Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
JermajestyDuggar

Changing fundie culture

Recommended Posts

Red Hair, Black Dress

This cradle Catholic is extremely thankful that we were not raised as Trads but post Vatican II. The emphasis was on social justice, kindness and help to everyone, discernment of your conscience, attempting mightily to seek and live up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc.  In short to try as hard as possible to live up to the ideals of Christ while also being in the world.  To make a difference through your faith.

Yes we had Santa, but Christmas was always about Christ.  Our faith was joyful. We didn't carry it as a burden -- which is what I see so many Trads and fundies doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cleopatra7
On 12/7/2019 at 8:08 PM, Perrierwithlemon said:

Although Christians have a different beliefs regarding salvation (thank God, otherwise I wouldn't be a Christian), I can't help but see some parallels between these modern-modest-Mormon bloggers and many Christian fundies. Perhaps it's the patriarchal culture or their attempt adapt to modern culture because of social media? 

I think Mormonism makes official doctrine concepts that many Protestant fundamentalists already believe to be semi-gospel truth: that the US Constitution is divinely inspired, that the US has been blessed by the presence of Jesus in various ways, an obsession with business, the valorization of the Wild West myth, a fascination/condescension towards Native Americans, and an outright disdain for blacks. Mormons also have a very WASPy aesthetic, which is probably very appealing to those Protestant fundamentalists who still get nervous at media that show superficial diversity.

  • Upvote 5
  • I Agree 2
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perrierwithlemon

I'm confused by the bolded part because the following things are not considered "official doctrine" by protestants.

58 minutes ago, Cleopatra7 said:

I think Mormonism makes official doctrine concepts that many Protestant fundamentalists already believe to be semi-gospel truth: that the US Constitution is divinely inspired, that the US has been blessed by the presence of Jesus in various ways, an obsession with business, the valorization of the Wild West myth, a fascination/condescension towards Native Americans, and an outright disdain for blacks.

But I do agree with the rest of what you said. Especially the WASP aesthetic part, with their white button-up shirts and dress pants. 

IMO America is far from blessed by the presence of Jesus because it has a history of colonial violence, discrimination, and exploiting/profiting off of individuals for unethical economic gain. I honestly don't think that most Christians realize that America was not founded by Christians. They were mostly agnostic because that was the more socially acceptable version of being an atheist at that time. However, I am thankful for separation of church and state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cleopatra7
1 minute ago, Perrierwithlemon said:

I'm confused by the bolded part because the following things are not considered "official doctrine" by protestants.

But I do agree with the rest of what you said. Especially the WASP aesthetic part, with their white button-up shirts and dress pants. 

IMO America is far from blessed by the presence of Jesus because it has a history of colonial violence, discrimination, and exploiting/profiting off of individuals for unethical economic gain. I honestly don't think that most Christians realize that America was not founded by Christians. They were mostly agnostic because that was the more socially acceptable version of being an atheist at that time. However, I am thankful for separation of church and state.

I know those statements are not official doctrine, but in the white Protestant fundamentalist world, you’d never know that. Much, if not most, of what constitutes religion is culture that has nothing to do with theological statements as such. This is why black Baptists and white IFBs essentially live on different planets. At the same time, whatever is considered the default religion in a place is always lurking in the background of seemingly secular spaces. This is why there’s separation between church and state in the Constitution, but in reality, a lot of American political discourse is a nonstop Jesus fest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nausicaa
1 hour ago, Cleopatra7 said:

Mormons also have a very WASPy aesthetic, which is probably very appealing to those Protestant fundamentalists who still get nervous at media that show superficial diversity.

Do you mean white suburban or WASPy? Cause most Utah Mormons aren't at all like your stereotypical New England WASP. The tryndy names, the fast fashion, the huge families, and over sentimentality is very out of place among traditional old mainline types. 

The average WASP would have a heart attack at a Mormon no-RSVP free-for-all wedding reception. My snooty East Coast ass had enough trouble adjusting to my Mormon's friend's wedding when I was a bridesmaid in it. 

  • Upvote 5
  • Haha 2
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eponine

I agree that from my perspective it seems like fundie culture is changing, and has changed a lot in the last decade or so. And as many have pointed out, I think it's mainly to present it in a prettier, more relatable package to have a wider appeal.

