Questions to Ask When Choosing a Subculture (or When Getting Chosen by One).

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September 29, 2018 by lucieromarin

Some of these come, not from my experience, but from the experiences of friends of other conservative subcultures (coughpersonalprelaturecough). The answers will have different consequences for different people, depending on what each is looking for. (Sometimes you want to be in a place where you’ll be known and missed and can share common projects. Sometimes you just want to be somewhere you can talk to God without being asked to do twenty hours volunteer work every week. And so on.)


  1. Do the people only call you when they want you to do something for them? How often do they call you just to chat, or to suggest hanging out?
  2. Do they ever ask you if you’re okay?
  3. Do they notice your absence?
  4. Are there double-standards about who is allowed to comment about whom? Are they allowed to tell you that you’re mad, or that they like teasing you, or that you talk too much, or that you’re childless? What are you allowed to say?
  5. How much conversation revolves around the judging of other people?
  6. Do the relatives or close friends of the clergy have any unusual privileges?
  7. Is there a sub-class?
  8. Are the members of the sub-class expected to live for the service of others?
  9. Have they helped you to see how many flaws you have?
  10. Have they convinced you that your judgement is thoroughly untrustworthy?
  11. How often are you asked for money outside of the collection plate? Do they try to guilt-pressure you into making contributions? How much transparency is there about the use of funds raised?
  12. To what extent is blame deployed as a motivator or explanation? (e.g. you don’t want to go to an evening Mass /give more money/attend an event – that’s because you’re lazy, not generous enough, and not supportive?)
  13. How much will you have to change in order to be judged acceptable by the other laity? Is your willingness to change in order to meet their approval taken as given? What rights do they reserve in their treatment of those they find unacceptable? Do you agree that they have those rights?
  14. If you are hurt, will anyone speak up for you?

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