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Gimme That Old Time Religion

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On 2/8/2021 at 6:58 PM, GeeGolly said:

So Scientology did a Super Bowl ad. It makes me wonder, how did Gothard 'advertise' his bullshit?

Beginning in the late 60s/early 70s as a just-out-of-school Master's-degree-holding conservative-Christian theology guy, he cooked up a bunch of prescriptions by which he promised parents could get and keep strong control over their troublesome children, especially teens. The program he came up with was aimed at all the people skeered of the hippie drugs-and-sex rock-n-roll-loving generation.

He started giving seminars around the country offering Christian parents a program by which he promised they could maintain control. It was popular and he milked it. Within a few years he was giving his talks in arenas around the country, to 10,000 at a time.

From there it was a very very short hop to selling a lot more stuff -- events, books, youth camps where the sole activity is learning that your one duty in life is to obey your parents, etc. All these new products laid out his program that was aimed right straight at the big desires of fearful control freaks. Especially at Christian men, since his program was initially sold on the basis that the Devil had the current teen generation in his pocket -- "drag your son, your daughter!...in the arms of a jungle animal instinct! Mass hysteria!"

But the plan Gothard offered to bring them under control conveniently also put the mother second in command to the father. So the guys got the added benefit of at least feeling like they could control their wives too, as part of the plan for controlling their children. 

At the same time as he was ramping up his following -- and he was very successful for quite a few years -- with his big-venue speeches, Christian homeschooling, notably white Christian homeschooling, was being pushed hard by Rushdoony and others. And it was winning in the courts and then in state legislatures. (This was happening around the same time that the government was trying to crack down on the segregation academies.)>  

So white Christians were getting legal permission to pull their kids out of public school and teach them -- free! -- at home. Where they'd conveniently be away from all those bad influences (the rock-n-rollers and, of course, for many, the African-Americans and other POC) and the control-freaky parents could really know they were the only influences in their kids' lives. 

So at the very time Gothard was going great guns with his parental seminars, he was able to grab significant percentages of this emerging market of skeerdy-cat control-freak Christian parents who were eager to be able to keep their kids totally under lock and key.

He expanded his nutso program into a total homeschooling system that they could buy off the shelf and use. ANd, horrifying and laughable as that system is, it fit perfectly with all the stuff he'd been winning a lot of parents over to. And it was easy to use! All in one box of lunacy/idiocy!

The timing was right for his particular con. A lot of Christian conservatives were scared by the Woodstock generation and following (feminism! gay rights! marijuana! racial-mixing! music with a back beat!). And these parents were newly liberated to lock up their kids by the new laws and court decisions supporting homeschooling. So he just kept adding onto his crazy interwoven program and coming up with new things to sell. And gradually he collected a lot of followers.

Obviously, people wanted to have events to go to where they could be with the likeminded -- because the likeminded have to be pretty odd in specific ways and control-freaky as hell when what you want to share is Gothardism.

But while some individual churches did see a lot of people go to Gothard -- thus making some group events involving people you already knew possible -- by and large that didn't happen. So to share their "philosophy" most of the Gothardites wanted to have another group to participate in that would actually agree with their nuttiest stuff. And that group had to be something Gothard himself ran. 

He built the whole thing on his message of -- I AND I ALONE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN IN THIS DANGEROUS ERA -- NOW AND FOR LIFE! .... That's the message he started with right out of college and the main message that's woven through his whole multi-faceted "program" for all those decades. He even got to the point where he was able to send missionaries out to other countries to spread it around. 

He had great talent as a con man -- a sense of his message and his audience and the fears and desires of the time and an ability to organize the whole thing and turn it into a little retail empire for himself. (As well as a long-term source of barefoot long-curly-locked cowed teen girls for his delectation, of course. Girls who'd spent their whole lives learning that father-figures-steeped-in-Gothard-style-craziness were the guys you had to listen to.)

Edited by Churchhoney
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There’s a documentary on Amazon Prime titled, “I Survived ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye.’” It’s about Josh Harris who wrote “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” The book was all about the dumb courting rules that the Duggars et. al have implemented in their home fooling (giving away pieces of your heart, etc.). Harris was only 21 years old when he wrote it and is now denouncing it. He’s no longer Christian, no longer married, and has apologized to women and the LGBT community for the things he wrote in his books. What I found interesting in the doc was how Harris said he was indoctrinated into his belief system by organized evangelical groups in the early to mid 90s who were targeting young people with messages of abstinence and marriage. I believe this messaging was to counter the messaging being sent to GenX to practice safe sex. These religious groups were practically selling sex because all they preached about was how fantastic sex is when you’re married.

