices in churches for *formal* counseling.

  342. Robert wrote:

    And the only workplaces I know where the rule is applied is in complementarian churches,

    Wrong, Robert.

    Brain-washed evangelical Christians, and more and more of them are NeoCalvinists, are parroting The Billy Graham Rule and Complementarianism like they are on par with The Gospel are exercising their inappropriate conduct in the work place. Yes, they stand out like sore thumbs. And yes it is inappropriate and unprofessional. It’s out of line when a BGR won’t step foot in a workplace kitchen, well he starts and then stops, to grab a cup of coffee because I a woman am by myself while getting a cup of coffee (or another woman). It makes Christians look like freaks in the workplace.

    Ditto the refusal to meet with colleagues for team projects, meetings, etc. It expends a lot of energy on tired supervisors who’ve got enough on their plates and don’t need these nonsense in the work place. But the Billy Graham Rule adherents feel that the world will implode if they don’t follow it, and it has a chain reaction that is negative.

  343. @ Gram3:

    In practice this sometimes happens. A church where I was at one time was fundamentalism-light while we were there and actually had a couple of women who were highly respected and one of whom was considered a powerful voice in the congregation. She taught SS and was one of the best that I have ever heard. Many women asked her advice about various things, or so I was told. The other one was officially recognized for her value to the church when her husband died. It kind of reminded me of the idea in the bible of the ancient idea of ‘widows’ except she was self supporting.

    I am thinking that if everything has to end up in the pastor’s study that this may have a downside to it when it comes to women ministering to women.

  344. Robert wrote:

    I keep asking for tangible proof that Pence has hurt anyone with the rule

    We have been discussing the wider implications of the Billy Graham Rule in our society.
    It started with his original statement.

  345. Velour wrote:

    Ditto the refusal to meet with colleagues for team projects, meetings, etc. It expends a lot of energy on tired supervisors who’ve got enough on their plates and don’t need these nonsense in the work place. But the Billy Graham Rule adherents feel that the world will implode if they don’t follow it, and it has a chain reaction that is negative.

    This nonsense needs to evaporate and soon IMO.

  346. Robert wrote:

    Rules can become legalistic, and that’s a problem, but there’s also wisdom in having them if they are wisely applied.

    The problem is that they aren’t wisely applied rules under the Billy Graham Rule.
    BGR governs ALL situations.

    As I pointed out up the thread, common-sense on the other hand is applied on an as-needed basis.

  347. Robert wrote:

    But planters are generally pastors, are they not?

    Correct. And planters are always male.
    However, you said those rules are “guidelines”. They are not: they are contractual agreements that must be signed by both the planter and, if married, his wife.

  348. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Again, I’m not saying it’s my cup of tea. But, in those cases where someone (like my former colleague) practices it without imposing it on anyone else, might the BGR be at least defensible? Might it not reflect a laudable concern for transparency?

    First, many churches’ insurance companies have written information about safety plans that includes windows in the rooms where children are at church, locking all doors, closet doors, several escorts for children using the restroom, doors open, etc. No secrecy.

    I really think you are using the wrong phrase, however, when you keep coming back to the Billy Graham Rule. The BGR rule applies to ALL situations — church, work, home, socializing, etc. It is legalism, it makes no use of discernment in a variety of situations, and it is iron-clad and inflexible in its imposition.

    I really get the idea that you haven’t been to a church that truly espoused The Billy Graham Rule and you don’t comprehend how restrictive and terrible it is. It’s like
    having separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites. But in this case males and females, in which females are treated as second class — in all situations.

  349. Robert wrote:

    Church policies are not enacted without receiving advice from at least some of the women in the congregation.

    Church policies are enacted by many Complementarian churches all of the time without considering the input of women. It doesn’t matter that they are members and even give money.
    In the Comp world they are incompetent.

  350. Lea wrote:

    Rules like the BG rule are meant to protect the pastor.

    And also the organization and the reputation of Christ’s name. That is supposed to be what church discipline was about before it got hijacked for control freakery.

    There are predatory people of all kinds and there are weak people of all kinds and both kinds of people can cause wreckage in marriages and organizations of all kinds. Not all people are weak or predatory, but it does not take very many of them to do a a tremendous amount of damage. That’s why there are personal policies and HR policies and organizational policies. ISTM that aspect seems to be getting lost in the discussion.

  351. Velour wrote:

    Church policies are enacted by many Complementarian churches all of the time without considering the input of women. It doesn’t matter that they are members and even give money.
    In the Comp world they are incompetent.

    Why should they consult women? The men always know better about everything than the women–God made the men superior and all knowing! And yes I am being very snarky!

  352. okrapod wrote:

    I believe we know that. And did we not just have a conversation on TWW about whether or not it is okay to criticize a pastor?

    OK, Okrapod, did you even read Robert’s snark, or are you just shooting from the hip?
    Robert was rude to Mot, telling him to leave his denomination (Southern Baptists), which Mot has been in all of his life.

    That’s not the solution. And that’s rude.

    Quit enabling bad behavior.

  353. @ okrapod:
    a lot of Catholics are ‘pro-choice’ in the sense that they don’t believe in abortion but they also don’t believe in making that personal decision for another woman and her doctors ….. I would say the majority of Catholic people are ‘anti-abortion’ AND understand that legislating in this area will not stop abortions but lead to the nightmare that was prior to Roe v. Wade when women were butchered in back alleys …….

    for myself, I can’t get over the absolute hypocrisy of them what uses the ‘abortion issue’ politically and yet does everything in their power to keep women and children who are poor in dire straits.

    We had a governor in my state who was elected to office on an anti-abortion platform who, once elected, removed funding from the biggest Children’s hospital in the state that had served the most pre-mature infants born ….. he eventually went on trial for corruption and is no longer in any position to hurt our state’s children’s hospitals …. he identified as ‘Catholic’ too …. yeah …. his removal of state funding from the NICU hospitals? I would say that doesn’t fit Catholic morality in that it TARGETED helpless beings to increase monies for his buddies

    I asked a clarifying question of ‘L’. And it remains unanswered. And I’m good with that. If she wants to be forth-coming, fine.

