PSA From Your Black Fundy Friends

Re: Dating

Hello, brothers and sisters. May I please have a minute of your time as the piano plays “Softly and Tenderly” in the background?

If you know a Fundy “Brotha,” please do not introduce him to another Fundy “Sista,” in the hopes that they will be equally yoked in one-flesh matrimony until the second coming of our Lord. It’s weird. It’s wrong. Stop it.

As a pastor’s kid (wait, they make Black IFB pastors?), I can’t tell you how many random p.k.s, m.k.s, e.k.s (they’re the creepiest), etc. that I have been forced to shake hands with during the meet & greet time on Sunday mornings. It’s always awkward. Twice, upon meeting a gentleman, he has asked to pray with me after the service, asking for God’s guidance in our lives and wisdom, oh wisdom!, for whatever relationship may blossom.

Why does this happen?

Because there are so few Black people in Fundamentalism, every effort must be made to seal the marriage deal as soon as possible with any and every conversation with the opposite sex.

Although there is great opportunity for an interracial relationship, you’ll have to go down to the non-denominational church for that. Haymen!

It’s not our fault that the IFB dating scene is particularly lacking in ethnic diversity. Why, when I graced the hallowed halls of BJU, I was 1 of 30 African/African-American/bi-racial/deeply tanned students at the entire university. I had to endure a multitude of conversations starting with something like, “Do you know DeQuan? He’s really cute for a Black guy. You two should go to Artist Series together.” No, Becky. No, we shan’t.

Just because two people that YOU know are Black:

A) That doesn’t mean they are attracted to each other.

B) That doesn’t mean that they want to meet each other at all.

C) That doesn’t mean that it’s the will of God for their lives to be together.

So please take this information and bury it deep in your heart. Arm yourself with this knowledge and apply it to your life. Your 3 Black friends will thank you.

In Christ,

ModestGoddess

(Thank you so much for this guest post, MG! ~ D)

189 thoughts on “PSA From Your Black Fundy Friends”

  1. Darn it! It was just laying there..within my grasp!!
    Well second is okay I guess.
    The article: a good one. Well done and makes one think.

    Why are there so few black people in the IFB? I think a lot of it has to do with belief. Well it seems that there is the whole slavery and “know your place” issue. An entire society built about knowing who your betters are, and you are better than. I would say that has a lot to do with it.

    1. It also has a lot to do with the fact that the IFB movement started in large part in reaction against integration and civil rights. IFB was a haven for whites where the “old paths” (meaning segregation and racial stratification) were held to. Only the more extreme IFBs still defend such views (openly, anyway), but the history is hard to escape.
      Bob Jones University and its founders are prime examples of this.

      1. I believe that the IFB was more started over liberalism/modernism in the SBC.

        It may have received some influx when times were perceived as changing and were scary to people.

        1. Those categories have heavy overlap, because most of the people against racial justice were also against (and felt threatened by) liberalism and modernism, but promoting segregation has definitely been a major part of the IFB agenda over the years. In particular, the “Christian school” movement was inspired and fed by white flight when public schools were integrated.

        2. Perhaps… the big uptick in IFB schools was when prayer in school was determined to be unconstitutional and, for the next generation, the things that their children were being taught; nothing to do with segregation in schools.

          Much like the affront the Pilgrims had when they discovered their children in Holland were not learning English.

        3. I think GR is correct that the original impetus for fundamentalism was liberal Christianity, although it had nothing todo with the SBC which wouldn’t experience significant liberalism for another 70 years. As one who has read all of the originally published “fundamentals of the faith”, I can tell you they were ecumenical and very positive. There was quite a lot of room for different perspectives and disagreements, including several articles promoting an old earth and even evolutionary perspective. The real issue at stake was the “faith once received” (not, as is commonly thought, the Bible, since liberals used the Bible too – but they interpreted it in a way that was not congruous with the prior 1900 years of Christianity). However, fundamentalism quickly devolved into a sort of mirror image of the social gospel. Retreating from public discourse, fundamentalism as a movement started focusing on “not being”, or separation, which in turn became focused on social ills such as alcohol, race relations (but not in a good way!), etc. This was the point at which Carl Henry stepped in and started the evangelical movement…there is a lot of history here which I don’t have time to get into, but most of the fundamentalism I have experienced is not old fundamentalism, but the reactionary fundamentalism that actually opposed Henry, Graham, etc. And it is terminally focused on not being and external works, which is why there is no such thing as a fundamental apologist which anyone outside their own circles takes seriously.

      2. Big Gary,

        Did you get that from your government manual? I still think there’s a very good chance that you have never been to a Baptist church in your life and you are just reading all of your comments from your government disinformation manual. Maybe you are a real person, but I’m not convinced yet.

        1. My theory is that Stacy McAnderson is herself a government-paid poster. After all, the government has a vested interest in maintaining repressive belief systems that enslave people to the whims of powerful men. It seems Ms. McAnderson doth protest too much!!

    2. Just to mix and match quotes here:

      Bean asked:
      “Why are there so few black people in the IFB?”

      and below, recovering ifb said:
      “One time we had an interracial couple visit our church, the Mog wouldn’t go near them”

  2. “Mixed bathing? I thought that meant we couldn’t go swimming with Chad” – one of my former fundy associates cracking wise re: the Only Black Guy in our circles at that time.

