Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
Spirit Controlled Family Living
Author: Tim & Bev LaHaye
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey
Discovered at: Goodwill in Independence, Missouri
The Cover Promises: "When Tim and Bev LaHaye discovered the joy of living under the direction of God's spirit, they transformed their mediocre marriage into a rich and fulfilling family life." Also, family life has a low pixel rate.
"In fact, Bev and I have come to the conclusion that the most common mistake Christian parents of teenagers make is letting them pick their own friends. It is fatal!" (page 63)
"Even though the secular world of psychology commonly suggests that sexual fantasies are normal (the everyone's doing it routine), they are wrong." (page 72)
So, according to Tim LaHaye, already the holder of a Studies in Crap Triple Crown, woman was fashioned to be the man's "helpmeet," a term that I always had thought referred to knock-off Hamburger Helper or a very polite handjob.
In 1978's Spirit Controlled Family Living, LaHaye (and his helpmeet Bev) illustrate the wife's duties with this Vitruvian pie chart.
Break me off a slice of that Helpmeet Pie!
Note that "Ideal of Feminine Beauty" is right smack in the crotch. Also, note that a healthy black line descends from the husband's:
LaHaye is responsible for the strangest phenomena in recent American life: the idea that Obama might be the antichrist, for example, or the conviction that the raw material for an above-the-title movie star might be found somewhere within Kirk Cameron.
Even more impressive: Thirty years back, in books like The Battle for the Family, The Unhappy Gays and Spirit Controlled Family Living, LaHaye pretty much LaLayed out the steps that would lead to the Christian Right's rise to power.
Want to understand how Kansas schooloards got it together to kill evolution? Read LaHaye!
"Today, we can honestly say that we enjoy the most ideal marriage relationship that two people can share on this earth."
Let's start with his hubris. There's a famous chunk of Proverbs that calculates the worth of the "virtuous woman" as somewhere "above rubies" and then itemizes her best value-added traits: she seeks wool and flax, she wears purple linens, she buys a field and plants a vineyard. The ususal stuff.
In Spirit Controlled Family Living, LaHaye, who often gasses on about "biblical infallibility", took it upon himself to rewrite Proverbs for the seventies.
See if you can guess what wasn't in the King James:
The Twentieth-Century Woman of Proverbs:
31:11: Her husband trusts her with all of his possessions. He is not concerned that she will drain the checkbook or run up the charge account for her own whims.
31:12: She is a devoted helpmeet for his good, a 'responder' to his love, one who lives for his fulfillment.
31:13: She decorates the home, keeps the house tidy, and even mops the floor with a song in her heart and praise on her lips.
31:16: She holds home Tupperware parties. From the money she earns, she pays her children's tuition for a Christian education.
31:19: She picks up her needlepoint when she sits down, and keeps her hands busy.
31:22: She is not seen outside with curlers in her hair, nor does she dress to gain attention.
31:24: She operates a laides' boutique from her home some might term it a 'garage sale'), selling some of the lovely articles she has created.
We can see the proper relationship between man and wife on the front page of my Goodwill copy of Spirit Controlled Family Living. Note how Bev's signature is pretty, confident, but as un-showy as an endorsement on a paycheck. Tim's, though:
"Tim Sa Algae?" That cocky John Hancock looks like something a rock star might piss in the snow.
Anyway, most of the book is the typical LaHaye silliness. As always, there's accidental dirtiness, even when he kind of has a point:
"Show me a little girl of five or six who can run into her daddy's heart, sit on his lap, and kiss him any time she likes, and in fifteen or twenty years I will show you a young woman who is emotionally prepared to be a sexually responsive wife."
The LaHayes also complain about humanism -- both secular and sexular -- as well as the ERA and the failure of many wives to "submit" to their husbands' decisions on all matters. Bev takes over the submission chapter -- almost certainly of her own free will. She says,
"Because Tim has allowed me to develop my own thoughts and feelings, thus retaining my uniqueness, he listens respectfully to my counsel and considers it carefully before making the final decision. Occasionally, I have unduly influenced him and he has made an incorrect decision."
The LaHayes also remind husbands to stick with the decisions they make.
"Once the decision is made, do not give in under pressure (pouting, temper, frigidity, or any other manifestations of carnality.)"
Much of this is cribbed from his other books. Here's LaHaye's signature cutesy rundown of personality types, as seen in Spirit-Controlled Temperament, Transformed Temperaments, Understanding the Male Temperament, and Bev's own The Spirit-Controlled Woman and How to Develop Your Child's Temperament:
Your Crap Archivist continues to hope that these characters will someday turn up in a LaHaye-themed edition of Clue.
And here's some more quotable insight:
"Many of these feminists are not married to happy husbands, some are divorced, others are known lesbians, and few demonstrate the characteristics of 'feminity.'"
"With all the helps available for ladies today to improve themselves, there is no excuse for her to look like a leftover from a garage sale."
"Let's face it -- life offered little sweetness and light in the first century, either, but Christians married and raised fine families and they took over the Western world within three hundred years."
The LaHayes' forward-thinking six-point plan to save American families from secular humanism has pretty much been implemented. Besides soul-saving, it called for:
Establish a new Christian school system.
Elect Christians to all public offices of the land.
Create a new pro-Christian television and publications network.
Hey, if you're one of the 8 percent of the American public on Twitter, you may as well follow the new @studiesincrap!
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