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Let's discuss fundamentalism in the UK!


blessalessi

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14 hours ago, ALM7 said:

(To highlighted)

Is this the same DoC organization that partnered with the United Church of Christ? 

The United Church of Christ appears to be very progressive.  I remember in the mid-2000 they received criticism for some outstanding commercials.  The commercials advocated acceptance of all, regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual identity, etc., unfortunately some network affiliates refused to air the commercial.  

The Christian Church DoC is very liberal these days. There are female clergy; they are, I believe, officially pro-choice; active in the World Council of Churches, etc...I had not heard that they have any affiliation with the UCC, but I would not be surprised. I spent some of my childhood in that denomination. 

My CoC relatives who are absolutely fundies no matter how much someone here wants to insist they can't be, left the DoC in the late 50s/early 60s because they felt it was becoming liberal. My mother had aunts, uncles and cousins on both her father and mother's side leave for that group (it was an extremely close knit family on her mother's side and we grew up knowing her aunts, uncles, cousins and their children very, very well). Again, the CoC in the Upper Midwest (not affiliated with the UCC at all) is a very conservative fundie group. They were until about the last two decades skirts only, no make-up or adornment for women; that seems to have eased in recent years. They did not allow their members to own televisions, go to movies, etc...and many still do not. They practiced isolation and still do to some degree--members are only to associate with other members. My family made peace on my grandmother's side after a tragic accident killed a member, but on my grandfather's side peace never really happened. My mother's childhood best friends (identical twins) ended up in the CoC as well and one went to their unaccredited college in Ottumwa IA, the Midwestern School of Evangelism. The one who was not so heavily involved was killed in a car accident when they were all in their 20s and the remaining twin disapproves of my mother because my dad was Catholic. In spite of remarkably similar life journeys (born 3 days apart, married 2 days apart and lost spouses to cancer 7 weeks apart), she will not really associate with my mother, although she is close to mom's cousins because they are CoC. That woman divides everyone she knows into "Christians" by which she means CoC people and "others" by which she means absolutely everyone else. She specifically posted about my mother and her siblings as some of the  "unsaved" people who attended her husband's funeral and she knows good and well that they are all active church members. At that funeral, the wonders of patriarchy, the need for "bible believing churches" that have services five times a week (apparently the minimum), and the need for all the non-CoC people of the world to learn about Jesus was preached at us for about 100 minutes straight. The musical interludes were provided by a man from London who was saved through mission work paid for by the deceased at a church that the memorial money for his family was all sent to, so this brand of CoC has been exported to the UK and as I understood it,  also to the Philippines. 

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@Snarkangel Gabriel I worked in Hackney and in my job often worked with the Haredi community. I saw this article today on the BBC website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35928801

I know the fact that religious education for boys in the community does not equip them for life beyond Torah study has been discussed before. Very good that the government wants to tackle the issue of under-education.  I imagine the community will see this is a very real attack and threat to their way of life. They are already a very visible minority group and, along with those who are visibly religious Muslims, get their share of verbal abuse in the streets sadly.

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On 31/03/2016 at 4:59 PM, kettlingur said:

Thank you :) I'm pretty new at this forum stuff and I'm worried about saying the wrong things.

Yeah, a lot of the people I know are very evangelical missionaries, but not fundies. Just some of them kinda... Skip over into fundieland.

Stephen Green is scary and I hate how much the tabloids give him a platform, it just adds to how important he thinks his voice is.

Black sheep are underrated - they have the cutest lambs.
index.jpg

That sheep looks like it's wearing wellies!!!!  D'awwww...

 

More seriously, this is terrifying to me, argh.

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On 31/03/2016 at 4:03 PM, Palimpsest said:

One of my old boarding school friends is deep into some very culty Fundie thing and has been for years.  They smuggle Bibles, do mission trips in hostile environments, baptize people in muddy rivers, and so on. We don't correspond any more because of it.  I forget the name but I think the organization is still going.  

Is the organisation Open Doors? 

Also, I would love to know more of your story, but totally understand that you might not want to share details. Broadly speaking though, are you UK born, but moved to the USA because your family were missionaries?  