    ‘Conservative’ these days is NOT your father’s conservatism, no. What is going on is something else. So when you use the term ‘Catholic conservatives’, it should not exclude them from all consideration of the Church’s moral teachings in the Social Compendium before they make important decisions, no. The politicization of ‘the abortion issue’ was done by people who were hypocritical morally in my opinion, to gain power, without concern for ‘born’ babies or for the health of women who struggle to find decent medical care for themselves. Catholics may be conservative, but they better not be ignorant of the Church’s social doctrines as pertains to punitive treatment of the poor and the marginalized, and still call themselves ‘Catholic’.

    At the very least, they need to be up on the moral teachings of the Church in the social doctrine area. ‘L’ didn’t respond.

    I hope all is well with you these days, because I have noticed a recent change in how you are communicating with people here….. not to say that is good or bad, but that it is a noticeable change in tone. And I am concerned for you.

  354. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Why hold up as a standard the opposite of Christlikeness?

    Isn’t that a good question.

    For all the people who are mad at me for talking about lunch, this rule applies to much more than lunch obviously. The reason that one keeps coming to my brain because there is all this talk about how men and women cannot be ALONE. Lunch in a public place is not alone. So that is the ‘wait a minute, they are not saying what they said they were saying here’ sticking point for me.

    What this actually works out to is that you cannot be in public OR private spaces together, without a chaperone. And yes, in modern times that seems quite strange.

  355. Robert wrote:

    Which is why even I will say that the BGR is not necessarily the best solution. It think it is wise for pastors and for other prominent figures, and I would reverse the rule to apply if it is a prominent woman we are talking about—it’s not wise for her to spend time alone with a man who is not her husband. Rules can become legalistic, and that’s a problem, but there’s also wisdom in having them if they are wisely applied.

    Granted, I am not a “prominent” person. I have taught VBS, SS, and Wed. night church classes to children age 4 through age 18.
    I used to teach secondary math. One school I worked at, I taught nothing but 7th grade math. The other three 7th grade math teachers were male ~~ All of us married, all of us Christians. We all had school related obligations after school hours: sports, ESS, Detention, etc. I had to meet with each one of those teachers, alone, after hours, at some point throughout the school year to make plans for various things related to our department. The BG ru,e would have caused some serious work related problems for us.
    I have also tutored privately. One person I tutored was a church deacon who wanted to advance in his job with a degree. We live in the boonies. He didn’t know anyone else who possessed level of knowledge in math that he needed to pass the class. I tutored him alone, in my home, while my husband was deployed to Iraq.

  356. Velour wrote:

    Robert was rude to Mot, telling him to leave his denomination (Southern Baptists), which Mot has been in all of his life.

    I’ve been in the Southern Baptist world for 43 years. I too think it is cruel for Robert to tell me to just leave.

  357. Gram3 wrote:

    That’s why there are personal policies and HR policies and organizational policies. ISTM that aspect seems to be getting lost in the discussion.

    Amen, Gram3. Thanks.

  358. Lea wrote:

    For all the people who are mad at me for talking about lunch, this rule applies to much more than lunch obviously. The reason that one keeps coming to m

    This deacon that I tutored alone at my home …… it’s quite obvious that nothing happened between us. 2 reasons:
    1). The deacon did not have to be hospitalized.
    2). I didn’t have to call anyone to bail me out of jail.

  359. Gram3 wrote:

    Not all people are weak or predatory, but it does not take very many of them to do a a tremendous amount of damage.

    I have no issues with standards in general if I think they are reasonable. I just don’t think these particular ones are.

    I think in the zeal to ‘protect’ the church, the pastor, etc, we have lost the plot of actually acting like Christians at times. Anyone who would leave someone they know in a potentially dangerous situation on the side of the road for a rule is a fool and knave, imo. Anyone who would treat a beloved friend of the family as a potential scandal without cause is wrong. A rule such as this without wisdom and freedom to disregard promotes treating and thinking of every woman as a problem, no matter who they are, what they’ve done or how well you know them.

  360. mot wrote:

    I’ve been in the Southern Baptist world for 43 years. I too think it is cruel for Robert to tell me to just leave.

    mot didn’t change. The SBC did.

  361. okrapod wrote:

    it has proved to be absolutely the right thing to have done.

    Yes, the elders who keyed us out did us a huge favor, but what they did was still unkind, unbiblical, and unpastoral. It was also somewhat unreal, though in hindsight it makes a bit more sense. If we were young instead of old, un-grounded in the faith instead of well-grounded in the faith, we might have become totally un-moored by their actions. Instead, we were the Bereans and were able to bring our Bibles and point to them while they were able only to point to their degrees and to their gurus. They astonishingly enough did not know (or care?) about the text.

  362. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Robert was rude to Mot, telling him to leave his denomination (Southern Baptists), which Mot has been in all of his life.

    I’ve been in the Southern Baptist world for 43 years. I too think it is cruel for Robert to tell me to just leave.

    it seems to me that a LOT of Southern Baptists are being confronted by incoming neo-Cal ‘lead’ pastors who imply ‘my way or the highway’ ….. and there is a cruelty in that which is partly intended, as ‘stealth’ is being used in ‘takeovers’ and innocent people wake up to a new theology (soterology especially) that is hyper-Cal and therefore alien to what they have known in the past. ‘Robert’ sounds like the same level of ‘sensitivity’ as these stealth incomers ….. which is to say, he’s telling you where to go, in so many words

    Cruel? oh yeah

  363. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Again, I’m not saying it’s my cup of tea. But, in those cases where someone (like my former colleague) practices it without imposing it on anyone else, might the BGR be at least defensible? Might it not reflect a laudable concern for transparency?
    First, many churches’ insurance companies have written information about safety plans that includes windows in the rooms where children are at church, locking all doors, closet doors, several escorts for children using the restroom, doors open, etc. No secrecy.
    I really think you are using the wrong phrase, however, when you keep coming back to the Billy Graham Rule. The BGR rule applies to ALL situations — church, work, home, socializing, etc. It is legalism, it makes no use of discernment in a variety of situations, and it is iron-clad and inflexible in its imposition.
    I really get the idea that you haven’t been to a church that truly espoused The Billy Graham Rule and you don’t comprehend how restrictive and terrible it is. It’s like
    having separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites. But in this case males and females, in which females are treated as second class — in all situations.

