“The Female Sin of the Internet”

The very first blogger to write about Vision Forum president Doug Phillips’ statement of resignation and repentance (it seems he had conducted a lengthy affair) was Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board. Julie Anne is a homeschooling mother of seven who spent years in a spiritually abusive fundamentalist church following the trends and theology of the most conservative circles of the Christian homeschooling movement. In 2012, for a variety of personal and family reasons, Julie Anne left and began blogging. In response, her former church sued her for defamation. Julie Anne won the lawsuit and has since refused to stop speaking out about spiritual abuse and the toxic beliefs she followed for so much of her life.

Why do I mention all of this? Perhaps because it is knowing Julie Anne’s background that made me laugh when reading some of the comments left on her post on Doug Phillips’ resignation. Here is a comment left by Ken Unruh of Grace Bible Church:

Julie Anne,

Just got acquainted with your site, and did a little reading of your comments. As a pastor of many years who loves the Lord and understands the accountibility that comes with ministry, I have a suggestion for you. Stop writing. You are going to stand before God and be held accountible for every word, many many of which don’t reflect the heart of Christ. Stop writing, and spend more time in the word and prayer. Grow in your faith before sharing your ignorance.

Yes, Ken really did flat out tell Julie to stop blogging. Pretentious much? Ken’s comment was seconded by another reader, ar10308:

Julie Anne,

God has given these women a way out and that way is through submission and obedience.

Women are not given permission to teach in a Scriptural context because they are easily deceived. Your comments and the comments of most of the women here are evidence of that.

Ken is correct, just as Eve had to answer for her rebellion so you shall be for yours.

Yes ar10308 really did tell Julie that she did not have divine permission to teach and that she would therefore have to “answer for her rebellion” . . . the rebellion of blogging. I did not read through the entire comment thread—which is long—but I did notice quite a few posts warning Julie against writing such posts as they constituted “gossip” and informing her that it was her Christian duty to accept Doug Phillips’ apology as tendered in his resignation letter and say no more of it.

It’s funny, because these things sound vaguely familiar. Let’s think, where have I heard this sort of thing before? Oh right. From Doug Phillips, speaking in 2009:

We will lose this movement and this work of God, men, if we do not govern our households. And that means lovingly shepherding our wives. The less you love your wife and the less you shepherd your wife, the more you create an open door for the female sin of the internet. The male sin of the internet is pornography. The female sin of the internet is gossip-mongering…

…We don’t live in the type of communities where our wives tend to go from house to house gossiping. They tend to go from blog to blog gossiping. And they spend their day going from blog to blog gossiping. And some of you are letting them.

…The world is watching. When the lesbian, feminist, transgender publishing house Beacon Press decided to release their exposé this month on families that believe in large households, they knew exactly who to go for. Go to the internet assassins. Go to the blogosphere gossips and get the information to denounce and divide the homeschool movement directly from the wives who live on the internet, gossiping 24/7.

Doug Phillips doesn’t like blogging women. According to Doug Phillips, blogging is “the female sin of the internet.” Which totally makes sense if you think about it. I’ve read at least a dozen blog posts critical of Doug Phillips’ resignation in the past week, and only two were written by men. If women like Julie Anne weren’t “blog-gossiping” all over the internet, Doug wouldn’t have to worry about them pointing out the inconsistencies or insincerities in his letter of resignation and repentance. Convenient, eh?

Long live the female sin of the internet, and long live Julie Anne!

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.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X