248 thoughts on “Internet Policies: West Coast Baptist Edition”

        1. It’s that immoral humanism that thinks healthcare is a valuable good, and Internet comments/posts aren’t that important. God have mercy. Lol

      1. It’s not others in general; it is paid staff members who are the face of their church.

        I really don’t think that this is over the top.

        If an assistant pastor were writing stuff against his pastor on his blog, this site would be all over him.

        It seems reasonable that they want to ensure that their employees are not bringing shame upon their church.

        Clearly, the person who forwarded this has broken the rules (#9).

        1. Guilt Ridden,

          Because employment at a place like LBC/WCBC is “at will” as a matter of law, there is no need for a lengthy, convoluted policy giving employees detailed permission as to what they can and cannot do in their personal lives. It’s one thing to put someone on notice that if they make the employer look bad then they can be fired. It’s another thing entirely to couch it in the terms we see here, where they basically are acting like parents telling their children what they can and cannot do online.

          Also, as PW pointed out below, there are reasons why people might want to post or act online anonymously. This policy would make that a terminable offence.

        2. I completely disagree for many reasons. First, the standard anti-defamation clause would suffice just fine. Second, access to social media by employers is illegal in many states. Third, the language is ambiguous and open to interpretation by the employer. Fourth, said linguistic ambiguity renders the contract unenforceable. Fifth, in the event that an employee was fired in accordance with this agreement and brought suit against the employer, the employer would either lose or settle; e.g. the policy opens the employer up to risk. Sixth, after two decades of working with HR and testifying in unemployment hearings, etc., I can tell you that the judges in my state would not only award the plaintiff but require the employer to rehire the plaintiff and possibly levy a fine.

          Bottom line: this “agreement” is the definition of unwise, even for those without a moral compass.

        3. @Deacon’s Son:

          I just saw this as just a general rule, as summarized in the start (the content [of personal web sites] must be appropriate and Christ-honoring), with some specifics about computer use while at work.

          I don’t see them telling employees what they can and cannot do on their own time online – just the statement that social media web sites and personal blogs must be “appropriate” and “Christ-honoring”.

          Nothing in this policy says that I am forbidden to participate in forums or other people’s blogs, even anonymously – unless I’m missing something?

          The fact that they will be checking just means to me that they take their policy seriously.

        4. @Dr Fundystan:

          #1) Not sure what the “standard anti-defamation clause” is – would that cover items that LBC/WCBC believes is dishonoring to Christ?

          #2) This is laughable; how can it be “illegal” for an employer to access PUBLIC information, like Twitter and blogs? Doesn’t “public” imply that anyone can access it? The Facebook thing is, I think, the uncertain ground because (as I understand it), posts can be locked down to only certain people – they would therefore not be “public”, right?

          #3) No argument here. Vague language. Hopefully, someone working at LBC/WCBC has a clue about what is and is not “Christ-honoring”. I’m sure that attendees of the church have a good idea about what is appropriate.

          #4) OK

          #5) It is unlikely that anyone who agreed to work there would then sue them. It probably depends how egregious the error was, and whether it would strike the reasonable man as dishonoring to Christ on “inappropriate”. For example, I think the employer would win if the employee tweeted something like: “Pastor preached that we should be careful what we say on Twitter. All I can say to that is **** ***!”

          #6) Noted.

          My bottom line is that I don’t have a problem with a CHURCH telling the staff members to be sure that their online, public postings are appropriate and Christ-honoring.

        5. Certain employers (even some public employers, such as police or fire depts) were demanding applicants provide passwords to their Facebook accounts as part of the hiring process. This was done to get an “unvarnished” look at the applicant’s character. The demand for passwords has been litigated in certain states and has not held up to legal scrutiny.

        6. Guilt Ridden, I’m not sure you understand the ramifications of what was discussed in the memo. If I were employed by this so-called “church” and wanted to discuss personal issues on FB or on my own blog, I would have to disclose my account information to the bosses and have someone approve of every jot and tittle. If, say, I wanted to post about how I was longing for a cigarette after smelling smoke on someone at the 7-11, I would be fired, or at least strongly admonished and made an example of. This so-called “church” is effectively implementing a police-state mentality on its slaves, er, I mean employees.

          On the other hand, I’m almost positive that this Taliban outpost decries such things as the EZ-Pass on toll roads and laws/ordinances passed by federal, state, and local authorities because they don’t like the Big Brother idea of the government controlling our lives.

          I can understand firing/placing on unpaid leave anyone who is busted for running a meth lab or prostitution ring, as that is an embarassment to any employer. I cannot understand regulating every last detail of someone’s life. I gave up on that with my own kids because I’m too lazy to put forth that much effort. You turn your people into shells and become one yourself when this is the mentality you have. This is what Hyles/Chappell/Schaap/Trieber and their cronies have done to their people.

        7. @Dr Fundystan:

          As you stated it, #2 makes no sense: you wrote Second, access to social media by employers is illegal in many states.

          Come now, does that mean if I employ someone, I am banned from using Twitter or FB? I simply don’t believe that. Nor can I believe that the law would forbid me from looking at my employee’s public comments. (for one thing, it is utterly un-enforceable). What I would believe is that the law forbids me from forcing employees to disclose their social media accounts and/or passwords, and/or that the law may forbid me from punishing an employee for what they put on social media — but accessing it? Ridiculous!!

        8. @LadySemp

          I think people are jumping at what they “might” do. If you wanted to discuss personal issues on, say, FB, they do NOT say that they must first approve what you write. Their policy just states (reasonably for a Christian organization) that is not dishonor Jesus Christ, and not be inappropriate.

          Yes, that is vague, and could be abused.

