The Warrior Code vs. The Da Vinci Code

William Kilpatrick is an author and lecturer.  His latest book, Christianity, Islam and Atheism:  The Struggle for the Soul of the West was recently published by Ignatius Press.


We’ve grown accustomed to video images of ten-year-old boys in Palestinian training camps, dressed like mujahideen and wielding AK-47’s. Luckily, the West knows how to respond to such shows of aggressiveness. For instance, in the last few years “tag” and similar games have been banned from numerous school playgrounds in the U.K. and the U.S. on the grounds that they are “hazardous” and “inappropriate.” So there, take that, you little jihadist!

As it did in the seventh century, Islam is taking on the appearance of an unstoppable masculine force. But in the West the masculine spirit looks more like a ghost. In The Suicide of Reason, Lee Harris puts the matter in stark biological terms: “While we in the West are drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin, the Muslims are doing everything in their power to encourage their alpha boys to be tough, aggressive, and ruthless.”

Sounds like Harris is talking war, but in reality his book is more about cultural conflict than armed conflict. War isn’t necessary if the males of one culture can cow those of another culture into submission. Such intimidation might seem unlikely in the U.S. where the percentage of Muslims in the population is in the vicinity of one percent. Still, very small but determined minorities can sometimes impose their will on much larger majorities. For example, homosexuals make up only two to three percent of the population, yet gay activists have been highly successful in advancing the twin agendas of same-sex marriage and gays in the military. Likewise, thanks to CAIR and other activist groups, Muslims in this country have already begun to wield an outsize influence.

Then, too, there is the conversion factor. Conversions to Islam in the U.S. are hard to track, but as yet there seems to be no flood of conversions. On the other hand, during the first ten years of Muhammad’s ministry, Islam looked like an initial public offering that would go bust. Then, suddenly, Islam’s stock (in terms of conversions) went skyward and continued in that direction for centuries after. In short, conversion rates can accelerate dramatically. At certain tipping points in history, time seems to “speed up” and decades of change are compressed into years. Are we at such a tipping point now?

In line with Harris’ alpha male musings, the one place where conversions to Islam are exploding is in the U.S. prison system. Roughly 80 percent of inmates who find faith during their incarceration choose Islam. That works out to 30,000 conversions per year among federal prisoners. Many of the men are in prison in the first place because they were attracted to the masculine world of gangs. And since Islam is doing a better job of appealing to basic masculine psychology, it seems the logical choice. It’s not for nothing that the progenitor of all current jihadist groups is called “the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Meanwhile, Christianity, which ought to be the rival for the affections of wayward young men, seems to be undergoing a prolonged sexual-identity crisis. There is a serious problem in Christianity today, but it’s the exact opposite of the one the popular media focuses on. To read the papers and certain works of popular fiction you would think that the main problem with Christianity is that it’s too patriarchal: no women in the priesthood, no voice for women, no recognition of the divine feminine.

But the reality is a different matter. Look around you the next time you’re in church, and count the ratio of women to men. Normally, it’s about two-to-one in favor of the women. Moreover, women are much more involved in church activities. The Notre Dame Study of Parish Life showed that 80 to 85 percent of those involved in parish ministries or in teaching religion were women. As one writer put it, “the Roman Catholic Church has a rather rigid division of labor. The men have the priesthood, the women have everything else.” As for Protestants, all the mainline denominations have female priests or pastors, and the Episcopal Church even has a female Presiding Bishop (who prayed to “our mother Jesus” at her installation). About twenty-five percent of Episcopal priests are women, as are about twenty-nine percent of Presbyterian pastors. But this has failed to produce the miracle of renewal that Catholic advocates assure us will follow upon women’s ordination. Instead, mainline congregations have dwindled. As recently as 1960, mainline churches accounted for forty percent of American Protestants. Today it’s about twelve percent. If present trends continue, the mainline churches will end up with an all female clergy, preaching to mostly female congregations in the few remaining churches that haven’t been converted to mosques or condominiums.

Contrary to what liberal Christians think, the feminization of Christianity is not the solution to the problem, it is the problem. Christianity is unattractive to many, not because it is perceived as too masculine, but because it’s perceived as too feminine. Moreover, when you add the gospel of the divine feminine to the fact of lopsided church attendance, the problem only gets worse. Da Vinci Code theology is highly titillating, but it won’t bring the men flocking back to the churches. Men have enough trouble as it is with female spirituality and with sentimentalized hymns and sermons. To think that the notion of Jesus as the first feminist will sit well with them is sheer fantasy. Men are not inclined to take up their daily crosses to follow the androgynous one. If men can be persuaded that the picture of Jesus presented in The Da Vinci Code is the true one, that gives them one more reason to avoid church.

