Saturday, October 10, 2009

#47 Nodding in Approval

Next to tapping their toes along with the music, there's just no better way for white Christians to give their endorsement to what they are witnessing than to nod in approval.

Used primarily in the sermon listening stance, this nod is frequently accompanied by a knowing smirk, tilted head, slightly squinted eyes, and sometimes even a muted "mmmm" to show that the exact phrasing emanating from the pastor's mouth at that moment is directly in line with this particular white Christian's beliefs.

In fact, the approval nod is such a powerful tool that all white Christian media services integrate this move into the sermon portion of their video productions. It's really the go-to move to demonstrate quality preaching in video format:
  1. Tripod/congregation angle: Pastor makes a statement.
  2. Cut to audience listener: intense focused approval nod and minor eye squint.
  3. Fade/cut back to pastor.

In visualizing this boiler-plate approval nod sequence, the white Christian production company empowers the white Christian viewer to relate to this powerful example. "If that guy agrees with what is being said, then perhaps I could agree as well!" reasons the white Christian viewer.

There exists, deep within every white Christian, the desire to be able to shout "Amen!" as an approval response. But for most white Christians, what goes unsaid with lips is loudly proclaimed with some extra focus, some form of hand-to-face contact, and 1.5 inch movement of a few neck muscles. The general rule of thumb preserves audible "Amens" for either expert level white Christians or the general congregation when an energetic guest pastor is visiting and he elicits the "Amen?" invitation (to which an "Amen" response is uncomfortably uttered in liturgical fashion by two thirds of the congregation).

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Purposeful Purity said...

This. Is. Fantastic.
Of course, the head-nod can be seen in its preferred habitat at any white christian conference, at which the 'audience head sweep' is rife.
This bonding 'necksercise' does, of course have its downside. The very dedicated white christian can finish a sermon with pulled muscles and tired eyes from squinting too eagerly.

Luther Zwingli said...

Ha! "Necksercise" is hilarious!

Ryan said...

I found myself nodding in approval whilst reading this.

anna said...

A good furrowed brow never hurts either. Gives the nod a little more intensity.

Purposeful Purity said...

My neck muscles are well adapted to the more extreme sermon, thanks to years of training.
I also write a very white christian blog for evangelical women so I am pretty much hard-core when it comes to all things W-C.

Dr. Bill Loney said...

What about the half puckered lips that accompany the nod and squint, which indicate levels of contemplation previously unattained? Not for the theological lightweights.