          Your example of longing for a cigarette may or may not bring censure; if you purchased cigarettes, they probably would come down on you.

          You can read sinister things into this, but it is no different than employers having strict dress codes / behavior rules for its employees. (One employer who used to be in our area was famous for sending employees home because their socks were mismatched or their shoes were not shined.)

          You don’t seem to think that it is reasonable to insist on some basic level of loyalty — publicly posting: “New stupid policy from my imbecilic employer – Pastor Joe demands that we now have to record…” would be stupid if you are working for him. I wouldn’t blame him for firing someone who posted that.

          This policy is NOT “regulating every last detail” of a person’s life; they don’t (in this policy) insist that the MOG must be consulted for evey decision; when to have kids; how many; where to go on vacation; whether you should change jobs. There are churches of this ilk, and this church may be one. I’m just saying that the policy (with the exception of #4, which I thought dealt with Internet uses during work hours) seems reasonable.

        9. Employers used to give a good deal of loyalty to their employees. That is not the case any more. I am inclined to give the employer only the same amount of loyalty that he or it gives me.

          But no, the policy is not reasonable, with the exception of provision 5 concerning use of social media and the internet during work hours.

          Oh, the employer may look at what sites he wishes. I do not intend that I shall tell him where to look. What I blog about is my affair. If I should bad mouth the company or someone in it, I can see the company taking measures. But I am not that stupid. The employer has no right to demand or expect that my free speech conform to his likes any more than I should expect that the employer’s free speech will conform to my liking.

          The whole idea that the employer can “give me permission” to have access to social media is ridiculous. Who does he think he is? God? And to think that spying eyes will be watching for infractions is horrific. I have a life outside of work. I have a life outside the church.

          If an employer trusts and respects his employees, they are much more likely to trust and respect him. This document reeks with lack of trust and desire for control.

        1. Yes. Unfortunately most people are not willing to “rock the boat” when it comes to changing a church tradition and trajectory. In my case, I left my IFB church because I knew that so many things would not change—and the people love it so.

      2. I have hired staff members as a pastor and administrator of a Christian school as well as recruited volunteers to teach classes, lead music, work with the youth, etc…. I have never had any of them sign some sort of list of rules about dress, music preference, internet activities, etc…. I did, however, hire or recruit only people I felt were genuine Christians who lived the life. I then left it up to the Holy Ghost to lead them in their activities. If they were spiritual enough for me to want them on my team, I should trust their judgment. I call than individual soul liberty or, perhaps, priesthood of the believer.
        If a particular incident came up (and it did at least once, with a treasurer’s wife accusing him of looking at internet porn), I dealt with it on an individual basis.
        When we try to force people, who don’t already share our doctrinal beliefs and the convictions we believe are most important, to agree to abide by those doctrinal and personal convictions, we are doing ourselves and them a disservice.
        A pastor friend of mine likes to quote this bit of doggerel…
        “A man convinced against his will
        Is a man unconvinced still.”

        1. The quote is from the author Clarence Day, and actually runs:

          “A man convinced against his will
          is of the same opinion still.”

          Oddly, I had occasion to quote it earlier today.

        2. Yes, Liutgard, that is the quotation. I knew it didn’t sound quite right, but I couldn’t remember the exact words. Thank you…

        3. I’m surprised that King Tommy didn’t come up with something like that; however, he did come up with a form asking questions including what medications are you taking and for what reason if you were involved in any ministry.

      1. Per the policy, posting on SFL in **not** forbidden. It is not a staff member’s blog, or facebook page, or twitter.

        I’m sure they are not wild about SFL, but their policies, as written, don’t forbid it.

        1. SFL would def be classified by LBC/WCBC as either or both of these: “inappropriate discussion forums” and/or “inappropriate blogs”

        2. Yep, missed that one.

          I think rule #4 is wrong and should be removed. What they do on their own time, and privately, is not the church’s business anymore than any other church member.

        3. For a few years after college, I worked for a Christian school that demanded I not wear pants anywhere outside the privacy of my own home. Didn’t matter that it was my own time. Didn’t matter that they were only paying me a pittance. I had to be in a skirt or culottes at all time.

          I was young and so excited to be teaching English, and teaching in a Christian atmosphere, that I accepted this because it was expected. But it’s sad that Christianity has gotten to that point.

          I’m all for behaving in a Christ-like way and not bringing dishonor to His Name. But what these churches think is dishonorable and what the Bible SAYS are often two completely different things.

        4. You just had to point that out, eh? Now you’ll be the reason they make that rule. 😉

    1. My sister worked there for about a year and a half. I once got this weird text from her about how she had “displeased an authority figure” and was very worried about it. (She almost never texts me.) The pressure cooker there is like everywhere else in fundiedom, never mind their slick exterior.

      1. Ditto; I knew people who were in positions like your sister, and they seemed to be nervous wrecks. I would have thought that working for the church would be the most wonderful job ever.

        1. Are you joking? Have you ever worked for a church?
          I’ve worked for a few of them, and churches that treat their employees according to the churches’ stated principles are few and far between.

        2. No, I’ve never worked for a church (well, being paid by the church).

          I always thought it would be an ideal job… yes, lots of naivete here…

      2. Yup — pressure cooker is right. I feel bad for those IFB staff who are essentially trapped financially in fundyland. Especially when considering that for a staff member to be fired or to leave would mean losing: 1) source of income. Often times the sole source of income for the entire family because (at least at NVBC) mogs tend to hire couples rather than individuals. With an unaccredited BBBI (Basement Baptist Bible Institute) degree and nothing but church work on a resume, this is no joke. 2) church Yes, it’s a spiritually abusive joke but it’s a time filler and often center of their lives and only outlet. 3) friends / social circles. 4) their home (if they live in staff housing) Getting fired or leaving church staff = no job, no friends, no church, no home, no severance package no unemployment.

