Quit Your Meanness

This is quite possibly the best hymn ever written.

No, seriously. You just have to marvel that somebody took the time to not only do this but to do it in four part harmony being sure to stop before the last word for a “striking effect.” It certainly struck me.

117 thoughts on “Quit Your Meanness”

  1. Wow. A Temperance song. “Get Religion” — I suppose it doesn’t matter what kind, right?

    Fundies today would NOT approve, even if they *are* works-based religionists. It isn’t their style to appear that way, so they emphasize God’s Grace — until after you “get saved” (unless you happen to be some LGBT person wanting to get married or something). After that they start insinuating that works (of a specific kind and nature) as well as a specific kind of belief are necessary to be saved (and if you don’t, well you might not be saved in the first place!).

    My son was having a talk about evolution with my daughter-in-law and a member of the IFB church I used to attend. They were ganging up on him because he said that the physical evidence pointed to the fact of evolution.

    They were really ragging on him. They were insisting that *IF* he was saved, then of course he believed in the inerrancy of the Scripture. Which meant he *had* to believe in Creationism.

    I suggested he remind them what Paul insisted the gospel was. Christ has died. Christ was buried. Christ rose from the dead. Is there any requirement there to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture? Is there any requirement there to reject evolution and Scientific thought?

    That made them mad. They grudgingly admitted that, no, there was no such requirement. But if he didn’t believe like they did he was a rebel against God and living in gross sin.

    Ultimately fundies *do* want a works-based salvation. They have corrupted the gospel to suit this end.

    1. I guess my “broad definition” of a fundy is someone who not only requires a specific interpretation of X or Y, but the true litmus test is whether they require (verbalized, written, or not) a specific application of X or Y.
      Granted that covers a lot more than just IFB. Many evangelicals and catholics would also be covered.

      Too broad?

        1. very good point.
          still applies to many evangelicals, they just like to put a smile and thin veneer of niceness on their self-righteous hatred.

        2. Uhhhm …. Yeah.

          I was reading some of the comments on this blog to my wife (still fundy even if I’m not). She got upset. Let me know that I had strayed into forbidden territory, then promptly left the room. Sigh. Communication is strained.

          Oh, she will get over it. So will I. But your addition to the definition of a fundy is probably the most important part of the definition.

        3. @rtgmath, I think I speak for many of us who appreciate your candor, wisdom, and introspection. Reading your posts reminds me that I may well return to faith. In time. Thank you again.
          BJg

        4. Thank you for your kind words.

          I do think I hit upon something that helped defuse the present situation, and I would like to share it.

          Throughout our marriage, the arguments or quarrels between my wife and myself have taken on a strikingly similar pattern. Somehow she gets offended and pushes me away. I try to come closer, she doesn’t want it. Her position is “stay away, stay away until you do/are better” while my cry is for her to “come closer, come closer no matter how you feel.”

          Her parents (like mine) treated childhood infractions as reasons to emotionally isolate the offenders. Forgiveness was not immediately forthcoming. There had to be punishment, a period of anguish, and “true” repentance before being accepted back, provisionally. One misstep and you were back under judgment. You had to “be good” without grace, because grace was not given.

          That happened at BJU as well. She lived in fear that she would somehow break some rule and get shipped before she could graduate, and she was not one to deliberately break the rules. But at BJU, building character meant no quarter was given to the offenders. Hair just a bit shaggy? Demerits! Speak your mind? Spiritual Probation! Question the rules? Off you go! Despite the wonders of grace being extolled from the pulpit, in terms of practical application, Grace was a stranger at the World’s Most Unusual University. After all, you excommunicate those you disagree with. There are the multiple degrees of “Separation.” There is the constant litany that “sin separates you from God.”

          I reminded her that she didn’t like such rules and treatment. She wanted Grace. She wanted her mother to love her, even when her mother was angry. And God, while we were yet enemies against Him moved Heaven and Earth to bring us closer to him, not demanding that we change to get closer, not even demanding that we repent. How could we repent, fearful and distrusting as we were? It took God forgiving us when we couldn’t forgive ourselves — or Him — to bring us to Himself.

          We cannot be good enough to be reconciled. We need help and grace from each other. We need to let grace outweigh the offense, preferably from the start.

          Since then, things have been calm and quiet. She has talked with me about the chatty things she often does when she is happy.

          The biggest threat to our marriage is Fundamentalism. I pray there is a way past it.

