Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 15 - Hypocrisy

Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy
Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22) - Bill Gothard

Sincerity? - My dad was very careful about our public image. Most ATI patriarchs are. Though we didn't go out in public very often, and certainly we never went out alone, when we did go out, we were dressed and pressed. My sisters and I were required to have long hair. This hair was not allowed to be braided, however, because that was un-Biblical. Usually, our hair was curled on rag rollers or sponge rollers and left to fall down in curls. The boys had high and tight, ALERT regulation cuts.

The girls in my family wore dresses only, until we reached the age of ten, at which point we could wear skirts and tops. The boys wore pants and polo tops. No t-shirts were allowed for either sex (if we were in the public eye). If you were in a t-shirt, you were most likely male and in bed or wore it under something else. Us girls had to wear full underwear; bloomers, underpants, undershirts, and bras.

Hypocrisy: One of Gothard's teachings was that one shouldn't be overly concerned with appearance. The first time I heard Mr. Gothard say that on a retreat, I was dumbfounded. What? We're not supposed to spend much time worrying about our appearance...but we have to make sure we don't violate all these rules for dressing and appearance?

Sincerity? - We were taught that the sins of the father carried over to the child. That's partly why my dad was so concerned about our public image and remains concerned about our actions now. He sincerely believes that our actions reflect his sins. The more we stray outside the lines, the worse his sins must've been. This is why adoption isn't utilized in ATI families. I knew one family that experienced a horrible tragedy. Mom and dad were killed in a car accident and they had two children. The Aunt and Uncle of the children were ATI and ended up being named guardians of the children. They asked Bill Gothard if they should formally adopt the children and the answer was "no". Gothard allegedly told them that adopting the children formally would upset the "birth order" and be a lie. The lie being that the children weren't really the fruit of the marriage and these children bore the sins of their father, not the adoptive father and mother. We heard, from the couple, that Bill advised them to find another placement for the children and if they couldn't, to maintain the guardianship, but not formally adopt.

Hypocrisy - Gothard's ministries include ministering to orphanages. You go and spend a week or more encouraging these orphan children into "building bonds with the Lord" rather than building bonds with other humans and potentially finding parents. Why go to orphanage at all if you believe the children are flawed with the sins of their parents? Why encourage people to go if you won't counsel them to adopt?

Sincerity? - Homeschooling is a requirement for ATI. That's the point of the community - a group of people who believe in Gothard's method for education (The Advanced Training Institute) and spiritual path. Public schools are supposedly so evil that you're not even allowed to play on a public school playground unless there's absolutely nowhere else to play. Until you're deemed to be of an age or maturity level that you can distinguish "right living from wrong living", you're not allowed to associate with publicly educated children outside your own extended family (and even that is supervised).

Hypocrisy - Bill Gothard makes millions off of public schools through "Character First!". Character First is a biblically based character instruction program used in thousands of schools. I've read that it's eve mandatory in some states! Bill Gothard is a business man. He must have realized that selling curriculum to fundamental homeschooling families would never be the cash cow that is the public school system. Instead of following his own, skewed interpretation of being "equally yoked", he takes money from public schools and public school children. Is this ethical?

I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said elsewhere. I'm just starting to realize that there were so many hypocrisies in my life and it makes me mad. Next stop- puberty!


  1. I don't know whether to LOL or shout O.M.G. after reading this piece. I'm more certain than ever that if anyone looked up the definition of 'hypocrite' a picture of BG would pop up!

    Take care.


  2. Wait, we haven't even gotten to puberty? I can only imagine what you were taught about menstruation and sex. Yikes!

  3. " We heard, from the couple, that Bill advised them to find another placement for the children and if they couldn't, to maintain the guardianship, but not formally adopt"

    BG is a looney tune. Casting aside orphans (when God says HE--HE being God-- cares about the fatherless) is so evil and unchristlike. Adoption is very biblical for a true believer. A true beleiver sees himself or herself as an adopted child of God anyway, so it would flow that adoption would be biblical. And if BG didn't think it would be Biblical for THAT couple to adopt the kids, then why would it be for another couple. I can't wrap my head around this guys anymore.

