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The Manliness of Religion

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In the Western societies, fewer men than women practice religion. Karlo Broussard argues that, at least in part, this means they are likely failing at the hard work of manliness.


Cy Kellett:

Hello, and welcome to Focus, the Catholic Answers podcast for living, understanding and defending your Catholic faith. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. Karlo Broussard, our guest this time. And we’re going to talk a little bit about religion as it relates to men because it does seem… I don’t know the last time you were in a Catholic church, but that more women are taking seriously the call to participate in the faith and to live the faith than men. That might be a misimpression, but it certainly seems to be the case. It doesn’t seem to be the case at the synagogue, it doesn’t seem to be the case at the mosque or at the Buddhist temple, but it certainly seems the case among Christians, that we have lost some of the sense of the manliness of religion. And so we thought, who should we ask? How about the manliest man that we know? Karlo Broussard. Hi Karlo, thanks for coming.

Karlo Broussard:

Hey, Cy. It’s great to be with you brother.

Cy Kellett:

So, why are you a Christian if you’re such a manly man?

Karlo Broussard:

I am a Christian because I love Jesus.

Cy Kellett:

Amen brother. Amen. But even that-

Karlo Broussard:

He is the reason, Lord.

Cy Kellett:

I think even that, some people see that as not very manly to love Jesus. So, can you help us out with why it is manly actually to be religious, to embrace religious faith?

Karlo Broussard:

Well, yeah, I think immediately answering the question that you just posed, if it were not a manly thing to be in relationship with Jesus, or it would not be a manly thing to be in love with Christ, well then it would not be a manly thing to be in a relationship with Jesus, as if somehow being in a relationship with someone is excluded from being a man, and in particular in this case, a relationship with our Lord who has God made flesh. And this actually tees up nicely, Cy, this topic of the manliness of religion. I’ve been trying to think through this issue quite a bit. And so I’m basically just sharing with you some of the fruits of my thinking so far, and I do acknowledge that I need to think more about it.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, this is going to be a great episode. Oh, [inaudible 00:02:10]. All right, so we got some half form thoughts from Karlo.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right. That’s right.

Cy Kellett:

Okay, good.

Karlo Broussard:

But I do think there are sort of a twofold approach that we can at take to this topic of the manliness of religion, one being from reason alone, sort of using philosophy to think through what religion is and the role man in the family. And that’s what we’re going to be focusing on here, man in the family as head of the family and the role he should play in acts of religion and in just religion generally, specifically for the family, but then also taking the approach by way of divine revelation. So, reason and revelation here, I think is the twofold approach that we can take. So, maybe perhaps we can start with reason and think through this issue of the manliness of religion.

First of all, I think we can answer the question, what do I mean by the manliness of religion? What I mean by that is that religion is essential to man in his role as head of the family. As head of the family, religion is essential to man. And so in that sense, I’m saying religion is manly because it belongs to his role to be a man in the family as head of the family.

Cy Kellett:

So, you’re saying he can’t do his job as a man without religion?

Karlo Broussard:

I would argue that, yeah. So without religion, he’s limping along as a man in the family, as head of the family. He’s not living up to the full capacity of his role as man in the family, as head of the family, right?

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Karlo Broussard:

These are assertions. These are claims. That’s the thesis. That’s sort of what we’re going to be thinking through, but that’s what I want to claim. And in that sense, I mean that religion is manly. Once you see what man’s role is in the family as head of the family, and we’re going to have to establish that as well, because that’s a contentious assertion there, once we see what that role is and then we see what religion is, well, then it becomes very clear that religion is essential to man in fulfilling his role in the family as head.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, I got to tell you, both of those words, religion and manliness are kind of unpopular words right now.

Karlo Broussard:

Indeed, they are.

Cy Kellett:

So, maybe we could start with religion, if you don’t mind. What is it? What do you mean when you say religion? Because I’m not going to know what you mean when you say religion is manly if I don’t know what you mean by religion.

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah. So, I think we can look to St. Thomas Aquinas here to start us off. So, what Aquinas says in his Summa Theologiae, the second part of the second part in question 81, article one, he says something very interesting that goes against a modern conception of religion. So, note how many people in modernity, when they think of religion, they think of it as something excluded from a relationship with our Lord and with God.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, right. Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

You know that famous video that came out, I believe in relationship, not religion, or something like that?