It makes me wonder, though, whether there will soon be another backlash that will make some fundie groups dive back into the isolationism that characterized them in the 1990s-early 2000s. At that time, it was a point of pride for many fundies that they stood out from the rest of society - that they were visibly and defiantly different in ways that many no longer are. We often see that many fundies get a self-righteous pleasure in obviously not "belonging" to modern society. That kind of clear difference also feeds their persecution complex.

I could see this gradual trend of assimilating into the larger culture pushing some subsets farther away, and I wonder if there is going to be an ongoing cycle of isolationism-assimilation-isolationism, etc.

I don't really have any backup for that, but I'm not convinced this is a permanent shift in culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chamomile

I used to frumper (can I use that as a verb?) and am trying to figure out what made the shift for me. I think there were two main factors:

1) Exposure to different lifestyles. When I was growing up fundie-perfect, we didn't mingle interpersonally very often with good, kind, "regular" people living good lives their own way. How we dressed was synonymous with the goodness we aspired to. It was supposed to reflect our hearts: modest, separate, simple. When I moved away from home (my parents were reluctant to let me do this but progressive enough to support it) I met a lot more people from all different backgrounds, and got to know them in contexts outside of religion. When religion stops forming the basis for all your decisions, it makes a huge difference and was a real eye-opener for me. I realized you could wear jeans and be a good person, and that it didn't have to mean completely abandoning my faith. 

2) Fatigue. It gets tiring to constantly prove a Biblical basis for every teeny, weeny thing. My childhood was wonderful but also exhausting because this moral unrest was constant, since my parents weren't raised fundie themselves--- it was something they were figuring out along the way. Was celebrating Christmas actually pagan? Was nail polish a sin? Could I get my ears pierced? How often should we be allowed to see our less conservative relatives? Could we read "The Magic Schoolbus"? (Of course not, let's not give my poor mother the vapors!) And oh my, the eternal turmoil over head coverings... I think this fatigue is partly why there is so much splitting going on in fundiedom, all this shifting among the younger generation. Our religious convictions weren't a time-honored generational canon of dearly-held traditions (except among some Mennonites and similar groups); it's a cobbled together assortment of self-imposed rules, dependent utterly upon the person (patriarch?) coming up with the holiness flavor of the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kmachete14

I also think it has to do with the older generation being the ones to convert to "fundie." They set those frumper, no TV, perm your hair, no dancing rules with no complaint because that's what they wanted to pioneer. They felt they needed those restrictions based on their previously sinful behavior (see David Rodrigues or Michelle Duggar and their horribly sinful teenage lives of dabbling in drinking and bikinis). 

Now the eleventy kids of theirs are figuring out their own families. They were born into this, they didn't make the decision themselves. So it's easier for them to think, okay, I can keep my core beliefs but decide other "heart issues" myself (or my husband will). They don't have a sinful past that needs corralling. 

I also think part of it is simply thinking they ARE part of a Christian subculture. Hippie interior design and flowy modest blouses, chiropractors and essential oils, may seem unique and cool to them, and all their fundie SAHM friends, so they really do think it's *just* them living this way. They don't interact with outside people enough to know that mainstream Christians or atheist or Bhuddist might be also be into muted color schemes, succulents, and high-necked midi dresses. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JermajestyDuggar
51 minutes ago, Chamomile said:

Exposure to different lifestyles. When I was growing up fundie-perfect, we didn't mingle interpersonally very often with good, kind, "regular" people living good lives their own way. How we dressed was synonymous with the goodness we aspired to. It was supposed to reflect our hearts: modest, separate, simple. When I moved away from home (my parents were reluctant to let me do this but progressive enough to support it) I met a lot more people from all different backgrounds, and got to know them in contexts outside of religion. When religion stops forming the basis for all your decisions, it makes a huge difference and was a real eye-opener for me. I realized you could wear jeans and be a good person, and that it didn't have to mean completely abandoning my faith. 

You had to leave home to be exposed to different lifestyles. With social media being so popular, fundies can be exposed to different lifestyles without leaving their home. Which I think plays a role too. I think these fundies must see all these different types of fundies and Christians and realize those people are still godly while wearing pants and watching tv.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cleopatra7
2 hours ago, nausicaa said:

Do you mean white suburban or WASPy? Cause most Utah Mormons aren't at all like your stereotypical New England WASP. The tryndy names, the fast fashion, the huge families, and over sentimentality is very out of place among traditional old mainline types. 

