Last Friday my wife and I went on a date.  We decided to take in the remake of Footloose.”  I remembered seeing the original and enjoying it; we had both heard good things about this latest version.  The story takes place in the South a few years after five teens are killed in a car crash.  The crash is blamed on dancing.  The reaction to all this is that the town leaders, led by a local preacher, ban dancing.  From their perspective dancing led to drinking, sex and reckless driving and all of this resulted in five dead teens.

The movie tells the story of a boy who has just moved to town, a rebellious preacher’s daughter and their “need” to dance.

About half way through the movie it dawns on me that I grew up in a church where dancing was wrong.  According to my mother, dancing led to sex. Since I was the preacher’s kid Satan was trying extra hard to entice me into dancing sex.  I never went to a dance until my senior year of high school. By then I was so afraid of dancing sex that I refused to get out on the dance floor.

This year my wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  I still don’t dance.  After years of worrying about dancing sex I am now afraid of embarrassing myself.

What is the point of all this?

I missed out on a lot of fun by not being able to go to school dances.  The family and church reasons for not going – the dance sex – only served to give me an unhealthy view of sex, my body and the opposite sex.  In many ways I am still working through consequences of living in that paranoia and fear.

I am not sure that the Christian faith was meant to be lived in fear.  In my youth it was dancing and what that might lead to.  Today there seem to be a lot of Christians who are afraid of anything that sits outside their particular world view – liberals, conservatives, Muslims, immigrants, socialists, and the list could on.

What would happen if instead of condemning the unfamiliar and different we start with the assumption that our ideas and perspectives might be wrong?



Filed under dancing, footloose, movie

3 responses to “Footloose

  1. Jim P.

    Theres the reason I didn’t go to church for most of my life because all I heard was to fear everything and preaching on fear just didn’t do it for me

  2. Brenda R.

    “I am not sure that the Christian faith was meant to be lived in fear.”

    Really? You’re not sure? I hope that was a typo and you really are completely sure that the Christian faith is not meant to be lived in fear. Dance, brother, dance!

    • Jim P.

      I think he means that because historically speaking Christianity has been used for fear based beliefs in some form or another.

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