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Decorating gingerbread is ‘effeminate,’ Catholic author says, firing up bitter debate

Catholic author Taylor Marshall says grown men don’t decorate gingerbread houses and those who do suffer from “Peter Pan syndrome.”

Critics suggest that Marshall’s take is half-baked.

In a now-deleted tweet from a few days ago, captured in screengrabs, Marshall retweeted photos of seminarians at Saint Meinrad in Harrison Township, Indiana decorating gingerbread houses for the holidays.

“How fabulouth!” he tweeted. “These seminarians had a ‘gingerbread house making contest’ and Corey won. This is effeminate and puerile, and it’s why some Seminarians are horrific.

“Grown men don’t gather to decorate gingerbread. (Can you imagine Basil & Gregory Decorating cookies together?)“

Greg Hillis, an associate professor of theology at Bellarmine University, a Catholic college in Louisville, Kentucky, retweeted Marshall’s tweet before it was deleted. “Apparently making gingerbread houses makes seminarians gay. Who knew?” Hillis wrote.

According to his biography at, Marshall was ordained an Episcopal priest before he became Catholic. He and his wife, Joy, have eight children “spread out over 14 years” and live in Colleyville, Texas, the website says.

His books about theology and philosophy include “Catholic Perspective on Paul,” and his website, according to him, “receives between 1.5-2.2 million visitors per year, and has 74,000 daily email subscribers and over 350,000+ followers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.”

He loves the Latin Mass and Byzantine Divine Liturgy, he writes in his bio.

His thoughts on gingerbread houses kicked up heated debate among Catholics on Twitter, much of it critical of him. But a few people agreed that gingerbread decorating is not a man’s sport.

Marshall double-downed as the debate heated up.

“I decorate gingerbread houses with my kids. I love it. But I dont call my adult buddies over to my home for ginger bread decorating parties. Or pajama parties. This behavior reveals arrested development or Peter Pan Syndrome,” he tweeted over the weekend, referencing people who scientists say don’t want to or are unable to grow up.

One of his critics wondered “in what ways are men allowed to interact with baked goods in taylor marshall’s world? what does a REAL MAN’s gingerbread etiquette look like.”

Deacon Tony Cecil, whose Twitter bio mentions a connection to Saint Meinrad, slammed Marshall for a “lack of charity.”

Dr. Taylor Marshall is trying to spread the idea that my seminary is not fit to be forming priests because we decorated some gingerbread houses and put on a Christmas play for our professors and their children,” the deacon tweeted.

“Such an atrocious lack of charity is unbecoming of a Christian, certainly unbecoming of a Catholic, and I can no longer consider someone who is so shallow minded to authentically be able to convey and defend the truths of our faith. He’s shown his true colors.”

Author Mary Pezzulo, writing on the nondenominational website, Patheos, slammed Marshall for suggesting that decorating gingerbread houses is a “gendered” activity.

How mean-spirited do you have to be to publicly mock the sexuality of a seminarian decorating a gingerbread house?’ Pezzulo wrote.

“And what would be a party activity seminarians could do, which meets the Taylor Marshall Masculinity Seal of Approval? Cigar smoking? Arm wrestling? Talking about Thomas Aquinas? If it’s the latter, I’m glad I’ve never been invited to one of Marshall’s Christmas parties. I can’t imagine anything more boring.”

Having fun by “decorating a big intricate three-dimensional cookie isn’t a gendered activity,” she wrote. “The seminarians weren’t doing anything to be ashamed of; they were playing with sugar to make a craft at a party. That’s a party game. It’s a normal thing to do at your average awkward Christmas party, and way more fun than playing “White Elephant.”

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