SMM: Chapter 3—What Our Fathers Do for Us

A Guest Post by Kate

Originally posted Time To Live, Friend.

I think the Botkin sisters introduce this chapter best: “Because the Bible doesn’t give a huge amount of instruction exclusively to fathers and daughters, most of what we have to work from are the passages setting the patterns for men and women in general” (23).

Hm, maybe the fact that the bible doesn’t have a “huge amount of instruction” about fathers and daughters is a sign that they should stop making up stuff that the Bible doesn’t say. It really says something about the kind of hermeneutic you’re using if you’re writing a 328 page book off of a handful of verses. And that’s assuming that those verses really support the claims they are making, which I don’t believe they do.

Sentence three of this chapter made me throw the book across the room:“Even before the fall, there was an order—a hierarchy of authority—established by God…. The reason for her submission to him is not a result of the fall, or of our now sinful natures. It was God’s plan for humanity from the beginning” (23).

Hierarchy was God’s plan from the beginning? Yikes. Once again, there’s a lot of good stuff to read about why this isn’t the only interpretation of these verses. If you’re not already convinced, I would suggest starting by reading the links I posted in my chapter 2 review. Even if you are “complimentarian,” I don’t see how you can say men and women are equal (which the Botkin sisters say) and at the same time, conclude that God’s perfect, ideal plan has always been for hierarchy. Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t see equality and hierarchy as the same thing.

The Botkins continue to say that men have three responsibilities:

  1. To lead by being a woman’s spiritual head and covering.
  2. To provide for their families
  3. To protect their wives and daughters

To support the first point, they pull the “Numbers 30” card. You can read the story here, but this bible passage is about a father being able to annul the vow of his daughter.

According to the Botkins, without the spiritual protection and covering of a father, a daughter will be able to make foolish vows before God and held responsible. With her father protecting her, she is no longer responsible for her rash decisions before God! Good thing she has that protection, because girls are silly and can’t make good decisions.

Now, even if I didn’t disagree with their application of this bible story, I am disturbed by the assumptions behind this idea of a woman needing a spiritual head and covering. Essentially, it is telling them—you can’t trust yourself, because you will undoubtedly make a bad decision without the spiritual guidance from your father. You can’t know as much spiritually as your father or husband, not because you haven’t studied or experienced as much but because of your gender. The men in your life know what God wants for you, better than what you know God wants for you. You can’t know God as well as the men in your life, so it’s a good thing you have men in your life to look after you. And they’re saying “be thankful you have this protection because otherwise you would be responsible!”

Because God doesn’t want to know women as much as he wants to know men? Because God speaks to men more than he speaks to women? Because God cares more about men than women?

What kind of assumptions are we having to make about God to get to the conclusion that a woman needs a man to be her spiritual “head” (what does that even mean?) and covering in order to communicate with God?

For the next point about a man’s role being a protector, the Botkins say,“Never in Scripture are women given the responsibility to provide for their families. This is a job specifically given to men, to the extent that if they fail in this responsibility, they are worse than unbelievers” (24).

Also never in Scripture? Daughters being told to confide in their daddies and be their best friend, and yet the Botkin sisters don’t seem to be bothered bythat absence. Furthermore, the Botkins have no Bible reference for the “worse than unbelievers” part, so I’m not sure where they’re getting that.

The Botkins flesh this protector role out further by quoting Ephesians 5:24 : “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”

And then:

“It’s interesting to see that there is even a distinction in the kind of love that men and women are to bear to one another. In the original Greek, the word ‘love’ used here is agape. Carolyn Mahaney, in her book Feminine Appeal, explains, ‘The Greek word agape refers to a self-sacrificing love. It’s a love that gives to others even if nothing is given back.’ In contrast, whenever women are instructed to love their husbands, the word agape is not used. Women are to have phileo love for their husbands. Phileo love refers rather to tender, affectionate, brotherly love. It is men who are commanded specifically to show sacrificial love and be, as Christ was, ‘the savior of the body’ (body referring to the wife)” (25).

