The Red Pill is an escort down the rabbit hole of the men’s rights movement, following documentarian Cassie Jay as her curiosity opens her eyes to different viewpoints. This is part 2 of our discussion of this Cassie Jay documentary.
If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, we recommend you do. You can check it out here.
The Grass is Always Greener
At the end of Episode 82, we were discussing the idea that there are some from the feminist movement that believe the solution they seek involve toppling men from their pedestal in order to take their place. There is the constant perception, as with so many other things, that someone else has it better or easier. More importantly, that the opposition has something that we should have. It’s hard to feel this way without descending into covetous behavior:
Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus [20:17])
Ironically, this includes the idea of coveting another’s suffering. Not so much the suffering itself but the recognition that the suffering may bring. The levels of suffering become a badge of honor and a measure against which you compare yourself to other oppressed groups.
Of course, the point of the proverb is that once you get over to the other side of the fence and look back, the grass you left behind appears greener. Cassie’s examination of the men’s rights yielded similar results. Take shelters for domestic abuse. Men and women are almost equally likely to be victims of domestic abuse, yet nearly every shelter turns away men in order to care of women and children.
My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James [1:19]-20)
We need to make efforts to understand those who have opposing viewpoints. If we try to understand their viewpoint, we have the chance to see the color of the grass through their eyes. By listening, we have the chance to exercise empathy.
Christian Social Justice
The parts that are biblical
“Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James [1:27])
“Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah [1:17])
“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
That part that is not biblical
The mantle of the social justice warrior and the instructions of Scripture seem to go hand in hand, and they can. BUT. When the cause is one of two sides in opposition, you risk alienating one side when you choose the other, particularly if that choice is ill-informed. Being well informed will almost always result in empathy for both sides of any debate. As Christians, we must remember that there are no meaningful social divisions in Christ:
“There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians [3:28])
Gospel first approach to social justice
As difficult as it is to remember, every cause we take up, everything we do at work or home, should be with an eye towards reflecting Christ in this world and pointing others to the Savior. We cannot allow our causes, conservative or liberal, to take a higher priority than the final and greatest commision from Christ:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew [28:19]-20)
As professing Christians, everything we do is sowing the seeds of the Gospel, and how we act can impact the efficacy of those seeds. If we place a cause above the gospel, the result is a temporary fix, not a permanent one. We need to focus on communicating the Gospel in every task we tackle. There are so many other challenges for the seeds we sow that we should do our best to give them a chance to grow:
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen.” (Matthew 13:3-9)
Christian response to injustice
We are truly called to be radically different than the world:
You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew [5:38]-48)
When we champion a cause, we must do so without much of the reactionary nature stereotypical of today’s SJW. We should not become offended, but rather face aggression with love. We should share the greatest gift that we have received: the love of God. That is the only true light that we can bring to this world.
Scripture helps us disagree while still reflecting Christ:
No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. (Ephesians [4:29])
A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but one slow to anger calms strife. (Proverbs [15:18])
While The Red Pill seems to treat the issue of circumcision as an evil, the practice has a very long and interesting history in scripture. Prescribed by God to Abraham at the founding of the Abrahamic Covenant, it became a point of contention for the early church. Did newly believing followers of the Way need to be circumcised? Paul addresses it in his letter to the church at Corinth.
Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter. Keeping God’s commands is what matters. (1 Corinthians [7:18]-19)
So, Paul and the rest of the Apostles are clear: there is no spiritual element remaining in circumcision.
The title of this documentary, as mentioned in part 1, is a reference to the choice that Neo has to make in The Matrix. Does he swallow the red pill and learn the underlying truth that destroys his perception of reality or does he swallow the blue pill and choose the bliss of ignorance? When Cassie started her journey, she didn’t realize that she had just swallowed the red pill. Her journey lead her to question the very core of her most cherished feminist ideals. She came out the other side with an appreciation for both sides of the issues…and a host of people directing vitriol at her. The metaphor doesn’t translate to Christianity, but Cassie’s documentary doesn’t lack in fodder for Christ-centered discussion. Neither Eve nor I have a recommendation regarding the red and blue pill of the men’s rights movement, but we know this: regardless of which you take, remember to reflect Christ:
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Beyond the Red Pill
Cassie’s journey did not stop when she finished her movie, and she shared a great deal more. Here are some particularly interesting links that we’ve picked out:
- Cassie responds to attacks before film is even released
- comments about being defensive because of exclusion near end.
- Gender roles defined by the needs of the children
- Generational violence is the problem, not men. Really enjoyed the interviews with this lady.
- women knocked themselves off their own pedestal in an attempt to climb men’s pedestal
- It has to start with listening without being offended
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