    Frankly, I think He (BG) is going to be in big trouble when He stands before God.

  4. " My sisters and I were required to have long hair. This hair was not allowed to be braided, however, because that was un-Biblical. Usually, our hair was curled on rag rollers or sponge rollers and left to fall down in curls."

    Then anti braiding probably came from the verse: Let not your beauty come from outward adornment such as braiding of the hair and wearing fine jewelry, but let it come from the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirt..." (not perfectly quoted)

    However, I , and most christians I know never took that verse to mean you couldn't braid your hair and couldn't wear jewelry. It just meant that a sweet spirit comes FIRST, but it's certainly ok to have good grooming. I think most people would agree with that.. most of us wouldn't like someone flawlessly groomed who acts like a witch, but most of us prefer well groomed over frumpy dumpy, too. The thing that gets me about not being able to braid your hair but wearing long and curled, is that I think the latter is actually fancier and more attention grabbing then braids are. I don't know what BG would have done with me. I have thick curly hair that needs to be cut in layers or flat ironed. I can't just have it long and all one length (though I tried to for quite a few years)'s just bushy that way.

  5. I find the hair really interesting because in the Mennonite community in which I grew up girls before puberty wore their hair braided (with a bonnet or hat over it if you're going to be outside) and women wear it braided and tied under a prayer cap-the goal being to NOT call attention to your hair or have it be an ornament (and that while farming, having long hair tied back is simply a good idea). Men wear beards and men and boys wear their hair under hats and out of the way.

    Mennonite kids also regularly played with the English and welcomed English kids into their homes and churches-in fact, I spent most of my childhood learning to plant a garden, cook, sew, embroider, and care for babies along side Mennonite girls-because when their mothers or aunts or grandmothers had the girls help, they'd teach any other child who just happened to be in the vicinity.

    It almost seems like BG looked at conservative groups and picked and chose what he liked about them, while missing the big picture.

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  7. Seriously, Ruth, every time I think you can't shock me more than you already have, you prove me wrong.

    But you know what's ironic? Your father is kind of right about you and your non-ATI sibs reflecting his sins... only not in the way HE thinks. You're bright enough to realize he and the rest of that crazy cult are completely and utterly wrong, and you're brave enough to leave it. Means his madd brainwashing skillz aren't nearly as effective as he'd hoped...

    (Previous post deleted because my madd editing skillz aren't as effective as I'd hoped, either ;-)

  8. Wow, Ruth.

    This Gothard stuff just turns my stomach. Keep writing. Keep shining the light of truth on this evil. I hope you aren't in a lot of pain right now!

  9. The hair braiding thing really confuses me, as well as having hair out flowing. In Christ's day and area, women always had their hair up and covered under veils.

  10. The Mennonite comparison from Donna is interesting. That's been largely my experience too.

    They don't seem to have as much fear as ATI families do. And may be a little more consistent with their rules, though I'm sure there are individual churches that have thier problems too.

    The adoption issue makes me very sad. And Gothard's teaching in that regard is so obviously divergent from the can anyone swallow it?

  11. It's swallowed because thinking about the Bible isn't as important as reading and memorizing it and then letting other people interpret it for you (in my family, at least).

    Since I left, I've read the Bible cover-to-cover and it's remarkable how many contextual nuances were missed by people like my dad. They read one small verse and start interpreting. I read the whole thing and tried to find the bigger message. I discovered I can't reconcile some Biblical information with how I feel personally about god or my spirituality. Other things were so much more loving and inspirational when taken in whole context. The hair example is a good one because I took it to say that we should be good people before we try to make ourselves outwardly pretty. Not that we shouldn't ever braid our hair or never cut it.

  12. @Blacksheep- I'm doing good! Not too much pain anymore. More discomfort and annoyance with the casting. It's harder to get around doing little things than I thought it would be but there's no pain if I don't whack it on something accidently. :)

  13. Something I thought of while reading the passage about not having braided hair (1 Peter 3:3)...the verse says no braiding of hair, wearing of gold - and putting on clothing. Obviously the interpretation within the context is that these things aren't as important as a right spirit - but if you're going to go so far as to say that you can't wear a braid because this verse says so, you better be willing to not wear clothes, either. :P

  14. Question about the Character First!

    I thought it was invented by some businessman? I can't remember the name of the company but it was some manufacturing company that used it first and then sold it as a "training" for other companies.