Harris admits he was just a kid himself when he wrote the book and didn’t know anything, yet thought he did. The book’s publication has been discontinued upon his request.

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Another article that's peripherally related to the Duggar-verse- Beth Moore breaking from the SBC.  Includes a misogynistic quote by MacArthur.  These people really are the pits.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/03/09/beth-moore-lifeway-southern-baptist-split/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR1WQXwQuyiEHn7YmoByzSi44-DFBvmLh38t31ikynneqi0KUCi75i_XTCo

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How like unto a Scientologist....

Ran across this New York Times story from 1973 when Gothard was just revving up his enterprise. 

One thing I found interesting is how really really secretive he was about the contents of his "teachings," which are convoluted, partly to make them seem special and high-level, I expect. Any protestations that it's not a damn cult evaporate in the face of that, I'd say. 

https://www.nytimes.com/1973/10/14/archives/ministers-lectures-on-family-life-and-youth-draw-thousands-gods.html

Minister's Lectures on Family Life and Youth Draw Thousands

Oct. 14, 1973

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 13 —Church people have been packing auditoriums In a number of cities to listen to one man give 32 hours of lectures in six days on youth conflicts and principles of family life.

The lecturer Is an unassuming minister, the Rev. Bill Gothard, who shuns publicity. More than 16,000 persons filled two auditoriums here to attend his “Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.” Mr. Gothard, 38 years old, will give a total of 22 seminars in major United States cities this year.

“Don't quote me, quote the Bible,” Mr. Gothard exhorts his audiences — many of them teen‐agers — cautioning them not to share the contents of the course. Tape recorders are barred from the meetings.

Mr. Gothard does not discuss concepts of the course with reporters unless they attend the full week. “We cannot take the material out of context and expect it to have the same impact,” he said during an interview.

The seminars, for which a fee of $35 to $45 is charged first‐time registrants, are based on “seven universal, nonoptional principles of life,” according to Mr. Gothard, who uses an overhead projector and chalk drawings to illustrate his precepts.

The seven principles cannot be explained in brief statements, Mr. Gothard said. “Even lengthy explanation at the semina, with diagrams illustrating cause‐and‐effect sequences, barely outlines the situation,” he added.

“This seminar is based on the fact that there are underlying principles of life set forth in Scripture and that there is a clear relationship between violations of these principles and the conflicts which both youth and adults are facing today,” Mr. Gothard said.

The basic content of the week's lectures is a blend of Bible texts, interpreted literally, plus psychology and common sense.

Mr. Gothard instructs at the first lecture that all problems can be boiled down to three root personality conflicts: bitterness, reliance on a temporal value system (which produces a loss of reverence for God) and moral impurity. These three, in turn, stem from “resisting or rejecting the desire and the power God gives to respond to life,” according to Mr. Gothard.

By correctly applying teachings of the Bible, Mr. Gothard says, bitterness can be turned into forgiveness, spiritual values can be substituted for material ones, and moral freedom and purity can be attained.

God's ‘Chain of Command’

The slim, conservatively dressed minister told an audience here that the key to successful living is memorizing Scripture passages and “saturating yourself in God's word.”

Mr. Gothard stresses the primacy of the father in a strong, successful family. The wife, or mother, he believes, is to “be obedient to God and submissive to her husband.” He teaches that husbands should make all family decisions.

Advance material for those who complete the basic course includes “Blueprints for Fathers,” which contain 75 pages on how fathers should prepare their daughters for engagement.

Mr. Gothard cites the fifth chapter of Ephesians as a model for God's “chain of command” from the father through the mother to their children. He stresses Verse 24, which in a modern translation says: “So you wives must willingly obey your husbands in everything just as the church obeys Christ.”

Other topics covered at each of the week‐long seminars are finances, self‐acceptance, discovering life's purpose, friendships and dating.

Alumni from previous seminars may attend without further charge. Special materials are offered to pastors of 2,000 churches that have enrolled at least 15 alumni each. Mr. Gothard, whose headquarters is in Oak Brook, Ill., said the seminars were promoted only by word‐of‐mouth invitation, in order to discourage curiosity‐seekers.

