Sunday, May 15, 2016

What's With the Attitude?

Originally I sat down this morning to talk about the absolutely awesome open house I attended yesterday at the local exotic bird sanctuary run by my son's girlfriend's brother. You know me and parrots. I satisfied my urge to play with big birds, saw some odd things on the drive like a run over vulture, a tiny home made from a train caboose and some rather odd looking rural churches.

But just like Suri routing me through a million backroads on the drive to the bird rescue organization so I got sidetracked this very morning...by the wife of hate-spewing pastor Steven Anderson of known hate group Faithful Word Baptist Church.

Think I'm joking about the hate group? The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Faithful Word as a hate group on their site. Hate is preached from the pulpit and Anderson tries to incite his folks to violence.

His wife Zsuzsanna is someone I've always felt sorry for. I started reading her blog because of my involvement with No Longer Quivering. She always struck me as someone almost tricked into the Quiverfull life style by her husband, the missionary that wooed her in Germany before marrying her and bringing her to the states. I often wonder how much she knew or understood about QF before hooking up with Steven. I have a hard time believing she was even remotely that hateful before becoming trapped in the life style after marriage. Germany, well really a lot of Europe, is considerably more enlightened and liberal than anything or anyone involved with either QF, IFB or the Men's Rights movement.

She went from a liberal, tolerant, educated society to isolation in a hate group. That's enough to warp anyone. We all know that women in that type of cult situation have no means of escape, life choices, or personal autonomy.

Which is unfortunate because with some of the mad skills that Zsuzsanna has she could have been just about anything she envisioned being. I mean, all you have to do is look at her organizational skills and making something from almost nothing and see this isn't a stupid woman that could not cope with the real world. She's resourceful, I'll give her that. I'm frequently impressed by how she manages to raise her family in that very tiny house without much of an income. She's unstoppable and there are some admirable things about the way she runs the household.

But one thing her years with uber fundy husband Steven has robbed her of one thing, any empathy, mercy or understanding of those not in their little hate circle-jerk of a church. This morning I ran across this - Zsuzsanna's rant about a catalog store that sells things to making parenting just a little bit easier. 

Granted, I agree with her assessment of how silly a baby-crying electronic translator is, for Zsu and for me.... but not for some folks. I am sure there are nervous first time parents out there that would find using the translator very comforting. It's obviously not for everyone.

I went onto the company's website and started poking around looking at the products after reading all of what Zsu said about how she thinks baby-proofing a home and all of their products are ridiculous, that you can train a child not to do things that will harm them. The site and product line isn't wholly absurdist - many of the things they sell are very helpful things, from chore charts to furniture with compartments to help a younger child to be more organized. I would have thought she would have loved the organizing items. I know I did. In fact, after looking at the allergy and asthma section I'm going to order one of their humidifier since mine kicked the bucket recently.

Which led me to start thinking. What is it about the useful things sold by the One Step Ahead company that Zsu is developing this hateful mocking attitude of superiority about? What's driving that crazy bus with four flat tires and no horn?

At first I thought that it might be that the company was some sort of threat to her modest swimsuit cottage industry, but no, while they sell a full line of rash guards and swimwear there's nothing that would be even close to what Zsu is selling.

But the more I consider it I think it's mostly because it doesn't line up with her personal parenting thoughts. No matter how wrong or right they may be Zsu does what so many fundamentalists do, insist it's their way only. Everything must be in lockstep conformity or else.

You know what? That 'or else' isn't the end of the world, hell, it might even be the beginning of freedom, freedom to have an adventure, to plot a course that veers from the norm and takes you somewhere better than you ever could imagine.

They fear the 'or else' because it's unknown and involves giving up a big measure of control. Not me, I'm learning to embrace it even if there were a few hairy moment yesterday when I was on backroads that looked like they might lead to nowhere.

Fear drives some very nasty negative attitudes and really, what is there to be truly afraid of? No much. If I wave a magic wand and could miraculously do one thing for the Zsuzsannas of this world it would be to remove all that fear.

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