Cy Kellett:

Or spirituality and not religion. Yeah. Right.

Karlo Broussard:

So, there seems to be this common notion that relationship and religion are mutually exclusive. But through the way Aquinas views religion and the Catholic tradition as a whole is religion denotes, as he says, properly a relationship to God. The Latin word that he uses is the Latin phrase is [foreign language 00:05:48], an order to God, a relationship to God. That’s what religion conveys conceptually immediately and right off the bat, having a proper relationship to God, a proper order to God. And then he goes on to ground that order or that relationship, that directedness right to God. And of course, religion coming from the Latin word, which means to bind together. So, religion would entail this binding that we have, being bound to God by way of this relation on account of two things. Number one, God is the creator, so he’s the source of my being. And then number two, he’s the ultimate end goal to which all my choices should be directed.

So, he’s the beginning, and he’s my beginning and my end as creator. He’s the alpha, he’s the omega, he’s the first and the last. So, that’s what religion right off the bat conveys, the idea of a proper relationship to God on account of him being my creator. Now, within that relationship, or from that relationship, from that binding to God or that order, there are certain actions or activities that come from it that are fitting to it that belong with the relationship, that are wrapped up in the relationship. And such actions would be acts of worship, where we worship God, where we adore God. That can be interior, where in my heart, I’m adoring God, in my mind, my heart. In my mind, I’m lifting it up to God, giving him the proper honor that is due to him as my creator. That’s sort of the invisible act of religion or worship.

And then a visible act where we would offer sacrifice. And for us as Christians, it would be the sacrifice of the mass, given the supernatural revelation of the last supper and the Eucharist and all of that good stuff. But notice how these are activities that are befitting of this order or relationship that I have with God on account of him being my creator. Analogy, whenever man and woman become bound to each other by way of marriage, man becomes husband, woman becomes wife, there are certain activities that are wrapped up in that relationship-

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

… that arrives from the relationship, relating to each other in a proper way as husband and wife. And you can fill in the blank with those different sorts of activities. So too, in this relation that we have with God on account of him being our creator, there are certain actions that arise from that relationship, namely acts of worship. That would be one. And these acts of worship not only express that God is my origin, that from which I come in my existence, God created me. But also, by virtue of these acts of religion in the relationship, they’re ordering me properly, directing me to achieving my ultimate life’s goal, which is friendship with God. So, they’re fostering the friendship, right? They’re fostering me, achieving my life’s goal of friendship with God, and then of course, given Christian revelation ultimately at the end of my life, heaven. So, notice that’s what we mean by religion. And so contrast that with the modern view of religion.

Religion is not a relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we look at relationship through the lens of St. Thomas Aquinas and what he’s presenting us here, that religion is this proper relationship with God, in which there are certain actions that I engage in that are befitting of that relationship, to express the relationship, to foster the relationship, to strengthen the relationship.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

And because those acts of religion are bringing about me being a good human being and being good, we call it a virtue.

Cy Kellett:

The virtue of religion, yes.

Karlo Broussard:

The virtue of religion, where I am doing the things befitting of this relationship that I have with God, which constitutes my good, my goodness, right? It’s perfecting me. It’s helping me flourish as a human being. And to engage in behaviors that or order to perfecting me and to have a habit of doing so, that’s what we call virtue. And so this is why we can call religion, look at religion as an act of virtue, or a virtue and virtue of which I can engage in these sorts of activities, again, befitting of the relationship that I have with God on account of him being my creator. And all of these actions of religion, acts of religion, worship, adoration, giving reverence to God, and even learning about God can be an act of religion. And also Aquinas identifies an act of religion as preserving myself free from sin. So, avoiding sin, like avoiding offending God, avoiding offending the relationship-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

… that’s considered an act of religion as well. So, it’s not just confined to an act of worship. It’s also including living my life in a way that’s consistent with this I have with God-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

… this order I have to God, this relationship I have to God, just like I got to live consistently with my relationship with my wife.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Right.

Karlo Broussard:

I can’t be going around doing things that are inconsistent or conflict with that relationship. So to end this relationship with God, because he’s my creator and I’m the creature-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

… he’s my origin, he’s my in my first, my last, my beginning in, I got to live in a way that’s consistent with that relationship. And when I do so, whether it’s doing something consistent with the relationship or avoiding something in order to be consistent with the relationship, those are acts of religion as well, helping me achieve my perfection as a human being.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. And then with that understanding of religion in mind, as the properly ordered relationship with God-

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

Is that a good summary?

