Permanent Marker

Let’s imagine that you’re a fundamentalist who got a couple of coupon books that you’d like to pass along. But egads, there’s the name of a pagan holiday splashed boldly across the cover!

What to do? How can we can sanctify this and made it fit for use by good Christian folks?

We’ll just grab a permanent marker and…voila! You can now go consume your fast food without the pall of a demonic cloud hanging over your head.

261 thoughts on “Permanent Marker”

    1. absurd statement. The whole suggestion is absurd. What you are stating may be true of some people with a strange attitude, but not all Christians.

        1. Not only missing the whole point but being angry about it.

          Unless you are at Brian’s church. There are no angry people there.

        2. Responding to Scorpio, as there was no “reply” under his comment. I’m not angry. LOL. Not sure why you thought I was. I find this site both amusing and intriguing. Funny how you folks can dish out a lot of mocking of others but seemingly take none.

      1. Nope. Not even second. I sometimes think that fundyism is a bit like *animism* in that they believe wvwn inanimate objects can contain evil spirits…….

        1. I remember the “information” that Halloween candy is all blessed by witches at the factory, or something like that.
          Probably the Wendy’s coupon book contains hidden Wiccan prayers.

        2. re: Big Gary

          Are they the same witches that bless the Rock ‘n’ Roll records at the recording studio, before they’re released?

        3. No, no. The rock group draws three circles and put the recording in one and sit in another. A demon comes out of the third circle and blesses the recording. If the demon doesn’t come out of the circle, that means that there’s gonna be six more weeks of winter. Or something like that. Yes. This story was told in my church.

        4. Bill Gothard doesn’t just believe this sort of quasi-animism – he teaches it as gospel truth. ATI is rife with harrowing tales of attempts by god-fearing parents to burn possessed toys and music tapes and such, only to have the demons fight back in various ways.

        5. @Deacon’s Son: Perhaps by producing choking clouds of smoke of the sort that us lukewarm types mistakenly interpret as the inevitable effect of some doofus trying to burn a plastic object…?

      2. Probably. The rise of digital music file-sharing has caused a job shortage for record witches, so many of them have gone to work in candy mills.

        1. With digital recordings, back-masking is easier than ever (just flip 0011 to 1100, etc.), but it seems less popular now than it was during Led Zeppelin’s heyday.

        2. One guy told me he wanted to investigate back-masking so he played one of his old rock-and-roll LPs backwards. The message he got was “you are ****ing up your stylus, ha! ha! ha!”

        3. Paul, that’s funny right there!

          A guy in my old church taught the teens that each rock music CD came with a demon attached to it. One teen asked if the demons wouldn’t get really dizzy and throw up during play.

        4. Because, as the Scripture teaches somewhere or other, there are so many demons they have time and room to be permanently attached to anything. You play the CD, you let the demon out. You put away the CD, you put away the demon.

          After all, if the demon had been let loose, all you would have to do to avoid it is buy used CDs, haymen? Or do demons reproduce? (Demon reproduction. Hmmm. A topic with a lot of possibilities, sure to offend even the most hardened fundy, plus several nonfundy types as well. Almost as good as “Do Virgins taste better than those who are not?”)

          But think of how spiritually crowded Barnes and Nobel must be, with all those demons in the store! You would think that everyone entering the store would go insane and drown themselves or something. Unless demons are very, very small and mostly ineffectual. I ceased believing in them some time ago.


        1. At my Fundy U, the secular (gasp!) textbooks for Fine Arts Survey were kept shrink-wrapped in the bookstore. We were not allowed to unwrap them until the first day of class, when we stood in line waiting for the professor to Sharpie out the David’s naughty bits.

        2. I’m not sure, but he wasn’t a Ph.D. Sadly, I do know that he was paid so little he had to work part-time at Wal-Mart.

      1. I worked in the library during my Fundy U days and one of my jobs was to censor the magazines and journals for bad words and inappropriately clad women.

        1. I knew an ATI family whose son worked at Bill Gothard’s headquarters. One of his jobs was to photoshop the annual family portraits (that every ATI family was required to submit) to remove any objectionable items, like pants or low cut tops on women, piercings or long hair on men, etc. Why this was necessary was never quite clear, (1) given that most of these pictures were placed in family files and promptly forgotten and (2) given that the only reason for the required photo was to screen out “worldly” ATI families and young people from being invited to work at training centers – so wouldn’t it make more sense to leave the objectionable elements in the photos rather than removing them??

        2. They must have been afraid some innocent Gothard acolyte would accidentally catch sight of a picture in a file and be eternally corrupted by it.

        3. Marty, I would love that job. Not for the censorship, but because I would be paid to read magazines all day. And you and any workmates with the same task must have been the only people in the library who got to read them before they were all marked-up.

