This is (I promise) the last of the series on modesty, cowboys, and clothing.
I was only planning one part to the piece on modesty and lust. A funny thing happened along the way. The letter I wrote, about the condemnation of fashion, and costume started it all. Many thanks to Suzanne Calulu at No Longer Quivering for picking up the tawdry tale. It’s also a way to get to use my favorite photo of Wyatt Earp.
But – what truly sent me over the edge was the rant about cowboys. There are times when we end up in the right time and place in this world. As a Christian, I happen to think this is divine guidance. Let’s put it this way, I may be the best person around to completely debunk this piece of disgusting dribble.
“...Doesn’t that make us stop and think about what spirit we are portraying in how we dress? Should a Christian be portraying a cowboy spirit? Should we not rather be dressed in a way that shows a meek and humble spirit?
And that brings us to just what is a cowboy spirit? What comes to your mind when you see the cowboy hat, boots, etc.? The country-western music is closely attached to the spirit of cowboys and gives us many insights to what this clothing style is representing. Now, I am not saying that just because you wear a cowboy hat, etc., now suddenly you become a wild cowboy straight from the movies. But, please be mindful that you are in fact, portraying this attitude to people whether you intend to or not.
Here are a few things that come to my mind in connection to cowboys.
- A wanderer; someone with no place to call home, an unstable person.
- A loose immoral life, living with multiple partners.
- A “tough” person, one who is self-sufficient, even proud of himself. (I’m cool if I wear these clothes.)
- A “free” person with no strings attached to any place or person, irresponsible, a loner.
- A rebellious person, not wanting any authority over him, his own boss.
- A gun carrying, stand for your rights no matter what it costs the other person attitude, a criminal waiting to happen.
- A tobacco user. (Ever notice how the tobacco companies advertise to try to make the users appear macho?)…”
Again, please don’t get me wrong; I certainly believe that there are people who wear these clothes and are innocent of all of the above. I also do not believe that the actual cowboys of years gone by were, in general, this type of person. But they have been glamorized by novels, songs, movies, etc. to be the ultimate expression of the attitude of “be your own man”; able to outshoot any cattle thief or Indian band. They are portrayed as tough, macho men who are not afraid of anyone or anything. They can outride the wildest bucking bronco. They are tough!…”
This is so disturbing on so many different levels. Let’s start out with the original view of cowboys. Until the advent of Hollywood and movies, the term ‘cowboy’ was a slur. Cowboys were men who were barely legal, usually outlaws, cattle rustlers, and in the case of The Cowboys, were a lose confederation of upward of 200+ outlaws who plagued southern Arizona and western New Mexico during the early part of the 1880.
They included such stalwart citizens as
- Johnny Ringo
- Bill Brocius
- Ike Clanton
- Billy Clanton
- Tom McLaury
- Frank McLaury
- Frank Stilwell
- Pete Spence
- Florentine Cruz
- Billy Claiborne
- and so forth and so on….
They have one thing in common – they were outlaws, the bad guys. They were the people Wyatt Earp, Vigil Earp, Morgan Earp, Doc Holiday, and so forth and so on were pledged to eliminate.
What we consider ‘cowboy’ today were called drovers. The one person who did more to rehabilitate the image of the cowboy was Tom Mix. Ironically, it was Tom Mix and John Ford who helped encourage a young football player from Iowa, Marion Mitchell Morrison to take a job as a roustabout at Republic Pictures, so they could keep him in town, to play for Southern Cal the following football season. Because of their action, and the young football player’s association with Wyatt Earp, who was good friends with Tom Mix and John Ford, the quintessential American was created: John Wayne.
Today, via the perversion of Bill Gothard, ATI, Doug Phillips, and so forth and so on, the very character trait that made Americans great, and famous, our individualism, individuality, ability to stand alone, to be self-sufficient, refuse to buckle to authority, to think for him/her self, and to make the tough decisions, flaunting the status-quo are the very character traits they detest.
One must not question authority.
You must comform to the status quo.
