Jump to content
IGNORED

Elisabeth Elliot: A Second Look at Passion and Purity


Petronella
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know a number of young missionaries who went while single, including the two young women who went while single. In fact, Nate Saint's sister Rachel never married while serving as a missionary. Was it just men who were pressured to marry before becoming missionaries?

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A new article on Jim Elliot's sexuality:

Quote

 

For decades, Elisabeth Elliot has been the slow and steady voice of traditional morality. And Jim has been used, from beyond the grave, to teach Evangelical children to be godly and ‘pure’.
He was about the only Evangelical who could be described as fun, friendly, and sexy. He was the teen idol, the boy band, the pin up. There was Jim everywhere: children’s books and comic books, cartoons and YA biographies.
He’s always smiling, usually alone—and so happy to see you. I realized the lot of them, frankly, might be described as ‘queerbaiting’....

A re-reading of his relationship with Betty as a girlfriend begins to seem possible. He’d approached her, [Elisabeth Elliot] says, to be a sort of long-distance attachment only days before she was to graduate and leave for other countries. It might’ve been a ploy to have an undemanding but public romance as will provide social cover.

 

 

  • Upvote 2
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooooh, interesting.  However, could you quote the whole article, if it isn't too long?  I don't want to create yet another account on another website. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Howl said:

Ooooh, interesting.  However, could you quote the whole article, if it isn't too long?  I don't want to create yet another account on another website. 

Let me see what I can do.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since we can't post PDFs, here's a text-only version of the article. It lacks a number of good illustrations, unfortunately.

I really recommend trying to read the original, if you can. 

Spoiler

 

The queer Evangelical hero?

 
Since his death in 1956, Jim Elliot has been an icon of sexual ‘purity’. The truth is coming out.
To grow up Evangelical, you knew about Jim Elliot. He was one of five missionaries speared to death by natives in Ecuador, and declared a ‘martyr’. His widow, Elisabeth Elliot, wrote bestselling books about him like Through Gates of Splendor in 1956, and in 1958, Shadow of the Almighty. Then in 1984, Passion and Purity was a portrait of Jim as a model Christian lover. This book launched the famous ‘purity culture’, as a new generation of Evangelical kids struggled to be as good as him.
You might wonder, though, at the young man who writes of some kind of overwhelming inner conflict, and seemed happiest when imagining himself in love, not with his wife, but with Jesus:

Quote

“ . . . if only I may see Him, smell His garments, and smile into my Lover’s eyes, ah, then, not stars, nor children, shall matter — only Himself.”


Could Jim have been queer?

Talking about the tortured psyches of Evangelical Christians from the 1940s and 1950s is sure tricky. This a community that hates all talk of sex, and might be expected to destroy evidence of anything unusual. Last year, though, I pressed forward with an article about the Elliots, “The Purity Hoax,” which suggested both had “unclear psychosexual profiles.” It went a bit viral, viewed 74K times, and I guess Ellen Vaughn was one of them.

I was reading her brand new, official biography of Elisabeth Elliot, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot, realizing I was reading about me.
In recent years at least one determined blogger has claimed that Jim’s deep friendships with other men indicate that he was sexually attracted to them, and that his indecision about Betty was the by-product of homoerotic repression.

As I kept reading, I realized there was something funny going on here. Vaughn was slipping in evidence for the idea she’d appeared to dismiss. Like the smiling, shirtless photo of Jim that I clipped out, colorized and put at the top of this post. There’s something flirty and sexy about it?

There’s no photographer listed, just a date of 1954. Elisabeth Elliot had noted she learned to operate a camera a few years later. The photo, I’d gather, was taken by one of the fellow missionaries.

Vaughn was in a curious position. She’s a serious writer, and a good one, but she’s working a gig.
For decades, Elisabeth Elliot has been the slow and steady voice of traditional morality. And Jim has been used, from beyond the grave, to teach Evangelical children to be godly and ‘pure’.

