Skip to main content

The Virtuous Woman Workout: Sanctioned by God

By Klym ~

No matter how hard I try, I just can't get away from the constant bombardment of Christian culture. Granted, I live in the Bible Belt of the USA, in the south, so why should I be surprised? But, still, I find myself getting "evangelized" in the strangest places and at the strangest times.

Picture this: I'm minding my own business at work last week when I go to my work mailbox and find a plastic 16 oz. bottle of water, the neck of it wrapped with a pretty bow of pink netting, with a couple of cards attached to the bow advertising "P31 fitness". Now mind you, I'm an educator, so this was in my "secular" mailbox at school. Every single mailbox in my school (even the men's boxes) had the "message in a bottle" placed in it that day.

I eagerly look at the cards attached thinking, "Wow, I haven't heard of this new fitness craze---I wonder what it is?" Since I was 18 years old I have been a fitness junkie---you name it, I've done it---Jazzercize, Pilates, TaeBo, martial arts, yoga, power yoga, belly dance, Zumba, tap, ballet, jazz, kettlebell, water aerobics---you get the idea. So, I'm on this like stink on a skunk thinking it's something new and different I can try---I'm so excited...

UNTIL....I read on the card that along with the exercise I will get daily email devotionals and a devotional will be delivered at each workout. Can you hear my balloon of enthusiasm bursting? POP! I can't help myself though, I have to go to the website that is advertised on the card to satisfy my curiosity.

Here's what I found: "P31 fitness" is based on Proverbs 31:10-31. The cluster of verses in the Bible known as the "Virtuous Woman" verses. It basically describes a woman who works her ass off from before the sun rises until after dark so that her husband can go sit at the city gates and be respected by the elders. But his poor wife NEVER sits down for a minute to rest her weary bones. Virtuous?? I think not.

The "P31" website states the following:

"Taking time to workout isn't crazy. It's Godly. And no one does it because she loves sweating . She does it because her day is otherwise full of service to others--working, mothering, caring for a home, caring for parents, serving every other person--and she needs that hour to put herself first, just for a little while."

Excuse me, but nothing in Proverbs 31 says anything about the "virtuous" woman taking time out for herself. It says that "she eateth not the bread of idleness". Of course I realize that working out for an hour is not being idle, but here is just another example of how Christianity can take verses from the Bible and twist them to meet the needs of whatever agenda they are promoting. This P31 Fitness is not free; it is not provided to God's followers just for the joy of getting healthy in God's name. I understand that Christians have to make a living too, but still, the whole thing just irks me. I'll be damned if I'm going to a workout where I have to be preached to about being a virtuous woman. And, I resent that a blatant advertisement for Christianity was put in my mailbox at work, at a federally funded institution,at a public school!!!! The thin line separating church and state in our country is getting more blurry by the second.

I highly doubt that my school in the Bible Belt would have allowed Muslim, Buddhist, or Freethought pamphlets to be put in my work mailbox. And yet I am unknowingly subjected to this type of advertising in the workplace. I haven't decided yet who to complain to about this. Since most of my colleagues are Bible-believing Christians, I know my complaints would not be well received. And, to complicate things, the church who sponsored this ad provides free food for some of our needy students. I guess if we accept their charity, we also have to accept their evangelizing?

It's a lose/lose situation for me. If I speak up, I will become a pariah; if I stay quiet, then I am not being true to myself. But being true to myself in this instance could cost me more than I am willing to pay for my nonbelief. After all, it's only an exercise class---how much harm can it do? ALOT, as we here at ExC know all too well. While I'm sure the creators of P31 fitness are well-intentioned people, how much good/harm will they do in the name of their god?

This situation reminds me of how fortunate I am to have escaped the bonds of this religion---a religion that infiltrates every waking hour with some message telling us that we're not quite worthy enough just as we are. We can't even exercise without God's sanction!? I am so thankful that I can vent to my fellow escapees---what would you do if you were in my running shoes? I'll probably just drink the water, recycle the plastic bottle and the cards, and use the bow for a future gift wrapping decoration. Us ExC's have to pick our battles carefully.


Popular posts from this blog

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

I can fix ignorance; I can't fix stupid!

By Bob O ~ I 'm an atheist and a 52-year veteran of public education. I need not tell anyone the problems associated with having to "duck" the "Which church do you belong to?" with my students and their parents. Once told by a parent that they would rather have a queer for their sons' teacher than an atheist! Spent HOURS going to the restroom right when prayers were performed: before assemblies, sports banquets, "Christmas Programs", awards assemblies, etc... Told everyone that I had a bladder problem. And "yes" it was a copout to many of you, but the old adage (yes, it's religious) accept what you can't change, change that which you can and accept the strength to know the difference! No need arguing that which you will never change. Enough of that. What I'd like to impart is my simple family chemistry. My wife is a Baptist - raised in a Baptist Orphanage (whole stories there) and is a believer. She did not know my religi