The Botkin sisters are assuming that because the word “agape” is used instead of “phileo’ that this means it is the man’s role to be the protector.

But, well, if we’re going to play my-bible-intepretation-is-correct-because-i-have-the-original-Greek-word game, since neither of them are instructed to have eros love for each other, can just assume that the biblical way to uh, do things, is to not…do them?

Oh wait…

Clearly, it’s dangerous to start assuming lots of things based on one word or the absence of one word. Besides this, this verse is talking about a husband and wife, so why are they applying it to a father and daughter?

The Botkins still say that a woman is not supposed to be a protector but she can sacrifice her life for other women or children—just never a man. I have a question. What if the man is an unbeliever and by not sacrificing her life for this man, she is sending him to hell? Is it okay then? I mean, what is the more biblical thing to do here?

And I mean, how old does a male child have to be for a woman protecting him to be inappropriate? What about a man who is an invalid and can’t physically protect his wife? The Botkins ideas on gender roles might sound nice in theory, but when you look at the outliers that don’t fit nicely into their boxes you start to see just how absurd their assumptions are.

And if all this hasn’t been bad enough, they conclude, “A true woman of God will spend her life serving God with every aspect of her being, glorifying Him by following His pattern for the family. A woman who is willing to lay down her life for others will devote her life to her family, to her husband and children” (27).

Just put everyone else first and devote yourself to the Cause of raising lots of children so we can go back to the way things were when everything was perfect and godly in the past.

And then if that duty is sounding a little hard to swallow, a few dashes of fear mongering are added, in case you were forgetting what was at stake here: “…when the enemy comes to kill our children and hurt their mothers, God appoints men to stand up and shield those entrusted to their care. Without such protection, the next generation cannot survive” (28).

Then: “Because of international departure from God’s law, every Western nation is under God’s promised judgment. For some nations, this chastisement is more severe than others…When we understand this, it clears up a lot of confusion or depression we may feel when we look around and notice that our society is really sick ” (29).

The world is falling apart! The sky is falling! BUT WAIT! The Botkins have a solution to this calamity!

“First, we need to repent….all women are rebellious feminists at heart. … Second, we need to study the Word. [the Bible] alone can tell us what womanhood is all about. …Third, each of us must become true women….If we ever want men to fulfill their duty to us, we have to fulfill our duty to them. ….After years of studying the decline of our world, God’s requirements for righteous conduct, and how He is pressing His lawsuits against our disobedient nation, we believe that the way daughters are treating their fathers is one of today’s biggest issues” (31).

So start confiding in your daddy and everything will start being fine. Start following how we define a “true” woman and life will start getting better.

Malachi 4:6…”turn the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”

Or else God is going to kill you.

Don’t you just love the Botkin’s optimism?

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.

  • Kit

    Does anyone think there’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy here about bad decision-making? They don’t think that women can make good decisions, but the Botkins and women in this subculture may very well make poor decisions, because they haven’t been taught how to make good ones. That said, I should be clear that everyone makes poor decisions from time to time – the number of them decrease when you learn more about the world and how to make better decisions later. Since they’re prevented from gaining that experience, yes, they may very well make the kind of poor decisions I did when I was a teenager.

    • ako

      Totally. Spend forever teaching girls they’re naturally bad at making decisions, deny them the opportunity to practice, and be ready with a hefty dose of “See, I told you that you’d fail because you’re a woman!” for any girl who tries and makes mistakes, and you get adult women who are bad at making decisions. No surprise there.

      • The_L1985

        This is also why I dread planning things that take more than 15 minutes to plan–I was never really able to learn how to plan. My parents made plans when I wasn’t in the room, and–Presto! There’s a plan!

        It’s bad enough that I’m getting married in April and honestly have no idea where to begin. I don’t know what numbers constitute a “small” or “large” wedding; I don’t know where to hold the reception; I’m not even sure of anything beyond “the bride wears a white dress!” And I’m the bride!

      • NeaDods

        Rule one: all you need is a spouse and a wedding license. Everything else is frills.
        Rule two: reread rule one when anyone tells you different.

