No, not the Marines, your local church. Saw this on the Deacon's Bench and thought I'd put in my $0.02 on it: a USA Today story entitled "At nation's churches, guys are few in the pews."
A quick quote:
Blame the church, not the men, says David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church.
Warm, nurturing congregations ignore men's need to face the epic struggles of living for Christ, writes Murrow, of Chugiak, Alaska, on his website, churchformen.com.
While this story mostly focuses on the e-free types, I've definitely experienced problems with this not only at our current parish, but with my mindset growing up in a rural community. It's so easy for farmers and ranchers, in particular, to label religion as "women's work" and claim they can't get away from the cows and the crops for 1 or 2 hours on Sunday morning. To be honest, that's probably the biggest reason I got cold feet about going back to the family farm. The non-Catholic members of the family figured I'd only be able to get to Mass about 1/4 of the year due to seasonal workload, and the Catholic (male) family members weren't in any mood to push the issue.
It's really affected my ability to meet and make friends with guys my own age in our current parish, too. Of the dozen or so women who are pretty active in MM's "young women's Bible study group," only three (besides MM, by my count) are married to men who are Catholic and attend Mass on any kind of regular basis. Some of the other husbands are actually fairly hostile to religion in general. So, it kind of puts a crimp in some of the men's ministry type of things, not to mention general male bonding and whatnot. What has been the experience of any of you who might read this?