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On My Honor...
July 9, 2007 11:27 AM   Subscribe

"Give your children a program that Jesus could join. Why not step beyond a politically correct scouting program in which a Christian might not feel completely comfortable at activities, or with the materials furnished by a central committee? Are you tired of pretending to be neutral?" Keepers at Home and Contenders for the Faith are Bible-based alterntives to traditional youth scouting groups. Keepers at Home features lessons to prepare girls for their future roles as help meets, mothers, and keepers at home," while Contenders for the Faith learn "everything a Christian boy needs to learn to prepare him to be a man." Just like traditional scouting, Keepers offers uniforms, badges, and handbooks. girls. Keepers is just one of many Christian approaches to scouting; others include American Heritage Girls, Awana, and Mpact.
posted by Miko (141 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I post this not to LOLXIANS, but to note another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions. Here, scouting joins Christian academies and colleges, homeschooling, Christian dating services and rock festivals, investment firms and resorts to offer services that used to involve interaction with people of diverse backgrounds.

My unscientific survey seems to indicate that there are more Christian youth groups for girls than there are for boys. That could be an interesting sidelight on the ongoing controversy over Boy Scouts and religion - Boy Scouts require boys to claim a religious affiliation, and have rejected self-described athiests as both leaders and members, whereas Girl Scouts (a completely separate entity) allow a liberal interpretation of 'god' and have no religious stipulations on membership. The Girl Scout organization has grown increasingly progressive over the last forty years, and perhaps that is part of what has sent Christian families in search of a more narrowly defined youth group experience.
posted by Miko at 11:36 AM on July 9, 2007


yeah, but could jesus earn merit badges as fast as i did?
posted by bruce at 11:44 AM on July 9, 2007


MetaFilter: Are you tired of pretending to be neutral?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:47 AM on July 9, 2007


Wouldn't Jesus feel most comfortable at a Jewish kids' camp?
posted by Muddler at 11:49 AM on July 9, 2007 [11 favorites]


It's kind of amazing how much trouble is caused; how much fear is created; and how much energy is invested across the globe by those who insist on the rigidity of gender roles.

(And I'm totally ordering one of those "Keeper of the Faith" badges to put on my bike messenger bag, btw.)
posted by MasonDixon at 11:50 AM on July 9, 2007


A friend of mine teaches American Heritage Girls at our church...we still have the traditional Boy Scouts for the boys. One reason we have an alternate for the GS is that that organization didn't like the fact we were incorporating some Bible stuff into the program, and made their displeasure known. Rather than cause a stink, we switched.

I don't think the point is to avoid diversity as much as it is that we are interested in our values being taught to our young people, and a more secular program doesn't meet the need in that regard.

As to programs for boys, I know that the Assembly of God has a program called Royal Rangers for boys.
posted by konolia at 11:53 AM on July 9, 2007


It may not be LOLXIANS, but it's surely LOLGENDERROLES.

Because gender roles are damn hysterical if you can force yourself to back off and disconnect from the immense damage that they do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:54 AM on July 9, 2007


I had the wonderful experience of being a member of The SDA Pathfinders. The main thing I remember was marching for hours at a time in preparation for the big Pathfinder marching competition. We came in last.
posted by M Edward at 11:55 AM on July 9, 2007


MasonDixon, I'm just glad someone is teaching ANYONE homemaking skills. I'm 48 and just now getting a handle on the housework stuff-I was raised by a working mom who had zero interest in making a home, and little knowledge of how if she had.
posted by konolia at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2007


I post this not to LOLXIANS, but to note another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions.

Uh, what? So you just wanted to note this for archival purposes, then? Sounds to me like you are doing exactly what you are claiming not to do: you are pointing out behaviors of a religious group in order to chat about it and get around to how crazy they are for doing that.

What's next? Christian miniature golf parks!?! Please note!
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2007


Other than a few values regarding equality for minorities, I daresay the majority of any childrens' program in the West is undoubtedly teaching the exact same values you hold, konolia.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wait ... people think god is real?
posted by mrnutty at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2007


What's next? Christian miniature golf parks!?!

I assume the 18th hole would be in Our Savior's feet.
posted by jonmc at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


No, they're not opting out! There are thousands of Christian youth groups, many with similar structures to Keepers. I'm surprised that you also used the 'Under God' argument for Boy Scouts' dwindling numbers. I was a scout, we were completely interfaith and met at a Unitarian Church, which is about as far as a person can go from Christianity and still remain Christian (if you want). The reason scouts have declined, IMO, is because kids can do more today than knot-tying, map reading and color guard without wearing a uniform or waiting to move from Tenderfoot to whatever's next. Boy Scouts has lost its purpose in an age where teenagers can find innumberable other ways to earn volunteer experience for college. It's no longer worthwhile to be an eagle scout.

It's not what is driving this small number of Christian parents away from Girl Scouts either. Girl Scouts have certainly become more progressive, but tell me a secular, private children's organization that has not.

Boy Scouts would survive better were it to adopt some of the guides of 4-H: active civic participation. When I was a scout, all I could think about doing was joining 4-H. It's got farming, career guidance, volunteer work, and social enjoyment built in. While the Boy Scouts cries over gay teens in uniform and accuses gay men of paedophilia, married men who are sexual predators are getting away with murder in scouting.

Christian parents such as the ones joining Keepers are continuing only the regard for oversight they tend to put on their children. It's not about faith, it's about authority. But when a Christian kids goes to college, scout or not, they go bad real fast.
posted by parmanparman at 11:58 AM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


My unscientific survey seems to indicate that there are more Christian youth groups for girls than there are for boys.

My unscientific experience seems to indicate that there are more girls and women active in Christian churches than boys and men.
posted by deanc at 11:58 AM on July 9, 2007


Our local Unitarian Universalist congregation hosts a Spiral Scouts troop. The Spiral Scouts are a Pagan based gay-friendly scouting organization that formed as kind of a reaction to the Boy Scouts.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2007


What's next? Christian miniature golf parks!?!
Well...one of the local churches here used to run their own little league baseball program, in competition with the normal, established little league.
It didn't last long, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2007


Maybe the spoiled little bastards should go join the Essenes so they can prepare for their grueling ordeal in the wilderness before they're called to prophethood. What? They don't really follow Jesus at all, but just pay alot of lip service to half-baked morality that doesn't really line up with the Sermon on the Mount? Silly.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was in AWANA as a youth. The main thing I learned was that the neighborhood rednecks did not take kindly to my wearing "that faggoty-ass uniform" out in public.
posted by Optamystic at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2007


Keeper at Home/Keep Her at Home?
Surely this wasn't accidental?

And I'm surprised that anyone could find the Bo Scouts too politically correct (whatever that means). This is the group that fought successfully to keep out the gays, after all.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I live in an area of a large American city that is heavily Orthodox Jewish. My neighbors shop at Jewish stores, eat at kosher Chinese restaurants, walk to orthodox temples, meet their mates on Jewish dating sites or at Jewish singles events, and send their children to Jewish schools where the girls are required to wear skirts and dress modestly. The women grow up to marry Jewish men, cover their hair, and stay home and raise large families. The men, although they do venture into the outside world, do not interact much with gentiles. These people have created an enclave where you can spend your entire life avoiding the American mainstream.

You want to talk "opting out of shared public culture", this is Ground Zero.

And yet I have never heard anyone spazz out about this. There's probably some Orthodox scouting outfit where boys learn about Judah and the Maccabees while camping out in someone's back yard, and NO ONE CARES.

Part of this, I'm sure, is because there are a lot fewer Orthodox Jews than very conservative Christians, and part of it is because some very conservative Christians are pretty vocal about their beliefs, whereas my neighbors are so removed from shared public culture that they don't even engage on that level.

But part of it is because a lot of Americans, for unclear reasons, are really comfortable being jerks about Christians. And sometimes, I have noticed, groups of people who constantly get ridiculed in a really... rude, ill-bred way, will tend to retreat to their own subculture, rather than remain in the mainstream and have to deal with your BS.

Crazy, huh?
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Cookiebastard writes 'Our local Unitarian Universalist congregation hosts a Spiral Scouts troop. The Spiral Scouts are a Pagan based gay-friendly scouting organization that formed as kind of a reaction to the Boy Scouts.'

Is this a preparation for graduating into Spiral Tribe when they get old enough to party?

I can see that the scouts would teach them all manner of useful things:

- How to find a space in the woods that is suitable for a rave.
- How to survive on nuts and berries when the cops appear and you have to lie low
- How to build a generator for your soundsystem by rubbing two sticks together.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Under Others (Skills for Boys):

Bus Worker

Odd.
posted by effwerd at 12:11 PM on July 9, 2007


you are pointing out behaviors of a religious group in order to chat about it

Yes.

and get around to how crazy they are for doing that.

Well, that's not up to me; it's completely dependent on people who comment in the thread.