    I have repeatedly — repeatedly — stated that I don’t think it’s right for churches to impose the BGR. Is there a wall here I can bang my head against? 😉

    But in the wider, secular world (e.g., the world VP Pence operates within), no one is imposing it on anybody.

    Sigh….

  364. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Robert was rude to Mot, telling him to leave his denomination (Southern Baptists), which Mot has been in all of his life.
    I’ve been in the Southern Baptist world for 43 years. I too think it is cruel for Robert to tell me to just leave.

    So do I, Mot.

    If the young pups can’t be civil…well let ’em leave!

  365. Christiane wrote:

    I asked a clarifying question of ‘L’. And it remains unanswered. And I’m good with that. If she wants to be forth-coming, fine.

    I don’t have anything to be forthcoming about. I am not talking about myself and I cannot answer questions for others.

  366. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    For all the people who are mad at me for talking about lunch, this rule applies to much more than lunch obviously. The reason that one keeps coming to m

    This deacon that I tutored alone at my home …… it’s quite obvious that nothing happened between us. 2 reasons:
    1). The deacon did not have to be hospitalized.
    2). I didn’t have to call anyone to bail me out of jail.

    LOL!

    I would never get work done on my house if contractors went by these rules. They are so incredibly impractical.

  367. Robert wrote:

    my complementarian church

    Could you tell me, beyond no female elders and pastors, the precise dos and don’ts of complementarian practice?

    I have a hard time understanding this because I am a practical individual. What I mean by this is for you not to say “A woman submits to her husband” but exactly what that looks like in practice. I would consider myself egalitarian. Outside of the pastor/elder things, how would you explain to me why how I am living out my life is wrong.

    For example, I have been married for 30+ years to the same man. I stayed home with my kids and I try to help my husband in his work as he helps me in mine. All three of my adult children are Christians as is my son in law. My husband and I serve on an executive board of a Christian medical ministry. I am involved in a 15+year Bible study with men and women and sometimes I help lead it. My husband and I spent two years on the Navajo Reservation providing health care.

    I have helped friends going through illnesses and death and have brought meals along wit h my personal support to their homes. I have led both women’s Bible studies and Sunday school classes as well as mixed gender groups. I love the Lord and have probably read more books, including serious theology books, than the average person.

    I held dearly onto my faith as my little daughter suffered with a large brain tumor. I sensed God’s presence and support during that time.

    I attend a church in which women cannot be pastors but can serve in just about every other capacity. You would pray label it a conservative church if you knew what sort of church it is. I am volunteering there and will be soon helping with communion. I served at the Tim Tebow Night to Shine recently as well.

    I tutored kids in difficult situations for years and have maintained a 15 year relationship with one student and her parents. This was done through a mission organization of an SBC church.

    Since complementarian marriages and lifestyles are supposed to be a witness to the world of the relationship of Jesus to His church, what am I doing wrong?

    This question is not a *gotcha* question. It is dead serious. As I engage with lots of people, I want to clearly represent the differences in actions and attitudes between comp and egal folks. The trouble is I find it difficult to do so, especially in my situation.

    If you wanted to change how I do things within the context of both my church and marriage in order to make me more *complementarian*, what would you change and how would you help me to see why it needs changing?

  368. @ Christiane:

    Christiane, we need to take this to another thread (would it be permissible on the Open Thread??)…but our Church clearly teaches that there is a hierarchy of social issues, and abortion and euthanasia are right at the top of the hierarchy. They are non-negotiable. I recognize that many politicians (like the one you describe) are hypocrites, and their actions are noxious and evil, but that does not alter Church Teaching. Even the USCCB has rejected the “Seamless Garment” argument. All social / moral issues are important. But destruction of innocent unborn life is the most important of all. Both St JP II and Pope Emeritus Benedict have clearly stated this, and it’s right there in black and white in the Catechism.

    Now, in deference to the Deebs and our fellow comboxers, I will cease and desist from the Catholic Inside Baseball…but I just wanted to point this out. I wish there were another forum where we could take stuff that we really shouldn’t be clogging up these threads with. 😀

  369. Velour wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Is there a wall here I can bang my head against?
    Yes, as a matter of fact there is. I’m on the other side of it! LOL.
    Hugs.

    LOL!!! Hugs back!

  370. Wow, we’ve just reached 1,000 comments on this thread.

    Take that boyz at Together 4 the Gospel and their ilk who are such cowards they won’t permit comments on their articles!

  371. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    Is there a wall here I can bang my head against?
    Yes, as a matter of fact there is. I’m on the other side of it! LOL.
    Hugs.
    LOL!!! Hugs back!

    Thanks, friend!

  372. mot wrote:

    You will just have to figure it out yourself. It is just too obvious.

    I am being sincere because I am clearly missing something. It may be something as simple as coming from different life experiences. Or something else. For me maybe it was the teenage Gram3’s memory of the deacon of our church running of with the pretty young thing and leaving his wife and four children. That was an awful experience. Would the BGR have made a difference? Does it shape how I emotionally think about these issues? Yes. Note the term Emotionally Think. People do think emotionally a lot more than we think that we do. 🙂

  373. Gram3 wrote:

    Would the BGR have made a difference? Does it shape how I emotionally think about these issues? Yes. Note the term Emotionally Think.

    I like that term!

    See my personal experience and possibly my ’emotional think’ says the BGR is a sideshow. The real question is always how a man thinks and feels in his heart. If he is looking to have an affair, he will have one, rule or no rule. He will lie, cheat, and quite possibly all the while pretending to be pious in public. Technology makes this quite easy.