      • m. castleberry

        Amen to this! Do what you want to do.

        I wore purple at our wedding (and not a dress). My fiance did not wear a suit or a tux.

        We requested that people bring no gifts, since we were getting married as adults. We DID ask people to bring food, and we had a potluck meal after the ceremony (people were shocked, shocked I tell you when they told me they were bringing potato chips or pizza and I said, “Fine, bring whatever you want!” and meant it).

        We did not have a professional photographer.

        We bought vases at a discount store, flowers at a local market, and my fiance arranged the flowers.

        I invited my friends via e-mail.

        Rather than get involved in the families’ discussions over whom to invite, we printed out invitations at home, and divided a certain number of invitations between his family and mine for them to invite people as they saw fit.

        Etc.

        Oh, and we paid for our own wedding and did not come close to going into debt for it. It’s just part of one day, and the point is to get married.

        I like rule one, though I’d add an officiant to the list of needed things. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything you do not want to. We didn’t, and they got over it. ;-)

      • gimpi1

        Seconded, Castleberry.

        I wore a green dress that I made myself. My fiance wore a plain suit that he already owned. We each had only one attendant, my sister for me, and his best buddy for him. We married in our home, and only invited 14 close family-members to the actual ceremony, since our living-room is small.

        We had a large party as our reception, ranging all over the house. We invited about 50 people. I swapped a brochure design for basic catering, and people brought added pot-luck stuff.

        My cousin did flowers, all stuff she brought in from her back-yard. We passed out small disposable cameras and let people take their own pictures, and e-mail us any they especially liked. We sent out invitations, but they were homemade and two-tier, an invitation to the ceremony for immediate family, and an invitation to the party, for friends and more distant family.

        I made a bet with my cousin that I could bring the whole thing in for under $500, and I won. Going broke for a wedding is just ridiculous.

        Do what makes you and your fiance happy. Do nothing else, except remember rule one. In my opinion, asserting yourself with your family as regards your wedding is one of the best ways to start your married life. It helps them understand that you are starting a new stage of your life, and their role in your life has changed. And that’s a good thing.

      • The_L1985

        I know, but we’ve both got enough kith and kin in the area that it seems a shame to waste a good opportunity for a party. I’m Italian–partying is in our blood! :P

      • NeaDods

        You can do what some of my friends did, which was invite everyone to a huge potluck picnic and games, with the note that the area was open at 10:30, the meal was at noon, and if you were there at 11 you got to see the wedding.

      • Rosa

        The thing about being allowed to make your own decisions is that you’re also allowed to decide NOT to. You can always just think of a friend, acquaintance, or family member who had a wedding that seemed good to you, and copy that (or even ask them about details – planning a formal wedding is a lot of work and most people don’t get the chance to be admired or emulated for that work.) A friend of mine spent an entire year planning her wedding and has a project management tablet from it she likes to show off.

      • Sophie

        My best friend got married last year. She and her husband made the invites, and family and friends decorated the reception area. Everything was done fairly cheaply and it was one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever been to. The simplicity made it so much clearer that the only thing about the day that really mattered was the two people declaring their love and their intention to spend their lives together.

        So my advice is ignore what anyone but you or your fiancé wants and make the day about the two of you.

      • m. castleberry

        :-) Attendees brought food for the potluck, our families supplemented that, since they wanted to contribute in some way to the wedding. And YMMV on this, but we supplied the adult beverages :-) .

        Not sure how many people attended…a general invitation went out to people at our church at the time, and they didn’t have to RSVP. But since it was a potluck we weren’t worried about not having enough food. :-)

      • alwr

        Rule number one is have the kind of wedding that makes you and your groom happy. And if that means a caterer and a white dress and centerpieces and a registry, then do that. I find the helpful advice givers often think that no one wants that. I wanted it. I was over 30 and didn’t own a pot with a lid thanks to years of teaching in private schools with bad salaries. And my husband and I wanted to have a dance and we wanted to have catered food–not out of our own ego in any way but because we had both been to way too many weddings where we were STARVING by the time we left for lack of food. I still find it absolutely ridiculous that so many people criticize a couple who wants to FEED THE GUESTS. Seems like simple hospitality to me.

      • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

        I would suggest checking out A Practical Wedding. It’s quite helpful.

      • The_L1985

        Thank you so much! ^^

      • Mogg

        My partner recently went to a wedding which consisted of a bride’s friends v’s groom’s friends paintball fight and drinks at the pub after. Make a list of the people yuu want to have share the day with you, and you’ll have the numbers, and from there do something you would like to do!

    • lucifermourning

      assuming you do want a party to the other advice, i’d add:

      - work out what you can afford to spend.
      - work out who you want to attend*

      use those as a starting point. having everything you want is nice but you’re much more likely to regret not inviting someone you genuinely want to attend than you will regret not having fancier table settings or not going into debt for years.

      *lots of ways to define this – we invited a few relatives who were mostly invited to keep our parents happy but were pretty strict about limiting that and focusing on having our friends and the relatives we really know and like in attendance.

  • mpanchuk

    The assumption in these fundamentalist cultures always seems to be that whatever is “natural” for a woman to feel is evil (all women are rebellious feminists at heart), but that whatever urges come naturally to men (the urge to dominate and “protect” their family) are good. Feminine=Evil; Masculine=Good.

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      Because at heart, men and women’s desires are basically very similar. But if you believe men and women to be so different, and you observe them having similar feelings, then SOMEONE has to be wrong, and it’s probably going to be “the second sex” rather than the primary.

    • Mira

      So when I have the urge for pasta, it’s bad, but when my bf wants pasta, it’s good? Damn, what happens when we BOTH want pasta? EEEK

      • wombat

        NO! YOU’LL TRIGGER THE APOCALYPSE!

      • Mira

        Apastalypse preceded by the antipastalypse.

  • ako

    the Bible doesn’t give a huge amount of instruction exclusively to fathers and daughters

    If I believed in the Christian god, I’d take that as a sign that he didn’t want to create a detailed, universally-applicable plan for father-daughter relationships, and it would be sinful to violate his will by creating one and claiming it was from him. As I don’t believe, I simply find it presumptive and intellectually dishonest to make an admission like that and still go “But you must follow these rules because GOD’S PLAN!”

    The reason for her submission to him is not a result of the fall, or
    of our now sinful natures. It was God’s plan for humanity from the
    beginning

    I always found hierarchy-worship deeply creepy. And that’s what this is, worshiping hierarchy. Making an idol of authoritarianism and people being positioned as leaders and followers, even to the point of ignoring parts of the actual Bible. (Galatians 3:28, for instance – if there’s no male or female, how can you have women being required to submit to men by divine will?)

    You can’t know as much spiritually as your father or husband, not because you haven’t studied or experienced as much but because of your gender.

    I think that’s why they’re so focused on fathers. Because that means daughters (and sons) start off as babies, when they’re less strong, less knowledgeable, less mature, and capable of good decisions. And they typically get many years where that remains obviously true, so it’s easier (especially if their fathers don’t let them learn too much or develop their judgement, and especially if they’re raised to think trying to run their own life and making mistakes is a Dire Fate) to think that’s automatically true and accept it as a matter of indoctrination. Go up to a woman who’s several years into a successful career as a paramedic, or a lawyer, or an auto mechanic, and it’s much harder to make “Your gender means all men know better” sound remotely plausible.

    ‘The Greek word agape refers to a self-sacrificing love. It’s a love
    that gives to others even if nothing is given back.’ In contrast,
    whenever women are instructed to love their husbands, the word agape is
    not used. Women are to have phileo love for their husbands. Phileo love
    refers rather to tender, affectionate, brotherly love.