There's no need to assume that all topics related to Christianity in contemporary culture are going to 'get out of hand' or that anyone who wants to discuss the phenomenon also condemns it. It's happening; it reflects social change; it's interesting. I think it would be great to set a new standard of being able to discuss the thread topics rather than discuss the discussants. No one in the thread has really said anything needlessly rude or reactionary, so there's no need to assume any evil intent on anyone's part.
posted by Miko at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2007


It's no longer worthwhile to be an eagle scout.

Not only that, it's downright embarrassing. After the hateful stances the BSA have taken on gays and atheists, I'd just as soon I weren't associated with them in any fashion.
posted by gurple at 12:19 PM on July 9, 2007


Biggest difference between NYC's enclave of ultra-Orthodox Jews and the wigger ultra-Paulian Christians that are spread across the USA is that the former keep to themselves, while the latter seem inclined to make their religion the law.

It is that aggressive proselytization that scares the rest of us: we've seen what happens when a religion goes off the rails and into "y'all must believe or burn in hell" does to, say, mid-East Muslims.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:20 PM on July 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't think the point is to avoid diversity as much as it is that we are interested in our values being taught to our young people, and a more secular program doesn't meet the need in that regard.

konolia, I respect your take on this, so let me ask you honestly - are you sure that's really the whole reason? From where I stand it seems like the subset of America that is vocally Christian is already working double-time to Christify (tm) every possible experience they can have, from TV watching to school to vacations and shopping. Can it really be that the kids haven't gotten the message yet? I would think that a Christian kid these days is about as surrounded by their parents' values as any kid could be, and probably more. Also, is it just me or is the definition of 'secular' becoming something other than it used to be? Can't kids do one activity that isn't completely infused with a religious message?
posted by contessa at 12:24 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What very Victorian lists of skills those are. Girls can learn basketweaving and cross stitch, and boys get to learn astronomy and first aid (and the mysteriously named "home care", which I assume is subtext for basic cooking and cleaning skills).

Out of the girls' list, I can pick out about 10 things I'd like to learn - including, in fact, basketweaving, as long as they're really cool ones like the Hopi weave. Out of the boys' list - well, the majority of the skills sound awesome.

Christian or not, the whole idea of having such radically different, gender-separated lists of skills is just...weird. I mean, wouldn't you want your son to know how to do a decent load of laundry, sew a button or hem, and maybe fix his daughter's doll? And wouldn't you want your daughter to know how to identify constellations, fix a lamp, and do basic carpentry? "Sign language" is on the boys' list but not the girls' - why? The whole thing's odd.
posted by rtha at 12:24 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I agree, hmsbeagle; since I'm interested in folk and ethnic culture, I struggle with the idea of ethnic/religious secessionism often. A shared civic culture is an important value for me as an American, but I'm aware that many groups, including Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, the Amish and Mennonites, some Mormons, and others also practice limited contact with people from outside of their own religious communities. The Christian groups caught my notice because they are in a phase of active growth, whereas many of these other subcultures have been maintaining their own institutions for a longer time.

Personally, I do think there is a loss of opportunity there. My own Scouting experience brought me into contact with Catholic, various Protestant, Muslim, and Hindu girls along with some girls from nonreligious families, including my own. There was something lovely in the idea that we could identify shared values which were respected across culture, class, religion, and ethnicity, among them honesty, service, kindness, hard work, and responsibility. Tolerance for human variety is useful in public life and in the workplace, and Girl Scouts emphasized that.

Religious education wasn't lacking among the girls I was in Scouting with - it was just considered separate from scouting, and was organized around church youth groups such as CYO or the Unitarian youth group I attended. So it wasn't as though kids missed a chance to learn religious content and values.
posted by Miko at 12:25 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


“...another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions.”

I think a lot of groups (noted above ‘Spiral Scouts’) are opting out of the otherwise contentious commons.
Some the imagery here is a bit troubling tho. Kid logo on the bottom of the page with the shield and sword f’rinstance. What is it with fighting against something?
So much - generally speaking - within some of these kinds of organizations are based mimicry of outdoorsmanship. And mimicry of empowerment and responsibility.
I always enjoyed stomping through the woods with knife, knowing how to make fire but it wasn’t until I went camping with my dad that I started getting it. We’d made a fire and he asked me “Hungry?” I said I was. He said “Me too.” And did nothing. Pretty soon I got the idea I’d have to find food. So I caught a fish and we grilled it. Saw some deer eyes a way off. And in that silence I got the idea that we were here, and we can feed ourselves from nature, but we didn’t own it. Didn’t need to say anything about God or Indian sky spirits or society or anything, just had to make fire, catch a fish, and leave the land unspoiled.
Gay, straight, christian, whatever these things people bicker about when they’re warm and their bellies are full.

People always feel they have to DO something or their kids won’t learn - or more importantly - won’t learn their thing. So you get people doing this and splitting off all the time and arguing all about something that no one really has a right to anyway.
Always made me laugh, the story about Peter Minuet and Manhattan. You always hear that he bought the island from the indians for some beads worth about $24. Rarely do you get the story from the amerindian side, that they didn’t believe in ownership in the first place. Rarer still do you find out that the amerindians he traded with didn’t even live there and were in a dispute with another tribe, that did live on the island, over fishing rights. And of course there was eventually a war.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:32 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, that's not up to me; it's completely dependent on people who comment in the thread.

Come on. You've been here long enough to know that we aren't going to by the neutral presenter argument.

It's happening;

Yes, so?

it reflects social change


Does it really? Religious individuals stick with like-minded individuals... that's been going on for, oh, roughly the last 3,000 years or so.

it's interesting.

Purely subjective.

I think it would be great to set a new standard of being able to discuss the thread topics

What is there to discuss? You made a post about Christians sending their kids to Christian camps. What's the discussion about? As noted, do you find it equally interesting that Jewish people frequent Jewish businesses? Or that Amish people stick together and have opted-out of our modern butter-churning methods? Or that handicapped people form their own sports leagues? Or that GLBT members have their own shadow communities?

Really you are pointing out a known way of behavior that in and of itself is incredibly mundane (scouting for people who believe X).
_______

Miko, I actually like a lot of your posts. You do a good job presenting topics. And this post itself is a lot better constructed than typical Christian-gazing posts. But I think you knew what you were doing, which is why you posted that unsolicited apologia after your post to which I commented on. It's a good post, but the topic is tired and pure heat (and no light).
posted by dios at 12:32 PM on July 9, 2007


"politically correct scouting program"

Which "scouting program" are they referring to exactly?
posted by jca at 12:34 PM on July 9, 2007


dios, thanks for the backhanded compliment, but please notice that if you weren't inserting your rants the thread would be progressing as a civil discussion.
posted by Miko at 12:40 PM on July 9, 2007


hmsbeagle: it's because Orthodox Jews don't show up at my door to chastise me for taking the devil's path, they don't try to change public places/schools/government to suit them, and they don't ring their damn churchbells in the form of cheesy sixties tunes.

(normally i don't mind the church-bells so much, but i'm quite conscious of the fact that if my town were subjected to a call to prayer x times a day from a mosque, the neighborhood would be gathering for a lynching.)

in any case, i don't mind one bit that the fundies exile themselves from mainstream life in every way they can think of. people have the right to do that, it's far better than their usual modus operandi, and it produces some awesome souvenirs for the dashboard.
posted by RedEmma at 12:41 PM on July 9, 2007


You know, it's just simply a fact of life that the "default" option in the United States is to be assimilated into the mainstream of the country's civic and cultural institutions. You will by default meet people from "mainstream" religious backgrounds, non-religious people, and children of recent immigrants. These families all will, within a couple generations, be more or less culturally indistinguishable from each other. In some cases, they will even be religiously indistinguishable (all nominally religious in similar ways, religious but belonging to indistinguishably different denominations, or "never thought too much about it").

These "separate" institutions for evangelical Christians aren't really isolating children from the "mainstream" as much as they're providing one of the few experiences these children will ever have outside of their families to a non-mainstream experience. People will, for most of their lives, not be living in the shadow of their parents' culture, and their schools, sports teams, and workplaces will contain all sorts of different people. Things like "scouting for evangelicals" will likely be one of the few times they'll ever spend a significant amount of time exclusively with people from very similar cultural and religious backgrounds.
posted by deanc at 12:42 PM on July 9, 2007


How Pat Robertson's law school is changing America.
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on July 9, 2007


But I think you knew what you were doing, which is why you posted that unsolicited apologia after your post to which I commented on. It's a good post, but the topic is tired and pure heat (and no light).

dios, miko and I disagree on a lot, but she's not a Christian-basher. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. As someone who's defended you a number of times and likes having you around, here's some advice, if you were a little less defensive, youmight learn some things you wouldn't otherwise.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on July 9, 2007


Another former member of Awana here. Nealry 20 years ago, so I won't vouch for them now. I have pretty fond memories, they took me on my first ski trip, and for free since my family was too poor to pay for tickets.