    I guess I could have my story wrong.

    Did Bill Gothard 'invent' Character First or was it one of his followers?

    Is it in the public schools (I have never heard of it in my area) or a business training thing? Or both?


  15. I think taking one passage, ie. hair brading, and interpreting it so literally speaks to how academically and mentally challenged these rule makers are. Hypocrisy and irony and subtlety completely go over their heads. They can't see the big picture so they focus on the minuscule details they can see. They can't control the big picture so they control the minutiae. Anyone reading that passage with an open mind and heart would see that it means don't put your looks above your demeanor. Most people get that. BG and his cronies can't understand the meaning or the context so they just zero in on the words, ie. God says don't braid your hair. The messages of the Bible, religion in general, humanity and societal norms are totally lost on them. Is it possible BG is autistic? possibly aspergers? There's such a focus on rules, his rules, that all else, especially logic, goes by the way side. Using the hair brading as an example it takes much longer to curl one's hair than to braid it. Much more attention has to be paid to the curling than braiding and that goes against the message he conveys.

    It reminds me of the story (paraphrasing) about the king of Spain who had a lisp. To cushion his ego everyone in the land began speaking with a lisp so they sounded like the king and vice versa. To this day the dialect still has that lispy inflection.

    BG has *issues* and has created a bunch of rules, often contradictory, to uphold his view of how he sees the world and his followers are so broken themselves that they latch onto these rules like a life vest.

    Anyone with a working brain and reasonably intact self esteem would never join this cult. The true victims are the wives and children who are taken along for the ride.

  16. In my opinion, Bill Gothard is just another schmuck who has found out how to make a profitable cottage industry out of fear/hate mongering. He twists and contorts biblical verses to fit his own, strange agenda. He has a system for everything including how to take a fart. In any case, he wouldn't know love or loving others as Christ as loved us if it bit him on the butt.

    With all that said, I am totally enjoying your writing and posts. A lot of pieces of the puzzle are fitting together.

    Looking back, I now understand why the women I used to post with (on large families boards) were so angry, tired, and just plain miserable most of the time. It got to the point that if I read, "praying for you", "prayers needed", etc. one more time, that I would barf. I apologize for sounding so blunt and callous, but honstly, God was NOT causing their misery, THEY were. I wonder if they will ever figure that out and take accountability (for their constant pregnancies, their brokenness, their bad/strained relationships with friends or friends because they've ostracized them because they're not good enough to associate with them anymore, etc.) or would they blame everyone else for their own bad choices and subsequent misery? Yes, they definitely had a penchant for attacking public schooling, people with jobs, money, nice homes, people who took vacations once in a while, etc. They looked down on mothers/women who worked outside the home, mothers/women who had smaller families, couples who used birth control, pretty much anyone who had their life together more than they did. If you weren't as miserable as they were, then you pretty much sucked and you were on a regular basis, then you weren't as good or as self-righeous as they were. Your blog entry on "one-upping" comes to mind - LOL! :)

    Whatever the case is, Ruth, you are helping a lot of people understand what goes on in the background of this model/system (things that I suspected already based on posting with these large family women). If one family/person can be prevented from joining these damaging cults that use mainstream Christianity to prop up their weirdness, it's all worth it. I know that you are blogging for catharctic/healing purposes and that's good. In the process, you are helping others along too.

    Thank you for your honesty. I wish you much love and peace. :)

  17. I have refused to do the character first training at a job before because of the Gothard ties. That was fun.

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  19. So your Father believes that he has sinned because you and some of your siblings left the world of Gothardism behind? I feel a little bit bad(only the tiniest bit bad only the merest tiny bit because of the crap he has/is putting your dear mother through) that Darth Pater thinks his salvation involves keeping all of his kids under his thumb....and then passing to job off to who??? the oldest brother in your family?? Wow what an inheritance oldest brother! This is all so manipulative and mentally cruel.

