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Found 164 results

  1. 47of74

    Fundie Signs

    Just saw this... What the hell? That's everything!
  2. Lisafer

    Sabbatarianism

    Since today is Sunday, I thought I'd make my first real blog post about Sabbath observance in my family of origin. I wrote this a couple months ago, and was waiting for an opportunity to share it with others. Enjoy! Or be appalled...whichever. In Christian circles, there’s a range of views on the Sabbath and how it is to be observed. Most Protestants agree that the Sabbath is on Sunday, based on the New Testament description of Jesus rising on the first day of the week and Acts 20, verse 7: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples were come together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” (KJV of course!) To celebrate the Sabbath on any other day could be perceived as a denial of the Resurrection. Reformed Presbyterians, such as I was, proclaim their freedom from the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. They chow down on ham, bacon, and shellfish, wear mixed fibers, shave their beards, and shake hands with menstruating women. But somehow they think the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” is still in force and now refers to keeping Sunday holy as a day of rest. There’s really only a very shaky basis for that in the New Testament books of the Bible. Sure, according to Acts, Paul preached on a Sunday, but there’s no indication that the Gentile believers felt bound by any legalities of the Jewish religion. None. But Reformed Presbyterians can be very…very…fond of rules and legalities. Really, it might be easier for them to follow all the laws of the Pentateuch, rather than trying to make distinctions. For most of evangelical Christendom, keeping the Sabbath holy would probably mean showing up for church on Sunday. No fuss, no muss, and out by noon to make it to Applebee’s. If you’re Reformed Presbyterian, though, attending church is only the first step into a legalistic quicksand. This is an area where it’s definitely hard to find any consistency of practice, even in the tiny denomination I grew up in. Some people are hardliners (even cooking meals the day before to avoid excessive work on the sabbath) some are middle ground (reading secular novels and watching Netflix is allowed) and some people are so lax that they even go out to eat at restaurants, committing the double sin of violating the sabbath and causing others to violate it as well (those poor cooks at Mickey D’s!). Working at a job is very much frowned upon unless it is perceived as necessary, like nursing, emergency services, etc. To a well-balanced person, this probably sounds like a lot of fuss over a trivial matter. But when you’re a Biblical literalist and come across Numbers 15:32-36, a horrifying story about a man being stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, you are bound to interpret Sabbath-breaking as a very serious matter. If God killed someone for picking up sticks, and God is still the same today, then the slightest infraction of the rules means that you are deserving of the same death. I cannot stress enough that I am not kidding here. Any thought, any action that violates the Sabbath is deserving of death by stoning. That is what I was taught, and that is what I believed. But the Reformed Presbyterians don’t want to end up on the news. They won't stone you literally, only figuratively. As long as you realize how worthy of death you are, and are seized with crippling anxiety as a result, they’ve done their job. So how could I break the Sabbath? Let me count the ways, as a child of parents who took everything, including Sabbath-keeping, to painful extremes. Also as a child with untreated and undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Sunday dawns, and I rise from bed. I do not perform my normal exercise routine: that, of course, would be sacrilegious. Going for a walk might be permitted later, as long as it’s kept to a gentle pace and a reverential attitude. Thank God for hot showers. At least in my family of origin, we were permitted to shower. Nobody wants a houseful of stinky people, not even Jesus. He was grateful for the prostitute that poured incense on him, wasn’t he? I’ve heard and read plenty of debates