Not content with persuading teens to forswear sex and over-intimate dancing, some evangelical groups have extended their mission to include banning "frontal hugs" between young men and women. The more appropriate technique, forcefully advocated not long ago by a troupe of Christian rappers at an Encounter Generation conference, in Vacaville, Calif.--see the remarkable video at Feministing--is a "Christian side hug": a hip-to-hip, arm-around-shoulder approach.
As the song says (transcription via Feministing):
Gimme that Christian side hug, that Christian Side hug. Gimme that Christian Side hug, that Christian side hug. I'm a rough rider teamed up with Christ. Gimme that Christian Side hug, that Christian side hug.
These are the E-G rules, so pay attention cause this is essential. This ain't no front hug zone. Stop and listen. No front hugs and no kissin'.
All the while, there are the sounds of sirens in the background, as if police are descending on these gangstas.
As a Feministing commenter suggests, the use of the term "rough rider" sends a curiously (but surely unwitting) mixed message. The E.G. rappers may want to look up the phrase on Urbandictionary.com. Or maybe they don't. (You, either.)
The author is solely responsible for the content.
Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.