Finding a Reason to Be Offended

Oh the party is terrific,
Family, friends all gathered near
And I might be having fun too
If that guy weren’t drinking beer

But instead of conversation,
Food, and laughter freely spread
Now I’ve got to spend time judging
Preaching sermons in my head

And it’s not just booze I’ve noticed
In this gathering tonight
Do you see that woman yonder with
The shirt that is too tight?

And the music’s loudly playing
I suspect some folks may dance
At a table in the next room
I see cards, a game of chance

So…instead of deigning to partake
(Not asking who had blessed the steak)
I’ll jot down each false step you make
And calculate for each mistake
Just how much offense I will take.

I’ve got reasons.

208 thoughts on “Finding a Reason to Be Offended”

    1. I am offended that you do not love your kids enough to send them the BEST CHURCH SCHOOL on the whole planet. If A-Beka was good enough for the Apostle Paul it’s good enough for…oh wait. πŸ˜‰

      1. We pulled our kids out from the Christian skule because we couldn’t afford it. The following year the skule shut down. Coincidence? Can’t help but wonder.

        BTW, the skule used Beka. Uggghh.

      1. All this bickering does is cause divisions in the SFL body. 😯 What will non SFL’ers think if they see we can’t even get alnog amongst ourselves? What kind of testimony is that?

        1. Where do you get your alnog?
          I’ve been looking for some good alnog, especially with the holidays coming up.

    1. Dear captain_solo:

      I’m amused by the offense that you take to the post’s bitterness.

      Christian Socialist

  1. I do know people like this; at any event, they don’t seem happy until they list all of the things going on with which they don’t agree. Then, and only then, having shown that they are righteous, they can settle back and enjoy the event.

      1. I’ve normally seen it done Christian to Christian; they’ll go out, say, to a restaurant. One will say how good the food is, but then the listing of “evil” begins:

        “They serve alcohol here”
        “The waitresses aren’t dressed very modestly”
        “The music isn’t that great”

        Once they get through the bad things, they are willing to sit back and enjoy it…

        1. Well, we mustn’t have people thinking we approve of the just-over-the-knee waitress skirts or the decade-old elevator pop!

        2. Ha. That reminds me of another classic Dad quote. They were visiting us when we lived in SE Asia, and we suggested stopping at Chili’s restaurant on the way to the airport on their trip home. “Chili’s? Is that the place where they play rock music too loud?” I had never even noticed they played music at all, not to mention “too loud.”

        3. Not getting upset at the music played in restaurants and grocery stores is one of the blessed freedoms in being an ex-fundy.

        4. To clarify, I am very thankful that I don’t have to get my soul all riled up at the sinful music whenever I’m out in public.

        5. Dear Guilt Ridden:

          If it is lousy music you want, see your local IFB ‘church.’

          Blessings!

          Christian Socialist

        6. Maybe it’s usually done Christian to Christian. But in ATI, we were expected to ask every public place that we entered to turn off “worldly” music. (Defined by Bill Gothard as all music composed after 1850. Literally. When I worked in his Moscow Training Center, I was forbidden from playing Rachmaninoff for a group of teachers once because he was a “modern composer of death.”)

          Asking to turn off the music was important because it counted as “Standing Alone” which you could record in your “Knowledge Journal” and also as “Making A Wise Appeal” which you could record in your “Virtue Journal.” (ATI has three journals: Faith, Virtue, and Knowledge. Basically, they are filled with projects designed to indoctrinate ATI kids into the fundamentals of ATI. Most hard core ATI families require their kids to finish all three before allowing them to graduate from high school.)

          When you asked to turn off the music, you were also supposed to give them a CD of ATI-recorded music to play in their establishment. Because, you know, Chili’s totally wants to play “Hymns Triumphant” or whatever. ATI families who were successful in this regard were usually recognized in the monthly ATI newsletter.

          My parents once let one of my sisters quit her job because God convicted her that she should not work for a local bakery because they listened to “soft rock music” in the kitchen. (My sister has no idea what “soft rock music” is. But it sounded good.) My parents rewarded her for her faithfulness by giving her all the money that she would have earned that summer.

        7. @Mag: Just came back from Chili’s; it’s where our local philosophy discussion group 😯 the Philo Cafe, meets for more talk, after its “official” session. The food’s not much to write home about, but now it’s more appropriate than ever as a place to meet. πŸ˜€ It’s in Savannah GA, and worth a cup of coffee.

        8. Dear Deacon’s Son:

          Anyone who prefers Bill Gothard to Rachmaninoff needs to be told publicly that they are an ass.

          Christian Socialist

  2. Psalm 119:165 apparently doesn’t apply if someone else is breaking a fundie law. I remember stressing at family events, weddings, etc when stuff like this would happen. You never knew if the Pastor or one of his minions would show up to report you were in the presence of evil.

    1. Funny how if MOG or his minions offended you, that verse came up; but if you offended one of them all hell would break loose.

      1. When the MOG is our parent… Offend becomes who we are as MOG’s Kids.
        I gave up family and family reunions because my presence was cause for offense. I might smoke a cigarette behind a tree (so as not to offend) and we all know that is cause for hell. I’m sure the fundies were involved in righteous indignation as they gossiped the whole way home.
        Do Fundies realize the destructiveness to their children, who must listen to the gossiping MOG family. (rhetorical)

      1. Yeah, “offend” in that verse actually means to “stumble.” So, it really says “great peace have those who love thy law and nothing shall make them stumble.” The King James mistranslates it as “offend them.” This verse is one of the top ten reasons why fundies can’t get away from the KJV, because it is one of their most cherished proof texts. Basically, they say that it means that if you are ever offended at them for anything, then you don’t love God’s law. Ha!!

        Great peace have they who love thy law
        And nothing shall offend them
        But those who are a MOG’s bourgeois
        Know his judgments can’t condemn him.

  3. Sad thing is that you don’t have to be a Fundy to be offended like this. πŸ™ My own mother will find something to be irritated about, (“What do you mean, ‘No problem,’ why would you say a stupid thing like that?”} It happens with feminists, militant vegetarians, Republocrats, the list is endless.

    1. I know people who get OFFENDED if they are wished a “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas. Not everything is a call to battle. Some things are just simple greetings made out of habit.