        1. And a large lake. I guess you can go swimming in Lake Chad as long as you don’t swim with Chad.

    1. Mixed bathing…How I hated that term. I think it was meant to make what we were doing sound as bad as they could make it.
      NO! We were not naked and NO! We did not bring a bar of soap!

  3. at my former fundy church, our Mog would go around after services introducing himself after services to all of our visitors. One time we had an interracial couple visit our church, the Mog wouldn’t go near them, 🙁

    1. We actually had an interracial couple at the IFB church I spent most of my growing up years in. I’ll never forget the time my mom said that while she didn’t necessarily know it was wrong, it was her opinion that if God wanted them to marry he would have made them the same color.

  4. People making snide remarks about interracial couples is one of the fastest ways to make me loathe them. There’s a lot of things that deeply disturb me and pretty quickly get people on my bad side (you know, stuff like Holocaust denial), but seeing as my family has multiple quite happy and successful interracial/interethnic/interwhatever marriages, denigrating them is a fabulous way to get me to hate you forever.

    1. I’ve never understood the anti-mixed marriage stance taken by a lot of churches. Look, if the Bible is your final authority, then there should be pretty clear warnings against it. Instead, if any Bible is used, it is the warnings to the Israelites to not marry the heathen — but that is always followed with the reason that they would turn Israel away from the true God; never merely because they were another race.

      Not to mention that the entire stand becomes suspect when it appears that the objection is only to white-black marriages and not to white-Asian marriages.

      1. And more specifically, to a black man marrying a white woman; can’t recall ever hearing objections going the other way.
        Of course a white woman is ONLY allowed to marry a Real True KJV-reading, straight-arrow, straight-walkin’ straight-talkin’ white as George Washington’s go-to-Sunday-meetings wig WASP man.

        1. The people I’ve heard disclaim against mixed marriage didn’t limit it just to a black man marrying a white woman.

      2. Uh, afraid relationships/marriage with someone from any other ethnic origin is frowned upon in many IFB circles, especially among missionaries for their own children.

        1. That’s a very good point. How many missionary kids end up marrying someone from the country where they grew up? I knew of several, but these were all missionaries to Russia, so of course it was kosher to marry a snow white Slav. (Of course the dirty little secret is that there are very few 100% pureblood ethnic Russians in this world. Russia is more of a melting pot than the USA in many ways.)

      3. The only interracial marriage I can remember specifically in the Bible was Moses marrying Tzipporrah, and the snide racist comments surrounding that resulted in seven-day leprosy.

        1. Solomon and his harem, less said the better.

          Esther and Xerxes, who seem to have turned out about as well as they could have given the circumstances. According to some apocryphal stuff, she may have been involved in his support for rebuilding in Israel on top of the preventing genocide thing.

          Rahab and Salmon.

          Ruth and Salmon’s kid Boaz.

          So nothing good comes of interracial marriage in the Bible but the foundations of the Davidic dynasty and the rebuilding of the Temple.

          Oh and Rahab and Ruth were both definitely in the ‘sexually immodest women’ category, so that’s two cases of ‘foreign women seducing away good Godly men’ right there in Jesus’ human bloodline right there.

        2. I always think of Solomon and David and their many wives and concubines when people talk about “defending Biblical marriage.”

      4. EXACTLY!! I have been saying for years that this is NOT a RACE issue it is a black and white issue. And for what absurd reason is a horrible in the South. I was born and raised here but away for many years and I can assure you, it isn’t as bad in the Northwest or Northeast. Heck I didn’t see and issue in California either. I went to an IFB church in WA State and we had an interracial couple there and no one had an issue with it. I have heard commentary from IFB pastors in the South on this subject that make me sick!

      5. The fundies I knew at BJU and elsewhere certainly did not limit their views to black man/white woman marriages. They frowned on all interracial marriages with consistency: you couldn’t have hispanic/asian, asian/white, hispanic/black or any other combo but everyone marrying the race to which he or she belonged. I know they were consistent because of friends in all these races–particularly among the Asian student population, where the two poor girls–neither from Korean families–who were born and raised in America, spoke only English and loved Pop-tarts were only allowed to date Koreans fresh off the boat who could barely communicate in English. Including the one that was mixed race and had to declare her race at the beginning of her stay and only date the race she declared. She got to make that choice because her eyes weren’t too slanty. The other girl was too slanty, so she had no choice.

        I absolutely despised this, especially the tortured way they tried to claim it was from Scripture (it’s not–as you say, it was those outside your faith, not outside your race, you avoided, and only so as not to be drawn away into idolatry. Not to mention that many of the nations surrounding Israel at the time would have actually qualified as the “same race.” But that’s a pow’ful lot ‘o thinkin’ for your average fundy to have to do.)

        ANYWAY, though I didn’t agree or agree that Scripture gave them the slightest support, I did not see in the general stance (though in individuals, doubtlessly) some kind of special racism torwards blacks. The general attitude was that no races could intermingle, and if they went abroad and thus were in a minority they would limit their own options just as much for the same reasons.

        Sane? No. Christian? No. Intelligent? No. Consistent? Yes.

  5. My experience is that well-meaning folks try to find a mate for anyone of marriageable age in the church, regardless of race.