However, it was a pretty weird experience. We did some psuedo-patriotic opening ceremony every week, some forgettable activity (basketball, tag, etc.) and then the main business of the evening was memorizing scripture. You got points for every verse in the bible you could memorize. Earn enough points, you got a star to go on the above mentioned 'faggoty' uniform (Awana was where I learned the word 'neckerchief'). Earn enough stars, and you get a cross or something. Very paramilitary, which is appealing to an average American 10 year old.

I remember the kids in the group being about as pleasant and friendly as any other group, so it was nice to get out of the house on a weeknight. I can remember the simple urgency of their desire that we all accept JC as our personal saviour, but can't for the life of me remember why or how this was portrayed as a sensible thing to do. Oh well, I still like skiing.
posted by bluejayk at 12:45 PM on July 9, 2007


Middle-School Jesus would totally dig this place.

Also, what's a "help meet"?

E.g., "Keepers at Home features lessons to prepare girls for their future roles as help meets, mothers, and keepers at home." Huh?
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2007


One such "boys' Christian scouts" organization already exists, and is quite good: Christian Service Brigade.


I grew up with it, and loved it. I'm sad it's fading away.
posted by catkins at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2007


"Give your children a program that Jesus could join."

Except that he couldn't - or more succinctly, would not, even if he could. Jesus was Jewish.
posted by contessa at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't see how Spiral Scouts is opting out of a commons. Gay kids and counselors are not allowed in the Boy Scouts. Neither are girls. I suppose constantly "witnessing" Uber-Christians wouldn't be welcome in a lot of troops, either. Diversity is good, but putting the bigots together with gays and blacks may not have a positive outcome...

Or maybe they just didn't want to have to be WE-BLOWs.
posted by rikschell at 12:51 PM on July 9, 2007


Thank god; every one of 'em who are focusing on mucking about in their own organization is one less mucking up nice secular organizations. Kind of like the creationist "museum" concept; keeps them out of the real ones.

I will, however, lament one less opportunity to subvert them by sending my [future] kids to camp with Playboy mags.

<former Jesus Camp survivor>
posted by Bovine Love at 12:51 PM on July 9, 2007


These "separate" institutions for evangelical Christians aren't really isolating children from the "mainstream" as much as they're providing one of the few experiences these children will ever have outside of their families to a non-mainstream experience.

I wonder. I would think that the sort of parents that these sectarian Scouting programs would appeal to would be the same sort of parents who would want to surround their kids with religion in all other aspects of their lives.

This is just an impression that I have from growing up in Utah (where the Boy Scouts are practically just an arm of the Mormon Church) and from knowing a few (and watching too many documentaries about) other insular Christians.
posted by gurple at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2007


Kadin: help meet.
posted by jrossi4r at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2007


“We must... develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side with the dominant leftist cultural institutions…
"There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture…
"Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions…." Eric Heubeck,
This strategic plan from 2001 by the Free Congress Foundation gets a page at Wikipedia. (No page for it yet at Conservapedia.)
posted by McLir at 12:58 PM on July 9, 2007


Didn't Jesus frown upon those who remove themselves from society?
Not much chance for engagement and conversion in that model.
Imagine if Jesus had done that. Wouldn't that make a radically different Bible?
Isn't "Christian" the same as "Christ-like?"
So, tell me, what's so Christ-like about this exclusionary bullshit?
posted by nofundy at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think the point is to avoid diversity as much as it is that we are interested in our values being taught to our young people, and a more secular program doesn't meet the need in that regard.

konolia, I respect your take on this, so let me ask you honestly - are you sure that's really the whole reason
?

Well, I know for a fact it was at my church. My friend was the one getting the grief from the Girl Scout organization for wanting to incorporate a bit of Bible. Discussions were held, decisions were made, and American Heritage Girls was picked as an alternate program. The girls still get to do cool stuff and go camping, etc. and everyone seems happy enough.


BTW the phrase "help meet" comes from Genesis where it is stated that God created a companion for Adam-in the KJV I think it's stated Eve was created to be a "help meet" for him. This phrase annoys me because all it means is "a help suitable" which means "help meet" in the modern vernacular is pretty bad grammar.
posted by konolia at 1:06 PM on July 9, 2007


I would think that the sort of parents that these sectarian Scouting programs would appeal to would be the same sort of parents who would want to surround their kids with religion in all other aspects of their lives.

Probably true. However, there's a tangible limit to the degree one can do this in the USA. Eventually, one goes to college (sure, maybe a Christian college), gets a job, moves to some suburb/exurb, and is surrounded by the wide swath of generica. For similar reasons, it's very difficult for immigrant cultures to maintain their native languages over many generations... and even though it is possible, those groups all, without fail, speak English fluently after a generation or two.

I don't blame the parents who say, "let's have our child experience camp/scouting/school with a group of our specific religious tradition" because this is going to be the kid's last chance to do something like this before leaving home.

That said, I have a very limited experience of what it's like in, say, the bible belt, where it may well be that everyone is the same religion and all local institutions do all service this culture and you can't, by default, end up surrounded lots of different cultures.
posted by deanc at 1:07 PM on July 9, 2007


This phrase annoys me because all it means is "a help suitable" which means "help meet" in the modern vernacular is pretty bad grammar.

When I saw them using the term "help meet," I was reminded how evangelicals have an affection for using the word "countenance" as a noun, which outside of very limited uses, it pretty archaic. But it sounds Biblical! So it has to be used!
posted by deanc at 1:10 PM on July 9, 2007


[Jewish] men, although they do venture into the outside world, do not interact much with gentiles. These people have created an enclave where you can spend your entire life avoiding the American mainstream... And yet I have never heard anyone spazz out about this.

I would have thought that the reason why people worry about fundamentalist Christians doing this is precisely because many don't spend their entire lives avoiding the American mainstream. Quite the opposite - they tend to try to avoid being influenced, but are very vocal about their beliefs and have made many attempts to influence public policy. The whole creationism-vs-evolution in schools uproar being but one example.
posted by Zinger at 1:15 PM on July 9, 2007


konolia: "As to programs for boys, I know that the Assembly of God has a program called Royal Rangers for boys."

Former "Trailblazer" from that program here (started as Pioneer and worked up)... It seems the guys that ran that shit in our church (don't worry, I'm an agnostic these days ;)) all came from the military... One was the army, one was a coastie (coast guard).

Punishment for misbehavior? Pushups "Drop and give me 20" Yep. And we did LOTS of misbehaving.

I don't think I got a damn ounce of work ethic or anything like that from the program. Or maybe I'd just be WAY worse off than I already am.
posted by symbioid at 1:18 PM on July 9, 2007


Eh, I don't know how exclusionary it is. Maybe as exclusionary as a child's parent wants to make it. My Southern Baptist parents sent me to the Christian rendition of various typical childhood events, but I also went to a lot of secular events. The Christian ones were more like a supplement, and sometimes it wasn't even that - it's just what we were familiar with, or maybe we had friends who were involved, so, you know. Why not?

Basically, my parents felt I should have some Christian influence in my life aside from themselves, but they didn't go out of their way to shelter me from the real world, either. I don't think my parents were unique in that respect. It's just that the fundies get all the press.
posted by katillathehun at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2007


And I'm surprised that anyone could find the Boy Scouts too politically correct (whatever that means). This is the group that fought successfully to keep out the gays, after all

I was a Cub Scout and Webelo. I was an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow, blah, blah, blah. I always chafed at the authority but loved the wilderness skills.

Having said that, I'd rather poke my eyes out than let my son have anything to do with Scouting. Scouting is part of the problem these days, not part of the solution; another authoritarian indoctrination center for malleable minds.

And, no, I'm not bitter - just smarter.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:38 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I post this not to LOLXIANS

Posting anything negative about Christianity to Mefi pretty much defines LOLXIANS, no?

another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture

Miko - seriously, you don't see the negative spin here?

Think about it: everyone else choses what to watch on TV, which books to read, which schools to go to, courses to take, politicians to vote for, and what parallel or special interest institutions to belong to. It's called freedom.

Who gets to decide what's normal or "shared public culture" anyway? I'm honestly missing the point of your post if it's not some (perhaps mild) variant of LOLXIANS.
posted by scheptech at 1:38 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And if you think most fundamental Christian indoctrination groups would welcome Jesus into their ranks, you're nuts. Not with that long hair, those sandals, and those crazy commie ideals.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:41 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who gets to decide what's normal or "shared public culture" anyway?

If the group takes taxpayers' money, the government gets to decide.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:42 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who gets to decide what's normal or "shared public culture" anyway?

If the group takes taxpayers' money, the government gets to decide.


Hence the Religious Right's determination to control the government.
posted by MasonDixon at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Royal Rangers is where the evangelical pentecostal campers meet up.