He was about the only Evangelical who could be described as fun, friendly, and sexy. He was the teen idol, the boy band, the pin up. There was Jim everywhere: children’s books and comic books, cartoons and YA biographies.
He’s always smiling, usually alone—and so happy to see you. I realized the lot of them, frankly, might be described as ‘queerbaiting’.

As I’m reading Vaughn’s book, I stop and stare in amazement.
She’s narrating the five missionaries about to leave for their final trip into the jungle. She prints an excerpt of the last entry of Jim’s journal, December 31, 1955, when, age 29, he’s days away from dying. But the text she uses isn’t the published version of Jim’s journal. She doesn’t draw attention to it—but cites the original manuscript. That the journal was censored was known from Elisabeth Elliot herself. She noted in the preface to the 1978 publication she’d removed “two or three pages.” The archives at Wheaton College, where the manuscript is held, notes that “comments have been cut out”—like with scissors.
As I read the excerpt Vaughn supplies, I realized it was a little window into his actual, unedited self. I’ll boldface the ‘new’ text:

Quote

"A month of temptation. Satan and the flesh have been on me hard on the dreadful old level of breasts and bodies. How God holds my soul in His life and permits one with such wretchedness to continue in His service, I cannot tell. Oh, it has been hard. Betty thinks I have been angry with her, when I have simply had to steel myself to sex life so as not to explode . . . my unworthiness of her love beats me down. I have been really low inside me struggling and casting myself hourly on Christ for help. Marriage is divorce from the privacy a man loves, but there is some privacy nothing can share. It is the knowledge of a sinful heart."

It seems Jim is facing and describing a sexual drama. He seems to be trying to have sex with his wife, and finds himself becoming ‘angry with her’ in the attempt. To “steel to” a task is to prepare to do it. His anger, he feels, is happening to keep ahead of an ‘explosion’.

She misunderstands, thinking there’s fault on her part.

This relationship might have to be understood as vaguely akin to S&M, which is a thought I began to have earlier in Vaughn’s narrative, when she notes Betty responding to Jim’s treatment of her: “Never have I been treated like this before — especially by a man! What worries me is that I seem to thrive on it.”

In this journal entry we seem to be watching a man trying to make sex happen, getting angry and ugly, and later, dropping into depression, wishing he wasn’t married, and simmering in dark thoughts of a ‘sinful’ nature he won’t name or describe.
But it disqualifies him from divine service—and that narrows it down.

I pick up the published version of the journal, reading to the end of the entry. He notes a sermon he’d preached the day before on Matthew 5:28, the problem of “whoever looks on a woman…” Jim puts an exclamation mark on the line. That might be his suggestion that looking with ‘lust’ on a woman—wasn’t his particular problem.

    
There are bits in his published journal that could be read as struggles with heterosexual responses.
On August 23, 1948, at age 21, he writes of a train trip: “Awoke with sense of sex desire and realized that I am in Satan’s realm still. What with his urging the smolderings of evil within—those which will inflame hell—I struggled over that insane lusting.  One woman near me seemed to encourage the red-eyed imp, desire . . .”

One would have to note, too, that from the first entry on he sees the journal as a public document. Then the largest arc of his biography is certainly of a young man who avoids women—from his teenage years to his final moments out with male friends in the jungle.


In Shadow of the Almighty, a friend is quoted: “Jim was extremely wary of women, fearing that they only intended to lure a man from his goals. ‘Domesticated males aren’t much use for adventure,’ he warned me.” Jim refuses to go to a high school dance, citing religious objections. No girl he might’ve gone with is mentioned.


Going to Wheaton College in 1941, Jim became known as a “woman hater”—a category often used for people who would now be described as sexually different. Jim was still expected to marry, and there’s more evidence here than what Elisabeth Elliot wanted her fans to know about. A later publication of some of their letters reveals a woman had pursued Jim.
Then there’s his regular ambivalence about their relationship. “I cannot tell whether or not I love her,” he writes on June 25, 1949. And he often refers, vaguely, to something amiss in his inner self. “Much oppressed with vile thoughts these past few days,” he writes on December 4, 1949.