    And this whole umbrella of protection thing? Since BG holds the biggest umbrella of all, covering all of his ATI families, does that not mean that ole Bill gets a one ticket straight to hell for all the sins committed by his underlings? He's made the fathers responible spiritually for the sins of the family...Well what about him???? Just who is he accountable to? He's like some sort of self appointed fundie calvinist Pope. Blek!

    It is my sincerest prayer that the scales be lifted from the eyes of the blind and they finally see that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed good and merciful. And that the finally know the true freedom of salvation in HIM.

  20. They must have relaxed the adoption policy, because I know several (more than 10) ATI families that adopted formally, and every one disrupted the 'birth order. Ine is a familyy placement just like the one you talked about, and none of these families adopted until after they were ATI. They didn't ask permission or anything either, that was mot required.

  21. That should have said 'ONE was a family placement', not 'Ine'

  22. I'm much too sleepy at the moment to say something decent about all this, but Lynne (or whoever coined it), the term 'Darth Pater' is awesome.

  23. I am a homeschool mom recovering from legalistic patriarchy. I wanted to way in the adoption issue. While we were never in ATI we formed a home church with several families who had been. It is very true that they were taught they should not adopt. These families were both just beginning to consider adoption after years of being out of ATI.

  24. The adoption/ sins of the father thing is interesting. Didn't the Pharisees say the same thing? That the blind man was blind due his parent's sins? Which is just proving to me with every post Ruth puts up, BG and her father are the embodiment of Pharisees. Keepers of stringent laws without seeing the bigger message.
    Ruth, how awesome of you to read the Bible cover to cover. That's been a goal of mine, and one I haven't even started yet (strictly from a literature standpoint, I'm not Christian). Interpret it yourself, and if that's how you choose to live your life, more power to you. :-)

    Anyone notice we haven't seen Darth Daddy for a few posts, or am I missing something?


  25. I suspect he's been asked/told not to. Because the last time he posted here was around the time of Ruth's telling of the "obedience" posting, when Ruth and her brother were manipulated by a "family friend".

    Ruth kept it anonymous, but her father started mentioning names. I have a feeling he was pulled aside after that and told to restrain himself.

    Or Ruth has figured out a way to delete/reject comments.

    Either way, I am enjoying the resulting peace.

  26. That and it's not like he's getting anywhere.

    Darth Pater: "Stupid legalistic spiel!"
    RazingRuth Commenters: "You don't make a nickel of sense, and you're a jerk."
    Darth Pater: "Ominous speculations about massive cosmic spanking owed to Ruth, all for pointing out that ATI/QF/Darth Pater don't make a nickel of sense and are collective jerks."
    RazingRuth Commenters: "You did this on the last post. The readers here don't care much about you, except to mock and lament what you have done to other people. Hey, I BET THE DISHES NEED DOING!"

    It just can't be very rewarding for him.

  27. I've never commented before but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog Ruth. Your experiences remind me so much of my own growing up, although my dad was not abusive. ATI sounds like Mormonism on steroids.

    Keep up the good work and I hope your leg heals well and feels better soon!

  28. Oh heck. BG is sick. Just sick.

    You keep telling it.

  29. As far as the adoption thing goes, Christ himself was adopted by Saint Joseph, how does BG explain that one? Also, what's this thing with "disrupting the birth order"? I know ATI folks place a lot of importance on birth order, but why? The more I read about these ATI people the more I think that if I were an unethical person I'd have a few bridges to sell them....

  30. LOL @ Ozzie!

    ATI people are extremely gullible as long as BG is the one talking. He could sell them waterfront property in the Sahara desert, and I don't understand why. But I have seen it it- heck the whole world sees it on A&E every week!

    For children of ATI, the freedom to think, to question, to use their brain is (imho) the freedom that they long for most of all.

