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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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59 Responses

  1. Kat
    Kat November 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    NO TO FULL FRONTAL HUGGITY!!1!!111

  2. alec
    alec November 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    This is embarrassing on so many levels. And are they all trying to imitate Seth Green in Can’t Hardly Wait?

  3. groggette
    groggette November 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    This. Is. Awesome. I think. I’m not really sure… I’m too busy cracking up.
    Loving the gun shot and ambulence sounds at the beginning and end of the song. Front hugging? BAD. Shooting people? Yeah, that’s cool.

  4. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery November 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm |

    Fake. Right?

    …right?

  5. Yatima
    Yatima November 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm |

    …and the sample. It’s Darth Vader’s Imperial March. Isn’t that, like, Satanic or something?

    Also: what?

  6. SnowdropExplodes
    SnowdropExplodes November 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |

    Hmm.

    “Greet one another with a holy kiss” – St Paul, numerous times in letters to the churches (emphasis mine). Not sure how that happens with a “side-hug”. Unless maybe you take it in turns to hug from the side?

    The tradition in my local church is most definitely a hug from the front, and kisses shared to either cheek.

    As for “so rise up off me like the [something] with no yeast”, I’m guessing these people don’t really know bakery (or, for that matter, their Bible), otherwise they’d know that yeast is what causes things to rise and if they have no yeast they don’t rise; they would also know that St Paul uses yeast as a metaphor for sin, so the whole sentence in context makes zero sense in terms of Biblical references.

  7. Natalia
    Natalia November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |

    I’m pretty sure this is a parody group.

  8. jemand
    jemand November 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm |

    my first boyfriend refused to hug me, because it would be too physical and a sin. *This* might be parody, but the ideas being parodied are definitely real.

  9. Evrybdy44
    Evrybdy44 November 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm |

    A friend sent me the link to this. I grew up in the church. Went to youth group and all that. I remember hearing youth pastors talk about the “side hug” all the time. I get it for them b/c I imagine alot of underage girls get crushes on their youth leaders and could get the wrong message from something that harmless. But beyond that [ableist lanugage redacted – mod]!
    Check this one – “I kissed dating goodbye”. Check it out! http://www.joshharris.com/i_kissed_dating_goodbye.php I know so many couples who followed this book to a T and every single one of them is divorced now! Not a ONE is still married or not in the process of a divorce. AWESOME! EPIC FAIL!!!!!

  10. Marlene
    Marlene November 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm |

    I really like this. Who knew someone could make a simple hug (front or back, but not side) feel so deliciously dirty?

    I’m gonna go hug some folks now.

  11. Neko Onna
    Neko Onna November 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm |

    Wow. Jesus didn’t hug?

  12. amandaw
    amandaw November 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm |

    Neko Onna, I think Jesus did a holy breakdance.

  13. eibhear
    eibhear November 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm |

    As a socialist, I’m outraged and insulted to be included in these groups!

  14. lisa
    lisa November 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm |

    As a former Jesus freak, the “Stuff Christians Like” site is hilarious. Seriously. Just because people are all fundamentalist and homophobic and stuff doesn’t mean they don’t take pleasure (and see the humor) in their wacky CCM culture. These are the people who hate religion but believe … you just gotta get real with GOD, bro. Cue Christian ska band. Rock out for Jesus…

  15. Mama Mia
    Mama Mia November 23, 2009 at 8:06 pm |

    The thing about frontal hugs being a “sinful abomination” is from a website called “Stuff Christians Like” which is in the same vein as Stuff White People Like. It is most definitely a joke.

  16. Calvin
    Calvin November 23, 2009 at 8:26 pm |

    Hearsay evidence and mudslinging from the author. Regrettable that this is what most of Bible-belt christianity is (the ‘c’ is intentional). Shallow, entertainment-driven, poor quality, and most importantly Christ-less drivel.

    I’m pretty sure Christ would love a hug.

    And I don’t think there is an embargo on physical “touching” (to use a poor word!) What do you think Paul meant when he said to greet each other with a holy kiss?

    Granted, Paul didn’t live in an age of swine-related influenza, but I’m sure they managed :)

  17. Lis
    Lis November 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm |

    Maybe it’s because I’m short, but it’s my impression that if your hugs include crotch-touching, you’re doing something wrong.

    Hm.

