Sunday, May 20, 2012

True Manliness

OK, I have to pick on this one.

Doug Phillips, of Vision Forum fame, has a new scheme going, The Hazardous Journeys Society. From the looks of it, from this side of the rabbit hole, it looks like a company that arranges and markets wicked cool father/son vacations.

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with wicked cool father/son vacations. Based on his videos here it looks like a lot of camping crossed with some kind of reenactment. I mean why else would you use such clunky, old-school equipment? But if that's what turns your crank go for it.

The problem I have is that he touts his trips as the way to get your boys to achieve manhood. That they involve bravery and risk, facing the enemy and testing yourself and growing into something greater than yourself.

I'm sorry, but going on a camping trip with your church group isn't going to test you. It's not going to prove anything about your manhood. You're not really facing anything. And it irritates me no end that he crows about how his little packaged tours are the be-all end-all of turning boys into men.

Um, no.

For some reason I find his swaggering exaggeration extremely annoying.

Want to see real courage? Real bravery? A real test of manhood? Real risk and real daring and really facing the enemy? Um, try feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Helping the sick. You know the drill. Or try something harder. Get between a gay kid and a bully. Adopt a foster kid. You're a lawyer, go to bat for a family losing their home to an illegal foreclosure. Take those adult sons you keep attached to your coattails and train with Search and Rescue. Not your made up, only for church members version, I mean go to the local Sheriff's office and volunteer. Take your bible to the nearest ER and hold hands with a homeless person while they die.

Do something real.

Or, you know, my personal favorite example of the really, really real. You're too old, but your sons aren't. Granted they'll have to serve with gays and with women and with people of other faiths, but hey, risk, right? It will certainly turn them into men, it has for 237 years now. Real courage, real bravery, the entire deal.

Or take your kids on vacation with your friends, whatever works for you. But stop pretending it's anything more than that. We know better.

Oh, and Joshua and Justice and the rest of you?  If you think you're really ready for it.

Good luck.

EDIT: My husband suggested I use the 2012 Marines video, now shown above, as it's more relevant. But the Silent Drill Team across America still gives me the shivers.