This Was Me

I came upon this video today. You see the oldest daughter, Olivia? I was her, down to the old fashioned dresses and meticulously curled hair. Everything she said and did, I said and did. Just as she loves and glories in her role, so did I. And when I was twelve, I too had six younger siblings.


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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Final Anonymous

    Yikes. Something about these people rubs me the wrong way; they have to be my least favorite QF family yet. Very fake and insincere. Something's weird there, seriously.I think the reporter struck a chord in the 12 year old when she asked her all the questions about too much responsibility. Don't listen to her answer; look in her eyes. There was a spark of recognition there. Maybe something penetrated through the brainwashing? I guess we can only hope.Libby Anne, I am very glad you got out. ; )

  • Rachel

    i love the idea of having beautiful and properly behaved children in the future. and yes, i plan on homeschooling if possible and teaching them Christian principles. however, i will not be stripping them of their souls. these children are empty. these parents are plastic. this broke my heart.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I am really creeped out by the fact that they all have their hair curled, even the little ones. They seem awfully young to be going through any kind of beauty regimen. When I was 3 or 4, I complained and protested whenever my mom so much as approached me wielding a brush, and I think that's pretty much the appropriate attitude for a child that age to have towards her appearance. (Well, also my hair was wild and curly all on its own and that brush HURT! lol) Seems weird to be instilling beauty standards in little girls, especially for a family that subscribes to a belief system that supposedly values spirituality over looks.

  • Monk

    No, it wasn't a "suggestion" and No, it wasn't a "good idea!" It's a TERRIBLE idea and inhumane. This makes me angry. Idiocracy, anyone? Only this would be far more sinister…it'd be Theo-Idiocracy.

  • Libby Anne

    FA – "Something's weird there, seriously." See, this family didn't strike me as abnormal at all – by which I mean they seemed just like my parents, of course! I really think the girl is being 100% truthful and see no reason to doubt that. The parents seem earnest and appear to genuinely love and care for their children. Yes, I think the beliefs this family holds are crazy, and yes, the parents are indoctrinating their children into their beliefs, but I don't think they themselves are mentally deranged or anything. They appear to be genuinely good people, simply caught up in a system of dangerous and highly problematic beliefs.

  • shadowspring

    I have to agree with Libby Anne here. I have been home schooling for fourteen years, and I don't see anything abnormal about this family in what they say or how they act towards one another as far as "Christian" home schooling goes. I think we all start out with those visions of virtuous living dancing in our heads. Happy, well-run homes where the siblings are always industrious, kind, compliant and look/sing like angels. (Insert angelic choir and sparkle of glory here.)Their oldest is only twelve. I predict that the cracks in the "perfect family" are already breaking out, and before the youngest is done schooling, it will be obvious to the world. I don't know how it will come: adultery scandal? teen pregnancy? drugs/alcohol? anorexia? oldest daughter becoming an atheist? (wink wink) Eventually someone in the family will reach a breaking point, and do what they can to break out as an individual. They always do.My own dreams of the perfect Christian family were never as clearly articulated as this pastor's family- lucky for me. I was able to loosen up and let go when it became clear the whole concept (training children to Christian perfection) was a sham. Plus as a real scholar of the Bible and of humanity, I came to this realization more quickly than some. For once in this life, I actually got lucky!When my oldest was depressed and,well, just mean as a snake, I didn't see it as lucky. Her refusal to fit into the mold I had so lovingly crafted for her broke my heart. Now I thank her for it. I actually admire her tenacity and authenticity. You go girl!Another thing that is also very realistic about this home school family- money and race. No matter what people want to say, Christian home schooling (not home schooling in totality, but the religious segment) are almost exclusively white and middle-to-upper class. There are many hopefuls from less affluent backgrounds, but most of them eventually cave into the reality that they just can't keep up. They will be nobody's in their Christian home school support group, in my experience. I think that's why the less affluent seem to get weirder and more insular. They've distanced themselves from "the world" already- now they discover that they are not all that acceptable in the Junior League Home School Association. So, they home church or join an IFC where they will not have to be confronted with just how poor and in some cases, poorly educated, their family has become. Very sad.All because idealist people (a good thing) let themselves be co-opted by the Christian home school business machine (a bad thing).

  • Final Anonymous

    I often get "feelings" about people that I can't explain; this is one of those times. I agree there is nothing objectively different about them than the Duggars, or Bates, or the dozen or so QF families I've seen and/or met, and they didn't say anything I haven't heard before. Not that I necessarily approve of the Duggar-Bates lifestyle, but at least the younger kids seem innocently happy.Maybe they were just too "onstage" because of the cameras? I don't know.Nope, I watched it again, and there is no real joy or light in this family at all. Everything is pasted on fake. The youngest three or four rarely smile or even move. The parents' eyes are cold.Blech. That's the word that keeps coming to me, along with a powerful shudder. There's something off there.

  • Stacy aka Fahiima

    Wth is up with the curlers? I can always spot the IFB's from a mile away since they are enamored with this odd mix of 1950s Norman Rockwell mixed with Victorian era fantasy. They come off as extremely fake to me too.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    @ Stacy–Yeah, it's faux-Victorian stuff is really weird and off-putting to me too. It seems to infantile in a lot of ways. I mean, my best girl friend and I used to stand in front of the mirror and do our hair like the March sisters getting ready for a ball. But we were 9. I used to do my dolls hair and dress them up because I wanted them to be pretty–but there were dolls, you know OBJECTS. And I was a little kid.It's like instead of growing up and getting over the sanitized "wouldn't it be cool to live in the olden days?" fantasies, they just replaced their dolls with actual children and continued on. *shudder*

  • Young Mom

    This was me too, only my mom was pregnant with my 6th sibling when I was 12. I remember I literally had no idea what people were talking about when they asked me if I felt like I was working so hard when I was just a kid myself. And when I started to realize that I worked hard, I was proud that I wasn't like all the "worldly" kids out there.

  • seven

    I love how these people take the commands to "be fruitful and multiply" and "fill the earth and have dominion over it" and run with them. When God said that to Adam and Eve, they were the only two humans in existence and if they didn't, sayonara humans. Y'all, there are 7 billion of us now… we've GOT dominion.