The Double Life

There is one truth of all legalists to which fundamentalist are no exception: they cheat. For when people set for themselves the task of self-made sinless perfection, they begin to realize almost immediately exactly how heavy and constraining the yoke that they have taken. However, rather than acknowledge that they have been too ambitious in their personal standards, they merely attempt make their lives at least somewhat tolerable by finding ways around their own rules.

Any good fundamentalist is strictly forbidden to love the things of the world and will touch not and taste not and handle not those abominations which are tainted by unbelievers — if there’s anybody looking. “Thou shalt not get caught” is the first fundamentalist commandment and every young fundy learns it at (or over) their parent’s knee. And the second is like unto it: “That shalt have a really good plan for hiding your behavior and explaining it away if it should be discovered.”

If a Southern Gospel song we really like has a little extra toe-tapping twang then that’s not the same as “rock” music at all. Why that’s merely good-old down-home country-fried music such as good Christian white people have enjoyed forever and isn’t really wrong. Godly music is whatever music I happen to enjoy.

If that movie contains cursing and violence then we rented it from that online place rather than risk ruining our testimony by buying it at Walmart like we were forced to do in the old days. (Thank God for technology!) The only real sin would be watching the movie in a dark room with lost people.

If this fried chicken contains enough cholesterol to ensure we suffer a cardiac event before the age of 40…then we’re really not sure what the problem is since there’s nothing in the Bible about that at all as far as we can remember. Pass the gravy!

For every man-made law there is a man-made evasive tactic that allows any canny fundamentalist to find a loophole his own arbitrary rule without compromising either his “standards” or his ability to judge others for not being as holy as himself. And nothing counts if nobody catches you out.

179 thoughts on “The Double Life”

    1. “movie theaters allowed one to sit in a dark room and therefore were highly dangerous because one could give into one’s base instincts then and there (although, one wonders why the fundies didn’t just make a rule that it’s OK to go to the movies as long as you go there alone)”…………..

      Ahhhh, you lost me on that one. Are you saying people go to movie theatres to engage in freeing Willie, to flog the dolphin, and other nautical themes?

  1. Second!

    Once again Darrell hits the nail right on the thumb. You don’t get to be a Good Christian without becoming an expert on the ancient art of Hippo-cracy. Somehow I don’t think Jesus would have passed….

  2. I remember calling a fundy school teacher on the movie issue (standard) once at a get together with other fundys because she mentioned seeing a certain movie and I said, oh you went to the theatre and she right away corrected me and said that she watched it on dvd. So, I asked the obvious question to clear up the hypocrisy, “so it’s okay to watch a prohibited holywood movie on dvd but not in the theatre?” She started to stumble with her answer when another fundy teacher whispered something in her ear and she stopped talking and the other one said, “no, we are not to watch hollywood movies”. 🙄 😆

      1. There IS a Holywood – it’s in Northern Ireland. It is between Bangor an Belfast 😀

        1. George frequents the movie theater (or, as CHRISTIANS call it, the “picture show” because that makes it sound cheap and tawdry and dirrrty) in order to corrupt the “good conversation” of backslidden fundies.

    1. I believe the true reason some conservative Christians are opposed to movie theaters goes back to their early opposition to coffee houses and saloons. Any place where large groups of people can openly discuss new ideas without the oversight of the church is seen as a threat. Throughout history many social movements began at coffee houses and taverns.
      This is why it’s okay to read the book or watch its film version in the privacy of your home; you are less likely to meet people with a different opinion about it.

      1. I think it’s just hypocritical b.s. from people who don’t know God or what the hell they’re talking about.

        1. I have no problem of bring hypercritical of the IBF cult. And yes I know what I am talking about. The early opposition to coffee house and bars by the church is chronicled on many books, including “A History Of The World In Six Glasses”
          JS Bach wrote his first secular music “Coffee Cantata” in support of coffee and coffee houses.
          The IFB is about controlling its members access to people and information that conflict with their beliefs. Movie theaters expose fundies to both. If you disagree with me fine. I would welcome your theory.
          But show some class and not use the words “god”, “hell” and “b.s.” in the same sentence. WWJD?

        2. Mark,

          Fundy Fascinated said “hypocritical” not “hypercritical.” He was saying that fundie opposition to movie theaters is hypocritical, which it most certainly is in the vast majority of cases.

          Your historical argument is highly questionable, mainly because movie theaters are not a place where people “openly discuss new ideas without the oversight of the church.” A much more apt analogy would be historical church opposition to theater-going in general. The concern was not open discussion. The concern was that by attending and observing a dramatic performance (whether live or via the medium of film), you would be tainted (or, as you note, badly influenced) by whatever evil actions were protrayed in the play or film. The quuestion remains an open one: some posters on this blog recently had a good discussion on the issue of whether passive observation of sex, violence, and other behavior in a movie is inherently objectionable for the Christian. Fundies, however, have settled that question in their own minds: passive observation causes a taint to one’s soul and, by extension, lack of fellowship with God. Never mind the fact that Jesus said it is not what goes into a person that defiles the person but what comes out.

          It’s important to take modern American fundamentalism in the context in which it arose: postwar midcentury America. American fundamentalism certainly partakes of the same impulse as early modern Catholic/Protestant fundamentalism (e.g., opposition to coffee shops), but it does not derive directly from it. Fundies are Biblical literalists (so they think) and they do not consciously derive any of their beliefs or teachings from historical church tradition.

          Rather, fundie opposition to movie theaters arose from the following mix of considerations: (1) movie theaters were “new” and therefore suspect; (2) movie theaters were popular with young people and therefore suspect; (3) most movies came from Hollywood/California and were therefore suspect; (4) a lot of movies had the involvement of Jews and “Communists” and were therefore suspect; (5) movies portrayed behavior that was morally objectionable (e.g., sex and violence) and were therefore suspect; (6) movie theaters allowed one to sit in a dark room and therefore were highly dangerous because one could give into one’s base instincts then and there (although, one wonders why the fundies didn’t just make a rule that it’s OK to go to the movies as long as you go there alone); (7) etc. You get the point. Movie theaters, like most other fundie standards, were approached from the viewpoint that if we can find ANYTHING wrong with something then it’s bad unless it’s something that we always did and then we will try to make an exception. (Of course, things that we always did but said we didn’t were also sins.) Of course, under this paradigm, almost anything new is almost certain to be branded as evil.

