Raised Quiverfull: Panel Introductions

Please introduce yourself before we get started. Are you married or unmarried? Are you in school, holding down a job, or staying home? Do you have children? What religious beliefs or lack thereof do you ascribe to today? Provide whatever additional information you like.

Joe:

On May, 1, 2012, I turn 32 years old.  I have more gray hairs than there are polar bears in either arctic zone and I am following in the tradition of my dad and both my grandfathers in keeping every hair all the way to the grave.  None of them went, or are going, bald.  Although I wouldn’t mind the Friar Tuck look.

I am married to the most awesome woman I know, this side of the sun.  If there happens to be a better one, I’ll never know or care.  I am fully devoted to her and proudly codependent.  She is everything to me.  Then my six children.  From oldest to youngest, they are, Renaya (10), Laura (8), Frederic (7), Felicity (4), Jack (3), and Analisse (2).  If I do go bald, it will be entirely due to them.  They have already contributed to my gray hair.

When Kristine and I were married, we were ultra-conservative Christians, she less than I, but I would not allow any discussion on potential compromise.  Since then, we have liberalized our views and recently, have become full-blown non-believers.  Personally, I have no religious beliefs and have completely rejected the god of the Bible.  I consider myself an agnostic because I cannot empirically determine that there is nothing supernatural and yet, in practice, I am very much an atheist.

I love the Minnesota Twins, writing, and anything to do with Kristine.

Latebloomer:

I’m in my thirties and have a young child that I now stay home with.  My husband and I consider ourselves extremely liberal Christians, but as ex-fundamentalists we haven’t found a group that we want to associate with.  We are currently living in California.

Libby Anne:

I’m Libby Anne, a married graduate student in my mid-twenties with one child and a baby on the way. I’m still not completely sure what I want to do “when I grow up,” but I do know I want to have a career of some sort in the field I am studying. I’m only planning to have a few children and I plan to put them in public school. As for religious beliefs, I’m an atheist. It took me a while to arrive there, but after I started asking questions the questions just didn’t seem to stop.

Lisa:

I’m Lisa, I’m 24 and I now live in Germany. I was born and raised in the U.S. but left the U.S. when I left my parents and siblings about two years ago. I have an American father and a German mother, and found shelter with my mother’s family here. I’m not married and I don’t have any kids. Right now I’m working on getting a high school degree. Since I was home schooled and didn’t do well, I never got one when I lived with my family. Besides school I work at as a waitress. I’m not quite sure what I believe at the moment. I do believe there is God, but I can’t make sense of anything else.

Mattie:

I’m “Mattie Chatham,” of The Nest Egg (the pseudonym and blog title are shamelessly stolen from Wendell Berry’s novel, Jayber Crow). I’m the oldest of nine kids. The youngest is five.  I’m 23, married, with no kids yet. My husband grew up in a similar sort of family (even participating in ATI for a time), but his family was less prone to extremes than mine was/is. At present, I work at a non-profit in the D.C. area doing funding research. My husband is pursuing his certification in music therapy. We attend a fairly conservative Episcopal church and would consider ourselves Anglican.  We both participated in Sovereign Grace Ministries churches for the large part of our childhoods.

Melissa:

I am Melissa, mid-twenties, married, working in the evenings and staying at home with my 4 pre-school aged children during the day. I am hoping to go to school for the first time this year, and I have no idea what to focus on, it is all so interesting to me. Currently, I am agnostic, we attend a Unitarian church here and there when we feel up to it. I grew up the oldest of 11 children in a Quiverfull/Patriarchal homeschooling family.

Sarah:

My name is Sarah. I have been married for almost 2 years now. We have no children, and don’t plan on having any for at least 5 more years. I work full time as a receptionist and pay all the bills for my household. I am also in school part time taking about 10 credits per semester. I go during the summer too so it comes out at around a full course load per year. My husband is still stoically Christian; I on the other hand have come to an uncertain agnosticism. This difference is religion has been the major cause of conflict in my marriage.

Sierra:

You can call me Sierra. It isn’t my real name, but I use it to protect the identity of my family and former friends. I am 25 and have been out of fundamentalism since 2006. I am currently in a History Ph.D. program in a Midwestern university, and hold a master’s in history from one of England’s big two. I am engaged to my partner of five years, and recently adopted a puppy. I can say without reservations that 25 has been the best year of my life.

Tricia:

Hello! My name is Tricia. I’m 26 years old. I had a fairly typical American childhood until age ten or so, when my parents began to homeschool me and gradually became immersed into the world of CP/QF. You might say they/we were fully “in” by the time I was fourteen. So I went on to live the stay at home daughter life– foregoing college to be a keeper at home, courtship in my early twenties and eventual marriage to another child of the movement, etc. Over the past two years I have come to consider CP/QF as an aberrant offshoot of fundamentalist Christianity that can, and often does, foster situations that create emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage in the name of “Godly living.” This was a painful realization to come to, and the process of healing, sorting, and re-evaluating my beliefs and experiences has likewise been intense, but at the same time very freeing. I’m still on the journey and don’t have all the answers or know for sure where I’ll end up, but am trying to be honest and enjoy life as much as possible along the way. True to my training, I am now a stay at home mom to two small children, but at this point it’s more due to pragmatics than conviction. When my kids are a little older I intend on pursuing college and career training of some kind.

I remain a traditional Christian, in the sense that I affirm the Nicene Creed with only a few minor redefinitions and accept the Bible as a collection of inspired writings that has had, and will continue to have, a shaping influence on my spiritual life. Beyond that, I gravitate towards Christian faith traditions that emphasize the mystical and experiential. I shy away from superfluous rules and rigid theological formulations, more because I find them triggering at this stage in my life than from reasoned objections to theology per say. After some exploring and shopping around, I’m currently attending an inter-denominational charismatic-lite sort of church. It is lively, diverse, and casual. I don’t kid myself that it’s perfect, but for now it’s a place where I can relax, breathe, and enjoy some undemanding faith based community.

<<< Introduction ———————————— Next Question >>>

Raised Quiverfull IntroductionIntroductory Questions Summary

Raised Quiverfull: Advice for Others
Raised Quiverfull: Looking Back on Your Childhood
Raised Quiverfull: What Helps You Today?
Raised Quiverfull: Do You Wish You Could Go Back?
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.


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