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

Is that okay?

Karlo Broussard:

Absolutely.

Cy Kellett:

Then you say, “I can’t undertake my manly role. I can’t do my job as a man without-

Karlo Broussard:

Primarily in the focus in the family.

Cy Kellett:

… the virtue of religion.”

Karlo Broussard:

Absolutely. Yes.

Cy Kellett:

All right. Get me there.

Karlo Broussard:

All right, so let’s start with man in the family, the father being the head of the family. All right. So, I want to start with this idea that the father is the head of the family. Now, why would I say that? Why would we say that? And I think we can know this by reason and revelation. So if we start with reason, consider this. St. Thomas does this, and I’m looking to Aquinas as my guide here, and it makes sense to me. See what you think, Cy. Man is the principle of generation.

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Karlo Broussard:

If you look at man and his biological makeup and what is required to bring about generation, and thus the life of the family, you got to have man. Man is the principle. What is a principle? That from which everything else flows.

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Karlo Broussard:

Sort of the source, the beginning.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

The life of the family finds its beginning, its principle in man within the conjugate act.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

Man initiates. The seed comes forth from man, and the woman receives the seed. The life of the family begins and comes from man, and it’s inscribed in our very biological makeup.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. I just got to say something real quick about that because modern people do not think with the church on this, that the biological reality is not just superfluous, it’s about… Because they think we’re spirits that are stuck in bodies, kind of. I think the modern people-

Karlo Broussard:

The body’s just a car that the driver is driving.

Cy Kellett:

But that’s not a truly Christian understanding of the human body. The human body is that thing which is made up of body and soul. And so we don’t say the body is just kind of superfluous to the soul. So, it’s the soul of my body. This is the body that-

Karlo Broussard:

The body is informed by my soul, both of which constitute me.

Cy Kellett:

Me. Okay.

Karlo Broussard:

[inaudible 00:14:15]

Cy Kellett:

I got to say that, because a lot of people will listen and go, “Well, what does the biology have to do with it?” Biology has to do with it because that’s what you are.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right.

Cy Kellett:

You are your body.

Karlo Broussard:

I’m not just my body. I’m not just my soul. I am both my body and my soul. So, the body is pregnant with meaning, and it’s charged with a meaning that’s relevant to who I am as an individual member of the human race.

Cy Kellett:

All right, I just want to establish that while you’re sure thing you’re making that point about… It’s the body of the man from which the family begins, the family has its origin.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right. Man is the principle of the life of the family. Man is the principle of generation. Generation constitutes the life of the family, so man is the principle of the life of the family. Okay. In as much as man is the principle of the life of the family, he is head. Why? Because the idea of a principle entails headship. And here’s what Aquinas reflects on. He says, look, if we look at the body, what is the principle of the movement of all of the body parts within the body? It’s the head. You chop off the head. Do you have movement in the body parts anymore?

Cy Kellett:

No.

Karlo Broussard:

No. And if there’s anything, is it like accidents on it’s not coordinated or if they, it’s just like a flop. So, the head, Aquinas says, is the principle of the proper movements of the body parts. Okay?

Cy Kellett:

Keeps us breathing.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right. So if we use the head as our metaphor, we can see that just as head is principle of the proper movements of the body, parts, the man and the family is the principle of the life of the family, of the proper movements of the life of the family. So, we can apply the metaphor of headship or head to the man and the family because man is the principle of the life of the family. Now, if man is head of the life of the family, well, then he is also governor of the family. How so, or why? Because to govern is to direct something to its due end goal, to direct something to its appropriate goal. Okay? So, think of a coach. A coach governs the team. Why? Why is he a governor of the team? He’s also head of the team.

Why? Because he’s directing the members of the team to their appropriate goal, victory. And so the Aquinas would use the example of a captain of a ship. He is head of the ship. Why? Not only because he’s principal, you know the proper movement of the ship and the functioning of the ship is coming from him, but also he’s directing the crew of the ship and the ship itself to its appropriate destination or its goal. So, to be a principal entails headship. To be a head entails governance or directing something to its appropriate end. So if man is principal of the family, then he is head. If man is head of the family, then he’s governor of the family, which means his role as head of the family is to direct the members of the family to their appropriate destination.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, and I know what that is from where we started.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right. It’s god.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, it’s God.