    Usually, the women would sit and talk about the wonderful eligibility of single men/women and talk about finding a mate for them.

    So, I’m not sure that the actions described in the post have anything to do with the fact that she is “Black”.

    1. I think the whole point though, is that fundy people only want black females to be with black males. When there are very few of each (sometimes only one of each) then they just have to be together, right? Unfortunately, this is the whole problem: no interracial marriage allowed in IFB churches. Even if it is “allowed” it is still frowned upon, and mixed-race couples are treated as second-class.

      So, yes, there is definitely different treatment for black folks.

  6. Yep. “He’s got dark skin ‘cos his parents are from India, and she’s kinda dark ‘cos she’s Brazillian…so lets pair them up!”

    Do they matchmake the palest couple in black churches? And do they realise it’s racial profiling?

    If it’s any comfort, this kind of thing is common outside of fundieland too. I’ve known liberals who were shocked that a disabled person could go out with someone who wasn’t.

    Me and an old friend are both gay, so people keep trying to make romance blossom between us – because now that we can marry, somehow we *should*.

    1. Yes, that’s a drawback of legalizing same-sex marriage. You come under the same pressure to pair up and get married that straight people face.

      1. Once in a while I wonder why gay people are so eager to give up the two biggest traditional advantages of being gay: You don’t have to join the military, and you don’t have to get married.

    2. “Me and an old friend are both gay, so people keep trying to make romance blossom between us – because now that we can marry, somehow we *should*.”

      Hadn’t thought of this – I guess all great civil rights advances come with some side effects. Welcome to the world of busybody matchmakers asking when the big day is coming!

      But seriously, when are you going to settle down with someone nice, hmmm? 😉

        1. And that means struggling with bills, laundry, cleaning up after the dog, cleaning the gutters, arguing about empty milk cartons and dry cleaning and overspending, and putting up with in-laws at Thanksgiving, just like the rest of us straight folks. 😀

    3. Hmm, and now I am musing on Gay Fundy Couples.
      A homosexual man is one who takes the commandment of loving his fellow man to its logical extreme, amiright? :mrgreen:

      1. In one of my fundy colleges, there were two roommates who got up to all kinds of lesbian shenanigans. I’m not sure if they really were lesbians or just LUGs. In my fundy lite church, there were two separate lesbian couples. One even had kids. No one ever ever EVER talked about it. It’s so weird looking back on it because TEH GAYZ are the biggest sin going in the IFB world today, but back then? It was just sort of shrugged at — at least in my neck of the woods.

        1. Question:
          Were same-sex relationships seen as more OK for women than for men?

          Question #2:
          Was it really accepted, or was it more of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” arrangement?

        2. Same-sex relationships went on all the time in the harems of the rulers, and very likely in the women’s quarters of the home with several wives and/or concubines. It simply wasn’t talked about or acknowledged. The important thing was that the women were there for the man’s use when he wanted them, and that no one else was knocking up his females. Having children you knew were yours was important, as it was your connection to the future (the idea of an eternal heaven is not present in the Old Testament). You “lived on” in your children (sons, especially).

          Many of the Old Testament strictures on sexuality were geared toward this idea. Thus you didn’t have sex with family members, as that confused linages. (“Wrought confusion in Israel” is an interesting phrase!) You didn’t prostitute your daughters — they *would* get pregnant (no contraception!), and how would the child have a linage with no father? Nor would you frequent such a prostitute since you would be fathering a child you were not claiming.

          Why did Tamar not get burned for being pregnant? Remember, Judah confessed that “she has been more righteous than I” even as she sought to produce an heir along the same blood line as her deceased husband. She was exonerated of doing wrong.

          Even the stricture against homosexuality can be explained along these lines. It was the duty of children to bear children, to produce a linage, not to allow the linage to end. Relationships that did not produce children were pretty much forbidden. Marriages where no children were produced were considered cursed by God, and men would take another wife if their first wife didn’t pop out the next generation.

          Remember that there really is no “It is just wrong because I said so,” there are always reasons even if we have forgotten them. Morality is a way we get along with each other. Jesus said that we show our love for God by how we love others, and that if we love others as ourselves we have “fulfilled the law and the prophets.”

          This is not to say that I don’t value fidelity in marriage! My wife and I are looking forward to 31 years in less than a month. But I think it puts things in context to consider the “why” of moral strictures we have, rather than just blindly follow them because we are told that is what is right.

          I admit that I hadn’t thought in this direction much before now. It came as something of a shock. If this explanation doesn’t suit you, please put forward one that does, just not a “just because God said so” one. Even Abraham told God that He was judged by an outside standard, “Should not the Judge of the whole earth do right?”

        3. If I had to classify it as anything, I’d say “Don’t ask; don’t tell.”

          I recently read (and probably can’t find it again) that during periods of history, women were actually encouraged to have “romantic friendships” with each other as a way to avoid “impurity”? Wouldn’t surprise me if Christians “in those days” (I’m really, truly not that old) had similar thoughts.

        4. Probably nitpicky, but …

          “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” I wouldn’t say that’s an external standard per se, there is no more righteous standard than God himself. Maybe more like “I can depend on the Eternal Creator to act in line with His revealed character, correct? Or am I missing the how it all fits together? After all, your ways are much higher than my ways.”

