'Invite the young men back,' Jordan Peterson tells churches

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Conservative author and speaker Jordan Peterson says the Church must be a welcoming place for young people and young men in particular. 

In a message on YouTube titled 'Message to the Christian Churches', Peterson said that young people and men especially were experiencing a "demoralization" in present-day culture "that is perhaps unparalleled". 

"When they are children, boys are hectored for their toy preferences, which often include toy weapons, such as guns, and their more boisterous playing style, as boys require active rough and tumble play even more than girls, for whom it is also a necessity," he said.

"When in grade school, boys are admonished, shamed and controlled in a very similar manner by those who think that play is unnecessary, particularly if it's competitive, and who value a docile, harmless obedience above all."

He claimed that at "an extremely damaging ideology" is prevailing in the West that construes human culture as an "oppressive patriarchy" motivated by "selfish and self-serving ends".

"The prime contributor to the tyranny that makes up the oppressive patriarchy and structures all of our social interactions past and present and the unforgiveable despoiling of our beloved mother Earth is damnable male ambition, competitive and dominating, power-mad, selfish, exploitative, raping and pillaging," he said. 

He said that churches should even go as far as to "put up a billboard saying young men are welcome here". 

"Invite the young men back, say, literally, to those young men, 'You are welcome here. If no one else wants what you have to offer, we do. We want to call you to the highest purpose of your life. We want your time and energy and effort and your will and your goodwill. We want to work with you to make things better, to produce life more abundant for you, and for your wife and children and for your community, and your country, and the world,'" he said. 

He also said that churches need to help newcomers to church feel comfortable but also challenge them to be more than they were before.

"Tell those who have never been in a church exactly what to do, how to dress, when to show up, who to contact and, most importantly, what they can do," he said.

"Ask more, not less of those you are inviting. Ask more of them than anyone ever has. Remind them who they are in the deepest sense, and help them become that."