Karlo Broussard:

It’s friendship with God.

Cy Kellett:

Right. Yes.

Karlo Broussard:

So if that’s the case, then whatever… Think about this. Whatever’s essential to man fulfilling his role as being governor or director of members of the family to their appropriate destinations, man’s got to use it. So for example, you don’t send a soldier into battle… A general is not going to send his soldiers into battle without what is necessary for soldiering.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Right.

Karlo Broussard:

That would be absurd. “Go fight the war, but hey, you’re left to your own devices. I’m not going to give you any weapons.” Right?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Right.

Karlo Broussard:

Assuming that’s a just war here. Okay?

Cy Kellett:

Okay. Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

But so notice whatever is essential to functioning properly, you got to use that stuff, right? So if man is governor, as head of the family, he’s governor, he’s got to direct the members of the family to their appropriate destination, he needs to be using whatever is necessary to direct his family to their appropriate destination. Is religion and the acts of religion necessary for the members of the family to achieve their appropriate destination of friendship with God? It is because that’s what religion involves, the proper relationship with God and all of the activities that arise from that relationship. And so if I know, as head of the family, I got to be the governor of the family, I got to be directing the members of my family to their appropriate destination, friendship with God, and I know that religion and the acts of religion are essential to the members of my family achieving their appropriate destination, well, then I got to be leading the members of my family, directing them in the actions of religion, the acts of religion, so that they can achieve their appropriate destination.

So by way of analogy, the coach of the football team, he’s got to be leading the members of the team in the activities necessary to achieve the goal of victory. So, he’s got to be saying, “Boys, get on the field and we’re going to be practicing for two hours. Run your sprints, do your drills, go to special teams. Defensive team, offensive team, run the plays.” The coach has to be directing them in those activities in order to achieve the end. If he were not, if he were to just say, “Eh, whatever, let’s just have a free day and we’ll just hang out or whatever,” will they ever achieve the destination of victory? Absolutely not.

Cy Kellett:

No.

Karlo Broussard:

So two, I, as a man, as the principle of the life of my family, therefore as head of my family, and as head of my family, I must be governor of my family, directing the members of my family to their appropriate destination of relationship with God, knowing that the acts of religion are essential to them achieving that destination of friendship with God, proper relationship with God, then I need to be directing them in those acts of religion, which means I need to be directing them in worshiping God, offering him the sacrifices of their lives, blood, sweat and tears, and a supernatural way, leading them to the holy sacrifice of the mass, which is the ultimate form of worship of God, directing them.

Remember I said that Aquinas views acts of religion as avoiding [inaudible 00:20:58]. I need to be directing the members of my family to avoid sinful behavior, less they be outside of the proper relationship with God.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

And so that is my role as men. And so I conclude religion is manly, right? To be a man in the family, and thus head and governor of the family, religion and the acts of religion are absolutely essential for me to fulfill that role as man in the family, as head of the family, and thereby as governor of the family, directing them. So, notice, Cy, this view of man’s role in the family as head, this is not one of tyranny, of lording one’s authority over others. It’s an authority of service.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

So, the whole role of the man and the family is to serve the members of the family by directing them to what is their appropriate end, friendship with God. So, it’s a leadership of service, not one of being served.

Cy Kellett:

Now, okay so this… You told us you were going to do two things, and this is the kind of philosophical grounding for this whole argument.

Karlo Broussard:

And I’m on one point before you move on.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Notice how in Ephesians chapter five, verses 23 through 24, this would be a path of revelation to show that man is head of the family, St. Paul teaches us that man is head of his wife as Christ head of the church. If he is head of wife, then he is head of family because the life of the family comes from the relationship between the husband and wife. And as head, that just simply implies that role of leadership and governance in the life of the family within the relationship. So, having that proper ordered relationship between husband and wife leads to the proper ordered relationship of the man and the family towards the other members of the family. So, that would be, by way of revelation, to show that man is head of family.

Cy Kellett:

Well, that’s what I was going to ask you about, is this in the Bible as well?

Karlo Broussard:

Oh yeah. Yeah. So if the question is, is man’s headship in the Bible? Yes.

