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People with fundie beliefs but nonfundie lifestyle?


YPestis

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I had some friends over this weekend and was peripheral to a conservation regarding the Catholic church. A close friend of mine was there. She was Protestant and a regular church goer and she made some mild, negative remarks about the Catholic church. Realizing my husband was Catholic, she quickly said her disagreement with the church was theological, not personal (i.e she doesn't dislike Catholics). My husband blew it off, not wanting to engage in a theological discussion. However, I knew my friend have always seen the Catholic church as outside of "true" Christianity. She holds many of what I'd consider fundie-like beliefs even though she leads a very non-fundie-like lifestyle.

My friend holds that Mormons are not true Christians and that the Catholic church do not practice the "true" Christian faith (an idea that privately angers my Catholic husband). For whatever reason, she keeps on thinking I'm an atheist, even though I've told her I'm agnostic. I think she feels if a person doesn't follow a religion, they must not believe in God. She also once mentioned she believed in submission, saying it has nothing to do with obeying her husband, but that she wants her husband "to lead in the spiritual side" of her life.

One time, she caught a lot of flak for voicing skepticism on large-scale evolution or common ancestry because it contradicts the bible. She tries to handwave it by saying that humans are set apart from speciation which she knows contradicts what is scientifically accepted. Oh, did I mention she was a biology major and a physician?

The weird thing is, despite all that, my friend leads a very liberal lifestyle. My friend has dated many Catholics, and almost married one. She's a doctor and prides herself on being able to provide for herself, unlike her mother. She can be pushy with her boyfriends/hubby. She's always dated people less religious than her. Heck, she's a strong believer of gay rights and once tried to invite a lapsed gay friend to church noting that her church does ceremonies for gays. She's even lived with a few boyfriends prior to marriage (knowing it's sinful). My friend surrounds herself with friends who are Muslims, Catholics, and Jews. She appreciates beautiful Catholic cathedrals and would enjoy seeing a Buddhist temple for cultural purposes. There's just such a cognitive dissonance between her lifestyle choices and her purported religious beliefs.

My background is far more consistent. I came from a nonreligious household. I am nonreligious. Submission was never preached at home, and I didn't know it still existed as a theology until I saw it on TV. My parents are biologists and I went to med school. Education and science was never seen as conflicting with faith. I know where I got my beliefs.

For those that have conflicts between their lifestyles and their values, there appears two choices: either reconcile the two, or give up one set of belief. It's schizophrenic for me to see someone who holds surprisingly fundie/conservative ideas, yet who is probably one of the most liberal person I know.

Anyone else know people like that? What do you think make people like that tick? Is it that they can't shed the values they grew up in? Or is it that they they manage to live a double life in their head? What causes people to have values which appear to contradict how they direct their lives?

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I'm super liberal, and I have major problems with the Catholic Church, relating to how their stance on birth control and their political power impacts charitable aid programs in the Third World. It has nothing to do with any secret fundie leanings in my psyche.

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My mom is one of those people. She has the attitude of a fundie when it comes to homosexuality, abortion, feminism and modesty (almost, women wearing pants is fine, as long as theyre not too tight), but also had sex before marriage and was a teen mom (I was born when she was 17, but she did not marry my dad until age 20) and has divorced and got a new boyfriend. Shes also an atheist.

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See, that's funny because growing up in Catholic school, we were taught about many different non-Christian religions which I am thankful for and found interesting. We were also taught, however, that CATHOLICS were the 1 true Christian religion since they came directly from having St. Peter as their leader, as Jesus had wanted. In fact, they went so far as to tell us Baptists weren't Christian because a Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Baptists follow the teachings of John the Baptist. (Which, actually makes sense if you think about it! lol)

Anyway, my in-laws are fundie in actions but they don't go to church. My SIL is a SAHD. My MIL has not worked since she married even though they really REALLY could have (and still could) use it. My FIL demands they both keep long hair. Growing up, the children were to be seen and not heard. (of course, he finds pleasure in finding our kids the most obnoxious, loud, annoying things he can). FIL is bipolar. MIL has vitiligo, causing her to be agoraphobic, so she doesn't mind being a helpmeet. SIL is a product of her upbringing. They do wear jeans and shorts and tank tops and stuff.

