This Was Written in 2010, Not 1940.

A great deal of my time is spent tooling around on Reddit, with occasional forays onto the image site Imgur after following a link to a kitten sleeping in a tube sock or another macro featuring Overly Attached Girlfriend.  Far too much time, actually.  Thing is, I’ll occasionally find something worth posting about, even if I don’t get much in the way of context to go along with it.  This time around, I got my dirty little hands on some selected snapshots of a beautiful work of 1940s-era sexism and self delusion thanks to this guy. The best part is that it was written only a few years ago by a fundamentalist Christian … which explains a great deal.  Here are some of the photos:

WARNING: NOT MY HAND.

Bill Gothard has a B.A. in biblical studies, an M.A. in Christian Education, and a Ph.D. in biblical studies as well.  I don’t see a degree in sociology or psychology – anything that would provide some qualification for talking about the roles men and women should play in a healthy marriage based on love, respect, and not treating the woman like a slow-witted child who needs protection from the world.  But considering the unreasonably large role THE LORD has in this missive, I strongly suspect the last item on that list is going to be ignored in favor of some good old fashioned misogyny traditional values.

Congratulations, ladies!  You are no longer forced to waste away years of your lives, wondering how to find fulfillment; Doctor Gothard has all of your needs figured out, and it’s in seven easy (and biblically perfect) line items!

  1. To Depend on God Alone! (with no expectation of her husband) - well that’s a good start.  Here I was thinking that I’d have to pull my own weight around the house, but it sounds like I’m off the hook.  Next time the wife asks me to take out the garbage or clean up after one of our cats defiles the litter box, I’ll just tell her to ask God to do it.
  2. To Do Great Works! (that will last beyond her lifetime) – Actually, I can honestly get behind this one … but I think this should apply to everyone.  Not for any spiritual reason, but in an effort to leave this world a little better than when you entered it.
  3. To Inspire Mighty Men!  (with her God-given influence) – Why would “inspiring men” count as a woman’s “need”? Playing off Number 2 for a moment, why couldn’t she just inspire everyone with the example she sets after doing great works?
  4. To be Valued and Cherished!  (by doing what no other woman can do) – Honey, I know you can tie a Maraschino cherry stem into a knot with your tongue in under 30 seconds, but that’s not exactly a game changer.
  5. To Be Cleansed Within!  (as her husband meditates on the Word) – ever have that “not so fresh” feeling?  Okay, so as a Christian, you’re supposed to desire spiritual “cleanliness”, but how (or why) would that be contingent upon being involved with a man?  Can you not be saved if you’re single?
  6. To Exchange Verbal Blessings!  (to be empowered by God) – no no … bless YOU.  I honestly don’t see why this is a “need” other than the fact that Bill has to reach a count of seven to give it a good connection to biblical numerology.  One more to go …
  7. To Be Free of Clutter!  (to help conquer unclean spirits) – so, are the spirits themselves unclean as in evil, or are they simple responsible for the clutter in your home?  Or is this metaphorical / spiritual “clutter” that some Christians blame on demons because they can’t imagine it being a natural result of living a busy life like everyone else?  Well, in any case, I can get behind this one too, I guess.  No one likes clutter.  Hardly profound, but we’re at seven now.  On we go.

Proverbs 22:6 – “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it” – certainly has some truth to it.  For example, if you drill into their heads from an early enough age that there is a completely imperceptible God who watches your every move (including those naughty things you do in the bathroom!), and will punish you with eternal torture in a lake of fire if you don’t meet his standards of behavior, their brain will wire itself accordingly.  That’s very hard to shake.  It’s also a shit thing to do to a kid.  Then there’s this:

The mother was informed that babies in the womb can sense in their spirit whether they are desired or unwanted.  This discernment will affect their responses after birth.

What a wonderful example of Christian pseudo-scientific crap.  No citations, no references, and a passive voice to top it all off in order to further avoid any responsibility for backing up this amazingly convenient claim and just pass it off as fact.  I see the same crap on Fox News.  If they want to push a talking point, they’ll just throw out lines like, “well, people are saying that {liberals and atheists eat babies, Obama is a Muslim, etc.}”.  It doesn’t matter that the “people” to whom they’re referring are members of their own organization; it’s how the information is presented that makes all the difference.

Below are my two favorites of the bunch.  You’ll see why:

Women are dumb.  And God is well aware of this.  That’s why if a woman makes a vow, He doesn’t take it seriously enough to think she really means it.  After all, it could just be an expression of her own personal opinion or thoughts … and we all know how they measure up to those of a man.