about the use of electricity on the Sabbath, because somebody is presumably working at the power plant. However, the general consensus is that electricity is necessary to the function of present-day society, so somebody has to work at the power plant. It most likely won’t be a Reformed Presbyterian, though. Breakfast is not fancy, maybe some scrambled eggs, to keep labor minimal. Big involved breakfasts are not for the Sabbath. From breakfast until time to leave for church is about two hours of trying desperately to keep my thoughts focused on what we called “Sunday things.” We weren’t supposed to even think about schoolwork, jobs, hobbies, or, basically, anything fun. God, sin, death, Bible, God, sin, death, Bible. God, sin, death, list of chores…wait, that’s a worldly thought-oh-God-forgive-me-for-that-in-Jesus’-name-amen. God, sin, death, Bible… As a family, we drove quite a ways to church on Sundays (only sinners and misguided people went to the regular local churches). The family van had to be gassed up on Saturday for the trip, because it would be a sin to fill the tank on Sunday morning. That would be unnecessary work, and also involve the sin of buying and selling on the Sabbath, which gets its own special mention in Sabbatarian hell. Many times, the drive to church included memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which is second only to the Bible among Reformed Presbyterians. It's a screed more dry than sawdust, but at least the questions provided a distraction from trying to shut off all non-Sabbath-related thoughts. Yes, it was like trying not to think of a pink elephant! Church was the main event of the day, of course. I don’t need to get into the routines of that here: the music was the Psalms of David, there was no accompaniment and we sucked at singing; the prayers were long, the sermons Calvinistic to the core. There was no excitement or running up and down the aisles shouting “Hallelujah!” As they say, you know you’re a Presbyterian when the preacher says something you agree with and you smile as loudly as you can. We were the Frozen Chosen. After church came the potluck dinner: everyone brought food (prepared the day before, of course) and the congregants shared a meal. This was usually the best part of the day, because for some reason you were allowed to think about food. Not too much, or you’d make an idol of it (ha! like Pepsi!), but at least you were allowed to enjoy lasagna and jello cake. Cue the Bible verse about Jesus plucking grain to eat on the Sabbath, blah, blah…Of course there were quaverings of unease even about the meal. Were we putting too much work into setting up tables and preparing food? Were people spending too much time chatting about worldly things? Were the children playing tag outside instead of walking quietly? Once the meal was concluded and we went home, the rest of the day stretched out gray and bleak. Catechism questions, Bible reading, sermons on audiocassette, a small supper, Psalm-singing in the evening (since it wasn’t public worship, my mother played the piano for that, thank heaven). We had a collection of books determined to be worthy of Sunday reading, so we read those over and over. I kid you not, some of them were republished tracts from the 19th century. Small children were not allowed to play with toys, except for the Noah’s Ark with its little plastic animals. Sometimes I could sneak a nap in, always with guilt about how I was using the Lord’s Day for sleeping. And most of us went to bed as soon as possible so we could end the misery. I used to get horribly depressed on Saturdays, knowing that Sunday was coming. That one day felt as long as the rest of the week put together. My OCD made it worse. OCD by its nature focuses on a source of anxiety, and my Sabbath anxiety was fear of sinning by thinking about secular things. I spent a lot of Sabbaths mentally chanting prayers for forgiveness every few minutes. If this sounds miserable, believe me, it was. The restrictions on what could be done on the Sabbath would have been bad enough without the sheer torture of trying to control every single thought that crossed your mind. Instead of being a day of rest, it became the most labor-intensive, mind-fucked day of the week. And they told me that Heaven would be one long, everlasting Sabbath.
  3. Lisafer