        5. rtgmath, you are very right about how grace is talked about but rarely ever shown at BJU and elsewhere. It is heartbreaking to think of people being taught this twisted Gospel.

        6. There had to be punishment, a period of anguish, and โ€œtrueโ€ repentance before being accepted back, provisionally.

          I definitely see this in my marriage as well. Wife is no longer fundy, but it is hard to change behaviors that are so deeply ingrained.

        7. Rtgmath you comments about the relationship with your wife struck s painful chord with be because it kind of summed up much upuch of how the Evangelical Protestant subculture of northern Ireland works… In my case not as extreme as some but still part of it, and often very difficult to deal with. Bald Jones grad, I appreciate your humor and candour and I pray God will leads you back to the kind of faith He wants you to have and will do it in His way. Rtgmath and Bald Jones grad, may the Grace of God abound in the lives of both of you.

        8. “Her parents (like mine) treated childhood infractions as reasons to emotionally isolate the offenders. Forgiveness was not immediately forthcoming. There had to be punishment, a period of anguish, and โ€œtrueโ€ repentance before being accepted back, provisionally. One misstep and you were back under judgment. You had to โ€œbe goodโ€ without grace, because grace was not given.”

          RGTMath,
          Thank you for this eloquent and succinct explanation of Fundy Family Dynamics. My family is plagued with Generational BJUism and this is exactly how it operates, which means they are a bunch of wounded, personality-disordered, authoritarian bullies, who raised the same, with a few wounded, emotionally crippled doormats mixed in, for variety.
          -I can’t wait ’till that place shuts down.

          I feel your pain and I appreciate your sharing. Keep loving her and being the grace in your family. -“Love never fails.”

    2. Have you never heard of the “Whole counsel of God?” To reject creationism is to reject Christ. In Adam, we have all sinned, but in Christ we are made alive. To deny the headship of Adam is to makes Christ’s death worthless. It makes as much sense as saying, “I’m an atheist, but I believe in God.”

      1. I do hope you are joking or facetiously pointing out the fundy position.

        And you did accurately represent the fundy position. The problem? The fundy position is bereft of logic or sense.

        I don’t have to believe in a literal Adam to know I am a sinner who needs a Savior. And according to the fundy position, no one can actually get saved unless they learn everything about the Fundy position and mentally assent to it.

        There goes the role of the Holy Spirit.

        Because, after all, virtually everything one “believes” can be traced back or connected to “the gospel.” Which may explain why fundamentalists are so willing and eager to separate from everyone else who disagrees with them even in relatively minor points. If they don’t believe exactly what you believe they just can’t be saved!

        By that basis, even Abraham would be unsaved! Since, after all, he didn’t believe in the virgin birth or the Resurrection. He certainly did not believe in Jesus, nor did he actually believe in the omniscience or omnipresence of God!

        Salvation is of The Lord. I have to leave it at that. Any other requirement is a religion of works or mental acuity.

    3. The passage you cited as the definition of the gospel (1 Cor 15) is more specific than you’ve given it credit for. It specifically says that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES and that he was buried and rose again on the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. Over and over again, the Bible claims inerrancy for itself, and without inerrancy, you have no reasonable expectation that the story of the gospel is accurate, or any other Biblical event for that matter.
      Jesus Christ himself believed and endorsed the Genesis account by his own testimony (Matt 19, Mark 10) and if God had simply used ‘evening and morning’ as some sort of weird shorthand for ‘billions and billions of years’, Jesus certainly would have been in a position to know. If the author of Genesis had been in error, Jesus certainly had the platform and the authority to set the record straight. To do less than that would be to perpetuate a lie.

      Those of us that believe the Bible aren’t opposed to science, just science “falsely so called”

      1. Funny. The same science you use everyday is inextricable from the science you call false

        You may believe, with John the Revelator that a third of the stars of heaven can fall to the earth without destroying it. He didn’t know what stars are.

        The Bible never claims inerrancy for itself. Paul claimed inspiration for the Scriptures, but he was referring to the OT and inspiration does not mean inerrancy. Paul did not claim inerrancy for himself (1Cor 7).

        I would suggest that inerrancy, a doctrine introduced in 1950 — and pushed by 7th Day Adventism — is a corruption of the idea of inspiration.