    1. Somehow the censors are able to handle the exposure to “sinful” magazine pictures and articles, but the adult students can not be trusted with same.

      1. While at work, the censors wear special Jack Schapp amulets to protect them from any impure thoughts.

        1. Can you order those from the FBC bookstore? It does help to have something that needs frequent polishing while you edit potentially smutty magazine ads.

        2. Doesn’t Schaap already have something that requires frequent polishing? Something shafty? Shifty? Shiftless? Chivalry? Shiv? I wonder if he polished off a nice turkey dinner last week?

        1. Yes. They are so independent Baptist that they pulled away from the Hyles group when it seemed too, well, non-independent.

  1. Dang it, I didn’t get here early enough today, apparently.

    I posit that these aren’t True Fundies, or they wouldn’t have purchased the coupon books in the first place.

    For what fellowship hath righteousness with the darkness of delicious Halloween candy and festivities?

  2. Dear SFL Reader:

    Clearly, this is a disgusting attempt to smear fundamentalism with the perpetration of cover-up.

    Christian Socialist

    PS: You don’t have to be possessed to eat at your local ‘burgher’ franchise; but it may help.

  3. Did anyone here have the job at Fundy U of using the sharpie to make TIME magazine acceptable? How about Sports Illustrated. Oh, wait, they just threw that one away.

    Can you imaging your resume – I was a censor of periodicals at FU.

      1. Wait a minute….I was told Time was a liberal rag. US News and World Report was the Republican rag.

      1. Hmmm. I can see it now. Whoa! Here’s a nearly naked lady in the bathtub! Soap bubbles hide some stuff, but … Let’s draw something naughty on her! How about a really skimpy bikini? (Giggle!). OK now, better fill it in. Now she is in a one-piece! But …. You can see her upper legs. Gotta cover them. Someone could lust if they see a one-piece. Add some sleeves and legs to the suit and it looks like a suit from the early silent movies! (Giggle!). But funniest of all is that the ad is for bath soap. Who in their right mind would wear such a suit in the bathtub if they wanted to get clean?

        1. You know, one of the things that continues to amaze me is the apparently unbridled lust that boils within fundamentalism. I grew up in a family of artists, so classic nudes were just part of the landscape. Yes, the human body is beautiful (esp., in my opinion, the female body), but how does one jump from that to lust? I don’t know, it just always struck me as weird.

        2. Perhaps it is that strong desire that helps create fundamentalism. Such strong appetites can scare people, who either turn to denial or to a strong form of legalism as methods of control.

          They come to the classic dilemma of Paul in Romans 7, that when they would do good, evil is present with them. But instead of facing it squarely and asking God for grace, they either deny its existence or try to bind the believer to control his actions. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop,” so they make the believer too busy and tired to lust or act on it. Or they are busy trying to get rid of anything that can tempt them.

          They want grace and security, but don’t really understand such things, going for the “elements of the world” avoidance focus — don’t touch, don’t taste, don’t handle. Until the temptation becomes too much and they break.

          Grief. All of us have passions and desires. I know I do. It isn’t that I want any of those things less than anyone else. I just don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don’t trust gimmicks with such a track record as fundamentalism has.

          That isn’t to say that I won’t fall or get frustrated or sin. I do. I hope I never sin in certain ways. But I want to see myself realistically and my Savior confidently.

        3. Easy. They’re just washing their clothes as well as themselves at the same time, saves water. All they have to do is put the dishes in the tub as well and they’re all set. πŸ˜€

  4. Years ago a fundy friend of mine stopped drinking Coke because the bottle cap number said 666 (one of those contest numbers on a twist top bottle). My comment that , “666 comes between 665 and 667” had not merit. Obviously, drinking Coke would forever affiliate her with the mark of the Beast.

        1. Nope, not gonna repent. Nothing to repent of. Coke is way too bubbly and icky. Besides, Michael, Pepsi makes Dew — so by extension I am right.

    1. Because I have this psychotic need to mess with people, I would have got serious, put my hand over my mouth, saying in a whisper, “Oh no oh no oh no! What are you gonna do now?”

    2. That bottle cap is proof that God does in fact exist and the doctrine of imminence is correct and also that he has a sense of humor that includes tweaking these people. No way does that person get that bottle cap by chance.

    3. I stopped drinking Coke when I saw someone spill some on a car and it removed the car’s paint.
      I’m not kidding.

      1. In other news, if you ever want to really (and criminally) mess with someone, open up some oreos and place them creme-side down on their auto. It will absorb the paint and turn the car polka-dotted.

        1. Today’s cars have a clear coat on top of the paint. The color is not actually on the surface.

      1. That woman has, shall we say, risen to conservative prominence.

        And she’s 50 shades of crazy.

      2. Six’ll get you ten this woman is being paid by Monster to promote its brand.
        If not, she’s an idiot to be giving her marketing services for free.