I did a little reading up on this guy.  Can you believe he’s not married?

Women are gullible.  You know, after a couple of different relationships went sour after the discovery of infidelity on their part – and the tales they weaved to blame the guys they slept with – I think both sexes are on pretty equal footing when it comes to both giving and receiving total crapola.

But if it’s one character in all of this who has truly gotten the short end of the stick, it’s Satan.  First, it’s assumed that he was the serpent in the Garden of Eden, even though he was no reference to him by name.  But let’s just say that it was him.  What did he do?  He told Eve that the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge wouldn’t kill them, but open their eyes to the understanding of good and evil … and it did just that.  He told them the truth.  They gained knowledge and understanding, forsaking blind obedience, and were punished for it.

He also makes an appearance in the Book of Job – not as an evil prince of lies, but as a prosecutor among the “sons of God” who is given the authority and power to ruin some poor guy’s life to test his faith.  It’s a horrible story, but there’s very little in the way of deception.

In the New Testament, Satan challenges Jesus, much in the way I or any other skeptic would if someone were to begin wandering around the neighborhood, claiming he was the son of God (Matthew 4: 1-11):

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

This sounds an awful lot like Satan was the one trying to call Jesus out on the supernatural claims that either he was making or that other people were making on his behalf.  So much for the prince of lies.

But wait, there’s more!

Women are the property of their fathers.  Also, the first paragraph sounds like it cane right out of a Chick tract from the 1960s.  Considering that this guy never married, it doesn’t come as a complete shock that he appears to have this antiquated Victorian-era perspective on love, marriage, and dating.  I have no idea what the hell he even means when he calls dating a “dress rehearsal for divorce”.  How in the hell are you supposed to get an idea of the kind of person you even like – much less want to spend the rest of your life with – unless you spend an appreciable amount of time with them in a number of different settings?  Sure, some people consider dating a short-term thing with no consideration of the future; the rest use it as a path to commitment.

Speaking of commitment, there’s about half a dozen other slides that have to do with the proper way to hire and interact with your secretary.  Some pro tips:

  • Make sure your wife is involved in the hiring process.
  • Secretaries are always attractive and perpetually starved for praise.  This is a trap.
  • Make sure your secretary is involved in keeping you and your wife together.
  • Don’t praise your secretary in front of your wife, especially for things she can’t do herself (reference the Maraschino cherry thing from earlier).

So I went to this guy’s website, and the actual book from which these pictures are taken is on sale for $12.99.  I may have to pick it up … I’ll have to see what else he has available.  There’s also an entire page devoted to this stuff, but I think the images provided enough material for one day.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Society Marches On and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to This Was Written in 2010, Not 1940.

  1. Diff says:

    Hey, I thought at the very least when you give your entire life to your husband, the trade-off is that he’s supposed to lay down his life for you when shit hits the fan. Not even? Damn.

    (Though really, I thought it was kind of a crap compromise anyway. Husband puts himself between you and the storm troopers, and they can just shoot him and rape you anyway.)

  2. Zarathustra says:

    I’ve got two words for this guy…… and they ain’t Happy Birthday….!

  3. Nea says:

    I read the No Longer Quivering and Love, Joy, Feminism blogs on Pathos. They talk a lot about Gotherd and the cult like behavior he’s successfully selling.

    • I saw some of the info on his “ALERT” youth group.:

      Emergency officials in Houston requested ALERT’s assistance at the enormous evacuation operation taking place at the Astrodome complex. When ALERT arrived, the men were enlisted to handle crowd control, security, evacuee care, and logistics. In addition to those tasks, men set up sleeping quarters, unloaded buses, and did what they could to keep things in order amidst the chaos at the Astrodome. Despite working 14–16-hour shifts, the men found time to talk, pray, and counsel with evacuees; hand out tracts; and share the Gospel. During the deployment, the men saw a number of people accept Christ as their Savior!

      I have to hand it to him … he’s onto something. There’s nothing that presents a better opportunity for religious conversion than a massive natural disaster when people are at their most emotionally and psychologically vulnerable. (Which I guess would be the only way for someone to accept as their lord and savior someone who just smote the shit out of them and their loved ones.) And to take at-risk youth, break them down, put them through a combination of boot camp and bible study … he’s well on his way to building his own army of little God warriors.

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