        1. You are absolutely right. Leaving a staff position at these kind of churches often means having to create an entirely new life. Initially painful, but definitely worth it because that is no way to live.

        1. We also had an extensive list of what we were and were not allowed to talk to our parents about (who were the only people we were normally allowed to call). There is some verse about water from a far land or something like that. It was twisted to mean that we could only tell our parents good and positive things. Unless of course we got in trouble for some minor infraction – the favorite punishment was to make you call your parents and confess that you had disobeyed them by disobeying the authority they had placed over you. ATI started getting cranky when more and more parents basically said “we don’t care – you have to have fun sometimes!”

          Oh, and the other fun thing was that training center snitches would sit in the phone booths and pretend to be on the phone while actually listening to your conversation in the next booth over. It was creepy. You could always tell because these were people who were “godly” enough to be allowed to have phones at their desks and/or in their rooms and yet they’d always be sittin’ at the payphone bank.

        2. Proverbs 25:25
          Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
          so is good news from a far country.

          But nothing in there says to withhold bad news, or to lie to put a good face on things.

          So some people were allowed phones in their rooms, but others weren’t?
          That’s another hallmark of a controlling cult: Doling out “privileges” that are basic rights elsewhere, and using them as rewards for the most obedient.

        3. Doling out “privileges” that are basic rights elsewhere…

          Toxic corporations do this, too.

        4. @ deacon’s son: an extensive list of what we could or could not talk to our parents about??
          That’s cult 101. Alienating a person from their family. So corrupt.

      1. … or listing “Queer as Folk” as your favorite show.

        (I actually saw this on a Sunday School teacher’s FB page, and wondered what they were thinking to put that out in public).

      1. Unfortunately, I think people do. They are widely reviled and despised in parts of the Lancaster community because the perception is that they basically run the town (kind of like how Bob Jones tries to run Greenville).

        1. True! I have read local blogs that complain about the Compound on the East Side of Town.

        2. Read the 654 comments in this news article about former Asst. Pastor Jeremy Whitman’s murder/suicide. This will give you a good idea what the community really thinks of Lancaster Baptist.

          BTW, the mayor quickly agreed with Chappell’s opinion on the downfall of Whitman….no formal investigation before his comment.

        3. The whole thing with Jeremy still boggles my mind. He and I were in the same dorm at PCBBC and were both interns at LBC. When I got the news, it certainly brought up a lot of the frustration and anger that caused me to leave there almost 20 years ago. Of course, anyone back at LBC that I tried to talk to in order to find out any information gave me the good old stone wall treatment.

  1. Appropriate/not appropriate = ok/ not okay in my OPINION. Sheesh. Reading that nearly made my head spin. So glad I’m out of churches like that!

    1. Yep, I used to tell my mother that the IFB defines “right” and “wrong” as what the authority figure likes versus what makes them mad. It made her mad when I said that and I was told that it was very wrong for me to have said that.

  2. That little Statement of Agreement at the end is a joke. They just said you HAD to let them look at it, so then making you sign a piece of paper saying you give them permission to “view and approve” the content of your site is like rubbing salt in the wound. Employees don’t have a choice.

    1. Unless I read labor law incorrectly, it is against the law for employers in the state of California to request passwords or try to monitor the content of social media. They can have policies about what you do at work on a computer, but that is an entirely different issue

        1. Even in radical conservative Oklahoma, our Legislature just passed an online privacy statute for employees. But, in good Oklahoma fashion, they limited damages for a violation of the law to $500, thus essentially precluding anyone from actually bringing a lawsuit to enforce the law.

        2. I can understand the first part about requiring employees to provide passwords, but the “attempt to monitor social media”!?!?!?! That sound utterly bogus. It may be against the law to fire someone for something they posted on social media, but just to “attempt to monitor” doesn’t sound bad at all. Everyone can see everything that is posted on Twitter. Not sure about Google+; I know that Facebook has various privacy settings.

        3. There’s nothing stopping their slaves from having secret FB accounts. Or writing guest posts for blogs. I have multiple FB accounts for different reasons.

    2. My former employer once told me to sign a waiver of liability of all causes, including gross negligence, by the employer, and said if I didn’t give my written consent, I couldn’t work there.
      I called their bluff. I didn’t sign it, and I continued working there for a few more years.

      1. Waivers like that are hard to enforce. Now, if you had signed a waiver agreeing to arbitrate any claim against the employer, that would be a whole notha story.

        1. Legal precedent is that Type I indemnity is unenforceable in employee/employer relationship. Contract work, sure, but the responsibility of employers to employees is encoded all the way up to federal law and supreme court challenge, so generally speaking, a Type I is a waste of resources.

      2. I knew it was probably unenforceable, but it still made me angry that they were telling everyone to sign it.
        It was like being asked to sign a letter that reads “Please abuse me.”

    3. @pastor’s wife: My cousin works at a place that he take random polygraph tests (and pass them)… the real “salt in the wound” is that they make him sign a piece of paper stating that he is taking it “voluntarily”.

      When he questioned them on this, they said that he doesn’t “have” to take it, but if he refuses, he will be disqualified for most jobs, and mostly likely be laid off.

      1. Welcome to the Brave New World where the one with the power (the employer here) gets to redefine what words mean: in that situation “voluntarily” is an utter misnomer.

        1. I took a polygraph for Harris County Sheriff Dept. It was kind of sketchy. For example, I failed the “ever taken recreational drugs” question for some reason (never done drugs in my life), and I “failed” one really simple question that was something like “do you have parents”.