After ordination in an independent Bible church in La Grange, Ill., Mr. Gothard, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Wheaton College, spent 15 years in youth work. By 1964 he was coordinating youth activities in 15. Chicago area churches.

He designed a syllabus for training youth workers, and the materials were first used for a course attended by 45 persons at Wheaton College in 1965: By 1970, enthusiastic alumni had swelled annual attendance at the seminars —then being presented in several locations — to about 10,000 persons.

Attendance jumped to 60,000 in 1971 and 120,000 last year. Mr. Gothard estimates the basic seminars this year will attract about 250,000.

 

Edited by Churchhoney
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Dave Ramsey’s at it again:  https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2021/03/29/can-you-fired-over-sex-life-dave-ramsey-thinks-so/6980891002/?fbclid=IwAR0trQgE3-vaf9SZGjidvzTK1jW6OixzC3H6PLie9OSFtTR1JVealQ6TAyU
 

quote from the woman who was fired:  

“O'Connor, who is a Christian, doesn't believe premarital sex is a requirement of her faith, the lawsuit states. She believes though that Christianity should not "be punitive, hateful, vengeful, or judgmental." Nor does she believe her faith gives her a right to invade people's private lives. 

"(O'Connor's) view of Christianity does not require her to invade or inquire or know the specifics of what other people do or do not do in their bedroom or when they do it, much less pass morality judgement on other people," the amended complaint states.”

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but douche canoe Ramsey surely believes all politicians, celebrities, etc being forced to resign over extra marital affairs, unwelcomed sexual advances towards women, stalking behavior, sending explicit text messages and pictures are victims of "cancel culture"

 

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14 minutes ago, ginger90 said:

Most of the replies on that post, oh my.  🤦‍♀️

Among this crowd, it never pays to be reasonable. 

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2 hours ago, ginger90 said:

Most of the replies on that post, oh my.  🤦‍♀️

Oh man...I didn't manage to get more than a dozen or so replies in before I felt too sick to go on. If there was no reason to be seen up to that point, I rather doubt it ever got much better. As much as I do try to follow what's being said among those with viewpoints counter to mine, and try to understand where they are coming from, honestly, sometimes I just have to weep for humanity.

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20 hours ago, ginger90 said:

Most of the replies on that post, oh my.  🤦‍♀️

Getting the vaccine will alter your DNA from female to male?! I’ve heard some crazy ones, but that certainly takes the cake.

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3 minutes ago, charmed1 said:

Getting the vaccine will alter your DNA from female to male?! I’ve heard some crazy ones, but that certainly takes the cake.

We saw a vaccine conspiracy theory story on the news this morning "some people believe that the vaccine alters your DNA and your entire body becomes cryptocurrency".

how could that even happen???

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1 hour ago, charmed1 said:

Getting the vaccine will alter your DNA from female to male?! I’ve heard some crazy ones, but that certainly takes the cake.

Lol I’ve read one where a guy says the vaccine will make you gay! And some guy commented who was gay that maybe it could make him straight? He got his first vaccine and he’s still gay 😀

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1 hour ago, FizzyPuff said:

Lol I’ve read one where a guy says the vaccine will make you gay! And some guy commented who was gay that maybe it could make him straight? He got his first vaccine and he’s still gay 😀

Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world If Darwin took care of some of these idiots.

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2 hours ago, DangerousMinds said:

Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world If Darwin took care of some of these idiots.

Yes, but sadly these idiots have innocent  children in their care and they would be the ones who would be left without family. 

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NYT article on John Piper’s son Abraham, an exvangelical, spreading his own message on tiktok-  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/12/us/abraham-piper-tiktok-exvangelical.html?smtyp=cur&smid=fb-nytimes&fbclid=IwAR3TNBuguvj2NcF90vO_en6UEy9qA3wg8RbhUjEDWL8BvliHfvj4Bo8nxLU

“In his videos, Abraham Piper repeatedly insists he is not trying to convince anyone of anything. “Do you know how boring and soul-sucking it is to base your whole life on making sure other people change to become more like you?” he asked his followers in February. It’s not that nothing matters, he added. “But you get to pick what. You decide what matters. Lighten up, get laid, go bowling.”

 

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10 hours ago, awaken said:

NYT article on John Piper’s son Abraham, an exvangelical, spreading his own message on tiktok-  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/12/us/abraham-piper-tiktok-exvangelical.html?smtyp=cur&smid=fb-nytimes&fbclid=IwAR3TNBuguvj2NcF90vO_en6UEy9qA3wg8RbhUjEDWL8BvliHfvj4Bo8nxLU

“In his videos, Abraham Piper repeatedly insists he is not trying to convince anyone of anything. “Do you know how boring and soul-sucking it is to base your whole life on making sure other people change to become more like you?” he asked his followers in February. It’s not that nothing matters, he added. “But you get to pick what. You decide what matters. Lighten up, get laid, go bowling.”

 

“While other kids are learning to read with comics or whatever normal parents have around the house, here fundie kids are — 6, 7, 8 years old — devouring stories of Jezebel being defenestrated and then eaten by dogs." 🤓

"The Bible is basically 'Game of Thrones,' except if you don't read it you go to Hell." 

No wonder the Duggars, Wallers, etc. were filled with terror about their fates at age 3. 

Edited by Churchhoney
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I follow him on TikTok, he's awesome! I also follow a woman who was raised in the Gothard cult. I can't remember her name, but I'll post it when I do.

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Just now, GeeGolly said:

And they fired his son from his VP position.

poor Trey.....

now Liberty needs to get rid of the other son, Wesley and the daughter in laws that are still employed there

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1 hour ago, Westiepeach said:

Did any of us actually think they would NOT continue to homeschool?

Of course not, but I wanted to tie to the Duggars nonetheless.😁

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I struggle to understand their belief system. In their belief "Satan made him do it," does that exonerate someone? 

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4 minutes ago, MMEButterfly said:

I struggle to understand their belief system. In their belief "Satan made him do it," does that exonerate someone? 

I was wondering about this as well.  I've read what the belief system has to say about child molestation and other abuses -but I wondered what they say about crimes like murder or theft.  Is it enough if someone repents and Jesus heals them?  Would that mean the accused person shouldn't face trial or go to jail?

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If they confess their sins to their preacher, family, and/or parents, ask both the victim & god for forgiveness, then god will forgive them. And if god forgives them, it's as if the sin never happened and everyone is suppose to forgive and forget, also.

 

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2 minutes ago, Nysha said:

If they confess their sins to their preacher, family, and/or parents, ask both the victim & god for forgiveness, then god will forgive them. And if god forgives them, it's as if the sin never happened and everyone is suppose to forgive and forget, also.

 

I doubt Smuggar ever asked his victims for forgiveness. They, OTOH, had to get up in front of church and forgive HIM. How messed up is that? 

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46 minutes ago, MMEButterfly said:

I struggle to understand their belief system. In their belief "Satan made him do it," does that exonerate someone? 

It only exonerates them or those they already support. JB wanted the death penalty for others.

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I strongly suspect their attitudes on any crime or sin and the correct punishment is highly dependent on who exactly the offender is. Jim Bob has already proven that in his declarations about capital punishment for rape and incest, which was at the same time his son was molesting his sisters. It's not like his views evolved and there was a gap between the statement and his decision about Josh. He just selectively applied it to other people. 

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3 hours ago, emmawoodhouse said:

I doubt Smuggar ever asked his victims for forgiveness. They, OTOH, had to get up in front of church and forgive HIM. How messed up is that? 

Since he had to stand in front of the church and confess his sins, I'm sure he had to apologize to his sisters, who then had to forgive him.

2 hours ago, Cinnabon said:

It only exonerates them or those they already support. JB wanted the death penalty for others.

Yes, but that's because his people/tribe follow the right god, so he knows they've really really repented. 

2 hours ago, Zella said:

I strongly suspect their attitudes on any crime or sin and the correct punishment is highly dependent on who exactly the offender is. Jim Bob has already proven that in his declarations about capital punishment for rape and incest, which was at the same time his son was molesting his sisters. It's not like his views evolved and there was a gap between the statement and his decision about Josh. He just selectively applied it to other people. 

Yes, and even if Josh confesses this crime, he will just have to make a statement apologizing to his wife, his parents, and anyone else, then he'll be forgiven and his slate will be wiped clean. No reason to put him to death, nope, nothing to see here.

This is one of those times I really wish I wasn't opposed to the death penalty. 