The average WASP would have a heart attack at a Mormon no-RSVP free-for-all wedding reception. My snooty East Coast ass had enough trouble adjusting to my Mormon's friend's wedding when I was a bridesmaid in it. 

I guess the term I should have used was Anglo-Saxon looking, since Mormons obviously aren’t Protestants, though I think many of the Mormon pioneers and their descendants were/are mostly of English stock. Mormons, especially those living in the Western states with a strong LDS presence, do have their own particular subculture that would confuse fundies in various Protestant groups. Politically, they all reach the same conclusions, more or less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waffle Time
mango_fandango

Sometimes I wonder why the Maxwells went from frumper-tastic to t-shirts and maxi skirts. They made the switch at the end of 2010, I believe. 

They’re still pretty isolationist. They don’t really use social media, all the married sons still live in Leavenworth, etc. They’re fairly unusual for fundies in that sense, in that the parents still have a huge influence in their kids’ lives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caroline
3 hours ago, Chamomile said:

I used to frumper (can I use that as a verb?) and am trying to figure out what made the shift for me. I think there were two main factors:

1) Exposure to different lifestyles. When I was growing up fundie-perfect, we didn't mingle interpersonally very often with good, kind, "regular" people living good lives their own way. How we dressed was synonymous with the goodness we aspired to. It was supposed to reflect our hearts: modest, separate, simple. When I moved away from home (my parents were reluctant to let me do this but progressive enough to support it) I met a lot more people from all different backgrounds, and got to know them in contexts outside of religion. When religion stops forming the basis for all your decisions, it makes a huge difference and was a real eye-opener for me. I realized you could wear jeans and be a good person, and that it didn't have to mean completely abandoning my faith. 

2) Fatigue. It gets tiring to constantly prove a Biblical basis for every teeny, weeny thing. My childhood was wonderful but also exhausting because this moral unrest was constant, since my parents weren't raised fundie themselves--- it was something they were figuring out along the way. Was celebrating Christmas actually pagan? Was nail polish a sin? Could I get my ears pierced? How often should we be allowed to see our less conservative relatives? Could we read "The Magic Schoolbus"? (Of course not, let's not give my poor mother the vapors!) And oh my, the eternal turmoil over head coverings... I think this fatigue is partly why there is so much splitting going on in fundiedom, all this shifting among the younger generation. Our religious convictions weren't a time-honored generational canon of dearly-held traditions (except among some Mennonites and similar groups); it's a cobbled together assortment of self-imposed rules, dependent utterly upon the person (patriarch?) coming up with the holiness flavor of the moment.

And the more society changes, especially technologically, the more exhausting it must be to have to get it right all the time.

Call me lazy, but the Fundie lifestyle sounds like way too much work for me.  So glad I was raised in an equally lazy not-too-Catholic home!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JermajestyDuggar
46 minutes ago, Caroline said:

And the more society changes, especially technologically, the more exhausting it must be to have to get it right all the time.

Call me lazy, but the Fundie lifestyle sounds like way too much work for me.  So glad I was raised in an equally lazy not-too-Catholic home!

In one hand, it’s a lot of work. In the other, it’s not. You have all the answers right there in front of you. That’s what was so appealing to people who joined ATI/IBLP. Gothard has all the answers. He held up couples and families as proof that he had the answers to the right way to raise a perfect godly family. If you follow this exact formula, you’ll get great results. So they didn’t have to think about anything. They didn’t have to make a bunch of decisions. They just had to follow the rules and everything would be perfect. Until it wasn’t of course.

Edited by JermajestyDuggar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hoipolloi
57 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

If you follow this exact formula, you’ll get great results. So they didn’t have to think about anything. They didn’t have to make a bunch of decisions. They just had to follow the rules and everything would be perfect. Until it wasn’t of course.

I've said this repeatedly here but there is almost no parent, secular or fundie, who wouldn't do anything to guarantee a great outcome for their children -- especially when those children become teens, when all hell can break loose, even in the best of family situations.

