Michael Foster is typically the target of heavy criticism on this blog. But I would invite any reader of mine to lift him up in prayer. Pray for God to comfort him and lift his spirits in this dark time. Pray that God will give comfort to his family members as well, and that this could be used to bring any who don’t know God as their savior to turn to him for peace.
There’s another topic that Michael Foster touched upon when he appeared on Aaron Renn’s podcast that I want to examine. This won’t be quite so heated as previous posts on Michael that I’ve wrote, but it will contain firm disagreement with him.
One of the disagreements Dalrock had with Foster was that Foster’s perspective on marriage implied that it should be reserved for elite Christian men. I won’t quote the entire discussion, but here are the comments where they went back and forth under the post Unless the men are *Christian*. Foster commented:
Dalrock replied:Continue reading
Following their pattern of being unable to keep their story straight, Foster and Bnonn presented an…Interesting perspective on their relationship with Dalrock before he retired from blogging in the Christian manosphere. I saw them as opponents of Dalrock, but the way Foster talked about Dalrock, they were basically polite colleagues. From the transcript of Foster & Bnonn’s appearance on the Aaron Renn show:
Foster: He didn’t really, and just to be fair to Dal, he didn’t directly attack us, i don’t think, ever. I think he raised some concerns- (it’s?) more like, uh, the Dal-bots is what we call them. Um, the, it’s like Rollo has Rollo-bots. These people that just are fanboys. We interacted with them via email cuz he actually reached out to me once by email, like, hey, is there a problem between us? And so we- I engaged with them and what we basically told’em was that look, you’re good what you do, you’re kind of like a guy that studies cancer, and the cancer of feminism, the cancer of egalitarianism, all the stuff in the church. You understand it more than most do. But, we’re we’re looking for a cure. Right, and so we’re, um, so w-we benefit from you, and really don’t think we should be fighting amongst each other. I, you know, I always try to maintain peace wherever I can. And, uh, and we ended, I feel like we ended that relationship on a a pleasant note, I guess, or agreeable note.
Back on November 17th of 2021, Aaron Renn interviewed Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant on his show. They discussed their opinions of and interactions with Dalrock and his material starting at 3:22 and 20:39. Here’s just the transcript of what was said. I won’t make commentary on it, but I think it’s helpful to have the transcript by itself as a reference for future posts.Continue reading
Bnonn & Foster sent out their latest newsletter yesterday titled, “Notes on manhood 2021 week #25″. In it they revealed that they’re still just as stunted in their views of biblical sexuality as your standard Christian feminist:
Let us leave behind magic numbers, and move onto wise principles for knowing whether a couple is ready for marriage. Here are five: (…) 5. Focus on training your sons and daughters to harness their sexual energy towards productive ends. So much of the young marriage stuff is motivated by parents who think their children can’t overcome lust and stay chaste into their early 20s. But marrying young is not a solution for this. Sex does not cure lust; it merely channels sexual energy licitly. A man who has not learned to control his eyes before marriage, for instance, is not going to do any better after marriage, and is frankly not marriage material.
This kind of attitude towards marital sex can be found everywhere. At Blazing Grace, Mike Genung wrote a scathing piece on this subject, but it can be summed up with this paragraph:Continue reading
I got Bnonn and Foster’s newsletter this past Saturday. Subject is “Our notes from 2021 week #19”. In it, they say the following:
The West has descended into sexual chaos. But the Lord calms every storm in his own time.
Here are six things pastors should do to help address the madness and restore sanity in the long term:
1. Teach and exhort women to pursue feminine beauty and household management skills;
2. Teach and exhort men to pursue manly excellence in health, wisdom, finances, and leadership;
3. Address the sins of men and women equally;
4. Exhort both men and women to not unduly delay, but cautiously pursue marriage;
5. Encourage married couples to raise up lots of kids in the nurture of the Lord;
6. Teach the married couples the basics of discipline and family religion.
The third point stands out, as this was one of the things Bnonn and Foster explicitly refused to do at the very beginning of their ministry:
(It’s not rocket surgery. Weak men and brassy women are both screwing patriarchy up. Indeed, it’s so obvious as to be uninteresting. We’re not here to endlessly reiterate the problem. We want to fix it.
Who will do that?
Who should we appeal to?
Who should we reprove and rebuke and exhort and train in righteousness?
If we have to choose, should it be the men of God, or the women of God?
We don’t believe there’s even the slightest question about this decision. The answer is always the men. Caldo suggests that for “any leader who wishes to be taken seriously,” “no less than half of his engendered instructions should be directed at women to be quiet and have some respect.” But this flies in the face of the basic dynamic of power. A 50/50 split makes no sense because there’s a fundamental 80/20 here. Pareto’s Principle alone would tell us that if we’re trying to fix a structural problem within a hierarchy, we should start with the people who have the actual power to fix it (not the perceived power). And since God built patriarchy into creation, that means the men. Men are the ones who have the power.