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I think when it comes to the bloggers we have discussed here, I think Nathan Lawrenson, the CF husband has fundie beliefs but isn't living a complete fundie lifestyle. Nate watches TV, sports, and listens to secular music. He has very conservative stances on homosexuality, gay rights, and abortion. Nate's family is the same way, but they weren't QF.

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I have acquaintances who are part of a charismatic protestant church. They have very conservative beliefs on most things. They believe that homosexuality is very wrong, do not support gay marriage or domestic partnerships, believe that the wife should submit to her husband, that the wife should not work outside of the home after children are born, among other things. Their brand of Christianity is the only one who is doing it right, in their opinion. But, at the same time, they are covered with tattoos, drink a lot, and have modern Christian Rock as part of their regular worship service. They had a rush wedding ceremony, six weeks after meeting, because neither of them believe in sex outside of marriage.

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A high school acquaintance is like this. Seems like he lives a fairly normal life, he coaches his (pants-wearing) daughter's soccer team, but he thinks women are weak, his wife should be submissive, it's his job to protect his daughter until she marries someone who can protect her, gays are an abomination (he actually said on his facebook that if gay marriage were legal, how could he teach his children that it's wrong? WORST. ARGUMENT. EVER.), etc.

In his case...I guess he went a little wild after high school? He was in some trouble, sounds like maybe his parents kicked him out or something, and he ended up getting involved with a fundie church that helped him out. It seems like now, for the first time, he has a group of people who loves and accepts him...so the obvious answer to that is to hate others and deny them the same rights he enjoys. He can finally be the one keeping people down, instead of being kept down himself. That's what it seems like to me, from reading his disgusting FB posts (I keep him on there solely because he's such a gross trainwreck).

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I have one friend who tends to talk about 2 things:

1. The hot girls he's seeing and the freaky things they do in bed, and

2. How his evil no-longer-religious wife is causing their kids, esp. his daughter, to reject religion, wear immodest outfits, etc.

At least he frankly admits that he's an imperfect hypocrite.

Otherwise, I know some doctors and an editor of a major scientific journal who send their children to schools that do not teach evolution. In one case, it was a practical matter of choosing a school that worked better for their particular children over a school that seemed great on paper, but which failed to deal with a bullying problem and didn't meet their needs.

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See, that's funny because growing up in Catholic school, we were taught about many different non-Christian religions which I am thankful for and found interesting. We were also taught, however, that CATHOLICS were the 1 true Christian religion since they came directly from having St. Peter as their leader, as Jesus had wanted. In fact, they went so far as to tell us Baptists weren't Christian because a Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Baptists follow the teachings of John the Baptist. (Which, actually makes sense if you think about it! lol)

Just to let you know, Baptists don't follow the teachings of John The Baptist, they follow the teachings of Paul (John the Baptist didn't really have teachings, other than "Follow this Jesus dude and get baptized ". As far as I can tell, no Christian denomination follows Jesus, they all follow Paul.

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Just to let you know, Baptists don't follow the teachings of John The Baptist, they follow the teachings of Paul (John the Baptist didn't really have teachings, other than "Follow this Jesus dude and get baptized ". As far as I can tell, no Christian denomination follows Jesus, they all follow Paul.

That's definitely not true. Not all Christian denominations have the Bible as their sole authority, including my own, so we definitely don't follow Paul over Christ (we use Scripture, Tradition and Reason equally, as is the case for Catholics and Orthodoxen too). I have certainly met Christians who go by Paul more than they go by Christ, but they still follow Christ. We use Paul's and others' writings as part of Scripture but we follow the PERSON of Christ.

Baptists are simply called baptism because they were the first organised denomination to baptise adults and not infants, that's all. Nothing to do with following Paul, Paul never talks about the age of baptised people. If you're referring to Baptists being conservative, a prominent UK Baptist (Rev Steve Chalke) has come out in favour of marriage equality - Baptists go by the authority of individual pastors so there is huge variation in the level of conservatism within the denomination, and some are very liberal. Baptist does not equal Southern Baptist!

