Week 21 in the year of our Lord 2022

Don’t be a SITH

14 minutes to read

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Only a Sith deals in absolutes! >_< —Obi-Wan Kenobi

Don’t be a Single Issue Thinker #

In our ministry, we constantly see a particular kind of man.

Michael calls them Single Issue Types. Bnonn, who is obviously more whimsical and more of a neeeerd, calls them Single Issue Thinkers, or SITHs.

Most are either:

  1. Social oddballs or ne’er-do-wells who want there to be a single (usually fringe) issue that explains their lack of influence or success;
  2. People who had some sort of intense, usually traumatic, experience around a very particular set of circumstances.

What makes them siths is that they will trace most social ills or challenges back to a single topic. They treat that single topic as the first domino that will cause all others to fall into place.

We run into these guys a lot in the “manosphere” or patriarchal space. They think that to fix the culture…

  • “…we must return to the practice of head-coverings.”
  • “…we must overturn women’s suffrage.”
  • “…we must eliminate no-fault divorce.”
  • “…we must make contraceptives of all forms illegal.”

You see the same in ecclesiastical circles. The church won’t be renewed until…

  • “…we return to weekly communion.”
  • “…we focus our efforts on the sin of abortion.”
  • “…we return to strict confessional subscriptionism.”
  • “…we get rid of youth groups and Sunday schools.”

There are plenty of others, and it’s not always such a narrow topic. There the siths who think it’s all about…

  • “…economics.”
  • “…immigration.”
  • “…ethno-culturalism.”
  • “…education methods.”
  • “…feminism.”

We agree that many of these issues are very important. And we agree that there are some dominoes that are more important than others. However, it’s better to think of the dominoes as a collection of issues, as opposed to a single issue.

It also must be said that what falls into those “collections of issues” will always have a contextual dynamic to it. There are things which matter in every generation—but there are other things which have a unique importance in ours.

There are also regional or demographic issues which lead to particular needs within a generational group.

This to say, our problem is not with the issues themselves, but with the mindset that fixates on a single one as the issue. Picking out one issue as of singular importance does not actually indicate that a man has exceptional discernment or wisdom that other people lack.

It indicates the opposite.

Now, we said before that there are two types of siths.

1. Social oddballs and ne’er-do-wells who need an issue that offers an explanation for their lack of influence or success

A lot of the siths we know are intelligent and articulate with the written word. But they rarely have positions of organizational influence, and they are often socially awkward in one way or another.

There is probably a causal relationship there.

Going along with this is often a resentful “gamma tendency.” They possess a natural intelligence, which means they can see problems and solutions that others can’t. But they lack the needed social skills/attributes to hold or maintain positions of leadership. So they aren’t able to convince people to act on what they see.

Rather than admit that their leadership skills are the problem, it’s much easier to say, “I’m being kept out because they’re all sell-outs who can’t handle the red pill I’m giving them.”

Maybe. But maybe you are weird and obsessed with a single issue.

2. Individuals who had some sort of highly particular and intense/traumatic experience

You’d probably think about no-fault divorce a lot if a cheating-spouse took your kids, drove you into financial destitution, and slandered your good name among all your Christian friends.

Or you can understand why someone raised in a highly individualistic 50 year old Arminian church with weekly altar calls where they were guilted into “being saved” would be a strong advocate for a church connected to an older tradition with a heavy emphasis on weekly communion.

These are people who were often legitimately and deeply hurt or helped by the single issue they emphasize. It was the issue for them.

Their mistake is simply in making it the issue for everyone else.

Not everyone is like you.

You see a similar thing in people who get burned, and then wildly oversteer to avoid being burned again.

  • Every attack is a false flag attack.
  • Every major event was orchestrated by some powerful group.
  • Everything which “they” claim to be true is actually false.
  • Everything which “they” claim to be false is actually true.

Or…you were lied to and deceived about some stuff, it undermined your ability to trust, and you went deep down the rabbit-hole of reactionism fueled by wild internet sources.

Pull back if this is you. Focus on what is within your control—usually the things closest to you. Get involved locally. That will cure you of this in some unexpected ways.

Remember, the world will be ruled by mild men (as in temperate), not wild men.

The major problems of our culture are multifaceted. A single issue, reductionistic attitude undermines our ability to make ground. And an all-or-nothing, top-down attitude to fixing them undermines our ability to make incremental local improvements.

For instance, we can’t tell you how many guys tell us that we’re wrong to commend marriage until we have first reformed divorce and marriage courts.

Of course, we agree that there is a desperate need for legal reform. The family court system is an unconstitutional and grossly wicked racket that should be torn apart and burned to the ground.

But doing this is going to be an inter-generational battle. Do you not think it will take more than a single generation to reform the courts? And where do you think that next wave of reformers will come from, if we don’t birth them and raise them in Christian homes?

Individuals and groups should certainly specialize. A specialist is not a sith. For instance, this ministry is focused on gendered piety. But we don’t think every issue boils down to sexuality. We talk about a lot more than that, even in these notes—for instance, this kind of thing. It’s counsel on what masculine piety looks like, sure—but only in a general sense. And our other work outside this ministry is far wider-ranging.

Groups with different focuses should be working together on the problems we face, each from their own angle. They should not be divided by the siths in their midst. If they are, they will be isolated into little fringe, big-talk-do-nothing enclaves, where each group is completely disconnected from the next because they don’t have a particular all-or-nothing issue in common.

We are for a catholic (i.e., eclectic, universal) strategy. We like to win. And we think we can.

The sith mentality in making life decisions #

There is a single issue mentality that many men fall into, without necessarily becoming single issue thinkers.

