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Our fundie friends (and what FJ has taught me)


Hisey

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About ten years ago, Mr. Hisey and I lived in a small town and we became friends with another couple about our age.

The reason we got to know them was that we all were in the process of adopting children from the same country. We went through 3 of our 4 adoptions together. Adopting a child is a very emotional process, and we grew very close to this family during these years.

But as time went by, my husband and I became more and more puzzled about our friends. The husband didn't know what to make of me--he seemed very baffled by me. Occasionally, he'd say mean things to me, as though they were a joke. Once he said (across a dinner table full of people), "You know, Hisey, the only reason we are friends with you is because of the kids." Then he laughed, so I was like. . .OK. . .a joke, I guess.

The husband seemed much more comfortable with Mr. Hisey, and also really impressed by him. (Mr. Hisey is a professional person, and also good at things around the house, like cooking). More than once, he told me I was "lucky" to have gotten Mr. Hisey, what with him being good at cooking and all.

The wife was a very passive person, and uneducated (I think she has a learning disability), and she never seemed to know what to make of me. I had opinions and I said them, and was perfectly happy discussing any topic with the menfolk. This seemed to make them uncomfortable. I couldn't understand why.

I couldn't have called them fundies, because I didn't know fundies existed. I'd grown up with an abusive father, but I thought he was an aberation. I didn't know there were whole parts of society who thought women should defer to men. Never. I'd never heard the word "submissive" before.

Our little girls began to grow up, and I grew increasingly baffled and irritated about how they were raising their girls. I think we irritated them, too. Their little girls were raised to be polite. That was of huge importance. The dad used to say that he didn't care how much he'd have to pay in therapy when they grew older, they were going to be polite now. I thought that most girls naturally learned politeness, and that politeness was a terrible habit to have when you are 18 and at a frat party. We tried to teach our girls assertiveness, a skill that doesn't always come naturally to women.

My oldest daughter was outspoken, often dirty, energetic, athletic and smart--and we encouraged all these things without thinking about it. Their oldest was polite (of course), and amazingly neat and tidy. I always felt embarrassed by my daughter's messiness, her tantrums, her outspoken ways. My second daughter came along, even wilder, more outspoken, more energetic. They used corporal punishment (I was witness to it), we did not, ever.

The wife was once my closes friend, but I couldn't figure out why we had so little to talk about. She had little interest in anythign besides her family and God. I didn't like how she dressed her little girls in impractical clothes that wouldn't allow them to run and play. I thought it was hypocritical that she dressed them that way as little kids, then once they became teens, such clothes were "immodest." I thought it was sending a mixed message.

We moved away, and I learned about fundies. It was like a light bulb moment. I was like, "That's why they didn't like me! That's why they looked our little girls in such a funny way!" During the years since we moved, they have cooled towards us. While they were once our dearest friends, now we see them maybe once a year. When we are in town, they don't make much of an effort to see us. That kind of hurts.

I cannot say how their girls turned out (they are now young teens), because I don't know them well enough anymore. I will say that my own kids settled down. They are in elementary and middle school, and they have no behavior problems and get along fine with everyone. The "wildness" my friends frowned upon was really just early childhood.

I guess I want to thank FJ for teaching me about fundies and helping me understand the world a little better.

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Ooo, interesting story!! I too have bonded immensely with people who are quite religious over adoption! Isn't it funny how that works? Thanks for sharing Hisey!

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Because sometimes you feel like people dislike you or are irked at you for just being you? I've definitely had that happen! And it's usually because they aren't comfortable with strong, smart women, so screw them! I also think the most skilled fundies make us non fundies feel like we're doing something wrong, even if we know we're not!

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That's a great point, thanks for your insight. At the time, I wouldn't have thought of myself as "strong" or "smart", but maybe he was threatened by me a bit, somehow. The hubbie was an insecure guy, full of self-doubt, so it'd make sense. Thanks.

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You're welcome dear!! Idk, I've had the same problem with some male friends who aren't used to strong females. I question or challenge them and their damn heads explode. Needless to say, I don't hang out with them anymore, because who needs that shit!

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I have definitely experienced this problem from some male coworkers and relatives, they get very uncomfortable or annoyed when I question something or state an opinion. In fact, it pings my "this person might be a fundie" radar when I experience this. Last time, I figured out that a male coworker was a fundie before it was confirmed via other coworkers that he was.

Also, he got really uncomfortable around his female boss who happened to the be main breadwinner for her 4 kids, her while husband stayed at home. We were all out to lunch and she was talking about how she and her husband worked their non-traditional arrangement. I never saw someone squirm so much.

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I have definitely experienced this problem from some male coworkers and relatives, they get very uncomfortable or annoyed when I question something or state an opinion. In fact, it pings my "this person might be a fundie" radar when I experience this. Last time, I figured out that a male coworker was a fundie before it was confirmed via other coworkers that he was.

Also, he got really uncomfortable around his female boss who happened to the be main breadwinner for her 4 kids, her while husband stayed at home. We were all out to lunch and she was talking about how she and her husband worked their non-traditional arrangement. I never saw someone squirm so much.

Am I the only one who takes a perverse pleasure in watching them squirm? Because I totally do. Alas, my "friend" who has problems with strong women is not a fundie, just an asshole.

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No, you're not alone. I love watching people like that squirm. It's like karma biting them on the ass.

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Am I the only one who takes a perverse pleasure in watching them squirm? Because I totally do. Alas, my "friend" who has problems with strong women is not a fundie, just an asshole.

Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had to try very hard to keep myself from smiling.

Agree, that someone that does this may be simply an asshole and not a fundie. Or they can be both. But when I see this behavior, I wonder what's behind it and being a fundie is on my mental list and frequently it turns out to be the case. In the case of the squirming coworker, he looked the fundie type. Kinda like David Waller actually. Wore some weird sweater vest that looked to made of nylon. Seriously.

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My son is in Boy Scouts and I am an activities cochair. Some of the other leaders who are men struggle with dealing with me because I don't really take to being bossed around. Both own their own male dominated businesses. I don't think they are used to dealing with other adults as peers nor women who work and are assertive.

It actually amuses me mostly.

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did they ever try and convert you?

Not sure if this question is directed to me, but no, my friends never did. They were very respectful about religion. We avoided talking about that, and also about homosexuality, abortion, etc (since we could guess their views). They were actually good people, very kind and thoughtful.

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Guest Anonymous

Not sure if this question is directed to me, but no, my friends never did. They were very respectful about religion. We avoided talking about that, and also about homosexuality, abortion, etc (since we could guess their views). They were actually good people, very kind and thoughtful.

Hopefully they will be kind and thoughtful if their children turn out to be gay, or bring gay friends home. Or need an abortion or need to support a friend who is getting one.. Because 'nice and thoughtful' tends to be best tested when issues are out on the table rather than shoved under it, IME.

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I believe people can be kind and thoughtful even if they don't agree with me. I'd sound like a fundie if I said that the only good people were the ones who agreed with me on all political issues.

If it makes you feel better, I'll say they were "kind and thoughtful to me." However, I believe that if their child turned out to be gay, or had an abortion, they would love and accept that child just as much. There are fundies and there are fundies, not all are so evil as to cast a child out.

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Guest Anonymous

And finding homophobic and anti-abortion beliefs to be unloving and thoughtless /= expecting everyone to agree with me on all issues. Or being like a fundie.

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