Many of you will be travelling back to the place you grew up over the course of the day and tonight. There you may participate in the traditional night-before-Thanksgiving-get-togethers including, but not limited to, high school reunions, football games, obligatory yearly "how've you been" meetups at local pubs and other treasures of twenty-first century American awkwardness.

We here at Patrol want you to have a fun, safe and, above all, morally sound holiday weekend, so, with that in mind, we offer you this friendly reminder from the folks at the Encounter Generation Conference. And, oh yes, it's real. Mother Jones looked into it.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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0 Responses to Sidehugs: A Friendly Thanksgiving Reminder

  1. Tommy O'Keefe says:

    This is ridiculous, and at least a part of why I don’t go to these things even though I am a youth pastor.

    “Jesus never hugged nobody like that” – really?? and you know this how?

    Another thing – What the heck was the “democratic shift in congress” bit about?

  2. Yaelca says:

    I find this particularly hilarious because I grew up in a charismatic church where the “Christian side hug” is actively preached/practiced. To be fair, I do not think the performers are taking themselves too seriously here. This rap is a fun, semi-satirical way to encourage teens to respect physical boundaries during the youth conference.

  3. JMcknight says:

    The side hug touches the side of the breast. Which, in my opinion, is infinitely sexier. 😉

  4. Michael says:

    I don’t think that this is a joke. I mean, it’s intended to be light-hearted, like most youth group-oriented things. But with the way they go on and on, I think they’re serious about their point, which is that side hugs aren’t dirty and sinful like front hugs. And that strikes me as being, despite its pure intentions, particularly dirty. Because there’s something wrong with the way we teach purity if we sexualize even the contact within a basic hug.

    Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Emily says:

    I have to agree with Michael here. I’m a particularly touch-feely person, but I make a point to respect people’s personal boundaries. With my friends who are also touchy-feely I can be in their space, hug them, kiss them (peck on the cheek) and it not be awkward or overly sexual. But with my friends who are not comfortable with people in their space, physical contact does take on a more sexual overtone.

    If you forbid “front-hugs” kids are going to be very self-concious about it anytime they hug someone. They are only sexualizing something that shouldn’t be overtly sexual. I would argue that they are making the situation worse. To avoid someone possibly being accidentally aroused by a frontal hug (arguably not a big deal), they are ensuring that many teens equate a frontal hug with sexuality.

  6. Mike says:

    I remember in middle school there being a problem with ‘too much hugging’ going on in the halls. (It was really more of a congestion issue than a moral one for the administration.) A friend told me that the only reason the guys were hugging girls was for dirty motives. After making that association, hugging became a rather awkward activity for me for quite a while.

  7. josh says:

    in an actual interview with the group, they admitted it was a parody of “youth group rules” about hugging. they were joking around, folks. lighten up and stop rushing to judgment about the church.

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