        5. You are making a classic error — trying to interpret the past by the future. When you try to interpret a Genesis concept by an Isaiah concept that did not exist during Abraham’s time, you are attributing to Abraham thoughts and notions he could not possibly have had, certainly not in the cultural context in which he lived.

          Abraham did not view God as all-knowing, eternal, or everywhere present at all times. He did not see God as a “Spirit.” After all, he prepared a meal for God, ate and drank with Him, and conversed face to face. God even told him, as a human king would have, that the ways of Sodom had come to his hearing in His court, and He was traveling to Sodom for Himself to see if such things were so.

          Read Genesis 18. I mean really read it. Put yourself in the position of not knowing anything more than Abraham did about El Shaddai or the world. Listen to the words God spoke. Did Abraham believe God knew the end from the beginning? No! Otherwise He would not have been begging for the city of Sodom with “peradventure you find 50,” 40, 20, and even 10.

          Interestingly enough, even Moses deals with God by referring to an external standard — the reaction of the nations to the destruction of Israel. God told Moses He would destroy the nation and raise up from Moses a nation — and Moses called Him on it. In fact, the Scripture says “God repented of the evil He had thought to do.” Scripture does say that God has changed His mind, or been sorry for an action — something a bit strange if God is unchangeable and perfection itself (NOT a Hebrew or Jewish concept at all, but a Greek one hundreds of years in the future).

          The primary meaning of Scripture has to be what it meant to the people who first heard it, in their cultural context, with respect to their world view and knowledge of God at that time.

          But we are all too used to fundamentalism’s twisted hermeneutics mixing up the order, creating prophesies and doctrines out of whole cloth. It isn’t easy to find your way out of that kind of mess when it is what you were steeped in all your life.

    4. There’s also the “all nonwhite folks are in the same group” trope.
      Many years ago, I was talking to my grandfather and Vietnam came up. “They speak Spanish there, don’t they, Gary?” he said.
      He had nothing against the Vietnamese (or Spanish-speakers). It was just that as far as he knew from growing up in a very small town in west Texas, Spanish was what foreigners speak.

        1. Black people do speak Spanish, if they’re from Cuba, Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic (among other places).

          But the majority of black Americans don’t speak Spanish.

        2. Indeed, and I could’ve been confused on my languages, too, since I lived a stone’s throw from New Orleans at the time. 🙂

      1. This reminds me of my hilarious friend and classmate Nakul (Indian), who was an engineer for a rural manufacturer in rural Indiana. He said in class one time that everyone in town knew who he was because he was the only hispanic. He got a fantastic job in California, and I am happy for him, but I miss him.

  7. I’ve come to believe that some but certainly not all of the prominent IFB black preachers and ministries prefer to be the extreme minority because they still have a token ministry in that case. They get to be the ones collecting missions support to reach their people instead of telling white people to get off their duff and reach out to other races in their area with the gospel. And the few distinguished black preachers get to be the token guy on the poster and get lots of “revival” engagements.

    I’ve said this before, as someone in an interracial marriage myself, there are few times I was more disgusted than I was hearing Kenny Baldwin preach with self deprecating humor about stuff like fried chicken, water melon or chitlins. Crap like that just perpetuates the racism instead of using his platform to tell the old racist white dudes to get over the fact that it isn’t unbiblical for white people to marry black people, and that white people ought to accept black pastors, instead of the unspoken rule of “ain’t no n@!!&r going to be in authority over me.”

    Rant over…

    1. It would be appropriate to put quotation marks above around “their people” , as though being Americans or whatever isn’t enough to qualify as being of the same people group.

    2. In American society, there has ALWAYS been a niche for African-Americans who will do an Uncle Tom act (I can’t think of a better term for it) for the white people.

      People like Alan Keyes and Herman Cain come to mind. …

      1. So, how is a black person supposed to act anyway?

        Does that mean that guys like Alan Keyes and B. Obama are to be labeled “Uncle Tom” because it’s assumed that they are who they are because we assume it’s an act for white people?

        This would seem to me to be putting such people at an unfair disadvantage and doing exactly what we claim to loathe.

        1. I’m thinking specifically of African-Americans who make a career of telling privileged whites that their prejudices about black people (or, perhaps more accurately, poor people) are correct. I would also put Clarence Thomas in this category.

          I don’t think Barack Obama belongs in that category, whether or not you agree with him.

        2. “Uncle Tom” is a racist term. Referring to people as “Uncle Tom” simply because they may not believe the way another person of color believes is bigotry.

          Clarence Thomas. He is supposed to consider issues based on the law, not race. Yet he’s an “Uncle Tom” because he doesn’t consider law solely based on the fact he’s black?

          The man can’t win either way. Because he’s conservative he’s an “Uncle Tom.” If he was of the liberal camp, what would he be called then? Progressive? Really black?

          Something stinks in Denmark, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

        3. I think Big G was referring to Justice Thomas’s extracurricular political activities and remarks in which he expresses exactly the views that Big G is accusing him of espousing. Namely, that we don’t have any race-related problems with opportunity in this country.

        4. I agree that it’s not the best term (although I don’t think it’s a racist term), but I can’t think of a better one.
          My point is that making privileged people feel better about their privilege is a viable career path for some people who come from the other side of the tracks, and most of the prominent examples of this happen to be African-Americans.