    And later, when caught, he will say ‘Oh it was an accident. Oh that young thing she enticed me. Oh, it’s just a lie’. No rule is going to change that.

  374. Lea wrote:

    when caught

    And recent public scandals have taught me that when he IS caught, his ministry buddies will run up to him and prop him, believe every word he says, ostracize the woman and probably blame her too and also his wife.

    Which means their credibility on anything having to do with this rule is shot with me.

  375. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    no need to continue ….. I am not obligated to support people politically who say one thing and do another that shows me they are NOT ‘pro-life’ in all of its considerations

    I am not a pawn of any political party. The Church does not command me to embrace evil that good may come, no.

  376. Robert wrote:

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Respectfully, if you plan on being a pastor, that is not the way you represent our Lord to people. The men who dis-affirmed us did not represent him well, either, with their blatant disregard for the Word of God despite all their Gospel affiliations. Bereans are no longer welcome, which came as a huge surprise to us.

  377. Robert wrote:

    I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but I think that you have to go to an excessive amount of exegetical twisting and turning to get female elders/pastors. But I don’t think that means women should never teach men in any setting or even in every church setting.

    So, if it boils down to just that, why not say “no women elders and pastors” and not make an entire theology out of it? You know that it means much, much more than that.

  378. Robert wrote:

    which will never apply to them or anyone they know personally

    Not for nothing, but I worked in Washington, in politics, for years. If I were still in that world it could have easily applied to me or someone I knew personally.

  379. Lea wrote:

    The real question is always how a man thinks and feels in his heart. If he is looking to have an affair, he will have one, rule or no rule. He will lie, cheat, and quite possibly all the while pretending to be pious in public. Technology makes this quite easy.

    IMHO, we should follow Paul’s advice and examine ourselves…….Male or female, complementarian or egalitarian. ……Pastor, deacon, elder, Doctor…… Whatever. Look inside our own hearts. Examine our feelings, emotions, distractions …… If there is any doubt in your ability to behave professionally and uphold your marriage vows or respect another’s marriage vows …….If you suspect you may be too weak to stand your ground, decline the position and find something else to do.
    No offense to anyone. I’m a little hardheaded, opinionated, and whatever else goes with it. I’m okay with agreeing to disagree. I’ll live my way, you live yours. Maybe we can meet in the middle and do lunch {with a third party ; ^ ) } occasionally!

  380. Robert wrote:

    That said, having once been an egalitarian myself, I don’t see how you can walk away from the NT with anything other than a male-only ordained eldership. That’s just where I am on this.

    Two things. First, I agree with you that if all the words in the NT are considered to carry equal weight, and if everything in the NT is thought to be a rule in perpetuity for the church until the second coming, then the NT does provide for only males as ordained elders. Just as it condones female submission and slavery. Of course, it also says that Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter, and it does not forbid infant baptism. It says that religious virtues will preserve women in childbearing and attributes epilepsy to demons and leprosy to sin. You see where I am going with this.

    Second thing. From a different angle. Another problem. It is very difficult to reconcile some principles in the NT with some ideas about this issue of women in ministry, or for that matter the issue of the subjugation of women, without having to decide what is more important, the principle in one place or the words in another place. One way to do that is to look at cultural context, and some people do that. In the south where I live this was fought out over slavery-not very successfully. It is being fought out now about gender issues and marriage issues.

    IMO, it is very tempting to merely pick one or another position, defend it, and then lay it aside because one cannot forever be struggling with one thing at the expense of all the other issues which need addressed. Most people I think do this-just decide something right or wrong-defend it well or poorly-and move on.

    I believe that we are very unwise when we casually dismiss other people’s conclusions because humans so often find that they have been in the wrong, often when it is too late to do much about anything. This side of eternity some conclusions are temporary, realities seen darkly through glass. We need to listen to each other.

  381. Christiane wrote:

    a noticeable change in tone.

    I have noticed that also and have asked myself about it. I think it is because of what I see in the world at large and how this twangs something in my brain left over from WW II. I keep thinking, been there and done this, only this time it looks worse.

    I think that the time for any idea of ‘salvation by nice alone’ is over and that we all need to quit playing any games we may have been playing and just get dead serious about whatever it is that the Spirit and the Word and current events seem to point us to, and just go for it.

    I did not plan this, it just has happened to me.

    Or it could be dementia or demon possession. You never know about this sort of thing. But I appreciate that you noticed and asked.

  382. dee wrote:

    I held dearly onto my faith as my little daughter suffered with a large brain tumor. I sensed God’s presence and support during that time.

    many people in crisis experience God’s Presence come ‘near’ to them …. it happened to me when I suffered from crippling grief and I am forever grateful and thankful for God’s mercy at that time

  383. okrapod wrote:

    One way to do that is to look at cultural context, and some people do that.

    That’s me.
    Love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…..
    I believe that Jesus was speaking to all people, without time or cultural restraints. I believe Paul was speaking to people at a particular time, with consideration for cultural/societal/governmental restraints. (Paul’s writings were letters to certain people/local churches. Head coverings, holy kisses and so on…)

  384. Robert wrote:

    I don’t see how you can walk away from the NT with anything other than a male-only ordained eldership. That’s just where I am on this.

    That’s fine, but can you do that while being consistent all the way through 1 Timothy from 1:1 to the end without changing your interpretive method when convenient (being literal about male teachers while being wildly metaphorical about “saved through childbearing”) as I’m sure you would want egalitarians to be?

    When I read Ray Orlund’s chapter in RBMW, I could not believe how thin his “reasoning” is. Since you know your logical fallacies and you probably have Carson’s book, take a look at Carson’s work on 1 Timothy 2 and Ortlund’s chapter in RBMW and have some fun with all the logical fallacies on display. It is embarrassing, and I was shocked to find out what “Complementarianism” was when I read it for myself. I felt really, really stupid. Because I had been really, really stupid not to have been a Berean.

