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HolyGround >> Stop With The Hugging


12/1/11 3:38 AM
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effinggoof
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Anglican Priest comes forward and makes a plea to Christians...stop it with the hugging already.


I am not a hugger
By: Lee Lambert

The most memorable moment during a visit to a 103-year-old Great War veteran? The black-and-white photo stamped “June 1962” showing him playing guitar to a delighted toddler. Both wear matching western shirts. The occasion? His retirement. Beautiful.

I fairly buzzed with gratitude that my fellow priest-in-training asked me to join this first visit to Mr. Norman, and all is going well. That is, until he mentions his wife, who has been dead for 25 years. His voice falters, then fails. His pale eyes shimmer with unshed tears. “Dammit,” he snorts. “Don’t know why I’m like this.”

I understand. I sit back slightly and look away to give him privacy. My head snaps back at the sound of my colleague’s voice. “There, there,” she coos. She has leaned in and is stroking his face. “It’s OK. It’s OK to cry.” His angry frown deepens as his tears flow freely. “That was wonderful,” she beams later. “Just wonderful.”

Me? I’m not a hugger. Call it old school, but when I’m in a bad place—whether curled up on the ice with a broken foot or standing over my dad’s coffin–I don’t want a hug and I certainly don’t want to be stroked.

Many Christians don’t seem to get this.

During pastoral training we learn to talk about ourselves first. It’s astounding how many times, when I have just told others I’m not really a physical person, that they will lay a hand on my thigh or give my back a quick rub. One woman went so far as to launch herself up and drape herself over me, right there at the lunch table. “You’re a good person, Lee,” she whispered in my ear. “God loves you.”

Now these are some of the finest people I have ever met. In God’s batting order these are the heavy hitters and they are always swinging for the centre field wall. They give it everything they have, every hour, every day. But sometimes less really is more. I find that just knowing someone is there for me makes me stronger, more peaceful, more empowered. A hug weakens me in the same proportion. Counter-intuitive? Messed up? Perhaps. But maybe, just maybe, every well-rounded batting order needs those who don’t swing for the big wall. Perhaps there really is room for those who can ease up and drop the ball over the shortstop’s head.

And Mr. Norman? He was very grateful for our visit. He shook our hands. He waved goodbye with a smile.

And he never asked us back.

The Rev. Lee Lambert is rector of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Russell, Ont.
12/3/11 3:35 PM
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DyingBreed
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I hate that akward moment when u aren't sure whether the person wants to hug or not in church Phone Post
12/4/11 1:43 AM
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Ridgeback
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 Christians are called to greet one another with a holy kiss.  I know of no other Church that does that but Orthodoxy.  It is actually preferable to the feel good hugging or the macho, I am your equal handshake.  
12/4/11 10:11 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 12/04/11 10:12 AM
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I'll take a hug before a baseball-metaphor ("God's batting order"??). Every time.

Then he does it again. By the time he uses the word "shortstop" I feel very diminished.

Save us from these priests. I need a hug.
12/4/11 2:16 PM
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Ridgeback
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Ali - I'll take a hug before a baseball-metaphor ("God's batting order"??). Every time.

Then he does it again. By the time he uses the word "shortstop" I feel very diminished.

Save us from these priests. I need a hug.

 Yes sports analogies are almost always bad.  

Most Christian traditions have become severely feminized and this emotional crap is a sign of it.  The irony is that when traditions become too feminized men don't become more feminized themselves, they simply leave and the tradition dies.  I like that Christianity has always had a good balance between feminine and masculine and that  a man was held accountable for adultery as much as a woman, but most traditions have gone way over the edge and this had made their faith sentimental and silly.  
12/4/11 3:32 PM
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Ali
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Hugging is not "feminine". Or not more so than anything else. This guy is not a hugger. Other people are. The article is moronic.
12/4/11 9:37 PM
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Ridgeback
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Ali - Hugging is not "feminine". Or not more so than anything else. This guy is not a hugger. Other people are. The article is moronic.

 I wasn't only referring to the hugging.  But all the hugging definitely started with the feminization of various traditions.  Didn't you claim that you don't attend any churches?  What would you know about it?  I've watched churches become more feminized for 20 years.  I think I might just know what I am talking about.
12/5/11 1:13 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 12/05/11 1:19 AM
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The article is about hugging. Guy is creating a problem to complain about. Seriously, if that's the least healthful part of his denomination, he's in the ideal organization.

I'm confused, Ridge, on how you quote me saying hugging is not "feminine" and respond as if I'm saying there's no "feminization".

I don't really know what tangent you're on about with that -- sure you may know what you're talking about. I didn't say a thing to dispute it. (Not one, that I see, anyway. I don't even get the terms of the argument to make such a dispute. If you're wrong, I'm as clueless as what that would mean as if you're right). I'm trying to relate it to the article atop this thread. I'm quite happy to acknowledge that you've seen churches get too unmanly for your tastes.
12/6/11 10:11 PM
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Ridgeback
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Ali - The article is about hugging. Guy is creating a problem to complain about. Seriously, if that's the least healthful part of his denomination, he's in the ideal organization.

I'm confused, Ridge, on how you quote me saying hugging is not "feminine" and respond as if I'm saying there's no "feminization".

I don't really know what tangent you're on about with that -- sure you may know what you're talking about. I didn't say a thing to dispute it. (Not one, that I see, anyway. I don't even get the terms of the argument to make such a dispute. If you're wrong, I'm as clueless as what that would mean as if you're right). I'm trying to relate it to the article atop this thread. I'm quite happy to acknowledge that you've seen churches get too unmanly for your tastes.

 Nice little jab at the end there.  Because of course it is only about taste (rolls eyes).  

The hugging business exists precisely because a lot of emotionalism and sentimentality has crept into modern Christian traditions.  A lot of this emotionalism has crept in due to feminization of these traditions.  I think you understood that and that being coy is a tactic.  You also tend to not own up to the little jabs you like to get in, which makes you pretty sinister when you think about it considering your protestations about your innocence in the matter.
12/6/11 10:23 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 12/06/11 10:24 PM
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Ridgeback, you are just wrong.

I didn't at all imply you don't know what you're talking about.

My comments were about the original article. You said something about feminization (that doesn't make enough sense to me to agree or disagree with). I asserted that I don't think hugging is "feminine" and went back to being surprised at the Rev who decided that's what needs his attention. I didn't say there's no "feminization" in churches or anywhere else. Again, I only said I didn't think hugging is feminine. You said it's not "just the hugging". OK. I didn't challenge the other stuff, whatever it may be. And you didn't say hugging IS always feminine, either, near as I can tell. .

I didn't challenge your perception or your authority, you just wanted to fight about it.

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