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Far flung fundies and frumpers


Gherkin

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Long time lurker first time poster.

So after months (years?) of reading FJ it made me wonder where else in the world do our favourite funnies live?

I'm in Australia and I've seen the occasional Brethren (few families lived near me) but that's it. No frumpers, families with elevnty kids (Islander families don't count) etc

I mean we have Cory Bernadi, Fred Nile, Australian Christian Lobby for inspiration but that's all I know.

Anyone have other suggestions?

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Most of the Christian fundies I know live in the US. Here in the German speaking countries in Europe, we don't have so much of a problem with Christian fundies, we have problems with Islamic fundies instead. They have basically the same convictions as many Christian fundies, with minor differences. Although, close to where I live, there is a church of the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist Catholic organisation which could be considered cult-like.

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There is definitely a low key fundie presence here in Australia - ATI holds a yearly conference in Victoria. I think they are just spread out , tend to be rural and tend to homeschool and home church, so they aren't very visible.

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Most of the Christian fundies I know live in the US. Here in the German speaking countries in Europe, we don't have so much of a problem with Christian fundies, we have problems with Islamic fundies instead. They have basically the same convictions as many Christian fundies, with minor differences. Although, close to where I live, there is a church of the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist Catholic organisation which could be considered cult-like.

Don't forget the "Twelve Tribes". They're Christian, and their relatively small presence usually goes undetected in German speaking countries, but they are definitely fundie.

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The fundies most discussed here at FJ live in the USA, usually in the rural midwest or in the South. You don't see too many of them in large cities.

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We have loads of Bretheren with their billion kids here in NZ too, plus the Cooperites at Gloriavale but not like they do in the US.

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Don't forget the "Twelve Tribes". They're Christian, and their relatively small presence usually goes undetected in German speaking countries, but they are definitely fundie.

Yeah, you are right. They are very crazy and harmful. Thankfully the authorities have stepped in and they got actually sued with several charges such as child labour.

I have been thinking a bit, and the reason we know many fundies is because they make themselves public on the internet. It could very well be that there are way more fundies than I think around here, but they just keep a low profile. On the other hand, you very rarely see women wearing long skirt around here, except for summer. And homeschooling is also very, very rare. In Germany even forbidden. So most children are exposed to different worldviews.

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I wonder why their belief systems and ideals are so USA-centric?

I think its because America is really Christian anyway, and these people just take it a step further.

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Yeah, you are right. They are very crazy and harmful. Thankfully the authorities have stepped in and they got actually sued with several charges such as child labour.

I have been thinking a bit, and the reason we know many fundies is because they make themselves public on the internet. It could very well be that there are way more fundies than I think around here, but they just keep a low profile. On the other hand, you very rarely see women wearing long skirt around here, except for summer. And homeschooling is also very, very rare. In Germany even forbidden. So most children are exposed to different worldviews.

I know what you mean, and your post made me think quite a bit. I was quite surprised too, to hear about German fundies too. Normally, religion isn't really anything you talk much about, is it? If you do, then you don't try convincing others, which might account for a lack of a noticeable internet presence. Talking about it just opens you up to endless criticism about how believing is fine, but don't flaunt it.

I also think that it's a matter of language and culture. At least in my region, we wouldn't bother with calling the "Twelve Tribes" fundies. We'd call them a cult. In that sense, Germany does sport its share of cults or cultish Christian people, but "fundie" or "fundamentalist" is usually associated with Islam. I wouldn't say that we do this in bad faith, but that it's a historical hangover.

We're quite used to Christian cults springing up, historically. See the Anabaptists etc. They were all Christian in nature, and threatened the established order of things. Thanks to the proximity of the Ottoman Empire, Islam is historically an outside force that is threatening. While we're past that, I still had to sing Mozart's "Coffee song" in school, which informed me that drinking "the Turkish drink" was going to make me sick.

Add to that that Germany is roughly 70% Christian with religious education in school, it becomes a matter of semantics, history and culture. In my opinion! We see the extremes in non-Christian religions, but usually don't know enough to identify cults, because we don't know the "norm". I wouldn't know how to identify a Buddhist cult, if one stared me in the face and shouted me down. Christianity? Group of people sharing beliefs that deviate from the norm, trying to isolate believers, trying to recruit more, and usually coming with a stringent set of rules that are far stricter than the established churches demand.

Sorry about the essay, it's a faceted issue. I agree with you that the "Twelve Tribes" are harmful and crazy. It is not the most popular opinion on FJ that homeschooling should be forbidden, but I, for one, think that it requires very careful scrutiny to weigh the best interests of all parties. To be fair though, homeschooling isn't prohibited generally in Germany. There are circumstances, in which it is allowed.

But *generally*, I agree with the state's idea that the welfare of the child comes first, and that includes giving every child the same chances. For example: I cannot stand it when parents try keeping their daughters from swimming lessons. For one thing, it's part of the grade, for another, being able to rescue yourself and another is a pretty good skill to have.