          Your argument about coffee shops is more relevant to fundie standards like: no Bible studies in peoples’ homes; no ladies meetings (I know some fundie churches have them, the one where I grew up didn’t); and the big one: secular college is bad. Or, as one person posted on this thread, going to an interdemoninational hymn-sing/gospel music gathering is wrong. Yes, fundie churches do jealously guard their right to be the only place where you are allowed to be exposed to anything or taught anything. However, the impulse against movie theaters does not really fall into that category. I think most fundie pastors are so intellectualy oblivious that they would not even consider the idea that a film, like a great work of literature, could challenge one’s views or make one think differently. Very rarely, you will hear a fundie pastor criticize a specific film, but it is usually for a very shallow reason (e.g., “Chronicles of Narnia is a sin because it has a witch in it” or “Star Wars is a sin because it is based on Eastern religions”). But it’s not usually because they want to squelch free thinking and open discussion (typically they assume that they have already achieved that objective). It’s more because they think that being exposed to a movie with a witch or Eastern religious philosophy in it will cause you to be morally tainted by merely seeing the film. (And, of course, movie theaters are bad because some movies are bad and no one knows what movie you are going to see and so on and so forth. The hypocracy is that a good many fundies watch the “bad” movies anyway, just not in a movie theater where they can be “seen of men.”) Don’t forget that these are people with extraordinarily active spiritual imaginations who genuinely believe that watching the White Witch ride through a forest in a sledge will quite literally plant a firy dart of the wicked one in your heart. In short, the issues I raised in the preceding paragraph are the main reason why fundies think movie theaters are wrong. It’s the moral taint issue more than the anti-freethinking issue.

          (Of course, moral taint by going to the movies is also a financial consideration because the preachers think that if people see IFB members at the movies they will think that IFB members are no different than most mainstream Christians, and how will they recognize how much better and how much holier IFB churches are and bring themselves and their pocketbooks to the local indie baptist church?)

        3. Well considering that Deacon’s Son explained things rather well, I’ll answer your WWJD question in regards to my lack of class. To put it simply, I think He (Jesus)would be harsher. Read Matthew 23; he called the modern day fundies blind guides, white-washed tombs, hypocrites, sons of hell, etc. Then there is Paul referencing his own old religion as $h!* in Philippians. So, to be fair, I’m only using bible swear words. 😆

        4. I LOVE Moral Taint as the name of a band! Sooo self-referential!

          Of course another good name wd be Hypocrats in honor of my inability to spell. 😳

        5. “Your historical argument is highly questionable, mainly because movie theaters are not a place where people “openly discuss new ideas without the oversight of the church.”

          Deacon’s Son, I highly disagree with your view. Have you been to a movie lately? We live in such an uncouth, uncivilized society that you can hardly go to a movie anywhere and NOT hear people talking. The reason I watch movies at home is because you can’t stop people from talking.

        6. Mr. Jenkins: your point is well taken. But I hate going to movie theaters because they are stiiiiicky and I sit there adhered to the armrest wondering what kidgerms are seeping into my arm. 😯

        7. I just finished studying the history of technology and communication and have to say that Mark is on to something. The church fought having the Bible available in vernacular languages because then they could not control what the masses though. The church has always been afraid that people would get information elsewhere and talk about it and undermine church teachings. It still happens today especially in fundamentalism.

    2. Deacon’s Son, thank you for your thoughtful response. You make some interesting points.

  3. Also, there are specific written rules (I know this shocks everyone here) about not having rock or whatever “worldly” ringtones on your phone for the fundy school students and staff, and on more than one occassion I have heard a staff member’s phone go off and was wildly amused at the disco type of ringtone they have on. 🙄 😯

      1. Part of me wants to look and see if there are such ringtones out there. But the wiser part of me realizes such a search would be a complete waste of time and only make me sick if it was successful.

        1. You could always cut clips of him snorting, put them together, and make your own. Just think, 20 seconds of “snarckflghtrrgrm” repeated over and over.

    1. The difference between the Methodist and the Baptists is…
      The Methodist will say hi to you in the Liquor Store. 😀

      1. The difference between a Southern Baptist and a IFB Baptist?

        The southern Baptists believes everyone is going to Hell. The IFB does too, especially the Southern Baptist!

        1. Our pastor loved to give the following sermon illustration:

          He would stand over by the organ and scream “the Methodists used to be here.” Then he would take a step to the center behind the pulpit and scream “the Southern Baptists used to be here.” Then he would step to the other side of the platform by the piano and scream “we used to be over here.” Then he would step back behind the pulpit and scream “NOW WE ARE HERE.” Back to the organ: “THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ARE HERE.” And then he would gesture contemptuously out the door and scream “AND NOW THE METHODISTS ARE OUT THE DOOR AND DOWN THE STREET!”

      2. if you are going fishing with a baptist, always take 2, that way the beer will be all yours

  4. But when you throw pretense in the toilet and just do what you have the liberty to do then you are called a back-slidden worldly compromiser… 🙄 😥 Now, to drink some much-needed coffee… :mrgreen:

  5. – thou shalt not be addicted, unless it’s coffee.
    – thou shalt sent thy kids to the ever excelling Christian schools (then thou wilt find out later, as I just did, that they aren’t always real specific when it comes to meeting state graduation credit requirements)
    – thou shalt not sue the school, but only the person that was principal at the time (I kid you not)
    – as long as the wheels are turning, nobody cares if the hamster is dead

    1. Unless the managawd doesn’t like coffee himself, in which case he will preach with scorn against coffee drinkers, especially those who go to that heathen place Starbucks where they adorn their cups with pagan symbols and put so much caffeine in their drinks that people become dangerously addicted immediately.

      1. Our former pastor was like that. Didn’t like coffee so he’d rail against Timmy’s (Tim Hortons, Canada’s pride) but his wife drank pepsi which I feel is much worse for you because of the sugar. 😕

        1. Macshu, now I’m totally confused. I would figure you would drink as much soft-drinks as you possibly could and even hook up an IV to have aspartame pumped directly into your body – just to show it to the fundies??? I thought most of us left Christianity because of the JFK assassination and chemtrails. After all, only looney, mentally ill, ignorant people believe in conspiracies. Now you’re telling me sugar is bad for us? You sound too much like a fundy when you say stuff like that! And that other person making comments about processed foods?! Why, this blog is turning into a virtual love-fest for all things fundy and you are practically bowing down and worshipping fundies when you give believe such conspiracy theories such as processed foods are bad for you or that sugar is not healthy for you!! Stop the insanity!

        2. The way this site has suddenly gone downhill and turned into a redneck love-in, I wouldn’t be surprised if some uneducated, backwoods crank comes in and tries to tell us that MSG is bad for us! Please tell these ignorant people to go back to their own blogs!

        3. Actually Mr. Jenkins aspertame, splenda, and all of those artificial sweeteners are worse for you than sugar. You should do a study on it. They’re actually poison and they don’t cause you to lose weight. Soft drinks are not thirst quenching like water is. Ice tea and lemonade can be thirst quenching but I find water to be the best thing to drink when I’m thirsty. As for sugar there is way too much of it in processed foods. And in recipes, I usually cut the sugar portion in half and it’s plenty sweet enough. I don’t think this has anything to do with being fundy but in trying to cut a few calories where you won’t even miss them really. 😎

        4. Quote: They’re actually poison

          Are you kidding me? Now I know what that guy was talking about how this blog is turning even WORSE than the fundies. That is the most ridiculous, insipid conspiracy theory that I have heard yet, and I’ve heard a lot of them!