I am fascinated by all the stories here. I always felt that the underlying beliefs of the baptist/happy clappy type churches was somehow more extreme than anyone would think. I never thought of it as being "properly" fundie but I guess part of the danger is precisely because it all looks so "normal" on the outside, when everyone is wearing jeans and has tvs in their houses, etc.

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My Mum was brought up Brethren and my Auntie still is.  Used to think they were major fundie but, after reading here I now see them as ultra fundie-lite.

They are KJV only, long hair only, skirts only, no make up etc.

However they don't seem anti birth control (although they would be pro-life) and my Auntie only has two children (although she did get married in her late 30's and had her first child at 37 so not sure what would have happened if she'd married earlier).

I'm an evangelical Christian but very much live and let live.  They have always looked down on our side of the family because Mum married an ebil Methodist and they weren't allowed to get married in her Church.

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On 31/03/2016 at 0:35 AM, meda said:

I grew up with the wife of the minister of this church, she went fundie in college. They are high Calvinist US missionaries to the UK, I think denomination is reformed Presbyterian. They were official missionaries...raised funds from Ameican congregations, have sponsors, the whole deal.

http://www.gatesheadpres.org.uk/about-us/elders--deacons

This is really funny, because this church sounds totally like the very conservative, non happy clappy UK churches that I was initially involved with.  "Sitting under God's word" "reverent joy" "God willing" .  It gives me real flashbacks. 

I clicked on the most recent podcast of the minister preaching and it sounds very familiar, right down to the way he uses the opening prayer to explain to "God" some of the things he is about to preach about. Because it's never too early to start the sermon! :my_smile:

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On 3/31/2016 at 10:44 AM, sawasdee said:

When I was a kid, the people we identified as fundies (or just plain strange) were the Brethren - sometimes just plain Brethren,  sometimes Plymouth Brethren. Head coverings, long skirts only, not mixing with others.

Are they still around?

I love your icon - thumbnail - picture-thingy. Where does it come from? (if it's okay to ask)

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Ok, so this is kinda weird but on topic, one of my UK fundie friends/relations doesn't use soap to shower/whatever, and it's a religion thing, has anyone heard of this before? Like, I sure he uses some washing agent, cause he doesn't smell, but he makes a thing out of not using soap.

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What I find weird is that I read a book once about a girl who had a friend who was Plymouth Brethren, and wore a headscarf (the friend). Yet she went to a normal school. Having googled them, I think they're like any other sect in that "Plymouth Brethren" is a wide-ranging term and some congregations are more isolationist than others. Like there are "Open Brethren" and "Exclusive Brethren". 

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The Open Brethren don't consider themselves to be a sect. They a so-named to reflect the "openness". (They still seem very strict from what I have seen of them).

Homeschooling simply isn't widespread in the UK.  It happens for all sorts of reasons, including religious belief, bullying, health issues, parenting philosophy, but is not common.   

Also (and this is why I hesitate to call most conservative Christians "fundies"), there seems to be overall much less of a belief that the bible is literally true.  

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13 hours ago, EmainMacha said:

@Snarkangel Gabriel I worked in Hackney and in my job often worked with the Haredi community. I saw this article today on the BBC website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35928801

I know the fact that religious education for boys in the community does not equip them for life beyond Torah study has been discussed before. Very good that the government wants to tackle the issue of under-education.  I imagine the community will see this is a very real attack and threat to their way of life. They are already a very visible minority group and, along with those who are visibly religious Muslims, get their share of verbal abuse in the streets sadly.

Scary. I know that the community is growing fast because they believe in large families.

 

 

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I think in a discussion about fundamentalism (even Christian fundamentalism) in the UK, you have to acknowledge that the largest cultural impact from fundies isn't currently coming from Christians.  Historically it did, but not at the moment.

In the US you have the religious right and powerful & vocal Christians making headlines and standing out.  In the UK they're quieter. They're occasionally in the papers over things such as small hotels refusing service to gay people, but even those headlines are relatively wear.

You're more likely to be see other religious fundamentalists, Muslims in hijabs or niquabs, Sikhs with turbans, and hasidic jews with their beards and side burns are more obvious than a family with long hair and skirts.  Debates about evolution in school and universities are just as likely to come from Muslims then Christians.  Except in the height of summer, a lot of the more recent Duggar styles wouldn't stand out.  Knee length skirts with tights  and coats or sweaters are perfectly acceptable for most of the year.  Unless you're in a big group of people dressed in skirts, an individual dressed to Duggar standards won't stand out unless its the height of summer.

I have no doubt Christian fundies exist here, but the current social and political framework is different.  They don't have the voice that their American counterparts have, and are much less noticeable with a much small impact than fundies of other faiths.

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One of my brothers is currently married to a woman from a UK fundie family. Fundie for Britain anyway, and I say currently as they're in the process of divorcing (separated as of December). Her folks aren't as extreme as the Duggars or Bates, but they're a lot more well-to-do than our family and disapproved of her going out with him. They had to elope to the US in 2006, but she has now returned to the UK and has reunited with her parents after not speaking to them for 10 years, resuming the lifestyle she rejected. Her two older sisters didn't have courtships as such, but I think the parents did have some say in the choosing of their husbands and SIL was considered the rebellious daughter for choosing her own boyfriend - especially one like Bro2 who smokes, drinks, swears and grew up on a council estate in a single parent family - even though they were both 23 when they started seeing each other. Think they were a bit snobby about him. :pb_cry:

Since SIL's turnaround, she's sent my mum some incredibly weird and inappropriate emails accusing her of not bringing her kids (us) up right and "letting" us do what we like! (er, we've all been adults for the past decade, Mum can't stop us!) This is definitely a 180 from a woman who was the main breadwinner when married to Bro2, could out-swear him and drink half of England under the table.

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On 4/3/2016 at 0:12 PM, blessalessi said:

Also, I would love to know more of your story, but totally understand that you might not want to share details. Broadly speaking though, are you UK born, but moved to the USA because your family were missionaries?  

 

Well you did ask!  I've written quite a lot about this in the past on FJ so it isn't secret.

I was UK born because I was adopted when my parents were home from a Baptist African Mission  (to what is now Zaire) on a 10 month long leave.  This was basically at the height of the baby snatch era.  They put in an order for a blue eyed baby girl - and hey presto!  I appeared a month later and was handed over when I was 6 days old.  Interestingly, and very surprisingly for the 1950s, the judge who finalized the adoption when I was 4 months old wasn't very keen on the idea of missionary parents.  He made them promise not to put me in boarding school at the age of 5, as was common practice for many missionaries.  

That rather put a cramp in their missionary plans as I grew older.  It was also quite a shock when BMS decided after the fact that adopted children didn't qualify for a child allowance.  So they changed Missionary Societies to one that did recognize adopted children and continued as missionaries in Zaire and then Nigeria (very remote mission hospitals) for several years.  

My father then had a big fight with the mission (I don't know why) and began to work for WHO.  He was seconded to the Ethiopian government.  While not officially missionaries, our life there was just as "missionary" as before.  Those were the people we knew and socialized with.  The good thing about Ethiopia was that there was a decent English/International school that took us through O Levels so my parents could keep their promise to the judge.  My parents did take us out of school fairly frequently (my father's job involved local travel) and we did correspondence courses when we were not in real school.

My older brother and I went back to the UK when we were 16 to boarding school.  My parents continued in Africa, we went back for holidays once a year, until they retired to England when I was almost finished with university.  My brother eventually became a missionary himself for several years, and I really appreciate the years I spent in Africa.  However, my father was - not a very nice man.  I'll leave it at that.  

I met my American husband when he was doing a post graduate course in London.  I always tell my husband that I married him because I loved him and not because I wanted to move 3,000 miles away from my father!  Thirty seven years later we are still married, happily atheist and agnostic, and not missionaries! :)  

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Ive started to see more fundies about in and around Glasgow in the past year.  Glasgow and the west of Scotland has had enough problems with religion,  when the football teams Celtic and Rangers play it can turn into a fight about religion celtic fans are mostly Catholic and Rangers fans Protestant ,  its died down in recent years but in still some areas you could get attacked just for the team you support. 

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On 4/3/2016 at 8:50 PM, kettlingur said:

Ok, so this is kinda weird but on topic, one of my UK fundie friends/relations doesn't use soap to shower/whatever, and it's a religion thing, has anyone heard of this before? Like, I sure he uses some washing agent, cause he doesn't smell, but he makes a thing out of not using soap.