Elisabeth Elliot’s talk about their romance begins to seem more and more either delusional or deceptive. She’ll say in late 1983: “What were we to make of this tornado of passion we suddenly felt for each other?”
I gather images of Elisabeth Elliot over the years, wondering.

There’s no evidence, it must be said, that Jim had ever been sexually attracted to her.

He’ll write his parents, as Shadow notes, that he is seeing her, “not on account of a fine-featured face, a shapely form, nor even on account of rare conversational powers. Of the former two she possesses little of appeal.”

He’s less restrained with his friend Bill Cathers, comparing their bond to David and Jonathan, whose love in the Bible “passes the love of women.”

Quote

The love of David and Jonathan (1:23–26) — felt again today for Bill C. upon receipt of a letter from him en route to China. How great shall be our fellowship in heaven! Oh, to spend eternity with such whose spirit quickens my own — makes me throb just to hear his soul’s surgings.

When Bill gets a girlfriend and fades out of his life, Jim prays for a replacement: “Lord, give me a David, I pray — one whom I can know as David knew Jonathan — ‘sweet, swifter, stronger…’”

A re-reading of his relationship with Betty as a girlfriend begins to seem possible. He’d approached her, she says, to be a sort of long-distance attachment only days before she was to graduate and leave for other countries. It might’ve been a ploy to have an undemanding but public romance as will provide social cover.

Vaughn’s larger narrative of Elisabeth Elliot suggests context.

This seems to have been a girl who was very introverted, socially awkward, and nursing secrets of her own. Vaughn doesn’t deal with some lines quoted in Devotedly about Betty having some ‘struggle’: “I cannot write it even here,” she writes. “O God, purge me, take away all desire!”

Or that odd moment when Betty arrives in Ecuador and sees unclothed men bathing in a river, possibly her first sight of a naked man. “My whole being recoils at such sights — not that I am shocked, in the sense of ‘surprised’ or horrified, but it is a shock to my nature. I cannot express just how it affects me.” It makes her long for the Second Coming.

Vaughn is clearly choosing to sidestep what might be hard to deal with. After Betty leaves Jim in 1948, she goes to attend Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. One of her classmates was Fred Phelps, later famous with the Westboro Baptist Church. Her roommate for the year was the future wife of her brother, whose son recalls later that his mother and Betty “roomed together . . . even sleeping in the same bed for the year. And, Betty’s formidable personality pretty much overwhelmed Mom, who lived much of her college life and PBI year quaking in Betty’s shadow.”

This is not the sweet, submissive figure of Passion and Purity. This is a Betty being trained from childhood to be the shock troops for fundamentalist Christianity, and who had a sexual nature which remains concealed—but seems clearly to be, somehow, different.

In Vaughn’s narrative of the Elliot ‘courtship’, the relationship comes across as deeply strange to the people around them.

And reading scene after scene, I am just shaking my head.

“I cried too,” wrote the sometimes obtuse Jim, who had spent hours feverishly studying the apostle Paul’s writings in the original Greek, trying to discern if he was being disobedient or obedient in his interactions with Betty. He wrote of “wanting to be fair to her, wanting to marry her, wanting, wanting” . . . but he felt “no guiding from God, not even for engagement.”

In these ‘feverish’ hours, one wonders what biblical ideas Jim was studying.

Vaughn quotes fellow missionary Pete Fleming writing in a letter: “Jim said late last night he and Betty spent more time crying than talking and it was really a heart-rending time.”

Vaughn notes that their marriage, by a civil official with no religious ceremony, doesn’t seem at all romantic, belying Elisabeth Elliot’s later descriptions. A job had come available for a married couple. “How soon can you marry me?” Jim asks her.