          In Thomas’ case, I’m not talking about his judicial decisions (which are bad, but mostly for other reasons) so much as what he has said in public speeches and in his published autobiography.

        5. … aaaand I see that Deacon’s Son said the same thing, but said it better than I did, while I was typing my last comment.

        6. Okay, DS and BG. I’ll have to concede to both comments. I’ve not read Thomas’s autobiography or listened to any of his public speeches.

          I suppose my angst is the blanket terminology (Uncle Tom) that is so often used by us all.

          I’m now very curious about Thomas’s autobiography. While I’m at it I’ll read Uncle Tom’s Cabin since it’s been over thirty years since my last reading. My frontal lobes were near developmental completion, so I’m sure I didn’t get it.

        1. I’m rather attracted to the theory I’ve heard that Herman Cain’s political career is actually an avant-garde or Dadaist art project.
          That seems to fit the Occam’s Razor principle.

        2. BG, that is certainly a better explanation for those marvelous commercials with his leering sex-eye grin at the end. Upon first viewing I was convinced it was a parody or self-deprecation of some sort; no way he could be serious and all the advisors and production people go along with it.

        3. How else you gonna explain Herman Cain and his campaign?

          OK, Herman himself might just be totally nuts, but what about all the people who wanted him to be President? What the heck was up with them?Remember, he was the front-runner for the Repbublican nomination at one point. Maybe they were all in on the joke. Maybe it was the Church of the Subgenius of politics.

        4. Herman Cain is also a Baptist minister (National Baptist denomination), for whatever that’s worth.

        5. Big Gary wrote: “Remember, [Cain] was the front-runner for the Repbublican nomination at one point. ”

          I think most of that was the GOP desperately looking for someone who could save them from having to vote for Mitt. One purported savior after another arrived, was embraced, and soon after discarded.

  8. This attitude toward interracial couples is something that baffles me. It’s the kind of thing that you honestly expect to be confined to older generations (not that it’s excusable in older generations, just, for some reason, expected. You expect to die off, only to find it cropping back up in each successive generation once in awhile. I know I shouldn’t expect racial progress to come automatically with advancing time, but still…

    Maybe, I tell myself, at least when I encounter this among more fundy-minded people, it’s a reminder to me that we live in a world where racial issues are still real. Among more progressive (white) people, it’s easy to fall into a sense of false comfort, forgetting about the issues of structural racism that still exist, thinking all those issues are things of the distant past, because no decent person you choose to be with would hold those racist views. Even if I know this, it’s easy to forget it.

    1. As a young person, I thought that racism, at least of the crude, non-subtle sort, would die out within a generation. This was the era of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and many other legal, legislative, and judicial advances in racial equality, as well as cultural ones like better representation of minorities in popular entertainment and sports.

      But when Obama was elected, the stunning amount of open, unrefined, unreconstructed racist invective poured out at him cured me of the last vestiges of the illusion that racism had receded. Many of the people spewing this hate are young (at least, younger than me).

      I have no problem with disagreeing with Obama policies. I disagree with many of them myself. But opposing him because of his race is, honestly, despicable.

        1. That is so understandable. It’s been supremely irritating, with the “christians” who have displayed unmitigated hatred toward the President, all the while saying it’s not because he’s black. But we know that is at least one factor.

  9. But how DARE Black IFBers defy the Unwritten Rules! Every good Fundy knows that if there are a Black Fundy man and a BF woman within fifty miles of one another, then it IT IS gid’s WILL and that they are DESTINED for one another whether they like it or not and that they’d better get legally matched up as soon as humanly possible, if not sooner! 🙄 😛
    How dare they object to the Divine Will of gid and more importantly, the MOg!

    1. Of course, lately, most IFB churches are so small, the One Single Girl who is expected to marry the One Single Guy is a pretty common thing regardless of race. Even my dumbass sister was smart enough to turn down our church’s OSG who lived with his parents and was a cart pusher at Wal-Mart because even though he had some sort of fancy certification from a trade school to repair computers on cars (as I recall) he didn’t want to get that kind of job.

  10. My dad’s Biblical argument against inter-racial dating was that the Bible says that “God is not the author of confusion,” and the resulting children would be confused as to their race. At one point, my (now ex-) husband and I were looking into adoption. My dad counseled us against taking a black or mixed-race child because it would be too hard to deal with the cultural differences. (We did eventually take in two foster boys, both of whom were black, and now that I’m single, I find myself drawn to black guys. My therapist and I are still trying to figure out if that’s because of some deep-seated desire to piss off my dad).

    On another note, I went to Fairhaven, where inter-racial dating wasn’t allowed. However, a black bus captain married his Chinese bus rider (who was 16 years his junior) and everyone thought that it was the greatest thing. Even though I was still drinking the koolaid back then, I couldn’t figure out how that was okay, but it wasn’t okay for me to date his brother (who tried, but I was a good girl back then and didn’t want to break the rules).

    Double standard, anyone?

    1. Yes, I’ve heard that verse used to oppose interracial marriage too. *Sigh*

      Actually, that verse can come in very handy; it can be used to try to stifle all sorts of things:

      1. Don’t use new songs; people will be confused.
      2. Don’t use a different version than the KJV; people will be confused.
      3. Don’t allow people to wear casual clothes to church; people will be confused.

