Jun 23, 2018

Searching for Beefcake in Fundamentalist Central

There are three things I like about this photo:
1. The guy's last name is Friddle -- great name!
2. He's peeling off his wrestling singlet in front of God and everybody.
3. He has just lost the title to Aurora Christian's Cameron

When I was growing up in Rock Island, we visited Aurora, Illinois, about 2 1/2 hours away, for jump quizzes, talent shows, and soulwinning weekends.

Nazarenes always talked about it as a "beacon of light in this sinful old world," aka Fundamentalist Central.

Wheaton College
North Central College
A Christian publishing company
Three Nazarene Churches
Fundamentalist mega-churches with names like Abundant Life Family Center.

And a lot of cute fundamentalist boys, like these Wheaton College swimmers.

I was wondering if Aurora has changed since I graduated from high school, or is it still Fundamentalist Central?

This is the Cameron who just beat Friddle -- and looks extremely miserable for someone who has just won a championship.  He's from the Aurora Christian Schools (plural).

Christian high schools like Aurora Christian and Naperville Christian are a new thing -- at least, there weren't any that I know of back in 1975.  So now Aurora kids can learn that evolution is a lie and Roman Catholics and gay people are evil, and do  math problems that begin "If there are 6.23 billion people on Earth, and 2.3% of them are saved...."

And play football with their shirts off.

However, Aurora is now 40% Roman Catholic.

There is also a significant Greek Orthodox population.

This very sad wrestling champion (does anyone ever smile in Aurora?) is from the Roman Catholic Marmion Academy.

Surprisingly, Aurora Christian plays against them.  They must not be as anti-Catholic as Nazarenes.

Aurora is also the home of the Sri Venkasteswara Swami Temple, devoted to the veneration of Venkasteswara (an incarnation of Vishnu).

Built in 1986, it is a spiritual home for Hindus throughout the Midwest.

And the Fox Valley Muslim Community Center.  Over 6% of the population of Aurora is Muslim.

Also in Aurora, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a residential high school
where, I guarantee, you're learning about evolution.

It's nice to know that diversity has come to Fundamentalist Central.


  1. I'm surprised Fundamentalist Central isn't farther east, like Tennessee or Georgia.

    You can find Islamic communities throughout the Midwest now.

  2. It was Fundamentalist Central to us in Rock Island.


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