I wrote before about the website The Thinking Housewife in the context of their idea that the increasing acceptance of feminism and homosexuality is leading the country, if not the world, into disaster and only a return to ‘Christian patriarchy’ can save us from doom.
I had taken this site at face value. But now comes another post that has me wondering if the whole site is not some elaborate spoof and that they have successfully pulled my leg. It would not be the first time I have been taken in by such hoaxes because it is often really hard to tell the difference between deeply religious sites and good parodies of them. I may have well fallen victim to Poe’s Law that suggests “that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between parodies of religious or other fundamentalism and its genuine proponents, since they both seem equally insane.”
This is what happened for example with the site known as Objective Ministries. I first heard about it some years ago when a reader sent me a link to an item on their website about how they were mounting an expedition to Africa to capture a live pterosaur and thus disprove evolution. It seemed like just the kind of crazy idea that creationists would have and I initially took it at face value.
But what gives hoax sites away is when they say something that is so over the top that people start becoming suspicious and cotton on to the fact that they are being had. This is what happened with the recent exposure of the saga of J. S. Dirr who had successfully fooled people for a decade until the creator took it a little too far and made some people suspicious. Once red flags are raised and people start looking more closely, these hoaxes quickly unravel. Another supposedly Christian site that I have my suspicions about is Christian Domestic Discipline that advocates spanking of wives as a means of securing for the husband his rightful place as the head of the household.
In the case of Objective Ministries, what made me pause was an item that said that Apple was an agent of Satan. That seemed so preposterous that I started looking more closely and could find no such person as “Dr. Richard Paley”, the leader of the pterosaur expedition or the “Fellowship University” of which he was supposedly a faculty member. Other creationist sites have warned believers that this site is a hoax.
So what made me suspicious about The Thinking Housewife? It was a post involving the late astronaut Sally Ride, in which the site’s owner Laura Wood said:
For all the fanfare that once surrounded it, Ride’s story will likely fade into history and her life ultimately inspire very few girls. This will be so not only because women do not excel at space science or the physical demands of space travel as men do but also because, as Ride’s obituary proved, she did not lead a full life. Ride was in a lesbian relationship with a childhood friend for 27 years.
The only good reason for a normal woman to go through the grueling rigors of becoming an astronaut is that NASA is a great place to meet men.
I could not imagine even an ardent anti-feminist like Phyllis Schlafly saying that the only reason for women to enter the space program was to find husbands so that they could lead a ‘full life’. In a follow up post, Wood explained that it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s influence on Ride’s mother that turned Ride and her sister into lesbians.
Their parents encouraged them to “study hard, to do their best and be anything they wanted to be.” The groundbreaking Ride sisters both became lesbians. Karen Ride is “married” to another female Presbyterian minister, and Sally, as was revealed by her homosexual activist sister this week, has been in a lesbian relationship for decades.
“The Ride family is an all-American family and at the same time an extraordinary one,” writes Michael Adee. Lesbianism has gone from shameful to a badge of honor.
What went wrong in this “all-American family?” Here’s a clue. The mother Joyce was known for her “groundbreaking Sunday School lessons about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movements to the little children there.” The Ride sisters grew up imbibing the Kool-Aid and their mother filled their glasses to the top.
Surely this must be a spoof, right? As is the post that suggests that feminism is making women go bald?
What adds to my suspicions is that the site is very tastefully laid out, the writing style elegant and graceful in a way that speaks of a good education and formal manners. When coupled with the retrograde views expressed, it conjures up Downton Abbey-like images of a bygone era of dowager ladies seated on straight backed chairs in the morning rooms of their homes in country estates, sipping tea daintily, and tut-tutting through their lorgnettes at the disgraceful behavior of young people nowadays and how hard it is to get good help. The site seems a little too perfect in creating that ambiance. Furthermore, there is absolutely no information given about the site owner Laura Wood. Usually these kinds of personal sites provide some brief biographical background information to establish the credentials of the creator.
I am not suggesting that the site might be a hoax as a backhanded way of belittling the views expressed by a genuine site. It also does not mean that fans of the site who submit comments here (such as Jesse Powell in response to my posts here, here, and here) are also part of the hoax. They may well be genuine people who have been taken in, falling victim to Poe’s Law.