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Interesting. Guess I didn't get as good of an education there as I thought! lol I really could care less. I haven't been a practicing Catholic in over 17 years. What really cracks me up is I recently found the guy from high school who introduced me to the concept of paganism on FB. He's now a born-again Xtian. I am SO tempted to send him a message reminding him of that. lol

And, FTR, all of the people I know personally IRL who go to "Baptist Temples" are quite loony, whoever the hell's preaching they follow. (No offense to anyone on here who is not loony, again this is just my personal experience locally.) I was a bridesmaid for a friend in a conservative Baptist wedding with horribly ugly frumper bridesmaid dresses very similar to Anna's. No booze, no dancing. I felt twitchy the whole time I was there. Give me a 4 hour long Amish wedding in Dutch any day! (been to one of those, too, and it was light years more fun!)

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Give me a 4 hour long Amish wedding in Dutch any day! (been to one of those, too, and it was light years more fun!)

You mean Deutsch? or more properly in the case of Amish and the still German speaking Mennonites, Low German.

Amish have their issues with child abuse too. And some cult like behaviors that not all Anabaptists have. (friends parents/grandparents left the Amish lifestyle because of these things.)

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Yeah, I've never met a Baptist here who is opposed to dancing and drinking lol. That tends to be a Brethren thing. Over here Baptists are very mainstream, not hugely different from Methodists but just with a group of elders not one single leader, and Methodists baptise babies but Baptists don't.

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I think most people are a mixture of attitudes and beliefs. I think it was shown with the very long " do you have any conservative traits " thread that was here awhile back - very few people fit entirely into specific box or another.

I have a few opinions regarding gender differences and abortion that would be considered conservative or fundieish ( well, on fj anyway, not so much in the wider world ).

But I've never voted conservative. I have met only a couple of people in rl who were virgins when they married, am a very strong advocate for marriage equality, my husband was a stay at home dad for a time, don't even understand why there is a conflict between evolution and faith, am extremely involved with social justice issues, I made sure my teens had access to birth control and so on.

I don't think it is a conflict or weird for people to not follow one rigid set of beliefs or another.

I am very drawn to the ritual of the Catholic Church and some of the family orientation of the Mormon's but the way their organizations have become so militantly anti-homosexual would keep me from joining either. Although I know my local Catholic Church is extremely welcoming to all.

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I know of two quiverfull fundie moms--online only--who sort of qualify. Both became pregnant with their first kids when they were unmarried teenagers. Both married the fathers of their first kids. One marriage seems happy, the other miserable.

Both dress normally and dress their kids normally. One homeschools, but she has a regular-person sense of humor and curses. The other sends her kids to public school and real colleges. She seems very intelligent, and her conservative beliefs have always felt forced to me, like if she hadn't met her (very conservative) butthole husband, she would've turned out pretty liberal.

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.....Not all Christian denominations have the Bible as their sole authority, including my own, so we definitely don't follow Paul over Christ (we use Scripture, Tradition and Reason equally,

....

Yewchapel, may I ask your denomination? Many TIA!

In direct answer to the OP, I think this is just an example of how hard it is to pigeonhole a lot of people. Not all! But a lot. And yet it's something that's easy to forget. My best friend of 40 years presumed me conservative because my parents were. When she found out that I am pro-choice, supremely unconcerned about what goes on between consenting adults, a fan of the ACLU because of their pro-first-amendment position, etc., she was confused, then pleased, then pleased and confused. :) It doesn't help that I am indeed fiscally conservative.

But anyhoo, that's just a f'rinstance.

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I know several women who work outside the home, wear makeup and pants but don't believe in same sex marriage or in equality in marriage. Oddly enough, I know several people who are conservative in most of their beliefs but quietly accept evolution as a fact.

