Maybe this is how Hollywood dies— not really with a bang but with a sort of confused whimper, pressed into a puddle by the weight of its own professed values. While the Academy Awards were watched by hardly anyone, most everyone has now heard about “The Slap.”

Reactions and tweets were swift and plentiful, but it seems an Official Opinion has not been settled. Some thought that a man defending the honor of his wife is laudable, if not a little violent in this case. Others pointed out that if Will Smith really wanted to honor his wife he would put an end to the “open marriage” he has with her.

As much as it is obvious that our culture is reluctant to say what a woman is, perhaps it doesn’t know what a man is either. There can be little doubt that the steamrolling effect of Woke ideals has left many men entirely cynical, unwilling to stand out, for fear of being shouted down or branded “toxic”. But a great conversation on The Gottesdienst Crowd podcast made the point that manliness is not all about things on the surface, but rather about virtue and character.

Pastor Braaten and his guest reviewed Michael Foster’s book, entitled: “It’s Good to Be a Man.” They contended that masculinity involves gravitas, responsibility and wisdom. They exhort men to own their actions, to stop making excuses and to start keeping promises. They encourage men to be sober-minded doers in the place God has put them, not sluggish onlookers. It is a high calling, but fed by Word and Sacrament, and strengthened by brothers in Christ, this masculinity might just save the world. 

(As an aside…It seems to us there are layers of irony here. The joke which triggered the incident referred to the character, GI Jane, but apparently a lot of people liked Demi Moore’s 90s buzzcut in that movie. The movie happens to be one of those unrealistic portrayals of women, going toe-to-toe with men in military training.)

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