Well, a standing joke in my teen years was about "unwashed sinners" because most conversations with older church members would revolve around whether or not a given visitor was "washed in the blood".

Your friend sounds as though he is still a member of the Great Unwashed. He needs to seek counselling with his Elders.  :my_biggrin:

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2 minutes ago, blessalessi said:

Well, a standing joke in my teen years was about "unwashed sinners" because most conversations with older church members would revolve around whether or not a given visitor was "washed in the blood".

Your friend sounds as though he is still a member of the Great Unwashed. He needs to seek counselling with his Elders.  :my_biggrin:

Hah! xD that's funny.

Unfortunately, he is something of an elder. I wouldn't care about his weird washing habits, but he puts them on his children, and they have had more than the usual amount of infant/toddler diseases, which is an interesting correlation, to say the least. Also, it's SO WEIRD. Like, I have yet to find the bible quote that can be twisted into soap hate.

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Well, I think it is probably a hatred that can be justified by unwashed secular and religious folk alike.

Any good Science teacher will tell you that soap is NaSt-y stuff. ;) 

And the danger of heartbreak for those who support the unbiblical practice of dating, rather than courtship, can be illustrated by the sad tale of the Two Bars of Soap That Walked Into A Bar.  One said to the other, "May I hold your palm, Olive?".  To which she replied, "Not on your life, boy!".   :my_biggrin:

For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me, says the Lord GOD.
Jer 2:22

3 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

Well you did ask!  I've written quite a lot about this in the past on FJ so it isn't secret.

 

Wow - what a story! How did I miss this?! :)

I am sorry for the sad parts of your story, but what a difference that in the 1950s adoptive parents would make a promise to a Judge, and then go on to honour it!  These days, our fundie adopters would probably just pray for a GOOD boarding school, and have done with it!

When did you stop going to Church yourself?  Did you ever attend a UK church as an adult (and as a believer)?

Do you come back to the UK often? 

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@blessalessi xD I laughed so loud at that that my housemate knocked on my door to check if I was ok :D 
also, if that quote was seriously his reasoning, then I'm really worried about his reading comprehension xD

@Palimpsest wow, that sounds like a fairly incredible start to life (in both the good and bad sense). It sounds a bit like some of my family's mission stuff, I have relations in the Congo (Zaire).

 

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I really needed an early night tonight, but the bible has so much to say about personal hygiene, I cannot sleep! :soapbox:

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But this is another reason why fundamentalism cannot get a serious foothold in the UK. We enjoy toilet humour too much. :pb_biggrin:

Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and the man goes out to the privy and purges.   Mark 7:19

 

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Seriously, I think my housemates are going to give me up for insane, I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation and instead I'm laughing hysterically alone in the dark xD

But none of these quotes explain why he can't wash his babies properly :( it's the weirdest thing.

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I met someone I would consider  a fundie through a parenting forum.  Strictly skirts, homeschooled children, no birth control (although they did do NFP), no TV, no internet on Sundays.  She did have a blog that's no longer updated but Im a little uncertain of linking it as I am still friends with this lady.  She doesn't push her religion on people as far as I can see and seems to be a nice person, just has some slightly odd (to me!) views.

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A bit random but does anyone remember Ishmael the evangelical children's songwriter? He used to set bible verses to music and he had a line of Praise Party CDs out in the 70s/80s/90s?

He was a self-styled "itinerant Christian rock star with a children's ministry" and some of it was benign fun, but he wrote some horrific little ditties to set young Christians on the right path.

For 79p you can still download the "Nagging Wife" song.  Yes, you can! There are actions for the "dripping tap" part, but I can't seem to remember them, offhand. :my_confused:

ETA: I checked and it seems he was Elim Pentecostal for his 'itinerant praise party career" days.

He apparently was into the Jesus Camp type of belief system that children should be encouraged to explore their charismatic giftings, up to and including prophecy and preaching, but I think he kept that bit quiet for the most part, when he had a gig at mainstream Christian rallies and camps.

Now he is a Deacon at Chichester Cathedral.

I wonder if the choirboys have been taught to sing "A Nagging Wife" as a special wedding ceremony treat?

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