        1. You raise so many interesting points that I wonder which ones should be addressed.
          Those of us that believe the Bible have no problem interpreting the Bible in light of itself. If someone chooses to believe that John was some ignorant savage with no knowledge of stars or planets (as opposed to themselves, presumably) that’s certainly their perogative, but since the Holy Spirit claims responsibility for the words John wrote (2 Tim 2:16) , it doesn’t matter whether or not John had a degree in astronomy; those aren’t John’s words, those are God’s words.
          Since we interpret the Bible in light of itself, we have no issue with the fact that the Bible had already clearly shown that ‘stars’ can be a reference to ‘angels’ (Rev 1:20). This explanation sheds light on earlier scriptures and explains how the stars can have names(Psalm 147:4) , be said to praise God (Job 38:7), and even engage in warfare (Judges 5:20).

          Oddly enough, for a man who , according to you never claimed inerrancy, Paul seemed to be under some sort of delusion that he words he spoke were God’s words (1 Thess 2:13) and since God’s words claim to be pure (Psalm 12:6), I have no problem taking puttting an awful lot of stock in what Paul wrote.
          Inspiration without inerrancy leaves you with a big dusty pile of manuscripts that may have been accurate at some point in the past, but now are suspect. Once again, if someone chooses to think that way for whatever reason, that’s certainly their right, but some of us will continue to hold to the scriptures.

        2. “since the Holy Spirit claims responsibility for the words John wrote (2 Tim 2:16) , it doesnโ€™t matter whether or not John had a degree in astronomy; those arenโ€™t Johnโ€™s words, those are Godโ€™s words.”

          So where John says “I saw” that wasn’t John talking, but God? And where Paul says “I say, not the Lord” it was the Lord saying it anyway? God was lying about Paul’s actual input?

          I note that many who say they trust the Scripture completely and claim it to be inerrant do not know it very well. Nor do they understand that the Scriptures reflected cultural understandings of the writers, but not scientific knowledge. Nor do they reflect on the multiple passages where the same event is recorded by different authors, and the details so differ that both events cannot have occurred literally as written without contradiction.

          You may be smug, if you like. You answered none of my questions or points, merely avoided them. And I won’t hold this against you. I took that position for many years until my sense of honestly forced me to confront the internal contradictions in Scripture and stop trying to rationalize them away. Some day, perhaps, you will be in that same position. If you are more interested in truth than in dogma, you will come to it eventually.

  2. This would never fly in a Fundy church, because they don’t have “religion” they have truth.

    In spite of the fact the KJV uses the word “religion”.

    1. Sure it does, but they’re never going to pay close enough attention to what the Bible actually says to notice that.

      Even if they did, it would be meanness to correct any mog saying differently and they would very quickly quit that.

  3. Umm….. By “meanness” do they actually mean “questioning MY point of view”? Or “questioning my right to pass judgement on you if you don’t toe MY line”? Or “thinking for yourself”?

    1. Just add some really awkward hand motions and you’re guaranteed to sign up at least 2 students per church to attend PCC! Who is accredited now!!!!!

  4. It wouldn’t hurt some fundy MOG to drink booze, so they can mellow their self-righteous personalities. Maybe the fist pounding and yelling would stop. My former IFB preachers are some of the meanest people I’ve ever known.

    1. On the other hand (she wore a glove, as both my grandmothers used to say) it just might make them even meaner, and madder. Some people reveal their truest and ugliest selves under liquor, letting the mask slip. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
      It’d still be so revealing; maybe there’s a reason a MOg doesn’t dare touch the stuff.

      1. Panda, I agree completely. The Control Freaks have a mean, malicious side that alcohol would enhance by removing any moral inhibitions holding it back.

        I read somewhere that a lot of people in power are actually sociopaths. Sociopaths can be charming, but are manipulative in the extreme. It would not surprise me to find that many Pastors are actually sociopaths.

        1. As resident criminologist I will pop up here – you are very correct, rtgmath. While the specific example it applies to is actually serial killers (yoiks), it has been found that people who enjoy having power over others in a violent way (which often includes sociopaths) are attracted to careers and positions in which they have authority over others. Specifically, some of the careers most likely to appear attractive to awful people include police (authority over the public), military (authority over others), and high positions within a religious organisation – pastor, deacon, etc. (authority over other congregants).