Our Goals


1. To instruct in Bible Doctrine. When a boy participates in Royal Rangers, he should have a basic knowledge of what the Bible teaches.

2. To challenge for Christian service. When a boy completes this program he should be ready to take his place in the area of Christian service where God wants him to be

3. To inspire a belief in the fundamental beliefs of our church. When a boy completes this program he should be Christian in belief for the remainder of his life.

4. To satisfy the boy's basic need for activity. A boy engaged in this program should have enough interesting activities to do to prevent him from being tempted to engage in unwholesome activities.
posted by mattbucher at 2:00 PM on July 9, 2007


Also, what's a "help meet"?

In this context? Basically, a house slave.
posted by emjaybee at 2:00 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That said, I have a very limited experience of what it's like in, say, the bible belt, where it may well be that everyone is the same religion and all local institutions do all service this culture and you can't, by default, end up surrounded lots of different cultures.

Ya think? Listen, Jesus camp and Jesus scouting (Caravan, woohoo) was possibly the most whitebread experience of my life, and I was in 4-H. There were kids there that bragged to wide-eyed audiences about meeting a Mexican once.

The local institutions often do all service the same culture, but there are always outliers of some magnitude. Bible Belt Jesus camp is where all those weird diverse people get stripped away and you're immersed in a warm, bland, homogenous reduction of Midwest Caucasian fundie - like your normal life, but purified.
posted by ormondsacker at 2:02 PM on July 9, 2007


I was a boyscout growing up (in rural Michigan) and loved every second of it. It seemed that half of us were outdoorsy, hunter-types and the other half were hopeless outsiders who's parents would do anything to get their kid socialized. (I'll let you guess which half I was from).

The organization was anything but secular. Certainly, Christianity was extremely prominent in everything we did, including the allegiances we claimed every Monday night in the post-office basement. This never really bothered me - though I can see how conflating a "patriotic" identity with a "Christian" identity is inherently problematic. While I'm all for patriots, and I'm all for Christians, a hybridization makes me uneasy, to say the least.

I quit the BSA during my board-of-review to confer my Eagle Scout award. I was seventeen years old and had been a faithful and committed member of the organization throughout my whole life.

I quit because three weeks before I was to receive approval for my award, the BSA revoked an Eagle Scout award from an openly gay young man. Two other individuals from my troop joined in protest. We informed the b of r that we would wait until his award was returned to him before we would accept our awards. At the time, we thought that whatever conference who had stripped him of his rank would, of course, soon recant and we would all go on our merry way. As I'm sure you are all aware, the conference did not reverse their ruling - and neither did we - and I turned 18 and became ineligible.

The other day I was walking in the park near my old hometown with some friends, and we were walking down an old rails-for-trails line. I turned to my friend and said, "You know, I cleared this trail." (I had, it was required for the community service project of my Eagle award.) I told him it had been a part of my Eagle scout award. He was surprised - he asked about it. I told him I wasn't an Eagle scout. Which really kind of made me sad - but today, scouting is such an openly bigoted organization that it breaks my heart. I keep my dad's Eagle scout award in my desk at work - I think scouting really served it's purpose but unfortunately it has now become something that I'm not proud to have been involved with.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:03 PM on July 9, 2007 [9 favorites]


Posting anything negative about Christianity to Mefi pretty much defines LOLXIANS, no?

Not necessarily. If this is a LOLXIANS post, where's the LOLing? It seems like a pretty decent discussion of people's experiences in scouting alternatives, and of religious seperatism in everyday American life.

Given that certain forms of Christianity have such a powerful influence on the public sphere, it's pretty important that we be able to discuss it here, don't you think?

To my mind, a LOLXIANS post looks more like this.

(Not that I didn't love that post. That was a great freaking post.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


But when a Christian kids goes to college, scout or not, they go bad real fast.

Highly unlikely, though, at Patrick Henry College from whence will come God's Next Army.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, what's a "help meet"?

In this context? Basically, a house slave.


No, not at all. I am one, and I am the house despot. When it comes to my household I am Large and In Charge. My husband brings in the dough, and I manage it, and the house. We are a team.
posted by konolia at 2:13 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I post this not to LOLXIANS, but to note another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions. Here, scouting joins Christian academies and colleges, homeschooling, Christian dating services and rock festivals, investment firms and resorts to offer services that used to involve interaction with people of diverse backgrounds.

Good--that's what the rest of us do too--now what about all the ones who are still all over the Federal Govt in every branch and agency pretending to act as Jesus did, but actually doing the opposite? Let them all resign and join a private organization if their religion is the most important thing.

They haven't stopped inserting their specific religion into our shared government and schools and everything at all--by any means. They never will.
posted by amberglow at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2007


Mormons Taking Over Scouting?

Controversy: Read, Write and Scout
"Former eagle scout Clint Lawton stopped pursuing a business major when he learned that Brigham Young University offered a new major: Scouting. 'I thought, "Oh, you can get paid to do Boy Scouts?"'

Gay-rights groups don’t share his enthusiasm. They say the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which runs the university, is already the moving force behind the Boy Scouts of America’s policy not to permit 'avowed homosexuals.' Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and a former Utah Boy Scout, says the new major was more evidence of the church’s 'insidious' efforts to take over the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts are the official boys’ youth group of the LDS, and more than one in nine Scouts are Mormons. Critics say the church exerts disproportionate influence through membership on the national advisory council and vigorous fund-raising. (In New York, LDS leaders recently launched a fund-raising campaign with pamphlets carrying an endorsement from the church’s current prophet.) Boy Scout spokesman Greg Shields says that while Mormons are an important part of Scouting, 'we’ve worked very hard at becoming a diverse organization.' Nevertheless, the no-gay policy is a major factor in declining Scout enlistments. In Philadelphia, the nation’s third largest council is about to be evicted from its city-owned headquarters over its discrimination policy.

Scouting major Lawton is nonplused. He says that while he believes 'someone can be gay and it’s totally cool, it’s against what Scouting believes.' And now he’s after his biggest merit badge yet—a Scouting degree."
posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on July 9, 2007


It's not about faith, it's about authority.

Exactly--and indoctrination. Jesus Camp is a good example of the whole thing.

Also, and very importantly--many of these programs are not just a way of segregating or congregating with like-minded others---they also explicitly want American law, rights, and culture to change.
posted by amberglow at 2:23 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I had never heard of this group until today, and I found it interesting to read about the structure of this program. Since posting the FPP I've been reading a bit more about the scouting movement and its history, and now I wish I'd taken an approach that recapped some of that background and looked at these groups in the context of other youth scouting groups. It might have made the reason why they are interesting a bit clearer to those who are less familiar with scouting philosophy. What strikes me about these religiously based scout-style groups is not so much that the focus is Christian, but that the philosophy of homogeneity of belief is a real departure from the historic ideals of scouting, which centered on the idea that people from diverse classes, races, and beliefs can work as a social unit toward personal growth while contributing to the greater good. That's what I mean by 'shared public culture' - scouting was founded to encourage participation in society along with others who were different, upholding shared values while respecting different backgrounds. From the Wikipedia entry on scouting:
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) describes Scouting as "...a voluntary nonpolitical educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder..."[34] It is the goal of Scouting "to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities."[34]
Of course, the model provided by scout groups has been borrowed by dozens, maybe hundreds, of other groups who used similar structures and trappings to advance social goals for young people. Campfire , 4H, and others have cast themselves in the scouting mold, too. But it seems that these programs, at least those of which I know something, historically centered around the ideal of good citizenship in a pluralistic society. The reason the Christian programs interest me is that while they are modeled on scouting, they reject pluralism, which was one of the hallmarks of scouting programs since their origin.
posted by Miko at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2007


A boy engaged in this program should have enough interesting activities to do to prevent him from being tempted to engage in unwholesome activities.

I guess Rev. Ted Haggard could have benefited from their program, or he just didn't have enough interesting activities when he reached adulthood.
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


scouting was founded to encourage participation in society along with others who were different, upholding shared values while respecting different backgrounds

BTW -- there has been some interesting discussion among historians and others regarding the sexual orientation of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout Movement.
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM on July 9, 2007


Here is my own take on why this represents incompetent and counterproductive parenting. I went to public school, was a member of the Boy Scouts, and belonged to a church youth group. About half the kids in my church attended the parochial school.

The parochial school kids were 10 X more likely to break the law, do drugs, drink, and have unprotected sex. Maybe part of that was they had bigger allowances. But in my Boy Scout troop there was no child molesting, smoking, smoking dope or drinking. And no bible study. We said that goofy scout pledge (I promise to do my best etc.) a couple times a month and that was it for God. At church camp we had prayers and sermons and everybody's goal was to sneak off into the woods and break as many of the Ten Commandments as was humanly possible for a teenager to do.
posted by bukvich at 2:41 PM on July 9, 2007


So I don't send my kids to Boy Scouts because I support gay rights, but I don't send my kids to Spiral Scouts because we aren't pagans. I wish my sons could be Girls Scouts!
posted by Biblio at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2007


Hear, hear, bukvich. First drink, first pot, first, um, second base was via my church's youth group.