But many Christian leaders still don’t get it. As David Morrow points out in Why Men Hate Going to Church, many of the songs now sung in church “have the same breathless feel as top forty love songs.” In addition, women are now encouraged by some Christian pastors and writers to think of Jesus in frankly romantic terms. Naturally enough, such forms of piety tend to create psychological barriers for men. The idea of Christ as our brother challenges a man to become a better man, but the idea of Christ as boyfriend is challenging in a different sense.

A feminized Christianity may work to attract a certain type of man, but he’s probably not the man you want around when the local Imam starts practicing taqiyya on your congregation. When Islam, history’s most hyper-masculine religion, is experiencing a worldwide revival and is looking to recruit more young men to its ranks, it might not be the best time for the Church to emphasize its feminine side. So, Christians had better address the feminization and emasculation of Christianity in a serious way if they hope to counter the attractions of Islam. Churches that are long on sensitivity and short on manpower might want to lay in a supply of prayer rugs.

Of course, feminization is not just a problem for Christians, but also for the culture as a whole. If Islam is all about submission, Western culture, of late, seems to be all about submissiveness. Each day brings news of some abject accommodation to Islamic law or practices. The latest is the American Academy of Pediatrics’ decision (now apparently reversed) to sanction a less radical form of female genital cutting as a concession to Islamic cultural traditions.

It’s also telling that in Europe, where Christianity exerts much less influence, the submissiveness is more pronounced. So feminization and its attendant emasculation are not problems that are specific to Christianity. Nevertheless, because it’s a large part of American culture, the health of Christianity ought to be of concern to all. Our culture derives much of its strength from its Christian faith, but a Christianity without a strong masculine presence won’t be able to keep young men from defecting to the religion of guns n’ poses. There are a lot of young men in our world who are uncertain whether to follow the sign of the crescent moon or the sign of the cross, but it’s a good bet not many of them will be interested in following the “yield” sign which some contemporary Christians have taken as their emblem.

William Kilpatrick’s articles have appeared in FrontPage Magazine, First Things, the National Catholic Register, Catholic World Report, World, Jihad Watch, and Investor’s Business Daily.

  • Ipso Facto

    Hitler despised Christianity for its weakness and admired Islam for its aggressiveness:

    "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of human failure."

    Hitler usually concluded this historical speculation by remarking: 'You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?'"

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/sorrythatusernameexists Sissy Willis

    Great article, but as a woman who is totally turned off by the Oprafication of our culture, I cringe at your use of the word feminization for what's happened to the Shining City Upon a Hill. I attribute the evisceration of our nation's Judeo-Christian gut to the Gramscian march. Postmodern "feminism," whose adherents won't allow that Sarah Palin can be a "true" feminist, are but one manifestation.

    • Todd

      You said, "Great article, but as a woman who is totally turned off by the Oprafication of our culture, I cringe at your use of the word feminization for what's happened to the Shining City Upon a Hill. I attribute the evisceration of our nation's Judeo-Christian gut to the Gramscian march. Postmodern 'feminism,' whose adherents won't allow that Sarah Palin can be a "true" feminist, are but one manifestation." I would offer up the possibility that Dr. Kilpatrick will agree with you that postmodern feminism, as you describe it, is leading Christians astray.

      I honestly wonder about the categories used here by Dr. Kilpatrick. I think Jim C. might have a point here when he says: "This is not 'Christianity vs. Islam.' This is Western culture vs. totalitarianism. And I think the USA, at least, is doing just fine raising strong men (and women). Our military–just as one example, is the most professional, best in the world."

      P.S. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by Oprafication, but I recognize that Oprah is deceived — in very, very huge ways — and that unfortunately she is spreading that deception across America.

  • Kim Bruce

    I'm a Gnostic Christian. I lean more towards Jewish than the feminist Christian view.
    I too am tired of the feminism of Christianity in the west. If Christianity is to survive we have to shield ourselves in the spirit of God and once in a while we have to beat our ploughshares into swords, pick up the sword and defend what we cherish. After the war is over then we may beat our swords back into ploughshares.Putting our lives on the line for life, liberty and for the mere freedom to worship in Christ, is the ultimate sacrifice. I just don't believe we'll get 70 virgins and all the wine we can drink in the end.

