Monday, February 28, 2011

The "Keep Sweet" Conspiracy

Before I get into this fully, I want to assure you all that I know there are many good men who do not fall into this conspiracy. There are several who comment at Suzanne's Bookshelf, the Equality Central Forum, and The Commandments of Men that refuse to tell women what they are supposed to feel and how they are supposed to react in the face of sin, abuse, and danger. These men allow women to be human and to be who God created them to be and refuse to pressure women into a "Keep Sweet" mold.

"Keep Sweet" was a favorite saying of Rulon Jeffs, former prophet of the FLDS sect. Rulon's son, Warren, in now in prison for various crimes, is the present prophet of the FLDS.

Well, cults do what cults do. And it's not that I'm unconcerned for them, I am. But I'm also deeply concerned with the "keep sweet" doctrine entering into mainstream Christianity. I'm concerned with men, like Piper, who seem completely unaware of how their teachings are lining up more with the FLDS and other patriarchal groups than with Christianity. I'm concerned with them teaching a doctrine that brings bondage and plastic molding to women. I am concerned with the fact that these men are being deceived and believe they bring freedom. They don't. They are blind guides leading the blind.

My friend Waneta has come and left a comment under my last post and she said something I wish these men would realize. She said:

"their insistence that women be sweet, ends up making them despise women for their weakness. So no matter what they do, women do it wrong. If they are sweet, they are despised for weakness and taken advantage of. If they stand up for themselves, they are labeled with various 'sin' descriptions."

These men, quite frankly, created a no win situation for women. And then they call this lose/lose situation, the 'good news'.

It is not good news. It is not the gospel. It is bad news. And it would behoove them to quit embracing their sacred cows.

But they refuse to re-examine their positions because they are quite convinced they are right. They are self-righteous rather where they should be humble and teachable. But then, their doctrine teaches them that they are not to be taught by women, so they cannot hear the cries of the wounded abused. All they can offer is what Rulon and Warren Jeffs offered. A "keep sweet" conspiracy.


Karen said...


We need to work on your "sweetness" meter, because this blog post, although full of truth, is far too "loud" for a daughter of the king. Sinner, I say. Isn't there a sweeter way to say this? And this whole, accusing John Piper - a man, after all - of being closely aligned with FLDS? So bold. Where is your meekness? Can I buy you a bonnet? Would that help you, my dear?

Excuse my sarcasm, love the post. I choose to walk in Christ's Spirit, to abide each moment with Him, and let Him use me best. That might appear sweet, or it might appear like Darcy's bold blog posts. But with Him has got to be better than anything they are offering.


Mara Reid said...


Who is Darcy?

Just kidding. I know who she is and I'm flattered that you thought she was me.

Her blog is the same color as mine, but far more artfully done.

And you could buy me a bonnet if you really want to. Summer is on the way and I don't want to get sunburned. That is what bonnets are for, right? To protect us from the sun? Because there certainly isn't anything else that we might need them for, spiritually or culturally speaking.

supernalquest said...

This post is so true! "Keep Sweet" syndrome is just a more palatable name for "Doormat Syndrome". It's amazing how some of the same people that find downplaying "sin" a sin in itself by calling it "indiscretion"(for example) might endorse this sort of teaching in the church. Keeping sweet in the face of sin is pretty close to promoting that sin.

Mara Reid said...

Very true, Supernalquest, very true.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

I need to learn to "keep sweet". I have a horrible attitude most of the day. Maybe this idea was meant for men.

Nah! I love being pissy.

Mara Reid said...

I don't have a problem with being sweet, if it bubbles up from sweetness inside you.
The problem I have is using "Keep sweet" as a rug to sweep things under. I have trouble with putting on a facade of sweetness when inside is full of dead men's (or women's) bones.
I want to be sweet. But more important, I want to be real.
Real sorrow, bitterness, grief, mourning, anger, attitude is better than fake sweetness.
That's all.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Crap. I'm so sorry. I wasn't arguing with you. I was being completely sarcastic on a very important subject.

I actually agree 100%. I am on the same page as you with the meaning.

Mara Reid said...

Dang it!

I knew I should have put a disclaimer in there saying that I wasn't scolding you.
I get your humor and should have responded in kind.

Sometimes, my "I'm older I should know better"* button trips and I make comments for the benefit of others who might not be in on the joke.

*I was never part of the patriarchy movement, but I'm an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter for four generations and I got the over-responsible, hyper diligent thinking pattern that many daughters of patriarchy get. It's a hard thing to shake. You think you are over it, then WHAMO! it comes out of nowhere.

You're fine, Joe. We are on the same page. Sometimes I'm not fine and get too older sisterly without realizing what I'm doing.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

I bet I feel older than you do.

Mara Reid said...


Do you have "older brother" syndrome?

I bet I AM older than you.
Old enough that I really work on NOT feeling it so that I can live by, "you are only as old as you feel" at a younger level than I deserve.

Or do you want me to ask you why? Be careful with that one. I also fight against the armchair therapist syndrome. It comes from my field of work. It has it's place, but not every time and every place and is obnoxious when it presents where it is not wanted.