This isn't entirely thought out, and I apologize for that. There is an awful lot more to make this even more complicated in Germany, but my brain demands coffee. So, I'll leave it at that for now. Coffee!!!

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I think its because America is really Christian anyway, and these people just take it a step further.

I suspect it's partly because the USA is a relatively young country that is still finding its identity to a certain extent. Many of the Americans I've met are only second or third generation American and their cultural heritage is very important to them and as such they are more 'into' things that make up that culture. I'm not explaining myself very well but as an example I'm half Scottish - I live in England, have been to Scotland loads of times and am pretty meh about it generally. But I know several Americans with Scottish roots who really try and preserve the culture by learning Scottish dance etc. Perhaps I'm making too much of a generalisation but it's what I've come across. I think the religion they identify with is a big part of that. Just my opinion!

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We're quite used to Christian cults springing up, historically. See the Anabaptists etc. They were all Christian in nature, and threatened the established order of things.

i was going to post the same thing about Anabaptists starting in (iirc) Germany and Switzerland. Plus, there are Mennonite and Mennonite-lite missionaries all over the world.

christianaidministries.org/

charitychristianfellowship.org/missions/ghana

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I suspect it's partly because the USA is a relatively young country that is still finding its identity to a certain extent. Many of the Americans I've met are only second or third generation American and their cultural heritage is very important to them and as such they are more 'into' things that make up that culture. I'm not explaining myself very well but as an example I'm half Scottish - I live in England, have been to Scotland loads of times and am pretty meh about it generally. But I know several Americans with Scottish roots who really try and preserve the culture by learning Scottish dance etc. Perhaps I'm making too much of a generalisation but it's what I've come across. I think the religion they identify with is a big part of that. Just my opinion!

By that rationale places like Australia and Canada should also be teeming with fundies. While there are definitely fundies about in those places, there's nothing like the numbers that exist in the States and their influence on politics in pretty minor by comparison. I suspect that US Christian fundamentalism is just at the extreme end of what is a pretty religious society. Only 33% of Australians under 30 identified themselves as Christian in the 2009. That's less than half the US average.

The US has had a free market for religion for far longer than anything else. The European countries have treated religion like any other part of the culture and I think it's pretty much taken for granted. According to wikipedia, Sweden manages to have nearly 70% of it's citizens belong to the Lutheran church but only 2% attend church every week (compared to 63% of ppl in MS) and a large number of members don't believe in a god. Most of them were probably entered onto the roll automatically when they were born, but the fact that they're still on the roll says that they probably don't feel strongly enough to remove their names. Although countries like Australia and NZ (and Canada?) also have no official state church, the C of E still played that role in a de facto kind of a way until relatively recently. It sort of came along with all the other trappings of Empire.

In the US, religion is serious business and it's sold like any other product on the market. There are plenty of churches that make it their business to appeal to all sorts of ppl and there's a church for every niche imaginable.

I think another big difference is the presence of the welfare state. Compared to the various European models of social welfare, the US one leaves a whole lot more ppl dependent on other forms of charity. American churches and church communities have a big place in making sure ppl have food and shelter.

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I have often wondered about why America has a disproportionate number of fundies. Obviously there are many factors but one thing is that many early settlers were escaping religious persecution but were being persecuted on the basis of being too extreme. The Church of England, for example, was fine with drinking, dancing etc. and so the Puritans escaped this and established a place for "freedom of religion" in that they were free to be as radically conservative as they wanted. This ideal may have become part of American culture and made the country and its people much more sensitive to pointing out that the more extreme ends of the spectrum might be a bit bonkers. Hence the environment is ideal for fundies.

Having said that, we have a sprinkling of relative fundies here in the UK. There was a documentary a few years back about a girl called Deborah Drapper who was homeschooled in Dorset and very religious. She did wear trousers though! And there was a documentary called "in God's name" which included a Christian school in the UK not teaching science.

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By that rationale places like Australia and Canada should also be teeming with fundies. While there are definitely fundies about in those places, there's nothing like the numbers that exist in the States and their influence on politics in pretty minor by comparison. I suspect that US Christian fundamentalism is just at the extreme end of what is a pretty religious society. Only 33% of Australians under 30 identified themselves as Christian in the 2009. That's less than half the US average.

The US has had a free market for religion for far longer than anything else. The European countries have treated religion like any other part of the culture and I think it's pretty much taken for granted. According to wikipedia, Sweden manages to have nearly 70% of it's citizens belong to the Lutheran church but only 2% attend church every week (compared to 63% of ppl in MS) and a large number of members don't believe in a god. Most of them were probably entered onto the roll automatically when they were born, but the fact that they're still on the roll says that they probably don't feel strongly enough to remove their names. Although countries like Australia and NZ (and Canada?) also have no official state church, the C of E still played that role in a de facto kind of a way until relatively recently. It sort of came along with all the other trappings of Empire.

In the US, religion is serious business and it's sold like any other product on the market. There are plenty of churches that make it their business to appeal to all sorts of ppl and there's a church for every niche imaginable.

