Although many fundamentalists still let their teens date (translation: “sit next to someone of the opposite sex in youth group or church”) many like the idea of courtship instead.
The trend towards courtship became very popular a few years ago, when a single charismatic-leaning Calvinist teenager who was living in a basement decided to write a book about why he didn’t want to date anymore. For some reason, this book was widely accepted in fundamentalist circles where some touted it as gospel and declared it the “Biblical way.”
Using the biblical model for finding a wife, the parents of the bride and groom are the key decision makers in who their children marry. The advantage is that this eliminates emotionally painful breakups and purges out the leaven of mates who are not quite up to fundy snuff. The disadvantage is that rounding up the livestock needed to pay the bride’s dowry is a messy business. The week-long wedding feasts are also very expensive. But, if a fundamentalist is going to set out to do things the Biblical way, he can’t pick and choose which traditions he wants to follow.
Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match…