A Valentine

It is again that day of the year when the thoughts of fundamentalists everywhere turn again to one thing: pagan fertility rituals and blood sacrifices. Because nothing in this world says “I love you, honey” like a good screed.

But not every fundamentalist hates this holiday. Just like other pagan observances such as Christmas, Easter, and Thursday, some fundamentalists do inevitably succumb to the cultural pressure and participate in their own strange little way. When ensues is a strange conflation of the secular, sacred, and downright scary as churches attempt to both encourage expressions of romantic love and stop it dead in its tracks.

Nowhere does this appear more than at Fundy U where guys and girls obsess for long hours over getting a date to the gala event of the season. But having put in all the time and effort to secure a spot with their special someone the student then realizes that they’re not actually sure what to do with them. Sitting stiffly next to your date through a Gilbert and Sullivan musical and then cordially nodding goodnight at the end of the evening just lacks a certain je ne sais quoi1.

Never mind candy and flowers and jewelry and romance, a trip to a church banquet hall to hear preaching about hellfire is what really says “I love you.” You can be my Valentine as long as you do it from from way over there.

1Translation: “hubba-hubba”

84 thoughts on “A Valentine”

      1. I don’t think that was a tie, seeins how mine is up there ABOVE yours and has more letters in it (and even one unplanned blessing of a letter that shows how flexible I am even in spelling simple words.) Oh, it is far from a tie, my friend. I WAS FIRST!!! YEAH YEAH YEAH!! Now BOW to my FIRSTNESS! And allow me to sit back in the glory of it all. (I think that perhaps on THIS post and this one alone the person who was first should recieve flowers and chocolates from all other posters. Starting with whoever was second. Now, who was that again?

        1. Note to self: “Firstness” is not a word that one wants to accidentally misspell as “fatness”

  1. Nuthin’ says romance like a church-approved dress (w/sleeves and a shawl, justah-be-on-the-safe-side), a pot-luck, a chaperone, and a sermon on abstinence at Basement Bible College.

    1. Amen sistah been to a few of those. Even went to one where it was routinely called out, “Hand check!” and everyone had to lift their hands so nobody would hold hands under the table. Of course “Hand Check Guy” was the youth pastor who was also sleeping with one of the 9th grade girls at the time, but I guess since he was there without a date (his wife was home with the kids) he probably didn’t want anyone else getting any “action” while he couldn’t.

        1. The way the system is set up the opportunities abound. The Youth Pastor is usually related in some way (at least by friendship) to the pastor who runs the show. He is given access to the girls with absolutely no accountability. Of course if the girl tells SHE is vicitimized and she knows how it works, she has probably seen it happen. In some cases the girls think they are *special* or *in love* and would never tell out of loyalty. In the case of the girl getting pregnant, it is all her fault for “seducing” him and ruining his marriage. It is tragic and happens A L O T!

        2. I know you didn’t mean it this way, but it sounds like the pregnant wife was on top of the guy with his … caught in the highschooler… :shock:

    2. Rodalena, at first I thought you said with sleeves and a shave. Wow, now that would be getting a bit too personal, even for fundies!

  2. At OBC, if you didn’t have a date for the V Banquet ole J Vinney would pick one out for you. But trust me, he has TERRIBLE taste. :roll:

      1. What was really wonderful was footing the extra Banquet ticket as a poor kid in college. I think I remember showing up, taking a “bathroom break” then popping smoke. :evil:

      2. Hahaha ‘leftovers’ :lol: Terrible. But were you really forced to go OBC (sorry don’t know you’re name :smile: )? That’s something that always bothered me. Up until graduation from high school you couldn’t even think about sitting next to a girl in church or texting her, but as soon as that’s over you’re shoved into the singles group expected to start reaching out. A load of crap if you ask me.

        1. Oh yes we were certainly “forced” to go (you know how the fundies do it without “actually” doing it). I got the “greatest” missionary at “large” girl there. Even her own brother joked with me that she’d be sure to keep me warm in the winter and shade me in the summer. :shock:

          They all seemed to take great joy that JV had chosen her to go with me. I’m also thinking that I might possibly have been the only guy ever to go to the banquet with her.

          I hated the fact that we had been put into that situation for the sinister entertainment of an old grumpy MOG. :evil:

        2. I figure it was his attempt to be eHarmony or something like that. He just figured that all y’all would be so grateful for taking the awkwardness out of the event by just going along with doing what you were told to do. Didn’t have a clue about the awkwardness he was causing in doing that. I feel sorry for both of you. I am sure that a girl with no date does NOT want that kind of “help” ESPECIALLY if she knows the guy is only there because he is being forced to be there.

        3. @exOBC: It took a couple readings to realize that “‘missionary’ at ‘large’ girl” did not mean a physically large woman. (Right?) ‘Cause at first I thought, “So she was large, so what?” :shock:

    1. After reading your description of how you treated her and how even now you define her to others by one facet of her looks, I’m sure the girl you were paired with would agree with you that Vineyard had terrible taste.