The relationship seems to throw him into an oscillation of moods and gender which must’ve been terrifying to see. He seems to weep often, and writes in his journal:

Quote

I don’t understand what there is about loving her that makes me such a damned woman. I can hardly begin to describe it; I only know that I feel it strong and that I can’t talk of it without twists coming to my mouth. Lips get try and tears seem to brim at my eyes, and there is a crushing sense in my chest. At the bottom of it is a tremendous weight of sheer unworthiness. I don’t feel fit to be in her company . . .

It’d be easy to walk away from this mess—a badly damaged biography with censored primary documents.

And a story, ultimately, about a people who allowed no words or categories for sexual difference, and whose perception of it would be diffused through theological categories, infused with fear of eternal damnation.

Not an easy community to examine, and yet there is the possibility of an insight here into Evangelical culture, which seem to have used a young man who’d been theologically traumatized into sexual terror and paralysis as the image of devotion.

A total re-thinking of Elisabeth Elliot’s narrations seems, then, to be in order, in which her situation is poignant. She was abused, perhaps willingly so, in her marriage. Then, after her husband’s death, she’d have read his journals and realizes—there’d been more going on.

She’s then in a tough spot, for as she discusses, she was financially devastated. There’d been, she’d note, no life insurance. Jim’s only value, to his wife and their child, was in a narrative which could be crafted and sold to Evangelical people. The initial work was done not even by her, but by Reader’s Digest and her book publisher—as narrated in Kathryn T. Long’s recent scholarly study, God in the Rainforest.

In later years, Elisabeth Elliot seems to have launched into a fictional presentation of Jim’s life. “Kids need heroes, here’s one,” is how she’d autograph copies of The Journals of Jim Elliot. And he, indeed, had become a valuable commodity to the religion in whose ranks she was rapidly rising whenever she talked about him.

In later years, she waged slash-and-burn media campaigns against feminists, gays, premarital sex, etc.

As not often noted, Passion and Purity is full of anti-gay put-downs, and her newsletter is really deeply hateful. Elisabeth Elliot was never other than a homophobe who should have been critiqued on basic Christian grounds of being minimally decent to others.

It leaves a tough situation, as Elisabeth Elliot fans are still invested in the myth, and they’re the ones buying product. I write Vaughn via her website asking if there’s more unpublished text in the surviving manuscript. She doesn’t reply.

Valerie Elliot, the daughter who is controlling her parents’ estate, had spoken of having found the ‘new’ letters while on a search for her father’s journal. As Wheaton College has been in possession of Jim’s manuscript for decades, I have to understand her as indicating knowledge of there having been additional volumes from it?— that she couldn’t find.

As mauled as Jim’s body was in death, his textual body, after his death, faced a similar fate. Would it be better to bury him as a signature casualty of the era, and of a theology that continues to war on its members?

And yet, I rather suspect, there’s pieces which might be reconstructed, and a queer figure waiting to emerge with another message.

Update: Two hours after this was posted, and five days after I wrote her, Ellen Vaughn replied to my query about the possibility of the manuscript of Jim’s journal having still additional text. She’s playing this one “confused Evangelical woman,” it seems.

Quote

Hi, Jon, hope you’re well! Thanks for writing. I pulled Jim’s last journal entry from the archives at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. I don’t quite know what you mean by “his manuscript” having other redacted passages??? Thanks and blessings from Ellen.

I’ll include here the published journal on the left, and the additional text from Becoming Elisabeth Elliot on the right: [not included here]

 

 

Edited by hoipolloi
  • Upvote 6
  • Thank You 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

I really recommend trying to read the original, if you can.

Deleting cookies and/or opening the link in an incognito window will usually get around the metered paywall on Medium.

Ya know, hypothetically :shhh:

  • Upvote 3
  • Thank You 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks @hoipolloi.  It's an interesting read.  One thing that stands out is that, gay or straight or bi, these are profoundly, disturbingly sexually and emotionally  repressed people with zero insight into what's happening in their bodies and minds, with the added overlay of missionary zeal.  What a toxic mess. 