  5. I love this so much. To the point that I’m jealous that I didn’t get one.

    The problem is that natural human curiosity is going to try to see what they marked out.

    Filthy curiosity

  6. Back at PCC during the 1990s, I remember seeing a current Time or Newsweek on the magazine rack in the library with a female Olympic athlete on the cover (I don’t remember what sport). Someone had drawn a dress/shirt in black permanent marker over the athlete’s uniform and body. This in the library of what is ostensibly an institution of higher learning, where people who are old enough to vote and serve in the military go to read and research.

    Methinks that if an adult can’t handle a rather tasteful photo of an Olympic athlete in uniform on the cover of a news magazine, then simply going to the Pensacola, FLORIDA Walmart during the warmer months would cause them to lose it completely.

    1. I’ve seen that website featuring Wal Mart shoppers. Don’t know if they were in Pensacola, but they made me want to lose lunch. Nothing but bellies and butt cracks.

        1. @Bald Jones Grad: Oh, right, the site that purposely mocks people who showed up at Wal-Mart in whatever the hell was clean whenever they could make it out there.

          With special attention to people who are socially unacceptably shaped.

          Oh, ha ha, funn-neeeeee.

        2. There’s precious little reason to leave one’s property and go into public spaces dressed the way some of those people are dressed. I understand leaving a restaurant with spinach between one’s teeth but there’s no reason to wear rainbow wigs, threadbare shirts that are at least three sizes too tight, and white pants that either show half one’s butt or the skid marks left on them a month a go. One doesn’t need to be a fashion plate to go out but one should be decently dressed. When a person goes shopping while dressed in such attire it’s a mockery of the public.

    2. I said this in a different post a few weeks ago, but a woman in an evening gown can cause just as much lust as a string bikini. Kind of has nothing to do with the clothing but what’s in the guy’s heart. If he actually takes the time to humanize a female, seeing her as one who is made in the image of God and of infinite value, instead of simply seeing her as a sex object or cause of his sin, this is much less of a temptation. Then again, that actually requires making an effort to train the mind to see a woman as something other than her genitals.

      1. That’s an interesting thought. Sometimes these kinds of conversations are a bit foreign to me, since I was raised in a very odd family. Fundy church every Sunday, but everyone has a master’s degree or higher (real ones) and we were raised default egalitarian. We never even questioned the idea that women were, you know, real people. But even though I can’t really empathize, I recognize the logic in your comment.

    3. The fact that you still remember the photo to this day is proof that it stirred up lust – pornographic images get burned into the brain and cannot ever be forgotten. Men cannot look at women without lusting. Clearly you need to repent.

      1. Farrah Fawcett wore a one-piece in that famous poster, which pushed so many of us to adolescence.

    4. What would they do with a medical or nursing school text book? “Now somewhere underneath the black square is a you know what…………….”

      1. Those books were always on the floor of the library for nursing students only. (5th floor, I believe)

    5. In the TTU library it wasn’t a magazine with a “scantily clad” female athlete but I saw the “Book of Mormon” on the shelf.

      Someone wrote inside “Don’t believe this Blasphemy”, Lies of Satan, etc.

      Duh, but in order to win souls to Christ shouldn’t one know how another believes or thinks to adapt an approach with conversation?

      1. But do they have 16 witnesses who can affirm that it is lies of Satan? If so, they deserve to get their own preface.

        1. More than that, they should be featured on a talk show. There are ordinary lies, political lies, and lies of the devil. To claim that something is a lie of the devil, I suppose you would have to witness him saying it, since he never signs his work. In which case we would know what company you keep.

  7. OH YES!!! I know that marker (or a pen) very well!!.. it’s great to scratch out versions of the Bible that aren’t KJV!! haha.. also great for blotting out any “modesty” issues that might be present!! Heck, when I was I little girl, I remember my mom coloring in the neckline on my little princess figurines!!! Not that you could see anything (ahem.. wicked boobs lol) , but of course my Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty figures didn’t have necklines that conformed to IFB standards, so PRAISE THE LORD for markers & pens!!! Come to think of it, I am kind of surprised they even let me have those worldly character figures.. They took all my beloved Barbies away.. with a big long talk about how the dolls encouraged the idea of unrealistic beauty or sex appeal. of course they DID not use that ungodly “S” word.haha.. but that’s what they were trying to say. i’m sure they said something like my Barbies were “too pretty”. That sounds more like it. Nevetheless, I was NOT happy with them over that!! oh well.. poor me,, =) πŸ˜‰

  8. Stuff like this makes me wonder just how big Fundies think God is? If he’s bigger than all of this sort of garbage, then what on earth do we have to fear? Paul said it was okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols because we know idols are nothing though we have to be conscientious of the weaker brother or sister (1 Cor 8). But is the mere sight of the word Halloween really going to cause someone to stumble? Or is buying a coupon book that has the word Halloween on it going to trip someone up? I think fear is perhaps one of Satan’s most effective tools in twisting our perceptions. As Mark Twain once said, “I have suffered several terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

      1. Say “All Hallows’ Eve” instead. That’s where the modern word comes from.

        “Almighty God,

        you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:

        Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living,

        that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you;

        through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lies and reigns,

        one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

        (Book of Common Prayer, p. 245)

        1. Um. . .Jay, you might want to look again at the line that begins “through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the. . ..