    Why I'm Not Pro-Life (Anymore)

    I grew up absolutely entrenched in pro-life (or pro-birther) beliefs. I had no doubt whatsoever that abortion was murder. Women who had had abortions had sinned heinously, and abortion providers were basically demons in white coats. My family was pretty quiet about their pro-life stance, though. We were not found protesting clinics or participating in marches. My parents were not demonstrative people, and also not terribly interested in something like abortion that did not directly affect them. They were completely anti-hormonal birth control, of course, and I would say that their beliefs about fertility pretty much aligned with the Quiverfull movement. I remember once, in my teens, helping a local pro-life activist host a dinner for some nationally known protesters that had come to the city. I don’t remember their names, I just remember they were considered important and well-regarded. And I remember the very odd vibe I got from them when they came to the dinner. They seemed fanatical, focused on one thing only: “saving the unborn” or whatever they called it. They made me uncomfortable, a feeling I couldn’t reconcile with the belief that they were doing the Lord’s work. (So many times, growing up, my feelings did not align with my beliefs. I try harder now to pay attention to what my emotions are telling me). Still, even as I grew up and phased through flavors of Christianity, the pro-life beliefs remained with me. I took no hormonal birth control, fearing that some poor fertilized egg would perish in my womb if I did. Unlike my parents, though, I saw no problem using barrier methods to prevent pregnancies. No way was I going to pop out kid after kid, especially when it turned out that pregnancy was hell on me mentally and physically. As I became more of a feminist and less of a fundie, I struggled to understand the hate directed at pro-lifers. (Naturally, any hate we directed at “abortionists” was well-deserved). I didn’t get why pro-choice people were so angry. I wanted to be a feminist, but I still thought abortion should be illegal. I read an early version of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” and a tiny crack showed in my thinking because the women who wrote the book were so obviously caring, respectful, and determined to make the world a better place. But they were still wrong about abortion. Weren’t they? But it was in the throes of hyperemesis, puking my guts out, unable to keep down even water, medicated to a state of semi-consciousness, that I heard about women who terminated wanted pregnancies because they couldn’t take another day of illness. And I understood how they felt. I was able to keep my baby. I survived. But for once, I had stood for a moment in someone else’s shoes, and the crack where understanding kept leaking into my brain got wider. I progressed slowly but steadily in my thinking, every rerun of my beliefs beginning to play a little differently. I stopped taking the Bible at face value; I stopped believing in Hell; I became a little less of a Christian and a little more of something else every day. I read conversations on Free Jinger and other websites. I read how pro-life people turned pro-choice. I tried so hard to understand. People were saying that beliefs that I had held were wrong. I wanted to see past the hate and anger (lots on both sides) and understand what I was missing. It was like a puzzle, and I couldn’t find the last piece. Finally, one day, everything came together. It clicked. What I was doing, as a pro-life supporter, was taking away bodily autonomy and personal choice. It wasn’t about the “human life” of the cells inside someone else’s body: it was about taking away somebody else’s freedom. I had valued my own freedom enough to defy my parents and my church so that I could live my own life. What was I doing taking away someone else’s freedom and choice? What right did I have to do that? I don’t think it was ever about the “baby.” The baby is the red herring, a distraction from what is really happening when protesters block an abortion clinic or harass an abortion provider. It’s about control, about making sure that other people follow what we have deemed “the rules.” What I began so slowly to understand was that it is not my right, or anybody else’s right, to demand that another human create, or grow, or terminate, or deliver a baby. That decision is not mine. I can’t speak for others, but for me the pro-life teachings outlasted my belief in Jesus and my belief in the Christian Heaven and Hell. I think that’s an indicator of how deeply it is ingrained for fundamentalists. I still struggle when I think about abortion; that dark feeling of horror still floats to the top. But if I had a friend that needed me, I would walk by her side to the abortion clinic or to the delivery room, whichever one she was going to. And now I respect abortion providers, because they face all kinds of obstacles as they try to help women. Women that have had to fight through crowds of screaming protesters for their chance at freedom and choice. I think my beliefs changed mostly because I was open to change, but if you want to help someone come out of the pro-life movement, I think respect really helps. When I read respectful articles about being pro-life, read stories about abortion providers, and well-reasoned thoughts on the internet, I could grasp the ideas without being bogged down in puzzled distress at name-calling and accusations of stupidity. I understand, though, that some people are venting justified rage about pro-life beliefs, and that’s okay too. But if your goal is to help pro-lifers understand why they’re wrong, then remember that these beliefs run almost as deep as believing that the Earth is round, and that it requires more than an explosive argument to win them over. It’s like the shifting of tectonic plates, that happens slowly but changes the face of the world. It’s a paradigm shift.
  4. Lisafer