  • Guest

    The West turned into Girly World at least a generation ago, perhaps two generations ago; the 70s were the bellwether years. Western culture in general has become feminized, not just the Christian religion. This has been sold to us as the way of virtue. Unfortunately, men will be men and act in masculine ways, regardless of the gender orientation of our culture. Also, men tend not to obey women, so a feminized culture will have more rebels. When open warfare finally breaks out between Islam and the West (Christianity if you will, although Islam will be at war with all non-Muslim religions and cultures), it will be interesting to see if the Western masculine reaction to that involves not only war with Islam, but rebellion against the feminized world Westerners have consented to.

  • Michael

    Sic vi pacem, paro bellum.
    {If you want peace, prepare for war}
    Catullus

    It is coming, friends. Jesus at our helm.

    • Catullus……

      Si vis pacem para bellum…………RATHER!

  • Tanstaafl

    So, more Church softball leagues? "Muscular Christianity"?

    Jesus and Mohammed are complete and polar opposites in terms of personality, message and dogma. While the history of Christianity has its share of warfare, religious persecution and injustice, these occur DESPITE the Church's teaching against. Islam on the other hand – let's just quote the Qur'an (47:4) "When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah's Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter, either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam."

    Needless to say, as a non-Christian, I vastly prefer living in "Christian" society than in Dar-es-Islam. And I'm willing to fight to prevent the latter from overcoming the former.

    • Allah

      And remember that all this CRAP is "WORD OF GOD"; therefore, can not be modified or reformed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • USMCSniper

    Watch the movie "Unthinkable" at http://www.megavideomovies.net/search?q=unthinkab… is about an American Muslim who plants 4 nuclear bombs and millions die because the Woman Agent is up to the task required for information extraction.

  • Syd Barrett

    Excellent article.

    Let me preface this by saying that I am a Christian woman.

    One problem with mainstream Christianity is not only that the sermons are long on feel-good and short on hard truths, but also, they are not teaching the God-defined roles of men and women. If Christian women were submissive and respectful as they should be, and also raised their children in the way they should go, we wouldn't be in this fix.

    And before some feminist goes off on me, let me add that the Bible is clear that the Christian man should treat his wife the way he treats himself. I think, though, if a Christian woman understands the role of her husband in the family (think back to Biblical times) and encourages his masculinity as she should, treats him respectfully and submits to his authority, the entire family will be happier, healthier and more successful.

    When I became born-again, and the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me, of course I expected to have to make improvements in my life in accordance with God's will. Much to my surprise, the Spirit encouraged me to make this change in my life – to be submissive and respectful to my husband, which I was not (I was a thoroughly "modern" woman, don't you know) and lo and behold, this change made a huge, huge improvement in my life and in my relationship.

    One time in prayer, I asked the Father why I should submit to my husband in this manner, because honestly, I'm smarter and better equipped than he is. The Father said, "Submission to your husband is the same as submission to Me. I gave him that role." So I obeyed, and am tons happier as a result.

    Just sayin'.

  • guest

    What a great article! Yes, Christianity has certainly been damaged by the feminist movement. It's sad, because Christianity holds women in much higher esteem and glory than any feminist ever could.

  • DeaconBlue

    Syd Barrett – You are spot on. I grew up in that atmosphere, My Mother would voice her opinions and Dad would talk about it, but in the end he made the decisions , some times he was wrong, but not often, and always made corrections.
    Life was Good in our Home.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SissyWillis SissyWillis

    It isn't "feminization" at all, but, rather, postmodern, identity-politics "feminism" one of a cascade of unfortunate byproducts of the Gramscian march through the institutions that has given us an increasingly impotent chattering class of credulous Chris Matthewses of both sexes:

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

    I remember when one of my sons just didn't seem to be getting the "alpha male" thing. I had some sincere worries about him. But he made a mistake …

    He asked if he could play a season of little league football (at the encouragement of his older brothers). I told him "Yes." After the first practice, he wanted to quit. I wouldn't allow him to quit, and forced him to play the entire season. He was bruised, cut, stomped on, knocked sprawling, and other such non-feminine things. At the end of the season, the boy had become a young man.

    Today, he serves his country as a major in the US Army, in Afghanistan. Thoroughly male.

    The point is, a boy needs a man to show him how to become a man. The feminisation of America owes much to divorce, broken homes, and absentee fathers. My marriage has lasted 36 years, now. I was "there" for my boys.

    • Jim C.

      I don't agree with you much, but I agree with your last paragraph 100%.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

        Thank you, sir! There was a time when I could have a civil debate with someone on the left side of the spectrum. It's very rare, today.