      2. @Dr. Fundystan
        It is so bizarre that people are still forced to take polygraphs – especially in a law enforcement context – when it has been proven that they’re useless at determining whether someone is lying. Perhaps they do it in order to sort of weed out people who might be nervous about something, presumably past naughtiness?
        (Also – out of curiosity, in your area were sheriffs elected? This is an aspect of American law enforcement that is quite befuddling to me)

  3. “Appropriate” is such a vague word, and “Christ-honoring” can be very subjective.

    I don’t know the specific type of fundies they are at West Coast, but from past experience with fundies, here are some things I would probably be reprimanded for:
    – some of the books I’ve listed on my Goodreads page
    – the fact that I complain about my dog publicly
    – facebook pictures of our family wearing swimsuits
    – Youtube videos of CCM that I’ve linked to
    – quoting C. S. Lewis
    – mentioning movies I’ve seen
    – the pictures of my daughter’s ballet recital (All dance was frowned on by some fundies I know.)
    – participating in a Song of Ice and Fire discussion forum
    – and of course SFL!

        1. FWIW, I still had an account until this year. Or maybe last year. I finally got around to deleting it after not using it in several years. I didn’t even recognize the site when I deleted my account.

      1. Actually, interestingly enough its had a revival as a site for small-time/indie musicians to promote themselves and reach out to their fans. Somehow I doubt that whomever wrote this was aware of that, though.

        1. Yeah, I knew it had changed focus but it had changed so much as to be unrecognizable by the time I went back to it.

    1. Yes, these things could get a staff member in trouble. Better be dressed per the workers’ standards if you want to post those vacation pictures. Movies are not allowed. And reading unapproved books or listening to “wicked” music is definitely frowned up. Free thinking and discourse is simply too dangerous and, therefore, discouraged.
      (But *some* staff member’s/spouse’s attire gets winked at…typical nepotism)

      IMHO, their loyalist tend to be embarrassingly poor debaters. This is probably one reason posting on public forums is discouraged.

      In short, this “Ministry” owns you. IMHO, Chappell thinks he has to do the job of the Holy Spirit in guiding the life of the believer…it is all about control and has very little to do with faith.

    2. Re: swimsuits. My wife reports that when she was a student at BJU, the assistant dean of women posted pictures on her Facebook of herself wearing a bikini while on vacation in Hawaii. Instead of reprimanding the employee for not following the same rules that she frequently expelled students for violating, the University simply banned all use, possession, and discussion of the photos among the students. (No word on whether Drs. Bob or Berg kept any for their own private use!)

      1. What a grossly revolting thought: the BJU assistant dean of women in a bikini. I’d pay money not to see such horror. I’d bet it was a real b0n*r shrinker.

        1. Thaaaaaat’s a bit misogynisty, to be honest, BJG. The status of your boner has no relation to the woman’s right to wear a bikini whenever the heck she wants, whatever the heck she looks like. The complaints against her should be the hypocrisy (and stupid dress standards) she helps enforce, rather than how a guy might feel about her sex appeal.
          (Hah, sorry, anger-button subject :P)

        2. I have no idea what she looks like. It’s just the mental horror I have about any dean of women at BJU. They always symbolized the evil. No misogyny intended, believe me.

        3. …and of course any woman has the right to wear a bikini. I have a right to wear a monokini, just like Borat. All females who saw this would barf. My having such a right doesn’t mean I should exercise it.

          Also, I don’t tell young men not to wear monokinis. I don’t enforce rules for a supposed Christian institution while I am breaking said rules.

    3. @pastor’s wife: Yes, some of these would probably get you in trouble.

      LBC’s pastor (Paul Chappel) was once youth pastor under Jack Trieber (so I’ve been told – back when the “100% for Hyles” buttons came out — they were started at Trieber’s church, I’m told.

      LBC has been moving toward CCM (albeit slowly) for a while.. they use CCM, but adapt it by removing the beat.

      Of your list, the movies are the most likely area to bring a rebuke, depending on how “bad” they are.

      It would be fun to quote CS Lewis without attribution and then see if anyone catches it (how did they know?… and will they now turn themselves in).

      At the same time, I’ve been appalled by what some Christians write about on their facebook page, and say that they like… especially staff members (such as the one I wrote about above). Or, I’ve seen church members talk unashamedly about fornication; they describe their wedding last month, and the next month, they are 4 months pregnant.

      I understand that a lot of people don’t agree with everything their church teaches, but it seems flaunting their disagreement to post about music of which they KNOW their church disapproves.

    1. Not so!

      As long as it is SanBuena Ventura (c-c-cold beach) and you are fully clothed.

      I have noticed some wayward members have been posting pictures from Santa Monica Pier. They obviously need to repent.

      1. Sigh. Santa Monica pier is one of the “look how cool and hip we are even though we are fundamentalist” photo ops that West Coast frequently takes the students to.

        1. I have been gone for quite a while. Back in the day, students would have been in trouble for having gone to a place where people were roaming about half-nekkid. I bet they only allow them on the pier, and not the adjoining beach.

  4. This is hilarious and pathetic at the same time.
    On another note, my school has the same policy. I was recently spoken to for posting a meme showing a well-robed owl at the beginning or the scho year and a disheveled owl at the end of the school year. Turns out the second owl violates school dress code, and I am endorsing that sin by posting the owl. Utter ridiculousness.

      1. The dress code specifically states that we (and apparently owls) must dress appropriate to our position as sons and daughters of God. They specifically forbid disheveled looks, denim in any form, sneakers, wet hair, or female hair on the forehead.
        Those poor owls with their feathers are forever running into trouble!

        1. What does ‘female hair on the forehead’ mean?

          For whom is that a rule? I’m trying to be delicate here, and to maintain SFL’ s “G” rating but I gotta ask.