I can't even imagine what would have transpired if Jim had lived. 

  • Upvote 6
  • I Agree 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't believe I was ever jealous of their romance (a loooooong time ago). Now I just feel sorry for them both (and feel other things too, as they made choices that hurt each other and others, even now, as their teachings persist).

I know that the form love takes changes over time, that the intense passion of a new relationship ebbs and flows as time goes by. But having had intense, unmixed, happy, determined, passionate love at the start is such a treasure to me. And now our love is more complex, lived out in part through our kids as well as towards each other, and lived out in service to each other more often than in romantic dates. I value all of it.

It just breaks my heart to read about how ambivalent he was about her, even at the start when most relationships are at their intensity's peak, and still she married him.

This quote: "“I cried too,” wrote the sometimes obtuse Jim, who had spent hours feverishly studying the apostle Paul’s writings in the original Greek, trying to discern if he was being disobedient or obedient in his interactions with Betty. He wrote of “wanting to be fair to her, wanting to marry her, wanting, wanting” . . . but he felt “no guiding from God, not even for engagement.”"

And this: "Vaughn quotes fellow missionary Pete Fleming writing in a letter: “Jim said late last night he and Betty spent more time crying than talking and it was really a heart-rending time.”"

That does not sound like the start of a happy relationship. They had very compatible lives, so it's not like there was an outside obstacle to challenge or sacrifice they were going to have to make in order to be together. It really seems like what they were agonizing over was the being together itself.

Also, I'm intrigued by the small aside about Betty having been a domineering personality (from her former roommate and later sister in law) in contrast to her teachings about being meek and subservient. I can well believe it.

This assertion seems off to me: "A total re-thinking of Elisabeth Elliot’s narrations seems, then, to be in order, in which her situation is poignant. She was abused, perhaps willingly so, in her marriage. Then, after her husband’s death, she’d have read his journals and realizes—there’d been more going on. She’s then in a tough spot, for as she discusses, she was financially devastated. There’d been, she’d note, no life insurance. Jim’s only value, to his wife and their child, was in a narrative which could be crafted and sold to Evangelical people."

It seems to claim that she was aware their romance was not ideal and that she crassly crafted it to appear better in order to sell it. I think it much more likely that the first person she was lying to was herself, out of psychological need. When the story turned out to be a moneyspinner, then probably the value of selling it also came into play. But not first, I don't believe it.

I'm confused about the author asserting that the way Jim Elliot was visually presented in media as being "queerbait." Is there something about the way a man might be presented to be attractive to other men that's different from the way he would be presented to be attractive to women? That he was being presented as a kind of evangelical pinup, I absolutely agree. But why does the author say this seems to have been gay-slanted rather than hetero-slanted? I'm genuinely asking, and would have appreciated the author backing that up more, instead of just stating it as obvious.

There appear to be some confusing spelling errors/autocorrects and I hope the author updates the article. It's not as clear as his earlier one. I also wish he would follow up on Vaughn's claim to not understand what "additional material" he's talking about, because I really want to know what sources Vaughn used. He could just ask her directly where she quoted that entry from, and show the other form of the quote. I would love to hear the answer!

3 hours ago, Howl said:

I can't even imagine what would have transpired if Jim had lived.

Yes! That's really interesting to think about. What if they had stayed married for fifty years? (Or perhaps not stayed together but made other choices over those years?) What might have taken place over the course of their lives, how would they have felt about each other? It's easy to romanticize the past and the dead; much harder the present.

  • Upvote 7
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Petronella said:

It really seems like what they were agonizing over was the being together itself.

One aspect to consider is that Elizabeth and Jim (and many subsequent fundies) believe they are making a life time, forever, irreversible decision when marrying.  So yeah, lots of praying and hand wringing when you're not 100% sure.  

