Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.
by Defendant Rising
1993 was a rough year. It was the year that Nate was fired from his engineering job in Tazewell, Virginia, and first started thinking about studying the law. It was the year when we went to a conference and met a pastor who advocated corporal punishment for wives, and Nate took to his teachings like a duck to water. It was the year I had Jack, who was conceived a few months after Daniel’s birth. Most notably, 1993 marked my first attempt at a separation from Nate.
Daniel had been born at home. Nate and I were part of the Christian separatist movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s, rooted in the belief that liberals and “secular humanists” would destroy the moral fiber of America. Christian separatists— right-wing religious splinter groups including white supremacists, Y2K survivalists, secessionists, reconstructionists, and so on—believed that the upstanding patriotic Christian Americans needed to separate themselves and create a fortress of Christian homes where the true leaders of tomorrow would be raised.
We were associated with the Quiverfull movement too, which meant that we rejected birth control so that we could physically produce a lot of the leaders of tomorrow: God’s Army. Home birth, home schooling, even home church were big trends. Anything that kept the faithful tucked away in their righteous enclaves and away from the godless masses. Whole communities sprang up where Christian right-wingers could turn on (Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy), tune out (the liberal media establishment—many of us even tossed out our television sets), and drop out of mainstream American life.
We were the counter-counterculture. We were fanatics. We were darned proud of it. Quiverfull, in particular, was a philosophy that any married couple in the Christian Right could buy right into. It was so easy: Exercise Dominion! Please Jesus! Take over America! Using Tools You Probably Have Around the House!