Have you noticed lately how many “ISMs” there are? ISMs are everywhere and they are all mad about something.
Socialism is mad at capitalism, nationalism is mad at globalism, conservatism is mad at liberalism, and racism is mad at racism. ISMs are bitterly divided and deeply divisive.
Here’s just one example.
I was watching a documentary on Netflix entitled, “The Red Pill.”
The Red Pill is a feminist’s look at the new men’s movement. The various men’s groups go by a variety of names because they haven’t been able to come up with a good “ISM” name yet. The classic men’s ISMs, “chauvinism” and “machoism” have fallen out of favor. So we’ll call it the “men’s movement” until we can think of something better.
The men’s movement is trying to bring balance to the dominant view of feminism.
Obviously, that’s an unpopular idea to feminism and so the feminists attack it like Allies hitting the beaches at Normandy. That analogy isn’t far off because many within feminism have called the men’s movement Nazi’s and hate groups.
So this young feminist journalist decided to investigate. Turns out these guys aren’t the crazy neo-Nazis she expected, and they have some legitimate points.
I’m paraphrasing their argument but the men’s movement guys basically contend that men get the raw end of the deal in a lot of ways. Men die younger. They tend to be killed more often. They are forced to defend the country, many times against their will. Men have to do the dirty jobs women don’t want to do. And to top it off, when the cruise ship hits the iceberg men aren’t allowed in the lifeboats. It’s always “women and children first.” “Why are women and children more intrinsically valuable than men?” (Their words, not mine).
The real stickler had to do with reproductive rights. Feminists make a huge thing about the woman’s reproductive rights. The men argued that they have absolutely no say in whether or not they become fathers. They even point out that some women have tricked men into becoming unwanted dads.
Sure the baby isn’t in their bodies, but they are at least half responsible for it.
A man can’t control any aspect of reproduction except conception, but if she decides to give birth then that man will spend the next 18 years paying for a child he never intended to have. Conversely, if he does want the child but she doesn’t well then, he’s out of luck.
And here’s what’s really intense, sometimes the child isn’t even his!
I didn’t know this, but according to the documentary, there are countries in Europe where it is against the law to get a paternity test! Yikes.
Then there is the whole custody thing. Many of the men in the documentary had gone through ugly divorces and effectively lost all contact with their children.
The young feminist doing the documentary was profoundly troubled by what she heard. She interviewed some feminists to buoy her sinking confidence, but when asked about reproductive rights the feminist pundits said, “If he didn’t want to have a baby he should have been more careful.”
The irony is heavy. Those are nearly exactly what the pro-life people have said to feminists for decades.
By the end of the show, the young girl was so moved by what she’d learned that she rejected her own ISM and said, “I don’t know what the answer is but I’m no longer a feminist.”
Still, something bothered me. My son watched it with me and something bothered him too. He said, “Dad, do we really need a man’s group to offset feminism?”
I think he’s right. Don’t we have enough ISMs already, and haven’t they done enough damage.
It seems to me that all these ISMs are just a smoke screen for the age-old problem of man, selfishness. And this is a selfish age. We all want our way!
What happens when YOUR WAY gets in MY WAY?
How do we construct a civilization that lives together in community when every member of the community wants — no demands — his or her way?
Sooner or later someone will have to yield to the will of the other.
That’s why we have ISMs. ISMs are cluster groups that mobilize around some specific right. And the point is to ensure the members of that particular ISM get their way.
So if you ask any ISM, “Who should sacrifice?” every single ISM will tell you the same thing: “YOU.”
YOU should be the one to sacrifice, not me. Never me. Always YOU.
But what happens when YOU won’t do it? Well then, I get really angry with YOU. I shout at YOU and call YOU all sorts of names. I demand that YOU sacrifice and if YOU still won’t do it then I’ll pass laws that ensure YOU are the one that bends to my will.
And so our nation, divided by ISMs, starts to look like one big tire fire.
Jesus came from a completely different angle. When someone asked him, “Who will sacrifice?” He didn’t say “YOU.” He said, “ME.” And then did it. And now he asks you to follow his lead.
Take a minute and read Philippians 2:1-11 and you’ll see that you don’t need another ISM. If you want to live a more meaningful and joyful life you won’t find it by following an ISM. You will only find it by following the IAM.