Friday, November 15, 2013

Heard It Through the Sour Grape Vine

What is it about we humans that makes us such a gleefully gossiping bunch? I don't care what the circumstances are or the organization or the news, there will be gossip. Work, church, any group, whatever. Eventually someone is going to start talking about someone else to a third party.

Is it just to make ourselves feel better about our own lives or to shore up our own beliefs? So we can feel superior? Just to chase away boredom? Schadenfreude?

I freely admit I've been a gossiper, a gossipee and the subject of gossip. Where I work at there is oodles of gossip, sometimes disguised as patient information sharing, i.e. - "Little Johnette swallowed a big box of staples! Please follow her and make sure you have her defecate in a bucket to check for staples emerging." This facility wide email was followed by comments from various offices such as "Ouch, those are gonna hurt coming out" or "What? She couldn't get the stapler in too?" or "Get her to swallow a stapler remover and that oughta take care of the problem" followed by people in the various parts of the campus talking about this and joking about the incident. It's not that we're all cruel, I think this type of gossip and dark humor is a way to deal with the relentless assault of the abnormal happening around you on a daily basis. It's more healthy than bottling it up.

That type is just about the only type I engage in, sick work gossip, but there's another type that thrills me. It's not the one the world seems to love the best, celebrity gossip. There's no way I would ever be fascinated by the peeing in a mop bucket doings of Justin Bieber or speculations on what Kim Kardashian's butt is stuffed with. It's gossip about the world of self righteous fundamentalists and evangelicals.

Many times that gossip is either right or holds a kernel of truth. Look at what's happening now in the world of speculation about what it was that Vision Forum's Doug Phillips actually did. Doug has even issued two different statements contradicting each other. First he said the affair was emotional, now he says there was physical contact. So, which is it? Did he sleep with her or not?

When the news first came out one blogger speculated that the affair was more than emotional and that it was likely the family nanny was the other part in this drama. I posted that this morning at NLQ and some folks didn't like it so I took it down for the interests of site unity. But.....  Joe Sands of Incongruous Circumspection and I are both posting that this is very likely. Really, who else in the super patriarchal world of Vision Forum would Doug have access to another female. We all know the VF is the Boys Club so his options for female companionship is extremely limited.

So in the meantime while the others are tutting not to make assumptions you'll find myself, Joe and a few others starting to make popcorn, set up the deck chairs and assemble the beer and ice for the wait till the truth comes out.

On a smaller fundy scale I ran into the college student daughter that used to be my homeschooling art student. The one who's parents scammed a former member of our old church out of twenty grand, used people for what they could gain all the while acting like the most perfect fundies on the planet? Turns out Daddy was hit by a car going to work one morning, in the parking lot of his job, so now his daughter was busy braying that it was their personal Golden Ticket because Daddy broke bones and was suing both his job and the driver for making him incapacitated. They are expecting a huge payment for damages from Daddy's workers comp policy. Still scamming and saying it is the provision of the Lord.

And this is the valuable service that gossip provides in the world of scamming in the name of religion. It makes the scammers very easy to spot so that the rest of us can avoid them.

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