The only Jewish kid I knew growing up was in my Boy Scout troop. Also, I learned an important life lesson when the kid everyone (including, shamefully, myself) ragged on for being a faggot was the one who pulled me out of a frozen river. I wouldn't have known either of them in a more religiously-oriented group.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:51 PM on July 9, 2007


What is it with fighting against something?

spiritual warfare. the flesh vs. the spirit. eternal life vs. death. the wishing to do good vs. the doing of evil. the worldly vs. the eternal. it's basic, really very basic Christianity.
posted by quonsar at 3:01 PM on July 9, 2007


No, not at all. I am one, and I am the house despot. When it comes to my household I am Large and In Charge. My husband brings in the dough, and I manage it, and the house.

konolia, I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic or not and whether you're sort of making fun of the whole "help meet" thing, or whether you're serious.

Certainly, this attitude is very, very real in many relationships, and this is why I could never go into a marriage where I was significantly older or made an order of magnitude more money than my hypothetical wife. Everyone has a need to feel like an "equal partner" in a relationship, and if they don't feel equal in terms of money, professional respect, relationship parity, etc., they're going to carve out a niche for themselves in which they are blatantly and clearly in charge. When that niche is our home, coming home after work is going to be a very alienating experience.
posted by deanc at 3:02 PM on July 9, 2007


“I don't see how Spiral Scouts is opting out of a commons.”

They’ve created their own version of what was otherwise a general experiance. It’s not meant to be a perjorative. One can certainly accuse the boy scouts of creating the situation by being exclusionary. This doesn’t change the general balkanization thing going on though.
Just because you agree or disagree with a given ideology doesn’t change the mechanisms involved.
I don’t particularly want my kids to be part of a “pagan” experiance. I do want my kids to be tolerant and open, but I think being gay or not or whatever social or religious perspective one has, has nothing to do with learning a host of many valuable skills.
And I suspect anyone who actually respected nature and was serious about learning from it rather than using the concept as a stalking horse to create clones for their paradigm would let go of all that crap. Hence the story about me and my dad.
Also :LOLKIDRAPEZ
posted by Smedleyman at 3:04 PM on July 9, 2007


I should also add that my brief experience in Boy Scouts was in a troop that was organized and run out of the church I attended. The flip side of organizing Boy Scouts this way was that it was already assumed that we were already getting whatever religious instruction was expected of us at Sunday school, so there wasn't a huge need for this to be added to in boy scouts. Scouting was basically a group founded at the church for the purpose of giving you a chance to engage in scouting-type activities with people you knew from church, so you would have more opportunities to get to know each other and stick together.
posted by deanc at 3:07 PM on July 9, 2007


What Miko said here. The first Scout camp was held almost exactly 100 years ago by Robert Baden-Powell as an experiment. He bought together boys from Eton and from a Boys Brigade* in Poole, who were all working. It would be later claimed (in the 1920's) that the boys from Eton were mixed with working class boys from East London, but that was a story for marketing purposes. So yes, Scouting has always been about bringing people together. Sometimes it does that brilliantly, sometimes not so well.

Bear in mind that WOSM is only for internationally recognized Scout Associations. BSA is a member, GSA isn't (they belong to WAGGGS).

My pet theory is that the methods used by Scouting are a great way to get kids involved in stuff. Whether that be leadership, teamwork and the outdoors at one end or fascist indoctrination at the other.

*note: Christian youth movements a bit like Scouting are not new. Scouting wasn't really a new idea when it was created, it just benefited from a good marketing team.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:13 PM on July 9, 2007


Whether that be leadership, teamwork and the outdoors at one end or fascist indoctrination at the other.

Yup. and now even Putin has his own Youth Brigades too.
posted by amberglow at 3:22 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


konolia, I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic or not and whether you're sort of making fun of the whole "help meet" thing, or whether you're serious.

You must not know me around here. I am as serious as the proverbial heart attack.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against women having jobs-there have been times in my marriage when I was employed. But I can tell you life is ten times better for both of us when someone looks after the practical stuff of the house full time. I have energy and time to make sure bills get paid, to shop for good deals and make our money go a lot farther,to make meals from scratch-or at least do a little more than defrost something in the microwave-make sure the house isn't a sty, and still have time and energy to do my songwriting and my volunteer work. My husband can concentrate on his job-which is NOT a forty hour a week position-without being expected to remember when the light bill is due. And then when he is home we both have more time and energy to enjoy each other and to enjoy life in general. We don't constantly have the to-do list from hell hanging over our heads.

What's not to like? If I was a forty hour a week wage slave I'd still have at least a portion of the house crap to do-after all it doesn't do itself-plus little time and energy for the other things in life I find important. Like songwriting! I have time to write and do demos.

AND most of all play with my grandson!
posted by konolia at 3:24 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


the house crap to do-after all it doesn't do itself

In my world that's what "The Help" is for! ; )
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on July 9, 2007


However - I should add that I still regularly use the Philmont Grace at ecumenical functions when I am asked to deliver a brief blessing over a meal. It is extremely short and to-the-point, thus pleasing the frustrated hungry old guys, as well as quite gracious I think and it also uses my favorite word in the English language. And it sounds excellent when spoken in unison.

"For food, for raiment, for life, for opportunity, for friendship and fellowship we thank thee, Lord. Amen."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:35 PM on July 9, 2007


I post this not to LOLXIANS, but to note another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions.

Interesting post, but this is by no means anything new. The Royal Rangers have been around since the mid-1960s, and I'm sure other denominations have had similar programs.

Here, scouting joins Christian academies ... to offer services that used to involve interaction with people of diverse backgrounds.

Christians may share common beliefs, but to imply they don't have diverse backgrounds is incredibly naive. Christians come in all nationalities, backgrounds, skin colors, languages, and cultural backgrounds.

Every group has "their" stuff; people who want to share a common cultural experience may go to Burning Man. People who share common political beliefs join or associate with a particular party. I'm sure everyone can think of scores of examples of people choosing to associate over some commonality. This does not make any of them not-diverse, nor does it mean they agree on everything just because they agree on some things.

I am by no means a Christian apologist, and I have shared my thoughts more than once about what I call the "Christian Counter-culture." There are interesting aspects to all this, but lack of diversity isn't one of them.
posted by The Deej at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2007


"Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, clean, brave and reverent."

Fascinating, in that many scouting programs were already firmly esconced in religious texts or subtexts from the beginning ... and were glommed by church groups as a way of extending their "reach".

Hopefully paving the way for more secular mainstream scouting experiences which don't exclude members or leaders on the basis of sexual preference.
posted by Twang at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2007


Oops, I left out "cheerful". :)
posted by Twang at 3:56 PM on July 9, 2007


But I can tell you life is ten times better for both of us when someone looks after the practical stuff of the house full time....

Which is perfectly reasonable. "House despot," however, doesn't sound even remotely appealing. However, if someone wants to feel as though he or she is firmly "in control" of something in his or her life, this is going to be the inevitable result. Every so often, when my friend and I would get dumped with extreme prejudice and nurse our broken hearts, we would joke, "That's enough of this! I'm going to go to a small village in [country of ethnic origin], find a nice, single 18-year old woman, and marry her." But we knew, deep down, that doing so would mean signing on for a highly controlled, very matriarchal, home and family life. Why? Because the visible differential in power dynamics between me and such a spouse (via age, money, and professional position) would result in the spouse exerting more control over her own life by becoming the "house despot." Maybe I'm too much of a metrosexual, but I kind of want to be involved in planning which furniture we're going to buy, how the kitchen renovations are going to be handled, and how we're going to raise the kids. In the scenario I described, my job would be to spent all day at work, and then when I came home get banished to the den or my garden after dinner and on weekends.

To tie this back to the original topic, the very patriarchal ideas of these "separate roles" that young boys and girls are supposed to be trained for in adulthood isn't a formula for "the man is the head and the wife helps." Rather, it's a formula for constant passive-agressive jockeying for power between the two partners by dint of the fact that the husband is cast as "the person with the power [and money]."
posted by deanc at 3:57 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


From where I stand it seems like the subset of America that is vocally Christian is already working double-time to Christify (tm) every possible experience they can have, from TV watching to school to vacations and shopping.

It's pure propaganda. Whenever you see a peoples obsess about the education and indoctrination of the youth you are seeing politics at work. It's almost tragic that such people are so sold on their own press -- and yet aware that it's nothing but press -- that they make every effort to keep their children "on message." God forbid their children are exposed to differences, that their children question or think about anything. The implicit assumption, the awful truth underlying the whole charade, is that humans really are stupid, irrational monkeys who will believe anything if it's repeated over and over.