I think another big difference is the presence of the welfare state. Compared to the various European models of social welfare, the US one leaves a whole lot more ppl dependent on other forms of charity. American churches and church communities have a big place in making sure ppl have food and shelter.

Yes good point. Just my experience that the Americans I've met tend to be more 'all in' whereas other cultures are more laid back but of course that's a sweeping generalisation based on a small sample of people I know!

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Any Australians here remember the Magnificent Meal Movement near Toowoomba in the late 90's?

That's about as mainstream fundie we get.

On a lighter note we have a chain of health food cafés here called Fundies!

Oh what about Hillsing....nah more cult then anything.

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Another Aussie here.

Massive Brethren church just a couple of houses down from me and a Brethren school nearby. Just like the Duggars, their dress has changed from frumpers to modern modest. The church teachings are still pretty extreme. One of my colleagues is ex-Brethren and she is not allowed any contact with her family, even though they live in the same town and pass each other regularly while out shopping.

Then there are my in-laws. MrMiggy, his parents and one brother are great. Pretty much all the rest are nuts. SOTDRT educations. No birth control. Wives found via fundy-online-dating sites from the USA. Girls remaining unmarried because they aren't allowed out to meet people. They've all been missionaries at some stage. (The men of course - woman can't be missionaries! My cousin-in-law's goal in life is to marry a missionary. She's 32 and still waiting. One man did ask to take her to a restaurant but her father thought that was inappropriate and he should join them for a family dinner instead. The man never came back.)

There are also fundies hidden throughout our society but the tendency to home school/isolate means you don't always see them. I teach music to a lot of home schoolers and they are all evangelical or fundy-lite. I bet most of my community are oblivious to their beliefs. The no-birth-control doesn't seem to be big thing here and our town dress fairly conservatively overall so they don't stand out physically. Basically, they live fundy inside their own home but no one outside would ever know.

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There is Sarah from Heartsdesire, Ireland's ZooZoo, who considers PeePee her family's pastor.

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I suspect it's partly because the USA is a relatively young country that is still finding its identity to a certain extent. Many of the Americans I've met are only second or third generation American and their cultural heritage is very important to them and as such they are more 'into' things that make up that culture. I'm not explaining myself very well but as an example I'm half Scottish - I live in England, have been to Scotland loads of times and am pretty meh about it generally. But I know several Americans with Scottish roots who really try and preserve the culture by learning Scottish dance etc. Perhaps I'm making too much of a generalisation but it's what I've come across. I think the religion they identify with is a big part of that. Just my opinion!

That is an interesting thought. My family on both sides has been in the US since the late 1600s-early 1700s and we have never particularly had much interest in our European roots. I always roll my eyes when people start talking about being Irish and they couldn't find Dublin on a map and have no clue what relative may or may not be Irish.

But my husband is from NZ and his dad is from Galway. His mom is from an old New Zealand early settlement family. She is more interested in her old Christchurch relatives than distant Scottish ones. My husband lived in Ireland with his aunt and uncle, knows all his Irish relatives and has citizenship. He is 100% Kiwi. Most Kiwis I know consider their European relatives the way we consider our relatives in other states over here, not as their cultural touchstones. Interesting thought, brightonbell.

Also, the reason we have more crazies is because you people sent them to us.

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Yay lots of Aussies here to represent!

I once saw a girl in a frumper-type dress while waiting to pick someone up at the airport. This was quite a regional town, so was surprised to see what I assumed to be a type of fundy.

Anyway, why don't we see more fundies in Australia? I put it down to the culture as a major factor. I think we are much too relaxed for the rules of fundie-dom to really take hold. Of course there's always going to be some, but I don't think they can recruit as easily for this reason.

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I think that people are kind of lumping all of the U.S. into a big homogenous mass, with Christian extremists wandering the streets in frumpers. It really isn't like that.

I know some parts are like that, but in 20 years of working in Social Services ( which means meeting well over a thousand families and taking their histories) and 50+ years of living, I've met exactly ONE family who would meet any general definition of Duggar or more extreme fundie, and a handful of fundie lites. I do know some conservative Christians, but even those are a really, really small minority.

Plus, you need to remember the U.S. Is huge - not just in Geography, but in population. 40 millionths just in my state. 310 million in the nation.

Given that, I always find it interesting that so many other countries actually have official state religions, which are even taught in school, but that the U.S., with it's official separation of church and state have so many fanatics. My theory is that through the ages, many European Countries made the mission of one or another denomination so important that people would become nominal Catholics, Protestants, etc to avoid persecution. In doing so, over time, choosing and believing in a particular religious dogma became less important, and more of just a cultural back-drop. I could be completely wrong though, it's been known to happen :lol: . In the U.S. You have many people who originally settled in order to have religious freedom, so they were already passionate about the subject- and passed that down as part of the culture. Plus with so much movement from area to area it was easy to start new churches, find converts, etc.

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