          Did your screen just turn black just like the kettle?

  6. Whadda ya mean hypocrisy, it’s research in order to keep up with the worldly culture so we know what is going on… so we will be able to head off any worldly influence we may see in our children. hey-men?

    And then there is the doctrine of equivalency: If it sounds like jungle music then it is jungle music. If it looks hippy, then it is hippy. If it don’t taste like fired chicken….

      1. I didn’t until I read your comment. Now I have that image too, but it made me laugh because it looks like a Far Side comic. Does that mean I’m going to hell?

      2. grorge, george, george… you dood it again.
        Now that I see it, I imagine Chickens leaving KFC with pink slips getting in line at the EOC to sign-up for unemployment. 🙄

        And you do know they are Catholic Chickens don’t you?

        They’re all “Fryers”

        I’ll Be at the Airport Holiday Inn til Thursday!Two shows nightly, 2 drink minimum.

  7. I was told in chapel at MBBC (Wi) that we couldn’t go to the movies but watching a movie on a VCR was OK because you could fast forward.

      1. My mom made this meal last week and I had it for lunch, supper and then breakfast again!

        It does the body good! 😀

        My maternal grandmother made the best southern fried chicken too. She grew up at the foothills of the Ozarks in MO and learned how to southern fry everything. Even her chicken and dumplings were to die for. She never measured anything, she would just eyeball it. I can’t cook like that!

        She was very healthy and lived to be 87.

        1. My paternal grandmother made the best southern fried chicken! She made corn bread and “wonder” beans (green beans she grew herself and did something wonderful to so we always called them “wonder” beans) cream corn and banana pudding. I miss her! 😥 She also lived to be in her 90’s. I think it may not be so much all the frying etc in food but the preservatives in foods now that are hurting us. 🙁

        2. Agreed. Our grandparents ate food from their family farms. We eat a lot of processed food nowadays.

    1. In all fairness, the high calorie foods they ate back then made sense because just about everyone WORKED. There were no vaccums or washing machines, you did all the cleaning yourself. And the men didn’t have it any easier, no lawn tractors or power tools. You ate a lot, true but you also burned most of it off in an average day. We live a lot more sedetary lifestyle now and the same foods that sustained our grandparents can have the potencial to kill us.

      1. That’s a good point.

        I remember my mom using my grandma’s wringer washer when I was a kid.

        I LOVE my butt kicking Maytag dishwasher! I can’t imagine having to scrub cast irons skillets three times a day.

        1. You don’t really have to scrub a properly seasoned cast iron skillet (I love mine!), but you do have to lift it. That’s exercise!

        2. Amen to that, TOJ. Food will just slide right out of a properly seasoned cast iron skillet. And it can be wiped clean with a paper towel. And an added bonus: those skillets leach small amounts of iron into your food which is good for you.

      2. That’s right, like the Amish today, they work hard and love to eat. Ever seen one of their cookbooks? Good stuff! :mrgreen:

  8. -The reason I have this music CD is I am checking it to see what is wrong with it.

    -I was just testing the strength of our internet filter. That is why I was on those sites.

  9. Dead on. My parents would spend Sunday mornings bickering like cats and dogs, and the second we’d pull into the church parking lot (not a minute before — they’d even bicker in the car), they’d put on their “church faces” and be so prim and proper.

    They followed the letter of the law in many ways, but I never once saw them display the spirit of Christ.

    1. Yep. Mom would beat the crap out of us and scream at us all week, and then act like June Cleaver at church. 👿

      1. My mother was the same way! As adults my siblings and I laugh behind her back because in the middle of a screaming rant about how we were like the FOOLS in proverbs and that she wished we lived in bible times when parents could STONE their rebellious sons the phone wd ring and she wd pick up and in her sweetest tones she wd be all like “helooooo there what a blessing to be a homeschool mom” while her abused kids were sobbing in the background.

        1. Ditto. My Mom dragged my (alcoholic) Dad to church and was always tremendously supportive of the preacher and the church but beat the living shit out of us (in frustration that her life wasn’t everything that God/preacher promised)and believe me, several men of gawd knew what was up, but she was a giver so she got a pass! Way to go independent fundamental Baptists, throw the children under the bus!! Christ would approve.

    2. Oh snap! You just described my mom and former stepfather to a T. He was nice to everyone at church and then abusive to everyone at home. The Bible was just another tool to control us.

      Of course, my mom was given “just be the kind of wife you are supposed to be” crap. The pastor (a Northland grad) who married my hubby and I, told her she couldn’t get a divorce even if he was cheating, which he was.

      He made our lives a living hell. He is now on his third wife who is forty years younger than he is. He’s seventy and she’s forty. 😯

        1. My bad. She’s thirty and that makes her five years younger than his youngest daughter.

    3. We called that Dad’s Sunday Mood at our house. Every Sunday, Dad would lecture and yell the entire way to church, and the minute we hit that church parking lot, we were all supposed to look cheery and happy to be there, never mind that for the last half hour, we had been lectured and belittled about any possible infraction we may or may not have committed throughout the week.

      1. Sounds like my family as I was growing up, though we weren’t raised fundy, but rather close, Church of Christ, which was legalistic to the core. They believe having music in church is a sin, but never preached against rock music and we would have the radio up full blast as we peeled out of the parking lot every week after signing our musicless hymns.

        Our parents were “do as I say, not as I do” and we got into trouble for saying “golly” or “gee” but they said GD and all the rest except the F word. I never could understand this. We were always told when we were grown we could do as we pleased but as long as we lived “under their roof” we’d do as they said.

        Maybe it’s no wonder I ended up in another guilt tripping church and all the time I thought it was so much better than the church of Christ. Not really so much after all! 😥

  10. At Fundy U my floor leader confiscated an “inappropriate” southern gospel CD. Later on I walked into his room and caught him listening to the CD. When he was supposed to return confiscated stuff at the end of the semester, mine was mysteriously missing.

    1. Yeah, always wondered how they made the confiscation thing work with the whole “thou shalt not steal” thing.

      Oh, I forgot, Bible Colleges are AUTHORITIES and so the Bible’s commands are subordinated to the exercise of that AUTHORITY especially when necessary to enhance the presence of that AUTHORITY in someone’s life.

      1. Yeah, this always bothered me. You know what else bothered me? The way the school rules essentially abrogated the constitution. They pretend that “giving up your rights” is somehow good and holy. They also pretend to be patriotic, but the despise the individual liberty that America is founded on.