As for the Christian pseudo-culture let's be thankful that capitalism is such a universal and tolerant ethical framework. When these citizens purchase Christian music, movies, shampoo, and toilet paper, they are, in fact, reaffirming the essential sacredness of the law of supply and demand. It's difficult to see how the evangelical "Christan" element will ever produce anything worthwhile as long as they are more a marketing demographic than an actual culture.

But part of it is because a lot of Americans, for unclear reasons, are really comfortable being jerks about Christians.

Well, this is of course the problem. Without an appeal to blood, absent any deep tradition whose beginnings have been lost in time, Christians have nothing left but to seize upon American history as a source of legitimacy. Nevermind that America has always been more of an entrepreneurial venture than a nation or people or blood, the implicit understanding is that in America Christianity might find evidence, real solid actual proof that any of it is really important. It's a best-of-the-worst scenario though since America isn't exactly Germany or France, it's never been a nation of ideas and principles beyond freedom and wealth. It's actually a good test of the American ethos to see whether it can resist such co-opting and perhaps transmute Christianity into just another vector of corporate organization and control -- what's commonly called a 'market'. I think it will and that's a good thing. If the Christians ever started doing anything truly radical, talking about the poor or peace for example, then we might actually have a problem.
posted by nixerman at 4:11 PM on July 9, 2007


"House despot," however, doesn't sound even remotely appealing

You have to have a middleaged woman's sense of humor to appreciate the phrase. Said with a twinkle in the eye, at least by me.

Maybe I'm too much of a metrosexual, but I kind of want to be involved in planning which furniture we're going to buy, how the kitchen renovations are going to be handled, and how we're going to raise the kids. In the scenario I described, my job would be to spent all day at work, and then when I came home get banished to the den or my garden after dinner and on weekends.

Oh, don't be silly. OF COURSE my husband and I decide together on stuff like furniture. A partnership is just that, a partnership. And no one said your dream relationship has to look like mine. All I want is for people to quit mocking MY job, is all.
posted by konolia at 4:12 PM on July 9, 2007


Rather, it's a formula for constant passive-agressive jockeying for power between the two partners by dint of the fact that the husband is cast as "the person with the power [and money

For us Christians, the marriage structure reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church-one He gave His life for, I might add. Sacrificial love is a requirement for husbands but somehow people forget to preach THAT.
posted by konolia at 4:14 PM on July 9, 2007


Out of morbid curiousity, what is it your hubby is sacrifricing? Lambs, goats, first-born sons?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:44 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"In the scenario I described, my job would be to spent all day at work, and then when I came home get banished to the den or my garden after dinner and on weekends."

Replace those places with "art/music studio" and "garage workshop" and that actually sounds quite enticing to me...

As long as dinner and a jynnan tonnyx are ready when I get home from work! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 4:50 PM on July 9, 2007


a lot of Americans, for unclear reasons, are really comfortable being jerks about Christians

Maybe Xtians ought to sit down with some of those Americans, listen, and find out why they're comfortable.

A lot of Americans responded to the "terrorist threat" by going "Why us? What did we do?" Those who asked found out.
posted by Twang at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2007


Scouting wasn't really a new idea when it was created

Great comment, but can you elaborate on that? My understanding is that organized youth groups with character-building as a principle really were a new idea of the 1870s/80s or so, growing out of the reform societies and military campaigns of the mid-Victorian era, and in response to industrialization and the social problems it presented. It's the same era in which we find the glimmerings of sail training, organized sport leagues such as baseball leagues, etc.
posted by Miko at 5:28 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


For us Christians, the marriage structure...

I'm a Christian too, and I'd never agree with this; your statement is a personal belief and perhaps one specific to your demonination, but it does not describe all Christians. As someone pointed out above, to conflate all Christian beliefs is too simplistic. Not all Christians are Biblical literateralists, fundamentalists, evangelical, or socially conservative.

The programs I linked to, though, share an evangelical and conservative point of view and say so directly, so I think I was treating them fairly by making generalizations about the goals of the programs.
posted by Miko at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2007


BTW --- there may be a trend developing these days in whcih parents seek a simpler, less encumbered and even mischevous "boyhood" for their sons. This may be rooted in nostalgia and a reaction to the "plugged-in," "tuned-in" aspect of the experience of youth today.

The best-selling book 'The Dangerous Book For Boys' (#2 - NYT's Hardcover Advice this past week) is getting wide coverage: MSNBC, Telegraph, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, etc.

And, just this past weekend, the Boston Globe reports on the resurgence of traditional rustic summer camps for boys: Nature Makes a Comeback [audio slideshow | photos].
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on July 9, 2007


Actually, konolia.... I've always found the marriage structure to be decidedly un-Christian... insofar as the gospels seem to be concerned. Even Paul says that we really ought only get married if we're on fire.

I'm not on fire, and while I'm also not a eunuch, I feel closer to Christ in my unwed state.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:54 PM on July 9, 2007


Well, I was a Scout in the South, and I always assumed Scouts WERE the Christian version of a youth group. My troop was all Christian, and 90% Southern Baptist, and we were attached to a rather conservative Southern Baptist church. I don't think anyone would have really needed a religious alternative.

However, I later came to understand this is pretty regional - Scouting is not monolithic, and while the national organization is fairly conservative and Christian there are definitely troops and councils that are not, so I suppose I see where this could have some appeal in those areas.

Personally, I would have liked a secular alternative to Scouting, but it was the best way to do those sorts of outdoor activities (my troop was full of boys who wanted ot be in the military, and ex-military dads, so we did a lot of "hardcore" backpacking and such, which was actually pretty fun and the main reason I stayed in). I eventually left as I got older because the religious elements were too much (when I was younger it didn't really bother me, but as I became more politically / philosophically aware I couldn't continue to pray/etc with everyone else without feeling too hypocritical, and as an Atheist I wouldn't have been welcome in Scouting).
posted by wildcrdj at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2007


another group
posted by amberglow at 6:27 PM on July 9, 2007


Out of morbid curiousity, what is it your hubby is sacrifricing? Lambs, goats, first-born sons?

Right now, computer time. ;-)
posted by konolia at 6:33 PM on July 9, 2007


i went to awana as a youth... it was fairly boring for someone not interested in sports or rote bible memorization. awana is an acronym for "approved workmen are not ashamed" (taken from 2 timothy 2:15, according to their site). i've always thought this phrase sounded like a communist adage. sorta surprising, coming from such a conservative group.
posted by bruceo at 7:05 PM on July 9, 2007


PAUL WAS THE ANTICHRIST, YO.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 PM on July 9, 2007


your statement is a personal belief

relax, the k-prophet just naturally slips into the "speaking-for-us-Xians" voice. . . really can't help it; everyone gets used to it 'ventually.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:19 PM on July 9, 2007


For us Christians, the marriage structure reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church-one He gave His life for, I might add. Sacrificial love is a requirement for husbands but somehow people forget to preach THAT.

konolia, all fair enough, but remember when I asked you about whether you were joking about the "house despot" thing, you said, "I am as serious as the proverbial heart attack." It was only later you mentioned the "middleaged woman's sense of humor" aspect.

And for the record, I don't think that the marriage structure in Christian marriage is in any way related to the sort of creepy gender-role-enforcement we see presented by the websites linked in the FPPs. If anything, it's rather simple-minded and, as I said, a formula for a passive-aggressive power struggle.
posted by deanc at 8:44 PM on July 9, 2007


cool. Do they have a bashing babies' heads against the rocks while singing praise to god course?
posted by lastobelus at 10:08 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


it's pretty important that we be able to discuss it here, don't you think?

Ok sure, in a local American context, yes. But I'm pretty sure you're conflating Christianity with simple power politics, imagining the latter would cease to exist without the former. Do you suppose without their alleged Christian belief the people you dislike currently running America would decide to walk away from all the power and money? They wouldn't continue to bend laws to their own personal benefit, like the VP claiming not to be part of the executive branch of government to avoid some of those famous American political checks and balances from interfering with his personal mo? It's difficult to accept the notion that it's ok for a 2000 year old world religion with it's hundreds of millions of people to be put down as severely as is commonly seen here because of what's happening in American politics at the moment. Of course this is the internets...
posted by scheptech at 10:23 PM on July 9, 2007


"to note another area in which conservative Christians are opting out of shared public culture and creating parallel institutions."

I agree with scheptech. Why is this noteworthy? What is so threatening about a culture wanting to do its own thing? Granted, there are belief systems that are in direct opposition to the American program, like Communism, but a desire to involve your children in institutions that espouse your values seems like a completely normal desire for a parent.

I don't think this post puts a negative spin on conservative Christianity nearly as much as it puts one on freedom. I expect those who have a different view from me to engage in activities that are attractive to their beliefs. Freedom is about giving people that choice.