  • Todd

    Dr. Kilpatrick,

    With the greatest respect and kindness to you, I question one section of your piece because it seems rather vague, and I don't know whether you intended it to be. You state, "many Christian leaders still don’t get it. . . . many of the songs now sung in church 'have the same breathless feel as top forty love songs'. I don't know whether you had in mind any one congregation, fellowship, denomination, or parish, song, or band — but if a Christian choir, singing group, band, worship team, or whichever nomenclature we wish to use, is worshiping as you say, then I wonder whether you are judging them without due cause. If the song was written from a sincere faithful heart, and is played skillfully enough (viz. book of Psalms), and if it is sung with an honest and faithful heart, then who are we to judge how it sounds. Whether it is "pop-sounding" or "heavy metal", can we actually judge it? For example, the group "Hillsong" has been criticised for sounding "repetitive", "emotional" and "schmaltzy" — but can any Christian really fairly judge them as such, if Hillsong are truly writing and worshiping with faithful hearts and sincere attitudes?

  • Jim C.

    I'm curious: just what about Jesus Christ was "aggressive and ruthless?"

    Might help if Kilpatrick read a gospel or two from time to time.

  • Shefali

    I go to a charismatic church. We are taught that we are sons and daughters of God and empowered by the Spirit. In marriage, it's about roles but about serving God and each other. When my husband and I are in obedience to God, we are both absurdly happy and our marriage is full of joy. I have known devout Muslim women and I have never seen that joy in their marriages.

    I think it's partly because you can only have a truly romantic relationship with an equal. Both Islam and feminism screw this up. Islam teaches that women are inferior; feminsim that men are. This kills respect and romance in a marriage. In Islam, marriage is a master/slave relationship. In Christianity, it's like a CEO/CFO relationship – the husband, as CEO, is in charge, but the wife, as CFO (or CTO or VP) still has a legitimate voice and areas of authority and expertise.

    • Shefali

      oops, I meant to say "not about roles, but about serving God". Sorry!

    • Jim C.

      I know you are a good person, but with all due respect: marriages in Western culture aren't necessarily "joyful," either, and the husband/wife relationship is sometimes not much different than Islam's, today. Hindu relationships can be similarly structured. People are people; sometimes a good match is made, sometimes not. The nice thing in our culture is that thanks to these horrible feminists who got you the right to vote and work for equal pay, and our secular law, women have legal rights and recourse, now that they did not 100 years ago.

  • Shefali

    BTW, for those feminists, atheists, etc., who support Islam – be careful! Christianity is compatible with a secular government since Jesus says to give to God what is His and to Cesear what is his. Islam seems incapable of not creating theocracy – as even Turkey is now showing. Where will the non-Muslim be under an Islamic theocracy?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CivilusDefendus Civilus Defendus

      On their knees under sharia and dhimmitude. Just enough energy and wherewithall to produce and be heavily taxed.

  • David

    I invite you to come to Sweden and see, by yourself, what the feminization of a society means. It is not only the hatred of male (white, Christian and straight) but also despising Christianity, patriotism and traditional family. Feminization has also brought other wonderful results such as love for Islam, Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. The Swedes have cats and dogs instead of children and Palestinians and Kurds compensate with a lot of children although some of Muslim girls are murdered in honor killings and Muslim boys get killed or arrested all over the world for terrorist activities. You have the freedom to ridicule male (only white, Christian and straight) and Christianity but one word against Islamic terrorism, Islam, Muslims, non-Europeans, women and gays can have serious consequences. There is one exception and that is that Muslims can ridicule and threaten whoever they want without any fear. They are the new overlords of Sweden. I am myself an immigrant, not Christian or Jewish, and I see the ugliest face of feminism and leftism.

    My friends, feminism, like liberalism, is a mental disorder.

  • Todd

    I would like to mention that I'm a Christian. I have neither read the Da Vinci Code (because I have no interest in the myths, lies, and fabrications of Dan Brown) and I am not very knowledgeable in matters of the religion of Islam. But as to Dr. Kilpatrick's essay, I find myself in all honesty wondering about the first three paragraphs of Dr. Kilpatrick's essay and, with all due and proper respect to Dr. Kilpatrick, what is the thesis. I currently attend a Lutheran fellowship, and despite what is said in regards to "mainline" statistics, I don't consider myself in support of, or affiliated with, a "feminization". And I daresay the other members of my fellowship would say the same thing. Dr. Kilpatrick, I am really at a bit of a loss here with your essay.

    • Jim C.

      I'm Catholic, and I share this concern. We grew up learning about Jesus's kindness and forgiveness. (But our football coaches were fairly hardass).

      This is not "Christianity vs. Islam." This is Western culture vs. totalitarianism. And I think the USA, at least, is doing just fine raising strong men (and women). Our military–just as one example, is the most professional, best in the world.