This is the allure of the fundie parenting systems, including shite like the Pearls' TTUAC: do as I say, and your children will grow up to become wonderful people who completely agree with you and have wonderful lives. Of course, when things don't work out, those who push these systems will say, "You did it wrong," or "You're not a true believer," or some other crap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caroline
1 hour ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

In one hand, it’s a lot of work. In the other, it’s not. You have all the answers right there in front of you. That’s what was so appealing to people who joined ATI/IBLP. Gothard has all the answers. He held up couples and families as proof that he had the answers to the right way to raise a perfect godly family. If you follow this exact formula, you’ll get great results. So they didn’t have to think about anything. They didn’t have to make a bunch of decisions. They just had to follow the rules and everything would be perfect. Until it wasn’t of course.

This makes a certain kind of sense unless before the age of five (in my case) your life has been turned upside-down by one really bad, abusive parent.  Fortunately, that parent was out of my life before I turned six, and my siblings and I very quickly learned that even when it appeared that our mom did everything right (marrying who she thought was a decent guy because that's what she'd been raised to do in the 50's) lots can go wrong because we really can't control someone else's actions.  As a result I grew up very cautious about people and their motives and realized that life is never simple and predictable.  Overtly religious people were the people I really distrusted because of just this kind of black/white thinking.  I wish my mom and sibs and I hadn't experienced any trauma at the hands of my father, but it did make us all more thoughtful and thinking adults.  Glad you find your way out of that simplistic, formula-driven lifestyle.  Real life is much more interesting than that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FilleMondaine

So, I read the Allure article about accessible Mormons and how beautiful they are. It...made me very uncomfortable because it was so glowing. There was a teeny tiny bit of lip service regarding problematic beliefs. Maybe the intersection of "wellness" and "no alcohol and no caffeine" makes the lifestyle attractive and accessible.

This being the realm of snark, I was super interested to see what Allure would write because after firing the amazing Linda Wells, they hired someone with little experience and little evidence that she had a distinct and interesting point of view. I expected a decline in quality. I wasn't wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waffle Time
smittykins

I came across some teen magazines from the early 70s, during the Osmonds’ heyday, and in the “letters to the editor” page, someone noted that the mag had published a photo of one of the Osmonds drinking an orange soda, and “I thought they couldn’t have that?”  It was explained that since orange soda isn’t caffeinated, it’s allowed.(I also remember reading that some of their fans tried to live the Mormon lifestyle of no alcohol/caffeine, usually unsuccessfully.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waffle Time
Palimpsest
19 hours ago, Eponine said:

I agree that from my perspective it seems like fundie culture is changing, and has changed a lot in the last decade or so. And as many have pointed out, I think it's mainly to present it in a prettier, more relatable package to have a wider appeal.

If you define "Fundie" as narrowly as "converts of Biblical Christianity Patriarchs like Gothard and Phillips," yes.  Some of it is dressing to appear more mainstream, and some of it is growing out of fashion fads within their social circles.  Frumpers changing to modern modest and pants doesn't change core beliefs.  It does have a wider appeal though and may help to attract converts.

Some of the more important social and cultural fads and fashions are changing too.  As the second generation grew up they found that the courtship model didn't work out as planned.  Daddy picking spouses wasn't a good method of finding a happy marriage nor of avoiding domestic abuse and divorce.  And being a virgin uneducated SAHD still waiting for Daddy to approve Prince Charming in your 30s really can't be much fun.  Also they probably noticed that QF really isn't all it was cracked up to be.  A lot of the second generation grew up living in poverty with their multiple siblings.  The Duggars and Bateses with their TV shows and carefully curated social media accounts are not representative of most Gothard and VF followers.

The public Falls from Grace and ugly scandals with  Gothard and Phillips probably shook many of their followers up.  But I've lost count of all the "charismatic" Christian church leaders who have gone down in flames during my lifetime and it didn't change the views of their followers.  

Quote

It makes me wonder, though, whether there will soon be another backlash that will make some fundie groups dive back into the isolationism that characterized them in the 1990s-early 2000s. At that time, it was a point of pride for many fundies that they stood out from the rest of society - that they were visibly and defiantly different in ways that many no longer are. We often see that many fundies get a self-righteous pleasure in obviously not "belonging" to modern society. That kind of clear difference also feeds their persecution complex.