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4 hours ago, Zella said:

I strongly suspect their attitudes on any crime or sin and the correct punishment is highly dependent on who exactly the offender is. Jim Bob has already proven that in his declarations about capital punishment for rape and incest, which was at the same time his son was molesting his sisters. It's not like his views evolved and there was a gap between the statement and his decision about Josh. He just selectively applied it to other people. 

Well, you can't apply it to the person God has chosen to lead this nation back to the correct Jesus! 

They seem to believe that they and they alone are very very very special. 

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10 minutes ago, Churchhoney said:

Well, you can't apply it to the person God has chosen to lead this nation back to the correct Jesus! 

They seem to believe that they and they alone are very very very special  untouchable.

FTFY. 😁

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I wonder how deep the all sins are the same really is for anyone with that belief, including the Duggar 19 and their spouses. Its obvious Jessa and Derick are very comfortable lying, but I don't think they see themselves as the same as murderers or thieves. And then there's JB who thinks certain crimes deserve harsher punishments, so even their father has said out loud all sins are not the same. Then there's the criminal justice system that knows not all sins are the same.

What Josh is accused of is a really big deal, no matter what beliefs one has.

Will this be a time they wake up, maybe even a little, or a time when they double down and lean even deeper into their beliefs?

 

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1 hour ago, GeeGolly said:

I wonder how deep the all sins are the same really is for anyone with that belief, including the Duggar 19 and their spouses. Its obvious Jessa and Derick are very comfortable lying, but I don't think they see themselves as the same as murderers or thieves. And then there's JB who thinks certain crimes deserve harsher punishments, so even their father has said out loud all sins are not the same. Then there's the criminal justice system that knows not all sins are the same.

What Josh is accused of is a really big deal, no matter what beliefs one has.

Will this be a time they wake up, maybe even a little, or a time when they double down and lean even deeper into their beliefs?

 

Pessimistic as I am about this family, I'd bet that at least some of the kids will wake up a little. Maybe a very little...but still.....

I think it's encouraging that the Duggarlings don't generally seem to go to a lot of Gothard events and that nobody seems to be in a home church. That way they aren't being repeatedly pounded with these beliefs in their most extreme forms. And while they still have the fortress family that they're isolated in, the cultish tribal thing isn't reinforced by being part of another really small paranoid brotherhood....(unless they're Freedomists or something, I suppose....)

Hard for me to imagine that nobody will feel their mental wheels turning just a little bit as this goes on.....

Here's hoping, anyway...Probably depends on how many times a day JB has programmed the robocalls to remind them about the satanic machinations, though.....

 

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1 hour ago, GeeGolly said:

I wonder how deep the all sins are the same really is for anyone with that belief, including the Duggar 19 and their spouses.

I think that, like most of their beliefs, it comes with a big, heaping teaspoon of hypocrisy. "All sins are the same" comes in very handy when they want to let one of their own off the hook, but it can be disregarded when they want to sit in judgement on outsiders.

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On 5/8/2021 at 8:59 PM, Nysha said:

Yes, and even if Josh confesses this crime, he will just have to make a statement apologizing to his wife, his parents, and anyone else, then he'll be forgiven and his slate will be wiped clean. No reason to put him to death, nope, nothing to see here.

 

Yet another way their practice of Christianity diverges from the traditions and beliefs I'm accustomed to.   I was taught and believe that you pray for forgiveness and you will be forgiven with the love of God and by virtue of Jesus' sacrifice.   That puts you in reconciliation with God.   It does not speak to what penalty you face in the eyes of the law, which falls under Jesus' answer to, "render unto Caesar".   

For me, Josh's family is entirely welcome to choose to forgive him, to love him, to talk to him, whatever. (Most definitely wouldn't be my choice, but not my business.)   I don't believe they should shut off logic and allow that idea to effectively wipe his slate clean as far as allowing him access to children, the potential to abuse or mistreat anyone whatsoever, or access to indulge his compulsions ever again.   Hopefully the law will take care of those things.

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1 hour ago, GeeGolly said:

Yikes, really? I have to admit, I don't attend any church, but I just assumed (maybe naively) most churches, Christian or otherwise, aren't fixated on others' sexuality or reproductive rights.  

So the Duggars represent the majority?

Bringing this over from the Dillard topic. The conversation was sparked by some anti-Catholic social media content posted by Derick's mother Cathy, and also covered anti-LGBTQ posts, etc., by Derick and others.