    And yay! Ruth has dared to reach out and take it! Go Ruth!! =)

  31. My parents, too, adopted, but it was a weird situation. They were racked w/ guilt for my mother having had a tubal ligation, despite the fact that she had had four (very necessary to save lives of babies) C-sections, and while pg w/ the 4th baby, her uterus split open, which resulted in near death of both mom and baby. At that point, doctor insisted upon a tubal ligation. Parents then "repented" of the "sin" of "unbelief" and attempted a reversal of the tubal ligation, but doctor's told them it would not work with her. They then started taking in foster kids to expand their "tiny" family of "only" 4 kids. They ended up adopting one, but all along, my father commented on how "all" adopted kids end up a huge mess, and are better off in orphanages or w/ their biological parents, no matter how unfit or bad those bio parents are. (because of the sins of the father theory and the birth order theory). Then, when my sister, the adopted one, started displaying RAD symptoms in early teens, (they never got her help. It was all a sin problem on the part of my sister, despite having been severely abused and neglected prior to adoption) and my mother had a difficult time homeschooling, they basically got rid of her. Because to admit defeat in homeschooling and consider other alternatives (public or private school) was not an option. They got rid of their own daughter, rather than send her to public school. To me, this just highlights the irrationality of the hatred toward public schools. Yes, we should have options. Yes, we as parents should be able to educate our children as we see fit (within parameters, of course), but to give away your child, rather than "throwing" them to the so-called "wolves" is really sad. I think these people often are afraid of what they don't know. If they got to know public school children, they will see they are loved by their parents. Public school teachers typically love kids and do what they can to teach them. I had a friend who's daughter would start shaking and cry when we merely walked by a public school. That sort of control and fear is unscriptural, as we are commanded NOT to fear. The kids that I know that are a terrible mess, involved in drugs, criminal activities, imprisoned, are mainly the kids that were home schooled. They were clearly not home schooled for the purpose of getting an education. They were "home schooled" for the purpose of separating and being kept away from the "evil" teachers and "worldly" kids. Many of these kids displayed a huge disrespect for those in authority (teachers, Sunday school teachers, women, government authorities, etc.), and those attitudes were clearly taught by the parents. It is all about fear and control.

  32. As a non ex-ATI-er, I'm not quite getting the birth order thing. Could you explain?

  33. And yes, such an irony here. Ruth, you are reflecting your father's sins. Completely telling the world of them...

  34. Birth order: Rough translation here, and not sure what scripture one twists to defend it, but each child has certain characteristics, gifts from God, curses from (god? satan?) based upon whether they are first born, second born, third, etc.
    It is really just a bias, in my opinion, or a self fulfilling prophecy. I was always chided for being "such a first born" e.g. I was too independent. I had a greater obligation to lead my younger siblings in the right path, serve them, etc., as the first born. It was my job to lecture and persuade my younger siblings to do/believe what my parents did/believed/commanded. I was responsible to God for the "failures" of my younger siblings, b/c if such "failures" occurred, it was a result of my failings. Again, it is all about control and blaming someone else for ones own sins.

  35. This BG birth order nonsense is just that: nonsense. And as a Christian, the idea that a tiny innocent baby would hold 'the sins' of his or her father (and therfore is not worthy of love or adoption) is abhorrent to me. Sorry, not trying to start a theological debate, but BG is way the heck out in looney land on this (like everything else). What a lunatic.

  36. I know of ATIA families that would often times give a double portion of the inheritance to the oldest (usually) male.

    Nothing like rewarding a child for something he/she has no control over while yanking some of their most basic rights as humans.

    Mix signals much?

  37. Something else I remember, and was wondering if Ruth saw this - was that there was a great deal of racial prejudice. So much so that "inter-racial" marriage was prohibited. And it was certainly ok if you were from European descent, and the other party was of European descent (regardless of country of origin in Europe, but God forbid that a white person "intermarry" with a black, Latin American or Asian person. He even used scripture (in a bogus twisted fashion of course) to defend that prohibition.

  38. As a former BG staff member I concur 100% with Rendy's various posts. Fear and control pervade BG's teachings and the culture of his organization. Adoption, birth order, "spiritual gifts" (don't forget to expose this one Ruth!), interracial marriage (IOW, racism), etc. are only a few of the ways BG controls and manipulates his followers.

    As far as whose sin is being passed down to whom, I'd look a lot less at DD->Ruth and take a closer look at BG->DD. And like BG, DD will likely end his life a pathetic lonely shell of a man.

