What is with this current attitude that someone or something is “too complicated” to have any generalizations or rules apply to them? I see it all the time in discussion forums about personal relationships. Do we live in a world where everyone is such a special snowflake that everyone falls outside the norm?
For example, divorce. If someone on a discussion forum announces they’re getting divorced or thinking about it, and you chime in and say, “It’s better to stay together for the kids,” I guarantee you someone will jump down your throat insisting that it’s not your life, you don’t know all the details, and that relationships are “complicated” and therefore conventional wisdom does not apply.
Or how about obesity, particularly if you’re addressing evangelical women. No one flies off the handle more than evangelical women if a man states that women are more attractive when they are thin. A hullabaloo over this issue just went down at Boundless recently when one of their bloggers, Ted Slater, wrote a post and used the words “bouncing beach ball.” His post was apparently so incendiary that it was deleted and replaced with a more “conciliatory” post by Candice Watters, who used the word “precious” every five seconds to remind fat girls that they deserve love, too, while insinuating that with enough prayer, a fat girl can find a man who will love her without demanding that she lose any weight. To top it off, Ted then posted a new post apologizing for his cruel, thoughtless words. And to think evangelical women complain that men don’t assume enough “leadership” these days.
Anyhow, in the comments of Candice’s new post, a few men piped up to agree with Ted’s original sentiments. Naturally, these men got flayed alive by your typical assortment of Christian lashings, such as accusations of being unattractive, having a bad personality and/or mean spirit, and not speaking in love. Several women insisted that obesity is not a personal failing and that you can never assume that someone loves cake more than a hot body just by looking at them. The person could have complicated medical issues!* Plus, well, it’s hard to be thin! And chubby girls already feel a lot of despair about not having a boyfriend! Good Christians pretend that other people are not fat, I guess. Let’s keep fighting abortion instead!
Is this trend the result of the self-esteem culture and its resultant narcissism? I think it might be. But then, as the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)
*I am definitely aware that sometimes a person is obese due to chemical or hormonal imbalances in the body, especially something like a thyroid problem. But it is ludicrous to believe that the majority of the American public has a thyroid problem that’s causing the love handles, love saddlebags, or whatever you want to call them.