In my experience (with a large extended family of evangelicals but not fundies), most "mainstream" evangelical churches are anti-Catholic and anti-LGBTQ, and anti-choice, when it comes to their official stand on matters of sexuality etc. And obviously the members of that church are at least comfortable enough with that, to join and remain.

I think though that most evangelical church members don't go to church because they want to get into a crusade against the Catholic church, Planned Parenthood, or the civil rights of their neighbors. Individual churches will vary (sometimes wildly, I'm sure) on the issues that they prioritize and talk about. 

I don't think the Duggars represent the majority of mainstream evangelicals. I think most evangelicals have the typical life experiences of Americans in the 21st Century who weren't raised in cloistered cults. They probably have at least one relative or good friend who's gay, enjoy rock music and haven't been turned into Satanic automatons by it, work for a company with Catholic co-workers, and have used birth control. In fact they probably think that people who don't use birth control are irresponsible regardless of their marital state. They're probably anti-abortion but IMO if you could get many of them to be honest, their position would be more like "if you are anti-abortion, then don't have one," vs. "all abortions should be banned." Unless they've lived under a rock, they've seen too many situations that real life brings to people, to think it's a simple call. 

I think those people are in church for personal reasons including family solidarity, the search for spiritual comfort, inspiration, and community, perhaps to deal with an addiction issue, and if parents they want support in rearing kids who understand good vs. evil and how to make good decisions. I think for most people the personal stuff outweighs the fact that some of the theological statements in the church creed aren't things they want to get into a deep dive discussion about. 

I'm not saying it's all unicorns and rainbows out there. I think that most people in evangelical congregations are likely to go along with their churches' positions on religious and social issues.  It's just that they aren't going all public and extreme like the nutso Duggars. Many of them may manage to join and remain with a church even if they privately disagree with some of the doctrines if they have strong enough motives, like keeping peace in their marriage, or getting personal comfort from the experience. 

I've watched a good Baptist family attend and rejoice at (and post on Facebook) the wedding of their male son/grandson/cousin to his long-time male partner. These are still active and devout members of their small town church and have also made it clear that nobody gets to trash on them or their loved ones on that subject.

I suppose that however incoherently I'm trying to say that IMO for most people in evangelical churches, life is real and church while important doesn't outweigh all the rest of their real life experiences. 

ETA: I meant to say, I think "fixated on others' sexuality or reproductive rights" is the thing I was trying to respond to. I don't think that's what most of the people in the pews on Sunday are there for. Maybe a preacher will get riled up and preach about that stuff now and then but I just don't think it's front and center in most evangelical churches.

Edited by Jeeves
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Thank-you @Jeeves.

I find that all so confusing. So conceivably there are folks out there who boycott Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, but sit in a church on Sundays that teach their same beliefs? 

I swear, the more I try to understand about some religions, the more confused I get.

 

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1 minute ago, GeeGolly said:

Thank-you @Jeeves.

I find that all so confusing. So conceivably there are folks out there who boycott Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, but sit in a church on Sundays that teach their same beliefs? 

I swear, the more I try to understand about some religions, the more confused I get.

 

Oh I don't think they'd boycott those places. I'm just saying they aren't out picketing Planned Parenthood either.

It's a matter of priorities. Most people are just trying to get through the day or the week, take care of their families, and hang onto their jobs. They may go to their Baptist church once or twice a week, and not think about much beyond their own salvation and how the hell to deal with their newly frisky adolescent son or daughter, lol. They probably won't argue with the preacher if he talks about it's bad to be gay, they may nod in agreement that abortions are a sin, but those are also subjects that I'd bet don't cross their minds very often otherwise. 

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My two closest neighbors are evangelicals.  I've converted both from the lies their churches told them about Catholics.  However, yes they believe that being anything other than heterosexual is a sin.  That's about the end of it for them though.  They don't actively do anything about it nor would they be rude to a gay person.  They might go home and gossip about them though.  They don't care about Planned Parenthood especially since I told them that no abortions occur there in our state.  As Jeeves said, generally they're more concerned with getting through life.  They don't share the Duggar extreme fundie views of KJV only Bibles, ludicrous modesty dressing, quiverful, no birth control, no real education for the kids, women staying home as brood mares, or patriarchy to the nth degree, etc.  