        2. I don’t see anything wrong with that line. The prayer is directed to “Almighty God” and mentions Christ and the Holy Spirit as reigning together with Him. Am I missing something?

        3. Jay got a visit from George. The Holy Spirit may reign, but I doubt that he/she/it lies.

        4. There’s also that evil children’s song that goes “Hallow Wicca, jaunty Hallow Wicca…”

    1. And come to think of it, if you’re constantly obsessed with the idea of the weaker brother, you might have to start asking if you’re it.

      1. Rule of Thumb: If there is no one around you are worried about offending since your personal standards are so strict no one else measures up then you are the weaker brother.

        1. Awesome Capitan!!!! I just recently observed that for myself in scripture, that the “weaker brother” is actually the one who has less liberty, thus, stricter standards are actually the mark of “weaker”. I discussed this with my mother (not IFB but very conservative holiness). Her response was, “Hmmm, I’m not sure about that.” Oh well, love my mama and she’s a good person, but I digress.

          Oh, and ‘Capitan’ wasn’t george, Cap-ee-tawn!!! ha ha

        2. I have found that when someone says I offend them, if I apologize and say that I shouldn’t offend a weaker brother, it usually stops right there.

        3. After years of sighing and whining that she was a weaker brother (sister??) and that everything under the sun “offended” her, my mother recently had this epiphany that since she is obviously a better Christian than everyone else, a fortiori she is not a weaker brother after all. Bizarrely, this new perspective has actually led to some baby steps toward Christian liberty on her part.

    2. “Thank you so much for this coupon book! Oh, look, it has the word ‘Halloween’ on it. That’s weird…I feel a sudden urge to wear all black clothing and murmur incantations over a bubbling cauldron. Clearly, I am being controlled by the evil spirit of the coupon book and no longer have any power over my own thoughts or actions…*sigh*”. (Slinks off to Google the whereabouts of the nearest coven)

  9. Good grief! This sort of nitpicking by fundamentalists is perhaps the most blatant form of hypocrisy.

    God must be bigger than our petty sins and our visions of iniquity. We make God to be only concerned with the minutiae and tolerate all sorts of rank wickedness in its place. This makes a mockery of grace. Frankly, it makes a mockery of sin.

    And it shows that fundamentalists who do things like this have very little conception of what sin is.

    Sin is not about petty things, by the way. Sin is not about most things because sin is not about things. Things pass away. Sin is about people, their relationships, their hearts and desires, their attitudes toward others.

    1. Yep. Granny Weatherwax got that right (courtesy of Terry Pratchett): “And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.” Of course, no proper fundy would pay any attention to Granny Weatherwax, because she’s a witch. They’d miss a lot.

    1. Maybe, when the Bible refers to “falling on deaf ears”, it means the problem is not the actual ears, but what’s between them….

  10. Welcome! I’m glad you found the site. The healing is indeed still needed, even after a decade or more. The hard part is that it’s taking just as long (at least in my experience) to get rid of the fundy mindset. But every step helps, and finding a community of others is an important one.

  11. Best part is that they’d shit their pants if it said “Thank you for purchasing our CHRISTMAS coupon book” and someone tried scratching it out.

    As a non-believer, I feel like they’re oppressing me when they try to take away our fun candy-filled Halloween holiday and replace it with fall fest or harvest fest.

    1. Or these days, it wouldn’t even have to be scratched out to cause a stir. It’d simply have to say “Holiday Coupons” to cause a ruckus.

      If there’s an actual war on Christmas, though, I don’t think they have a thing to worry about. That holiday’s already taken over Thanksgiving, and is making a march on Halloween, so I think it can stand just fine on its own.

      1. Where I live there was xmas stuff on shelves in either September or October.

        I refuse to buy anything xmas-related before Thanksgiving and try to hold out until December. Unless it’s a yard sale or consignment shop, that is. That’s just someone trying to offload stuff quickly, not part of the giant war on a holiday.

    2. Halloween, like Christmas, has its origin in church practices (Halloween being the Eve of All Saints’).
      Hmm, maybe next Fox News will be bemoaning the War on Halloween.

