“Muscular Christianity” leads to … La Familia Michoacana?

Today I’m not talking about Driscoll, as I expected, but about this fun news about the notorious drug cartel La Familia Michoacana making “required reading” of John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart. (H/T Audentia) Alternet had the best title for their coverage of the piece : Christian Book Touting Manly Aggression Inspires Violent Fundamentalist Meth Trafficking Cult.  Really, you can’t make this up!

John Eldredge, of course, is angry about the abuse of his book as an endorsement to perpetuate the violence La Familia has done.  How could Eldredge imagine his content would be so co-opted! Content that claims (WaH 117):

” ‘The kingdom of heaven suffers violence,’ Jesus said,  and violent men take it by force.” (Matt 11:12 NASB) Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hopefully by now you see the deep and holy goodness of masculine aggression and that will help you understand what Christ is saying. “

Eldredge’s thesis, as I wrote in my first post, is that man must have “a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue and an adventure to live.”  I’m missing how that thesis necessarily requires Jesus.  La Familia is missing how that doesn’t endorse (really, how it requires) violence.

Eldredge wrote Wild at Heart so men would be submissive to God in their aggressive masculinity, and therefore La Familia is totally misunderstanding him.  I can see how La Familia missed it.  I missed it too!  Eldredge’s focus on violence, weapon play, and aggression as a healthy Christian masculinity is so extreme that many believe Cartel leader “The Craziest” Nazario Gonzalez Moreno’s book Thoughtsis somehow “more in tune with the classic spirit of Christianity”.

The Alternet story gets this right as well: despite all the talk of “Writers can’t control how their words are used”, I have yet to see La Familia make required reading from the works of progressive Christian Jim Wallis.  Of course, Wallis probably disagrees with Eldredge that William Wallace is more like Jesus than Mother Theresa (p.22, WAH).

The response I’ve so far heard on the right is that this is the most extreme example in the world concerning what this type of rhetoric about a “Muscular Christianity” can lead to.  This is reality, and extreme examples are still real situations, not hypothetical.  I didn’t have to make it up or prepare hyperbolic statements about the damage possible through this “aggressive biblical manhood” mandate.  It’s something a journalist for the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote about when Wild at Heart showed up 4 times in a Mexican Intelligence Report concerning La Familia.

Driscoll, Eldredge, Piper and the gender essentialists lead to a reality that not only requires women to “always be rescued” and subservient to men, but a reality in which murder is defended as “divine justice”, and our “culture war” becomes an actual war.  That’s not a world I’m prepared to accept, from the false premise of their biblically mandated masculinity to the “pro-family” cartel beheadings of fathers, brothers, and sons.

crossposted at lklouise.com

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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