The Cult of Masculinity ~ Part 3: Black & White Thinking

This is part 3 of a review of the chapter titled, "The Cult of Masculinity" from Chris Hedges' book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Click here for part 1, and here for part 2.by VyckieThere runs through the fundamentalist belief system a deep dread of ambiguity, disorder and chaos. ... It fosters a world of binary opposites: God and man, saved and unsaved, the church and the world, Christianity and secular humanism, male and female.  These tidy pairings keep life from slipping back into a complicated nightmare.  Reality, thus defined, is made predictable and understandable, something deeply comforting to believers who have had trouble coping with the me … [Read more...]

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The Cult of Masculinity ~ Part 2: Emasculation

This is part 2 of a review of the chapter titled, "The Cult of Masculinity" from Chris Hedges' book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Click here for part 1.by Vyckie"The hypermasculinity of radical Christian conservativism, which crushes the independence and self-expression of women, is a way for men in the movement to compensate for the curtailing of their own independence, their abject obedience to church authorities and the calls for sexual restraint."Chris Hedges hit the nail on the head in this chapter when he explains the paradox of the "Cult of Masculinity" ~ on the one hand, fundamentalist believers are infantilized ~ taken back to the security … [Read more...]

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The Cult of Masculinity ~ Part 1: Roberta's Story

by VyckieSeveral years ago when I first began corresponding with my uncle, Ron, he referred me to an article on Alternet about Christian Dominionism ~ this was my first introduction to Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I was amazed ~ and as a devoted Christian, more than a little perturbed ~ at Hedges insight into what motivates radical fundamentalist Christians ~ namely, fear, self-loathing, and the culture of despair. I identified with the pro-life women whom Hedges interviewed, and was quite dismayed to find that I actually agreed with his conclusion:Those who lead the movement give their followers a moral license to direct this … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Barren

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.-Isaiah 54:1by SierraThe first time I saw my mother cry, she was hunched over the dresser in her bedroom, silent, her shoulders shaking. I had almost walked into the room, but when I noticed her posture I paused and silently backed away, then ran, on tiptoe, to escape the jarring sight. I had not yet turned ten, but I knew what her tears meant.She was crying for my brother, the one lost in miscarriage just before she’d begun taking me to our new church. Every C … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Signs

The end of the world I never had the chance to knowby SierraWhen I reached the age of nine, I began seriously worrying about the age of accountability and the Rapture. There was no magical number attached to the former; indeed, the fact that I was old enough to worry about it seemed evidence enough that I should worry. I was obviously old enough to understand sin, and consequently was old enough to miss the Rapture. And the Rapture was coming. Of that we all were certain.William Branham taught that only the elect, or Bride of Christ, would make it to Paradise in a dramatic snatching-away in the last moments of time. In a 1958 sermon entitled “The Sudden, Secret Going Away of the C … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Casualties

by SierraSoft breaths of cinnamon and vanilla wafted down into the basement from Anna’s kitchen. Laughter chorused over our heads as Sven and I busily fortified our Lego castle with rubber animals: his were the dogs, mine the cats. We worked together to fend off a motley invasion of snakes, hyenas and whatever other ugly miscreants we could dig from the toy bin. Pirates were only ever united by a common love of money. Bare light bulbs hung glaring over our heads, but we ignored them. Tiring of the siege, we took refuge under the stairs and ripped open a bag of butter cookies. Chessmen. We spared no cavalry or foot soldier in the cookie massacre. We were eight years old.Sneaking upstairs t … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Hairspray

by SierraI awoke with my lungs filled with something pungent and sticky. I sat up groggily in the upper bunk, fumbling around for a watch or cell phone to tell me why it was still dark when so many beds were vacated. A light shone dimly across the long dorm room through a hazy moisture hanging in the air. My hand closed around someone’s small alarm clock, and I squinted at it. 5:30am.It was hairspray, I discovered as I staggered toward the bathroom. Lithe, elegantly dressed young women gathered cheerfully around the bathroom mirrors as they unrolled golden-flecked curls that fell gently to their thighs. Each strip of hair, carefully unbound from a foam roller, was sprayed within an inch o … [Read more...]

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The God Card: Ask Your Husband

How to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life, In One Easy Step: Ask Your Husband The God Card ~ Thoughts on Patriarchal Teachingsby Journey  Guidance for a wife is a very simple matter.  It seems to boil down to just asking your husband.  We have to remember that it is the man, the husband, that God designated to be the head, the authority in the home.  --Genevieve M. White, in Daughters of Sarah, p. 59The woman who wants to be in control is a wife who is in rebellion towards God.  God does not look with favor on those who are rebellious towards Him…  The Bible says that "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…"   …Webster’s 1828 calls witchcraft, "intercourse with the devil."  The con … [Read more...]

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Looking Back: My Family 10 Years on From Fundamentalism

by AriettyThe past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. ~ L.P. Hartley, The Go-BetweenWhen looking back at my family during our days of patriarchal fundamentalism this opening line in the novel The Go-Between often comes to mind. In the last decade we have journeyed so far from where we once were we may have well have moved countries entirely. In the beginning of our journey we were like refugees, clinging to our past forms and beliefs while trying to figure out what part of this new culture wouldn't damage us. For we had read and been preached to and fervently believed that our now adopted culture--The World--was one of poison and sure death to family bonds and … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Two Snakes and a Virgin – The Serpent’s Seed

 by SierraI was about nine years old when I started paying attention to some of the doctrines that were slowly infiltrating my life over the past two years. I’d stopped wearing pants or cutting my hair by the end of the first year, following my mother’s lead. The last pair of pants she wore were a lovely pair of wide-leg trousers with a sheer lace overlay; they could pass for a skirt until she took a step. She wore them to church, then threw them away – she felt “convicted” for wearing a man’s garment. She threw away her makeup, too, keeping only a sheer moisturizing lip gloss as a token of her past.I liked my new dresses, and I liked the long hair slowly descended across my shoulders. I’ … [Read more...]

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