      1. I’ve never understood why they get offended at one, but not the other. Why is an annual Mass something to be Merry about? A celebration of Christ’s advent without the mass would be a happier occasion, would it not? There’s no pleasing some people!

      2. We once took my mother to a local candy store run by a Jewish family. My mother is very into the modern evangelical “say Merry Christmas” movement. Anyway, it is soooo obvious the proprietors are Jewish, they have menorahs and other judaica ALL OVER THE STORE. My mother bought some stuff and then said, very loudly, “MERRY CHRISTMAS.”

        I think perhaps our Jewish friends were offended by that. πŸ˜‰

        1. Be nice if your mother had bought more than $50 worth of candy, but I fear that wasn’t the case. πŸ˜•
          Maybe Christmas should be MORE commercialized, at least enough to justify the Bacchanalia of requisite expense. πŸ™„

      3. Know what makes this even dumber?

        When people do the most fussin’ and fumin’ and snortin’ over the “War on Christmas” as symbolized by some tired store clerk who just wants you to swipe your credit card and leave already please, IT’S ADVENT.

        1. Yup. And last year, I was seriously sweating through Oct and Nov, making a new set of vestments for my parish, for Advent. I got REALLY tired of trying to explain to others what Advent was and why it had to have special stuff…

      4. In Australia, the fundies get riled up about perceived persecutions in America. “They’ve kicked God out of schools, they’re removing nativity scenes, you can’t say Merry Christmas!” etc.

        It’s been fun getting to talk to actual Americans and find out a bit more about the actual situation.

        1. Oy, the “no God in the schools” thing. No, you just can’t be a school employee on school property attempting to get students to take on your religious beliefs or lack thereof. Want to say a prayer of thanksgiving over your own personal lunch in the cafeteria? Fine–quietly. Want to read your holy book on school property? Sure–to yourself. Want to dismiss all that religious stuff as silly stories about “old men in the sky who make it rain?” Fine. You just can’t preach.

          Mind you, we didn’t have any people in the school system who wore religiously mandated non-bog-standard-middle-American clothing, so I can’t tell you for a fact that this tolerance would have extended toward (say) Muslims. But I suspect that at the time it would have.

          I went through 13 years of U.S. public school and I think I could have told you the religion of one of the teachers, and that was because he went to our church. Oh, and come to think of it one or two of the office workers were at my church too. OTOH we discussed religion frequently, in the context of motivations of history’s movers and shakers and influences on American literary and poetic forms and themes. But I guess speaking respectfully about such topics was part of the secular humanist conspiracy or something.

        2. One of the best literature electives I took in (public) high school was “The Bible as Literature.” It was taught by my favorite English teacher, who just happened to be a pastor’s wife, although I don’t remember what flavor. She had great love for the Bible, both as the Word of God and as a piece of literature. But she didn’t preach or try to save anyone.

        3. Daylily, I took that as a 30-something non-trad at non-fundy U. WOW. What a revelation. The prof was surprised though (and he shouldn’t have been- we were friends) that I could recite the books of the Bible (well, standard config, no apocrypha) off the top of my head. Out of 35 students, I was apparently the only ex-fundy…

        4. The no God in public schools thing? Where the teachers are all Satan-worshippers hell-bent on sucking your kids into the occult?

          Totally true. My Kindergartener came home from school yesterday & informed me they had done witchcraft in class.

          (Further questioning revealed the class craft was a Halloween decoration shaped like a witch. A witch craft! :lol:)

  4. Nicely done, Darrell! You nailed it. Note-taking, sin-sniffing offendedness may not be exclusive to fundies, but they are the reigning experts at it.

  5. I was speaking on Sunday with a man whose family had come out of the Amish faith. From some of the things he said about the lifestyle, from the chopped down Bible that only includes favorable passages to the right clothes being necessary for salvation it seems the biggest difference is the Amish look to 1850 and the churches you describe here look to 1950.

    1. Oh, how I can relate!!! Thanks, Joshua! I have Amish/Mennonite background; i.e., before they split several times and added another group with a different set of rules because too many people were ‘offended’. I am old enough to remember when young people would quit school when they “joined church”. Now, it’s quite common, even expected, that young people will get advanced degrees. In the small circle I still remember, there are several doctors, nurse practitioners, attorneys, etc. Isn’t it just amazing to see how God changes His mind about what is offensive. (I hope my tongue-in-cheek comment wasn’t offensive.)

      1. My dad’s family is Mennonite (maiden name is Klaassen) so I’m familiar. How Dad ended up dragging us off to the Assemblies of God, I’ll never understand.

  6. Very true! I have a story about this. I know that wedding stories were last Friday, but this fits better here.

    A couple of fundies had a wedding. He was from our church and she was from a (sort of) fundy church an hour or so away. They were in their mid-thirties and had both been looking for love for several years. I didn’t get to go to the wedding, but my fundy parents and fundy friends went (wedding was at her church). After the wedding, I got two different stories about it. My mom told me, “It was adorable! She was so happy, and she threw her arms around him when it was time to kiss! Such a sweet wedding!” My friends said, “The bride’s dress was really low in the back, her sister was immodest, and we don’t think that church has any standards.” My mom enjoyed it. My friends were so busy judging that they couldn’t.

    1. Yes, that sounds completely like my parents/family. A couple years ago we were at my cousin’s wedding (unbelievers, did not get married in a church). During the reception where much alcohol was consumed and dancing was done and a great time was being had by most I made the comment to my dad that they seemed like a great couple and would be happy together. He simply shrugged it off, with a “yeah, I guess” response – after all, no one can be HAPPY if they aren’t fundy, right?

      I HATE the mindset that justifies any kind of ill-will towards someone, whether you agree with their lifestyle/choices or not.

    2. Yes, the wedding story fits in with my comment above… first, some people seem to have a compulsion to list all of the “bad” things at an event before they can get on to saying nice things about it.

      1. Guilt Ridden, concerning your general postings and involvement on this board: How do you reconcile your conscience by daily having your conversation corrupted by evil communications (scorners) yet attending a Collin County IFB Church that you may think is better than your last church but is still considered extreme by your fellow posters on this board?