        1. Someone told me that the real person is revealled when the inhibitions are dissolved away by alcohol…..

  5. Is this the Rev. Samuel Porter Jones? If so, he was part of the Methodist tradition—which gives us all hope. There was a time the Methodists were the teetotalers and the ones who condemned others for dancing and card playing. We were fundamentalists at one point. Now we are main line and our theology ranges from conservative to liberal–and fundamentalists believe we are going to hell.

    1. “There was a time the Methodists were the teetotalers and the ones who condemned others for dancing and card playing.”

      Their position on responsible drinking has indeed become much more nuanced. Now they just condemn us for trendier ‘sins’ like playing Call of Duty or owning guns.

      http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/violent-video-games

      “The United Methodist Church advocates at state and federal levels for the elimination of violent games that specifically target children and youth, specifically those games that glorify death, show killing, and depict all acts of violence.”

      http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=1&mid=937

      “Our communities and schools are so exposed to large numbers of privately owned guns…

      A significant total reduction in the numbers of guns in our communities is our goal in ministry….

      …call upon all governments of the world in which there is a United Methodist presence to establish national bans on ownership by the general public of handguns, assault weapons, automatic weapon conversion kits*, and weapons that cannot be detected by traditionally used metal-detection devices*.”

      They also believe in using the police power of the state to coerce people into abstaining from all games of chance:

      http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/gambling

      The UMC’s deep involvement in neoprohibitionist politics was the main reason I stopped attending the Methodist church I landed in after leaving fundyism. I had had entirely too much of that crap and had no desire to experience “same song, different verse” with regard to other issues.

      *These have been banned in the USA for decades, but who cares about getting our facts straight when we’re fighting SIN, haymen?

  6. Then there’s this old gem, to be sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree,” notice how the verse from Colossians is taken out of context:

    There’s danger in the flowing bowl!
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    ‘Twill ruin body, ruin soul!
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

    ‘Twill rob the pocket of its cash;
    ‘Twill scourge thee with a cruel lash;
    And all thy hopes of pleasure dash,
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

    “Strong drink is raging,” God hath said:
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    And thousands it hath captive led!
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

    It leads the young, and strong and brave;
    It leads them to a drunkard’s grave;
    It leads them where no arm can save–
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

    Come let us join each heart and hand,
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    To drive the traffic from the land;
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    We need the strongest, bravest hearts
    To foil the cruel tempter’s arts,
    And heal his fearful wounds and smarts–
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

    Oh, hasten, then the happy time!
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    When joyful bells their notes will chime;
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!
    Then raise the temp’rance flag on high,
    And lift your voices to the sky–
    Sing glory be to God on high!
    Touch not, taste not, handle not!

        1. Don’t forget the Sweet Tea, it is absolutely mandatory that a Good Xtian woman is only allowed to drink Sweet Tea. ๐Ÿ™„
          i hate sweet tea (hides to avoid thunderbolt)

        2. @rtmath: Grew up in Ohio, moved to Georgia in ’89. Had my share of Church Suppers at the Presbyterian Church (maybe not Fundy, but some things are universal), all of them awash in ubiquitous Sweet Tea. ๐Ÿ™„
          It’s a way of life down here and you don’t even have to be a Fundy, every restaurant serves it, and a lot of women seem to drink it to the exclusion of all else. :yuck: I’m with you.

        3. I like what in Texas is called “unsweet tea” (plain, unadulterated tea). Some places only have “sweet tea,” in which case I prefer water. I gave up drinking soda pop a few years ago, and since then, sugared drinks all taste excessively sweet to me, and artificially-sweetened ones even more so.

    1. Wow. “Touch not, taste not, handle not” as a proactive admonition instead of pointing out the legalism that cannot save!

      When Paul penned those words he was certainly NOT advocating taking that position. He was pointing out the teaching of man-made works-religion that “has the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence” (Colossians 2: 20-23).

    1. “Well Narnia and balmier don’t rhyme, to begin with,” said Lucy.

      “It’s an assonance,” said Eustace.

      “Don’t ask him what an assy-thingummy is,” said Edmond. “He’s only longing to be asked. Say nothing and perhaps he’ll go away.”

      -Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    2. Josh D:
      “The good old style religion
      Will cleanse the vilest heart
      You’re sure to quit your meanness
      With a thirty second fart.”

      There. I fixed it.