Also, Jim Elliott could have had neurotic/obsessive tendencies, making him prone to extremes in thought and emotion.  Some aspect of this is apparent in his romantic ideas of missionary work among a remote (and hostile, it turns out) tribe. 

 

Edited by Howl
  • Upvote 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do think Elizabeth worked to sincerely convince herself that her marriage to Jim was wonderful and godly. I don't think she was being consciously deceitful just to make a buck. She so reminds me of Phyllis Schaffley , and their need for a righteous cause.   

  • Upvote 5
  • I Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

I do think Elizabeth worked to sincerely convince herself that her marriage to Jim was wonderful and godly. I don't think she was being consciously deceitful just to make a buck. She so reminds me of Phyllis Schaffley , and their need for a righteous cause.   

I agree. I think she really tried to convince herself that they had an amazing love story. At some point during her other marriages she had to have realized that her relationship with Jim wasn’t normal, though. 

  • Upvote 1
  • I Agree 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was such a nasty, judgmental, mean-spirited person on her radio show that I don’t doubt she could have packaged herself and her marriage for consumption the way the author of the article asserts. I remember listening to her occasionally and was appalled at how awful she was, even at the height of my fundigelical days.

  • Upvote 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s incredible to read all of this years after being in churches where Elizabeth’s books and life were held as the be all end all of purity culture. I always found the worship of their relationship off-putting even though I couldn’t put my finger on why. 

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

I do think Elizabeth worked to sincerely convince herself that her marriage to Jim was wonderful and godly.

fundy think = if it's Godly it has to be Wonderful, amiright? 

Edited by Howl
  • Upvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Jasmar said:

She was such a nasty, judgmental, mean-spirited person on her radio show that I don’t doubt she could have packaged herself and her marriage for consumption the way the author of the article asserts. I remember listening to her occasionally and was appalled at how awful she was, even at the height of my fundigelical days.

I've never heard her radio show and was intrigued, so went looking for some transcripts. Here are links, in case anyone is interested:

The index of transcripts:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140721075031/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Table/Gateway-to-Joy/Page-2-10.html

"Reviving a Marriage"

https://web.archive.org/web/20120816001118/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Reviving-a-Marriage.html

"Incompatibility"

https://web.archive.org/web/20140822165947/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Incompatibility.html

"Quest for Love"

https://web.archive.org/web/20110907033501/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Quest-for-Love.html

"Alternatives to Dating"

https://web.archive.org/web/20100305091559/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Alternatives-to-Dating.html

And many more.

I skimmed over some of them; seemed to me very typical evangelical stuff, courtship and all that. Trust in God's love and promises when things go wrong.

Oh, here's one that's a bit yikes, in which she presumes to tell a man she hardly knows that he shouldn't get divorced:

https://web.archive.org/web/20110811131227/http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Giving-Up-Your-Rights.html

The presumption! "I know how it is when you try to sit down with someone and talk them out of a decision of this nature that they have already made up their minds very firmly to do. Probably the first thing that they're going to say is, "Wait a minute. You don't know the whole story." In my case, of course that was true. I did not know the whole story. There was much on each side that I knew nothing about. But I did know that they had taken these vows."

  • Thank You 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further googling adventures! A blog post by Betty's brother/Jim's college roommate. He describes this little gem. I bolded the parts that pissed me off.

"One of [Jim's] close friends was Ed McCully, our senior class president. Ed became interested in a young lady in Pontiac, Michigan, named Mary Lou, who later became his wife. They arranged for her to come to Chicago to spend some time together. They planned to rendezvous in a subway station in the evening. In those days (about 1950) it was not especially dangerous for a young lady to be alone at night in a subway station. So Mary Lou arrived alone and sat down on a bench. The station was deserted.

Ed and Jim had come into the station but purposely remained out of site. Mary Lou had never met Jim, so didn’t know him at all. Jim came out of the shadows and sat down on the bench with Mary Lou. He looked over at her and said in a seductive voice, “How ya doin’ tonight?”