        1. Hey, come on, now. He SAYS he is “guilt-ridden,” doesn’t he? πŸ˜€

          Are you really hoping for an honest answer to the question, or are you just trying to “out” someone?

        2. Chell,
          You may well be a troll, but I wish to say this anyway. Whoever has taught you that real Christians keep other Christians in line by spying on them, threatening them, and making them afraid they will be caught should be tied to a millstone and drowned, just as Jesus said, for breaking the spirit and will of His children. Can’t you see that the poster’s name is Guilt Ridden? Have you no shame? Have you no compassion? Have you no common decency? Let the McCarthyism of Chritianity end.

  7. I am offended by the spirit of this post and subsequent comments.

    That was my favorite form of offended. No one can rebut you if you sense a bad spirit. It allows you to turn up your nose even when you can’t find anything about which to turn up your nose.

    1. These are the days that make me think Fundy-ism is probably gaining ground. The broad range/appeal of the manufactured outrage/offense machines is unbearable.

    2. Quoting from the article:

      “If we accept offense, or the lack of offense, as the standard for all discourse and dialogue, then our intellectual development as a nation is dead. And if we bully and sue in an attempt to force others to accept our opinions, then we are all petty dictators of thought.

      “Sadly, that’s no way to win the hearts and minds of your detractors. But then again, if you can crush them with rules, laws and censure, who cares about their hearts and minds?”

      This is a very good observation. But the author of the article is oblivious to his own offensiveness.

      The person who wrote the article was a conservative. He had to tell about all his liberal and immoral “friends” in order to seem not too bigoted himself, but his objections were principally to liberals being offended by conservative biases: the atheists who were offended at a chaplain’s insistence that there are no atheists in foxholes, the same-sex couple suing a florist for refusing to deliver flowers to their wedding.

      And perhaps he missed the point, even while making it.

      People want to be accepted, to be able to participate in society without arbitrary restrictions and moralizations of others. They do not want to be marginalized.

      Are there different levels of offendedness?

      Some are offended because of the participation of others. The moralizers in the Restaurant who take offense at the bar, the beer, and the waitresses’ skirt lengths. They think others “shouldn’t be allowed” to do those things.

      On the other hand, some are offended because people want to keep them from participating: the atheists who are offended that the chaplain says they don’t really exist, the waitress who is told by a patron that because her skirt is too short, she wont get a tip for her hard work.

      Not all offendedness is created equal.

      Whose offenses are more valid? The pastor’s offense that the girl goes to the Community College on Wednesday night to get her education, or the girl who is blasted by the pastor publicly in his sermon for doing so?

  8. Ah yes, The Doctrine of The Weaker Brother.

    Where Victorian and Temperance Moralism rules and the appearance of anything that offends their sensibilities is regarded as equal to, and usually exceeds, Biblical mandates regarding conduct.

    1. What I always want to know is,

      Why is the “weaker brother” always in a position of spiritual authority over me (pastors and such), or an elder (70-year-old man who has been a believer since Age Five) or imagined authority (university administration)?

      If THEY are the weaker brothers, shouldn’t I be in authority over THEM, so as to help them grow stronger in the Faith?

    2. I say that if you’re biblically literate enough to not only understand but also to use “the weaker brother” as an argument, THEN IT’S NOT YOU!!!

  9. I am offended that you allow me to do things you think are wrong without judging me, but won’t do them yourself and exercise the “grace and Christian Liberty” I like to appease my conscience with.

  10. It frequently goes even beyond offence. Often at the Fundie U I worked at every announcement made to the Faculty/Staff was followed by a slew of “clarifications” that were obviously the result of people who cannot think for themselves.
    Examples:
    The school changed the policy of requiring every F/S member to attend Sunday morning services on campus instead instituting a rotation basis so that there was still a F/S presence each Sunday. This was followed by a clarification that “no, you don’t have to find a substitute if you are out of town or sick.”
    Or, a local Fundie church that started a program of pairing up church members for dinner nights to facilitate people spending time with members they might not know so well. This was followed up by answers to the apparent questions: “What’s the dress code for dinner at another member’s house?”
    Default mode is a paranoid sense of obligation to assume problems where they do not exist.

  11. In fundyland it’s next to impossible not to offend someone. I once was approached by a gal at our former church who said she was offended by my sister and & I’s close relationship. She said we were too happy and that offended her because she wanted a close relationship with the sister she didn’t even have. 😯

    1. I can sort of relate to the feeling of being offended by other people being happier than I am, but still, doesn’t that make you even more unhappy, if you go around being mad at other people’s relative happiness?

    2. Wow. That brings to mind something I was considering years ago after wrngling with an FOAF that was hard-line KJVO: Fundystan attracts more than its share of rather broken people (in the flock, I mean), and situations like this surface. It’s hard to imagine a well-balanced person cursing someone else’s happiness like that. So sorry you were attacked like that. And I pity that poor woman for her strange need, and whatever caused it.

      1. Dear Becky Snake Hips B:

        Many years ago, someone I know preached a message on the professional ‘weaker brother.’ Some people in the congregation took offense to that and said so.

        The speaker replied that he was offended that she took vicarious enjoyment from his Christian liberty, only to turn around and censure him out of envy. LOL! That didn’t go over at all!

        Christian Socialist

    3. At ATI training centers, they had gender-segregated tables for meals. This rule applied to siblings as well as everyone else because a visitor would not know we were siblings and this would give the “appearance of evil.”

      Never mind the fact that the appearance that we did give to a visitor was that of a CULT!! 😯

      1. That’s taking holier-than-thou about as far as you can go.
        Even ultraorhodox Jews and very strict Muslims allow family members of opposite sexes to sit together and eat together.

    4. I was left speechless when she said that to me. As I said in my introduction on the SFL forum, I dealt with extreme anxiety attacks the year before we finally left fundyland. This confrontation certainly didn’t help. I was constantly being judged & the pressure got to be too much for me. Now, I was seen as a failure for being to close to my own sister! She was the one relationship I had, besides my husbands, that was healthy and intact.