    Introduction

    Hi everyone, and thanks so much for welcoming me into the Free Jinger community! I'm very excited to be here. Please pardon any glitches with my new blog, since I'm just learning. To introduce myself: I was born into a large family, and homeschooled all the way through high school. My parents were from fairly normal American middle-class backgrounds, not fundie at all, but over time they became absolutely entrenched in the Christian fundamentalist way of thinking. We attended church services at a Reformed Presbyterian church (RPCNA) for almost my entire childhood, after my parents left a more mainstream denomination. I'm going to use fake names in this blog, if I have to use names, as my siblings did not ask to be part of my story. I might change a few minor details as well, to keep certain people's privacy. Not that any of you would know us! We were very small fish in the pond, and my parents' attempts to indoctrinate us failed miserably for the most part. We are a family of stubborn, determined people, and by our late teens most of us were most determinedly going our own way. But I think that all of us, in different ways, were hurt by the attitudes and doctrines of fundamentalism. I, personally, was extremely hurt. I have had multiple counselors to work through years of guilt and fear induced by black-and-white doctrines and controlling personalities. I have mental illness, which was exacerbated by my upbringing. And I want to write about what I went through. It helps me process, and maybe it will help somebody else too.
  5. 47of74

    Toxic Christianity

    Just saw this blog post from a guy who found a truck with more than a few bumper stickers on them...
  6. From over on the Botkinette's thread: I was curious about Beth Moore, so googled a bit and came across Thabiti Anyabwile's May 3, 2018 blog post on the Gospel Coalition's website titled An Apology to Beth Moore and My Sisters Is this as significant as it seems to be? Will Thabiti lose his Gospel Coalition cred by this change of heart? I've recalled seeing his name along with some other Patriarchal/complementarian heavy hitters, but other than that cursory information, don't know a lot about him. Just click on the title for the full text of what seems to be a heartfelt and sincere apology, but is there something missing, as though he's vowing to be nicer, but is still a committed to his original views on a woman's role in life and ministry? This is the final paragraph: Curious if this is presaging a sea change for Anyabwile or just seemingly enlightened version of same old same old.
  7. Some fundies have changed over the years. Some changes are pretty minor while others are rather dramatic. For example, Zsuzsanna Anderson used to crap all over medicated hospital births but opted to go to the hospital when she was in labor with #10 and loved every minute of her epidural. Erika Shupe has sent her children to public school. The Jeubs have as well. Which fundie change shocked you the most? Which change do you want to know more about? It would be pretty interesting to make a list of the fundie transformations. But kind of hard to do.
  8. Some of Winston Blackmore's family presented at a symposium in Salt Lake City. Since the FLDS and their break-offs are some of my pet fundie topics, I found the article interesting - but the comments are often even more so. http://www.sltrib.com/home/4165574-155/polygamists-describe-how-to-live-in Blackmore's more sophisticated than the FLDS, but I'm not convinced the lifestyle is any healthier.
  9. Here's Pat Robertson, being the second biggest douche nozzle in America to a grieving mother. Pat. Go fuck yourself. Then eat a bag of dicks.
  10. Leftitinmysnood

    Israel Wayne is having a Pity Party

    Has anyone else been watching Israel Wayne whine about how he feels like he doesn't belong because he hasn't rejected fundamentalism? Apparently he's getting all judgey on twitter. "Never judge a system by its abuses. Judge it by its tenets and core values." One wonders why his is protesting so much now. . . http://www.familyrenewal.org/i-apologize/
  11. So I think there is an FLDS family in my area. I have to say I am surprised since I don't live in Utah. Does anyone know much about smaller sects or singular families going off on their own?
  12. This happened in Australia The couple fortunately was able to locate an alternative venue and another minister for their November nuptials. As for North, he should go perform an intimate act upon himself in traffic.
  13. JMO

    Outdaughtered

    Anyone have more information on this family? From their posts they appear conservative Christian. Anyone? Anyone?
  14. lawlifelgbt

    Can we talk about Fundies and food?