Mary Lou, of course, was petrified alone on the bench with this stranger at night. Jim edged over closer to her and added in the same seductive voice, “What are ya doing tonight?” Mary Lou was more frozen than ever.

Before she called the police, Ed came out from behind a pillar and she realized that the whole thing was a joke. That was typical of Jim and Ed when they got together."

https://urbana.org/blog/my-roommate-jim-elliot

ARGH. Were, like, all men assholes back then? First this guy asserts that subways were completely safe, but then a few sentences later says that "of course" the woman was terrified. And Jim and Ed thought it was just *hilarious*. I guess Mary Lou tolerated it because she eventually married Ed.

But, damn. If the punchline of your joke is "ha ha ha, you thought you were going to be raped!" well, you suck.

  • Upvote 5
  • WTF 9
  • I Agree 4
  • Love 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Petronella said:

And Jim and Ed thought it was just *hilarious*. I guess Mary Lou tolerated it because she eventually married Ed.

Ah, but notice that Ed says that "Jim was so totally committed to the Lord and to walking with him in his personal life that he considered any deviation would be wrong for him." Does this mean that pretending to be a sexual predator is walking with the Lord? Inquiring minds want to know!

The more I read about Jim and Elisabeth Elliot the more they look like cosmic assholes -- they were both terrible human beings, with very few redeeming features.

  • Upvote 6
  • I Agree 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lutheran all my life, and my parents did not brook any deviation from Weekly worship, daily prayers and commitment to a God-pleasing life — but I never EVER heard about Elisabeth nor Jim Elliott ‘til about 15 years ago, when I started reading about crazy-go-nuts fundamentalists online.

Not sure how the conservative Lutherans of the ‘50s & ‘60s stayed away from them, but Egads, I’m glad they did!  The neuroses! 

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how much Jessa and Ben knew about Jim Elliot before using Elliot as Spurgeon’s middle name. Did they only read or hear about the sanitized version of his life? What would they think if they read these takes on the Elliots?

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thread adjacent......

I'd never heard of either Jim or Elisabeth Elliot prior to reading this thread. This morning a Cass Bontrager story (shilling for Young Living or some such nonsense) came up in my IG feed. She was demonstrating a diffuser  and it was sitting on an Elisabeth Elliot book...... 

  • Upvote 1
  • Disgust 1
  • Sad 1
  • Rufus Bless 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, JDuggs said:

I wonder how much Jessa and Ben knew about Jim Elliot before using Elliot as Spurgeon’s middle name. Did they only read or hear about the sanitized version of his life? What would they think if they read these takes on the Elliots?

They wouldn’t take it seriously. They’d blow it off as the liberals trying to discredit a godly couple with lies. 

  • Upvote 2
  • I Agree 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this rabbit hole, it’s been fascinating.  I’d heard of Jim Elliot but only vaguely and had for some reason never heard of Elizabeth.  What a pair!  

  • Upvote 4
  • I Agree 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/29/2020 at 11:43 AM, Petronella said:

But why does the author say this seems to have been gay-slanted rather than hetero-slanted? I'm genuinely asking, and would have appreciated the author backing that up more, instead of just stating it as obvious.

I think the author is misunderstanding what queerbaiting actually is. Printing book covers of Jim Elliot that are appealing to gays is not queerbaiting - even if it is done deliberately (which somewhat boggles the mind, lol), it lacks a crucial step. 

For anyone not familiar, queerbaiting is when a work of entertainment, usually but not always a tv show, deliberately hints at the possibility of a same sex relationship between characters with no intention of it ever happening. They want to increase interest among people who would like to see that, without losing people who would hate to see that. They want to provide enough canon and subtext for the fanfic community without ever going over the line. Sherlock is generally considered a strong example of intentional queerbaiting. 

If a writer had made up many of Jim's lines about throbbing for his male friends and such, and then the story arc had him fall in love with marry Elisabeth, that would have been queerbaiting. As it stands, it is just reporting what actually happened. 