      I get that it’s uncomfortable and wrong to be paired up like that, but geez … I’m thinking Vineyard isn’t the only jerk in this story.

      1. You’d be correct. I was very much a jerk while in the IFB. I was SO judgemental and closed-minded that I still can’t believe some of the things I used to think and say. :roll:

        1. We all have behavior we’re not proud of. I guess the problem I have is that your story didn’t come across as a painful Valentines’ memory because you remember how you acted, but because you got stuck with the fat girl. If, when you look back at the incident, all you see is that you were forced to spend time with someone you found unattractive, that’s on the present-day you. Not the former fundie you.

          Maybe I’m reading you wrong – I apologize if that’s so.

        2. Posted the above comment before I read this exchange–and before I reread the relayed comments of her brother.

          Disparaging people for their size is just not cool. And as you’ll see if you check my blog (see link @ my name), this has particular significance for me. Her brother especially ought to be ashamed of himself. As for you, I can see no reason why you’d bring up her size except to imply that you find it particularly distasteful. If you’re not attracted to larger women, that’s one thing–say “a woman I wasn’t attracted to” and leave it at that. Otherwise there’s no real good reason to even talk about it.

        3. FMW, I added these extra details because I was trying to give some more context to the situation back then. The fact that she was the largest female in the college was the joke that JV wanted me to be part of. In other words, one of JV’s classic traits is that he ENJOYS getting off on hurting/humiliating/ostracizing people that aren’t on his “nice” list.

          We were both the nasty joke of JV and we knew it. Sadly, everyone else did too and tried to rub it in more with the fat jokes. Her brother really suprised me though. Does that give you some important understanding now?

      2. When I think of all the things I wish I could do over again from when I was young, I can’t really judge anyone. But I would have hated to be there that day. We all have things we remember and cringe. If we don’t we haven’t really looked at ourselves honestly. I have fewer of those moments now, but that is just because I am old and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be. :wink:

        1. Ditto what Finding My Way said. If I read that guy correctly, he is STILL a jerk today, not only in the past.

  3. Simsy-Poo, you did my hair for the worst Valentine’s Banquet of my life. I actually consented to go with a guy, at Judson Mitchell’s insistence, who would not speak. He would not make conversation whatsoever. He was scared to death of me, and I guess we were matched up becuase I had plenty to spare. I remember his first name, but not his last, and now that I think of him–which I have not done in probably thirty years–I wonder if he is all right. He had to have some serious issues. Poor guy! But yes, I looked tres elegante with my hair up and glamorous, thanks to you. We had the Banquet at the Merrilville Holiday Inn, because the new addition had not been built yet, at HAC. A year later, a dear high school friend of mine proposed to his girlfriend at the cigarette machine there. They are now divorced. I simply canNOT find a happy ending for this post… :shock:

    1. I never got to go to a single one of those since my “Significant Other” was always working. I used to feel bad about that, but now that I have been on “REAL” dates I can’t imagine that I missed out on much.
      I always did the hair of all the girls in the dorm who were going anywhere. I remember yours as best. You had tons of it, thick and wavy and easy to work with. You DID look MAGNIFICENT Dahling. Anyone would have been LUCKY to have YOU as their leftover assigned date. (So glad I was engaged at the time and didn’t get “encouraged” to date anyone not of my choosing.)

      1. Well, I refused to EVER attend another, and was never sorry. It was the most boring time ever, but it WAS a mark of having arrived, in the dorms, if you had a date to it. By my senior year, I could not have cared less, and was fixated on getting OUT! I was student teaching by then, and loving it, had papers to grade, etc. The next one I attended was vastly different, four years later, and I have sent you a photo of it, in your FB inbox. Sadly, you were not there then, to do my hair. :wink:

        1. The picture looked lovely, and your hair even looked ok, considering you got someone ELSE to do it for you. Thats ok, that year I was probably crying my eyes out at home with two kids and no money while my husband was out soul-winning or something. :wink:

  4. The fundy churches I’ve been in don’t hate Valentine’s day but rather than going out to eat with your honey, you’re supposed to spend twice as much money on the church banquet. After all, Valentine’s day isn’t about you as a couple, it’s about you as a couple and your church. Being with the church family is better than being alone with your honey don’tcha know?

    The food was usually good, except for last year when they ordered from a local restaurant and the food was lukewarm when we got it. After paying as much as we’d have paid if we’d gone to the restaurant and eaten it there.

    The meal is followed by one of their idiot skits (Lord, how I hate those skits, and by the way I REALLY hate those skits!) and then some games. Some can be fun, others… not so much.

    This then is followed by preaching. Yeah preaching. At a banquet. Because Fundys never miss a chance to preach. Of course since the banquet is couples only (only married and engaged couples allowed, no dating couples) the preaching has to be on the home with 95% of the time dedicated to wifely submission and 5% dedicated to husbandly love.