  385. @ okrapod:
    You are among people here who care very much for your well-being and who are grateful for all you contribute, as I myself have benefited much from your shared wisdom.
    I wish you well.

  386. Robert wrote:

    @ Gram3:

    Yep.

    I think you are cleverly avoiding the point which is that a female elder on par with the male elders would solve the problem. 🙂

  387. @ Gram3:

    What’s fun is when you realize the passage where they are talking about the ‘elder’ females teaching the younger uses the same word as when they are talking about ‘elders’. Because it literally just means older person.

    Since they are basically talking about the same thing, I don’t know why elders who are women and elders who are men doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense.

  388. We’re over a thousand in this thread.
    Looks like next New Years’, this one’s going to be in the list of “Top Ten Longest Threads of 2017”.

  389. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Whoa- I didn’t notice that.

    Maybe you could update the GoFundMe page for them, requesting help with their needs.
    Thanks.

  390. mot wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    sign code of conduct contracts.
    You have to sign documents in the Southern Baptist world they will not just trust you.

    “White man wants everything in writing and that’s just so he can use it against you in court.”
    Billy Jack

  391. Robert wrote:

    But I don’t need Gen. 1–2 to say anything about the topic,

    Oh, but I think you do, because otherwise there is no logical grounding for Paul’s reason in 1 Timothy 2. Work out the logic of his argument for male-only teachers. If, as it is supposed, Paul is grounding male authority in Creation, then such authority must have been ordained in Genesis 1-2, right? So where is it? That is the textual and logical problem.

  392. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    The reason is obvious. It’s so that anyone can see inside, to ensure that Father’s not up to something. (Obviously, it can also protect Father from false accusations. Which do happen.)

    But it also has a drawback in that everyone (including the Moral Gossips) can see WHO the Penitent is.

    Even Mormon SF writer Orson Scott Card remarked in Speaker for the Dead (in a Catholic bishop character) that “That is why we use the Confessional. So everything is private and stays confidential, without danger of gossip.”

  393. Gram3 wrote:

    That is the teaching that women, by nature, desire to overthrow male authority. That women are, by nature, rebellious. This teaching is toxic to relationships, particularly marriages.

    That turns Male-Female interactions and Marriage relationship into Power Struggle. At which point, the Zero-Sum rules of Power Struggle are in effect — Top or Bottom, Win or Lose, Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip, nothing in between.

  394. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “That is why we use the Confessional. So everything is private and stays confidential, without danger of gossip.”

    Ah, see here is the other side of gossip. Confidentiality protects the person confessing/being counseled. Everything being in the open protects the priest/counselor.

    Some of these functions simply can’t happen properly if there is no trust, imo.

  395. @ Robert:
    The text for “office of elder open only to men” is where? My understanding is that elders were common in the culture of the day and were typically literally older persons that persons in the family or community who were respected and respectable. That does not translate into office which I believe was adopted in a later and era of the church.

  396. Thanks to Indiana losing a congressional seat in 2000 and the resulting gerrymandering of Indiana’s congressional districts, I had the honor of being in now Vice President Pence’s constituent for ten years until he ran for governor and saner heads redrew the congressional districts, putting me back into my old congressional district. During the time now Vice President Pence was my congressman, I got to meet him during a town hall meeting he held for his constituents in my area of his district.

    During the meeting, he treated each person, man and woman, with great respect and made it clear that he WANTED to hear our concerns and truly cared about them. At the end of meeting, I went up and talked to now Vice President Pence personally. He treated me, then a naive woman in her mid twenties, with great respect and showed interest and concern with me and my life. He treated me with FAR more respect and care than many of those who hate him and his current boss have. I have been around patriarchal men who have treated me like I was beneath them. Not then Congressman Pence. I never got a whiff of patriarchy or pride when I talked to him, nor caught a whiff of it when he talked to the others at the meeting.

    Given the number of people who hate Vice President Pence, I think he’s smart for following the Billy Graham rule. One can’t be too careful when people hate you and you’re in a high position. Besides, what is so horrible about loving and respecting your wife so much that you don’t want to lunch alone with other women? What’s so horrible about loving your wife and family so much that you want to do you can to protect them any hint of scandal?

    One of the things that is being ignored in this whole debate is that now Vice President Pence picked a woman, former Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, to be his running mate when he ran for governor of Indiana in 2012. They won, and she served as lieutenant governor until resigning for reasons that are still not clear, even though she was in the running for a job she got as the head of Ivy Tech Community College. The man now Vice President Pence chose to replace her as lieutenant governor, current Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, has shown by his actions that he has no problems with women in leadership and clearly has an egalitarian marriage.

    The Billy Graham rule isn’t applicable to every situation and there are those who use it for reasons that are not 100% Godly. But for some men, it’s a smart rule to follow and Vice President Pence is one of them. When you look at his actions it’s clear he has a high regard for women, and this woman is a witness to that high regard.

  397. Katia wrote:

    They won, and she served as lieutenant governor until resigning for reasons that are still not clear

    Really? Well, that is odd and interesting.

    Katia wrote:

    I think he’s smart for following the Billy Graham rule. One can’t be too careful when people hate you and you’re in a high position.

    Katia wrote:

    Besides, what is so horrible about loving and respecting your wife so much that you don’t want to lunch alone with other women?

    The first is a CYA reasoning and the second is a ‘having lunch with someone else is dishonoring your wife’ reasoning. These arguments move all over the place. Frustrating.

    I don’t know Pence and I have nothing against him personally, so thank you for your perspective.

  398. Robert wrote:

    many of the complaints here on this thread are from people who don’t like the fact that complementarian churches even exist, and the BGR rule is being used to press that agenda.

    How on earth are you reaching that conclusion? Do you think TWW regulars sit around waiting for the media to brew up a story, just so we can press some agenda?

    This is not how most people live their lives. I believe misogynistic churches cause harm. I think it’s possible that Mike Pence has screened himself off from women who might have helped him or shaped his viewpoints. I think the Billy Graham Rule can be problematic when applied far beyond Billy Graham. But no, I’m not trying to turn any of that into a gotcha moment for some agenda against specific churches. And I am not detecting any such motive here, in 1000+ comments.

