Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Who’s Really an ‘Outsider’?

posted by sherry huang

Last night’s Primetime ran a segment called “The Outsiders” that focused on what most Americans consider to be religious groups with “outsider” status: the Amish, fundamentalist Mormons, and the Children of God.

Three stories were documented by ABC: (1) Mary Byler, an Amish woman who defied Amish law by calling police to arrest her brothers, who’d raped her repeatedly; (2) Warren Jeffs, the recently arrested fundamentalist Mormon leader who advocated underage polygamist marriage; and (3) Ricky Rodriguez, a defector from the Children of God whose sexual abuse drove him to kill one of his former predators, and eventually himself.

Even though I’ve never read “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, the coming-of-age themes of heartache, violence (including sexual), loss of innocence, tragedy, and conflicts with authority were prevalent in the featured profiles. What’s fascinating is how most mainstream Americans already see these and many other sects as fringe societies who live in bubbles that espouse “strange” religious ideals. I myself have been guilty of traveling to Pennsylvania to gawk at the Amish, in their long, old-world garments and somber horse-drawn buggies. Even while the Mormon majority have disavowed polygamy, it’s still a matter of widespread curiosity; see HBO’s “Big Love.” Plus, while most people probably haven’t heard of the Children of God, the founding philosophy of free love is rooted in the hippie past of the 1960s.

By being part of “outsider” groups, Mary, Warren, and Ricky are once-removed from mainstream society, but by defying basic tenets of their own faiths and wandering outside of their own faith communities, they are twice-removed from even that outsider status; they are outsiders in their own outsider cultures. Yet, strangely enough, despite being outsiders, the crimes and passions that drove them into being outsiders are the very same crimes and passions prevalent in most mainstream religious groups and secular societies today.



  • Brook

    They are outsiders within outsider sects, and therefore most extreme examples, and therefore they make engaging television. My own beliefs prevent me from defending the tenets of even the mainstream practices of theirs; I can’t say I don’t care what they do, because as a Christian I do; but if all we portray on tv is the extreme case, it’s not exactly fair to the mainstream members of their groups. Same goes for virtually any “expose’ ” on any group.>

Previous Posts

Big Faith and a True Father-Son Bond
The film "Little" Boy is based on a seven-year-old boy working to move mountains to end World War II so his father and best friend can return home. Regardless of his size or age, this youth’s faith is unstoppable. Executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett team up with the producers of

posted 11:01:58am Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

#MARCHON
In light of recent occurrences in addition to our day-to-day - we need, more than ever, to march on. #Marchon is a national platform for justice. It's the opportunity to let the world know what and how you feel. What are you passionate about? What do you believe needs to change? Where does the actio

posted 2:28:57pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Classic with a Modern Twist: What to Expect from Annie
It's a film that the whole family will enjoy. It's a film that will inspire you to look at life in a different lens. Moreover, it's a film that will keep you wanting more - what film are we talking about? None other than Annie. The talented cast include Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne,

posted 8:00:55am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Get Excited For the Holiday Film of the Year - Annie
Everyone is excited to see Annie, in theaters Dec. 19, staring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. The film is a modern retelling of the story about an orphan who seeks optimism within the adversity that she faces every day. While you're waiting for the f

posted 9:30:10am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

'Unbroken' is a True Gift This Christmas
// After 57 years of being hung up, now a war hero’s story is on the big screen. Unbroken, a true story based on U.S. POW and 1936 Olympic runner Louie Zamperini will be released on Christmas Day. The timing could not be more perfect said director and producer Angelina Jolie, who was emotionally e

posted 9:57:52am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.