      1. They already are! Some schools in New York cancelled their Halloween parties this year so as not to offend anyone and Fox News was all upset. I thought it was funny, though, because I didn’t know anyone besides Fundies that was offended by Halloween. And I didn’t think the school system would be concerned about offending Fundies!

        1. Most public schools are terrified of offending Fundies.
          Of course, it depends on how numerous and powerful the local Fundies may be.
          If there’s one Fundy family of no social prestige in the district, that family is unlikely to get its way. If Fundies are a large population in the community, or even a majority, and/or if they have managed to take over the school board, then they largely call the shots. Sure, other parents may object, but they are usually not as fervent or as well-organized as the Fundies.

        2. Over the years, funny groups have groomed people and helped place them in positions of power in several key areas. Public school administration has been one place. School boards are another. Local, state and national political positions are eagerly sought by fundies. Admistrative positions under power and not in public view have been filled.

          The goal has been to collect power so that no matter what the people may vote for or want, fundamentalists are in a position to get their agenda done while frustrating others. Liberty University was quite open about this. BJU, though certainly active in the endeavor, did not talk about it publicly.

          We have seen the consequences of this over the last 4 or 6 years. Gerrymandering made power collection a bit more visible, but by that time there was little that could be done.

          I know. It sounds like a conspiracy theory. But if you look up Reconstructionism and Rushdoony, you will see more of what I’m talking about.

        3. George! Get out of my spell-check!

          Fundy, not funny. Fundies may be amusing at times, but they aren’t funny.

    3. At this point, if anything, there is only a war on the “War on Christmas.” My wife loves to scrapbook and she has been searching for weeks for a stamp that says “Happy Holidays.” She can’t find one. Anywhere. She can find plenty of angels, and manger scenes, and baby Jesuses, and “Merry Christmas,” and such, and even one terrifying stamp that said something completely unintelligible like: “JESUS JESUS JESUS JOY CHRISTMAS.” But she can’t find a “Happy Holidays.” When she asked a (liberal) friend of hers who owns a scrapbook store if they stocked such a stamp, she was met with a blank stare and a stammered excuse about how she would have to order one online.

        1. Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean that people don’t like him and think his work sucks.

  12. “Falling on deaf ears”–the closest reference is in Proverbs– is not the same as refusing to listen.

  13. Halloween as a kid entailed going to my fundy church and walking around the Christian school gym dressed like Joseph. I remember being 9 years old and my only thought all night was “this sucks.”

    1. I remember thinking it was the height of hypocrisy to dress up in costumes and go around for candy, as long as it was Bible costumes and the candy came from the church gym. And then, one fateful evening, the pastor’s granddaughter showed up at the “Harvest Party” from her trick-or-treating rounds dressed as a black cat. My parents almost left the church over that stunt.

  14. Wow, that brought back a memory! We had friends who used a similar method to change the words in their son’s books about dinosaurs. Every time there was a reference to anything older than 10,000 years it got scratched out and changed to a younger date. SMH.

    1. The funny thing is that since the discovery of modern particle physics we know with the same epistemological certainty as our own existence the date of any object about 50K years or younger. To pretend that we can somehow make these objects younger is to question our ability to know anything. It is a weird epistemic black hole.

  15. The first thing I thought when I saw the scribbled out Halloween on the coupon books is “How pointless!” What I think now is “How pointless!” Don’t think that’ll sway anyone to the Fundy mindset, or keep someone from sinning!

  16. Because supporting foster/adopt children through Wendy’s is sinful if the word [strikethrough] Halloween [/strikethrough] appears on the flyer.

  17. The oldest of my sisters was the family censor. She didn’t favor a sharpie, but rather a ball point pen because it gave her the thrill of carefully boxing in the offending word and then coloring in the box with black ink. She once went after Cheaper by the Dozen (in which the father character uses mild bad language A LOT) and gave up after the first couple of chapters. She then kept the book hidden in her bathroom so that none of us could be exposed to such filth. (Also so that she could finish reading it.)

    Because I was two years older, this would often become a problem for me because I would read a book, think nothing of it, and pass it on to my sister who (because her heart was tender to the things of the Lord and her conscience was not seared with a hot iron) would become extremely distressed that I had not caught all of the horribly objectionable material in the book before exposing her and thereby irreparably tainting her soul. I recall one memorable instance which ended in my mother screaming at me for not reporting that the BOB JONES literature textbook had a story in which one character commits a crime. Actually, the crime is committed before the story commences, and the story itself is about the criminal on the run and the efforts of the police to catch him. But no matter – there was a “bad” story with a “bad” person in it. Not only did my sister get herself exempted from completing the high school literature course, she also won major brownie points for her sensitive spirit.

    1. In real life, no one commits crimes. The police eat donuts all day. And Fundy MOG never rape young girls.

      1. And in real life, cops don’t shoot unarmed teenagers or hurt people who don’t deserve it. Prosecutors always go after the bad guys. And everyone gets justice.