  18. Sid
    Sid November 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm |

    This is hilarious, and a ridiculously catchy jam, but I’m surprised the “I aint that scared to call yo momma/you’ll be going home in a coma” line wasn’t reamed for its female violence implications, which is far more troubling than any conservative message. Aside from the slight political overtones (“democraticshiftincongress”, PRICELESS!), I don’t know that this is that troublesome: its just a bunch of conservative Christians preaching to the choir, am I way off base? I don’t think an orthodox jew or conservative muslim preaching conservative values would make front page parody here.

  19. me and not you
    me and not you November 23, 2009 at 9:12 pm |

    terrifyingly enough, this seems to indicate that this is in fact real.
    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/11/23/the-christian-side-hug-front-hugs-be-too-sinful/

  20. libdevil
    libdevil November 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm |

    I so want to post this everywhere, but there are enough humorless Christianists in my life that it would likely cause me more grief than amusement. Bah, humbug.

  21. vertigo29
    vertigo29 November 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm |

    This is simply too funny! :)

  22. William
    William November 23, 2009 at 11:59 pm |

    Am I the only one made a bit uncomfortable by a bunch of white kids who seem to be playing hip hop (and, to no small extent, urban black culture) for laughs while two black men stand awkwardly in the background without microphones?

  23. Gillian
    Gillian November 24, 2009 at 4:34 am |

    Y’know, this is very interesting. What’s happening with this type of Christianity in the USA is very similar to what Jewish Orthodox communities in Israel and the US have been doing for a few decades: taking all sort of prohibitions (and Judaism is all about the prohibitions) and making them stricter and stricter and stricter. An example of this is how in Orthodox Judaism, unmarried and unrelated men and women are not supposed to touch each other; so some extreme Orthodox communities (Hassidic courts, actually) have taken this to the point where MARRIED men and women don’t touch at all, other then when they have sex (when they’re allowed to), and only to help accomplish the act – no touching, petting, hugging, or any sort of physical affection.

    Similarly with kosher food – most of the food produced in Israel is your run-of-the-mill kosher, but every ultra-orthodox community has it’s own special ‘kosher” stamp which requires stricter and harsher rules.

    It’s gotten to the point where even some rabbis and religious leaders are concerned about this needless harshening (did I just make up a word/) of the existing religious laws.

    I believe it has to do with the reaction of these religious communities (Christian and Jewish, and I’ve heard some Muslims making the same claim for Muslim countries, where the Sharia laws are being interpreted in a stricter and stricter way) to the modern world. It’s all about change. And these communities/laws aren’t SUPPOSED to change. They’re supposed to represent universal and eternal truths. But you can’t live in a world that’s constantly in a state of flux and not be affected – so they have to change. But they CAN’T become more liberal or progressive, because modernity, liberalism and progress are Tools of the Devil. This means the only way they can have any sort of change is to become even more conservative and stricter, and re-interpret rules and religious laws in a harsher and harsher manner (which usually disproportionally affects women, though this side-hug thing is definitely equal-opportunity stupidity.meh).

  24. amandaw
    amandaw November 24, 2009 at 7:28 am |

    The thing about frontal hugs being a “sinful abomination” is from a website called “Stuff Christians Like” which is in the same vein as Stuff White People Like. It is most definitely a joke.

    As someone who was a part of a very conservative evangelical church as a kid, I can tell you for a fact that it isn’t a joke. At least, not in the sense that many Christians don’t feel that way. It *is* a joke in the sense that it’s too damn easy to make fun of.

  25. amandaw
    amandaw November 24, 2009 at 7:33 am |

    That is, my best friend and her long-time partner did not want to use the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” for each other because they felt it implied an impermanence and unChristianity about the relationship which was, to them, closer to a (wanted) arranged marriage; they wanted their first kiss to be at the altar. My youth pastor wouldn’t hug anyone up close; it was always leaning far away to avoid torsos touching or that side-hug. One of my college roommates adamantly did not want any men to go anywhere but the living room/kitchen/front bathroom; it would be improper for them to be in the bedrooms; when my now-husband came to help me move out when I was preparing to move cross-country to be with him, I had to have him sleep in my room and I had to sleep on the floor in the living room (we had a female friend crashing on the couch already) to avoid her making a fuss. And we all loved the hell out of her! It’s not like she was this awful awful person. But yes, all this stuff is quite real, folks.