    I just wanted to start an open thread on how much fundies screw up with feeding their kids. If I were a fundie kid, you bet your butt I'd be always sneaking food. Who do you think, among fundies, is best or worse regarding food?
  15. "In the past three years, alarm bells have begun to ring about the role religion may play in fostering, or concealing abuse. There have been two substantial inquiries into domestic violence in Australia in recent years. Both have identified religion as a significant, under-reported problem." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/domestic-violence-church-submit-to-husbands/8652028?WT IMO very interesting article about how churches fail abused women and how toxic and dangerous the doctrine of "male headship" is.
  16. More here: www.rawstory.com/2017/05/study-finds-link-between-brain-damage-and-religious-fundamentalism/
  17. I just saw this on my Facebook feed, and I didn't see this mentioned yet. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/03/trinity-broadcasting-network-trial-did-1st-family-of-christian-broadcasting-cover-up-13-year-old-granddaughters-alleged-rape/
  18. 47of74

    John Oliver on grifting fundies

    Yeah I know this is from 2015, but I just came across this today. Among other things it talks about fundies and their love of private jets....
  19. I have no idea what's going on but I walked in to a rousing cat fight complete with screen caps. If you don't know what's happening either, you should go check it out. Carrying on from here!
  20. Lately I have fallen down the wormhole of Zero Waste and Minimalism and homesteading on the internet and I am hooked! Some of it, such as making your own laundry soap and buying second hand seems similar to the Duggar family pre-fame when they shopped at garage sales and squirreled away money. With this mindset if they gardened with all those hands they could can, raise their own meat, and grow food too which would save money. Also seems oddly "Un Duggery" to waste money on disposables if they're so obsessed with money. Plus if they are so worried about their bodies being temples why wouldn't they obsess about nutrition vs gorging on tater tots? I knew a Mormon family who was 110% essential oils and organic food in addition to modesty because of how they interpreted the Bible. And wouldn't all the liter from the disposable plates/napkins in landfills make them feel guilty about polluting God's earth? Food scraps alone for all those people would compost into a lot of top soil. And vegetables are so much cheaper than meat/tater tots too, why don't they eat more of that? So confusing!
  21. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/02/fgm-happened-to-me-in-white-midwest-america
  22. HerNameIsBuffy

    Christmas Appalachia 1965

    I ran ran across that documentary on youtube and it really moved me and brought fundies to mind, even though it's not what it was about. From 1965 which is only a couple of years before I was born - such a stark contrast in how the media presents things then compared to know. Frank statements about their abject poverty and no softening of the message. people featured talking about how their kids aren't in school due to lack of proper clothing, concern over what their lives will be without an education, families having child after child while expressing fear of the kids they have not having enough to eat or basic necessities. But no mention of the elephant in the room...why are you having more when you cannot care for those you already have? i wonder what these people would think of some of the fundies we talk about. Not the Bates or the Duggars with their money - but like the Nauglers...choosing to deny their children an education, choosing to raise them without running water or a decent home. Would they understand why anyone would chose to underecuate and deprive their children when they are alternatives? anyway..just made me sad. And extremely grateful for my life. I don't wallow but there are times I feel bad for not being able to give my kids all I wanted to give them in life...sometimes resent life not being as easy as I would like. Then I watch something like this that happened in my lifetime (as I doubt all their problems vanished in the following couple years before I showed up) and I think I need to eat a big bowl of stfu because I clearly have no concept of living life of this kind of hardship.
  23. Spotted this. Sounds like not only were the staff at the schools encouraged to spank the kids but most of the staff weren't even qualified. The students got a SOTDRT type education with a healthy dose of prejudice thrown in there for good measure. It's crazy to think that stuff like this has been going on for almost 3 decades without anyone asking any questions. I think this is the reason I'm not a big fan of the idea of faith schools. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/accelerated-christian-education-europe-ofsted-dfe-inspection-report-a7502616.html
  24. JMO

    Vyckie Garrison Podcast

    So I found this on Youtube. I poked around on FJ and don't see it having been shared before. Very interesting. I know of her but haven't read much on her blog etc. I thought that this was a nice concise video of her history and her evolution. She also talks about the Duggars.
  25. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/uncovering-problem-forced-marriage-u-s/ I got this link in my facebook feed a few days ago. It was harrowing to watch. Ms. Van Harn mentions growing up in a fundie sect in Michigan, but the name of it is never mentioned. Anyone know what particular branch it is? It also mentions ultra-orthodox Jews.
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