Creating a Crisis

Watching the events in the news this week (and discussing their impact on the world of fundamentalism) has been emotionally draining to the point of physical weariness. Here’s a little something from the lighter side: an explanation of how to create a moral crisis from scratch as presented by the inimitable Professor Harold Hill.


My favorite line in this entire performance is “Remember The Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!” It’s such a classic parody of manipulation by appeal to grand ideals that are completely unrelated to the matter at hand. Great stuff.

75 thoughts on “Creating a Crisis”

  1. Music Man is easily top 5 musicals ever in my book, probably top 3. Doesn’t beat Fiddler on the Roof, but is just so wonderfully done it’s amazing.

    We got trouble, and that starts with a T, which rhymes with B, and that stands for Baptists (IFBs)….

    1. BTW, a good IFB conman doesn’t need to “know the territory” any more than Prof Hill did! πŸ™‚

  2. The only thing missing is passing around the hat to help get rid of said pool hall.

  3. That’s a very accurate portrayal of every anti-something sermon I heard in IFBdom (which would be most of them). Be it music, non-KJV bibles, “worldly” clothing, alcohol, or anything else, they could well have been taking lessons from Prof. Hill.

  4. Some circles of the IFB seem to be constantly operating in crisis mode with people getting agitated over everything from children’s toys to government policies. Fear and anxiety should never characterize Christians though. Because of Christ, we should be an anchor of peace in a troubled world.

    It’s such a funny song – I’ve lived it many times over. “Oh, yes, we’ve got trouble. Right here in River City. And it starts with T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Potter – Harry Potter.” Or Cabbage Patch dolls or Smurfs. It’s always something.

    1. “Fear and anxiety should never characterize Christians though.”

      How I wish someone would have told me that while growing up IFB…..or, better yet, lived it. πŸ™„

    2. Or what about the Satanism conspiracy in the Proctor & Gamble logo? Or any corporation that doesn’t take the IFB stance on gay people? Or… well, I could keep going all day, but I’ll spare you. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to get out of conservative evangelicalism to escape it completely, but at least outside of the IFB, I’m spared most of it, except for the old people who forward each other stuff from the Republican tabloid, er, I mean Drudge Report.

  5. Dear Shoes,

    Any chance we can get a 7 step link of Prof Hill to say Bob Jones, or Jack Hyles?

        1. Sorry meant no disrespect (Thanks a lot George). It’s Shoes with a capital “S”.

    1. 1. Professor Harold Hill is the main character in The Music Man
      2. Professor Hill uses the evils of the pool table in the Billiard Parlor to enable his scam
      3. Billiard Parlors often serve alcohol
      4. Robert Sayers Sheffy was a circuit riding preacher that often preached against alcohol
      5. Robert Sheffy’s life was β€œimmortalized” in the film Sheffy
      6. Sheffy was produced by Unusual Films, the cinema division of Bob Jones University
      7. Bob Jones was the founder of Bob Jones University

      1. Brilliant! I Love the flying leap from alcohol to Sheffey! It’s perfect for the IFB trapeze artists/”preachers” πŸ˜‰

        1. not to sound like a … whatever … but when Sheffy came up, i couldn’t resist.
          i loved when he burned the dude up in the alcoholic/ hell nightmare. as a kid i was like “lame-o movie,” but i liked that part. it was scary and kinnda thrilling to a little IFB kid

      2. Shoes: You can also use the new Milltown Pride film to get to Billy Sunday!

        7. UF produced MP in 2011
        8. MP has a scene showing Billy Sunday preaching.

    2. Great job Shoes! I think I can do the 7-Step Hyles Link…

      1. Harold Hill is the protagonist in “The Music Man.” written by Meredith Wilson.
      2. Meredith Wilson studied at The Juilliard School.
      3. Alan Jay Lerner also studied (briefly) at The Juilliard School.
      4. Alan Jay Lerner wrote the lyrics to the musical “My Fair Lady.”
      5. “My Fair Lady” premiered on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City.
      6. Today, the Hellinger Theatre is home to the Time Square Church, founded by David Wilkerson.
      7. David Wilkerson is from Hammond, Indiana.
      7a. Also from Hammond, Indiana is Jack Hyles.
      7b. Jack Hyles hates pool halls like Harold Hill.

      1. …except that Jack Hyles is not from Hammond, but rather the pine thickets of East Texas.


      2. Here we go:
        1. Harold Hill is the title character of “The Music Man.”
        2. “The Music Man” is in English.
        3. Jack Hyles spoke English.
        4. Therefore, Jack Hyles = Harold Hill

        Think that’s farfetched? Just try reading some of Hyles’ essays!

  6. Well they renewed the so called patriot act last night.The nation’s gonna fall if the gummint isn’t listening in on everyone’s phone calls, monitoring their choice of library books and all. Cuz we got trouble, we got beeg, beeg trouble.

    1. Ahh, someone politically aware! Love it. We already live in a police state…it is like the whole country is becoming one big Christian school where everything you do, say or think is subject to investigation. And demerits!

  7. Plymouth Rock? Haven’t they heard about how much the Pilgrims loved thei beer? πŸ™‚

      1. @Bassenco. So we should never stand between you and.. ? ❓

        I used to like Black and Tans, Bass, but then something happened…I don’t know what, and I started liking more Summer and lighter brews. Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada, Boddingtons.

        I can even be found sipping a Corona. I used to make fun of those “girly beers” but I have chosen to not exclude any brands now! I love all beers. πŸ˜€ Yay! Is it time
        yet? “To the Pilgrims”!!! Ohhh and it’s a holiday weekend!

        1. I get headaches from stouts, so I prefer lighter to medium ales; hence my screen name, “Bass and Co” (“BASSENCO”) in honor of my favorite, Bass Ale.

      2. Wondered what Bassenco was from. Now I really love you use that name on Fighting Forum! :mrgreen:

  8. We use this all the time in the family any time the “news” tells us about the next big “crisis” among young people. Oh we got trouble!

  9. One of my top 10 favorite movies. Do IFB preachers study that segment of the movie in homiletics class?

  10. In true fundy style, did you catch the warning that soon the town’s children would be carousing with blacks? (ragtime music, jungle beasts)

    1. FWIW, it’s “jungle beats” Not that that changes that much. Oh no, not Joplin! 😎

      1. I couldn’t remember which one it was as I watched it all the way through before commenting, but jungle beats is actually better for my point since that is an actual fundy argument against popular music, and of course, thinly veiled racism.

      1. Yes! This is exactly what I thought of while watching the Music Man clip, and from some of the comments…

  11. I am at work and can’t access this from here but wanted to let you know Darrell how much I appreciate this blog and all you do. Praying you get some much needed strength and refreshment this weekend.

  12. The first time I ever heard that was at Fundy U. One of my roommates had a copy of the soundtrack. When I first heard it I thought it was a parody of fundyism. It wasn’t until later I learned it was a play and a movie musical.

  13. I used to be scared to go uptown when I was little – because we had pool halls, bars and a drug store. I was scared to go in there too – because it was kind of dark. If it is dark, it’s because their is EEEEVIILL happening in there.

  14. that was literally the freakiest thing i’ve seen in a long time. i already hate musicals…

  15. Hahaha sheffy! I have seen that movie so many times. My favorite part is when he prays for the tree to fall on the moonshiners still.

  16. No wonder they didn’t let us watch movies or television when I was a kid. If we had seen this, we would have laughed ourselves silly at every church service thereafter.

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