 

On 9/29/2020 at 2:35 PM, Petronella said:

I've never heard her radio show and was intrigued, so went looking for some transcripts. Here are links, in case anyone is interested:

The index of transcripts:

This did make me laugh: "I have had three husbands. I still have #3. He's still feeling okay, as far as I know."

Edited by katilac
  • Upvote 6
  • Thank You 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, katilac said:

Sherlock is generally considered a strong example of intentional queerbaiting. 

And thanks for the clarification of queerbaiting, but which Sherlock are your referencing?  I'm only familiar with the BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch.  

 

Link to comment
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
 Share




  • Recent Status Updates

    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      words of wisdom

      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I joined for the snark and stayed for the insight.
      · 0 replies
    • Bluebirdbluebell

      Bluebirdbluebell

      Disgusted with Catholic Church over Cardinal Pell's funeral this week. It really reflects poorly on the church and should be a red flag to Catholics.
      · 0 replies
    • PennySycamore

      PennySycamore

      I've been away since about 10 PM on Monday evening.  My husband noticed that my speech was a bit slurred, called my daughter to see if she concurred and they both agreed that I needed to go to the hospital.  There I was taken back within minutes to be evaluated for a stroke.   My BP was sky-high. I. undressed and was helped into a hospital gown.  The PureWick did not work that night so when I had to go I just went.  (I do want a PureWick if I ever get urinary stress incontenence though and would need to wear diapers.). 
      I had a CT scan fairly early the next morning and it confirmed that I'd sufffered a mild stroke,  I had an MRI that afternoon which confirmed the both the mild stroke and no other damage and yet I had another CT scan -this time with a contrast medium injected.  I was allowed the Heart Healthy diet and my BP had dropped to 180/100.  They don'y want to drop the BP too rapidly so it has dropped enough to turn to Lisinipril to drop it further.
      After the ER. I was sent to the ICU and stayed until I was discharged this afternoon.  The staff were all really nice and my husband and two daughters were with me most of the time, helping out.  My oldest daughter's van was in the shop so I let her borrow the MINI since I knew she could drive a stick.  When she was visiting yesterday afternoon, her husband was in the ER waiting on a CT can and today, she was there when the speech pathologist was visiting.  She was able to get some good advice from her as her husband is currently unable to swallow.
      Anyway I'm home.  My dogs and the cat to see me home, especially my dachsie, were happy to see me home.
      A couple of things I learned:
      I need to teach my husband about loading the dishwasher.
      and 
      Jill would never be able to handle bedpans.
      · 10 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Fornicate.  Six more weeks of winter according to Phil.
      · 0 replies
    • Jinder Roles

      Jinder Roles

      Currently obsessed with Laura Mvula, a musical genius
      · 0 replies
    • Bluebirdbluebell

      Bluebirdbluebell

      I highly recommend Not the Good Girl's Youtube channel. She is making great documentaries about cults.
      · 0 replies
    • BlackberryGirl

      BlackberryGirl

      Ohh jeeze, GrandBerry6 just came to me, snuggled his face in my neck and barfed, all over me. In my neck, in my hair, on my face, down inside my nightie all over the front of my nightie. Ohh FUCK! Bath, washed hair, cleaned sofa. Good times, good times.
      · 3 replies
    • Scrabblemaster

      Scrabblemaster

      I danced through my living room feeling awesome. From time to time I do this. Maybe wine is involved. Good music is definitely involved. It is awesome. I recommend it to you. With or without wine.
      · 2 replies
    • Hazelbunny

      Hazelbunny

      After a few months of trying to decide what kind of new computer to get and my brother telling me a Mac would be the best decision I could ever make and my sister telling me that would be the worst and I ought to stick to Windows.... I now have a used Mac. I am trying to get used to it. Not easy, but the Magnifying program is a lot better than the Windows one (that was the ultimate reason for my decision) and FJ works a lot better than on my 10-year old Laptop, too!!  
      · 0 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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