Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know. [1]

I’ve never been much of a Mark Driscoll fan; at first I regarded him with considerable interest, since I’d heard him referred to in my conservative ex-church as “the Cussing Pastor.” My curiosity basically ended the first time I heard a Driscoll sermon. It was a small series on the book of Ruth; I remember being offended [and this is before I officially came out as a feminist, which is no small thing to do, when you’re raised in this tradition] at something he said about Ruth herself. I’d have to watch the video again to pull an exact quote, but here’s the general idea: Ruth found the way to Boaz’s heart by dressing sexy for him, supplying him with beer, and making herself sexually available to him. And it was all God’s idea! Yay, God! This puts the ‘fun’ back in ‘fundamentalism,’ doesn’t it?

So after my first brush with Driscoll, which was several years ago, I kept kind of collecting information; earlier this week, I finally did something with it. I started a Facebook group titled Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, it’s kind of a nice contrast to all the I-want-to-marry-Mark-Driscoll type groups, and at the time of its creation, it was the only contrast. I will now display, in all their glory, a ridiculous array of statements Driscoll has actually made. I think they speak pretty loudly for themselves.

“We are not liberals. We are not egalitarian.”

“All of this has led this blogger to speculate that if Christian males do not man up soon, the Episcopalians may vote a fluffy baby bunny rabbit as their next bishop to lead God’s men. When asked for their perspective, some bunny rabbits simply said that they have been discriminated against long enough and that people need to ‘Get over it.'”

“The problem with our churches today is that the lead pastor is some sissy boy who wears cardigan sweaters, has The Carpenters dialed in on his iPod, gets his hair cut at a salon instead of a barber shop, hasn’t been to an Ultimate Fighting match, works out on an elliptical machine instead of going to isolated regions of Russia like in Rocky IV in order to harvest lumber with his teeth, and generally swishes around like Jack from Three’s Company whenever Mr. Roper was around.”

“I’ve gotta think these guys [David, Paul, John the Baptist] were dudes. Heterosexual, win a fight, punch you in the nose dudes. And the problem in the church today is it’s just a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chick-ified church boys. Sixty percent of Christians are chicks. And the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks. I mean, it’s just sad. When you walk in, it’s sea foam green and fuschia and lemon yellow. The whole architecture is feminine and the preacher is kind of feminine and the music is kind of emotional and feminine and we’re looking around going, ‘How come we’re not innovative?’ It’s because all the innovative dudes are at home watching football.”

“Jesus and Paul were serious dudes. They had teeth missing. Jesus was a carpenter, Paul was in prison. These guys didn’t eat tofu dogs and bean sprouts. They didn’t play tennis. If there were trucks back in their times, they would have been doing driveway lube jobs on a Saturday afternoon. Same thing with King David. Yeah, he might have played a lyre, but he slaughtered thousands of guys.”

“This is what being a pastor is about, guys. If you can’t handle it, go back to teaching yoga or playing My Little Pony with the other girls.”

“People think of Jesus as a marginalized Galilean peasant hippie in a dress, rockin’ out to the Spice Girls, driving around in the Middle East in a Cabriolet, hoping to meet nice people to do aroma therapy with while drinking herbal tea.”

“All of our righteous deeds are like a BLOODY TAMPON!!”

“You need to stop watching porno and crying like a baby afterward and grow up, man. I don’t have time to be your accountability partner, so you need to be a man and nut up and take care of this yourself. A naked lady is good to look at, so get a job, get a wife, ask her to get naked, and look at her instead. All right?”

“We also began a ‘boot camp’ for our young men, teaching them how to get a wife, have sex with that wife, get a job, budget money, buy a house, father a child, study the Bible, stop looking at porn, and brew decent beer.”

“A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”

“Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness.”

“If your wife is working, you are a selfish bastard. How dare you make her shoulder her half of the curse and part of yours as well?”

“No woman wants a man to treat her like another man because if we do, you cry. Men are horrible to other men. And they don’t cry. And if they do we mock them and tell everyone. That’s probably not what you want.”

“Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them. Ladies, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up, it is because you are fighting your role in the scripture.”

“There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in his hair, who drank decaf and made pithy zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down his leg, a sword in his hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”

A particularly excellent analysis of this quote, by a blogger named Halden: “What is ultimately so revealing about this whole statement is not so much that it shows clearly that Mark Driscoll is insanely insecure about his own male identity–though it certainly shows that with sublime clarity. What is revealing about this quote is how it shows the bombastically western notion of masculinity that defines large swaths of evangelicalism. For Driscoll, anything less than the assertion that God himself is a gun-slinging son of a bitch makes one into a wuss who deserves nothing more than ridicule. Driscoll lives in a world of binary oppositions. You either have to be a cage fighter ready to beat the shit out of anyone who so much as glances at your girlfriend, or you are a pot-smoking hipster pinko who does nothing but surf the net on a Mac all day and drink organic microbrews.”

And the official position held by his church, Mars Hill: “We do not believe in feminism because we believe that men should responsibly lead homes and churches with sacrificial love like Jesus Christ.”

Other insanely big-headed, small-minded statements by Driscoll put his general mindset on display.

“You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we’re all good people. That is a lie…God looks down and says, ‘I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you.'”

“God hates you…God can’t even look at us because he is so disgusted…”

“Jesus is a God who hates.”

“A pacifist has a lot of difficulty reconciling pacifism with scripture.”

“I also love to make fun of vegans, but vegans take it very seriously!”

“After church tonight you will go home and you will eat chicken, not human, because of the spread of Christianity…go to a country where there hasn’t been the spread of Christianity and they’re having human for dinner.”

“As I studied the Bible, I found more warrant for a church led by unicorns than by majority vote.”

Um, wow.

Where are the theological debates, you ask? Never fear. To be continued…

Part 2: The fastest way to attract male attention is to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group.

Part 3: Criticizing Mark Driscoll’s views on women draws its own criticism.

Part 4: “I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women.”

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10 Responses to “Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know. [1]”

  1. The fastest way to attract male attention is to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group. « Adventures of an Introverted Loudmouth Says:

    […] Adventures of an Introverted Loudmouth living in a sucky economy. « Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even&… […]

  2. Criticizing Mark Driscoll’s views on women draws its own criticism. « Adventures of an Introverted Loudmouth Says:

    […] Part 1: Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even … […]

  3. “I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women.” [4] « Adventures of an Introverted Loudmouth Says:

    […] Part 1: Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know… […]

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Thank you for exposing this seriously dangerous rhetoric of Mark Driscoll’s.

  5. Chris Says:

    Normally when I quote someone, I usually try to make sure the one or two quotes I use is in context. I’ve heard most of Mark’s sermons, and honestly he also rails against the same bombastically western notion of masculinity that defines large swaths of evangelicalism. So, perhaps you shouldn’t cherry pick verses.

    Of course, you probably will ignore his sermons on marriage and woman and marriage and men where he deals with many of these issues.

    Finally, all our righteous deeds are like bloody tampons. Perhaps you should review Isaiah and the Hebrew and realize just what a filthy rag is. Oh, again, that would be in context, and I doubt you would like that.

    • talialovesyou Says:

      I’ve approved your comment because I value the right to speak one’s mind. So you’ve had your say; you’ve railed against me apparently without actually reading ABOUT my little Driscoll miniseries. That’s your prerogative. Yet had you read more, you (hopefully) would have learned that I have indeed heard a good many of Driscoll’s sermons, I’ve seen the videos, I’ve read his written words, yadda yadda yadda. Including sermons on marriage, sex, and gender. And I completely disagree with everything he says on these topics. It simply isn’t practical, given the format of this blog (which actually isn’t dedicated to Driscoll-bashing, no matter what you may think) or a Facebook group, to show each quote in its full context; but given the amount of his “teachings” that I’ve been exposed to, these individual quotes are a pretty accurate cross-section of his opinions and official positions on women, sex roles, femininity and masculinity, etc. Put back IN context, he’s saying the same thing, and I simply disagree. Nevertheless, I’m working on creating a directory of sorts to attribute each quote to its source, for those who want to look into it further on their own. I do think it’s ironic that you say “cherry pick verses,” when I’ve certainly done nothing of the kind. I’m extremely glad Mark Driscoll’s teachings are NOT verses found in scripture.