For instance, we continually encounter men who want step-by-step directions for…

  • Choosing a vocation
  • Finding a spouse
  • Cultivating fitness and health
  • Building a productive household
  • Doing family worship

Etc etc.

Why do they think they need a map, rather than a compass? Because they think there is A Way to do these things.

It’s like single issue thinking, only for decision-making. There’s a single (best) way to do things—what is it?

There isn’t.

There are ways. Lots of ways.

Moreover, if we give an example of a way, someone will explain why that way doesn’t work for their circumstances.

It might be an excuse for inaction. But it also might be be true. We differ in our abilities, discipline, resources, and life stages. That’s why basic principles and mindset matter the most.

Don’t try to follow a blueprint. Build flexible plans based on principles. Yes, it will lead to a lot of mistakes. Yes, it will require course corrections along the way. That’s just part of the maturing process.

There are lots of these kinds of plans, for just about every imaginable question, freely available on the web. All you have to do it look for them. And yet 9 guys out of 10 ask for a step-by-step blueprint instead.

Fear of messing up, risk aversion, and looking for the (best) way play significant role in them not just applying principles.

Think of the nature of Scripture. It isn’t a step-by-step guide to godliness. It’s mostly principle-based instruction.

Discussing important issues when dating without getting dumped for being a sith #

We talk to a lot of guys who aren’t sure how to tackle hard topics with a woman they’re dating.

For instance, maybe she’s a generally high-quality girl, but she wears immodestly tight pants a lot.

Or maybe you just want to find out what she thinks about patriarchy/gendered piety.

Here are some principles for dealing with these kinds of questions, without tanking the relationship:

Remember that men are linear and women are circular. The upshot is that you, with your keen awareness of the issues around gendered piety, are going to be inclined to hyper-focus on these.

You want to hone in on the principles that should govern your married relationship—in order to know whether marriage is even possible.

This is a facts-based process for you. Which means you’re going to want to treat conversation as a means of establishing the truth of key issues, then asking her to either get on board, or disembark. You want full steam ahead.

This is probably not the case for her. Even if she has any awareness of these issues (and she probably doesn’t), the main objective of conversation for her is to gradually build the relationship and get to know you—so she can decide whether she feels like marriage is right.

Notice that this is much more about feeling you out for her, than looking solely at the facts.

Needless to say, trying to build a relationship with a woman by completely ignoring how she is designed to work, running roughshod over how she is inclined to relate conversationally, is going to do a lot more harm to your future prospects with her, than any latent feminism dwelling in her heart.

It’s not that you should relate to her only the way she wants. Rather, you must learn how to lead her. This is not by interrogating her, nor by laying out a thesis.

Again, indirect and circular methods will be much more effective. Instead of drilling straight into the heart of the tree looking for rot, look at some leaves for discoloration, scrape a bit of bark, pull on some branches, examine the soil. If you’re still only dating, you don’t want to get deep and heavy in most cases; you need to stay closer to the surface level, and be varied in your approach, to keep it light and interesting.

There’s plenty of opportunity to have good conversations about issues related to gendered piety, provided you’re not trying to turn every conversation into that. A sith is not someone that women want to date. She doesn’t want her life consumed by your pet soapboxes. She wants her life subsumed into a worthy mission. She feels good about being with someone who is generally positive, and focused on how to get where he wants to go. She doesn’t feel good about being with someone who is generally negative, and focused on how to stop other people getting where he doesn’t want them to go.

Take the example of tight pants. You don’t want to just tell a woman, “I think your pants are immodest.” You don’t even want to start by talking about modesty more generally, with the intention of steering the conversation. Neither do you want to try to buckle down for a conversation on the role of men and women.

Rather, you bring in key concepts as they arise naturally in conversation. For instance, your job is going to be something that comes up naturally. It would be normal to work in a comment about how God made men to provide for their families, and how this duty drives your approach to your job. Then you just see what she says about this. Does it resonate? Does she agree? If she disagrees, is she interested in hearing your perspective? Is she open to changing her mind? How does she see this working in her own marriage?

Ultimately what you’re looking for is not to reach some ultimatum about tight pants that she either submits to or you break up. It is to establish whether she is responsive to your leadership, and whether you in turn are capable at leading her.

A responsive woman and a capable man will have a successful and happy marriage—even if they have quite different ideas and opinions when they are dating.

Conversely, a man and woman who marry with very closely aligned opinions may well end up divorced if she is wayward and headstrong, and he is clumsy and brittle.

Relationships take skill. Inter-sexual relationships take a particular set of skills. A lot of “biblical patriarchialists” think they can skip developing these skills by simply demanding submission from their wife.

Wrong. Very wrong. That’s how you screw up a marriage.

When we take the time to explain feminine communication tendencies to guys, some reply with something that amounts to, “I don’t like that they don’t communicate the way I think they should.”

And we’re like, “That’s one of the reasons you’re single or in a bad marriage.”

The bitter red pill dude is egalitarian to the core. He resents women for not being men.

Don’t be that guy.

Two simple steps to produce more evangelistic opportunities #

  1. Be friendly. Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Make eye contact. Shake hands. Smile and maintain an open posture.

  2. Ask questions. Start with something contextual, and keep them open-ended. Yes/no questions don’t lead anywhere. Don’t dwell on one topic too long (generally).

If you follow these rules, it will be a rare day in which you don’t find yourself naturally in a conversation with a stranger that turns to spiritual matters.

If someone criticizes you, sleep on it before you react. Maybe they are right.

Bonus round:

Never play Wordle. If someone criticizes Wordle, sleep on it. They are right.

New content this week: #

Notable: #

Help us defeat the trolls by leaving a recommendation on Facebook #

Troll reviews are (unsurprisingly) a problem for our Facebook page. Has our ministry helped you? If you’re on Facebook, repay us with a positive review here:


Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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