    Last year… the bile rises at the memory… we were still at the former church (which we left in September) and we went to the banquet. In the long winded preaching he had the temerity to say that wives ought to be understanding about the husband’s sex drive and give in to it. Once again negating the fact that women have sexual needs as well as men do, and emphasizing the oft belabored nonsense that we live for them, they don’t live for us, our whole purpose is to please them, blah blah blah! By this time you wish you’d never heard of Valentine’s day since it only gave the fundy pastor yet another reason to bloviate about women’s place in the world!

    This year at the new church there was no Valentine banquet (glory!) :mrgreen: This past Sunday they had an afterglow fellowship after the evening service and the men brought in the food. All desserts but they were very good. Even edible. I didn’t get indigestion! And no guilt mongering preaching about marriage.

  5. I found the linked article a hoot. Of course a 5 minute internet search debunked about 90% of their “theory”.

    I did love this line though:

    “The sacred day of February 14th was called “Lupercalia” or “day of the wolf.” This was a day that was sacred to the sexual frenzy of the goddess Juno.”

    I wonder how many fundies would keep their juno e-mail accounts if they knew this.

        1. I LOLed. I am just a cranky old fart. Some days, I just get exhausted by the tidal waVe of vampire chick lit that the Twilight series spawned. :wink: Anyway, that’s over now, and has been replaced by zombies :mrgreen:

    1. I just wanted to say that I am all in favor of the aforementioned “sexual frenzy” – with one’s spouse, of course. Just sayin’….

  6. Today, somewhere on the Bob Jones University campus, “Dr” Greg Mazak is snarkily telling impressionable young undergrad students to “have a happy pagan holiday.”

  7. Read on a fundy bulletine board (go there for crap and giggles) regarding a guy who posted he was taking his wife out for dinner on Valentines – “By using the name (Valentine) you are invoking a catholic saint, aka a pagan god.

    The guy wrote back, “yes I agree it’s a pagan practice to venerate these guys above any others. It’s not Biblical, God has forgiven me.”

    WTH – but they have no problem invoking King James, his Bible or the American flag.

    It also explains why my Baptist grandma told my mom she couldn’t name me Nicholas / it was a catholic name. When I found that out, I was pissed. My oldest son is Nick!

    1. The fundies should be ashamed of themselves for using the names of the days of the week and most of the months too! They reference pagan gods too. And by naming days after them, are we not venerating them?

      One quickly turns into a hypocrite when the primary goal of one’s life is to be separate from all associations with nonChristian things. The way they doggedly cling to this futile attempt, lauding themselves for where they succeed and excusing themselves in the areas where they don’t, is so pathetic when Christ came to give us live and freedom!

  8. I mostly remember Fundytine’s Day from my years in Fundy high school. I remember all kids of girls asking boys out to some special dinner fling the school sponsored for the parents and anyone in the tenth grade and higher. I was the only ninth grader there because my girlfriend was in tenth grade. I wore a fedora that night and she thought it was cute. Anyways, I found the morning before the dinner extremely awkward because I was asked by about ten different girls if I could “accompany” them to the dinner. Why? Are you really that desperate? It was almost as bad as the girls’ fear to be found single during the rapture :roll:

        1. Yesterday I was just going to add that we were probably all just doing it to get a TENT shun (Attention) but my computer censored me and wouldn’t go where I told it to. Wasn’t as funny as Don’s anyway.
          I think, Seen Enough, you would have to wash our fingers with soap. But after all this, probably there are some fingers that need it anyway.

  9. Oh goodness! That link!! LOL!

    I’m thinking Pastor Meyer might be surprised to learn that, in the current Catholic liturgical calendar, Feb. 14 is actually the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs.

    Also–Saint Valentine himself was an early Christian martyr. I don’t think he had anything to do with wolves or Juno.

  10. I have good memories of the Valentine’s banquet at BJU as it was the first date I had with the man who became my husband. I was a GA and sitting on the main floor of the dining hall with him was the only time I ever sat there. <3

    After that, I would look for him from my seat on the dining hall balcony (where all the families without children and the singles sat) and figure out where he was so I could wave to him or smile at him. He looked for me, too.

  11. I’m glad you put up something from Last Trumpet Ministries in Beaver Dam, WI. This guy’s been brainwashing my mother for years. Bottom line – some people are only happy when they can find evil everywhere. Sucks the joy out of living if you ask me.

  12. Wow, there are some great one-liners in that link! :shock: I’ll just say that “human female matrix” would be a good name for a rock band.

    Also from the link, a challenge for the day: See how many times you can work the phrase “chamber of sacred copulation” into your conversations. Shouldn’t be too hard, seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day. :grin:

    1. I actually think of working that phrase into the conversation next time I am at the doctor’s for my yearly exam. To see if he falls over laughing. Really! Do fundies just look for ways to make dirty stories out of EVERY THING??? :roll:

  13. +1 for je ne sais quois.
    Do you think you could put the little footnote number in “sup” tags? To, you know, make it more footnotish.

  14. You know, I don’t have a particular fundy memory of Valentine’s Day. Not one that comes up on the top of my head, anyway. Reading the comments here, though, I believe I can count myself blessed in that.

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