  39. What I don't understand about these radical cult like Christian groups is that Luther broke away from the Catholic Church in part because he felt you could get to heaven without an intermediary (aka priests) and that you just needed to read the bible for yourself to see god's will.

    What confuses me, having been raised as a disciple of christ in a very Baptisty area, is how sects that grew out of the Protestant movement ended up being so sheep like, and follow the herd mentality.

    I can't tell you how many people can spout off bible versus to me but when I ask them what that means to them they get blank looks on their faces. It's like they have no understanding of where their religion started and what the purpose of it is. Most of them don't know who Martin Luther was or what the Protestant Reformation was about.

    How can you understand the bible when you don't understand the circumstances in history that forged the King James version? Do people honestly think god floated down on a cloud and dictated it people in the 17th C?

  40. Cynthia wrote:
    "How can you understand the bible when you don't understand the circumstances in history that forged the King James version? Do people honestly think god floated down on a cloud and dictated it people in the 17th C?"

    In a word, yes.

    More precisely, the Bible is considered in most groups like this to be infallible, unchanging, and inspired by God. The general opinion when I was growing up was that God hand-picked the authors of each book in the Bible, hand-picked the council that combined all these books into the Bible, hand-picked which books they were to include and which toss aside, and hand-picked those who translated it into the King James version. Since God was directly involved every step of the way, of course He ensured that His word would remain the same regardless of language, culture, or bias.

    Why there are so many different versions post-KJV, why it's coming out that even the beloved KJV has translation errors from older texts, and why non-included books such as the gnostic texts are coming to light now, we never learned. Though I'm sure my former pastor would say something like the prevalence of sin in our world has given the enemy an opening to pervert sacred texts to deceive the undiscerning.

  41. Cynthia,

    As one raised fundie, I am asking the same questions myself!

    I was told all about the history of the Mormon church and the JWs, but not one fundamentalist church I ever attended taught the history of the fundamentalist movement! NOT ONE!

    As a child I was left with the impression that fundie ways were the true Christian way and had always been that way. No own ever taught me that a man with a specific name who was born in a specific time (1800s) in a specific place (America) started the fundamentalist churches.

    For example: I thought all Christians everywhere had always believed in the rapture. It was just implied since no history of the fundamentalist church was taught, yet history of other "false" religions was taught.

    If only they had one time said something like, "now this idea of the rapture is a new teaching from a Plymouth Brethren American who lived in the 1800s"! But no, they acted as if all true Christians had always believed this.

    Makes me so mad, all the people they terrified with their false doctrines! Grrr.

    But thank God for the internet! And for historical fiction authors Dave and Neta Jackson, who showed in the back of their Trailbazers series how religious movements had a history too, and for my own good brain.

    I am a Lutheran now, tentatively. I love my religion (Jesus) and want to practice an authentic living relationship.

    I talk to my new pastor about theology all the time. He is not the "expert" but a fellow seeker of authentic relationship with the divine. I told him just last week how lied to and ripped off I felt that the fundie churches never were open and honest about who/how/when they got their start, but always spoke as if they were the one TRUE branch of Christianity.

    In reality, they are an aberrant, relatively new and distinctly American sect. They are far from the authentic faith as shared by the early church in many aspects.

  42. I'd like to tackle this question, if I may: "Marie Francis said...

    As far as the adoption thing goes, Christ himself was adopted by Saint Joseph, how does BG explain that one?"

    Joseph was directed specifically by God to take Jesus, and treat him as his own. And, when the bio-dad (as it were) of your adopted son is literally GOD, you don't have to worry about sins of the father, or disrupting the birth order. Because God literally made the situation happen.

    That being said, how they can argue that ridiculous birth order disruption bullshit about adoption is ridiculous. If, through intense prayer, God can tell you whom to marry, how to correct your behavior, erase obstacles, illness, sin, and other troubles, why can't God also lead a parentless child into the path of a family, and communicate His desires for adopting?

    This is why I don't religion. I would rather live my life being good to people on my own judgment than wait for an invisible man living in the sky to tell me how to behave. I've noticed most Christians are generally miserable, disapproving, and angry all the time.