    2. Our dorm Sup. at MBBC (WI) was allowed to have a TV and her boyfriend in her room WITH the door closed. We were told she had earned trust of the Dean of women so they bent the rules for her.

      She was so self absorbed that a few girls finally complained because she wasn’t doing her job. It was just a way for her to get free tuition and the right to date the way she wanted. Boy did she get mad at us for that.

      1. My sister who was an RA at a fundie u (same balloney about “earning the trust of the dean of women”) used to inspect her girls’ clothing drawers when they were not in their rooms to make sure they did not have “worldly undergarments” because she said that she needed to know who was being a “whore.”

        1. This sort of thing really bothered me at my Fundy U (although I don’t think they went this far).

          I went to a Christian college because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do as a sincere, committed Christian dedicated to following Christ. But when I got there, I realized that the rules made me feel like the administration viewed me as some sort of wild and evil devil-child who might suddenly start fornicating in the bushes if they didn’t have super-strict standards in place.

          It was kind of shocking to go from being admired and praised to being treated like a naughty child.

        2. In the real world, one would need a warrant to do something like that.

          Do studens sign away their civil rights when they attend? I honestly don’t remember what all I signed back in the early 90s.

          When my nephew was at Mbbc, the president’s niece followed him in her car and when he parked, she accused him of throwing a cigarette out his car window. She then demanded to search his car and he was like oh, hell no!

        3. PW,

          I felt the same way at Fundy U. It was like being regressed back to grade school. I wasn’t raised Fundy so it was like culture shock when I went. So many of the students were so immature and clueless.

          I left during my fourth semester because my health couldn’t stand the stress of all that church and classes.

        4. Actually there was a lesbian dorm supe at MBBC, probably the time Mominator was there. She was caught in either ’95 or ’96. Some girls got back from church early one Wednesday night and found her getting it on with another girl in the dorm.

        5. It was 96. I wasn’t at MBBC, but she went to the same extremely fundy church near Milwaukee that I was going to while at a secular university there.

  11. Don’t forget those verses on gossip that always apply when the heathen and those who are bitter talk bad about US. But when we talk bad about someone it’s a prayer request.

  12. I remember when I was young (younger than 10 years old or so), we’d travel to another city to see a movie in a theater. I asked my mom a hundred times why we did this, there being TWO movie theaters in our hometown … always a new excuse, and never was I the wiser.

    I totally respect my parents for not being teetotalers, but it’s exactly why I left fundamentalism – the hypocrisy. Darrell hits the nail on the head, as he does so many times.

  13. Great topic. I was trying to follow all the rules of Fundyville and then discovered that my favourite show of my childhood Dark Shadows was playing on a cable channel and I could watch it again. I never batted an eye, or questioned if I should watch it again. This probably should’ve raised my fundy hackles but it didn’t. I just started watching it again. It was on 5 days a week, 2 episodes back to back.

    Then we discovered southern gospel music. That did raise a bit of a question, but we became hooked on it and I didn’t want to give it up. We began to attend Saturday night concerts at a place called the Gospel Barn. When the pastor found out that some of us were going over there he came down heavy on it. Not so much on the music I noticed but on the place itself because it was interdenominational and we could become influenced by — horrors! Pentecostals! Charismatics! Liberals! Oh no! And worse of worse (He said this, I kid you not!) Women in pants!

    By this time in my life I NEEDED Southern gospel music to balance out all the negative guilt tripping preaching we were getting at our fundy church. Southern Gospel is POSITIVE, and made me feel like I was worth something! Through it I began to feel that God loved me and wasn’t just sitting in heaven waiting for me to mess up so He could punish me!

    So it was these two areas, Dark Shadows and Southern Gospel music where I began living the “double life” of not obeying Fundy rules.

    We still do not go to the theatre since most of the movies that come out are of no interest to us. But I was not going to miss the Dark Shadows movie. And it happened that my husband wanted to see the Avengers so we went over there and saw our separate movies. I don’t think we’ll be going back to the theatre any time soon but the earth didn’t open and swallow us up for going and we had a good time! :mrgreen:

      1. That’s right. I miss it! But it’s hard to get there from Ontario and we haven’t found a similar place here. 😥

        1. I would bet we may know some of the same people/groups. The group I traveled with sang there a number of times. We could always count on 2 things: a very small offering and a heavy smell of ben gay & geritol in the air.

        2. What groups did you sing with? We’ve been in Canada for nearly 4 years and before that there were a few years we didn’t attend that often due to high gas prices. It was an hour’s drive each direction. I’d say the years we attended the most were between 2000-2004.

          We were not of the geritol or Ben Gay crowd though, not quite yet lol! :mrgreen:

    1. The crazy thing is that, in the real world, who on earth is going to bat an eye lash at watching a TV show about and listening to southern gospel music with people from different churches? What normal Christian, for that matter, is going to think badly of you?

      Yet to the hyper-fundy, you might as well be out doing drugs, or at least you’d think so with how they often react. 🙄

      1. I had always wanted to attend a Messiah sing-along and one year when I was home from BJU, a local Methodist church was doing on, open to the whole community. My parents wouldn’t let me go. It was too “ecumenical” for them, though I tried to tell them that no one was preaching and we’d just be singing the utterly Biblical words of Handel, but to my sorrow I was unable to talk them into letting me go.

        (I finally attended one two Christmasses ago – glorious!!! It was at a Lutheran church I think.)

        1. PW, I would love to do that! My mom said that years ago another Baptist church in our town did that, and I wish they or someone else would do it again. Glad you got to do it!

        2. I’m still in awe that adult children still obey their parents in America. If you are old enough to be in college you are old enough to do what you want lol.

  14. A couple of years after we got married we realized independently of each other that pants on women was a nonsense issue. Since we lived a good distance from our church and the other members we developed elaborate rules about where and when my wife could wear pants. Eventually this expanded to everywhere except church. She never was seen. Since we were on staff at a fundy church at the time I believe it someone had seen her they would have tattled.

    We went to elaborate lengths to go to the movies. We went a couple of towns over to the theater there. The only time we were seen we walked into the theater and a deacon from our church was in line with his wife. She was wearing pants! 😯 My wife was wearing shorts that could have plausibly been called culottes. Needless to say Bro Deacon didn’t feel led to tattle on us. 😀

    This is one of the things that made us question everything in Fundystan. We knew that they were hypocrites but we got very tired of being hypocrites too.

    1. I think many of us lived those kinds of double standards before we made our way out of the movement. We were trying to balance our freedom in Christ with the expectations placed on us by our fundy upbringing, our family, our church, or our ministry position. We were trying to get along, not wanting to be shunned or attacked, but we also truly didn’t feel in our soul that certain things were wrong.

      Eventually, many of us realized that the double life was too exhausting. We DID feel like hypocrites and we wanted to be truthful from the inside out, no matter what the personal cost.