    What we have here is a multi-day adult discussion, with many voices and complex viewpoints. People have told their stories, made themselves somewhat vulnerable. I ask you to assume that folks here are as sincere as you are.

  399. @ Katia:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Katia.

    I for one don’t ‘hate’ Vice-President Pence. I do however reject the Billy Graham Rule which is taught in many evangelical churches (including NeoCalvinist churches), books, and radio and is usually parroted by followers by rote, without any critical thinking skills.

    As Nancy2 pointed out up the thread, VP Pence is surrounded by the Secret Service so he wouldn’t have to apply the Billy Graham Rule anyway to women.

  400. @ Velour:
    I myself would use ‘voting record’ as an indicator of a politician’s ‘respecting’ women as human persons.

  401. Robert wrote:

    I don’t get the “This rule keeps women from advancing” kind of complaints.

    There used to be “glass ceiling” news stories about key business decisions being made in locker rooms at male-only clubs. Can you imagine the frustration of a knowledgeable, hard-working female manager who could not even set foot in the building where male managers divvied up the org chart and budget money?

    To be clear, this is a general point, not about who eats lunch alone with the VP.

  402. Katia wrote:

    Given the number of people who hate Vice President Pence

    How do you know that? That is a straw man if there ever was one.

  403. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher

  404. Lea wrote:

    Not for nothing, but I worked in Washington, in politics, for years. If I were still in that world it could have easily applied to me or someone I knew personally.

    Yes, the people who work in Washington are actually people. A little more than half are female. Handy reminder…

  405. Christiane wrote:

    . it happened to me when I suffered from crippling grief and I am forever grateful and thankful for God’s mercy at that time

    I am so grateful that he gave you strength for that time.

  406. Katia wrote:

    Given the number of people who hate Vice President Pence, I think he’s smart for following the Billy Graham rule. One can’t be too careful when people hate you and you’re in a high position.

    I am sorry to hear that people hate him.

    Katia wrote:

    Besides, what is so horrible about loving and respecting your wife so much that you don’t want to lunch alone with other women?

    But my husband respects me and he has had to eat with women as part of his job.

  407. Katia wrote:

    . At the end of meeting, I went up and talked to now Vice President Pence personally. He treated me, then a naive woman in her mid twenties, with great respect and showed interest and concern with me and my life. He treated me with FAR more respect and care than many of those who hate him and his current boss have. I have been around patriarchal men who have treated me like I was beneath them. Not then Congressman Pence. I never got a whiff of patriarchy or pride when I talked to him, nor caught a whiff of it when he talked to the others at the meeting.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

  408. okrapod wrote:

    Or it could be dementia or demon possession. You never know about this sort of thing. But I appreciate that you noticed and asked.

    It is nice when people are concerned about your well-being. I kind of like your tone myself. You are analytical, think through things, are not afraid to ask tough questions, though I do like it a lot more when you ask them of other folks. 🙂

  409. Lea wrote:

    Because it literally just means older person.

    Except when it needs to mean “Office” with all the weight that carries. When you get to pick and choose what the rules are then you get to pick and choose who the winners are.

  410. I’ve been on both sides of the “BG rule” being applied by ordinary people and taught as wise advice for married people to follow. And, frankly, it is difficult to apply the rule without coming across as rude.

    Years ago, a pastor convinced me that it wasn’t enough to never be alone with a non-relative male, or never socialize without our spouses. Apparently this pastor and I — in my youthful arrogance — had an exaggerated sense of my desirability, and he managed to persuade me that I should not converse with a non-relative male for longer than two minutes, even in public, unless one of our spouses was also part of the conversation.

    After awhile, several women at church told me that I had offended their husbands, who found me rude and abrupt, and wondered why I cut conversations with them short.

    My husband’s best friend was offended when he came to visit and I made him wait outside until my husband arrived home from work.

    After being persuaded of the silliness and offensiveness of these rules — and being persuaded by my husband that I was hardly the overwhelming temptation to men that I imagined — I discovered that one can actually treat brothers in Christ as…well, as brothers, and as fully human and deserving of my love and respect.

  411. Friend wrote:

    What we have here is a multi-day adult discussion, with many voices and complex viewpoints. People have told their stories, made themselves somewhat vulnerable. I ask you to assume that folks here are as sincere as you are.

    That’s a good summary. I think that it is very difficult for people to escape the politicization of every single thing these days. IMO the various viewpoints are due to where the greatest perception of harm lies. To gender rights? To individual freedom? And even to which woman/man/institution is harmed or potentially at risk! Think about that for just a moment. It might not be obvious at first.

    There is one commenter here who keeps talking about political votes against women. Well, what does that even mean? What if legislation harms one woman and helps another by some unstated and unproved metric. Is that pro-woman or anti-woman? That is not a moral argument but a political argument by definition. Are women harmed or helped by requiring us all to think in one way in order to be authentic women? I don’t think so. That is not the path of wisdom.

  412. Velour wrote:

    Wow, we’ve just reached 1,000 comments on this thread.

    I hope Brother Graham didn’t read most of them! The faithful evangelist is 98 years old now.

  413. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Years ago, a pastor convinced me that it wasn’t enough to never be alone with a non-relative male, or never socialize without our spouses. Apparently this pastor and I — in my youthful arrogance — had an exaggerated sense of my desirability, and he managed to persuade me that I should not converse with a non-relative male for longer than two minutes, even in public, unless one of our spouses was also part of the conversation.

    Eeesh. What if he told that to a police officer who had been assigned a partner of the opposite gender? Airplane pilot/co-pilot? Lab researcher/assistant or co-researcher? Surgeon/assisting nurse? How about a teacher or professor trying to explain something to a student who just doesn’t get it, or the reverse? Patients of one gender and doctors of the other?
    I can think of all sorts of problem that could cause!
    I think this pastor had some serious problems!

  414. Max wrote:

    I hope Brother Graham didn’t read most of them! The faithful evangelist is 98 years old now.