    1. I doubt you'll see this since it's so old, but I would posit that you haven't met many real (or perhaps in a proper relationship with God) Christians if that's how you see them. The people I know who are most following the true will of God are not what you describe. Christians who get caught up in the ways of the world or have enslaved themselves to a legalistic lifestyle may very well exhibit behaviors such as those but it is not because of God.

      Also, you may be perfectly happy in the way you live your life, and that's fine, but God isn't an "invisible man in the sky." He created Man. He is not even remotely on the same level as a man and thinking like that drastically distorts His place in this world and our duty to Him. I wouldn't follow the edicts of an invisible man either. Divine, eternal, Supreme Being? Why yes, I think I should do what He says (and only what He says, not some man's interpretation of it).

  43. Thank you shadowspring for that information. I'm glad you are finding a new faith. I've always tended to ask inconvenient questions about church history. My minister said I was irksome and my Sunday school teacher started bouncing me around the age of 6. I went home and read the encyclopedia, which is probably why I've never really believed in religion. A higher being is fine but religion just tends to add layers that I'm (me, not everyone else) not comfortable with.

    The sad thing is...I'm okay with "we don't know that" or "I'm searching for that answer myself". I don't handle "because god said so" well.

    I just think if you are working in a church for a living, you should know something about the history of your organization. It's interesting to get other people's opinions!

  44. Do you think it would make any difference if someone pointed out the people who think the KJV Bible is the end-all-be-all, that King James was a blatant homosexual?

    (I'm not making this up! It was such common knowledge during his reign that they made up a snarky little saying: "Elizabeth was our king; now James is our queen.")


  45. LOL tatortot!

    Apparently fundies don't do history well.

    His "approved" version of the Bible came after it was obvious that the Reformation wasn't going away, in spite of jail, torture and death dealt out to adherents.

    So he sought a way to control it by controlling what got translated and how it would be translated.

    Amazingly enough, this hard-hearted, greedy, selfish king was portrayed in the Bob Jones University elementary history as a sweet old man who loved Jesus! I couldn't believe it.

    I think it's funny if he was gay too!

    Ain't history grand? =D

  46. Almost all the established historians agree that although 'passionate' friendships between men and men and women and women were a feature of English 17th Century life, particularly among literary and educated people, and that these were often spiritual and emotional rather than sexual, James I's relationships with men were physical. Contemporary sources are a bit too blunt to quote here . . .

    I never thought of that before, but yes, it is funny, and ironic that the 'essential' bible translation was produced for a man who definitely disobeyed the commands in Leviticus about men lying with men . . . do you suppose that fundies know that?

  47. First off:

    “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin."

    Deuteronomy 24:16

    I know there are other passages about visiting the sins of the father on the son unto the forth or fifth generation, but that was for the enemies of Israel, so whatever.

    Second of all, I don't think most people understand the protestant revolution, most importantly that theologically, there was no revolution. While it did lead to significant theological differences, each of the 99 thesis were in line with Catholic teachings. what Luther was really rebelling against (and rightfully so) were the abuses within the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Looking at one of the most popular issues of the day, i guess the more things change the more things stay the same.

    Also, I always wondered why QF families didn't adopt. That really confused me and seemed totally hypocritical. Now that I know their reasoning (at least they have reasoning, as screwed up as it is) I'm pretty sure these people have no understanding of Biblical messages at all.

    Finally, can you talk about race in the QF and ATI communities? It seems that it is really centered on white families.

  48. I've been out of the loop for a few weeks with a hectic time at work. I will just comment on the orphanage work. I don't know which group(s) ministered in my kids Ukrainian Orphanage, but I do know my kids remember it very fondly. My son LOVED the Christian "Church Camp" he got to attend one summer. He is also passionate about helping "Operation Christmas Child" because of the shoe box he remembers getting one New Year's. So while there are excellent reasons to be snarky about it, these are real kids and they are receiving much needed positive attention. In the end, they will make of it what they will. That said I do vividly recall the abuse publicity in the 80s or 90s on the Indianapolis Training Center! So, I'm hopeful there aren't putting little orphans in prayer closets for days at a time!!


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