No Longer Quivering featured in Sacramento News & Review local story

Baby makers

Preaching patriarchy and procreation, Quiverfull and like-minded groups live by the (good) book


West Sacramento resident Theron Johnson has a vision for an ideal society. In it, racism is eliminated. The United States disbands its large standing army and refrains from engaging in unjust wars. People live within their means and accrue no debt. The weak are protected, taxes lowered and inflation is considered theft. Government agencies stop encroaching on our daily lives, doing little more than protecting homes and property from fire or theft. Personal liberty and freedom reign supreme.

In his ideal society, women do not have the right to vote.

Male politicians fill government posts, as women seek higher personal meaning through submission to their husbands. Parents raise little girls not to attend college but to marry godly men and bear as many children as the lord gives them. Abortion, same-sex marriage and divorce: illegal.

This, to Johnson, is a Christian society.  Read the full story here.

From the article:

Breakaway blogging

For a long time, Vyckie Garrison, 43, lived out the Quiverfull image of a good Christian wife, with seven beautiful children and a popular newsletter run out of their Nebraska home. But two years ago, that all changed. Garrison, who lived in Sacramento as a child, now runs a blog called No Longer Quivering, writing about what she calls her escape from the Quiverfull movement.

At 17 years old, Garrison accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior. After marrying her second husband in her mid-20s, she started to explore biblical family values, attending home-school conventions, urging her husband to adopt the lessons of the Bible, and to follow God’s plan in their lives and marriage.

“The promise of this ideal family, the security, the closeness, the high value placed on motherhood looked very appealing,” Garrison says. “I had a chaotic childhood and was looking for stability.”

Gradually, she grew so consumed by the teachings of the Quiverfull movement that she encouraged her husband to reverse his vasectomy. By that time, Garrison had mothered three children, each pregnancy life-threatening and each child born through Cesarean section.

To make ends meet, Garrison and her husband published a conservative Christian newspaper. Her husband held the title of newspaper president, but Garrison says she did the bulk of the work. As her family became more isolated and withdrawn—they home-schooled, operated a home business and had a home church—Garrison says her husband became tyrannical and paranoid. Held up as the leader of the household, his narcissism magnified itself, she writes, as he attempted to control every single aspect of the household and its occupants.

The family’s demanding lifestyle eventually began to take its toll. All the food was made from scratch. There was no television, no baby sitters, no time for a break. Meanwhile, Garrison’s eldest daughter began cutting herself, an act of rebellion that wasn’t supposed to happen. In the Quiverfull movement, it is believed that teenagers trained in the ways of the Lord will transition seamlessly to Christian adulthood.

One day, her daughter attempted suicide.

“That’s when it all crumbled for me,” Garrison says. “Her self, her emotions, her desires were completed negated. Something inside of her wanted to be an autonomous being, and this was not being allowed.”

Garrison divorced her husband and left the Quiverfull movement. She hasn’t looked back. “I have no regard for the Bible,” Garrison says. “I’m not hip to Jesus either. His symbol of martyrdom, the cross and laying down your life for others—you can’t just give and give and give without falling apart.”

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