Edited by Absolom
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i worked for an Evangelical church and it was interesting what made various people hostile. It was sort of entertaining to watch the ones up in arms over gay people have to adjust to having adult children come out as gay. All of a sudden it is not "those people" it is your child. The lens shifts and you have to choose your child or hate.  As the world changes, the heavily white congregation I worked for, had more and more people having interaction with their fellow workers or neighbors who were of different religion, ethnicity, etc and they were confronted by their own bigotry toward others. Some doubled down on their hate, but some realized everyone is just trying to get through the day and we are all basically the same in that so found a common.

now my mom is a die hard missouri synod lutheran and her church is totally anti planned parenthood/anti abortion/ anti LGTB/anti birth control, they protest/boycott business etc. (her pastor also died of Covid because it wasn't real) Congregation of all white, old people. They wonder why their church can't attract younger people 😂 

I explain to my mom her granddaughters have all used planned parenthood for basic health care. Would she rather pay for their health care. goes nowhere because she lives in hate.

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1 hour ago, GeeGolly said:

Thank-you @Jeeves.

I find that all so confusing. So conceivably there are folks out there who boycott Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, but sit in a church on Sundays that teach their same beliefs? 

I swear, the more I try to understand about some religions, the more confused I get.

 

Basic Christian texts have very very very very very little concrete to say about the things that obsess certain people we could name (like the Duggars )-- homosexuality, who wears the pants and gives the orders in a family, masturbation, women being loose satanic temptresses who unfairly force men to have thoughts of raping them, etc....

All that stuff tends to obsess some humans. But in all the gazillions of words in the old and new testaments and in the tons of theologians there have been, not a whole helluva lot definitive is said about any of those things. Nevertheless, there's a little stuff in all those words about these things, so you can pick that out and focus on it if you feel like it.

So especially Protestants, who didn't have local parishes and could go to a church they wanted to go to, have over the years and the centuries tended to sort themselves out into congregations that are pretty like-minded. And, surprise!, a lot of those churches have "taught" the stuff that their attendees craved to hear. So you've got a set of Protestant churches that "teach" antediluvian stuff about sexuality and have congregations eager to hear antediluvian stuff about sexuality. 

Similarly, you've got Protestant churches that "teach" open-mindedness -- to congregations of open-minded people. Protestant churches run the entire gamut from super-super-"conservative" ones to very very liberal ones. (and some that have both generally open and loving ideas but coupled with "conservative" sexual views, notably some Black churches). 

Ultimately, people just tend to congregate with the like-minded to listen to stuff said that fits their mindsets and personalities. The Duggars and company are on the far right end of the spectrum. But very few Protestants stay long in churches where they actually disagree strongly with what's openly "taught" by their individual local church. More likely, if a pastor figures out that the congregation will disagree strongly with something, he just won't mention it. 

For instance, some individual congregations in some very liberal mainline denominations -- like some United Church of Christ congregations, for example -- focus what they openly preach on stuff that's way more :conservative" than the denomination as a whole teaches (super-affirming and welcoming to LBGQT+, among other things). Often what's said from the pulpits of individual churches falls in line with the specific congregation that assembled in that particular building -- because churches also tend to function as local social clubs. 

.Preachers will follow a congregation's lead about what they want to hear much more often than they'll preach things that their congregants disagree with, as far as I can tell. It's generally the congregants' opinions that ultimately shape what the preacher preaches, rather than the other way around. 

Of course, preachers do sometimes openly stand up for beliefs they realize their locals will likely disagree with -- But they do it with trepidation, mostly, because it's clear that preachers who do that tend to get ousted from their pulpits sooner rather than later. (One place that's being tested right now is among the fundamentalist preachers who've decided they really can't sit still while their congregations fully embrace Qanon conspiracy theories. Some are speaking against it, but when they're interviewed it's clear that they know their paychecks are very much at risk by doing it.) 

Some of the fallout from congregants rather than pastors guiding the conversation of churches is evident in the "home churches" and the independent free baptist and non-denominational megachurch affiliations we see with the Duggars and some Duggar adjacents.

Even some of the more conservative U.S. denominations have made slightly more mainstream statements about sex and gender issues like sexual abuse over the past few decades. And one result has been that sex-and-gender-obsessed people like the Duggars have firmly rejected any such "mainstreaming' notions and just started their own churches where they simply don't hire an outside pastor but just preach what they want. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Churchhoney said:

Basic Christian texts have very very very very very little concrete to say about the things that obsess certain people we could name (like the Duggars )-- homosexuality, who wears the pants and gives the orders in a family, masturbation, women being loose satanic temptresses who unfairly force men to have thoughts of raping them, etc....