My brother is an oddball. He is not against abortion, accepts evolution as a fact, is not against even illegal immigration(I think he is for open border), supports same sex marriage and yet, is a very adamant gun nut. He is also a prepper but more in the fact that he wants to keep chickens and have a garden not in the 'let's horde everything' sense. He votes Republican but sometimes expresses more left leaning views.

I'm atheist but I really like a lot about the Catholic church. The rituals, the sensual nature of the service, their emphasis on social justice etc. appeal to me.

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I'm a conundrum myself. And a lurker (since yuku)! Conservative Catholic- Latin mass, head covered in church, only wear skirts to church, would likely have a quiverfull bunch of kids if i wasn't struggling with damn infertility, shy, traditional gender roles for me and my husband, etc. But at the same time, I am VERY liberal with choices for others. Gay marriage, damn right I will fight for two people who love each other to be allowed to make a legal commitment to each other! Abortion? not for me, but I dare you to try and take the right away from anyone in this country!

My opinions and beliefs confuse me on a daily basis

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I'm a conundrum myself. And a lurker (since yuku)! Conservative Catholic- Latin mass, head covered in church, only wear skirts to church, would likely have a quiverfull bunch of kids if i wasn't struggling with damn infertility, shy, traditional gender roles for me and my husband, etc. But at the same time, I am VERY liberal with choices for others. Gay marriage, damn right I will fight for two people who love each other to be allowed to make a legal commitment to each other! Abortion? not for me, but I dare you to try and take the right away from anyone in this country!

My opinions and beliefs confuse me on a daily basis

I dont think it confusing. It simply sounds like you are in favor of individual freedom. You choose your lifestyle and relationship. You want others to have that same freedom of choice you have. I dont see anything wrong with that.

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You mean Deutsch? or more properly in the case of Amish and the still German speaking Mennonites, Low German.

Amish have their issues with child abuse too. And some cult like behaviors that not all Anabaptists have. (friends parents/grandparents left the Amish lifestyle because of these things.)

From what I've been told, they don't necessarily speak German in such a way as people from Germany speak it. Everything pertaining to Amish culture around our area is referred to as Dutch. Restaurants, stores, etc. The only thing I remember how to say is mashed potatoes. Yes, Amish have issues, just as every other group of people do. There are also some Amish that are pretty damn cool and about as non-judgemental as you can be, especially compared to the fundies we snark on. My family has some very good Amish friends my grandparents made 60+ years ago. They have invited us to weddings. We have shared many meals with them. My grandparents play cards with them and they go on vacation together. Hell, they went to Dollywood once! Honestly, they're more well-traveled around the continental US than I am. They are fabulous people, and they love their kids, even the ones who married "English" girls and no longer practice the Amish faith. They even had a small family of only 3 boys. The 1 son who is still Amish and now runs the shoe/harness shop has very contemporary names for his kids. He's also got a small family of 3 or 4. I've also worked in an Amish restaurant. I can attest, Amish and Mennonites can party with the hardest partying English teens around. One of my Mennonite managers got written up for taking me and another girl out in the parking lot to do donuts one icy day! There were also more drugs floating around that place than when I worked with a bunch of Rastas and artists.

Not every Amish family beats their kids or lets sexual molestation happen or practice shunning. There are many progressive Amish that practice the way of life but know that things need to adapt and change to exist in a more modern world. Not one Amish person has ever looked down upon me because I am not of their faith. In fact, we were guests of honor at the weddings we attended. One of my girls looks very Amish when she's dressed up in the garb. My grandma showed her friends the pictures, and they got the biggest kick out of it. They also informed us of the significance of my son's "good, strong, Amish name." One old Amish man was very touched because of his name. He had a brother who had recently passed who shared my son's name. He gave him a very special buggy ride and let my son drive. That was something very special for a 7 yo. There has been quite a bit of change in the Amish community in the last 30 years. I've seen it happen with my own eyes. It has become a balancing act of preserving tradition and adapting to life in new times. We live about 30 minutes from the heart of the biggest Amish community in the US, and we are there several times a year. It is lightyears different than it was even in the early 80s; I'd venture so far as to say even the 90s.