  12. There is an interesting corollary to this that I think most of us can relate to: after my sisters and myself were finally allowed to leave our fundy church’s fundy school, we continued to attend the church for about 6 months…during that time period I took great glee in committing as many fundy infractions (which 99% of Orthodox Christendom would consider non-issues) as possible in order to get a reaction from my former teachers (who all attended the church). Was this the mature thing to do? No. Was it fun? In the immortal words of Macho Man Randy Savage, “Ohhhhhhh, yeahhhhhhh!” (I am grinning from ear-to-ear recounting this time period in my mind!)

    1. Haha! That is almost exactly what I did! I knew it was wrong, but stayed because it was easier than having to traipse around my hometown trying to find a new church. In the process I did manage to upset a few people over what would now be considered normalcy. Finally became too much though to take so I up and left.

  13. We all know that it’s really ALL about NOT offending the “weaker brother” or about causing a person that was “just about to get saved” getting offended….because WE, ourselves, are stronger than that, right? We know that short hemlines, holding hands, listening to CCM, going to a theater, ordering shrimp COCKTAIL or fruit COCKTAIL (don’t laugh– true story) would be a “bad witness” as would a critical spirit. What would the unwashed think if they heard us speak ill of our MOG just because some little trollop (or a bevy of trollops, or a judge and jury) point out a flaw in this, our leader? It’s all about US and what people might say about US (because we’re very sure they care!!!)

      1. I think the offensive part here is the cocktail. Because heaven forbid someone else mistake a fruit cocktail for something alcoholic. (Although admittedly a dash of Grand Marnier in the fruit salad can be yummy.)

        1. Dear Ash:

          I think the offensive part here is the cocktail.

          Can you be more specific as to which part of the cocktailcaused offense?

          Christian Socialist

      2. Shrimp with red ketchupy hot sauce would be fine and cut up pieces of fruit in sugary syrup would be fine, but you mention “cocktail” and you might be leading folks down the road to destruction.

        1. Let’s just hope those super-sensitive folks never get any illness that requires a “drug cocktail” as a treatment. The name would give them apoplexy.

    1. lol, this reminds me of a gaffe I committed when I was maybe 12 or so. We were at a park, and a tree was covered in some kind of mushroom thing. I, being an obnoxious little grammarian who really didn’t know what I was doing — thought that fungis was the plural of fungus and so said really, really loudly, “Hey, look at all the fungis!” One of the older women decided I was being a vulgar little harlot, what with the teen boys playing football in the field, and gave me a massive dressing-down.

      Fungus, fungi. Lesson learned.

      1. Twelve year olds have no business looking at or for fun guys. That right there is how the sin of lust takes root in your evil little heart and before you know it, you’ll be wanting to talk to those fun guys without even knowing if they’re fundy guys or not.

      2. SFL: immediately assuming the worst about someone else

        Also, you still remember that several years later. That’s the power of harsh, judgmental words: they can lash the soul of the recipient for years while the speaker usually forgets that they ever said them.

      3. One time a mushroom walked into a bar. The bartender took one look and told him to get lost. The mushroom said, “Why? I’m a fungi!” :mrgreen:

      4. Now you’ve got me wondering if there’s such a thing as a Fundy Fungus. πŸ˜•

        @Organisto – I’ve heard of a “flourish of strumpets”, but a “bevy of trollops” is new. Always like to confuse “Trollop” with “Scallop”. :mrgreen:
        How about a Flush of Floozies? Or a Shock of Hussies? πŸ˜›

        1. According to the MOG, the only truly IFB fun guys are preacher boys… Oh, wait. I forgot about the time an entire gaggle of Treiber-types went to the local bowling alley late night after a revival service and bowled IN THEIR SHIRTS AND TIES. You talk about fun !!!! But wait… if a heathen might see me coming out of a theater and think I’d seen an R rated movie and thereby go to HA-EL… would the same heathen think these boys had been quaffing brewskis on alley number three?

    2. I’m not laughing because we couldn’t order shrimp or fruit cocktails because it sounded like alcohol. Yeah. 😯

  14. My uncle — an ordained minister — would give super-short “Over the teeth, through the gums”-type prayers at Thanksgiving. My father — an IFB deacon and asst. treasurer — found this beyond offensive and therefore took over the Thanksgiving day prayer so that he could pray for five minutes on end with lots of “Wejuses” and “Lords” splattered throughout while the turkey congealed on the table.

    Good times.

        1. Der_Berater – No, I will not be practicing this.

          Darrell – I think you need to add this to The Fundamentalist Rule Book

    1. Garrison Keillor has a funny bit in one of his books about two feuding Sanctified Brethren. They believed in silent prayer before meals, and, so concerned with proving themselves more spiritual than the other, they kept bowing their heads over the food, refusing to say, “Amen” before the other one did.

      Funny but also sad.

      1. It’s funny without the underlying frustration when it happens with sports as the background!

        Joe Kelly with the Cardinals has a thing where he tries to be the last one to break from National Anthem, and the Dodgers got wind of it, and were screwing with him till the Ump finally told them to “knock it off & get to your dugouts, idiots” πŸ™‚

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py_mYOwV8i4

        1. The sad part is that was the most exciting thing that happened in the whole game.

          (I’ll just don my apron & head back to the kitchen for some beer & wings, now.)

    2. I suspect most of the other commenters have dad’s that like mine will take any opportunity he can to pray at holidays (or even at restaurants), and just loves to pray for how misled & on their way to hell the Catholics, the JW’s, the Pentecostals, etc are.

      1. Amusingly my mother thinks it’s rather miraculous that every Catholic she’s ever gotten to know believes pretty much the same things she does, BUT thinks they must’ve accidentally stumbled on it in spite of their church, and that all the other Catholics are still hell bound with almost 100% certainty.

        1. No, but (1) mom doesn’t know that, and would have to have it explained to her most likely (most people probably don’t pay that close attention to wording), and (2) most Catholics are included in that not knowing the difference, and not caring much about it either.

          All of the solas/only’s are very much fading distinction, IMO.

      2. Rob M – My fundy upbringing was a little different…my father was not one to follow any of the outward trappings of being a fundy (ie. loudly praying in a restaurant, hounding co-workers to convert, etc) but he was a fundy’s fundy at home. So the good news was that I never had the fear of being embarrassed in public, but the bad news was that I had to follow every fundy rule when not in a secular public setting. I thank God that he made the decision to take us out of Fundystan in 1982.