      I was raised reading the Bible; I know more about it than you apparently give me credit for. That’s just fine. I’m not about to get bent out of shape over a little sarcastic insult from a random stranger. What I have against the “bloody tampon” quote is the fact that he once again took the opportunity to spread his hatred of women.

  6. Colin Says:

    Hey I found this website by accident and was just reading some. I am not a Driscoll follower, for many reasons. But with the ‘bloody tampon’ comment, In Isaiah 64:6, where it is found, the words for filthy rags means ‘menstrual cloths’. So Driscoll just modernized the phrase keeping with the original Hebrew language. That’s how God sees all of our best deeds and thoughts. Apart from knowing Christ, all of our good efforts amount to nothing ‘helping an old lady across the street’ is a disgusting deed if we don’t know Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

    Great place to pick up Driscoll quotes, thanks for that.

    • talialovesyou Says:

      God sees all of us as a byproduct of women’s natural body cycles. Mhm. Okay, no. I get what you’re saying, but I see that kind of language as damaging to women both then and now. I’m not trying to justify its use in Isaiah. It offends me that throughout the Bible, women are portrayed as dirty, dangerous whores or helpless daughters who must be protected and, later, sold like a tract of land. And I can tell you right now, I’ve seen much dirtier things than a tampon soaked with a woman’s menstrual blood, so if the author was going for a real extreme, that wasn’t the best phraseology to use. If, however, he was going for something more intangible–a social example, rather than a literal one–he made the PERFECT choice.

      I don’t agree with your interpretation of the verse’s meaning (that people can’t do anything good unless they’re Christians–correct me if I’m wrong in summarizing your POV?) but I feel it’s more important to attempt to explain why this metaphor is offensive than get into arbitrary theology. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! :]

  7. Colin Says:

    Thanks again for this site of quotes. Some of my friends are avid Driscoll fans, and so it is good to show how far he is in some of his sayings. Many verses are offensive in the Bible, that’s a given. It would be fine if it is some ordinary piece of fiction like Stephen King’s stuff, but the Bible never claims to be a regular book, rather, it makes the claim that it is written by God using men and women. I apologize for the commentary on the Isaiah verse, I was using the chapters of Romans 1-3 to aid me there, where Romans 2 says there is none good, not one, and then goes on to describe how bad we really are.
    I respect your thoughts and views but disagree with you. Understanding theology of the Bible brings understanding to its imagery and metaphors.

    Either one of is right, or we are both wrong. But there must be a right interpretation of the Bible.
    Hope I am not coming across as mean or argumentative.

    • talialovesyou Says:

      Hey, no, you have a right to your opinion, and while we do disagree, I appreciate your noninflammatory approach. You and I look at the Bible itself differently, which naturally is going to lead to differing interpretations. I see the Bible as inspired by God similar to the way that my favorite artists lend inspiration to my work. Am I inspired by Pablo Picasso? Absolutely. Does he magically reach through dimensions and guide my paintbrush? Absolutely not. Not only that, but it would also be unfair and inaccurate (not to mention ridiculous) of me to suggest that, since some piece or other of mine is inspired by Picasso, it should be regarded as Picasso’s handiwork and taken as the final word on the subject–paintings suspected to be Picasso originals must be compared to mine in order to judge their authenticity, that sort of thing. This is what I feel like the Church has been doing with the Bible for quite some time now.

      Also, out of curiosity: Where do you see the Bible claiming to be God’s word to men and women? IMO most branches of the Church tend to want to play down the importance of women, not only in the present, but also in the early church and in the Bible (both the writers and the intended readers). There are a couple possibilities for female contributers–some believe Hebrews was authored by Priscilla, for example–but even if that’s the case, women’s voices are seriously underrepresented in the Bible.

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