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Karlo Broussard:

I thought you were going to move on to the path of revelation in order to see the manliness of religion, generally speaking.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Okay. That is more generally what I want to do.

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

So, the idea is that here we have the philosophical underpinning-

Karlo Broussard:

Of the manliness of religion.

Cy Kellett:

… of the manliness of religion. But is that the same story that the Bible tells, in other words? That’s what I want to get to.

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah. And it’s super cool to think about it. We do… The answer is yes. We see that men and the major male figures within salvation history are the ones who are leading and directing the family of God in acts of religion to foster the proper relationship to God, which we call religion, generally speaking. So, we could look at Adam, the whole scriptural exegesis of the creation story of seeing the garden as an, or seeing the world as a macro temple and seeing the garden as the inner sanctuary, and Adam being the priest of the inner sanctuary where God tells him in Genesis chapter two to teal and keep the garden. Those two Hebrew words, many biblical scholars point out how when they’re combined together, elsewhere in the Old Testament, they’re used in reference to Levitical priests, keeping watch over the temple and the temple furnishings and performing priestly duties, signifying that Adam, the man, the head of the life human family as a whole, and then the relationship with Eve, and their children is priest.

So, Adam is seen to be priest. Noah, what does Noah do right after the floodwater subside? Genesis 8:20, he builds an altar and he offers sacrifice to give thanksgiving to God, to worship God. And it’s Noah who leads the charge. He’s at the helm in leading his family in liturgical worship and worshiping Almighty God, this act of religion, namely worship. Melchizedek, Genesis chapter 14, he’s offering sacrifice of bread and wine. He’s called a priest of the most high God in Genesis 14:18. So again, a manly figure who is priest?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Liturgical worship associated with the man leading the way. Abraham, he’s paying tithes to Melchizedek. That’s a religious action, according to Aquinas, paying the tithes. He leads the covenant sacrifice in Genesis 15. Remember cutting the sacrificial victim in the pillar of fire crossing through the two pieces? And that was sort of the covenant making ceremony between Abraham and God. Abraham’s leading the charge there in this ratifying ceremony of the covenant with God. Moses, oh my gosh, I could go through eight different things. But the bottom line, if you read the story of Moses and the life of Moses in the Old Testament, what is he doing? He’s leading the people of God in liturgical worship. The very point of leading them out of Egypt, according to Exodus 3:12 and 8:27 is for the sake of worship’s.

Cy Kellett:

That’s right.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s the whole purposes. “Get them out of Egypt so that my people can worship me,” God says.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

And who’s at the helm? Moses, leading the fray, leading the people of God to worship God. And then of course, as we read the narratives, Moses leads the people of God in actual acts of religion in worshiping God. He’s providing the law of God, teaching them how to live their life in a way that’s consistent with the relationship with God as their creator. And it’s Moses leading the way. Moses brings down the 10 plagues. Why? To show that the Egyptian deities are false, and the true God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So, he’s instructing the people of God about God himself, yet another act of religion. And of course, building the tent and the dwelling place in which sacrifices offered, appointing Aaron and his sons to be priests in order to minister to the Lord and engage in these acts of religion. And finally, we could look at David. David performs priestly functions when he’s in the presence of the ark. He’s dressed in the priestly garb. He’s offering cakes as sacrifice. He’s blessing the people.

And then ultimately, we look at our Lord himself, Jesus Christ, who is the high priest going to the temple for liturgical worship. And then ultimately, Cy, I would say this, not only do we see these male figures in salvation history leading the people of God in acts of religion, liturgical worship, acts that are appropriate for the relationship that we have with God, but ultimately we see the Son of God becoming man, not just in the general sense of taking on a human nature, which is the incarnation, but becoming male, a human being, a male human being. And what does Jesus do as man, as male? He leads the entire human race back to God.

Cy Kellett:

Right. Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Puts the entire human race back into relationship with God, and he does it as male. And so I, as a male, as head of my family, I look to our Lord. And what was his primary role? To unite the human family back into relationship with God. And I see that my role as male in my family is to unite my family, guide and lead and direct my family into relationship with God. And so I look to our Lord himself as the primary model, the example parks a lots of what it means to be a man in the family as head. I got to be leading them to their ultimate destination, which is God. And so by way of revelation, we even see that religion is essential to the role of man within the local family or within the broader family of the people of God.