      • MoreWhereIcomeFrom

        Hell yeah, I second that.
        The men of our military are a fine example of strength, courage and resolve,
        especially given the afore mentioned cultural climate the MSM attempts to have us believe is comprehensive.
        And our servicemen (and women) are volunteers! God Bless'em!

        Besides, most guys that "buy" into "feminism" are just "faking it" anyway… ha2,
        strategically speaking…

        I've walked the passive line in Christianity… that is until it was neccessary to stomp some ass… it's in our dna to stomp certain targets that in doing so are for the "good". i.e justified.

        Who decides? me, of course.

  • Civilus Defendus

    Reading the Bible (OT/NT) is like reading a well-considered manual on how humanity can live with itself. I enjoy its insights. Reading the koran is like reading a playbook for conquest, destruction, deceit, hate, manipulation, sexual oppression and death. Just touching it makes me feel mentally soiled.

    I agree with Jim C, this is less about religion and spirituality than the exercise of raw power of one entity – the ummah and its leaders – over another – the West/the "Unbelievers." Muslims are dutiful soldiers sans conscientious objections (there is no right and wrong in islam – only allowed and disallowed). We cannot prevail without smashing the lunacy of cultural equivalence and recognizing governance based on values from Rome and Jerusalem through the US Constitution are superior than the violence and 'inhsallah' fatalism of mo/allah/islam.

    • MoreWhereIcomeFrom

      That's hilarious and I agree wholeheartedly. I've read 80% of the Koran. It was the same for me and I took my time because the monotony was excruciating.
      Bullet points_ _ _

      I believe everyone should read it. There's no danger in a rational Christian being swayed by doing so.

      S.N. I did think Rumi managed to add a much needed spirituality to the Koran.

  • Methusala

    Only time will tell!

  • Steve

    Shefali: all non-muslims will be either dead or relegated to dhimmitude until they are dead, since secnod class citizenry as defined by dhimmitude has no legal status in dealing with the muslim mainstream. Do not think of Islam as a religion, it is far more; a system of theocratic world rule using the Qur'an, Hadiths and Shari'ah as the outline for all aspects of living.

  • http://irishbillyd.spaces.live.com BravoBilly

    When Charles Washington, a large black man, bled to to death in my arms, telling me to Trust Jesus, I did not think of him as being too feminine. Because of the situation at the time, I just plain could not.

    But when the 800 lb Steel Rail-car divider door came down on top of me, I cried out, "Jesus, Help me!" A Christian Co-worker lifted the door off of me and later I was prayed over, with hands laid on me by men. I walk today. 2 inches shorter, but I walk.

    There is an army of men out here who have reached our bottom in many different ways and had to cry out to Jesus and had profound responses. Those of us who have served in the military know that laying your life down for your nation or your friends does not make you feminine. It is the supreme masculine sacrifice. Just don't back us into a corner in order choose lay down our lives or fight.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SissyWillis SissyWillis

    BravoBilly: I appreciate your manliness, but must you always put down us women in order to build yourselves up? It is so unmanly of you.

  • Channe

    You guys are so blind. The problem is not "Feminine Christianity" but CHRISTIANITY ITSELF. The very doctrine of the faith is feminine and is suited best for women and gay men. No straight man with even a minute sense of his masculine traits will embrace Christianity because the faith hates who he is.

    Here is the Christian doctrine in a nutshell. You are a weak fallen sinner of God. God loves you for ever and wants to be with you (could it sound more gay ?). But because you are a weak pathetic sinner you cannot get to heaven on your own. So, big brave handsome God comes to earth as Jesus and does all the work for you. So all your pathetic weak ass needs to do is accept that another man did the work for you and love him with all your heart and soul until you die and get to hug him and be with him in Heaven forever and ever.

    HOW WEAK AND FEMININE A CULTURE. I am a straight American mid western male and an atheist. If, though, I ever chose a religion I would choose Islam – not only because it is the most logical of religions, but it embraces me as a straight male and lets me do what is natural – BE THE LEADER OF MY FAMILY.

    In Islam I am a solider and servant of God and not some fallen pansy sinner who needs his help for every little thing. In Islam, Paradise is earned not given to you. The white male who wants to be religious will need to embrace Islam if he ever wants to reclaim his masculine ways.

  • http://www.plasticsurgerycostsmanual.com Virginia Lake

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  • http://www.yahoo.com Celsa Lehning

    Nice internet site. You realize, when it takes time to deal with your site, you may want to take a look at … Function searching on the internet and you will locate it.