But fear not, MTV will conquer all. In the mean time indulge the silly little fantasies of those who have a vision of human nature and the world that differs from the mainstream. I suppose they'll get over it.
posted by BigSky at 10:35 PM on July 9, 2007


For a moment I thought I was reading the Real Doll lovers thread.

Eerily, it made sense. Everyone was playing their standard roles, for and against the power structure articulated by the guys in the video.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM on July 9, 2007


a desire to involve your children in institutions that espouse your values seems like a completely normal desire for a parent

To the exclusion of all others' values, and to do so in a country where multiculturalism is a fact of life?

That's how you end up with war-torn countries, where tribes of common believers simply won't play nice with one another. Shia:Sunni::Fundie Christian:Pagan. Except the pagan thinks it's an SCA tourney.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 PM on July 9, 2007


What is so threatening about a culture wanting to do its own thing?

because this culture does really stupid things like vote for their [so-they-believed] fair-haired Christianist candidate at a 78% rate . . . also believed going into Iraq to Christianize it was a heckuva good idea, are oh-so-quick to give the Old Testament a shake -- like a magic 8 ball -- to tell them what to think about current social policy issues, in their belief that their reading of what a tribe of pre-Roman goatherders wrote should have the last word on today's issues like capital punishment and what-not.

Their culture is making them stupid, anti-modern, and easy marks to be manipulated as long as their hot-button issues are stroked.

If they didn't vote, or take over school boards, or be 5/9ths of the present SCOTUS, I wouldn't give a shit.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:18 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


But multiculturalism means allowing each community to champion their values. Let's not get carried away here. This is about scouting. There's no threat to the commonwealth. And as I alluded to with my example of Communism there's acceptable difference and unacceptable difference. Social conservatives wanting a focus on group prayer and traditional gender roles is a long way from Hutus spreading anti-Tutsi propaganda over government airwaves.

------

Heywood Mogroot,

Hmmm. Perhaps if you let them know that they're all a bunch of dumbfucks in the eyes of the rest of the country they'll change their ways right quick.

And I'll go ahead and point out that it's real easy to make the above claim here, but if that was changed to the political issues that the culture of Jews and Hispanics are prone to support while keeping that same disparaging tone there would be a hell of a tizzy.
posted by BigSky at 11:28 PM on July 9, 2007


either I'm right or I'm not. I've seen the inside of the Christianist movement, and it's pretty fucking ugly.

I have no desire to "turn" these people, just ridicule them for their unsupportable and demonstrably harmful beliefs and actions.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:35 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


multiculturalism means allowing each community to champion their values

wrong, too. Multiculturalism is the abandonment of the age-old myopia of believing one's own culture has all the questions answered best. It is inward, not outward.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:42 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"multiculturalism means allowing each community to champion their values

wrong, too. Multiculturalism is the abandonment of the age-old myopia of believing one's own culture has all the questions answered best. It is inward, not outward."

This doesn't make any sense. I made my response to five fresh fish who said "a country where multiculturalism is a fact of life". You can define multiculturalism however you please, but in the context of the exchange between five fresh fish and myself we aren't talking about an inward attitude but about the coexistence of a number of different world views under one constitution.
posted by BigSky at 12:10 AM on July 10, 2007


also believed going into Iraq to Christianize it was a heckuva good idea

You're buying into the lie yourself, believing that is driven by anything other than lust for power and greed for money at the top.

I've seen the inside of the Christianist movement


Well, there are ugly people and ugly situations happening within pretty much any people-group one might define but that does't prove everyone else in the group is. Do you think the millions of American christians you don't know personally or the multi-millions of christians elsewhere in the world must also be ugly? (Why do I feel like I'm talking to Archie Bunker about [insert people-group he wasn't part of] here?)

You don't like how they vote? What can I say, you live in a democracy. Support your local Democrat and give 'em a big clue: "It's the social issues stupid!". After the debacle of the last few years, if the Dems can figure out to back off some of the hot-button social issues they'll have a lock on the presidency for as long as any of us remain alive.
posted by scheptech at 12:34 AM on July 10, 2007


Meanwhile, back to Scouting...

Scouting wasn't really a new idea when it was created

Great comment, but can you elaborate on that?


Pretty much what you said... It's one of my personal bugbears. People within Scouting will often hold it up as something special and unique, to the exclusion of all the other youth work that goes on, almost turning it into a cult. Scouting is special, there are very few organisations that could hold an event that is going to be attended by at least one person from every country in the world, bar 6. But Scouting is not that unusual, the ideas behind it, and the activities that kids do are not unique now, and weren't unique in 1907, and I think it would do the organisation good to remember that sometimes. Really, I should explain why I'm on the soapbox or get off it...

Baden Powell pulled togetther lots of different influences and ideas from and added some of his own. Amoungst other things: Ernest Thompson Seton (I think the BSA gives him more credit than others in Scouting do); Baden Powell's own experiences of fighting in the Boer War; the wider Edwardian concerns with the state of the Empire... and there's more that I can't think off now. This is a good article about some of it. Also, the BBC have done a recent documentary about the origins of Scouting.

Full disclaimer: I used to work for the Scouts in the UK (disclaimer inside the disclaimer, we're different this side of the pond. There's some things that I don't like about the way they do things over here, but they're NOT the BSA).
posted by Helga-woo at 1:41 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Granted, there are belief systems that are in direct opposition to the American program, like Communism, but a desire to involve your children in institutions that espouse your values seems like a completely normal desire for a parent.

Yes, true. And, honestly, I think an FPP about Communist parents in America linking to Communist scouting programs that they kids were enrolled in would be pretty darn interesting.

To the exclusion of all others' values, and to do so in a country where multiculturalism is a fact of life?

Because "multiculturalism is a fact of life," people are obviously going to want to have their children participate in activities that are unique to their parents' own culture and value system. Because, obviously, how on earth could multiculturalism exist if people didn't do that? And besides which, when multiculturalism is a fact of life, kids are going to be surrounded by all sorts of cultures by default. Providing alternatives to this, where the kids get to work in a space where their own culture and ideology is reinforced is simply going to be a fact of life when multiculturalism is a fact of life.
posted by deanc at 6:53 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, adding to deanc: for a long time, Christianity was more entwined (wrongly) in our public sphere. There were prayers and Xmas in public schools, to the exclusion of all others. There were mangers in many town squares, etc. Those things are gone now, hopefully, and Christian parents now have to do like Jewish and Muslim and Hindu parents have always had to, and create separate institutions and programs for their religious activity and indoctrination and socializing, etc.
posted by amberglow at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2007


Helga-woo: Your links are great, but I think they still support my point. Seton (despite his own protestations) was building on the English example. He changed the emphasis of the scouting idea for Americans by focusing on the 'native' lore and wilderness skills aspects, but scouting as a concept firmly existed by the time he began his groups, and had for a few years. However, scouting as a formal effortwas a new idea in Baden-Powell's time (the article specifies its antecedents as gangs, the military, and social-service organizations, all of which were influences on scouting but distinctly different in goals and structure).Baden-Powell was involved in several similar groups before the Brownsea encampment, according to this article, and was experimenting with the idea from at least the time of his scouting book's publication in 1899:
In 1900 he lent his name the Baden-Powell League of Health and Manliness. In 1901 more 'B-P' organisations existed; The B-P Boys of Greenock, the B-P Brigade and the B-P Anti-Cigarette League. In 1903 he became Honorary Colonel of the Southport Cadets. Of interest to the beginnings of the Scout Movement is the fact that in May 1903 he accepted an invitation to become a Vice-President of the Boys Brigade, after he had chaired the annual demonstration at the Albert Hall. B-P was invited to review the Boys Brigade a year later at Glasgow and at Liverpool and was impressed with the numbers in the Boys Brigade (then 54,000) but felt that with a more varied programme within 20 years the number could be ten fold.
These amazingly successful early forays into a scouting movement cannot have escaped Seton's attention. Baden-Powell may have been a lightning rod, presenting the right formula at the right time to focus energy in the direction of structured character-building recreational programs for youth, but without him it is hard to imagine a scouting movement at all.

From its inception, scouting seems to have organized itself around an idea of participation in civil society and resistance to separatism (the article does a good job of pointing out the relationship between the BRitish public-school values and scout philosophy; citizenship was integral to the idea). Class separatism was clearly of greatest concern to Baden-Powell, but he nevertheless chose to use the language of universal brotherhood. The article quotes B-P's Scout Law:
4. A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other scout, no matter to what social class the other belongs. Thus if a scout meets another scout, even though a stranger to him, he must speak to him, and help him in any way that he can...A scout accepts the other man as he finds him, and makes the best of him.