Cy Kellett:

It’s extraordinary that if I take on this manly view of religion, then so many of the things that ale men today disappear. I mean, you think of… What’s probably… I mean, one of the primary sins of men today is treating women as objects, of objects of pleasure. And the man who has this view that my life is ordered to God as an end, and I am meant to lead others to God can’t treat women like that.

Karlo Broussard:

Absolutely.

Cy Kellett:

I mean, he could fall into that, but I’m not saying physically he can’t.

Karlo Broussard:

It’s inconsistent.

Cy Kellett:

But it would be inconsistent with who he is.

Karlo Broussard:

With who he is as man, and the relationship that he has with God as his ultimate end, as his creator, his beginning and his in. It would be inconsistent with the relationship that the woman he’s treating inappropriately-

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

… and her relationship with God. And so one who has this view is going to do what he can, of course, by God’s grace, we know as a Christian, to avoid those behaviors-

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

… we call it sin, that are inconsistent with the proper relationship I must have with God as my creator, inconsistent with the virtue of religion.

Cy Kellett:

Right. So, he’s not, as many men are today, inordinately violent. He’s not just a consumer. He’s not an inordinate consumer. He’s not just a workaholic. Because none of these things would comport with living a life in which God is the beginning and the end.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right.

Cy Kellett:

And that my manly role is to help others to get to that end.

Karlo Broussard:

Absolutely. Yeah, so once we have that order… As I study St. Thomas Aquinas and I think through all these philosophical issues, if I were to describe… I often think about this. If somebody were to ask me, “How would you sum up Aquinas’s whole metaphysical thought?” It’s order. It’s having proper order to the due end.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

The proper destination, right? It’s all about order. Listen, if you play the game of soccer, you need to follow the rules of soccer. You play the game of football, you follow the rules of football. You play the game of basketball, you follow the rules of basketball. You play the game of human, which we’re all in because we’re human, we need to play the game of human.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

What’s involved in the game of human, of being a human? God is my origin. God is my in, because I’ve come from him, he’s given me existence, and I’m ordered to him as my ultimate destination in which I find my completion, my perfection of winning the human game.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

And once we have that order, that relationship established, I’m related to God in these ways. Once I have that order established, then I’m able to see what fits and what doesn’t fit. If I play a football game and I take that football and I start trying to bounce it, does that fit with the order of football in the game of football? No, I need to be playing the game of basketball. Or if I go in the game of basketball and I take the basketball and I punt it, kick it across the court, does that action fit in the order of basketball, in the game of basketball? Absolutely not. Similarly, once I have that order of this relation to God as my goal, as my origin, and as my end, and I realize that you have that same relationship with God as your origin and your end, and especially the members of my family, I’m able to see which behaviors fit within the order, which activities fit-

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

… and which activities don’t. And as a man in the family, as head, as governor of the life of the family, I need to be engaging in and leading the members of my family in those activities, need to be directing them and those activities that fit within that order-

Cy Kellett:

Yes.

Karlo Broussard:

… and helping them avoid the activities that don’t fit in the order. If we’re playing the game of basketball and you start punting the basketball, what am I going to do? Cy, as your coach, I’m going to say, “Cy, stop kicking the ball.”

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

“Play the game of basketball like it’s supposed to be played.” We have this order to God, the game of being human. My children start behaving in ways that are not appropriate or fitting for that order, I say, “Kids, knock it off. Play the game of human rightly.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Succeed in the game of human. Engage in the activities fitting of this proper order to God. Worship him, engage in behaviors that are consistent with his design for human happiness, especially when it comes to sexuality and other areas, and then you’ll be playing the game of human appropriately, and hopefully succeed in winning that game of being a human by living the virtuous life, by doing what is good for us as human beings, and hopefully by God’s grace, achieve the supernatural end of the beatific vision of seeing God face-to-face.

Cy Kellett:

All right. Just kind of giving into the fear here that we might be leaving out someone important. Who could it be? Women.

Karlo Broussard:

Women.

Cy Kellett:

Is there a womanliness to religion as well?