        2. I’d just find some male hair to put on my forehead because I’m passive-aggressive and literal like that.

        3. OK, this is really gross but when someone I know was a Christian school teacher at a fundy school, a male student shaved his hair “down there” and put it in a baggie and left it on her desk. And he didn’t get in trouble AT ALL! His parents laughed it off and basically the school leadership was just happy to have such a red blooded American male in their student body.

        4. Any time you see female hair on my forehead, you’ll know I’ve been having a good day.

        5. Good advice by all, ESP Scorpio. I’m taking notes do I know how to deal with female hair on the forehead in the future of I encounter it.

      1. When I worked for ATI in Moscow, it was popular among “punk” teens to paint the slogan “Under Their Clothes Everyone is Naked” on their bags. I once commented on this and got reprimanded for knowing the Russian word for “naked.”

        1. Naked

          French: nu, dénudé, sans vêtement, à poil; découvert; dégarni, à nu, exposé; brut, sans décoration; sans support, invalide

          Spanish: desnudo, corito, en carnes vivas, en cueros

          Greek: Γυμνό

          German: nackt; bloß

          Hmmm…. learning these naughty facts can be fun!

        2. Wow the French have lots of words for being naked.

          Supposedly, a major American airline ran an ad campaign a while back that had the slogan “Vuela in Cuero” (for Fly in Leather – which sounds weird even in English) but in Spanish it sounded more like “Fly in the Nude.”

      2. Fundies shouldn’t go into a Build-a-Bear store, since most of the animals are bear and all of them (with the exception of a few dressed up ones) are bare as well.

        Nothing more ungodly than nekkid animulz.

  5. Eek….. However I have been the recipient of MOG instruction on what was appropriate for my FB page and that was without a form like this. However, in the spirit of fairness most companies today monitor the public pages of their employees – I have had to “talk” with employees after corporate emailed and said that something they posted was inappropriate in light of the company policy. Not that I think this is right – just a reality of the world we live in.

    1. 1. How overbearing are these guidelines? I can see not being allowed to bad mouth a company I worked for (e.g., “I HATE this school. The principal is such a jerk.”), but do they care what songs you link to or what movies you say you like?

      2. And people wonder why most of us prefer to be ANONYMOUS on the internet. Part of it is because of demands and repercussions in real life.

    2. The difference is that the company you work for trolls public content, not private content. That being said, I think the “wild west” days of the internet are coming to a close. I suspect that by the end of the decade most states will rule that public information is not rules for dismissal unless the corporation is shown to have suffered harm.

        1. Disagree. I’ve testified in well over a dozen unemployment cases in my bright red “right to work” state over the last decade and a half, and the bottom line is that unless the employer can demonstrate 1) policy violation causing harm to the employer 2) that every employee who violated said policy was also terminated 3) said policy is reasonable and legal then the (former) employee wins every time. But that is just my experience. I’m sure HR law in other states varies.

        2. Dr. Fundystan, which state is this? I am in NC, where I work for a huge corporation, and all I can say is — I hope you’re right!

        3. Dr. F, I hope you’re right. Nonetheless I have two words for you: Roberts Court (and it’s relentless march of pro-employer holdings).

    1. Sometimes I wonder if Darrell ever gets emails from the subjects of his posts demanding that he disclose who “leaked” the material to him.

    2. If fundies were able to take over an entire country it would be just like North Korea. One Great Leader (not Jesus but the Mog, of course) who insists upon having his photo in everyone’s house for some strange reason, no free exchange of information, dissenters get re-educated or just disappear. Everyone dresses the same, there are a few select approved haircuts and even though everyone is starving, they’re all very, very, very happy in a creepy saccharine way.

  6. Dear Lancaster Baptist Church:

    Regarding point number four — please define ‘questionable’ and ‘inappropriate.’ I want to know if this means that I must stop posting on Darrell’s ‘Stuff Fundies Like’ blog.

    Christian Socialist

  7. Much in the same vein as those pastors who pressure their staff to install key-logging snitch software to tell the pastor or someone else who can hurt you what you are looking at on the net.

    My IFB pastor pressured his deacon board to install those programs. I didn’t (I was a deacon at that time). As far as I know, I am the only deacon who didn’t. It wasn’t that I was “afraid” or anything. I just didn’t think it was any of the Pastor’s business.

    And Pastors should not rule over every aspect of our lives.

      1. He said he had established an “accountability relationship” with an elder or deacon in his former church.

        I can’t say that he was lying. He might have done it. He doesn’t seem to be a devious person, and has actually been a lot more reasonable and a lot less fundy than he thinks he is. Probably partly due to the influence of me and my family over the many years I was there.

        I would introduce these radical concepts, like NOT signing petitions to outlaw gay marriage, but instead “defend” marriage by offering Sunday School and Sunday Night instruction on marriage and child raising, how to “argue” reasonably, etc. He listened!

        He still was too much infected with fundamentalism, and in the end I had to leave. But I made a difference, as much as I could, while I was there.

  8. This brings back memories of the Bible college that, upon hearing I was employed remotely and worked via the internet, told me I could find one of the many great “real” local jobs (they mentioned call centers), and that they wouldn’t “approve” of not having a “real” job or using the internet that much, and … yeah.

    I dodged a bullet there. One of the many things that opened my eyes.

    1. That’s interesting. Heartland Baptist Bible College now actively promotes online “call center” types of jobs for wives of students so they can support their husbands and pay the tuition while still paying lip-service to being “keepers at home.”

        1. Hmmmm, Fundie Phone Sex…. call centers staffed by sweet young girls dressed in pearls and aprons, reading from the Song of Solomon. 😳 It’s got to exist somewhere.

