Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lettuce Prey

A fun religious post for you all!  I once considered Lettuce Prey as my Internet handle but decided against it.  Here it can stand for one of the many interesting religious transformations which exist when it comes to the beliefs some hold.

Take pastor Steven  L Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.  The principles of his church are listed on the church website and include:

We believe that the King James Bible is the word of God without error. 
We believe that life begins at conception (fertilization) and reject all forms of abortion including surgical abortion, "morning-after" pills, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), birth control pills, and all other processes that end life after conception.
We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.
We oppose worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.

Sounds like a fun place.  I love the first of the rules, about the King James Bible being God's word without error, given that it is a translation (of other translations, probably).   The church also believes that God punishes homosexuality with a death penalty and that birth control pills are abortifacients and so on.

But none of that is why I write about our nice pastor Anderson.  The reason for that has to do with his advice on how to bring up daughters in his creed,  to keep them virginal until marriage.  The solution is to lock them up, pretty much.  Or, as Anderson states, after telling his congregation that he will teach his sons to avoid fornication:

I say I’ll teach that unto my sons and you say, well, aren’t you gonna teach that to your daughters? 

I’m gonna tell you this: It’s not gonna be humanly possible for anyone to commit fornication with my daughters. [Laughter] And you know what? You’re laughing but I’m not kidding… You say, what about when they go get a job? Well, they’re not going to get a job. Why would my daughters go get a job? What do they need a job for? You know what, I’m gonna pay for them, I’m gonna pay their bills. And you know what? When I’m done paying for them, their husband’s gonna pay for them. 

And I hope that he doesn’t fail in his responsibility to provide and send them off to work or something, but you know what, at that point, it’s none of my business. At that point, it’s not my responsibility. But you know what? When I pass off my daughters unto their husband, I’m gonna be able to guarantee that they’re a virgin because I’m gonna make it to where it’s not even humanly possible. Because I’m not gonna have them out gallivanting around town. I’m not gonna have them going off to work, and going out with all these people…
The bolding is in the original.

But the really thrilling sentence is the one which begins the third paragraph in that quote:

And I hope that he doesn’t fail in his responsibility to provide and send them off to work or something, but you know what, at that point, it’s none of my business.
It's a perfect circle.  First daddy decided about his daughters and then the hubby decides about his wife.  Reminds me of some other extreme types of right-wing religions. 

First daddy will decide how the daughters are brought up (dependent, perhaps without marketable skills) and then hubby will decide how the wife lives (perhaps he makes her go out to work, should he choose to do so). And considering that having just one breadwinner can be very difficult in the US, pastor Anderson's views are also more likely to place his daughters in tougher financial circumstances.

The justification for all this is in pastor Anderson's choices about how to interpret the Bible.  The King James version is God's word without error, but pastor Anderson's views also matter.  Because the Bible doesn't actually say that women should be housewives, but Anderson decides that it does:

And you say, well why the double standard? Um, ’cause everything in the Bible’s a double standard?! ‘Cause I’m not a feminist?! ‘Cause men and women are different? ‘Cause my sons are gonna be taught to be independent. My daughters are gonna be taught not to be independent. [Fake crying noises] My sons are gonna be taught to go out and work hard and make a living! My daughters are gonna be taught to be a homemaker, okay? You don’t like that? Well, whatever, that’s what the Bible teaches…
Bolds are in the original.