  26. Paul
    Paul November 24, 2009 at 7:54 am |

    While the side hug phenomenon appears to be real, I’m pretty sure the presentation here is an intentional put-on: the other videos by The Father’s House youtube channel are all clearly parodies: http://www.youtube.com/user/TFHvideos

    I was almost tempted to defend the side hug thing here: it appears to be from a youth conference taking place in an actual church, and I started thinking about wanting to show respect for the holy space or something…but this would be a very strange way to show respect for a church.

    And what exactly is going on with “democratic shift in the congress”?

  27. norbizness
    norbizness November 24, 2009 at 9:47 am |

    As it happens 92.4% of the time, this puts me in mind of a Simpsons quote, which saves me the time of actually watching the video or really reading the post or any of the comments:

    Ned Flanders: Reverend, I’m, uh, I’m afraid something has happened.

    Reverend Lovejoy: Well sit down and rap with me brother, that’s what I’m here for.

    Ned Flanders: Well, I was talked into doing a dance called “The Bump”, but my hip slipped and my buttocks came into contact with the buttocks of another young man!

  28. Mama Mia
    Mama Mia November 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm |

    amandaw, definitely the Christians who truly believe it is a sinful abomination exist, but on the website that said it, it is making fun of those people. Like a feminist joking about the stereotypical scary feminist. It’s funny because some people are like that, but lots of people think they are all like that.

  29. William
    William November 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm |

    when my now-husband came to help me move out when I was preparing to move cross-country to be with him, I had to have him sleep in my room and I had to sleep on the floor in the living room (we had a female friend crashing on the couch already) to avoid her making a fuss. And we all loved the hell out of her!

    I’m not trying to invalidate your personal experience, but I think that example makes a pretty good point about how fundamentalism doesn’t just influence fundamentalists. I’m pretty sure I’d identify your friend’s behavior as highly problematic. Demanding that other people conform their behavior (which involves you only so far as your own moral outrage) to your own expectations so that you can be more comfortable, even if what others have to do to conform to your demands is likely to cause significant discomfort, is pretty seriously problematic.

    What you’re saying is that your friend asked you to sleep on the floor in a different room because she would have objected to you sleeping non-euphemistically with your husband-to-be/boyfriend/friend (whatever the relationship was at that point) because her sense of morals would have been outraged by the mere implication that someone else might have appeared to have been able to do something she forbid herself from doing. She made this demand presumably despite knowledge that it might cause you some significant discomfort or problems later on. You did what she asked because you wanted to “avoid her making a fuss,” which pretty strongly implies that she would have brought enough interpersonal pressure to bare on you as to enforce her will.

    To me, thats the core of the problem with this side-hug orthodoxy business. If someone wants to make a decision to follow rules I find ridiculous its their right (god knows I do things others think are odd), but it almost never stops there. Fundamentalists demand that others conform to their quirks, they enforce their morality upon others, the coerce others through interpersonal pressure (at the very least). You don’t have to look much further than whats happening in Israel with ultra-orthodox sects right now, or how more secular individuals are treated in some of the more fundamentalist Islamic nations. Hell, you see it right here in Christianists generating mountains of complaints to the FCC, pushing for more aggressive obscenity laws, fighting against civil rights, and challenging abortion.

  30. Natalia
    Natalia November 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm |

    You know, Jill, I think I might be wrong. I think this might be for real. As much as the word “real” can apply to these people.

  31. Mary
    Mary November 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm |

    gross. this is just indecent. did you see how easy a side hug can turn into a front hug?!! BEWARE! Jesus is watching you. No affection till you gots the papers foo! And the clips hit the flo.

    …*cry*

  32. amanda
    amanda November 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm |

    Oh GOD the memories. UGHHH.

    For what it is worth the “something” in “so rise up off me like the [something] with no yeast” is shewbread or showbread.

    From wikipedia: Showbread (Hebrew: לחם פנים lechem (hap)pānīm‎, literally: “Bread of the Presence”), in the King James Version: shewbread, in a biblical or Jewish context, refers to the cakes or loaves of bread which were always present on a specially dedicated table, in the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God. An alternative, and more appropriate, translation would be presence bread[1], since the Bible requires that the bread is constantly in the presence of God (Exodus 25:30).

  33. Mark
    Mark November 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm |

    If you’ve ever been to a Christian convention, wacky shit like this doesn’t seem so out of the ordinary. It’s like an alternate universe.