      1. Insane, but far from surprising. Now wonder what they’d say about the same wife being the co-founder of a tech startup with a remote team that she leads through the internet—she’d still be supporting her husband, after all…

  9. Dear Senior Pastor Paul Chappell:

    Please review the attached photo of my derriere to see if it meets your standards.
    If it does not, please kiss the object shown in the photo.

    Sincerely,
    Big Gary

  10. It amazes me that some of these ministries are so stuck on themselves that they actually believe that they own their church members (and their staff) body and soul. I interviewed at one such place as an organist, and I was told that my moustache did not meet church standards and asked that I shave it off. When I refused, they tried to lay a guilt trip on me about letting that moustache being an idol. I responded by asking them if they didn’t think that their silly rule was an idol that was depriving them of my talent. I then let them know that three hours’ worth of work did not entitle them to own me. A friend of mine had a similar experience with a church asking him for authorization to look at his computer account. he responded by telling them that he had a lot of confidential stuff pass through his email account that was not the church’s concern and that he would be violating FERPA regulations should he give access to an outside party. He didn’t get the job, no did he want it after that tidbit.

    1. I too have often heard that line used – “Have you made that an idol?” – when Christians are exercising their individual liberty and those in authority want to curtail that liberty. Your reply was good.

    2. Wow! It made me just sit back and laugh to think someone actually called a mustache an idol!!

      This reminds me of the case (supposedly) that happened back in the 1990s in which a church was sued for refusing to hire an organist that they discovered was gay. Something much harder to change than one’s facial hair.

      1. “…Something much harder to change than one’s facial hair.”

        Not really. The mustache you have to shave off. You can just pray the gay away. 🙂

  11. “I give the Ministry permission to view and approve of the content of these sites.” … “but the Ministry in no way may disapprove of them, require any changes, or prescribe content.”

    That amendment might do it!

  12. I wonder if former assistant pastor I mean staff member Jeremy Whitman had a personal blog and discussed things in chat rooms before he murdered that guy?

    You can tell their staff members are wearing pants or shorts on vacations when all the pics are from the neck up. I did notice Larry Chapels wife the other day was in jeans for a family photo (her side of course). I wonder if the MOG was upset about that or maybe the IT department forgot to check her FB…I’m sure it’s been removed or photo shopped by now.

    1. Re: photo shop. When I was in ATI, I worked with a family at the Moscow Training Center whose son used to work at the ATI headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. They told me that one of his jobs was photo-shopping the family portrait that each ATI family was required to submit on an annual basis. He would lower hemlines, color in cleavage, etc. One family sent in a picture of them all in bunny suits and he almost got fired for not being able to photo-shop it in an ATI-approved fashion.

      Yeah, but ATI is not a cult.

  13. I grew up in that church and was on staff back in the 90s. My mom still works there. I can tell you that things like that form are pretty much standard for almost every aspect of staff member’s lives. Heck, I went to school at Lancaster Baptist School, and the student agreement you had to sign – while it didn’t contain anything about the internet, this was the 90s – was pretty intrusive and restrictive, and seen as perfectly normal.

  14. We know Jack Trieber’s employee manual was something like 622 pages. I wonder how many pages Paul Chappell’s employee manual is. I suspect it is also pretty hefty with all his regulations over the personal life of his staff.

    1. It was 622 pages for your hand-held device (as if anybody would want THAT).

      It is 86 pages on 8.5×11 paper, using Times New Roman font size 12.

      I have it on my desktop, anytime I need a little comic relief in a sick sort of way.

    2. Dear JT:

      Six hundred and twenty-two pages! Wow! Better ‘n Jesus!

      Speaking of Jesus, can you believe that he said that all the law and commandments hand on two words — ‘love God above all, and others as yourself!’ Was he right? I’ll guess ‘yes’ and go with his abbreviated edition.

      Christian Socialist

      1. But CS, don’t you know that the Jews had a command for every day of the year? (Or was that one promise per day and two commands? I forget.)

  15. I have a friend attending there presently. If he wants a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…, he had to provide the school with username And Password. Icky stuff.

  16. Huge boundary issues here. It seems the institution is extending its identity onto the identity of its employees. While my actions can reflect well or poorly on my employer or church, there is a separation between my identity and their identity. This letter is disturbing and reflects a very very unhealthy workplace and institution.

    1. ALL, and I do mean ALL that WCBC cares about is marketing and appearance. They can put a spin on anything. It’s a bit scary. Almost scientology-esque. I often tell people, when I’m feeling snarky, that my sister got a degree in marketing because she got a BA in ladies from WCBC. (Actually, if they called them BS degrees, it would be more accurate.)

      1. I can tell you of at least one church/school that models itself after WCBC and they have similar rules for their staff and their students.

        1. That’s just what I call it to make fun. I think it was a BA in Bible (because ALL WCBC kiddos get their BA in Bible, doncha know) with a focus in missions, ladies track. So basically, that’s a super complicated way of saying she got an mrs degree.

  17. This reminds me of a recent incident at my former church. An accident happened (no one got hurt though) and someone posted about it on FB. This person, a member of the church and not even staff, was asked to take it down. Further, the MOG asked all of the church members not to post anything about the incident. He said that he would have people watching various social networks. If anyone posted anything else about it they would be asked to take it down.

    The saddest part is that no one seems to think that this is unusual or controlling behavior. 🙁

    1. If they are so intent to cover up any mention of an accident involving their church, you have to wonder to what extent they would go to cover up criminal behavior.

      1. I think that would depend on who did it. If it was church leadership or $$$ then I think the consequences would be minimized as much as possible.

  18. They would love wandering through my facebook page. I’m friends with gays and agnostics, Christians of other denominations, people of other religions. science fiction/fantasy geeks,science lovers…..and that’s just my family. 🙂

    If I started on my friends the forbidden list would be way too long….but you get the idea.