        Ah huh. Right. Sure.

        My wife objects to my saying anything bad about fundamentalism. Even when she agrees that what I have said is correct, she says, “I can’t do anything about it, so why talk to me about it?” Translation is: Your wife and daughter are still going to go to the Fundie church. You may not like it, but you’d better never say anything about it. (And since I do, on occasion, I get into trouble).

        1. I guess your wife and daughter never heard about “perfect submission and obedience.” I think it’s called “wifely submission” now.

    2. The family censor was Mom. She censored just about everything, including the textbooks we used in our home school (I was one of the early ones!).

      She particularly disliked a passage in the Algebra book about imaginary numbers. She read from one of her many fundamentalist pamphlets and information sheets that imaginary numbers was part of a communist plot to degrade the ability of US students in math! When I protested that I had read in Popular Science about imaginary numbers, she paddled me — hard and long. It was one of the more memorable ones from countless others. She wouldn’t stop until I “agreed” that imaginary numbers did not exist.

      But I knew they did. I just did not understand them. I vowed that one day I would find out.

      Maybe my mom’s animus helped spur my decision to pursue mathematics? Years later, taking a math course we discussed imaginary numbers. Excited, I called home to tell my mom I had learned what imaginary numbers were and what they were used for.

      I could have thought the phone lines froze all the way from Washington State to Greenville, SC. I realized that, no matter the passage of time or what I had learned, my mom would never listen, never change her mind, and never ever consider that she might be wrong about something.

      The censor in my house is my daughter, who is particularly sensitive to any swear word or anything close to it. Any word other than clinical medical terminology for a body part is also considered a “bad word” or swearing by my daughter and my wife. “Bad words” immediately prejudice them against everything else in the statement, and I am ostracized for a while.

      Fundamentalists use censorship against others, but they want the right to be uncensored themselves (except for what they self-censor) because they want to control the message. But the focus on minutiae to the exclusion of the major idea is classic pharisaical fundyism, straining out the gnat but swallowing a camel! Tithing even the herbs in the cupboard, but forgetting about mercy, justice and truth.

      1. Re: Your last paragraph. My wife and I were talking about this the other day. It’s like fundies believe that as long as you think something is sinful and judge others for it, then you have sufficiently acknowledged the evil and it’s okay for you to do it once in a while.

      2. Ever hear of Time Cube? ( The craziest site on the internet…? Well, one of my favorite sayings of his is

        (-1) x (-1) = (+1) IS EVIL

        Now that I think about it, how do any of us really know what (-1) x (-1) is? Most of us just repeat what we were taught. So maybe I should reconsider the Three Equators.

        1. Oh, jeez. There are three equators now? Godless communists.

          I believe in one equator, the IMAGINARY line that divides the earth into two equal parts.

        2. In plain language, -1 is the opposite of 1. So -1 * -1 is the opposite of -1, which is 1.

          Teachers who teach only the rules and not the meaning are, well, fundamentalist I suppose. You can learn rules, but not the why (understanding) or how to properly use them.

  18. Okay, sorry for the double post, but I just told my wife about this and she said that when my sister was a student at WCBC that my wife actually sent her one of the Wendy’s Halloween coupon books and my sister wrote her back and said “thanks, but I don’t feel comfortable using this because it says ‘Halloween.'”

    My OTHER sister who was also at WCBC later told us that my sister ended up using the coupons anyway. Insane.

    1. Did she buy wine or lottery tickets with the money she saved? Or give it to one of many needy projects at WCBC?

    2. Because God forbid(s?) that we should buy a book discounting pumpkin-flavored food at Wendy’s in order to support a foundation helping kids find adoptive homes, because it’s labeled “HALLOWEEN” ! Or something.

        1. Who would speak evil of that kind of good except fundamentalists? To whom would buying or using those coupons be seen as evil other than fundamentalists.

          Fundamentalists create evil where there is none. They have to surround their people with a scary, dangerous world that could send their eternally secure souls to hell (or at least condemn them to heaven’s skid row with no crown or mansion).

        2. The word appearance is not even the correct one there. It should be “kind” or “form.” I wish the KJVonliers would get that the English language has changed in the past 400 years.

  19. My mother-in-law was the Sharpie queen. She sharpie clothes onto National Geo photos, soft swear words in books, and gave art tastefully appointed clothing. My husband learned the tricks to “see through” the ink.

    1. Once, ATI held a conference in Sacramento, CA. Outside of the conference center was a nude statute. After the first day of the conference, one of the ATI mommas sewed a toga and draped it over the statute to cover its naughty bits. The next day, another ATI momma, not to be outdone, sewed a modern-style SUIT and placed that on the statue so as to ensure that it conformed with the ATI dress code. As far as I know, they all managed to escape arrest for defacing public property.

