A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull


I wrote recently about some of the many definitional issues surrounding the term "quiverfull." If you have not already read that post, you can do so here. But in this post I want to go farther and argue that we need to be calling the Duggars ATI, not quiverfull, because their primary identification is with Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute and their quiverfull beliefs stem from that organization. More generally, I would argue that accuracy demands that we be clear about what leaders and … [Read more...]

A Quiverfull of Definitions


I've increasingly seen the media use the word "quiverfull" used to describe the Duggars' entire subculture, and that's bugging me, because this use of terminology is neither very accurate nor very helpful. In its purest definition, "quiverfull" means abstaining from using any form of birth control and instead letting God plan your family, and yet I'm increasingly seeing it used as a label for an entire subculture. There are several issues with this.First, "quiverfull" is usually a term used b … [Read more...]


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As I listened to the song Oh Rebecca last week, I began to cry. I played it again, and again, More tears, more feeling. Finally I began to write. Within only a few minutes I had composed what follows, a lament of sorts very different from my usual style. We look out upon a landscape we never expected. We can tell from the air around us that something is fundamentally broken and fractured. In front of us there is wilderness, and it is beautiful, but it also dramatic and bold in a way that can … [Read more...]

My Sister, Joy—and Me


Regular readers are often curious about my younger siblings. Half of my siblings have come of age and left the nest, and the other half of them are still at home. Those who are grown have chosen a variety of different paths. Sometimes I've pitched in and helped a sibling out with leaving or getting started on their own, but the process has generally been fairly smooth, both because my siblings have been given a solid academic foundation and because my parents have not been vindictive.But I … [Read more...]

Guest Post: The Many Valuable Lessons I Learned at ATI


A guest post by LauraOriginally posted on Homeschoolers' AnonymousThe 14 years I spent as a student in Bill Gothard's ATI taught me many valuable lessons for my life. Here are some of the highlights:* Parents are always right.* Men are always right. Therefore, your father is double-right.* Getting out from under the “umbrella of authority” means you will have many problems, including being raped. (Not sure what the warning is for boys who get out from under their umbrellas. I’ … [Read more...]

Patrick Henry College: Claims to be Anti-Quiverfull, Invites Quiverfull Speaker


Patrick Henry College released a statement after the New Republic article on its mishandling of sexual assault cases (which I wrote about here). To my knowledge, this statement was released only to alumni and students, though it may have also been released more generally. You can read it here. The statement was read aloud during morning chapel, and was met with applause. What I found most interesting about this response, in line with what I discussed last week, was this bit: Some readers have … [Read more...]

Michael Farris Responds to the New Republic


This past Sunday, before the New Republic article about the mishandling of sexual assault at Patrick Henry College, Michael Farris issued a statement on his facebook page. It was not about the upcoming article but rather a response to the growing Bill Gothard scandal, which has followed close on the heels of the Doug Phillips scandal.Even in this statement calling out their failings Farris does not name Gothard or Phillips. Indeed, some commenters (presumably homeschool parents) asked … [Read more...]