    1. You are unequally yoked with unbelievers so I must separate from you.

      It’s sad. My cousin recently came out as gay. My own immediate fundy family attacked her, of course, but what surprised me was that most of my extended Catholic family attack her a lot too. These are mostly your standard-issue liberal American cafeteria Catholics – it’s not like they’re all in Opus Dei. For example, my cousin and her girlfriend recently announced plans to visit a Museum of the Occult in Massachusetts and all the Catholics jumped on her expressing sheer horror at why she would do such a thing!

  19. I read this column thinking that I would have a small smile at the ridiculousness.

    Then I remember all the rules I obeyed while being a VOLUNTEER accompanist. Lost the smile, kind of feel a little sick now.

  20. WHAT?!?! I CAN”T USE MYSPACE OR GO TO CHAT ROOMS?!?!

    Daddy……what are chat rooms and MySpace?

    I can’t remember son, but I think they were similar to the Beta Max and mini-cd’s

        1. or the satanic modern Comodore!!

          For those of you who weren’t here when when I preached the sermon “The Evils of Pong: Why Christians should avoid playing an electronic game promoting Freudian undertones involving 2 paddles and a ball” you may purchase the sermon on CASSETTE from the table in the back.

        2. The Commodore 64 is ok, but not the 128, that machine has way too much power to be appropriate

        1. Ha ha. Actually, the disks were for Windows 3.1 – turns out they are selling online to collectors for as much as $60. Made some easy coin.

          Fwiw, my grandfather worked with Igor Sikorsky, and helped design the first helicopter. With a slide rule. Mind blown.

  21. The one that bothers me the most, in some ways, is no. 9 because it is so redolent of WCBC being nothing more than a business. Which of course is all that it is, but it’s pretty shocking to see it in black and white.

  22. I think it needs to be made clear that this policy from WCBC was from 2009. California AB-1844 was signed into law in 2012 and makes this asinine policy illegal, specifically regarding social media websites.

    I hate that fundy leaders take away one thing from all Christians: privacy. Christians cannot have privacy. What do you have when you take away privacy?

    1. This is not about “privacy”; quite the reverse – it is about what one puts down in public.

      Certainly if I employed someone, I would not want to find out that he is bad-mouthing me (his employer)… it would not make for a good relationship. And if he is using the time I am paying him to do work to run down me & my company, I would think he is in danger of getting fired. This is PUBLIC interaction.

      As I wrote above, there is no reason why they cannot post on SFL under an alias. That’s reasonably private.

      1. Except that we all know how all-consuming their demands are and their expectations. Most businesses wouldn’t consider an employee wearing a bikini to the beach on her days off or going to the movies or attending a concert to be bad-mouthing their company, but the church would (probably) consider all these things to be contrary to their “business” and the employee would get in trouble for it. This goes far, far, FAR beyond a business expecting its workers to not mock their employer.

    2. It was only fairly recently that Lancaster Baptist stopped requiring their K-12 students to give them their passwords for various social sites, such as facebook. It seemed many kids just did not declare having any of those accounts…imagine that. 😉

      When I discovered the school was requiring the passwords and that leadership indeed did spy on them (including PMs) it was a violation to me as a 3rd party. I expected to be communicating with friends, not busy-body wannabe NSA agents. Kids were getting in trouble for just stupid little stuff they posted…unbelievable.

      Sure they claim to want big gov’t to stay out of their personal affairs, but boy do they love their Big Church Brother getting all in their business.

      1. The rearrangement/adaptation of the Longfellow poem? I LOVE that song! Love it!

        Oh, it is so WONDERFUL to be out from under the thumb of people who disapprove of songs like that.

  23. I really can’t figure you people out. I don’t know if you are all government agents pushing the leftist/Progressive/Socialist/Communist (they’re all the same) agenda, or if you are really that naive and actually believe the tripe you put out. This blog is probably composed of both governmental agents pushing the propaganda, and useful idiots who are so brainwashed that they actually believe what they say.

    So what does this have to do with this blog entry? Everything. The hypocrisy is stunning. You are offended at an institution that you think has overly-restrictive views that wants to control its members. But at the same time, you push your Progressive agenda, which is a lot more restrictive than this!

    Progressive/Socialist/Communist ideologies are nothing but purposeful destruction. The goal is always to destroy an economy and a culture and to enslave the population and make them all powerless worker bees who serve the elite at the top. There is no such things as a “worker’s paradise.” The only ones who push for this agenda are the wicked elites who know what they are doing and don’t care, because they are the elite and won’t be affected, and the dumbed-down, brainwashed population who actually believe in the propaganda. Throughout human history this is always the way it works and Progressive ideology only destroys societies.

    If the irony here weren’t so rich, this would be funny. But it’s really just sad.

    1. (Scritches her behind the ear) Who’s a good sock puppet? Yes, yes it’s YOU Stacy! Yes, you are such a good girl, aren’t you. Sit up now! That’s right! I have a treat for you! Yes! It is a bunch of anti-fundamentalist people talking together! Wow!

      Go get ’em girl! Have fun! But don’t actually find out that they are the good guys! Have to have you always ready to attack them!

    2. Stacy, you blow hard, but despite being windy you haven’t any idea what you are talking about.

      You know, you sound a lot like I did before I actually learned something. I had blind faith in what others told me about how liberals and Socialists were evil, and that they were just communists in disguise, working as foreign agents to subvert the government.

      It was all rot and nonsense, of course. But I had blind faith, like you. Fortunately, I found my way out. Hopefully, you will too.

      Go to school, Stacy. Get an education. You will be glad you did.