  34. Danielle
    Danielle November 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm |

    I did my best to transcribe the lyrics. Here’s what I’ve got:

    [To the sound of gunshots, breaking glass, police sirens and,
    a looping melody sample from none other than the Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) from Star Wars]

    Whassup ladies and gentlemen
    Y’all ready to party up in here?

    [Chorus:]
    Gimme that Christian side hug, that christian side hug
    Gimme that Christian side hug, that christian side hug
    I’m a rough rider, filled up with Christ’s Love
    Gimme that Christian side hug, that christian side hug

    These are the easy rules so,
    pay attention it’s essential
    This ain’t no front hug zone
    You ain’t that fly you ain’t my [?]
    Stop! and listen.
    No front hugs and no kissin’
    I ain’t that scared to call your mama
    You’ll be riding home in a coma
    I got my crew. You ain’t got nothin’

    Follow these rules, ’cause we ain’t bluffin
    Now, you ain’t no rabbi, You ain’t no priest
    So rise up off me like the [?] with no yeast.
    Now, don’ use that front hug boy,
    That makes [?]
    That’s inappropriate.
    You back up off her ’cause we
    wanna keep our minds pure.
    Wanna keep away from sin
    That means it’s you too girl,
    [??]

    Chorus x 2

    We be walkin’ like
    We be talkin’ like
    We be side huggin’
    Errything (at night?)
    It’s how we do, boo.
    This aint no club,
    So don’t be hatin’ on me when I show no love.
    We live it holy
    this ain’t no (thang?)
    So put your hand in the air and let that shoulder hang.
    I’m goin global
    Cuz you don’t know me
    I’m buying babies like
    Angelina Jolie

    So quit that huggin’
    and slow down mama
    and hit my first like
    President Obama

    [bridge unclear]

    Chorus x2

    I’m a married man
    You know I can hold hands
    Front hug all day long
    with no other demands
    but as for all of you,
    until you say I do,
    No front huggin or PDA
    till EG time is through
    but, some of y’all are slick
    Tryna pull this trick
    The hug starts to the side,
    but soon, it turns legit
    so if you end up here,
    then go ahead and scream it
    When I hug people,
    I leave room for the holy spirit!
    If a girl walks up with her arms open wide
    And she’s front hug bound with that look in her eye
    You better turn to the side
    Pat her on the back
    Jesus never hugged NOBODY LIKE THAT

    So
    Chorus x2

  35. Danielle
    Danielle November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    Typo correction – Hit my *fist* like President Obama.

  36. Siege
    Siege November 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |

    @ William: “Am I the only one made a bit uncomfortable by a bunch of white kids who seem to be playing hip hop (and, to no small extent, urban black culture) for laughs while two black men stand awkwardly in the background without microphones?”

    You’re not alone, I also find that aspect of this very disturbing. The song sounds like it was written by folks whose only knowledge of hip-hop is “ummm… it’s violent!” These knuckleheads could use some music appreciation lessons in addition to the Cultural Appropriation 101 and (bizarrely) bible study lessons they clearly missed. (“Greet one another with a holy kiss”, indeed.)

    On the reality or unreality of the clip, I call Poe’s Law in reverse (Eop’s Law?): fundamentalism is just so, ahem, fundamentally wacky, it is difficult to differentiate the earnest from the parodic.

  37. ACG
    ACG November 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |

    I front-hugged a boy and I liked it… What? What?

  38. cacophonies
    cacophonies November 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm |

    I am a former Jesus Freak Teen as well, and can attest to some wacky things happening… but this post feels a bit too “let’s poke fun at this religion! What a buncha weirdos!” to me. This post would NEVER fly if it were about any other religion.

  39. Melissa
    Melissa November 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm |

    You all laugh… When I came home from bible camp with tales about “being asked out by a boy!”, my mom took me to one of Joshua Harris’ “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” seminars. A few years later, after one of my guy friend’s mom saw me give him a front hug, she came over to my house and taught me and my friends the side hug.

    And it’s not about crotches touching–it’s all about the boobage. Because if you’re taught that masturbation is a sin and some girl presses her breasts against you…..? Hoo boy.

  40. Aspasia
    Aspasia November 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm |

    I’m amused that the “fact” that Jesus “NEVER HUGGED NOBODY LIKE THAT!” is used as a basis to not frontal-hug… What else don’t they do because Jesus didn’t do that? Flush the toilet? Ride the bus? Drive? Text? RAP!? I mean, the ridiculousness of it all knows no bounds.