      1. If they didn’t damage the statue, they couldn’t be arrested.

        A full suit, fitted and sewn overnight? G’wan.

      2. They were lucky to get off scot-free.
        When I was an undergraduate, some frat boys thought it would be funny to put clothes on a trio of nude statues in front of the art school, so they bravely sent their pledge class to do it.
        They ended up scratching the sculpture badly, which cost thousands of dollars to fix.

        My understanding is that when they were caught, they and their parents agreed to pay for repairs in return for the frat boys not getting expelled (and probably sued as well).

      3. How did they get the pants on the statue? Sneak out in the middle of the night and sew them on in place?

        1. Thanks, George. That was supposed to be a reply to Deacon’s Son, considerably up-thread.

      4. They are visiting a city with their family and can’t think of anything more important to do than sew clothes for statues…What a sick system that creates such misplaced priorities!

  20. Looks like Ephesians 6 left out quit a few of the defensive & offensive “weapons” of the modern Christian. This is the sharpie of purity?

    1. It was written in the B.S. era (Before Sharpies), so the weapon would have been the Paintbrush of Prudery.

  21. I am honored to have contributed to this blog. My fundy Grandma would be equally offended (and take a sharpie to it if possible) by pants on females, jewelry (especially earrings!) or long hair on men, backwards baseball caps, tatoos, playing cards or anything gambling related. cigarettes, alcohol, restaurants that even serve alcohol, evolution, public school, Santa Claus/Easter bunny, rock music, denim, most TV and movies (except Glen Beck and Andy Griffith), Disney, magic, non-KJV verses, and I’m sure I could think of more. All of these are major issues from my childhood – my parents went about half and half with the ones they allowed and the ones they agreed were bad.

    Censoring in my home growing up: We always muted bad words on TV (that meant we already had watched the movie enough times to know where they were) or gave a disapproving groan after they were said. Boys were not allowed to see naked Barbie dolls. I recently found a kid’s book I saved from my childhood, and the dad’s pipe is scribbled out with pen, so we must have done that.

    1. Yup. They can make a sin out of anything. Anything! But especially with any disagreement with their antiquated and obsolete ways of thinking and their fear of change.

  22. When I was a kid, we had a picture book of the Water Babies story. Of course, all the little water babies were naked children. (So, okay, the book was a smidge creepy.) Anyway, my mother liked Water Babies. It was a very convoluted reason pertaining to her love of the book Mother Carey’s Chickens (by the same lady that wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm). Mother Carey’s Chickens became the darling of the homeschool/quiverfull community because of the following passage:

    We often speak of a family circle, but there are none too many of them. Parallel lines never meeting, squares, triangles, oblongs, and particularly those oblongs pulled askew, known as rhomboids, these and other geometrical figures abound, but circles are comparatively few. In a true family circle a father and a mother first clasp each other’s hands, liking well to be thus clasped; then they stretch out a hand on either side, and these are speedily grasped by children, who hold one another firmly, and complete the ring. One child is better than nothing, a great deal better than nothing; it is at least an effort in the right direction, but the circle that ensues is not, even then, a truly nice shape. You can stand as handsomely as ever you like, but it simply won’t “come round.” The minute that two, three, four, five, join in, the “roundness” grows, and the merriment too, and the laughter, and the power to do things. (Responsibility and care also, but what is the use of discouraging circles when there are not enough of them anyway?)

    Anyway, Mother Carey’s Chickens and Water Babies both fueled the fertility cult that is modern-day fundamentalist homeschool culture. So, the book had to be preserved at any costs. My mother spent weeks painstakingly coloring clothes onto each and every water baby (and in some illustrations, there were close to a hundred depicted). My family still has the book, with all the properly clad water babies happily swimming about in their Ball Point and Sharpie swimwear. Maybe I’ll try to steal it this Christmas.

    1. Who volunteers to tell my only-child nephew that he’s just an effort in the right direction, and his family is not a nice shape?

      1. And, think of those of us who have never married, and have contributed “nothing” to the gene pool. Oh well, I will take comfort in the hundreds of children I have taught about Jesus over the years (and, I don’t mean that sarcastically, either).

        As important as families are, Quiverfull folks never take into account the many different, wonderful flavors of “family.”

        1. I married rather late in life, and have no children.
          Yet I consider myself very much a family man. I’ve spent a lot of time helping to care for relatives and friends, both the very old and the very young.
          Does that not count for something?

  23. We can all sing the old children’s song together:
    “be careful little eyes what you see.
    Be careful little eyes what you see.
    For the Father up above, is looking down in love.
    Be careful little eyes what you see.”

    And we start everyone down the road to be afraid of what we might see or hear….
    And I always found it creepy and odd that we need to be careful cuz God is looking down in love. Somehow fundies make God’s love creepy and something to be feared. That is either an art form or sick.