    3. Dear stacymcanderson:

      I understand the role of the propagandist, and I get the internet troll idea. But truly to believe that participants here are government agents, that progressives and revolutionary socialists are identical or that socialism is purposefully destructive of economies and cultures – that registers in the domain of delusion.

      You’ve had every opportunity to reply to my points for a socialist vision. You refuse to do so, opting instead for restating your premises. But however often you do so, they are not for that reason true. Having advanced your premises, you must offer supportive grounds for your assertions if you can require us to believe them.

      My Socialist Party Membership Card states that ‘the Socialist Party strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control…’ If you have a better vision, articulate and SUPPORT it.

      If you want the ownership/investment/banking/political class yoke to break, then support worker ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution. If to survive workers must present in the market place however meager and merciless the terms, how free or empowered are they? You object to worker powerlessness. But do you support labor organized for collective bargaining? If not, you leave them at their masters’ mercy no less than the Israelites in Egypt. Why would you then object to worker powerlessness?

      Please begin obeying the ninth commandment and stop talking both sides of the discussion. Freedom and wage slavery are irreconcilable. You can’t have it both ways.

      Christian Socialist

      PS: I could be wrong about this, stacymcanderson, but I’m guessing that you enjoy considerably more freedom to restructure reality on this forum than West Coast Baptist would allow staff. Go figure.

      1. CS (not Lewis),

        It’s too bad I didn’t see your reply until later. This would have been a good conversation. This posting is from yesterday and is therefore ancient history that no one cares about anymore. It’s like crickets in here.

    4. What’s wrong with tripe? Haven’t you eaten pho? Menudo perhaps? Them’s good eatin’, Stacy!

      However, if someone on here is putting tripe out there, I’d advise them to see their doctor about what could possibly be a very serious hernia.

      And I’d advice Stacy to see a doctor about getting her meds adjusted.

  24. Its not clear to me whether the policies adopted and enforced by this church apply only to computers purchased by the church and sited on church property, or if they also apply to personal computers belonging to church members and/or employees. If these policies are imposed and enforced only on church computers, then what they are doing is probably no different than those practiced by federal and state government or private employers. Employers for whom I worked usually did not mind for an emplyee to check the weather as a major storm was approaching, but generally frowned upon using work hours for anything other than official tasks. From what I have read here about some of the shenanigans of IFB pastors, they are probably the most likely violators of internet porn.

    1. It seems to me that these rules are for any blogs, forums, or other internet activity that their employees are involved in EVER. Which computer is being used seems irrelevant. (Rule #5 specifically deals with using the internet for personal reasons during work hours.)

      1. OK, Pastor’s wife. If they tried to extend these rules to instances where the church employees were on their own computers and “off the clock” (not being paid by the church incident to their full-time or part-time employment – then, yes they are definitely stepping over the line. But it is generally accepted practice that when we are employed by anyone (whether it is a private business, governmental body, or church) that the items that we use in our tasks are prescribed by the organization that owns them. I interpret that to include hand tools, protective clothing purchased by the employer, pens, pencils, paper clips, and even computers.

        1. If they snoop on what I do on their time, on their bandwidth when I work for them, it’s understandable. No problems there. The memo wants employees to disclose all personal interwebz stuff — blogs, social networking, etc. — so that they may monitor and “approve” what the employee does on PERSONAL SITES. It’s the insistence on PERSONAL that is the problem. Personal LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Instagram, and other such accounts conducted on personal time should not be considered as religious social club business unless the slave is doing this on social club time.

      2. I agree, semp.

        I have no problem with a company expecting certain behavior at work, Sister Marie. But this church is demanding its employees list their personal blogs and give permission for them to be perused, evaluated, and “approved.” If the church didn’t have extra-Biblical rules, they would be less worried about monitoring their staff for violations.

  25. Totally agree. Very difficult for me to conceive of anyone who would agree with demands like that. I would object to those kinds of demands to compromise personal privacy. On a related issue, there are churches (not necessarily IFB) which promote what they call “accountability.” to them, it means that every Christian should have a friend with which they share their personal struggles and secrets. I think I would have a hard time with that unless that person were my spouse or sibling maybe.

    1. Having been hurt by too many “friends” with whom I shared my inner struggles and questions, I am loathe to trust most people that way. Certainly not a MOG or his “staff” who think they know as much as God does about how I ought to live my life or think.

      The idea of a Priesthood of the Believer means we confess to God, not to the MOG. These institutions seek to take the place of God in the life of the believer.

    2. Been down that road with some people in former church, one was really promoting this whole thing of an “accountability” partner. Ugh. Umm.No.Thank.You.
      There’s crap I deal with too. But it’s a pretty tight inner circle for most of it. I don’t see how this helps other than to make people more obedient.

    3. I think the whole accountability thing is a really, really bad idea. Why on earth would I tell people my most personal faults and struggles? They are only used as ammo against you. It is not safe to tell most Christians these things…they judge you like crazy or spread it around. And you’re right–it’s not necessarily IFB churches.

  26. If Lancaster Baptist is so hardcore then so is “NorthPoint Community” Andy Stanley’s out of Atl. because they have basically the exact same guidelines and they are even Baptist!!!
    Just a thought.

    1. Cultic churches are bad, regardless of denomination/association.

      In other words, two wrongs don’t make a right.

      See Tu Quoque Fallacy

    2. I went to seminary with Andy Stanley (and his sister) at DTS, early 80s. He always seemed to be a bit of an elite, especially when his parents came on campus to visit.

      Fundamentalists, Evangelicals. Little difference. One tries to be more cool and accepting than the other. Both work to CYA; to feed their own ecclesiastical beast; and to become a household name as they gain status & political power. That is really what it is all about for many of them.

      Oh no, I’m not cynical:)

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