      Darrell describes that mindset here:
      http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2011/01/proof-texting-for-fun-and-profit/

      1. 4. Don’t go into movie theaters; people will be confused.
        5. Don’t share music videos on fb; people will be confused: “Whaaaat? She’s a Christian? Then why is she posting that jungle music to her page? Oh, my! Mah heart’s a-flutter!”
        6. Don’t read SFL; that will just cause confusion and GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION!

        1. And then there are people like me, who have always been confused as to what that verse means exactly. 😉

      2. Has anyone ever thought to tell one of these MOG’s “Just because YOU’RE so easily confused doesn’t mean everyone else will be confused!” Or explain projection to them? Eh…it’d probably just confuse them. And God’s not the author of….

    2. The fallacy there is that God is not the author of races of people. They are a purely social construct.
      (I don’t mean, of course, that there aren’t differences in appearance between people. I mean separating them into “races” is a social construct.)
      It was not done in Biblical times. People were often divided by tribes or home cities, but not by skin color or hair texture or shapes of noses or eyelids.

      1. Absolutely right. They love to trot out the old Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve trope, but don’t consider it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Daquan and Lawanda and Antonio and Nina etc.

        1. Next time you hear about “Adam and Steve”, point out that Darwin would agree with that one, at least biologically; that should take a lot of wind out of their sails.

  11. Within the general population of IFB’s, I truly believe there are good people open to integration but are so sheltered by their MOG that they don’t even feel like its good enough to greet a visitor of another race. It might be too awkward for the visitor or something….I dunno.

    I always found it humorous when we were encouraged to talk to the black guy who was visiting. Like we all speak like Mushmouth from Fat Albert or something. “Heyba Bayba, welcomeba toba ourba churchba. Word!”

    Of course, you know what, we would speak to them, and guess what..we all spoke English and not ghetto. Go figure.

      1. That’s a case of casting brilliance. If they had had anyone other than Barbara Billingsley/June Cleaver play The Person Who Speaks Jive, it wouldn’t have been half as funny.

  12. How many times have I heard the phrase, “I’m not racist, but…” said by a churchgoer? Doesn’t the passage about the woman at the well mean anything to us?

    My husband dated a girl from Jamaica once, but was scared to bring her home. Of course, his step dad wasn’t a fundy, just a racist.

    1. Whenever anyone starts a sentance with “I’m not/I don’t________ _____________, they will be/do exactly what they are claiming not to. Examples:

      I don’t want to offend you………
      I’m not trying to be mean………
      I’m not a racist but……..

      1. Bingo! Other fun variations in not-racism include “I don’t have a racist bone in my body” and “some of my best friends are black!”

      2. “God is a God of grace, but…”

        But what, oh lofty Mog? Is He too gracious for your liking?

        “I really have no problems with Hispanics, but…”

        But what, exalted CEO, WHAT? Do you perceive that they don’t live up to your expectations? What would you say if one of your sons came home with a girl named Maria Guadalupe Sanchez-Alvarez and her English was, say, not quite up to the standards of your FundyU?

        Would you compare her and her family to the Cretians then?

      3. Ya whenever I hear “I’m not a racist, but” I cringe. Because I know to count on fully bigoted, make archie bunker blush type comments will commence in 3..2…1…go…

  13. While the Fundy church I came from had many different cultures and races present, they were still quietly prohibiting African-American/white dating. They were savy enough (having learned from BJU’s public disgrace) to avoid putting the policy in writing. They did require both sets of parents to agree to a college dating relationship though, so that was one out for them.

    I remember back when there was only one African-American teen at church and someone in leadership made a private comment about how hard it must be not to be able to date. That was a head turner for me. As a matter of fact, I turned to look for the reaction in a hispanic/white couple who heard the same thing and they showed none outwardly.

    I know of one African-American male who was given demerits by this Fundy college VP on the west coast for daring to date a white woman. This happened about 10 years ago.

    Such behind-the-scenes racism is also a disgrace.

        1. Yes; the rules should be fairly applied, whether or not one agrees with the rule.

          Not that I agree with that rule, but if the man was breaking their rule, the woman was as well… they both broke the rule (regardless of what it was); they both should have had demerits.

        2. You won’t go with “neither should have had demerits, because the rule was stupid and evil”?

        3. Those were the rules; breaking the rules is a cause for demerits. They broke the rules; they deserve the demerits.

          I think that the rule should be changed, but the effort should be to (1) change bad rules, and (2) enforce rules fairly.

          My initial comment was more addressed to (2) instead of (1).

  14. Ah memories . . .

    An IFB Sunday School teacher offering the “unequally yoked” verse as the proof text that the Bible prohibits miscegenation and lecturing us that it’s a sin for white people to marry black people.

    A church split because the pastor’s wife, who interpreted for the deaf ministry, gave a black deaf man a hug. Hugs weren’t necessarily immoral, they said, but interracial hugs were. The pastor’s wife should have set a better example, after all.

    My mother telling me that if I brought a black girl home that they would “try to love her” but only if she was from the West Indies or some other “mission field.” (I had no intentions of bringing a black girl home per se but as the family “rebel” and “liberal” it was always thought that I would do something very shocking and scandalous and shame the family by entering into a bi-racial marriage, or coming out as gay, or adopting a child, or some similar crime against nature. They were quite disappointed when I married an upper middle class white girl. But my wife and I are considering adoption so odds are pretty good they’ll get their scandal sooner or later. We’ve already been ordered not to adopt a non-white child.)