    1. What a perceptive comment! Nice. Christianity is founded on the idea that knowledge is dangerous and sinful. Ignorance is preferred, inquisitiveness is forbidden and knowledge only comes from Revelation, not from observation.

      1. I am not sure I would say Christianity is founded on the idea that knowledge is dangerous. I think Christianity has gone through phases where it taught knowledge is dangerous. Fundamentalism is the latest incarnation of the knowledge is dangerous message.
        But I don’t think Scripture ever placed itself as the book of science and all knowledge which the fundies have declared it to be.

        1. The story of the Garden, the admonition to exterminate the Canaanites, the oft references slamming worldly knowledge…. Yes, I pretty much think I am correct there.

          Fundamentalists take this to extremes, of course. But the Faith itself, according to the Book, is all revelatory.

        2. And no, it doesn’t say anything about science or knowledge of how this world works. Frankly, the Scriptures treat that as irrelevant. The Law, with its clean and unclean focus inhibited scientific observation, and what they used for numbers guaranteed they were at the bottom in mathematic and engineering.

          Liberals (faith wise) realize there is much more to life than the Bible and the hereafter. To fundies, that is all that is important, and any truth that does not pursue that agenda should be ignored.

        3. I don’t think Christ or Paul or any of the apostles taught to fear knowledge.
          And as far as the destroying of the canaanites, that seemed to be the way the world worked at that time–destroy those in the land you wish to occupy.
          The Creation story is a great deal before Christianity or even judaism or even the Hebrew Cult of Exodus. It is considered an ancient text. I do not see the fear of knowledge permeating Judaism or Christianity in the manner you have stated. God even invites reasoning in the prophets.

        4. That’s okay. We can disagree and be cheerful to each other.

          Maybe it doesn’t fear knowledge it can sharpie out if it wants to.

      2. *blink blink*

        This would be why…Paul quoted a famous pagan writer on good conduct…and…a physician wrote one of the four canonical Gospels…and…most of the secular books surviving from about a millennium of European history were hand-copied by people who thought they were thereby serving God…and…um…

        1. Most people mistakenly believe that religions were founded on their holy books. That is untrue.

          Christianity did not have a canon for three centuries. The Apostles had the Old Testament. Christians had to wait about 30 years before the first gospel appeared. Paul’s writings got some circulation, but there were lots of letters that supposedly came from Paul that weren’t his.

          Over the first three centuries, political and religious battles, intrigue, murder, and manuscript burnings abounded aschurch leaders fought over what was “scripture.” Don’t read this. Don’t learn that. Paul may have quoted pagan authors, but he also cautioned against learning the philosophies of the world. And “worldly wisdom” was thrown out as worthless, because “the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men.”

          Why don’t we use the Gospel of Thomas? Because, supposedly, a war between those who supported the Gospel of John was fought against those who supported the Gospel of Thomas, and burned all the copies of it they could.

          As for secular books, many important works were lost as religious scholars scraped the vellum to ink religios works on them. Just recently we found a long-lost copy of Euclid that had been treated thus. It has taken modern imaging systems to find that out.

          And the years after about 500 AD weren’t called the Dark Ages for nothing! Today’s “Christianity” has little to do with first century Christianity except in the wishful thinking of people.

          But you will never hear a sermon on the actual history of the canon from the pulpit.

          It is tough stuff. But when your church leaders censor what you learn about and what opportunities you have to other, competing information, you are dealing with a promotion of ignorance, not knowledge. Think of all those Kids in Christian schools who never learn science from textbooks written by actual scientists. Or who learn history from revisionists.

        2. Knowledge is power. That is why so many christians – not just Fundamentalists – what to keep strict control over it.

  24. RGTmath and Paul Best, really? Um, virtually every Christian I know, like me at this moment, has access to the wealth of knowledge available right here in the cyber village of life. So what is the restriction of knowledge you are talking about? I truly am sorry there are so many that had personal experience, apparently, in some so-called fundamental churches and came away with such a twisted notion of what it really means. I suppose you think “fundies” don’t go to movies either? Some of my eclectic taste in movies: THX1138, Gladiator, Passion of the Christ, Elf, Alien, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Schindler’s List, Batman Trilogy, All the Marvel movies, The Conjuring, Star Wars and Star Trek movies, Minority Report, American Graffiti, The Fighter, The Town, Argo, It’s a Wonderful Life, Mystic River, and I could go on with hundreds. Surprised? Yes, I am a “fundy” (such a mocking term) and have been for almost 30 years. You folks, sadly, have such a narrow view on the subject and could use some real enlightenment about freedom in Christ, grace, kindness, forbearance, thoughtfulness of others and so on. I see very little of that here. You’re lumping millions of every day people into one stereotypical classification that is simplistic and far from the truth.

Comments are closed.