"Kim", the boy scout, was called by the Indians, "Little friend of all the world", and that is the name that every scout should earn for himself.
Girl Scouting, which began formally in the US in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low brought her friend Baden-Powell's ideas home, also emphasized citizenship and participation over isolation.
Juliette brought girls of all backgrounds into the out-of-doors, giving them the opportunity to develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. She encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for possible future roles as professional women—in the arts, sciences and business—and for active citizenship outside the home. Girl Scouting welcomed disabled girls at a time when they were excluded from many other activities.
Though it can't be overlooked that early scouting suffered from racial intolerance (troops in both boy and girl scouting in the US were segregated until the 50s), it is still arguably one of the more progressive movements in Western history.

I wouldn't say that it's wrong or should be illegal that Christian separatist scouting groups exist. I think it's just a shame, because I do believe in the American ideal of a civil society that respects all backgrounds, and my experience of scouting growing up (I went all the way through) reinforced that ideal and exposed me to people of a wide variety of backgrounds, from all over the US and the world, rather than encouraging me to withdraw from common cause.
posted by Miko at 8:22 AM on July 10, 2007


cool. Do they have a bashing babies' heads against the rocks while singing praise to god course?
posted by lastobelus


That's the Spanish Inquisition Roman Catholic New World Settler's troop!
posted by nofundy at 9:11 AM on July 10, 2007


Let's get ready to rumble?

Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:42 AM on July 10, 2007


What?!?!?!??! The Catholic Church thinks they are the one true church?!?!?! gettafugouttahere!
posted by The Deej at 9:45 AM on July 10, 2007


Regarding my multiculturalism comment, one might need to put it in the context of Konolia's life: her children are home-schooled, they attend church relentlessly, their home life is Christ-centred, their entire existence is all about being religious. At least as far as I can tell from our social interactions on MeFi.

So when Konolia says she needed the Scouts to include religious indoctrination in their program, I tend to be a little skeptical.

And y'know, I think it'd be just peachy that she and hers cloister themselves away, just like the ultra-Orthodox Jews do.

Problem is, she doesn't. She's forever ragging on people in MeFi about their sinful behaviour. I don't think we've ever had any other religionist do the same; certainly no u-OJs pop in here to tell us God hates us because we're not wearing fringes.

Worse, she friggin' votes in a way that directly causes harm to people. Lotta dead people in Iraq right now because the religionists put Bush back into power. Frankly, I don't think that can be forgiven, by us or by God.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Problem is, [konolia] doesn't. She's forever ragging on people in MeFi about their sinful behaviour. I don't think we've ever had any other religionist do the same; certainly no u-OJs pop in here to tell us God hates us because we're not wearing fringes.

Shove off, fff. Konolia probably takes 20 times as much crap from the average mefite than she'd ever dream of dishing out. A lot of people here might not agree with her religious views (myself included) but anytime there is a thread like this her input is valuable for the counterpoint she presents to a lot of the echo chamber effect that mefi can be. I appreciate her contributions here a lot and I think it's pretty cruddy to summarize her participation on the site the way that you have.
posted by contessa at 1:20 PM on July 10, 2007


Scheptech--

I'm not arguing that anti-Christian comments have never gotten out of hand on Mefi, nor am I arguing that it's okay to condemn every Christian being in the world because of the acts of a particularly nefarious handful.

But by the same token, I don't believe that Christianity's age and number of adherents should make it immune from criticism, as you seem to be suggesting. If anything, that speaks to its power, which makes both straight criticism and satire even more important.

And as far as your points about secular corruption are concerned-- you're absolutely correct, but a corrupt regime that convinces the populace that it holds a divine mandate becomes damned hard to uproot. Part of that is because the discourse changes-- the folks who assume the divine mantle can sidestep logic if it serves them, and of course, they do.

Also, I stand by my assertion that this is not an LOLXIANS thread. I am not a Christian myself, and cannot imagine that I will ever be. Still, I am (as always) getting a lot out of the things that Christian mefites like konolia and Baby_Balrog have to say about their faiths, outlooks, and experiences. I'm not seeing a lot of pot-shots here. For the most part, I'm seeing civil discussion. YMMV.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:20 PM on July 10, 2007


Konolia's life: her children are home-schooled, they attend church relentlessly, their home life is Christ-centred, their entire existence is all about being religious. At least as far as I can tell from our social interactions on MeFi

I only homeschooled for four years. The rest of that time all of them were in public school until graduation. My kids were never in Scouts of ANY kind because those types of organizations give me a rash. Instead they did things like JROTC. (Their choice.)

I do understand there are Christians who have totally dropped out of regular society-and I am not talking about Amish or the like-and they have sheltered their kids to an extreme that I find objectionable.
posted by konolia at 4:56 PM on July 10, 2007


By the way, fff, you might find it interesting to know that before my youngest got married, she and her sister shared an apartment. For a period of time they opened their home to a young acquaintance of theirs -who just happened to be a lesbian. (IIRC her mom had kicked her out for some ridiculous reason.) She stayed for weeks till she was able to find somewhere to go.

So I think it's fair to say I didn't raise a bunch of separatists.
posted by konolia at 5:03 PM on July 10, 2007


Wait! Konolia!!! Are you saying assumptions were made about you because you are a Christian? You mean you are NOT exactly as others assume because of their perceptions of how all Christians MUST be?!??! I call NO WAY!!!!!!!

Irony of ironies: konolia and I are probably very different "kinds" of Christians (diversity!!!!) and yet MY daughter was in a small, private, fundamentalist Christian school from kindergarten through 9th grade!

One, two, thee, four, I declare a flame war!
posted by The Deej at 5:10 PM on July 10, 2007


Jesus was a mighty river that you were supposed to jump in and let you take directly out to sea to drown in Divine Oneness. These people walking around talking about Christ have taken a little cup full of that river and dumped it into a pre-existing puddle in their backyard and called it religion.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:58 PM on July 10, 2007


Ban Atheists.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:54 PM on July 11, 2007


Re: the Pope's announcement:

Catholics! Evangelicals! FIGHT!

Maybe some good ol' fashioned intrafaith warfare will provide a distraction from the Dominionists' agenda... heh
posted by zoogleplex at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hindu Prayer in the Senate.

Predicatably, the "Christian" religionists are having shitfits about it.

One might wonder, of course, what the hell a religious service is doing inside the government.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:40 PM on July 11, 2007


Maybe some good ol' fashioned intrafaith warfare will provide a distraction from the Dominionists' agenda... heh

totally--and better they fight within their own house than with us, or with Muslims. : >
posted by amberglow at 2:40 PM on July 11, 2007


And what's my favorite Klingon proverb?

"Only a fool fights in a burning house."

posted by zoogleplex at 2:48 PM on July 11, 2007


Miko, I'll have to go back and re-look at my history... my understanding was that Seton wrote his stuff before B-P, and that although B-P did make some references to Seton's work, he also included some ideas of Seton's uncredited in Scouting for Boys.

I think we're generally agreeing though, B-P pulled together lots of ideas to create Scouting, and it was his drive that made it what it became. Bearing in mind that he didn't originally intend to create a new organisation, Scouting for Boys was intended to be a handbook to be used by existing youth groups, like the Boys Brigade. It was only when the kids* took matters into their own hands and started forming Scout troops independently did he realise that organisation was needed, and hence The Scout Association was born.

*boys and girls - but that's another discussion
posted by Helga-woo at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2007


Church & Politics again. Seems like the stuff is just crawling out of the web woodwork today: this time, some schmuck from Missouri signs in a new law from within a frigging church.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:28 PM on July 11, 2007


Church and Politics again again: Hindu prayer in Senate disrupted-- ... Police officers quickly arrested them and charged them disrupting Congress, a misdemeanor. The male protester told an AP reporter, "we are Christians and patriots" before police handcuffed them and led them away.
For several days, the Mississippi-based American Family Association has urged its members to object to the prayer because Zed would be "seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god." ...

posted by amberglow at 10:06 AM on July 12, 2007


more on that, with videoElection Central
Christian Right Activists Disrupt Hindu Chaplain In The Senate

posted by amberglow at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2007


And threatening Professors who teach evolution.

A healthy society can not survive when religious extremism is allowed to flourish.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:19 PM on July 13, 2007


Kids who are in programs like this come in handy when they grow up--their obedience and ignorance are easily used:
Bush's Youth Movement--Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States. Age, 37.
Monica Goodling, Director of Public Affairs for the United States Justice Department. Age, 33.
Sara Taylor, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs at the White House. Age, 32.
Why are all these senior positions filled by such young employees? Some would even call them kids. For two simple reasons - kids are more impressionable and they don't know any better....
Throw in the fact that the administration hired mainly religiously devout followers and it makes their job even easier. The devout are taught from an early age that you respect your elders and you follow orders. Don't question; have faith in what you are told. Perfect. Unquestioning, faithful, dependent and inexperienced - Karl Rove couldn't ask for anything more. He specifically didn't want anything more.

posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on July 13, 2007


The Day The Universe Changed, the opening monologue (youtube).
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 PM on July 13, 2007


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