    I wonder how much of this is also from the Puritanical version of Christianity? I mean, I can’t imagine Christians in countries where everyone gives a close hug or the Continental kiss doing the side hug. It’d be anathema to their culture.

    Okay, I’m going to stop thinking about this and start thinking about that yummy turkey for Thursday.

  41. William
    William November 25, 2009 at 12:50 am |

    but this post feels a bit too “let’s poke fun at this religion! What a buncha weirdos!” to me. This post would NEVER fly if it were about any other religion.

    Fundamentalists being stupid ought to be mocked. Freedom of Religion does not translate to freedom from ridicule.

    While its true that this post might not fly (although, for the record, I think that would be wrong) if it was about another religion, you have to consider the issue of context. Christians are not a historically oppressed people, they haven’t been since they cozied up to the Roman empire and started exterminating other faiths fifteen centuries ago. They are the power structure. Fundamentalist Christians in particular have a significant influence upon our society, they hold a disproportionate amount of power and they actively seek to violate the rights of others in order to make the world look more like their odd, repression-fueled fantasy.

    Fuck ‘em.

  42. Thomas
    Thomas November 25, 2009 at 5:31 am |

    *speechless*

  43. Cleo
    Cleo November 25, 2009 at 10:34 am |

    Danielle, thanks for the lyrics…this is just so ridiculous and wrong on all the levels mentioned, but without your lyrics I thought they said “Jesus never hugged, BUT HE LIKED BACK”…Woo boy did that give a different meaning to the phrase!

  44. Choz
    Choz November 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm |

    Hey guys…… I know these guys. My fam goes to the church It’s a spoof. It wasn’t meant to be a serious thing. I was actually when they did it live. it was funny. Its not a serious thing yall.

  45. kk
    kk November 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    lol this is funny!

  46. cacophonies
    cacophonies November 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm |

    “Yeah. Something about dominant groups vs. oppressed groups…”

    “Christians are not a historically oppressed people, they haven’t been since they cozied up to the Roman empire and started exterminating other faiths fifteen centuries ago.”

    I understand fully that in Western society, Christians are the dominant religion and have a lot of powerful influence the US, at least.

    While criticizing oppressive legislation and other oppressive behavior of some Christians and large, powerful Christian groups is certainly valid and necessary, putting up a post on a progressive feminist blog (where a lot of Christian feminists read and comment) for the sole purpose of making fun of a religious practice and group seems quite contradictory and inflammatory.

  47. C.E. Moore
    C.E. Moore November 25, 2009 at 9:10 pm |

    This was totally a dumb spoof done at the beginning of a Christian youth event that was going to be lasting more than one or two days. Having worked in youth ministry, you’d be SURPRISED at the ridiculous amount of trouble teens can get into while “off the reserve” and emotions are running high.

    I guarantee you, no one doing that song feels like full frontal hugs are truly “sinful.” There’s nothing in Scripture to bear that out. But, with hormones running wild, liability issues, and character to consider, it’s better safe than sued. This was just a humorous way of communicating the rules. You come down, list off the rules, no one wants to follow them. You do it in a creative–albeit funky and left-of-center–manner, and students are more likely to follow along.

    Just my two cents.

    C.E. Moore
    The Christian Manifesto
    http://www.thechristianmanifesto.com/

  48. William
    William November 25, 2009 at 11:22 pm |

    While criticizing oppressive legislation and other oppressive behavior of some Christians and large, powerful Christian groups is certainly valid and necessary, putting up a post on a progressive feminist blog (where a lot of Christian feminists read and comment) for the sole purpose of making fun of a religious practice and group seems quite contradictory and inflammatory.

    One is kind of necessary for the other. I’ll be honest, if you’re the kind of person who goes to a church with white kids rapping about side hugs and all but doing a minstrel show to gun shots and sirens then you’re part of the problem. You’re contributing to a strain of Christianity that has contributed nothing but moralism, repression, shame, and foolishness to society. You’re probably financially contributing to a church which actively supports politicians and groups who seek to restrict the basic human rights of others. If you don’t attend the kind of church advocating something as utterly ridiculous as the Christian side hug, then really the criticisms about fundamentalism that have been tossed around on here aren’t leveled at you.

