Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Land that Time Forgot

Expecting the weekend "news" to be simply more of the same stories of bombings in Iraq, threats from and against Iran and Donald Rumsfeld, lots of Donald Rumsfeld, I swore off the poisonous brew for a couple of days, unable to stomach anymore of the shit. There was, no doubt, lots of talk about Rumsfeld: more generals talking about Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld talking about Rumsfeld, George Bush talking about Rumsfeld, the Pentagon issuing memoranda about how to talk about Rumsfeld. Gads, I certainly was sorry for those who did pay attention, it must have been near unbearable.

So I was thankful for some small diversion from the Rummy diaries when I stumbled upon an ugly little item, appalling in its own way, but nonetheless, a divestment from Washington blather.

It now seems that, along with South Dakota's recent ban on abortion, the movers and shakers of the crazed band of zealots inhabiting that region of the globe have thought up something altogether mad: The Purity Ball. Apart from the bizarre appearance of what by all rights looks like some farcical aquatic ceremony or actually a paganesque fertility celebration, the Purity Ball seeks to lockdown hormonal desires before they crop up, invoking that age-old Christian tool of guilt. Fertility is certainly nothing these people are celebrating and would probably all prefer it if the youngsters were barren until their wedding day, preferrably with a clamp around their loins. Ok, for get the barrenness. They just want the crotch clamp brought back. Ahh, those hallowed days of yore....

The Purity Ball seeks to enjoin young women -- guilt being much easier to instill at a young age -- to a pledge of sexual abstinence, or as they call it, "commitments to purity." Daddies then reciprocally "pledge commitments to protect their girls."

Oh, how sweet, you must be thinking. At least, you might think that until you actually see what it is these girls say.
I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.
Yes, in the fundementalist world, this is how these girls are taught to view themselves, as nothing more than a gift, a lacy bobble adorning the man's tuxedo, a gift that keeps on giving. And, as always, these blasted Christians expect something in return, some "reward," because they clearly believe that the whole enterprise of faith would be worthless without the promise of some expected payback. I wonder if God tires of these nitwits and their constant demands for reward.

But you really get a sense of what is going on here when you see what Daddy gets to say in return:
I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.
These people really do want to return to the land and stricture of the Pharisees. The modern world is simply too much to bear and far too wicked. But really, when hasn't it been?

[via Digby]


Anonymous robb said...

I clicked on the link to The Purity Ball. "Pure" isn't the word that comes to mind when looking at the smiling faces and reading the uncomfortable quotes from the participants. "Creepy" would be a better description. The kids that actually make it out of that mindset will have hell of a time in therapy some day.

9:33 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Yeah, I know, it is creepy. Suddenly that S.D. abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape or incest, takes on a whole new aspect when looking at this freak show.

9:48 PM  

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