And there are still plenty of nests of extreme Christian Fundamentalists who still think it is a point of pride to live separately.  Gothardites and VF types are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are lots of other extremists who don't have sparkly social media accounts.  And some very scary ones who are off grid.

Quote

I could see this gradual trend of assimilating into the larger culture pushing some subsets farther away, and I wonder if there is going to be an ongoing cycle of isolationism-assimilation-isolationism, etc.

I don't really have any backup for that, but I'm not convinced this is a permanent shift in culture.

Yes.  History is cyclical.  The USA, thanks to Freedom of Religion, has always had people starting their own cults, sects, and religions.  Think Joseph Smith (Jesus Christ was invited to join the Mormons quite late) and L. Ron Hubbard. 

And the US has had a series of big evangelistic Christian "Revivals."  Historically they are known as the Great Awakenings, and there is a somewhat controversial theory that the Fourth Great Awakening took place in the 1960s and 1970s.   The extremely legalistic Biblical Patriarchal movement grew out of that.  IMO.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Great_Awakening

The cycle may be speeding up thanks to information being spread so quickly in the 21st century.  There's no need to go door to door when you can convert people on youtube!

  • Upvote 4
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FiveAcres
1 hour ago, Palimpsest said:

The cycle may be speeding up thanks to information being spread so quickly in the 21st century.  There's no need to go door to door when you can convert people on youtube!

But on the plus side, the Internet also provided a source of support for those going through de-conversion.  It's a lot different from when your local, small-town library didn't dare stock any books from a skeptical or agnostic perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marmion
On 12/10/2019 at 7:13 AM, FilleMondaine said:

So, I read the Allure article about accessible Mormons and how beautiful they are. It...made me very uncomfortable because it was so glowing. There was a teeny tiny bit of lip service regarding problematic beliefs. Maybe the intersection of "wellness" and "no alcohol and no caffeine" makes the lifestyle attractive and accessible.

This being the realm of snark, I was super interested to see what Allure would write because after firing the amazing Linda Wells, they hired someone with little experience and little evidence that she had a distinct and interesting point of view. I expected a decline in quality. I wasn't wrong.

From the Allure article  

Quote

Don’t let the Zumba classes and work-at-home statuses mislead you, though­ — these women are ambitious. When I traveled to Utah, every Uber driver asked if I was in town for “Young Living.” I assumed it had something to do with the LDS church. Finally I asked. “It’s like...essential oils, I think?” the driver said. “There are thousands of women here right now for it.” Young Living is indeed an essential-oils company. It’s also a multilevel marketing operation, one of dozens based in Utah and sold in Mormon living rooms. Others include Jamberry (nail wraps and polishes), NuSkin (skin care), and Younique (makeup and self-tanners). “These businesses allow Mormon women to make money and be ambitious, all while not working outside of the home, which in lots of ways is still frowned upon,” says Jones. And they perfectly align two common skill sets: a deep knowledge of beauty products and a willingness to make a pitch. “One thing we’re taught is sales and marketing,” says Atkin. “Think about it: Mormon missionaries are always knocking on doors. You’re taught to get involved in your community, to never be afraid to talk to strangers.” While you’re at it, why not ask them to consider a holographic nail wrap

In response I just thought that I would post some videos , if I may , from one of my favorite anti-MLM YouTubers , about at least some of these companies , not that I expect that any LDS ladies will see this post , but just the same FYI .  

 

 Whether or not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints itself can be rightly considered a cult , Mormons have been getting heavily involved in MLMs  https://religionnews.com/2017/06/20/10-reasons-mormons-dominate-multi-level-marketing-companies/  , and multi-level marketing can be deemed to be characteristic of being a cult  .  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/multilevel-marketing-companies-mlms-cults-similarities_l_5d49f8c2e4b09e72973df3d3 ,  

https://www.cultnews101.com/2019/10/the-cult-of-multi-level-marketing.html 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howl

Just wanted to thank every person who posted on this page with such interesting and insightful things to say from so many different perspectives! I'm wowed!  Not like Sham-Wow wowed, but mentally stimulated at 6:30 am.  Carry on, fj, I look forward to more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Satisfied
HerNameIsBuffy
8 hours ago, Howl said:

Not like Sham-Wow wowed

Saw this in unread activity and wondered why you were posting about my cat, Sham-Wow!  But I see that you aren't so carry on...

 

:) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.