You must do what you are told.
The individual is not a good idea.
Like a dog, a human child must be trained to exhibit blind obedience.
Obedience is listening attentively,
Obedience will take instructions joyfully,
Obedience heeds wishes of authorities,
Obedience will follow orders instantly.
For when I am busy at my work or play,
And someone calls my name, I’ll answer right away!
I’ll be ready with a smile to go the extra mile
As soon as I can say “Yes, sir!” “Yes ma’am!
Hup, two, three!”
“...Gothard’s seminar is focused on his seven principles: design, authority, responsibility, suffering, ownership, freedom and success. Violating the rules will lead, he says, to a “life of continuous failure.” But if the rules are followed, wealth will likely follow, and bad habits will be broken.
Several times throughout the seminar he mentions “wrong clothes” and says that when a teen-ager is wearing them it means he or she has deep spiritual problems. Same with rock music. Teens are told not to date but instead to “court,” a process by which “two fathers agree to work with a qualified young man to win the daughter for marriage.”
Gothard teaches in his seminars that obedience brings godliness. Authority figures — the father, the politician, the minister, the boss — are to be obeyed as if Christ were giving the orders. Gothard’s ideas of family life are rigid, as wives are taught to be submissive and men are encouraged to be the absolute head of the household. Quotes from the Bible are used as back up to his assertions. The biblical justification for always being subservient to the boss comes from 1 Peter 2:18: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear.” Authority figures, according to Gothard, are on a higher spiritual plain than ordinary folk, and obeying them will help one get closer to God. He tells his followers that they are to obey everything, except orders to do “evil.” If your boss is dead wrong, Gothard says it’s OK to make a “Godly appeal” to him, but if the appeal is refused, the worker must live with it.
As far as “wrathful” parents, Gothard teaches that they serve to develop character in children: “God even works through the wrath of parents to reveal character deficiencies in the son or daughter to develop additional character strengths or to reflect healing.”
A number of ministers and theologians have found defects in Gothard’s teachings. Christian scholar and psychologist James Alsdurf wrote a book in the late ’80s about domestic violence among churchgoers and came to a conclusion: Bill Gothard’s teachings can lead to a continuation of domestic violence. Gothard is “a good example of how a segment of the church deals with this issue,” Alsdurf told The Washington Post. “What he does is totally dismiss it as an issue by saying there are no victims.”…”
If you are following Gothard’s teachings, in some form or another, don’t you feel just a little bit silly and used for being part of a cult run by a sexual pervert who abuses young women?
Do you know who the young woman, the immodestly dressed young woman who graces the first part of this series? She is considered one of the most important women in history, one of the great figures of modern history, her name gracing an entire age. She was also the head of a very powerful, mainstream religion. She provided over the rights of women to own property and to eventually vote.
Working on this series has been an eye opener. When I began, I was disgusted over the piece that basically damned our American cowboy culture to hell. I had originally planned for a single article about the way the godly patriarchal movement is using modesty to control and destroy the rights of women. The farther I went into the series, the more I realized that ‘modesty’ is not only about controlling women, but the brainwashing of several generations of Americans. It is also, I was to learn, via a letter from a godly patriarch, about the abject hatred of our American culture. It is about godly men like Bill Gothard using what is little more than cult-like brainwashing techniques to destroy all individuality from young men and women. This brainwashing, as part of his Character Counts program, has spread to over 70,000 – that is SEVENTY THOUSAND – police departments, fire departments, the United States military, Air Force, businesses, and groups of people who once celebrated the ideal of American individuality. No more. Everyone must conform and not question – anything. Like goose-stepping little drones, they are to follow the rules and orders of their godly leaders. It sounds like a recipe for an ungodly disaster.
I am left with so many questions. One I would like to ask. Are the cops who are brutalizing people, killing at a moment’s notice a product of Gothard’s ATI brainwashing via his Character Counts program? If so, we’re screwed. This isn’t about their fake patriotism, this is about destroying everything that has made this country great, and unique.
and so forth and so on!