Karlo Broussard:

Yeah, absolutely, because… Notice how we’ve been emphasizing this aspect of this relation to God by way of governance, of directing ourselves and others to their ultimate destination. Given that man is head of the family, that’s very fitting for him to be directing members of the family to their ultimate de destination, which is friendship with God. And that involves acts of religion. But there’s another aspect of the relationship that maps on with woman, given her biological makeup in the conjugate act.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Karlo Broussard:

And that is to receive the seed. So in the relation with God, we not only direct something to their appropriate in ourselves and others, but there’s also a reception because we’re receiving from God that which is appropriate for us as human beings to perfect us, the good things that God gives us [inaudible 00:35:28]

Cy Kellett:

And if we don’t, we got nothing.

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right. That’s right, because it all comes from God. So as much as we are setting our sights on the receiving aspect of this proper order to God or relationship with God, we call religion, then that would map on with women. And so you have the womanliness of religion, that is appropriate and something to be emphasized. Now, that is not to say man cannot receive, nor what I’m saying in this conversation is women cannot direct. Of course, they’re supposed to be directing, but notice a saint Paul says, women be submissive to your husbands. Be under the role of husband. Man has the primary role of directing members of the family to their ultimate destination. And as [inaudible 00:36:15] 11th and [inaudible 00:36:17] said a long time ago, when man fails, woman’s going to take his place. Woman can take his place to direct members of the family, because man-

Cy Kellett:

That’s happening everywhere now.

Karlo Broussard:

Absolutely. But man has the primary role, and then the woman submits to that role is in unison with that role of directing and does it with him. That’s why, as Genesis said, man created Eve to be a helpmate or a helper of Adam. Woman is to assist man in achieving his role to direct members of the family to their ultimate destination. So, it’s not man apart from woman. It’s man with woman. Man needs woman to fulfill his role of being the head of the family because he needs that counsel. Listen, I ain’t perfect. I don’t make… A lot of times my wife gives me insights and counsel that I never considered before, and I’m like, “Yeah, my idea stinks. Let me go with your idea,” and implement that idea for the life of the family. So, man does need woman in that sense, but man needs woman to teach him how to properly receive because it’s just built into women to receive in a natural way.

That’s what they do in the conjugal act. They receive the seed of that which is going to generate life, and then they foster that life within as opposed to man going out of themself. Woman is focused on the interior mode of the life of the family, right?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Because she’s nourishing the child within the womb. So, woman can teach man how to receive properly in this relation with God. This is why for us as men, we can’t just be always directing. We got to sit quiet in prayer and receive from God those graces and the good things he wants to give us in prayer, in silence, right? And women do that sort of naturally because they’re just hardwired to do that, and they can help us men do that as well. So indeed, by emphasizing the manliness of religion, by no means do we intend to exclude the womanly aspect of religion. We’re just trying to emphasize the manliness of religion, because that is the aspect of religion that has been lost to a great degree in the popular consciousness-

Cy Kellett:

Right. Right.

Karlo Broussard:

… of popular Christianity. It’s not lost in the church’s teaching, but it’s lost-

Cy Kellett:

But where is the men in the church?

Karlo Broussard:

That’s right.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, take up the manly challenge of being a disciple of Jesus and living a life of religion.

Karlo Broussard:

Amen, and leading your family in that life of religion.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Just so you know, my basketball coach encouraged me to play another game. He said, “I don’t think basketball’s the game for you, so see if you can find something else to play?

Karlo Broussard:

But in the game of human-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:

Well, you can’t get out of that game.

Cy Kellett:

No, that’s right.

Karlo Broussard:

You’re either going to stink or you’re going to do it well, but you can’t get out of it.

Cy Kellett:

That is correct. Thanks, Karlo. Thanks very much.

Karlo Broussard:

Thank you.

Cy Kellett:

Thanks for everybody who listens to Catholic Answers Focus. If you’d like to communicate with us, send us an email. [email protected] is our email address, [email protected] And as I pretty much say every time, if you’d like to support us financially, because it does cost a little bit to do this, you can do so by going to givecatholic.com. Maybe leave a little note there that says, “This donation is for Catholic Answers Focus.” And wherever you’re listening, whatever podcasting service or wherever you’re getting this, if you’d give us that five stars, maybe a nice review, a few kind words, subscribe, do all those things, that helps to grow the podcast. Thanks for taking this time with us. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. We’ll see you next time, God willing, right here on Catholic Answers Focus.

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