    I kinda wish he would read, and chime in on the convo!

  415. Nancy2 wrote:

    Eeesh. What if he told that to a police officer who had been assigned a partner of the opposite gender? Airplane pilot/co-pilot? Lab researcher/assistant or co-researcher? Surgeon/assisting nurse? How about a teacher or professor trying to explain something to a student who just doesn’t get it, or the reverse? Patients of one gender and doctors of the other?
    I can think of all sorts of problem that could cause!
    I think this pastor had some serious problems!

    The irony — that escaped me at the time — is that this pastor did not apply such a rule to himself.

  416. @ Robert:

    “You don’t have to join those churches, and if women in those churches are unhappy about their “lack of prospects,” they are free to leave. Plenty of women are apparently just fine in those churches.”
    +++++++++++++

    such a simplistic reduction. might as well suggest they eat cake.

    are they free to leave?

    chances are they cannot make that decision — only the husband can.

    the social pressure is very strong to be the ideal submissive wife upon risk of being a pariah.

    furthermore, leaving means losing your relationship network.

    woman in such communities are not free to leave, let alone make their own decisions.

  417. @ Max

    @ Nancy2

    I listen to Anne Graham Lotz on Sunday mornings on one of our local Raleigh radio stations. I believe I heard her say in recent weeks that her dad has to have the Bible read to him as his vision is now very poor. You may know that he’s been in a wheelchair for some time and has been very frail for years.

    My grandmother and I watched his crusades on TV together for many years. What sweet memories. When I was 15, I volunteered with the Nicky Cruz organization here in Raleigh. Remember David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade and Run Baby Run? I first saw Nicky Cruz in a Billy Graham Crusade and not long after (1971) was attending church with his family and people in his organization. They were all wonderful.

    Again, sweet memories. God bless Billy Graham and family.

  418. dee wrote:

    BC wrote:

    For those of you who are obsessed with Pence not wanting to be alone with any woman other than his wife let me just say that you can take comfort that JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton had no problems with that. Barney Frank loved the young boys.

    I think the point is this. That rule would not have prevented any of these guys from doing what the wanted. It is highly likely that the person who endorses the Billy Graham rule would not have had affairs, rule or no.

    The point is you/someone may want to meet alone with Angelie Jolie or Brad Pitt but they not want to meet with or alone with you or someone else. I can choose to not meet with or not meet alone with whoever I choose.
    I think this has been mostly a political attack on Pence and has little to do with anything else.

  419. @ Robert:

    “It’s also quite preposterous to suggest that not allowing women to be pastors in a denomination that they can freely leave is in any way parallel to the kidnapping of men, women, and children from Africa and forcibly keeping them on the plantation.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    that is not the parallel.

    the parallel is sacrificing people on the altar of principle. the principle is no longer preserving white power, but rather preserving biblical inerrancy, tainted with preserving male power.

  420. elastigirl wrote:

    the parallel is sacrificing people on the altar of principle. the principle is no longer preserving white power, but rather preserving biblical inerrancy, tainted with preserving male power.

    The leaders of the SBC used the ruse of innerrancy to destroy the lives of many good people. Their heartlessness affected many women. For some it may not be a serious issue, but some of us saw this war on people’s lives played out right in front of our eyes.

  421. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Wow, we’ve just reached 1,000 comments on this thread.
    I hope Brother Graham didn’t read most of them! The faithful evangelist is 98 years old now.

    Bless him for his ministry.

    I think he’s a fair man and would have never realized how people would misuse his own rule for his own life and ministry. That it would be used as a tool against women and cause all kinds of fear-mongering.

    Billy Graham, after all, practiced racial integration when others did not.

  422. Velour wrote:

    people would misuse his own rule

    Yes, and to think that the New Calvinists are using it! They despise the man – in their world, there is no preaching of the Cross of Christ … there is no evangelistic outreach to ALL people. None of them will ever preach the Gospel to over 200 million, with 15 million decisions for Christ.

  423. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Robert:
    “You don’t have to join those churches, and if women in those churches are unhappy about their “lack of prospects,” they are free to leave. Plenty of women are apparently just fine in those churches.”
    +++++++++++++
    such a simplistic reduction. might as well suggest they eat cake.
    are they free to leave?
    chances are they cannot make that decision — only the husband can.
    the social pressure is very strong to be the ideal submissive wife upon risk of being a pariah.
    furthermore, leaving means losing your relationship network.
    woman in such communities are not free to leave, let alone make their own decisions.

    Nailed it, elastigirl.

    At my ex-gulag in Silicon Valley (aka “church”), a godly middle-aged Christian woman who works in finance wanted to leave that bizarre, authoritarian, abusive, Thought Reform church. She is married.

    We were all ordered by the senior pastor to stay after church one Sunday service. The meeting involved her. She wasn’t present. The senior pastor said they had “worked with [name of Christian woman] for a long time and were now at Step 3 of the Discipline Process.” It was awful what he said about her. This is a grown woman who wanted to leave for a saner, healthier church, one with accountability and common decency.

    Anyway, in this sic ’em session the senior pastor ordered several hundred church members to pursue this wife, i.e. harass her, for “NOT SUBMITTING TO HER HUSBAND!” and “TO THE ELDERS!”

    The senior pastor and elders destroyed this gentle soul’s reputation and got her harassed.
    She volunteers with mentally ill adults in group homes and with the elderly in convalescent homes.

    The church-ordered harassment was so bad that she had to move out of the family home, disconnect her cell phone, and her email. Her husband didn’t even know where she was living.

    They almost divorced over it. And frankly he’s a terrible man in my opinion for ever allowing anyone to treat his wife that way, for even thinking it was his right.

    They had another announcement about her at the yearly church meeting and the senior pastor announced that they had to ‘let her go’. Ya think? Wow, just wow.

    These guys are nuts. Absolutely nuts.

