Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Church Tradition Story 5: Beatles and Hair

One time, I went to a party at Chauncey's house--Chauncey is Lee's son--and Chauncey told stories about growing up in Canada. I remember something about killing a moose and jumping a tremendous distance on a machine. (Authentic Canadians refer to snowmobiles simply as machines, as in, "Would you mind running such-and-such an errand?" "Of course not, I'll just hop on my machine.") I forget if Chauncey actually did kill a moose or do the jump on the machine, because these were from two of his statements from the game, two truths and a lie, and Chauncey is amazing at that game.

What I do remember from Chauncey's storytelling that I'm sure is true are a couple of his stories about the eccentricities of living in a small Mennonite community out in the wild.

Chauncey went to a small Christian school. They weren't allowed to listen to rock and roll. There was even a record in the school library that was about how terrible rock music is. It had two-second clips from Beatles songs, to illustrate how evil rock is. Chauncey would go to the library, borrow the record, and listen to those clips a lot.

These Mennonites interpreted I Corinthians 11:2-16 literally; this passage teaches that women should pray with their heads covered, but men should pray with their heads uncovered and should have short hair. One time, a visitor came to their church, his hair went just below the tops of his ears. Chauncey turned to his mother, Genny, and asked, "Mommy, is that man a Christian?"


  1. The long-haired Jesus in a children's Bible would have really messed with his little brain.

  2. In a lot of Mennonite Sunday School materials, the pictures of Jesus show him as having a beard, but no mustache--mustaches used to indicate military rank.

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