    See, to me that suggests the opposite of the traditional gender roles. If a man is supposed to have self-sacrificing agape love and expect nothing back, shouldn’t he be willing to put aside his opportunities at worldly honors and accept a humble role washing dishes, scrubbing toilets and taking care of the home? Shouldn’t he be prepared to put his own desires aside in favor of pleasing her, and sacrifice his will in favor of submitting to her? And brotherly love seems like it wouldn’t be submissive, but rather egalitarian and being strong and brave for your loved one and standing side-by-side like a true and loyal companion.

    (I don’t actually think things should be carried to that opposite extreme, with men required to submit and stay home, I just think it flows more naturally from the text than “Sacrifice means protector means authority, and brotherly tenderness means submission”.)

    Besides this, this verse is talking about a husband and wife, so why are they applying it to a father and daughter?

    It kind of fits with their tendency to never actually see women as real adults, but I doubt they’d admit to that.

    when the enemy comes to kill our children and hurt their mothers,
    God appoints men to stand up and shield those entrusted to their care.
    Without such protection, the next generation cannot survive

    So these enemy invaders coming along to kill comfortably middle-class Americans are going to be here any day now, I take it? Because for the audience for these books, it seems like there’d be far less to fear from invading barbarian hordes than from giving control of your life to a man steeped in authoritarian values and the belief God has entitled him to rule over everyone else in their homes.

    Third, each of us must become true women

    As opposed to what? Fake women? Men?

    • badgerchild

      Proverbs, chapter 31 (the passage about the “virtuous woman”) describes a woman who is fantastically successful in all spheres of her existence as a publicly admired wife, loving and capable mother, effective and motivational manager of a large household, productive and profitable worker, savvy businesswoman, and respected philanthropist. The only way the husband is mentioned in all this is to show that her independence and success is indispensable to his career and overall well-being. But that doesn’t count to the Botkins, I suppose.

      • persephone

        The fundagelicals hold up the Proverbs 31 wife as the ideal, yet they cherry pick the passage to death to ignore the free agency, and general freedom, of the wife in managing her household.

        They also manage to de-emphasize the verses about her having servants to help her out.

      • Christine

        Also, after reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood, I get the impression that they seem to think it’s a list of instructions, rather than a “hey, you know how awesome you are?” poem.

      • Mary C

        I agree. It seems that many fundamentalists have an inability to see overarching themes in the Bible, and can only read it individual verse by individual verse. I think it is a sign of either willful ignorance or a poor education.

      • gimpi1

        I call that deconstructionism, Mary. Folks seem to feel deconstructing the bible verse by verse is the same thing as actually studying it, rather than studying it by reading it for content, the way you would study – for example – a geology textbook.

        I have seen “Bible-study” classes where the minutia of one verse is taken apart and analyzed for hours, with no context discussed whatsoever.

        In fact, the whole idea of context is often regarded with suspicion, since the Bible was written for late 20th and early 21st century people living in the US, don’t ya know. Considering such things as the culture, technology or geography of Bronze and Early Iron Age middle eastern societies is regarded as dangerously wishy-washy and leading to the dreaded scourge of relativism.

      • m. castleberry

        Yes! I also thought that was a very cool section in the book. What a revelation.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    “….all women are rebellious feminists at heart. …”

    Amen, sister! Preach it!

    “Never in Scripture are women given the responsibility to provide for their families.”

    Also never in Scripture– the idea that slavery is bad. Or the idea that it’s wrong to slaughter societies who believe in other gods. Whenever we try to read the Bible as God’s Literal Unchanging Truth For Our Lives, instead of the reflection of long-ago societies, we bump our noses on things we’d rather not think a loving god would approve of.

    “Even if you are ‘complimentarian,’ I don’t see how you can say men and women are equal (which the Botkin sisters say) and at the same time, conclude that God’s perfect, ideal plan has always been for hierarchy.”

    I could be wrong, as I haven’t read a great deal about complimentarianism yet, but I had gathered this was a standard part of complimentarian double-speak– women are to be subservient to men, and yet they are equal. Equal in that men-make-all-the-decisions-and-women-don’t-work-outside-the-home kind of way, that is.