    A fundamentalist Christian acquaintance telling me that the reason why some schools have poor academic performance is because they are run by black adults and we can see what happens when black people are in charge by looking at Haiti.

    My fundy pastor almost cancelling summer camp because he found out that the campground our church had rented (we had stopped going to the “liberal” (a/k/a “expensive”) Bill Rice Ranch, you see) was owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. That made some sense, given the IFB’s commitment to radical separation until he privately told me that the real reason he didn’t like that campground was because it was owned by a majority black Seventh Day Adventist sect. “I am sorry if that is racist,” he said, “but I was brought up that you don’t let black people run things.”

    Yep, fundies are just full of the luuuuuve of God.

      1. Well, there was a cabal of church members that already hated the MOG (because when he came to the church he cancelled a ladies’ ministry because they wanted to have only women speakers and he said they could only let him speak). His wife’s hugs were the straw that broke the camel’s back, however.

    1. Wow. Just wow. All of that.

      And to address the end of that, I’ve often tried not to roll my eyes when I’ve heard the “I was brought up” or “I was raised that you…” excuse people whip out trying to justify views and actions that they probably know can’t quite be justified. Makes me bite my tongue every time, not to be disrespectful, or start an argument that I can’t afford to start. I want to scream “I don’t care how you were raised! What do you believe? I’m not concerned with what your parents thought – what do YOU think about it?” ARRRGH.

      1. I keep saying that if D.S. simply compiled all his stories about his mother into a book, it would be an instant classic.

        Write it, Deacon’s Son!

    2. The first time I heard the verse being used “not unequally yolked” to interracial marriage, I almost lost my religion. I was so mad. That is the STUPIDEST thing one can say. How about reading the WHOLE verse? It is amazing just how much you can learn by reading things for yourself.

      1. Yes, it has nothing to do with race or nationality, and to claim it’s about race you’d have to be either completely dishonest or monumentally ignorant.

  15. I remember the controversy at BJU. For a long time, interracial dating and marriage was forbidden and occasionally preached against in the chapel messages.

    At one point another student and I were talking about the topic, and I pointed out that Moses had a mixed-race marriage. He had married an Ethiopian woman, who was black. In the sniping that arose among the leadership in Israel over it, God struck Miriam with leprosy.

    Yep, talk against the marriage of the MOG, and get struck with leprosy, even if the marriage was mixed-race!

    I have often wondered how I made it through BJU without being tossed on my ear.

    1. There’s times I want to go to BJU just to see how long it takes for them to throw me out on my ear. Alas, or, in their eyes, lucky for them, I don’t have the kind of money to do that.

  16. I was raised in an IFB church that taught there were only 2 races. White people and everyone else. I was once told by my Sunday school teacher that he was sure that “they” would be in heaven, but was hoping they’d have their own area designated. Same church also offered to pay to plant a IFB church in a different part of the city for “them” if they could be assured that they could send any visitors there that would be a better fit.

    1. To be honest, most IFBers would probably be happier in heaven if they had their own specially segregated area, where they could pretend they were the only ones there.

      1. I actually think that is exactly what heaven will be like for them. Like the dwarves in C.S. Lewis’ Last Battle who have made it to paradise but don’t realize it.

        1. Sometimes I think, “What if THIS is heaven, and we don’t realize it?”

          Sometimes.

  17. I am the indirect result of an interracial marriage. I am one/fourth Cherokee by way of my great grandmother who married a white man. I am a Tribal member. My family didn’t parade this around but at the same time it wasn’t a secret. I can tell you I was never confused by my heritage. I was confused a lot by fundamentalism a lot though…like why at Bob Jones was my half Korean American female friend not allowed to date white guys but a half Chinese American male friend could date whomever he wanted. That confused me a lot….it was explained to me that she ‘looked’ more Asian than he did. So it boiled down to it was all about appearances…still confused.

  18. Things heard at my church when I was growing up:
    From the MOG:
    The problem with this country is that it is being taken over by “blacks” and “homosexuals” (he used different words).
    You can let your kids be friends with black kids, just don’t let them spend the night at each other’s houses. That will lead to them marrying a black person.
    From my SS teacher:
    “I would feel dirty if a black person walked into the church.”

    1. My jaw just dropped but shouldn’t have because the church my in-laws attend do not allow blacks. It isn’t IFB but another branch of Baptist. Her statement..”they have their own place to go to church”. I am in the South so that explains a lot. Sadly it is almost an understood among the black people that they don’t go to white churches. To my knowledge they are fine with whites showing up at their church. The IFB church we just left out of has several black people and embrace them fine. But the preacher wasn’t raised in the South.
      I despise the mentality and did not want to end back up in the South and raise my babies here.

    2. Wow. Just wow. Never ran across that kind of racism publicly — some things along those lines privately.

      I do remember being shocked and disgusted when an IFB staff member’s teenager told me that his family would have to move because the neighborhood was “getting too dark”. I totally did not expect it from a teenager, and a staff member’s child.

      It doesn’t surprise me as much to hear it from the older generation. My father would occasionally make racist comments, and my previous barber once made some pretty racist remarks – not his usual fare, so I was surprised.