      3. Not unlike praying for a ridiculous amount of time, church services that start at 9:45 should be finished by noon {my rule}. When I left church at 12:30, because I had a date to watch a football game, the entire family turned on me. I was surprised at their cold-hearted actions against a newly single, 20-year-old mom of a one year old child.

        By removing my only mode of transportation to my new job and my sister/babysitter bailing on me the day before my new job started, their actions were intended to make me fail, thus requiring I return to them, and ask for forgiveness for interrupting “the most important part of church service.” They were so offended that my walking out of church… ever so quietly, would cause a nonbeliever to never find their god, offends them to this day.

        Little did they understand that their attempt to control me, would only make me stronger. A “heathen,” drug addicted cousin saved me that week by paying for a cab to take me to and from work until I got my first paycheck. I never went back.

        Now they are offended that my daughter did not turn into the “street walking, drug dealing ho,” that they repeatedly told me she would become. Meanwhile, their son, who had to hide his teenage alcoholism, continues doing time (AGAIN) at the Huntsville state prison and for that, I can never “pay” enough.

        1. I’m sorry they treated you that way. A fundy’s desire to reinforce “right” behavior nearly always trumps Biblical commands to be loving or compassionate. πŸ™

        2. Ouch. How contrary to Christ’s own displayed attitude to people can you get? I’m glad you had a cousin who would help you.

        3. Your parents were disappointed that you did NOT turn into a drug-addled prostitute despite their best efforts… 😯 Just when you thought you’d heard it all…

    3. My dad would preach entire gospel messages in his holiday prayers whenever “unsaved” (e.g., Methodist or Catholic) family members were present. For example, he liked to pray, when the Catholic family was around:

      “And we thank you for our free gift of salvation, which is a gift that only You can give, not of works of righteousness that we have done, but according to your mercy.”

      (All I ever heard was “blah blah I thank thee that I am not as other men are blah blah.”)

      The Catholic extended family would always cross themselves before and after mealtime prayers. This would get my mother’s blood boiling MAJOR.

      During one Thanksgiving hosted by one of our Catholic relatives, they had my cousin read a prayer off of a prayer card. HORRORS!! My mother and father talked to us later about how they should have led our family in a REAL BLESSING before we ate.

      1. Just thank you Lord, for your mercy which is just so much greater than we just deserve and your justice is just so amazingly just.

        I’ve heard a prayer or 2 like that….

  15. I’ve always noticed that when the IFB people let their hair down and have a picnic or a comedy night or something of that nature, it usually results in someone being offended. It has happened at the Wilds, using some of their “hoedown” music or at MBBC at “A Time to Laugh” during their “College Days.” I was involved one year in the latter, impersonating the president of the college, while my part in the comedy seemed to be enjoyed by all, some were offended by other parts of the evening, including a man (or two men, I think) in tights and monologue about nose-picking.

    1. Some of them take Paul’s admonitions to be sober and grave to mean they always have to be grim and they can never laugh or joke or be silly. They encase themselves in their dignity like protective wrap.

      1. I knew one girl in ATI who thought that the verse requiring women to be “shame-faced” meant that she had to always assume this weird sort of simpering, skulking, faux-blushing countenance whenever she was around guys. It was just plain weird.

        (Then again, she was on the ATI crazy train but good. She quit working at the training center after they hired a male chef because “only women are supposed to work in kitchens.”)

  16. Pastor’s wife is right – we as Christians are supposed to be “unoffendable” but I never met a fundy who was. They think “nose in air” is “unoffendable”- Not!

    1. I can think of times where Christians *should* take offense.

      Gospels are (relatively) full of Christ lecturing governmental (soldiers & commanders), religious (Pharisees et al), & financial (publicans) authorities for abusing their power.

      I can’t find cause for Christians to take offense at other Christians personal lives.

      1. You nailed it, Rob.
        It’s public and economic behavior, mainly where injustice or hypocrisy was involved, that Jesus criticizes. I can’t think of an example at the moment where he attacked a purely personal matter.

      2. Fundies tend to be hung up on anything sexual in nature, (except for the “indiscretions” of the fundy leaders).

        Fundies also tend to justify (and honor) anything that can be wrapped in the flag of US patriotism, even if that’s invading a country without valid intel, resulting in thousands of casualties to collateral damage, and many, many thousands of new widows and orphans back here in the USA.

        Wanton, unjustified deaths are ok. Gay people now, that’s a whole ‘nuther thing.

  17. Back in the 80s I was home from college recovering from major surgery. The deacons came to see me. Their obvious condemnation of the “worldly” stuff in the family den (my dad’s pipe rack, the wet bar, and the playing cards) made my mom’s blood boil. As soon as I was mobile, I found a church in the area was the expression of Christian love towards non-Christians was genuine.

    1. Haha. I remember when I worked in ATI’s Moscow Training Center and a group of guys came for a “missions trip” and we took them to a shopping mall and one of them bought his dad a pipe as a souvenir. The poor kid asked one of our staff members: “Is that a tobacco store?” “Oh yes!” she replied breathlessly and started to launch into a tirade about how sad it was that Russians are all a bunch of smoking heathens. She was cut short when he said, “Cool! I am going to go buy my dad a pipe!” I remember the look of shock and horror on her face to this day.

    2. I don’t smoke and don’t want to, but I admit to a certain fondness for pipes as works of art. I was fascinated by the ones my grandfather had.

      My father-in-law has a rack of pipes in his study. He hasn’t smoked for decades, but he kept a couple of his old pipes as mementos.

      1. My dad actually smoked a pipe for a short time, in the late 60s. My mom says that it was a ‘I never went to college but I’m an in-tell-eck-shual’ thing, and she thought it was silly. I just remember that the pipe tobacco smelled good.

        1. Previous to my ultra-funday days, and at the beginning of my service to Uncle Sam, I took up pipe smoking. Didn’t last long, but I figured since the guys got to take smoke breaks so frequently I’d join in on the fun and fellowship without having to inhale! Yes, it does smell good.