    • Scott_In_OH

      To your last point, yes, complementarians argue that women and men have different roles, but each role is essential, so they’re fundamentally equal. Likewise, they have different rights, but each set of rights is necessary for society to function, so they are equal.

      To refer back to a thread from about a week ago, “equality” is another term conservative Christians have re-defined beyond the recognition of normal people.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Essentially, it is telling them—you can’t trust yourself, because you
    will undoubtedly make a bad decision without the spiritual guidance from
    your father. You can’t know as much spiritually as your father or
    husband, not because you haven’t studied or experienced as much but because of your gender.

    So is it safe to say that the Botkin’s just made gaslighting a feature of their theology rather than a bug?

  • sunnysidemeg

    Where does Jephthah work in with all this? That’s a pretty striking father-daughter Bible story

    • Mogg

      Incidentally, while Jephthah was off making war, presumably with every able-bodied man he had at his disposal, who do the Botkins think were providing and making decisionf for the family? That can be expanded to all kinds of biblical situations – That whole incident between David and Bathsheba, for instance, wouldn’t have happened if he was off making war in the spring time with all his men like he “should” have been – or at least I’ve heard it preached that way. But in the meantime, who was running the households? Or do women and children go into some kind of suspecnded animation while their menfolk are away for a long period of time?

  • Lunch Meat

    Never in Scripture are women given the responsibility to provide for their families.

    This is a lie. Not only that, the verse contradicting it is from the same chapter they alluded to here: “This is a job specifically given to men, to the extent that if they fail in this responsibility, they are worse than unbelievers.” 1 Timothy 5:3-8:

    Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. … Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    Notice it says children and grandchildren, not sons and grandsons. And it explicitly mentions women in verse 16: “If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.” This is why if you’re going to use the Bible as support for your views, you should start by reading the Bible, not by cherry-picking half-remembered verses and allusions as support for your preconceived notions.

    • Alice

      Plus Ruth worked to support herself and Naomi before she got married, and Lydia in the New Testament sold purple cloth.

      • Saraquill

        And isn’t there an entire Proverbs QFers love to quote about a woman who runs a prosperous business

      • Alice

        Yeah, some QFers pathetically try to handwave that by saying that making and selling products out of your home doesn’t count as a job. It’s such bullshit. I know a family member who had a home business, and she worked twice as hard as she would have at an 8-5 job.

      • TLC

        Yep, the Proverbs 31 wife.

      • TLC

        Alice: I thought of the same examples, except I didn’t read the rest of the comments before I posted mine. Great minds think alike, I guess! ;-)

  • Joykins

    Well, let’s look at a passage in the Bible that actually TALKS about fathers and daughters.

    Judges 11:29-40

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2011:29-40&version=NIV

    Yes, please, trust your father to protect you. See how well it worked out in the BIBLE.

    • TLC

      Maybe Jephthah should have given a little more thought to who or what, exactly, he thought would be running out of the door of his house to greet him when he got home. Did he think the goats would hear him coming, open the door, and scurry down the path?

  • Anon

    First, we need to repent….all women are rebellious feminists at heart
    Has anybody considered that if all women were created to be ‘rebellious feminists’ (aka wanting equality) at heart then god is maybe trying to tell women something?
    And that something is not ‘submit’.

    • Trollface McGee

      The way I see it, if God wanted women to be submissive doormats with no mind except to use to serve then God would have made us with such minds. We’d be like the Harry Potter house elves, wanting to serve, “rebellion” would be against our nature except for a few freak cases. The fact that people spend so much effort on suppressing women kinda goes in the face of that being natural or “God’s plan”.

    • BobaFuct

      Women are, by nature, rebellious feminists. Women are created in god’s image. Ergo, god is a rebellious feminist.

    • Hat Stealer

      Nah, I’ve said it before, but God is a huge prick. Creating people so that they’ll want to do something, then telling them not to do it, then acting all shocked and upset when they do it is pretty much his calling card.

      • gimpi1

        My husband once told a couple of witnessing Mormons that the “evil practical joker” kind of God looked a whole lot more like the devil to him. It got them out of the house, anyway.