The problem we face is not caused by brassy women taking power. By definition, they don’t have the power to do that, or they wouldn’t need to take it! It’s caused by soft men raising up brassy women, who then demand power, which the soft men trip over themselves to give.
Thus, to solve the problem, we must speak to the men. We can either treat the symptoms, or we can treat the disease; we haven’t the energy to do both. The symptoms are brassy women who demand power. The disease is fathers—pastors, leaders, husbands—who raise them up and capitulate to them.https://www.getdrip.com/broadcasts/420243878/1b3c279aa8d580054dbbd
Bnonn and Foster had decided to enter the fray to fight for biblical masculinity. They were readers of Dalrock, and they denounced feminism and complementarianism. But, there was a problem, because one way Dalrock distinguished himself was by his willingness to read and expose the poisonous teachings found in books and articles written by Nice Christian Ladies. He also proved that Christian teachers would find any excuse under the sun to get away from having to confront the sinful behavior of women. They were an obvious source of trouble that needed to be countered. It became clear to anyone familiar with his work that exposing and criticizing evil men and women within the church equally was a necessary component of any Christian red-pill ministry.
This is where the problem comes in, because Bnonn & Foster just weren’t up to the task. One would assume they had succumbed to cowardice like most complementarian phonies already had. If you ask them, however, that’s not the reason why. It’s because:
- It wouldn’t make mathematical sense.
- They didn’t have the energy.
I don’t think any regular reader of Dalrock believed #2. Which is ironic since the name of this article on their Patreon page is titled: “The Blame Game (or Step up or Shut Up)“. While Bnonn & Foster were busy trying to talk smack, they came up with the lamest excuse ever. They just didn’t have the energy. (Maybe they just needed to step up or shut up then!)
As far as #1 goes, as you can see, they were adamant on this point. Cane Caldo’s advice didn’t make sense, supposedly, because it flew in the face of the basic dynamic of power. An 80/20 split would make way more sense. And yet here they are over two years later telling pastors to:
3. Address the sins of men and women equally;
But guys, don’t you understand? Pastors just don’t have the energy! And besides, it doesn’t make mathematical sense anyway.’
I assume Bnonn & Foster’s rebuttal would be to quit making excuses. ‘Step up or shut up, man!’ And yet, that proves that their red-pill Christian skeptics were right all along. Bnonn & Foster were making lame excuses to get out of having to confront women on their issues.
Nowadays it seems they’ve changed their mind on that. Emphasis on “seems”. Remember, they haven’t removed their errant newsletters from the Internet. Both those links still work. There aren’t any addendums cautioning the readers against believing the phony excuses they’ve offered in the past. No apologies to the red-pill Christians they sneered down upon. This would be easy to do.
But who am I kidding. They probably just don’t have the energy.
Yesterday Bnonn & Foster sent out their weekly broadcast email, this one titled “Our notes from 2020 week #49.” In it, they confirm that the book they are working on is going to be published by Doug Wilson’s publishing company, Canon Press.
Our book is due out in Spring ’21 from Canon Press. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement, and we’ll continue to keep you up to date.
Back in September I laid out the evidence for Bnonn & Foster’s desire to collaborate in ministry with Doug Wilson. Foster said on Twitter that he got a contract to publish a book, but he did not say if it was with Canon Press. Now they’ve confirmed for us that it is.
I doubt this is the only work they’re planning on doing with Canon Press. Sadly, it appears as though their influence is only continuing to grow.
Maybe they’ll partner up with the Kendrick brothers to make another husband/father-bashing flick. They’re also fond of pretending to care about masculine dignity for husbands and fathers. Who knows?
Last month Foster posted the following Tweet:
Bnonn liked this Tweet so much that he thought it worthy to incorporate into the notes for one of their email updates. Sharkly forwarded it to me, and as you can see, they changed the wording to reflect that they both govern their marriages in the same way.
Btw, every major to medium decision we make, we run past our wives. Is this because we need their approval to make a decision? Not at all. It’s because we desire their wisdom and feminine insight. They are our helpmates on our mission, and we find them to be very helpful. Thank God for godly wives!
It’s one thing to run some household-related decisions past your wife. It’s not necessarily for her approval, but she takes care of the house and kids, so she might have some insight or helpful suggestions to give. You might move ahead with that decision in spite of her protests, which is all well and good. However, with Foster and Bnonn, they go way beyond that. It’s not just some of the big decisions limited to the home, but every major one they make! And not just the big ones, but the medium ones too! All of them!
Both of these men know how bad this might sound to the skeptics in their audience. There’s a reason they assured their readers that they’re not doing this for their wives’ approval. Even if it were true, they only made themselves look bad in another way. These men aspire to be mentors of biblical masculinity to other Christian men. How on earth do they expect to accomplish that while also proudly proclaiming that they need their wives help to make every decision that doesn’t count as little?