    Also, you need to accept that you are part of the group in power. Maybe some of the things that other Christians do piss you off, maybe you don’t agree with Jerry Fallwell, maybe the idea of Liberty University makes you as physically ill as it makes me, but you are still part of the dominant group. I’m white, I’m not a member of the KKK, and white people do a lot of things that piss me off. I call it out when I see it, I do my part to change the views of people close to me, I try to give up as much privilege as I can and I do my best to be aware of (and mitigate) what I can’t. Still, when I turn on the TV and I see a black comic making fun of white people I shut the fuck up and remember that oppressed peoples need to do whatever they can to get by, that it isn’t really about me, that as a member of the privileged group humor directed at my group is fundamentally different than it would be if it was the other way around.

    Perhaps more importantly, its worth noting that part of what the kind of humor you seem to be objecting to does is that it takes away some of the deference the dominant group has come to expect. A tyrant is always a little less powerful when they’re being laughed at. Criticizing oppressive regulations and behaviors go hand in hand with criticizing the fundamental assumptions that lead to them. Often times it goes with criticizing the groups putting those behaviors forwards and engaging in those behaviors. Damn right its inflammatory, it ought to be, thats the point. Christians, especially in America, have been trying to play the victim and demanding the they be treated better for too damned long. Its become a tool of oppression, this masquerading as an oppressed group in order to silence those they oppress.

    I’ve had enough and I’m sick of pretending that somehow Christians are special and fragile and need to be protected. You’ll get no sympathy from me because oppressed people pointed and laughed at their oppressors.

  49. RMX
    RMX November 26, 2009 at 9:02 pm |

    mostly, i love the fact that these corn-fed white-bread clowns are jumping around on stage acting like they are poor black street toughs from the south side of Houston. I am even somewhat impressed that a couple of them have learned enough about rap to actually sound like they know what they are doing (cadence, intonation, rhyme-schemes, etc). but geez, what the fuck are they talking about? can you imagine growing up in such a repressed culture that non-side-hugging was reserved for no one but married (heterosexual) couples? Not to be glib, but Jesus H. fucking Christ, people.

    Also, yeah, good idea to send a girl to be put in a coma by her psychopath born-again mom. God save us. (not really).

  50. Lisa
    Lisa November 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm |

    As a former “youth group kid” I took this as a joke about youth pastors and the sometimes silly rules they make at youth group conventions. It’s self-mocking, and the youth pastors in the audience were probably laughing the loudest. The “leave room for the Holy Spirit” line is something people say (joking) to a friend who is hanging all over his/her significant other in public.

    I can think of lots of reasons to be freaked out by evangelical youth group culture, but seriously? This is pretty harmless.

  51. cacophonies
    cacophonies November 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm |

    This is harmless. And I’m not a Christian, William. Not 100% sure you were under that impression, but your response implied it. Anyway, what I have a problem with is not making fun of something absurd and totally ridiculous like a “side hug,” but rather that this post is unabashedly making a joke at the expense of Christians, and that would never happen if the group in question were of any other religion. If it’s not acceptable to poke fun at one group of people for decision they make (religion is a choice you make, there is no getting around that), then you can’t possibly revoke that consideration with other groups of a similar nature. That’s like saying that instead of men and women being treated equally, we just transfer the power that men have to women. Obviously that just gives the problem a new name, instead of solving it.

  52. William
    William November 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |

    This is harmless.

    Given the context of the damage that fundamentalist Christianity has done, and continues to do, to our society I have to disagree. Farce or not, this is part of a broader orientation that fundamentalist Christians have against an entire range of human behaviors which are related (sometimes only tangentially) to sex and sexuality. They have shown, as a group, that they are unwilling to merely follow their own precepts but instead demand that others follow them as well and attempt to use the law in order to force others into compliance. Becoming ever more extreme, and satire needs reality, necessarily means that the growing extremism will influence the evil old men who hold power in their community. Hell, you don’t even have to look to far to find high school which have banned <a href="http://www.wsfa.com/Global/story.asp?S=7321841&quot; title="hugging". This isn't some theoretical objection, this kind of garbage has real world consequences.

    And I’m not a Christian, William. Not 100% sure you were under that impression, but your response implied it.

    Looking back, you’re right, my post did seem to imply that. I apologize.

    but rather that this post is unabashedly making a joke at the expense of Christians, and that would never happen if the group in question were of any other religion.

