This week, the fecklessness of the modern American male is on display in a recent YouGov poll about animals and fist fights. In the survey, 25% of men weren’t sure if they could beat a cat in an altercation. The numbers only go down hill from there, as you can see below (breakdown by gender can be found in the thread).
While you might be inclined to think some of these men voted the way they did as a joke, the accompanying article might make you question this conclusion. Citing a poll from the Economist, the author points out that some 25% of men reported that asking a girl if they can buy her a drink is “sexual harassment.”
What are we to make of this sort of pervasive cowardice?
If you didn’t know better, you might suspect that modern men in America don’t see themselves as much more than compliant, good boys. They’ll feign fear of housepets, to say nothing about wild animals. (You have to wonder what old timers like Carl Akeley, who took on a jaguar barehanded, would have thought about today’s men). Additionally, they concede that the most banal interactions are off limits to them.
And when you look around that’s largely what the last year has taught us: the overwhelming amount of common men might make some quiet noises in private, at best, about disagreeing with open tyranny and clear insanity. But really, they have little desire to speak out publicly or to take a practical stand against evil, even when it affects their own families or is ripe in their own communities.
Yet, the very events that make them cower and grovel in fear are exactly what should make them–and us as well– seize the moment and rise to the day. Although the semi-popular saying is partially considered a curse, when you find yourself “living in interesting times,” you also find yourself alive in a unique era. Put simply: it’s where the greatest human challenges give you the possibility to do the very greatest of things, history defining actions, however small or large.
But the more that common men ask for permission, the more they are denied. And the more that they kowtow to their enemies, the more they are humiliated. First by their own submission, but then also by their betrayal of their own principles.
This is not how God intended Christian men to live, filled with a spirit of cowardice springing from anxiety, with stagnation from passiveness, or with a resignation to wickedness. Doesn’t it say that God gave us a spirit of power? Or doesn’t it also say that if God is on our side, who can be against us?
The only way to gain this courage is clench it in one’s hand, to experience it once. And then again and again and again, until it is an unyielding resolution in our character. It is where we choose, not to live in fear, but to be adventurers of the farthest expanses and conquerors of the highest peaks. It’s where we dare to be heroes and gamblers, pioneers and pilgrims. It means taking the risk of being a father, brother, or friend. More importantly and more relevant here, it also means starting that anti-woke business today. Or as another example, pulling your kids out of oppressive, backward public schools immediately.
It’s not convenient. And no one sure as hell said it was going to be easy. But it means standing for something, something great and something good, not just talking about it in hushed tones behind locked doors.
So, it also means, at times, being called a jackass or an ignorant fool. It can mean losing business or being shunned by people who are more concerned about worldly affairs. And yes, it might also mean being spat upon or jeered at.
For Christian men, sooner or later in these times, you’re going to have to stop worrying about what the other side is calling you. And you’re going to have to clasp your hand tightly and firmly around the cross you almost certainly will be called to carry soon enough.
After all, the greatest story ever told is about more than beating a cat in an alley fight.