Sunday, February 13, 2005

Valentine's Day is a pagan, anti-courtship holiday
Perhaps it is too early to bring up this topic, but I plan to be otherwise engaged on Monday.

Valentine's Day is a difficult day for single ATI students. Back in my Institute staff years, they used to throw huge, platonic Valentine's Banquets (maybe they still do). The young ladies would decorate the dining room with red and white balloons, napkins, candy and other knick knacks, and we'd have an extra-formal meal. Whoever was in charge would give a few words about the day. Invariably they'd recognize some of the older staff parents who would talk about how they met. "Back when Joyce and I were dating -- we didn't have courtship back then; we weren't as lucky as you kids...."

It always struck me as odd. If we students were supposed to be satisfied, single people committed to God and courtship, why did we celebrate a holiday dedicated to love and spooning? You'd think Valentine's would rank pretty high on the Evil Holiday List, right up there with Halloween and Gay Pride Week.

The whole event was rather defrauding, especially for the young ladies on staff who were taught to become good Proverbs 31 women while eschewing useless fantasies of the Jeanette Oake and L.M. Montgomery type. Resourceful staff guys took advantage of the annually permissible co-ed dinner seating, assuming that with all the love in the air they might get away with looking a girl in the eyes. The really smooth guys would describe the wonderful plans he had for his future wife. Plans usually involving roses and moonlight and other emotional delights. Hoping, of course, to hear those prized words: "Oh, that's SO sweet!"

It's time for the hypocrisy to stop. I hereby call on all IBLP staff to terminate any celebration of this carnal holiday and to instead celebrate Courtship Day: a day for dedicated young people to return to their vows of celibacy and re-commit themselves to seeking only God's best for their life, which of course does not involve love or relationships. Perhaps IBLP staff could have segregated encouragement sessions of four-part testimonies and singing. After all, IBLP staff is held up as a shining example for the thousands of young ATI students studying at home. It would be wrong to cause these weaker brothers and sisters to stumble.


Blogger Seabhag said...

LOL.. I love it Xer.. Lived at IBLP HQ for 3 years.. I finally quite helping out with or going to their Valentine's Day banquet that the single staff put on for the married staff.. (after my first year I quit).

Nicely put.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Valentine's Day is a pagan, pro-courtship holiday

6:23 PM  
Anonymous drschplatt said...

actually I was always in the kitchen working and looking for the leftover wine from the chicken baste...


5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha ha!! ! looking for the leftover wine, eh? well i didn't know that they even celebrated Valentine's because i wasn't at a training center during Valentine's, but... allowing the girls and guys to sit anywhere they wanted to for one day out of the year, that is too weird. and hypocritical as well.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, under certain directors, OKC forbade Valentine celebrations including, but not limited to, giving cards, theme-candy, or greetings to members of the same sex.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Seabhag said...

Erm... Anon #2.. Are you "sure" that they forbade "greetings to members of the same sex." ?? I think you meant "opposite" there. :-) Or.. at least.. I hope you did.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Seabhag:

Some of the girls liked to put candy, flowers, or notes outside of the doors of the other girls, (you know how girls do that kind of thing), this is what was outlawed.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Semirrahge said...

Well, I for one really enjoyed the Valentine's Banquet. Always have. It's really the major concern I had for leaving HQ, that I wouldn't be able to work for the Banquet any more.

I don't like it for the love and romance. I never have any success with girls and so I just leave it alone. Valentine's is one of the many holidays (including Christmas and Thanksgiving) that means absolutely nothing to me at all. I would never notice if I never celebrated them.

I like it because I enjoy making other people happy. I didn't even do anything fancy, like arrange the decorations or prepare the food. I didn't even do anything remotely noticable.

I washed dishes. All day. And you know what? I had a blast - and it wasn't because I got to work around girls. I'm not part of IBLP anymore and even when I did I never allowed myself to become bogged down in something so petty as that. If I wanted to I'd go out and ask random girls until I found one who'd go out with me.

I enjoyed it because I was able to serve and add to the pleasure of this evening. I'm sorry that you can't get over your experiences, but for me it was wonderful.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

semirrahge... Good for you! Washing dishes all day, hm? You're a treasure! Sound like quite a cool character, I'll have to check out your blog.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Whit said...

It sounds as if some of you had some bad experiences that you have not allowed yourself to get past. I wish you the best in your new engagement. Don't allow your past to dictate your future. Take the good (if any) that you learned and move forward with a happy, married life. Leave the bad (what you didn't agree with) behind.

All of you should of known that you would have to leave some of your normal daily ideals and practices at home when you decided, or had it decided for you, to be staff. There were rules there for a reason. I didn't agree with all of them, (trust me) but you did what you need to do while you served as staff.

Celebrate the upcoming valentine's day extra to make up for the one's you lost. Spend a romantic dinner and time alone with your loved one.

8:27 AM  

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