  7. I used to feel guilty, it gave me quite a fit
    But when I opened my mind, I tho’t I better quit

    I quit, I quit, I very quickly quit
    And when you start thinking for yourself, you will very quickly quit

  8. It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
    ~John Steinbeck

    Just substitute “compromise in our Old Time Religion” for “failure in our system”and then sub out “keeping the faith” for “success”

    I wish some folks really would quit “meanness” very quickly

    1. I would say that my husband exhibits the first qualities – kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling. And he has not found “success” in the pastorate.

      It never ceases to amaze me how people flock to follow a tyrannical egotistical manipulator instead of someone who actually reflects the Biblical qualities of a shepherd.

      1. people flock to tyrannical egotistical leadership—this describes fundamentalism. I have often wondered if people flock to them because they don’t want to have to think for themselves and it is easier to have someone to do it for them, or is it because they are insecure in their own identity and do not trust their own hearts and reasoning?

  9. I find the religious “temperance” or teetotaler stance rather hypocritical. If you use the same argument about guns, they bristle. Most alcohol is made for people to get drunk, just like most firearms are made for killing people. I’ll fight for my right to shoot recreationally and safely (because people hurt people, not guns) but you don’t have the right to drink recreationally and safely because it’s alcohols fault that people get drunk and hurt others and themselves, not their decision to overindulge. You can apply the same argument to gluttony, binge tv watching, prescription drugs, etc… You have liberty to eat garbage and pop OxyContin, but don’t touch alcohol because that’s evil.

    I don’t drink, nor do I pop anything stronger than ibuprofen, but I believe that we need to take personal responsibility for our own actions and hold others responsible for their own actions and quit blaming inanimate objects for ours and other people’s sins.

    There’s my $0.02

    1. ” I believe that we need to take personal responsibility for our own actions and hold others responsible for their own actions and quit blaming inanimate objects for ours and other peopleโ€™s sins.”

      I would add that fundyism doesn’t stop with inanaimate objects . . .

      It’s not the men’s lack of personal ethics and control, it’s the women’s job to safeguard a man’s behavior with their modesty

      It’s not the abuser’s fault, the victim should apologize

      Never reach across party lines, those liberals are of the devil .

    2. By that argument we should allow people to have grenades and shoulder-fired missiles along with guns. Because people hurt people, not grenades or shoulder-fired missiles.

      Which is, IMHO, nonsensical. Guns are made to kill people, as you noted. Why make the ability to kill people so easy to do and openly available? At least limit the size of the magazine! Is recreation of this kind so important that we see the deaths of children and adults as mere collateral damage? A price we have to pay for “freedom”?

      I apologize for the rant. But this sort of thing upsets me. Sure, people hurt people. But a person with a gun can kill more people than a person without a gun. When did the ability to kill easily become a Christian virtue?

        1. Perhaps my experience is heavily colored by PCC, but PCC seemed to me to lean toward the anti-gun side of the spectrum in the late 80s and early 90s, then drifted toward a reluctantly positive position thereafter under pressure from outsiders and some of the faculty/staff. A Beka Book even taught the Brady Campaign’s “The Second Amendment protects the power of the government to arm the National Guard” interpretation of the 2ndA until they finally updated it during their civics book revision while I was there. Dr. Mullenix taught against self-defense from the pulpit on multiple occasions when I was there, and Dr. Mutsch made critical remarks about gun ownership a couple times as well, though the latter made it clear it was his personal view and not a Biblical standard. There were a fair number of gun enthusiasts on staff, though, including most of the CJ faculty and some respected members of the music faculty, among others.

          I have read about those preachers who preach the 2ndA from the pulpit, but never experienced it during my time in fundyism.

          And yes, I believe that people who support anti-alcohol laws but oppose anti-gun laws are being hypocritical, just as those who oppose anti-alcohol laws but support anti-gun laws are. The rhetoric surrounding both issues is often rather similar, IMO.

      1. Why stop at grenades and shoulder-fired missles? Are we that wussy? Let’s pull out all the stops and allow us citizens of the YEW-nited States of BY gid ‘Murica to have tanks, bazookas, flame-throwers, fully automatic machine guns and then some!
        That’s what JAY-zuz, John Wayne, and R. Lee Ermey ๐Ÿ˜Ž would say! Well, maybe two of them. Or at least one of them.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TNhS81w4bM

        1. When? Why that was when we elected a black president. He wants to take away all our guns, take our money in super high taxes and give our money to his black people. So we IFB Christians, who of course are 98% white, cling to our guns. Screw that wussy nonsense about turning the other cheek or blessing those who curse you.