All that stuff tends to obsess some humans. But in all the gazillions of words in the old and new testaments and in the tons of theologians there have been, not a whole helluva lot definitive is said about any of those things. Nevertheless, there's a little stuff in all those words about these things, so you can pick that out and focus on it if you feel like it.

So especially Protestants, who didn't have local parishes and could go to a church they wanted to go to, have over the years and the centuries tended to sort themselves out into congregations that are pretty like-minded. And, surprise!, a lot of those churches have "taught" the stuff that their attendees craved to hear. So you've got a set of Protestant churches that "teach" antediluvian stuff about sexuality and have congregations eager to hear antediluvian stuff about sexuality. 

Similarly, you've got Protestant churches that "teach" open-mindedness -- to congregations of open-minded people. Protestant churches run the entire gamut from super-super-"conservative" ones to very very liberal ones. (and some that have both generally open and loving ideas but coupled with "conservative" sexual views, notably some Black churches). 

Ultimately, people just tend to congregate with the like-minded to listen to stuff said that fits their mindsets and personalities. The Duggars and company are on the far right end of the spectrum. But very few Protestants stay long in churches where they actually disagree strongly with what's openly "taught" by their individual local church. More likely, if a pastor figures out that the congregation will disagree strongly with something, he just won't mention it. 

For instance, some individual congregations in some very liberal mainline denominations -- like some United Church of Christ congregations, for example -- focus what they openly preach on stuff that's way more :conservative" than the denomination as a whole teaches (super-affirming and welcoming to LBGQT+, among other things). Often what's said from the pulpits of individual churches falls in line with the specific congregation that assembled in that particular building -- because churches also tend to function as local social clubs. 

.Preachers will follow a congregation's lead about what they want to hear much more often than they'll preach things that their congregants disagree with, as far as I can tell. It's generally the congregants' opinions that ultimately shape what the preacher preaches, rather than the other way around. 

Of course, preachers do sometimes openly stand up for beliefs they realize their locals will likely disagree with -- But they do it with trepidation, mostly, because it's clear that preachers who do that tend to get ousted from their pulpits sooner rather than later. (One place that's being tested right now is among the fundamentalist preachers who've decided they really can't sit still while their congregations fully embrace Qanon conspiracy theories. Some are speaking against it, but when they're interviewed it's clear that they know their paychecks are very much at risk by doing it.) 

Some of the fallout from congregants rather than pastors guiding the conversation of churches is evident in the "home churches" and the independent free baptist and non-denominational megachurch affiliations we see with the Duggars and some Duggar adjacents.

Even some of the more conservative U.S. denominations have made slightly more mainstream statements about sex and gender issues like sexual abuse over the past few decades. And one result has been that sex-and-gender-obsessed people like the Duggars have firmly rejected any such "mainstreaming' notions and just started their own churches where they simply don't hire an outside pastor but just preach what they want. 

 

That is what I thought, but a previous post of mine was corrected. I breath a sigh of relief here.

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31 minutes ago, GeeGolly said:

That is what I thought, but a previous post of mine was corrected. I breath a sigh of relief here.

If it was something I wrote, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I was answering the question as to whether the Duggars represent a 'majority' and I thought the reference was to a majority of evangelical churchgoers in general. I was referring to the folks I perceive as fairly "mainstream" vs. fundie evangelicals, and I don't think the Duggars represent a majority of those folks, for the reasons I stated.

I think that as @crazy8s described, some (or many) members of "mainstream" evangelical churches may not hold tightly to some of the teachings of their church even if they remain in the church. They won't be out picketing Hobby Lobby, but they won't be forming a harassment line at Planned Parenthood either.  (Maybe an analogy here is that when I was a young adult in the 70's, I knew Catholics who did "family planning" in ways that their church doctrine would not find acceptable, but didn't break from the church over it.)

I think if a Baptist felt strongly enough about an issue to picket Hobby Lobby over it, they'd probably be rethinking their church membership too. That was what I was trying to say. 

As @Churchhoney said quite well, there are lots of Protestant denominations and people will sort themselves out into like-minded groups including in churches. I still think that across the whole spectrum of evangelical US churches, the Duggars are over on the extreme fundie end, and don't represent the majority. 

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