Keying off my remark, “What we discover in the strange Mommie Dearest vision of Mary in older Evangelical circles is nothing about Mary, but plenty about the peculiar fears Evangelical culture has of connecting anything feminine with Christian piety.”
This particularly struck me. Earlier in my seminary studies, I wrote a philosophy thesis on the philosophical underpinnings of fundamentalism, and particularly how it is a largely Gnostic phenomenon, and how it’s not that this religion or that religion is inherently fundamentalist, but how it’s a hermeneutic that can be taken up anytime one cannot see the Incarnation and thus the sacramentality of reality (I could outline that more in depth, and I probably should; what I discovered was fascinating). In any event, one of the things I noticed as I studied all manner of fundamentalism–Christian Evangelical fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism, so what we typically think of when we say that, as well as militant atheism and certain factions within Catholicism, and also political fundamentalism–was that they are all characterized by an excessive masculinity. Not that they are only properly masculine and have no need of the feminine, as no such thing could exist, but rather that they were hypermasculinized, to the point that the feminine was demeaned and the masculine came to be warped.
And when they seek to do grave evil (as they nearly inevitably do) they tend to cloak it in hypermasculine language of courage. Even in the ostensibly “feminine” Marian piety of the Catholic Hard Right, Mary gets turned into a sort of Boudica/Eowyn figure pronouncing a blessing on contempt for the Syrian refugee Because Lepanto. Meanwhile, Pope Francis and the bishops who call for mercy to refugees are routinely arraigned as wusses who lack manliness in the face of the Foe.
Very astute of you!