      I think the hypocrisy especially comes from those who play the system, who are content to remain in it and who often accuse and condemn other Christians while excusing their own “transgressions”. One of my favorite examples are IFB friends on facebook who only list Mac Lynch or Patch the Pirate as their favorite music (and who I know lambaste CCM) but who list popular TV shows and movies on their page. I don’t mind that they watch those movies, but I resent that they look down on me because my church has a praise band. They call my worship worldliness but excuse their own entertainment choices instead of allowing both themselves and me liberty in those areas where the Bible is silent.

      1. Praise Bands must be wrong. They aren’t mentioned in Scripture. The closest thing to a band is Nebuchadnezzar’s combo. And that, as we know, was idolatry. Any good preacher worth his proof-texting DD knows how to put bands together with statue worshiping Catholics.(As opposed to IFB hero worship, which is somehow a good thing)

      2. Double-life=exhausing, for sure. We live several hours away from my parents, thankfully. If I had to worry about hiding the alcohol in the house constantly because they might stop by…oy.

        That being said, I think when it comes up next month at a family gathering, I’m just going to have a beer in front of them. I might as well confirm to them that I’m completely backslidden and on my way to hell.

    2. :mrgreen: They were just following the old Baptist creed; Thou shalt not recognize a fellow church member when you see him at the movies or the liquor store. 😆

    3. Wow, that sounds like my life now. Pants when I’m out of town or when I’m sure no one will see me. I don’t have a problem with going to the movies, but we’re too frugal to pay for it so we don’t go to the local theater. There is a drive-in theater half an hour away that shows two movies at a time for five dollars a person and kids are free, so we plan on taking our son there this summer.
      PW is right though, it is exhausting. I just hope we can get out. We’re very vested in our church, though. 😥

      1. Please consider what you have just said! It is far more important to be vested in your children’s life than to be vested in your church that you are having to hide from. It’s not worth it! I promise you it is not worth it. When your children are grown you will look back and be sorry if you do not follow what you know is the right thing to do.

  15. Good Christians don’t go to the theater. They go to the cinema.

    Good Christians don’t go to the beach. They visit the shore.

    The pastor at the church we attended while I was at Fundy U would say things like this. One reason we went to that particular church (which tried hard to not be a Fundy U church) was good, true Fundamentals of the Faith preaching without the baggage of rules. He would say these things to show the problems with living by rules.

    1. Good Christians never watch movies, but they do see films.

      Good Christians don’t have dancing or choreography in their plays at Fundy U, but they do have “stage movement.”

      1. Growing up, my mom and one of my sisters had this fantasy world called “backthen” (always pronounced as one word, not two). I was once told that in this world (which began “around the time of the Jane Austen novels” and ended around the time the first hippie took his first bong hit), dancing was ok because “people didn’t lust backthen like they do today.” But in our world, dancing is a sin because now it does lead to lust. 😯

      2. The Christian school I taught at in the 80s was very un-fundy in a lot of ways. The girls could wear pants to school for one. But it was a Baptist school. One Christmas the entire school (K-6) produced the musical Scrooge. Huge fun and a huge hit. But I still laugh that in the Christmas Eve dancing scene we had the kids all WALK in choreographed patterns. Keep those feet on the floor.

  16. and don’t forget the missionary on the foreign field, who gets caught with a local pornography magazine, and claims he was doing a study on the culture. Like, what???? 🙄

  17. Or how you always hear about the evils of even looking at alcohol, yet when gluttony is mentioned in the same verse as “winebibbers,” it is never spoken about. Good ol’ Baptists love their Southern fried food (and not in moderation either).

  18. This right here is why I enjoy being a science teacher – I can buy almost anything at the store and claim it is for a science demonstration or project. I recently did that with a very nice scotch – the cashier asked me why I was buying liquor (hard not to notice me and remember where I work). Fortunately, with the language barrier, I can just smile and act my hair color (I’m a blonde). :mrgreen:
    On a similar note, I recently was helping a kid with a science fair project. She made her own energy bar and we burned it and calculated the calories generated by her bar. My lighter ran out, so I went to the store and bought another cigarette lighter. We went on about our business and had a great time, but when I got into the office for daily staff meeting – control issues, anyone? – the preacher was searching through my desk and purse and bag trying to find my cigarettes. His rationale was, “Why would I need a lighter if I wasn’t smoking?”. I let him have his hissy fit in front of all the staff, and when he finally came up from my stuff empty-handed, I sweetly showed him the awesome pictures of my student and me burning the energy bar. I then handed him the receipt and asked if I could be reimbursed for the lighter, since it was for school business! That is the first time I have ever seen him speechless. He just walked away.
    It’s a good thing he doesn’t know about all the times I didn’t get caught buying something I “shouldn’t”.

    1. The day I caught the preacher searching through my purse is the day I would leave that place never to return. He’d be lucky if I didn’t sic the cops on him. He had no right to go through your purse or desk! 👿

    2. 😯 You are not frakkin’ serious! That goes so far over the line I have no words. Even for a fundy that is outragious.

  19. or for teen soulwinning, the boys were required to wear dress shirt, dress pants, dress shoes, and a tie, while the girls just needed to show up in a knee length skirt – and they came in tie-dye t-shirts, jean skirts, flip flops….
    or the youth pastor preaches against TV, etc. – and then they have a teen activity, some sort of a race through town with written hints – any my son feels horrible because he didn’t get the hint, because he didn’t know the TV show it went with, because he didn’t watch TV. Preach against TV, then assume the kids watch it anyways???

    1. That goes in the same vain as fundamentalist preachers who condemn other Christians for their so-called “worldliness” because they watch movies and TV shows, listen to contemporary music, or read books that don’t conform to one way of thinking. Then one day you hear them make reference to/quote/use ideas from those same movies, shows, music, or books.

      A few make the hypocrisy even worst by claiming that it is okay for them because they are “discerning” enough to handle it.

  20. “Thou shalt not get caught” is the first fundamentalist commandment and every young fundy learns it at (or over) their parent’s knee. And the second is like unto it: “That shalt have a really good plan for hiding your behavior and explaining it away if it should be discovered.”

    LOL! Truer words were never spoken.

  21. I saw movies mentioned in this post, and it reminded me of a story. At youth group one day, a guy was giving a pretty typical fundy sermon. He allowed some questions at the end. In the message, he mentioned how rated R movies are a sin. He said that because of that, he doesn’t go to the movie theater.

    My friend asked, “Why?” His reply was because someone might see him there and think he went to a rated R movie. My friend responded again, “But they’re at the movied too.”

    This stumped the person speaking. I don’t think that my friend’s point ever crossed their mind. We were in middle school at the time. The 13 year old intellect was stronger than the religious fundamentalist. 😳

    1. I remember watching a podcast of a sermon from Francis Chan where he mentioned this once. His point was that he hoped he was living a life that made others assume the best of him, not the worst. That if people knew him well enough to care what movie he watched, that they’d judge him by the rest of his life, and that would give them the answer of “what movie is he here to see?”

      1. It seems so backwards. Should Xians be least afraid of being judged by their believing friends? It seems like we’re the most afraid.

  22. You guys, “Thou shalt not get caught” is ingrained in every human being. It would be nice to say the Fundies invented it, but they didn’t. The sad truth is, every person who measures himself or herself to a standard of righteousness is guilty of hypocrisy. The unique hypocrisy of Fundamentalism is that they place odd, trivial things ahead of what the Bible really commands and they call those trivial things holiness and being right with God.

    To place not going to a movie ahead of giving to the poor, for example, is embedded, cultural hypocrisy. To scream at boys for having long hair and then look the other way when a man molests a child is embedded hypocrisy. Worrying about music and slacks and playing bingo and trick or treating while excusing wife beating, child abuse, financial fraud, cruelty of speech, bullying, adultery, and gross confidence in men is hypocrisy because it is a claim to righteousness and the substance itself is mere corruption.

    But in terms of having double standards that we apply to ourselves and kidding ourselves about the standards we set for others but excuse in our own behavior, I think we’re all just as hypocritical (or at least just as prone to it) as anybody, including Fundamentalists. Do be careful what you assert about the hypocrisy of others, in terms of them not living up to what they profess. Those statements have a way of coming back to haunt you.

    (Voice of experience here!)
    BASSENCO, Too Frequently a Hypocrite

      1. The only way to not be a hypocrite is to not be a sinner. But the way to not approve of hypocrisy as a religion is to follow Christ and prize Him.

    1. I agree to a point. Do I believe in a moral code that I hopelessly fail at? Yes absolutely. However, I admit it. I don’t claim to be good. I think there is a difference between being a hypocrite (wearing a mask), and admitting you need God’s grace. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for there’s is the kingdom of God.

      1. Sure, there’s a big difference. And the poor in spirit truly are blessed. But I don’t think they do stuff like this. Hypocritical actions are bad, and we are all guilty of them, so we have to be careful of pointing fingers. Hypocritical doctrine and hypocritical teachings are certainly fair game and ought to be up for review. But so casually lumping a lot of people together as hypocrites—you can only do that with a gift of a certain level of blindness to your own hypocrisy.

        You know, it’s like wishing somebody else were dead. Maybe you sincerely do wish it. Maybe some higher power acknowledges that other person deserves death. But your own frail estate makes wishing another person dead a bad idea. Ditto with calling out hypocrisy in this fashion. We are all guilty of hypocritical thinking and hypocritical outlook. So we ought to refrain from so gleefully pointing it out. Then again, hypocrisy of doctrine and hypocrisy of teaching, culturally approved hypocrisy: they all need to be addressed and when proved, rebuked.

        1. Oh I see what your saying now. Yes I agree we should never delight in people failings or falls. Would we want others to do the same to us? Thank you for explaining further.

      2. The difference to me is the person who swaggers in, loudly proclaiming his own superiority to others, verses the humble person meekly admitting his fault and asking forgiveness (Luke 18:9-14).

  23. Back when my wife and I were pretty deep into the IFB, we wouldn’t allow our kids to see the movie (at home, of course) All Dogs Go to Heaven because…you know, just because. I guess it had something to do with the fact that we might have to have a discussion with our kids prior to watching the movie about dogs in (or not in) heaven. As IFB parents (at the time), we would much rather say no than filter an issue through the lens of a genuine Christian worldview. This might explain why young adults raised in IFB churches are looking elsewhere (or nowhere) for a church to attend. Oou kids are not necessarily looking for churches with a contemporary worship service or pastors with shaved heads and bottled water (there’s nothing wrong with either); they are looking for parents (and church leaders) to be genuine followers of Christ who will be real with them.

    1. Somehow my parents let me watch All Dogs Go To Heaven. (I don’t know how, since my mom didn’t want me watching 101 Dalmatians because of the villain’s name or Sleeping Beauty because Maleficent said “Hell.”) At any rate it’s one of my favorite childhood movies, and it has a great story of self-sacrifice besides.

  24. The very Orthodox Jews have laws about what they can and can’t do on the Sabbath, including pushing buttons. So there is an entire company in Israel that produces “workarounds” to allow people to make phone calls or ride an elevator on the Sabbath without breaking any laws.

    It’s institutionalized insanity trying to stay within the letter of the law but trouncing the spirit of the law.

    1. I always thought that about Sabbath timers too but everyone else around me was all like “oooh isn’t it amazing how wonderfully holy those Jews are?” 🙄

    2. Nobody arranges for a Shabbos goy any more (a non-Jew who performs various services for religious Jews on the Sabbath)?

      1. It would seem that in some very conservative sections of Israel there aren’t enough goy on the ground.

    3. In the same vein, I worked in a medical office, and one of our patients was an older lady who had hired a Kuwaiti man to be her live-in caretaker. She said that he observed Ramadan (the custom where Islamic people don’t eat, drink, or um, do other fun stuff from sunup to sundown), but that he and all his friends just changed their schedules during that time so they were awake at night and asleep during the day. That way they didn’t miss anything. 🙂

  25. One of my mother’s friends falsely accused me of hanging out with drug addicts. When I remained her that her daughter had dated a boy who got high and vandalized our Christian school, she said her daughter and the boy weren’t friends, but she had been “befriending” him, that there was a difference between being friends and “befriending” someone.

    1. Its too bad it was a “false accusation”. One could answer that ever popular WWJD? with “Hang out with drunks, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers and probably drug addicts as well”. I hope to be accused of that some day. I’m still to concerned about my “testimony” to be caught dead doing that now. God forgive me.

  26. I was raised in a disparate mix of fundamentalism (via Cedarville parents, so not the extreme kind) mixed with being sent to public school. The hypocrisy became complicated – to square dance in gym class at school is not to ‘dance’, but to ‘dance’ or attend a dance is sin, until then it wasn’t after a few years when enough time passed and we got older. To see certain movies on VHS was not sin, but to tell grandma that we did, was sin. But then when Passion of the Christ was released in theaters, the church that enforced these rules in the 80s took a group of adults to see it, including my grandma. To drink alcohol remains an unrelenting hallmark of sinning, but 5 cups of coffee daily and discussions of ‘coffee headache’ are acceptable. And to read novels containing all the things that are ‘bad’ – dancing, smoking, drinking, premarital touching, and rock n roll – are not really a problem, because reading is good regardless of the book. I need a couch to get it all detangled.

  27. Why should you always take 2 Baptists fishing with you?
    Because if you take only one, he drinks all your beer.

    Three religious truths:
    1) Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    2) Protestants don’t recognize the Pope as the head of the Church.
    3) Baptists don’t recognize each other in the liquor store.