          Good Christians are always armed (Eph 6) and can shoot back with their Ruger.

          /sarcasm/

      2. Straw-man much?? You left out an important piece of info. Instead of saying “a man can kill more with a gun than without” I hope you meant to say “an EVIL man with a gun can kill more than without.” Even then, it becomes ad Hominem because there are many ways for an evil person to murder a large amount of people without a gun.

        With YOUR argument, let’s make fast cars, motorcycles, fast boats, snowmobiles, etc illegal because of direct and collateral damage. Point is, that your argument doesn’t hold water. Holding the gun responsible would be like holding alcohol responsible and not the person pulling the trigger or drinking. Taking away my right to shoot safely recreationally because of another’s evil behavior would be like prohibiting alcohol because of another’s drunkeness. Especially when both objects may be enjoyed safely and responsibly.

        Do you know what upsets me (at this particular moment?) Illogical and false arguments. They are fallacy and cause more damage to society than we can fathom. It spreads false (religious) doctrine and destroys (civil and religious) freedom in many ways in church and country.

        1. Excellent points, radioman.

          I also agree with your assessment that the art and understanding of arguing (or debate) is completely gone. In general, it seems that logical thought has left our society.

        2. So then, Radioman. Please provide your justification for wanting or owning a gun. Please also tell how that desire squares with Biblical principles. If you object to smaller sized magazine requirements, please tell why. And please tell me why we should enhance the ability of evil men to kill more easily.

          I would say that you showed as little logic – or less – than you complained of in my posting. You were every bit as emotional as I was. And, of course, you missed some obvious points. People who own and use vehicles are licensed, having demonstrated ability and good judgment, and are insured in case of accidents. Most people who own guns are neither, and object to the very thought.

      3. “By that argument we should allow people to have grenades and shoulder-fired missiles along with guns. Because people hurt people, not grenades or shoulder-fired missiles.”

        Grenades and missiles are indiscriminate, as are those guns designed and intended as indiscriminate area weapons (e.g. belt-fed machineguns). Which is why grenades, missiles, all automatic weapons, all non-automatic weapons easily converted to full auto, etc. etc. have been banned for decades, and why guns over .50 caliber are tightly controlled (violations of the above are a 10-year Federal felony).

        In this country, gun owners are limited to non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed small arms under .51 caliber, unless they get Federal authorization to own a restricted Title 2 weapon. Even 12-gauge and 20-gauge shotguns (.73 and .69 caliber) are only allowed under a “sporting use” exemption, otherwise possession of a 12-gauge without the proper Federal authorization would be a 10-year felony also.

        “Why make the ability to kill people so easy to do and openly available?”

        How familiar are you with the restrictions currently on the books? I’ll have to recite the litany I had to go through to get a carry license sometime.

        FWIW, Chicago has most of the limits you would probably propose. Houston does not. The two cities are demographically quite comparable; I’d challenge you to compare the murder rates sometime. As it turns out, going all Stasi on nonviolent gun owners doesn’t do squat to deter the subculture that *is* responsible for most murders.

        “At least limit the size of the magazine!”

        A pointless gesture aimed primarily at inconveniencing lawful use, not misuse, given that anyone planning offensive rather than defensive actions can carry as many magazines as they want. The worst mass shooting in U.S. history was carried out with two ordinary pistols and a backpack full of low-capacity magazines.

        Practically all gun homicides in the USA involve the first few rounds in the magazine and very few involve rounds 11 and up…never mind rounds 16 to 30. And the capacity limits that the gun control lobby is pushing—10 rounds, or even 7 or 5—are asinine. The very first repeating rifle to go mainstream (the Henry/Winchester lever-action of the 1860s) had a capacity of 16+1. Today, 50+ million Americans own, a half-billion to a billion over-10-round magazines, and will keep them.

        “Is recreation of this kind so important that we see the deaths of children and adults as mere collateral damage? A price we have to pay for ‘freedom’?”

        The primary reason for gun ownership in this country is the defensive role, not recreation, which a lot of us consider a fundamental human right on par with the right to free speech, the right to privacy, and reproductive rights. While target shooting (necessary for proficiency in that role) also happens to be quite a lot of fun, and of course a small minority also hunts, those ancillary benefits are not the primary justification.

        If you don’t like guns, then certainly don’t own one, but I’d rather not be compelled to live by your beliefs rather than mine, particularly since you’re talking about laws that are typically enforced at gunpoint—and that certainly won’t reduce criminal violence one bit.