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I had a friend in HS who came from a family that was fundie in practice but not in appearance.

Both parents were public school science teachers, yet denied evolution could possibly be real and refused to even teach it (this should have been my first clue that they were weird). They were Quiverfull but did not use the term. It was just "Dad loves kids and thinks God wants him to have as many as possible, so he forbids Mom from using birth control." The daughters of the family all dressed "slutty," and were encouraged by their father to do so. The mom, however, wore fundy-approved jean skirts and looked absolutely beaten down all the time. The father's word was absolute law. He would not tolerate any kind of disagreement, perceived or real, at all. His opinions of women were archaic, and I received quite a few rude and inappropriate scolding sessions from him (over things that were none of his business.) As I got to know the family better, I learned that the father claimed he was a 4,000 year old alien from another galaxy whose half-alien, half-human children would control the world some day by digging up the crashed spaceship that was under their house. :?

I lost touch with my friend when her dad forced her to transfer schools because he didn't like her boyfriend. He never used the word "courtship," but thought he had absolute control over his daughters' dating activities. He even tried to inform them which of his students they would date-it didn't work. Her actual transfer was an awful, awful time. She revealed lots of nasty, scary things about her father, while her mother made it very clear she wanted out. None of them ever escaped.

I never really considered them fundie, just controlling and weird, until a couple years ago when I looked them up on facebook. It turns out that the dad had founded his own "family-oriented" church that hosted regular IBLP/ATI seminars. He talked about the wonders that "Dr. Gothard" had worked in his family and how any God-loving family would "definitely attend." They ended up leaving the church over some kind of scandal, but I don't know what happened. Last year, the family was involved in a well-known tragedy. All the family would talk about on the news cameras was "God, God, God, Jesus, God." There's more to this shit-show but since it doesn't directly pertain to fundies, I don't feel comfortable including it.

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He can finally be the one keeping people down, instead of being kept down himself.

I think you hit the nail on the head, and it reminded me of my first (ex) BF. He was brought up Catholic, although he rejected this when he was 14 years old, provoking a huge family row by all accounts. However, this didn't stop him making snide remarks about gay relationships ("God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"), and telling me I was a bastard because I hadn't been christened. I thought it was a bit hypocritical of him to say things like this considering he'd rejected a religion which was too oppressive and inconvenient for him to follow.

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Yewchapel, may I ask your denomination? Many TIA!

In direct answer to the OP, I think this is just an example of how hard it is to pigeonhole a lot of people. Not all! But a lot. And yet it's something that's easy to forget. My best friend of 40 years presumed me conservative because my parents were. When she found out that I am pro-choice, supremely unconcerned about what goes on between consenting adults, a fan of the ACLU because of their pro-first-amendment position, etc., she was confused, then pleased, then pleased and confused. :) It doesn't help that I am indeed fiscally conservative.

But anyhoo, that's just a f'rinstance.

I am an Anglican (same as Episcopalian, just the English branch). The use of Scripture, Tradition and Reason is normal for Anglicans, Catholics (heavy emphasis on Tradition), Orthodox and Methodists (Methodists emphasise Experience which kind of falls into the Reason category). Probably Lutherans too but we don't get a lot of them in the UK (tend to be in northern mainland Europe) so I am not that familiar with them.

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Sometimes I can be kind of a mix. I hold quite a few conservative beliefs but yet, in other ways, I am liberal. But it's more liberal views about what other people do. Still trying to figure out how to fit some of more right wing views in with my decidedly feminist views. I think I just have some cognitive dissonance about how I think I should think versus what I really think.

I think everyone is at least a little bit contradictory in some ways. Ah cognitive dissonance, I haz it.

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Anyone else know people like that? What do you think make people like that tick? Is it that they can't shed the values they grew up in? Or is it that they they manage to live a double life in their head? What causes people to have values which appear to contradict how they direct their lives?

I definitely know people like that. Part of it is the fact they can't shed the way they were brought up, and part of it is just plain peer pressure. This is especially true in small, rural towns in the red states.

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