        2. PS. We could smoke our pipes indoors and on airplanes. Pipe smoking is better accomplished sitting down in a cushy leather chair next to a crackling fire with all the little ones sitting around for family alter.

  18. My mother liked to use “people are [or might be] offended” as a manipulation tactic. For example, I once played an offertory in a southern gospel style, which my mother HATED. She told me later that the pastor was very offended by my selection. (Actually, he and his wife told me they LOVED it.)

  19. My take on the “weaker brother” issue.

    Paul assumed his readers would not think *they* were the “weaker brother,” but that the person doing something they wouldn’t do was weaker.

    So the person celebrating the day would think that the person not celebrating the day had too sensitive a conscience, and was therefore weaker spiritually. The person NOT celebrating the day would think the person celebrating the day had an insensitive conscience, could sin too easily, and so was the weaker brother.

    In effect, the offended one would usually think they were the stronger brother, more spiritual, and so more able to tell others what they should do. In reality, the offended one was usually the weaker brother.

    Paul deftly avoids giving a test as to weaker-brother detection, and simply tells everyone to treat the weaker brother kindly, with respect, so that he does not stumble. In either case, the offense generated because “you are not doing it right so you are less spiritual” is a sign of weakness.

    Maybe we are all weaker brothers, after all.

    1. Indeed. And I think the only real lesson Paul was trying to teach was that if you have someone who thinks something is a sin, then don’t try to persuade them to engage in that activity. Just be patient with them and live and let live. I.e., I shouldn’t give a pair of pants to my fundy mother or give my sister at WCBC a bunch of R-rated movies for Christmas. Nor should they give me Gail Riplinger books or WCBC sermon tapes.

      I think the example in Corinthians of not eating in a pagan temple was very specific for a reason. Paul was saying that it might be wise to avoid activities of a false religion if it might cause someone else to return to that false religion. That would be a serious enough situation to warrant avoiding that activity. I suppose a modern equivalent might be respecting people with addictions: e.g., not taking a former alcoholic who attends your church to a bar for a drink or not taking a gambling addict to a casino for the buffet and a few slots. And if you go on your own, maybe church isn’t the place to flaunt that activity.

      When I was a kid, the local Christian bookstore opened in a former dance club. Several people in our church did not like to go there precisely because it had once been a dance club. Thus, our church tried hard to avoid recommending that people go there to purchase books or other materials. If someone did go there to buy a book, that was fine, but we didn’t want to bother people who had very negative associations with that place.

    2. C.S. Lewis, for one, holds with that interpretation, and suggests that it is the Infernal Power that cultivates the mistaken notion that we ourselves are the “weaker brothers.” “Otherwise,” says his tempter character Screwtape, “charity and humility might break out in every church in the land.”

  20. Please do not be offended by the offensively bad doggerel.

    And then at last it hits me
    How that I might have some fun.
    I’ll pick my notebook up and speak
    To each and every one.

    I’ll tell them of their wickedness
    And though it may seem odd,
    I’ll stick my finger in your face
    Until you’re right with God.

    And if you look offended
    I will gaze above and then
    I’ll loudly thank my Maker that
    “I’m not like other men!”

  21. This post triggers so much. This was my whole life with my father. He was so busy calling our attention to everything wrong in the restaurant/store/etc. (music, beverages, you name it) that we couldn’t possibly enjoy much of anything. We were too busy finding everything wrong and then avoiding it. What a stressful life…so glad to be out of it. Now I don’t even notice half the crap he pointed out. And I probably wouldn’t have back then if he’d just shut up and let us enjoy our family time.

    1. I agree. So glad to be rid of the stress. Now, it’s just a matter of trying to throw off the old habit of judging people and situations that I encounter.

      I remember once my mother gave my sister the movie, My Fair Lady, for Christmas. Afterwards, she decided that there was utterly too much iniquity in it and she made us write an essay about how each of the Ten Commandments is broken in that movie. (Some of our answers were real stretches. E.g., murder = some characters get angry and Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that anger is just as bad as murder. Taking God’s name in vain = a character says damn several times in one scene. Etc.)

        1. me too! wanna buy five copies for my mother! wanna see your face On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone! :mrgreen:
          seriously, RS would be a great market for your memoirs. πŸ™‚

      1. I’ve never had to write down sins I’ve observed, but as I’ve said before, a visiting evangelist came through once and afterwards my parents threw out all my Disney movies.

        My mother actually approved of Monk so we would watch it together. We would sit in the living room and my father would stay upstairs until a couple minutes before it aired, when he would come downstairs and sit in silent yet oh-so-vocal disapproval. I would wince every time they cussed or there was some “bad music” (hell, even the theme music was unapproved) and look over to see my father grimacing. I often wished he would just go upstairs and leave us alone if he didn’t like it but of course he was determined to ruin it for us. If he didn’t approve of something and we enjoyed it without harm to our conscience he would make sure we didn’t have any fun, just because he didn’t and therefore we shouldn’t. This applied to any and all things in life. Sick man. Anyway, a couple times I worked up the courage to ask him to leave us alone and he would say, with a smirk on his face, “What am I doing? I’m not SAYING anything!” He really enjoyed mind games. Pretty silly to be upset about a silly TV show but even after these several years it still makes me upset. I mean, why would you BE that way.

        1. Omgosh, that passive-aggressive, palpable, disapproving silence technique is exactly what my FIL does!

          Where & how on earth does one learn to project so much negative energy? Even when I’m angry & others know it, I can’t begin to suck the joy from a room & replace it with the weight of DISAPPROVAL like that. 😯

        2. @Liutgard we had one because my father’s mother paid for her cable. She was saved in her 60s and wasn’t the kind of crazy my dad was. After she passed away we retained the cable for a while but unfortunately since it was no longer my grandmother’s tv my dad took full control and put all the parental controls on and only he had the password. I’ve often thought that as suspicious and controlling as he was, he was probably a much worse person than he ever suspected us of being! πŸ™‚

    2. I love Disney movies, and I remember when I was a late teen I brought home Disney’s Hercules to watch. My dad sat there and criticised it’s use of the term ‘gospel’ and completely ruined the film for me. lol cause we were all so terribly in danger of converting to Ancient Roman/Greek gods πŸ‘Ώ

      I still haven’t watched it again. I really should.

