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Fundy Absolutes and Emphasis


luckylassie

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I don't know why, but it seems like there are a lot of "absolutes" in fundyism. For example, they don't allow any drinking at their weddings. Why not allow some drinking as long as it's not in large amounts. There is a difference between having drinks and getting drunk but the fundies just do away with it altogether.

Next, there is the modest dress to the point where they actually attract more attention by dressing way out of the norm. If the girls were in jeans (not tight) and modest shirts then there probably would be nobody giving them a second look.

Thirdly, sex appears to be a huge subject with the fundies. No kissing before marriage seems a bit extreme. You can kiss and have fun with your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance without having sex with them. You can kiss without sex.

Lastly, children are wonderful but you don't need to have a massive amount. Wouldn't it be more selfish to have too many and leave them without proper food, shelter, education, and resources? What if a quiverfull daughter wound up with an abusive, cheating, or addict husband? My mom could tell the fundies all about this. She watched my dad get cuffed walking out of the delivery room (no lie). If I hadn't been in surgery my grandma probably would have left him in his cell but used her own money to bail him out. I don't think a fundy girl would want to go through that mess would they?

Just my opinions.

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My theory has been that if you're being very extreme in your behavior then you don't have to worry about where to draw the line because you (and everyone else in church) will know you're on the "correct" side of it. For the believer, it keeps them from worrying if they're too close to sin and for others, it shows you who is one of the club. And given the amount of "What if x might really be a sin or might make others sin and I just don't know it?" conversations I had in fundie youth group, that's a big, big concern in those circles.

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I can sort of understand the no kissing/touching thing, because there is a fear of diminishing returns. This was something I was warned about just going to regular Christian Bible study and Bible camps (where we wore jeans, swam in regular swimsuits, listened to Christian and less offensive forms of rock, and held hands with our boyfriends and girlfriends). You kiss, you want another kiss, you want a more passionate kiss, you want to neck, you want to hit second base... In other words, the more contact you allow, the more physical contact your hormones demand. While kissing and touching wasn't necessarily "sin", non-marital sex was, so I can see how avoiding contact altogether can help a couple avoid sex before marriage.

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I think they allow nothing because they think everything is a slippery slope. Like don't allow a sip of wine because then you'll turn into a drunk! Don't allow dancing, because that leads to touching, which we all know leads to sex! They don't want gay marriage because they stupidly think it will lead to people marrying toasters or goldfish. So they are extreme because they think something minor leads to something major. That's probably why they're so covered up too. Because they think a flash of female ankle will lead to tons of pre-marital sex.

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I heard an explanation in a sermon once, that if you don't want your child to touch the stereo, just tell them ~ "don't touch the stereo." Now what the Pharisees of Jesus' time would have said, was "don't go in the living room, then you won't be able to touch the stereo." So all of a sudden, going in the living room was a bad thing, even if your child is capable of being in the living room and not touching the stereo.

(The irony of course, being that this was a fundamentalist church that was full of its own arbitrary rules that made no sence. Pharisees are an easy target, I guess.)

It seems that its kind of a condescension, assuming people are too weak and lacking in self control to follow rules on their own. It assumes that one sip of wine will lead to raging alcoholism, or one kiss will lead to pregnancy within the month.

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What is strange to me about the emphasis on modest dress is that although I live in an area with a lot of Mennonite families and even Amish families, I don't notice their clothing that much compared to the fundies. Of course now that I hang out here, I notice fundy dress a lot more. Maybe it has to do with wearing modest clothes and projecting modesty (which most of the Mennonite and Amish families I notice do) rather than wearing modest clothes and projecting superiority and an aura of "I'm obviously so much more pious/holy/blessed by God than you."

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