  28. At Church of the Open Door, Dr. lol Norris Belcher made a decree from the pulpit one Sunday night that the school kids were not allowed to say”sucks”. He said, my kids dont say it and the school kids aren’t (ain’t) going to say it either. The punishment was to be 1 day suspension. His daughter was the first one suspended for saying it.

    1. He is the classic example of fundy dad who failed to reach his daughter. She is a jerk.

    2. Ahh, the fundy suspension for “potty words”. The principal of the fundy school I attended tried this. He called a (female) friend into his office for saying sucks and he asked her, “Why do you say something sucks? What does it suck? Sucks… what?” In THE creepiest tone. I was so disgusted. I told her she should’ve called him a dirty pervert & slapped him.
      Funniest thing, after sucks, crap, crud, freaking, stinking, dangit…etc. were banned the pastor’s wife, while teaching a class, shouted out, “Oh CRAP!!” just as the principal walked by. It was awesome. 🙂 Kids were being sent home left & right and parents were getting pissed because according to his rule, the parent had to pick up the kid immediately and remove them from the premises. Most parents worked their A$$es off to afford the fundy school so getting yanked out of work on a daily basis got old fast & after about a week he then changed it to an “in-school” suspension where we were forced to clean all day. 👿 👿 👿

      1. Funny thing is, I still don’t like the expression “you suck”, so instead I say, “go suck a rope”. Which probably makes even less sense. 😛

  29. This posting calls for a Double… it’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere… oh wait it’s 4:45 here, almost Yabadabadoooo time!

  30. Growing up we were not allowed to have beer. At a birthday celebration, I said screw it and ordered one. Dad looked at the beer after it came and said: “sounds good, I’ll have the same”. That was a good day.

    1. Whoa – good day, indeed. I’d be completely speechless if my dad ever did that, and looking around for the hidden cameras.

      It’s a nice dream, but it won’t ever happen for me…

  31. Hypocrisy really is so human nature, and it certainly is something that I struggle with (and no doubt will continue to struggle with). Any church or person, of any theological persuasion, can be guilty of it. Everyone is going to be hypocritical sometimes, but you don’t have be perfect and sinless to avoid living in constant hypocrisy.

    I think the reason why it is so prevalent in fundamentalism is their insistence on hiding and denying problems instead of dealing with them. The problems don’t just go away by themselves, and they don’t want to admit they were wrong or changed their minds on something, so hypocrisy is the natural outcome.

    Of course, when kids grow up in homes and churches where the same people they are told are the “most spiritual” are the ones who openly condemn what they themselves do when they think no one is watching, it isn’t a surprise when they grow up to be even bigger hypocrites.

  32. I’m glad there are a few somewhat reasonable people here. Unless you believe in an evil doctrine like sinless perfection you can’t expecet anyone to be perfect.

    Everyone has besetting sins and just because they have to fight hard at them doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to condemn any other sin till they do. I’ve seen this “oh they won’t drink liquor but they’ll eat fried food” argument on a couple pages on here and I just watnt to say how ridiculous that is. It only takes one drink for someone to be drunk with wine, wherein is excess instead of filled with the Spirit. It only takes one fool starting his car after a binge to kill another person. No one ever killed another person by eating his own fried chicken. Gluttony is wrong, but just because it is doesn’t mean drunkenness isn’t too. And it tgakes a whole lot more chicken to make a glutton than it takes wine to make a winebibber.

    1. It DOES take more than one drink to get drunk with wine, Smarty Pants. You are completely disengenous to state otherwise.

      I have, during some periods of time (when I was able to afford it), had wine/beer/cocktail on a daily basis. I have been somewhere between buzzed and tipsy maybe twice in the last few years since I have been drinking. NEVER truly “drunk.” I have never driven while intoxicated. I don’t beat my wife or kid, whether drinking or not.

      Yes, some people get drunk, and some of them drive and have accidents that harm or kill others. MOST people don’t.

      Also, parents set the example for their children in almost everything. I drink in front of my child, who is only a year old now, but I won’t stop drinking in front of him once he is old enough to figure out what I am drinking. I drink very responsibly, and that is what I will teach him.

      Now, for the gluttony argument. If I ate a ridiculous amount of food, unhealthy or not, my child would see that. He would probably mimic what I do. From that perspective, yes, my (hypothetical)gluttony would harm him, because I am setting the example of what is acceptable.

      1. George, you know that it is spelled “disingenuous.” Why must you taunt us here?

      2. “I have been somewhere between buzzed and tipsy maybe twice in the last few years since I have been drinking. NEVER truly “drunk.””

        “I’ve hopped on the porn site and I looked a little bit long at that woman as she walked bouncily across the mall once or twice, but I’ve NEVER truly “lusted.””

        And…”smarty pants?” Are we 12?

        1. Oh, and I figured that “Dumbass” wouldn’t have gone over so well, so I used Smarty Pants instead.

        2. Actually I wasn’t equating drunkeness with lust; I was stretching the point to illustrate the absurdity of your argument. You’ve flirted with the very edge of line once or twice, but never went over it, so that proves that drinking is safe?

        3. My point was that MOST people drink responsibly. SOME do stupid things. However, it’s not the alcohol that is the problem. The Fundy approach is to demonize the substance, instead of the behavior. It is the behavior that is the problem.

        4. Ok, Joe: Truce! Actually I’m the poster who normally goes by “Miriam.” I created this Mark Mayes guy for the Poe challenge, after Don told one of the last attempts to fake everyone out: You’ll never be able to out POE Pastor Fred. But thanks for playing.”

          I took that as a personal challenge, to try and get people riled up one more time, even after Pastor Fred was revealed and they were on their guard. I posted this ridiculousness over here just to make my Mark Mayes cover in the Poe comments more believable.

          But now I’m too tired of trying to come up with ridiculous reasoning to do it anymore. Oh, and when I was posting the beer=porn comment, I was drinking Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Although Seafarers Ale is my favorite.

        5. I’ll have the bottle of Young’s in my fridge tonight in your honor. Well played, madam.

    2. I see you’re redefining the word methuo, which doesn’t refer to imbibing an alcoholic drink, but rather to intoxication, usually habitual. Nice.
      If it’s sin, the notion of harming others is irrelevant. Sin which hurts no one is still sin. This digression about relative harm is just that, digression. I certainly agree that we should be filled with the Spirit as opposed to drunk with wine, but I don’t agree that alcohol follows the principal of contagion.

  33. I think part of the reason they can’t back down from the standards is that they believe it’s really God convicting them. It’s individualistic extra-Biblical revelation, and to admit they were wrong on standards calls into question the way they believe God speaks to them.

    Then other things start falling apart…the person God told me to marry, the mission field God told me to go to….