  19. Funds standards of race is perplexing. My former MOG tried to tell me from scripture that interracial marriage between blacks and whites was wrong. However he indicated that Hispanics and whites was ok…I mean the double standard is so mind bending sometimes. I got into a long argument with him. Eventually I stopped because I figured he could just stay ignorant.

  20. Back in the 80s, Dr. Cedarholm at Maranatha would preach on interracial dating from time to time. I can’t remember the arguments he had against it, but he would say, “God intended to keep the races pure.” Also, he said since he was of Swedish ancestry, he should marry someone of Swedish ancestry.

  21. This was one area that really didn’t affect me until I went to college (Fairhaven first, which had exactly one black student at the time and a ban on interracial dating). Maybe because we were military and therefore usually going to military-type IFB churches? Hard to be discriminatory when most of your members — the ones paying your bills — are a pretty diverse bunch.

  22. I have a brutha from another mutha….he’s adopted….and *gasp* black! Our fundy school would not allow us off campus together without a third person(even tho we had to share a car). The DofS said it was because we “obviously weren’t of the same blood” and it might cause others to stumble.

    1. Again, my jaw just dropped. WOW! I know some REAL STUPID people that are going to be so shocked when they get to heaven. Why on earth do fools think this kind of thinking is ok? However, just having left an IFB church I sure get how it feels to be shunned. It never ceases to amaze me that if you don’t eat, drink (their kool aide), and sleep their same IFB bull, then you are a bad person. I am still me. Well, except I wear pants now. That must be what did me in. LOL!!

  23. Growing up in fundyland, I wanted nothing more than to be a missionary. My Senior year at BJU, I had a mission board rep tell me that I was “too cute and pretty” to be a single missionary because I might be tempted and start dating locals. I doubt he used the term “locals” but I can’t remember now because it has been 18 years. Closet feminist that I was, I actually wrote a letter of complaint to Dr. Bob and he wrote back in my defense.
    On a separate note, my friend and I were joking around today that there should be a dating website for former fundies. A wink would be either a crew cut or a pair of culottes. Anybody interested??

    1. Wow. Somebody mentioned projection. Dude was hitting on you. Or revealing his own tendencies.

      I can’t imagine a mission agency rep turning down a willing candidate. And because you’re cute?!

      Maybe they had just dealt with an unfortunate situation. Can you imagine the directive from on high? “And especially keep an eye out for some homely girls, because the plainer they come, the more they evidemce the self control fruit of the Spirit.” Nice.

      Among the winners of mission agencies allowed to present at Missions Emphasis Week, which one might this guy have represented?

      Michael
      (Previously excluded from presenting at Mission Prayer Band but featured in a recent BJU magazine as a poster grad for working with Unreached People Groups even though out mission agency would definitely not be welcome on campus)

  24. I guess this must be a regional thing or something. I grew up mostly on the west coast and Guam in military communities. It was no unusual thing to see mixed race couples. We even had a White pastor with a Filipina wife who’s daughter married a black man at one church.

    1. Yep, the West Coast isn’t like the South. Let me tell ya, the hate that is spewed from the pulpit will curl toenails. I am certain that Jesus is NOT happy with a LOT of preaching fools.

  25. Acts 17.26a: And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.
    There is only one race-the human race. We are all connected in Adam.
    Very white skinned folks have a fairly recent ancestry that developed where the sun shines at an acute angle. Hence their ancestors didn’t need to have much melanin to protect the skin. Darker complected folks’ ancestors needed the melanin since invariably they lived in tropical areas where the sun shines perpendicular to the earth’s surface. These traits became fixed after a while hence the different complexions. Eyelid types also became fixed because of an initial gene pool which had these traits. It is silly and sinful to segregate based on outward features.

    1. Yes. Also, I read a journal article recently discussing how “white” (as in nordic skin color, not exomorphic structure) wasn’t normalized in the northern European population until as late as 500 AD. It was a speculative article, because we don’t have enough evidence for a statistical sample, but it was interesting.

  26. As a former fundy that happens to be black. This PSA is so true. I was paired up with any available black woman that attended my church. Once two women called dibs on my brother and me, I was still in high school and very uninterested. Another time a missionary/evangelist talked to my mother on my status, my girlfriend, future wife, was not amused.
    Unfortunately I also had to deal with the issue on interracial relationships. I was once told to stick with my own kind. Also I was told way to many times that I was really nice for a Black Guy. I could go on but this has always struck a nerve with me.

  27. A black friend of mine was told he needed to marry a black woman so he could save his own race. I am unclear on the exact mechanism allegedly in play there, but I’m guessing that maxim was more recited than it was explained.

  28. Ah yes. Memories. I once had a black roommate at said BJU. Unfortunately we did many a number on him asking him if he liked one of the 3 black girls on campus. #regrets

    Fast forward 7 years and I’m married to a beautiful black woman (who I met at a Non-denominational church no less). Funny how it goes. Definitely not going back to any IFB churches, unless its to totally mess with them.

  29. I’m tickled to go to a church where it’s not a shock to see non-caucasians on the worship team, sitting next to me in the pews, serving as missionaries, etc… I must admit that it was odd to me when I first started going there but now it’s a real blessing to be in a place where bi-racial couples are becoming more and more common.

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