  • BobaFuct

    “Women are to have phileo love for their husbands. Phileo love refers rather to tender, affectionate, brotherly love.”

    I guess dad hasn’t given them the birds-and-the-bees talk yet??

    • persephone

      They only really lust for their father. I wonder just how much they hate their mom.

    • Alice

      Patriarchs don’t believe women feel sexual desire at all. Unless they’ve been corrupted by the devil or something.

  • KristinC

    So I decided to check out the Botkin sisters’ website. I was fascinated by what I found there. The thing that gets me is how intelligent and educated they seem. How can you be so SMART and still think this way? I’m truly baffled. Anyone have any theories?

    • badgerchild

      The smarter you are, the easier it is to persuade yourself that what you are emotionally attached to is intellectually the right thing.

    • Mary C

      Well you can know lots of stuff, be well spoken and a good writer, but still be severely lacking in the critical thinking department. They are both likely naturally intelligent, but they have been greatly under-served by their education.

      The Botkin sisters don’t know what they don’t know. So they are *just smart enough* to be dangerous.

      • badgerchild

        It’s more than that. You have to work hard, every minute of your life, to be that subjected. You often do it wrong and suffer consequences, which after a while you internalize and feel pain without knowing why. That pain becomes, sometimes, a reason to fight to force yourself to accept indoctrination that you know is wrong. I don’t know if it’s Stockholm syndrome, but it seems close to me.

  • ZeldasCrown

    So they use bible passages relating to the husband-wife dynamic to apply to father-daughter relationships, and then scoff when we get a very creepy, incestuous vibe from the whole “give your father your heart” aspect of purity culture? How about not describing those two very different types of relationships using the exact same wording/rhetoric if you’re going to try to convince me that my impression of the creepiness of the whole thing is entirely wrong?

  • Caravelle

    According to the Botkins, without the spiritual protection and covering
    of a father, a daughter will be able to make foolish vows before God and
    held responsible. With her father protecting her, she is no longer
    responsible for her rash decisions before God! Good thing she has that
    protection, because girls are silly and can’t make good decisions.

    Because Heaven knows men don’t make foolish vows before God. I’m sure that daughter who was sacrificed by her father who made a vow to kill the first living thing he saw when he went home felt really safe, protected from her own foolish vows by her wise father.

    • steeled

      This. Brilliant!

  • The Other Weirdo

    According to the Botkins, without the spiritual protection and covering of a father, a daughter will be able to make foolish vows before God and held responsible. With her father protecting her, she is no longer responsible for her rash decisions before God! Good thing she has that protection, because girls are silly and can’t make good decisions.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler if God simply assumed that children, much less adults, can’t be trusted to make rational decisions, let alone “…vows before God…”, and not held them to concepts they couldn’t possibly understand? You know, wouldn’t it be simpler if God, assuming such a thing even exists, understood the nature of the flawed nature of the creatures it created and treated them accordingly? Of course, the entire concept of “spiritual protection” is badong anyway.

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    The argument about hierarchy being in existence before the fall just makes me OOZE frustration every time I hear it. You don’t have to be a Christian, or have any respect for scripture, to admit that this idea seems to go against the “plain reading” of Genesis. After the fall, Genesis tells the woman that the man will now rule over her. HOW MUCH PLAINER CAN YOU POSSIBLY GET? There is no mention of hierarchy before the fall, in any Genesis text, and then God goes out of his way to mention men ruling over women as a result of sin. What more evidence could we possibly want?? I mean come. the heck. on.

    “Furthermore, the Botkins have no Bible reference for the “worse than unbelievers” part, so I’m not sure where they’re getting that.”

    I think what they’re referencing is the verse that instructs all believers in the church to care for widows/extended family who have fallen on hard times. That verse is not directed at men specifically–in fact, it’s directed at the entire church, and the subject matter is helping out specific destitute family members rather than prescribing gender roles between husbands/wives in every family. But that verse is routinely used to say that God told this message only to men.

    And why do they bring up the husband’s love-word of “agape” as being a self-sacrificing term, but then spend so much time identifying the WOMAN as the one in the family who is supposed to sacrifice herself for others? That’s like saying, “God told men to ride horses, so ladies, saddle up!”

  • Mary C

    I could say many things about the Botkin sisters and their book, but really – why is anyone supposed to take two teenagers’ Bible interpretation as any kind of authority at all? I mean Debi Pearl makes me really mad and vomitous, but reading the teenage Botkins’ Bible musings just makes me laugh.

  • kisarita

    about the verse in malachi- turning the hearts of the “children”. it actually says sons, not children. because there is no gender neutral “children” in hebrew, one must guess from the context whether sons means sons an daughters (the generic human being male) or just sons. But it definitely does not mean just daughters.

    The proverbs woman provides for her family.

    The numbers thing regarding the vows is correct, although if i am to be a stickler for accuracy i would point out that it says “in her youth, in her fathers house.”

  • wanderer

    Where did this whole kick about father-daughter thing come from, anyway? Since it’s not in the bible (clearly), where did it come from? I’m starting to wonder if it all started in the mind of daddy Botkins. Does anyone know if it’s actually been around longer than him?

  • TLC

    The Botkins say, “Never in Scripture are women given the responsibility to provide for their families. This is a job specifically given to men, to the extent that if they fail in this responsibility, they are worse than unbelievers.”

    Um, apparently the Botkins have skipped over the Book of Ruth. In Chapter 2, Ruth goes into the fields to gather grain for her and Naomi so they can eat. They had no other man to provide for them. Yes, Naomi sent Ruth to a field owned by Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband. Maybe the Botkins think that since it was Boaz’ field, he was still providing for them. But Ruth was doing the work of collecting the grain for both women. What were they supposed to do, starve?

    Link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth%202&version=NLT

    Another example: Lydia from Thyatira, a “merchant of expensive purple cloth,” as noted in Acts 16. It says she and members of her household were baptized. I cannot imaging that Lydia made all this money selling purple cloth, but did not use any of it to provide for her household.

    This phrase, however, made me gasp out loud in horror:

    “. . . all women are rebellious feminists at heart.”

    Oh, really? They have surveyed every single woman on the face of the earth, and they know this for a fact? What about Debi Pearl and her help meets? What about all the other “good Christian women” who believe as the Botkins believe? Furthermore, are the Botkins saying that THEY are “rebellious feminists”?

    (Pause here for all true feminists to fall over laughing hysterically.)

    I’m pretty sure there are other examples in the Bible of women providing for their families, but it’s too late and it’s been a very difficult day. Oh, maybe the Botkins should do this research BEFORE they publish their book! But then again, where the men who are supervising and editing their writing? Maybe they just don’t care about the facts.

  • Nebuladancer

    Typo: It’s So Much More, therefore, SMM, not SSM.

    • Whirlwitch

      I was about to say. This typo occurred in the title of the last instalment, too, and frankly the only SSM I’m familiar with is same-sex marriage.

  • Trynn

    Actually, the Botkins DO have a scripture reference for that:

    1 Timothy 5:8, KJV

    But
    if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own
    house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

  • http://oddestnotions.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    The passage about men who don’t provide is 1 Timothy 5:8. I imagine they didn’t mention it since it doesn’t say “men,” it says “anyone.” Great post!

  • CarrierPigeon

    “After years of studying the decline of our world, God’s requirements for righteous conduct, and how He is pressing His lawsuits against our disobedient nation, we believe that the way daughters are treating their fathers is one of today’s biggest issues”

    Um… wasn’t this the book the Botkins wrote when they were teenagers? When did they start “studying the decline of our world”, when they were two?

  • Rose

    every Western nation is under God’s promised judgment

    This doesn’t even have to do with women or gender roles but there is a lot more to this planet than the Western world! Do these people just forget that there is more than one nation out there, and omg not everything started in the west (like, yanno, math, and gunpowder, and the written word, and the beginning of civilization). There are Christians outside of their little western bubble too.

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