    3. while I agree that the teetotalers often are the vociferous about the 2nd amendment now, I wonder if that rings true in 1900 when this song was written.
      While I think the Methodists and the Presbyterians who were the voices of prohibition at the time went overboard, the movement was based in the fact that families were going hungry while the breadwinner of the family spent nights at bars and pubs. They were dealing with the symptom rather than the actual issue in their prohibition. I am not sure they were loud about their second amendment rights though. I would ave to read more on that.

      1. Thankyou for mentioning this – a lot of the people who advocated for temperance weren’t doing it for purposes of religious fundamentalism, but for hopes of making life better for women and children who had no protection or recourse from drunken husbands. That’s one reason that many suffragettes and early women’s rights activists were also members of the temperance movement.
        It’s annoying how the fundies have held onto the no-alcohol thing, but ditched the women’s-rights aspects. Expected, but annoying. Okay, perhaps infuriating would be the more accurate term.

  10. There seems to have been quite a lot of emotionalism in these “Gospel Songs”. “Tell Mother I’ll Be There” is a masterpiece of the genre. As an aside, in 1930 he wrote an anti-tobacco book. This is interesting to me historically because I was unaware of the amount of established science at the time showing the effects of smoking. I had always thought it wasn’t until the late ’60’s that people started realizing all the diseases brought on by it. Not sin, mind you, but disease.

  11. I actually just hummed this out. Wow… Back in my fundie song leader (never worship leader) days I could see myself leading this with shouts of amen ringing out through the room.

  12. I used to be a fundy, three times a week I’d sit,
    My MOG would mock “religion,” I never thought I’d quit.

    I quit, I quit, after ten years I quit.
    Cause when I got religion, the IFB I quit.

    I voted in church meetings, impressed by our MOG’s wit,
    But when I got a smidgen of truth I had to quit.

    I quit, I quit, a decade in I quit,
    When faced with true religion, the IFB I quit.

    All other false religions* I used to think were shit**
    Despite MOG’s prohibition, eventually I quit!

    I quit, I quit, after too long I quit,
    I learned about religion, and so I had to quit.

    Oh orthodox religion’s not for the faint of heart,
    What’s easier is meanness, of the IFB sort.

    I quit, I quit, now I can say I quit!
    And when you get religion, you too will find you’ll quit!***

    * e.g. Southern Baptists, Methodists, and other pagan sorts.

    **A striking effect can be made here, by stopping short after the word “were” and not singing the last word “shit.” The FCC and Pastor’s Wife will thank you.

    ***Another striking effect can be made here, by segueing into “Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There.”

    **** [Ed. note: A third optional striking effect was omitted here. Three strikes and you’re out.]

  13. “Mean”

    You, with your words like knives
    And swords and weapons that you use against me
    You have knocked me off my feet again
    Got me feeling like I’m nothing
    You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard
    Calling me out when I’m wounded
    You picking on the weaker man

    You can take me down with just one single blow
    But you don’t know, what you don’t know…

    Someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Why you gotta be so mean?

    You, with your switching sides
    And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
    You have pointed out my flaws again
    As if I don’t already see them
    I walk with my head down
    Trying to block you out ’cause I’ll never impress you
    I just wanna feel okay again

    I bet you got pushed around
    Somebody made you cold
    But the cycle ends right now
    ‘Cause you can’t lead me down that road
    And you don’t know, what you don’t know…

    Someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Why you gotta be so mean?

    And I can see you years from now in a bar
    Talking over a football game
    With that same big loud opinion
    But nobody’s listening
    Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
    Drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing
    But all you are is mean

    All you are is mean
    And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life
    And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

    But someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean, yeah
    Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Why you gotta be so?..

    Someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city (Why you gotta be so?..)
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean (Why you gotta be so?..)
    Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me (Why you gotta be so?..)
    And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
    Why you gotta be so mean?

    By Taylor Swift
    Not dedicated to Rev. Sam P. Jones (as far as I know).

  14. In this temperance song, which is more than 100 years old, “meanness” refers to “vices” like drinking and smoking.
    To me, “meanness” describes being unkind to other people.
    In British usage, “mean” equals stingy and selfish.

    Many Fundies take a harder line against drinking, smoking, dancing, and the like than against being unkind, stingy, or selfish.
    Which is to say they have it backwards.

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