    I understand that thats your objection, I just don’t really have much sympathy for your point. Christians are the power base in the west, they are historically the oppressors not the oppressed. They hold such a hegemony (almost solely through tyranny and genocide) in the west that there really haven’t been “other” religions even in the picture until recently (the only exceptions being Jews and Muslims, both of whom have been treated to repeated extermination attempts by Christians). To me, that kind of history makes a group lose the ability to call foul when ridiculed. They can go cry about it in their tax-exempt, cash-flush mega-churches for all I care.

    One of the reasons religion is a touchy subject to make fun of is because of what has historically gone on in the west. Up until very recently (and, I’d argue, this is still largely true today) if someone makes fun of a Jew or a Muslim it is as a member of a group which has historically oppressed and murdered Jews and Muslims. Its the same reason no one really flinches when a black comic says “cracker” but why all hell would brake loose if a white comic dropped the n-word. A black person calling a white person a cracker is different because it doesn’t carry the weight of centuries of oppression and abuse, it doesn’t mean the same thing, it doesn’t have the same power. The same is true of Christianity.

    If it’s not acceptable to poke fun at one group of people for decision they make (religion is a choice you make, there is no getting around that)

    I wouldn’t agree with that premise, no. Some choices are fundamentally ridiculous and ought to be made fun of. Still, even without that, I think you’re missing two important factors. First, when oppressed people make fun of their oppressors I believe they ought to be given some leeway. Coping is hard and sometimes only humor can really get you through. Second, this isn’t just making fun of some Christians for making a choice to “side hug.” This video doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Christianity, especially of the American Fundamentalist strain, has displayed it’s absolute unwillingness to keep it’s increasingly severe precepts to itself. This is a culture which is still actively engaged in oppression, a culture which is becoming more strident and aggressive as it begins to lose the social power it once enjoyed. The “Christian side-hug” rap (complete with the charming additions of gun shots, sirens, and silent black men) would be less offensive if it didn’t exist in the context of a community that has consistently fought to inflict their neuroses on others.

    then you can’t possibly revoke that consideration with other groups of a similar nature. That’s like saying that instead of men and women being treated equally, we just transfer the power that men have to women. Obviously that just gives the problem a new name, instead of solving it.

    Being subject to ridicule is being treated equally. We have a long history in our society of making fun of people who do ridiculous things. Michael Moore has sprinkled his documentaries with ridicule, Lewis Black shouts ridicule with a red face and bugged-out eyes, Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce made acerbic wit an American specialty, Livejournal built a business on essentially creating a forum for people to ridicule one another and then complain about being ridiculed in an endless cycle, and this is far from the only post on feministe that makes fun of someone (I seem to recall a picture of Sean Hannity with the caption “douchebag” not too long ago). As a society, we ridicule people.

    I would ask you why Christians, or religious beliefs in general, ought to be special. If someone joins the John Birch Society I don’t think they’d be out of bounds, if they joined the Klan I’d certainly think they’d be open for ridicule, I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t have a problem making fun of someone who went to Westboro Baptist, why is it that religion (or rather, some sects of some mainstream religions) get a special pass?

  53. Freya
    Freya November 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |

    Oh, I used to go to a church and summer camp like this, and I found it hysterical for several reasons. In the vein of ‘Stuff Christians Like’, they seem to REALLY love seeming ‘cool’ by making fun of ‘rules’ like the side-hug, and they also (at least the ones I’ve had experience with) find it immense amusing when white kids make themselves look dumb by trying to rap. However, that’s not to say that they might not be completely serious… I know people who would believe that premarital full-frontal hugging is a sin, and that it would appeal to teenagers if they got some guys to make a rap to it.

    That said, another commenter was right – it’s not about the crotches touching, it’s about the boobs. I remember when I started college I had a close guy friend who was a serious Christian, and he’d give me big awesome front hugs all the time. Then I went on birth control and definitely wasn’t an AA size any more, so he kinda started into the ‘awkward leaning in’ hugs or the side-hugs. Fortunately, he’s gotten over that now, and a lot of other things (by now, he’s one of the few Christians I know who are actually tolerant of different belief systems and lifestyles).

  54. Sunnyfey
    Sunnyfey December 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm |

    You know what? I’m a Rough Rider also.

    We’re a group of kinky gay/lesbian/bisexual men and women.

    Just sayin….

  55. William
    William December 1, 2009 at 11:29 pm |

    You know what? I’m a Rough Rider also.

    We’re a group of kinky gay/lesbian/bisexual men and women.

    Just sayin….

    Do you sidehug also? You know, for the sake of modesty?

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