I occasionally scan over Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant’s Twitter feeds. They both say a lot of good things about marriage that a patriarch like myself can agree with. Did I have these guys wrong or something? Are they really the defenders of biblical masculinity they claim to be? Was I wrong to be suspicious of them early on?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: After all the work Dalrock did exposing the war Doug Wilson wages against biblical masculinity (see here for all of Dalrock’s posts related to him), no patriarch worth a dime would call him a bright light. Maybe a quick refresher is in order to explain why: Continue reading
Question: Why does a man who promotes biblical masculinity poison people’s minds against other men who have been doing that very thing for years?
Answer: When he’s trying to promote his brand.
Looks like Bnonn decided that he hasn’t done enough to distinguish his brand of biblical masculinity, and it was time to denounce Christians who describe themselves as red-pillers yet again.
The red pill is something like a modern mystery cult; pairing it with Christianity just produces a Christian knockoff of that cult.
I could argue that this statement is false, but if you read Bnonn’s article, he never quotes anyone (excepting C.S. Lewis, which isn’t relevant). Bnonn expects his readers to take him at his word that he knows red pill Christians enough to make such a declaration, and providing proof in the form of direct quotes isn’t necessary. (It’s not a terrible bet either; he managed to hoodwink Hawk at Triablogue despite my placing that exact proof of Bnonn’s dishonesty right under his nose.).
If this is Bnonn simply explaining how he and Foster view red-pill Christians, then that’s his prerogative. He isn’t obligated to provide proof just for offering his opinion, but the fact remains that he is doubling down like a lying SJW. Back when his ministry was first starting out, Bnonn Tweeted a thread beginning with this:
If you read the thread and then compare it with his recent article, you can see that he’s merely re-publishing his Twitter-thread in article form on his website, albeit with a few minor edits. For example (differences bolded by me):
There are folks out there calling themselves red pill Christians. We believe this is no better than the many people who consider themselves feminist Christians, or social justice Christians, or gay-affirming Christians, or whatever other idol of wokeness they have discovered in the world and then attached Christianity to.
The message in the article remains the same as it did on Twitter, and it’s just as bad as it was back in December.
Here’s this same Tweet in the article (again, differences bolded by me):
Our conviction is that, while the red pill shares certain commonalities with biblical Christianity, and often sees the nature of things more clearly than mainstream evangelicalism, it is actually a separate religion in its own right. Even the very name describes a conversion experience by which the acolyte is inducted into an elect group, gains hidden wisdom and secret doctrines, and becomes part of a justified minority. (So) The red pill is something like a modern mystery cult; pairing it with Christianity just produces a Christian knockoff of that cult. Implicit in its doctrines are:
This garbage is just as inane as it ever was. This is a fully Internet-savvy man describing men reading public discussions on the Internet as acolytes who are inducted into a group filled with hidden wisdom and secret doctrines. What in God’s name is he blathering about?
I called Bnonn out for this nonsense back when it first came out. Michael Foster tried to defend him, and failed miserably (see here). Now, nine months later, he’s repeating it, but with some more careful edits:
This is especially obvious if you read red pill Christian discussion threads on popular blogs like Dalrock; the eagerness with which they violate the principles of Ephesians 5 is startling to behold. There is as much contempt for women there as for men on feminist forums, and as little fear of God before their eyes.
In Bnonn’s Tweet, he said, “discussions on blogs like Dalrock;” which includes Dalrock himself. As he re-purposed this material, he made sure to specify that he’s talking about “discussion threads” on Dalrock’s blog, which would mean Dalrock isn’t necessarily included in his denunciation of this… Mystery cult, or whatever Bnonn thinks it is.
There are still a few problems with this:
i) It’s drama-queen drivel. Does any human alive really think Bnonn was “startled” when he beheld the discussions at Dalrock’s blog?
ii) Feminists call for the castration of men and the right to murder their own babies. You can’t find a single comment on Dalrock’s blog that even comes close to that. Most of Dalrock’s readers are also professing believers. Any regular reader knows that. There is no way Bnonn thinks that the fear of God exhibited by Dalrock’s discussion threads is mimicked by the God-hating insanity spewed on feminist forums. But, if Bnonn can count on his audience taking him at his word that he has done his homework and is representing red pill Christians accurately, then they’ll never realize that the man is poisoning the well.
iii) Bnonn Tweeted this out shortly after being called out for his original Tweet:
Notice that Bnonn justified what he originally Tweeted by writing, “But Dalrock curates those comments; he is responsible for the tenor of his own blog.” From Bnonn’s perspective, Dalrock bears the blame of the sin committed within his blog’s discussion threads, whether Dalrock himself personally wrote something sinful or not. Seeing as how he doubled down on lying about Dalrock’s readers, there is no reason at all to assume he’s letting Dalrock off the hook this time around. He remains an opponent, not an ally, in Bnonn’s eyes. That doesn’t surprise me, of course. I can see Bnonn’s game for what it is, but your typical Christian male is far more likely to latch onto Bnonn’s more qualified statement and proclaim that he wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and there was never anything to worry about.
If that’s what you think, you’re probably a complementarian.