by Charles S. Garabedian
The following quotation from The New York Times is your first clue that something really weird and horrifying awaits you at the end of this blog article:
He and other neighbors said they would regularly talk to Ms. Leonard, who would sometimes borrow sugar or lend an onion. But the children, even the older ones, did not seem to be allowed to watch television, Mr. Constantine said. Once, he said, his wife had given them a Disney cartoon, but they were not allowed to watch it because “Mickey Mouse never married Minnie Mouse.”
Hardly anything surprises us here at the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog, but a few things do.
Many years ago in my youth, I regularly walked up to the old theater in my small southern town and watched the Saturday afternoon double-feature. I always enjoyed the previews of coming attractions with those labels written across the silver screen: Action!!! Adventure!!! Pathos!!! True Love!!!
Being as how this was the early 1960s, my theater never showed a film populated almost entirely with African-American people. My hometown was largely racist, so I never got to see any of those previews of coming attractions in black cinema. Many decades later, I would see a preview for one of those all-black-cast movies on the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) cable TV channel. This preview was done in typical style with but one exception. One of the labels splashed across the screen during the preview read: “Negro Hijinx!!!” I was a bit shocked to see that because it was so terribly racist and so blatantly obvious what this particular splashing really meant:
African-Americans on film behaving in merrily wild and crazy ways that serve to support or confirm the white racist opinion that all African-Americans are loony negroes born with natural rhythm.
Well, I ran across a news story today about some white people—proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that negro hijinx in old movies is mild compared to white fundie Christian hijinx in real life.
This story reminded me of that old African-American movie preview, and it inspired a new category here at the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog. The new category is Fundie Christian Hijinx. This is a selected story from the general news of the day that highlights some of the wilder and loonier (but not very merry) “goings on” in Christian fundamentalist and conservatives evangelical circles in the United States. Should I have said “cult circles”? Probably. Our specific example is from a church in New York.
To be fair about this, these sorts of hijinx are not a regular occurrence in such religious circles—to the best of our current knowledge—and should not be used to label fundies in any broad-brush sense. However, it should serve as a warning to anyone who is thinking about becoming a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical. Why? You never really know which fundie church environment or religious circle (in which town, county, or state) may be the rare, nightmare one where really strange things can happen. Apparently, some fundie churches can be like The Hotel California. You may be able to check out, but you can never leave—alive. So, let this be your fair warning. Please check out these somewhat recent (2014 – 2015) happenings at a fundie-type church in Upstate New York: