A Dynasty of Ducking

When we visit my wife’s family in central Texas we attend the local Baptist church. I usually pick up something to write about. The reason is that, even though I am well aware of how deeply feminized the rural evangelical church is, it is still unsettling to see it with  my -They Live- glasses on versus what the community looks like without them.

The people are absolutely wonderful here. The crowd at the church looks like a Rockwell of what a small Texas farming and ranching community should look like. There are lots of very old people, sharply turned out in polyester cloths that have ridden their aged backs to church for decades. There are men in work overalls who’ve washed up for church and have not only an earthen smell, but somehow and earthen appearance as well. The small number of under 50’s either are old looking before their time, or are “cowboyed” up with the colorful starched shirts, the expensive boots, and yes, the big belt buckles. Let me be clear, I am in no way disparaging these folks by describing them. I have the very deepest of respect for them, and those like them Ive come to know all across Texas during the 20 years I lived here.

The point is, with distinctions only born of modern clothing manufacturing methods, they look like a pre-industrial-revolution crowd. The young women are dressed very conservatively, not an inappropriate curve of skin view in sight. The families not only sit together, they clearly want to sit together. The patriarchs are conspicuous and the families are outwardly deferential to them. The place screams red pill. But it is bluer than blue. (Like life without you is gonna be….oh, the romance of that Michael Johnson 70’s song, the days of my literal lift chasing).

The story begins in the living room. I was in an adjacent room and was glad of it after hearing the topic. The family is very large. The main players assemble in that living room during these visits and have a conversation that is likely being had in homes across the south in small towns like this. They always talk about the gays. And this year with the Duck Dynasty dust up it was even more impassioned. Every time I hear it I think of the juxtaposition of the gay topic to that of divorce and familial destruction. But this year they amplified my thinking.

Awhile back I wrote of the relative who divorced her husband who she’d met in bible college and they’d had the perfect evangelical courtship and marriage. recall, I mentioned that the husband was at least 4 points under her on the scale, and she is a 9+. So the girl had a fling with a visiting service man on leave, got pregnant, and has already married the new guy. She is 31, he is 19. This topic came up as well. The clenched teeth anger that comes through on the topic of gays disappears and a sort of steely eyed resolve replaces it. Someone apparently stopped one of the relatives and asked about the girl who married the 19 year old. The room was united in its indignation that anyone deign bring that up! Do they not know that she has repented, that she married the guy, and that that is old news. To say otherwise is to be….well….well….judgmental. It was all i could do to not blow in there and sort them out.

Today at church the preacher brought up the Duck Dynasty thing. He read a story about Phil visiting some Sunday school class and in his closing prayer saying something like (paraphrase), “Its just scripture and its simple, and I will not back down no matter what they say or do”.

Lets imagine the Duck Commander mentioned divorce as the problem that it actually is. Imagine he shared the relative numbers of people affected by homosexuality compared to those affected by divorce, and then imagine him saying “Its just scripture and I wont back down”. More, imagine the response he would have received. From the mainstream he would be ridiculed for being old fashioned. It would barely even make news. It wouldn’t even make the churches radar. In fact they would not want it to be a story because then they would have to weigh in explicitly instead of being on all sides of the issue.

Imagine another scenario. What if the mainstream actually attacked the commander for it and it did become one the culture war issues du jour…for a moment anyway. Would we have Christians united, making petitions and boycotts, and generally making nuisances of themselves because they feel like that makes them more pious? Not likely. In fact i would expect some of the harshest criticism of Phil to come from the church in the form of finger wagging lectures on grace and how divorce is not an unforgivable sin.

The reality is the former scenario is the most likely. Divorce is just not an issue….at all. But I took something from Phil’s little prayer. If the opportunity to burst into a room of Christians yammering about the herd movement of the day, gays or abortion related, I must remember to say, its just scripture and I will not back down from my opinion.

 

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7 thoughts on “A Dynasty of Ducking

  1. I recently attended a fundamentalist church I occasionally attend; last time I was there, they were doing a series on faithful women in Scripture. The women used to all wear hats or head-coverings; now some don’t.

    This time, I met a new family there, whose oldest daughter is just finishing high school, planning to afterwards take a course to become an auto mechanic… Not exactly traditional…

  2. Empath:
    I think what you saw there is a microcosm of our culture now in general. We’re having a big (largely media manufactured) ‘scandal’ here in town now over a gay principal of a religious school who was fired for marrying his fag lover. But if you do the math: gays are nowhere near out of single-digits in any demographic (LOL, except maybe the MSM). So by focusing on this tiny minority and their ‘issues’, they can distract and divert attention away from the real problems.

    ‘Should gays be allowed to marry?’ Who really cares: most gays don’t even want to get married themselves. But the debate does draw attention away from the divorce rate, out-of-wedlock birth rate, and other problems among straight people. So it’s small wonder that the Churchians in Texas didn’t want to talk about THAT—there probably isn’t an (open) homosexual anywhere within 100 miles of them, but this way they can ignore the problems in marriage we’re all going through as a nation.

  3. there probably isn’t an (open) homosexual anywhere within 100 miles of them, but this way they can ignore the problems in marriage we’re all going through as a nation.

    Slightly o/t, but rural Central Texas is one huge artists enclave – you can’t walk a mile without a gay sighting. It’s all very “don’t ask, but you can tell” out here.

    From the mainstream he would be ridiculed for being old fashioned. It would barely even make news. It wouldn’t even make the churches radar. In fact they would not want it to be a story because then they would have to weigh in explicitly instead of being on all sides of the issue.

    I was thinking about much the same thing, Empath, over the weekend. I’m hoping my husband will sign off on a related post.

  4. The issue with homosexuals is a ” burning incense to Caesar ” thing. The divorce incense has been burned by the ‘church’ for decades, as has the fornication incense. And if it is Scripture, it is NOT your opinion!

  5. Velvet yes I know. I lived in TX for 20 years. Camped at Enchanted Rock many times and swigged micro brews in Fredricksburg unfailingly. The town Im talking about is just outside the Austin weekend radius.

  6. Velvet:
    When I was about 17-19 years old, I lived in San Antonio. There were some ‘gay zones’ there but they risked a beating if they wandered too far afield. It sounds like things have changed a lot.

    I wonder if the same forces—e.g. media and academia—that have so corrupted us with feminism have spawned a larger latent-homosexual counterculture than we realize? It wouldn’t surprise me since both movements are united in their hatred of the heterosexual male.

  7. I was sweeping my MIL’s kitchen. She has seen me for years participating in housekeeping, yet it never stops being amazing for her. She remarked that my FIL had never touched a broom in over 50 years marriage, and that these days there is no men’s work and women’s work.

    Keep in mind, in this big family of MIL and FIL, there are 5 children including my wife, then there are 25 grandchildren, and several great grand children. All the kids have been raised in the rural Baptist church. Most were home schooled. All were subjected to strong rules, even those restrictions that home school parents tend to do with a herd mentality….(I remember one SIL apoplectic over the Smurfs years ago). And only a could of them have followed any kind fo path that has led to a once married and kids outcome….

    So when she said that about gender roles I asked, “would you say things have gotten better or worse in the world?”

    Neither my MIL nor my youngest SIL (the only two in the room) responded.
    I was thinking about that last evening. How you can tie these big macro trends together, yet how the blue pill men and most women would manage to blame men for the whole thing anyway. Its not complicated. They would simply rattle off things men are indeed guilty of today….men use porn, men are promiscuous, men are dropping out of the workforce…..etc etc. Remember, they have no concept of cause and effect.,

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