      1. I can top that. ATI (and some other homeschool groups) banned Saxon math because some of their word problems mentioned Greek and Roman gods. Supposedly there was some verse in the OT that forbade even speaking the name of a false god.

        They also banned Powerglide language courses (a popular homeschool foreign language curriculum in the 1990s published by an enterprise in Utah) for promoting Mormon teachings because one phrase you learned to say was “I don’t drink coffee.”

        1. FWIW, my mother would agree with them, coffee is THE vital drink in our home, first thing in the morning and again after the evening meal. πŸ˜€

        1. The Lion King promotes homosexuality? The who with the what now?

          I know I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the same subculture that produces people who can proclaim a book “an indoctrination in idolatry” based on a glance at the cover, which features a group of people getting really close to an idol. They’re prying out the jewels, but whatevs. πŸ™„

        2. Hey, I read a rather convoluted article once about how the Lion King (and so much else) was sinful because it anthropomorphizes the animals.I don’t remember why, but apparently God was offended. I remember wondering if I should purge my kids’ reading materials- half the basic kid corpus is talking animals! I couldn’t imagine throwing out all of their Richard Scarry books.

        3. My final straw in one Indy Fundy church was when a lady piped up, during a discussion of the Ten Commandments, and argued that VeggieTales was a violation of the commandment against graven images.

          And the pastor stood there, looking very thoughtful, listening to her.

          It probably didn’t hurt that they were the wealthiest people in the church.

        4. “Veggie Tales are graven images” sort of makes sense in Spanish. The verb “grabar” means both “to engrave” and “to record (something on tape or digital media).”

        5. The Lion King promoted homosexuality because Elton John composed a lot of the music for the movie AND Nathan Lane voiced one of the characters (Pumbaa, I think).

          Seriously. Oh, and there’s a scene where Simba falls down & the resulting dust swirls supposedly spell ‘sex.’

          I wish I were making this up. 😳

        6. I’m not going to argue that “The Lion King” is sinful, but I do think it’s a strange movie to have been made in America, because, as The New Yorker’s orginal review noted, it’s “a weirdly passionate defense of primogeniture and the divine right of kings.”

        7. Ooooo, tangent tiiiime!

          TLK can also be read as the tale of a family in a sketchy inner-city neighborhood where they are the only law and order around and nobody expects the cops to show up for anything ever. Mufasa’s brother Scar has made a deal with the Hyena Gang to let them expand their turf in return for a cut of the profits, but first he has to get his own brother out of the way. He arranges for Mufasa and Simba to die in a “traffic accident,” but Mufasa dies saving his son’s life. Because he is a smart scumbag, Scar promptly hoodwinks the traumatized preteen into thinking that he will be blamed and induces him to run away. The Hyena Gang is supposed to quietly disappear him, but when he vanishes out in the abandoned wasteland of a nearby block of brownstones they assume that, ehhh, little kid, all alone, won’t last long, and go back.

          Unbeknownst to them, one of the brownstones is inhabited by a pair of stoner Freegan misfits, Timon and Pumbaa. They take the kid in and informally adopt him. Years later, Rafiki, the priest who baptized him, finds him nearly simultaneously with Nala, his old playmate, who was chasing Pumbaa because she thought he was a shoplifter. They convince Simba to return, and Timon and Pumbaa tag along.

          The old neighborhood is in ruins: businesses failing, drug dealers everywhere, no place safe, and Scar playing king of the hill and bullying everyone from the young single women who look to Sarabi for guidance to the old white guy who helped Simba with his schoolwork. Simba confronts Scar and orders him out. Scar plays his ace in the hole, but Simba stands up to him. And that’s when the gang war starts.

          All through that long, violent evening, the women and men of the neighborhood fight back, with Simba as a symbol of his father’s vision for the neighborhood. Finally Simba pins Scar down and Scar is in fear for his life. Sirens are approaching at last. Because he isn’t quite as smart as he thinks he is, Scar attempts to doublecross the Hyena Gang in order to save his own skin, not realizing that the gang leaders can hear him. That’s it for him. He is quietly disappeared before the fire trucks and (for once) the cops show up, sweeping through like a thundercloud.

          The Hyena Gang is out of the neighborhood for good. Businesses reopen, graffiti is cleaned up, community gardens are replanted, and Simba and Nala marry. Rafiki proudly baptizes their son and the neighborhood throws a huge block party to celebrate.

        8. The “‘sex’ spelled out in dust” in the LK was THE go-to argument for evangelists that came through our church as to why Hollywood in general is wrong. Why out of all movies they chose LK is beyond me.

          PS when I was typing out “evangelists” up there I accidentally typed “evangelusts.” Freud much?

        9. Except that “Hamlet” ends with all the major characters dead.
          Of course, if Disney made “Hamlet,” it would probably have lots of upbeat songs and a happy ending. (See “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”)

        10. @Big Gary: Ehh, I don’t mind the first Hunchback cartoon. The moral of the original book is, “Life is horrible unless you’re rich and powerful, everybody else is only happy when they’re dead.” I prefer the Disney version, “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.”

        11. I just finished reading Hunchback. I’m pretty sure that being rich and powerful didn’t help a single character in that book. What a depressing book! It was obvious to me, very early in the proceedings, that every single major character was doomed.

        12. Well, Big Gary, given what they did to Hunchback, wouldn’t it stand to reason they’d do the same to Hamlet? πŸ˜‰ (And oh yes…turn all the characters into talking animals.)

          I’m not objecting, mind you. I like Lion King. And happy endings.

          That’s Entertainment, right?

          It might be a fight
          Like you see on the screen:
          A swain getting slain
          For the love of a queen;
          Some big Shakespearian scene
          Where a ghost and a price meet
          And everyone ends in mincemeat…

      2. Tiarali, I love that Hercules movie and especially the Greek chorus-qua-Gospel Choir! Alas, that wasn’t an original idea. I think the Hercules movie-makers stole it from this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_at_Colonus

        But that just shows their good taste. πŸ™‚

        There’s one scene where in the Hercules flick where the female protagonist and the Greek/Gospel Chorus do a sort of Faux ’60s-Girl-Group song together. The song is great — it sounds just like a real Girl Group song from the early ’60s. I thought that was simply brilliant.

      3. My dad actually liked Hercules when he rented it for us kids, he thought the humor was pretty smart. He didn’t, however, like Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” I assume because the “heathen” Gypsies pray to God outside of organized Christianity, and because the villain is a corrupt religious authority.

        Or maybe he thought the “Hellfire” segment was inappropriate in a children’s movie. Not sure.

        1. Personally, I wasn’t crazy about the anti-Catholic element in Hunchback. “Sancta Maria, destroy this gypsy chick”? Ohhhh yeah, we papists are always praying stuff like that. πŸ™„

          But the animation was awesome.

        2. Frollo wasn’t the only Catholic in the story. The priest at the beginning stands up to him to save baby Quasimodo’s life, and insists on him being cared for regardless of his appearance. He was kind to Esmeralda, an outcast, too. I think Esmeralda’s prayer, “God help the outcasts” shows that Frollo, while religious, had completely missed the point of their religion.

          I honestly think any moral in it would be that power corrupts – or that evil men seek power, and that religious organisations are not exempt from that.

        3. You are describing the Disney version, correct? Because in the book, Frollo rescues and adopts the baby Quasimodo.

          Frollo is no hero, but he is a deeply conflicted character who, by yielding to his darker side, destroys himself and everyone around him.

  22. Time: Junior High (late 80’s)
    Place: Baptist School
    Offense: Our school had an amazing basketball team. Games were packed, and we rivaled the public schools in our area. I played in the pep band. The pep band was very large and very good. The songs we played were standard pep band songs, which the music teacher had most likely gotten off lists from other bands. One of the songs was Axel F. Somehow, an important and wealthy family (the wealthy ones were the only ones the MOG listened to) in the mother church found out about this song and found out that it might come from an unsavory film. So, they did some research (which must have been difficult for them, since the song has no lyrics to speak of), nailed down Beverly Hills Cop, rented it to watch to see if they would be offended, found out that indeed they were offended, and marched into the pastor’s office to register their offense. The pastor was, of course, shocked and appalled to discover what ungodly music was being played in HIS gym (literally, the gym & attached complex were named after him). At the next band practice we were ordered to remove the music from our binders and were informed that we would never be playing that piece again.

    My stomach turns even now thinking about what a sick and spiritually oppressive place it is.

    1. My guess is the individual was systematically renting everything at their local video store for the purpose of making illegal copies to enlarge their video library. When the got to the B’s, they recognized to theme from pep band & had to make up some cockamamie story in order to bust the band director.

    2. Please say you replaced “Axel F” in your band’s repertoire with “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
      It will make my day.

      1. When I worked at Six Flags over Georgia in 1980, I worked a stand for someone one weekend. Across the “road” was a speaker that played a four song loop all day. The “Axel F” theme was one of them. It was a long time before I could listen to that, the Theme from “Rocky” or the “The Music Box Dancer” all the way through. I have forgotten the name of the fourth song, but it has been a few years.

        Since they technically weren’t rock music, and there were no words, they were in a gray area in my conscience and I could listen without the brainwashing taking over.

      2. Big Gary:
        One of my favorite Oscar moments of all time – Jon Stewart, hosting the 78th Academy Awards, following the win of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” for Best Original Song, says, “Oscar count: Three 6 Mafia, 1. Martin Scorsese, 0.” 😯 πŸ˜†

    3. Our ultra-fundy music “minister” (HAC grad) planned a “moonlight” concert for the Valentine’s banquet. The church platform was decorated with a park bench and an old-fashioned street lamp. He asked me to participate by serenading my wife. I accepted, as long as I got to choose the song. His uncertain ‘fake smile’ belied the fact that he didn’t trust my judgement, but he agreed.

      That night, I sat beside my beloved, playing a classical guitar, wearing a wide-brimmed white Panama hat, imitating Leon Redbone’s voice and phrasing, singing ‘Shine On, Harvest Moon’. There were actual cat-calls from one ‘good-ole-boy’ in the audience who had no clue. Afterwards, the only positive feedback I got was from an older ‘Kool Ade’ rejector, who was grinning ear to ear as he shook my hand and said, “I never thought I would hear Leon Redbone in this auditorium.” I guess we two were the only ones who even knew I was doing an imitation. Otherwise, lots of disapproving looks and “fundy smiles”… The kind that says “I’m being nice to you, but I don’t think I’m supposed to approve of that kind of singing”.

      The HAC music “minister” never asked me to sing again, and within two years, he and his family were “led to another ministry” after he had been discovered to be taking indecent liberties with a teenage boy from our congregation.

      Now, in this anecdote, who is the offended weaker brother? It seems that they who are the most miffed at non-traditional music, clothing, hair, etc., have much bigger issues under cover…

  23. A few years ago, a girl at our church came to me for some help. Her senior class needed music for their Fundy High skating outings her class arranged. One of the parents had complained about the music they had been using, because it came from “Hollywood Movies”. I think Star Wars was one of the movies.

    I put together a disc of classical music that was suitable for skating to without falling asleep. It was also classical pieces that had been used in movies. I doubt anyone noticed, but I thought it was humorous, since the movies would have been the only way these kids would have been familiar with any of the selections.

  24. I’m sitting here, remembering with sadness that I used to be one of these easily-offended people.

    How sad that I wasted so much time looking for tiny specks of dust in other people’s eyes. There are so many allusions I don’t get, so many songs I didn’t hear, and so on – all because someone, somewhere told me they were evil.

    It’s a miracle my kids are sane.

    1. Hey, me too. Me too.

      My biggest regret is knowing that when I believed I should leave, I didn’t. I wasted years there. As a result, my daughter is deeply infected with it. She blithely talks about people who don’t believe in Jesus going to hell — even those who have never heard or had a chance to hear.

      And when I try to talk to her about ideas that are different, she thinks I am attacking her faith. That hurts my heart.

      I told my wife the other day I was sorry I hadn’t pulled the family out from that church years ago (my wife and daughter still go there). She replied that she was sorry I felt that way.

      Fundamentalism has destroyed a lot in my life. I hope that the family I have can be saved from it before it is too late.

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