"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country

Sunday, July 16, 2006

You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country

Thank you, friends, for heating up this blog, which had become kind of humdrum. If you are new here, please don't be put off by all the disputation (how's that for an LLL word?).

My view is that in conflict we clarify our own views and explore new ones. So join the fray, just be respectful of differences. I also encourage you to read some of the earliest posts to get a sense of the range of topics we cover here, and then to suggest a new one if you get bored with the status quo.

For the person who asked for the derivation of "toot," is from the Finnish word for Christian, and apparently not as common as I thought when I started this blog. Growing up, it was slang for anyone who belonged to the OALC. The other slang word was bunhead, which others tell me is still in currency (for males, too?) although it sounds derogatory to me. Hereabouts, a bunhead is a ballerina.

I had the great good fortune last week to receive a nonvirtual visit from Sisu, someone who already seemed like a familiar friend from our online correspondence. I confess I was a bit nervous in anticipation but it was as easy as falling off a log and much more rewarding. And warmer. Sisu, remind me to ask you why you left the OALC! Funny how that didn't come up with all the things we talked about. I hope that was the first of many visits. And next time I'll serve you a proper meal.

Speaking of . . . if you want to meet at Finnfest and haven't already done so, email me your cell number at extoot (at symbol) earthlink.net (no spaces, of course, I've included them here to fool spambots). I'll call you with a time and location. At this point, it looks like Friday midday. Don't be shy about meeting . . . I will not publish your identity and we'll all be as discreet as you wish. And feel free to just be yourself, okay? Whether you are Ex- or still LLLish, whether you are fattish (like me) or thinnish, greenish or reddish, Rightish or Leftish, there is a place for you at the table, and a slice of pulla.

Finally, our topic. You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy. Can a tiger change its spots? Of course. But Is it easier for women who leave LLLism to make fundamental changes in their worldview? Because LLLism is so patriarchal, is it possible that women who leave tend to question not only LLLism but the patriarchy beneath it, while men are less inclined to go that far? Let's explore that.


  1. All I can offer are anecdotes on the differences between male and female extoots. I rejected pretty much all the patriarchal and parochial aspects of LLL culture, but exLLL friends and relatives of mine have rejected less. All of them have rejected at least some of the patriarchal elements of LLL culture.

    I'd love to see you at Finnfest, but you're just too far away:(

  2. More anecdotes from an ex-ALC perspective. The younger generation has left in droves, male and female alike. Reasons vary, but for the most part I don't see a wholesale rejection of patriarchy --just a rejection of one of its more extreme forms. Most leave for other evangelical protestant non-denominational churches that still offer "patriarchy-lite" and biblical literalism, but are also more accomodating to the wider culture.

    I think women gain more freedom than men by leaving because they had less freedom to begin with, but in a broader sense there is much more to gain than to lose by leaving for both sexes.

  3. Dear Free,

    I'm sorry you were a bit nervous! I'm so harmless...hehe. Our visit was extra-special for me too, and much too short.

    You are as sweet and intelligent and knowledgeable in person as you come across in print. And this site is a great service to all of us, and, as I told you, most likely has impact on a much greater scale than we know.

    Bless you.
    You are loved.

  4. I've been thinking about the difference between the female and male experience in leaving the church as we drove around the beautiful Black Hills today. I decided that my belief is that it is very individual, and likely depends in large part to one's family situation. For my part, while it wasn't easy, when I decided to leave, I just left. I never looked back or considered that I may have chosen the wrong thing to do. That's my nature though -- and I rarely second guess myself about anything I do. I figure the Lord had his hand on my shoulder when I made a move, and who am I to second guess him? Perhaps something turns out badly, but then I figure he wanted me to learn something. Some days I admit I have to ask him if he couldn't lighten up on the homework once in awhile.

    I've observed some female cousins who had a much more difficult time, in that I think they suffered a great deal of ostracism, if not out and out persecution when they left. One of them married ouside the church and I don't think had made a decision to leave the church herself, but her holier than thou mother gave her such a load of self righteous crap about the marriage that she did do so. It seemed to me that the girls were much more likely to be bullied by their family and friends over the decision than I was.

    Of course, my sisters knew that if they leaned on me, I'd tell them to go take a long jump off a short dock. My mother, who ended up leaving the church later, would never have questioned my decision. I told my sisters at my mother's funeral that I would really miss her, in part because she was one of the few people that knew me that never judged me. I think they thought about that long and hard, and today we get along just great.

    I'd really be interested in hearing others' perspectives. Which way do you think, and why?

  5. Many Trails Home7/18/2006 12:04:00 AM

    Interesting observations, cvow. In our family, the boys have stayed in and a couple of us girls have left but I can't say we girls have suffered particularly. I have had a couple of huge fights with my mother, but as I precipitated them, I have no one to blame but myself. Within the sibship, we don't really talk about it across the oalc-exoalc line. One of those unmentionables, but maybe that's how we keep peace and loving relationships. I guess every family's experience is unique. Enjoy your vacation. MTH