religion, sexism

Repost: Good Christian ladies don’t need to be readin’…

This post appeared on my original blog on November 22, 2018. I am reposting it today, because I have a bit of writer’s block, and this post is a good one.

Yesterday, I happened to come across a screenshot someone took of Hyles-Anderson College’s Web site.  I have written about Hyles-Anderson College before.  It’s basically a fundie Baptist run college in Indiana, where young adults go to be treated like children.  That idea was really driven home when I took a gander of the screenshot, which details what men and women are allowed to keep in their dorm rooms.  Check this out.

Am I to understand that men are allowed to bring a bookshelf, but women can’t?

Notice that the shelf can’t have doors on it.  Why?  Because doors would hide any contraband books that these college students shouldn’t be reading.  Wouldn’t want a copy of 50 Shades of Grey to make it on campus, right?  I’m not sure if Hyles-Anderson students are allowed to use reading devices like Kindles or iPads.  I would imagine they would be off limits.

Someone did bring up the point that these restrictions might be about space in the dorm rooms.  I spent four years living in dorms myself, so I know space is a premium.  It still seems odd that the ladies aren’t specifically told they are allowed a bookshelf.  But then, I don’t think Hyles-Anderson College is that much about higher learning, particularly for the women who attend.  This seems to be more of a place for people to find their mates before becoming “ministers”.

Notice that the ladies are only allowed one refrigerator per room, while the men can have two.  Do people now bring more than one fridge to college?  And the ladies are not allowed their own microwave, but the men can have two microwaves in their rooms.  Wouldn’t want the ladies to eat too much popcorn, I guess.

No need for the ladies to bring their own cars, unless she has a job where college transport doesn’t go.  I’m actually surprised the women are allowed to work off campus.  The men can bring cars.  No sweat.

Some time ago, I posted some videos that were done by leaders at Hyles-Anderson College.  One of the leaders, Jack Schaap, is currently sitting in a prison cell for raping a sixteen year old girl.  Schaap also memorably preached a sermon during which he polished a rod as if he were masturbating, simulating a hypothetical conversation between God and a man.  It’s quite the spectacle.

I can’t imagine how I would have reacted if I had been listening to this live…  

Jack Schaap’s views on women…  of course, now he’s behind bars.

I would hope that any student in college would be encouraged to read.  Reading is fundamental to learning.  Maybe I watched too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, but it does seem pretty sad to me that young women in college are not being encouraged to bring books… and bookshelves to hold their books… on all manner of topics.  That being said, I also realized that Hyles-Anderson College is a private Christian college and it’s not accredited, so people who choose to go there probably look for that type of legalistic environment.  Or perhaps their parents do.  This is the only college I know of that divides its curriculum by sex.  

A bonus video… Talk about a treasure trove of fundie weirdness.  I especially enjoyed the bit about “heifers wearing britches”.


“A problem that most ladies have…”

“Ma’am, I’ll do the preaching here. You’ll be quiet while I’m preaching.” says Jack Hyles to some woman in the congregation.

“Ma’am, I’m going to ask you to leave, now, if you don’t quit talking while I’m preaching.”

It occurs to me that I’m very lucky. My parents never forced me to listen to the likes of Jack Hyles when I was growing up. I never had to witness a man preaching behind the pulpit, condescending to people who don’t have the same sexual equipment he has.

I grew up mainstream Presbyterian, which was bad enough. Actually, it wasn’t that bad… it was just very boring. I spent many hours in church, not really listening to the message. I’m sure my parents made me go because they thought it was the right thing to do. My mom played the organ. My dad was in the choir. My sisters were grown and gone. So I showed up every week and sat next to the wife of one of the choir members. I played Hangman and Tic Tac, Toe, ate M&Ms, Nerds, Reese’s Pieces, and Ipsos, read or colored in books, and stood up and sat whenever appropriate.

A word on Ipsos candy– they were kind of a short lived thing. They came in colorful plastic boxes with a flip top and a Lego like edge, so you could collect and stack them. I think they may have been British, but they were marketed in America for a short time. They disappeared at some point, and I’ve found very little about them online.

I got very little out of church, except for exposure to church people, most of whom were very nice. And never once did anyone in my church act like Dr. Jack Hyles does in this video. I can’t imagine why anyone in the 21st century would allow someone to speak to them in this manner. If I had been that woman, I would have gotten up and left, never to return. But then, I doubt I ever would have gone to such a church in the first place. I can’t even fathom it.

But then I think of people like the Duggars, who obviously subscribe to similar teachings. The women folk are kept in check and publicly chastised if they misbehave. I don’t know if it’s as bad in the Duggars’ religion as it might be at Hyles-Anderson College. Maybe it is… or maybe it’s not. I think being on reality TV might have made them a bit more worldly.

Shocking… If you watch to the end, you hear the vile Steven Anderson say that homosexuals should kill themselves. He also says they are akin to child molesters. So much ignorance!

On my old blog, I wrote a piece about former Hyles-Anderson College official, Jack Schaap, who once practically masturbated in front of the congregation. He presented God as a megalomaniacal lunatic as he “polished” a shaft. Look at this…

This is bizarre. I don’t know what I would have done if I had witnessed this live.

Jack Schaap is now in prison for having a sexual relationship with a teenager. But just before he was arrested, he presented another lecture about sexuality to parents. These people are leading churches across America. They fool people into thinking they’re fonts of wisdom, when they are actually damaging those who listen to them. If they’re lucky, it’s just mental and emotional abuse. Some people wind up being physically and sexually abused, too.

Yeah… preaching to kids was his “world”… and now his world is a prison cell, because he was sexually molesting the girls in his congregation.

The older I get, the less use I have for organized religion. It seems to be about power and money more than teaching morality and decency. It seems like religions are full of people drunk on power, hurting others. And yet, every week, people willingly attend church. They dress up, donate their hard earned money, and listen to these messages of shame while the leaders are disrespecting and possibly even abusing their followers. When I was a regular churchgoer, I had no idea about these things. I’m so grateful my parents never forced me to attend an extreme church. I can’t say that I think all churches are bad, but I do think a lot of them are off track.

It’s not just the men who are doing this, either. A couple of months ago, a 49 year old modesty preaching kindergarten teacher named Shannon Griffin was arrested for sexually assaulting an underage boy. Griffin, who taught at Jordan Baptist School in Burbank, Illinois, was charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault, one count of solicitation of child pornography, one count of distribution of harmful materials and one count of grooming. And yet, Ms. Griffin was well known for chastising girls for dressing too provocatively. Incidentally, Ms. Griffin’s husband is the pastor who runs the school. Two of their daughters also teach there.

I think about what it must be like for the women in these legalistic, culty churches. They open their mouths to speak and are basically told to shut up by the men behind the pulpits. If they persist in being heard, they are threatened. He says he’ll have them kicked out of the room, or even “jokingly” refers to physical violence. Granted, Hyles is dead now, but his disciples are still among the living.

“Sit still, or I’ll beat the dickens out of you.” And people think this is funny.

It seems like there are a lot more extreme people these days, especially when it comes to religion. When I was growing up, it seemed like most people belonged to a church. A lot of the churches mostly seemed moderate. Nowadays, it seems more like people are either atheists or very extreme in their religious beliefs. It really makes me wonder and worry… because so many people have died in the name of God. And so many people have suffered in the name of God… or fallen prey to a supposed leader who claims authority over them, thanks to God. Just something I’m thinking about this Friday… as I try not to think about how much I miss Zane.