  34. I know for me, what bothers me about the drinking versus gluttony double standard among IFB’s is that they will usually not criticize drinking because of its effects on others. They use the verse about your body being the temple of the Holy Ghost and how we should glorify God with our bodies. Unfortunately, that verse seems to come with an exception clause, visible only to them, regarding gorging oneself at church picnics and buffets.
    Truthfully, I think one reason why gluttony has become a besetting sin of fundies is because it’s one of the few things that they’re allowed to do for fun. I have been to so many get-togethers with fundies where it seemed like the only activities available to do were eating . . . and watching kids run around . . . and talking . . . and eating some more.
    Also because a lot of fundies (though not all) tend to be lower middle class or poor and to run themselves ragged doing church related activities, there is often not a lot of time or money to eat healthy food. Plus, they regard being overly concerned about a healthy diet as being hippy-ish and loosely associated with those lib’ral vegetarians.
    Most fundies I have known who were not on this unhealthy end of the spectrum were all the way on the other end–they only ate organic, natural, raw; only brown eggs and goat milk; drank nasty “green drink” supplements every day; etc. These fundies seemed to lump their eating habits together with their religious devotion. Certain families I have known who occupied this camp had large number of kids (between 8 and 12); yet they sacrificed proper clothing, education, safe transportation, and opportunities for their children, because all their money went towards expensive, elite “healthy” foods.
    Sadly, I have known very few fundies who didn’t either throw healthy eating to the wind, or take it to an extreme.

    1. Obsession with eating only the exactly right kind of food, to the point where that’s where most of your resources go when you could spend less and still eat well, could be construed as gluttony, if it is a point of pride.

      If it’s both a source of anxiety and a temporary cure for that anxiety, it could be called a neurosis. IIRC the term is orthorexia: attempting to control a feeling of being out of control by eating only the exact right types of food, which happen to be called “healthy” or “natural” or “organic.”

      A blogger in the Fatosphere argued that orthorexia and the rest of the hysteria over the rolling tide of fat is a symptom of fear of death. If we just do the exact right perfect thing, the delusion goes, we won’t have to suffer death. That sounds like a very Christian Fundamentalist attitude.

      Back on topic: I wonder if the hypocritical attitude that God knows all and sees all except what one does behind closed doors goes hand in hand with the usual fundamentalist child training system. Anybody who’s been through it, after all, knows that the parent is the ultimate punitive authority if you get caught. Lots of kids learn that there are ways not to get caught.

      1. I totally agree with that interpretation. With these families it seemed to be an odd conflation of religious fervor and obsession with health.
        One of these families (I knew 7 or 8) had previously attended a fundy church at which the pastor had preached a series of 5 sermons on “The Five White Evils” (white eggs, white flour, white sugar, and I don’t know what the other 2 were).
        Neurosis . . . the obvious product of a guilt-based system like fundamentalism. And, back to the main topic of the thread, obsession with physical health and diet is a perfect example of leading the “double life.” “To live is Christ, to die is gain”–but just in case it’s NOT gain, I’m never letting red meat past my lips or eating cooked food before 3 PM. Bring on the spirulina and wheat germ.
        Of course, they would never admit to being afraid to die. But what else explains such an obsession?
        Another anecdote on the subject of duplicity: The summer after my sophomore year at BJU, my mother and I both received phone calls from the Dean’s office (they called us at work), saying they had found evidence that I had performed lewd searches on search engines. I had allegedly typed “suck my d***” into a search field. Being a woman, I’m not sure what my motivation for this crime was supposed to be. When we protested, BJU insisted that they had printable evidence and just kept asking us to explain. A week later they told us that their screening program picks up lots of possible evidence of internet “crimes” by students. None of them are viable evidence that the student actually did anything wicked on the internet, but as the Dean’s office explained to us, “we sometimes question people when this happens, just to gauge their response.”
        So it’s perfectly fine to use deception for the sake of possibly catching someone typing dirty words into their own computer? Duplicity out the wazoo. The fact that they called my PARENT about this when I was 20 years old is another topic for another day.

    2. “Truthfully, I think one reason why gluttony has become a besetting sin of fundies is because it’s one of the few things that they’re allowed to do for fun.”

      I hadn’t thought of that before, but it really does make a lot of sense. The more extreme the fundamentalism, the fewer activities available to you (even fewer that are available to do as a church family), and most of the ones left aren’t anything physical. What you end up left with is mostly just church picnics, potlucks, and other eating events.

      The kids can play at those (mostly), but the older you are the more clothing/”modesty” requirements there are and the more restrictions there are on how you can interact with anyone of the opposite gender. Given that kind of environment, it really isn’t a surprise that anyone who isn’t a child can do little more then talk and eat.

      1. Kudos to whoever thought of that. That’s very insightful. It IS just about the only thing they do for fun, other than have singspirations. Potlucks and other food-themed gatherings are also often the only time people can gather with the opposite gender. (Even if they can’t sit anywhere near each other).

        And it’s cheap. More money for the missionaries, I mean pastor’s minivan fund, haymen?

        1. And I realize I’m playing fast and loose with the word “fun” there when I use it to describe singspirations.

        2. haha, thanks Miriam 🙂
          I remember doing singspirations at church members’ houses, and even THOSE were loaded down with sugary treats.
          Another factor at play in all of this is the fact that when all the women are asked to bring “something” to the get-together, everyone is naturally going to cook up their most delicious, fatty, calorific recipe. It’s one of the few opportunities for fundy women to show off their talents and get praised. No one gets ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aahs’ for a carrot/celery tray.

  35. My super pious fundy KJV only brother in law would never darken the door of a theater, but has no problem with watching at home (what I consider to be) highly inappropriate movies (explicit loves scenes, etc.)

  36. Good point on the fried chicken and gravy. It has always puzzled me how our fundie bretheren can preach with such zeal against smoking cigarettes, (because our bodies are “temples”), and yet reserve any condemnation of the morbidly obese, unhealthy “temples” that occupy the pews and lecturns. Somehow gluttonly is preferable to inhaling the smoke of a leaf.

  37. It is just too bad that most “food” today is genetically modified or processed to death. We are not eating real, God-given food today and the result is seen in everyone, even those who are not gluttons.

    As to the fundy rules, thank God for Colossians 2!

  38. Our church growing up had quite a few exceptions to rules. You weren’t allowed to go to the movies, but it was okay if it was showing in IMAX or if you purchased it illegally online (I guess stealing isn’t a sin?). You weren’t allowed to have more than one piercing in each ear, unless your husband wanted you to have more. We weren’t allowed to curse, but occasionally watched movies with cursing in them (until we got a TV Guardian, which never worked). We weren’t allowed to listen to Contemporary Christian music, but sang a couple of circa 80s Ray Boltz songs. Secular music was obviously forbidden, except Christmas music, when Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You would be heard playing from the pastor’s daughter’s car. I’m pretty sure I could keep this up all night, but I think I’ll spare you. And myself for repressing trauma’s sake…

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