    I really hope that these authoritarians get arrested for criminal conspiracy, stalking, harassment and other crimes. The senior pastor also paid a visit to her home and screamed at her, as she told me when I interviewed her. That’s assault (the threat) and false imprisonment (he wouldn’t let her leave).

    I hope they are also sued civilly.

  424. Velour wrote:

    These guys are nuts. Absolutely nuts.

    There heartlessness and what her husband allowed to happen to her are unconscionable. These are not godly men IMO.

  425. Lea wrote:

    The real question is always how a man thinks and feels in his heart. If he is looking to have an affair, he will have one, rule or no rule. He will lie, cheat, and quite possibly all the while pretending to be pious in public. Technology makes this quite easy.

    Nope, I can’t agree with you on this. For a man looking to have an affair, there has to be an ample supply of willing females waiting to have an affair with a man. Do they have a website a man can check, such as Ashley Madison? (snark) Please tell me, where are all these willing women? Sure a former governor of New York had an affair with an escort, but such women are for the rich and out of reach of the common man.

  426. @ mot:

    “The leaders of the SBC used the ruse of innerrancy to destroy the lives of many good people”
    ++++++++++++

    the ruse of inerrancy…. consolidation of power in disguise, right?

  427. BC wrote:

    I think this has been mostly a political attack on Pence

    I would very respectfully disagree. He’s a new figure to millions. People are trying to figure out who he is, what he wants to achieve, and whether he can bring his values into play as VP. He contrasts strongly with his running mate. For these reasons, the story touched a nerve in a large number of people in our rather anxious country.

  428. Talmidah wrote:

    believe I heard her say in recent weeks that her dad has to have the Bible read to him as his vision is now very poor.

    I knew he was in a wheelchair – didn’t know about the vision. A newspaper in Christian County still runs the Billy Graham “My Answer”, but I suspect they are either old or someone else writes it.

  429. Christiane wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    no need to continue ….. I am not obligated to support people politically who say one thing and do another that shows me they are NOT ‘pro-life’ in all of its considerations

    I am not a pawn of any political party. The Church does not command me to embrace evil that good may come, no.

    Christiane, when did I ever say that you should embrace evil that good may come?? I’m sorry, my dear Catholic sister, but this a classic strawman.

    However, now that you’ve opened the door (as Perry Mason used to say to Hamilton Burger), ISTM that the height of “embracing evil” would be voting for an ardently pro-abort politician like Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. Hillary ghoulishly championed late-term abortions, for Heaven’s sake. Abortion was her freaking sacrament.

    No, that doesn’t mean one had to vote for Trump. One could always vote third party or write somebody in. (I was sorely tempted to write in Nick Saban. :D)

    Look, I’m just quoting the Magisterium here (as opposed to the Blogisterium). All social issues are important, but abortion trumps them all. (No pun attended.) As Pope St John Paul clearly taught, the right to life is the foundation for all other rights. If the unborn baby is butchered before he/she even leaves the womb, then how can he/she possibly enjoy any other rights — e.g., to food, shelter, education, or health care?

    It is simply untrue and un-Catholic that all social issues are equal. Please don’t take it up with me. Take it up with the Magisterium and Catechism.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread, Deebs. I just couldn’t let this go unanswered.

  430. BC wrote:

    dee wrote:
    BC wrote:
    For those of you who are obsessed with Pence not wanting to be alone with any woman other than his wife let me just say that you can take comfort that JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton had no problems with that. Barney Frank loved the young boys.
    I think the point is this. That rule would not have prevented any of these guys from doing what the wanted. It is highly likely that the person who endorses the Billy Graham rule would not have had affairs, rule or no.
    The point is you/someone may want to meet alone with Angelie Jolie or Brad Pitt but they not want to meet with or alone with you or someone else. I can choose to not meet with or not meet alone with whoever I choose.
    I think this has been mostly a political attack on Pence and has little to do with anything else.

    BC, it came across that way to me, too.

  431. @ Friend:

    nerves are raw, alright. the pooty shoplifter in the oval office and his pals represent such extreme things. mike pence’s rule is just one more extreme thing.

  432. BC wrote:

    I think this has been mostly a political attack on Pence and has little to do with anything else.

    You may think this, but you have know way of knowing that Dee wrote this post as a “political attack.” Your assumption is especially uncharitable due to the fact that Dee and Deb try to keep this blog out of the political arena.

  433. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    After being persuaded of the silliness and offensiveness of these rules — and being persuaded by my husband that I was hardly the overwhelming temptation to men that I imagined — I discovered that one can actually treat brothers in Christ as…well, as brothers, and as fully human and deserving of my love and respect.

    This!

    Thanks, Rebecca. Well said.

  434. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    These guys are nuts. Absolutely nuts.
    There heartlessness and what her husband allowed to happen to her are unconscionable. These are not godly men IMO.

    Yes, MOT.

    I would despise being married to such a coward of a ‘man’.

  435. Ken G wrote:

    Nope, I can’t agree with you on this. For a man looking to have an affair, there has to be an ample supply of willing females waiting to have an affair with a man.

    You don’t need an ample supply, just one.

    Some men just lie and say they are not married. Problem solved! The others I guess have some variant on ‘my spouse doesn’t understand me’.

    You are the one who is foolish if you do not know this happens. Do you disagree that men looking for affairs go out and seek them? Or are you implying that they only have affairs because women are throwing themselves at them?

  436. Velour wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    These guys are nuts. Absolutely nuts.
    There heartlessness and what her husband allowed to happen to her are unconscionable. These are not godly men IMO.

    Yes, MOT.

    I would despise being married to such a coward of a ‘man’.

    Cowards they are. They are willing to let their wives be bullied. They are anatomically lacking IMO.

  437. mot wrote:

    Katia wrote:

    Given the number of people who hate Vice President Pence

    How do you know that? That is a straw man if there ever was one.

    Good grief. The guy was savaged from the actors on stage when he attended a performance of Hamilton. (Later the same cast coddled Hillary.)

    And the media jumped right into the feeding frenzy.

    The guy was savaged for attending a freaking musical.

    How much more empirical evidence do you need?